“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Obama made a clever political calculation. The Tea Party and the GOP in general had been demanding that he submit the Syria file to them. So he obliged them. If they say ‘no,’ as the British parliament did, then Obama is off the hook. If they say ‘yes,’ then they are full partners in any failures that result. Either way, the issue is taken off the agenda of the 2016 election and Democrats are held harmless.

People have been asking why President Obama did not go to Congress about Libya but is willing to do so with regard to a much less robust action in Syria.
The answer is a pragmatic and not a legal or constitutional one. Obama did not need Congress in the case of Libya. He had the Arab League, the UN Security Council, and NATO, along with the 60-year history of the post-WW II imperial presidency, in which all wars are police actions and can be initiated by presidential fiat. Some argued that US treaty obligations under the United Nations treaty obligated military action both in Korea in the 1950s and in Libya in 2011 (Congress wasn’t involved either time).
But as I have been trying to explain in the past few days, President Obama did not have a favorable international climate for a Syria strike. As time went on, he became more and more isolated. The Arab League declined to call for intervention even though it condemned Damascus for chemical weapons use. Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and other Arab countries forthrightly denounced the idea of foreign military intervention in Syria, a very different stance than many of them took in 2011 with regard to Libya. The fall of the Muhammad Morsi government in Egypt, and the stigmatization of the Muslim Brotherhood, led to a 180 degree turn in Egyptian policy, with the military junta now more or less supporting the Baath Party in Damascus and hostile to the rebels, who are mostly adherents of political Islam.
Then NATO declined to get involved, with Poland, Belgium and others expressing reluctance. Poland explicitly cited its bad experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then the British Parliament followed suit. It was as though Europe viewed Washington as like the Peanuts cartoon character Lucy, who set up the football for Charlie Brown to kick and then always pulled it away at the last moment, leaving Charlie flat on his back. Europe was saying it wasn’t falling for the unhealthy US obsession with Middle East conflict any more, that some problems can’t be resolved militarily.
The Obama’s own intelligence links cast doubt on whether President Bashar al-Assad had actively ordered the chemical weapons attack of August 21, which seems more likely the action of a local colonel who either went rogue or made an error in mixing too much sarin into crowd control gases. The Ministry of Defense seems to have upbraided him.
So by Friday, Obama had painted himself into a box with repeated statements that he had to attack Syria because of the gas attack. But as he looked behind him, the troops he was leading had thinned out faster than Custer’s at the Little Bighorn.
With regard to domestic politics, Obama would be pilloried on Capitol Hill if he backed down as his international support (and elements of his case) collapsed. If he went forward with a unilateral strike, he would be alone and exposed, and risk extreme reputational damage if the operation went bad. (What if a cruise missile went astray and hit a village, killing women and children? What if the missile strikes riled up radical Shiites in Iraq and US facilities in that country were attacked).
Obama made a clever political calculation. The Tea Party and the GOP in general had been demanding that he submit the Syria file to them. So he obliged them. If they say ‘no,’ as the British parliament did, then Obama is off the hook. If they say ‘yes,’ then they are full partners in any failures that result. Either way, the issue is taken off the agenda of the 2016 election and Democrats are held harmless.
Those who think a ‘no’ vote will make Obama an early lame duck do not reckon with how all the votes have been ‘no’ for some years now. Nothing will change in that regard.
Will Congress authorize a missile strike on Syria? I think the odds are fifty-fifty. It is not impossible that the Libertarian Republicans and the left wing of the Democratic Party will ally to defeat the resolution. They came close to derailing NSA spying, after all. And feelings against entanglements in Middle Eastern wars are far more inflamed than on the issue of domestic surveillance.
It is remarkable how important the Iraq experience has been in the debates on Syria, and how decisive. Even if the US goes ahead with the strike, it is likely to attempt to keep the action narrow and symbolic, and to avoid troops on the ground, and indeed, generally to stay out of the conflict thereafter as long as no more chemical attacks are launched. Whether it is possible to bomb Syria and then walk away like that isn’t clear; but it is the maximal Obama plan. The minimal one is to be able to blame the Tea Party for isolationism and cold disregard of the regime’s violation of international law.


  1. Yep, seems to be a reasonable analysis of the situation.

  2. Give Kerry the “no shit Sherlock award” for this:

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that samples collected by first responders after the reported August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria have tested positive for the nerve agent Sarin.
    "In the last 24 hours, we have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of Sarin," Kerry said on NBC's Meet The Press. “So this case is building and this case will build.”

    We have known that for months and years that Sarin gas has been used in Iraq, Iran and Syria. Al Qaeda used it to spike IEDs in Iraq. Saddam used it against the Iranians. The comment by Kerry, as if this is new information, is telling. They really don’t have any other proof. If they did they would roll it out this morning. That could explain the change in Obama’s plan to attack. Putin asked him to show the proof and within 24 hours Obama took a pass.

    During the next ten days we will have an opportunity too see who lobbies the hardest to get the congressional votes to go to war against Syria. Those who clammer for an attack will expose their real agenda and game plan. It will not be for the children.This is all about taking on Iran and if not already obvious, will be soon.

  3. Obama says that US credibility is at stake if he ignores Syria crossing the redline. He is wrong.

    The redline that Obama drew in the sand was a political mistake that painted himself into a corner. It shows more strength and credibility to admit a mistake rather than to foolishly respond with an even bigger mistake.

    All of the reason that Obama gives for attacking Syria make no sense. Either his policy is wrong or he is not telling us the truth. Before rushing into war prudence would require a thorough examination all the evidence.

    The US has already wasted a decade of war, a million people killed and billions of dollars spent in a naïve belief in phony evidence of WMD. Iraq is now worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein. Saddam posed no threat to American national security.

    We need to get this one right and if any attack is decided it must be with Congressional approval, sanctioned by the UN under international law.
    American credibility has been much more damaged by the mistake in Iraq. If there is a repeat of that the US will have lost all credibility.

  4. Congress should definitely say no, and reinforce their constitutional perogatives. If he then goes ahead and bombs Obama looks like a dictator, which of course he would like to be.

    He wouldn't bomb if the vote goes against him though. Gives him an excuse for all that goes wrong later, whatever it is. 'My hands are tied'.

    He has sorta slipped out of his self made box, and gotten Congress in there, alright. He has also lost all credibility, if he had any left, on the 'world stage'. At home too, it seems.

    Congress, if they say 'yes', should give him the green light on Iran at the same time.

    Whatever else all this is, it is certainly interesting.

    Usually in human affairs you have too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Right now we don't seem to have any Chief at all, and the Indians get to vote.

  5. Congress should definitely say no, and reinforce their constitutional perogatives. If he then goes ahead and bombs Obama looks like a dictator, which of course he would like to be.

    He wouldn't bomb if the vote goes against him though. Gives him an excuse for all that goes wrong later, whatever it is. 'My hands are tied'.

    He has sorta slipped out of his self made box, and gotten Congress in there, alright. He has also lost all credibility, if he had any left, on the 'world stage'. At home too, it seems.

    Congress, if they say 'yes', should give him the green light on Iran at the same time.

    Whatever else all this is, it is certainly interesting.

    Usually in human affairs you have too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Right now we don't seem to have any Chief at all, and the Indians get to vote.

  6. Golly, anoni, enough with the repetitive posts already.

    Not only can you not sign in, now you cannot even post to the thread in a effective use of the bytes.

    As to the content, the US, Obama specificly was never in a box.
    He has put the GOP in a box.

    He has done so effectively.
    Simply and at no cost.

    He has moved the media, no more talk of Egypt, is there.

    Boehner has the ball, he'll try to punt.
    Obama and the Dems will come out ahead, domesticly.

    Who really gives a hoot in hell about Syria, anyway?

    1. How can Obama put the GOP in a box if he was never in a box himself?

      There is no box.

      You have boxed yourself in.

      You should be in a box.

      A steel box.

      A steel box you can't box your way out of.

    2. How can Obama put the GOP in a box if he was never in a box himself?

      There is no box.

      You have boxed yourself in.

      You should be in a box.

      A steel box.

      A steel box you can't box your way out of.

    3. Sometimes in poker, the thought crosses your mind, "I'm tired of thinking; you think awhile," and you push all your chips into the middle.

  7. Ouch, University of Washington 38, Boise State 6.

    This is something of a surprise to me. Boise State has been excellent recently.

    And U of W usually sucks.

    WSU pays millions to new coach, redoes stadium, and promptly loses to Auburn, 31-24.

  8. Obama's Provocative Syria Retreat
    September 1, 2013

    Obama has blinked and Bashir Assad, Vlad Putin, Ayatolla Khameni, Kim Jong Un, and assorted lesser examples of ruthless heads of state think they have his number


    1. Obama followed the Law and the American Stinker wants to praise the leadership of tyrants.

      Typical of facists

  9. That photo on Drudge?

    Obama should be arrested for feigning drawing, cocking and pointing a gun with his right hand.

    1. First graders get kicked out of school for this kind of shit.

      Some role model.

  10. Anoni, you are dumber than a gnat.

    Obama placed the players, made the statements and got McCain to commit. Some anoni was joyous two days ago, saying that Boner was going to lstifle a vote, leaving the President to fend for himself.

    Anoni was completely wrong that time, too.

    Now you are triple posting in petulance?

    Comical, you are. Get youself a pet gnat, it'll double your cognitive capacity, you're slipping further into mental oblivion.
    I left Phoenix over a year ago, your reading comprehension has failed you, too

    1. .

      You have friggin lost it, rat.

      Got McCain to commit?


      Have you ever seen a war McCain didn't love, propose, and defend?


    2. As you reported the other day, Q ...

      McCain's reasoning was ... 'Obama said...'

      Now Boehner has to have a vote.
      Do the Pubs back Obama or do they get cold feet?

      McCain stands with Obama, now the Mr Orange gets to go public, too.

      Not whee the GOP wanted to be.
      No Imperial President, but one that forced Boehner's hand.
      The GOP is now 'tween a rock and a hardplace.
      Obama put them there. Masterful domestic politics

    3. .

      More nonsense from an Obama slappy.

      Sending the case for a Syrian attack to Congress was a smart one, and the right one. This should have been standard operating procedure for the past 40 years.

      To say that Obama wasn't in a box is wrong. He carelessly used words without thinking through the potential consequences. Laying down 'red lines' always carries the danger that they will be crossed and you always have to be prepared for the consequences.

      In Syria, the line was purportedly crossed. By which side, still to be determined. However, Obama has gone on record saying it was Assad that used them. And he has proposed a plan, the 'symbolic' bombing of various sites in Syria to 'teach Assad a lesson', this after providing a notification period that will now last for a month or more thus assuring that whatever the bombs hit won't be their intended target. This after authorized leaks from government officials stating that the information 'isn't a slam dunk'. This all within an atmosphere where anyone aware of government lying regarding intelligence matters would consider any statements coming out of government officials as suspect.

      The problem is that no one supports the idea, not the public, not our 'so-called allies'. Congress? Yet to be determined. This is not surprising. The American people and the world have grown weary of American actions and failures in the ME over the past decade or so. Also, Obama has not laid out any specific American interests for intervening in Syria.

      What you say, that we can't abide the use of chemical weapons in the world? That 1400 people including over 400 children died out of 100,000 reported dead? The hypocrisy of such statements is born out by the fact we supported Saddam's Iraq when they were using chem weapons against Iran? By Darfur where hundreds of thousands died through mutilation, rape, torture and starvation. By Rwanda, where over 800,000 have died in tribal conflicts. And by the Congo, Africa's First World War, where 5.4 million have died since 1998 and where more children die annually than those that die in China.

      To think Obama made this decision willingly is absurd, that he would create a major clusterfuck just so he could blame it on the GOP? Laughable. Presidents have been claiming they have the sole responsibility for taking the country to war for decades. No president would give up that prerogative willingly. It sets a bad precedent (for presidents). Obama was forced into this. Only a naïf would believe otherwise.

      Now, admittedly, it was a wise decision even if one forced by circumstances. It provides Obama cover whichever way the vote goes.

      As for putting the GOP in a box, I don't see it. How, by demanding that Congress do it's constitutional duty? If so, I would like to see more of it. As for the decision, we will have to wait for the vote to see if the Obama proposal passes. The vote on the Amash amendment showed that the usual rubber-stamp Dems were willing to break with Obama on some issues.

      The political ramifications of the vote will be determined by the degree of bipartisanship the final vote reflects as well as by what happens in Syria over the next months and years.

      Moved the media simply and at no cost to the point they are no longer talking about Egypt?


      Yeah, I guess, if you consider creating another shit storm to take the press's attention off the previous shit storm you were involved with. That, in a addition to the initial statement that got you into your current problems, as well as, the childish solutions you have proposed to get yourself out of them.

      Who really gives a hoot in hell about Syria, anyway?

      Typical of the Obama apologist. Who really cares about Benghazi? Who really cares about the IRS? Who really cares about the NSA spying?

      I guess the only things they really care about are horses and the price of E85 in Iowa.


    4. .

      It is a sad commentary on the Obama slappies when the best they can do in trying to excuse the screw-ups he creates is to argue that he was able to blame them on the GOP.


    5. .

      As you reported the other day, Q ...

      McCain's reasoning was ... 'Obama said...'

      Here, I would only point out that you took my comment out of context. Every time Cavuto would shoot down one of McCain's 'justifications' for attacking Syria he would fall back on the "Obama said..." mean and say this means 'we' have to attack Syria. The argument is as inane and vapid as McCain's other arguments.

      The US foreign policy reputation has been degraded to the point that little could make it worse at the moment, least of all taking a step back from a 'symbolic' gesture that may cause
      more harm than good and which at this point is based on questionable information.

      McCain is a doofus. That he and Obama were more or less aligned, telling.


    6. Man oh man. Long winded would put it mildly.

      Did Obama over extend with the 'Red Line' rhetoric most likely.
      Did it add to the noise, most definately.

      Yes, I would say that making Congress vote is putting it in a box.
      Especially in the House.
      There the GOP has voted 'NO' for four years. Tough to vote 'Yes' and back Obama in attacking Syria. Tougher still for the GOP to vote against military action, McCain is their faceman.

      The US has not cared about the Assad regime for forty years, nothing has changed in that regard. It has never cared about the Syrian people.

      Stay the Course

    7. .

      So you agree I am right about all but three points.

      One: We disagree on whether Congress is being put in a box. There you are obviously wrong so we can discount that.

      Two: A new one. McCain is the faceman of the GOP? You have lost it, if you have ever had it. You are so 2008. The only reason you see McCain in the media so much is that he is a buffoon and the MSM loves controversy even when it is of the irrational kind.

      Three: On Syria.

      Who really gives a hoot in hell about Syria, anyway?

      I would argue it is much of America if it means we are getting involved in another ME war.


    8. Of course John is the faxe of the GOP, he is their only NATIONAL candidate still in the game. Mr romney is gone, GW last seen in Africa with Mr Obama.

      John McCain personifies the GOP, today
      Like it or not.
      If that puts the GOP in a 2008 time capsule, well, there they are.

      As for Congress, they get to vote on something other than ObaaCare. Not where Boehner wants to be.

      As for Syria, if Obama was going to strike, if this was not for domestic politics, the B2s would have hit Syria, already.

    9. Phones suck for this ...

      John is the FACEMN for the GOP. ...

    10. .

      Don't be naïve.

      No one takes McCain seriously especially the GOP, the leadership or the foot soldiers. Well, except perhaps for his butt buddy Graham who is now in a fight for his seat the same position McCain would be in if he didn't represent Arizona. I assume you guys keep electing him to add comic relief the national scene.

      As for Syria, if Obama was going to strike, if this was not for domestic politics, the B2s would have hit Syria, already.

      Where did this come from? No one said Obama wants to strike Syria. The only reason this is even a matter of discussion was that he opened his big math and is now being asked to 'put up or shut up'. Obama really didn't want to attack Libya in the beginning but he was henpecked into it by Clinton, Rice and, and Powers.

      You are the one living in a time warp, rat. The rest of us have moved on and left you behind.


    11. Don't you be naive, Q.

      If McCain were not the face of the GOP he would not be their pointman, would not get the face time, but he is and he does.

      You don't like him, easy to understand, but that does not change the political realities of hiis position as standard bearer for. The GOP. The GOP has not provided another, not that is still in the game.

      That their bench is thin ...
      Well, there they be, stuck two cycles back.

      The GOP not quite ready for a transition of power.
      They have J McCain for their faceman unti 2017.

      Unless Mitt comes out of hiding

  11. I showed some mercy and changed the triangle to a singular point of light.

  12. The House vote is going to be interesting.

    My first take: I wouldn't lay 51-49 on either side.

    1. Interesting for sure.

      Based on thoughts of political survival today my hunch is that they vote it down by a close margin.

      I'm usually wrong though.

      Maybe they will pass it with a bunch of conditions attached.

  13. .

    John Kerry:

    Assad "has now joined the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein" in deploying chemical weapons against his population.

    I guess that by saying 'against his population' Kerry hopes to differentiate this matter from the fact that we supported Saddam while he was using massive chemical weapons attacks against the Iranians. However, those who have to use Hitler or Nazis as an analogy have in most cases already lost the argument.


  14. I guess John Kerry finally forgot about his Viet Nam experience.

  15. I put up a video where John Kerry testified to Congress about something outside of his chronology:
    “Assad "has now joined the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein" in deploying chemical weapons against his population."

  16. John Kerry’s war-mongering speech on chemical weapons in Syria
    August 27, 2013 —

    Analysis of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the subject of the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs, suggests the senator has his facts wrong again and is fully engaged in war-mongering propagandistic rhetoric. He may be using a form of psychological projection to protect himself from ongoing feelings of guilt at his role in the massive use of chemical weapons by US forces in Vietnam but in any case the posited military action in Syria represents yet another case of an ill-thought out policy with dire humanitarian consequences being sold to the public on grounds of high morality.

    It is difficult to make a rational, intellectual argument for launching military action against Syria. Even from the point of view of ruthless self-interest it is not a sensible thing for the United States to do. So Kerry instead makes a moral argument and appeals to the heart. His conscious purpose is to set out the moral basis for war, as is made clear in his opening remarks:

    Well, for the last several days, President Obama and his entire national security team have been reviewing the situation in Syria. And today, I want to provide an update on our efforts as we consider our response to the use of chemical weapons.

    What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and – despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured – it is undeniable.

    At this point, it is worth remembering that, many years ago, Kerry was a small cog in the US war machine as it killed hundreds of thousands of peasants in South East Asia. The killings and the use of chemical weapons by US forces in Vietnam was known to Kerry – as he recently told Newsweek magazine,

    “We know they used defoliants, at least I knew they used defoliants, because it was all around us… That was just the nature of life on a boat down there. It was a reality.”

    Kerry claimed that “I’ve never really thought about it… I don’t think about it in a personal sense.”

    The defoliants used in Vietnam included Agent Orange – a chemical which Vietnam estimates killed or maimed 400,000 people, and which has led to 500,000 children being born with birth defects. With the Red Cross of Vietnam estimating that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange, there is little doubt that its use represents, to use Kerry’s words “a moral obscenity” and it is one which may have left its mark in the mind of Kerry in the form of guilt, which is now expressing itself in a form of Freudian projection:

    The meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict in Syria itself, and that conflict has already brought so much terrible suffering. This is about the large-scale, indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilized world long ago decided must never be used at all, a conviction shared even by countries that agree on little else.

    There is a clear reason that the world has banned entirely the use of chemical weapons. There is a reason the international community has set a clear standard and why many countries have taken major steps to eradicate these weapons. There is a reason why President Obama has made it such a priority to stop the proliferation of these weapons and lock them down where they do exist. There is a reason why President Obama has made clear to the Assad regime that this international norm cannot be violated without consequences.

    And there is a reason why, no matter what you believe about Syria, all peoples and all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure that there is accountability for the use of chemical weapons so that it never happens again.



  17. {…}

    During the recent occupation of Iraq, it should be remembered, the city of Fallujah saw the widespread use of weapons with toxic effects, such that since 2006 for every 1000 live births in Fallujah General Hospital, 144 babies are now reportedly born with a deformity.

    Kerry continues with an emotional appeal based on the content of videos uploaded to YouTube by rebel supporters in the early hours of 21st August:

    Last night, after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of this situation, I went back and I watched the videos, the videos that anybody can watch in the social media, and I watched them one more gut-wrenching time. It is really hard to express in words the human suffering that they lay out before us.

    As a father, I can’t get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, wailing, while chaos swirled around him, the images of entire families dead in their beds without a drop of blood or even a visible wound, bodies contorting in spasms, human suffering that we can never ignore or forget.

    One of the aspects of these videos, which really doesn’t come across to an English-speaking audience, is the extremely sectarian language of those who are commentating, but Kerry moves on to make a direct appeal to accept the rebel YouTube videos at face value and attacks anyone who may question the evidence:

    Anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass. What is before us today is real, and it is compelling.

    Kerry must be fully aware that the information war, known as psyops, is essential to every war. It should be obvious to anyone who has studied the Syrian conflict that both Al Qaeda, which dominates the jihadi insurgency, as well as the numerous security services active in the region, have the motive, the means and sufficient ruthlessness to launch a false flag operation of this nature and scale. Indeed, given Obama’s so-called “red line” and the recent arrival of UN inspectors in the area, it is inconceivable that rebel elements would not be planning false flag or fabricated chemical weapons attacks.


  18. {…}

    To be frank, Kerry’s appeal not to question the evidence is redolent of the propaganda techniques of a movement popular in Germany in the 1930s, indeed a 1937 essay aimed at propagandists called “Heart or Reason? What We don’t Want from Our Speakers”, explicitly argued that speakers should aim for the heart. One of the pillars of antisemitism was that Jews were accused of having a destructive “critical spirit.”

    Kerry goes on to make a half-hearted attempt to suggest that his premature conclusions about the alleged attack are based on facts, science and investigation:

    So I also want to underscore that while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience and guided by common sense. The reported number of victims, the reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, the first hand accounts from humanitarian organizations on the ground, like Doctors Without Borders and the Syria Human Rights Commission, these all strongly indicate that everything these images are already screaming at us is real, that chemical weapons were used in Syria.

    We know that Kerry, who famously praised US diplomats for their work in securing “democratic institutions” in the non-existent country of “Kyrzakhstan,” is a man who can’t necessarily be trusted to get his facts right. But in a speech of this nature, with likely deadly consequences for many people, one might expect him and his speech-writers to make an effort. But no – Kerry’s “first hand accounts from humanitarian organisations on the ground” suffer a couple of problems.

    Firstly, “Doctors Without Borders” (MSF) do not have any staff on the ground in Syria so are not able to produce a first-hand account from hospitals they supply. This is clearly stated on their website which says: “Due to significant security risks, MSF staff members have not been able to access the facilities.”

    In regard to the alleged attacks MSF states: “MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack.”

    As far as the so-called “Syria Human Rights Commission” is concerned, staff at the US State Department have so far proved unable to identify this organisation, which makes it difficult to verify any statements it might have issued, if the organisation exists at all.

    Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has confirmed to HRI that he has no connection with this organisation. He is on record as saying there is an obligation on the international community to demand a diplomatic solution to bring a “just and lasting peace.”



  19. {…}

    Kerry continues to outline a less than convincing case against the Syrian regime:

    Moreover, we know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. We know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. And with our own eyes, we have all of us become witnesses.

    Kerry is not even able to identify which chemical weapons were allegedly used. For those who are not aware, the Syrian rebels have captured and been provided with munitions which include rockets, although it is by no means certain that rockets were the method for deployment of chemical weapons in this case or even if chemical weapon were used at all.

    Chemical weapons experts and investigators who have examined footage of the victims have very many questions about this whole incident.

    As an aside, I think it is worth drawing the reader’s attention to a recent theory that casualties may have been caused through the effects of vacuum bombs, some of which failed to explode properly showering the people below with fuel in the form of highly toxic ethylene oxide and propylene oxide. The irony of this would be that fuel-air bombs are used by NATO and would be considered conventional weapons.


  20. {…}

    Kerry continues, “We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead. Our sense of basic humanity is offended, not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up.”

    Kerry then claims that the Syrian government has failed to cooperate with the UN investigations, the results of which Kerry is himself trying to second-guess:

    At every turn, the Syrian regime has failed to cooperate with the U.N. investigation, using it only to stall and to stymie the important effort to bring to light what happened in Damascus in the dead of night. And as Ban Ki-moon said last week, the U.N. investigation will not determine who used these chemical weapons, only whether such weapons were used, a judgment that is already clear to the world.

    The judgement, in this case, is only clear to those who are not interested in finding the truth through investigation, analysis and rationality.

    I spoke on Thursday with Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem, and I made it very clear to him that if the regime, as he argued, had nothing to hide, then their response should be immediate, immediate transparency, immediate access, not shelling. Their response needed to be unrestricted and immediate access. Failure to permit that, I told him, would tell its own story.

    Instead, for five days, the Syrian regime refused to allow the U.N. investigators access to the site of the attack that would allegedly exonerate them. Instead, it attacked the area further, shelling it and systemically destroying evidence. That is not the behaviour of a government that has nothing to hide. That is not the action of a regime eager to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons.

    As a matter of fact, Angela Kane the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, arrived in Damascus on Saturday 24th, met the Syrian Foreign Minister and permission to access the sites, which are of course in rebel-held territory, was given on Sunday with the inspectors going in on Monday. Given the months it has taken for investigators to reach other sites, due to fundamental disagreements over mandate of inspectors, this is a stunningly quick turnaround.



  21. {…}
    But according to Kerry:

    In fact, the regime’s belated decision to allow access is too late, and it’s too late to be credible. Today’s reports of an attack on the U.N. investigators – together with the continued shelling of these very neighbourhoods – only further weakens the regime’s credibility.

    According to Farhan Haq, spokesman of the Secretary-General of the UN, however, speaking on the 27th August and asked whether there could still be useful evidence five days following the attack, it is rare that an internal investigation would be able to commence within such a short time, as the investigation into the 21 August incident has. With hundreds of human fatalities, the passage of such few days does not affect the opportunities to collect valuable samples and to perform witness interviews.

    At President Obama’s direction, I’ve spent many hours over the last few days on the phone with foreign ministers and other leaders. The administration is actively consulting with members of Congress, and we will continue to have these conversations in the days ahead. President Obama has also been in close touch with leaders of our key allies and the president will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons.

    But make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.

    The question of accountability is of course an important one and those responsible for the use of chemical weapons against civilians should be held to account, A good place to start would be with US-based multi-nationals Dow Chemicals and Monsanto who manufactured the Agent Orange which was used on the people of South East Asia. That, however, is unthinkable for Kerry who is delighted to share platforms with the Chief Executive of Dow and strongly supports Monsanto’s GMO agenda.

    Returning to the question of Syria, the major problem which Kerry has completely failed to address in his speech is one pointed out by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro – it is impossible to choose unequivocally good guys among the groups of Syrian rebels and send weapons to them. Whilst the US claims that weapons sent to Syria will not get into the hands of groups associated with al-Qaeda, Pinheiro says that it is impossible to guarantee this.

    Pinheiro has disagreed with the opinion that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a red line after crossing which the international community has to use radical measures, such as providing one side of the conflict with weapons.

    Human Rights Investigations has long pointed to the dangers of the rebels in Syria getting their hands on chemical weapons. In December last year we wrote “…we are now left with a situation where the US has recognised as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people a council which has, at least, great sympathy for Al Qaeda and whose armed fighters declare that they are Al Qaeda.


  22. {…}

    Al Nusrah and Obama are on the same page in undermining the peaceful opposition in Syria

    The last time the Americans allied with Al Qaeda it ended badly. In this conflict Al Qaeda is reportedly keen to get its hands on chemical weapons factories and bombs, which a collapse of Syrian government authority would make highly probable, leaving western foreign policy in utter disarray.

    How much better it would have been for western leaders to have pursued a foreign policy in accordance with international law, in opposition to the illegal support of armed terrorist gangs and in genuine support of a peaceful resolution in the interests of all the Syrian people.”

    On August 6th of this year, the CIA second in command Michael Morell, speaking to the Wall Street Journal as he prepared to leave his post, recognised the greatest risk to the USA being the Syrian government collapsing and the country becoming al Qaeda’s new haven.

    As MPs gather in Westminster for a debate on possible military action against Syria, it should be borne in mind that military action on the basis of unproven accusations is immoral in itself, but the humanitarian consequences of enabling an Al Qaeda take-over of yet more of Syria would be appalling not just for Syrians, but for the whole region. All the British government’s efforts should be going into bringing about a diplomatic settlement to the Syrian conflict, becoming a party to that conflict should not be an option.

    At this crucial time, we hope United Nations officials will make their voices heard to try to ensure international law is obeyed and we advise our readers to contact their representatives and demand no military intervention in Syria.

    (updated 28 August with quote from Farhan Haq)

  23. http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2013/08/27/john-kerrys-war-mongering-speech-on-chemical-weapons-in-syria/

    They cannot make the case with facts. Putin knows it and most everyone else is catching on fast.

    1. At least this time they let Kerry endure the indignity of trotting out inflated numbers rather than an actual warrior like Colin Powell.

  24. QuirkSun Sep 01, 12:15:00 PM EDT

    You have friggin lost it, rat.

    LOST IT???????

    He never friggin HAD IT.

    He was friggin nutz before you even showed up, Quirk-O.

    Always hen pecking at Trish, breathing fire, going on about how Lester Crown ran the world.....

    NUTZ is forever.

  25. Obama is just fulfilling his promise to Putin to be 'more flexible' after the election.

    All I can figure.

    Obama is a man of his word.

  26. Sounds like a barrelfull of scalded cats.

    Makes ya wanta cry, it does. :)

    1. Maybe its better for Obama to wait until Ban Ki-moon says its ok.

    2. Obama never had any intention of striking Syria.
      Not even a shot across the bow

      This whole Syria 'crisi' was manufactured by tthe White House.
      Obama is stickin' to the GOP, he set mem up.

      If you don't see it you may have thought Romney put on a great campaign and was going to get elected. While the stark reality is that Obama was elected in a landslide

    3. .

      Lordy, rat, back on the toads again?

      What the hell does Romney have to do with any of this?

      As for Obama, none here said he wanted to strike Syria. However, I agree he did manufacture this crisis although not through intent but rather through incompetence. He shot his mouth off on Syria the same way he has on Iran then dithered and continued to dither until his words caught up to him and bit him in the ass.

      Now he is asking congress to cover his ass for him. A cowardly way for him to proceed yet still the right one. As for GOP or Dem, let's count the votes and see which way they go.

      Pathologie de crapaude. (English trans. Illness of the toad)

      or in your case when it comes to being an Obama slappy perhaps it should be

      Pathologie de flagorneur. (English trans. Illness of the toady)


    4. How about simply:

      "rat shit crazy"


      An easy phrase the common man can understand.

    5. .

      I forgot the smiley face after my last post.


      And lest there be any misunderstanding it is merely for the toad comment not the rest.



    6. This has serious and profound consequences for your credibility.

    7. And long lasting consequences.

      Let me be perfectly clear. Let there be no misunderstanding about this.

    8. I certainly understand Q's position, he didains the US government and refuses to acknowledge that their goal matrix is not the same ass his own.

      The entire Syria 'ccrisis' is Kabuki, as far as Mr Obama is concerned. It is about domestic politics, not. Syria or WMD.

      You fellas say he is capable of any fraud, but when he is in the midst of one, you go into denial. Especially if it is not part of the 'Stinker's' current meme.

    9. He is capable of any fraud. Who has said this isn't one? I think here he really doesn't know what he is doing except he wants to help his sunni buds. Fraud, sunni assistance program, thoughtlessness, Operation Laughing Stock, whatever.....

    10. .

      Right, rat, Obama is not trying to cover his ass by going to Congress for a vote. This is all part of the 'plan'.

      His plan all along was to degrade the precedent he has established since the election of going around Congress wherever he can. It was part of the 'plan'.

      He spoke his words about 'red lines' a year or so ago with the idea that he would be able to use it to stick it to the GOP. It was part of the 'plan'.

      The recent attack in Syria. Part of the 'plan'.

      Beating the war drums. Coming up with a childish, symbolic strategy to punish Assad. Part of the 'plan'.

      Having the American people go against him on attacking Syria. Part of the 'plan'.

      Having his butt-boys, the Brits turn on him. Part of the 'plan'.

      Having the UN, NATO, the Arab League, Canada, Egypt, etc. etc. etc. tell him 'you go guy' but when asked to participate have them tell him to 'pound sand'. No doubt, part of the 'plan'.

      And sticking it to his lieutenants, having them go out and assure the world that Assad would be punished, that the strikes were eminent, that the world was united and the US would not be alone, that if need be Obama could take us to war without asking Congress, that the evidence was incontrovertible. This and then to have administration officials leak that the evidence 'wasn't actually a slam dunk' and then having Obama saying 'I haven't made a decision' then indicating he had made a decision and that he was going to have Congress vote on it, all of which was a lie because he knew what he was going to be doing right along. It was all part of the 'plan'.

      Having John-John McCain use as his ultimate rationale for going to war "Obama said we should". Right, part of the 'plan'.

      Elaborate, cunning, perfectly played, what a plan. Sure it took a year to develop and quite a few lives were lost but what the heck, nothing can be allowed to stop the plan. Some might say "You gotsta be friggin nutz". Most would assume that Obama got his ass in a wringer and is now looking for a life line, any way to save what little face he has left. Occam's razor. Easy peasy. But no, rat tells us its all part of the 'plan'.

      The same people might say only a nitwit or an Obama slappy could dream up something like that. But who knows what evil lurks within the heart of man. The rat knows. It's right there in the creeping, subtle, interlocked tendrils of the 'plan'.

      Obama has been scheming since the start of the Syrian civil war and he now has the GOP exactly where he wants them.

      It's in the 'plan'.

      Thanks, rat for breaking the code, for providing this insight, for spilling the beans.

      Oh, and buy the way, rat, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas you might be interested in.


      But who knows what evil lurks within the

  27. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't GWB get congresses approval before invading Iraq?

    "But whatever Obama’s underlying motivations and however the Syrian vote plays out on Capitol Hill, the president’s decision to go to Congress represents an historic turning point. It may well be the most important presidential act on the Constitution and war-making powers since Harry Truman decided to sidestep Congress and not seek their backing to launch the Korean war."


    1. Sure dougman, and when Congress turns it down, and Obama hits Assad anyway, the "historical turning point" will be one big "nevermind".

  28. It might be in the interest of the US to help take out one of the players of the North Korean, Iran & Syrian Axis.

    They are far better armed and intelligent than the MB and AQ combined.

    1. .

      Help take out?

      That is a laugh. After calling Obama out for not arming the Syrian rebels or intervening, when push came to shove the 'allies' folded like cheap suits one after the other.


    2. I'm not bringing any allies into the equation.
      Only the fighters already engaged in Syria.
      Although, that would be a mistake because Russia and Iran have already thrown their support behind Assad.....

      Nice mess we got here, huh?

    3. If congress votes no and Barry votes present, that may leave Israel in the position of lighting the fuse.
      Anymore strikes on Syria from them and.....

    4. Nancy Pelosi is made of sterner stuff. She at least has a firmer grip, has gotten to the bottom of things. She at least has mastered the subject and knows what is important and what is not important.

      Nancy Pelosi will vote 'yes'.

    5. But what will the Black Congressional Caucus do?

      This is going to be the most interesting vote in years.

    6. General Dempsey is reported to have said our military force is now so degraded it would be immoral to use force in these circumstances.

      Inhofe: 'Degraded' Military 'Has No Money Left' to Strike Syria
      Friday, 30 Aug 2013 09:24 PM
      By Cathy Burke

      A key Republican blasted the Obama administration for a questionable array of options in Syria that will ultimately rely on a "degraded" military, saying use of U.S. troops in the current crisis would be "immoral."

      Besides, Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said the United States simply cannot financially afford to get into a confrontation with Syria.

      "Our military has no money left," Inhofe said this week.

      Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

      Inhofe, of Oklahoma, has linked the military's dire condition to the White House's $500 billion in budget cuts slated for the Pentagon over the next decade.

      "As [Secretary of Defense Chuck] Hagel, Adm. [James] Winnefeld, and I have discussed before, we have a financial crisis in our military," he said Thursday. "We have a starving military."

      Yet, Inhofe said, the Obama administration is laying out a broad array of options in the civil-war torn country — where it's suspected Bashar Assad's regime turned chemical weapons against its own people — without ever laying out "a single option" or providing "a time line, a strategy for Syria and the Middle East, or a plan for the funds to execute such an option."

      "Even Gen. [Martin] Dempsey (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) said we are putting our military on a path where the 'force is so degraded and so unready' that it would be 'immoral to use the force,'" Inhofe said.

      The Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday reported the administration will need to ask Congress to pay for strikes on Syria.

      "[Hagel] indicated that the administration would consult with Congress on the cost of exercising a potential military option, but specific dollar amounts weren't discussed," a senior defense official said when asked about the funding shortfalls, The Free Beacon reported.

      Larger-scale military operations in Syria could run into the billions, Dempsey said in a July 19 letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

      Training and supporting Syrian rebels could cost $500 million a year. Operating a no-fly zone would cost about $1 billion per month, The Free Beacon says.

      A Free Beacon source said the Pentagon would need to work with Congress to obtain funding for Syria attacks. "Good luck with that," the source said.

      Inhofe said the president owes it to both Congress and the American public "to lay out how they will fund their military action," and admonished Obama for moving too quickly without adequate preparation.

      Inhofe raised similar concerns Wednesday, blaming the Obama White House for undermining "future military readiness and capabilities" to deal with the growing crisis in Syria and elsewhere in the world.

      The president, he said, has "decimated our military."

      Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

      "We must not forget this president has put us on the brink of a hollowed force," he charged. "Our troops are stretched thin, the defense budget has been slashed to historic levels, and we are facing an unprecedented time of unrest across the Middle East amid growing concerns about Iran's influence on the region and its nuclear ambitions.

      "No red line should have been drawn without the strategy and funding to support it,"
      he said.

      Inhofe said that with the administration's underfunding of the overseas contingency operations fund and the reduced base defense budget, "Our military has no money left."

      Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/inhofe-US-obama-troops/2013/08/30/id/523224#ixzz2dh99fUuh
      Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!


  29. CURL: Obama’s 2014 calculation: Let’s have a war

    By Joseph Curl Sunday, September 1, 2013

    President Obama delivers remarks about the ongoing situation in Syria in the Rose Garden of the White House on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in Washington. Mr. Obama said that he has decided the United States should take military action against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack but that he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Enlarge Photo

    Will President Obama get congressional approval for a strike on Syria?


    The first rule for President Obama: It’s all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1.

    SEE ALSO: John Kerry: Evidence of nerve agent sarin in Syria
    Make no mistake: The president couldn’t care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It’s all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme.

    Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement on Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency.

    The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the congressional vote won’t be an embarrassment for the president, as all the talking heads are still parroting. A loss would be a double win. First, because a “No” vote would allow the foreign policy neophyte to walk away from his blundering “red line” declaration on chemical weapons (“I wanted to go in, but Congress said no”). And second, should Republicans who voted for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now oppose Syria, the president would be armed with clear “evidence” that their opposition is purely political.

    Keep in mind: This president knows no other way to campaign than to blame others. He’ll batter Republicans for all of 2014 as obstructionists should they be the reason the effort fails.

    But the bloviating politicos are also wrong that the “Republican-controlled House” could reject the plan for partisan reasons. It is Democrats who seem most squeamish — and they were the most vocal in demanding their say before intervention in Syria. Remember, two years ago, as the president prepared to bomb Libya, 70 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against military operations. Mr. Obama bombed anyway.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/1/curl-obamas-2014-calculation-lets-have-war/#ixzz2dgTSpwc0

    1. Even anoni is posting stories that agree that this 'crisis' is all about domestic politics.

      Obama, he gets a double win, it is interesting post, anoni, thanks for the validation!

    2. .

      Right, rat, it's all part of 'the plan' (see my comments on 'the plan' above). According to 'the plan', Obama created the entire Syrian crisis just so he could stick it to the GOP.

      While Occam's razor would indicate that Obama screwed to pooch and is now depending on Congress to save his ass, the rat tells us the whole Syrian 'crisis' was orchestrated by the Emperor Ming of OZ in a tantalizingly subtle 'plan' to stick it to the GOP. Sure it required the deaths of 1400 in Syria, but that was all part of 'the plan'.


  30. The administration has taken great extensive steps over the past two weeks to provide classified information to Congress and the press detailing the Assad regime's alleged use of sarin gas on Aug. 21, which the U.S. estimates killed some 1,500 people, including more than 400 children.

    Last week, the White House released a four-page intelligence report that claimed Syrian security forces extensively planned for the attack on the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta, citing human intelligence, communications intercepts and social-media reports. U.S. officials said Syrian forces appeared to be trying to clear the neighborhood of rebels so that they could launch strikes on the strategic city of Aleppo.

    Mr. Kerry on Sunday said the U.S.'s acquisition of blood and hair samples only further solidified the U.S.'s belief that the Assad regime used sarin gas.

  31. September 1, 2013
    5 Reasons Congress Should Not Authorize Obama's Syrian Shoot Out
    Mark S Hanna

    As a courtesy -- and selfless service -- to the world, President Obama has officially appointed himself the globe's top cop. "I'm comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable," the new international sheriff said Saturday morning.

    Having already struck fear into the heart of those unsavory out-of-towners who may or may not have gassed their own people, Sheriff O reiterated that he's rounded up a dedicated posse of deputies, positioned his warhorses on the outskirts of town and is ready "whenever we choose" to shoot 'em up. "I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," he twanged in the Rose Garden.

    But in a surprise (and possibly cowardly, self-serving) rustle that relieves the administration of blatant hypocrisy, the sheriff has also reluctantly agreed to what the Constitution already requires him to do: get Congressional approval. Both Sheriff O and Deputy Joey "Fife" Biden previously condemned any military action without express Congressional approval unless attack on the US was imminent or had occurred.
    Now given the opportunity, Congress should not follow lead-from-behind Sheriff O and instead resoundingly reject a shoot out on the streets of Global-berry.

    1. Here are 5 reasons why:

      1. Sheriff O and Congress do not have the support of American People for war in Syria. Reuters/Ipsos found that this week just 20% of Americans thought the US should take action against Syria. That's up from 9% last week, but still a long way from support numbers that would make this an American action and not an Obama quick draw. Rasmussen found that even after Deputy-of-State Kerry's melodrama on Friday, 40% oppose getting involved any further in Syria, with only 37% supporting increased involvement. Congressional debate is not likely to alter this.

      2. Even if Obama gets Congressional approval, the potential for a regional war, as Charles Krauthammer noted, or global war is real. Imagine if North Korea launched 200+ missiles at key military centers in and around Los Angeles and San Francisco, but sent a message to Obama that this was just a "shot across the bow" or "limited strike." Americans and US allies would be indignant and demand the Hermit Kingdom be blown to kingdom come.

      Striking Syria without committing to the conflict until victory is won risks drawing the regions' powers and allies into escalated conflict. Iran and Syria have promised this would happen. Russia & China feel duped on Sheriff O's Libyan crusade and may decide to step in this time turning O's limited strike into a global show down. Additionally, an attack on Syria justifies to Iran and Hezb'allah terror strikes on American interests, and possibly US soil.

      3. American Intelligence under Obama has an embarrassing history of distortions, lies, inanity and mistakes in this region of the world. Sheriff O's intelligence posse assured him that he was backing the winning team with Morsi in Egypt. Aunt Susan, his current trusted National Security Advisor, guaranteed when she was at the UN that Benghazi was a protest in reaction to a movie. And even now, with holsters ready and hats tipped, O's intel machine has convinced him that giving the "good" Al Qaida in Syria air force cover and assisting the jihading Al Nusra cannibals and Christian killers is in America's national interest. Congressional approval does not change bad intel.

      America doesn't have a respectable track record of accuracy in the region and we do know that intelligence reports have been unreliable in the past (Iraq and WMDs.) Until we actually know who's responsible for the chemical weapon attack, what will happen if Assad falls, and how US security might be affected if we go to war, going in guns a blazin' -- with or without Congressional authorization -- is a completely unnecessary risk militarily, financially and civilizationally.

    2. 4. Obama's red line will turn into a red noose for America if not rejected by Congress. If Congress caves to this leftist regime's efforts to solidify the US President as the world's top cop by giving him a "cover" vote for an unjustified war, precedent will be set that forces America to take action each and every time a UN rule is violated. Other nations will see that they get a pass and don't have to spend the money or take the risk of war because the US posse will get 'em.

      "Out of the ashes of world war, we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning," gloated Obama in his Rose Garden remarks. Strengthening and further expanding a world order (while simultaneously weakening America's sovereignty) is his larger objective. Sheriff Obama is dedicated to internationalism and as Narcissist-In-Chief sees himself as its unelected leader: "If we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules?" Deputy Kerry reiterated the same on Friday: "It matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens."

      5. Finally, America can't afford it. It's not just the $100,000,000+ that would be a certain cost incurred for the little prick that Obama wants to administer. The cost of unintended consequences could make the price tag of Obama's shootout soar far beyond Iraq's $1Trillion bill (and still increasing.)

      Ultimately, it's not Obama's choice as to whether or not the military round up will be a "limited strike" or that boots won't end up on the ground. What if Syria retaliates and shells our warships? What if Iran launches an all-out war with Israel? What if Russia and China decide that Damascus is not a big enough town for them and Sheriff O? America is broke, has $17 Trillion of debt and millions of its own citizens that are in need. On top of that, the economy as a whole is still weak and may be entering another recession. Regardless, Obama wants to run the country further into debt to prick Syria .

      Congress should loudly and emphatically reject Obama's Middle East marauding and remind Global-berry's cast of clowns that the United States is not the world's posse for peace, and its President is certainly not the planet's sheriff.

      Illustration by Ronny Gordon.

  32. Kerry just said:

    "No decision is made until the President makes a decision."

    Fancy that

  33. I’m telling you, Obama is mad.

    1. No, He's going according to his plan.

      take America down a few notches, raise up the moslem brotherhood..

  34. This is madness

    The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz along with four destroyers and a cruiser have been ordered to move west in the Arabian Sea toward the Red Sea, so that it can help support a US strike on Syria if requested, a US official told Reuters.

    “It's about leveraging the assets to have them in place should the capabilities of the carrier strike group and the presence be needed,” the official told Reuters, adding that it was not clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea.

    The Nimitz carrier group was supporting the US war in Afghanistan and was due to return to its home port in Everett, Washington, after being released from duty by the USS Harry S. Truman strike group.

    Considering the volatile situation and a looming decision on a Syria strike, US military officials have decided to send the Nimitz toward the Red Sea, and possibly the Mediterranean, the source said.

    Another US official told Reuters that so far there was not a final decision to reposition the carrier group to the Mediterranean, and that the Navy is trying to “reduce the physics of time and space” to be ready for a possible call to arms.

    Over the weekend a US amphibious transport ship USS San Antonio was also deployed to the Mediterranean. Although it has “received no specific tasking” it was rerouted to a US naval base on the Greek island of Crete.

    The US Navy already has five destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean carrying an estimated load of 200 Tomahawk missiles. The naval presence was boosted over the past week in anticipation of an imminent US attack.

    In the coming week, while US lawmakers will be discussing the prospects of a “limited military strike” requested by the commander-in-chief, military officials are expected to use the delay in military action to decide on the location of other US ships in the region.

    The US President has already decided a limited military strike is necessary to teach Syria a lesson and prevent possible further use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population and US allies in the region. A formal request seeking authorization from legislators to launch a military campaign was filed on Saturday, and the Senate is expected to vote on the motion no later than the week of September 9.

    1. Moving the battle group is not madness, it is preparedness.

      Forward deployment.

      It is why we have troops in Ger?any, Japan, Italy,. Korea, Kuwait, Bahrain and even Poland.

      Global preparedness, that's US

    2. It seems better than having Russian, Chinese or Iranian troops in those countries to me.

      Besides, it keeps the guys off the unemployment rolls.

    3. Prepared to defend the outposts of empire, Deuce

    4. The Russians were never going to fight Japan, again. Certainly were not going to occupy it for sixtyfive years.

      The SouK have a million man active military, they do not need twenty thousand US troops to keep them safe.

      Italy, never was under an invasion threat fro Iran

      I have ferrets smarter than you, anoni, hell, I have gnats smarter than you, pulled a tick off the dog you may have an edge on though.

  35. Watershed. It’s the only word for it. Once Lebanon and Syria and Egypt trembled when Washington spoke. Now they laugh. It’s not just a question of what happened to the statesmen of the past. No one believed that Cameron was Churchill or that the silly man in the White House was Roosevelt – although Putin might make a rather good Stalin. It’s more a question of credibility; no one in the Middle East takes America seriously anymore. And you only had to watch Obama on Saturday to see why.

    For there he was, prattling on in the most racist way about “ancient sectarian differences” in the Middle East. Since when was the president of the United States an expert on these supposed “sectarian differences”? Constantly we are shown maps of the Arab world with Shiites and Sunnis and Christians colour-coded onto the nations which we generously bequeathed to the region after the First World War. But when is an American paper going to carry a colour-coded map of Washington or Chicago with black and white areas delineated by streets?

    But what was amazing was the sheer audacity of our leaders in thinking that they could yet again bamboozle their electorates with their lies and trumperies and tomfooleries.

    This doesn’t mean that the Syrian regime did not use gas “on its own people” – a phrase we used to use about Saddam when we wanted a war in Iraq – but it does mean that our present leaders are now paying the price for the dishonesty of Bush and Blair.

    Obama, who is becoming more and more preacher-like, wants to be the Punisher-in-Chief of the Western World, the Avenger-in-Chief. There is something oddly Roman about him. And the Romans were good at two things. They believed in law and they believed in crucifixion. The US constitution – American “values” and the cruise missile have a faintly similar focus. The lesser races must be civilized and they must be punished, even if the itsy-bitsy tiny missile launches look more like perniciousness than war. Everyone outside the Roman Empire was called a barbarian. Everyone outside Obama’s empire is called a terrorist.


  36. {…}

    And as usual, the Big Picture has a habit of taking away some of the little details we should know about.

    Take Afghanistan, for example. I had an interesting phone call from Kabul three days ago. And it seems that the Americans are preventing President Karzai purchasing new Russian Mi helicopters – because Moscow sells the same helicopters to Syria. Well, how about that. The US, it seems, is now trying to damage Russian trade relations with Afghanistan – why the Afghans would want to do business with the country that enslaved them for eight years is another matter – because of Damascus.

    Now another little piece of news. Just over a week ago, two massive car bombs blew up outside two Salafist mosques in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli. They killed 47 people and wounded another 500. Now it has emerged that five people have been charged by the Lebanese security services over these bombings and one of them is said to be a captain in the Syrian government intelligence service.

    His charge is “in absentia”, as they say, and we all like to think that men and women are innocent until proved guilty. But two sheikhs have also been charged, one of them apparently the head of a pro-Damascus Islamist organization. The other sheikh is also said to be close to Syrian intelligence. Typically, Obama is so keen on bombarding Syria for gassing that he has missed out on this nugget of information which has angered and infuriated millions of Lebanese.

    But I guess this is what happens when you take your eye off the ball.

    It reminds me of a book that was published by Yale University Press in 2005. It was called The New Lion of Damascus by David Lesch, a professor at Trinity University in Texas. Those were the days when Bashar al-Assad was still being held up as the bright new broom in Syria.

    “Bashar,” Lesch concluded, “is, indeed, the hope – and the promise of a better future.”

    Then last year – by which time the West had abandoned its dreams of Bashar – the good professor came up with another book, again published by Yale. This time it was called Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad, and Lesch concluded: “He (Bashar) was short-sighted and became deluded. He failed miserably.”

    As my Beirut bookseller remarked, we must await Lesch’s next book, tentatively entitled, perhaps, Assad is Back. Why, he may well last longer than Obama.

    - Robert Fisk

  37. Arab states on Sunday urged the international community to take action against the Syrian government over a chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

    The final resolution passed by an Arab League meeting in Cairo urged the United Nations and international community to “take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for.”

  38. Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday paraphrased a younger John Kerry, who in 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

    "I would ask John Kerry, how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?" Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    Kerry, then a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, today serves as Secretary of State and is making the case for hitting Syria with missile strikes over its use of chemical weapons on civilians.

    "I would ask John Kerry, do you think that it's more likely or less likely that chemical weapons will be used again if we bomb Assad?" Paul said. "I think all of the bad things you can image are all more likely if you get involved in the Syrian civil war."

    Paul said he wishes Kerry would remember from his youth how awful war is, and that it shouldn't be a desired outcome.

    If Russia and China had been brought into the diplomatic process long ago, he said, Syrian President Bashar Assad would likely have been removed from power already.

    Paul said he fears the Syrian civil war may escalate out of control if America gets involved. While Assad is definitely not on America's side, Paul said, "I'm not convinced anybody on the Islamic side, the Islamic rebels, will be American allies."

    President Barack Obama said Saturday he will seek Congress' input on taking action. Paul predicted the Democratic-controlled Senate would "rubber stamp" the request, but said the House, led by Republicans, were more likely to be "at least 50/50."

    Kerry, appearing earlier on the show, would not say definitively whether Obama would act if Congress votes against authorization of military action. Paul said Kerry "waffled" and "wobbled" on the answer.

    Obama made a "grave mistake" in drawing a red line a year ago that the United States would be stirred to act if chemical weapons, Paul said. He accused Obama of trying to show his own "machismo" after that line was crossed, saying the president is just adding "bad policy to bad policy."

    © 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  39. It's time for another Chapter of "The Adventures of Ashleberry Fine", America's celebrated 'Work in Progress', by the mysterious, often misunderstood, author Q.

    Some people actually think he is worth reading.

    Has Q been sitting on the can, or composing?

    Is he tormenting us with readers' block, or is he tortured by writers' block himself?

    Has he drifted off into foreign affairs? Is he having a domestic affair?

    Been arrested again?

    The interest will wane if another episode is not forth coming.

    He should know.

    Having been in 'advertising'.

    He seems to be taking both his waking and his writing slow.

    1. There is a rumor that Hemingway composed on the can.

      Not really true.

      He is said to have jotted an idea down on toilet paper once.

      It does seem somehow believable that Q might compose on the can though.

    2. Q's story of Ash far surpasses anything you have ever posted, anoni.

      Oh, that's right, you can claim credit for nothing, that has been ever been posted, and deservedly so.

      As for Hemiway, some of his early work showed promise, but the quality of his work diminished as he matured. He lost his edge, slip slided away, he did.

      He recongnized reality and ended his career with a 12 guage.
      He considered his abilities to have been impaired by his advancing years, he was correct in that self appraisal.

    3. Our literary critic from the 'Phoenix Cactus and rat Ranch Literary Supplement' states:

      "As for Hemiway, some of his early work showed promise, but the quality of his work diminished as he matured. He lost his edge, slip slided away, he did."

      The Old Man and The Sea

      This Christian/pagan parable has brought untold millions to tears, but not our critic, whose mind is without life, and heart without emotion.

      This critic is dead.

  40. If he does compose on the can, it would probably turn out like crap.

    1. There is the advantage that if it is bad you can immediately flush it, especially if composed on toilet paper.


    And all others with an emotional capacity.

    rat might as well skip it


    They run turbines now, in the old days they ran WWII fighter plane engines.

    1. The alcohol fueled riots put an end to the races there 45 years ago, with the coming of the new laid back 'weed generation' they're back!

    2. Great one! Thanks, Bob. I miss that stuff. I remember it was always the first weekend of August on Lake Washington.

      Slo-Mo-Shun must have used a WWII engine.

    3. There was Slo Mo and Slo Mo Two, if I recall, radically different designs and Miss Budweiser, Maverick, ah those were the days.....

    4. There were five, and a prototype


    5. .

      For the most part, the Gold Cup has been held on the Detroit River especially since the 1960's when the site was determined by bid.

      I used to go down there when I was younger. In those days Atlas Van Lines and Miss Budweiser where the big boats here. Bill Muncey and Dean Chenowith were the big honchos and used to alternate (and win) with the two boats. I remember there was a race out west where Ron Munson died in a crash. I was at the Gold Cup two weeks later when Chuck Thompson crashed and was killed right in front of where we were standing.

      In those days they didn't have the safety equipment they do now. The drivers were crazy. As I remember both Muncey and Chenowith were later killed in crashes. Muncey dies in his 60's. Had the most all time wins at the time.

      Here is an interesting one from our local news station taken at this year's Gold Cup.



  42. Don't expect to pocket all that dough, though. "The person giving up the organ only gets a fraction of the fee," says Sally Satel, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank who studies the prices paid by legal and illegal organ-donor operations.


    The best bet is to wait until compensation for organs is legalized in the U.S.-the Organ Trafficking Prohibition Act of 2009 would allow payment to donors, but it stalled in Congress-because there's certainly a market for kidneys. Last summer, a man offering one of his for $100,000 (plus medical expenses) on Craigslist received several offers until the Web site removed his post.

    And you could probably hold out for even more. In 1999, before eBay delisted a kidney put up for auction, bidders drove the price up to $5.75 million.


    Miss Budweiser


    Old Miss Bud


    Newer Miss Bud does the flips


    Pictures of Miss Budweiser over the years

  44. Can't find Maverick.

  45. QUIRK, at LIFE'S CULDESAC, tries out for temporary job at DOYLE'S, takes immediate advantage of RUFUS-


  46. .

    It's time for another Chapter of "The Adventures of Ashleberry Fine", America's celebrated 'Work in Progress', by the mysterious, often misunderstood, author Q.

    Actually, Ash Infiltrates al-Nusra is meant to be my The Pickwick Papers. And like Dickens I planned to post the chapters of the novel serially. I haven't decided yet whether to post them weekly or monthly.


    1. .

      Naw, I got something wrong with my eye. I'm hoping it is nothing more serious than a floater. I have had them before.

      It's kind of uncomfortable writing for any length of time. Unfortunately, it started bothering me at the beginning of a long weekend.

      I am holding off going to emergency in fear that it will in some way contribute to some obscure statistic somewhere that can be used by Rufus to justify Obamacare.


    2. My Niece might give you a free brain scan. She is working with brain scans and blindness.

      If you wish I will ask her.

      Probably just another floater if you've had them before.

      If not, you can take up where Homer left off.

  47. Dear Mr. Quirk -

    Sorry to hear of your condition and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Sorry as well about the misunderstanding concerning the title of your literary work.

    We had thought 'Ash Infiltrates al-Nusra' to be a chapter of "The Adventures of Ashleberry Fine".

    We await with anticipation the next installment.

    If you can't do monthly, yearly, or even once a decade, would be fine.


    Literary Critics Society of the Intermountain West

  48. >>>>4) What happens if Congress, like the British Parliament, votes against any military action against Syria? Obama would then be left with an even worse set of choices: flout the will of the very institution he purported to respect and attack Syria anyway *****(in what might then be a constitutionally questionable move)*****, or renege on his declared intent to punish the violation of a universal norm. Such an embarrassing reversal would undermine whatever little is left of Obama's credibility and U.S. power/influence, and it would implicitly authorize governments around the world to use chemical weapons as they please. South Korean officials rightly expressed concern about the lesson that North Korea would glean from a U.S. failure to punish Syria's chemical attacks, as did Turkish, Israeli, and Saudi officials regarding the Iranian nuclear threat.<<<<

    September 2, 2013
    Obama: Spineless on Syria
    By Noah Beck

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/09/obama_spineless_on_syria.html#ixzz2ditebVZQ

    *****(in what might then be a constitutionally questionable move)*****

    That's what I think. He would have waived The War Powers Act, would he not?

    >>>>Elizabeth O'Bagy, a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who has repeatedly traveled to Syria to investigate the facts on the ground, has concluded that there is still a moderate rebel force that shares some U.S. interests and is worthy of U.S. support. A sounder U.S. strategy would both give these rebels the support they need and deliver a decisive military blow that achieves three objectives: 1) destroy Assad's arsenal of chemical weapons so that they no longer threaten anyone in or out of Syria, 2) restore U.S. deterrence by establishing that U.S. "red lines" actually mean something when it comes to the use (or development) of WMD, and 3) threaten the Assad regime in a way that encourages it to redeploy its remaining resources away from reconquering territory and towards establishing a defensible Alawite state in the northwest provinces of Tartous and Latakia (where Alawites predominate).<<<<

    This makes SENSE!

    Divides the country up!

    Good thinking, Miss Elizabeth O'Bagy!!!!

    1. .

      More nonsense from the world at large.

      I love that all these 'allies' view it as the US' duty to police the world while offering nothing in the way of treasure or cannon fodder to make it happen.

      Long on advice, short on resources.


  49. September 2, 2013
    Calling it Treason
    By Jeffrey T. Brown

    We stand on the brink of an illegal exercise of military power in a part of the world we have no need to be in, except that we have a president who purposefully keeps us there by suppressing our own development of energy resources and embroiling us in their internecine warfare. We could have walked away from the Middle East already and left them to their own savagery, but the president insists that we remain inextricably tied to their historical need to kill each other so that we can overpay for oil, both monetarily and with American lives. Thus, as technology enables us to break free of dependence upon Middle East oil, our president bends over backwards to ensure that never happens. What sort of leader purposefully compels his country and its people to participate in practices and policies that are detrimental to their safety and survival?

    Even worse, when he can be shown to have chosen sides, his allegiance rests with terrorists and psychopaths. His affinity for Islam and its practitioners, as seen in the influence he grants them in the formation and direction of U.S. policy, is well known. Outspoken detractors of the United States and proponents of worldwide Sharia are welcome guests at the White House. They have infiltrated the highest levels of our government. They direct the content of discourse and training about who and what they are. Our blindness toward their hatred and objectives, and perhaps our administration's shared stake in that hatred of the United States, was manifested in the obscene spectacle of a Muslim cleric insulting and damning our dead special forces troops at their own memorial service. That event was a natural consequence of the sort of brainless political correctness that pervades the left. So too was what Nidal Hasan did at Fort Hood. Such "tolerance" is a top-down phenomena.

    Who doubts that what Hasan did was terrorism? Of course, for the terrorist, what he does is soldiering for his cause. It is eternal war for the supremacy of Islam, not terrorism as such, and in the eyes of the jihadist, the enemy always has it coming. To the jihadist, it is no more terrorism than if a U.S. Marine fires on the enemy in battle. But why does the administration not see what Hasan did as terrorism? They had to call it something for public consumption, and since the president does not see a premeditated attack on his own unarmed service men and women in the global advancement of Islam as terrorism, it defaulted to "workplace violence". Apparently terrorism is defined not by ideology or method, but by location. Still, to so blatantly lie about something so obvious, without the slightest concern over pushback by those who see the lie for what it is, or who suffer its ill effects, is passive aggression on steroids against America.


    1. When the president picks who he will support and who he will condemn on the international stage, he consistently sides with those who hate the United States and the Judeo-Christian principles upon which it was founded. President Obama has willfully enabled Iran to develop a nuclear weapons program entirely without resistance, other than UN sanctions, which have failed. In Egypt, Mubarak's faults were well documented, but so too were his assets in terms of peace and stability in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the president purposefully aided his overthrow in order to replace him with members of an organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which collaborated with the Nazis and which has, at its core, goals and objectives that are antithetical to the security and safety of the United States.

      Similarly, Libya had taken no overt aggressive action against the United States, but a band of Islamic terrorists expressed their desire to obtain control over another territory in North Africa, so the president did what he could to help. Had they been Americans in need, he would have given them the comfort of a stirring, rehashed speech, but when a decisive commitment is needed by a gang of armed jihadis that would as soon kill Americans as look at them, he's Johnny-On-The-Spot.

      And now there is Syria. Any objective actor, seeing the ratio of success-to-failure of his past decisions, might step back and engage in a bit of introspection. No one person has done more to destabilize the Middle East than "Peace Prize Obama". The death and repression in foreign lands attributable to the decisions of this one man is shocking. Societies are literally transformed for the worse by what he says and does, both at home and abroad. But President Obama either doesn't do introspection, or has no need for it because he is doing exactly what he has set out to do. He is not failing. He is succeeding. He is enabling those with whom he sympathizes, or with whom he shares a common enemy, to achieve spectacular success.

      We have no place whatsoever in the Syrian civil war. It is not for the United States to put its military weight behind which gang of Muslim murderers wins control. But there was no role we needed to play in Egypt, either, on the same reasoning. Likewise, we had no reason to go in and destabilize Libya. But faced with the choice of stability and predictability versus creating a vacuum into which our enemies would step to seize yet more power, the president purposefully chose to assist our enemies. It's what he does.

    2. Having abetted Iran, and having successfully ruined Egypt and Libya in aid of our enemies, President Obama is now willing to "go it alone" to achieve.... another power grab by those who would happily kill us once we have enabled them to seize control of another government, its military, and its stockpiles of weapons, both conventional and otherwise. Of course, he has no legal authority to go it alone, but publicly states his willingness to take an action that would be in direct violation of the Constitution and the limits on his powers. What could possibly be so important to this president that he would create for himself grounds for impeachment by misusing our military to support yet another band of Muslim fanatics?

      There have been reports that the Benghazi attacks on September 11, 2012 were a direct consequence of an illegal weapons smuggling operation to aid the Syrian rebels. Since the administration is engaged in wholesale coverup to prevent the truth from ever emerging, and no other plausible explanation has been offered, there are reasons to believe that theory may be true, and that the details of this president's support for our enemies would be catastrophic if revealed. Even without the facts, we can see for ourselves that for the first time in our history, we have a president who is actively, purposefully aiding and arming enemies whose ideology, goals and success directly threaten our safety.

      Oddly, our president's only successes have come on behalf of our enemies. In every respect, the United States is in decline domestically, internationally, culturally, and economically, as a direct result of this president's policies and actions. It is not that there are no other solutions, but that he refuses to implement those that would arrest the descent and reverse course. As President Obama succeeds in advancing our enemies and destroying us, we cannot help but notice that this has been happening for 5 years and shows no sign of slowing. Nothing so prolonged, requiring so many purposeful choices, is an accident. For President Obama, success has meant making our enemies stronger and better equipped to challenge us, with our ultimate submission as their stated objective. With each of Obama's successes, they obtain control of increasing levels of weaponry they can use to advance militant, radical Islam throughout the world. They make no secret of their plans for non-Muslims. Just ask the Copts and other Christians in Muslim-controlled countries everywhere. In case the churches have been destroyed, you can find them in the jails.

      Regardless of party affiliation, what do we call that brand of overt, shameless betrayal of an entire nation, or the complicity of those citizens who vote for it or remain silent in the face of it?

    3. .

      It's part of 'the plan'.