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29 June 2013

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Bill H

Does anyone actually think this will stop Obama from doing whatever he dreams of in Syria? Was there not a Congressional bill prohibiting action in Libya which he deemed irrelevant? Did not the House prohibit funds from being used for Libya? Obama will claim that this comes under the purview of "foreign policy," a realm that is the exclusive realm of the executive and in which Congress is powerless. That conceit has been used before and will again.

JohnH

"The Obama Adminstration's request for authorization to begin overtly arming the Syrian rebels." Of course, there are plenty of reports that the US has been covertly supplying the rebels for some time now. Or at least given tacit approval to a variety of actors (Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Saad Hariri in Lebanon) to supply arms and pay mercenaries. In addition the CIA has been reported to be training rebels in both Jordan and Turkey.

The real issue here is probably not the supply of arms. Rather, it is the sophistication of the arms and the semi-covert involvement of Americans on the ground in Syria. Obviously, the only way to keep sophisticated arms out of the hands of jihadis is for Americans to use them and to not train anybody else.

Tyler

Just curious what's going to stop Obama from doing what he wanted to anyway and daring the Congress to do something about it. That's been the case for his entire term, hasn't it? Clapper lies on the stand - nothing happens. Holder lies on the stand - nothing happens. IRS heads refuse to answer questions and improperly claim the Fifth -nothing happens.

Meanwhile Juan McCain and Marco Boohoolio are busy attempting to split the Republican Party and the country for the sake of their handlers while making sure the Christians in the Middle East are going to be wiped out.

The Twisted Genius

Somehow I doubt all these Representatives have suddenly been overcome with a sense of patriotic duty. The Republicans are glad to have another opportunity to obstruct Obama, no matter what the issue. Much like the many Democrats who are supporting this administration's flaunting of the fourth amendment just because their man is in office. Whatever their motives, I'm happy to see Congress saying no to arming the Syrian rebels. I wish them luck in this endeavor.

confusedponderer

Will US arms supply include knives and zippo lighters? After all, who would be so cruel as to deprive the gallant Syrian opposition of the tools they desperately need to fight the tyrant Assad?!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/27/syrians-behead-christians-helping-military-cia-shi/

Lamoe2012

I'm not hopeful Congress will rise to the occasion. I've seen to many examples from fast and furious to the ongoing NSA saga to have any faith Congress will stop this ongoing madness. The Republicans will no act because their cowards, and the Dems will stop backing their guy regardless of the long terms damage done to the nation.

John

This video will stop it - the beheading of catholic bishop and two others by the Syrian rebels!

NSFW and not suitable for anything. Be forewarned, it is beyond ugly: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ead_1372329728

eakens

OT, but here's an actual congressional gem

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/tammy-duckworth-veterans-disability-smackdown-062713

Alba Etie

Amen . Wonder how much of this ongoing Executive Overreach can be attributed to the several pardons that Pappy Bush gave to the convicted criminals that were the Reagan Brain Trust for the Contra Wars . Maybe Sen Rand Paul should go review the archives from the Sen Church Oversight Committee's work - and then go ask again about what exactly in the way of arms was being shipped from Benghazi to al Nusra .
Just viewed the beheading of the Bishop - this is totally incompetent & disgusting. A Maronite Christian I know here says Hizbollah is actually defending Christian minorities in areas it controls . Is this whole arm the Syrian rebels deal over poking a finger in the eye of the Iranians ?

The Twisted Genius

Alba Etie,

I believe this is all about hurting the Iranians. Our policy makers don't care about the Syrians, Assad or anybody else in the region except as objects to be used to destroy Iran as a rival to Israel.

I took part in many CENTCOM led planning sessions in the late 90s where the depth of the national guidance was "anybody but Saddam." That was it. Some of us pressed for further guidance such as the desired end state. Eventually the only elaboration we got to our guidance was "anybody but Saddam or his two sons." I doubt our strategic planning for Syria is any more well thought out. It's just anybody but Assad, even if it's the priest killers of al Nusra.

The Twisted Genius

Every politician who squawks about arming the Syrian rebels should be met with the refrain "Remember Father Murad!"

no one

This is just an absurd aside re; Syrian rebels..... I can't help notice that Obama doesn't trust law abiding American citizens to own a gun that holds a few extra rounds, but he avidly seeks to give all kinds of assault weapons to psychotically religious cannibalistic America/Christian hating revolutionary murderers.

I'm sure he can justify this some how. I'd like to hear it.

Alba Etie

It was a moment of hope to hear General Dempsey say that the no fly zone would be declaring war - (and paraphrasing) - he said we needed to know the end state before the first sortie flew. I also continue to believe that other Realist re Sec of Defense Hagel will keep us from the brink of the next ME military cluster f--ck . Perhaps CENTCOM might even be rethinking its 'anybody but strategerrey ",
But watching the beheading of the Father its very easy to see how a modern day Crusade could start .

Alba Etie

The wahabees eat the heart and liver too . Former KGB Officer Putin said it about right - paraphrasing -al Nusra are the same fanatics that butchered the British soldier in UK .I must admit I trust the Russians more on the Syrian Civil War then I do my own government .

Alba Etie

IMO the biggest strategic winner from our misbegotten Iraq Blunder were the Iranians .

Charles I

No, the Chinese.

DH

I don't know; Putin is definitely in the catbird seat.

Alba Etie

Don't the PRC and the Islamic State of Iran share a border ? Also I was watching al Jezerra tonight & the scroll said something about the Chinese blaming the Syrian Rebels for training & arming the Uighyurs, and causing unrest in Western China .

fanto

Alba, I agree - it is tragic that I trust the RT TV news (Russian Govt sponsored TV station) reporting more than the domestic programs. Even the icon of the US media - Larry King is there now.

Harper

I deeply appreciate and sympathize with the outpouring of skepticism that the current Congress will take any action of real character against Obama and the runaway Unitary Executive. Yes, is really goes back to the elder Bush and the Iran Contra pardons and goes down hill from there, especially under Bush-Cheney and now Obama. The failure of both the Congress and the Judiciary to act under their Constitutional responsibilities is a large reason why the attack against Obama's crimes has come largely from "leaks" to the media, aimed at forcing out issues that should have been already widely exposed by serious congressional oversight and judicial push-back against the executive overreach. Now that the leaks have forced the issue, let us see if Congress backs down or goes ahead. It is a vital test for the vitality of our Republic. I am reminded frequently of Benjamin Franklin's profound warning: "A Republic if you can keep it."

One of our best weapons in this fight is the arrogance of the President, who will make mistakes that could force the issue. Coming back this week from his $100 million African junket, Obama will be facing not only the pile-up of scandals, but a spectacle of failure of policy in Egypt, where the Administration was the unquestioning backer of the "democratically elected" Morsi Muslim Brotherhood government. Now that an estimated 3+ million Egyptians have taken to the street, where is the voice of "democracy" now? And when can we hope for an "American Spring" which is probably the only sure way to hold Congress and the Courts' feet to the fire?

William R. Cumming

Agree with Charles I that the Chinese were big winners from two decades of USA involvement in Iraq!

Fred

More bad nes for the FSA:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/tal-kalakh-syrias-rebel-town-that-forged-its-own-peace-deal-8673695.html

no one

It occurs to me that Obama and, ironically, McCain are having a Jane Fonda moment.

The Syrian rebels contain a large jihadi segment. In fact some of these jihadis are Pakistanis ( http://cpakgulf.org/documents/Pak-Gulf-Security-Ties-final.pdf ).

These are the same people that we are supposed to fighting "over there" in AFghanistan so we don't have to fight them here. My son and at least one other commenter here (who fought in Afghanistan) called these people "the enemy" as recently as last year. They damn near killed my boy who was on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border working with the ANA attempting to block the influx of Taliban/Jihadis.

Yet there are McCain, Obama, Kerry, et al shaking their hands - the enemy's hands - and smiling with them and aiding and abetting them in Syria.

How is that different from Jane Fonda and the NVA?

Fred

Jane Fonda was an actress, Obama is president so it's one hell of allot worse.

Alba Etie

I was pleasently surprised to see RT TV on in the lobby of the downtown Marriott and Courtyard here in Austin , Texas . And even more pleasently surprised to see Mr king back on air on RT TV .

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