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Vote Counts In Congress Not Looking Good For President Obama

Capitol Buidling Dayime2

Heading into the weekend and the return of Congress and the Senate on Monday, the numbers aren’t looking good for the President’s request for authorization to use force against Syria:

  • According to The Washington Post, there are 110 Members of Congress who have announced they are presently “No” votes and another 115 who have announced that they are leaning “No” but potentially persuadable. That’s a total of 226 votes, more than enough to block the resolution. By contrast, to date only 25 Representatives have come out in support of the resolution;
  • The whip count complied by Think Progress has 87 “No” votes and another 136 leaning “No.” By contrast, they have 39 Representatives as “Yes” or leaning “Yes.” That’s a total of 223 “No” or leaning “No,” again more than a majority;
  • ABC News puts the numbers at 75 “No” and 175 leaning “No,” for a total of 225, and only 44 as “yes” or leaning “yes”;
  • The liberal blog Firedoglake has 128 at “No”and 105 at leaning “No, for a total of 233 in opposition, with 60 at “yes” or leaning “yes”;
  • Finally, The Hill has the numbers at just 137 “No” or leaning “No” and 31 “yes” and leaning “yes.”

When looking at all these counts, of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that all of this is preliminary and that nothing is firm until votes are actually cast. In most cases, the determination as to where a particular representative stands at a given moment is based on public statements that they’ve made, but in many of those public statements those same legislators say that they may still be persuadable even if they’re leaning in a particular direction. Nonetheless, it’s worth taking not that, with the exception of The Hill, which appears to be using a very conservative (the most prudent?) standard by which to characterize a Representative’s position, all of the counters listed above are in agreement that there are now more than a majority of House members on record as at least being inclined to oppose the Syria resolution. That doesn’t bode well for the White House, especially when one considers that every Congressional office that has been asked has reported that phone calls to their offices are running overwhelmingly against military strikes in Syria.

Not surprisingly, things look a bit better for the President in the Senate:

  • The Washington Post has 16 Senators on record against the resolution, with an additional 9 leaning against it. On the other side of the ledger, there are 23 Senators, most Democrats, on record in favor of the resolution. The vast majority of Senators, 52 as of this morning, either have no responded to an inquiry have stated they are undecided;
  • ABC News has 20 Senators as “No” and an additional 2 leaning in that direction, 16 Senators supporting the resolution with an addition 6 leaning in support, and 56 Senators undecided;
  • The Hill has 18 Senators at “No” or leaning “No,” 16 Senators at “yes” or leaning in that  direction, and the remained either undecided or not on the record.

(Neither Think Progress nor Firedoglake appear to being doing a Senate Whip Count, or at least it isn’t readily accessible on their respective websites. If I manage to locate either one, I’ll post it here)

The question in the Senate, of course, is whether the opposition would come close to the 40 votes needed to block the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already announced that the resolution will operate under rules that will require 60 votes for passage, and Rand Paul, who already made waves with his nearly 13 hour filibuster earlier this year, has not ruled out a speaking filibuster of a Syria resolution. Most likely, though, it does appear more likely that the Senate will approve the resolution than it does that they will reject it, this leaving the final decision on this matter to the House of Representatives.

Given all of this we can expect the Administration to go all out in trying to lobby Congress to pass the resolution over the next week, with the first test being in the Senate. As I noted yesterday, President Obama will be addressing the nation on Tuesday evening, presumably from the Oval Office to lay out his case for why the United States should take action against Syria at this time. Unfortunately for the President, though, this is a case that he’s already made several times over the past two weeks and he hasn’t managed to convince either the American people or Members of Congress of anything. Many pundits have suggested that the “grandeur” of an Oval Office address may provide more weight to the President’s argument, and while it’s true this is a venue that the President has utilized sparingly over the past 4 1/2 years, I’m not sure it really matters where he is when he makes a case that the public is already highly skeptical of. So, it seems unlikely that the President will be able to move the needle of public opinion significantly. If that’s the case, then he’s going to have to find a way to convince a large number of Congressmen and Senators, many of whom are disinclined to stand with him to begin with, to ignore the overwhelming messages they’re getting from their constituents. Possibly? Maybe, but it seems highly unlikely.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’d feel a whole lot better about all this if they were voting against it for the right reasons, but somehow or other I suspect the next time there is a Republican in the White House we will revert to the norm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I agree, at least half of the Republicans will vote against it simply because it’s something Obama wants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  3. A vote against is a vote against, the reason doesn’t much matter to me when it comes to something like this

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’m inclined to agree with you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. James Pearce says:

    That doesn’t bode well for the White House,

    It’s great news, however, for deployers of chemical weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    A vote against is a vote against, the reason doesn’t much matter to me when it comes to something like this.

    True enough, Doug, but bad reasoning in this case foretells bad reasoning in the next case. GOPer’s will vote against this because it is a Dem pushing for it and Dems will vote against it because they won’t be demagogued for it. Flip the occupant of the White House, say McCain for Obama, and you will have GOPers voting for it because they have to support their president and AMERICA!!! and Dems voting for it because they are cowed by the threat of being “un-American”, and “of not supporting the troops.”

    In other words, I will be happy if this fails but I will be given pause because I know it will be for all the wrong reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  7. walt moffett says:

    @James Pearce:

    Who would the next to gas their population?

    As to whip counts, always good to see the question of war taken seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Matt Bernius says:

    @James Pearce:

    It’s great news, however, for deployers of chemical weapons.

    History tells us a different story.

    It’s been approximately 25 years since the last time a State actor used deadly chemical weapons. And at that time, in 1988, no military action was taken against Iraq for it’s deployment of chemical weapons. And yet, surprisingly, people didn’t start to gas their populations en mass.

    Heck, Iraq, didn’t even use the chemical weapons again, despite fighting two wars against the West, including one where the entire nation was taken over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. James Pearce says:

    @walt moffett:

    Who would the next to gas their population?

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    What’s clear though is that if you’re a client state of Russia, you’re free to do what you want with your sarin. Store it, use it. We don’t care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  10. James Pearce says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    And at that time, in 1988, no military action was taken against Iraq for it’s deployment of chemical weapons.

    Yes, this is true. And yet in both 1991 and 2003, we heard a lot about how “Saddam gassed his own people.” And not in an approving “can’t do nothing bout it” kind of way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  11. superdestroyer says:

    And how many times has President Obama gone to the networks or to the media and made a strong presentation for taking military action in Syria. If the President cannot be bothered to work hard on the issue, then why would anyone in Congress want to go out on a limb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. Matt Bernius says:

    @James Pearce:

    And yet in both 1991 and 2003, we heard a lot about how “Saddam gassed his own people.” And not in an approving “can’t do nothing bout it” kind of way.

    Right. And did things turn out better for Iraq post 2003? The Interventionist argument for invasion (whether we look at it from a Neo-Con or Liberal angle) got us into a war that decimated the country and destablized the region (and not in the way the Neo-Cons hoped). Arguably, it contributed to the lead up to the Syrian Civil War. It also led to the rise of Iranian power in the region and accelerated Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    And despite all that, the very people who historically objected to the Iraq war are suggesting that we again attempt to solve the problems of the region through Military Intervention.

    Again, I am waiting for someone to present a positive reason for symbolic bombing besides “because someone did something wrong.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  13. al-Ameda says:

    I honestly believe that the American people have war fatigue.

    We’ve been at war in that region for 10 years now and people are not seeing much benefit to our ongoing presence there. So who can be surprised that people are extremely wary of potentially widening our involvement to directly include Syria? I’m not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Again, I am waiting for someone to present a positive reason for symbolic bombing besides “because someone did something wrong.”

    I have a marked tendency (probably common to fiction writers) to look for narratives that may not be there, but with that aside, there’s a very good reason: Chemical weapons scare hell out of civilians, scared civilians run away, leaving the rebels without support structures. They’re operating more as guerrillas than as organized armies, so they’re living off the land, ie: the people who will flee sarin. Assad could gain an edge and prevail.

    Why do we care if Assad prevails? Because our best of the bad options is for neither side to win. A win for Assad is a win for Iran and Hezbollah. Hezbollah and Iran will be emboldened, and we don’t want that because that makes more likely an actual war as opposed to this absurdly overblown punitive raid. Also, if the rebels appear to be losing the pressure will grow to arm them with anti-aircraft weapons and I would far rather toss some cruise missiles at Assad that hand plane-killers to Al Qaeda.

    Note: I am “weakly opposed” to this attack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  15. Cal American says:

    I think President Obama knows exactly what he is doing. He’s not on trial here, the “Imperial Presidency” is, and The President has made the Republican party the executioners of it. Soon Congress types from across the land will be extolling the virtues of the Constitution, the power of Congress to approve War, and the separation of powers. That’s singing President Obama’s tune. Obama has been continually underestimated by many, he’s shown for 8 years to be ahead of the curve of most people on the political metrics, and his achievements (not all that I agree with) have been remarkable over the last 5 years of his presidency or any other, if you can take a non-jaundiced eye look at them. He has taken numerous personal hits for greater gains. And for America to return to the Law of the Constitution, it is a greater gain. The President also puts the Republicans and those in Congress that vote against him as responsible for whatever happens because of inaction. It forces policy to be made by Congress and makes them responsible for it. Double Win Obama! Absolute WIN America!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  16. James Pearce says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I am waiting for someone to present a positive reason for symbolic bombing

    The reasons have been presented. You disagree with them. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but “I disagree with your argument” is a wholly different thing than “The argument hasn’t been made.”

    I have seen very little indication that opponents of intervention, despite the lofty talk, are all that persuadable on this one. There is no magic combination of words and images that can dissolve a calcified opinion, and that seems to hold true whether one is part of the anti-war left or the anti-Obama right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. James Pearce says:

    Also….forgot to raise an intended point about the “symbolic bombing” stuff. I too am opposed to symbolic bombs.

    That said, I’m very in favor of destroying our enemies with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  18. dazedandconfused says:

    Obama is going “all out”? He’s been described the reason Congress should vote for it as the US being somewhat “stronger” in some vague way. Where are the mushrooms and smoking guns?

    It’s possible he want’s Congress to vote against this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. rudderpedals says:

    If congress can’t pass a bill to authorize airdropping MOPP suits and atropine injectors then things will look really bad for Obama, and by Obama I mean America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  20. dazedandconfused says:

    @rudderpedals:

    I suspect that bill would pass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Spartacus says:

    Doug wrote:

    [T]here are now more than a majority of House members on record as at least being inclined to oppose the Syria resolution. That doesn’t bode well for the White House . . .

    Actually, this bodes very well for the White House. The President should be praying Congress votes “no.” He can then look magnanimous and statesmanlike by acknowledging the people have spoken and that he will abide by their will.

    If Congress votes “yes,” he then has to take military action that is either strong enough to further destabilize the country or so weak that it leaves unpunished the very person who is responsible for using chemical weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @Cal American:

    Do you really think that President Obama wants to take a policy defeat just to make a philosophical point. Do you really think an administration that is willing to pick and choose what laws it wants to enforce is trying to undermine the imperial presidency.

    A better explanation is that if Congress votes against authorizing military action in Syria, that gives President Obama the ability to blame the Republicans and deflect blame for anything that could happen in Syria in the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  23. Tyrell says:

    I am not totally sure that the president has to get Congessional approval for this sort of one time action. Anything after that, yes. It seems that this president and past presidents presidentshave engaged in quick strike actions without approval. And of course drone strikes. One possibility could have been a secret strike, but put “made in Turkey” or “greetings from Yugoslavia” on the missiles: disavow any knowledge of it, blame it on someone else.
    There are many questions about this thing that makes me leary: whose side are we on ? What if this does not work – then what, more attacks? How about diplomacy? How about the threat of war crime trials trials for Assad and some of these people? What if they hit one of our ships? That would really set everyone off and if that happened most people including me would favor a serious response. Since the UN sent in people to find evidence, why can’t they send in a team of people to monitor the situation maybe come up with a cease fire and peace agreement?
    “requiring a full retaliatory response ” (Kennedy, Oct. 1962)
    “you can go home pig or pork. Make your choice” (Marshall Dillon, “Gunsmoke” CBS)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @superdestroyer:

    A better explanation is that if Congress votes against authorizing military action in Syria, that gives President Obama the ability to blame the Republicans and deflect blame for anything that could happen in Syria in the future.

    BINGO!!!!! And your problem is what? That they took responsibility for it? Something they have clamored for, for years????? Or that Obama took them at their word?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:
    A better explanation is that if Congress votes against authorizing military action in Syria, that gives President Obama the ability to blame the Republicans and deflect blame for anything that could happen in Syria in the future.

    So, I infer from your comments that you would have preferred that Obama had ordered an airstrike against Syrian chemical weapons facilities and informed Congress after the fact, right?

    Seriously, are you saying that Republicans are viewing this as just another opportunity to be blamed if they vote against the president? You guys are all in on pre-emptively declaring yourselves to be victims of this president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  26. walt moffett says:

    @James Pearce:

    That the Big 5 protect their clients should not be a surprise. However, it never seems to stop any of the Big 5 from doing what they want were they want. It just requires requires a bit of necessary double think as in the “coalition of the willing, multinational force…” fig leaf.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. bill says:

    and of course the most very wrong position!

    “Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Ed Asner, is fear of being called racist.
    “A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama,” he said.

    um, Ed- it’s “racist” to say (let alone believe) that. pandering just doesn’t work here……it doesn’t work anywhere either. at least he let the cat out of the bag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  28. dazedandconfused says:

    @Spartacus:

    “If Congress votes “yes,” he then has to take military action..”

    What happens if he doesn’t take military action?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    “Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Ed Asner, is fear of being called racist.
    “A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama,” he said.

    Ed Asner is a PINOT (Progressive In Name Only Tool)
    Nice to see that the dottering old fool has adopted a Republican Talking Point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  30. Spartacus says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    What happens if he doesn’t take military action?

    I really can’t imagine how confused and crazy he will look if Congress votes “yes” and he doesn’t take military action after specifically saying we need to take military action and asking Congress to support it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. Stan says:

    @bill: I’m conflicted about the Syria situation, and one of the reasons is my vivid memory of World War II. Due to the foresight of my great grandparents in moving to America, my immediate family escaped dying in a Nazi extermination camp. Although I was a child during the war, I had a reasonably good idea about what was going on. I knew that my parents were terrified about the possibility of a German victory, not an outlandish possibility in 1942, and I remember the nightmares I had after seeing newsreels in 1945 showing concentration camp inmates, living and dead. I’ve checked this out with my older brother, and he had them too. I understand the rationale behind the view that what a foreign government does to its citizens is no business of ours. I’ve heard people I respect very highly argue against our getting involved in Rwanda, in the Balkans, in Libya, and now in Syria because we had no vital interests at stake. With the possible exception of Pat Buchanan, I don’t think the people holding such views are racists. But arguments like this make me queasy. So maybe one reason why liberals in Hollywood aren’t as opposed to intervention as good leftists are supposed to be is that they feel queasy too, and for the same reason I do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. dazedandconfused says:

    @Spartacus:

    If Obama says the “intelligence” has led him to suspect Assad, or whoever did it, might not do it anymore, and will therefore hold off until it happens again, I think the American public might accept that.

    That would certainly drive those who are eager for us to intervene bat-poop nuts, along with many of the bubble-headed media personalities who are conditioned to salivate at the prospect of war or scandal. Good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Tyrell says:

    If the president loses this vote, his presidency is effectively over. The next three years will see more crises overseas.
    Worse than Watergate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  34. dazedandconfused says:

    The support the majority in Congress gave him will be gone, They will pass a bill to repeal Obamacare, and dedicate themselves to making him making this Obama’s last term.

    He had nothing to lose.

    If (a big if) he can get through this without having to shoot, it’s possible something may have been accomplished nevertheless. Congress is set to give the Quixotic dreamers who hound him to act in Syria, Powers, Rice, Kerry, McCain, et al, a badly needed reality check.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Spartacus says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    If Obama says the “intelligence” has led him to suspect Assad, or whoever did it, might not do it anymore, and will therefore hold off until it happens again, I think the American public might accept that.

    I hadn’t thought about this, but I think this is a great idea if Congress votes yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. fred says:

    Would not surprise me if GOP congress does not give approval to resolution. A few weeks back I provided a very negative perspective on the movie “The Butler” but have made an about turn after seeing the movie over the weekend. It is stimulating and frightening at the same time and most Americans who see this movie will now understand the GOP’s relationship with Pres Obama. Many still just hate the idea of a black American in the White House. Every American should see this movie as it will result in a better America!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Eric Florack says:

    Ive not seen it mentioned much, but there is evidence that the administration is responsible for the gas attack he blames Assad for….
    Argue against that evidence if you will… I wouldn’t put it past Obama, myself.

    But even absent that evidence, what have we got? Obama in his usual klutzy way tries to arm rebels to rise against Assad regime which causes a civil war and then as a result of a civil war, lots of people die, Then Obama wants to intervene because lots of people are dying and blames the Assad regime….. as usual with this bunch it doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to sound right for the moment.

    And look, as Ive said here before, Assad is no White Hat… but there are no such people in the region. Living in the hellish environment brought about by Islam, and its devotees, how can one survive, without becoming part of the hell? As I have said previously, Islam is still awaiting it’s Martin Luther.

    Irony abounds…. Bush got called a cowboy for his pains in Iraq… and yet, in that affair, he got 50 some odd other countries to go along with him. The only people Obama has been able to get to support our attacking Syria is the same folks who flew planes into our buildings a few years back.

    Forgive me, but all that is unimportant to the issue of why Obama is pushing this deadly nonsense just now.

    The reason for Obama’s action now, after his apparent lack of attention to the issue, and despite all the other counter-indicators,is simple enough… he needs to divert attention from the long list of crimes (You might call them “scandals” but I won’t.) attached to this White House, and this President. He also needs to divert the attention of Congress away from defunding Obamacare, which is a real threat to him.

    No matter how congress votes, this Syrian affair will not end well. If, as I suppose, they vote “no”, The dems will use it as a bludgeon against the GOP in the next few elections. But Obama will act.

    This is “Wag the Dog”, writ large.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. Rob in CT says:

    *eye roll*

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  39. Eric Florack says:

    By the way, did anyone see this from the UK this morning?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/08/syria-chemical-weapons-not-assad-bild

    President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month’s chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources.

    The intelligence findings were based on phone calls intercepted by a German surveillance ship operated by the BND, the German intelligence service, and deployed off the Syrian coast, Bild am Sonntag said. The intercepted communications suggested Assad, who is accused of war crimes by the west, including foreign secretary William Hague, was not himself involved in last month’s attack or in other instances when government forces have allegedly used chemical weapons.

    We are being played, folks. things are not as we are being led to believe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  40. Matt Bernius says:

    Ok… hell has got to be freezing over as the initial “evidence” that @Eric Florack linked to was produced by the National of Islam’s Research Group (yes… THAT National of Islam). BTW, extra style points are awarded for pushing NOI “evidence” while only a few lines down writing statements like:

    Living in the hellish environment brought about by Islam, and its devotees, how can one survive, without becoming part of the hell?

    While I think that the Obama Administration hasn’t proven their case, and is arguably falling into the exact same “only look at evidence that supports our case” trap that the Bush Administration did in the lead up to Iraq, I find it fascinating to see how people who are predisposed to a given position are willing to partner with ANYONE in order to bolster their preconceived notions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  41. Eric Florack says:

    @Matt Bernius: The fact is, Id have supported a move against Assad, two years ago, before AQ could gear up to fill the void left by Assads departure. THe problem there of course is that all that will happen with an attack on Syria now, is that AQ will be able to makeuse of the chaos that follows such an attack.
    Our fighting alongside AQ does not make me very happy, nor apparently does it even the majority of the leeft if tyhe polling data is to be trusted.

    As for the link, the link is of a sort with the intel from the BND I also posted, in that they both tend to remove Assad from the equation. The fact is, we simply dont have the evidence, Obamas plays to emotionalism, not withstanding.

    And as to wag the Dog….consider this seriously… why did Obama sit on his hands literally for years on this matter, and now suddenly it’s a huge problem? How is it the attack on Benghazi and the killing of our diplomats was not an act of war, and yet a gas attack in what is by definition a civil war, is?

    There’s only one reason fot these disconnects…. Obama doesn’t give a damn about the syrian people, and knows that civil war is not a threat to us. All it serves is his political interests by providing political shelter from his crimes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. Matt Bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:
    I see you don’t address the fact that you linked to the Nation of Islam as substantive evidence. Again, I was just impressed by the people you’re willing to get into bed with to support your beliefs.

    Obama doesn’t give a damn about the syrian people, and knows that civil war is not a threat to us.

    Hmmm… Right. It’s not like Obama has clearly surrounded himself with Liberal Interventionists for years… oh wait, he has.

    It’s not like he has already engaged in one Liberal Intervention in Libya when there was not clear threat to us… oh wait, he did.

    (BTW, it’s fair to point out that based on their rhetoric, there was no real daylight between Mssrs Obama and Romney on this count, as Romney was also in favor of a Military Intervention).

    It’s been pretty clear that Obama and the intervention side of his advisers have been looking for an excuse to get into Syria for a while — in the same way that the Neo-cons under Bush were looking for an excuse to invade Iraq as part of a broader and well publicized (via think tanks) strategy to democratize the Middle East. The chemical weapons usage provided that cover, in the same way that 9/11 and “WMD intellegence” provided cover for Bush. Both appear (looking to your Guardian link — you know, an actual historically legitimate news source) to be cases of people only working with evidence that supported their specific case and downplaying (of not flat out ignoring counter evidence).

    What I personally find problematic, beyond the selective intelligence thing, is that the Chemical Weapon thing is clearly being used to begin an effort towards regime change. But I’ve written enough about that elsewhere on OTB.

    I know I have no hopes of convincing you of anything, least of which that Occam’s Razor would suggest that this is largely what it appears to be (not a complex conspiracy theory but simply people selectively using intelligence to bolster a case for an intervention that they have long wanted to engage in). History has taught me that. Nor was it my intention.

    I just wanted to memorialize the day that you, of all people, would find yourself relying on the National of Islam as a key source in bolstering your particular conspiracy theory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  43. rudderpedals says:

    @Eric Florack: Cui bono? That dog don’t hunt. The most plausible false flag scenario pins it on the Qataris as a device to remove the dictator standing in the way of a gas pipeline to Europe that’d compete with Russian gas.

    And what’s up with you and the NOI?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. Eric Florack says:

    @rudderpedals and @Matt Bernius: : When you have very little to no evidence, of what faction was killed or by whom, is it logical to discount what little evidence we do have?

    and then too, there’s the BND Intel that you have apparently overlooked.care to address its implications, now that I’ve brought it to your attention again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Matt Bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Sigh… I’ll say this as clearly as I can… I’m just impressed to find an issue that bring your and Louis Farrakhan. I think it’s especially special that you don’t seem to find the irony in this.

    And thanks again for reminding me why I usually ignore you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Eric Florack says:

    ive noted you ignore anyone not in liberal lockstep.
    am i supposed to be impressed?

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