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Putin is running circles around Obama-Kerry, not surprised though

he a former KGB LT Colonel ......his specialty was Counter Intelligence.

 

You are nuts.  Obama is the master of strategery.  Who could forget his classic Jedi-mind trick one liner to Medvedev... "thing is, i've got this election coming up... after that, I'll have more uh, flexibility..."

 

Good thing he was mic'd for it, or we'd never know what a great negotiator he really is.

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There were some huge historical ironies to Putin's dramatic denunciation of American Exceptionalism.

 

First of all, he said it to the first President in a long time, perhaps ever, who clearly does not believe in it.  He was using it like Stalin suddenly developed a love for "Mother Russia" when the Nazis invaded. 

 

Secondly, the expression was actually invented by American communists because the concept is real, they as Americans knew it, and they were trying to codify it as a justification for their agenda.  Unfortunately for them, they were part of an international movement.  It was Stalin, personally, who rejected the concept as Heresy and ordered its proponents purged, confirming that International Communism was truly a front for Soviet imperialism and condemning (justly) the ideology as grossly anti-American.

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Pigs fly, Ted Cruz full of Obama praise

 

By BREANNA EDWARDS | 9/11/13 6:37 PM EDT

 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), praised President Barack Obama on Wednesday for bringing the Syria strike to Congress, saying that the move gave the chance for the voices of Americans to be heard.

 

“I want to commend President Obama for two different things. Number one, I want to commend President Obama for listening to the bipartisan calls to submit to the constitutional authority of Congress. That was significant, it was the right thing to do and I’m glad he did so,” Cruz said in a detailed foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation’s 4th Annual Jesse Helms Lecture Series.

 

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/ted-cruz-praises-barack-obama-96665.html#ixzz2eg88HyMQ

 

 

 

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^Are you sure that is not an Onion piece?;)  But seriously, Cruz and Paul probably both regard the War Powers Resolution (which Obama could have arguably used to bypass Congress.... for at least 90 days, which is probably all the time he needed) as unconstitutional and he is being smart to anticipate that very issue popping up if he were to criticize the request for congressional authority.  That said, he gains some respect from me for maintaining consistency (something Ron Paul was great at and Rand Paul is working on).

 

Working solely under the WPR, constitutional questions of the resolution itself aside, Obama could have fully carried out the strike he intended, but I personally like the distinction he drew here in his speech after declaring it is in the national security interests of the nation to act....

 

That’s my judgment as Commander-in-Chief. But I’m also the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress. I believe our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress. And I believe that America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together.

 

This is especially true after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the President, and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.

 

There were some huge historical ironies to Putin's dramatic denunciation of American Exceptionalism.

 

First of all, he said it to the first President in a long time, perhaps ever, who clearly does not believe in it.

 

My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements -- it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them.

 

*  *  *  *  *

 

America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/running-transcript-president-obamas-sept-10-speech-on-syria/2013/09/10/a8826aa6-1a2e-11e3-8685-5021e0c41964_story_3.html

 

Only one sitting president in the last 82 years has publicly uttered the magical phrase “American exceptionalism”--care to guess who it is? Ronald Reagan, he of the “shining city on a hill?” George W. Bush, who closed his speeches by asking that “God continue to bless” America? Nope. The only president to publicly discuss (and for that matter embrace) “American exceptionalism” is Barack Obama.

 

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2011/01/31/obama-has-mentioned-american-exceptionalism-more-than-bush

 

 

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F@#$in' unbelievable, this guy over here....

 

Listing Demands, Assad Uses Crisis to His Advantage

 

By ROBERT F. WORTH

Published: September 12, 2013 83 Comments

 

WASHINGTON — Not long ago, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria seemed a remote and embattled figure, with the United States threatening airstrikes and other Arab leaders denouncing him for having used chemical weapons against his own people.

 

Yet in recent days, he appears, paradoxically, to have turned the crisis to his advantage, making clear to a global television audience that he aims to use President Obama’s own “red line” against him.

 

In exchange for relinquishing his chemical arsenal, Mr. Assad said Thursday, he will require that the United States stop arming the Syrian opposition — a demand that might seem wishful from the leader of a devastated country where civil war has left 100,000 dead, two million living as refugees and large swaths of territory beyond his control.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/world/middleeast/listing-demands-assad-uses-crisis-to-his-advantage.html?hp&_r=0

 

I'll give him this. He's got some big brass ones.

 

That said, we probably shouldn't be arming the rebels. That little habit of ours never works out like we want it to <Afghanistan>

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That said, we probably shouldn't be arming the rebels. That little habit of ours never works out like we want it to <Afghanistan>

 

We shouldn't be arming the rebels in Syria, but in that case it worked as well as arming the Soviets during WWII.

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Putin is angry. He thinks the United States doesn’t take him seriously or treat Russia as a major player. Okay, fine, that’s how he feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see to it that you can get all the credit. I’ll tell the world it was you who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter. You’ll be an international hero. You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ There will still be plenty of other issues I’d have with Russia. But instead of looking for one huge deal that settles everything, you take a piece of the problem and solve it. Give an incentive for good behavior. Show the other guy his self-interest. Everybody has an ego. Everybody needs dignity. And what does it cost? You get what you want you give up nothing.

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Putin is angry. He thinks the United States doesn’t take him seriously or treat Russia as a major player. Okay, fine, that’s how he feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see to it that you can get all the credit. I’ll tell the world it was you who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter. You’ll be an international hero. You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ There will still be plenty of other issues I’d have with Russia. But instead of looking for one huge deal that settles everything, you take a piece of the problem and solve it. Give an incentive for good behavior. Show the other guy his self-interest. Everybody has an ego. Everybody needs dignity. And what does it cost? You get what you want you give up nothing.

 

He's more frustrated than angry.  He knows that because of his nation's history and his own, anything he does more or less unilaterally is going to be viewed with extreme suspicion globally.  He needs American buy-in to prevent this, and he's dealing with a President who couldn't make a decision to change his pants if he fouled himself (supposedly a Churchill line vis a vis Chamberlain).  He also has a lot more to worry about vis a vis Al Qaeda.

 

It doesn't help that he chose to insult America by paraphrasing Stalin about exceptionalism, though.

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I was thinking about more along the lines of how our President should be approaching the issue.  Should he be allowing a scenario to play out which may reflect kindly on Putin.  The Fox News criticism this week seems to suggest that this approach is somehow making Obama look like a weak leader.  Do you disagree with that approach?  Do you find Fox's criticism ironic at all?

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This is a photo for those interested in cities, not just world events, military strategy, politics, human rights and history. It doesn't take a nuclear bomb or a 1,000-plane squadron of flying fortresses to destroy a large city. Sometimes it takes months of ground-based civil war, as it has in Homs, Syria...

 

BbMbNxRCYAEws_V.jpg:large


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Hundreds of women locked in cages to act as human shields against assad’s air-strikes: Rebels parade families loyal to president through streets as horrifying deterrent

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3301364/Hundreds-women-locked-cages-act-human-shields-against-assad-s-air-strikes-Rebels-parade-families-loyal-president-streets-horrifying-deterrent.html

 

The shocking thing is these our allies, the "moderate" rebels, the ones getting the next $100 million package (on top of the other half a trillion dollars we've sent to this country).

 

U.S. pledges nearly $100 million to support Syrian opposition

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/31/us-pledges-nearly-100-million-support-syrian-oppos/?page=all

 

No more money to this f-ing region. Please god.

 

 

EDIT: First link edited to function

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It's the American way, as long as someone's getting paid...

 

CIA-armed militias are shooting at Pentagon-armed ones in Syria

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/nationalsecurity/ct-syria-militias-us-cia-islamic-state-20160326-story.html


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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So the FSA is working with the Turkish army in N Aleppo to move deeper into the province. The big question is where will they stop.  The remnants of the syrian army aren't too far away. It will be interesting to see if the Russian air force wil attempt to interfere.

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Syrian peace talks flounder as participants ask: Where is America? https://t.co/q9ulOa51EW


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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You guys seriously aren't talking about the fact that Trump just launched a 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missile strike on the Syrian gov't?

 

There is no smoking gun with any of this news regarding Trump working with Russia to hack the election. Most of this news is pointless.

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Yeah, we should definitely be talking about the fact that Trump just launched missiles at Syria. It's almost certainly the biggest thing he's done as president thus far. Trump is in a very strange political position, and I'm really curious how it's all going to pan out. Congress wouldn't support attacks against Syria when President Obama asked. Hillary advocated for retaliation against Syria earlier today. The gas attack is labeled as a false flag by the alt-right. Putin obviously wouldn't like these strikes. I have no clue how this is gonna shake out.

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Note the date -- and the message, and the messenger!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Trump launches military strike against Syria

 

The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in retaliation for their chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week.

 

On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched between 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks were based, US officials said.

 

"Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air field in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched," Trump said during short remarks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago. "It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons."

 

More below:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/donald-trump-syria-military/index.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Syria war: US launches missile strikes in response to chemical 'attack'

 

The US has carried out a missile attack against an air base in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.

 

The Pentagon said at 04:40 Syrian time (01:40 GMT), 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean.

 

In a televised address, President Donald Trump said the base was where Tuesday's attack was launched from.

 

More below:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39523654

 

_95495632_038886015.jpg


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I'm old enough to remember when Hillary Clinton was the war hawk that was going to start WWIII by intervening in Syria.

 

Wasn't it McCain who favored a no-fly zone? Shooting down Russian planes doesn't sound like a tripwire policy.

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So the Russians were warned in advance.  In other words, Assad was warned in advance.  This is the kind of haphazard, middle-of-the-road operation that Republicans lambasted Clinton for launching with Operation Desert Fox in 1998.  It increases the risk of stumbling far too far down the road of escalation (with Russia, not just with Syria) while at the same time likely having little to no impact on Assad's ability to launch future chemical weapon attacks, though maybe the damage to the base alone will be sufficient to send a message.  (Doubtful.  Assad knows he's in a fight for his life against domestic forces with less power than us but much more attention span in that region than us--people who will be there every day rather than just occasionally intervening from faraway bases and aircraft carriers.)

 

I seriously hope Trump finds a way to back down soon.  It is patently obvious that Syria is worth more to Assad than it is to us, and Assad is worth more to Russia than he is to us.

 

ETA: This article was posted on the Federalist just yesterday and sums up the critical conservative perspective on Syrian intervention.  Timely.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/06/so-you-want-to-go-to-war-in-syria-to-depose-assad-can-you-answer-these-questions-first/

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For perspective, Syria still has essentially another 13-14 fully functioning airbases. This does probably hurt the Syrian air force capabilities as this was one of the few bases they have that has never been targeted by the rebels or ISIS.  It was a bit of backbone with high availability and capability.

  So its likely the Syrians lost at least 10% of their air force tonight. It may have lost 20-30% of its ground attack planes.  It was thought a year ago or so that they had 150 fixed wing aircraft left.  Its likely there are no more than 120 fixed wing now. 

  So it wouldn't seem a strategic blow, it might be due to essentially death by 1000 cuts.  Their economy is in a tailspin propped up by Iran. The rebel group just north of Homs may benefit the most by having that airbase taken out. They can now push on towards Hama and try to link up with the Northern Hama rebels. Also other rebel groups could emerge in Homs now that the threat from that airbase is taken out.

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Trump's approval is going to hit a post-election high after this. The lesson he'll take from that is obvious and unnerving.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Wonder what is the real military impact from the missile attack?

 

Eyewitness says Syrian military anticipated U.S. raid https://t.co/46Y3vpskYg


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Is this to discredit the Trump-Russia ties?

 

BREAKING: Russia says it is suspending deal with United States to prevent mid-air incidents over Syria in response to U.S. strike.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Trump's approval is going to hit a post-election high after this. The lesson he'll take from that is obvious and unnerving.

 

Post election high of 41%.....SAD!

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Less than 100 days in and Trump is bombing his first country (something he told Obama not to do just a few years ago).  That has got to be a new record.  Anything to keep his base fired up and lauding his spray-tanned exterior.

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^this isn't firing up his whole base though.  They are very split on the decision. 

 

Yep.  The fact is a lot of people who voted for him simply don’t trust him.  Meanwhile, some Dems continue to insist Hillary wasn’t a horrible candidate.

 

On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with smacking someone who used WMD on civilians.  The fact that this happened right after Bannon got booted off the NSC is heartening as well.  It will be interesting to see if Mattis has anything to say.

 

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Seen on FB from a guy I don't even agree with that much (hardcore white nationalist, actually, and a die-hard Trump supporter in the election, so biting sarcasm from him is actually meaningful to me in this context): "Well, Trump really knows how to celebrate the centennial of America's entrance into WWI."

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I do support some limited strikes in Syria for now.  If we are to escalate any further, I think that congress should approve it and the President should address the nation to make the case beforehand.

 

It is telling that the administration has had 3 different Syrian policies in the last 72 hours.  Maybe someone should stop playing on Twitter nad tryig to control the media narrative and come up with a coherent strategy.

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So the Russians were warned in advance.  In other words, Assad was warned in advance.  This is the kind of haphazard, middle-of-the-road operation that Republicans lambasted Clinton for launching with Operation Desert Fox in 1998.  It increases the risk of stumbling far too far down the road of escalation (with Russia, not just with Syria) while at the same time likely having little to no impact on Assad's ability to launch future chemical weapon attacks, though maybe the damage to the base alone will be sufficient to send a message.  (Doubtful.  Assad knows he's in a fight for his life against domestic forces with less power than us but much more attention span in that region than us--people who will be there every day rather than just occasionally intervening from faraway bases and aircraft carriers.)

 

I seriously hope Trump finds a way to back down soon.  It is patently obvious that Syria is worth more to Assad than it is to us, and Assad is worth more to Russia than he is to us.

 

ETA: This article was posted on the Federalist just yesterday and sums up the critical conservative perspective on Syrian intervention.  Timely.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/06/so-you-want-to-go-to-war-in-syria-to-depose-assad-can-you-answer-these-questions-first/

 

I think the point of the attack was to sent a measured response as a warning. The initial reports indicate the airbase from where the attack was launched is virtually destroyed. Sure, Assad can still wage war and could even use chemical weapons again - but now he knows he'll lose at very least another air base if he does so.

 

Obama drew his line in the sand regarding chemical weapons, but did nothing when it was crossed. It seems Trump is continuing Obama's policy, but he actually backed it up - in a rather safe, calculated way. No American lives were risked and no there was no risk of accidentally starting a war with Russia - sure the warning likely got passed along to Syria, but all that ultimately did is save lives. It's like knowing your house is in the path of a tornado, you can run but you can't really save your house. Fuel, aircraft, hangers, and runways were all obliterated even with the warning.

 

I'm against war in Syria but I think this was a smart, measured move given the situation. What I hope the endgame is in Syria is a weakened Assad, who retains control over his country. The vacuums created in places like Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. have shown to be worse for us than the dictators we helped eliminate.

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^this isn't firing up his whole base though.  They are very split on the decision. 

 

Yep.  The fact is a lot of people who voted for him simply don’t trust him.  Meanwhile, some Dems continue to insist Hillary wasn’t a horrible candidate.

 

On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with smacking someone who used WMD on civilians.  The fact that this happened right after Bannon got booted off the NSC is heartening as well.  It will be interesting to see if Mattis has anything to say.

 

 

I agree about Mattis definitely, and Bannon perhaps.  But definitely the hardest-core Trump supporter I know on FB yesterday was very cold towards this decision, saying sarcastically that "Well, Trump really knows how to celebrate the centennial of America's entrance into WWI."

 

Incidentally, Justin Amash, one of the polestars of conservative thought in Congress, posted on FB yesterday that airstrikes are an act of war and such acts need to be authorized by Congress, and these weren't.  (And that could cue up an interesting but likely meaningless debate on the War Powers Resolution and its potential constitutionality.)

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I think our political parties have evolved so much that we now have hawks and doves in both parties.  I've heard it explained that the Republican party is really 4 parties under on banner.  I think it makes sense.  I'm sure the same exists within the Democratic party.

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Like it or not, the US is still considered the world's leader in handling problem area's of the world. So bombing a Syrian Air base in order to send a message that murdering innocent civilians will not be tolerated is a good thing. Hopefully it will cause the Syrian president and military to stop this genocide of its own people. But a brutal dictator like Bashar al-Assad probably could care less what the US and the rest of the world thinks.

 

Obama did nothing about Syria during his tenure. President Trump is at least trying to stop even more genocide of the Syrian people

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So the Russians were warned in advance.  In other words, Assad was warned in advance.  This is the kind of haphazard, middle-of-the-road operation that Republicans lambasted Clinton for launching with Operation Desert Fox in 1998.  It increases the risk of stumbling far too far down the road of escalation (with Russia, not just with Syria) while at the same time likely having little to no impact on Assad's ability to launch future chemical weapon attacks, though maybe the damage to the base alone will be sufficient to send a message.  (Doubtful.  Assad knows he's in a fight for his life against domestic forces with less power than us but much more attention span in that region than us--people who will be there every day rather than just occasionally intervening from faraway bases and aircraft carriers.)

 

I seriously hope Trump finds a way to back down soon.  It is patently obvious that Syria is worth more to Assad than it is to us, and Assad is worth more to Russia than he is to us.

 

ETA: This article was posted on the Federalist just yesterday and sums up the critical conservative perspective on Syrian intervention.  Timely.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/06/so-you-want-to-go-to-war-in-syria-to-depose-assad-can-you-answer-these-questions-first/

 

I think the point of the attack was to sent a measured response as a warning. The initial reports indicate the airbase from where the attack was launched is virtually destroyed. Sure, Assad can still wage war and could even use chemical weapons again - but now he knows he'll lose at very least another air base if he does so.

 

Obama drew his line in the sand regarding chemical weapons, but did nothing when it was crossed. It seems Trump is continuing Obama's policy, but he actually backed it up - in a rather safe, calculated way. No American lives were risked and no there was no risk of accidentally starting a war with Russia - sure the warning likely got passed along to Syria, but all that ultimately did is save lives. It's like knowing your house is in the path of a tornado, you can run but you can't really save your house. Fuel, aircraft, hangers, and runways were all obliterated even with the warning.

 

I'm against war in Syria but I think this was a smart, measured move given the situation. What I hope the endgame is in Syria is a weakened Assad, who retains control over his country. The vacuums created in places like Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. have shown to be worse for us than the dictators we helped eliminate.

 

In which case I hope Trump has it in him to delicately back down from the dance of escalation.  (And I hope Putin has that in him, too.)  I'm very worried about that, because Trump's mentality is punch, counterpunch, and punch some more, not jab-and-step-back/hit-and-run.  He has about as delicate a touch on international relations as he does on pretty women.

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^^ I can't believe I am saying this but I agree with most of your post.  I think the key is that we should only have limited involvement at this time.  Destroying airfields with missile strikes and forming some sort of humanitarian outreach.  I think Trump should reconsider his travel ban altogether so that innocent people can be removed from these horrible conditions.

 

I think that some members of Congress fretting about needing congressional authority for acts of war have a point as well.

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I get the logic, and I have no problem with the general message of "you need your airbases to fight your civil war, so if you want to keep them, stop using chemical weapons."  That's certainly speaking a language Assad can understand.  But it also invites further escalation.  That base was used by Russians not long ago and I saw at least one news article saying it was still in use by Iranian troops operating on the ground in Syria as well, which adds yet another volatile piece to this hornet's nest.

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So the Russians were warned in advance.  In other words, Assad was warned in advance.  This is the kind of haphazard, middle-of-the-road operation that Republicans lambasted Clinton for launching with Operation Desert Fox in 1998.  It increases the risk of stumbling far too far down the road of escalation (with Russia, not just with Syria) while at the same time likely having little to no impact on Assad's ability to launch future chemical weapon attacks, though maybe the damage to the base alone will be sufficient to send a message.  (Doubtful.  Assad knows he's in a fight for his life against domestic forces with less power than us but much more attention span in that region than us--people who will be there every day rather than just occasionally intervening from faraway bases and aircraft carriers.)

 

I seriously hope Trump finds a way to back down soon.  It is patently obvious that Syria is worth more to Assad than it is to us, and Assad is worth more to Russia than he is to us.

 

ETA: This article was posted on the Federalist just yesterday and sums up the critical conservative perspective on Syrian intervention.  Timely.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/06/so-you-want-to-go-to-war-in-syria-to-depose-assad-can-you-answer-these-questions-first/

 

I think the point of the attack was to sent a measured response as a warning. The initial reports indicate the airbase from where the attack was launched is virtually destroyed. Sure, Assad can still wage war and could even use chemical weapons again - but now he knows he'll lose at very least another air base if he does so.

 

Obama drew his line in the sand regarding chemical weapons, but did nothing when it was crossed. It seems Trump is continuing Obama's policy, but he actually backed it up - in a rather safe, calculated way. No American lives were risked and no there was no risk of accidentally starting a war with Russia - sure the warning likely got passed along to Syria, but all that ultimately did is save lives. It's like knowing your house is in the path of a tornado, you can run but you can't really save your house. Fuel, aircraft, hangers, and runways were all obliterated even with the warning.

 

I'm against war in Syria but I think this was a smart, measured move given the situation. What I hope the endgame is in Syria is a weakened Assad, who retains control over his country. The vacuums created in places like Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. have shown to be worse for us than the dictators we helped eliminate.

 

The reason why Iraq, Syria and Libya won't work is because the Euros drew these countries up. Iraq and Syria were created after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Libya was a formless place after the Roman Empire but in order to reestablish an Egyptian nation-state back in the 1800s Libya regained borders from 0 AD that make no sense now.

 

Yet Europe wants no responsibility for the mess they created.

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^^ I can't believe I am saying this but I agree with most of your post.  I think the key is that we should only have limited involvement at this time.  Destroying airfields with missile strikes and forming some sort of humanitarian outreach.  I think Trump should reconsider his travel ban altogether so that innocent people can be removed from these horrible conditions.

 

I think that some members of Congress fretting about needing congressional authority for acts of war have a point as well.

 

There's no reason for President Trump to reconsider his travel ban, the Syrian refugees fleeing Syria can travel to Jordan, Turkey, or some other surrounding country in the Middle East.

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I get the logic, and I have no problem with the general message of "you need your airbases to fight your civil war, so if you want to keep them, stop using chemical weapons."  That's certainly speaking a language Assad can understand.  But it also invites further escalation.  That base was used by Russians not long ago and I saw at least one news article saying it was still in use by Iranian troops operating on the ground in Syria as well, which adds yet another volatile piece to this hornet's nest.

 

This is why a well thought strategy is important.  The strategy should be shared with Congress and the American people.  I don't like the idea of war acts being a secret until it happens.  We have a right to know.

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I get the logic, and I have no problem with the general message of "you need your airbases to fight your civil war, so if you want to keep them, stop using chemical weapons."  That's certainly speaking a language Assad can understand.  But it also invites further escalation.  That base was used by Russians not long ago and I saw at least one news article saying it was still in use by Iranian troops operating on the ground in Syria as well, which adds yet another volatile piece to this hornet's nest.

 

This could easily become another proxy war.  Or worse.  I don't advocate intervention unless we have a plan to win, which in this case would mean removing Assad, and Russia might not let us do that.  We also need a plan for the aftermath, conspicuously missing from recent adventures.

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I get the logic, and I have no problem with the general message of "you need your airbases to fight your civil war, so if you want to keep them, stop using chemical weapons."  That's certainly speaking a language Assad can understand.  But it also invites further escalation.  That base was used by Russians not long ago and I saw at least one news article saying it was still in use by Iranian troops operating on the ground in Syria as well, which adds yet another volatile piece to this hornet's nest.

 

This could easily become another proxy war.  Or worse.  I don't advocate intervention unless we have a plan to win, which in this case would mean removing Assad, and Russia might not let us do that.  We also need a plan for the aftermath, conspicuously missing from recent adventures.

 

I don't think Russia would ever allow the actual fall of Damascus and we should avoid any definition of victory that requires it.  I'm not even really comfortable with the definition of victory of "Assad ceases use of chemical weapons," because there's no telling the level of force that might require (and it might require a level that would force a Russian response, again raising the specter of catastrophic escalation).

 

It was well understood during the Cold War, but has perhaps been forgotten by too many political scientists since then (or maybe the old ones still remember it but it's the younger ones cutting their teeth in Washington now) that escalation dynamics can develop a life of their own and spiral out of control notwithstanding the original starting intentions of both sides of any given conflict.  Keeping a limited war limited is sort of like restraining a man without hurting him--it actually takes more skill and discipline than just unloading.

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It was well understood during the Cold War, but has perhaps been forgotten by too many political scientists since then (or maybe the old ones still remember it but it's the younger ones cutting their teeth in Washington now) that escalation dynamics can develop a life of their own and spiral out of control notwithstanding the original starting intentions of both sides of any given conflict.  Keeping a limited war limited is sort of like restraining a man without hurting him--it actually takes more skill and discipline than just unloading.

 

Skill and discipline are not strong points of our current regime.  That's why this worries me.  But I suspect it's only theater, which worries me in a different way.

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Like it or not, the US is still considered the world's leader in handling problem area's of the world. So bombing a Syrian Air base in order to send a message that murdering innocent civilians will not be tolerated is a good thing. Hopefully it will cause the Syrian president and military to stop this genocide of its own people. But a brutal dictator like Bashar al-Assad probably could care less what the US and the rest of the world thinks.

 

Obama did nothing about Syria during his tenure. President Trump is at least trying to stop even more genocide of the Syrian people

 

"Trying to do something" while actually not doing anything particularly useful is the essence of moronic leadership. This bombing is just another dumb ornamental shrub in the Trump yard, no different from all the stupid "send a message" cruise missile strikes under Clinton.

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