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Snapshots of the Present Condition

A mishmash of stuff. So much is going on that . . . well, here are some snapshots I have taken. Bernie in Philadelphia. Wow! I guess Berni...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ted Mack! Calling Ted Mack! Please Pick up Your Royalty Check at the Rose Garden!

Well, our "leader," the "leader" of the now not-so Free World, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air, Naval, and Land Forces of the United States of America finally made an appearance. The man who loves to talk; loves being on TV hour after hour; who masters the teleprompter like no other being on Gaia's warming surface finally ended his reclusion to talk about the war he wants to start. He, at long last, came out from behind the Kerry mask, and "made his case for war!"

With rousing rhetoric evoking the goose-bump inducing eloquence of Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech, as he strapped on his armor, and rose upon his mount, he belted out,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Ok, Ok, that was the imaginary president, my "composite" president. The one the low-info voters elected--along with the double voters in Ohio and elsewhere--the real President, insofar as one can use the word "real" when talking about Obama, made a bungled, jumbled, rambling statement of, well, words, yes, words--no thinking, just empty words.

The presumed Assad gas attack,
presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm. 
In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted. 
Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I’m confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.
Why does the death by gas of over 1000 Syrians present "a serious danger to our national security?" The death of some 100,000 Syrians before that didn't seem to pose a threat, how is this different?  Well, because it threatens "our friends and partners." I see. None of those threatened--Israel is a special case--seems willing to join us in punishing Assad. How does Assad's putative use of chemical weapons "lead to an escalating use of chemical weapons?" By whom? Israel, Turkey, Cyprus? "Proliferation to terrorist groups?" Presumably Assad has had these weapons for years, why would he now use them, AND give them to terrorist groups? Which terrorist groups? Why hasn't he done that before? Now, before anybody goes ballistic here, I can think of some answers to these questions, but why doesn't the President provide them?

OK, we are going to take "military action against Syrian regime targets. . . . This would not be an open-ended intervention . . . [no] boots on the ground . . . limited in duration and scope." I see. So we have just told Assad that the whole thing won't be too bad, not too long, and might come after Congress debates it. So Assad is just going to sit there? I will bet anything those chem weapon labs are being emptied and scattered around the countryside, and air defenses are being strengthened.

If you are going to do a limited, "warning shot across the bow" sort of operation you do it in the middle of the night, no warning. The "warning" comes the next day, when you tell the miscreant, that the attack was the warning and is just a taste of what is to come. Will it work? Maybe. It didn't work when Clinton launched his 23 cruise missiles against some empty Iraqi government buildings. It did work, for a bit, when Reagan hit Qaddafi after the Berlin disco bombing.

More important, if this crisis gets complicated, who trusts Obama and Kerry to be resolute leaders? Nobody. Is there any doubt that Obama would cut and run?

This is rank amateurism.  Obama has no idea what to do, so he punts. He has kicked the ball to Congress, hasn't called them back to the game, just told them you guys debate it, and let me know. Oh, and, of course, this is more important than defunding Obamacare, investigating Benghazi, looking into the IRS or Fast and Furious. No hurry. We can leave our ships out there for months if need be. Joe, let's head for the links!


  1. They think it can be shuffled off on Congress. Well here's what Congress should do:
    Make the Dems introduce the resolution, make every one register a roll call vote. Require all extra funding to come from the existing budget. Require the Administration to explain if this is a declaration of war, if not why not? Make the Administration go on record as to what is exactly their authority to do this without Congressional approval. Make them explain why if it is in their authority to go without Congressional approval that they are here asking for it.
    Do not let them hide on this make them explain everything publicly. Congress should remember that Obama is coming to them not by Congressional demand!

  2. This is just plain sad. And we are chained by the gutless peoples' representatives and the constraints of our system which this pathetic person trashes and manipulates every waking moment.

    At the very least Joe Biden should have been too embarrassed to agree to the golfing spectacle.


  3. Our golf game can last days, weeks, or months if necessary.

  4. Thank goodness John Kerry is an expert at accusing governments of war atrocities.

  5. The proposed resolution includes no time limits, no geographical limits, no measurable objectives. It's open-ended.

    I presume Congress could change the language, but would it?

    Summary provided by NRO:
    "The resolution’s actual authorization is quite short — the president can use military force as he deems necessary and appropriate to “prevent or deter the use or transfer of” chemical or biological weapons “within, to or from Syria,” including to terrorist groups and non-state actors (the likely party in this case being Hezbollah), and to protect the U.S. and its allies from the weapons."

    1. Rewrite it. They are going to try to blame the Republicans anyway so rewrite it and frame it the way they want to.

    2. Rewrite it to include Iran.

  6. Once again, we see the emperor has no clothes.

  7. Does anyone know the technical details of the vote? Does Congress in this case consist of the entire bicameral legislature or does it consist solely of the House of Representatives?

    If the Senate and House both are voting, does it make a difference if the Senate backs the President and the House does not?

    I've heard that "off the record", the Administration is telling reporters that the President will likely go ahead even without Congressional approval - but I personally can't imagine that this President would go against international law and domestic procedures if the vote goes substantially against action in Syria . . . . . .

  8. The grand old Duke of York,
    He had 10,000 men,
    He marched them up to the top of the hill.
    And marched them down again.

    I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message.

    1. apt indeed! laughable if it weren't so close to the truth.

  9. So Congress says "NO" and Obama is off the hook for his red-line threats.
    Congress says "YES" and Obama is covered for launching a few T-Hawks down range and thumping his chest. Then he gets to hold this over Congress in the next budget "crisis."
    What is not being considered is Syria has quite a few Chinese made C-802 anti-ship missiles on shore batteries...and a friendly Russia who wouldn't mind providing Syria with some operational intel.
    Obama lobs a few Tomahawks, and Syria responds by dumping a few dozen missiles in the direction of the US destroyers. If they get a hit or three, the US comes out on the worse end of that deal (possibly sinking a DDG...much to China's joy who can expect to see a substantial increase in sales of that missile) AND Syria gets to claim (rightly IMHO) they were merely defending themselves from a foreign aggressive power.
    Then what will President Obama (Peace Prize be upon him) do?

    1. "Obama (Peace Prize be upon him)" Classic! Permission to borrow?

    2. I overheard that one myself so feel free to use and abuse and pass it along.

  10. Normally paywalled - this was "unlocked" at 1650 30 Aug for 20 hours - hit the beaches!

    (That's not 'hit the beaches' O - more Ike).



  11. Indeed, he punted to Congress. Guess who he's going to blame when he can't have his attack. Not his fault, no no, he was ready. Those bums in Congress, they took away his musket, and his powder and ball, AND his ramrod. Yesser, he was ready to launch that attack.

    So.... blame the Republicans, their partisanship has made America look bad when we needed to present a strong front to the world on the issue of chemical weapon use.

    New crisis, same old script.

    1. Given that less than 10% support any intervention at this point, this vote is one the Republicans probably wouldn't mind have blamed on them. Since he is probably going to go ahead anyway, they won't really be blamed for not "allowing" intervention, and they will be in a good position to say "I told you so" when it inevitably goes bad.

    2. Easy enough for Congress to say the Intel does not support the conclusion (unlike Iraq where %98 of Congress was making the WMD claim).
      Sure, say that Sarin was the WMD used...but their is no evidence as to which side actually initiated the attack, or even if this was a rogue army operation from a unit being besieged.

      IMHO Obama wants (needs) Congress to say "NO" so he gets off the hook for his red line.

  12. Well, our "leader," the "leader" of the now not-so Free World, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air, Naval, and Land Forces of the United States of America finally made an appearance.

    You vastly understate his accomplishments. He is no longer merely Commander-in-Chief of the Air, Naval, and Land Forces of the United States, he is now owner of said forces, so henceforth you should say "Commander-in-Chief of the Air, Naval, and Land Forces of Obama".

    Yes, this is true, America no longer has a military, not according to Obama anyway, it's his military. He said it again just recently, "My military ..." and "When I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf ...".

    The only other head of state I can imagine ever having said, "My military" and "fighting on my behalf" is Adolf Hitler. I'm not even sure Adolf Hitler was that much of a megalomaniac. I think we are into Pharaoh territory here ... or at least King "I am the State" Louie. This destructive loon of a man has become utterly mad and should be confined to a mental institution, and this is what Congress should take up when it returns to being in session.

  13. Paul Vincent ZecchinoSeptember 1, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Ca. 1979, Mother Jones, that always useful source of intel as to what the commies are cooking, gushingly reported the soviets were building a modern airport with a ten thousand foot runway on the island of Grenada. The gentlehearted, humanitarian soviets were doing so to 'promote tourism'. How very nice of those cute 'n' cuddly soviets!

    Ma Jones omitted that the first 'tourists' were to be castroite thugs and soviet shock troops who'd seize Grenada and use it as a base from which to invade and gain control over the Caribbean.

    President Reagan, before many Americans even knew it, stopped this soviet scheme. In October 1983, over a roughly three day period, President Reagan ordered American forces to invade Grenada, rout the soviets and castroites, rescue American medical students on the island, and leave.

    President Reagan ticked off all the right people. He not only smacked the soviets and castro, but he infuriated the leftist democrat congress and marxstream media by not telling them of his intent to invade, as had reportedly been customary in the past. President Reagan kept congress and the NYSLIMES/medianiks in the dark knowing were he to give them prior notice, within seconds they'd get get on the horn and spill the beans to their soviet chumskies.

    No blather. No posturing. Presdident Reagan simply acted. Hollywood made a movie starring Clint Eastwood, "Heartbreak Ridge", loosely based around the invasion. Viewing it today, one cannot help but wax sentimental, realizing how seriously we've deteriorated over the past twenty five years.

    1. On top of all that, Grenada was a part of the British Commonwealth at the time. President Reagan did the UK a big favour by his actions.

  14. I think that Congress should vote yes for Obama to attack Syria.

    It will be Obama's undoing:

    1. His base, the anti-war left, will go nuts.
    2. It will legitimize the Iraq war.
    3. It will prove Obama is a hypocrite with his prior stances.
    4. It will show his foreign policy is cr*p.
    5. It will tear-apart the Democratic party.

    1. I disagree with you.

      Point 1: The anti-war left is congenitally joined at the hip with O- they simply wouldn't know what to do without him.

      Pint 3: You don't understand the mentality of true believers. Many of them keep believing the prophet even though the apocalypse doesn't come.


      Point 4 You think Obama's base cares about foreign policy?

      Point 5: You give dyed-in-the-wool Democrats for a longer attention span then they in fact have.

    2. 1. His base will say not one damn thing. Or have you missed the underwhelming response from the CodePink crew, etal.

      2. Nothing will ever "legitimize" Iraq. Democrats and the media (I repeat myself) have invested too much in the "Bush lied..." meme.

      3. One more pebble on the "hypocrite" pile won't even be noticed.

      4. Thanks to our "public schools" and Marxist Universities, we don't have anyone much under 50 who has a clue about foreign policy, good bad or indifferent. If it can't be summarized in a pithy tweet, it can't be understood.

      5. ObamaCare ripping the unions healthcare plans apart haven't dented their enthusiasm for Obama and the Democrats, Syria will certainly not. It will be forgotten long before Thanksgiving.

  15. I think that Congress should vote yes for Obama to attack Syria.

    It will be Obama's undoing:

    I think our Representatives should represent the majority opinion of their constituents. (I suspect Senators such as Feingold & McCain being seen in bed will accomplish your #s 1,2 and 3.)

    Only the willfully blind don't recognize 4.

    I have to admit that while #5 is, on the surface, something to crave - we've got men and women aboard some few ships in the Med. I don't think I'd care to trade any of them (or many) for even a seemingly worthy goal far as the Demo Squad goes. And I'm put in mind of (paraphrased) What is to us "winning in Syria" if only to lose our souls?

    Besides, though two years and some few more months with Obama at the helm might seem an eternity - after a term-limited Presidency, what's the feller to do except go softly into that dark night.

    Obama is his own undoing.


  16. Obama and his cabal of greasy pole climbers are beginning to look like a jelly fish descending a step ladder. Britain said no to him, NATO said no to him, the French hinted they might say yes--provided they can cater the food I presume. Now he abruptly wants Congress to bail him out on his fading "red line". This maligned Congress is to rescue this empty suit President for the good of America's world image? Not possible. Meantime we have half a dozen warships on hand in the area which are supposed to wait for Congress to tell little Barry what he can or can't do. Congress needs to figure out how to hand this president the proverbial anvil and let him walk on water with it. He can find the Greek Columns and opinion writers that helped put him in office. America can't help him but we can stop him. In three and a half years, America can return to the world stage.

  17. Has there been an answer as to why Obama thinks he needs congressional support here when we didn't in Libya? Am I missing some obvious distinction? Does he somehow think NATO trumps the constitutional separation of powers?
    - Reader #1482

    1. It's not about congressional support, it's about political cover.

      In Libya, the political cover came from the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, from NATO and from the involvement of the British, Canadians, French and other smaller parties.

      From a pragmatic perspective, Obama "decided" there was too much personal risk in the venture to go semi-solo, with only the French to assist.

      If he had to choose, I'd guess that Obama would much rather have the support of the international community than the US - at heart, he's more of a transnationalist than a patriot, IMHO.

  18. "The technocrat outside his own system is like any child outside his own house." John Ralsotn Saul, Voltaire's Bastards.

    Simply put, the former junior senator from Illinois does not know what to do. Alinsky and the Rules for Radicals do not apply in this situation. He can't blame his predecessor, although my guess is that someone will try very hard very soon to do just that, leaking Assad's divorce records to the Chicago Tribune is a waste of time, and calling Assad a racist is the height of stupidity. The One is dealing with a man who is outside His system and therefore immune to the blandishments and admonitions that He usually uses to compel others to work His will. Assad plays politics in a rougher neighborhood than Chicago and has an advantage: he is an Alawi in a mostly Sunni country. All the other Alawi and the Christians and every other religious minority in Syria understand that if the Sunnis win, they will take that victory in the neck. Alinsky doesn't say anything about what happens when the power structure understands that making deals with the radicals is a good way to get their throats cut. Maybe our Illinois Incitatus should have the IRS audit Assad and the Ba'ath Party; it worked with the Tea Party, after all.

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    1. Too, little noticed has been Kerry's morphing nuance. I suppose giving Horse-Face the politician's easy-out, "evolving."

      Thursday it was, "samples from the alleged sites tested positive for signatures of Sarin" ... today's Sunday talk-shows, "samples from the sites tested positive for signatures of Sarin."

      Note that signatures.

      Eating a hamburger ensconced between poppy seed buns will give a signature of opioids, heroin it might be assumed. Washing one's hair with certain brands of Baby Shampoo will give a signature for marijuana.

      Testing for CW is hard business. The ingredients of Sarin can be made up partly (depending on who "whipped up the batch") could have been [I'm being very careful 'cause people giving "recipe hints" on the Net ...] something somebody/anybody could've had easy access to. "Bathtub Chem" isn't particularly difficult.

      Evidence of that last fact (at least for the American reader) isn't hard to come by - more than a few of our homegrown high-school dropouts are fully capable of whipping up batches of methamphetamine. And some CW agents are easier to produce than meth.

      For once - I'm more inclined to "believing" the UN.


  20. Well, Secretary of State Lurch says that Assad, with absolute certainty, is the guilty one causing deaths of civilians by chemical weapons. I just can't get over how anyone could doubt Lurch. The next thing you know he will be telling us that Assad is personally attaching electric wires to the genitals of the Syrian rebels and turning up the power.

    Never mind that the examiner.com is reporting that the chemicals used were probably done by John McCain's Syrian boyscouts, Al Qaeda, or some form of it.


    While ZeroHedge (known to be a pretty stand up site) is reporting that our intel is coming from YouTube videos (haven't we heard that story somewhere before?)


    Well, golly gee, wasn't it just last May, less than four short months ago, that Leon Panetta was telling us that the U.S. had lost track of Syria's chemical weapons? Seems that story was pretty much treated with crickets by the lap dog press. But now we know that Assad did the evil dead?

    Give me a break. I have as much confidence in this Administration as I would have in a three year old on the back of a brahma bull inside a rodeo arena.


    1. I have as much confidence in this Administration as I would have in a three year old on the back of a brahma bull inside a rodeo arena.

      Careful there Zane, let's make that a "divided from dog-years" --- tho' I doubt Libtards can recall just where that comes from. Not that it'd matter.

      Of course you did supply it properly spelt - so, 'chilun' might not hit the ... well.


  21. The 'Henry V' speech would have to be one of, if not the most rousing pre-battle speech ever made.

  22. I've just heard ABC's This Week, with Peggy Noonan jawboning about the Syrian regime using poison gas and hence there is a moral reason for the O to go to war.

    Well, the Syrian REBELS (Muslim Brotherhood and Qaida) are on the side of both genocide and destroying the United States, to say nothing of cowardly lying when things get rough for them. There're relentless attacks on Christians in rebel-held parts of Syria--just as Assad's Ba'athis put a period on millennia of Jewish history in his country. There is nothing that can convince me that the heirs of Seiyyid Qutb can ever look on the USA as a friend. Also, the performance of these Sunnite extremists everywhere in the wake of 9/11/01 shows their moral nullity. First, they boast about how only Muslims can be so brave, then blame the JOOOOOOOOZ when the daisy cutters started falling on OBL's hideouts. They showed their appreciation for the O inviting them to the front row when he spoke in Cairo by attacking our mystery mission in Benghazi and killing our ambassador and four others on 09/11/12.

    I wanted to write to ABC expressing my disgust that nothing has been noted about the genocidal proclivities of the Syrian rebels (while we're talking about the "morality" of intervention) and the utter failure of our information channels to note the MB and Qaida associations of the side our Prez plans to support, but my "diplowife" plead with me not to, lest we find ourselves on the receiving end of an audit or other harassment. Well, she did, after all, grow up under the Guomindang's martial law in Taiwan, and spoke dialect with people when we were in Guangzhou. And I have to sleep next to her, too.

  23. Kepha?

    I'm less encumbered.

    Diplomad Sir?
    You might check this [Arkie] comment and delete it as you see fit.

    I’m in the habit of watching/reading – I doubt anyone will mount any campaign on me being, “a low info whatever.”

    One of those “I freely take this Oath to Protect and Defend” persons who, slings and arrows are I think, more the worth than considering either a Dr. Phil or a Miley Cyrus are of any significance for me to waste milliseconds of my life considering.

    Congress Critter House Member Mike Rogers (MI) however … in his own way has really, really managed to piss me off. What’s made it particularly worse is that, while I’m usually particularly admiring that any former FBI guy would willingly “limbo” - that might require some certain age – precisely what any of us “regular folk” (Tea Party for instance) might well accept out of hand … and who Snowden would probably not associate on the surface – does.

    Three months ago Mike Rogers looked straight into America’s cameras and assured us, “US Intel’ does not look at Americans, does not look at American’s cellphone stuff, and does not collect info on Americans. No way we can read your emails.
    Good thing Mike Rogers is representing us on the Intelligence Committee.
    He’s as believable as Micky Dolenz and the rest of the Monkees:



  24. I guess that we all agree that Iran will get nukes as a result of Obama's F-up.

  25. We may have to bomb Syria and Iran to find out what's in them.

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