War and peace in a democracy

Cross-posted at The People’s View

Even if you were stuffing yourself full of the first weekend of college football, by now you know that President Barack Obama conducted one of the most important Rose Garden addresses in the history of the modern Presidency.

Taking the baton from his Secretary of State John Kerry, he again laid out, in forceful, passionate language, the situation as it was in Syria. He explained that the intelligence community had concluded with great certainty that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attacks in contested areas of Damascus the week before. He passionately argued that American values and national interest dictated that Assad’s regime be punished militarily for the use of those chemical weapons against civilians. He stated that the military had assets in place and was ready to go at any time.

And then he did something no modern president had done. Even though he believed he had the authority to act, he knew that this was a divisive issue, and that the people’s representatives had to join in the decision. He called for Congress to debate and vote on a resolution granting him specific authority to militarily strike Assad for violating international treaties banning the use of chemical weaponry, some of the oldest weapons conventions in international law. He had heard the rumblings from Congress saying that he had to seek approval before any strike, and agreed.

But why did he agree? This is where he pivots beyond what all the pundits and talking heads expected. Just before declaring that he would seek Congressional approval, he reiterated that he believed that he had the authority to conduct the attacks with or without Congressional approval. But such an action, in a region of the world where such action could quickly spiral out of control, needed more than just Barack Obama’s say-so as Commander in Chief. Syria is not Libya. In the Libyan crisis, the President had a UN resolution with which to work. As a signatory to the UN charter, all member nations had a duty to enforce Security Council resolutions. That was all the authorization he needed.

In Syria, the UN is not functioning. Russia is Assad’s patron, and will certainly block any resolution demanding consequences for his actions. And in the US President Obama is facing a nation weary of war, and leery of getting involved in another Middle East quagmire. These particular facets to the Syrian maelstrom invite a different strategy.

Any unilateral action by Obama would, as always when it comes to him, invite backbiting from Congress. An action against a state with a powerful patron means that action has to have broad-based support. Thus, he’s demanding that Congress not merely sit on the sidelines, in opposition or support. He is demanding that Congress not hide behind the wake of the Imperial Presidency, mouthing off and hampering any action against Assad. Congress wanted to be consulted on any attack on Syria; Obama called its bluff. It will have to go on record for or against an attack. If it votes for military action, then the President will have the broad support to maintain pressure against Assad. If it votes against, it will have to explain why enforcing chemical weapons conventions is not in the national interest. It will have to explain, member by member, why murdered children will have no voice. It will have to explain why it’s allowing a dictator to escape consequence scot free. He is, finally, reminding Congress that it is a co-equal branch of government, and to take that responsibility seriously.

And I agree with him. I am, reluctantly, of the opinion that Assad has to suffer military consequences, not just for the chemical attacks, but for the slaughter he’s inflicted on his population. But there is no military solution; a military action can be only one facet of a broad-based strategy against the Syrian regime. But, we are talking about issues of war and peace, life and death. Such issues should have never been left to the purview of one man, even one man whom I trust as implicitly as Barack Obama. Ever since the US emerged as one of two superpowers after the Second World War, the presidency has accrued to itself a power never envisioned by the Founders. Congress has abandoned all responsibilities it has under the Constitution in matters of war and peace. And while I trust Obama to exercise his powers judiciously, he won’t be President past 2017. In the 21st century, no one man or woman should arrogate to himself all decision making in these matters of war and peace, life and death. The world is too interconnected, a fact which makes it paradoxically both stronger and more fragile. A general war could set the world back decades, if not a century or more, such is the fragile structure upon which modernity rests.

War and peace in a democracy should be decided not only by an all-powerful President, but by the people elected to be the commonwealth’s representatives. If such power remains in the hands of one man on a continual basis, then eventually we may be a democracy only in name. The Founders knew that a state of perpetual war is inimical to a healthy state. It creates disruptions in the social and political fabric which are difficult to put right.

In one Rose Garden statement, Barack Obama brought these issues into sharp focus. He’s not just Commander in Chief; he’s President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. That democracy deserves to have its voice heard. Life and death cannot be decided by his fiat; the overpaid and reticent members of Congress have to be forced to accept responsibilities they have long shirked. There is no escape for them; they will choose either action or inaction, and own their decision. And that’s as it should be in a democracy. Just as Congress voted for the AUMF after 9/11, under which the drone program operates, so must Congress have a voice in an action which promises so much peril. Syria is not Libya; a hornet’s nest awaits, and the people’s representatives should own the consequences, as the Constitution stipulates.

What the President did was call the nation to a serious discussion of what constitutes the national interest. I only hope that this so-far feckless Congress is up to the gravity of the situation.

119 Responses to “War and peace in a democracy”

  1. 1 57andfemale
    September 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm


  2. 10 Nena20409
    September 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Great Afternoon TODers and LL 🙂

  3. 11 Nena20409
    September 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Congrats 57Female……Gold looks great on You….. 😉

    I was just a tad too slow…….Tie is Only a Win in the Football World ❗

  4. September 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks a million LL, saved for savoring once I get this work done!

  5. 22 a4alice
    September 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    allright allright allright. Even though I have tomorrow off I still have CHORES. My house is a MESS. Later kids.

    way to go LL! 🙂

  6. 24 forus50
    September 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Great post LL. What I think is brilliant about the President’s decision, beyond what you have so eloquently stated, is that even if Congress votes no, I think there is a VERY good chance that with more evidence or any future chemical weapons attack by Assad that both Cameron and Obama will strike with or without legislative approval. Parliament’s no vote was because they felt there wasn’t enough evidence at that time. Hard to blame them when they bought Blair’s bullshit in Iraq which resulted in thousands of their own being killed for no reason.

    Right now the usual msm idiots on Twitter are predicting it will pass. The only reason the GOP wouldn’t vote for it (beyond going against POTUS as usual) is that there isn’t enough $$$ to be made by their military industrial complex donors with a limited strike.

  7. September 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article, LL and I wholeheartedly agree. Let me just chime in with a few ideas and thoughts of my own as a German and as a teacher. I too, even though grudgingly this time, agree that there should be retaliations against a dictator that uses chemical weapons. For me as a history teacher, the strongest point that PBO made yesterday was the legacy question, namely the question what treaties and multilateral agreements are worth if those that break them are not held accountable for it. As a history teacher I am however also weary of the fact that I am a citizen of a country who, even though we have developed a splendid, strong democracy since 1945, we are all still wary of acquiring a role that the US holds today. PBO´s speech was a strong, important statement, based on facts, based on simple truths, but one that would not work for a German politician. Which leads me to my next point: That peace should be a choice. And in this case this would mean to do what the president suggests and what he will doubtlessly try to push forward in the days and weeks to come: the idea of the world standing shoulder to shoulder, all against the one that broke the rules. The idea, sadly, is somewhat utopian, but I think we need people that dare to think them, otherwise they will never be realized.

    • September 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      That was striking about his statement as well. It was almost as if he was casting aside the UN as too dysfunctional, and calling for individual nations to band together to hold malefactors to account.

    • September 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      That peace should be a choice…


      Peace cannot be a choice…it is absolutely essential because Peace is more than the absence of war…it is about Freedom…Equality…Prosperity…

      reminds me of Dr King’s statement…

      It is Non-Violence or Non-Existence!

    • 34 57andfemale
      September 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      I agree completely. In a decent world the Security Council would function as it should but it certainly is not. The entire, tenuous system breaks down. I too found that the most compelling part of the argument.

    • September 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Niliathiel, I loved your statement–“we need people that dare to think [somewhat utopian ideas], otherwise they will never be realized.” It is a testimony to the brilliance of President Obama that he does envision a world that can stand shoulder to shoulder together and isn’t continually stymied by the quagmire of partisan politics. If the original framers of our constitution had not envisioned the radical possibility of a democratic republic, there would not be a United States today. If Barack Obama had not envisioned a better, more enlightened America, he would not be president today. Our president could have aped the tactics of decades of presidents before him, trumpeted American might and right and plunged forward with arrogance into a virtually unilateral attack on Syria. But he resisted the calls of ego and triumphalism and pushed forward with the ideal–the utopian vision that our Congress could rise to the occasion and that other governments would be inspired by that show of unity and support. The president holds the long view, that steadfastly expecting the best of people and giving them an opportunity to act responsibly takes us further toward the goal of achieving international change than shoving something down people’s throats. He’s asking a lot of the overgrown children in Congress. But they may just find that it actually feels good to do an honest day’s work and act like a grown up.

  8. September 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Well stated as always, LL. Thank you

  9. 38 forus50
    September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    • September 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      I’m just so saddened that Jeff is proving as fickle a “supporter” as those others upon whom we heap scorn.

      • 40 forus50
        September 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        Right? I wish he would frame it more as a difference of opinion versus the sarcastic tweets. One cannot be expected to agree with every decision. I know I was devastated when POTUS decided to do the surge in Afghanistan (silly me, I thought he might come out and say he was withdrawing all troops!) but I wasn’t about to toss sarcasm out about it as it was a difficult decision and I knew that he hadn’t made the decision on a whim or considering donor money.

      • 41 jacquelineoboomer
        September 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        I totally agree with your sentiments about Jeff, LL. It’s so very sad. I don’t feel betrayed, personally (almost, but not quite; I’m left more feeling like I was sucked in), because that’s ridiculous, but he has betrayed President Obama. And I ask myself: Who’s next?

        And then I ask myself: Who cares? Jeff is just one fickle supporter, who’s apparently joined the others. Jeff’s way or the highway, Mr. President. NOT.

        LL – Your post here was wonderfully thought out and presented. Thanks so much.

        • 42 anniebella
          September 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm

          Jeff Gauvin. I had enough of him last evening. I tried to be kind, but enough is enough. To hell with him.

          • 43 anniebella
            September 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

            He can sit on the sideline and tweet like a spoil little baby who didn’t get what he wanted. While President Obama has to make big decision for this country. As I said enough is enough with that Jeff gauvin.

          • 44 jacquelineoboomer
            September 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

            I’m still hoping he’ll come around. He was (and hopefully will be again) a brilliant supporter of the President. We shall see.

      • September 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

        I’m saddened, too. But I must say that he’s been tweeting about Syrian atrocities for a very long time and his passion about what is happening there is without question, so he’s deeply disappointed. He was really lashing out yesterday; today he sounds a bit more measured. I don’t know what to say. I still respect him a great deal.

        • September 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

          In all truth, I still respect him. I think he’s going through grief. He is completely invested in the Syrian cause, and it’s as if he feels every of the 100K deaths in his soul. Hopefully he’ll come to a place where he can disagree with PBO without disparaging him.

          • September 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

            Yes, exactly, it’s grief. My hope is that PBO will be able to take action in the way he deems best and it will make a difference. And that we will all see the wisdom in his strategy.

            To be honest, I think PBO feels he needs Congress’ imprimatur because if one punch isn’t enough, he’ll need them on his side.

            • September 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

              Which was my point in my piece.

              Let’s face it, either Assad crushes the rebellion, or he dies. At least that’s how he sees it. And he WILL use chemical weapons again. He will take the country down with him in his fall.

      • September 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        I think he’s been pretty solid supporter. He just disagrees with The President on this one.

        • 51 hopefruit2
          September 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

          Sounds like it’s more than just disagreement – he almost sounds like the Emoprogs he frequently mocks. Calling PBO “weak,” retweeting questionable persons’ tweets, just because they happen to agree with his view (partially). It’s as though he’s angry that PBO didn’t do as he wanted, and therefore, he’s going to belittle him on Twitter with mocking tweets and all kinds of other crap.

          I’m really sick and tired of this nonsense. I don’t see anyone (including JeffersonObama) belittling other politicians whom they support even after they mess up in far worse ways that PBO ever could. Seems like this standard of “DO as I say OR ELSE” only applies to PBO. It’s unreasonable and just plain unhealthy.

          • September 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

            Jeff’s been strong for PBO for quite some time .He seems pretty impassioned about this issue so I’ll just chalk it up to that. Not saying he’s right but for me it’s just a disagreement.

            • 53 hopefruit2
              September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

              Yes he has been a steadfast PBO supporter – which makes it all the more shocking, not just his disapproval, but the tone in which he expressed it on Twitter. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt this time (he may just have had a bad day yesterday), but my rope is getting shorter and shorter for these kinds of occurrences.

              This President has been in the WH for 5 years now, and he has a record of making very sound decisions for some extremely complex situations – when none of us O’bots, the GOP, the MSM, the DEMS in congress, the Emos, even members of his own cabinet, could predict the best path forward.

              I think the least we could do is give him some respect and hold off at least for 24-48hrs before lashing out wildly when we disagree with something he says or plans to do, and let things play out. Do you think I agree with the President 100% of the time? No I don’t. But I have learnt to restrain myself, particularly in view of the fact that PBO has access to information that I don’t have and will never get from the MSM, or any other source.

              • September 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

                Jeff has always given PBO that respect. On this one he was wrong. It happens. If a pattern emerges then I’m more than comfortable with giving him the side eye.

              • September 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm

                Hopefruit, I know what you’re saying, but Jeff has been a fantastic supporter of PBO every step of the way, I would never doubt his sincerity, he has been respectful and supportive all along, and has had hate poured on him daily for being so. As I waffled on about before, his heart his broken over this because he has been so passionately following events in Syria for months, probably years, he knows 99% more about it than me. His emotions are soaring right now because he is convinced Congress will vote against PBO taking any action simply because they would vote against him on any issue, no matter how right it is. I don’t like some of the stuff he’s tweeted, but I would never dismiss his passion or opinions, there’s no harm in hearing dissenting views from someone who is a PBO supporter and has a sincere agenda.

                • 56 hopefruit2
                  September 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm

                  Indeed, I see what you’re saying Chips, and I’m not dismissing Jeff’s passions or opinions at all. I have followed him enthusiastically over the past year and know that he has been on the Syria issue for a very long time. So I can see where he might be concerned and disappointed on those grounds.

                  But that’s not really my objection – it’s his tone which struck me as condescending and mocking, which I didn’t expect coming from someone like him in particular. The retweeting of some questionable media figures (who ultimately do not share his support for PBO) also gave me pause. As Derbingle indicated, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He may have had a bad day and overreacted. While it is not a pattern for Jeff, I seem to notice a pattern of verbal abuse from folks directed especially at PBO when they disagree – which does not occur with other politicians who don’t always do “the right thing.”

                  It is likely that people have a huge emotional investment in PBO that they simply don’t have with other politicians whom they see as just politicians at the end of the day. So I’m going to put on a psychologist’s cap here and say that perhaps PBO for many folks represents a parental figure who folks feel much safer lashing out after a hard day, knowing that they will still be loved and treated well after the tantrum.

                  • September 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm

                    Hiya Hopefruit,

                    I just think Jeff’s emotional investment is primarily in Syria, it’s so intense that he’s broken by it all. I don’t know what’s in his head or heart, naturally, but I’ve only ever seen love and respect for PBO from him, so, to me, anything from him that appears condescending or mocking now is him just hitting out in anger over this. It’s a lot more than a tantrum, it’s real hurt.

        • 58 Melanie
          September 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm

          I agree that Jeff has been a solid supporter of the Pres. and his disagreement doesn’t make him a turncoat. People should be allowed to disagree with PBO without having their loyalties questioned and being called names.

      • 73 57andfemale
        September 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        He cares deeply about the Syria situation. And as usual, PBO is the only one who understands that this is a delicate, complicated process and we have no time imperative to act quickly.

        • 74 anniebella
          September 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

          So I guess POTUS don’t care, I guess Jeff is the only one who cares.

          • 75 57andfemale
            September 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

            anniebella, come on! This is a very complicated issue with a lot of stuff to work out. Jeff and PBO agree on the action to punish Syria – they disagree on Congress because Jeff wants to act now. I don’t agree with him – but they’re even on the same side, just differ on the method.

    • 76 Don
      September 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I don’t want to sound callous or cold, but I’m not conflicted at all about going into Syria to stop Assad’s madness. President Obama signed up for these types of decisions; I trust his judgment because he has shown it time and time again throughout his Presidency.

  10. 77 JER
    September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    • 78 Don
      September 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      So I take it we can put the Pope in the yes column for military action?

      • 79 JER
        September 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        No. I don’t think he is in the yes column.

        His admonishment against resorting to arms as a solution recalled the repeated emotional implorations a decade ago by the late Pope John Paul II in a vain attempt to persuade the U.S. administration then led by President George W. Bush not to invade Iraq. …The deteriorating drama of Syria inspired Francis to set aside Sept. 7 as a day of fasting and prayer for Syria.

        Francis invited Catholics, other Christians, those of other faiths and non-believers who are “men of good will” to join him that evening in St. Peter’s Square to invoke the “gift” of peace for Syria, the rest of the Middle East and worldwide where there is conflict.

        “The world needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of hope and of peace,” Francis said. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/pope-announces-day-fasting-prayer-syria

    • September 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      This Pope Francis is definitely a different man from the previous two popes.

  11. September 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m noticing that all the emoprogs who are demonstrating here and appearing on my local news NEVER mention chemical weapons or napalm. Cowards.

  12. 86 Ladyhawke
    September 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Media Cheerleads For Another War: Blasts Obama For Not Rushing Into Syria


    Military analysts have also warned that limited strikes have historically failed to deter tyrannical leaders and say that narrow action in Syria may not “change the balance of power in Syria’s civil war or bring about President Obama’s stated goal of regime change.” But for many in the media, the debate is not whether the United States should take military action, but rather why it hasn’t already begun its campaign.



  13. 89 sjterrid
    September 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Brilliant piece as usual, LL! I think it’s up to us, as a people, to call or email our representatives to let them know if we want the President to take limited action against Syria for using chemical weapons. We, also, need to take responsibility if we choose to do nothing, and not blame it on the president if it happens again.

    I’m going to go back and read the earlier posts.

  14. 90 kathryn kivett
    September 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Since last making a comment here, I have tried very hard to take a vacation from politics, even though I have read all of your thoughts. Syria is such a conflicted, passionate, and dangerous issue and I respect everyone’s opinions on both sides…..but…..I TRUST President Barack Obama’s decisions…..implicitly….not because I have my head in the sand and have not read both sides of the issues but because I know in my heart this man has the wisdom to do the right thing for the USA. Now is the time to stand up and show why we voted for him in the first place. He needs our prayers, if you pray, our loyalty, and he needs to know that we have his back. Write letters to the editor, write letters to the WH, write letters to the MSM, continue your tweets, and especially write and contact your representatives and pray that they act like grown ups rather than spoiled brats.


    • 91 vitaminlover
      September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm


    • 92 kathryn kivett
      September 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      I am not advocating for support of military actions for I am just as conflicted as everyone else for only God knows the outcome when you are dealing with Syria and Iran but I am advocating support for PBO for he needs our support more now than about any other time I can think of. I personally think that the dangers are so vast that PBO had no choice but to throw it to Congress.

  15. 93 utaustinliberal
    September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    An interesting read. This issue is complex beyond belief.

    • September 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      As I said in my piece, we’re war-weary. We fully assumed the mantle of empire after 9/11, and Americans aren’t liking how it fits.

    • 95 Melanie
      September 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Point #6 is the question that I hear folks debating most often. Death and suffering by chemical weapons or AK-47s is still death and suffering. Even though PBO didnt create the red line on chemical weapons, death is still going to occur even if they are removed. For those that oppose action I think it’s a matter of, let the Syrians/Arabs figure it out themselves. We’ve got enough to deal with here.

      • 96 a night owl
        September 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        The best response to this I’ve heard is this: When was the last time the vast majority of the world’s nations condemned a particular form of warfare? Imagine if there were, somehow, miraculously, a global consensus against, say, the use of bombs, and some rogue country went ahead and lobbed bombs on its own people, should we sit back and say, “oh well, dead is dead.” Or should we try to do everything we could to prevent the dropping of bombs from becoming “the new normal” in warfare?

        President Obama has always been keenly interested in nonproliferation issues. This is something he truly believes in. People keep trying to say that he “boxed himself in.” But I believe that he responded the way he did regarding chemical weapons because he meant it. The use of chemical weapons in Syria changes the calculation for him.

      • 98 nathkatun7
        September 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

        “Death and suffering by chemical weapons or AK-47s is still death and suffering.”

        That’s being flippant! The major difference is that the use of chemical weapons is prohibited by international law because of their heinous nature.

    • September 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      I think it would be all different all this was happening in Europe…

      • September 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        I do not think that many Americans care about he lives of brown…Arab people……we can even get Immigration reform done…etc…the list goes on and on…

        For PBO….

        there is this dilemma…

        “Make no mistake — this has implications beyond chemical warfare. If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorist who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide?”

  16. September 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    • September 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      I was listening one night to a “Coast-2-Coast” guest that says radioactive water and debris will reach the Pacific shores in early 2014. I suppose if this is true we better enjoy fresh caught fish and seafood now before we can only eat farm raised.

  17. 106 Jovie
    September 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm


    It will be the President all alone for budget and debt ceiling battles. No democrat will get in tv and defend government spending. At least seemingly.

    • 107 99ts
      September 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      The dems have got to stop believing the GOP and the media – they lose much more by NOT supporting PBO than they will ever gain.

  18. September 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    by waiting for the UN investigation to be complete…and with the confirmation that CWs had been used… that the UN will hold another vote and that Russia will vote to condemn Assad…

    on another note …I listen to the complaining from other nations about our delay…it will be interesting to see what the Arab League does in the next week or so…indeed…it will be interesting to what comes out of the g20 summit…to see who will stand shoulder to shoulder to enforce International Law.

    • September 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      should be…Do you think…

      • 110 a night owl
        September 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        “Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.”

        -President Obama, about the Libya intervention in 2011

        If there is an “Obama Doctrine,” I think it’s this: Gain the broadest practical base of support for action, but don’t shy away from unilateral action if American security or ethical principles demand it. I see this at work in domestic policy as well as foreign policy. It’s humble, courageous, and smart.

        To your question, I’d be surprised if Russia will ever change it’s vote. We might get another vote in the UK Parliament, and NATO backing. Maybe the Arab League as well. But I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the UN.

  19. 112 criquet
    September 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hello all. We can only wish for proper reflection and judgement by a majority of those who have to make the serious decisions.

    Thought this was pretty pertinent though:

  20. 113 Linda
    September 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    CAIRO, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia told fellow Arab League states on Sunday that opposing international intervention against the Syrian government would only encourage Damascus to use weapons of mass destruction.

    The United States had seemed to be gearing up for a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces over an Aug. 21 poison gas attack, but is now seeking Congressional approval first.

    Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told foreign ministers meeting in Cairo that condemnation of Syria over the poison gas attack, which U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people, was not enough. He said opposing international action on the grounds that it was “foreign intervention” was no longer acceptable.

    “Any opposition to any international action would only encourage Damascus to move forward with committing its crimes and using all weapons of mass destruction,” said Faisal.

    “The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy.”

  21. 116 yardarm756
    September 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    If you do nothing else today, watch this video. It is excellent, clean comedy. Priceless!!! Here’s a good laugh! Juggler is funny, but the best part is watching Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan laugh together – also the prank he plays on Jim Baker is good stuff! Remember how politicians acted in classier days! I think all of you will enjoy this.

  22. September 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Excellent piece, LL. President Obama has been transforming many issues in our country and foreign policy is one of them. I have a GOP rep and I can see he has a sense of importance about coming back to debate. President Obama is drawing them in, not only about this debate, but the debt ceiling, shut down, ObamaCare and other issues coming up right now. There are legitimate reasons for him to ask them to debate, but he has an impeccable instinct about working with people. I think he is empowering them to see themselves as responsible politicians again.

    One other thing I see in articles/discussions. People seem to still think he wants to topple Assad or declare war. He doesn’t because the rebels aren’t any better for Syria. I haven’t been following Jefferson Obama closely on this, but he appeared to me to want Assad and his regime taken out which isn’t on the table at all. Maybe he wanted it so much he was seeing it when it wasn’t offered. I might be mistaken.

    I think it’s good for people to have a discussion. And boy oh boy, more than ever I trust President Obama. He keeps calm when all about him people are in turmoil.

    Something else. I have a very loving prayer line that I call for myself and for anything else that concerns me. It’s very loving, very positive. I called once about the President and she said people had no idea how many called for him and the millions of prayers that go out for him. I called about the people in Syria and the President.

    Unity Prayer line, 1-800-669-7729

    I also like to do a meditation, type in a prayer and light a candle for PBO at Gratefulness.org


    I’m so happy and proud to stand and walk with all of you here and all those that love and respect President Obama. He’s just a man doing the best he can for all of us and his best is pretty amazing!

  23. 119 arkluvspbo
    September 2, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Liberal Librarian, as always so eloquently stated and spot on! Well done!

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September 2013

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