Should America Attack Syria?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Should America Attack Syria? No, not just no; but Hell No! I’ll explain how I came to that strongly worded answer and it won’t take long.

I listened to a heated exchange between Rand Paul and John Kerry in which Paul stated in a matter of fact way that it was a foregone conclusion Congress would in all likelihood support an attack on the Assad regime based on his use of chemical weapons against his own people.

Paul said he was concerned about Congress being ignored should they vote down the proposal since Obama has already stated he would side step Congress and attack any way; but that’s not why I’m writing this article, save the constitutionality of Obama installing himself as Emperor for another day.

Stop right there! Who has shown proof that Assad gassed his own people? Is this a certainty or are we simply to take the word of Obama on this?

From verifiable information supplied by a reliable source the chemical weapons that killed so many were improperly handled by the rebel forces; in essence they killed themselves and Assad got blamed for it. If we are going to move forward wouldn’t it be wise to make sure of the facts first?

It wasn’t that long ago we were being told that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin which contradicted facts the police investigators attempted to bring out. The President of the United States went on television and all but declared sainthood for poor defenseless Trayvon, a new icon for Blacks as they strive to obtain Social Justice.

The facts didn’t support such a move; but that didn’t deter Obama from enlisting the aid of professional race baiters Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson to further agitate the Black community. The major news media outlets obliged by twisting the facts or by spreading outright lies; it really didn’t matter as long as the community melting pot was brought to a boil.

Obama and his band of discontents wanted a race war…and it almost happened.

There are many Blacks who still think justice wasn’t served, that Zimmerman got away with murder. A few hot heads have crossed the line of non-violence by inflicting their own version of street violence to make sure the white community pays for hundreds of years of social injustice…or have I distorted this out of proportion?

Now, fast forward to the idea of America going to war in Syria based on Obama’s claim that Assad used chemical weapons to kill his own people. We have already had viable reports that those persons killed by the chemical weapons didn’t know what they were doing and accidentally released the deadly poison that killed so many people. In other words the President and Congress are willing to go to war over a mistake in facts, or worse, an intentional avoidance of the truth.

Those in Washington pushing for our involvement in Syria, on either side of the isle are doing so in defiance of the facts and the will of the American people. If you have to gain support of an idea through deception and falsehoods then the idea isn’t justifiable and certainly not grounds for going to war.

Assad may be one of the worst dictators on the planet; but it would be a mistake to involve America in another country’s civil war. The claim has been made that America needs to stabilize the Middle East by assisting the rebels. But aren’t the rebels the same folks who hate Americans and have vowed to eradicate us for being infidels? Neither side is worth the life of even one US military service person. Should America Attack Syria? No, not just no; but Hell No!


Watcher’s Council Nominations – It All Depends On Whose Pulling The Trigger Edition

The Watcher’s Council

My, how things have changed.

Once upon a time, there was a Ba’athist Arab dictator in the Middle East who had murdered thousands of his own people. He had even admittedly used poison gas on people not belonging to his own ethnic group on numerous occasions and there was absolutely no doubt about it. There was Intel that he had other types of what were called weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear program, which was credible, because he was known to have purchased uranium and at one time had even had a nuclear reactor before another country in the Middle East destroyed it.

When the President of the United States, a Republican, wanted to act on this intelligence and use our military to stop him, all hell broke loose. The Left in this country, aided by their friends in the media, mounted frenzied protests in many of America’s major cities. The President was called a warmonger, a traitor and worse.

Because of the political unrest, the President went to Congress to get a resolution passed to use military force. The majority of Democrats, after hearing the Intel quietly voted for it, including our current Secretary of State, then a Senator from Massachusetts, his predecessor, then a Senator from New York and the current Vice President, then a Senator from Delaware. The Left’s antics delayed our deploying troops to Iraq for almost 15 months, by which time a great deal of the materials known as ‘weapons of mass destruction’ had been sold, destroyed or moved elsewhere. Although the dictator’s stash of yellow cake uranium was eventually found, something that wasn’t as good a headline as ‘Bush Lied’.

However, when problems developed with the occupation and something obvious like a pile of nuclear warheads wasn’t found immediately, the Left again went insane, this time aided and abetted not just by the media, but by the very same Democrats who had voted to go into Iraq in the first place. Once they got control of Congress in 2006, the Democrats did their very best to sabotage the war effort while our troops were in the field. When President Bush and the Commander confirmed by the Senate, General David Petraeus, came up with a new strategy called ‘the surge’, designed to deal with the insurgency in Iraq, Democrats in the House and Senate consistently mounted efforts to see to it that it failed. Majority Leader Harry Reid famously remarked that ‘the war is lost’, games were played with funding and President Bush was called a liar on the Senate floor by none other than Senator Ted Kennedy.

The media emphasized every difficulty and problem with the war they could while going out of their way to downplay any successes. The New York Times gave the Leftist group MoveOn a prime ad at a deep discount calling General Petraeus a traitor and every Democrat Presidential candidate, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and the junior Senator from Illinois, one Barack Hussein Obama, refused to disavow the ad in any way, all of them effectively endorsing it by insulting General Petraeus openly when he appeared before the Senate.

The eventual winner of that contest, Barack Obama, later took credit for the surge and for ending the war in Iraq, even though he cast votes designed to sabotage the strategy that enabled the U.S. to withdraw and even though the Disposition of Forces Agreement that set the date for our troops to leave was signed by President Bush before President Obama took office.

Scroll forward about a decade. We have a Ba’athist Arab dictator in the Middle East who has murdered thousands of his own people. Unlike the first dictator, this one, in spite of the many killings, has connections to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and his involvement in operating what was essentially a way station for jihadists en route to kill our troops in Iraq, had always had a cozy relationship with certain Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry among others. They liked him just fine, urged us to engage with Assad and give him aid and Kerry in particular was vociferous about pressuring Israel to give Syria back the strategic Golan Heights. Until just a couple of weeks ago.

This particular dictator is also now alleged to have used poison gas against his own people… although the evidence is murky as to which side in an ongoing civil war actually committed the atrocity (in fact, there’s significant evidence it might have been the rebels). But that apparently doesn’t matter. President Obama, Rep. Pelosi, Harry Reid and of course Secretary Kerry have become full on war hawks and want to have our military attack Basher Assad and Syria now.

Nor does it apparently matter that the anti-Assad insurgents they now want to use the U.S. military to aid are predominantly Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. Or that every poll I’ve seen shows that the American people overwhelmingly oppose this.

Almost all of the Democrats (and a few Republicans of John McCain’s ilk) are howling for war, the supposedly anti-war Left is mostly silent and the New York Times is running editorials calling for President Obama to bomb Syria anyway, even if it’s illegal and Congress doesn’t go along. Even ‘mother’ Cindy Sheehan isn’t being heard from, having worn out her usefulness.

‘Anti-war’ seems to be a pretty flexible attitude for a lot of these people who were so vociferous about Iraq and the ones who voted for Barack Obama because he wasn’t going to be as interventionist as the despised Cowboy Bush. They’re pretty quiet now, most of them. I guess it all depends on whose pulling the trigger… and the domestic partisan political benefit to be had.

-The Watcher –

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday, although this week’s results will be posted this Saturday evening, so watch for them then.

Council News:

This week, The Independent Sentinel, Ask Marion and The Pirate’s Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great pieces.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

All of us at the Watcher’s Council would like to wish those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah a hearty L’Shana Tovah Tiketevu. May you be inscribed…

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!


The Planned Destruction of Christians in Syria

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The New York Times story, “President Gains McCain’s Backing on Syria Attack,” is predictable, considering that Obama had invited Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the White House for the specific purpose of supporting his proposed military strike on Syria. Obama has also asked the same two senators to travel to Egypt to undermine the military leaders who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government there.

What is lacking from the media coverage is any recognition that the inevitable result, according to congressional testimony, will be the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood and associated terrorist groups in Syria, and the genocide of the remaining Christians there.

In Egypt, right in front of our eyes, Obama facilitated a Muslim Brotherhood takeover, which has been stopped dead in its tracks by a true people’s revolution that has brought the military to power. The Muslim Brotherhood has responded by attacking Christians and their churches.

Incredibly, it seems as if the crisis in Egypt will be repeated, except in the case of Syria the explicit purpose of Obama’s military intervention, as it seems to be developing under the guidance of McCain and Graham, is the destruction of the regime that has been standing in the way of the complete obliteration of the Christians. There will be no one with authority left to rescue the Christians from the Muslim Brotherhood when it takes control in Damascus.

“The problem,” writes terrorism analyst Steven Emerson, “is that anything that hurts [Syrian President] Assad, however inadvertently, benefits those same Islamist radicals we’ve all been worried about…Equally incredible is the fact that, in taking military action in Syria, America would effectively be standing on the same side as al Qaeda affiliate groups who also support them.”

The issue isn’t the odious nature of the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, but the nature of the opposition, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the side of the conflict that Obama, McCain and Graham want the U.S. to support.

Graham, up for re-election next year, has been labeled by one of his opponents, South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright, as a “Community Organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood.” Fox News host Lou Dobbs seemed surprised by the comment when Bright made it on his show, but noted that Graham and McCain did in fact “try to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back into the government after the military had gotten them out of there.” Bright went on to say that McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee against Obama, had become “a tool of the Democrat Party” and that Graham was “following suit.”

Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative is equally harsh. “John McCain and Lindsey Graham are carrying water for Obama’s pro-jihadist intervention in Syria,” she says. “Step and Fetchit McCain and Graham were at the White House today getting their marching orders from the Dear Leader. There were no Democrats at the White House today.”

She asks, “Which Muslim Brotherhood operatives are advising McCain and Graham? …McCain said today that blocking Obama’s Syria strike would be ‘catastrophic.’ No, Senator McCain, Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was ‘catastrophic,’ and so is backing the Brotherhood and al Qaeda in Syria.”

Geller is alluding to the fact that the Sunni branch of Islam, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, has targeted Syria for takeover. Al Jazeera, now in 40 to 50 million American homes, is their mouthpiece.

Strangely, Fox News figures William Kristol and Karl Rove were among those signing an August 27 letter supporting an Obama military strike on Syria, even without Congressional approval. On Monday night, after his White House meeting, Senator Graham appeared on the Fox News show “Special Report,” with guest host Shannon Bream, and was given about six minutes of virtually uninterrupted time to make the case for Obama’s war.

If Fox News is in the pocket of McCain and Graham, you know it’s going to be difficult for opponents of Obama’s war policy to get equal time and attention from the media. Perhaps this is why Kristol predicts the Republicans, who look to Fox News for guidance and direction, will fall in line behind Obama.

However, largely ignored in this debate are Syria’s Christians, now facing the prospect of genocide. It is not too late to cover their plight.

On June 25, the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, together with the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, held an important hearing entitled, “Religious Minorities in Syria: Caught in the Middle.”

Presiding over the hearing, Rep. Christopher Smith said, “The al-Nusra Front, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, has been blamed for much of the sectarian rhetoric and violence, but dozens of the opposition groups ascribe to Islamist or Salafist-jihadist ideologies and mingle with the Free Syrian Army—which the U.S. may now be supporting.”

Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA), went further than Rep. Smith, testifying that the Obama Administration has given a “green light” to Sunni countries in the region “to militarily destabilize Syria,” and that the human rights of religious minorities, especially Christians, are at risk.

Eibner said, “Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey may be beloved by America’s military and economic interests, but all have grave democracy deficits and cannot serve as models for religious pluralism…Saudi Arabia and Qatar are Sunni absolute monarchies. All religious minorities are banned in the former. Nearly one hundred years ago the Christian minorities were virtually eradicated in Turkey by means of genocide. Successive Turkish governments, including the current government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, have taken patriotic pride in genocide denial.”

Christian Solidarity International has issued a “Genocide Alert” for religious minorities in Syria.

It should be noted that Qatar is the financial sponsor of Al Jazeera, a channel serving as a voice for the Muslim Brotherhood that has been praised by McCain for making a “contribution” to world affairs.

Eibner’s comments are not just speculation. More than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. intelligence operatives and diplomats have stepped up their contacts with Syrian rebels” and that the CIA and State Department are working with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and “other allies” on behalf of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Zuhdi Jasser, a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, testified that reports indicate that armed rebels affiliated with the FSA raided the Christian-populated al-Duvair village in Syria and massacred all its civilian residents, including women and children.

Rev. Majed El Shafie, founder of One Free World International, testified that the Islamist factions in Syria, which he said include Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist, and al Qaeda-linked groups, “are rapidly overtaking the undisciplined and poorly organized rebels as they have in other countries…” He fears that these Muslim groups will “cleanse Syria of the ‘infidels’—Christians and other minorities—and establish an Islamist state.”

“In fact,” he said, “this process has already begun.”

Is President Obama about to become party to the Muslim Brotherhood’s genocidal process? If so, how many Republicans besides McCain and Graham will join with Obama?

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].


Swedish Delight – In English

A nation commits suicide – Sweden

Hans Erling Jensen:

SWEDEN OFFERS PERMANENT RESIDENCY TO ALL SYRIAN REFUGEES STARTING TODAY…….Sweden is the first country in the EU to offer permanent residency to refugees from Syria.

The decision covers all asylum seekers from Syria. They will now receive permanent residence permits, the Swedish Migration Board announced on Tuesday September 3, 2013.


How Not to Debate Syria

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

I’m usually on the opposite side of people from the Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) group, but Peter Hart’s article, “The New Crossfire: Where Both Sides Support War With Syria,” is right on target. Peter Hart is the activism director at the left-wing group. He is already troubled by the direction of the new CNN “Crossfire” program, even though it is not on the air yet.

He writes, “CNN is bringing back Crossfire next month, but viewers on August 27 got a taste of what they might expect: The left thinks we should bomb Syria, while the right thinks we should have started that a long time ago.” He is talking about a mini “debate” on CNN, during which John Berman, filling in as guest host on the show The Lead, moderated a discussion of striking Syria between “conservative” S.E. Cupp and the “left-leaning” Van Jones.

“I want to commend the President for finally following through on our red line threats,” said Cupp. “That’s important. That’s important for our credibility.” Jones replied, “This President has now said there is a red line. It was not clear before whether the line was crossed. It’s crossed, he’s moving forward. I think we need to stand behind this President and send a clear message to Assad that this type behavior is not acceptable.”

The exchange was captured on YouTube in a video headlined, “Van Jones & S.E. Cupp Agree on Syria Airstrikes!”

This is hardly an example of a real “crossfire” on the issues. A cynic might say that the channel was trying to create the perception of left-right support for Obama’s proposed strike on Syria.

However, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the lead conservative co-host on the new CNN “Crossfire,” had already declared his opposition to Obama’s policy. “Most Americans would agree the use of chemical weapons is frightening and worthy of condemnation,” he said. “Most Americans would also suggest, however, that both sides in the Syrian civil war are terrible, and that there is not a good side in this tragedy.”

Gingrich said the American people should call their congressmen and senators and “demand that they oppose the media pressure and elite pressure to attack Syria.”

Now that Obama has backed away from an immediate strike and says he wants Congress to vote on it, it is time for our media not only to offer both sides, but to analyze the dubious case for war.

First, Obama is falsely claiming there is a direct threat to the United States from alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons.

He told PBS, in a completely convoluted statement, “…when you start talking about chemical weapons in a country that has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world, where over time, their control over chemical weapons may erode, where they’re allied to known terrorist organizations that, in the past, have targeted the United States, then there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons that can have devastating effects could be directed at us. And we want to make sure that that does not happen.”

He went on to say that “we want to make [sure] that they [chemical weapons] are not loose in a way that ultimately, could affect our security.” By taking action, he claimed, we “may have a positive impact on our national security over the long term.”

Obama is spouting a bunch of nonsense, and the media know it. Asked about this rationale on the air, CNN reporter Jill Dougherty pointed out the obvious—that “it is very dubious that Syria could ever launch some type of chemical weapons directly against the United States.”

In fact, destabilizing the Syrian regime would very well lead to the spread of those chemical weapons and a wider Middle East war.

Earlier in the PBS interview, Obama also claimed that “America’s core self-interest” is somehow related to “a well-established international norm against the use of chemical weapons.” This is more gibberish designed to somehow justify the attack on Syria under the War Powers Act. But threats to international order are not cited as justification for military action in the statute.

Whatever their intentions, the political left is doing a better job of debunking the Obama Administration’s rationale for war than are some Republicans.

A release from the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) quotes Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law as saying that, by Obama’s own standard, the justification for war falls short. He points out that the Obama Administration document on chemical weapons in Syria uses the standard of “high confidence” that they were used when the appropriate standard by the International Court of Justice is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The release notes that Secretary of State John Kerry claims, “We assess that the opposition has not used chemical weapons,” but that Carla del Ponte of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said the rebels may have done so.

The IPA release quotes Robert Parry, a critic of the war in Iraq, as saying that Bush’s case for that war “at least had details that could be checked,” but that the Obama administration document contains “no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but ‘trust us.’”

This is a time for honest reporting, like the comments we saw from CNN’s Dougherty, and a presentation of both sides of the story.

Even before it’s officially on the air, CNN’s “Crossfire” has failed.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].