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US Congress Will Give Obama Blank Check for WWIII!

So according to William Blum in “Saddam’s WMDs, Found at Last … in Syria!” there is a profound reluctance among millions globally AND in the U.S. to enable “ANOTHER IRAQ.” This is something that should give us hope about our fellow humans. There is a genuine reluctance among millions not to automatically follow say-anything, moral-compass-less Obama into further U.S. international war criminality, despite the bombardment of flimsy “hearsay” evidence by corporate media and the members of the Obama administration!

William Blum in his article celebrates that only 9% of Americans support a US military strike against Syria, that only 11% of British citizens support UK military intervention in Syria (25% after the announcement of the chemical attack), that the UK parliamentary rejected the idea of an intervention, that 64% of the French citizenry oppose a French intervention, that high-ranking US military officers discourage a Syrian intervention, that the UN will not approve an intervention, that not one of the 28 NATO countries has volunteered to join the US in a strike against Syria and that even the Arab League with Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not endorse a US action against Syria, fearing public blowback.

This is a tremendous and impressive coalition of the unwilling.

Now we must factor in the cronyism and amorality of the majority of our U.S. Congress!

Sigh.

Bleecccchhhhhh.

You can really count on our -- no, absolutely NOT “our” -- the “one percenter’s” U.S. Congress to go bipartisan and cronyistic when it comes to screwing ordinary people, either domestic or foreign. Either enabling continuous economic terrorism on their own citizens or military terrorism on hapless foreigners doomed to be killed, maimed or devastated for U.S. hegemony.

Please take a deep breath now and let the disappointment sink in.

Congress is made up of the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties. Their enabling of Obama’s war strike on Syria means that neither corporate party will be committed to leading us, U.S. citizens, against this intervention and the perpetration of ongoing, escalating war crimes! It's as if the travesty of the Iraq War never happened!

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling nauseous right now.

I mean, I knew there would be at least a small sociopathic militaristic minority in Congress. But, alas ... it is far worse.

In “Obama, Congress and the coming war against Syria” Bill Van Auken writes:

The administration on Tuesday kicked off a relentless propaganda campaign, described by aides as “flooding the zone.” With the full collaboration of the media, the aim is to obliterate any critical thinking in relation to the lies and pretexts that have been put forward to justify another unprovoked war against an oppressed former colonial country. At the same time, the war propaganda is designed to delegitimize and intimidate opposition and make military action seem inevitable.

Andre Damon in "US Congress lines up behind drive for war against Syria" writes:

Leading members of the US Congress have moved quickly to declare their support for President Barack Obama’s proposed resolution enabling the use of force against Syria.

snip

Following a closed-door meeting between Obama and leading members of Congress Tuesday morning, Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared that he would “support the president’s call to action.” He added, “This is something that the United States, as a country, needs to do. ... I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi added her support, saying, “from a national security standpoint, we have to send a very clear message to those who have weapons of mass destruction of any variety that they should forget about using them,” adding that “It is really something that, from a humanitarian standpoint, cannot be ignored, or else we cannot say never again.”

Congressmen from both political parties entirely accept the lies promoted by the Obama administration, above all the claim that the planned action in Syria will be “limited.” Before the meeting with Boehner and Pelosi, Obama himself reiterated this claim, insisting that what is planned is not “Iraq or Afghanistan” and that there will be no “boots on the ground.”

snip

The aims of the war drive were elaborated in an afternoon hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey made the case for bombing Syria.

snip

The panelists sought to further reinforce the claim by Obama that he is seeking a limited military engagement, and sought to rule out any sort of ground invasion. Kerry insisted, “let me be clear: President Obama is not asking America to go to war… We all agree, there will be no American boots on the ground.” For the US Secretary of State, launching military strikes aimed at taking out a foreign country’s military is not “war.”

These pretenses were undermined in statements earlier Tuesday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who framed Obama’s proposal for a “limited war” in a much broader context. “The Syrian conflict is not merely a civil war; it is a sectarian proxy war that is exacerbating tensions throughout the Muslim world,” he said. “It is clear Iran is a principal combatant in this conflict, and its direct involvement is an integral part of Iran’s bid to establish regional hegemony. Were Assad and his Iranian patrons to come out on top it would be a strategic victory for Iran, embolden Hezbollah, and convince our allies that we cannot be trusted.”

The remarks of Cantor should give us all serious pause.

Obama, by the way, started out the courting of Congress with the war-mongerers, promising them more of a regional bloodbath than he and Kerry have been describing in their many media sound bites!

Bill Van Auken:

From talking of firing a “shot across the bow” of the Assad regime and conducting a “limited and tailored” operation, Obama has begun assuring members of Congress, and particularly right-wing Republicans, that the coming US military operation will have serious “teeth” and will be aimed in large measure at both “degrading” the military capabilities of the Syrian government and “upgrading” the capacities of the so-called “rebels.”

snip

Significantly, the first members of Congress whose support was sought by Obama were Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have been the administration’s harshest critics for failing earlier to conduct a direct military intervention in support of the Western-backed anti-Assad forces.

The lining up of McCain and Obama exposes the fraud of American democracy. Little more than five years ago, Obama ran against McCain and was swept into office on a tide of hostility to the wars and crimes carried out under the Bush administration. Now, he turns to the likes of McCain for support, under conditions in which the overwhelming majority of the American people oppose a new war based on lies in the Middle East.

As I say, SAY-ANYTHING OBAMA!

So the Obama administration has a craftily written, new “Authorization of the Use of Military Force” draft it has submitted to Congress. Van Auken maintains it is just as dangerous and expandable as the original one the Bush regime drafted. Of the first one, Van Auken writes:

It should be recalled that 12 years ago, the Bush administration obtained an Authorization for the Use of Military Force from Congress that remains in effect to this day. In the name of an ill-defined “war on terror,” it has been used by both the Bush and Obama administrations as the justification for wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, the suspension of habeas corpus, the Guantanamo prison camp, torture, rendition, warrantless wiretaps and massive domestic spying as well as the indefinite military detention and even the assassination of US citizens on the sole say-so of the US president.

Of the new AUMF, written on the pretext of the chemical weapons attack attributed to Assad, Van Auken declares the impact will be just as potentially “catastrophic”. Van Auken:

Not accidentally, among the more penetrating analyses of the Obama administration’s proposed AUMF is one by Jack Goldsmith, the Harvard University law professor who resigned from his post in the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel over the so-called torture memos.

Writing on the web site Lawfare, Goldsmith warns, “There is much more here than at first meets the eye. The proposed AUMF focuses on Syrian WMD but is otherwise very broad. It authorizes the President to use any element of the US Armed Forces and any method of force. It does not contain specific limits on targets—either in terms of the identity of the targets (e.g., the Syrian government, Syrian rebels, Hezbollah, Iran) or the geography of the targets.”

The resolution authorizes the use of force “in connection with the use of chemical weapons,” to prevent the use or proliferation “within, to or from Syria” of not only such weapons, but any “components of or materials used in such weapons.” In addition, force can be used to “protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.”

Such language would allow Obama to order an attack on either Iran or Russia on the grounds that their material support for the Syrian regime was “connected” to its ability to use chemical weapons. It allows US military action in response to supposed threats to Israel, Turkey or Jordan. In short, it clears the deck for a region-wide and even global war.

Van Auken describes the amendments proposed by the House and Senate to Obama’s presumptuous document as “timid”. One change suggested would limit military action to 60 days, with the possibility of a 30 day extension. So, at the very least there's a good chance war-torn Syria would be bombarded for 90 days in a row! This supposed Congressional restraint is a minimum of the US faux-humanitarian response to the supposed chemical weapons usage? Look what it did for Libya. WTF?

As for the assurance there would not be “boots on the ground”? Of course there will be exemptions for US Special Forces troops Van Auken maintains. That like everything else will be treated as non-binding.

By the way, Van Auken calls out SAY-ANYTHING Secretary of State John Kerry, as well, for pumping up the insubstantial evidence:

While administration spokesmen, led by Secretary of State John Kerry—formerly the richest person in the US Senate—have vilified the Assad regime as the equivalent of Hitler’s Third Reich, Washington has yet to produce a shred of verifiable evidence that the Syrian military was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on August 21 outside Damascus, the casus belli for the coming US aggression.

Instead, it has merely amplified propaganda from the US-backed opposition—a group of cutthroat militias spearheaded by Al Qaeda. Thus, in laying out the case for a US attack, Kerry made the claim that 1,429 people were killed in the August 21 attack, while Washington’s principal ally, Britain, put the number at 350. Even the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group supporting regime-change in Syria, put the figure at roughly 500 and dismissed the US estimate as “propaganda.”

Such a gross exaggeration is symptomatic of a concocted pretext for war. While Washington’s claims have been discredited, there is mounting evidence that the August 21 deaths were caused by the opposition, which had the most to gain by staging such an attack—on the very day that UN weapons inspectors began their work in Damascus—and blaming it on the regime.

Andre Damon stresses that any resolution that gets passed by Congress will be seen by the Obama regime as authorizing BUT NOT RESTRICTING action. He reports that the only confrontation of Kerry in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came from Republican Senator Rand Paul who said, “You’re probably going to win; just go ahead and say it’s real. And let’s have a real debate in this country and not a meaningless debate that in the end you lose and you say, oh, well, we have the authority anyway.”

Kerry, by the way, did re-state to the Foreign Relations Committee Obama’s conviction that as commander-in-chief he has the right to disregard the Congressional vote if Congress manages to vote no against his intervention in Syria, his blank-check for WWIII.

But it won’t be coming down to that, unfortunately, from our spineless, pimped out by the oligarchs, accessories to mass murder Congress.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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Submitted by lambert on

It just doesn't have a needle!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi