Shuttle Diplomacy all over...

Jun 2011
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In this thread:

http://politicalhotwire.com/current-events/92345-syria-strategema.html

I said:

"So, I suspect there will be a flurry of activity in the Congress - starting even this week behind the scenes, with lots of wheeling and dealing."


It has begun:

Kerry, Hagel to testify at U.S. Senate hearing on Syria Tuesday | Reuters

"(Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be witnesses at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the authorization of the use of military force in Syria, the committee said."

This of couse, can only mean that some Senators are already coming back from summer recess early in order to do this. Can't have a committee meeting without the warm bodies there.

Russian MPs want to fly to Washington to sway Syria vote | Reuters

"(Reuters) - Russian lawmakers want to travel to Washington to urge the U.S. Congress not to back President Barack Obama's plan for military strikes on Syria, the speaker of the upper house of parliament told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Dismissing U.S. accusations that the Syrian government had killed hundreds of its own people with poison gas as nothing but "talk", senior legislator Valentina Matviyenko said both chambers were ready to send delegations."


I could be wrong about this, but if memory serves me correctly, I don't think the Russians have ever requested to send a delegation of their own lawmakers to the USA for anything ever before. That is, in and of itself, news.


And then there's this:

US Marines Website Hacked By Syrian Electronic Army | TPM LiveWire

The US Marines website was hacked, purportedly by the Syrians themselves. Interesting propaganda move. However, if you look at the tone of the message and the perfect English in which it was written, I am willing to go out on a limb right now and say that it is very unlikely that the Syrians hacked the website, but rather, it is much more likely that some disgruntled people within the USA did this themselves. Wait and see.


And then there is this:

Scornful Syria hails 'historic American retreat' as Obama hesitates | Reuters


Of course, Assad is taunting Obama. This is probably a huge mistake, but I am personally willing to let him make it. I guess he thinks that an American POTUS announcing that he is going to strike is somehow a "retreat", but it doesn't surprise me, for dictators are not familiar with a Democratic society. Let him taunt and when lots of places in Syria stand in ruins, let's see if he is still taunting, eh?


I think the most interesting figures of this week may end up being John McCain and Lindsey Graham - both hawks who I doubt will want to be very hawkish right now. I am pretty sure they will be yapping their mouths all over the place this week.

Have fun on this thread. If you see more new shuttle-diplomacy events, feel free to post them here.
 
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Would like to add...

That this very left-leaning website has started a form of Whip-List of votes in the Senate (and the House) for or against the resolution. I suspect that this table will change daily.

Preliminary Whip List ? War With Syria | FDL Action

Some of what they are doing is guessing, for not all 100 Senators have even voiced opinions on this. In fact, the majority of them have not.



On a side-note, there is a banner atop of the article at that link. When did this Private Manning dude suddenly change his name to Chelsea? I don't get it. What's up with that?
 
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Very interesting. I'm looking at the "reasons". Justin Amash is the only talking about evidence. Everyone else seems to be more focused on the ideology.

Justin Amash:

Lansing State Journal: Obama “hasn’t come close to justifying war in Syria, and I know few members of Congress who support an attack on Syria based on the current reasoning of the administration.”
 
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Wednesday, 8/28:

On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative—which was started by Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, Robert Kagan, and other hawkish-minded policy wonks—sent a letter to Obama, urging him to slam Assad in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria: "At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons."

But the letter—which was signed by Elliott Abrams, Fouad Ajami, Max Boot, Ellen Bork, Eliot Cohen, Douglas Feith, Joseph Lieberman, Clifford May, Joshua Muravchik, Danielle Pletka, Karl Rove, Randy Scheunemann, Kristol, Kagan, Senor, and dozens of others—demands that Obama go further. It calls on the president to provide "vetted moderate elements of Syria's armed opposition" with the military support necessary to strike regime units armed with chemical weapons. That is, the neocons and their allies have CW-ized their pre-existing demand for the United States to arm the rebels.

And there's more: "The United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime. The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad's chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime's airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants." Plus, Obama should not only aid the rebels to thwart additional chemical weapons attacks; he should arm "moderate elements" of the opposition so that they can "prevail against" the Assad regime and the rebel factions affiliated with Al Qaeda or other Islamic extremists. In other words, get in whole hog.

LINK
Saturday:

Members of Congress, abruptly handed exactly the war powers many had demanded, grappled Saturday with whether to sign off on President Barack Obama's plan to punish Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack. Now with a stake in the nation's global credibility, lawmakers were seeking more information about the possible consequences of striking a region without knowing what would happen next.

The debate over what action, if any, Congress might approve is in its infancy. But the first contours began emerging within hours of Obama's announcement.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he doesn't believe Syria should go unpunished for the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus. "But we need to understand what the whole scope of consequences is," he said by telephone. "What the president may perceive as limited ... won't stop there."

Arguing for a strategy that seeks to end Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina issued a joint statement saying that any operation should be broader in scope than the "limited" scope Obama described.

LINK
Sunday...

At an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Sunday evening, foreign ministers passed a resolution pressing the United Nations and the global community to “take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for,” according to Reuters.

The ministers also concluded that those responsible for the lethal chemical weapons attack should face trial just like other “war criminals.”

And Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said merely condemning President Bashar Assad’s regime for alleging staging the poison gas attack, which the White House has said killed some 1,429 people, was only a half measure.

“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,” al-Faisal said, Reuters reported.

LINK
 
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Members of Congress, abruptly handed exactly the war powers many had demanded, grappled Saturday with whether to sign off on President Barack Obama's plan to punish Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack. Now with a stake in the nation's global credibility, lawmakers were seeking more information about the possible consequences of striking a region without knowing what would happen next.
Wow. Is that bass-ackwards or what? Our President "handed" our Congress war-making authority? What kind of bullshit is that?

Our President is not allowed to start wars. He is specifically forbidden from doing that!!! :mad:
 
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Wow. Is that bass-ackwards or what? Our President "handed" our Congress war-making authority? What kind of bullshit is that?

Our President is not allowed to start wars. He is specifically forbidden from doing that!!! :mad:
I think the use of the word "handed" comes from the fact that the war-making issue has pretty much been with the President throughout history. Especially since Nixon.
 
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So, I guess this either means that those "soldiers" pictured are NOT US-Americans, or maybe they are, and the ones who hacked the website.
Well, the real issue is, the number three question I posed in the "short list" for my government.

How can we tell who we're giving the weapons to? How is my government ensuring that taxpayer-funded US weapons aren't being provided to Abu Omar al-Chechen?
 
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Well, the real issue is, the number three question I posed in the "short list" for my government.

How can we tell who we're giving the weapons to? How is my government ensuring that taxpayer-funded US weapons aren't being provided to Abu Omar al-Chechen?
WE can never be sure, anytime. A gun can change hands quickly. But the undertone here, which I am not fond of, is that we are somehow aiding and abetting El Quaida - we are not.