President Obama Just Made a Brilliant Move On Possible U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

Obama_SyriaThe big news of the day is President Obama’s comments about his plans to seek approval from Congress for military intervention in Syria.

Now, for many liberals this was the last thing they wanted to hear.  For Libertarians it’s just “more proof” that President Obama is no different than George W. Bush.

But for Republicans, what the heck are they going to say?  In short—nothing.  They can’t.

And that’s why this move is brilliant.

The President knows Syria is going to get much worse before it gets better.  I’ve frequently seen the argument, “With so much bloodshed already, do we really need U.S. bombs causing more?”  Well, that’s not really an accurate way to look at it.  Some others may ask, “Is the loss of 1,000 lives worth saving 100,000?”  It’s a rhetorical question that really has no right or wrong answer, but should definitely cause you to pause for a moment and think about the consequences of any choice we make.

Now some might say “All life is sacred, how can you value any one life over another?”  And that’s true.  But people are going to die in Syria regardless if we get involved or not.  Over 120,000 have died in nearly 3 years of their civil war.  Our involvement is meant to try and curb some of that death.  Nobody is saying if we get involved that there won’t be the loss of innocent lives.  It’s war; horrific decisions are made all the time.  As I’ve said plenty of times, there is no such thing as a “clean war.”  If we get involved it’s meant to try and expedite an end to the seemingly endless bloodshed.  And yes, that means our bombs and missiles will most likely kill innocents.  Like I said, it’s war.  Is it better if we did nothing and simply allowed thousands to die anyway?  Is an innocent death less of a tragedy because they were killed by Bashar al-Assad’s weapons?

But I still don’t know how I feel about our possible involvement.  And that’s not what I see as brilliant in Obama’s plans.

What I think he did that’s absolutely genius is he’s put the burden on Congress to decide what we’ll do.  He put his stamp of approval on what he feels we should do, but now he’s sent it on to Congress.

While Republicans harped on about the “tyrant” President Obama who would circumvent Congress to wage war, he laughed right in their face and endorsed military action — but only with Congressional approval.

Now what can Republicans say?  If they don’t support military involvement, then don’t approve it and that’ll be the end of it.  If they do, then he will.

But wait, endorsing our involvement in Syria would mean Republicans would have to support something President Obama has endorsed.  Which is something they just don’t do.

However, if they choose not to endorse action in Syria, how can they continue to claim to be the party that’s “hard on terror?”  Isn’t this the party that voted for Bush, McCain and Romney — all men who governed and campaigned on preventative war?

Doesn’t curbing violence in Syria qualify as preventative war?

Furthermore, don’t they try and paint President Obama as “weak on terror?”  Well, he’s made a bold (and unpopular with liberals) stance on Syria to hopefully end the violence and take out a corrupt government that has probably used chemical weapons on its own people.

So now who’s going to be “weak on terror?”

But again, for us to get involved in Syria, Republicans would have to endorse something President Obama supports.

And we know most of them won’t do this — and so does he.  That’s what I think makes this absolutely brilliant.

He can take a bold call for his support of military action, something that will anger many within his own party, and force Republicans to either look weak on terror or support something he’s publicly said he supports.

No matter which decision they make, it’s going to make them look weak.

Their whole bet had been that Obama would either back off and look weak himself, or bypass Congress and go into Syria without support.

Well, he did neither.  Essentially, he called their bluff and put it on Congress (more specifically Republicans) to make that call.

But I don’t think for even a second he believes he’ll get approval from Congress, because Republicans have had the political strategy the last few years of, “Whatever Obama does, just do the opposite.”  I always use the joke that if Obama came out in support of oxygen, Republicans would suffocate.

So while liberals can get up in arms over Obama publicly endorsing military involvement in Syria, they always tend to forget that he’s a brilliant chess player.

Remember this past spring when liberals threw a fit over his budget proposal that included a chained CPI?  The outrage was ridiculous.  I told these people who were overreacting to calm down, that Obama had a plan.  Then at the end of the day, almost exactly what I said would happen—did.  Republicans turned on the chained CPI proposal (something they had actually pushed for) and the budget never even sniffed the possibility of being passed.

Which most of the American people blamed Congressional Republicans for — something I theorized was Obama’s plan with his budget all along.

Now he’s doing the same thing with his decision on Syria.  He made his stand, called their bluff (not going it without Congressional support as the right-wing media had fear mongered on for weeks) and has decided to let Congress decide.

And if the last few years of Congressional Republican behavior is any indication, we stand absolutely no chance at getting involved in Syria.

Which will be truly ironic coming from the party which started our last 2 wars and had its last two presidential candidates run on the promise of being “tough on terror.”  So I guess in 2016, whoever Republicans pick to run won’t be able to use that line to pander to their voters.

Unless Republicans do what they haven’t done since Obama became President — support something he’s endorsed.  And I’m pretty sure Obama knew, with his comments today, that is something they just won’t do.

But at the end of the day, Republicans in Congress will have the tougher questions (and decision) to make — not President Obama.

He doesn’t need to worry about being re-elected, but they do.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Brilliant. I’m hoping that he’s working with the Joint Chiefs right now on a plan to get to Maher al-Assad who I believe is the maniac behind the use of chemical weapons. Maher is hard core. If he’s removed…whether held as hostage or eliminated, Bashar would likely be more amenable to negotiations or, at the very least, lay off of the use of chemical weapons. Just a thought.

    • It’s more likely that AQ elements fighting with the FSA are responsible.

      Trusting authority, after all the recent NSA lies and militarist debacles, is insanity writ huge!

      • Southernfink

        Is this one of those sites where we cannot post links ?

      • Seems that way. The better to keep truth and facts checked at the door…

      • Southernfink

        Aha, at least that explains ”awaiting moderation”.. ..

      • Jason

        More accurately, they’re checking your link to protect from phishing and solicitation.

      • Southernfink

        So links are allowed then, thanks.

      • Jason

        Military debacles have existed since before the founding of this nation. Why are the recent ones special?

  • Simon Katz

    There is so much wrong with this article that it isn’t even funny. And this is coming from someone who is, generally, a liberal and supporter of Obama…

  • Jim Olson

    Good article with one exception. Most of the liberals I know, and I know plenty would have counciled The POTUS to do exactly what he did.

    • southsidemike

      I suggested he ask for an actual declaration of war, (with a vote on the record) and a corresponding tax increase to pay for it, (again on the record), so the right would have something to brag about, or run away from in 2014

      • Haha

        I expect house republicans to vote for is only if it includes defunding health care!

      • Andy Dufresne

        To link those would come across very poorly, I would think. There’s no rationale for it, except blackmail.

      • epyeahright

        That’s really not an implausible next move. The GOP could say, “with all the money this is going to cost, now is just not the time to commit so much money to Obamacare. Tell you what, Mr. President: if you agree to push back Obamacare for another year, we’ll endorse your plan for military action in Syria.” That way, they get to say they fended off Obamacare to fight that battle another day, and they get to look bipartisan on Syria. They could easily work this to their advantage. If Obama said no to that proposal, he could be painted as reckless on the economy and stalling the recovery while being unable to make the really tough decisions.

      • Jim Ziegler

        Why would he ask for a declaration of war? We are not looking to conquer Syria. This is about taking punitive measures against the regime there to dissuade them from repeating the use of chemical weapons.

      • Lazarus

        No. It’s not. And you know this. I only wish it were so.

      • Jim Ziegler

        I do not know that, and you have nothing to back up your assertion.

      • Andy Dufresne

        I agree. He has been talking about measured responses, as always, not invasion, overthrow, occupation.

      • Sean

        I’m just curious if there is any reason in the world that I should believe that bombing Syria because Britain sold Syria Chemical weapons that it used against its people (only an accusation by the US and not by any means proven fact AT ALL) is going to solve anything? So far, and this CAN be backed up; the president has done nothing except say “Chemical Weapons have been used”. This can’t be disputed. But not one attempt has been made to actually prove who used the weapons; just a bunch of assumptions and accusations. I suppose they don’t need proof. Fuck it, lets bomb a country for bombing their own country.
        I don’t care who the president is, if they decide to flex their muscles by killing people, they need to be hanged.

      • Jim Ziegler

        Syria is manufacturing their own chemicals weaponry, not buying it.

        Intel is showing a high probability that this attack was carried out by the regime. This includes human intel, signals intel, and also that the method of delivery of these weapons is not likely within the capabilities of the rebels. The Administration has released as much information as they can, and much more than “chemical weapons were used” If you have not been paying attention, that is your fault, not theirs.

        So, do you really intend to threaten the life of the President should he choose to act? I really can’t tell who is crazier, the lefties or the tea baggers.

      • margaret

        oh the same intel that pres bush provided. Oh yeah, I have so much faith in our “intel.” cus they say so, it is. OMG. LOL

      • sublimy99

        I’ve got “intel” that says the rebels did it. What is it called again? Oh yeah., a confession. google it. They already took responsibility for the attack. Please google “Syrian Rebels admit to attack”

      • Sean

        If our president acts in a treasonous way, then what punishment should be receive?

      • Karleene Morrow

        Good plan, can we start with GWB? But, actually what would it accomplish? He’s already put us into two unbelievably expensive wars, destroyed the economy and kept his corporate friends all safe. And we can’t undo any of it. The moving finger writes. . . . POS IMO.

    • Most liberals are warmongers, nothing new.

      • Adam

        Are you in bizzaro world?

      • Do you know your history? Check out who’s been starting most of our military adventures.

      • Eric Walls

        Obviously, YOU do not know your history. Republican hawks have long been the “warmongers”. Liberals are generally the peaceniks. Do you even have a clue whatsoever?

      • List a few Republican hawks who’ve started wars, and for each of yours I’ll give you a Dem. We’ll see who racks up the dirt.

      • Eric Walls

        There’s your first mistake. Liberals have only taken over the Democratic party in the last 30 to 40 years. Before that it was Republicans who were generally the more “progressive” and “liberal”. Before the mid 60’s, the Democrats were controlled by Dixecrats like Strom Thurmond. It was Republicans who initiated the Civil Rights act during LBJ’s tenure. During Nixon’s years the roles began to reverse. Republican and “conservative” and Democrats and “liberals” are not mutually inclusive terms. It has only been fairly recently that these terms became synonymous with one another. You have a obvious misunderstanding of history.

      • “There’s your first mistake.”

        Well, yes and no. And your account, other than the Dixiecrat flip, is a bit iffy.

        But it’s one reason why I find the duopoly illegitimate and do not understand how partisans, rather than voting on discreet issues, prefer to simply be dumb loyalists.

        Today’s Democrats have moved so far to the right that on issues other than socio-cultural; on economy and foreign affairs they are largely indistinguishable.

      • Eric Walls

        Democrats moved to the right???? What planet are you living on? Today’s democrats are as far left as you can get without being full on communists, and some of them ARE communists. My account is NOT iffy – it’s history and fact.

      • Brad Lane

        Are you insane?

        Democrats are pro-corporate moderates. As Bill Clinton said in 1993 when he was in office:

        “Where are all the Democrats? I hope you’re all aware we’re all Eisenhower Republicans. We’re Eisenhower Republicans here. Here we are, and we’re standing for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?”

        The party has done nothing but go farther right in the intervening years. Genuine liberals like Dennis Kucinich get no traction in the party.

        The most “liberal” thing the party has done in years is “Obamacare,” and it’s a pro-business solution that was first put forth by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.

        You’re right that the Republicans have gone even further right into fringe nutjob territory, but the idea that Democrats are anything but pro-business center-right moderates is ludicrous.

      • witness the aforementioned “two feet into the fringe”. one might call them the weeds. or the shoulder of the road.

      • Astonishing dementia.

        Socialism, if you will, is the greatest good for the greatest number.

        I’m looking at the 1% owning 40% of wealth and assets in America. Wall Street doing fantastically well and Main Street increasingly going to the dogs…

        Socialism for banksters is a predatory capitalism. About as far from the core ideas of socialism(libertarianism) as one can ever get!

        Stay an idiot!

      • Eric Walls

        Socialism is political and economic slavery and all it does is create an even bigger divide between teh haves and the have nots. Give me ONE example of a successful socialist country. Name ONE. I dare you.

      • Well, considering that mobility, economic security, health issues and income, in the social democracies in the EU are far beyond and above those of the US’ predatory capitalist victims….

      • Eric Walls

        The EU is in economic freefall!!! Greece, Spain, Italy, Britain… c’mon man! Be real here! The EU is a disaster that England and Germany desperately want out of. Esepcially Germany cause they are bankrolling the whole damn venture pretty much.

      • Eric Walls

        I will give credit to Sweden and Norway. But they are small homogenous cultures which is why they have succeeded as long as they have.

      • Why don’t you mosey on over to zerohedge(dot)com and check out the state of the US economy…

      • Eric Walls

        zerohedge(dot)com? Are you kidding me? A blog? Really? And he call me the idiot, folks. Unbelievable.

      • So you get your information on the current state of the economy and finance from what “reliable” sources?

      • Eric Walls

        Legitimate news sources. I read 15 different newspapers per day. I see with my own eyes everyday. I pay attention to what’s going on. I DON”T listen to bloggers and talking heads.

      • 15 newspapers, independent or corporate media? You’re being evasive, and clearly reading crap.

      • Eric Walls

        Most media is crap – which is why you have to read a lot of it and, much like life and politics, the truth is always in the middle. Hows that for evasive? LOL

      • Chomper Lomper Tawee

        “15 different newspapers per day” — Now I know what’s wrong with you

      • bruce

        NORWAY

      • Eric Walls

        See below, Bruce. LOL

      • Eric Lucas

        Your mistake is in your tacit assertion that socialism is a political system. In its purest form, it is not, it is merely an economic system. This planet has seen both open socialist democracies (Sweden) and repressive socialist fascism (USSR). Libertarianism and fascism are political systems. So they cannot be diametrically opposed, since they’re orthogonal. And I would argue that Sweden is a very successful socialist economy, precisely because they’re not fascist. The mistake the Soviets made is in assuming that they needed repressive fascist control for their socialist system to work. If it truly were a better system than the brutal Czarist system they sought to replace, it would have succeeded as an open democratic system. Emergence of two psychopaths as leaders (Lenin and Stalin) ensured that would never happen, and it’s a shame, because now all low-information knuckle-dragging Republicans equate socialism with the fascist control of Soviet Russia, when in fact socialism is an economic system with a lot to offer.

      • indistinguishable? No, because for every foot the democrats have moved to the right, the republicans have moved two feet into the fringe on the right. A new party will need to come from the left leaving the Democrats on the right, but the world won’t be safe for that until the lunatics running the asylum in the gop are safely contained.

      • By now there just isn’t much room left on the right of both parties. Hence: almost indistinguishable on economics and foreign policy.

      • Eric Walls

        Wrong again – the world won’t be safe until the lunatics on the far left AND the far right are cast aside and we move back to the middle where we are supposed to be.

      • But the lunatics on both sides are the centrists. They occupy the “moderate” political middle.

      • Eric Walls

        Wow – that’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The answer to everything is always in the middle. It’s called compromise. That goes for life as well as politics. The fringe of either side are the dangerous lunatics.

      • “until the lunatics on the far left AND the far right are cast aside and we move back to the middle where we are supposed to be.”

        stay stupid.

      • Eric Walls

        I will. Because if the drivel you are spewing is what passes for “smart” these days I’ll be in the corner with my dunce cap. LOL

      • Nah, You’ll be with sausage making centrists. the Reids, Pelosis, Obamas, Romneys, Bohners, et alia.

      • Eric Walls

        Sausage making centrists? LMFAO!

      • the lunatics of the far left are already constrained to drum circles and coffee houses. But they can’t be constrained much longer. If the world keeps shitting on the proletariat the way it has the last few decades, we’re going to Occupy Broadway and put on a fantastic, impromptu performance of “The Cradle Will Rock”.

      • indistinguishable? No, because for every foot the democrats have moved to the right, the republicans have moved two feet into the fringe on the right. A new party will need to come from the left leaving the Democrats on the right, but the world won’t be safe for that until the lunatics running the asylum in the gop are safely contained.

      • OakenTruncheon

        I invite both of you to reexamine, and ponder the career of Theodore Roosevelt a bit, before taking up your current branding argument. The familiar taxonomic continuum explains far less than either of you seem to think. Climb down off the number line for a moment and take another look around.

      • We’re in the 20th century. You can discuss Teddy, with yourself, all you want.

      • OakenTruncheon

        The 20th Century, huh?

      • Well, his militarism was expressed in the 19th.

      • Malissa Bishop

        You realize most wars we have been in we have had liberal presidents? I am a liberal and even I know that!!!!

      • I’m a libertarian socialist.

        Don’t feel bad. Speaking truth, however discomforting, matters most.

      • Eric Walls

        Libertarian socialist? That’s an oxymoron!! And, obviously, you are just a moron. You cannot be a libertarian and a socialist. Those philosophies are diametrically opposed to one another. Now you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are completely and hopelessly clueless.

      • Oh my. Another mouthing mental dud.

        Go google the term.

      • Eric Walls

        Which one? “Mouthing mental dud”? LOL

      • True, if by “true” you mean, “my limited understanding of either term has me constrained to a one dimensional understanding of each, and given that my dogma is the only thing keeping me hinged, you see that I can’t have that challenged” — then sure.

      • Eric Walls

        LOL – nice try. I fully understand the meaning of both terms enough to understand that they are diametrically opposed philosophies. I am sure that some of you think they are not but those would be just plain wrong. I am a Libertarian. I have worked for Libertarian campaigns. I understand fully well what it means to be a Libertarian and any true Libertarian despises socialism.

      • Just freakin wiki/google already!

        Making yourself look increasingly stupid cannot possibly be your objective, or can it?

      • Eric Walls

        I understand that there is a movement, or sub group who call themselves “Libertarian socialists”. And those people are stupid. I stand by my remarks. The two terms are diametrically opposed and those that try to reconcile the two are practicing an exercise in futility and ignorance.

      • You are still the idiot you profess yourself to be with every stupid remark you make. I doubt that you are a conservative, most likely just a confused astroturf Teatard.

        Read up starting with St. Simon, perhaps; Owen, Fourier, Cabet, Proudhon, Tristan, Greene, etc. even Marx…

        Better yet, stick to what you are more likely to know.

      • Eric Walls

        You call me an idiot? I guess we’re two peas in a pod then because the crap you’ve been spouting is pretty stupid. Astroturf Teatard? That’s pretty creative! Congrats. You come up with that all by yourself? Socialism, Marxist or more modern, in theory sounds great but in practice is always doomed to failure because of one thing: MONEY. As long as money rules the world then the only logical system is capitalism. Everything else is doomed. The only way for socialism to work is to get rid of money altogether and go back to the barter system. Which might not be a bad idea, but at this point would be impossible.

      • Problem is not money per se, the problem is debt-money!

      • Eric Walls

        No – it’s money period, dumbass.

      • Heh…

      • Eric Walls

        Clever retort!

      • Since you do not know the difference between debt-money and money…

      • Eric Walls

        The difference? It’s all money you idiot! There would be no “debt” without money. My god! Your ideology is all whacked out and it’s affecting your ability to think clearly.


      • Debt Slavery – Why It Destroyed Rome, Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s
        – Michael Hudson

        also read Ellen Brown.

      • Eric Walls

        There is no doubt that debt is a problem, but it all stems from the concept of “money”. I think this is one area we actually agree but you are getting caught up in semantics.

      • Kevin Durette

        I don’t see the significance. “Debt-money” is money spent beyond the taxation revenue. Sometimes you might have a surplus, and sometimes you might have a deficit. Nobody is trying to argue that long-term debt is good. Short-term debt is good for building future growth (as it did coming out of the Depression or the modernization of Brazil), but it’s not like debt-spending and tax-spending look or smell any different in the short-term picture.

        Rich people are SO rich, it’s cheaper for them to fund political campaigns than to pay their fair share in taxes. They’ll have us believe that debt is always completely evil (even though their golden boys Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 were the ones who created it unnecessarily). In the name of debt reduction, they argue for less spending, but they only argue for less spending because it would come with less taxation for them. Meanwhile, they want spending for their own defense contracts and their own agricultural subsidies, further proving that their strategy is less about balancing the federal budget as it is about getting their own wallets higher in the black. They don’t care about the debt, only themselves. It’s how they got rich, after all.

        They want you to see a difference between “debt money” and “money” so you fail to see the fallacy of separating debt, spending, and taxation. They’re not three distinct debates.

      • I’m talking about interest laden credit as debt-money.

        Money should be created interest free as a generalization of trade credit that facilitates the exchange of goods and services.

        “The economy has reached its debt limit and is entering its insolvency phase. We are not in a cycle but the end of an era. The old world of debt pyramiding to a fraudulent degree cannot be restored.“ – Michael Hudson

      • Kevin Durette

        Arthur Laffer, an American economist, was a member of the Economic Policy Advisory Board under Reagan. He didn’t invent the Laffer curve, but he made it famous. I believe it’s actually a pretty bi-partisan concept if you really dig into it.

        Imagine a 2D chart. The horizontal axis is the average tax rate, spanning from 0% to 100%. The vertical axis is the total government revenue. Obviously, at 0% taxes, the government gets no money, so there’s a point on the bottom left of the chart. Somewhere on the right, perfect socialism results in a very low government revenue since the country’s output is low; this is typically represented as a point on the bottom right. If you increase taxes above 0, or decrease them below 100, the government revenue increases. The mean value theorem of calculus would therefore prove that there must be a point of maximal revenue somewhere between 0 and 100. Any revenue below that would have at least two taxation possibilties, with at least one to the left of the maximal revenue, and at least one to the right.

        The Laffer curve is typically drawn as a symmetrical parabola for simplicity, but as it turns out, if you look at countries around the world and at historical data of particular countries, the maximal revenue is actually quite high. People don’t need to keep a lot of their money to feel motivated to make more of it. The peak of the Laffer curve is somewhere around a 70% tax rate.

        It’s important to know where the peak lies because we assume it’s better to stay on the left side of the chart isntead of the right. This “lower taxes drives the economy” rhetoric is only valid if we’re already to the right of the peak.

        This partial socialism works quite well. If you’re driving a foreign car, for example, it was probably made in a very successful country that has higher taxes than ours and single-payer healthcare.

      • You are capitalizing “Libertarian” here because you think the word “libertarian” means the Libertarian Party of the United States. But it does not. The Libertarian Party is small and weird, while libertarianism is international and generally much different.

      • Wikipedia is your friend. I suggest you make that your next stop.

      • Eric Walls

        Wikipedia is not acceptable as a reference in any college or even high school. It does have a lot of good stuff but it is not definitive by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Are you being serious? Check another source then if you don’t trust Wikipedia. I didn’t say it is definitive, but it’s a starting point.

        Wikipedia has been shown to be just as accurate as printed encyclopedias like Britannica. And it is not Wikipedia that colleges and high schools are against—educational institutions are against using encyclopedias as sources for scholarly works, period, because encyclopedias provide no arguments, only facts, and scholarly writing is about making arguments.

        But scratch all that. I can’t even believe I’m writing this reply. But really, just look up the term for God’s sake. If Wikipedia causes you to melt, try logging on just long enough to scroll down to the REFERENCES cited in the Wikipedia entry for “libertarian socialism.” Proceed from there cautiously but with determination.

      • Eric Walls

        LOL – Libertarian socialism is just another term for anaracho-socialism. I get that. The term “libertarian” should not be applied. That is what I am against. Not the fact that some of you use the term but the fact that the term should not apply to this specific philosophy because it obfuscates what it actually means.

      • Thank you, Eric. You have convinced me to stop commenting in this forum.

      • Eric Walls

        You are welcome!

      • Nikki

        Wiki is not considered as a source for colleges and high schools because of the user being able to change facts on it.. Unlike encyclopedias which we can NOT go in to and edit.. wiki anyone can. Although it is rare to actually find misinformation.. It does happen there. As for scholarly works, isnt the author suppose to provide the arguments for or against, not other sources? Otherwise it is not truly your work but a paraphrase of others work.

      • In scholarly writing a writer analyzes and synthesizes information, including but not limited to other writers’ arguments.

        Wikipedia is absolutely a credible but not infallible source for factual information and is widely accepted in the publishing industry as an acceptable source—for providing basic, factual information.

        However, scholarly writing is usually about the writer building an argument (a thesis) based on data and other writers’ works—so the writer must go to the data source, not the source aggregator. The writer can indeed quote Wikipedia, but only smartly—the writer must do so with the knowledge that an encyclopedia entry provides no argument, only basic, factual information. For example, in a scholarly paper on libertarian socialism, it would be acceptable to quote Wikipedia’s definition of the term, especially if the definition of the term is under debate in the writer’s paper. Encyclopedia-citing is frowned upon in the education world because it is hard enough as it is to teach students how to think critically; instructors do not want students regurgitating facts devoid of any argument. There is nothing inherently wrong with Wikipedia or other encyclopedias.

        Why am I still here?

      • apatte

        This is actually not true. As a University professor I always warn my students not to rely on Wikipedia as a referenced source of information because it is an incomplete source. In other words, anyone can type in or update a Wikipedia page and thus many times over the information is incorrect. This is a general rule for all colleges as far as Wikipedia goes. As a matter of fact I am in the process of writing a textbook for publication through Oxford University Press and I have been asked to create a list of websites so that students can access biographies of certain theorists they are reading about and some of these theorists are little known so there is not a lot of internet info in this regard, but there have been, albeit very short, Wikipedia pages. I asked my editor about this at Oxford and she said “absolutely NO,” they would rather have no info at all than have potentially false info from Wikipedia…J/S So while Wikipedia may be a good springboard to go to for initial inquiries, it is NOT like the Britannica, and do not use it as such.

      • Generally what I’ve said is true, as I was speaking in general terms. But you’ve inferred something that I haven’t said from what I have said.

        There have been studies that show Wikipedia is just as accurate if not more accurate than other encyclopedias. For one, a long Wikipedia entry will be heavily cited, while a long Britannica entry will not be heavily cited—there’s not enough space on the printed page for numerous citations.

        But all that is beside the point; the point is that our gentle commentator way above, here in this forum, would be able to use Wikipedia as a basic tool to find an adequate definition of “libertarian socialism.” That very simple and inarguable claim was being pointlessly denied.

        It sounds like the reason your OUP editor said absolutely not is because, as you say, the Wikipedia articles in question are very short on these biographers. And thus citing them would constitute sloppy scholarship on your part. My implicit trust of editors over academics is again validated.

        “In other words, anyone can type in or update a Wikipedia page and thus many times over the information is incorrect.”

        While anyone can update Wikipedia, the assumption that therefore Wikipedia entries are error-ridden has been shown to be largely incorrect. But it is no surprise that some educational institutions think Wikipedia is error-ridden. It is no surprise that instructors generally discourage all encyclopedia-citing, which is generally true. But they have come to do so because most undergraduate students, as you well know, are more or less illiterate when it comes to making critical written arguments, and these students mistake the regurgitation of facts as argumentation. To discourage that, encyclopedia-citing is discouraged.

        It is also no surprise that encyclopedia publishers, like OUP, are not fans of Wikipedia.

      • I’ll give you a reading list if you want!

        Your lack of the basic awareness and understanding of the genesis of the terms in question would make wikipedia quite a step up for you.

      • Chris

        Actually…..Wikipedia is recognized by most schools nowadays as being “peer reviewed” and is acceptable as a source for research.

      • Dawn

        Actually no it is not. Wikipedia is written by volunteers! My college would not accept anything from them. The same goes for FOX, lol

      • John E. Conway

        Actually he can be, as libertarianism is a governmental system in which individual rights are held above all and socialism is an economic system where the means of production are publicly owned or owned by the government to various levels. these two are not mutually exclusive. however, the concept of libertarianism, if looked at hard, is deeply flawed, and in truth is just putting us back where we were when the country was formed, to start all over, and make the same mistakes,so we finally end up exactly where we are again today. Because individual rights conflict, and so laws had to be made to say when there is a conflict, which took precedent. Otherwise, we end up with Arron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

      • Salient

        Fourteen upvotes for that vitriol? What is this, an entire community of assholes?

      • Linda

        PLEASE explain how one is a libertarian socialist unless you’re just messing with us, which in that case you would be a troll.

      • Well Linda, socialism as conceived by socio-political theorists in late 19th century Europe was libertarian.

        It was in fact anti statist and based on voluntary and cooperative ownership of the means of production – anarcho syndicalism and the Paris commune.

        Just wiki, either libertarian socialism, or anarcho syndicalism and you’ll be that much wiser.

      • Westwoodman

        Hmmm. Let’s look at some facts. I know that bothers you, but since you brought up the question I think we should explore the answer more completely.

        Lincoln had already been elected (though not yet sworn in) when the civil war started. Lincoln was a Republican. Whoops.

        Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat, first elected in 1912. He did everything he could to keep the US out of WWI, only to have the Central Powers provoke a situation where he no longer had a choice. Technically correct but clearly not remotely the idea of the President.

        FDR was a Democrat and managed for the longest time to keep the US out of WWII, despite the fact that he really hoped for a British victory. He refused to aid the British beyond what he could do legally as a neutral. Japan, of course, made the desires of the President irrelvant. Again, technically correct, but hardly “he led us into war.”

        Vietnam is a confusing tale, and we could argue that Eisenhower was actually the President that got us involved. He was a Republican. On the other hand, it’s is fair to say that Democratic Presidents got us in deeper, as did, noteably, Nixon, another Republican. I think one is likely a toss up.

        Now…Afghanistan was clearly a reactive situation, but, for the record, Bush II was in office, fumbled the ball badly allowing 9-11 despite warnings, and then went to war. Clearly a Republican President there.

        Iraq? Again it was Bush II, a Republican, who lied to us and started the first preemptive war the US has ever been involved in.

        On balance, I’d say it’s pretty clear that your statement isn’t quite Pants on Fire, but it certainly is only half true at best, and likely less than half. What you claim to “know” isn’t accurate.

      • Wow. A bunch of excuses of facts starting with Willson…

        “[Eugene] Debs’ speeches against the Wilson administration and the war earned the enmity of President Woodrow Wilson, who later called Debs a “traitor to his country.”[35] On June 16, 1918, Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio, urging resistance to the military draft of World War I. He was arrested on June 30 and charged with ten counts of sedition.”

      • Guest

        Debs was a communist. What is your point with that example?

      • Lots of room to the left of progressivism and liberalism… Debbs was a socialist.

      • strayaway

        President Harding released Debs and other of Wilson’s political prisoners.

      • Karen Hanks

        Anyone who speaks out against war is called a communist in this country. MLK was called a communist also.

      • Tom

        You forgot about the Gulf War in the early 90’s. Bush I got us into that one.

      • Simona

        “You forgot about the Gulf War in the early 90’s. Bush I got us into that one.”

        The Gulf war was not started by George Bush I. It was a
        U.N. authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

      • Roanman

        With regards to Wilson and Roosevelt, delusional nonsense. Wilson campaigned for the office of President on a peace platform, turned around and promoted our entry into the war. Roosevelt actively and aggressively provoked war with Japan.

        Seriously, you need to study some history.

      • Karen Hanks

        FDR wanted us in that war. They even cut off shipments of oil to Japan to try and provoke them into an attack. Lincoln would do anything to keep the union together. Remember he did free slaves in the states that seceded and not the slaves in the ones that didn’t.

      • Max

        You sir, are hilarious. FDR not wanting to have the US enter the war? Do YOU know your history? FDR desperately wanted American involvement in WW2, the population just would not support it. Pearl Harbor and Hitler’s ill fated declaration gave FDR exactly what HE wanted. Typical Liberal BS, go against war and deny that Liberal presidents go to war just as much if not more so than Republican ones. And another slip up on your history buddy, and this one is down right hilarious, the Republicans in Lincoln’s day were actually the Liberals. Go ahead, look it up. The Democractic party were the conservatives in those days. Full retard buddy, full retard.

      • Karleene Morrow

        Great reply. I was going to nail it down but you did it perfectly. Kudos.

      • Eric Walls

        You guys keep using the term liberal to denote democrats and that is just not the case for much of 20th century history, which is what I’ve been trying to explain to you all along.

      • Yes we do, because since the 30’s that’s how politics have been understood. Don’t talk to me. I’m a libertarian socialist (look it up) talk to the Dem party self defined liberals.

      • Eric Walls

        Again – you show a decidedly profound misunderstanding of history. And a profound misunderstanding of politics. Libertarian socialist….. what a joke.

      • Stay ahistoricay stupid, if you insist.

      • Eric Walls

        Dude – I’m a history major – focusing on 20th century history. I know just a wee bit about what I’m talking about.

      • “I’m a history major” wow! The educational system in America is really in the gutter then.

      • Salient

        A history ~major~? So you’re a kid. Which is fine. Some of my best friends were kids once.

        I hope that, as you mature, the aggression leaves you long before the passion does.

      • strayaway

        No it makes some sense. Libertarianism is the opposite of authoritarianism. There are both economic and social dimensions to that continuum. aprescoup could be a social libertarian in support of abortion rights, gay marriage, etc but also support more authoritarian economic reforms.

      • lgriffith

        Libertarian socialist???

      • Oh, yet another imbecile?

      • John E. Conway

        I am a liberal but not a Democrat. The party is corrupt, as is the republican party. In fact, I go so far as to call them a political cartel.

      • Karen Hanks

        Good point.

      • We’re dealing with one of those conservative trolls who will hurl whatever epithet at hand at their objects of hate, no matter how blatantly inappropriate or wrong said epithet is.

      • I’m a Libertarian socialist 100% against wars of convenience on behalf of the 1% and the MIC.

        Smedley Butler, and Ike’s farewell address ought to give you a clue.

      • strayaway

        WWI Wilson(D), WWII Roosevelt(D), Korea Truman(D), Vietnam Johnson(D), Iraq Bush(R). Kucinich was a peacenik. Obama is closer to Bush with regard to wars

      • Jim

        Um, who was President when we went to Iraq and Afghanistan. Which political party pushes the “War on terror”? Which party votes to fund wars while gutting domestic spending and giving themselves tax breaks, and then complains about out of control debt? Doesn’t sound like the “liberals” to me.

      • No, stupid world.

      • Dirk

        Wait, what? Are you serious?

      • Dirk

        Wait, what? Are you serious?

      • Pipercat

        Bit fallacious, wouldn’t you say?

      • Make a list of the post WWII military forays, and check of which were started by liberals.

      • Pipercat

        Nice, you just doubled down.

      • What, you want to pretend that you are anti-war?

      • Pipercat

        Your constant fallacies aside, let me state my opposition in a way that is logical. By no means should we involve ourselves in a proxy war being fought over a 7th century blood feud.

        Having said that, this article was about domestic politics and not the various justifications. I know this may astound you, but this is all a lose/lose scenario. The basic thesis Allen was positing is it may as well be a lose/lose for both political parties.

      • You mean this article is about the propaganda punditocracy driven political dog and pony show, and that’s all we should focus on?

        You do that. I’ll question their and the USG’s authority and legitimacy.

        Besides. Obama is not even a progressive…

      • Pipercat

        Is it even possible for you to argue you own position instead of arguing against mine or anybody else’s? You keep creating all these false dilemmas, red herrings and hasty generalizations; then, refuse to actually argue your own position except for adding another fallacious argument. I’m not quite sure if you understand the concept of a lose/lose scenario. That’s what this is, by the way.

      • I can argue my own position, sure. I do that in the shower.

        In comment threads, I’ll do as I please and you are welcome to challenge me on points.

      • Pipercat

        Great, now make one that isn’t fallacious…

      • Prove to me that they are. I’m not going to be contradicting myself and working to give your fallacies credibility with lies.

        Get to it. Isn’t this why you are in the comment threads?

      • Pipercat

        Ah, trying to force me to prove your fallacies wrong by calling my challenges fallacious; which only proves, you have no idea what a logical fallacy is. That’s called a projection fallacy. So’s the last little question.

      • Whatever. Liberals have started more wars and acts of military aggression in the 20th century than conservatives.

      • Jason

        Name one, and name the liberal who started it.

      • Woodrow Wilson.

      • Jason

        What war did he start? What conflict?

      • Sorry. I wasn’t aware you were a door-knob.

      • Jason

        You aren’t aware of very much, and that is the point here. You want free reign to make carte blanch statements and not have to defend them. Now present something resembling fact, for you will receive no slack her for being a liar by presumption.

      • Yeah right, blame me for you not knowing which war Wilson dragged us into. Makes perfect sense in your inverted totalitarian paraiso.

      • Pipercat

        Must be tough running into a couple of people who know how to argue…

      • Jason

        Your assertion was that he instigated or started WWI, which is patently false. Responding to a conflict has been the responsibility of every president ever. Hence their position as Commander in Chief.

      • Linda

        This thread has been interesting, in part because aprescoup is so sure of himself while being so obviously wrong. Wilson started WWI? That would be a NO. FDR started WWII? Again, NO. Korean War? NO. Vietnam? Kosovo? NO, and NO.

        Aprescoup, please do some research on your American History, specifically on what and who “started” wars, as well as why and when the US became involved.
        Maybe you’re too young to be aware of the the terms “hawks” and “doves”?

      • It was, as most wars, a capitalist/bankster war. History is rife with such wars for the greater glory of Kings and Princes.

        Saying “NO” is hardly an argument. Especially since the record is quite clear, this simply attests to the bankruptcy of your mental faculties.

      • Eric Walls

        Wilson was a “progressive”. Again, read your history.

      • Is that why he had Eugene Debbs arrested and charged with ten counts of sedition? Because that was a progressive thing to do?

      • Jason

        Your assertion that any armed conflicts beyond the revolutionary war have been started by liberals is ludicrous. It starts with your incorrect definition of liberal, and snowballs from there. The rest of your positions, built on the foundation of the origin fallacy, are incorrect by logical association.

      • So what is your definition of liberal. and I’ve clearly stated the 20th century as the defining time frame of “20th century liberalism.”

      • Jason

        You’ve done no such thing, and my definition of liberal is the only one there is. Someone who believes in freedom of the individual within reason guided by the categorical imperative.

        You stated nothing more than liberals are warmongers, and you’ve presented no supporting arguments.

      • My definition of liberal is a capitalist in a cheap suit, pretending to have the interests of the working class, while working hard to screw it.

        WWI
        WWII
        Korean War
        Vietnam War
        Kosovo War

        I’d say that’s plenty warlike.

      • Jason

        Not one of those was started or instigated by a liberal. Each one was already in action, and in each case we were either attacked or asked to join. Your assertions are incorrect.

      • What, you want to pretend that you are anti-war?

      • Make a list of the post WWII military forays, and check of which were started by liberals.

      • Pipercat

        Bit fallacious, wouldn’t you say?

      • Eric Walls

        Liberals are warmongers? Talk about clueless!!!!!!

      • WWI
        WWII
        Korean War
        Vietnam War
        Kosovo War

        All started by Democrats. Your turn.

      • TroyKelsey

        Yeah, and Abe Lincoln was a Republican.

        Political party ideologies are infinitely static… Got it!

      • Eric Walls

        Read my above comment. And read your history and you’ll see the truth of that comment.

      • All you need to do is list 6 major wars which were started under a Republican president.

        Above are listed six wars – real peaceniks those libs….

      • Eric Walls

        Grenada, Nicaragua, Iraq 1, Iraq 2, Afghanistan, the “War on Terror”. There’s your six. And all of the wars you listed came BEFORE the “liberals” took over the democratic party. Except for Kosovo, but that was because Republicans in Congress like John McCain hawked it up until we intervened. The presidents who “started” those wars might have been dems but they could hardly be descibed as “liberals”. And how can you even put WWI or WWII in there? You really want to be speaking German right now? Let’s be real here.

      • Pipercat

        You forgot Panama…

      • Eric Walls

        Thanks, Piper – Panama, too.

      • Wait a sec.

        Granada, Nicaragua – major wars? Ok. But then you go claiming that Kosovo should be chalked off to the reps because Bill was a wimp? Hell Afghanistan was voted on and every Dem except one or two went for it. Iraq?

        These are your (neo)liberals:

        Bayh (D-IN)
        Biden (D-DE)
        Breaux (D-LA)
        Cantwell (D-WA)
        Carnahan (D-MO)
        Carper (D-DE)
        Cleland (D-GA)
        Clinton (D-NY)
        Daschle (D-SD)
        Dodd (D-CT)
        Dorgan (D-ND)
        Edwards (D-NC)
        Feinstein (D-CA)
        Harkin (D-IA)Hollings (D-SC)
        Johnson (D-SD)
        Kerry (D-MA)
        Kohl (D-WI)
        Landrieu (D-LA)
        Lieberman (D-CT)
        Lincoln (D-AR)
        Miller (D-GA)
        Nelson (D-FL)
        Nelson (D-NE)
        Reid (D-NV)
        Rockefeller (D-WV)
        Schumer (D-NY)
        Torricelli (D-NJ)

        “”BEFORE the “liberals” took over the democratic party”- what’s that to mean? FDR was a conservative?

      • Eric Walls

        FDR was not a liberal in the modern sense of the term. He was reacting to the Great Depression. He was progressive but far from liberal. And his New Deal was probably the worst mistake of the 20th century and it didn’t work. We didn’t get out of the depression until the onset of WWII in 41. Everyone voted for Afghanistan because of 9/11. Ideology did not matter at that point. And 9/11 was something else we knew was coming but ignored. We went to war in Iraq because Cheney and Rumsfeld hawked it up with the false flag of WMD’s that did not exist. Your examples are ignoring the specific situations that led up to the conflicts.

      • “Without a qualifier, the term “liberalism” since the 1930s in the United States usually refers to “modern liberalism”, a political philosophy exemplified by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and, later, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.”

        As for the New Deal. Your opinion differs from mine – though as most everything political there is much nuance to delve into. In general, the Dems, since Carter, and especially Clinton, have been doing a bang up job helping to gut it.

      • Eric Walls

        Yes – but you are ignoring post 9/11 history almost wholesale. The term liberalism has come to mean something far different today than it did in the 1930’s and the 1960’s or even the 1990’s.

      • Yes but you are splitting hairs. BTW, how do you define yourself in relation to today’s political landscape?

      • Eric Walls

        Define myself? Well that all depends on the situation. One cannot define oneself to some narrow ideology as all that does it trap one into a mode of thinking. There is no one avenue to travel that can take into account every specific situation or cirumstance. One must be flexible and able to take all facts and opinion into account. “Defining” oneself is the first mistake most people make. In general, I lean conservative fiscally and liberal socially which is why I have worked for Libertarian campaigns. I’m a live and let live kinda guy but I learned a long time ago that to “define” myself was only putting handcuffs on myself as it forced me to look at everything through the same lens which can be dangerous and counterproductive.

      • Very simple. I define myself roughly as an undogmatic (obviously) left libertarian, libertarian socialist, anarcho syndicalist.

        How do you vote, then?

      • Eric Walls

        Obviously, not like you do! LOL

      • Good bye, then, right winger.

      • Eric Walls

        Right winger? LOL I’ve been called worse. And because I say I don’t vote like you you now dismiss me? How typical of a leftist nutjob. “You must think exactly like me or you are a moron!”. Please, give me a break. That’s the most counterproductive way to be ever. No wonder you socialists can never get your shit to work……

      • Linda

        Started by? Really?

      • Noah C Buell

        WWII shouldn’t count. He didn’t want to get involved and then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor . EVERYBODY at the time Repubs and Dems BOTH wanted “justice” or whatever you want to call it.

      • Well with contra-Japanese oil strangling policies of the day, to have expected no response would have been naive…

      • Pipercat

        Which were in response to the atrocities committed by the Japanese in China and Manchuria…

      • Like “we” gave a frack… Get real, and read up on Smedley Butler.

      • Pipercat

        What you mean “we” paleface?

      • The elites running the asylum for the MIC and FIRE oligarchs: “we.”

      • Pipercat

        You mean “them,” yes?

      • No. I mean the shysters you, and the rep partisans, insist on voting into office time after time…

      • Pipercat

        Shyster is a term used for unscrupulous attorneys. Since I do not practice law, the term is misapplied. I made quite clear my opinion of the actual issue at hand. Your prejudices will not allow any other opinion that does not precisely align with your own.

      • I did not call you a shyster.

      • Pipercat

        Sorry, bad punctuation on your part.

      • Eric Walls

        That’s not entirely accurate, Noah. We knew Pearl Harbor was coming and we did nothing because it gave us our excuse. Just as the Lusitania gave us our excuse in WWI, the Gulf of Tonkin (which NEVER actually happened) gave us our excuse in Vietnam. We had already been attacking Japan for at least a year with air sorties over China before Pearl Harbor. They were just retaliating against us, not the other way around. American history is rife with false flag excuses to go to war. Nearly every major American conflict was started because of one of these “incidents”.

      • Noah C Buell

        I see.I totally agree with you on America being rife with false flags.

      • Pipercat

        No, not quite right. The Lusitania was sunk in 1915. The United States didn’t enter the war until 1917. War was declared because of German U-boats were sinking neutral shipping with prejudice. The Gulf of Tonkin example was correct. As for calling the AVG (Flying Tigers) “we,” is disingenuous. They were volunteers flying for China. As for the Japanese, they engineered a sneak attack over an embargo. The United States was aware the Japanese were up to something, just not exactly what.

      • Eric Walls

        And you are not entirely correct either – The Luisitania was the rallying cry that was used to beats the drums of war. And it wasn’t even sunk by a German U-boat. It blew up on it’s own because of the illegal arms that we were shipping to Britain which was against the treaty we had at the time with Germany. As far as Pearl Harbor, we had already broken the Japanese ciphers and we were reading everything they were doing. The only one’s who DIDN’T know Pearl Harbor was coming were the commanders at the base there itself because the US high command didn’t make them privy to that info because the attack would give us the excuse to gain the support of the American people to go forward with the war.

      • Pipercat

        You are indeed correct about the Lusitania; however, war was not declared until 1917. It was a rallying cry that fell on deaf ears until the Germans upped the ante with the attack on all neutral shipping.

        As for the lead up to Pearl Harbor, and please forgive my candor, that is a load of conspiracy theory bullshit. The Navy cracked some of the Japanese codes, but it only gave basic information on pending operations. This was due to translation problems from Japanese to English. Moreover, had Pearl Harbor been the only base attacked, that might lend credence to the theory. Along with Hawaii, Singapore, The Philippines and Wake Island were also attacked along with many diversionary missions. Furthermore, the attack could have been thwarted and war would still have been declared.

      • Eric Walls

        War was inevitable, of that there is no argument.

      • Pipercat

        No, not quite right. The Lusitania was sunk in 1915. The United States didn’t enter the war until 1917. War was declared because of German U-boats were sinking neutral shipping with prejudice. The Gulf of Tonkin example was correct. As for calling the AVG (Flying Tigers) “we,” is disingenuous. They were volunteers flying for China. As for the Japanese, they engineered a sneak attack over an embargo. The United States was aware the Japanese were up to something, just not exactly what.

      • Westwoodman

        Nope. Not even close.

      • Exhaustingly informative, aren’t you?

      • WWI & II — generally viewed by much of the world as a good thing we did. Korea and Vietnam are surely black marks, the inevitable end of Wilson-Trostskyism. It’s worth noting that their intellectual heirs were the so-called “scoop Jackson” democrats that Democrats kicked out by running McGovern. They flew over the fence to hang out with Cheney and friends, and became the almost cartoonish villains known as The Necons.

        I can’t speak for Kosovo out of ignorance, but I do know without it we’d never have had the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

      • There are no “good wars.” Every war has benefited the waring elites, banksters and arms merchants. But I know what you mean;)

      • Indeed. But sometimes there are necessary evils. Sometimes defense really is defense. Stopping Hitler was worth paying off vultures.

      • Hitler was a product of the unconscionable Versailles Treaty. Syria can probably be traced back to the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh by the CIA and MI6. Nah, to western colonialism… Anyway, enough with all the criminal, geo-strategic resource wars – martial and financial!

      • As for what did the gop start? Well, after Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq: The Phantom Menace, I suppose we can go back to 1953-4 when the CIA under Ike started World War 3 with the coup in Iran. Or when we gave it a booster shot in ’86 with the Iran-Contra business.

        Of course I hate to bring Ike into this. Like the button said, I Like Him. But it was bigger than him and he knew it, that’s why he tried to warn us.

      • bobcat68

        you’re an idiot

      • hawks live on both sides of the fence. They fly over them.

      • Fair enough!

      • So Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr and Jr were all liberals, yes?

      • In a sense yes. But Willson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Clinton and Obama insisted that they were/are progressives/liberals.

      • Eric Walls

        Truman? He inherited a war, he did not start one. C’mon, man! Really?

      • Yeah right. Every American President inherits a war or two. It’s their birthright.

      • Eric Walls

        Their birthright? OK – that’s the second dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. LOL

      • Yup. That’s how they behave, as though owning the resources of others were their birthright.

        Stay dense.

      • Eric Walls

        Owning the resources of others….. hmmm… that’s quite the “socialist” idea there isn’t it….. Because that’s what happens under socialism. Interesting…..

      • That’s exactly what happens under predatory capitalism, the Washington Consensus and the attendant resource wars and political coups.

        Under socialism, workers in voluntary cooperative arrangements come to own the means of production. They cease being wage-slaves.

      • Eric Walls

        Again – you are speaking hypothetically. It has never actually worked in practice because it fails to recognize the flaws in mankind and looks at the world through innocent eyes foolishly thinking everyone will join hands and sing Kumabya. That’s a fairy tale and not based in any reality whatsoever. Sure – ideally it sounds great but realistically it’s impossible, and that’s what people like you refuse to realize. People will NEVER be able to get along in large enough numbers to make large scale socialism work. That goes against everything about human nature since we crawled down out of the trees.

      • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

        WHAT are you smoking? That was the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard, even from a conservative.

      • Keep on reading in the thread and things will get clearer for you.

      • Eric Walls

        He’s far from conservative… read below. LOL

      • Chomper Lomper Tawee

        Good sarcasm!

      • Mase

        Have you ever heard of the phrase liberals are “tree hugging peace nik commies who hate guns and want to stay out of every and any war?” Bizarro world indeed. Sounds like you trying to have it both ways.

      • Lazarus

        Wow. How general of you. Do you kiss with that brain?

      • Karen Hanks

        That is because they are not really liberals.

      • All labels seem to have been vitiated of meaning. Partisan politics are a ruse, we live in an oligopoly administered by elected, unaccountable psychocrats.

        We can call them neiliberals, noconservatives, or what have you, by, since the New Deal liberalism (social welfare form) has been identified with Democrats.

        The political lines drawn, “liberals” v “conservatives,” no longer seem relevant. We have a ‘two corporate parties/one illegitimate, and dangerous, government” problem.

      • Karleene Morrow

        I don’t believe that for a minute. What are you basing such a statement on? It is the tea baggers and their corporate friends who ares the war mongers.

      • Lot’s in the thread, but certainly, unless we deny Obama liberal traits – I believe he is a deeply conservative, neocon, narcissist and opportunist – he’s the leader of the Democrat(ic) party.

        If, as has become a truism, FDR liberals are identified with the Dem party, and conservatism with the “opposition” then both Korea and Vietnam, are liberals initiated wars. Then there is Kosovo under Clinton, 99.5% support for Afghanistan makes that one a wash, Iraq I and II were Republican entanglement, Libya was Obama’s and now we await Syria…

        It should be noted that IraqII had 26 cosignatories, Libya 19, and Syria is shaping up to be an expression of liberal(?) dictatorial madness…

        Ultimately, the public’s problems are not defined by liberalism or conservatism in the public sphere but, rather, by the perfidy of their respective elected officials.

        All the political bums, and their meaningless party identifications, need to go, if the American working-class is to have a prayer of a chance avoid becoming corporate serfs.

      • southsidemike

        iraq 1
        iraq 2
        afganistan
        grenada
        panama
        lebanon
        and historically Ike sent the first Americans into Vietnam

      • Point is, that there is a continuity regardless of party, and all wars have been started by liberals. Conservatives, libertarians, left and right, do not legitimize coercion, especially when it’s exercised by governments.

        Ultimately, the sort of facility with which our leaders commit this country to lies-driven, geo-strategic, wars of aggression in regions of vital interests to the fevered minds of power and greed driven, authoritarian psychopaths, boot lickers, and vanity lackeys to power and wealth.

        The government, as is, is a turn taking bastard, bitch-slapping us liberally and generously with its left and right hand, at will.

        Most labels are insufficient, the “republican/democratic” two-party system is a farce.

    • duif73

      To any US citizen, get your hair tested for Sarin Gas, you will test positive. Same test is used for Fluoride poisoning..which is in your water, these tests can’t be told apart..all this evidence is non existent other than he said she said which is not good enough to attack another nation to make them weak to allow murderous savage rebels to win this war then fight each other for control of a country, Syria is a country that allows freedom of religion, currently the Christians are being butchered, decapitated and dismembered on camera by the rebels that the US wants to support….this is disgusting and shocking that attacking Syria has any support at all. If anything, Assads legitimate position – not regime – should be supported to assist in ending this war, or at least get it back to a Syrian war, not a jihadist crowd butchering christian civilans, these jihadists are not even Syrian, they the same people the US is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.. and no way will the bombing take place by the US without a response… It will be a very sad day if the US people support this and do not stop it from happening.

  • Grow a pair and oppose intervention whatever the evidence may be. Current events tell us that intervention would be pure madness. Why does the US get to attack Syria unilaterally? Why don’t any of the other 191 UN member states—such as Venezuela, Turkey, or China—get to attack Syria?

    And for that matter, what keeps China from attacking Israel, Turkey from
    attacking Iraq, and Venezuela from attacking Egypt? After all, there are
    ongoing humanitarian crises in those countries, probably even with
    chemical weapons violations. There is something more going on, clearly,
    with the proposed US intervention than to merely teach Assad a lesson
    about using chemical weapons—that is, if Assad did it, which the world
    doubts.

    Obama is no genius. He was very close to violating US law by striking Syria without Congressional approval. He was very close; because he has inched back from the precipice of madness does not make him a genius. He still stands at the precipice. If Obama does strike Syria, and I think he will with Congressional approval, he will be violating international law. He will have done so without UN approval. And he will have ignited the embers of World War III.

    Grow a pair and start acting like a real progressive organization, not a cheerleader for Obama.

    • Voice of the Silent Majority

      Well fucking said

    • Your argument is without a foundation. Barack has asked Congress for it’s approval. and because the Republicans will say no to anything he says, so he will merely say that since they said nothing he took their silence as an admonition to use his own judgment. And since they are all hiding in holes and golf courses they will look like they silently agreed. Which they did, since not one of them has said a thing; because they don’t want to appear to support a madman who would kill innocent women and children.
      You want “to grow a pair”??? Then get the Congressional leaders to come back to DC and take it to a Vote. When they do I will agree you “have a pair”. But if they don’t??
      Then you are just as bad as they are: and Nancy Pelosi has more balls than all of them put together!!!
      So: what are you going to do now???
      Cry???

      • “Barack has asked Congress for it’s approval…”

        Obama has absolutely no proof of who was responsible. This is akin to lynching on a hegemonic scale! It should be rejected and the public ought to start demanding of their government to justify its actions.

        Haven’t we been exposed to far too many, costly and criminal, bald faced lies yet?

      • You are lying: to yourself, as we have very reliable proof of who did this: we have something called “spy satellites” with things called “high resolution digital cameras” that photographed not just where the missiles came from: but where they hit: period. You don’t think so? Then you are not just lying to yourself: you’re an idiot. John Kerry didn’t say they had “incontrovertible proof” on live TV with no foundation to back him up: count on it, child……

      • Yes we do have such spy satellites – everyone knows that. So showing us such documentation would not be impinging on methods and means, right? Yet we’ve been only offered speculation and conjecture.

        “FACT: There is no definitive proof that Syria’s Assad knew of and directed the chemical weapons attack on August 21st.

        AdvertisementFACT: Intelligence which overheard Syrian military officials discussing the attack—far from implicating them—finds them denying they initiated an attack.

        FACT: There are at least two instances where the opposition is said to have used chemical weapons. One incident, which occurred in March, was referred to the Security Council by Russia. Another, which occurred in April, was cited by special U.N. investigator Carla Del Ponte.

        FACT: Some rockets identified near attack sites were described as “homemade.”

        FACT: A coordinated effort was made by U.S. officials to discourage a full U.N. investigation.

        FACT: The biggest beneficiary of the attack on the Syrian government is al-Qaida, which leads the opposition.

        FACT: Syria is not an imminent threat to the United States.” – Dennis Kucinich, a real Progressive!

      • So your revelation is that they attacked themselves with missiles that were made in Russia??? As the scraps the UN chemical team were able to gather proved??? Wow, …I guess I am going to hurt your feelings and ask you to WATCH WHAT JOHN KERRY said about the “proof”. Please……go ahead: google it…..

      • Who attacked themselves? Civilians were attacked by someone.

        Google this since links are seemingly not kosher on this site: ”

        FSA showcases its chemical weapons lab

        Also link to this claim (the title of the article will do, I’ll google) ; “As the scraps the UN chemical team were able to gather proved???

        BTW can you furnish the full graph where Kerry refers to “incontrovertible proof?” (of Assad being the perpetrator)

      • Southernfink

        Then please provide the EVIDENCE you have. So far, it’s only been the UN diplomat Carla del Ponte who has proven anything about who was responsible, US government has proven nothing of the kind, just statements like we strongly ”believe”

        “As the Syrian revolt continues to tear the country apart, the international community has been eager to condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as it became clear that the rebels do not, in fact, represent a popular uprising against the oppression of the Assad regime. According to UN diplomat Carla del Ponte, however, it appears that the recent chemical weapons attack, in April, was carried out by the Syrian rebels and not the regime, as it had been widely assumed. Speaking to a Swiss television channel, del Ponte said that there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels had carried out the attack. She also said UN investigators had seen no evidence of the Syrian army using chemical weapons, but that further investigation was needed. ( by Graham Noble)

      • Even if Assad did it—and the world doubts it—intervention would be madness. Don’t take my word for it; just ask Iran.

        The US and its allies use chemical weapons and banned weapons. Progressives, don’t kid yourself that this is about chemical weapons.

      • “John Kerry didn’t say they had ‘incontrovertible proof’ on live TV with no foundation to back him up: count on it, child……”

        Colin Powell gives not a shit.

      • My argument needs no foundation when it is itself the foundation. If you wish to gnash at the foundation go for it, but so far you haven’t even attempted. And I encourage you to try; perhaps in doing so you will learn something about foreign policy and international affairs.

        I was already crying while I wrote my first post above. I had tears streaming down my rosy cheeks because so-called progressives do not understand that if Obama did not want to intervene he would not seek Congressional approval. Do you understand something so simple? I fear you do not. I am crying because so-called progressives think they are playing partisan games to one-up the Republicans. Yes, just look at you—you are talking about scoring political table scraps when the result will be widespread war. It is madness, and I’m balling because you think it’s progress.

    • Even NATO has withdrawn support for this Django to Bush’s cowboy.

      • Let’s see. State a fact, and watch facts being down-voted. WTF?

      • They don’t like the facts or people who report them. Usually we think that the tendency to hate facts is a Republican one. How quickly that changes when there’s a Democrat president to coddle.

      • i’m guessing it was the second half of your sentence that got the down votes….. not the first.

      • What? Two psychopathic, strutting killers. One black one white – about the only distinguishing features. Can you think of a more fitting imagery?

  • Randi

    Then why doesn’t he just do that with everything….
    The president should say no to gay marriage, that way the republicans will want it.
    He should say no to greener fuels, that way the republicans will say he is destroying the planet and demand solar energy.
    He could do it for everything.

  • Randi

    Then why doesn’t he just do that with everything….
    The president should say no to gay marriage, that way the republicans will want it.
    He should say no to greener fuels, that way the republicans will say he is destroying the planet and demand solar energy.
    He could do it for everything.

  • Julie Marie Totsch

    Genius. And, proof yet again that President Obama is not the tyrant the right portrays him to be.

    • He’s a War and Wall Street corporatist right winger. His cabinet choices leave no doubt that he’s got no compunction of throwing the working class under the corporatist bus.

      The Security Council won’t go along, NATO says he’s on his own, and it is HE who drew the red-line! Not one Republican could have made him do it. He’s just another psychocrat lackey for the 1%.

  • A totally incomprehensible, reality detached, view that would take a serious matter as war and death and cheapen it with low rank political punditry.

    Obama is a right-wing president in the bag for War and WaLL Street. A self described “strong free marketer” and privatizer, not much different than the ideologically Galtian Republicans.

    Is this what “progressives” have proudly and giddily turned into?

    • Forward Progressives is a newly created propaganda site whose cynical purpose is to encourage leftists to support things proposed by a Democratic president that these leftists wouldn’t otherwise support. It is a site that is attempting to dilute real progressive politics by bringing leftists into the fold of neoliberal politics.

      For example, Forward Progressives is the site that said Bradley Manning is a traitor, when even the US government did not reach such an extreme conclusion. I wish we had Manning to blow the whistle on the criminal dealings behind this proposed Syrian intervention.

      • Pipercat

        I would suggest you read a few more of the pieces posted here. Allen is as you say, against Manning. Manny Schewitz is not. This is by no means, “a propaganda site.” Read Arik Bjorn or Michael Wunderlich. Very progressive by all meanings of the word.

      • I might look into those other writers—thank you.

        But Allen Clifton co-founded this site, in the last few months, and I do wonder if he did so for the reason I suggest. His other writers help bring less hawkish readers into the fold.

        We only have to look at the titles of recent articles such as “Blaming President Obama for Loss of Privacy? What about the Supreme Court?” and “‘Obamacare’ and the Perpetual Republican Temper Tantrum” to see what the point of this website is. And there are many more examples. The point of these articles is to deflect culpability from Obama and Democrats—to obfuscate major crimes, turning them into issues of partisan bickering so that you support the crime by supporting your Democrat. Even if this is not the conscious intention of the site, the effect is the same.

        That also happens to be exactly what is going on with the nonsense surrounding the proposed Syrian strike. The point is to create a partisan game of bickering so that instead of being against the intervention implicitly you end up supporting Obama’s taking the resolution to Congress (the sagely sane thing to do, right?), but by doing so you thereby support intervention effectually. In fact, as you can see in this forum, people are very confused. Because of pundits like Allen Clifton, people think the sane thing to do is to take the resolution to Congress instead of doing the only sane thing, which is not going to war. The only sure way to not go to war is to 1) not bring a war resolution to Congress while also 2) not going to war without Congress’s approval.

        Now that Congress is going to approve the war, Republicans and Democrats will later be able to blame the mistake on each other. See?

        By the way, real progressives think Obamacare is a violation of the Constitution. You cannot force everyone to purchase a product from a private company under threat of fine. We all know we live in a corporatocracy, but with Obamacare the Democrats have openly declared that the corporatocracy is acceptable and desirable and they have gotten liberals to actively support it only because Republicans were seemingly against it. But when Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, implemented the same exact policy, it was met with liberal resistance. See?

      • Pipercat

        Perhaps, and yet, real, semi or faux Progressives tend to sit on their asses. In fact, so many remind me of the Reg character from Life of Brian whilst exercising their glutes. Allen wants to be a provocateur. I get that and will not fault him for it.

        Forgive my impertinence, but it was really unnecessary to create an elaborate disquisition in the form of a reply to my simple suggestion; moreover, you are engaging in the exact exercise that you are condemning Allen Clifton for. Then again, that’s what discourse is all about, yes? So to show that I am not some blithering cheerleader, I also have a complaint regarding the author, and others here, for not engaging in these comment sections. They can remove the trolls, unlike Yahoo! so, engage the fools!!

      • “you are engaging in the exact exercise that you are condemning Allen Clifton for”

        No, I am condemning Allen Clifton for his partisanism, to which he is confined politically. I am suggesting that there are more important things than partisan politics, such as morality, progressive change, and non-hypocrisy–for lack of a better word. Perhaps you are right that this is what it means to be a troll in the United States. I am beginning to agree with you.

        “Allen wants to be a provocateur. I get that and will not fault him for it.”

        I would not give him so much credit. He simply has his ballpoint on the pulse of the Democrat-establishment. There is nothing provocative or surprising about that. I only waste my time faulting him for it because he’s doing it under the mantle of progressivism.

  • Lee

    What I am happy with is that he is going to Congress as he is supposed to. As far as growing a pair or dealing with this in a detached manner, this is a really unforgiving situation for any politician to be in. Oppose war and let atricities continue or fight a war where we are once again stuck in the Middle East under perhaps misguided pretense.Political calculus aside, it is a smart move because it reinforces how we are supposed to do things. If Congress goes along with it, then the decision on how and what to do is then back in Obama’s lap. If they say “No”, then military options should likely be out entirely.

  • Steve Piper

    I supported Barack in the primary against Hillary because of his vote in the Senate to oppose the Iraq war. I’m not sure who this guy is trying to get us to bomb a country wherein we have no allies, I want that other guy back, that opposes wars of foreign intervention that do not affect the U.S. or our allies by treaty.

  • ARCrossman

    Thanks for making yet another issue only about electoral politics and ignoring the serious issues of America’s military-industrial complex and those in both parties bought and paid for by it, as well as our continued “do as I say, not as I do” foreign policy.
    Every time President Obama does something objectionable the cry goes out, “don’t worry! Trust him! He’s a chess player!” With an administration filled with those who assisted in creating the crisis of ’08 during both the Clinton and Bush years, just why should we trust him? Just because every once in a while he says some pretty words and throws the occasional bone to progressives?

  • Aaron

    Where is the anti-war left? Oh wait, it never existed. Proud to be a libertarian.

    • Left, or right?

      • Aaron

        Left. The right never claims to be anti-war.

      • Antiwardotcom?

    • Liberals are not the left; either they never deserved that label or they have lost the right to it. The antiwar left is small and few will be found on this website. You might look to the Green Party, which released a statement today against Syrian intervention. See GP dot org. It’s front and center on the site.

  • Eric Walls

    Hard on terror??? The “rebels” are Al Qaeda, you moron! There are no “good guys” and “bad guys” in this, it’s just “bad guys” vs. “bad guys”. People die all over the world in atrocious conflicts everyday. Are we to intervene in all of them? That’s just ridiculous. I think it’s great that he will actually seek congressional approval. That is THE LAW. If congress approves it, the so be it. A huge mistake, but at least it will be a mistake made according to the law of the land and not an illegal and immoral action by a president in love with his own power. Get a flippin’ clue.

  • Powers

    Except you just gave away the game.

    • Pipercat

      Game was given away when the first show was fired two years ago…

    • it is actually how the procedure is supposed to work. he’s SUPPOSED to ask congress to vote on it.

    • GL

      Possibly… But think about it this way, Powers. I’m willing to bet that the more savvy Republicans, the ones who prefer employment to ideology, know exactly what game the President’s playing. They ALSO know, however, that their own primary voters and possible primary opponents are owned by these affronts to childhood entertainment that call themselves the “Tea Party” (they don’t even have Mrs. Penniweather’s lemon bars or the company of Count Bearington von Snuggles). So if they go along with the President they piss off their base, but if they go against him they’re dancing to his flute. …Whoops.

  • Worlds Greatestsinner

    my issue with this is – we’re now DEFENDING the Muslim Brotherhood?? Really??

    • Eric Walls

      Obama’s been in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood for years. No big surprise there.

    • MadameDelphi

      al qaeda

  • Eric Walls

    Really – my last post was deleted? Why – because I called the author of this article a moron? Talk about thin skin. So again – the “rebels” here are Al Qaeda. If Barry wanted to be “tough on terror” he would side with Assad instead of arming and assisting terrorists. This is the same mistake we made in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war. And what did we get out of that? Osama bin Laden. Asking Congress for approval IS the right move, not becasue it “dares Republicans” to agree with Obama about something, but because it IS THE LAW.

  • sfwmson

    That’s fine, but what you are saying is he is making a chess move in this matter for political gain. that’s disgusting and I don’t think that is his motive at all. I think you are wrong.

    • Eric Walls

      It’s all politics. The only reason Barry is now seeking Congressional approval is because if Congress does approve it, all the blame for the utter disaster this will be will not fall squarely on his shoulders.

      • sfwmson

        your use of “Barry” tells me everything I need to know about you.

      • Eric Walls

        Does it, now? How astute of you. LOL

    • i don’t see how it’s political gain when the GOP has forced him to have to be strategic in his requests.

  • TroyKelsey

    Good article. Why in hell do you think they aren’t coming back early from vacation? Because they are coming back to a catch 22…

    The President knows it and they, as inbred as they are, damn well know it too. Bravo Mr. President! THIS is the intelligent man I twice voted for!

  • Malissa Bishop

    I will be pissed if we spend anymore money we don’t have to go there and have a so called “war”, people are starving here, we need to worry about feeding people. It’s called minding our own business!!! Yes I am liberal and I could care less about what others say or the writer of this article, we need to take a cue from the rest of the world!!!

  • I can’t call “doing the right thing” “genius” because the right thing shouldn’t require genius. But it was the right thing to do and he did it. This is how the process is supposed to work.

  • randrews4

    Prediction: Rush Limbaugh will criticize the President for his weakness, failing to act without cover from congress. Bush, Bush, and Reagan didn’t need congressional approval.

  • Guest

    While I don’t agree with his methods, I must say that Obama plays the game well.

    If this was his intention, it definitely worked. I don’t agree with the method, but it worked none the less. He used the same trick on social security.

    • He wants to open the door to gutting SocSec. Look at his hand selected chairmen to the cat-food commission and their record on SocSec!

      Calling his intentions a game is absurd and naive!

  • Robert Ruedisueli

    I don’t like his methods, as they tend to raise the stakes, but they do work.

    He plays the game well. This is the second time the Republicans have fallen for this trick. (First on Social Security.)

  • SophieCT

    Seriously? In what world is the President a brillant chess player? (and I’m a Liberal Dem.)

    • It’s hard to look brilliant when you’re forced to play chess with the human equivalent of malicious, flatulent pigeons.

      • Pipercat

        Turkeys, not pidgeons…

  • Ceunei

    Actually, what I read McCain & Graham saying is they do not support “isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. ”

    Their ‘no’ vote is not against war, their ‘no’ vote is against isolated military strikes. I’m taking their words very literally, of course.

    • Betsy Crissman-Maxwell

      This is the only response that makes sense! Either get involved and take out Assad or stay the hell out.

  • Ceunei

    Actually, what I read McCain & Graham saying is they do not support “isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. ”

    Their ‘no’ vote is not against war, their ‘no’ vote is against isolated military strikes. I’m taking their words very literally, of course.

  • OakenTruncheon

    The only certain benefits of an “intervention” will accrue to the defense contractors who get paid to replace the munitions which are expended.

  • JohnThorpe

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about these amazing chess moves.

    We’re talking about war and people’s lives. Just stop it with the political ninja bullshit.

  • The Tail End

    The primary reason Republicans (and a large majority of regular people I talk to) are against any military intervention in Syria is because the rebel forces we would be supporting in bombing loyalist assets contain numerous bands of Al-Qaeda amongst their ranks. That fact cannot be denied. So the argument of Republicans don’t want to seem ‘soft’ on terror, so thus they’ll go for this expedition is moot, since the side we are looking to support ARE terrorists.

  • Mark Zellmer

    My post from a prior post about this:

    He’s hoping they say no because he knows that if he does nothing, the Republicans will say he is soft on war crimes and doesn’t enforce our policy. This way, Congress will have to take the blame because the Republicans will undoubtedly say no thus releasing any responsibility from Obama. Pretty smart, if you ask me.

  • Cynthia Gurin

    Yeah, this was a scene in The Princess Bride. Then he has to drink from the cup with the poison. Except that he doesn’t have the antidote, nor has he built up an immunity. And it was a really stupid idea to begin with.

  • Nelson Tremblay

    So the bottom line is, going to war is a good thing, so long as the so-called ‘liberal’ side win political points?

    Do us real progressives a favour, and stop calling yourselves liberals or progressives. You’re neither of them. You’re partisan hacks trying to get people to join your bandwagon. You are what’s wrong with this world, not the solution.

    • “So the bottom line is, going to war is a good thing, so long as the so-called ‘liberal’ side win political points?

      That’s the sort and long of it. Moral and, in your face, intellectual bankruptcy of the progressive/liberal class.

      • Nelson Tremblay

        Wow, you’re thick. Didn’t get the gist of my comment at all.

  • Christine Peckelis

    And we all saw how Congress dropped everything and rushed back to convene and debate our involvement. Such poseurs!

  • Charles Vincent

    Asking congress for a declaration of war should be S.O.P. not well I am catching to much flack so I will keep congress in the loop to appease them and garner back some of the waning support of my own Democratic Party.
    Congress needs to still say no to a war in a place we have absolutely no business being.

  • Peet

    This is all well and good, but what if they decide that they have 3 years to change the publics mind and sign off? Now we’re supporting jihadists (unsubstantiated as of yet) and getting involved in another costly engagement. Instead of engaging in Syria, lets maybe take 1% of that money and put it towards education, or NASA, or any of the social programs?

    No. You’re right. This is a great bid to make the flip-flopping republicans lose face to people who don’t care that they flip-flop. That makes PERFECT sense.

  • Worldview

    Look at your world politics as well people, the UK just voted on this same issue 3-4 days ago and voted ‘No’.

  • randomguy

    screw politics, just as we were rolling into peacetime, whatever happened to not being involved in foriegn affairs, looks like i have to prep my gear or war then. oh well part of the job, semper fi

  • John Coughlan

    So even more pundits banging this tired drum of the ME. Well when are we going to do something about all the other abused children of the world? It sucks, but then their parents need to do something. American parents shouldn’t have ot bury thier children because the ME doesn’t value life and war corps need to make a profit.

  • Cassie Black

    I think it’s sad that both sides are, in essence, playing a game with the lives of thousands of people. They need to grow up — all of them. This isn’t about politics, it’s about humanity

  • aiiiiee

    This may all be true but, even as a liberal, it feels like he’s passing the buck, and maybe that’s a genius chess move (so “genius” that the author of this article could figure it out!) but with the lives of Syrians and US troops in the swing of it all, I can’t say that it doesn’t stink a bit. It’s time, IMHO, to get a reality check from the rest of the world as opposed to deciding the fate of some strife-torn country; Why is no other country getting involved? Perhaps because there are things, horrible things happening out there that, though they may express distress diplomatically, they cannot find a reason to be lured into militarily. The US seems to take that responsibility in itself, and maybe it’s time to rethink that which can appear as arrogance to others and make Americans feel as though they have to clean up everyone’s wars (Ironic, in that that is the ONLY way the US often wants to know anything about countries far away!).
    I’m an Obama fan, but even if we don’t go to war he and the party will be cast as Warhawks by the GOP, desperate to find an edge… All of this because of competitive politics? So sad…

  • markfive

    Yeah, I’ll re-read your article once Republicans vote to attack Syria.

  • edwinna

    On the bad side of this, forcing Democrats to vote on this will be held over their heads at reelection time, like they do with Hillary about Iraq.

    My main complaint about Syria is that the government side is doing the gassing, but the rebel side is Islamist/fundamentalist. As with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, any way you look at it the people suffer. If we have to pick a side, or impose a different government on them altogether, it will be another endless war.

  • SK

    You keep throwing around terms like “hard on terrorism” and “weak on terrorism”….our involvement there has nothing to do with either, that is of course unless we remove asad, then terrorism becomes a problem in Syria with the potential to extend outward. All conflict today can’t just be lumped in to the fight on terror, as your article tries to do.

  • Ray Sharradh

    I wouldn’t characterize abdicating your authority as Commander In Chief as particularly brilliant. They Syrian rebel groups has now been significantly infiltrated by foot soldiers of Al Qaida in Iraq, and Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. If anything, the US and its allies against radical Islam are now in a quandary – to advocate for the rebels is to side with Al Qaida. Does anybody seriously believe that if Assad falls that Syria won’t, at least for two decades, become a failed state with the lawlessness that allows for the proliferation of radical Islam? And does anybody seriously think the US and its allies would side with the stable, albeit authoritarian, government of Assad – and in doing so seemingly become allied with the Russian nemesis? Faced with becoming at least a near-term lawless and failed state (much like Afghanistan) or a continuing dictatorship under Assad, the US’s strategic interests are better served by the latter rather than the former.

  • Greg Simon

    If the POTUS acting according to the law is considered to be brilliant move by liberals that leads me to conclude a liberal would consider a normal move to be acting not according to the law. That is telling of the liberal mindset in America today.

  • R u Serious?

    But ur not considering the big business of another war! These guys in congress earn profits from stocks and lobbyist when we even get into a ‘conflict’ let alone a war! They have every reason to go to war and only one not to. And personally I can’t c their political gripes with Obama stopping them from lining their pockets!!!

  • Roanman

    LMAO. Obama lost this one when the House of Commons voted to stay out of this Obama stoked fiasco. Canada said no to WWIII before they were even asked. Obama’s only friend here is Sarkozy who has such an economic nightmare on his hands that War is the only way out.

    The White House is desperate for cover because they are completely on the wrong side of international public opinion. When you have Both Pauls and Dennis Kucinich thinking you’re an idiot, you are most likely an idiot.

    They have hours into meetings the topic of which is, “How the hell do we save face?”

    What a colossal screw up.

  • paul h

    So it’s worth American lives to play political”gotcha”? Stupid. If Democrats thought it was wrong before, it’s still wrong now.

  • liberalME

    Most of the liberals I know would suggest that the US leave Syria alone and that they also stop assisting the overthrough of the government. We the people are more than libverals, moderates and conservatives. We don’t need your spin on reality.
    We are awake!

    • liberalME

      Most of the liberals I know would suggest that the US leave Syria alone and that they also stop assisting the overthrough of the government. We the people are more than liberals, moderates and conservatives. We don’t need your spin on reality.

      We are awake!

  • iwannabeapirate

    You answered your own question to start the article. “It’s their civil war” not ours. After you kill or drive the current leadership out, then what? Another Iraq where several bombs a day is normal.

  • James

    Washington is watching too much “Team America”. With all our interfering over the last 40 years we have learned nothing and most other countries can’t stand our arrogant ass. Right now I’d rather protect our citizens and feed our children, control our boarders, repair our suicidal gun fixation and “re-shore” as many jobs as possible. Let try putting USA first for a while. How’s this for liberal, Corporate rethink to a reasonable profit model (not talking everything all the time), reinvest in workers so they can buy USA products.

  • mleanos

    This article disgusts me. The author is basically saying that Obama playing a “game of chess” with Congress, for mere political strategy, that can cost many lives. I’m not saying Obama is knowingly doing this; the author may be wrong. However, what disgusts me is that this author is applauding such tactics of political strategy, at the cost of human lives.

    Again, I’m not assuming to know Obama’s true motivation for putting the decision on the shoulders of Congress. If it is the case, then how can one call this “brilliant”? The word maniacal seems for fitting.

  • Smedley Butler

    Is this article meant to be serious? This is the ‘peace prize constitutional lawyer prez’ sending confilicted messages and half-baked, dictitorial asessments on the world’s stage. He’s exposed his ridiculous, amateurish handle on international affairs, as well as his bungled misinterpretation of his authority. It’s a historic slap down and a pitiful CYA move. Does this guy sh*t gold nuggets, too?

  • Dawn

    This was exactly what I thought of the situation. I don’t think he could have made any other action.

  • Zoe Louise Creasey

    if they cant feed their poor, how can they fund a war?

  • Brion Boyles

    Brilliant? He basically boasted before he checked his ammo magazine. He made us look like fools and completely unreliable. Brilliant? FASCINATING what lengths you people will go to so’s not to lose face supporting this buffoon.

  • Kathy Gray

    We cannot afford another war. We cannot afford it. How does the President plant to pay for it? And we’re not even taking care of the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. NO MORE WAR. Let the UN handle this.

  • Betsy Crissman-Maxwell

    Yes this is such a brilliant move. Let me see, you are correct that this was a ploy by Obama but unfortunately due to his indecision he has made this a lose, lose situation. When he might have positively impacted the Syrian situation, i.e., provide support to the Syrian rebels, who in fact had a more pro-American outlook, he sat idly by and allowed the conflict to worsen. Now almost three years later when terrorist groups have entered both sides of the conflict the action now is too little too late. The current situation of whether we should become involved is due to a red line drawn in the sand by Obama a year ago. Even though the red line was crossed more than once by Assad until now Obama chose to do nothing. The lose, lose is due to the possibility that if Assad is overthrown that terrorist groups like the Muslim brotherhood will now have a stronger presence in Syria furthermore threatening Israel. Further complicating the situation it appears leaks from the administration have provided Assad with our game plan thus giving him the opportunity to move assets including chemical delivery systems into more secure locations. Oh and by the way, isn’t it interesting that Obama at this juncture finds the only coalition that he can form is with one country, France. Even our longest and closest ally, the UK has decided to sit this one out. What does that tell you about Obama? Obama entering the political arena espousing to build coalitions and improve our relationships world-wide has managed to alienate almost every country. Most Arab countries hate us more and our allies don’t trust us. Great job Obama!

  • bzin

    Wow. This was one of the most poorly-thought-out and factually inaccurate articles I have read regarding Syria throughout the entire 2-year conflict. Genius? Brilliant? I call “sycophant.”

    I’m not even going to waste my time deconstructing your pathetic analysis, but I feel compelled to point out that our inevitable fun little bombing campaign is NOT – according to Fearless Leader Obama himself – to expedite an end to the conflict. Nor will it remotely accomplish that goal.

    But go ahead, blind Obama followers. Lap it up. (Full disclosure, before any bright wizard decides to call me a republican hater, I voted for Obama twice. I just don’t blindly support whatever he wants just because he’s a democrat.)

  • patriotpaul2

    Any journalist or Congressperson should ask Obama this: “So Mr. President we recently invaded another country based on false information resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent people. If you do the same and it turns out to be based on some false information will you immediately resign from office and subject yourself and your Cabinet to an International War Crimes Tribunal?” If he can’t agree to this then there is no accountability.

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”

  • joethepleb

    Definitely the best move he could make. I worked for a member of congress in 2003 in the run up to Iraq, it was very different. 1st and foremost there was the threat that weapons exist (that ultimately didn’t), in this case those weapons have already been used.

    -J

  • joecooling

    Obama has left another crap sandwich in his lunch bag for the bully Republicans to push him down and steal. Will they ever learn?

  • name

    ehhh… dem vs. rep… no real substance… more of the same.. pro-Obama for playing politics… I can’t read these articles anymore… just can’t…

  • Karen Hanks

    Yes, he is playing chess. And he did the right thing asking Congress to weigh in on it. But all of that really isn’t the important thing. The important thing is our willingness to bomb and kill to supposedly stop bombing and killing. That is insane.

  • Vermontist

    Saying “it’s okay if our guy does it; because the previous guy did it”, is about the intellectual level of a 4 year old.

  • Rick

    So the point is to defeat the opposition and not do the right thing and run the country in the right direction? Yeah beautiful theory!

  • Sam_Holloway

    “Brilliant chess player.” I’m sure he seems that way to a gaggle of self-serving, morally bankrupt pawns. O-bots would be funny, if they weren’t so heavily caked in innocent blood.

  • HeartforPeace

    When I heard that Obama had decided to seek Congressional approval, that was my immediate thought…..brilliant move, politically. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

  • Patrick Hasburgh

    Been out in front of this since the beginning… totally concur.

  • Modern day humans devised the Protocols of the Scientific Method as our most reliable method for sorting out accurate hypotheses from incorrect ones. Politicians, alas, are notorious for declining to rely on the Scientific Method for drawing conclusions.

    Will this episode prove to be yet another failure of our government to arrive at the ground truth by a trustworthy method?

    Or will this episode mark an historic turning point in our methods and practices for making wise and sensible decisions?

    I reckon the political operatives scripting this drama will go out of their way to depart from the protocols of the scientific method.

    The first duty of a scientist is to array all conceivable hypotheses and then try like the dickens to falsify each and every one of them.

    I have not yet seen any attempt to array the alternate hypotheses or to falsify the one that the Obama administration (and the Military-Industrial Complex) favors.

    And so the meta-question stands before us. We have the Null Hypothesis and the Working Hypothesis, and the challenge to falsify either of them.

    H₀ (Null Hypothesis) – The US rigorously adheres to the protocols of the scientific method and the concepts of the Rule of Law.

    H₁ (Working Hypothesis) – The US routinely departs from the protocols of the scientific method and the concepts of the Rule of Law.

    This episode now in play will help determine which of the two hypotheses best characterizes the practices of our national governance model and methodology.

  • sublimy99

    Okay, so seriously, where is the proof of this attack by Assad ? Not videos of people squirming, we know it happened. Where is the proof ? Especially when the Syrian Rebels (a large number which are Al Qaeda) admitted to the attack.

    Can we attack another country AGAIN and kill more children and woman, based on no to little proof ? NO! Oh, please don’t tell me how careful the POTUS will be not to do that because it hasn’t worked with his drone strikes where he has killed hundreds of civilian woman, children, elderly and so on.
    Wake up and smell the blatant hypocrisy !

  • Michael Emery

    Apparently they have found a way out of their quandary. Filibuster.

  • guest

    Or Obama just looks like a dumbass for even bringing up the idea…

    • guest

      And the republicans look like heroes that stopped an idiot for getting us involved in another Iraq situation.

  • duif73

    To any US citizen, get your hair tested for Sarin Gas, you will test positive. Same test is used for Fluoride poisoning..which is in your water, these tests can’t be told apart..all this evidence is non existent other than he said she said which is not good enough to attack another nation to make them weak to allow murderous savage rebels to win this war then fight each other for control of a country, Syria is a country that allows freedom of religion, currently the Christians are being butchered, decapitated and dismembered on camera by the rebels that the US wants to support….this is disgusting and shocking that attacking Syria has any support at all. If anything, Assads legitimate position – not regime – should be supported to assist in ending this war, or at least get it back to a Syrian war, not a jihadist crowd butchering christian civilans, these jihadists are not even Syrian, they the same people the US is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.. and no way will the bombing take place by the US without a response… It will be a very sad day if the US people support this and do not stop it from happening.