Syria & Obama’s Big Mouth

The question isn’t whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria; the question is who used them. The White House is certain the attack was ordered by the Assad regime, but British Prime Minster David Cameron expresses some reticence.

There is never 100 percent certainty. There is never one piece or several pieces of intelligence that can give you absolute certainty. 



Truthfully, the White House is probably correct. Syria is known to have chemical weapons and Assad is a ruthless, depraved little tyrant struggling to remain in power. So while there may not be a “smoking gun” implicating Assad, as Cameron says, the probability of his guilt is quite high.  

Okay. So what now? 

 WASHINGTON — President Obama warned Syria on Monday that it would face American military intervention if there were signs that its arsenal of unconventional weapons was being moved or prepared for use. It was Mr. Obama’s first direct threat of force against Syria, as he has resisted being drawn into the bloody 18-month rebellion.

If the United States doesn’t act then we are nothing but a paper tiger, known throughout the world as the superpower that wouldn’t. Our unwillingness to follow through with our threats destroys our credibility and temps many nations, not the least of which Iran, to war.  Indeed, Barack Obama has put America in a pickle.

How will the savior solve this problem? Will he attack? If so, will he obtain congressional approval? If not, will the Left call for his impeachment as vehemently as they called for Bush’s?

And ‘ol Joe, what will he do?

“I was chairman of the judiciary committee for seventeen years or its ranking member. I teach separation of powers in constitutional law. This is something I know. So I brought together a group of constitutional scholars to write a piece I’m going to deliver to the whole U.S. senate pointing out that the president HAS NO constitutional authority to take this nation to war against a country of 70 million people unless we’re attack or about to be attacked. And if he does – if he does – I would move to impeach him.” (Joe Biden on Hardball With Chris Matthews, circa 2007.)

Only time will tell.



  1. Threats should never have been made in the first place. It is none our our business – I’m tired of the USA trying to be the world’s police force.

    And the latest evidence is that the gassing was from the rebels – you know, the ones Obamanation is supporting!

  2. It appears Glenn that your source for saying that the chemical weapons attacks were initiated by the “rebels” is wrong. Unless everything that the UN and CIA etc. is reporting is a lie. Kerry is right now expounding on 4 different sources that confirm that the chemical weapons were used, again, by Assads regime. Maher al-Assad his brother, more than likely ordered the attack after an attempted assassination 2 weeks ago.

    Is the CIA also infiltrated by leftists willing and wanting to bomb Syria? If so, to what end?

    And this question is not meant to incite, due to my biblically morally inferior intellect, but to help me understand what seems like an obvious conclusion….

    Wouldn’t Jesus help these people? I mean specifically the victims of such an attack, the first responders, the wealth of other civilians in the middle, the refugees. Wouldn’t Jesus seek to remove chemical weapons and their continued use against non-combatants? Wouldn’t Jesus give food, water and medical aid to the millions of refugees while they made their way back home?

    Is this scenario of using a combination of military might, humanitarian aid etc, the same as the abundantly overused one liner the “worlds policeman”? Is it worth considering that Syria is not Iraq, we have no intention of occupying, we could very easily sway millions of everyday non-existent muslims into believing that we are not the devil after all? Most foreign policy is not so black and white. Maybe there is a solution in the middle?

    • It was a news item this morning which I read which questioned which side was really using it. But it doesn’t really matter which side is using gas.

      Here’s the problem; does it really matter that the rebels are using gas instead of bombs and bullets? Is that the criteria we use to decide to intervene? Look at all the Muslim countries where Christians are being murdered on a daily basis, and yet we take no action. Non-combatants are the normal target for Muslims, so why is this situation any different?

      Should we have intervened in Cambodia when Pol Pot was murdering thousands? Should we intervene now in N. Korea? Where does it stop?

      No other country is ready to join us in such action, the U.N. will not support it. There is no Constitutional authority for it. Iran has already promised to unleash rockets on Israel if we intervene – are you ready for thousands more to die just because we want to police the world? Do we need to put our already weak military force in another country?

      • Im not opoosed to the US being the world’s police force. No one else would step up with the same beneficence as us. My problem is similar to terrances. The president is a known pacifist when it comes to actual wars and military intervention. I dont think he likes the American people thinking that though.

        He made a threat about a red line with Iran and then balked. He just announced a red line with Syria and now is stuck. Now he needs to act but doesnt want to. This is dangerous when there is no objective. He isnt going to oust Assad, so what is he attacking for, punishment?

        • John, I couldn’t agree more. The muddling and grey area message is confounding at this level of government. On this issue though, I am thinking that a good amount of it is due to the type/amount of new information that Obama and consultants are using to draw up something more concise.

          Considering Obama has freely used the military to bomb Libya back into a slightly more on fire version of the Stone Age, I can’t see much pacifism there. I think all presidents have to sell the psychology and attitude of just wanting to carry the bog stick, not actually wield it.

          Iran is irrelevant. They are only, and have in the last 20 years only been capable of monetarily sponsoring terrorism abroad. They absolutely know that if they act militarily, they and any world domination plans they might have, will be set back eons. They talk even louder than Obama and don’t even have a proverbial stick to back it up.

          I think it’s a major mistake to tactically not remove Assad and his brother. But I understand that saying you plan to “remove” them from power publicly is not going to win any allies. I just hope that the campaign, should it happen, is not a useless facade of irrelevance. I do support the administrations tough line on the use of chemical weapons though. While the rest of the world simply watched, it again fell to America to speak up and draw the red line in the sand. In too many instance historically that red line was a much more trivial reason, i.e Vietnam.

          Glenn seems to think that the use of chemical weapons against civilians is just par for the course. Unless of course unless they were being used against him or christians. Some of us are willing to stand up to tyranny and murdering non combatants no matter what deity they worship.

          • Nash,

            You arent wrong. I think Obama is a pacifist and uses military action when he has talked himself into a corner. Unless he is only a pacifist when it suits him politically. And that isn’t really. Stretch.

            • Dare we say, he is a political opportunist? Coupled with being a muddling, incoherent idiot, it’s a recipe for mediocrity.

              Has he talked himself into other instances where he dared military incursion? I have never really imagined him as a pacifist. Has he made such claims? I don’t even consider him smart enough to be anything other than a superficial pacifist at best.

            • And yet the liberals keep claiming that it is the conservatives who are the “war hawks.”

          • Glenn seems to think that the use of chemical weapons against civilians is just par for the course. Unless of course unless they were being used against him or christians. Some of us are willing to stand up to tyranny and murdering non combatants no matter what deity they worship

            Only and idiot would have draw such a conclusion from what I wrote. My point is that it doesn’t make any difference what type of weapon is used to kill people – they are just as dead. Yet only gas brings out the rage in Obama and his ilk.

            The point was also that there are thousands of Christians murdered daily by Muslims, especially the latest in Egypt, and yet no one seems to care, because, after all, they are only Christians and not being gassed.

            My point is that the LEFT is pretty damned selective as to when to be outraged against people being killed.

            Now, does that sound like I think “the use of chemical weapons…is just par for the course”? NO. That wasn’t the point any intelligent person would have gotten, since I was making a point that it doesn’t matter what type of weapon is used. And since I noted the many murdered by Pol Pot (none of which was likely to be Christian), does that appear that I am concerned only about weapons used against Christians?

            Nash you continue to demonstrate your stupidity more and more every time I read a comment from you.

            • It does make a difference how people are killed Glenn. Regardless of what you think, a majority of the international community has felt for 100 years that chemical/biological weapons were a red line weapon. The use of these types of weapons against non combatants is widely considered to be morally unacceptable, and therefore more than frowned upon wherever objective sanity can be found.

              Further on a weekly basis the administration has for almost 2 years, along with a wealth of other countries from Europe and the ME, universally condemned the attacks on civilians, worked towards a diplomatic solution, aiding refugees etc. There were no chemical weapons used in Libya Glenn, so your chortling on about the possible use of military action only when the gas comes out is WRONG.

              Please provide even one link that shows that at anytime, christians have died by the thousands daily. The Caliphates and Crusades don’t count. And again Glenn would you support the use of military assets in Egypt to protect christians? Please give us an explanation about how you would argue the protecting of one religious group over another and why?

              The vague and illusory left you often refer to is not so selective Glenn. They went to Serbia, Mogadishu, Indonesia after the disaster, they fight pirates in the Sea of Oman, Afghanistan after 9/11….the list goes on but what’s the point? You are a puppet of the culture/media war. I doubt you have had an unbiased original thought of your own in decades. You’re a by-product incapable of seeing beyond the ever divisive us vs them. Most people like you enjoy that fight because it’s a simpleton default position. Groupthink is easier.

              Pol Pot is a bad example Glenn. Most of the world was completely unaware of his three year delusional campaign until 1981, 2 years after it ended. Do you really think that if that had transpired in the Information Age, that the world would have sat idly by? Do you think that we could have fought the NVA and the Khmer Rouge simultaneously? Or that specifically those bleeding heart leftist liberals would have ignored it? Or wait, now the undefinable liberals are also warhawks! Don’t get too paintes into a corner! Make sure to leave a window open for when you need to jump away from your contradicting positions….

              Maybe take off your rose colored red vs blue glasses and mediate on the idea that there is a possibility that your absolutist position isn’t perfect and there is room for a solution found in the middle….

              • I still say it doesn’t matter what types of weapons are used. It is WHO is being killed which is important. Verbal virtuosity which brings out rage over a biological or chemical weapon killing hundreds of civilians, while at the same time turns a blind eye to bombs and bullets killing thousands of civilians, as if one is somehow more “moral” than the other.

                “Feelings, whoa whoa, feelings….”

                War is Hell. There are those who claim our dropping the atom bombs on Japan was immoral and a war crime. But we did more damage with fire bombing than with the atom bomb!

                You again twist what I said. I did NOT even intimate that protecting one religious group over another was important. I made the point that we don’t care about the thousands of Christians who are killed in muslim nations – and if you ever read a wee bit outside of liberal propaganda you would know about the thousands killed all over the African continent – but we are all up in moral rage about Muslims killed. We didn’t care about Cambodians massacred (and no it isn’t a bad example – we knew what was happening and chose to ignore it until it became too public to ignore. Again, try reading a wee bit about the real world), yet we are in moral angst about Muslims killing each other (Muslims are the protected class in the world now).

                So what if we have gone into small conflicts in the past – more conflicts where we had no business and gained nothing. We only went in those others for political reasons and not for humanitarian reasons, regardless of what lies the politicos told.

                Stay out of other nations’ businesses. I’m tired of sending our troops to be killed overseas while our country is being invaded with no stopping.

              • Glenn,
                The veracity and utterly uninformed loudness of your absolutist subjective banter is so sad it’s amusing. You represent the fringe of the minority, thankfully. Time and again your selective re-writing of both history and current affairs reminds of the new anti-intellectualism being celebrated by your tiny newly cohesive band of blowhards. You have zero capacity to see the world objectively, you are loudly proud to see it through your inanely subjective filter. The fact that there is never even a pause in your psyche to even re-consider your position ever, under no amount of new information says it all. Why do suppose that is?

                1) Please show me where the world has turned a “blind eye” to the death toll, especially the civilian toll, and I will show you no less than 100 different news sources that show otherwise.

                2) Both dropping atomic weapons and the firebombing campaign were immoral for the same exact reasons as stated above. Your trivial one liners about war being hell do nothing to change the unethical use of WMD’s and the conscious slaughter of non-combatants.

                3) Again Glenn “WHO” doesn’t care that christians are being killed? Who is this mysterious and ever shrouded group? And I noticed that you avoided specifying where thousands of christians die everyday. Superfluous hyperbole per chance, it sounds emotionally motivated. Many of us don’t care about the religious or ethnic lineage of non-combatants. Can we look back at your record and see what your position was when all of those fleeing Kurd civilians died US mustard gas shells? Why keep harping on christians if it doesn’t matter “WHO” dies? I see in the news everyday that an attack on a christian business or church has occurred. No what? Missile strikes? Military action into Egypt? But your sick of America being the worlds policeman….There is plenty of coverage of that violence the same as there is for all of the other violence. You just have to read news that apparently you choose not to.

                4) Please show where christians were killed en-masse by chemical weapons and I will get on the phone with my Senator’s.

                5) Who didn’t care that Cambodians were slaughtered in a genocide? Who is this vague generalization, again? Do you mean to infer that since we didn’t militarily go to Cambodia and put and end to it, that, that means “we” didn’t care? Your use of broad and inaccurate gross generalizing is what is most disconcerting Glenn.

                6) Muslims are the protected class? Uneffingbelievable…..please put your Glenn Beckianesque tin foil hats away and do show us how and why you could blather such insanity. The US and Europe have been off and on attempting to quell Shia/Sunni violence since 1928, with some long stretches of success I might add. This is the same quality of uninformed banter I hear on American Family Radio everyday Glenn. Is that what is informing your “reality”?

                7) We gained nothing by halting genocide in it’s tracks in Serbia/Croatia, which is still at peace now? How could anyone arrive at such a conclusion? Please show what “political” gain we achieved by engaging in this conflict.

                8) Sorry Glenn to be the bearer of bad news, but how after 100+ years of not minding our own business, as a matter of foreign policy special interests, of corporate natural resource interests and military footprints the world over do you expect this country to today, at your demanding suddenly stop our global footprint and retract it to some imaginary pre-cambrian times? Tell us what that looks like? Maybe you should spend some time reading Foreign Policy Review etc.

                If you are tired of sending our troops anywhere, have you also told your Congressional rep’s to start demolishing our 200+ military outposts around the world? If not, why. This country has the singular potential to be the objectively moral and upstanding beacon if it chooses to. It just needs to wrestled away from the special interests long enough to act with conscious and ethical actions. Or you could let Russia or China take over the job and we could try out your isolationist idea and we could watch genocidal slaughter on TV.

              • You’re right Nash

                I am so utter stupid and ignorant of history I should just never comment again.

                Your upside-down world is the real problem. I knew you would think our bombing of Japan was immoral. Typical liberal – let millions of people die in combat rather than stop it with two bombs. Yep. Revisionist history.

                Oh, so if Christians aren’t killed en-masse with chemical weapons, then it’s okay that they are slaughtered by bullets and bombs. Just don’t use chemicals.

                Muslims are taking over the world with their violent religious-political ideology, and they are given special treatment by libs all over. Look at what is happening in England with their allowing sharia law to be used among Muslims. Look at Dearborn, MI. Look at all the teachings about Islam being forced in the public school system while any hint of Christian beliefs brings outrage. Our President supports the Muslim Brotherhood and denigrates Israel. Etc, etc, etc. But, I’m stupid and no one is seeing Islam as a protected class. Just be sure you don’t make a video about them or you will be arrested and the world will be told that was why Benghazi happened. But I’m stupid and you’re the genius.

                And yes, I have many, many times told my reps to start letting people take care of themselves and bring our troops home to defend our borders from the invasion of illegals, among whom are many Muslims.

                I don’t have time for this nonsense. Go start WWIII and have fun with it.

              • How is it revisionist to factually know that the use of WMD’s killed hundreds of thousands of non-combatants in Japan? The old hat idea that it saved US military personnel by the millions is an exaggeration and only a theory. No way to know as conclusively as you “feel.” Exactly what revising has been done? Your far right position has been given to you Glenn. You didn’t work for it. It’s not yours. Hence all credibility is lost when you do nothing but parrot back another’s perspective that you have co-opted as your own.

                In Nov. of 44 we successfully bombed 4 targets on mainland Japan. They were under an almost religious delusion that they were untouchable. They believed that it would be impossible to reach Japan much less bomb it repeatedly. And that we did, with over 40 separate missions. Killing over 500k civilians. Once the collective psyche was shattered talks of surrender started 4 months before Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Their air and naval power obliterated, they were defeated.

                You may want to read up on how the firebombing of Tokyo by waves of B-29’s from China, and the 90+% loss of their navy already caused the field commanders to ask the Emperor to call it quits. Yeah, believe it or not there was, before, during, and right after the use of those weapons a large contingency of military and political analysts who were unanimous in saying it was unnecessary. The cacophony was deafening. But the propaganda machine was louder. It was the only way for the US to justify the use of such a weapon. They had to convince the collective psyche that the war would continue unless we dropped nukes. Well that is patently wrong. But your generation couldn’t possibly reconsider the brainwashing it took to pound such nonsense into you.

                You continue to show that the entirety of this complex world can only be viewed through black and white terms.

                We have more in common than you realize Glenn. I spend even more time railing against islam, radical islam and the liberal garbage about celebrating diversity and multiculturalism, and coexistence than I spend debating with you or Christianity’s shortcomings! Sam Harris and Hitchens have done a marvelous job of attacking the left for 20 years about the insanity of accepting radical islam at face value. Further, I often am found to be railing against mainstream muslims for not taking care of the garbage in their own backyard. Sitting silently by while 10% of their fellow adherents due insane and disgusting things is unacceptable to the point where I often consider them culpable. I ask the same of christians.

                And yes, if I was still of age and not physically broken I would have no issue deploying to the Mediterranean to help muslims or christians should the President order me. I enlisted under Bush and served under Obama as well. But am too broken and old to do it anymore. You?

                BTW having our troops protect the border is a flagrant violation of Constitutional law.

              • Nash,
                I am very well versed in WWII, it having been one of my favorite historical periods to study for 50 years. Especially in the realm of aviation. You revisionist history of the lack of need for the A-bomb and the claim that estimates what would have taken place without it being bunk, just shows you are well-steeped in liberal nonsense.

                I am too old and broken to go to any war now, but if there was an invasion I would be there with ready with my own weapons. I served five years as a rompin’, stompin’, dancin’, romancin’, super-duper, U.S. paratrooper.

                But I would refuse to go to an unjust and unConstitutional war that was only for political face-saving.

  3. Glenn,

    I’m aware of no evidence indicating that rebels used chemical weapons in an attempt to frame Assad. What seems clear is that Assad used chemical weapons as retaliation for an attack on his convoy.

    R. Nash is trying to make a point while being whimsical and provocative. But as far as it goes, he’s right. It would be immoral to allow this murderous tyrant to annihilate his own people with weapons of mass destruction. Not only is it immoral, but a failure of the United States to respond would embolden radicals and tyrants the world over. And that’s really my biggest problem with Obama. He had no business making a threat unless he planned to follow through with it.

    Additionally, I do think it matters what type of weapon is used to kill people. We cannot allow nations to use weapons of mass destruction and simply because of their capacity for total annihilation in an instant. It must be made clear that use of such weapons is totally unacceptable. And when nations or groups decide to use them, consequences must reign down on them with the fury of God’s own hand.

    We must act.

    • This is one of those moments where we have the ability to make a difference and do something for this countries ever bruised ego. Our reputation was bolstered tremendously when we put an end to the genocide squads in Serbia/Kosovo. NATO/US air campaigns put an immediate end to that pressure cooker and it brought peace.

      Getting the political will and the short and long term strategy in the same room at the same time has been Obamas biggest failing in a long list of C-‘s and D+’s.

      The moral imperative used to be this countries motivating force. Now it seems ever entwined in a tit for tat, politicized swamp of inaction.

      If we want that old school international respect back, that leadership role on the big stage….we have a lot of work to do and it should start with looking out for non combatants the world over and the use of WMD’s anywhere but especially against civilians.

      For instance instead of doing what Bush 1 and Rumsfeld did with Hussein in 1988-89, vis a vis selling him Sarin and Mustard gas and gave him CIA intelligence regarding the specific placement of Iranians soldiers north of Abadan, we could not sell WMD’s to anyone and intervene with tough love and not take sides. The only thing preventing this is the war lobby. I think collectively we can and should share this interest in telling them to take a hike. It’s entirely feasible. And it’s not a lib/vs/con politicized issue. We all share the want for a more peaceful world, and it’s cheaper to boot!

      And Glenn, Reagan, North, Rumsfeld, Bush 1 all serious conservatives responsible for selling weapons to terrorists. We used to be in business with Iran. How did they get those Cobra attack choppers etc again? Why did Reagan tell those Marines of the 24th MEU in Beirut to not load their weapons so they looked more like peacekeepers?

      Makes me wonder what would happen if our current anti-christ of a president did such things?

      • And Glenn, Reagan, North, Rumsfeld, Bush 1 all serious conservatives responsible for selling weapons to terrorists. We used to be in business with Iran. How did they get those Cobra attack choppers etc again? Why did Reagan tell those Marines of the 24th MEU in Beirut to not load their weapons so they looked more like peacekeepers?

        I was not happy about that crap either. I don’t care what side of the political fence they are on – stay out of other people’s business!

    • Terrance,
      I said it was a news item I read which suggested it may have been the rebels and not Assad, not that they were trying to frame him.

      And it doesn’t matter which side is doing it – it is NOT our war. As noted in my reply to Nash, it is only a “moral high ground” by irrational thinking which says one method of death is immoral. ALL methods of murder are immoral! I don’t care if they use gas or bullets or atom bombs. If we ignore murdering of masses by one weapon and choose to intervene when a different weapon is used, that is nothing but hypocrisy.

      We must look at the overall situation. Our arbitrary acting to intervene in another nation just so Obamanation won’t lose face, will certainly bring about more and more involvement and more war. Virtually every Islamic nation over there is looking for an excuse to declare total war and wipe Israel off the map and bring more 9/11 type terrorism to the USA. Yet we chortle and say they are bluffing, or that we can blow them off the map, etc. At the same time our country has denuded our military because the Demokrat left HATES the military.

      What if the world said the use of atomic weapons was totally unacceptable and we were attacked by the rest of the world after WWII ended?

      You people don’t think through all the consequences and ramifications with all your hawking for war.

      • “You people don’t think through all the consequences and ramifications with all your hawking for war.”

        Did you support either war with Iraq and Afghanistan Glenn? Why or why not? Did you support our participation in WWll? If so, why?

        • And yes I was against war in Afghanistan and Iraq for the simple reason that they did not attack the USA. In fact the terrorists were from other Muslim nations. Just because bad guys were using those countries, that did not give us a right to attack since the nations themselves were not at war with us.

          In WWII we were attacked by Japan. Germany was invading the world and murdering millions of people. It wasn’t a civil war in one nation.

          Have a nice day. Oh, and if you want to go to war in Syria, will you go enlist and volunteer to fight? I doubt it.

  4. John,

    That’s a legitimate point. But I don’t think “punishing” Assad for using chemical weapons necessarily equates to support for al-Qaeda, at least not anymore than Obama’s rhetoric the past year. The fact is we cannot allow the use of chemical weapons precisely because of their capacity for total annihilation.

  5. Would it be moral if Assad killed his people with conventional weapons? I believe this is the point Glenn has been making. It doesn’t matter what weapons one uses when one is using them to kill one’s own people. Some weapons do it faster, some faster and more horribly. But the result is the same. Lots of dead citizens. So imagine if the same number of dead were victims of mere gunshot wounds. Should we care less because they didn’t foam at the mouth and convulse as life left their bodies? The international community either cares about civilian populations or it doesn’t. I don’t want to hear this crap about any lines drawn according to what weapon is used.

    • Would it be moral if Assad killed his people with conventional weapons? I believe this is the point Glenn has been making. It doesn’t matter what weapons one uses when one is using them to kill one’s own people. Some weapons do it faster, some faster and more horribly. But the result is the same. Lots of dead citizens. So imagine if the same number of dead were victims of mere gunshot wounds. Should we care less because they didn’t foam at the mouth and convulse as life left their bodies? The international community either cares about civilian populations or it doesn’t. I don’t want to hear this crap about any lines drawn according to what weapon is used.


  6. Marshall,

    There are certain standards of war that have been adopted by the international community and the use of chemical or biological weapons is a clear violation of those standards.

    Why? Because chemical and biological weapons are utterly indiscriminate. You aim a gun, a mortar, or a cruise missile at a specific target where casualties are kept to a minimum. With chemical and biological weapons, however, there is little control. So it wouldn’t be hyperbole to suggest that the intended target of a chemical or biological weapon is dependent on the weather. Their use simply shows a complete disregard for all human life, innocent or guilty.

    Additionally, modern weaponry is lethal but precise. These chemical weapons are lethal, imprecise, and can cause horrible suffering for the rest of a persons life. And most civilized people understand that there must be boundaries in any civilized world and the use of these weapons is clearly outside the boundaries of respectable warfare. So you bet it matters.

    • Also Marshall, you seem to also be viewing this in black and white terms, as if there has been zero interest or sadness or care at the loss of life up until now. This has been an important issue both here and abroad for over a year. In all strata of media across all demographics the reporting especially by al-jazeera and Reuters has been all at once disturbing and impeccable. To think even for a moment that because your sudden exposure to the media coverage is representative for the rest of us is well, just wrong. There have been no less than 11 NGO’s on the front lines for the last 12+ months. Over 5 million refugees. Over a million children, many of them parentless wandering through the desert. If you think that the international community started caring about this yesterday, then you have been asleep at the wheel. Which of course is a conscious choice by you.

      And the question of morality is also not black and white. When Assad’s forces target various insurgents or opposing fighters and kill them with conventional weapons the playing field has been consciously and proactively chosen by both sides. It’s even. Further when Assad’s forces decidedly kill civilians by targeting them with conventional arms, yes it is is immoral, it is in fact more immoral than targeting fighters who have made a choice to fight. But to target non-combatants who have consciously chosen not to fight with weapons that cause tremendously painful death over the course of several hours or longer raises the bar of immoral and unethical to a much different place. These sarin, mustard gas weapons are meant to cause suffering on the battlefield. They are designed to sap the enemies medical reserves. They are designed to inflict fear amongst opposing forces. If these reasons are not enough to convince you that there is no difference between purposefully causing undue suffering via anthrax, and sling shots, then your mind was made up beforehand. I mean we have the Chemical Weapons Convention standards that were initiated right at the end of WW1 because millions saw first hand the difference between conventional/chemical weapons. No rules for sling shots though.

  7. BTW Glenn,
    For what it’s worth I refuse to consider the likes of Huffington Post, Slate, Salon etc as news or information the same way I refuse to acknowledge the Heritage or Heartland Institutes or AFR etc. All of the information that is propagated just to fuel the faux culture war is garbage. No different than hearing a BP exec tell us about what an environmentally perfect company he works for or seeing any used car salesman in action. The fringe is filled with garbage that is forever trying to up sell its wares as truth or news.

  8. This argument is becoming silly. Everyone knows that war is hell and that causalities are to be expected, but to suggest that weaponry is irrelevant, as some have, is positively absurd.

    Was it “just another weapon of war” when the Vietnamese were strapping bombs to living babies? Was it “just another weapon of war” when Russians were planting landmines near villages so that children would pick them up, thinking they were toys? No. Those were utterly immoral actions that represent nothing close to respectable warfare.

    And respectable warfare does exist. It is, in my mind, engaging your enemy in such a way that limits civilian casualties and respects innocent human life. The use of chemical and biological weapons satisfies neither requirement. Only depraved maniacs use such weapons in warfare.

    Lastly, I don’t believe that you people are seriously suggesting there be no boundaries whatsoever. I think you understand the points made, but are so overwhelmed with hatred for Obama that you refuse to support anything the man does, be it the right thing or not. And that is sad – because that is exactly the kind of partisan bullshit that has strangled Washington for so many years.

    • Terrance,

      As I pointed out on the FB post, it is a matter of totally ignoring how many non-combatants were killed until chemical weapons were used and then we boo-hoped and cried foul. Either you are concerned with non-combatant casualties or not. If you are not concerned about them until they violate some arbitrary moral standard, then you are a hypocrite.

      I’m not “overwhelmed with hatred for Obama,” I’m an equal opportunity hater when it comes to politicians. And when they allow mass murders of non-combatants around the world and justify it by political BS, but suddenly are outraged because the mass murders are by chemicals, they are nothing but hypocrites.

      • For the love of God Glenn!!!!!! WHO is ignoring civilian casualties!?!?!?!?! WHO? Only you apparently. There are millions of us who haven’t ignored it. There are at least a dozen NGO’s who have been taking care of civilians for 2 years!!!! There are at least 17 countries rendering aid in the form of medicine, food, water. And there is a giant international chorus that has been trying to deride Assad and his eagerness to kill and displace non-combatants. What reality do you exist in that this is nonexistent? I read 40-50 news sources a day. They have been chiding this disaster for 22 months!

      • Glenn,

        Putting aside the supernatural powers of your god for a moment….

        Would Jesus have firebombed and nuked Japan as a military/political decision?

        Would Jesus, in the same capacity, allow the use of WMD’s against anyone? Anywhere at anytime muslims or christians or siuox?

        Or would his values and moral compass have him defend the innocent?

        BTW the fascist emperor in chief has just stated that he will ask Congress for their vote on military action in Syria. I can’t remember Bush asking to do so. He loved his executive power even more than the communist social activist from the dirty and godless arm pit of Chicago.

  9. Nash,

    They were “ignoring” civilian casualties by not being ready to go to war to prevent them until – and only until – they used the wrong kinds of weapons. No military intervention was planned until the “wrong kind” of weapons were used. Hypocrisy, pure hypocrisy. Let them die unless they died by the “wrong kind” of weapons.

    Jesus would not have gotten involved in political matters. That was not what he came for, regardless of the claims otherwise by proponents of the social Gospel.

    However, if God determined that a nation needed to be destroyed and used other nations to do it using whatever weapons were available, He would do so – as He did when he used Israel to sometime wipe out an entire population including women and children.

    BTW. Bush had the consent, and BTW didn’t need it when America was attacked. Obama was going w/o consent until too much clamoring forced him to seek consent. And the USA was not attacked or even in danger of attack. Big difference, but I don’t agree with either war.

    And, yes, I do believe Obama is the worst president we’ve ever had and has done more to destroy this nation than any previous president. But let’s not go down that rabbit trail.

  10. If civilian casualties aren’t being ignored, how is they have been going on for as long as they have and not great outcry until now due to the weapons being used? I’ve been well aware of what had been happening in Syria since reports of it first began coming out. But as Glenn has stated, civilians have been getting whacked in several areas for some time throughout the muslim world.

    As to the indiscriminate nature of chemical weapons, there is a degree of the same with the use of various conventional weapons. Lob a mortar shell and unless it’s done in an area cleared of civilians, civilians are at risk. Collateral damage is common in war.

    As to “respectable warfare”, aside from that being quite subjective, the issue here doesn’t fall within such a discussion. Assad is a punk and always has been. His methods have always been that of a punk with absolute power. His track record of abuses is well known. His concern for the welfare and safety of his people while he defends his position of power has always been low. In short, his people have suffered for some time, but now, because he uses a particular weapon to inflict that suffering, we’re supposed to be willing to do something, when “something” should have been done long ago.

    One of the principles of war includes breaking the will of the enemy. Sherman’s March to the Sea utilized that principle with the swath of destruction he cut. Hiroshima was another example that not only led to the end of that war, but made the rest of the world consider the cost of messing with the USA. This is an important aspect of fighting and ending war, as well as maintaining the subsequent peace. That the scum of the earth will do all sorts of horrible things shows they understand that principle as well. The difference is that in some cases, some tactics actually incite the other side and strengthen their resolve to prevail.

    The use of chemical weapons might make someone like Assad a war criminal, but that only works if he loses the war. If he wins, the goal of suppressing opposition was successfully accomplished through the use of tactics the rest of us might consider less than “respectable”, but winning the war was the point and apparently the suffering he was causing his people up to that point wasn’t getting it done.

    But it should have been enough for the international community who now claims concern for the suffering of that people. The “red line” should have been that, not how it was inflicted.

    • Marshal, you’re a man after my own heart.

      Here’s something for ya’ll to think about:

      • Is it even possible to consider the premise Glenn, that your God is working through Obama to further his agenda.

        I get it. We can’t stand the guy, but how can you with any absolute confidence say that the president is not being controlled via God?

        If you remove the pride and patriotism and the idea that America is unique in God’s eyes and see the world without the bias that your God most especially views Americans with more special uniqueness than any other country, why would he act to not further his own narrow interests. Why would he act positively through one president at one chronological point and seemingly negatively through another president at another point? And how do you decipher between the two? How can these things be known with such confidence.

        And no I am not asking just to be a dick. Please don’t read any sarcasm or intentional poking the bear attitude. I am really wanting to know how this difficult concept comes to make sense to you or anyone else for that matter.

        How can you comfortably know, via actions by other men or people, acting singularly or collectively that any particular action or outcome was the will of God?

    • Nash,
      Scripturally speaking, God always used a righteous nation to wipe out an unrighteous one, or an unrighteous nation to punish Israel for turning their back on God.

      So, the USA is NOT a righteous nation by any meaning of the word, and Syria wasn’t a righteous nation turning its back on God. So God wouldn’t be using us.

      I’ve never claimed that the USA is unique in God’s eyes, so you raised a straw man.

      And as for your revising of history to make the A-bomb dropping immoral, and supposedly bad estimates of losses of life if it hadn’t been used, please spend the time to learn something by watching this video. You may not like the guy presenting the facts, but don’t illogically say that poisons the well – the facts are legitimate no matter who they come from.

  11. By the way Nash, my God is also your God whether or not you acknowledge Him as such. You will in the end.

  12. Like I said to Glenn on Facebook, Modern weaponry is extremely precise. One bullet, one shot, one kill with modern weaponry. One bomb, one drop, a few kills with modern weaponry. One raid, several drops, several TARGETED individuals killed with modern weaponry – and civilian casualties are kept at a minimum.

    Now consider the INDISCRIMINATE release of chemical and biological weapons into the atmosphere where thousands of innocent people are killed and then tell me you think the two are comparable. They’re not. The only legitimate purpose of chemical and biological weapons is total, indiscriminate annihilation of human life.

    To this point it doesn’t matter that Assad was already killing innocent people. He’s a dirtbag, a bully, a punk, as you say Marshall, and that’s what he does. He’s scum. But the use of chemical and/or biological weapons that can literally reach thousands of people is a security threat to the United States, our allies, and our troops around the world. And so if we allow this tyrant to get away with using such horrible weapons that have the capacity to kill so many innocent people, then what is to stop two or three more dictators from doing the same thing, only this time a bit closer to one of our allies or bases? You must understand that there are certain chemical agents that when detonated in the atmosphere can kill hundreds of thousands of people within a matter of days. This is why these weapons are outside the boundaries of war and are, in fact, a “red line.”

    • Terrance,
      And I’ll post the same response here as I did on FB:

      I am well aware of biological and chemical warfare weapons and what they do. I had to train to prepare for such attacks – remember I spent five years in the Army. Not only that, I study military and history of warfare. The losses are indeed the same no matter what weapon you use – dead is dead. To claim otherwise is silly.

      I still maintain that if you are going to ignore hundreds or thousands of deaths caused by conventional weapons and not take punitive action, then to do so just because the deaths are caused by “immoral” weapons is sheer hypocrisy. That has been my point from the beginning. This issue in Syria was totally ignored as hundreds were being killed by bullets and explosives, but suddenly we have to intervene because of a different weaponry being used. Hypocrisy. Let hundred or thousands of people die without intervention, but by gum if they do it with gas, we can’t let them do that. I can just see your ideas working in Nazi Germany: when machine gun crews went around executing thousands of Jews we wouldn’t bother intervening – just let them die. But when they start using the gas chambers, oh, well, that is just plain mean and we have to intervene now!

      The only legitimate use of nuclear weapons is annihilation – so what? I can use 500 lb bombs from a fleet of B-52s with a purpose being total annihilation. So if your logic is because chemical warfare is intended only for total annihilation (although that wasn’t what was intended in WWI), then outlaw EVERY WEAPON!

      I don’t outlaw and declare evil a weapon because its purpose is annihilation, rather I would say that it should be outlawed because of the torturous way it accomplishes its mission. At least with the nuclear bomb you disappear in an instant!.

  13. Siding with Glenn (obviously), I do not take issue with the sentiment regarding the heinous nature of some weapons over others, though their intended use is identical (to kill the enemy—which often would be anyone of the enemy’s nation, people, faith or whatever category, civilians included). The point here is in regards to the point at which we intercede in a nation’s dispute with itself. If a power is inflicting suffering upon its own people, what matter the means by which it inflicts that suffering. If we wish to protect innocent life, how can we stand by while innocent life is taken until some subjective line is crossed marked by the type of weapon used? Where’s the sense in this by any other nation’s leader who did nothing while innocent life was taken before the use of that weapon? For those who claim to be outraged by the loss of human life, what possible difference does it make how those lives are taken?

    Please do not reprise any discussion of the differences between weapons. That is not the argument being made for intercession. It is the innocent dead, a group of people that are not distinct in value from the innocent dead who were victims of less offensive weapons.

    It is my contention that there was some plan to hold off taking action against this particular despot until he did something so horrible that military action could easily be justified. That point had been passed already without action being taken, so now what do we do? Oh GREAT! He’s using chemical weapons! Now we have the justification we need!

    But the justification was there if the protection of innocent life was the excuse we now put forth as legitimate. The problem was the political ramifications of intervention if the cause could not be internationally accepted. For some nations, merely preventing the slaughter of civilians is not enough and one nation will warn another against intervening in the matters of a third. Like a leftist, they will twist and distort our intention, perhaps giving them excuse to join the conflict in opposition to us. And with our spineless leader, we could not take that risk (assuming we truly care about civilian lives caught up in a nation’s civil war). He desperately wants to be seen as strong, but wants no risk to his legacy, reputation (such as he thinks it is) or income. If the right thing to do is to use our might (such as it is with recent cuts and threats of more) on behalf of victims of despotic action, then why wait until the whole world feels the same? Doing the right thing never pleases everybody. That’s why this whole thing seems like politics and not true compassion.

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