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Obama will attack Syria if Congress votes down military action

 
 
 
 
 
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A senior State Department official says US President Barack Obama has made up his mind to attack Syria even without congressional approval.

“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the unnamed official said in an interview with Fox News.

The official added that that was why Obama, in his Rose Garden remarks over the weekend, was careful to establish that he believes he has the authority to launch a military attack on Syria without congressional authorization.

In a speech about Syria last week, President Obama said he will seek authorization from Congress when federal lawmakers return from recess on September 9.

“While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific Congressional authorization, I know the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective,” Obama said.

The State Department official said Obama’s decision to seek a congressional vote was a surprise to members of the National Security Council, but insisted the request for Congress to vote did not supplant the president’s earlier decision to use force in Syria, only delayed its implementation.

When asked what Obama would do in the event that Congress refuses to give its consent, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, “The president has taken his decision.”

“I think this is a smart decision by the president. … He is not trying to create an imperial presidency,” Kerry said. “I believe that in the end, Congress will do what is right.”

Meanwhile, Obama is trying to rally support among US congressmen and senators for military strikes against Syria. He invited hawkish Senator John McCain to the White House on Monday in order to help sell the idea of a US military intervention in Syria.

Following the meeting, McCain said a Congressional vote against military action would be “catastrophic.”

The United States accuses the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack, an allegation denied by Damascus.

US Navy warships are still on standby in the eastern Mediterranean ready to launch missiles on Syrian targets.

On Sunday, Congress began a series of meetings that are expected to continue over the next several days in preparation for a vote once lawmakers return from summer break.

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  • Zharkov

    Here is a transcript of what General Wesley Clark said:

    “…About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

    So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.”

    He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.”

    And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

    I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

  • Zharkov

    “The world cannot ignore the use of poison gas”

    I agree. So start the War Crimes Tribunal investigation, not bombing and more destruction.

    And let’s see the UN make the manufacture, possession, or use of war gases, depleted Uranium ammunition, and nuclear weapons, a crime against humanity.

  • Zharkov

    Obama: “I didn’t say what you heard me say. You didn’t hear Red Line from me. It’s one of those Americanisms I wouldn’t use, so forget what you heard with your own ears.”

    “First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air.

  • Yuri

    U.S. Military Intelligence Involved in Chemical Attack in Syria
    M.SHAPIRO: I can’t stop thinking about that terrible gas attack in Syria now. Did you see those kids? I was really crying They were poisoned, they died. When is it over? I see their faces when in sleep. What did Tony say you about this?

    J.MACDONALD: I saw it too and got afraid very much. But Tony comforted me. He said the kids weren’t hurt, it was done for cameras. So you don’t worry, my dear.

    M.SHAPIRO: I’m still thinking about those Syrian kids. Thanks God, they are alive. I hope they got a kind of present or some cash.

    From Col. MacDonalds’s wife dialog with her friend it’s clear that the video with the children killed in the chemical attack near Damascus was staged by the U.S. Military Intelligence.

    This information sheds new light on the US administration’s confession that “there were indications three days prior that an attack [on August 21] was coming”.
    http://orientalreview.org/2013/09/03/u-s-military-intelligence-involved-in-chemical-attack-in-syria/

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