Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate — Glenn Greenwald

Sep. 23 2014

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.

Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.

If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even afterCongress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

[The renewed war in Iraq] will be–by the administration’s own admission–prolonged, open-ended, and offensive in nature.

Every step along the way, the administration has set down restrictions on what it would be willing to do, and it then cast those restrictions aside within days or weeks of imposing them. The administration is currently saying that there won’t be American forces on the ground engaged in combat, but as we should know by now every statement like this is entirely provisional and can be revoked at any time.
VIDEO: Everything Biden mocked Romney for on the campaign trail has come true

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The point of this post isn’t to bolster Mitt Romney.  This website has certainly pulled no punches when it comes to Mitt Romney’s liberal progressive policies.  However, what this video does show is how incredibly clueless and out of touch the Obama White House really is.

Here’s the video:

And what did Romney say about Iraq and Syria?  He said pulling the troops out of Iraq all at once would result in chaos and that Iraq and Syria were rapidly becoming the new hotbeds of Islamic terrorism in the world.  Every bit of that is true, and now we are paying the price.

Were it not for Iraq’s oil, the U.S. would have never invaded. The military is the largest polluter. The oil companies are being protected by U.S. military strength. We see the military-industrial-oil complex all together in this.
—  antiwar and environmental activist Medea Benjamin when asked to explain the links between war and climate change on Democracy Now! today
What Bias? AP Reporter does his best to spin Obama's new undeclared war by attacking Bush

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Not only does AP Reporter Josh Lederman do his best to spin Obama’s new undeclared war in a positive light, but he gets his facts wrong in the process.

Take a look:

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Ace of Spades HQ blogger Gabriel Malor jumped all over it:

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Malor went on to write over at AOSHQ:

Neither the White House, nor our Arab partners, have announced just what our Arab partners contributed. I expect all or nearly all of the air strikes were actually made by U.S. forces.

The air strikes in Syria targeted ISIL, but also the Khorasan Group (a group I had not heard of), which is supposed to be one of the Al Qaeda splinters in Syria that was planning to attack the U.S. or U.S. interests. They also targeted the Nusra Front, which is the big Al Qaeda group in Syria.

After the air strikes began, a Syrian fighter jet entered Israeli air space and was shot down by the Patriot air defense system.

In addition to lacking domestic authorization for war, as I wrote in my tweets last night, the President failed to secure international authorization for war in Syria. The latter is less important to me than the former, but it was, once upon a time, pretty important to Democrats that wars be justified under international law. Indeed, Obama went to great lengths to see that the UN would sign off on his Libyan misadventure.

read the rest

This stuff is tired.  Regardless of how you feel about the Iraq war under Bush, the current mess with ISIS is Obama’s problem.  No amount of comparisons to Bush will justify the unconstitutional nature of Obama’s current military actions.  

Aside from that, Obama has begun a new war in Syria against a loud chorus from top Pentagon personnel who express grave concern that his strategy will do little more than ensnare the US in another long, aimless war with no path to victory.

A journalist’s job is to report the facts, and what this AP reporter has done is conceal the important facts by trying to cast a shadow on somebody else.  It’s not journalism; it’s a PR campaign for the White House.

Obama Administration’s Game of Geopolitical Terrorist Whack-a-Mole Expands with Strikes in Syria — Kevin Gosztola

Sep. 23 2014

The United States bombed targets in Syria, drastically expanding the warfront in the Middle East. America’s military forces attacked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets, as President Barack Obama had suggested would happen during his speech nearly two weeks ago. What came as a surprise was the fact that unilateral attacks also targeted the Khorasan Group, which Obama had not mentioned in his speech and is led by people who the US had been fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Lieutenant General William Mayville stated in a briefing that the Pentagon has been “watching this group” for a long time and believed the group was “nearing the execution phase in an attack either in northern Europe or the [US] homeland.”

US Central Command, in a press release which formed the basis for most US reporting on the air strikes, reported the US had “taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans – sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group – who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations. These strikes were undertaken only by US assets.”

A statement made by President Barack Obama acknowledged the strikes on Khorasan Group targets but avoided any specifics on why this group needed to be targeted now. Instead, Obama added, “It must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the attacks reportedly killed about 70 militants from ISIS and about 50 from Nusra Front, which is the “parent organization of the Khorasan cell.” Eight civilians were killed too.

The rationale for escalating war in Syria is questionable enough when considering what will happen with US and US-led forces attacking ISIS targets. But the risks of mission creep and transforming Syria into a greater quagmire than it already happens to be would seem to rise exponentially if the US is going to conduct surprise attacks on other terrorist or militant groups.

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Six weeks after Obama started air strikes, ISIS still gaining ground

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Obama’s current and former military advisors are ringing the loudest chorus in opposition to a sitting President’s strategy I’ve ever heard.  Why? Because his strategy isn’t working and is showing no signs that it will magically begin to work either.

from New York Times:

After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines.

Although the airstrikes appear to have stopped the extremists’ march toward Baghdad, the Islamic State is still dealing humiliating blows to the Iraqi Army. On Monday, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of the small town of Sichar and lost contact with several hundred of its soldiers who had been besieged for nearly a week at a camp north of the Islamic State stronghold of Falluja, in Anbar Province.

By midday, there were reports that hundreds of soldiers had been killed there in battle or mass executions. Ali Bedairi, a lawmaker from the governing alliance, said more than 300 soldiers had died after the loss of the base, Camp Saqlawiya. The prime minister ordered the arrest of the responsible officers, although a military spokesman put the death toll at just 40 and said 68 were missing.

read the rest

Relying on whatever the day’s public opinion polls say is no way to run the world’s most powerful military. 

U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms

Sep. 21 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sprawling new plant here in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines.

It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars.

This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy. The original idea was that modest rebuilding of the nation’s crumbling nuclear complex would speed arms refurbishment, raising confidence in the arsenal’s reliability and paving the way for new treaties that would significantly cut the number of warheads.

Instead, because of political deals and geopolitical crises, the Obama administration is engaging in extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.

Supporters of arms control, as well as some of President Obama’s closest advisers, say their hopes for the president’s vision have turned to baffled disappointment as the modernization of nuclear capabilities has become an end unto itself.

“A lot of it is hard to explain,” said Sam Nunn, the former senator whose writings on nuclear disarmament deeply influenced Mr. Obama. “The president’s vision was a significant change in direction. But the process has preserved the status quo.”

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