Skip to comments.In Stunning Move UK Parliament Rejects Syria Military Strike, Obama "Willing To Go It Alone"
Posted on 08/29/2013 3:21:28 PM PDT by Zakeet
Moments ago the UK House of Commons, in a razor thin vote, rejected the Cameron proposal for military action in Syria with a vote 285 to 272. Cameron promptly said he would respect the will of the House of Commons and UK Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond confirmed there would be no UK military intervention in Syria. Incidentally, this may have been the best outcome for an already humiliated British premier who will avoid being dragged into an unpopular war having both sided with his greatest ally, the US, and also relented and listened to the voice of the people. More importantly, the "people" in the UK actually had a voice, which is more than can so far be said about developments in the US. And speaking of the US, the NYT reports that even as the Syrian war "option" is slowly being shut out for staunch US allies (except for France of course), that Obama is "willing to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria even while allies like Britain are debating whether to join the effort [ZH: and have now voted against it] and without an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council" citing senior administration officials.
The ETA for a unilateral move by Obama may be as soon as Saturday:
Although the officials cautioned that Mr. Obama had not made a final decision, all indications suggest that the strike could occur as soon as United Nations inspectors, who are investigating the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, leave the country. They are scheduled to depart Damascus, the capital, on Saturday.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will back such a decision, or whether in addition to getting the cold shoulder from his allies, Obama will also be forced to use the War Powers Act to once more stomp out popular dissent for a conflict that as previously reported, only has the support of just 9% of the US population.
The White House is to present its case for military action against Syria to Congressional leaders on Thursday night. Administration officials assert that the intelligence will show that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad carried out the chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
The intelligence does not tie Mr. Assad directly to the attack, officials briefed on the presentation said, but the administration believes that it has enough evidence to carry out a limited strike that would deter the Syrian government from using these weapons again.
It is unclear if this intelligence was obtained by the US, or through collaboration with Israeli which three days ago was said to have intercepted "Syrian regime chatter" confirming Assad was behind the attack.
Specifically, the intelligence intercepted refers to the following:
One central piece of the White House intelligence, officials say, is an intercepted telephone call from a Syrian commander who seems to suggest that the chemical attack was more devastating than intended. It sounds like he thinks this was a small operation that got out of control, one intelligence official said Thursday.
Curiously, Obama's proposed line of attack, pardon the pun, and distinction from comparable previous foreign policy blunders most recently by the Bush administration, is that unlike in Iraq, Obama does not seek an overthrow of the Assad regime and merely "reinforcing an international ban on the use of chemical weapons, and seeking to prevent their use in Syria":
Obamas rationale for a strike creates a parallel dilemma to the one that President George W. Bush confronted 10 years ago, when he decided to enter into a far broader war with nearly 150,000 American troops in Iraq one that the Obama administration says differed sharply from its objectives in Syria without seeking an authorizing resolution in the United Nations. In that case, they said, Mr. Bush was seeking to overthrow the Iraqi government. In this one, they argue, he is reinforcing an international ban on the use of chemical weapons, and seeking to prevent their use in Syria or against American allies, including Turkey, Jordan and Israel.
The current American objective, officials say, is to halt future use of chemical weapons rather than remove the leadership that allowed their use. Mr. Obama has referred, somewhat vaguely, to reinforcing international norms, or standards, against the use of chemical weapons, which are categorized as weapons of mass destruction even though they are far less powerful than nuclear or biological weapons.
Not surprisingly, this differs from what Hillary Clinton said over a year ago. From AFP in June 2012:
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday she "made it very clear" to her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at the weekend that the focus was shifting to a political transition in Syria.
"Assad's departure does not have to be a precondition but it should be an outcome, so the people of Syria have a chance to express themselves," she told reporters in Stockholm.
This sounds dangerouly close to intent to overthrow a government.
Finally, and perhaps worth noting, is the question of just what form of delivery did the alleged Assad regime's use of chemical weapons come in. Hopefully it was not remote-controlled toy planes. Recall from June:
Iraqi officials say they have busted a plot by an Al Qaeda cell to carry out poison gas attacks in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
The attacks could have possibly been carried out by remote-controlled toy planes, which were seized at two workshops in Baghdad, the BBC reports.
Mohamed al Askari, a spokesman for Iraq's defense ministry, said on Saturday that five suspects were detained over operations at the two facilities, where they were allegedly planning to produce sarin and mustard gas using instructions from another Al Qaeda group, Sky News reports.
Askari said the suspects had materials and formulas to make the gases -- and had a network to smuggle the toxins out of Iraq -- but they had yet to produce any weapons.
The arrests were made after an investigation by Iraq and foreign intelligence services, Sky News reports.
Al Qaeda in Iraq detonated 16 chlorine bombs between October 2006 and June 2007, the BBC reports.
Either way, the just concluded UK vote is not only a huge blow to David Cameron, and a shocking success for democracy, but leaves Obama in a truly no win position: he will be humiliated if he backs off now after having escalate the war drums to a frenzy, and will be blasted by all sides of the political spectrum if he proceeds to engage in a widely unpopular military conflict.
The brave community organizer is gonna start
his own war and take 'em down all by himself!
Dat dog ain’t got no tail no mo.
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I'm enjoying this way more than I should.
Where is Waldo Boehner. Where is congress?
It’s a punitive action to prevent the use of chems in the future?
So what is he going to do? Bomb the weapons?
What would be the outcome of that?
So much for a coalition of the willing.
At least Americans got to see some real debate on the issue. However, glad the Tories lost. That party no longer has any moral authority since legalizing homosexual marriage.
Hey, the French are still with us. Just give them the time and they are ready to surrender.
Russia is sending Warships to Syria. And I am certain it is not for a boat show.
What is this evidence?
Where is Waldo Boehner?
Where is Congress?
That’s what they called “Cowboy Diplomacy” when Bush was in office
No blood for Humus!
OK, today let’s call it “Rodeo Clown Diplomacy”...
If he is being forced to take the full responsibility maybe he will rethink his mock, two day attack that will toss a tanker load of gas on the situation.
Because everybody knows how he is sooo big on that responsibility for his own actions thing.
Zero thumped the Brits one too many times, what comes around goes around! Stuff your iPod speeches where the sun don’t shine!
Wow.. This little piece of sh** Ubama is “willing to go it alone” - - except it’s not him who will be going anywhere. It will be the sodomized, feminized remnants of the once-proud US military.
Strange, ain’t it?
Bush had , Congressional votes, UN resolutions, and a coalition of the willing, and still was called ‘Rogue’.
At least he said what he meant and meant what he said, even though it took 6 months to ‘rush into war’.
Once bitten, twice shy. One thing to learn from the Bush presidency is how fast the Dems will turn on you. Almost as if they were Lucy with the football and we were Charlie Brown.
Neither the American people, nor the facts, are with our Resident. Indeed, there are gobs of 'Rats also not with the 'Resident.
0'Boehner needs to pull the rug out from under any Syria action, by calling Congress back into session to at least pass a resolution saying no to 0's using his Al-Qaida air force against those that have chem WMDs, but did not use them as they were used by the very rebels that 0' supports.
After all, even though 0'Boehner has only one half of one third, he has 100% of that one half of one third, and passing a resolution does not have to go thru any 'Rat sInate.
Why in the *world* would the Brits support *any* Obama initiative? He’s ‘dissed’ them every chance he’s gotten. The next President is going to have a lot of work to do to mitigate and repair the absolute damage this guy is doing.
How many of Obammys Baby Trayvon like sons would agree to his aggression?
Don’t enjoy it too much. Regardless of what happens, the media will have no problem spinning it to make zero look good. Even if they can’t, expect a heavy volume of phrases like “in a rare misstep, ...” If, as I expect, he does nothing, there will be countless comparisons to GWB (”unlike GWB, who led us into a pointless war based on a mistake, Obama showed the wisdom of a true leader ...”).
At this point, my chief worry is that by alienating everyone, the potential for any action getting out of control is increasing by the minute. I still don’t think Obama will do anything, but if he does, China and Russia are not only going to go ballistic, they will also be encouraged by the fact that Obama has completely bungled this so far, and has no support anywhere, domestic or abroad.
Don’t fool yourself. Quite a few GOP Congresscritters support this foolish action. Bonehead does not want to expose them with a vote.
I’m pretty sure France cares a lot more about what happens in Syria than they did about Iraq.
Coming at this time, it would leave a mark.
Let’s see if our corrupt traitor has been paid enough to order an attack in direct violation of international law. The UN hung 11 war criminals at Nuremberg for this sort of crime. Do you think they have the nads to do the same to Obama?
Parliament’s decision is hardly stunning. hussein will be going it alone since the American citizens don’t want anything to do with it. He’s out to get his WWIII and he may not like the finish.
My active duty Army son would disagree with your characterization of him, sir. But I will tell you this: I don't want Baraq getting him killed for no damn good reason.
In all syriasness, Lebanon and Syria are former French colonies and I agree they do have more interest in that region.
The man is a complete and utter fool.
“So what is he going to do? Bomb the weapons? What would be the outcome of that?”
The weapons have reportedly been widely dispersed to prevent their destruction by air raids. Most likely a concentrated effort would fail to hit even 50%. Then, as you imply, you’d have a massive release of gas or nerve agents. There is no good option. At one point the weapons were all stored in just three closely guarded facilities and could have been taken out then. But that would have taken foresight and planning. Something we’re a bit short on now.
King Zero will defy the world to help his MB comrades. He knows our “news” media will back and spin it to make him look like a hero )to them).
Agreed. Putin must be loving this. It’s bad for the country to have a President this weak and disrespected.
Having never worked in a real job, the Amateur never learned that you have to pick your battles to fight. This one clearly wasn’t worth fighting.
Now he’s painted himself into a corner for all the world to see.
Hey, the French are still with us.
Better to have an enemy in front than the French behind. :)
They weren’t amused about Mali, either. The French can get muscular with the wogs when they want to. But they’ll be the ones “going it alone” this time because I think, to our good fortune, Obastard is going to chicken out.
Is he really ready to go it alone?
Without OUR military?
This is the time for our military to say ENOUGH. Maybe it is time for a “coup” of our own. Time for the oaths to be taken serious about domestic invaders that have infiltrated Washington. The carpetbaggers are not in the south anymore. The are within the beltway
Time for Obama to be taken by the hackles and turned upside down along with his administration of muslim goat humpers.
I think the French, among many others, would love to get rid of the Assad dynasty. They really pissed them off over Lebanon. The question everyone is asking is what would come after?
Yeah, where's Michael Moore and the Code Pink gang?
They should be organizing HUGE marches right about....NOW.
Needs a teleprompter screen as the forward sight.