Obama talks about Syria at 9pm ET tonight (open thread)

Obama speaks to the nation at 9pm Eastern Time tonight about Syria.

I figured I’d plop down an open thread if anyone is in the mood to discuss it, or anything else. I’ll be watching.

Syria via Shutterestock

Syria via Shutterestock

In the meantime, and totally unrelated, here’s a man who has no idea who his wife is when he comes out of surgery, still groggy from the anesthesia.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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40 Responses to “Obama talks about Syria at 9pm ET tonight (open thread)”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    Four of your five posts your posts are apolitical. They’re aimed at attacking me personally.

    I don’t hate Obama I hate his mass murder, his union busting, his attacks on the bill of Rights, his efforts to create a police state and to gut Social Security and Medicare. Only right wingers support those policies.

  2. Jack Rabbitz says:

    “Personal hatred?” Your posts are filled with visceral personal hatred for Obama. Maybe you would be happier living in Russia, under a dictator like Putin.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    This is a brand new discus account. It has three comments,two exactly the same and all characterized by being non-political and expressing personal hatred. DNC stalker.

  4. Jack Rabbitz says:

    And we’ve all heard your bullish*t way too often before.

  5. Jack Rabbitz says:

    Yeah, you know everything, don’t you.

  6. Jack Rabbitz says:

    You are so full of sh*t. Please stop spouting your dogmatic rubbish.

  7. kimberly537 says:

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  8. ronbo says:

    Carter has ethics. Let’s not trash the last known President to have moral principles.

  9. Indigo says:

    That sounds about right to me, it’ll be a long process although I expect it to drag out even longer, possibly for the rest of the lame duck term. It’s sad how Obama has let himself be sucked into the imperial bubble, I expected better of him. He’s a Jimmy Carter at best, a Woodrow Wilson at the other end. That’s really, really, really too bad because ethnic particularism was in play and he let down the team.

  10. karmanot says:

    Just amazing how oblivious Obozo is to anything outside the Imperial bubble. Watching him grasp at Putin’s straw man in Syria is beyond pathetic. Putie, has suddenly championed the rights of gased children and is proposing a long drawn out process of destroying gas weapons in Syria. My guess is that cooperation will last just long enough to coast past the Olympics. Puti has invested a fortune in the Olympics. It’s occurring on his fiefdom and will net him tens of millions in personal profit. Puti’s sweating the world reaction to his anti-gay pogroms and this is the perfect foil. Obozo took it hook, line, and sinker.

  11. ArthurH says:

    Actually I think Jon Stewart got it right on The Daily Show. He noted that we got into this situation because during the Presidential debates, in answer to a question on when he’d okay U.S. involvement enter in Syria (the question asker mentioned the term “red line”) Obama replied that if Assad used chemical weapons as a hypothetical. So when chemical weapon use in Syria was still unproven, Obama critics begin treating the hypothetical as a campaign promise and demand Obama get the U.S. directly involved in the Syrian civil war or expose himself as a liar and wimp. Obama proposes air strikes in Syria as he did in Libya. In explaining the need for air strikes, Secretary of State John Kerry, asked what would stop the need for military action, said that if Assad gave up all his chemical weapons and allowed International inspectors to verify that he complied, Assad, not understanding sarcasm, accepts the offer and Russia backs it. The result: The U.S. avoids a conflict that could escalate into another Iraq and Afghanistan. Stewart compared this to cartoon star Mr. Magoo blindly walking into danger and avoiding it. But he still wondered why all the talking deadheads on Fox News were reacting negatively to avoiding another foreign war (as the U.S. public seems to favor) as a foreign policy defeat by the Obama Administration. “What’s not to like about avoiding a war?” Stewart asked them. I agree with Stewart.
    By the way, I’d like to thank Arizona Republic editorial cartoonist Benson for reminding us where Assad got the chemical weapons. It was a president with the initials RWR.

  12. BeccaM says:

    Those are unintentional.

  13. emjayay says:

    I hope you are not saying Obama is the same thing as a willfully ignorant wannabe cowboy privleged backslapping former college cheerleader.

  14. emjayay says:

    its

  15. emjayay says:

    So are car accidents or falling down the stairs.

  16. nicho says:

    It’s a free country. You can support any war criminal of your choosing. Hint: It’s not about the chemical weapons.

  17. ronbo says:

    His lies are carefully crafted to deceive. But more importantly, he serves as a natural trojan-horse using people’s natural instincts against them.

    http://www.psypost.org/2013/08/voters-perceive-non-white-politicians-as-more-liberal-even-when-theyre-not-19822

    Very, very smart, this 1%.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    I agree except that I think Barack Obama lies more than Hillary Clinton and his warmongering and that’s main difference between them.

  19. lynchie says:

    U.S. has a huge stockpile of chemical weapons. You are dead right war doesn’t discriminate in how you die. Bomb, missile, chemical, nuke it is all the same in the end. Our boys in CIA couldn’t find ass with both hands.

  20. lynchie says:

    Well Hillary falls into the corporate ranks and is much more of a hawk than Obama. It seems O’highness and Kerry and complete idiots not to have tried this chemical turnover first. Puttie putt played our boys and made us look like fools. Only one positive, Repubs didn’t want military involvement and now they got it so they can’t complain that we look stupid. We really have the best government the 1% can buy. From end to the other our Congressmen and women look, talk and act like fools. It was probably always that way but now social media and the news corps everything is instantaneous. One good note Weiner is now flaccid and will have to limp away along with Spitzer.

  21. Indigo says:

    I’m amazed and amused that Putin managed an end run around Obama. And here it is, the 12th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and what have we accomplished . . . ? We’ve floundered for a full dozen years, bombing here, trashing there, killing elsewhere. We’re subject citizens now, carefully monitored by the latest technology, we’ve got a surveillance satellite system almost fully operational, we’ve crippled NASA and empowered the NSA while our administrators claim global hegemony, loot the national wealth, and the conservative population applauds. A day to remember? I’m afraid so, the day it all began to unravel. We’re not in a good spot.

  22. Indigo says:

    Good summary. That’s exactly what I picked up.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Obama regime failed miserably with it’s plans to attack Syria and further isolate Iran. It’s as big a failure and as Afghanistan where they’re going to be kicked out the same way the US left Vietnam – defeated. Their handling of the economy is nothing short of disastrous and their attempts to put the finishing touches on a police state are meeting with widening opposition, as is their plot to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    The Putin ran an end run around the Obama regime and played them as fools in an effort to protect their investments in the region centered around arms sales.

    That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that not much will change. We’ll see but I suspect that the rich, who buy and sell political hacks like Obama, will invest in a Republican lesser evil next time around. They’ll forgot all he’s done for them – trillions in gifts via qualitative easing, TARP, ACA and other scams. massive union busting and fighting to gut Social Security and Medicare.

    The lesser evil scam is the only option for the rich if they want to pretend to be democratic and it’s failing. “A report estimating the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election shows the rate was lower than in the past two presidential contests, though it surpassed the rate from 2000. Thursday’s report, from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters, compared to 62.3% who voted in 2008 and 60.4% who cast ballots in 2004. In 2000, the turnout rate was 54.2%.” People, fed up with an endless string of Republicans and Democrat lesser evils are not voting in the tens of millions.
    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/national/election-results-2012-voter-turnout-lower-than-2008-and-2004-report-says#ixzz2cBmbbihY

  24. goulo says:

    Then the US government should start by itself respecting laws, before assuming the right to hypocritically force others to respect laws while the US itself repeatedly breaks laws.

  25. BeccaM says:

    I’m still having problems with the message being, “No, you can’t kill your people with chemical weapons, but we won’t do anything to stop you from killing them using other means. No matter how many.”

    Getting blown up by mortar shells is also a horrible way to die.

  26. BeccaM says:

    Some quotes and remarks–

    Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country.

    I’m still trying to figure out how 100,000 dead Syrians before the chemical weapon attacks, with millions of refugees, is trumped by “over a thousand” killed by chemical weapons in recent days. Dead is dead. It’s always horrible, whether it’s by poison gas or by being blown up or being shot to death. Why no call to intervene before this?

    Because these weapons can kill on a mass scale, with no distinction between soldier and infant, the civilized world has spent a century working to ban them.

    Bombs dropped from altitude, whether from planes or drones, don’t make the distinction either.

    On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war.

    The majority of humanity has also declared cluster munitions off-limits, but the U.S. has refused to sign. They also do not distinguish between soldier and civilian and, unlike chemical weapons, can kill years or decades after being deployed.

    The majority also feels the world should be completely free of nuclear weaponry. And biological weapons. Yet America — and many other nations — have stockpiles of both.

    If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons.

    And if he does stop, I guess this means he can go back to slaughtering Syrian citizens with impunity, just as long as he doesn’t use that one type of weapon, yes?

    Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield.

    As opposed to all the other awful ways they can be killed…

    And it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons, and to use them to attack civilians.

    I think you should check with the victims of the London subway attacks. It’s actually already very easy. It’s only turning them into munitions that’s hard. Terrorists won’t use munitions.

    Now, I know that after the terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of any military action, no matter how limited, is not going to be popular.

    That’s how democracy is supposed to work. What the people want. Hence also why the power to declare war was given to Congress, not the Executive.

    Other questions involve the dangers of retaliation. We don’t dismiss any threats, but the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.

    So, not a national security threat then.

    It’s true that some of Assad’s opponents are extremists. But al Qaeda will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death.

    So instead people there will see that the gas attacks have been stopped, but not the wholesale slaughter — and this is supposed to keep them from turning to any available alternative, including al Qaeda extremists, because they actually are there, with ‘boots on the ground’? Sorry, not seeing how stopping one particular weapon attack makes people any less dead.

    Or any less resentful that all we did was stop one particular type of weapon from being used against them.

    Finally, many of you have asked: Why not leave this to other countries, or seek solutions short of force? As several people wrote to me, “We should not be the world’s policeman.”

    Yet this is what is being proposed. The U.S. going it alone again.

    My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements — it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them.

    So the Obama Doctrine is America IS the world’s policeman.

    And so, to my friends on the right, I ask you to reconcile your commitment to America’s military might with a failure to act when a cause is so plainly just.

    “C’mon! You conservatives love war! What’s up with this time?”

    To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain, and going still on a cold hospital floor.

    That’s emotional blackmail. And a cheap shot. What’s next? Incubator babies?

    Indeed, I’d ask every member of Congress, and those of you watching at home tonight, to view those videos of the attack, and then ask: What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way?

    C’mon, that’s gratuitous. ALL imagery of war is horrible. Frankly, I’m still haunted by the imagery of the drone attack in Afghanistan where, after a vehicle full of people were killed by missile, another missile was sent to kill everyone who came to try to help.

    America is not the world’s policeman.

    Sorry, but everything you just said indicates you feel we are. Did you have two different people working on this speech, in different rooms, not talking to each other?

    But when, with modest effort and risk–

    But a shitload of taxpayer money and America’s already damaged reputation on the line…

    –we can stop children from being gassed to death–

    But we won’t stop them from being killed by other means…

    –and thereby make our own children safer over the long run–

    Didn’t you just say Assad was no national security threat to us whatsoever?

    I believe we should act.

    Again, contrary to what a majority of the American people want.

  27. Jim Olson says:

    Whom.

  28. Jim Olson says:

    It’s not the American people I’m worried about. Polling suggests we’re not buying it. Neither is Congress. If the President launches missiles against Syria, he owns this one all by himself.

  29. pricknick says:

    That is your right to support him. Can you prove what he can not? Who gassed who?

  30. benb says:

    I support Obama on this because I want to give him diplomatic leverage to credibly threaten the Syrian government if they do not move to inactivate their chemical weapons stockpile.

  31. zorbear says:

    Did anybody else think he looked mad as hell (perhaps over being temporarily thwarted?), or was that just me?
    :-|

  32. dula says:

    Hopefully the American people won’t be so easily cowed this time.

  33. caphillprof says:

    Sounds like a job for Joe Wilson!

  34. karmanot says:

    “Yadda, yadda, yadda, rattle rattle, rattle: Let me be perfectly clear—-we will fold, follow a drawn out diplomacy, let Puti and the bloody dictator make a fool of me, once again. But, we still believe in the freedoms, humanity and oh—the children.” End of speech.

  35. nicho says:

    Deja Moo: The vague feeling that you’ve heard this bullshit before.

  36. Dave of the Jungle says:

    We’re not the policeman of the world but it’s up to us to enforce international law.

  37. freewayblogger says:

    He forgot to mention babies being torn from incubators, links to 9/11, Syrians attacking our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin and, hell, while we’re at it, blowing up the U.S.S. Maine. Americans refuse to go to war until you lie straight to our faces.

  38. BeccaM says:

    Shorter speech: The American people don’t want to go to war with Syria; Congress doesn’t want to. We are therefore going to attack them anyway.

    At least that’s what it sounds like to me.

  39. wearing out my F key says:

    “The British government has learned that bashar al-assad recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa….”

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