Syria

Syria chemical weapons attack: what we know about deadly air raid

Syria chemical weapons attack: what we know about deadly air raid:

“The pattern of casualties isn’t right for the distribution of materials that you would get if you had a location with toxic materials breached by an airstrike. It’s more consistent with canisters that have distributed [chemical weapons] over a wider population,” Guthrie said.

We can not risk normalizing the use of chemical weapons.

Europe’s Child-Refugee Crisis

Europe’s Child-Refugee Crisis:

Among the 1.3 million people who sought asylum in Europe in 2015 were nearly a hundred thousand unaccompanied children. Most were from Afghanistan and Syria. Thirteen per cent were younger than fourteen years old. The data for 2016 are incomplete, but the situation is comparable. Experts estimate that for every child who claims asylum one enters Europe without seeking legal protection. (The number of unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the United States, most of them from Central America, has also increased dramatically in recent years. President Trump’s executive order on immigration, in addition to barring refugees, targets asylum seekers, many of whom are unaccompanied children.) At an age at which most kids need supervision to complete their homework, these children cross continents alone.

Worth a read.

Lindsey Graham: Iraq And Syria ‘Coming Here’ To U.S. Mainland If Obama Doesn’t Go To War

Lindsey Graham: Iraq And Syria ‘Coming Here’ To U.S. Mainland If Obama Doesn’t Go To War:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned on Sunday that militants in Iraq and Syria would attack the U.S. mainland if President Barack Obama did not immediately take military action to stop them.

I guess we can assume that all those Republicans that called on Obama to attack ISIS will now rally around the president? Probably not.

Drone Battle Over Syria

Drone Battle Over Syria:

It appears the Syrian army is spying on rebel forces using the same drones that consumers can buy for just a couple thousand dollars. And the rebels might be using similar flying robots to spy right back.

Both sides are using cheap drones.

I think it’s just a matter of time when some group uses drones to mount an act of protest or an act of civil disobedience. Drones will be used to monitor everything from police brutality to corporate malfeasance.

Tweets for 2013-09-01

  1. Prediction: Obama goes to congress for authorization. GOP majority grants it. Left blames GOP, right blames Obama. #Syria #syriadebate

Tweets for 2013-08-31

  1. Prediction: Obama goes to congress for authorization. GOP majority grants it. Left blames GOP, right blames Obama. #Syria #syriadebate

Tweets for 2013-08-28

  1. Anyone else think the goal in #Syria is to start a war between Iran and AlQaeda somewhere where it won’t disrupt oil production?
  2. RT @loresjoberg: Brown bears have no natural predators. They are preyed upon only by supernatural predators, such as balrogs.

Pelosi's Delegation Presses Syrian Leader on Militants

Delegation members said that they sought to persuade Mr. Assad to distance himself from Iran, and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has become Syria's ally in the growing confrontation with the so-called quartet of moderate Arab states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
From NYT

This is one of those moments where I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that loyalty to principles and intellectual honesty must come before any other loyalty. And with that in mind, I think it is a really terrible idea to have congress involved in foreign policy. That has always been the job of the executive. Why? Article 2, Sec 2 says so.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

Even if the executive is doing a bad job, it is still the job of the executive and not the job of the House. No matter how much I might dislike W’s handling of foreign policy, I respect the principles of separation of powers as described in the constitution far more.

So what they should the dems do? Bring Rice in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ask her what she is doing about Syria. Appropriate money earmarked specially for diplomacy with Syria. Pass resolutions. And all the other things that congress is empowered by the constitution to do.