Two days after he stood in the ornate Treaty Room at the State Department to deliver a forceful address on the justification for an imminent U.S. military strike against Syria, Secretary of State John F. Kerry returned to the same venue Sunday to defend a different approach. In his maiden appearance as secretary on the Sunday talk shows, Kerry served as the administration’s spokesman for explaining President Obama’s surprising, last-minute decision to delay any attack until Congress could vote on it. It was not a conclusion Kerry anticipated, according to senior administration officials. But after seven months in office, during
Leading lawmakers dealt bipartisan rejection Sunday to President Obama’s request to strike Syrian military targets, saying the best hope for congressional approval would be to narrow the scope of the resolution. From the Democratic dean of the Senate to tea party Republicans in their second terms, lawmakers said the White House’s initial request to use force against Syria will be rewritten in the coming days to try to shore up support in a skeptical Congress. But some veteran lawmakers expressed doubt that even the new use-of-force resolution would win approval, particularly in the House. “I think it’s going to be
John Kerry, speaking on Face the Nation, defended Barack Obama’s delay in implementing action against Bashar Assad while he goes to Congress for authorization. Host Major Garrett asked, "I know you believe the president’s decision to seek congressional authorization is courageous, but isn’t it bowing to a political reality that had been communicated to the president late this week that there would be significant congressional backlash if he didn’t give Congress a role, and that backlash, in part, reflected the inability of the Administration to make its case this past week?" Kerry responded that President Obama had not shown any weakness by
President Obama has some work to do if he wants congressional authority to bomb Syria. Already some of his liberal allies are questioning the evidence which is supposed to show that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. “I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial. The atrocious use of chemical weapons against civilian is an affront to human values and a violation of international law. It should be condemned by the international community as
MOSCOW – Russia dramatically escalated its denunciations of American threats to attack Syrian military targets on Saturday, with President Vladimir Putin saying it would have been “utter nonsense” for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons as the Obama administration alleges. The Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued before President Obama said he would seek congressional authorization before ordering strikes on Syria, said a U.S. attack would be a “gross violation” of international law. (Snip) “I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate: Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future
WASHINGTON— Members of Congress who attended a classified briefing Sunday remained highly skeptical of voting to approve a military strike on Syria, and said the administration would need to be more specific about the exact scope of the attacks in the coming days. Congress is not set to reconvene in Washington until Sept. 9th, but roughly 60-70 representatives and several senators came to D.C on Labor Day weekend to attend the briefing. The meeting came a day after President Barack Obama announced he would seek congressional authorization for the attacks. “I’m still very skeptical about the President’s proposal. It is not clear
In 1943 when Noreen Riols was just shy of 18 she decided to join the Wrens for the simple reason that they had "better hats". Her ambition was short-lived, however, as Noreen who speaks fluent French, was deemed far more useful elsewhere. She was immediately dispatched to London´s Baker Street and the headquarters of SOE (Special Operations Executive). Here she was signed up to SOE, known as Churchill´s secret army. [Snip] Now 87, Noreen has written about those times and the characters she encountered in her latest book (she has written 10) The Secret Ministry Of Ag & Fish: My
Last March, President Barack Obama spoke about how Syria’s use of chemical weapons would be a “game-changer.” It has, except not quite in the sense that he meant. It has been an event that has confused and confounded the Obama administration. Whatever your views on the larger issues, it’s hard not to conclude that the administration’s handling of Syria over the last year has been a case study in how not to do foreign policy. The president started out with an understanding that the Syrian conflict is a messy sectarian struggle that cannot be influenced easily by American military intervention. He
Newspapers across the Middle East are busy discussing prospects for Western military intervention in Syria after US President Barack Obama decided to delay possible action until a vote in Congress. While there is sense that a strike against President Assad´s forces remains on the cards, some pan-Arab commentators criticize President Obama for what they see as a lack of resolve in tackling the Syria crisis. In Syria itself, a government daily says his announcement on Saturday signalled the start of a US "retreat", while an Iranian newspaper writes of a failure to build international consensus for a military campaign against President Assad´s
A university academic says she believes she has uncovered the first English recipes for iced chocolate desserts. Dr Kate Loveman, from the University of Leicester, said she found the recipes in manuscripts which belonged to the Earl of Sandwich in 1668. At the time, the chocolate treats came with a health warning for damaging the stomach, heart and lungs. The research also shows some of the regular themes in chocolate advertising across the centuries. ption.
One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy. The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters. Deriding the Iraq war was Obama’s signature selling point. He used it to great effect against both Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war) in the Democratic primaries and John McCain in the general election. For the last five years, disparagement of “Iraq” and “Bush” has seemed to intrude
London - A standoff between the British government and The Guardian over national security and press freedom entered its latest round on Friday when the high court extended police powers to analyze encrypted material seized from the partner of one of the newspaper’s journalists this month. The decision, which slightly expanded the authority of the police to investigate the digital files, came after a senior national security adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron told the court that a computer hard drive and memory sticks confiscated from David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald,
WASHINGTON - The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its strike group are heading west toward the Red Sea to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday.The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked. It was not immediately clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea, but they had not arrived by Sunday evening, said one
Syria: The Asad government continues to insist that it did not use chemical weapons in the attack on 21 August. It approved an extension of the UN inspection team´s visit and requested that it investigate three gas attacks against Syrian soldiers since 21 August. Lebanon´s Daily Star reported on 26 August that at least four Hizballah fighters are receiving treatment in Beirut after coming into contact with chemical agents in Syria, a security source said. The source said four or five members came into contact with the chemical agents while searching a group of rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar
“They said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do.” Sounds frightening, doesn’t it? Who could “they” be? A 1984-like government? A terrorist organization? An alien force? Well, according to the author who wrote those words, the “they” are big bad Christians. Christian Nation by Frederic C. Rich is a new novel which, according to some reviewers, is their worst nightmare, for it details a country in which Christian values are strictly obeyed. From GoodReads.com, “They said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would
Not that it makes much difference to the question of what to do about Syria, but most historians agree that Hitler deliberately refrained from using chemical weapons. This Stanford professor (a computer scientist and technology historian) says the Nazis never used poison gas on the battlefield. The infallible Wikipedia says they may have done so once, to end a three-month siege of Soviet troops. This article says Hitler wanted to use them, but a Nazi scientist persuaded them not to, by exaggerating the threat of Allied retaliation. And here’s a book that says neither side used chemical weapons in WWII because
Maybe anti-war demonstrators are unemployed, back home & getting on their parents´ health insurance policies. Or, maybe they´ve all decided to watch President Obama talk "hip hop" on MTV rather than care anymore about premeditated wars without Congress or international coalitions. Or, maybe they don´t want to be reminded of that "global test" that then Senator Kerry spoke about in the 2004 campaign? Or, maybe they don´t want to hear that we are starting wars that we can´t afford? Or, maybe they just can´t believe that the man who told them what they wanted to hear in 2007-08 would "go rogue". We do know that
Syrian president Bashar Assad ”now joins a list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein who’ve used these weapons in a time of war,” Secretary of State John Kerry said this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is of great consequence to Israel, to Jordan, to Turkey, to the region, and to all of us who care about enforcing the internation norm with respect to chemical weapons,” he explained. The U.S. military has decided the timing of the attack, Kerry argued, “is not going to make the difference with respect to sending the message” that chemical weapons shouldn’t be used.
"He who talks a lot doesn´t act," said Souad, a Damascus resident, mocking US President Barack Obama as a "coward" for delaying a decision to attack the Syrian regime. "Obama is a coward. He didn´t strike because he knows that our President Bashar (al-Assad) is all-powerful," said the employee of nationality electricity firm Ferdaws, in the northeast of the capital.(Snip)"He was like an actor taking part in a play being shown to the American people," staunch government supporter Hassan Azzam, 73, said of Obama. "I saw him, he was trembling like a leaf as he spoke, he seemed really troubled,"
The world’s eyes are riveted on Syria this week, as the United States, France and perhaps a few others organize plans to punish a bloodstained government for its use of chemical weapons against its own people. [snip] But another story that is getting less attention is much more important for the future of the world: the economic crisis in India represents a much more fateful moment in world politics than anything happening in Syria.
Scores of skeptical lawmakers attended a classified briefing on Syria at the Capitol on Sunday, but not a single member seemed to think a resolution authorizing force against the war-torn nation could pass at the present time. Indeed, the challenge for House and Senate leaders, who appear to largely be supportive of a U.S. strike in retaliation for the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, will be in changing the minds of members who said they still fail to see what President Barack Obama’s ultimate goal is. (Snip) Democrats and Republicans do not typically do whip counts on “conscience”
Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded. Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, is said to be opposed to the plans, which could also mean existing cars are sent to garages to be fitted with the speed limiters, preventing them from going over 70mph. The new measures have been announced by the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department as a measure to reduce the 30,000 people who die on the roads in Europe every year. A Government source told the Mail on Sunday Mr McLoughlin
A leading skeptic of U.S. intervention in conflicts abroad said Sunday that he believes there is only a "50/50" chance that the GOP-controlled House will vote to authorize the use of U.S military force in the Syria. "I think it´s at least 50/50 whether the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said on NBC´s Meet the Press. "I think the Senate will rubber stamp what [Obama] wants but I think the House will be a much closer vote," he added. "And there are a lot of questions we have to ask." Paul, a staunch defender
It took less than 24 hours for lawmakers to realize that the draft authorization for the use of military force sent to Congress by President Barack Obama would open the door to a prolonged war with Syria. That’s not something that Obama or top administration have been publicly pushing for — all indications are that the plan is for targeted action to deter the regime of Bashar al-Assad from further use of chemical weapons. But, as became clear on Capitol Hill on Sunday, Congress has no appetite for the broader mandate that the White House technically proposed. As #WGDB noted
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said he “can’t contemplate” that Congress would not authorize military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and therefore “turn its back on” the United States’ allies in the region and “on innocent Syrian people who have been slaughtered by this gas.” Host Chris Wallace asked Kerry on "Fox News Sunday" what would happen if Congress refused to give its authorization for military action in Syria, and Kerry replied that he does not believe that will happen. “I think the stakes of upholding the international standard of behavior that has been in place