AMMAN, Jordan — Ahmad Nemah, a midlevel Syrian rebel commander, is certain there’s sound military logic behind President Barack Obama’s decision to delay U.S. missile strikes against the Syrian regime, but he’s having a hard time persuading his subordinates. “I know that this is not a postponement but a strategic pause to . . . set up for a surprise attack,” insisted Nemah, a former colonel in Syrian air force intelligence. “Of course, people are depressed, and I’m having trouble convincing everyone that there will be a strike.” There’s a good reason why Nemah is having difficulty selling his
STEVE HOLLAND, REUTERS: Have you made up your mind whether to take action against Syria whether or not you have a congressional resolution approved? Is a strike needed in order to preserve your credibility for when you set these sort of red lines? And were you able to enlist the support of the prime minister here for support in Syria? PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me unpack the question. First of all, I didn´t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world´s population said the use of
RUSH: You know, ladies and gentlemen, this Syria stuff, I just have to say this is getting embarrassing. This is not how a great power operates. This is just rank amateur time, everybody involved. Here´s McCain at the hearing yesterday caught playing poker on his iPhone, and Wolf Blitzer over at CNN had to be convinced that it was just a game. He thought that McCain was actually online gambling, was trying to make a story out of it. And I´m sitting there thinking maybe McCain will draw four queens and think that he´s now in a Muslim marriage and
Authorities in China have scooped up around 220,000 pounds of dead fish today that they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant. Locals said dead fish covered the surface of the Fuhe River in central China and stretched for about 25 miles. The Hubei province environmental protection blamed local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co for the disaster. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it was not going to immediately comment. About 1,600 residents in nearby
RUSH: This is this morning in Stockholm, Sweden, President Obama and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt -- who I have to credit. This guy speaks English better than most Americans do, certainly better than most low information Americans do. It was a joint press conference. During the Q&A a reporter said (impression), Mr. President! "Mr. President, have you made up your mind whether to take action against Syria, whether or not you have a congressional resolution approved? "Is a strike needed in order to preserve your credibility for when you set these sorts of red lines? And were you able to
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to approve a resolution authorizing U.S. military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The committee spent most of Wednesday debating the merits of a resolution behind closed doors and for about an hour in public. So how did senators vote? Here’s a breakdown: Final tally: 10 to 7, with one senator voting present. Who voted yes?: Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (by proxy — was absent due to the Jewish holiday), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.),
Arizona congressman Matt Salmon’s constituents have called his office 500 times about Syria, he tells National Review Online in an interview, but only two callers have expressed support for intervening there. “This is not hyperbole!” he says emphatically. And Salmon himself is firmly against authorizing a strike. “I don’t see any national-security imperative for our country at all. Both sides in this equation are bad actors.” He also notes that Obama has been unable to form an international coalition and hasn’t laid out an overall objective for a missile strike. “Other than saving face for the president,
BEAUFORT, S.C. -- South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford says he will vote against military intervention in Syria. The Republican lawmaker says his constituents are weary of military and financial engagements in the Middle East. And Sanford says the Obama administration has not answered questions about why it’s in America’s interest and what the exit strategy would be. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late Tuesday drafted a resolution permitting a 90-day military mission in Syria but prohibiting U.S. troops on the ground there.
"First of all, I didn´t set a red line," Barack Obama said today at a press conference in Stockholm. "The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world´s population said the use of chemical weapons are [sic] abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war." Well, here´s what Obama said at an Aug. 20, 2012, White House press conference in response to a reporter´s question about Syria: I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made chemical and biological
Luxembourg is one of Europe´s smallest countries, bordered by two of its largest--Germany and France. This may be one reason why its national character is, for many people, hard to pin down. Could a peculiar religious dance hold a clue? Despite centuries of foreign domination, wars and disease, Luxembourgers have never stopped hopping--a bouncy dance to the tune of a polka, in honour of their British patron saint. [Snip] Now it´s Europe´s largest traditional dancing procession, held on Whit Tuesday, when some 10,000 hoppers converge on the city of Echternach, along with up to 40,000 spectators.
WASHINGTON—The SenateForeign Relations Committee approved a resolution Wednesday authorizing President Barack Obama to conduct military strikes against Syria. The 10-7 vote came after the panel added a provision to the resolution stating that U.S. policy aims to "change the momentum on the battlefield" in the Syrian civil war, in order to force President Bashar al-Assad to agree to a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and paves the way for a democratic government. The full Senate and House must still approve the resolution. President Barack Obama is seeking congressional
Leapin’ lizards! Hunters in Mississippi broke a state record for the heaviest alligator ever bagged, kicking off the season with two monster catches. Dustin Bockman of Wisconsin and two hunting buddies bagged the 727-pound 13-foot-long beast on Sunday, beating the previous year’s record-setter by 26 pounds, according to the state’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. “We’re going to cook it for sure,” he told Gulf Live. “There’s plenty for me and everybody else.” He and his team of hunters tailed the gigantic reptile for 12 hours until they could get close enough to shoot it with a crossbow.
Senators on Wednesday tried to write a tight resolution authorizing President Obama to strike Syria under very specific circumstances, but analysts and lawmakers said the language still has plenty of holes the White House could use to expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend. “Wiggle room? Plenty of that,” said Louis Fisher, scholar in residence at the Constitution Project and former long-time expert for the Congressional Research Service on separation of powers issues. Writing the actual language to empower and constrain Mr. Obama is proving to be a difficult task, with the key authors being pulled in various
Senate Democratic leadership tossed aside the rules for moving legislation with regard to the resolution authorizing the use of military force against Syria, angering some Republicans and creating confusion on Capitol Hill in the run up to the war vote. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved a modified war resolution Wednesday afternoon by vote of 10-7 with one member, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), voting present. The committee´s action allows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring the measure to the floor as early as Friday, following a break for the Jewish holidays. That would allow a vote by the
President Obama cleared his first hurdle on Wednesday in his push for a military strike in Syria, as a key Senate panel voted to authorize the use of force. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7, with one senator voting present, to approve a military strike in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack last month. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week. The vote came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised objections to an earlier draft. The objections forced lawmakers to renegotiate the language; McCain ultimately won some tougher language clarifying that U.S. action
President Barack Obama said he retains the right to order strikes against Syria even if Congress doesn´t authorize them, but he is seeking approval from U.S. lawmakers because he thinks it will strengthen America´s response. "We will be stronger as a country in our response if the president and Congress does it together," Mr. Obama said at a news conference on Wednesday in Stockholm. Asked whether he would launch strikes in Syria if Congress doesn´t authorize them, the president said: "As commander in chief I always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of America´s national security. I
With less than a month before the Obamacare exchanges open, the administration dispatched former president Bill Clinton to tout the unpopular law. Speaking at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas on Wednesday, President Obama’s “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” offered up a practical sell for Obama’s signature law. “I’ll do the best I can in plain language to say how the law works, what’s happened so far, what has to be done now, what the unsolved problems are,” he said. “And why we’re better off working together to fix those problems than continuing to fight to repeal the law,
President Obama has done himself no favours today with his disingenuous statements on Syria in Stockholm alongside Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. As The Weekly Standard first reported, Barack Obama claimed “he didn’t set a red line” on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, arguing that “the world set a red line” when it passed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. He also declared that his credibility isn’t on the line, but Congress’s credibility, America’s credibility and the international community’s credibility is at stake if military action isn’t taken on Syria.
BERLIN — French leaders warned Wednesday that failing to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would send a dangerous signal to the dictators of the world. But French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also said that his country would not launch a retaliatory strike on Syria if the United States decides not to do so. “France will not act without U.S. support,” he told his country’s Senate as France’s Parliament began to debate whether the country should take military action to punish the government of President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack that the
Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday’s hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily. “With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.” Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.
The Diocese of Gallup plans to petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in federal bankruptcy court because of mounting legal claims over sexual abuse by clergy members. In a statement read in parishes during Mass over the weekend, Bishop James Wall said the filing “is the most effective and thoughtful course to take in light of the claims from those who were abused.” The diocese includes parishes in six counties in New Mexico, three counties in Arizona and seven American Indian reservations. It will become the ninth Roman Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection since the abuse scandal erupted in 2002.
As 2013 rolls on from summer into fall there is still no end in sight to one of the great energy impasses of the year—will the Keystone XL pipeline ever be approved, or is it fated to become a historical footnote? The pipe, in case you have forgotten, is planned to allow 830,000 barrels a day of heavy crude to move from Canada’s oil sands development all the way to refineries on America’s Gulf Coast. Keystone needs approval from the State Department because it crosses the Canadian-U.S. border. The debate on whether it is a good idea or not has seemingly been
Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville has been tapped to write a bi-weekly column for "The Hill"; his first will be on modern Republicanism and modern conservatism, the congressional news outlet announced on Wednesday. "James’ voice is among the most recognized in politics," Hill editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon said in a statement. “We are so pleased to include his unique take on current affairs. James will be an ideal complement to our diverse and prominent line-up of contributors.” Carville came to fame as lead strategist on Bill Clinton´s 1992 campaign; he now spends his time as a media personality and international consultant.