Even as Congress considers President Obama´s push for military strikes on Syria, the details of that plan continue to change by the day -- with one source telling Fox News that military officials have been asked to revise their plans 50 times since the Pentagon first began considering a “limited” action. Still to be resolved is what method of attack the U.S. would use. While missile-equipped ships are at the ready in the Mediterranean Sea, a senior defense official told Fox News that the possibility of launching military aircraft strikes was one of the range of options presented to Obama. The official
President Barack Obama’s sudden decision – after a 45-minute Friday walk on the White House grounds – to go to Congress for authorization to intervene in Syria is far more than a simple, predictable act of accountability avoidance. Regardless of whether he gets the support to which he and Secretary of State John Kerry apparently feel entitled (amid serious doubts over who has really deployed chemical weapons in that country), Obama’s move has potentially far-reaching negative consequences. Congress must do all it can to avoid them. The first hint that there is more to this than Obama’s typical politically calculated reluctance
The Obama administration has stumbled from one credibility crisis to the next on Syria, and now wants Congress to rescue Barack Obama from himself. Obama declares that the stated policy of the United States toward Syria is regime change, then dithers on how to effect it. Obama draws a red line, and then does nothing at all to prepare for the possibility that Bashar al-Assad might call his bluff. This credibility crisis goes beyond Syria, however, and extends to the whole Arab Spring, for which Obama seemed all too pleased to take credit not terribly long ago. He demanded Hosni Mubarak’s
The most important difference between the world today and 150 years ago isn’t airplane flight or nuclear weapons or the Internet. It’s lifespan. We used to live 35 or 40 years on average in the United States, but now we live almost 80. We used to get one life. Now we get two. You may well be living your second life already. Have you ever had some health problem that could have killed you if you’d been born in an earlier era? Leave aside for a minute the probabilistic ways you would have died in the past—the smallpox that didn’t kill
I learned many things attending the trial of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, and watching it online, but one important thing I learned was fully unexpected, and it was this: the Republicans may never win a national election again. This observation has nothing to do with the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, nothing to do with race, nothing to do with policy, and everything to do with the way people, especially women and young people, increasingly get their information.
A just-released 911 call reveals the dramatic moment when two Dallas-area teens were able to help save a woman who had allegedly been kidnapped after they saw her mouth the words “help me” from the back of a moving vehicle. Charles Atkins Lewis, 37, was arrested Aug. 22 after allegedly kidnapping the woman, 25, who has not been identified, at gunpoint and forcing her into his car in downtown Dallas. The two teenagers noticed the woman from their car as Lewis allegedly drove her through Kaufman County, according to the recording. “Yes, I’m on the highway. I’m witnessing a robbery. Not a
PHOENIX -- An Arizona woman who has spent more than two decades on death row after being convicted of having her 4-year-old son killed for an insurance payout is expected to be released on Friday while she awaits a retrial of the case that made her one of the state´s most reviled inmates. Judge Rosa Mroz of Maricopa County Superior Court set Debra Milke´s bond at $250,000 a day earlier, saying there´s no direct evidence linking her to her son´s death other than a purported confession to a detective. And, the judge said, the validity of that confession is in doubt.
Republican leaders in Washington, including Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Senators McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), and Corker (R-TN), are supporting President Obama´s call for an American attack on Syria, but Tea Party groups around the country are united in their opposition to such military action. Tea Party activists appear to be virtually unanimous in their support for the position taken by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said on Tuesday the United States "should not serve as Al-Qaeda´s Air Force." Lynn Moss, co-organizer of the Mid-South Tea Party in Memphis, Tennessee, expressed a view held
World leaders were greeted by a lavish display from Vladimir Putin at Russia´s G20 summit today with a decadent ball which felt a world away from the realities on the ground in Syria. Women dressed in elaborate Marie Antoinette style costumes met the world´s most powerful men and women in a display which seemed to be a celebration of luxury at the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg. The images were somewhat removed from the kind of photographs the leaders will be poring over tomorrow when they discuss evidence of the horrifying chemical attacks in Syria which killed 1,400 innocent civilians including children.
US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden. The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to
Could the current conflict in Syria be the latest sign of end times? Apocalypse buffs with unlikely sounding prediction of impending Armageddon seem to think so--including an author who claims to have been a consultant to former Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and who seems to have the ears of former presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. ´The innocent blood shed by the Assad regime is reprehensible and heart-breaking and is setting the stage for a terrible judgment,´ best-selling author and self-described Jewish believer in Jesus Joel C. Rosenberg wrote in a blog post last
St. Petersburg, Russia - World leaders are venting over Syria´s civil war but look no closer to agreeing on international military intervention to stop it. A French official says leaders at a summit of the Group of 20 leading world economies in Russia agreed with President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande that chemical weapons had been used in an Aug. 21 attack in Syria, and condemned it. But many leaders remain in doubt about whether Syrian President Bashar Assad´s regime was behind the attack, or Syria´s rebels. The U.S. and France are preparing possible military
My old boss George W. Bush will never say it for himself, so I’ll say it for him: With President Obama’s foreign policy in tatters across the Middle East, maybe we’ve finally arrived at a moment where we can look at what we threw out when we replaced the Bush Doctrine with the Obama Doctrine. Even calling the 44th president’s policy a doctrine is being generous. From the start, it had two chief components. One was the idea that you make your foreign-policy decisions based on domestic politics. The second was the new president’s apparent faith that the mere fact
Politico has an eye-opening piece today revealing the extent to which the White House is staring defeat in the face over Syria. According to the influential Washington-based publication, President Obama doesn’t have the votes in the House of Representatives to secure a win, with large-scale opposition among Republicans, and lukewarm backing among Democrats: If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose--and lose big. That’s the private assessment of House Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides who are closely involved in the process. If the Senate passes a use-of-force resolution next week--which is
Peshawar, Pakistan - A suspected U.S. drone aircraft killed at least seven militants in Pakistan´s ethnic Pashtun tribal region on the Afghan border on Friday, Pakistani security officials and residents said. U.S. drones have fired missiles into troubled and inaccessible border areas such as North Waziristan, the main stronghold for militant groups aligned with al Qaeda and the Taliban, since 2004. Pakistan has been angered by reports of civilian casualties and what it sees as a violation of its sovereignty, and the United States has reduced their use in recent years. In the early hours of Friday, drones
Washington - The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. Any training would take place outside Syria, and one possible location would be Jordan. (Snip) The CIA has been training select groups of rebels in Jordan on the use of communications equipment and some weapons provided by Gulf states. The new discussions center on whether the U.S. military should take over
San Jose, Calif. - Google´s attorneys say their long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of people´s Gmail accounts to help sell ads is legal, and have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop the practice. In a federal court hearing Thursday in San Jose, Google argued that "all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing." The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 10 individuals, is expected to be certified as a class action and is widely seen as a precedent-setting case for other email providers. The plaintiffs say Google "unlawfully
The long-rumored move of the actor Alec Baldwin to the new position of talk show host was confirmed on Thursday with the announcement that MSNBC had hired Mr. Baldwin for a once-a-week program in prime time. The network said that Mr. Baldwin — most recently the star of the comedy “30 Rock” on the news channel’s sister network NBC — would host a show where he would conduct interviews related to current events and culture. “Up Late With Alec Baldwin” will begin in October and fill the 10 p.m. Friday slot, replacing the prison reality show “Lock Up,” which will be pushed back an hour.
Go to law school, pass the bar, get a license to practice law: It’s a path that thousands of Americans have followed. Now, several immigrants – who don’t have citizenship or a green card but have been able to take the first two steps – say that they, too, should be allowed to practice law. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether it should grant a law license to Sergio Garcia. He was brought by his family from Mexico as a baby, returned to Mexico for part of his youth, and then came
The threat of a US strike against Syria is "organized terrorism," Lebanese Shia organization Hezbollah said in the first statement since calls for military action against Syria began, AFP reported on Friday. "US aggression against Syria, or the threat of it, is... organized terrorism and threatens the region and its people," the group said, warning any military action against Syria would pose a threat to "regional and international peace and security." The group said calls for military action against Syria were intended to "support Israel and tighten the grip of Western colonialism on the region."
Iran has ordered militants in Iraq to attack US interests in Baghdad should the US carry out military strikes in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing intercepted communications from the Iranians. The message from Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards´ Quds force, to Shi´ite allies in Iraq was intercepted in recent days, US officials told the Journal. The US Embassy in Baghdad was one potential target of a retaliatory strike by the Shi´ite groups, the paper quoted US officials as saying. The US State Department on Thursday warned Americans against
In all the debates swirling around whether the United States should launch a unilateral military attack on Syria, as the Obama Administration is now seeking to do, one key point is getting very little attention: it would violate international law. The fundamental rule of contemporary international law is that states cannot attack other states. The U.N. Charter embodies this rule, and makes only two exceptions to it: a state can attack another state if it is authorized to do so by a Security Council resolution, or if the attacking state is acting in genuine self-defense. Neither of these exceptions apply
Berlin — Germany is the world’s most popular country, according to a BBC World Service survey this year, not bad for a nation that has probably fretted more over its self-image than any other. It is also an enigma, a powerful state wary of power, a lusterless leader. Angst is a German word but not a German condition. As world leaders debate the Syrian crisis, Europe’s dominant power is conspicuous for its silence. It murmurs that the regime must be punished if use of chemical weapons is proved, and it contributes intelligence, but it wants no part of any riposte.
Lingering frustration over the way President Obama handled the attacks in Libya that led to death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has colored the debate over whether to launch military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Republican lawmakers said in hearings this week that the two situations are linked because the September 2012 attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi weakened Mr. Obama’s credibility with the public, with the public still seeking answers about what went wrong and why people have not been held accountable for the security shortcomings there. “These issues call into question the accountability
He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria. (Snip) Blame Bush? Of course, President Obama has to lead; it’s his superpower now, his armies to move, his stage. But the prior president gave every world leader, every member of Congress a reason to keep the dogs of war on a leash.