It was to Fort Belvoir that President Barack Obama repaired on Saturday, minutes after he announced that attacks by the Syrian government on a rebel stronghold in Damascus constituted ‘an assault on human dignity’ and a ‘serious threat to our national security.’ By using what the US government says was sarin gas, Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad crossed a ‘red line’ that Mr Obama had laid down a year before. The President has asked Congress to authorise an attack on Syria as soon as legislators return on 9 September. Fort Belvoir is home to the US army’s 29th Light Infantry Division. More
I am still very reluctantly in favor of giving Obama authorization to strike. My reluctance stems in part from the fact I don’t trust Obama and I think his handling of the Middle East in general and Syria in particular has been criminally incompetent (Yes, Obama defenders, I’ve heard the news that not everything Bush did went swimmingly and that Obama ordered the killing of Bin Laden. What else you got?). But there’s one argument I’m not sure is nearly as persuasive as the administration and other supporters of a strike think. Over and over we’re told that if Assad gets
United States ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power emphasized that the United States military must intervene in Syria because there are no other diplomatic options to prevent the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. Not acting, she warned, would “greenlight” similar attacks. “Some have asked given our collective war-weariness why we cannot use non-military tools to achieve the same end? My answer to this question is we have exhausted the alternatives,” Power said in a speech at the Center for American Progress this afternoon. Earlier today, President Obama said while he preferred to work for a diplomatic solution with the U.N.,
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace laid out his thoughts on President Obama’s approach to the situation in Syria in an interview for POLITICO’s “Turn The Table” series, calling it “a tremendous gamble he’s taken.” “I think, in a sense, the president is in the worst of all possible fixes,” Wallace said. “On the one hand, the hawks, the interventionists, are saying it’s not enough, that if we’re going to go to all this effort and take these risks, that we ought to do more than just punish Assad or, as the president said, send a shot across the bow, that
Bill Putnam of Flagstaff, AZ´s Lowell Observatory wants to name an asteroid after Trayvon Martin. The asteroid would join those named in honor of Jerry Garcia, Albert Einstein, and others. According to the AZ Daily Sun, Putnam "believes Martin has not received justice," thus an asteroid is in order. "As I see it, the social fairness showed to Trayvon Martin was very sadly lacking," Putnam explained. "In as much as I am the sole trustee of an institution, which has some naming privileges, I want to do my share to see that this lad is remembered in an appropriate manner." The citation for
Michelle Obama credited her anti-obesity program with bringing about a "cultural shift" in the way Americans eat. "Make no mistake about it. We are changing the conversation in this country. We are creating a cultural shift on how we live and eat. And our efforts are having an impact on our children´s lives." The first lady touted the success of her Let´s Move anti-obesity program during a visit on Friday to Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Obama said when she first began her signature initiative, she couldn´t imagine a time when fast-food commercials advertised for breakfast sandwiches made with egg whites. And
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—President Barack Obama´s push for international support for a military strike on Syria split a summit of world leaders, demonstrating the breadth of the challenge his administration faces in making its case for action. Mr. Obama went into the summit of the Group of 20 largest economies in search of momentum for his argument for military strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for an Aug. 21 chemical attack. The U.S. officials said the attack was carried out by government forces and killed more than 1,400 people. World leaders were divided on the question, however, with 11
Vice President Joe Biden made it clear Friday how he feels about departing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "I think Janet Napolitano should be on the Supreme Court of the United States," he said Friday morning at her going away ceremony. His statement was met with raucous applause by those attending, including current and former cabinet secretaries, law enforcement officials, and Attorney General Eric Holder. Napolitano announced in June she would leave her current position this month. She´s now preparing to start her next gig as president of the University of California system. As President Barack Obama was choosing Supreme Court nominees in 2009
Hundreds of western peace activists, including from Britain and from the US, have volunteered to become "human shields" in government-held parts of Syria, the Daily Telegraph has learned. The ´International Human Shields´ movement, started by a group of activists in Britain and the US, plans to bring to Syria civilians from countries around the globe, who will try to deter US strikes on the country by staking out potential military targets. Franklin Lamb, a lawyer recently appointed as the legal adviser for the group said he had been "inundated" with requests from activists including from Canada, France, Italy, the US,
President Obama has confirmed the suspicion that his decision to ask Congress for authorization before using force in Syria was a political ploy. "I´ll repeat something that I said in Sweden," he said this morning (U.S. time) at a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. "I did not put this before Congress, you know, just as a political ploy or as symbolism." "Just" is the tell. We hadn´t noticed his saying that at Wednesday´s Stockholm press conference, where his brazenly false assertion that "I didn´t set a red line" got most of the attention. We went back and checked the transcript, and
President Obama´s national security team is considering a significantly expanded air campaign over Syria to include long range bombers in addition to sea-launched Tomahawk missiles, ABC News has learned. A senior national security official told ABC News that a U.S. military strike on Syria will do more damage to the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 48 hours than Syrian rebels have done in two years of civil war. (Snip) The air campaign, which is expected to last at least two days, will potentially include an aerial bombardment of missiles and bombs fired by long range B-2 and B-52
Washington - Supreme Court Justice Janet Napolitano? Vice President Joe Biden says outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano deserves a seat on the Supreme Court. Biden was speaking at a farewell event for Napolitano, whose last day in the Obama administration is Friday. There is not currently an opening on the high court. Biden also thanked Napolitano for her service, saying that she made the country safer in her time as head of the Homeland Security Department. Napolitano is leaving to become president of the University of California system. A permanent successor has not been named.
The English Defence League has lost a last minute legal bid to overturn a police ban on it marching through the centre of an east London borough tomorrow. The far right group wanted to demonstrate in the heart of Tower Hamlets, home to Britain’s largest Muslim population and the large East London Mosque. The Metropolitan Police had allowed it to protest but with strict conditions that meant any march would be held at the outskirts of the borough and close to Tower Bridge. The EDL led by Tommy Robinson, wanted to march further east with some 2,000 supporters.
Would a Senate endorsement alone give President Barack Obama sufficient political backing to launch a missile strike on Syria? With flimsy support in the House, the Senate may be the best chance Obama has to get the thumbs-up from Congress that he’s looking for — though by no means is a favorable result in the Senate a slam dunk. The president himself refused to say what he would do if Congress split or refused to authorize the use of force against Syria. At a Friday news conference from the G-20 summit in Russia, Obama said he did not want to
An Iranian strategic expert has warned that one of President Obama´s daughters will be kidnapped and raped if America attacks Syria. Alireza Forghani, also the former governor of southern Iran’s Kish Province, warned of mass abductions and killings of American citizens worldwide in the event the Obama administration launches a military strike in Syria. ´Hopefully Obama will be pigheaded enough to attack Syria, and then we will see the … loss of U.S. interests [through terrorist attacks],´ he threatened. ´In just 21 hours [after the attack on Syria], a family member of every U.S. minister [department secretary], U.S. ambassadors, U.S.
WASHINGTON — Sometimes, the internal dynamics of White House debates on military action are cloaked in mystery, emerging years afterward in the memoirs of participants. Other times, the details surface quickly, if someone leaks a version of events. And in some cases, the pictures tell the tale. Such is the case with the Obama administration’s anguished deliberations over how to respond to the Syrian civil war, the deadly chemical weapons attack outside Damascus last month and the president’s own wrestling with whether to seek Congressional approval for a military strike.
Washington police are operating under orders to arrest tourists and other non-residents traveling with spent bullet or shotgun casings, a crime that carries a $1,000 fine, a year in jail and a criminal record, according to a new book about the city´s confusing gun laws. "Empty shell casings are considered ammunition in Washington, D.C., so they are illegal to possess unless you are a resident and have a gun registration certificate," pens Emily Miller in her investigative book, "Emily Gets Her Gun: ... But Obama Wants to Take Yours." Under the law, live or empty brass and plastic casings must be carried
Barack Obama has today framed the fundamental question that Congressmen will face when they vote on whether to authorise the use of force in Syria. He concedes in advance that he may not carry public opinion with him--US intervention overseas, he argues, is always unpopular. It was in World War II before Pearl Harbour and it was in Kosovo. But even if the public is not supportive, and we know it is not, members of Congress will still have to decide whether to support their president´s judgment that US national security and standing is at stake. The key passage is
I don’t share Nicolas Sarkozy’s enthusiasm for a Western military intervention in Syria, but his broad assessment of Barack Obama lack of leadership ability is spot on. [Snip] The aide is quoted as saying that Sarkozy “remains very skeptical about the method followed by Barack Obama ‘who is not a leader but a follower.’” This is of course not the first time Sarkozy has made disparaging remarks about the US president. When he was in the Elysee Office, Sarkozy made it clear that he saw Obama as someone who lacked political experience and was suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Earlier this week, I announced my support for a resolution to give President Obama the authority to use limited military force in Syria in response to Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons that killed innocent civilians including women and children. It is never an easy decision to authorize the use of military force, but in this case, America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), especially by a terrorist state, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States.
Feeling the pressure of a Congress and a public that appears strongly opposed to a U.S. military strike against Syria, House GOP leaders are calling on President Barack Obama to make his case to the American people. A spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner said Friday that the Ohio Republican has “consistently said the president has an obligation to make his case for intervention directly to the American people.” (Snip) “Members of Congress represent the views of their constituents, and only a president can convince the public that military action is required,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA — Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday he has ordered an investigation of recent raids by federal and state officials at mines in the Fortymile River area, saying he will not tolerate a state agency´s participation in the sort of conduct displayed. Enforcement officers with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management were armed and wore body armor, according to Parnell. He said an investigator with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation joined the agents, who said they were looking for violations of the Clean Water Act. Parnell said no one was arrested
ROCKPORT -For the second year in a row, the Warrior´s Weekend Heroes Cup will be held in the Rockport-Fulton Area. It is a major fishing event set for Friday, but on Thursday, more than 30 wounded soldiers received a hero´s welcome. Heroes Cup is a special event put together by the Warrior´s Weekend Organization, and it´s for soldiers who have been injured in the line of duty. Those wounded warriors, many of whom served multiple deployments overseas, arrived at Labonte Park Thursday. The Patriot Guard Riders were on hand as well, as were law enforcement officials and representatives from HEB
Lopatcong — A Warren County man has ensured that anyone who passes by his house will have a lasting impression of it. The semi-retired Lopatcong cabinet maker designed a mailbox that resembles a huge Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver, according to a report on LehighValleyLive.com. Roger Buchko said he cooked up the idea when he saw similar mailboxes online. Though he is a gun rights supporter, he said isn´t attempting to make a political statement. The mailbox, which is made of wood and PVC piping, weighs several hundred pounds. It´s mounted on 1,200-pound steel plate. A friend who is an