Developments on Syria

A reporter asked Secretary of State John Kerry if Syria could do anything to avoid getting attacked.  Off the cuff, Kerry said, sure, get rid of their chemical weapons.  Whereupon the Russian foreign minister seized on the idea, turning it into a proposal.  Whereupon the Syrian foreign minister indicated that the country might be open to that.  Now the rest of the world and much of Congress is rallying around that possibility.  Do you think this proposal is a way out or a delaying tactic?  A diplomatic breakthrough or a Russian ploy to keep Assad in power?

Meanwhile, President Obama will address the nation tonight at 9:00 ET, after a day packed with TV interviews, all in an effort to persuade Americans to persuade their Congressional representatives to let him attack Syria.  I can’t watch the speech, but if you do, live blog it here.  We’ll discuss it tomorrow.

UPDATE:  Syria says it will accept the Russian proposal.  President Obama is revising his speech accordingly.

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What our soldiers are saying about Syria

Retired Major General Robert H. Scales, former commandant of the U. S. Army War College, gives the word on the streets from those who would actually have to do the fighting:

By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform. But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars. After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war. [Read more…]

It’s looking bad for Obama’s war vote

Pretty much what I predicted is unfolding in Congress.  The growing consensus among both conservatives and liberals that attacking Syria is a bad idea should be celebrated as an instance of bi-partisanship, of once polarized factions coming together over foreign policy, a sign of national unity.  Too bad the President and the Democratic and Republican leadership aren’t part of it. [Read more…]

Our military as “Al-Qaeda’s Air Force”

Quote of the week:

“We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”

Ted Cruz, Senator (R, Texas)

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Military’s qualms about war with Syria

Our military leaders have some major qualms about attacking Syria.  From Ernest Londono, U.S. military officers have deep doubts about impact, wisdom of a U.S. strike on Syria – The Washington Post:

The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers. [Read more…]

IRS recognizes same-sex marriages

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, social conservatives consoled themselves by saying that the action did not mandate gay marriage across the board.  That remains a decision for each state.  But it does mean that the Federal Government now recognizes gay marriage.  That was made clear when the IRS and the Treasury Department announced that same-sex marriages, no matter what state they were performed in, will qualify for all marriage deductions and other tax benefits that husbands and wives receive. [Read more…]


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