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October 24, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

U.S. intervention at what cost?

Another view?

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It has been estimated that our overall military intervention in the Middle East has resulted in over 20 million people being freed from living under authoritarian rule. Was the cost worth it? Mostly, these people complain about how we intervene, don’t help us much, often fight us, want us to provide monetary assistance into the future and often later end up supporting the same system we freed them from.

We’ve nearly bankrupted ourselves and have lost so many Americans to death or grievous wounds, both physical and psychological. What if one of those dead or wounded was the person who would have discovered the cure for cancer or helped us make some other great advance — or just have been a fine human being?

A justification for removing the Afghan Taliban can be made, but the rest? I have to wonder. Perhaps the best course would be to let these people be, kill terrorists with drones to the extent we can, and remind the world that we will fiercely attack and destroy anyone that attacks us.

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  1. Syria has been found guilty by a number of countries [Britain, Israel to cite 2], including the U.S. of using saran, a weapon of mass destruction, to kill its own people. 100,000 by last count. President Obama said on March 20, 2013 that using chemical weapons IS A GAME CHANGER for Syria. It is a red line as the President called it. He warned that Syria and Assad could not cross that red line. They have. Secretary Hagel confirmed the above facts on his tour to Israel and briefed the President. Now what?

    Carmine D

  2. Sorry Future I didn't notice until now that you posted first on Syria. I second your motion. The President will do squat and Assad knows it. I hope I'm wrong.
    Carmine D

  3. Future and Carmine, residents of trolldom and the right-wing delusion bubble. How do you propose to pay for your little adventure boyos? Same as last time?

  4. Bradley,

    Wow! I agree that our interventionist tendencies should be curbed; state the reasons why, and opine that since the Taliban supported those that attacked us on 9/11, they should have been removed from power and you launch a tirade against me. Again, I say wow.

    Perhaps, just maybe, instead of being a complete liar and just trying to fool everyone into thinking I am something I am really not, I might, just might, have evolved in my thinking over time, to come to the conclusions I stated in my letter. OH NO, that could never be.... Casler is just a liar and a fraud.

    What you wrote would bother me some, if I did not know who I am and also know that how you portray me is not who I am. I happen to agree with much of what you wrote about this countries propensity for keeping our military 'everywhere'. I didn't agree in the past but history, poor results and changes in technology have altered my thinking. You seem to be very angry, have a very short fuse and like to attack people along with debating issues.

    Chill, Bradley, chill... you and I are not at war...at least from my side.

    Michael

  5. I don't rant. I write letters, make comments and state my opinions.

    I am not a supporter of 'the conservative war machine' as El Lobo puts it, because it doesn't exist.

    If a 'conservative' war machine existed, it would be dismantled each and every time Liberals gain control of the government. Clearly that never happens.

    The military industrial complex does exist and holds great influence on policy during conservative and liberal control of government. It does hold greater sway generally during conservative control but is also greatly supported when liberals are in control. I would like to see that influence lessened but most people also recognize we live in a dangerous world.

    People like Bradley, El Lobo and others think I write just to fool others and I guess make myself think I am moderate when I am really not. How silly.

    I write as an intellectual exercise because it makes me think and it sometimes elicits thoughtful comments from others that should be considered. I'm not about attacking others or their views. Unfortunately, others have different motives for writing. That's their right, but it adds little to the discussion.

    I would like to see all the people writing to the Sun argue their views with respect shown to others and their views and not be so afraid to give an opposite view a real examination instead of a knee jerk attack. If that were done, this could be a real intellectual discussion instead of a 'I'm right, you're wrong and an idiot or worse, to boot....rant fest'.

    Pretty sad, ladies and gentlemen, with all due respect.

    PS... as I have said many times before, I voted for Bush twice, against Gore (I invented the internet) and Kerry (I voted against the war before I voted for it). Bush was a poor President and I do not have any 'dreams', wet or otherwise about visiting his Presidential library, although, contrary to the cartoon today, I am sure it is an interesting place and does contain books and not just Cliff notes.

    Michael

  6. To you Obama bashers, what do you overly zealot patriots suggest? More boots on the ground? How about doing what was done by Americans before we were involved in WWII or the Spanish Civil War, volunteer yourselves.

    You sure as hell have a lot to say but have zero ideas based on reality to solve the problem.

    There are many of us who pointed out that the war in Afghanistan was a money pit because history dictated the outcome. No nation ever conquered those people and the Russian economy collapsed fighting their "Vietnam." Fighting the war in Iraq only destabilized the region and gave Iran the upper hand in military might.

    According to Reuters, "the final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies."

    We sure as hell could use that money here at home instead of strangling a slow growing economy using sequestration.

    Let me not neglect the thousands of Americans who died or are maimed beyond repair, and the tens of thousands of civilians who died that were simply caught in the middle. It's no wonder we are hated which has little to do with our democracy or lifestyle, but everything to do with killing innocents and sticking our noses into their politics.

  7. Vernos,

    Not everyone who voted for the other guy in the last election is critical of President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan or withdraw the troops over time.

    I look at the people who criticize Obama the same way I view people who just know that former President Bush 'knew' Saddam had no WMD's and was no threat to anyone and just decided to invade Iraq despite all that.

    Obviously, all these decisions are enormously complex with input from multiple sources that provide conflicting information, so it does not surprise me that many decisions taken are just massively incorrect.

    I'm just not a conspiracy theorist who is able to so easily believe that people in high office so easily act off base human instinct of the worse kind. That view applies to both elected Democrats and Republicans.

    Michael

  8. There are those who post on this site daily who are right wing Republicans, and complain that they were opposed to the Iraq war from the start. These same right thinking commenters also complain about U.S.troops being removed from the Iraq war at the end of 2011,and say that we have cut and run. However they fail to mention that the agreement to end America's involvement in the Iraq war was the blueprint drawn up by former Pres.G.W.Bush in 2008.

    In conclusion you can't be against the war from the start,and now for the war at the end. Because of a new President [Obama] being elected to office, who you did not vote for and also hate.

  9. Sam,

    Most Americans tend to twist facts like pretzels, depending on their political leanings.

    Those who liked former President Bush and don't like President Obama, don't like it when Obama provides troops or removes them, although either would be fine, if Bush was doing it.

    Those favoring President Obama who hate former President Bush are willing to give a complete pass to any Democrat who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when it was popular to do so and did a complete 180 when the wars became unpopular.

    The fact that sooooo many Americans are fully willing to throw facts under the bus when they don't fit 'their' narrative is a big part of the reason we are so divided and continue to elect and then meekly accept such a poorly run government.

    Michael

  10. Vidi,

    I am not an apologist for former President Bush, but I also am not willing to blame everything bad that has happened on this one man. Much of what the article says took place did take place. However, the conclusions drawn completely ignore anything prior to Bush's time in office.

    The economic good times were ending as former President Clinton left office. That's a fact. We had been given warning signs over and over again about terrorism (even Clinton acknowledged that and expressed regret that he did not take Bin Laden when he had the chance). That's a fact.

    None of that absolves the former President of his poor decisions but placing the blame for what transpired 100 % on the shoulders of one man (ignoring the role of 535 members of Congress as well) is way over the top and isn't balanced (a term often used by President Obama) either.

    Most of us have gone through some very tough times over the last 13 years or so and it is tempting to place all the blame for that on one man. The problem is that isn't accurate or fair.

    Michael

  11. LastThrows,

    Bush was President when the decision to invade Iraq was taken. He made the decision and has to take that responsibility. He was given the ability to take that decision by Congress and few made a peep when the invasion started. Those are both facts. It would have been tough to oppose the Iraq invasion after 9/11 and I get that.

    What I think is kind of sad is that so many Americans either have sympathy for those that may have opposed the invasion but did not say anything, but none for the man who had to make the decision in the wake of 9/11.... and those that do have sympathy for former President Bush in having to make the decision to go to war but none for the difficulty of opposing what, at the time, was a popular decision supported by a scared public.

    These decisions are not easy and are not often taken lightly, but with our 20/20 hindsight, most of us line up on one side or the other, ignore the difficulties and complexities of making such decisions and 'blast' the other side.

    It's kind of sad...

    Michael

  12. I must remind some of you that Congress acted on misinformation given to them. There were a few members who wanted deeper research before signing on to the invasion of Iraq. Bush had soured our allies who were a great deal happier with the United States upon the election of Obama. It seems many of you've forgotten Bush bottomed out with a lower than 25% approval rating, something not seen in recent history but for Truman and Nixon.

    I have always been anti war since the invasion of Vietnam. It was then that I realized fearmongering and lies will lead us into very bad decisions. Throughout our history we've bullied, supported military coups and assassinated foreign leaders. The one war I did back was Desert Storm but I later learned we were aware of Hussein's intentions prior to his attacks on Kuwait. Yes he had WMD's. We gave them to him when Reagan was president via Rumsfeld because he was losing the war with Iran. At the same time the traitorous Ollie North was selling weapons to Iran, our supposed enemies while Reagan and Bush senior denied knowledge of the facts.

    I've noticed very few of those ranting/railing posters really know American history and are reactionary authoritarians who buy into the most ridiculous conspiracies possible. The point being chest beating, flag waving, saber rattling, chicken hawks don't think. They react to misinformation and never question the source.

  13. By CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): Ref your 5a.m. post. You should talk to a criminal attorney. "Knowing" that a person did a certain action is far from "proving" it. I saw/heard Kerry's comments. He was saying that, while we may "know" Syria use saran, the reliability of the reports he was given was mixed. Sounded to me like he couldn't "prove" what he "knew" to be true. Should Obama follow the lead of Bush II and make a blind leap based on questionable data that is "known" to be true? Personally - NO! ONE BLIND LEAP WAS ONE TOO MANY!

  14. Bradley,

    In the first place, I intended to say most elected members of Congress did not make a peep, (maybe I did not make that clear) not people in the general public like you. In the second place, I do not demean people, either verbally or in writing that have views that differ from my views. You should know that by now, just by viewing my letters.

    I was in college during Vietnam and I did not disparage either those that supported the war or those that did not. At the beginning of the war, I was a supporter, but later on I did not support the war.

    Michael

  15. A number of people address the deaths/casualties of the Iraq war. Generally, it appears that the US had about 36,000 casualties, excluding those with psychological problems. Just under 5,000 were killed.

    The rest of the story? NOBODY was keeping track of Iraqi casualties. A rough estimate of the number of insurgent deaths is perhaps 55,000. Civilian deaths? Who knows? Reports on the internet range from around 50,000 to well over 1 MILLION! Civilian wounded? Again, who knows. Nobody was even TRYING to keep track. Normally, the number of wounded ranges from 3-4 times the number of dead to perhaps 10 times or even more. Want to bet that many or most of them would trade their current condition for Saddam Hussein's relatively stable, if violent, government?

    As for the cost... One of the ways bin Laden planned on winning was to "...make you waste your treasure on pointless wars." What has Iraq cost us so far? What will it cost us in future? Did we attain even ONE of our primary objectives? And no, catching Saddam Hussein was NOT one of the original objectives. Remember - the original objectives were: 1) Destroy Iraq's ability to use weapons of mass destruction (Failed. There were none to begin with.) 2) Capture/punish those responsible for the attack of Sept 11 (Failed. Iraq was in no way involved.) Later, we added an objective: 3)to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq (Failed, at least so far... In future? Who knows, but not really likely.)

  16. The electrical, water, sewage and waste removal infrastruture was effedtively destroyed. The water for drinking can be polluted to the danger levels.

    After the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq was forbidden by UNSCG 661 sanctions to buy or make chlorine gas, a weapon (mustard gas) which is also needed for water santitation. Cholera, dysentery and other biological and chemical pollutants were rampant because of the lack of water sanitation systems.

    Estimates of deaths due to poisoned drinking water range from 150,000 to over 500,000 deaths. (See "Sanctions against Iraq" in Wikipedia).

    One source: 350,000 excess deaths among children "even using conservative estimates", Slate Explainer, "Are 1 Million Children Dying in Iraq?", 9. October 2001.

    The true irony is that it was America that had created the biological weapons of mass destruction, not Saddam Hussein, by allowing water borne pathogens to spread in the Iraqi water supply without sanitation, killing 100s of thousands of innocent civilians and their children.

    Cluster bombs: weapons of terror. In 1991, the US, France and UK dropped dropped 61,000 cluster bombs, containing 20 million submunitions (steel rain) on Iraq, according to the HRW. The submunitions each explode using BB, shot and shrapnel to literally SHRED their victims.

    From 2003 to 2006, the US and allies attacked Iraq with 13,000 cluster munitions, containing two million submunitions during Operation Iraqi Freedom according to the HRW. Many of the submunitions are still lethal and explode, tearing flesh and limbs from their victims.

    Today, cluster bombs that were also dropped on civilian population centers still liter Iraq. The US is still one of the only countries that REFUSE to prohibit the use of cluster bombs and the water supplies are still biologically lethal. George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld gave permission to use them in Iraq.

    A pressure cooker filled with explosives, BB shot and scrap pieces of iron is nothing more than a home made cluster bomb. We convulse on how this can happen in America but the cluster munitions go off in Iraq every day. Is there any wonder that the Iraq Government had enough of our protection?

    The true irony is that America had deposited weapons of mass destruction on civilians, not Saddam Hussein, by dropping these cluster bombs that explode without any identified combatants.

  17. The Iraqis might have been freed from authoritarian control of Saddam Hussein but now they are threatened by street punks, gangs and criminals who kill, rape and set off explosives every day.

    They are threatened by unsanitary water, food and waste that liter the streets to create a biologcial enemy that takes thousands of lives across the country every week. They are threatened by exploding shrapnel each day, long after the war has ended.

    Immediate and future costs for the US will easily run over $4 trillion. Iraq was more expensive in 2012 dollars than World War II. Was it worth it?

  18. Burrittobandit2 - "I'm sure that Vidi, Lobo, last throes, Vernos, Hayes, Reno and Sam knew way much more information about Iraq than members of congress and President Bush. They are the * experts * on Iraq ."

    When you hear a president talk about his "daddy" and the bounty put on his head, it doesn't take much imagination to understand Bush was going to invade Iraq.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YENbElb5-...

    A reminder as to why we shouldn't have invaded, how prophetic.

  19. Many of the liberal posters above are Mexico transplants wanting to continue their free welfare benefits and wide open borders for illegal immigrant passage. Why else would they talk about Bush nearly 5 years out of office yet not defend Obama's record? These Mexican transplants could care less about what is best for America long term.

  20. "Future and Carmine, residents of trolldom and the right-wing delusion bubble. How do you propose to pay for your little adventure boyos? Same as last time?"

    President Obama should have thought of that before he drew the red line in the sand, don't you think Pat?

    Carmine D

  21. "However they fail to mention that the agreement to end America's involvement in the Iraq war was the blueprint drawn up by former Pres.G.W.Bush in 2008."

    Crafted AFTER the election of the new President Barack Obama, and approved and signed during the Obama Presidency.

    Carmine D

  22. PS: An incoming President is not bound by the actions of the outgoing President.

    Carmine D

  23. "By CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): Ref your 5a.m. post. You should talk to a criminal attorney."

    Ah, the perils of Presidency. 4 IC's have said so. [IC as in Intelligence Communities: Britain, France, Israeli and U.S.]. Evidence from the victims in Hom prove the use of sarin. Iran and al-Assad have refused UN inspectors to verify specifically keeping them out of Hom.

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

    The truth is the U.S. has lost the window of opportunity to ensure the stock piles of chemical weapons in Iran are secured. It's been 2 years and 100,000 murders by al-Assad and his thugs while the President talked big but sat on his hands. President Obama drew the red line in the sand in March 2013 with Syria. That was one year after President Obama said to Iran: "As President of the United States, I don't bluff." When he would not allow Iran to acquire nukes.

    Obama's credibility and that of the U.S. around the world is on the line now. If he blows it now, the world, [not just you and his fans in the U.S.] is watching.

    Carmine D

  24. Sorry should have said Syria and al-Assad refused UN inspections of the wounded and dead in Hom.

    Carmine D

  25. And the same with the chem weapons in Syria not Iran.

    Carmine D

  26. "She said, "NO".

    " There have already been enough Bushes".

    WOW!"

    The former First Lady is a peach of a lady who speaks her mind.

    Her concern is that the press has ALWAYS been very mean and vindictive to all the Bush Presidents. She doesn't want the same for her son Jeb.

    But lest you forget, 2 Bushes [4 counting their wives] served. And Jeb may too, despite his mother's objections.

    Carmine D

  27. There is no compelling evidence of Syrian Government using Chemical Weapons...

    There continues to be creditable evidence of U.S. drone attacks around the world killing hundreds of innocent civilan's, however.

    Google> "Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi" and learn the truth about the motives of those who wish for war...

  28. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist." - President Eisenhower 1962

    "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." General Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket

  29. There is no red line worth economic suicide on our part. And then as MKC points out the cost to our children (soldiers) and culture is irreparable. We teach our children that violence and domination is the way to go. Sure, many in "those" cultures/countries have a hard life. But when we carry them into a world they are not ready for, they just cannot adjust well. They blame us--and there is SOME logic in that. I'm in favor of private donations to assist villages with farming, finding wells/water, finding a way to finance vaccines BUT DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM. If it's not working for, it's not worth giving it.l We need to refocus our "defense" efforts into the drones and real intelligence to monitor what faction is making dirty bombs--since we've taught them all how to make the bombs. But let's step back and think a minute, how many, if any, of these tribal cultures would be hell bent on anarchy in the U.S. if we left them more alone--if we allowed them a voice in what focus they want to purse--when they WANT (and will pay for) targeted assistance, we have companies that are willing to provide it. Men who thank Allah that they were not born a woman probably are not my idea of men to get involved with, but let's consider the world we are now in--not the world we'd like it to be. We certainly have made many wrong turns in trying to get to the world we want to live in. Let's not decide what is right for another culture. I do NOT support arming rebels. Look at the messes--Egypt, Syria, Somalia..... We've invested $70 Billion and counting in Egypt in the last 30 years or so and they want to destroy us--not sure why--perhaps as a non-Muslin nation with some economic success it doesn't look right to them. So what's our ROI there? And when we vote and do anything political let's REMIND OUR REPRESENTATIVES that the JCS (joint chiefs of staff) etal are in it for their individual careers. You think any general is going to recommend down-sizing a skirmish? When his next star is dependent on finding a need for another commander in a war zone? Ditto the logic on the head of Federal DHHS--giving EBT SNAP food stamps to illegals means they have another 15-20 million "clients" and need more managerial staff...... Why on earth are politicians (POTUS) and us by default "relying" on the recommendations of those who profit and advance for expanding every program? Every war?

  30. VV says "Future, How do you declare war against terror?"
    At 4:43 p.m. Future commented: "VV says "Future, How do you declare war against terror?"

    Wow

    Did you really say that

    Boston just happened, fort hood and Benghazi and you have to ask the question "

    Answer the question Future. "Terror" is a mental state and is personal. What one person may consider "terror" may well be, to another, a daily occurrence. One state may authorize its military forces to wage war upon another state for being a "state that supports terrorism." A nation may authorize its police forces to pursue and bring to justice individual terrorists. Precisely HOW does a political state wage "war" on the mental state of some of its citizens.

  31. Future and company: It IS difficult to watch people being killed sometimes by their own governments. HOWEVER, that sort of tyranny is what mobilizes a population into OVERTHROWING their own government without "our help." Think Libya--it took them years but some rebels finally got it together. Did you notice a surge in nationalism after 9/11? When there is a real threat, a real attack, Americans unite and will do whatever it takes--or that's who we used to be. We cannot police the world and we've paid dearly to find that out. Our economy cannot recover until we straighten out the thinking in Congress and the White House. We cannot pull more money out of Americans that simply do not have adequate "discretionary" income to fund hundreds of thousands of troops in Europe, Guam, Japan, Korea, Afghanistan.... Especially since we ignore the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of every federal government--PROTECTION OF OUR BORDERS, protection of our citizens.

  32. Burrittobandit2 takes me, and others, to task at 4:45 p.m., saying "I'm sure that Vidi, Lobo, last throes, Vernos, Hayes, Reno and Sam knew way much more information about Iraq than members of congress and President Bush. They are the * experts * on Iraq ."

    Did I know more than Bush? Not at all. He failed to pass the "smell" test. He pushed too hard for one specific, expensive, dangerous solution. He insisted the decision be made NOW with no time for informed discussion. His response to people who had been on the ground and found no signs of WMD was a bare-bones "They're WRONG!" with no reliable proof. His response to people who wanted a chance to discuss the options was a threat: "What do you want to do? Wait for a mushroom cloud over Washington?" To me, Bush's excessive and repetitious rhetoric was clearly an instance of, to cite Shakespeare, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much!" We were to do it his way, immediately, and with no back-talk, children!

    All in all - I smelled more than one "Rattus norvegicus" in the woodwork.

  33. Teamster:

    In case you haven't heard and read, Bush 2 by all recent polls is as popular now as President Obama. Who's laughing! He who laughs last, laughs best.

    Carmine D

  34. There are 2 recent polls on Bush's popularity. One is ABC and one is FOX. Both put Bush and Obama at the same, or close, ratings in popularity. Take your pick.

    Most in the know say Bush's rise in the rankings is unprecedented for this point in time after his presidency. Do you want a link for that too. Or can you do your own research, lad?

    Carmine D

  35. Interesting conundrum in Syria. The Syrian government is supported and armed by Iran, and Iran supplies "advisors" who specialize in control of civilian populations through torture, kidnapping, rape, etc. On the other side, the previously secular rebels have become "Islamized", with representation from all strains of Islamic fundamentalism. I cannot see any good reason to get involved in this fight. Yes it is already a humanitarian disaster, yes children are caught in the cross-fire, yes it will add more instability to an unstable region. If it was that big a deal locally the neighbors would become more heavily involved. As it is, the Turks, the Saudis, the Iraqis and the Iranians are using this as just another proxy. If you interventionists are hot to ramp up our involvement then tell us how you intend to pay for it. Maybe Carmine will agree to a 10% reduction in his bloated government pension to help out.

  36. El-Lobo,

    You are correct Jeb Bush would not even get the nomination.let alone win the white house.The American people are tired of unfinished wars. left by both senior Pres.Bush,and junior Pres.Bush.Both Iraq wars were left unfinished by both father and son.Along with a unfinished Afghanistan war created by junior.Time for new thinking and soul searching by the Republican party,if they want to gain any new ground.

  37. No, no can do. I'm too young for golf.

    And ....I'm not your parent lad.

    If you can't do your own research, ask mommy for help.

    Carmine D

  38. @El_Lobo....you don't actually expect trolls to provide accurate documentation for any of their delusional rants? In Carmine's case it's even more unlikely. Look at the number of posts....he'd have to have his own research assistant just to keep up with the sheer volume.

  39. Thank you Pat, but I always do my own.

    As for the ABC/Washington Post and FOX polls and Bush's rising star matching popularity ratings with Obama think about this [very carefully]:

    Just 3 months after Obama took the oath of office, brother Jeb Bush is being mentioned as a likely GOP Presidential candidate in 2016! 2016! 3 years away. Now if that is not Obama fatigue and his star falling and Bush's rising, then you don't know what is.

    The Senate and the President's failure on the expanded background checks, coupled with the defeat of sequester to hurt the GOP [let's face it the Democratic Senate bailed out the FAA furloughs not the GOP House] and the unraveling of Obama care, and the President's hollow red line on Syria's use of sarin gas bodes ill for Obama, Dems, and 2014 elections. I predict, as I have before here, that the GOP regains the Senate in 2014. Mark my words. NOW... do I have to provide a link for this prediction. If so, I'll be happy to swear out an affidavit and sign it.

    Carmine D

  40. CarmineD: Returning to your comments of 4:11 a.m. referring to my comment that "proving" Syria used Sarin vs "knowing" the did so... There is some evidence "of varying levels of confidence" that Sarin was used in Syria. It's been suggested that the evidence is from samples from at least three national intelligence agencies. The French, however, say they have "no national evidence." The British refuse to cite the source of their sample. A source for the US indicates that blood samples were provided by the opposition forces. ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/... ).

    The samples are said to be "miniscule" and there seems to be uncertainty about exactly where they came from, who initiated the attack, upon whom, and just when. Consider: in that region Syria and Iran are known to have Sarin; Hezbollah is thought to have it; the Syrian opposition may have captured some. For that matter, there seems to be a bit of uncertainty about the precise agent: although it "appears to be" sarin.

    This is hardly conclusive proof, not at all sufficient to drag us into yet ANOTHER endless war in the Middle East. And then consider the current opposition - many are the same groups we fought in Iraq, are still fighting in Afghanistan, and that are threatening the precarious stability in Pakistan. If we DO interfere in Syria, on which side?

  41. Once again to you interventionists.....how would you pay for this excursion? It is estimated to cost about $1 million/year/per trooper on the ground in Afghanistan including injury, recovery and post-operation costs. Perhaps you are of the Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney school of budgeting. Perhaps you are now followers of Krugman. Or perhaps you are simply summer soldiers and sunshine patriots....all complaints, no solutions!

  42. Robert:

    Intel are assessments, not a sworn affidavits signed by al-Assad. Which by the way you and President Obama are not going to get. Even Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat, and chair of the Senate Intel Committee, agrees Syria and al-Assad used sarin gas. Obama drew a hollow red line in the sand. You can alibi and excuse him. Our allies and enemies won't.

    Carmine D

  43. airweave 9:37: allow me a moment to pick myself off the floor--I actually agree with something you said. POTUS and advisers are MISGUIDED into thinking another war will help the economy--that spending endless billions will stimulate our economy. WRONG. We need advisers with enough intelligence to realize that something that worked in the past will not necessarily work now--to wit, the endless forcing down interest rates--we've gone beyond the "bell curve" possibilities into the realms of the unknown--we're further destroying our economy under the false assumptions that people will invest in other markets if they get zip for saving. Ya, just what we DON'T NEED--more spending particularly by those who have NOT SAVED.

  44. wharfrat 6:23: GENIUS POST. Succinct. We have to find a way to pay for past indiscretions and they want to dump more trillions into impossible "defense" exploits--while they refuse to enforce our laws, refuse to SECURE OUR BORDERS--physical borders and airport borders. I see the pundits are picking up on the suggestion that the State Department in toto establish and maintain a database of FOREIGNERS IN THE U.S.--including tens of thousands of foreign students that we pay for university educations.

  45. INDICT HOLDER for treason: pontificating and acting on his mistaken belief that everyone everywhere has a "right" to become a U.S. citizen while ignoring our immigration laws. When fools are in control and make "decisions" we have little hope of staying out of foreign issues. Could we at least allow the foreigners to determine the destiny of their own countries???