Posted 11 months ago on Sept. 3, 2013, 9:48 p.m. EST by WSmith
from Cornelius, OR
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Remember the old tired chants: "No Blood for OIL!" "No War for Oil!" ???
NO MORE BLOODY WARS FOR OIL!
Follow the money: Big Oil and Big Weapons.
Just say NO!
Grayson on Syria: "We Have Our Own Problems To Deal With"
FROM Team Grayson alangrayson@GraysonForCongress.com
As we head toward a Congressional vote on a U.S. military attack on Syria, Sunday was a national TV doubleheader for Congressman Alan Grayson - he argued forcefully against war on both CNN and MSNBC. Here is what he said on MSNBC:
MSNBC's Alex Witt: Joining me right now is Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee. Representative Grayson, thank you for being here.
Congressman Alan Grayson: Yes, thank you for having me.
Alex: So you've been very vocal, sir, in your opposition to any kind of intervention [in Syria]. What is your argument against this?
Alan: Well first, it's not our responsibility. Secondly, whatever we do won't actually accomplish anything useful. Third, it's expensive. And fourth, it's dangerous.
Alex: Okay. You're pretty definitive in that. How much pushback are you getting from any of your constituents, or from fellows in the House?
Alan: None. My position is actually the popular position here [in Orlando]. We set up a website called DontAttackSyria.com, and within less than 24 hours, we had 10,000 signatures in our petition to the President against this action. The polls now show, and will continue to show, that Americans understand that this is simply not our responsibility. We are only one country out of 196. We have our own problems to deal with. We are not the world's policeman, nor are we the world's judge, jury, and executioner.
Alex: All right. I'm curious if there's any debate on this though, in your mind, because you have said that you don't even think it's clear a chemical attack occurred. Now, Doctors Without Borders, which is a completely impartial group, says that its partners have treated 3600 people with chemical weapons symptoms. Do you not believe them?
Alan: You're misquoting me, and quoting me out of context. I said that several days ago, before that evidence came in.
Alex: Okay, so where do you stand on it now?
Alan: Now I think that there is substantial evidence that there was a chemical attack. That doesn't change my mind about anything that I said, though. I still think that it's not our responsibility, that it's expensive and dangerous, and that our attack won't do any good. I have yet to hear anybody explain to me why our attacking Syria will take away their ability to commit such an attack in the future.
Alex: Do you question, sir, the President saying that this is a threat to our national security, the use of chemical weapons in Syria?
Alan: Absolutely. We haven't been attacked at all. Not a single American has been attacked during the course of the Syrian War, and I think that Americans understand that. Let's tend our own garden.
Alex: Okay. Then what about our allies? What about Jordan?
Alan: They haven't been attacked.
Alan: They haven't been attacked.
Alan: They haven't been attacked, either.
Alex: What if they were to be attacked?
Alan: Oh, if they were, then that's an entirely different story. Turkey is a member of NATO. We have collective responsibilities with Turkey. If Turkey were to be attacked by Syria, then we would have to act under our NATO treaty. That's not this situation.
Alex: Would you feel better if the U.N. weapons inspectors come back with a report confirming, as anticipated, the use of chemical weapons in the region, and were able to point (even though this isn't their mandate) or if others were able to find proof to point to President Assad's regime as those being the ones who launched this chemical attack, would that change your mind at all?
Alan: No. What would change my mind is somebody explaining to me what the heck this has to do with us.
Alex: Well the President spoke directly to you and your colleagues yesterday. Let's take a listen.
--begin clip of President Obama-- President Barack Obama: Here's my question for every Member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What's the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world's people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?
--end clip of President Obama-- Alex: So what's your response to that?
Alan: Well first of all, not a single other country feels that way. Just a few days ago we had the British Parliament reject that argument.
Alex: France does, I believe.
Alan: Well no, France is saying, "We'll wait and see." So that's not the case at all. How is it that this is always our responsibility? And by the way, the treaty that the President is citing says that in case of violations of that treaty, you take the violators to the International Court of the Hague; you don't just bomb them.
Alex: Okay. Representative Alan Grayson, thank you for your time.
Alan: You're welcome.
Congressman Alan Grayson - you know where he stands. If you want to make your voice heard, then join our petition at www.DontAttackSyria.com . Tell your friends and neighbors, too. Time is running out. http://dontattacksyria.com/ThankYou
Randi Rhodes: On Today's Show - Tue, Sep 3, 2013
The President is seeking Congressional approval for a strike against Syria. And if he gets Congressional approval, that will also convince the 5 percent of the American people who still have any respect for Congress. It’s the right move for Obama to ask for Congressional approval, if only because he might not get it. At least that might stop him from making what could be a serious mistake. Congress may reject or scale-down Obama’s plan for a strike against Syria, if only to embarrass and weaken Obama. That’s the best thing you can hope for from this Congress—that they’ll do the right thing, but for all the wrong reasons.
Former Senator Joe Lieberman attacked the President for seeking Congressional approval to strike Syria. But then Joe Lieberman has never met a foreign policy blunder that he didn’t like. Since when is seeking consensus on a risky action considered stupid? I have news for Joe Lieberman—the phrase “Just Do It” might be a great slogan for a shoe company, but it’s nothing to base a foreign policy on. Lieberman said “I’m sure that our enemies are cheering now as a result of this decision because they realize it’s not clear the president will get authority.” The lesson here—we need to prevent our enemies from cheering, even if it means doing something stupid.
It’s obvious that Obama has not turned to former President Bush for advice on what to do, or by now he would have randomly invaded Jordan... and unsuccessfully at that. You would think that after a debacle like Iraq that it would be generations before a leader would consider something even remotely similar. Of course, that’s what they thought after Vietnam, too. I know we’d all like to forget about George Bush and Iraq, but there are a number of instructive lessons to be learned from all of that! Syria may be a frightening mess, but you rarely improve a mess by bombing it.
Secretary of State John Kerry spent the holiday weekend on all of the talk shows, drumming up support for a strike on Syria. At least Obama didn’t send him out with a vial of anthrax. Many of the talk show hosts asked if Obama pausing to get Congressional approval undermined America’s credibility. I guess their opinion is that, if you’re going to do something reckless, it doesn’t make any sense to pause for a moment to think about it first. If you’re going to do something stupid, do it quickly. Doing dumb things in a careful step-by-step way just makes doing them all the more dumb.
The President has gotten support from John McCain and Lindsey Graham for an attack on Syria. Boy, if that’s not enough to make you question the wisdom of an attack on Syria, what is? McCain put a number of conditions on his support of a strike on Syria. No, one of them was not that Obama also had to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” but I’m sure that’s something that McCain considered. McCain wants Obama to do more to arm the Syrian rebels, and to make any attack on Syria strong enough to weaken the Syrian military. So essentially, John McCain will support an attack, as long as it’s a really big attack.
Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 2: By William R. Polk. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/09/your-labor-day-syria-reader-part-2-william-polk/279255/
9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask