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Ellison backs attack on Syria, others in Minnesota delegation begin weighing in on intervention

Deir al-Zor, Syria
REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
A man rides his bicycle through the war-torn streets of Deir al-Zor, Syria, on Friday.
keith ellison portrait
Rep. Keith Ellison

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Comments (7)

Kline on Syria Intervention

Kline is on the Armed Services Committee; one would expect such a representative to have a clear idea of how he wants to vote; he has also been given classified information. But, Kline will have to wait to see how leadership wants him to vote first. That's how he rolls.

Ellison broke down the factions incorrectly

He omits the faction that believes that it's not the U.S. role to be the world's policeman, and even if Assad gassed his people, it's an issue for the UN to punish Syria, not the U.S. government.

He omits the faction that believes that in a civil war between Hamas on one side and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other, the smart thing to do would be to stay out of it and let them destroy each other.

He omits the faction that believes that weakening the Assad regime and letting al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood win, puts the control of the Syrian chemical weapons inventory into the hands of terrorists.

And he omits the faction of the one he belongs to, those who support the Muslim Brotherhood (you can Google it yourself), and so is in favor of helping that side militarily.

You can Goo-google anything that you want

then you can check Fact.check to separate the fact from the fiction.
"There are more things on Google, Dennis, than are dreamt of in your philosophy".

Who's against

A story covered in the news on August 29 (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/319127-55-house-members...) lists Tim Walz and Collin Peterson as signers of a letter telling Obama he needs Congressional approval. So those two are also not "neutral, noncommittal, vague or otherwise keeping quiet so far." This story is as inaccurate as Obama's / Kerry's claims about the gas attack. The hypocrisy of supposed peace lovers like Obama, Kerry and Ellison is astounding.

I'm not sure about Peterson

but I heard Walz on TV say that he's withholding judgement until he sees Obama's presentation.
There are to separate issues here:
1) Whether Congressional approval is necessary for military action, and
2) Whether military action is justified in this case.

Disappointed in Ellison

I'm not a big fan of Ellison, but this is probably the most disappointed I've been in him.
”I just don't think the world can stand by and say that’s ok, that’s not our business, we don't have to worry about it.” I have no problem with the world signaling that we're opposed to Assad using chemical weapons. I have some big problems with the signals that we're proposing here. We're saying that what happened was serious, but not so serious that Assad should be removed. In fact, we're telling him very clearly that (shot across the bow) that we have no serious intent. That's crazy. The only signal that we're giving to the world is that Obama is interested in saving face.
Ellison is leaving out a fairly big portion of people: those who aren't convinced that any proposed strike will do anything good. Even if everything goes as planned (and in war time, that's far from given), we're still looking at a Syria with Assad in power and able to kill civilians at will. Doubtlessly, he will spin this as having stood up against the US. He'll say that he took our measure and didn't blink. We've already strengthened him.
We hope to degrade his military but not so much as to change the balance of power in the civil war, right? Even if we've done that math correctly (which is optimistic to say the least), we won't have changed anything for the better. The killing will still continue, though with bullets and explosives rather than chemical weapons. Maybe that makes someone else feel better but I don't quite get the distinction.
And Ellison doesn't even mention the potential downsides. There is every risk that we could get pulled into a broader war. I don't know how seriously the international community really takes things like UN permission but if they do care about it, we've dinged ourselves here by not even trying to get it. And of course there is a large likelihood that we'll accidentally kill some innocents.
Seriously, is there any good case to be made for doing this?

Everyone is failing the sanity test

I find so much support for war unbelievable.

First, we were wrong in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of people killed for no good reason. Veterans return home physically and mentally injured. Why do we do this?

Second, we have no understanding of foreign cultures. We did not know about the Sunnis and Shites before we invaded Iraq. Sadam was better at keeping the peace than we were. We left Iraq a mess. We owe Iraq an apology. Why do we do this?

Third, the expense of wars creates the deficit which depletes our budget. Congress is again considering a government shutdown. Besides considering the shutdown, Congress is discussing cutting Social Security and Medicare. Congress apparently is ready to support another war. Why do we do this?