Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

French Leave

September 1st, 2013 - 4:15 am

And now France will reconsider the Syria operation. Reuters reports:  “France will not launch an assault on Syria alone and will wait for U.S. Congress to decide on whether to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s government for a gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said.” In fact, the French president himself was under pressure to consult with parliament before deciding.

Valls made the comments on Sunday to Europe 1 radio as pressure mounted in France for President Francois Hollande to put the question of intervention to a parliamentary vote.

Also on Sunday, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he would meet with the heads of the two houses of parliament and the opposition on Monday to discuss Syria before a scheduled parliamentary debate on Syria on Wednesday.

But while the pressure to create consensus before acting builds, an article in the Wall Street Journal emphasized that Obama sought only his own counsel before deciding to grant Congress a role. It was almost as if he was granting Congress some of his personal authority as an act of generosity. “After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.”

Until Friday night, Mr. Obama’s national-security team was focused on only consulting Congress, rather than seeking a vote on an authorization to use force. Mr. Obama’s team concluded that Mr. Obama had the legal authority to act without congressional authorization and was proceeding on that basis.

During his daily wrap-up meeting with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Mr. Obama and Mr. McDonough went on a 45-minute walk around the White House grounds.

During the walk, Mr. Obama told Mr. McDonough his thinking—that consulting with Congress wasn’t enough—lawmakers should have to go on the record one way or the other. …

The change in Mr. Obama’s thinking confounded White House insiders. Some raised concerns about the decision. They asked what would happen if Congress refused to authorize using force, a senior administration official said.

‘What happens’ in the light of the latest developments is that France may not go at all in that event. Although the ambiguous wording of the Reuters article does not settle whether France will absolutely require US Congressional approval before joining the operation or whether it will join an action authorized solely by executive authority, a prospect that arose when Fox News earlier reported that “one senior State Department official … told Fox News that the president’s goal to take military action will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes to approve the use of force” it now seems inconceivable that Paris will openly take sides in a Constitutional dispute.  The French president is himself being reined in.

Whether Obama admits it or not, his leash has been pulled taut. He must get Congressional approval or it’s off. One problem the President will face is that he can no longer fob off the legislator’s questions. They will ask for names, dates, documents. They may even ask about Benghazi. Asking for permission will be a very uncomfortable experience for the man who was formerly above everything.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
There are other nasty options in the offing. Yesterday, King Buraq-I graciously allowed as how he will allow Congress to vote on the use of force. But he asserts the right to still attack, even if Congress votes no, according to the State Department.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/31/obama-leaving-door-open-to-syria-strike-even-if-congress-votes-no/

As Donald Sensing writes [http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2013/08/is-obama-setting-up-two-prong.html], that sets up a two pronged Constitutional crisis. If Obama is not then impeached immediately after ordering the attack, then we are openly a one person dictatorship [which admittedly clears the field of distractions]. And at that point, if Congress has voted against going to war and Obama does it anyway, every member of the military, especially officers, have a positive obligation to refuse orders from him. Their Oath is to the Constitution, not the President. And a lot of people not currently in the services have sworn that same Oath.

Do I expect Obama to obey a Congressional refusal? No, because he is a dictator at heart and all the evidence to date is the the Republicans will both cave and accept all the blame for any bad results.

Do I think that the Republicans should all vote "present"? No. The regime and their media will blame the Republicans for NOT fighting back. Kind of like the Republican base does.

First thing, amend the President's request thusly:

1) If, in the face of a refusal by the House of Representatives to approve military actions in Syria; the President shall order military actions in Syria, the House shall immediately empanel:

a) A Select Investigating Committee on the Impeachment of the President for his violation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution of the United States that gives the Congress the sole and exclusive power to declare war. This Select Committee shall have a budget of $100 million, plus such additions as the House shall choose to make as needed. The Select Committee shall have full powers of investigation, subpoena, to require testimony under oath, to prosecute perjury, and to suspend from office any Executive Branch employee who refuses to answer or fails to have knowledge over actions within his purview. This Select Committee will submit a report recommending for or against the Impeachment and removal of the President to the whole House on completion of its investigation.

b) A Select Investigating Committee on the violation of the laws of the United States and the Constitution of the United States by the President of the United States and his agents in the matter of the spying on American citizens en-masse and individually without warrant or probable cause, and the violations of the Civil Rights thereof. This Select Committee shall have an initial budget of $100 million, plus such additions as the House shall choose to make as needed. The Select Committee shall have full powers of investigation, subpoena, to require testimony under oath, to prosecute perjury, and to suspend from office any Executive Branch employee who refuses to answer or fails to have knowledge over actions within his purview. This Select Committee will submit a report recommending for or against the Impeachment and removal of the President, and such of his agents are investigated to the whole House on completion of its investigation.

c) A Select Investigating Committee on Political Abuses by the Internal Revenue Service. This Select Committee shall have a budget of $100 million, plus such additions as the House shall choose to make as needed. The Select Committee shall have full powers of investigation, subpoena, to require testimony under oath, to prosecute perjury, and to suspend from office any Executive Branch employee who refuses to answer or fails to have knowledge over actions within his purview. This Select Committee will submit a report recommending for or against the Impeachment of the President and such agents of the Executive Branch as may be investigated to the whole House on completion of its investigation.

d) A declaration by the House of Representatives that in the event of the President ordering a strike on Syria in the event that the President's request for Authorization is refused by the Congress; that such orders are in violation of the Constitution of the United States and obedience to his orders to strike without Congressional Authorization is a violation of their Oath to Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution of the United States.

In the absence of those amendments, vote no, and be ready to implement them if he strikes anyway.

Yeah, I know. The Republican "leadershio" is compromised and complicit and will do nothing if they can get away with it.

But the means are there to save the Constitution, if they can be grasped.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama just wants out of the decision making on Syria at this point. Asking Congress gets him off the hook (he thinks). I will bet he is hoping they'll say "no" since that will mean the end (to him) of paying any attention at all to Syria as a strategic matter. It becomes another Congo ... He'll send humanitarian aid to this "man-made disaster," but he will be able to use the Congressional vote to cover his derriere.

All he really cares about is the continued construction of a totalitarian U.S. government. Foreign policy is a distraction from his grandiose goal. This gets him off the hook ... Hr doesn't care if he looks bumbling or weak, since he only wants to pursue domestic tyranny.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Every. Single. Representative. Should. Vote. "Present."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (106)
All Comments   (106)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Why do we care? Backing either side is backing bad guys. To me this is like Iraq at war with Iran, the more dead the better. Innocents? Says who? What evidence is there that your average Syrian is any less jacked up than the Assad clan? Besides, everywhere we have ever intervened, we have been blamed for some sort of crime. Stay out of it.

Focus on Benghazi, IRS vs GOP, Fast and Furious, etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remain puzzled by O's sudden change of heart. Speculation abounds. Like all good rumors, this one is pure speculation too...

I wonder if the Joint Chiefs grew some and told him, in no uncertain terms, that he had to have Congressional approval before they would execute his orders? Such a threat would be very private, indeed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps someone pointed out to him that starting a war that might not go well, having a fight with Congress over the Federal budget and Obamacare kicking in - all within a 30 day period - might be more than even the MSM can handle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also a good rumor. But who?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
the technology to shoot down cruise missiles has come a long way since Desert Storm and both Russians and US forces have demonstrated tge ability to down them.

To date they have been taken down by anti aircraft batteries and small arms fire at route choke points. The Russians have a stake in shooting them down and it is entirely defensive so therefore no international outrage. They would be looking to defend radar and antiaircraft sites and would probably set up costal batteries as well. It is also possible to chase down and destroy cruise missiles with down looking radar equipped aircraft as well.

The problem wuth all missile defense is some if not most will get through. The US Navy has a similar problem with anti ship missiles. The one that gets through can put you on the bottom of the sea.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have not heard of Cruise Missiles being shot down. 85 knot drones, yes, but cruise?
The new technology requires control of the 'high ground'. The anti ship cruise missile problem is always time, time that the target is visible, time to acquire, target, shoot and anti-missile flight time, verses time remaining for incoming to reach its target.
The low altitude radar horizon is close aboard. The solution is to be up high looking down, aka AWACS etc.
For land attack, once feet dry, the earth itself makes surface based radar detection tough, again, high ground needed.
The coordinated cruise missile attack would launch a few to flush out radar, EW and aircraft, pop them and hit again.
It ain't easy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If it was easy, Democrats could do it...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I found this pearl here,

http://theblonde.wordpress.com/category/political/

and wanted to share. A pretty good synthesis I dare say:

A doctor from France says:"In France , the medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man's testicles; we put them into another man, and in 6 weeks he is looking for work."

A German doctor comments quietly : "That's nothing, in Germany we take part of the brain out of a person; we put it into another person head, and in 4 weeks he is looking for work."

A Russian doctor says boasting :"That's nothing either. In Russia we take out half of the heart from a person; we put it into another person's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for work."

The U.S. doctor laughs and answers loudly: "That's nothing my colleagues, you are way behind us....in the USA , about 5 years ago, we grabbed a person from Kenya with no brains, no heart, and no balls....we made him President of the United States, and now....... the whole damn country is looking for work.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Annoy Mouse

Flying Suppression of Enemy air Defenses (SEAD) missions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAD is possible, and is a Navy specialty. But that normally requires either EA6-B or EA-18G aircraft to provide the Electronic Counter Measures equipment (ECM). Having lost the element of surprise makes SEAD desirable to prevent the air defenses from shooting down the Tomahawks in the original plan.

Amateur hour.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While Aegis vessels have an ECM capability, the SEAD mission basically requires a line of sight to be most effective. Yeah, the Syrian population is close to the coast, but the closer to the coast the Aegis vessels are, the more vulnerable they are to Russian-manned anti-ship missiles. So they are going to stay well offshore. When you factor in the curvature of the earth and the mountain range that separates the Alawite coast from the rest of Syria; you need ECM aircraft.

There may be Air Force assets available, but that is going to require the cooperation of various EU countries to use their bases and air-to-air refueling. Possible, but given the reaction of Britain and France, not likely.

That leaves Navy aircraft. Which means probably the EA-18's. Which only fly off of CVN's [nuclear powered aircraft carriers]. We have a grand total of 10 CVN's. That is down from 16 at the end of the Cold War, and down from 12 since the reign of Buraq Hussein began. We have exactly ZERO carriers in the Mediterranean, and have stopped normal deployments of carriers to the Med. 6th Fleet has temporary operational control of carriers transiting through the Med en-route to and from the Suez Canal, but that is all.

Our surface combat forces in the Med are 5 Arleigh Burke class missile destroyers, one Amphibious Assault ship [the San Antonio], and the unarmed command ship Mount Whitney [which I believe is tied up at Gaeta, Italy].

Of our 10 carriers; 7 are on our own coasts, either training, entering, or leaving long term maintenance. This is in large part due to the Sequester. The GEORGE WASHINGTON is at Yokosuka, Japan as of a couple of days ago. The NIMITZ and the TRUMAN are in the Arabian Sea off of the Persian Gulf. The NIMITZ is being moved closer to the southern entrance to the Red Sea, but is still several days steaming from the Suez Canal.

No carriers, no SEAD. Then there is the matter that in practice cruise missiles MAY OR MAY NOT be considered an act of war. Manned aircraft firing missiles at air defense missile troops are an act of war. The cruise missiles likely will get through, although they are dependent on knowing exacting where their targets are, and the targets holding still. They go where they are told at launch.

Subotai Bahadur

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To pile on. Much of populated Syria is within 100 miles of the coast. Aegis equipped vessels can do a great deal of ECM spoofing themselves, added to the ECM aircraft orbiting over the Med or Israel. The electronic environment will be noisy to say the least.

The entire issue will be identifying valid targets and hitting hardened sites with enough to do the job.

I still say let them move stuff to Lebanon (the current rumor) and then annex Lebanon as a US trust territory.

It's called Geo-politics. Remember that? It preceded war by wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was based on reality, more or less, and selected actions in the real world. The only thing libs have brought to the table is Diplomacy and Geo-politics by emotion. Look where it's got use, Syria for Street Cred because the gang leader in charge has been dissed. Drive by bombing anyone?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
edits needed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is it expected that Tomahawks can be shot down these days? What is supposed to be capable of that? Do we really think they Syrians could do it, or would it require elite Russian military?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are correct. Shooting down a Tomahawk going 500 mph at 50 feet is nearly impossible. Guns don't get a long enough look, so hitting would be a lucky BB. Same for missiles. A missile, at launch, is already several hundred feet up before it begins to track, regardless of method. (Beam rider or self acquiring or both). Then the missile has to look down. Nope.

Maybe a lucky manpad. Or a crazy pilot with a visual and guns.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't see that it falls within the international community's perview to tell the leaders of a foreign government how to behave. We may *kill* them but we may not lecture them.

I thought the US enforcement of the no-fly zone in Iraq between 1992 and 2002 was immoral, not to mention expensive, not to mention utterly ineffective. And frankly it was the US that had made it "necessary" when Bush 41 encourged the Kurds and marsh Arabs to rebel against Saddam in 1991, and then he left them on their own and their rebellion, such as it was, failed. The invasion of Iraq I say *was* moral and within the traditions of international relations. But also fiercely expensive, especially the wimpy way we went about it.

So, Syria. Either we disapprove of Assad's behavior to the point that we would be happy to blow off his head and the heads of everyone within 100 yards of him, or else we are not. If we want to send him a message, send him John F. Kerry and a box of chocolates.

So, say we go for plan A, what then of Syria? Well, even as full-blown occupiers it took us what, five years to restabilize Iraq, if you call that a done deal? Unfortunately such things fall under the "you break it you bought it" rule. Hey, maybe we could do a better job with Syria, it may not have oil but it has a lot of much nicer real estate otherwise, including Lebanon. Let's send 4,000,000 unemployed Americans over there to build 21st century kibbutzim and show them how it's done, build a few churches and synogogues, Mcdonalds and baseball stadiums, teach them how to flip houses for easy profit and appreciate Miley Cyrus as an entertainer. Make Syria the New-New Zion. Are you with me? Let's gooooooooo!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" That would be to totally degrade his antiaircraft capability. "

That would be a natural high priority on the target lists. It would also probably kill Russians which would give them natural right to fire anti- ship missiles into the 6th fleet. But if we are going to protect the world from themselves then we must be willing to enter WIII and global thermo nuclear war and fight it to the last living organism. It is that important isn't?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now, I'm not a military strategist by any means, but it seems that there is a way to garner Assad's attention without going all gollywampus on him. That would be to totally degrade his antiaircraft capability. Don't know what that would take, but the Israelis seem to have the capability of blinding the radars. It would seem that blinding them and destroying them should be possible.

Assad would then be left naked before his enemies in case of future bad behavior.

That said, I am most supportive of Palin's construction, over all the others I've seen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What makes weapons of mass destruction terrible? It must be their ability to kill large swaths of people indiscriminately. Not like a 500 pound bomb but a carpet of rolling thunder vaporizing everything in its kill radius. Is it better to have your insides vaporized with a 50cal? Your head sawed off slowly with a rusty butcher knife? No dignity there.

What are WMD if you have enough of something, is that not massive? How ‘bout a constellation of armed drones circling over your head like a sword of Damocles’? How ‘bout the certainty of audit or jail at the caprice of political enemies of the state? There are many ways to die but very few ways to die with dignity. No force, the US even, can bring dignity to the world. Especially when they are so busy denying the dignity of their own citizens through globalist enabled power grabbing at home. Democracy should ensure the opportunity for dignity not universal death coverage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He’s a unita! Our engagement in Syria is a sham. What the no votes abroad have demonstrated is democracy is more peaceful than a populist tyranny. Dictators do not represent the people and Obama has gone a long way from distancing himself from the democratic community that put him into the driver’s seat of leader of the free world.

Apparently the community organizer is not a coalition builder. His ascent to power was so swift and so grounded in a populist sentiment that GWB was a cowboy, a divider not a uniter. The fact of the matter the left circled the wagons to oppose Bush right or wrong.

The irony is our nascent dictator has not sought coalitions where GWB was successful and has shown himself to be Django Unchained across the international and domestic fronts spouting a hackneyed leftist cant while revisiting all of the Bush doctrine touchstones with a drone and a wrecking ball.

Even the world see Obama no longer a champion of progressive causes but as a haphazard and dangerous autocrat with the power and will to destroy any who should cross him, foreign and domestic, for the sake of his own ego. He is the American Hitler and a clear and present danger to democracy and peace the world over. Based on these semantics, he is the anti-Christ risen from the pews of Reverend Wright’s racist hate theology brought to punish the enemies of those with the eternal chip on their shoulder. I am afraid even time will not diminish the power of this evil. God help us all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All