Archive for September 3rd, 2013

by lizard

One can only imagine the various forms of coercion happening right now in DC. I’m sure favors are being called in, and pervs are being reminded of their depravities, and AIPAC is fully mobilized, and pork is at risk, and the almighty campaign dollar threatens to re-channel its monetary flows elsewhere.

Whatever happens in Congress in the coming days, I think it’s fair to say the president has put a ton of political capital on the table in his gamble to pin Congress against the wall. Besides calling in favors, what might the president be giving away for yes votes?

Near the end of July, Obama drew another line in the sand over the fall primetime fight featuring the debt ceiling drama by stating emphatically: “We are not negotiating on the debt ceiling.”

What kind of austerity slash-and-burns are being offered ahead of that fight?

While I’m glad there is an opportunity for Americans to watch the spectacle of debate coalescing around things like John McCain caught playing poker on his iPhone during a Senate hearing about bombing Syria, other bits of intrigue will probably never percolate beyond the pearly gates of corporate media, like who knew what, and when:

American intelligence agencies had indications three days beforehand that the Syrian regime was poised to launch a lethal chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people and has set the stage for a possible U.S. military strike on Syria.

The disclosure — part of a larger U.S. intelligence briefing on Syria’s chemical attacks — raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions for the American government. First and foremost: What, if anything, did it do to notify the Syrian opposition of the pending attack?

This same article indicates that it took 90 minutes for reports of this attack to start hitting social media. I’ve seen that point criticized, but think it very plausible that, in the midst of a mass-casualty event, instant uploading isn’t as instant as us armchair westerners may assume.

There is a tremendous amount at stake, and scenarios where the question posed by the title of this post is yes. For all we know, Obama could be trying to wiggle out of a red line he was coerced into making in the first place.

That’s me searching for the last scraps of hope lodged in the creases of my pocket like lint from a note totally destroyed by the washing machine’s spin cycle.

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