Is Obama’s Presidency Done?

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.


  1. Buzz Feedback

    I don’t know if his presidency is done. But I’d like to know what happens if we bomb Syria and they respond by lobbing something into Israel. Seems like it could all go off.

  2. Can we wait for the U.N. report? If not, why not?
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/02/201027/to-some-us-case-for-syrian-gas.html#.Uic9wH9cWCk

  3. Turner

    I’d like to see further confirmation of this allegation that the U.S. had definite intel of an upcoming sarin attack in Syria. Why are we supposed to trust this one source?

    If we’re looking for a chance to cast the U.S., instead of Assad, as the villain, then we’ll grab on to this dubious account and trumpet it as loudly as we can.

    If this account turns out to be true, by the way, I think it would show only intelligence ineptitude rather than complicity.

    • lizard19

      the US and Assad are both villains. remember, Syria was one of the places the CIA knew it could get people tortured. there is also an interesting picture floating around of John Kerry eating a nice meal with the monster Assad, kind of like John McCain’s glowing report of meeting with Gaddafi years ago.

      so why are we suppose to trust John Kerry, or the president for that matter? they are more concerned with preserving America’s credibility than using any form of diplomacy to find a more peaceful outcome for a civil war they helped fuel.

      and why are we suppose to trust our media, who helped lie us into war with Iraq?

      • Turner

        All of the immorality you describe is almost unarguable, except I don’t think photo-op shots are proof of much. But I wonder; does our bad behavior in the past, even the recent past, mean that we can’t ever take humanitarian actions?

        I favor air strikes to destroy Assad’s air force not merely as a symbolic act, or to punish him, or to save face, I favor the strikes because I think they would probably limit his ability to commit more atrocities using illegal gasses. They could also limit his ability to kill his people using conventional weapons.

        • lizard19

          the photo-op proves the relationships among heads of state are more complicated than the demonizing that occurs in US propaganda campaigns.

          your mentality regarding air strikes is unrealistic and incredibly dangerous and doesn’t take into account the regional dynamics at play.

          also, imagine what the US would do if Pakistan tried to use military violence to limit the US ability to kill civilians with drone strikes, or if Iraq decided to punish the US for what we did in Falujah.

          • Turner

            You keep trotting out the phrase “regional dynamics.” You may have formed in your mind a clear idea of what this means, but I have no idea of what you’re talking about. Actions, including military actions, obviously have consequences, which I suppose can be dynamic. But for you to pretend to know what these consequences will be is presumptuous.

            And for you to accuse those who disagree with you of harboring dangerous mentalities is, again, presumptuous. What makes you so sure of yourself?

            Moral indignation isn’t an argument. It’s an annoying posture.

            • lizard19

              What makes you so sure of yourself?

              history mostly.

              I’m sorry my trotting out of a phrase bewilders you so, Turner. regional dynamics, for me, means Syria is a target for reasons beyond the stated concern for civilians. I’ve made the argument with multiple posts featuring multiple links to other people arguing similar things.

              my thinking is not original, I piece together things I read and react to. I don’t rely solely on moral indignation, because there is so much more out there to draw attention to, including my own hypocrisies and contradictions.

              anyway, I know it can be annoying. I annoy myself sometimes. I think my next post is going to be about the therapeutic role of Legos.

  4. Sarin gas can be put in regular containers and released on a subway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway
    Missiles will not solve anything.

    • This was in reply to Turner.




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