Category Archives: Syria

Talking Turkey

The fog of scandal is thick and spreading. While it’s true that all roads lead to Russia, there’s at least a back road leading to Turkey. Trump loves autocrats and the Turkish model of government has long been elected autocracy. Erdogan is not the first Turkish strongman and he won’t be the last. It’s why Turkey has always been an odd member of NATO and cannot get into the EU: they have democratic forms but autocratic norms.

As a Greek American, I was raised to be skeptical of Turkish intentions. That upbringing has come in handy since the advent of the Trump regime. I’ve learned that many Americans are unaware of the back story of the Turkish Republic: the Armenian genocide and ethnic cleansing of Anatolian Greeks took place in the era of national hero Kamal Ataturk.

Ataturk was the first president of post-Ottoman Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hero and role model. Admiration for a murderous predecessor is something Erdogan and Trump have in common: Ataturk and Andrew Jackson are peas in a bloody pod.

Donald Trump’s business ties to Turkey lurk in the background of this self-created crisis or is that self-inflicted wound? It’s both. It’s time to revisit Kurt Eichenwald’s classic 2016 Newsweek story about the impact of Trump’s business dealings on US national security:

Trump already has financial conflicts in much of the Islamic world, a problem made worse by his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his impulsive decisions during this campaign. One of his most troubling entanglements is in Turkey. In 2008, the Trump Organization struck a branding deal with the Dogan Group, named for its owners, one of the most politically influential families in Turkey. Trump and Dogan first agreed that the Turkish company would pay a fee to put the Trump name on two towers in Istanbul.

When the complex opened in 2012, Trump attended the ribbon-cutting and declared his interest in more collaborations with Turkish businesses and in making significant investments there. In a sign of the political clout of the Dogan family, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Trump and even presided over the opening ceremonies for the Trump-branded property.

Dogan’s subsequent falling out with Erdogan may well have given the latter leverage over President* Pennywise. That’s unclear but what *is* clear is that this is a glaring conflict of interest. Trump has been mighty solicitous of the Turkish president even parroting Erdogan’s talking points about the Kurds as “terrorists” and “no angels.” Neither Erdogan nor Trump are angels either.

Trump’s henchman Rudy Giuliani followed in the footsteps of Mike Flynn and lobbied the president* to eject Muslim cleric and Erdogan foe, Fethullah Gulen, which is one of the Turkish regime’s top foreign policy objectives. In case you’re wondering why, Gulen is a former Erdogan ally who provided much of the intellectual heft in the early days of the ruling Justice and Development Party. Few feuds are bitterer than those between former friends. It’s another reason the US should not expel Gulen: we shouldn’t help a foreign leader in a personal vendetta.

I wonder if Trump either knows or cares that Erdogan’s party origins are Islamist. That’s right: the anti-Muslim xenophobe is in bed with an Islamist leader. All the Insult Comedian cares about are his personal relationships with foreign leaders even if his friendship with Erdogan makes him a hypocrite. Trump is used to accusations of hypocrisy: his record is full of contradictions, after all.

I also wonder if Trump knows or cares about Turkey’s ambitions to become a nuclear power. The United States used to oppose nuclear proliferation but if you flatter the Current Occupant that can change. Just ask the Communist dictator with the bad haircut: he’s been playing this president* with his “beautiful” letters.

If the Kaiser of Chaos had any knowledge of, or interest in, history, he’d know that Erdogan is a “bad hombre.” Hell, even if he read his briefing papers or listened to his military advisers, he’d understand that Turkish intentions in Northern Syria are malign. They want to drive the Kurds out of that area, which constitutes ethnic cleansing. The Turks and their Sunni Muslim allies are not above genocide either.

The horrible thing is that this crisis all started with a phone call and a green light. Trump’s latest self-inflicted wound is getting people killed. All the denials and fake cease fires in the world won’t wash the blood off Trump’s hands.

I wrote this first thing Monday morning, but I need a shot of whiskey. Some musical Wild Turkey will have to do:

Wag The Dog Incoherently

11 days ago Donald Trump said he wanted to be out of Syria within a matter of months. Tonight American, British, and French forces bombed Syria. I guess that earlier statement is, to quote Nixon flack Ron Ziegler, inoperative.

All week long the fog of scandal has enveloped the White House. The Michael Cohen investigation in New York may prove to be more devastating to Trump than anything Team Mueller can come up with. And now the president* is bombing Syria after a chemical weapons attack that his inability to keep his mouth shut may have caused.

It’s bad enough that we’ve entered the wag the dog phase of the Trump regime, it’s even worse that it’s being done in an ad hoc, incoherent, and chaotic manner. Of course, that’s how they do everything. An alternate title for this post could have been Winging It With The Kaiser of Chaos.

With John Bolton and his mustache on board at the NSC, we can expect more late night bombing raids. Perhaps they’ll even come up with a coherent strategy next time. Who am I kidding?

There are some in the MSM who believe that bellicose rhetoric aimed at the Russians means that Putin doesn’t own Trump. Wrong. The gap between the Syrian attack, Trump’s bloodthirsty tweets, and the bombing raid gave the Russians plenty of time to move their military assets and personnel around to minimize their losses. The same thing happened with the delay in imposing sanctions: Putin and his cronies had time to hide their money. It’s all for show. It’s what happens when a scandal plagued administration has its wag the dog moment.

Just think, earlier today everyone was speculating about Rod Rosenstein getting shitcanned. Holy Instant Nostalgia, Batman. Instead I’m writing an instant analysis of Trump wagging the dog. As Jim Comey would surely say at this moment,LORDY.

I only hope this post is more coherent than president* Trump’s national security policies.  Repeat after me: LORDY.


Call me Ishmael. Call me anything; just don’t call me late when supper’s ready.

Last week’s astonishing series of Trump administration* foreign policy u-turns and flip flops convinced some in the MSM that the long-awaited PIVOT had come. The Insult Comedian actually got some positive press as the media drooled over the “beautiful” missiles that struck Syria. Lyin’ Brian actually out malaproped Gum Spice on that one. Instead of gushing over Trumpian manliness, the MSM should be worried about the erratic course this incompetent and incoherent administration* is steering. 

While many in the MSM became tumescent over Donald’s dick waving, those of us who do satire searched (groped?) for the right analogy. As you can see above, Dr. Strangelove references are popular with the madcap zanies at Wonkette. They got there first so that’s Slim Pickens for me. That’s when a military acronym exploded in my head: MOAB.

MOAB is, of course, military speak for the mother of all bombs. They’ve been around for a while but neither Bush nor Obama wanted to drop the very big one. The Donald is made of stupider stuff: how could he resist dropping the biggest non-nuclear bomb in history? It’s like being Dirk Diggler for a day. y’all. It *almost* made us forget his teeny, tiny hands. Almost.

MOAB was tailor-made for Trump. He’s just another boomer chicken hawk whose manhood is linked in his own mind with weaponry. Bombs are glimmering phalluses hence MOAB Dick. I have the feeling that the Insult Comedian never finished Moby Dick, so he might want to pick up one of these nifty comix. Cliff’s Notes are so un-presidential.

It’s from 1942, so it’s older and rarer than Trump-hab. His white whale was the White House, which has become such an Albatross that he spends every weekend at Mar-A-Lugee. We’re also treated to endless stories of the struggle between Bannon and young Jared as they vie to be Ishmael to Trump’s Ahab. The Melville character was the sole survivor of the Pequod and narrated Moby Dick. My money is on Jared. He married the boss’ daughter and gave the president* grandchirren. All Bannon gave him was the White House. Jared is blood. Blood trumps everything in Trump World: “Call me Jared. I survived.” He *is* a two-legged cockroach, after all.

Back to the dangerous situation caused by Trump’s face off with pipsqueak North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. They’re actually peas in a very crazy pod. Both will do *anything* for attention, which is why the Obama administration’s policy of’ “strategic patience” was a wise one. When a toddler pitches a tantrum at the dinner table, one can either ignore them or go the time-out route. Never give them what they want: attention and approval. That’s what the world needs to do with both of these baby men: put them in time-out.

Our Asian allies are noticeably unenthusiastic about toddler tantrum as policy:

Those in the US&A who would like a manly “preemptive strike” on North Korea forget the fact that it’s the Republic of Korea that will suffer the consequences. It’s a friendly nation, and has become a democracy during my lifetime. South Korea is going through a painful political scandal and has no appetite for Trumper dick waving. I wonder if he even knows about the impeachment and indictment of former President Park Guen-hye

The Darnold is a profoundly, indeed militantly, ignorant man. He was convinced until recently that China could order North Korea to knock it off.  Wrong.The Kim family dynasty have long been China’s crazy communist cousin. The PRC has influence but Kim Jong-un and his generals run the show in Pyongyang. I’m waiting for another overgrown toddler, Dennis Rodman, to revive wormplomacy and offer to serve as an intermediary.  The Insult Comedian might take him up on it: Rodman appeared on Celebrity Apprentice twice. I hear the ratings were better than on Arnold’s watch. Believe me.

Another thing strikes me about Trump’s new role as MOAB Dick to the world. He’s facing off with two family dynasties in Syria and North Korea. Perhaps that’s why he thinks he can solve these problems: he learned about dynastic power at Fred Trump’s dinner table. The Assads and the Kims, however, put the nasty in dynasty. They’re not going anywhere even though we all wish they would. It’s much harder than dealing with other developers, gangsters, Ed Koch, and Gary Busey. Believe me.

Team Trump’s effort in wagging the dog and distracting attention from their scandals has been surprisingly effective. It’s the only thing they’ve gotten right thus far, but the act isn’t going over very well in Seoul and Tokyo. It’s time for them to put the MOAB Dick back in their pants and zip it about North Korea. Twitplomacy won’t work any better than wormplomacy despite Rodman’s tremendous tattoos. Believe me.

I didn’t plan to write such a long post. I guess the Melville geist has taken hold. It’s time to meet Bartleby the Scrivener for coffee. I hope he doesn’t consider me the Melvillain of the piece…

A Fatal Lack Of Impulse Control

Until yesterday, Donald Trump was fine with Bashar al-Assad remaining in power. Rex Tillerson gave Assad a green light and the dictator took advantage of it by using chemical weapons on his own people. He’s his father’s son, after all: that’s how they run the family business. Then Trump saw terrible pictures on teevee and ordered an air strike. This is no way to run national security policy. They’ve gone from acquiescence to advocating regime change in a mere 48 hours. Repeat after me:  this is no way to run national security policy.

We already knew the Insult Comedian was in over his head. Tonight proved it. I’ve seen lots of speculation as to whether this is a wag the dog scenario to divert attention from administration* scandals. It would almost be better if that were the case. It’s the fatal lack of impulse control that we were all worried about. It’s not calculation, it’s lashing out. It’s a toddler tantrum by tomahawk missile. Repeat after me:  this is no way to run national security policy.

Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

Once upon a time: 

What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?

What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

What I want to know, is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient’s Bill of Rights?  If the Patient’s Bill of Rights passes, is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it’s not five cents cheaper.

What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America?

What I want to know, what I want to know, is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President’s education bill — “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” — the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system?


I want to end on a personal note.  Three years ago next month I signed a bill into law called the civil unions bill [cheers], which gives gay and lesbian Vermonters the same rights I have: visitations of your significant other in the hospital, inheritance rights, insurance rights.  Vermont truly is a place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law.

I want the President of the United States to explain to all Americans why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law.  [cheers].  I signed, I signed that bill six months before an election when it was at 35 percent in the polls.  I never had a conversation with myself about whether I ought to sign the bill or not because I knew that if I was willing to sell out the hopes and dreams of a significant portion of our people, that I had wasted my life in public service.

Come back, Dr. Dean. Your country needs you now.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are cowards.

In several meetings, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) presented fellow Democrats with polling data showing that lawmakers who didn’t support tighter restrictions would be in the sharp minority. As former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel is often called on to give advice on electoral matters. And while he didn’t explicitly encourage members to vote for the SAFE Act, the implication was clear: you will be vulnerable if you don’t support the only piece of refugee-related legislation that has gotten a vote after the Paris attacks.

Come back, because they’re looking at the man in the White House and saying hey, he’s on two weeks’ notice and we still have elections to win.

The top House Democratic aide said that members were encouraged to support the bill in part because they believed it would ultimately fall short of becoming law. That, combined with a sense that the underlying reforms weren’t severe, led many to conclude a “nay” vote wasn’t worth the political blowback.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are traitors.

Come back, because they’re looking to their own pockets, instead of to the values of their country.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are whiny babies who would rather complain that they weren’t wined and dined enough than do the right thing for the sake of their immortal goddamn souls.

One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.

“If the White House hadn’t royally fucked this up they’d have lost maybe 20 Democrats,” said the lawmaker. (He ultimately voted against the bill.)

Come back and rip them another one, and remind them, as you reminded them once, that they can’t give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican. Come  back because if they do that, it doesn’t matter who they vote for. We’ll get Republicans every time.

Come back because they’re doing it AGAIN. Come back and remind them what happened last time they tried this. What happened last time they let a crisis scare them, let a bunch of bullies cow them, let the anonymous poll answers speak for them. Remind them what our country looked like when that was done.

Remind them what another country looked like, too. Remind them how many people died because they either turned a blind eye, or couldn’t be bothered.

Remind them it may take a lifetime but they will answer for that. One of the great solaces of belief is considering what weight the unjust will have to carry, even if it is in some kind of afterlife.

Remind a lot of them they lost elections anyway. Remind them it’s not a deal with the devil if the devil doesn’t even pretend to promise them something.

Not that they care. Not that they’ll listen. They didn’t listen before.

Remind them anyway. It’s our job to remind them. It’s our job to stand up even if it’s useless, even if it’s never worked, even if the club of the most of them are dirtbag losers who run screaming when they see a Rassmussen poll. Remind them so that WE don’t have to feel, as they may someday, that not every single thing was done to make it stop. Remind them so that you can look in the mirror.

Remind them so that they know that somebody fought back, when they couldn’t be bothered.

Light. Them. Up. 


Not Everything Sucks, Guys

In the midst of civil war, Syrians saved seeds: 

Even as the area around the genebank fell under the control of two competing armed groups and the remaining staff reckoned with several kidnappings, they managed to backup 80 percent of the center’s collection in Svalbard. The last shipment arrived at Svalbard in March 2014—nearly two years after Amri and much of the rest of the international staff had relocated to Rabat, Morocco. Last month, the Centerwon the Gregor Mendel Innovation Prize—coveted among plant breeders—for its rescue and preservation of the genebank. And amazingly, the Aleppo site continues to be operational. The Syrian staff has managed to keep the electricity on and the genebank intact through four years of war.

Wars never end. Neither does the human drive to persevere. This is how we get better.


Malaka Of The Week: Peter King

I’m talking about the Congressman from Guyland, not the Monday Morning Quarterback guy. The former is the only one I want to take my first name back from. Peter King is one of the leading GOP neo-cons still left standing in the so-called era of the brogressive Senator Aqua Buddha. Yet, the MSM insists on calling him a moderate. Then again, they still persist in calling Senator John McCain (R-Warloverstan) a moderate despite his manfiold immoderate positions. Rep. King is once again demanding that the United States immediately bomb the shit out of a Middle Eastern country, and he’s become a fashion critic all of the sudden. And that is why he’s malaka of the week.

King is rabid on the subject of terrorism. He wants the President to arm everyone and bomb everything. Of course, like many Vulcans, King is a full blown hypocrite: he was one of the IRA’s staunchest supporters when they were bombing London and murdering civilians in Ulster. He was even critical of peace moves in Northern Ireland including those made by Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. I’m very glad they didn’t listen to Congressman Malaka. They have not reached  nirvana in Northern Ireland, but the militias have long since disarmed. No thanks to armchair chickenhawks like the malaka King. Hmm, now that I think of it he’s the *worst* kind of Monday morning QB…

Last week, the Tweeter Tube lit up with jokes about the tan poplin summer suit President Obama wore to a presser. Initially, it was sort of amusing but, as always with the inside the Beltway punditocracy, they turned it into a search for significance and went on and on and on. It’s a fucking summer suit, y’all. The reply to this malakatude was *almost* as annoying: photos of past Presidents in tan jackets and summer suits. Enough already, Harry Truman was as fond of Hawaiian shirts as I am and it doesn’t mean shit to a tree.

Back to Congressman Malaka’s debut as a fashion critic:

“There’s no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday,” King said on NewsMaxTV on Friday. The interview was flagged by Buzzfeed. “When you have the world watching … a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is gonna do. For him to walk out —I’m not trying to be trivial here— in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy. This is a week after Jim Foley was beheaded and he’s trying to act like real Americans care about the economy, not about ISIS and not about terrorism. And then he goes on to say he has no strategy.”

He sounds like Nina Garcia confronted with a skirt that reveals too much booty. He could show some wit and quote Michael Kors, “I feel like the Pope in a sex shop,” but instead he sounds like Archie Bunker on a tear. Get a grip, Congressman Malaka, it’s summer and people from warm climates wear summer suits. The President is originally from Hawaii, you feel me? Somebody oughta send the malaka King a seersucker or ice cream suit to help him cool the fuck down.

This strong reaction to the tan suit may mean that King pays attention to the Twitter echo chamber. I recommend that he follow some cat picture users and chill out.

It’s after Labor Day, so, hopefully,  the President will put his summer suits away until next year. If he doesn’t, Miss Manners may be on his case but she’d be more diplomatic and polite about everything. Pete King could learn a thing or three from Judith Martin, but he’s a disciple of former Noo Yawk Senator Al D’Amato who never whispered when he could scream. To make matters worse, the malaka King made me think of Senator Pot Hole. And that is why Congressman Peter King is malaka of the the week.

Quote Of The Day: Chickenhawk Edition

Have I mentioned how much I love Dan Rather recently? Here’s one reason why he’s my main man:

My first question to anyone who is on television saying, “We have to get tough, we need to put boots on the ground and we need to go to war in one of these places” is, I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums. If you aren’t, I have no patience with you, and don’t even talk to me.

I cannot top that. Attaboy, Dan.

Unsolicited Op-ed Advice

Vladimir Putin’s dickish op-ed for the NYT has also been published by the Guardian. I have confidence that No Drama Obama will NOT react by shitting himself like Bob Menendez or Senator Walnuts. It’s not his style, after all. We already knew that Putin is a gaping asshole of epic proportions and this article merely confirms his malakatude.

Here’s my unsolicited, and hopefully unnecessary, advice: ignore the bad stuff and focus on the positives. Putin is now on record as wanting to control Syria’s chemical weapons and keep them away from people who might gas Russians. In short, the President should make like JFK during the Cuban Missile crisis and accentuate the positive and tune out the hawks and neo-cold warriors here in Murica. Hell, Khrushchev banged his shoe on a table at the UN, told us that the Commies would bury us, and we were still able to make a deal with him because it was in his interest.

We should all heed Johnny Mercer’s sage advice and ignore Senator Walnutsand leave him to his video poker app:

Der Bingle meets the Divine Miss M? There are times when I love the internets. This is one of them.

That is all.


What a weird, wild and even wonderful day it was on the foreign affairs front. There’s been some debate as to whether John Kerry’s comments about Syria relinquishing its chemical weapons was a gaffe, an ad-lib or a Hail Mary pass but it *may* be leading to a breakthrough.

As one of those people who likes neither the idea of air strikes nor seeing the Assad clan/gang/guvmint get away with gassing its own people, I’m glad that the Obama administration is seriously looking into this diplomatic alternative. It’s an unexpected development: it’s been a long time since the Russians did anything but stir the pot and cause trouble but the Syrians *are* their clients and they’re the ones who have the relationships to pull a disarmament rabbit out of their hat. It’s also been a long time since I wrote such a long damn sentence…

Vladimir Putin: peacemaker? It’s surreal but weirder things have happened in the last 30 years so ya never know. It’s going to be fascinating to watch this play out.

Sending More Than Freedom Bombs

My friend Erin, who spent some time in Syria last year during the civil war, is running an aid project for displaced Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Go, read, and donate if you can.



Oh for fuck’s sake:

Look. Raise serious objections to action in Syria. There are about a hundred of reasonable ones: That this isn’t our job, that we don’t really know what this is, that we have no solid objective, that we’re kind of cash-strapped here at the moment, that continuing to dick the Middle East around helps no one, that we could wind up here for years, that even if we don’t again MONEY, etc.

There are about a hundred reasonable ways, even for a Republican, to object to everything that Kerry is saying. But here comes this assclown:

“The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people, due to the unanswered questions surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi almost a year ago. When you factor in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the AP and James Rosen issues, Fast and Furious and NSA spying programs, the bottom line is that there is a need for accountability and trust-building from the administration,” he said. “The American people deserve answers about Benghazi before we move forward in Syria’s civil war.”

So until the administration pleases Teabag Tube Kitten up there by addressing every fake scandal that it’s impossible to address, NO ONE CAN DO ANYTHING EVER. You are not helping opposition to the Syria strikes, buddy. You are not helping your party not look absurd and/or obstructionist, and you deserve the ass-whupping you so righteously received.


We’ve Seen This Movie and Spoiler Alert, IT SUCKED

No boyfriend jokes this time:

“In the event Syria imploded, for instance or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of somebody else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — all of us, the British, the French, and others. I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the President of the United States to secure our country,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, debating whether to authorize President Barack Obama’s punitive strike in response to a reported chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the committee, whether the secretary of state truly believed combat troops could be an option, Kerry walked the comment back by saying he was only “thinking out loud.”

“Let me be very clear now, because I do not want anything coming out of the hearing that leaves any door open to any possibility,” he said. “Let’s shut the door now as tight as we can. All I did was raise a hypothetical question about some possibility, and I am thinking out loud on how to protect America’s interests, but if you want to know if there is any — the answer is what ever prohibition clarifies it to Congress, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war.”

And in the event that Godzilla AND Mothra showed up, Mr. Secretary, what would we do then?

First of all, it is not at all giving Kerry a pass to say fuck Congress for asking a thousand questions that were never asked of Rumsfeld, Powell and the rest of them ten years ago. Now they’re all concerned about what we’re ruling in and ruling out. It’s amazing what having a Democrat in the White House does to their skepticism.

It’s also amazing what it does to the general skepticism of the pundit class, which is so very, very reluctant to get us into a war that might never end. Which is really nice, for all the soldiers and civilians who are still alive whose lives we are actually treating with some measure of delicacy, and not so much for the ones we decided were expendable last decade because we had something to prove.

(News flash re: everything ever: The hippies aren’t yelling stuff at you because it’s fun for them to get the shit kicked out of them. They’re yelling because this stuff sucks and it should be hard, and if you’d listened during the last two wars you’d know that. Obama said, as a candidate, that he didn’t oppose all wars, and you know what, I think very few people oppose all wars. Even a lot of hippies don’t oppose all wars. I don’t want to start saying that because we manifestly fucked up Iraq and Afghanistan we never get to do anything else ever. I don’t know what’s going to happen next week, in Syria or anywhere else.)

Second of all, it is a pathological John Kerry thing, to entertain every hypothetical, especially when it’s a trap. It must drive his press officers goddamn insane. It drove me up a tree during the campaign. Of course if we have recorded video of Assad giving whoever took over for bin Laden nerve gas with a “USE ONLY IN THE EVENT OF AMERICA” label on it we’re going to send people in to fuck him up, but saying that into a live mic does nothing but panic everybody.

Third, it also does nothing to dispel anybody’s suspicions that this is a neverending suckhole of wrong that we need no part of, when we can’t even delineate where OUR line of “no more” is but have no problem pointing out theirs.


Me and Ed Markey

I’ve been quiet about the Syria mess because I’m genuinely conflicted, undecided, and all that stuff. This isn’t Iraq since there’s a war already going on and international sources have been reporting Syrian use of chemical weapons for months. I’m not sure what good bombing will do but it’s possible that strikes could inhibit the Assad gang/clan/government from using chemical weapons again. In short, I’m glad that I don’t have to vote on this matter since it’s a close call.

That brings me to the veteran House member and newly elected Senator Ed Markey who voted “present” in committee because he, too, is conflicted right now:

Markey said he cast his equivocal vote because he wants more time to
analyze the situation. He said in an interview that the resolution was
written too broadly and allowed for the potential that the United States
would become far more entangled in the Syrian conflict. “My one concern
is that we not get on a slippery slope – that we understand all of the
steps that this action could lead to,” he said. “It’s about the
resolution being too broad. It’s about the need for more information.
It’s about my worry about a greater involvement in Syria.”Asked why he
did not just oppose the authorization, as did some of his colleagues who
had similar concerns, he said, “A no vote would have indicated I had
sufficient information on which to base the decision. Which I did not.”

Of course, Markey has to vote and I do not, which is a great relief to me. Additionally, snark and mockery are what I do as a blogger and there ain’t nothing funny about Syria and Sarin. So, other than the odd jibe at GOPers playing political twister, I’m going to sit this one out until I make some sense of the situation, which since it involves the Middle East may be difficult.