In case anyone had questions on exactly what the administration is thinking...
Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama - latimes.com
One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
With respect to the case for U.S. military intervention, The New York Times reports that there is no "smoking gun" and that the case will not involve declassifying reported intercepted electronic communications. The latter issue makes it difficult to for the American public to understand how strong those possible intercepted messages are. However, the suggestion that there is no smoking gun indicates that they do not provide irrefutable evidence. Instead, they fall short of that standard. How short? One won't know for sure, unless they are released.
Relevant excerpts follow:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/wo...-on-syria.htmlAmerican officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack, and they tried to lower expectations about the public intelligence presentation. They said it will not contain specific electronic intercepts of communications between Syrian commanders or detailed reporting from spies and sources on the ground.
But even without hard evidence tying Mr. Assad to the attack, administration officials asserted, the Syrian leader bears ultimate responsibility for the actions of his troops and should be held accountable.
Typically, sources and methods of intelligence gathering are not declassified. Critical substance is different and, in this case, reported intercepted messages that might contain important substance won't be released. That outcome argues for caution. Evidence needs to be gathered. Evidence should drive the decision making. Raw emotion and a desire to "do something" should not.
I simply cannot see anything positive coming out of a western attack on Syria's government forces. Every indication shows that the majority of those fighting Assad are even worse enemies of the west than Assad ever was. We can't just ride around the globe roughshod, taking out every abusive dictator on the planet. The results in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya shows that, as does the decade old conflict in Iraq, which is now engaged in its own civil war, thanks to us, and Afghanistan, which proves that a violent, tribal nation cannot be "domesticized" because the west wishes it to be.
Nothing good will come of this.
"Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, The Cable has learned. And that is the major reason why American officials now say they're certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime -- and why the U.S. military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.
But the intercept raises questions about culpability for the chemical massacre, even as it answers others: Was the attack on Aug. 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"
Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. Perhaps it was a lone general putting a long-standing battle plan in motion; perhaps it was a miscalculation by the Assad government. "
So there is no proof that Assad ordered the chemical attack, or why he might have ordered the chemical attack.
How did Our Oil get under Their Sand?
I will call this bull**** for the rest of my life.. because it is.
US 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad govt': Report
Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad's regime: U.N. official - Washington Times
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken