House votes to train and arm Syrian rebels

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“You’re acting very war-like yourself!”
-Senator Carl Levin (D)

Media Medea Benjamin had a message to send to ISIS yesterday:

Associated Press

Associated Press

Oh, no…wait. That was at yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on what to do about the ISIS threat. She is right that “more war” brings out the extremists (she and the Code Pink militants being case in point).

The crisis with ISIS is bringing bipartisan support as well as bipartisan opposition.

Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claims foreign ground troops are neither warranted nor welcomed.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, gave testimony that he would not discount recommending to the President the need for sending “boots on the ground”.

Airstrikes against ISIS is not a strategy- just a tactic.

Meanwhile today, the House voted 273-to-156 in favor of giving President Obama the authority to help arm and train Syrian rebels:

The 273-to-156 vote was over a narrow military measure with no money attached, but it took on outsize importance and was infused with drama. Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, actively and strongly backed the legislation, and both sought to portray it as a modest measure. The Senate hopes to pass it as soon as Thursday.

“The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission,” President Obama said Wednesday in addressing troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. “I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

But the theater around the debate and the vote belied that portrayal. The president, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and top White House officials personally lobbied for the measure’s passage, calling more than 70 Democrats and Republicans on national security committees and in leadership posts to appeal for their support. Mr. Obama and his allies pleaded with lawmakers not to cut his legs out from under him as he tries to assemble an international coalition to confront the terrorist group.

“Obama is our commander in chief,” said Representative C. A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “You don’t weaken the commander in chief when we’re in a serious crisis.”

Opponents in both parties framed the vote as a step toward a wider war in a region where American troops have been fighting for more than a decade. Republican and Democratic vote-counting operations said they would not press for “yes” on what they termed a “vote of conscience.”

“Launching airstrikes on another country, by any standard, by any definition, is an act of war,” said Representative Rick Nolan, Democrat of Minnesota. “Have we not had enough of imperial presidencies doing what they want in the world?”

A few random links to stimulate debate and comments:

Islamist Rebels vs. Secular Rebels Is the Civil War Within Syria’s Civil War

Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels?

Kerry Claims U.S. Has Found a Moderate Syrian Rebel

Syrian Opposition Blasts Reports It Signed a Truce With ISIS

Syrian Revolutionaries Front again supports al Qaeda and the Islamic Front in Quneitra

‘Moderate’ Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to support al Qaeda

Why ISIS is our problem

Top Syrian Warns Congress ‘Moderate’ Rebels May Sell Weapons

Syrian Rebels: We’ll Use U.S. Weapons to Fight Assad, Whether Obama Likes It or Not

CIA Privately Skeptical About New Syria Strategy, Sources Say

9 Responses to “House votes to train and arm Syrian rebels”

  1. 2

    Nanny G

    Our boots on the ground?
    Where?
    Syria has a multi-front war going with few in uniform and two-out-of-three (at least) our enemies.
    Iraq doesn’t want our men there.
    Iraq seems OK with Iran’s men, however.

    When this first started I was for standing back and allowing these various Muslim sects murder one another …..as long as Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims be rescued and protected as they get out.
    But ISIS felt its oats and forgot the koranic admonishment to give the unbelievers a chance to LEAVE, pay a jizya or die. ISIS simply started killing.
    That changed the game.
    Now I see that non-Muslims will need to be escorted out by our military.
    I doubt airstrikes can do this.
    But we’ll see.

  2. 3

    Smorgasbord

    I don’t have any answers for what is going on in the Middle East, just questions.

    If we help one side defeat their enemy, aren’t the ones we helped still muslim, and does’t the muslim religion teach that the infidels are to be converted, and if they can’t be converted, they are to be killed?

    Haven’t we helped other muslim people defeat their enemy, and are now fighting the ones we helped?

    It’s too bad that we can’t just have the groups who want to fight each other be assigned a certain area, and they fight until only one group remains. The problem will still be that the muslim group will still be living by the koran, and it dictates they must still convert or kill.

    Why hasn’t the world declared the muslim religion a terrorist organization? What is the definition of a terrorist organization? Let me guess: It depends on who is defining it.

  3. 4

    FMB42

    There is only one answer to the Middle East to which the US has the means but not the guts to implement. Let’s face it, the United States of today would never have defeated World War II Germany and Japan.

    As for the person above in pink; she’s probably just another public assistance funded “vote early, vote often” parasite that this once great country goes out of its way to promote.

    Meanwhile, we all might feel better by knowing that our Congress is headed out for yet another vacation while 0Muslim is planning his next trip to the links…

  4. 5

    Nanny G

    @FMB42: As for the person above in pink; she’s probably just another public assistance funded “vote early, vote often” parasite that this once great country goes out of its way to promote.

    Au contraire, mon ami!
    That is Midea Benjamin, rich, rich, rich woman.
    She inherited vast wealth and used some of it to fund the activist organization Global Exchange, which devotes its resources and manpower to a variety of leftist causes — most notably an anti-war, anti-capitalist agenda.
    She considers Castro’s Cuba to have been heaven on earth when she lived there.
    She gave $600,000 to the insurgents who skinned and hung our contractors on a Fallujah bridge.

  5. 6

    oil guy from Alberta

    Arming the idiots. Training the idiots. Insanity!
    Insurgents just stole UN equipment from the stout UN soldiers from Fiji and the Phillipines. The UN is now arming them inadvertently. I’m not 100% sure, but both sides were in on the booty. Looks like Israel is strengthening its part of the Golan Heights. This is going to blow!

  6. 7

    Nanny+G

    Training ‘Moderate Islamists’ — Four More Americans Killed in Afghanistan

    Three were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility. A fourth was killed in a so-called “green-on-blue” assassination — i.e., he was an American there to train our “moderate Islamist allies” at a military base (in western Afghanistan), and one of these Afghans shot him dead and wounded two others before finally being killed.

    It was the fourth green-on-blue attack this year.

    Who’s side is Obama on?
    He let terrorist leaders go to rejoin the war efforts in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
    Then he hamstrings our people who must face them in asymmetric battle.

    President Obama released five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay in May, enabling their return to the anti-American jihad. And now, as American forces retreat from Afghanistan, our soldiers will be assigned to train more “moderate Islamists” in Syria — which apparently will not be a combat mission . . . unless the trainees go green-on-blue.

    Add to this Obama holds up Yemen as his example of how we are successfully fighting Islamist rebels……but Yemen’s rebels just took control of the capital of Yemen and the airport! http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/388380/good-news-yemen-plan-rebels-just-took-over-part-countrys-capital-patrick-brennan

  7. 8

    Smorgasbord

    @Nanny+G: #7
    Is a “moderate muslim” one that will kill you, but not behead you?

    Who’s side is Obama on?

    I figured it out a long time ago, and more are figuring it out. It is no longer a question.

  8. 9

    batman

    Einstein’s definition of insanity is: “Repeating the same sequence of actions and expecting a different outcome.” It sure looked to me like ISIS was using US equipment. Arm and train the moderate rebels? Sure, that’ll work again…Oh, wait! I think I’d really like to know the origin of those stocking masks…..The PT exercises in those ISIS videos? One might wonder: Where’d those ideas come from?

    Duh!!!

    Progressive (evil) is always moving forward. It’s their mantra. “Always forward, never back.” Wisdom, on the other hand, preaches otherwise. All experience demonstrates that if our only options are: A) To try something that has already been proven to fail ; Or, B) Doing nothing; That, Wisdom suggests that option B: The doing nothing, is always the better option. Pfft. Moderate Islam. Isn’t that something, kind of like, say “Light” cigarettes? In the field of oncology, has it ever been found successful to introduce a cancer, to battle a cancer? Really, if “something” is going to be tried, shouldn’t that “something” be different; Better yet: “Something” that has perhaps been proven to have worked before? If we’re going to “arm and train” somebody, maybe that somebody should be of a different legion. We’ve already tried arming an Ali, and saw how well that worked out for us. We’re almost on the right track, but just a little “word challenged,” here: How about this time, trying to arm an ally? I think that might have a much better chance. At the present, I can think of only one nation, one group, that I’d really trust in this region. Unfortunately, the current “powers that be”, relegates the leader of that nation enter and exit through the White House’s servants’ entrance.

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