Countries don't have "friends" - they have "interests".
Putin and Obama may hate each others guts? But you can bet that both have their "interests" involved in this Syrian deal. They are not doing it because they are "friends".
I can't help but think that Obama is going against some very strong pro-war "interests"? They would prefer that he make the decisions all by himself, without Congress, and bomb the hell out of Syria so they can make more bombs and make more money. But Obama seems to be going against the grain, in my opinion.
He seems to be thinking of his legacy? He has mentioned constitutional reasons for taking the issue to Congress. This is not politics as usual, with Presidents making decisions about going to war all on their own. If he can pull this off in Syria, it will be a big part of his legacy. And he will piss off a lot of influential "interests".
However, the pro-war devils are whispering in his ear at all times. They have grown accustomed to having their way with the Presidents. They do not want him to go to the UN. They do not trust the UN. They do not want a peaceful resolution to the crisis. They would prefer another war.
Putin, on the other hand, is the ultimate pragmatist and realist. He believes Obama will carry thru with his threat to bomb Syria. He knows that Syria does not have the means to defend itself against the modern American weapons. Also, he knows that Assad has been weakened immensely by his war with the "rebels". He understands that Russia could lose one of its oldest allies in that part of the Middle East. It is in his "interest" to negotiate. If he can give up the chemical weapons but keep Assad in power and keep Syria intact, then it would be a victory for him. He is negotiating for survival of Syria as an ally of Russia.
Sun Tzu said, "Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."
1. When Obama did air strikes in Libya on his own, 10 members of Congress sued him for violating the.
Edited on Wed Sep-11-13 12:11 AM by No Elephants
Constitution. That group was made up of Democrats, Republicans and Ron Paul.
Originally they had sued him for violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, but they dropped the latter charge and proceeded with the Constitution alone.
Even the War Powers Resolution, which I believe is itself unconstitutional, requires an imminent threat to our national security in order for the President to act without Congressional authorization. And even that was designed to curb powers to bomb that Nixon claimed he had.
Obama had said back in January that he was thinking of getting involved in Syria, not to expand Presidential powers. So, clearly, the threat presented by use of chemical weapons in Syria was not so immediate that Obama did not have time to consult Congress. And that is all that the War Powers Resolution would have covered him for, even if it were constitutional.
After Obama seemed to be ready to proceed in Syria on his own, many members of Congress were all over the media saying they wanted him to consult Congress before doing anything in Syria. It may be that he got threatened privately with a lawsuit or even impeachment if he insisted on going ahead as though the Constitution did not exist, which is what he did in Libya.
So, yes, maybe he did not want a bipartisan impeachment in his legacy for the high crime of violating his Presidential oath of office, along with the highest law of the land. Or the distinction of being the only President sued not once, but twice, for violating the war powers clause of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Obama is still looking for an AUMF, though the one he wants may not be as broad as the one he ultimately gets. (Some Senators were drafting a new one yesterday.) Obama has also pretty much succeeded in re-defining war as "boots on the ground," as opposed to things everyone formerly considered an act of war, like bombing. And, perhaps not so incidentally, that gives him cover for his drone strikes, too.
Pearl Harbor involved not one Japanese boot on the ground. It did not even involve ground. Is there really any doubt that Japan was at war with us when they dropped their bombs?
And, if I am not mistaken, Tuesday night, Obama became the first President to explicity declare the RW doctrine of American exceptionalism.
So, even though he does not yet have authorization to bomb--yet--Obama did accomplish quite a bit with this bid, none of it good, IMO, except for a nod to Article I, which he may have been forced into privately
6. P.S. The lawsuit filed against Obama over the Libyan strikes was
Edited on Wed Sep-11-13 03:28 AM by No Elephants
dismissed on lack of standing, because the 10 members of Congress did not prove that they represented Congress as a whole.
This time, however, at least 140 members of Congress signed a letter to Obama saying they believed that his actions regarding the Libyan strikes were unconstitutional. Further, on August 28, Speaker Boehner sent a letter asking Obama how Obama's plan for Syria comported with the exclusive power that the Constitution gives Congress over initiating a war.
Speaker Boehner does definitely have the ability to sue in court over an unconstitutional action by the President. As you may recall, Speaker Boehner did constitute a committee to sue in court on behalf of the House after the D of J refused to defend DOMA in circuits that had already ruled it unconstitutional and no court questioned his standing.
Given both those letters and the wording of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, I think Obama and his legal team concluded that he should go to Congress.
However, he continues to maintain he has the authority for the strikes without consulting Congress. And that assertion, I believe, violates the rule of law, in addition to be a horrifying echoc of Nixon at Nixon's very Cambodian bombing and Waterate break in worst.
When you think about it, the irony of hearing Kerry make the case for Nixon's authority to bomb Cambodia without Congressional approval not only reeks of irony, but is nothing short of horrifying.
FYI I read about kerry and Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia in Kerry's wiki on September 3, 2013, when I wrote my "Geez, Louise" OP about Kerry's having hidden the fact that he was not Irish through his political careere, until a geneaologist revealed it when he ran for President in 2003.
I just searched Kerry's wiki for "Cambodia" and my brower beeped annoyingly to tell me it was not in the wiki anymore. I am not going to read every word of Kerry's wiki again, but I did read the bit about his testifying during the Fullbright hearings after he returned from Vietnam and my browser seems to be correct. If it is, how very sleazy to have deleted mention of Cambodia from his wiki this week, whoever did so.
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