Of course, the Syrian civil war is a tragedy. The regime headed by President Bashar al-Assad is evil. The Syrian people deserve better. Yet these obvious truths do not make Syria unique. World history is filled with awful conflicts involving bloody national implosions. Murderous dictators continue to march across time. Ironically, many of them have been supported—and currently are supported—by Washington.
A new study by the Cato Institute found that in many states, it does indeed pay better to be on welfare than it does to work.
The most notable gross racial disparity on campus, and hence probative of discrimination, can be found on GMU’s fabulous men’s basketball team. Blacks are less than 9 percent of student enrollment but are 85 percent of our varsity basketball team and dominate its starting five…[read the entire article at the link below]
The United States and allies are preparing for a possibly imminent series of limited military strikes against Syria, the first direct U.S. intervention in the two-year civil war, in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians….[click below…a must read]
I deeply respect your role as our country’s commander-in-chief, and I am mindful that Syria is one of the few places where the immediate national security interests of the United States so visibly converge with broader U.S. security interests and objectives. Our nation’s response to the deterioration and atrocities in Syria has implications not just in Syria, but also for America’s credibility across the globe, especially in places like Iran.
Even as the United States grapples with the alarming scale of the human suffering, we are immediately confronted with contemplating the potential scenarios our response might trigger or accelerate. These considerations include the Assad regime potentially losing command and control of its stock of chemical weapons or terrorist organizations – especially those tied to al Qaeda – gaining greater control of and maintaining territory. How the United States responds also has a significant impact on the security and stability of U.S. allies in the region, which are struggling with the large exodus of Syrian refugees and the growing spillover of violence feeding off of ethnic and religious tensions. The House of Representatives takes these interests and potential consequences seriously in weighing any potential U.S. and international response in Syria.
Since March of 2011, your policy has been to call for a stop to the violence in Syria and to advocate for a political transition to a more democratic form of government. On August 18, 2012, you called for President Assad’s resignation, adding his removal as part of the official policy of the United States. In addition, it has been the objective of the United States to prevent the use or transfer of chemical weapons. I support these policies and publically agreed with you when you established your red line regarding the use or transfer of chemical weapons last August.
Now, having again determined your red line has been crossed, should a decisive response involve the use of the United States military, it is essential that you provide a clear, unambiguous explanation of how military action – which is a means, not a policy – will secure U.S. objectives and how it fits into your overall policy. I respectfully request that you, as our country’s commander-in-chief, personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve America’s credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy. In addition, it is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution.
What standard did the Administration use to determine that this scope of chemical weapons use warrants potential military action?
Does the Administration consider such a response to be precedent-setting, should further humanitarian atrocities occur?
What result is the Administration seeking from its response?
What is the intended effect of the potential military strikes?
If potential strikes do not have the intended effect, will further strikes be conducted?
Would the sole purpose of a potential strike be to send a warning to the Assad regime about the use of chemical weapons? Or would a potential strike be intended to help shift the security momentum away from the regime and toward the opposition?
If it remains unclear whether the strikes compel the Assad regime to renounce and stop the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or if President Assad escalates their usage, will the Administration contemplate escalatory military action?
Will your Administration conduct strikes if chemical weapons are utilized on a smaller scale?
Would you consider using the United States military to respond to situations or scenarios that do not directly involve the use or transfer of chemical weapons?
Assuming the targets of potential military strikes are restricted to the Assad inner circle and military leadership, does the Administration have contingency plans in case the strikes disrupt or throw into confusion the command and control of the regime’s weapons stocks?
Does the Administration have contingency plans if the momentum does shift away from the regime but toward terrorist organizations fighting to gain and maintain control of territory?
Does the Administration have contingency plans to deter or respond should Assad retaliate against U.S. interests or allies in the region?
Does the Administration have contingency plans should the strikes implicate foreign power interests, such as Iran or Russia?
Does the Administration intend to submit a supplemental appropriations request to Congress, should the scope and duration of the potential military strikes exceed the initial planning?
I have conferred with the chairmen of the national security committees who have received initial outreach from senior Administration officials, and while the outreach has been appreciated, it is apparent from the questions above that the outreach has, to date, not reached the level of substantive consultation.
It will take Presidential leadership and a clear explanation of our policy, our interests, and our objectives to gain public and Congressional support for any military action against Syria. After spending the last 12 years fighting those who seek to harm our fellow citizens, our interests, and our allies, we all have a greater appreciation of what it means for our country to enter into conflict. It will take that public support and congressional will to sustain the Administration’s efforts, and our military, as well as their families, deserve to have the confidence that we collectively have their backs – and a thorough strategy in place.
I urge you to fully address the questions raised above.
“What he [the President] is setting out to do is enforce the norm with respect to international convention on chemical weapons.”
–U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning.
We try to read as much as possible on all sides. Sandstorm Scholar readers may find the following passage taken from an Egyptian Islamic website educational. We submit it under “Just the Facts” because instead of reporting or opining we are allowing the enemy to speak for itself.
Islam is a religion which comes to organize the life of the whole human beings, not angels.
Human beings; with their good instincts and evil desires. Islam was not an imaginary idea which asks people to be like angels. It does not ask the people to keep silent and still towards the aggression, or to give the left cheek to be hit after hitting the right one. This is not practical and against human instinct.
Islam is not like those who practiced the most terrific acts and commit crimes under the name of freedom, peace, love and brother had.
Islam was and is still, real and logical in its vision towards the societies with their disputes and psychologies which lead to wars and conflicts. Islam has dealt with was as a matter emerges naturally because of instinctive desires which can not be denied.
Islam made wars as a means against aggression and bad greedy people. Islam confessed wars because Allah the Almighty know that it comes out from the nature of people and their conflicts which may lead to aggression and conflicts which arise when people want to defend their liberty and freedom.
Islam is a practical doctrine which does not neglect the realist. It does not confess wars as a means of aggression, but a means of defense and struggle and removing obstacles against the good. If Islam does not confess wars, the evil – doing will spread and destroy everything and Islam will be stopped and finished. “Had Allah not repelled one people by means of another, these would have been destroyed cloisters, monasteries, temples, and mosques, in which the Name of Allah is mentioned a lot “.(Surah 22 – 40)
Islam made Jihad to with stand these dangers and evil – doings which, without Jihad will spread and seize control on all the word wars used to be for aggression and Seizing control on others Now, it can be fare liberating people and spreading justice and peace.
The reality of Jihad for those who see it as wrong or those who deny it:
There is a big difference between the conception of Jihad in Islam and its concept for some people who mislead it deliberately or because for fanaticism and anger. The result is the same it leads to introducing Islam and Jihad wrongly.
It is necessary to make it clear to all people that Jihad is a duty which is for the good of all humanity.
The reality of Jihad
The is no nation which can do without Jihad our prophet (PBUH) said ” Jihad is continuous since Allah has sent till my people Fight Al – Dajal at the end of the time ” As long as Jihad is a fact till the Here after, it is our duty to make it clear to let people know its aims and reality as it has noble aims and regulations and wise reasons which lead to the great reward “Paradise” we will deal with its meaning through these points.
First: Jihad has different meanings.
It is unfair and offensive to confine the meaning of “Jihad” for the sake of Allah to practicing killing against enemies – The meaning of “Jihad” is more than hat and has an overall view and practicing killing against the enemies of Islam is a part and a parcel of it. As we disagree with those who give the meaning of “Jihad” without considering the struggle and fight against the enemies.
We also disagree with those who confine it to fighting enemies as being the meaning of it. It we consider the word “Jihad” linguistically and from the view point of Islamic Jurisprudence, we will stand on its different aspects and various meanings.
“Jihad” in Arabic is derived from a word which means “effort and struggle . It is a superlative which denotes exerting too much effort to make the war of Allah superior which leads you to the paradise on the last Day. It means also exerting effort to establish the Islamic society. Spending money on “Jihad” is one its kinds.
Source: Egyptian Islam
President Obama has changed his mind about Syria…again. The President’s indecision should tell us all something about this conflict: it isn’t our war.
It would be convenient if every conflict was easy to parse. We look for a distinct right side and wrong side. As Americans we’re accustomed to seeing our own conflicts that simplistically. But it is time America learned it cannot act as judge and jury in every conflict. There is nothing in Syria worth risking a single American life nor should we spend our money and might there.
America cannot fix the world. Some things cannot be fixed because both sides are evil and Syria is that kind of situation. We cannot waive our magic military wand over Syria and hope to create something good.
Congress must say “no” to the President. Syria isn’t our war.
On the day B. Todd Jones is being sworn in as the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the White House said the ATF is proposing to conduct background checks on firearms registered to a trust or corporation…[read more about how the Imperial President is taking your rights]
The biggest fight in history over Americans’ right to keep and bear arms is being waged today. There were attacks on the Second Amendment in the early 1990s with the passage of the Brady bill and the “assault weapons” ban. The gun-control battle of 2013, however, could easily see the greatest losses of Second Amendment rights ever…[Read more below]