Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Even NY Times is on to Boehner helping Obama use government against the American people. Boehner CR stopgap bill will "shut down" gov. unless Congress approves Obama arming so-called Syrian "rebels"-NY Times Editorial Board: "Don't Hide the Syrian Vote"

9/15/14, "Don’t Hide the Syrian Aid Vote," NY Times Editorial Board

"It’s bad enough that Congress — instead of doing its job by passing appropriations bills to finance government operations for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 is, once again, relying on a stopgap spending bill that will keep the lights on only through mid-December. But it’s far worse that House leaders — at the urging of the White House — are using that bill as the vehicle for a major foreign policy decision: arming and training Syrian rebels to fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the extremist Sunni group known as ISIS.

The Obama administration says giving aid to Syrian rebel groups — unlike airstrikes by American forces against ISIS in Iraq — requires congressional approval. That permission is needed under Title X of the United States Code, which regulates the armed forces. The administration sees the continuing spending resolution as the most convenient vehicle for an aid vote.

If the resolution doesn’t pass, the government will shut down at the end of this month, which neither party wants to happen before midterm elections. But, by including the assistance to the rebels as an amendment to the spending bill, as Republicans are planning to do, 

lawmakers will have to

choose between paying for the rebels and 
shutting down the government.

That may put House members on the record on Syrian aid, but the amendment would probably not require its own vote in the Senate. Voters need to know whether all of their representatives supported the aid on principle or out of necessity. 

The vote on the Syrian aid should be entirely separate from the spending bill.

On its merits, the rebel-aid amendment drawn up by House Republicans is actually worthy of support, because it would demand answers on which forces in Syria would be getting equipment and training. Under the provision, the secretary of defense would have to submit a detailed plan disclosing the moderate groups that would get the aid 15 days ahead of time, and the plan would have to be updated every 90 days. The background and past links to terror groups of every individual in the groups would have to be checked. The authorization would expire on Dec. 11, when the rest of the spending resolution does, and would face a renewal vote in the lame-duck session of Congress after the election.

It would also include a provision making it clear that the spending bill does not authorize a prolonged war in Iraq and Syria, an issue that probably will also be debated in the lame-duck session. Far too many Democrats and Republicans are afraid of casting a clear vote on this issue before the elections, preferring 

to hide behind the shield of a spending bill.

The polarization of Congress has made it impossible to do long-term planning or budgeting, so that even basic operations of government are financed through stopgap measures. 

Beginning a war requires a much larger vision."


AP says House GOP gives Obama "crucial" support on strategy to arm Syrian rebels. AP also says US will help Saudi Arabia train "moderate" forces to fight in Syria, but it's not known how we'll know if Saudi forces will go to Syria to fight Assad (whom Saudi is anxious to take out) or other "extremists:"

9/15/14, "Arming Syrian rebels, key part of Obama's war strategy, gets crucial support from House GOP," AP, Bradley Klapper and Donna Cassata

"House GOP moves ahead on Syrian rebel training."

"The U.S. plan is to develop moderate forces in Saudi Arabia before helping them return to the battlefield. It's unclear how long they will need to be battle ready or how the U.S. can ensure their attention remains on fighting extremists and not just the Syrian government.

Many Republicans and Democrats have expressed reservations about the ability to identify moderates in a country awash with rebel formations and shifting alliances. The Islamic State grew out of the al-Qaida movement, but the two are now fighting. In some instances, the moderate Free Syrian Army has teamed with al-Qaida's local franchise, the Nusra Front.

The House's effort would provide lawmakers with information on the vetting process and which groups are being recruited. The administration didn't ask for money to conduct the arming and training mission because it expects foreign donors to fund the program, 

the House aide said. 

In any case, the Pentagon has billions of dollars in wartime contingency funds it can ask Congress to release." (end of article) via Free Rep.


6/1/13, "Interview with Prince Turki bin Faisal: 'Saudi Arabia Wants Downfall of Assad'," Der Spiegel Online


Boehner crying gif.

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