TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: The meaning of war

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) The meaning of war — Before we launch a war in Syria, perhaps we should know we are launching a war in Syria. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers Tuesday that in requesting authorization to strike Syria, President Barack Obama was not asking to go to war. ‘President Obama is not asking America to go to war,’ Kerry said, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noting that there would be no American ‘boots on the ground.’ Obama, he said, was ‘asking only for the power to make clear, to make certain, that the United States means what we say … He’s asking for authorization to degrade and deter Bashar al-Assad’s capacity to use chemical weapons.'”

TheDC Morning understands what Sec. Kerry is trying to say. But words have meaning. If we strike Syria, we will — for better or worse — be committing an act of war. As for “no boots on the ground,” how can the administration go to war with such restrictions? What if we need to send Special Forces in in order to secure chemical weapons stockpiles or rescue a downed soldier? Whatever your view of intervention in Syria, the way the issue has been handled by the Obama administration has been disastrous on so many levels.

2.) Poll in the hole  — Polls don’t look good for intervention in Syria — at least not yet. TheDC’s Caroline May reports:

“More Americans oppose U.S. military airstrikes in response to the Syrian government’s reported use of chemical weapons than support them, according to polls released Tuesday. A Pew Research Center survey found that just 29 percent of Americans support airstrikes, while 48 percent oppose. According to Pew’s poll, Democratic support was equally limited with 29 percent supporting airstrikes and 48 percent opposing. Republicans were more divided, with 35 percent supporting strikes and 40 percent opposing. And 29 percent of independents supported Syrian strikes while 50 percent opposed.”

3.) On the march? — Are you ready to defund Obamacare!!!!? TheDC’s Caroline May reports:

“Over a million people have signed onto a petition calling on Congress not to fund Obamacare, the Senate Conservatives Fund announced Tuesday. The petition, which has been pushed by two of the loudest voices in the ‘defund Obamacare’ movement, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Republican Ted Cruz, hit the one million signatures mark Monday morning. …  ‘The American people are standing up, speaking out and demonstrating their absolute disdain for the unaffordable and unfair train wreck that is Obamacare,’ Lee said in a statement. ‘With over 1,000,000 signatures petitioning Congress to defund Obamacare the momentum is mounting and members of both parties, in both houses, would be wise to take heed and side with the American people,’ he added.”

You know what the defund Obamacare movement didn’t need? Syria dominating the news.

4.) Non-interventionism nonsense — We’re told the Syria debate will show whether or not the GOP is becoming a non-interventionist party. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein says that’s poppycock:

“Don’t buy the media hype: The Republican Party is not in some epic struggle between interventionists and non-interventionists. … A real test for whether the Republican Party has become non-interventionist would be on the issue of Iran and its advancing nuclear weapons program. With Iran, our interests are more clearly defined and there is a more obvious ‘good’ side. If the issue of Iran’s nuclear program were to be put before Republicans in Congress, and the choice was between Iran acquiring nuclear capability or authorizing military strikes to set back their program, there would likely be much more support in the GOP for military intervention for that purpose. This isn’t just conjecture. Polls bear it out. For instance, a March 2013 poll showed that 80 percent of Republicans would favor a strike against Iran if it was necessary to set back their nuclear program. Only 14 percent of Republicans said they would oppose a strike even if it meant Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.”

TheDC Morning pledges to you that from here on out, we will single-handedly work to bring the word “poppycock” back into more common usage.

5.) Tweet of Yesterday  Josh Rogin: Kerry: If Assad responds to our strike “He will invite something far worse… that doesn’t mean America goes to war.” #huh?

6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Greetings to Captains Regent of San Marino”

VIDEO: Ann Coulter says because of Obama, the world is laughing at us

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Jamie Weinstein