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Juan Vargas (CA - 51) goes to D.C. for classified White House briefing on Syria


Saturday, August 31st, 2013
Issue 35, Volume 17.
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SAN DIEGO - At a news conference today U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (CA- 51), who was headed on a red-eye flight tonight back to Washington, D.C. for a classified White House briefing Sunday on the Syria situation, said "If in fact this regime has gassed its own children -- we have to act."

But Vargas added at the late afternoon conference held in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego that, "We have to make sure that's what they've done."

Asked about the mood of Congress and how difficult a proposition it may be for President Barack Obama to sell U.S. military action against Syria, Vargas answered there was "a lot of skepticism" on the part of many who believe the last time we went to war "on information that was flawed and questionable."

"There are many who are still skeptical that the information that is being provided is information that can be relied on," Vargas said noting the Obama Administration "is telling us they have the facts."

Vargas was responding to comments made earlier today by President Obama who said he'd decided on military intervention in Syria, but that he'd also decided it was necessary to seek Congressional approval before any action was taken.

Asked if he felt Obama would be willing to override Congressional disapproval of U.S. military involvement in Syria, or lack of support from any of our other allies, Vargas said, "We have to be willing to act by ourselves. This is an issue that transcends one nation. We have to act on an issue like this. We can't let it go."

Vargas said he didn't believe any U.S. military response would be boots on the ground, but rather an air strike with ship-borne Tomahawk and Cruise missiles.

"We don't want to get tangled up in any ancient hatreds, that's what we're trying to avoid," Vargas said when asked how involved the United States was willing to get in the foreign conflict.

Syria's opposition has accused government forces of having gassed an estimated 500 to 1,400 men, women and children in rebel-held Damascus suburbs by firing rockets that released deadly gas fumes as they slept. The alleged attack prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York, as well as discussion and debate of U.S. military intervention.


 

17 comments

Comment Profile ImageWally
Comment #1 | Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm
I'll sleep better tonight knowing Vargas is on it.
Comment Profile ImageMe
Comment #2 | Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm
Me too Wally :-)
Comment Profile ImageKenny O
Comment #3 | Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm
I wonder if the topic of the 5,000+ children and civilians kiled by Obama in drone attacks will come up? Or the hundreds of thousands killed by agent orange and the ongoing birth defects?Or maybe the boiling sea water at Fukishima? from the reactors and spent fuels rods burning into the earth. Maybe they should talk about how they have been supporting Alqi'ieda for 3 years in Syria and even though they kill Christians, women and children we need to help them out and get rid of Assad. And lets not forget about the rebels which Obama and Hillary support that eat the human hearts of Assads soldiers after they kill them.The muslim Brotherhood has been treated unfairly and we need to support them. I think bombs and missles in Syria will kill more children and people than the gas used by the rebels by far, but it's a humanitarian thing.
Hillary and Obama in 2016!
Comment Profile ImageWhat a joke
Comment #4 | Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 6:03 am
Our Govt is such a joke. I thought when we went into Iraq we had all the facts. In fact, Democrats, the UN, and Rebublicans all were positive that there were weapons of mass desctuction. And now this Admin wants us to get involved in another strike with no Congressional approval or facts? Amazing how Obama has power over the people and gets away with it.
Comment Profile ImageGet us out
Comment #5 | Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Of the United nations, Ban anyone from American politics associated with the Council for Foreign Relations, these are just fronts fothe Elits to let the US do it's bidding for power and controlThe Federal Reserve is a Ponzi scheme and we are all slaves to the debt the politicians create as a result of it.The Saudi's are behind this aggression in Syria, the same ones that put Obama through college with Kissingers help, they are all war criminals or should be tried as same. Benghazi was a cover up because of the US was running guns through lybia to Turkey to Syria. The US (Nato, UN, CFR) need to be outlawed and those affiliated should be tried for war crimes.
Comment Profile Imagegrunt
Comment #6 | Sunday, Sep 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm
The Iraqi WMD are in Syria; being used on Al Quada - the group killing Americans in Afghan. Before we interfere in another mid-East mess please Mr Obama explain how either side winning matters to the people of the US.
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #7 | Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 7:59 am
And who will replace the Assad government, yes the same group we were fighting in Iraq. It's a no win in Syria so why waste our time. We don't see anybody/country from the Arab League joining forces to oust Assad.
Comment Profile ImageFR86
Comment #8 | Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 11:05 am
Ok so we blow-up the command and control centers of the Syrian regime........then what? The rest of the world will view us as meddling in another country's civil war.

Is the use of Sarin gas by the Asaad regime true, probably, and should punative action be taken ,yes. But why does it have to be the US unilaterally. The British have already backed down, the French probably will......where's NATO and the UN in whose backyard these atrocities are being committed?

The reason there is so much anti-American sentiment is that we bare the brunt of taking action because the rest of the world (MOSTLY EUROPEANS) won't. Are we wrong for doing so, absolutely not.

Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing.
Comment Profile ImageReality Checker
Comment #9 | Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm
Seems to be some fairly credible reports coming out of the Middle East and other sources that Obama might have been complicit in the gas attack by helping al Qaeda use it on an area where the Free Syrian Army was over- run by al qaeda, so Obama would oust Assad for them (cause he kinda said as much the last time with his off promter ad libbing red line crapola) and they could take power. I read it was reported on Rushs radio program. If that's true, we are in hella trouble. And not just in the Middle East.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #10 | Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013 at 6:43 am
Let's kill more Syrians. Israel will be happy.

PS. Besides, while Syrians are dyin', we can play online poker on our iPhone.
Comment Profile ImageZZZ
Comment #11 | Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm
@FR86 - exactly and then what!! There is no good to come out of US getting involved in Syria. NONE, only bad.

Japan's nuclear power plant leaking into the ocean? Isn't this worth 'helping' and getting involved in so we/they can eat fish without dying? Maybe learning something so we can rid San Onofre of nuclear gases that are going to affect us ALL.

PS: Lee, God doesn't bless killing, He allows it, so there will be those that will turn to Him because of their own need of Him...He is only interested in souls.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #12 | Thursday, Sep 5, 2013 at 10:38 am
Yeap, WE, THE PEOPLE and democracy indeed.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE_efOGFlho
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #13 | Thursday, Sep 5, 2013 at 10:45 am
Hmm, this dude, like me, believes in PEACEFUL and COMMUNICATIVE means to resolve a conflict. Call me crazy.

http://news.yahoo.com/military-solution-syria-futile-pope-tells-g20-133932802.html
Comment Profile ImageJM
Comment #14 | Thursday, Sep 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Why can't we just keep it simple like the U.N. and all the other nations are doing which is waiting for prove that the chemical bombing was from the Syrian government. Even Putin himself stated that he would back U.N. decisions to take action if there was prove of Syrian government handling the bomb. I am against US intervention but I am all for an international intervention to bring Syria back into stability.
Comment Profile ImageFR86
Comment #15 | Thursday, Sep 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Me again,

I think the expression is " If you break it you own it " and that would apply here. We already have proven this adage in "Iraqistan" Let's not compound our mistake.

Something punitive needs to be done to stop dictators from perpetrating such a heinous crime but it needs to be the UN with the support of all its members.

Unfortunately, given the UNs history of decisive actions that seems rather remote.
Comment Profile Imagegrunt
Comment #16 | Friday, Sep 6, 2013 at 11:28 am
@Lee (13), Lee, I also would much perfer to have peaceful solutions, no wars; however you refuse to acknowlege that one nation can not unilaterally declare "no more war". As long as different nations have different ideas, wars will occur. Sometimes people just can not agree - and in the case of nation states there is no court with law enforcement ability to force one side to acecpt the others - so war.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #17 | Friday, Sep 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm
@ #16 Grunt

OK Grunt, cool.

"Lee, I also would much perfer to have peaceful solutions, no wars;" Well, look Grunt. Don't you see that when you make a statement like this yet you are pro-guns and the Second Amendment . . . that we DO have to start somewhere in order to, as you say, that you would prefer to have peaceful solutions and no wars? You are NOT going to get rid of wars if people have guns. It's that simple. So why not start getting rid of guns? And bombs? After communism collapsed 23 years ago, Russia and we in the 1990s DID begin to reduce our weapons. So why not continue this trend? It has to start somewhere, and a BIG part of that solution is also on an individual level: let's get rid of our guns.

"however you refuse to acknowlege that one nation can not unilaterally declare "no more war". I agree with you. Let's NOT do so unilaterally; let's ALL do so! Sure, whackos like North Korea will refuse. BUT with time, I am certain that (A) all nations would and will, and (B) all nations will IF and WHEN all nations decide to do so TOGETHER. And this is NOT difficult to do! Let ALL nations sit down . . . and let us talk -- openly, honestly, transparently, in good faith, etc. This is NOT an impossibility!

"As long as different nations have different ideas, wars will occur." Maybe. Not necessarily. Sure, that has been true in the past . . . but why not learn from history and say that, look, we've tried this thing called war over and over and over again. And it don't work one bit. So again, let's sit down and TALK. Why not? If you and I can talk, Grunt, why can't our STUPID politicians, you know? (And by all I am obviously talking about the world's politicians, not just ours.) Let's sit down and talk. You and I can, and do. Why can't others? Seems simple to me. If people shoved their STUPID egos and pride down their pants, things would get accomplished much, much better. I certainly believe that. Look at our Congress today: it's an absolute disgrace. I think you agree with that statement, too.

"Sometimes people just can not agree." True. I agree with you. But that don't mean that the next step is to pick up a gun, is it? I certainly think and hope not. Let's sit down and chat and chat and chat some more . . . so that NOT one drop of blood of our young men and women (and on the other side, too) is spilled. And, again, if that means that our political leaders lose their pride, ego, arrogance, what-have-you in the process so that our young men and women do NOT go to combat, then that is WEL, WELL worth it! THAT, to me, is leadership. Call me crazy.

"And in the case of nation states there is no court with law enforcement ability to force one side to acecpt the others." Well, that may very well be true, but there should be a UNITED front against wrong. A perfect example is the current Syrian situation. How should it have been handled? Well, in my mind, there really was only one solution. When the Arab Spring broke out a few years ago, OBVIOUSLY everybody knew that each new uprising could turn into a full out civil war with THOUSANDS of lives being lost. And this, of course, is EXACTLY what happened in Syria. So, what should have been done? The "big boys" -- we, Russia, China, U.N., NATO, etc. -- should have (A) told Assad (and the opposition) to not resort to violence, and (B) yes, "invaded" Syria TOGETHER as some sort of, oh, I don't know what to call it, some sort of "big cop" or something like that, and tell Assad that if he TRULY loves his country and his people, then the honorable thing to do is leave (and live in, say, Turkey), and let the opposition PEACEFULLY take over. And not a single drop of blood needed to be spilled! Not one! Once the transition is over, the foreign troops would leave immediately and completely. Something like that. But what happened instead? Nothing. Everybody just sat with their thumbs under their you-know-what and let, so far, 100,000 Syrians die. And counting. (Heck, McCain even favored to arm the opposition. Sure, people die so that a politician enjoys his seven homes. Or was that eight? You see what I mean, Grunt? A politician don't give a rat's behind about you and I!) And NOW somebody, us, is supposed to stop the bloodshed when something should have been done at the onset?! THAT is supposed to be an honorable and right solution? NOW, it is much, much too late as evident by the 100,000 dead Syrians. Something should have been done at the onset and not now.

Everybody can be Jesus after the trigger is pulled; what matters is what one does BEFORE the trigger is pulled.

I think the way I would end your last sentence is that we must not and cannot simply accept war is the ONLY solution to a conflict. There are other and much better ones out there: let's chat.

Like you and I are doing right now.

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