Monday Morning Politics: Syria Intervention, Iran Election

Monday, June 17, 2013

The US is arming rebels in the Syrian conflict -- how slippery of a slope towards war is Obama standing on? David SangerNew York Times chief Washington correspondent and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (Broadway, 2013), discusses the administration's calculus. Plus: we open the phones to get reaction to the election of cleric Hassan Rouhani as Iran's next president from Iranians and Iranian-Americans. Call 212-433-9692 or post your comment here.

Comments [13]

Nick Bacon from Upper West Side

Just which Syrian rebel group is the President planning on arming?

The ones who despise us, the ones who hate us or the ones who have called for a Jihad to destroy our way of life?

Jun. 17 2013 11:19 AM

@ "Mr. Bad": Don't give-up, speak-out. Contact WNYC directly. Make yourself heard. Challenge them.

Publicize; blog, etc.

Jun. 17 2013 10:42 AM

1.) Yet another establishment gatekeeper.

Simple excercise for all listeners: compare the number of establishment apologist types you hear on this show and station, to the number of DISSIDENT voices.

(Noam Chomsky was last on the BL in 2009, for barely 20 minutes and barely allowed to say anything too "controversial", to take just one prominent example out of MANY I could list.)

2.) Shouldn't Mr. Lehrer have said, "ALLEGED weapon program"?

Where is the actual EVIDENCE that Iran is pursuing nuclear weaponry? Seymour Hersh, among others, assert that there is NO credible evidence.

3.) Joseph Lieberman is a thoroughly discredited yet unrepentant, defiant war-monger. Probably the LAST person who should be listened to regarding anything involving Iran.

Jun. 17 2013 10:37 AM

I realize the US administration wants the public to think that the US is just now aiding, training, and abetting the actions of the "rebels," but the US has been involved almost since the beginning of unrest in Syria. And not only through allowing Qatar and Saudia Arabia to send fighters and weaponry.

Reports in foreign press outlets made known that flights from Libya, toward the end of that "kinetic military action," were bringing both weapons from Libya and fighters to fight against the Syrian government. These flights landed at the US air base, Incirlik, Turkey, to be nice and close from transferring the weapons and fighters into Syria.

Obama has had his hands bloodied by Syrian blood since almost the beginning. He is, it seems, just following the Bush/Cheney NeoCon plan for taking out several countries on the way to Iran. Maybe there are NeoLibs in his administration doing the executive's wishes, but the plan seems to remain the same.

Re: voting for policy by voting for a candidate -- How many Obama voters thought they were voting for more and more and more wars? For more Muslim deaths?

This nation seems intent on bring war, chaos, destruction, death to other nations.

Menendez has lost my vote based in his joining the McCain "Bomb, bomb, bomb" crowd. Time for a real primary against this senator of the MIC (military intel and/or industrial complex).

Jun. 17 2013 10:37 AM
Logic from New Jersey

Okay Martin, you are the genius and savior we have been waiting for. Okay no-it-all, how would you handle religious fanatics in government in this world chess game.

You want another war? Don't worry, one is on the way... Nostradamus documented it in one of his quatrains. Maybe it will happen on Obama's watch as you would like it to happen. Maybe it is inevitable we will have to light the Middle East up and eliminate half the worlds population.

That's what you want, and I know, you Martin, want the "punk" to do it.

Jun. 17 2013 10:26 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, I'd be careful about using language like "does the US now *own*" the war in Syria after the decision to arm the opposition. I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but it sounds as if it means the US will be taking over the war, which I don't think is the US administration's intention, esp. given the limitations of what they're proposing to do. It also sounds like taking the war, & the cause, away from the rebels we're supporting. What worries me is that the US could get drawn in further, & then it could become "our" war, but I don't think beginning to send arms means it's already the case or that it has to become the case.

Jun. 17 2013 10:25 AM
John from office

Martin, calling Mr. Obama a little punk is disrespectful. Seriously.

Name calling takes away from your message.

Jun. 17 2013 10:25 AM
A P Holland from Brooklyn

Jun. 17 2013 10:16 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Has the US use of Syria and Assad as a black site/torture proxy--widely reported--had any influence on the delay on the US involvement?

Jun. 17 2013 10:12 AM
A P Holland from Brooklyn

Jun. 17 2013 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Russia Outmaneuvers Obama Over Syria" - WSJ
"The Absent Commander in Chief" - WSJ
"The Syria Strategy Vacuum" - FOREIGN POLICY
"Obama Syria Aid: Too Little, Too Late" - DAILY TELEGRAPH
"Obama's Foreign Policy by Farce" - SPECTATOR

The incompetent clueless LITTLE PUNK in the White House gets outsmarted and out-played Putin, Iran, China and and anyone else with a pulse despite 5 years "on the job." (generously speaking)


Jun. 17 2013 09:47 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Really, Brian? Not even one segment on NY Congressman Nadler's admission of NSA wiretapping and his subsequent non-retraction? Last week we had nonstop NSA fake news and now that a NY Congressman who has been on the show multiple times and broke the biggest NSA story yet and not a peep.

WTF is going on with the media in this country?

Nadler released this statement to "clarify" things:

"I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have
always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’
phone calls without a specific warrant"

A lawyerly non-statement. A complete tautology. Biggest news story about the NSA yet and it's a NY rep who breaks it but not a peep. Meanwhile multiple news sites (Atlantic Online/The Hill) running THE SAME headline "Jerrod Nadler does not think the NSA can listen in on phone calls".

I give up. If anyone is interested in REAL journalism here is a link to the CNET article:

and Nadler CLEARLY declassifying this info:

Jun. 17 2013 06:12 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It looks like a region wide conflict between Shiites and Sunnis. What can the U.S. do about that?

Jun. 17 2013 05:53 AM

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