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Syria links

Senate voting to hand Obama and other presidents a military blank check
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-senates-syria-resolution-has-a-huge-secret-giveaway-to-the-president/279421/


Airfare from NYC to Tel Aviv or Istanbul is $600 at the low end. So something like $1.2 billion to fly 2 million refugees to the US on commercial air. Half that to Paris. Taking proper care of them costs more but I could see choosing to be homeless in the US rather than homeless in a war zone. And the UN is already asking for over $3 billion in refugee aid.

Not saying that's what we should do, but it puts relative "humanitarian" interventions into scale. Spend a billion on missile strikes, or spend a billion on admitting refugees.


(repost) Yglesias argument against Syria bombing, which I found somewhat convincing.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2013/08/barack_obama_shouldn_t_bomb_syria_the_good_option_is_to_do_nothing.html

speculation on why a chemical attack: rage over Damascus, perhaps accidental use of undiluated gas
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/04/201193/intercepted-call-bolsters-syrian.html#.Uiklaz8kzyC

neo-cons enraged by President consulting with Congress about killing foreigners, as opposed to any other reason where they say he doesn't listen enough
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/09/02/neocons-outraged-that-obama-wants-democratic-approval-for-war/
Not that he's, like, actually committed to being bound by the vote.

context of US bombings: soaring cancers and birth defects in Fallujah
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/toxic-legacy-of-us-assault-on-fallujah-worse-than-hiroshima-2034065.html

Is the Syrian conflict sparked by water shortages? And Egypt's militarization toward Sudan? Only Turkey and Israel have secure supplies. (Turkey has the sources, Israel makes its own, though I think it also taps the Jordan heavily.)
http://www.timesofisrael.com/lack-of-water-sparked-syrias-conflict-and-it-will-make-egypt-more-militant-too/

Long backgrounder:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/09/your-labor-day-syria-reader-part-2-william-polk/279255/

Onion: http://www.theonion.com/articles/target-of-future-drone-attack-urges-american-inter,33749/
http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-sending-cong,33752/

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Damien Sullivan
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