?Sometimes The Onion gets it exactly right. For example, the September 5th headline “Poll: Majority of Americans Approve of Sending Congress to Syria.” But this morning, with the Fearless Leader speech on Syria about 30-hours ahead, we are sorting through poll results that all show more of less the same thing. “CNN poll: Public against Syria strike resolution.”
Of course, there are others, too: A poll in the UK shows Brits aren’t willing to be hornswoggled, either. All of which leads to a curious result in a Gallup poll which is out this morning as it shows an even closer margin: 51% against and 36% for with the largest segment against mentioning “None of our business” while those in favor citied “Prevent it from happening again/prevent terrorism” most highly. Which has to prove that a huge number of Americans are still a) asleep and b) willing to go with any policy which can be wrapped up in enough warm & fuzzy “anti-terrorism” lingo.
What’s more, a thoughtful NY Times report by Jonathan Tepperman this weekend “Weighing War, Peace and Polls” got to the idea that poll results can change quickly. Since Tepperman is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs which is the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) we have to infer that what Tepperman’s OpEd sets us to expecting will be a big press publicly by the Obama administration in tomorrow’s speech.
The best outcome, from the administration’s standpoint, would be a watered down House statement which offers something in the way of slippery wording which the House can say is a “decisive position” but which has enough Clintonesque to it that it would contain enough “depends what you mean by…” wording to it, so that Obama would be unfettered and House members running for election could simply say “Well, our statement didn’t vote for war, exactly….”
In other words, make the wording acceptable so it can be sold to both sides, depending on how obfuscated the measure’s real intent is. What we need is a vote, not necessarily clear and direct speaking by the House. So if the House statement turns out to be a masterful job of weasel-wording, don’t be the least bit surprised. Weaseling is what happens in Washington on most issues of any importance (which you’d expect from a lawyer/professional weasler-class chamber) so why should this be any different?
The poor people who trade Asian markets apparently don’t “get” this yes. Just overnight, the Chinese Hang Seng was up about 130-points, India rose 1.5% and Japan was up nearly 2 1/2 percent. Europe, being a little more “swave and de boner” about such colonial parliamentarian antics is actually down in England, France, and Germany…because – near as I can figure it – they don’t think the House decision will be decisive and (after Fearless’ speech tomorrow night) the public will be confused, bewildered, and dragged into war while we try to sober-up and figure out what just happened.
Still, the market futures were pointing upward, however modestly, still hoping that reason will prevail, although the odds of that are low since Obama has already reserved his right to ignore the House vote anyway. And besides, tick-tock as the Israelis still have an Iranian nuclear issue to deal with and Syria is a kind of early-warning system which shares (near as we can figure from what’s public) air defense information with Tehran.
We’ll have to see how well Obama can do at pitchman tomorrow night, but a crafty House document which will be initially cheered, should then give way to an attack within a couple of weeks as the imperial presidency itself – or a LIHOP/MIHOP with all that military hardware floating in the Eastern Med seems as good a bet as any to provoke an American response if the House doesn’t line up for warfare.
Oh, and if it comes to that, president Assad of Syria is telling interviewer Charlie Rose “expect everything” in return. This while John Kerry is starting a “one week clock” on Syria to turn over chemical weapons.
Did I mention Dow futures are up 25?
An Israeli Mistake in the Making?
A headline this morning on the Israel National News site that “ADL Director Abe Foxman tells IDF Radio White House called him directly. Analyst: Jewish groups “courting disaster.”
Also in our scan this morning, the Times of Israel report “Gold treasure trove unearthed at base of Temple Mount.”
Another Davos Meeting
It is perhaps significant that another set of sessions will be held in Dalian this week with China reportedly planning to “…stay the course on sustainable growth.” Which gets us to a bigger topic – has the world sort of run out of “low hanging fruit” for growth for a while? More on that in the Coping section following our morning review of formative news…
More after this…
Spy-minded Net Use
A word to the wise from our Winnipeg news analyst fellow:
Dear Mr. Ure,
Have a look at this BBC report of university researchers seeking to identify and geo-locate anti-social tweets in the UK. An aim included in a research document released exactly one year ago outlined the pursuit of “a computer-based environment that best integrates the technology in order too be as unobtrusive as possible”. One could surmise that progress conceivably meets or exceeds sponsors’ expectations. Netizens may wish to moderate their behavior accordingly in advance of further program expansion.
The best net-use advice I can think of is to “Write everything like it was going to be read to a military tribunal in an attempt to prosecute you for being anti-America” however strangely that will be interpreted in the period ahead.
But still, realize (like by constant critic Bruce down in Ecuador would point out) that sometimes the guillotine operators kill for sport, too.
Warfare on the Web Next
Something to be incredibly aware of is the arrival of low-intensity conflict on the web as the Syrian Electronic Army is reportedly behind a number of attacks and with a reported FBI advisory out on the group.
Although some reports of the SEA are dismissive, some, like Congressman James Langevin of the Democratic Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, are clearly worried. So if the power goes off, have that AM radio so you can determine how widespread the outage is, should one happen as a result of hack attacks on power infrastructure.
We note that Washington DC has reportedly denied a permit for 9/11 bikers to hold an event in a few days, but plans are moving ahead anyway. Planned as a counter to the “Million Muslim” March” seems to be there’s an old saying being proven again.
“In America everyone is equal…just some are more equal than others.”
If you’re tempted upon reading the NY Sun report “Collapse of American Influence Recalls disintegration of Soviet Union, Fall of France,” try to remember that writer Conrad Black is not only a good writer and historian but just got out of the big house back in May of last year. He’s got an interesting POV but that doesn’t make him right.
At least not yet, anyway.
Olympic-Sized Revenue Issue
Seems that the “Russian gay law raised alarm among Olympic sponsors” is starting to get some traction. Of course, the debate over Russia’s anti-marketing laws (material to those under 18) has been widely criticized, but the Russian view is that athletes are going to Sochi to compete, not market gender preference. Given this, the LBGT marketing effort has now moved on to attack the revenue side of the games.
Under Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, personal views may be expressed outside the venue, but that’s when the Russian laws on promotion of genderism to those under 18-gets contentious.
We should expect, no doubt, to see a Gay Games alternative being launched any old time now.
Clean Out Your Attic!
You might get lucky, like this fellow in Norway who found a priceless work by Van Gogh as a result of going through things….