By Paul Craig Roberts
While still claiming dictatorial powers to start a war on his own authority, Obama put his unilateral attack on Syria on hold when he received a letter from more than 160 members of the House of Representatives reminding him that to take the country to war without congressional approval is an impeachable offense and when he saw that no country that could serve as cover for a war crime, not even the puppet British government and the NATO puppet states, would support America's announced military aggression against Syria.
Obama got away with attacking Libya without an OK from Congress, because he used Washington's NATO puppets and not US military forces. That ploy let Obama claim that the US was not directly involved.
Now that the lack of cover and the challenge from Congress has caused the would-be tyrant Obama to put on hold his attack on Syria, what can we expect?
If Obama were intelligent, and clearly anyone who would appoint Susan Rice as his national security adviser is not intelligent, he would simply let the attack on Syria fade into the background and die as Congress returns on September 9 to face the insoluble problems of the budget deficit and debt ceiling.
A competent administration would realize that a government that is unable to pay its bills without heavy use of the printing press is in far too much trouble to be worrying about what is going on in Syria. No competent administration would risk a military strike that could result in a Middle East conflagration and a rise in oil prices, thus worsening the economic situation that Washington faces.
But Obama and his collection of incompetents have demonstrated that they have no competence. The regime is also corrupt, and the entire edifice rests on nothing but lies.
Now that the White House realizes that Obama cannot commit a war crime without cover, here is what we can likely expect. The argument will move away from whether or not Assad used chemical weapons and become an argument that Congress must not undermine US prestige and credibility by failing to support President Obama, the latest front man for American wars of aggression.
The White House will bribe, cajole, and intimidate the Congress. The regime's argument will be that with America's prestige and credibility on the line, Congress must support the President. The President and Secretary of State have made unequivocal statements of Assad's guilt and their determination to punish Assad. Given Washington's insanity, the way Washington punishes Assad for (allegedly) killing Syrians with chemical weapons is for Washington to kill more Syrians with cruise missiles.
If this doesn't make sense to you, you don't belong in Obama's government or in the American media, and you could never be a neoconservative.
The White House will argue that Obama has compromised with Congress by letting Congress vote on the decision, and that Congress' part of the compromise is to give its support. Meet us half-way, the White House will say.
The Israel Lobby, Susan Rice, the neocons, and warmongers such as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham will argue that lack of support for Obama's attack on Syria hurts America's credibility, aids the "terrorists" and "leaves America defenseless." It is bad enough, they will argue, that Obama has shown indecision by waiting for Congress' approval and irresolution by substituting a limited strike for the original plan of regime change.
Faced with threats of a cutoff of campaign donation munificence from the Israel Lobby and the military/security complex, the House and Senate can be brought into line to "support the country" as it commits another war crime. The combination of bribes, intimidation, and patriotic appeals to support America's prestige can swing the Congress. No one really knows if the 160 or so members of the House are sincere about putting Obama on notice, or whether they simply want something. Perhaps they only want Obama to cough up for their approval.
If Congress gives its backing to another American war crime, British Prime Minister David Cameron can go back to Parliament and tell them that Obama "has now brought Congress on board, thus providing cover, and if Parliament doesn't go along we will be cut out of the money."
Few British politicians, other than George Galloway, are comfortable with being cut out of the money.
If Cameron brings Parliament around, the other NATO countries might decide to get on the payments bandwagon. The overriding rule of Western civilization is that more money is better than no money.
Washington and its NATO European puppets will criticize Russia and China for using their Security Council vetoes to block the UN from bringing justice, freedom, and democracy to Syria. These faux arguments will be used by the presstitute Western media to undermine the importance of the UN Security Council's opposition to Washington's attack on Syria. Why should Washington be deterred by Security Council members who support Assad's use of chemical weapons, the US media whores will ask. The prostitutes that comprise the US media will do all in their power to ensure that Washington kills yet more Syrians. Killing is America's hallmark.
As the history of humankind proves, people will do anything for money. Noteworthy exceptions are Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange. Were any of these truth-tellers to have gone to Washington and say, "buy me," in exchange for their silence Washington would have provided large fortunes with which they could live a life of comfort.
Considering how corrupted the US government is and how determined Washington is to have its way, the UN chemical weapons inspectors are at risk. It is unlikely that they will have an accident like SEAL Team Six. But unless they are sequestered like a jury, they are targets for bribery. If the UN report doesn't support the White House position, the Secretary General will be pressured to make the report inconclusive. After all, Washington writes the checks that keep the UN in business.
No one should expect the US Congress to vote on the basis of the evidence. Moreover, Congress has so far shown no understanding that regardless of whether Assad used chemical weapons, it is a war crime for the US to commit naked aggression against Syria, a country that has not attacked the US. It is not Washington's business how the Syrian government puts down the effort by al-Nusra extremists to overthrow it.
Obama's argument that it is OK to kill people with white phosphorus and depleted uranium, as the US and Israel does, but not with sarin gas, has no logic.
Washington itself has contingency plans to use nuclear bunker busters against Iran's underground nuclear energy facilities. If Washington believes that weapons of mass destruction are impermissible, why does Washington have so many of them and contingency plans to use them? Is Washington regretful that Washington dropped two nuclear bombs on civilian Japanese cities at the very time that the Japanese government was doing everything in its power to surrender?
Ever since the dangerous Cold War ended, hot war has been the mainstay of US foreign policy. George H.W. Bush attacked Iraq after Bush's ambassador gave Saddam Hussein the green light to attack Kuwait. Clinton attacked Serbia on false pretenses and without any constitutional or legal authority. George W. Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq on the basis of lies. Obama renewed the attack on Afghanistan and has attacked also Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Obama sent his NATO puppets to attack Libya, sent mercenaries into Syria, and now intends to prevent his mercenaries' defeat by attacking Syria.
Washington is building a string of military bases around both Russia and China. These bases are extremely provocative and foretell nuclear war.
The US, a country with a vast nuclear weapons arsenal, whose political leaders are both corrupt and insane, is a great danger to life on earth. That Washington is the number one danger to the world is now universally recognized, except by Americans who wear their patriotism on their sleeve. These gullible dupes are the enablers of the demise of humanity by war.
Until the US economy collapses, Washington still has printed money, and it can buy acquiescence to its crimes. Washington can rely on the presstitute media to tell its lies as if they were facts. The world will not be safe until the American house of cards collapses.
I feel sorry for those uninformed Americans who think that they live in the best country in the world. Too few Americans care that their government has destroyed countless lives from Central America and Vietnam to the Middle East and Africa. The US military routinely murders civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and is responsible for as many as 1,000,000 Iraqi deaths and 4,000,000 displaced Iraqis. The American definition of "the best country in the world" is the country that can murder the most innocent people, people who have never attacked America, people who once looked upon America as the hope of the world and now see a deadly threat.
Too many Americans have no idea that one-fifth of their fellow citizens are dependent on government support, or if they do know, they blame the unfortunate for being leeches on the taxpayers' purse. In the US wages and employment opportunities are declining. There are no impediments to the looting of citizens by financial institutions. There are no constraints on the lawlessness and brutality of the police, and no limit to the lies that keep the American population entrapped in the Matrix unaware of reality.
How such a people can retain liberty or restrain a government committed to war strains the imagination.
Those Republicans who worry about our children's and grandchildren's debt burdens are worried about a future that might never come about. Washington's hubris is pushing the world toward nuclear war.
"The best country in the world" is the evil force that is destroying the lives and prospects of many different peoples and might yet destroy all life on earth.
Paul Craig Roberts