“Today I voted no”!……….The Examiner applauds Jared Huffman

Albert Einstein: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” = Insanity


WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement after voting against the McKeon Amendment to train and equip elements of the Syrian opposition against the terrorist organization ISIL:

“Today I voted ‘no’ on the McKeon Amendment to arm and train so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels as part of a broad new multi-year military intervention in Iraq and Syria outlined by President Obama last week. I also voted ‘no’ on the continuing resolution in which it was incorporated.

Today’s vote was not, as some have argued, a choice between supporting the President’s plan and simply doing nothing about ISIL. To be clear, I share President Obama’s assessment of ISIL as a brutal terrorist organization, I support the goal of destroying them, and I believe there should be an American role in a broad, multinational response to ISIL.

My ‘no’ vote today is because this plan for a new American-led war in Iraq and Syria is being advanced without a proper congressional authorization as required by the Constitution, and because I believe the strategic assumptions underlying the plan are deeply flawed.

Frankly, we should know better than to provide arms and training to fighters we know very little about — and what we do know is troubling. We should know better than to take the lead in fighting and funding this war without a real multinational coalition where the countries most impacted by the ISIL threat carry their fair share of the risk and cost. And we should know better than to do all of this on the basis of wishful assumptions and rosy assurances that the conflict will not escalate out of control.

Keeping Americans safe and advancing our security interests in the Middle East requires we be smart, not just tough. We must learn from past mistakes.

Because Congress seems to be abdicating its constitutional authority over this war, I expect this will be the last opportunity for me and other members of Congress to go on record in opposition to it. I hope I am wrong. I hope that when Congress reconvenes, there will be a debate and vote on a specific authorization for this war instead of pretending that authorizations from 2001-02 are good enough. But I fear that Congress just missed the last opportunity to reassert its constitutional authority over going to war, and to stop a poorly conceived war plan that is not only likely to fail, but likely to draw our country deeply into a prolonged sectarian conflict in which we are not even clear about what we hope to achieve and who is on our side.”


"the countries most impacted by the ISIL threat carry their fair share of the risk and cost"

“the countries most impacted by the ISIL threat carry their fair share of the risk and cost”


8 thoughts on ““Today I voted no”!……….The Examiner applauds Jared Huffman

  1. thank you Rep. Huffman.

    the mission creep is already underway


    Top General says boots on the ground may be needed, heh, ya think?

    first. american troops will be a big priority ISIL target to leverage even more us involvement because it helps their recruiting immensely!

    second, congratulations to Dempsey for speaking the maybe preemptive truth, that ‘advisors’ always means an escalation we have seen it and seen it. Of course there will be boots on the ground, whether you voted against it that will still happen, openly or in ‘seekrit’, as if… there is so much inertia for ground troops at some even ‘minimum’ level.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “we should know better than to do all of this on the basis of wishful assumptions and rosy assurances”
    I’ll drink to that

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More of the same rhetoric we’ve seen over and over since WWII. The war hawks use the same play book every time. Unfortunately, it seems to work. Welcome to the next middle east quagmire.


  4. Nope. Unfortunately Huffman, the TE and many liberals are wrong on this. More later.

    But the bottom line is this – if liberals don’t use violence to combat violence in a liberal manner, neocons will win elections based on safety concerns and we will have happen in the US what has happened in Israel. The left cannot unilaterally withdraw from leading when using force is required.

    I do agree on congressional approval of war and military action though – but sometimes the use of force is necessary. Using it in Syria a year or two ago would have been preferable, but now we are in band aid mode and we have 0 choice.

    We broke the Middle East, we bought it.


    • “We broke the Middle East, we bought it.”

      Unfortunately, we can’t buy our way out of this. It’s more like “you break it, it’s your responsibility to fix it,” but the analogy still falls short because the Middle East is not some inanimate object, it’s a region with hundreds of millions of people, involving a web of complicated religious, cultural, ethnic, and political rivalries, alliances and balances of power — so there’s a whole lot more that we could end up breaking in the course of trying to “fix” things. The risk of starting a fire that we can’t control is very real.

      So extreme caution is not just advisable, its crucial, and while it’s right to acknowledge our considerable role in creating the conditions that allowed ISIS to take power in parts of Iraq and Syria, it doesn’t follow that just because we’re capable of breaking something, we’re also capable of fixing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “if liberals don’t use violence to combat violence in a liberal manner neocons will win elections” spoken like a true Hubert Humphrey liberal.
    Jon you are so full of shit. You want to frame this as action verses pacifism, when it’s about being deliberate rather than reckless and stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sparky – don’t disgree with you one iota.

    re: pete… I’m not sure when the TE or Congressman Huffman would be for violence deliberate or not in the Middle East. The time to have been deliberate and used all our diplomatic and intelligence resources, wisdom and backbone – i.e. standing up to Assad, Russia and China – was when we had the chance to protect the Syrian people – largely Sunnis against their Alawite dictator.

    What is happening now was predictable. The militarists and warlords that are traveling seeking a jihad are fuel adding to the residual, poor, disenfranchised and desperate populations left east of Assad’s stronghold and west of Baghdad and the Iranian border.

    “You want to frame this as action verses pacifism, when it’s about being deliberate rather than reckless and stupid.”

    Unfortunately the time for deliberate, proactive action is done. We are on our heels again reacting to an untenable situation.

    I am for limited, Congressionally-authorized military action only. On this Congressman Huffman and I totally agree. The left has a honorable tradition of pacifism. 99% of the time it serves us well and gives us good direction for policy. I think violent, targeted, Congressionally and internationally approved action is necessary to minimize the further expansion and strength of ISIS. Specifically – protecting any genocide of indigenous minorities in the region – helping the Kurdish to establish an eastern border.

    Within Syria and Eastern Iraq – the Sunni area? I don’t know what we can or should do other than contain the madness – hopefully by non-military means. Those we would have wanted to lead from that area are either dead or refugees at this point. This is the type of circumcised defined military action Congressman Huffman should be working on now with his colleagues to define and demanding President Obama follow.

    And re:pete, I think the Humphrey label is apt. Would you rather have Humphrey or Nixon? Nixon – who begat Reagan who begat Bush who begat (literally this time) W who invaded Iraq and upset the balance of the Middle east for 0 legitimate reasons and sold his invasion to the American public and the world out of a fear of chemical weapons and a mushroom cloud.

    I was born in ’67, so the ’68 Democratic schizm is only history to me. I didn’t live through it paying close attention and I don’t have strong emotions either way. I do understand however that outside the Carter anomaly and Clinton’s political triangulation, that schism is one important reason why the far right and their disastrous domestic policies under Reagan on and their disastrous international policies under W have been the dominant political “frames” up to 2006.

    In the end, what we on the left have to understand is we are not alone when we govern. If we do not pay attention to the needs and wants of those across the aisle and their constiuents, we may find that they hold power and we are, once again, in power. And as we all know, that is simply not OK anymore – not as long as their base and their primary funders fundamentally don’t agree with the idea of government outside of security.

    And sometimes, it’s OK to agree with some on the other side of the aisle. McCain was right on torture, for example, during the Bush years, and McCain was right when he had the instinct (usually overused) to intervene in Syria when we had a chance of deliberate, proactive, international military action.


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