Wonderful force multipier employed by Stop The War

What are this sorry lot upto?

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Out numbered two to one by their collection of placards this does not look all that impressive.

But wait… Who are they waving the placards at? Parliament? No. They are waving them at this lot:

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And all these guys:

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See?

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Clever huh? What they have done is found the spot outside parliament where the news crews set up so they can broad cast pieces with Parliament in the background. The placards should easily get in the frame.

In the white gazeebo are Kay Burley and Dermot Murnaghan, they’ll be broadcasting live on Sky News, so there will be no time to edit out the placards.

Nice work socialists! You guys have been doing this a while obviously.

But wait! Seven people, some little placards and a Unite flag. They will look tiny in the back of a long shot and will be easily obscured by Kay’s lovely red locks. You, sirs, need a bigger banner!

But wait! It appears they have brought one!

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Now that is truly truly clever.

Arms in Iraq

Robert Tyler is keeping an eye on the Middle East for the Backbencher:

About this time last year the US, UK and French governments were looking into the possibility of offering support to rebel groups in Syria. I made my opposition very clear on this Blog and many others. My opposition was on the basis that we did not know who we would be arming and I made the claim, as did many others, that weapons or support would only play to the favour of Al Qaeda or other Islamist groups in the country.

The events of last week have clearly shown that my fears were not unfounded. Last week ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), one of the largest rebel groups in Syria, captured Mosul, Iraq’s Second City. They forced people from their homes and began to attack the ‘legitimate’ government of Iraq. They’ve captured Turkish Diplomats and have begun to institute Sharia Law in the area.

Not only have they done that but they have also ceased a large number of weapons from the Iraqi army, many of them US made. This now means that ISIS has access to some of the most advanced weaponry being used in the Middle East today.

This has made two things clear: The first being that had we given the so called ‘Good Rebels’ weapons last year they would have ended up in the hands of the Islamists.

This consensus at this blog, as we made clear on James Snell’s contrarian thread, was not to intervene in Syria. According to Tyler we were proved right.

Tyler goes on to anticipate a further threat to the Kurds, and although I don’t feel qualified to give an opinion on that prediction, it makes for a tense read. Read the whole thing.

Can Obama already be impeached over Syria?

The question mark in the title implies a genuine question. I would like to hear from commentators about whether an impeachment proceeding could technically (if not actually) succeed based on the state of play today as at 0830.

First, because it may be relevant and because it adds to the mischief, the more certain case that Obama may be about to put himself in an impeachable position. The case is best given by Obama himself and by his Vice President in the Daily Caller:

Vice President Joe Biden, who voted for the Iraq War, agreed with Obama.

“The president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked,” Biden said in 2007.

Biden, then a Democratic senator from Delaware, suggested presidential war-making was an impeachable offense.

Well, that’s pretty clear. If Obama looses his vote for war in Syria, as Cameron did, but unlike Cameron he proceeds to war, then this would be impeachable, according to his own Vice-President. Interesting.

Just as an aside, the Caller reminds us that Obama did not seek Congress’ approval for Libya, but he appears to have gotten away with that already.

The question I had was over statements like this one:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

That’s right, the President’s oath to protect the constitution. I’ve often wondered what “protecting the constitution” means. I think for it to mean anything it must include protecting a particular interpretation of the words. If Obama is relying on a stretched definition of “self defense” (notably, a word his speech did not include) then he is stretching the constitution, not protecting it. This is what he did say:

I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorisation

I accept its probably difficult to actually get support for impeachment, but technically, would a failure to fulfill the oath of the office, by making assertions such as the one above, constitute an impeachable offence? What is the correct procedural recourse of congress, and the people, if a president does stretch the constitution?