Demonstrators gather at Capitol as Congress debates war

On the 9th of September, three groups of protesters converged on the US Capitol. Code Pink is maintaining their presence until the vote.

Code Pink on Independance Ave, about 2PM

Code Pink on Independance Ave, about 2PM

A pro-US intervention group and a pro-Assad group both marched to the Capitol as well.

Pro-Assad Syrian protesters

Pro-Assad Syrians charge Obama with fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda. They do NOT want US airstrikes

Pro insurgent Syrians protest calling for a no-fly zone(and airstrikes?)-to protect them from airstrikes by Assad.

Pro insurgent Syrians protest calling for a no-fly zone(and airstrikes?)-to protect them from airstrikes by Assad.

One of the pro-Assad Syrians bluntly accused Obama of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, due to the influence of the MB on some insurgent groups in Syria. That mirrors the position of some on the US extreme right, who somehow think a man who bombs Muslims with drones could be a closet Muslim himself.

There are hundreds of different insurgents groups there with many different ideologies, ranging from secular to moderate Islamist to flat-out al-Qaeda. The diversity of the insurgent groups reminds me of the US left.

US Capitol Police set a long line of cops on Constitution Ave separating the two Syrian groups, no doubt fearing that one battle of the civil war would be fought right here on Capitol Hill.

Around 2PM the bells rang to summon members of Congress to debate and then vote on war. At 7PM there will be vigils in three places: Independance Ave and NJ Ave; the White House, and Dupont Circle.

As of 4PM this was the vote count according to Russia Today:

No (95) + Lean No (143) = 238
Yes (21) + Lean Yes (21) = 42

That’s a HUGE margin, what is Obomba going to do if war is voted down? If he goes to war anyway, one member of Congress said it would be a “constitutional crisis.” This implies that even impeachment would be on the table. The numbers above would give quite a bit of leeway for defection in an impeachment vote over a unilateral Syria war. A 238-42 margin is more than enough to pass articles of impeachment, though a lot of Dems would defect.

Code Pink's "Camp Insurrection" at about 8PM

Code Pink’s “Camp Insurrection” at about 8PM

At 7PM, several things happened. There had been calls for three different locations for vigils, those being Capitol Hill, the White House, and Dupont Circle. Fortunately everyone went to Capitol Hill and nobody anywhere else. I never saw the organizing for that, must have been on Facebook or something,

By that time, news reports indicated Obama had run into some serious snags in his drive for war. The Syria government had responded favorably to a Russian offer to take the rest of those toxic, hard-to-handle chmeical arms off their hands. A competing proposal to give the Assad goverment a 90 day ultimatum had appeared but not been voted on nor replaced the Obama proposal.

There is talk of a “test vote” Wednesday, but originally Obama had no doubt hoped for a rapid, one day Congressional approval of war. He didn’t get it, so now if he uses tomorrow’s address to the nation to announce the start of the war he will face very serious political problems-especially in light of the Russian offer.


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