On Jim McDermott's Town Hall about Syria

Sunday night Rep. Jim McDermott met with constituents to discuss the situation in Syria. McDermott is “very strongly” leaning against voting for the so-called “limited response,” comparing it to the misguided attack on Iraq. Such adventures have unintended consequences, even if the architects have the noblest of intentions. McDermott is worried about the long-term consequences of the war, which are hard to foresee.

McDermott said that some people say, “We can’t do nothing about the chemical attacks on civilians.” McDermott said it’s a false dichotomy; we can also try diplomacy or other tactics.

McDermott agreed that the “merchants of death” of the miltary-industrial complex benefit from these wars.

Some people say the UN should decide, but Russia in the Security Council will “obstruct” approval for an attack.

I arrived 45 minutes past the start of the event. Most people I heard opposed the war. A few people argued that the war is warranted, comparing it to Kosovo or to Rwanda, where intervention might have done good. Many people distrusted the motivations of the US military state and claimed that humanitarian intervention was not the real motivation and that the war is part of imperialist corporate planning. A few people called for impeachment of Obama (something McDermott rejected).

But Todd Boyle reports:

Unfolding Drama. How big will the Syria War become? How many tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands will die this time? Rep. Jim McDermott held a town hall meeting tonight in Seattle. 500 people came. I shot 1 hour 20 minutes of video. Mike McCormick will probably be online faster, as usual… I will try to get this online by 2am. The right-wingers and war people swarmed the queue and got like 9 of 10 [correction: 3 or 4] first statements. There were at least 5 major media teams there, with the big $50,000 cameras. When the rightwingers finished, half the cameras left. The rest left after 30 minutes. Then there were 20 speakers in a row, against the war. I blame the antiwar movement. We failed to stop the Iraq War. Now, we are failing again to stop the Syria War. Wake the fuck up. Now is your hour. WORK HARDER.

Here is Todd Boyle’s video of the town hall (edited, apparently to remove some of the speakers:).

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