August 29, 2013 Last Updated 8:13 am

Rush to war delayed in the UK by the pols and the polls

Morning Brief:

A funny thing happened on the way to war, the politicians read the polls, or at least some of them, and decided that maybe stepping back was a good idea.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the Tory government in the UK is furious at opposition leader Ed Milliband for deciding to withdraw support for immediately military action against Syria, quoting an anonymous government source as calling Milliband a “a f****** c**** and a copper-bottomed s***.” (I assume that does not translate to “friend of Cameron.” As for the part about “copper-bottomed” I suspect he was not talking about cookware.)

Ed_Miliband-sm2But the polls are on the side of Milliband, and even the commenters on the Daily Mail website, which would normally run in support of the Tories, are overwhelmingly approving the Labour leaders position.

In the U.S. Congress remains out of session – how convenient – and so there is not much to report. But memories of the run up to the last Iraq War are still fresh and the administration does not appear to want to seem in a rush, with the President stating yesterday that he had not yet made up his mind as to the issue of authorizing military action. But the President said that the administration will make public what it knows about the Assad regime’s involvement in chemical weapons use, possibly as early as today.

NYPost-front-smOn an ominous note, however, UN weapon inspectors said they would leave Syria a day early, on Saturday, leading to speculation that the UN experts are looking to get out of Dodge before the bombs start falling.

Update: UK releases Syria intelligence reports

The British government this afternoon (London time) said it had evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons used 14 times since 2012, but, according to the Financial Times, failed to provide evidence for the accusations.

Meanwhile, the Murdoch press, this case the NYPost, continues to be… the Murdoch press. ⬆

NPR profiled The Onion for Morning Edition, just in time for the next surreal war news cycle to begin – Area Man Realizes He’s Been Reading Fake News For 25 Years.

Two days ago The Onion had some attention for a fake column supposedly written by Meredith Artley, Managing Editor of, which “explained” why the news network had led and obsessed about Miley Cyrus and her recent VMA performance.

Today The Onion is running another fake column, this one by Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad.

“I’ll leave you with this: I am insane. Not insane enough to generate worldwide unanimity that I cannot remain in charge of my own country. That would make this a lot easier. No, unfortunately, I’m just sane and stable enough to remain in power and devise cunning military and political strategies while at the same time adhering to a standard of morality that only the most perverse and sociopathic among us would be capable of adopting. But nevertheless, I am insane, so do with that information what you will.”

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