Doomstead Diner Menu => Geopolitics => Topic started by: Surly1 on August 26, 2013, 03:59:50 AM

Title: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 26, 2013, 03:59:50 AM
Last card in the deck to reinflate the economy and keep the 1%'s ill gotten gains in their pockets-- total war?



"Military Intervention In Syria", US Training "Rebels" Since 2011 And The Complete Grand Plan - The March 2012 Leak


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-25/military-intervention-syria-us-training-rebels-2011-and-complete-grand-plan-march-20 (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-25/military-intervention-syria-us-training-rebels-2011-and-complete-grand-plan-march-20)

For all those still shocked by the "developing events" in Syria, here is the full rundown as it was orchestrated back in 2011, and as it was released in March 2012 by Wikileaks.

From Wikileaks, released 3/6/2012, typos and grammar errors as in original.

* * *

INSIGHT - military intervention in Syria, post withdrawal status of forces

Released on 2012-03-06 07:00 GMT

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08/Wiki%20stratfor.jpg)

A few points I wanted to highlight from meetings today --

I spent most of the afternoon at the Pentagon with the USAF strategic studies group - guys who spend their time trying to understand and explain to the USAF chief the big picture in areas where they're operating in. It was just myself and four other guys at the Lieutenant Colonel level, including one French and one British representative who are liaising with the US currently out of DC.

They wanted to grill me on the strategic picture on Syria, so after that I got to grill them on the military picture. There is still a very low level of understanding of what is actually at stake in Syria, what's the strategic interest there, the Turkish role, the Iranian role, etc. After a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [ZH: "recce" means reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces. One Air Force intel guy (US) said very carefully that there isn't much of a Free Syrian Army to train right now anyway, but all the operations being done now are being done out of 'prudence.' The way it was put to me was, 'look at this way - the level of information known on Syrian OrBat this month is the best it's been since 2001.' They have been told to prepare contingencies and be ready to act within 2-3 months, but they still stress that this is all being done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation.

I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give a Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves from that idea, saying that the idea 'hypothetically' is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within. There wouldn't be a need for air cover, and they wouldn't expect these Syrian rebels to be marching in columns anyway.

They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a piece of cake. Syrian air defenses are a lot more robust and are much denser, esp around Damascus and on the borders with Israel, Turkey. THey are most worried about mobile air defenses, particularly the SA-17s that they've been getting recently. It's still a doable mission, it's just not an easy one.

The main base they would use is Cyprus, hands down. Brits and FRench would fly out of there. They kept stressing how much is stored at Cyprus and how much recce comes out of there. The group was split on whether Turkey would be involved, but said Turkey would be pretty critical to the mission to base stuff out of there. EVen if Turkey had a poltiical problem with Cyprus, they said there is no way the Brits and the FRench wouldn't use Cyprus as their main air force base. Air Force Intel guy seems  pretty convinced that the Turks won't participate (he seemed pretty pissed at them.)

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It isn't clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can't just create an NFZ over Homs, Hama region. This would entail a countrywide SEAD campaign lasting the duration of the war. They dont believe air intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn't reach that very public stage. Theyre also questiioning the skills of the Syrian forces that are operating the country's air defenses currently and how signfiicant the Iranian presence is there. Air Force Intel guy is most obsessed with the challenge of taking out Syria's ballistic missile capabilities and chem weapons. With Israel rgiht there and the regime facing an existential crisis, he sees that as a major complication to any military intervention.

The post 2011 SOFA with Iraq is still being negotiated. These guys were hoping that during Biden's visit that he would announce a deal with Maliki, but no such luck. They are gambling ont he idea that the Iraqis remember the iran-iraq war and that maliki is not going to want to face the threat of Iranian jets entering Iraqi air space. THey say that most US fighter jets are already out of Iraq and transferred to Kuwait. They explained that's the beauty of the air force, the base in Kuwait is just a hop, skip and jump away from their bases in Europe, ie. very easy to rapidly build up when they need to. They don't seem concerned about the US ability to restructure its forces to send a message to Iran. They gave the example of the USS Enterprise that was supposed to be out of commission already and got extended another couple years to send to the gulf. WHen the US withdraws, we'll have at least 2 carriers in the gulf out of centcom and one carrier in the Med out of EuCom. I asked if the build-up in Kuwait and the carrier deployments are going to be enough to send a message to Iran that the US isn't going anywhere. They responded that Iran will get the message if they read the Centcom Web Site. STarting Jan. 1 expect them to be publishing all over the place where the US is
building up.

Another concern they have about an operation in Syria is whether Iran could impede operations out of Balad air force base in Iraq.

The French representative was of hte opinion that Syria won't be a libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in. Not in an election year. The UK rep also emphasized UK reluctance but said that the renegotiation of the EU treaty undermines the UK role and that UK would be looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent ( i dont really think a syria campaign is the way to do that.) UK guy mentioned as an aside that the air force base commander at Cyprus got switched out from a maintenance guy to a guy that flew Raptors, ie someone that understands what it means to start dropping bombs. He joked that it was probably a coincidence.

Prior to that, I had a meeting with an incoming Kuwaiti diplomat (will be coded as KU301.) His father was high up in the regime, always by the CP's/PM's side. The diplo himself still seems to be getting his feet wet in DC (the new team just arrived less than 2 weeks ago,) but he made pretty clear that Kuwait was opening the door to allowing US to build up forces as needed. THey already have a significant presence there, and a lot of them will be on 90-day rotations. He also said that the SOFA that the US signs with Baghdad at the last minute will be worded in such a way that even allowing one trainer in the country can be construed to mean what the US wants in terms of keeping forces in Iraq. Overall, I didnt get the impression from him that Kuwait is freaked out about the US leaving.

Everyhting is just getting rearranged. The Kuwaitis used to be much better at managing their relations with Iran, but ever since that spy ring story came out a year ago, it's been bad. He doesn't think Iran has significant covert capabililiteis in the GCC states, though they are trying. Iranian activity is mostly propaganda focused. He said that while KSA and Bahrain they can deal with it as needed and black out the media, Kuwait is a lot more open and thus provides Iran with more oppotunity to shape perceptions (he used to work in inforamtion unit in Kuwait.) He says there is a sig number of kuwaitis that listen to Iranian media like Al Alam especially.

On the Kuwaiti political scene - the government is having a harder time dealing with a more emboldened opposition, but the opposition is still extremely divided, esp among the Islamists. The MPs now all have to go back to their tribes to rally support for the elections to take place in Feb. Oftentimes an MP in Kuwait city will find out that he has lost support back home with the tribe, and so a lot of moeny is handed out.The govt is hoping that witha clean slate they can quiet the opposition down. A good way of managing the opposition he said is to refer cases to the courts, where they can linger forever. good way for the govt to buy time. He doesnt believe the Arab League will take significant action against Syria - no one is interested in military intervention. they just say it to threaten it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 26, 2013, 04:04:34 AM
Lying About Syria, and the Lying Liars Who Lie About the Lying
by David Swanson

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/lying-about-syria-and-the-lying-liars-who-lie-about-the-lying.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/lying-about-syria-and-the-lying-liars-who-lie-about-the-lying.html)

(go to riginal to follow embedded links.)

“U.S. prepares for possible retaliatory strike against Syria,” announces a Los Angeles Times headline, even though Syria has not attacked the United States or any of its occupied territories or imperial forces and has no intention to do so.

Quoth the article:

“the president made no decisions, but the high-level talks came as the Pentagon acknowledged it was moving U.S. forces into position in the region.”

Forgive me, but who the SNAFU made that decision?  Does the commander in chief have any say in this?  Does he get to make speeches explaining how wrong it would be to attack Syria, meet with top military officials who leave the meeting to prepare for attacks on Syria, and go down in history as having been uninvolved in, if not opposed to, his own policies?

Threatening to attack Syria, and moving ships into position to do it, are significant, and illegal, and immoral actions.  The president can claim not to have decided to push the button, but he can’t pretend that all the preparations to do so just happen like the weather.  Or he couldn’t if newspapers reported news.

(Yes, illegal.  Read the U.N. Charter:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”)

“The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies,” said the so-called Defense Secretary, but do any of the contingencies involve defending the United States?  Do any of them involve peace-making?  If not, is it really accurate to talk about “all” contingencies?

In fact, Chuck Hagel only has that “responsibility” because Obama instructed him to provide, not all options, but all military options.

Syrian rebels understand that under all possible U.S. policies, faking chemical weapons attacks can get them guns, while shifting to nonviolent resistance can only get them as ignored as Bahrain. (Ba-who?)

“Obama also called British Prime Minister David Cameron,” says the LA Times, “to talk over the developments in Syria. The two are ‘united’ in their opposition to the use of chemical weapons, the White House said in a statement issued after the call.” Well, except for white phosphorus and napalm.  Those are good chemical weapons, and the United States government is against bad chemical weapons, so really your newspaper isn’t lying to you at all.

What did Obama say to CNN on Thursday?

“[T]he notion that the U.S. can somehow solve what is a sectarian, complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated”

Ya think?

CNN’s Chris Cuomo (son of Mario) pushed for war:

“But delay can be deadly, right, Mr. President?”

Obama replied that he was still verifying the latest chemical weapons horseshit.  Cuomo brushed that aside:

“There’s strong proof they used them already, though, in the past.”

Obama didn’t reply to that lie, but spouted some vacuous rhetoric.

Cuomo, his thirst for dead Syrian flesh perhaps getting a bit frustrated, reached for the standard John McCainism.  Senator McCain, Cuomo said, thinks U.S. “credibility” is lost if Syria is not attacked.  (And if the U.S. government were to suddenly claim not to be an institution of mass-murder, and to act on that — then how would its credibility be?)

Obama, undeterred, went right on preaching against what he was about to do.  “Sometimes,” Obama said, “what we’ve seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.”

But you promised, whined Cuomo, that chemical weapons use would be the crossing of a Red Line!

Obama replied that international law should be complied with.  (For the uninitiated, international law actually forbids attacking and overturning other nations’ governments — even Libya’s.) And, Obama pointed out, there are options other than the military.

There are?!

I’ve found that when Obama starts talking sense like this, he’s actually moving rapidly in the opposite direction.  The more he explains why it would be wrong and illegal and stupid and immoral to attack Syria, the more you can be sure he’s about to do just that.

Here are my, previously published, top 10 reasons not to attack Syria, even if the latest chemical weapons lies were true:

1. War is not made legal by such an excuse.  It can’t be found in the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the United Nations Charter, or the U.S. Constitution.  It can, however, be found in U.S. war propaganda of the 2002 vintage.  (Who says our government doesn’t promote recycling?)

2. The United States itself possesses and uses internationally condemned weapons, including white phosphorus, napalm, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium.  Whether you praise these actions, avoid thinking about them, or join me in condemning them, they are not a legal or moral justification for any foreign nation to bomb us, or to bomb some other nation where the U.S. military is operating.  Killing people to prevent their being killed with the wrong kind of weapons is a policy that must come out of some sort of sickness.  Call it Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

3. An expanded war in Syria could become regional or global with uncontrollable consequences.  Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, China, the United States, the Gulf states, the NATO states . . . does this sound like the sort of conflict we want?  Does it sound like a conflict anyone will survive?  Why in the world risk such a thing?

4. Just creating a “no fly zone” would involve bombing urban areas and unavoidably killing large numbers of people.  This happened in Libya and we looked away.  But it would happen on a much larger scale in Syria, given the locations of the sites to be bombed.  Creating a “no fly zone” is not a matter of making an announcement, but of dropping bombs.

5. Both sides in Syria have used horrible weapons and committed horrible atrocities.  Surely even those who imagine people should be killed to prevent their being killed with different weapons can see the insanity of arming both sides to protect each other side.  Why is it not, then, just as insane to arm one side in a conflict that involves similar abuses by both?

6. With the United States on the side of the opposition in Syria, the United States will be blamed for the opposition’s crimes.  Most people in Western Asia hate al Qaeda and other terrorists.  They are also coming to hate the United States and its drones, missiles, bases, night raids, lies, and hypocrisy.  Imagine the levels of hatred that will be reached when al Qaeda and the United States team up to overthrow the government of Syria and create an Iraq-like hell in its place.

7. An unpopular rebellion put into power by outside force does not usually result in a stable government.  In fact there is not yet on record a case of U.S. humanitarian war benefitting humanity or of nation-building actually building a nation.  Why would Syria, which looks even less auspicious than most potential targets, be the exception to the rule?

8. This opposition is not interested in creating a democracy, or — for that matter — in taking instructions from the U.S. government.  On the contrary, blowback from these allies is likely.  Just as we should have learned the lesson of lies about weapons by now, our government should have learned the lesson of arming the enemy of the enemy long before this moment.

9. The precedent of another lawless act by the United States, whether arming proxies or engaging directly, sets a dangerous example to the world and to those in Washington for whom Iran is next on the list.

10. A strong majority of Americans, despite all the media’s efforts thus far, opposes arming the rebels or engaging directly.  Instead, a plurality supports providing humanitarian aid.

In sum, making the Syrian people worse off is not a way to help them.

But — guess what? — the evidence suggests strongly that the latest chemical weapons claims are as phony as all the previous ones.

Who would have ever predicted?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on August 26, 2013, 04:05:41 AM
Last card in the deck to reinflate the economy and keep the 1%'s ill gotten gains in their pockets-- total war?

It is unlikely to reinflate the economy, just keep it from deflating quite so fast.

A Total War in MENA has been brewing quite a while, it keeps expanding as the resources grow thinner and the peeps get more desperate.

Obama-sama has no choice in this matter, he is a Puppet of the Oil Industry and TBTF Banks.  They need the War to get hold of the few resources left.  Without this, their power is nil, and many will see the wrong end of the Guillotine.  So it goes. Everybody Knows.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 26, 2013, 04:35:58 AM
It appears obvious to me that Obama, to his credit, wants nothing to do with this affair and is trying his utmost to delay it or hope something will happen to make it go away.

Having said that it is also my belief that he has been given a list of possible outcomes that has him deservedly most worried and most hesitant to go along.

Ashvin gave us an example of divine intervention a while back, let's hope for another.   
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 26, 2013, 06:10:22 AM
Last card in the deck to reinflate the economy and keep the 1%'s ill gotten gains in their pockets-- total war?

It is unlikely to reinflate the economy, just keep it from deflating quite so fast.

A Total War in MENA has been brewing quite a while, it keeps expanding as the resources grow thinner and the peeps get more desperate.

Obama-sama has no choice in this matter, he is a Puppet of the Oil Industry and TBTF Banks.  They need the War to get hold of the few resources left.  Without this, their power is nil, and many will see the wrong end of the Guillotine.  So it goes. Everybody Knows.

RE

Maybe "reinflate" a poor word, but will at least shuffle FRNs to the Nuclear mafia.

The entire purpose of QE was, as Quinn's article today makes perfectly clear, to keep the 1% whole and avoid the legal consequences of their bad casino bets, and the reulting liquidation of paper "assets" under what used to be called the "rule of law."

Somewhere Phil Gramm is smiling.

Surveys I have seen elsewhere indicate that 80% of the American people remain uncoinvinced about war in Syria. And a Russian official has tweeted that Obama is a "Bush Clone. (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-25/russian-mps-tweet-heard-around-world)"

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/08/20130825_tweet_0.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 26, 2013, 07:13:24 AM
Who was it pimping North Korea as the next big thing?

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0)

Imagine that, the same folks, still pimping. Don't worry Surly1, after kissing North Korea and it remaining a toad, I'm sure there is a fear meme out there somewhere just waiting to be turned into a prince.

My bad, Mking. I thought you were the whore to the pimp Oil industry. LOL. Who are we pimping again?

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 26, 2013, 10:32:15 AM
Who was it pimping North Korea as the next big thing?

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0)

Imagine that, the same folks, still pimping. Don't worry Surly1, after kissing North Korea and it remaining a toad, I'm sure there is a fear meme out there somewhere just waiting to be turned into a prince.

Look what popped out from under the bridge! A troll!

Don't you have some children to vaporize or some Koch to suck, MKing?

That's right kids-- don't worry be happy. Work, shop, consume, die. It is written.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 26, 2013, 05:00:19 PM
Who was it pimping North Korea as the next big thing?

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=1297.0)

Imagine that, the same folks, still pimping. Don't worry Surly1, after kissing North Korea and it remaining a toad, I'm sure there is a fear meme out there somewhere just waiting to be turned into a prince.
//  MKing: You seem to be equally familiar with both the acts of pimping and whoring. What ever would lead you, a person obviously amoral in the true sense, into a forum and discussion where only the highest morals are of interest. How could such a discussion interest one such as yourself, use to the highest mercenary rewards in return for selling his soul. Or do you even have a soul left? Maybe it is only your dying physical characteristics that you have left to sell now. Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 26, 2013, 07:26:29 PM
MKing: So your modus operandi in dealing with your own fears is DENIAL and LYING and trying to procure security by selling yourself to the highest bidder. As the black folks are want to say, "That's whut I'm talkin about". We know your price is higher than $10.00 per hour by your own admission. So does that make you a $50 per half hour call boy or do you lie with the really high rollers, maybe a $1000.00 a night. Or maybe you merely procure others, as in the international sex trade? It must be that or something like that with plenty of free time on your hands and not needing to display a resume. So what brings you to slumming among people that would scorn your very raison d'etre? Is business bad for you nowadays amidst your great cornucopia of wealth, the rising economy in a land just bubbling over with excess oil? There must be many whoremongers willing to meet your price. In any event, we know that an amoral person such as yourself would never be missing a meal so attached symbiotically to the real paymasters as you are. Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on August 26, 2013, 07:54:17 PM

I certainly see the fear pimping and whoring meme...notice how after North Korea turned into a bust there is...silence? Heaven forbid someone be honest enough with themselves and everyone else to admit that they screwed the pooch in their prognostication abilities. Oh no! We must wait some short period of time because for certain...something will happen...and then the game of pimping and fear mongering will begin new!!

Drifting abit closer to the thread topic....

I can sorta see your point where NK is concerned.  That particular Kabuki theatre has been going on sixty years since hot war.  Sometimes i think the incidents are arranged in advance, and yes, fears raised, so MIC gets more funding for the area and then NK gets maybe third party "aid" arranged, or some new $100 plates.  China and Russia are unlikely to let NK attack USA, unless they are ready to do so also;  and USA and/or SK is unlikely to attack NK until USA/NATO is willing to take on Russia and China.  This dynamic could change if USA/NATO get really busy in MENA and/or Iran is attacked.

That said, the MENA theatre has a quite different show playing.  Almost constant action of one kind or another.  Coups, arranged revolutions, invasions and actual wars.  Basically a slow motion takeover of the region by the Bankster Empire.  Syria is obviously being destabilized now, and an attack is planned, if what i hear of forces movements is correct. 

Going Forward

If the weapons of mass deception card won't play to justify strikes this time, then some other false flag will, and/or Russia will be paid off.  It might happen next month or next year.  The so-called "Syrian Rebels" (mercenary jihadis and terrorists would be closer) are now beginning to engage Hezbollah in So Lebanon.  Israel needs the missles in Syria and So Lebanon neutralized before it takes on Iran and it is itching to do so.

After that happens, it is hard to guess how this game of Risk plays out.  I don't see Russia or China allowing Iran to fall to the west.  No doubt our genius owners have a plan to deal with that threat   I don't lose any sleep over it, but at that point, there is a real possibility of our fearless leaders miscalculating so everyone loses. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 26, 2013, 08:34:53 PM
So excellently said, Snow Leopard, and so gracefully leading the topic back to its thread. Having run out of napalm and ad hominems for the moment, I leave the mercenary questioner to your obviously better informed graces. What to me seems self explanatory obviously is not so to the person given the benefit of the doubt. At any rate, thank you and do carry on.Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 03:22:45 AM

I am wondering, why does there appear to be a fear meme in any and/or all current events? Why can't current events be the same things they have been for hundreds of years, people doing stuff bad, people killing other people, people fighting, etc etc?

It has been going on since before all of us were born, and will still be going on after we are gone. So what is the point of pimping current events? Myopia? The same kind of ignorance of history as displayed during the nuke hiroshima discussion? Or just a belief that all things are bad, because people are bad, basically the human-hater angle?

Because this is the Doomstead Diner. A placed formed because a collection of like-minded souls have recognized the patterns formed by a constellation of dots formed by event in finance, politics, and current events leading to a new set of circumstances unlike that which has gone before, and for which history is no guide. Because all of our institutions have failed us, and we are essentially on our own. When one's government, one's banks, one's media have  forfeited the right to be believed through a brutal combination of incompetence and criminal misfeasance, what do you believe?

As for history, good luck with that. Readers of this forum will recall you suffered when I adduced the various evidence-- some call them facts, get you some-- of those military men who testified that Fat Man and Little Boy were not necessary to win the war. An epic beatdown, BTW. So don't try to sell a revisionist version of events here. That shit won't fly.

Nor will your obvious attempt to hijack of this thread with more, and to-be-expected ad hom. Don't think we don't notice.

The DD is as far from a "human-hating" place as you will find. What Diners typically hate is lying and BS.

Probably why you feel a chill.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 03:36:25 AM
US State Department Indefinitely Postpones Meeting With Russia On Political Solution To Syrian Crisis
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-26/us-state-department-indefinitely-postpones-meeting-russia-political-solution-syrian- (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-26/us-state-department-indefinitely-postpones-meeting-russia-political-solution-syrian-)

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/26/2013 23:17 -0400


US-Russian relations are rapidly going from bad to worse to hopeless. As if open public disagreement over Syria expressed in every possible venue and medium, and foreign policy in general was not enough, now the two countries' animosity has spilled over into private diplomatic affairs.

Moments ago, AP reported that the State Department postponed a meeting, which was originally scheduled for August 28, with Russian diplomats on Syria this week to an indefinite future date. The meeting at The Hague was about setting up an international conference to find a political resolution to the Syrian crisis.

A senior State Department official said Monday the meeting between Undersecretary Wendy Sherman and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford with their Russian counterparts was postponed because of the ongoing U.S. review about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

More:

The U.S. says it has evidence that chemical weapons very likely were used by the government of Bashar Assad. The U.S. official said the meeting will be rescheduled because a political solution is still needed in Syria.
 
The official was not authorized to publicly confirm the changes and spoke on condition of anonymity.
So is it safe to assume at this point the State Dept is telegraphing far and wide that a "political resolution" has been indefinitely postponed? Or will John Kerry hold one more monologue tomorrow (for which he will be fashionably one hour late) explaining why relations with Russia are at a post-Cold War low?
Title: It Takes a Thief to Spot a Heist
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 03:40:31 AM
What Diners typically hate is lying and BS.

Not to mention Tap Dancing around every direct question ever put to Socrates on the Diner.  He doesn't answer any question directly, he doesn't provide links to material he SAYS he has published, and he pitches out Ad Hom Napalm on a regular basis besides.  So there is simply nothing of substance in all the posts he has ever made here on the Diner, it is all just blatant Trolling.  I know, I am capable of out-Trolling him anytime.  LOL.  Takes one to know one, as they say.  :icon_mrgreen:  Don't fuck with the KING of Trolls, who is ALSO ADMIN.  POWER OF GOD ON A FORUM.  :icon_mrgreen:

It takes a THIEF to spot a HEIST.
(http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6965/ittakesathief1968.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 03:40:53 AM
Inspectors In Syria Forbidden From Finding Out WHO Used Chemical Weapons, Only IF They Were Used
Posted on August 27, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/inspectors-in-syria-forbidden-from-finding-out-who-used-chemical-weapons-only-if-they-were-used.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/inspectors-in-syria-forbidden-from-finding-out-who-used-chemical-weapons-only-if-they-were-used.html)

The Fix Is In

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“The [weapons inspection] team must be able to conduct a full, thorough and unimpeded investigation,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday night. However, the team is only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used, not who used them, Mr. Ban’s spokesman said.

In other words, even if it was the rebels who carried out the attack, it will still be used as an excuse to attack the government.

The fix is in … the U.S. will get the war it planned 20 years ago.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 03:46:32 AM
From the Do-What-We-Say-Not-What-We-Do Department:
Secretary of State John Kerry Announces Chemical Weapons Unacceptable on SAME DAY that It’s Revealed America Helped Saddam Use Chemical Weapons-
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/secstate-john-kerry-announces-chemical-weapons-unacceptable-on-same-day-that-its-revealed-america-helped-saddam-use-chemical-weapons.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/secstate-john-kerry-announces-chemical-weapons-unacceptable-on-same-day-that-its-revealed-america-helped-saddam-use-chemical-weapons.html)

On the same day that Secretary of State John Kerry announces that we have to bomb Syria because the use of chemical weapons violate international rules, it was revealed that CIA files prove that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against Iran.

The irony is stunning …

The U.S. literally defines terrorism as other people doing what we ourselves do.


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 04:04:26 AM
U.N. Official And Syrian Kurdish Leader: Assad Did Not Use Chemical Weapons-
http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/un-official-and-syrian-kurdish-leader.html (http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/un-official-and-syrian-kurdish-leader.html)

(http://www.aei-ideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/1.17.13-Bashar-al-Assad-600x400.jpg)
Who is more deaf to global public opinion - Obama or Assad? Answer: Obama. Sources of photos: AP and Reuters.

First, the U.N. official. Her name is Carla del Ponte, the "former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals" (Wikipedia). She's an attorney general from Switzerland, so you know she's neutral.

Read the excerpt below from the article, "Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official" by Shaun Waterman, published in The Washington Times on Monday, May 6, 2013:
Testimony from victims strongly suggests it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas during a recent incident in the revolution-wracked nation, a senior U.N. diplomat said Monday.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels seeking to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.

But she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she added that more investigation was needed.

Damascus has recently facing growing Western accusations that its forces used such weapons, which President Obama has described as crossing a red line. But Ms. del Ponte’s remarks may serve to shift the focus of international concern.
The same false allegations against Assad that were flying around back in May were bound to resurface late in the summer. So the date of the article in no way diminishes its value as far as enlightening the world about who actually is willing and has the means to carry out a chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians.

The Saudi-Turkish-Qatari-French-British-USraeli backed Al-Qaeda terrorists have everything to gain by framing Assad because they are currently losing the war and would see their fortunes reversed at least somewhat if the U.S. attacks Syria.

Saleh Muslim, Syria's main Kurdish leader, says that Assad would be stupid to use chemical weapons against his own people in front of the eyes of the world, and that he has no motive to take this drastic step.

The Al-Qaeda terrorists are the most likely culprits, if in fact there is proof that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.

Read the excerpt below from the article, "Syrian Kurdish leader says Assad not to blame for attack" by Alexandra Hudson, published by Reuters on Monday, August 26, 2013:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be "so stupid" as to use chemical weapons close to Damascus, the leader of the country's largest Kurdish group said.

Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he doubted the Syrian president would resort to using such weapons when he felt he had the upper hand in the country's civil war.

He suggested last Wednesday's attack, which the opposition says was carried out by government forces and killed hundreds of people, was aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction. Assad has denied his forces used chemical weapons.

"The regime in Syria ... has chemical weapons, but they wouldn't use them around Damascus, 5 km from the (U.N.) committee which is investigating chemical weapons. Of course they are not so stupid as to do so," Muslim told Reuters.

At the time of the incident, U.N. experts were already in Syria to investigate three previous alleged chemical attacks dating from months ago.

POSTED BY SAMAN MOHAMMADI
Title: Re: It Takes a Thief to Spot a Heist
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 04:58:52 AM
What Diners typically hate is lying and BS.

Not to mention Tap Dancing around every direct question ever put to Socrates on the Diner.  He doesn't answer any question directly, he doesn't provide links to material he SAYS he has published, and he pitches out Ad Hom Napalm on a regular basis besides.  So there is simply nothing of substance in all the posts he has ever made here on the Diner, it is all just blatant Trolling.  I know, I am capable of out-Trolling him anytime.  LOL.  Takes one to know one, as they say.  :icon_mrgreen:  Don't fuck with the KING of Trolls, who is ALSO ADMIN.  POWER OF GOD ON A FORUM.  :icon_mrgreen:

It takes a THIEF to spot a HEIST.
(http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6965/ittakesathief1968.jpg)

RE

Having been a vocal supporter of MKing;s right to express his opinions, and still feel that way, it was rather disturbing and dismaying to see his initial posting after being let out of the can.

His ridicule of the seriousness of the current middle east situation is also very difficult to understand, and seems to be designed solely to inflame other members.

Whatever the case, doing what we can to protect free speech is the Diner's strongest and most valuable trait, and makes us the valid ONLY go to place for Doom discussion. We are smart enough and tolerant enough to deal with someone who abuses our desire to seek valid, heartfelt opinions and solutions to the impending problems we feel are on the horizon.

Praises again to RE for reconsidering and letting this poster out of the dungeon. His current postings do nothing to detract from your laudable decision to listen and reconsider.

Title: Re: It Takes a Thief to Spot a Heist
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 05:11:54 AM
Having been a vocal supporter of MKing;s right to express his opinions, and still feel that way, it was rather disturbing and dismaying to see his initial posting after being let out of the can.

His ridicule of the seriousness of the current middle east situation is also very difficult to understand, and seems to be designed solely to inflame other members.

Whatever the case, doing what we can to protect free speech is the Diner's strongest and most valuable trait, and makes us the valid ONLY go to place for Doom discussion. We are smart enough and tolerant enough to deal with someone who abuses our desire to seek valid, heartfelt opinions and solutions to the impending problems we feel are on the horizon.

Praises again to RE for reconsidering and letting this poster out of the dungeon. His current postings do nothing to detract from your laudable decision to listen and reconsider.

Basically since being Paroled, Socrates' posting only serves to reinforce why I pitched him into the Dungeon in the first place.

However, he has not Violated the terms of the Parole here as of yet, so we are back to the battle of Troll vs. Troll.

You wanna lay an over-under on who wins this one on the Diner?  LOL.  Don't Fuck with Admin.  Power of GOD on a Forum.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Alastair Crooke, HuffPost Blog
Post by: WHD on August 27, 2013, 08:10:54 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/lobbing-rocks-into-the-sy_b_3822614.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/lobbing-rocks-into-the-sy_b_3822614.html)


Alastair Crooke

Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, 'Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution'

Lobbing Rocks Into the Syrian Fog
Posted: 08/27/2013 9:37 am

HuffPost Blog

BEIRUT -- A scrum has erupted in the press these last few days: heads down, padded shoulders locked, like some football "rush" intent on pushing and jostling a president cradling the ball of military intervention physically across the "red line" on Syria. The speed and thrust of this dash for the line, however, seems to convey the momentum of unchallengeable "truth." Awkwardly, reality is rather different: There has been absolutely no evidence published to support the allegation that President Bashar Assad's forces were responsible for this, or any other gas attack.

Unwelcome as it may be to certain European and regional governments, who have been cheerleading the case for American intervention, neither the Russians nor the Chinese, both of whom are well represented on the ground in Syria, have believed either the earlier U.S. finding of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian security forces or indeed this latest allegation. On the contrary, Russia previously has given evidence to the U.N. Security Council to show it has been opposition forces that have used sarin gas against civilians (echoing the conclusion of Carla del Ponte, the former international prosecutor and current U.N. commissioner on Syria). And Russian officials state that the latest use of gas was delivered by a homemade missile, fired from a position known to be under opposition control.

Although the European constituency (Britain and France) are chaffing with impatience to begin retaliation even before evidence has been amassed, the U.S. administration has been more cautious. This is wise. Wars are always treacherous in their facts, and for the U.S. to launch a military strike without Security Council sanction (which it will not get) would constitute an illegal "act of war" against a sovereign state -- and a crime. (The Kosovo precedent cannot change an illegal act into a legal one).

But more substantially, what might be the outcome of, let us say, a cruise missile fired at a military target in Syria: a rhetorical strike, as it were, rather than a major military intervention?

So far, Syria has always turned a blind eye. The government knows well that Western special forces have supported the insurgents, but it has chosen to overlook this covert aspect. Assad has always insisted, however, that his "red line" is Syrian sovereignty. An explicit and public U.S. attack on his country plainly crosses this "line." It is by no means assured that the Syrian government would remain passive: that it would not respond. Neither is it likely that Russia or China easily would tolerate the West again (after Libya) bypassing the U.N. and the international order to concoct some spurious "Friends of Syria" legitimacy for its illegal military action.

Still less clear would be the consequences inside Syria of such an intervention. Does anyone seriously imagine that a cruise missile attack on their homeland would make ordinary Syrians long for the inchoate, warring and violent opposition factions to take over their country? It will of course do the reverse. It will strengthen President Assad. But it will concomitantly reinforce the conviction of extremists and their varied intelligence-service patrons that only by a "massacre" which can be blamed on Assad will the West be driven to overthrow Assad -- a result the opposition is unable to achieve by its own efforts alone.

And then, there are the "known unknowns": The Middle East is both angry and frightened, too; it is bitterly divided and increasingly violent. To toss a few cruise missiles into this volatile, unstable brew simply is to invite the unforeseeable and the unwanted to make its explosive appearance.

© 2013GLOBAL VIEWPOINT NETWORK/TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - CIA Phoenix Program _ Brandon Smith
Post by: WHD on August 27, 2013, 08:18:43 AM
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1677-has-the-cias-phoenix-program-been-resurrected-in-syria  (http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1677-has-the-cias-phoenix-program-been-resurrected-in-syria)

Has The CIA's Phoenix Program Been Resurrected In Syria?
Monday, 26 August 2013 03:17 Brandon Smith

(http://www.alt-market.com/images/stories/phoenix syria.jpg)

In 1964, the U.S. had for years been involved in covert operations in Vietnam designed to destabilize the North Vietnamese leadership and goad them into attacking American and South Vietnamese targets. On August 4th, U.S. naval authorities reported one of two recent “torpedo attacks” in the Gulf of Tonkin, torpedo attacks which were later admitted to be entirely faked in order to provide pretext for an open American invasion.

While Lyndon Johnson was declaring a “police action” in the region (essentially a war declared without the authority of Congress) CIA Station Chief Peer DeSilva was organizing Vietnam operations around a new strategy called “counter-terrorism”. This strategy held that terrorism, used in the hands of “the good-guys”, was not only acceptable, but necessary in order to undermine the support structures of the enemy. CIA counter-terror units were formed using mostly South Vietnamese nationals as well as men from surrounding countries. These hit teams, called Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU's) were coordinated and led by U.S. special operations officers and CIA liaisons under the umbrella of ICEX - the Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation Program, meant to create perfect information sharing and centralization between various teams.  The entire horrifying edifice would eventually be called "The Phoenix Program":

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/31295-cia-americas-secret-warriors-the-phoenix-program-video.htm (http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/31295-cia-americas-secret-warriors-the-phoenix-program-video.htm)

The Phoenix Program is defended to this day by the CIA as nothing more than a practical counter-insurgency methodology meant to win the war faster, and with fewer casualties:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol51no2/a-retrospective-on-counterinsurgency-operations.html (https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol51no2/a-retrospective-on-counterinsurgency-operations.html)

In fact, some in the mainstream still argue that Phoenix tactics should be used in Afghanistan and Iraq:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/opinion/04moyar.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=mark moyar&st=cse (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/opinion/04moyar.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=mark moyar&st=cse)

But Phoenix went far beyond aspirations of “winning” in Vietnam. The program utilized a “by any means necessary” strategy to warfare that included the use of random assassination and the FABRICATION of enemy atrocities in order to rally the civilian population around U.S. forces. PRU operators routinely targeted the backwater villages of Vietnam, killing at least 20,000 civilians as later admitted by CIA Director William Colby, and 40,000 civilians as estimated by the South Vietnamese Government. The slaughter of villages was frequently blamed on the Vietcong, while PRU's ran rampant in the jungles, physically mutilating victims in order to draw greater emotional reactions from Southern citizens as well as oblivious Americans back home.

All of this took place under the close supervision of the CIA. Torture was often applied in CIA substations with high tech security. CIA officers carefully selected PRU troops, specifically seeking out ARVN deserters, VC traitors, and South Vietnamese criminals looking for a reduction in their prison sentences. The CIA planned and mapped operations, including death squad operations. They created teams of monsters and unleashed them upon Vietnam, not just to win against the North, but to create the illusion that the U.S. military presence was justified.

Skip ahead about 20 years...

The same exact theater was used in the 1980's by the CIA in El Salvador. Militants and fascist political leaders, including El Salvadorian dictator-by-election-fraud Roberto D'Aubuission, trained at the Fort Benning, Georgia's “School of the Americas” (also known as the School of the Assassins) where they learned the same “counter-terror” methods used during the Phoenix Program. This resulted in the formation of the Mano Blanco (the White Hand), a network of ruthless death squads utilized against Salvadorian citizens, killing tens of thousands in a bloodbath that was covertly endorsed by the U.S. government.

Skip ahead another 30 years...

The techniques and technology have become more sophisticated, but the general strategy remains identical.

The Syria crisis is swiftly escalating with the advent of yet another unverified chemical weapons attack on the civilian population that is being used as a broad permit for the Obama Administration to enter into open operations against the Assad government. A previous chemical attack at the beginning of this summer was left unverified, though the establishment went to great lengths to convince the American public that the Assad government was responsible. It certainly didn't help that the UN was relying purely on “samples” from a French evening newspaper called Le Monde rather than an officially sanctioned source, and that the UN was forced to acknowledge that the Syrian insurgents may have been involved.

Today, the mainstream media and the U.S. government references “strong indications that Syria’s government used chemical weapons in attacks that opposition groups claimed killed more than 1,100 people” as if their version of events is already considered concrete reality:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324165204579026123332790830.html (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324165204579026123332790830.html)

But where are these “strong indications”? Where is this unassailable evidence of Assad's involvement? The American public hasn't been given a scrap of verifiable data concerning the attack and its origin. Once again, we are being asked to accept on simple “faith” that our government is telling us the truth and that military intervention must be supported.

Here is what we DO know for a fact...

The Syrian insurgency is made up primarily of Al Qaeda operatives (terrorists and criminals).

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/11/syria-al-qaeda-connection/2075323/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/11/syria-al-qaeda-connection/2075323/)

The CIA trained and supported these operatives using Bengahzi as a base for at least a year before the Bengahzi attacks.

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/01/exclusive-dozens-of-cia-operatives-on-the-ground-during-benghazi-attack/ (http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/01/exclusive-dozens-of-cia-operatives-on-the-ground-during-benghazi-attack/)

http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-cia-syria-20130621,0,6346686.story (http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-cia-syria-20130621,0,6346686.story)

Syrian insurgents have been caught on numerous occasions committing startling crimes, including the torture and murder of civilians, and the mutilation of prisoners and even their corpses. Captured Syrian soldiers are commonly executed.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Rpee0dOcoqg?feature=player_embedded

The U.S. government continues to support the insurgents despite their death squad mentality, supplying heavy weapons including anti-aircraft missiles.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?_r=0)

Syrian insurgents impose their own fanatical system of theological governance in regions where they have total control. Anyone remotely suspected of being an Assad supporter is tortured, and the civilian population is carefully vetted.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-19/world/37840878_1_al-nusra-deir-aleppo (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-19/world/37840878_1_al-nusra-deir-aleppo)

Clearly, Phoenix Program methods are being used by the CIA in Syria. The only difference in Syria is that the establishment has chosen to use the faction in rebellion as a tool for destabilization and war rather than a prevailing puppet government. Reports are now beginning to surface in the mainstream exposing direct U.S. and Israeli involvement on the ground in the Syrian theatre:

“According to our information, the regime's opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.

According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.

According to this expert on the region, the idea proposed by Washington would be the possible establishment of a buffer zone from the south of Syria, or even a no-fly zone, which would cause opponents safely until the balance of power changes. This is the reason why the United States has deployed Patriot batteries and F16 in late June Jordan.”

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2013/08/22/01003-20130822ARTFIG00438-syrie-l-operation-anti-assad-a-commence.php (http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2013/08/22/01003-20130822ARTFIG00438-syrie-l-operation-anti-assad-a-commence.php)

This report from Le Figaro has not yet been confirmed by a secondary source, but it fits perfectly with the Phoenix paradigm. The so called “rebels” have been trained by CIA operatives and U.S. interests. The rebels are armed and funded by the U.S. government. The rebels are vicious and amoral in their tactics, frequently targeting innocent civilians in death squad fashion. And finally, the rebels, it appears, are being directed on the ground by U.S. assets. The natural next step in this process would be a false flag, and what better way than to use chemical weapons against non-combatants; a “red line” which Barack Obama previously stated “cannot be crossed”?

As I have pointed out in numerous articles dealing with engineered disaster events, if you aren't examining who benefits, you aren't seeing the big picture.

Who REALLY benefits from the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria? Assad, already nearing victory against the insurgents, gains absolutely nothing from killing hundreds if not thousands of his own people with Sarin gas on the same exact day that a UN inspections team arrives in the country. However, the insurgents gain immense military support from the West if Assad is successfully labeled a war criminal. The establishment gains a pretext for air strikes, no-fly zones, and eventually a physical invasion of the region, which is something they have obviously wanted for quite some time given the fact that they have manipulated the Syrian revolution from its very inception.

It's all happened before, with different players, different faces, and different ideologies, but always the same winner – the global elites. Call it the “Phoenix Program”, call it the “School Of The Americas”, call it the “Arab Spring”; it doesn't really matter. The endgame is predictable. Unilateral war without the approval of the American people or even Congress. Collapse of a nation or multiple nations resulting in the deaths of tens of thousand, hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions. Severe economic and social implications reverberating throughout the rest of the world. And American culture takes several steps closer to a totalitarian hell on Earth

I have been predicting the use of Syria as a catalyst for wider war for years:

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/994-syria-and-iran-dominos-lead-to-world-war (http://www.alt-market.com/articles/994-syria-and-iran-dominos-lead-to-world-war)

And in recent months, I reiterated my concerns and predictions, many of which are coming true as you read this:

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1535-the-terrible-future-of-the-syrian-war (http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1535-the-terrible-future-of-the-syrian-war)

I do believe that the Obama Administration is going to steamroll forward with overt U.S. action in Syria, Iran, and likely Egypt. I do believe that the consequences economically and politically in America will be catastrophic. I believe that if extended U.S. or Israeli strikes occur in Syria, they will be accompanied by subsequent attacks here at home (false flag or otherwise). I believe that a Syrian strike should be considered a Red Alert event for those in the Liberty Movement preparing for the worst. We may not be able to stop the landslide of devastation that will be triggered in coming months, but we can still decide the outcome. Make yourselves ready now, and do not waver.

 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 27, 2013, 12:07:51 PM
Quote
Can't say any of that is true. You wouldn't have happened to learn your reading comprehension skills from the same place that WHD did, did you?

I was prepared to flame you, but there are bigger fish to fry, and troll never tastes very good.

WHD
Title: Re: It Takes a Thief to Spot a Heist
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 12:43:15 PM

You claimed to have pitched me into the Dungeon because I refused to give up my anonymity by providing you with references to my published works? <gasp>...you didn't LIE now did you!!

If that was your only Crime, I would likely not have bothered.  However, like getting Al Capone for Tax Evasion, you use what you got.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Ka on August 27, 2013, 01:03:18 PM
I'm hoping that someone with better realpolitik knowledge than I have can suggest a better answer than I have for why the US with Britain and France are going into Syria. As I see it, the US and its allies have three real red lines in MENA: keeping the oil flowing out of the Gulf, keeping the Suez Canal open, and keeping Israel in existence. I don't see how toppling Assad helps any of these, and do see how it could well hurt.

I suppose it could be that the stance taken early on in the civil war (when it was still taken as part of the "Arab Spring", and toppling evil dictators like Assad to be replaced by pro-Western democrats could still be fantasized) has set in motion something that can't be stopped. But that seems unlikely. I think at this point, the US would like nothing more than to turn back to status quo ante Arab Spring. That can't happen. But given the lack of popular support for Western intervention, why accuse Assad of the chemical attack? Why not proclaim a plague on both their houses, and step back?

That leaves, as far as I can see -- and I hope someone can see something less drastic -- that TPTB see that the time has come to implement Operation Partial Collapse. That is, it is known that time has run out on kicking the can to keep the financial system going as is, and so it is time to get a major war going as cover for resetting the financial system. Just intervening in Syria wouldn't be enough. Getting a Sunni-Shiite war across the whole area, in particular the Gulf, would.

I don't really know if the preceding is or isn't likely. I just hope someone can provide, as I say, a less drastic reason for the US intervening in Syria.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 01:52:24 PM
I'm hoping that someone with better realpolitik knowledge than I have can suggest a better answer than I have for why the US with Britain and France are going into Syria. As I see it, the US and its allies have three real red lines in MENA: keeping the oil flowing out of the Gulf, keeping the Suez Canal open, and keeping Israel in existence. I don't see how toppling Assad helps any of these, and do see how it could well hurt.

I suppose it could be that the stance taken early on in the civil war (when it was still taken as part of the "Arab Spring", and toppling evil dictators like Assad to be replaced by pro-Western democrats could still be fantasized) has set in motion something that can't be stopped. But that seems unlikely. I think at this point, the US would like nothing more than to turn back to status quo ante Arab Spring. That can't happen. But given the lack of popular support for Western intervention, why accuse Assad of the chemical attack? Why not proclaim a plague on both their houses, and step back?

That leaves, as far as I can see -- and I hope someone can see something less drastic -- that TPTB see that the time has come to implement Operation Partial Collapse. That is, it is known that time has run out on kicking the can to keep the financial system going as is, and so it is time to get a major war going as cover for resetting the financial system. Just intervening in Syria wouldn't be enough. Getting a Sunni-Shiite war across the whole area, in particular the Gulf, would.

I don't really know if the preceding is or isn't likely. I just hope someone can provide, as I say, a less drastic reason for the US intervening in Syria.

Ka,
I tend to pay serious attention to foreign events, and the logic for knocking over the Syrian domino is opaque outside of the meetings of the alumni of PNAC.

So IMO, and only IMO, your assessment thus:
Quote
TPTB see that the time has come to implement Operation Partial Collapse. That is, it is known that time has run out on kicking the can to keep the financial system going as is, and so it is time to get a major war going as cover for resetting the financial system. Just intervening in Syria wouldn't be enough. Getting a Sunni-Shiite war across the whole area, in particular the Gulf, would.
-seems to be the most logical.

The QE balloon appears to be fully inflated. There would appear to be no other way to keep the 1% whole than to have a huge system reset in which a large number of brown people lose their lives. But, of course, there are profits, as well as "business decisions," to be made.

Interestingly, Russia's actions could have a huge countervailing effect. It will be interesting to watch Putin in the next couple of days as NATO brandishes its weapons and makes loud noises, as Russia's military threats might be the only thing saving us from WW III.

I dearly hope that I am wrong.
(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1185080_562489850465874_1799425451_n.png)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Pierce
Post by: Surly1 on August 27, 2013, 02:18:29 PM
Making War In Syria
By Charles P. Pierce at 9:20AM
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Making_War_In_Syria (http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Making_War_In_Syria)

(http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/Jz/esq-syrian-flag-0813-xlg.jpg)
Joseph Eid/AFP/GettyImages

It looks as though the skids are properly greased, and the United States will be making some sort of war in Syria pretty soon. I say "making war in Syria" because that's different than going to war in Syria. We aren't sending troops. We're going to be sending cruise missiles and dropping bombs because that is how you make war without going to war and, if you make war without going to war, then it's a lot easier to pretend back home that you're not at war. Again.

The bipartisan consensus to make war in Syria seems to be growing. John Kerry played the role of Colin Powell yesterday, albeit with slightly more actual evidence on his side. But the proposed response doesn't seem to match the gravity of the rhetoric he used.

Quote
    Administration officials said that although President Obama had not made a final decision on military action, he was likely to order a limited military operation - cruise missiles launched from American destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at military targets in Syria, for example - and not a sustained air campaign intended to topple Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, or to fundamentally alter the nature of the conflict on the ground.

If Kerry is to be believed, the "situation on the ground" is that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its own people, a monstrous crime. If we aren't trying to "fundamentally alter the nature of the conflict on the ground," then why in the hell are we making war in in Syria in the first place? If we aren't trying to "topple" the Syrian president so he won't use chemical weapons on his own people again, why are we going to be firing high explosives into the country that are going to kill some of those people anyway? This is the difference between making war in a place and going to war in a place. If you're simply making war in a place, logic doesn't necessarily apply. Even a lot of the people proposing that we make war in Syria -- even a lot of the liberals proposing it -- admit freely that they don't know what will come next, or even on whose side we will be making war in Syria. This strikes me as an important thing to determine before you commit the nation to a course of action like the one proposed, but then, making war in a place enables you to do it from an antiseptic distance, to believe in the fairy-tale McNamara concept of "sending a message" by blowing stuff up, to believe that the most important thing for the World's Last Superpower to do is anything. The New York Times thinks making war in Syria will make the president a more believable president. And that, if the president decides to make war in Syria, the Iranians will wonder if they should still want a nuclear bomb.
Quote

    This time the use of chemicals was more brazen and the casualties were much greater, suggesting that Mr. Assad did not take Mr. Obama seriously. Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through. Many countries (including Iran, which Mr. Obama has often said won't be permitted to have a nuclear weapon) will be watching.   

The Times declines to tell us how many Syrians have to die to enhance the president's credibility with the Iranians. Because when you make war in a place, actual people die actual deaths. Fathers get killed. Children get killed. School buildings and hospitals fall down all around the people inside them. The message you are sending with your missiles gets just a trifle muddled. Make no mistake. If we strike, we will be making actual war in Syria. Ordinary Syrians will not see our missiles as "bomb-o-grams," telling them with every deadly explosion that we're really on their side. We will be another belligerent making their daily lives brutal and deadly, and there will be enough of them to hate us for that to guarantee that we will have to make more war in that place, or in some other place, very soon. That is what we do now. We make war in a place without going to war in a place, and nobody is fooled except ourselves.

Read more: Making War In Syria - Esquire
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Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: JoeP on August 27, 2013, 03:39:43 PM
The US hits the debt ceiling in mid-October. Maybe the reason for the US going into Syria is all about debt creation? The US invades Syria creating more debt. R's get to pump up the war machine - keeping the illuminati satisfied.  The R's will support the increase in debt cuz the US will be "at war".

There will be a "common cause" for killing yet more brown people in the ME. D's are delighted to have more spending. R's get an erection rampin' up the war machine and sticking J6pack with more debt.
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 27, 2013, 03:51:12 PM
The US hits the debt ceiling in mid-October. Maybe the reason for the US going into Syria is all about debt creation? The US invades Syria creating more debt. R's get to pump up the war machine - keeping the illuminati satisfied.  The R's will support the increase in debt cuz the US will be "at war".

There will be a "common cause" for killing yet more brown people in the ME. D's are delighted to have more spending. R's get an erection rampin' up the war machine and sticking J6pack with more debt.
// That certainly makes sense to me, Joe P. Nice going.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 27, 2013, 04:05:59 PM
I have no expert knowledge in this field whatsoever, but would add that the numerous administrations of the USA have behaved the "Clinton" way because they could. Because they maintained the mightiest force and sacrificed all principles to the maintenance of that force. Always under the guise of promoting that old standby "in the name of democracy", they plundered, twisted, manipulated, and maimed the lives of people both at home and in foreign nations in order to advance whatever paranoid idea of national security was prominent at the moment. It certainly bespeaks to me of a "death wish" rising to the surface in the service of a very paranoid projection of ulterior motives all its own. Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 04:23:03 PM
I'm hoping that someone with better realpolitik knowledge than I have can suggest a better answer than I have for why the US with Britain and France are going into Syria. As I see it, the US and its allies have three real red lines in MENA: keeping the oil flowing out of the Gulf, keeping the Suez Canal open, and keeping Israel in existence. I don't see how toppling Assad helps any of these, and do see how it could well hurt.

I suppose it could be that the stance taken early on in the civil war (when it was still taken as part of the "Arab Spring", and toppling evil dictators like Assad to be replaced by pro-Western democrats could still be fantasized) has set in motion something that can't be stopped. But that seems unlikely. I think at this point, the US would like nothing more than to turn back to status quo ante Arab Spring. That can't happen. But given the lack of popular support for Western intervention, why accuse Assad of the chemical attack? Why not proclaim a plague on both their houses, and step back?

That leaves, as far as I can see -- and I hope someone can see something less drastic -- that TPTB see that the time has come to implement Operation Partial Collapse. That is, it is known that time has run out on kicking the can to keep the financial system going as is, and so it is time to get a major war going as cover for resetting the financial system. Just intervening in Syria wouldn't be enough. Getting a Sunni-Shiite war across the whole area, in particular the Gulf, would.

I don't really know if the preceding is or isn't likely. I just hope someone can provide, as I say, a less drastic reason for the US intervening in Syria.

It is all about Money,Money, Money, and Distraction.

The oil will always flow to whoever has the Money, the oil excuse is nonsense.

Halliburton and Friends are in a quandary over what to do with two wars winding down.

The three nations mentioned are in Very sick financial shape and have run out of bull shit to tell the populace about the Great Recovery.

What better way to show the dim why we need Big Brother Government, NSA, Drones, CIA, Homeland security, the entire gamut of wonderful people to protect us from the bad people of the world.

Then there is our wondrous press of course, that will get the big distraction going with the puppet reporters all running around with their military gear and getting first hand scoops from the war zone for us. That serious false look of concern and make believe horror at the innocent dead is always amusing, as they vie for ratings and advertising dollars from the piggies.

Great for the upcoming elections as well, show your support for the boys, unite around your leaders, we are at WAR.

What a sick deplorable disgrace. "Let's make it a strong response Obama, you have been perceived as weak on this issue." Show everybody whose Boss!" Let's get some Shock and Awe out there for starters!!      :( :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :'(
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 04:27:49 PM
The US hits the debt ceiling in mid-October. Maybe the reason for the US going into Syria is all about debt creation? The US invades Syria creating more debt. R's get to pump up the war machine - keeping the illuminati satisfied.  The R's will support the increase in debt cuz the US will be "at war".

There will be a "common cause" for killing yet more brown people in the ME. D's are delighted to have more spending. R's get an erection rampin' up the war machine and sticking J6pack with more debt.
// That certainly makes sense to me, Joe P. Nice going.

Obama is not a Republican JoeP, nor is his staff of advisors. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: JoeP on August 27, 2013, 04:47:10 PM
The US hits the debt ceiling in mid-October. Maybe the reason for the US going into Syria is all about debt creation? The US invades Syria creating more debt. R's get to pump up the war machine - keeping the illuminati satisfied.  The R's will support the increase in debt cuz the US will be "at war".

There will be a "common cause" for killing yet more brown people in the ME. D's are delighted to have more spending. R's get an erection rampin' up the war machine and sticking J6pack with more debt.
// That certainly makes sense to me, Joe P. Nice going.


Obama is not a Republican JoeP, nor is his staff of advisors.

And where did I refer to Obama?
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 04:51:14 PM
Quote
And where did I refer to Obama?

Is he not the Commander and Chief of what is to transpire, or has he conned you into thinking it is still Bush and Cheney?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: JoeP on August 27, 2013, 05:01:10 PM
Quote
And where did I refer to Obama?

Is he not the Commander and Chief of what is to transpire, or has he conned you into thinking it is still Bush and Cheney?

I don't think that makes much difference...it will be a team effort to create more debt.  My references to D's and R's is all about them making their appearances.  Hate to admit it  ;D  but I agree with MKing:

Obama is as much as Republicrat as King George was a Democan. I'm amazed people even think there is a difference between the groups, their entire goal has been to become a ruling class, break up the country into "us" versus "them" groups, and then arm wave furiously over ridiculous issues of no relevance in the hope no one will notice.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 05:03:22 PM
Quote
Obama is as much as Republicrat as King George was a Democan. I'm amazed people even think there is a difference between the groups, their entire goal has been to become a ruling class, break up the country into "us" versus "them" groups, and then arm wave furiously over ridiculous issues of no relevance in the hope no one will notice.

Welcome back MKing, I really think this remark is an over simplification. There are still two powerful  opposing parties in this country that are in Bondage to Mamon, no doubt, but have elections on the mind constantly. It certainly is them versus us however, no argument from me on that one.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 27, 2013, 05:03:54 PM
There are a lot of evil plans and desperation coming together in a huge train wreck. It makes my head spin trying to keep up with all the interconnected plots.

There's the oil pipeline stuff, obviously. There is also the desperation to prop up the petrodollar along with the misguided belief that wars are natural wholesome goodness for the economy.

There is also the push from Israel and the domestic Zionists. Many of them are under the impression that the end times are nigh and that God will smile on them. To satisfy their appetite for secular plunder, there is the plan for grabbing a lot more land and resources from all this. Israel has already signed an oil deal for the Golan with Genie, an oil company with strong connections to Washington insiders. The plan for "Greater Israel" is moving into high gear now and they won't be backing down until someone has the courage to stand up to them and slap them into oblivion.

Another faction showing its face and revealing the true depth of its nature is the Saudi gang. Bandar's recent trip to Russia met with a cold response, and at first not much was revealed about it. In the past few days, however, details have been coming out.

http://www.infowars.com/saudis-threaten-russia-with-olympic-terrorist-attacks-unless-it-abandons-syria-support/ (http://www.infowars.com/saudis-threaten-russia-with-olympic-terrorist-attacks-unless-it-abandons-syria-support/)

Yes, I know... Alex Jones often runs some overdramatic material, but this story seems entirely believable to me. It sounds like something Bandar would do, and would explain the Russian cool dismissal of the meeting. 

What a scene that meeting must have been.  Imagine someone threatening and attempting to bribe Putin- and doing it in person. Putin is one who can drop the temperature in a room by sixty degrees with a single look. It must have been darned frosty.

I like Putin. I like him better all the time. Yes, the Russians have practical interests in the mid east, but Putin is also one to act on principle. Here, principle and Russian interests dovetail nicely.

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 27, 2013, 05:13:49 PM
Quote
And where did I refer to Obama?

Is he not the Commander and Chief of what is to transpire, or has he conned you into thinking it is still Bush and Cheney?
//  Excuse me? Hasn't Obama clearly shown he is not one bit different than Bush and Cheney. Except he has been in fact even more duplicitous and masked in his intentions.
Title: The Syria Desk: Ambrose
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 05:23:19 PM
Here's Ambrose...


Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10266957/Saudis-offer-Russia-secret-oil-deal-if-it-drops-Syria.html)

Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.
(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01880/saudi_1880139b.jpg)
Khaled al Otaiby, an official of the Saudi oil company Aramco watches progress at a rig at the al-Howta oil field near Howta, Saudi Arabia

OPEC raised production by 400,000 barrels per day to 29.7m Photo: AP

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

12:00PM BST 27 Aug 2013

The revelations come amid high tension in the Middle East, with US, British, and French warship poised for missile strikes in Syria. Iran has threatened to retaliate.

The strategic jitters pushed Brent crude prices to a five-month high of $112 a barrel. “We are only one incident away from a serious oil spike. The market is a lot tighter than people think,” said Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review.

Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides.

Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” he said at the four-hour meeting with Mr Putin. They met at Mr Putin’s dacha outside Moscow three weeks ago.

“We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas in the Mediterranean from Israel to Cyprus. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area,” he said, purporting to speak with the full backing of the US.

The talks appear to offer an alliance between the OPEC cartel and Russia, which together produce over 40m barrels a day of oil, 45pc of global output. Such a move would alter the strategic landscape.

The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis.

As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.

Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”

President Putin has long been pushing for a global gas cartel, issuing the `Moscow Declaration’ last to month “defend suppliers and resist unfair pressure”. This would entail beefing up the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), a talking shop.

Mr Skrebowski said it is unclear what the Saudis can really offer the Russians on gas, beyond using leverage over Qatar and others to cut output of liquefied natural gas (LGN). “The Qataris are not going to obey Saudi orders,” he said.

Saudi Arabia could help boost oil prices by restricting its own supply. This would be a shot in the arm for Russia, which is near recession and relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget.

But it would be a dangerous strategy for the Saudis if it pushed prices to levels that endangered the world’s fragile economic recovery. Crude oil stocks in the US have already fallen sharply this year. Goldman Sachs said the “surplus cushion” in global stocks built up since 2008 has been completely eliminated.

Mr Skrebowski said trouble is brewing in a string of key supply states. “Libya is reverting to war lordism. Nigerian is drifting into a bandit state with steady loss of output. And Iraq is going back to the sort of Sunni-Shia civil war we saw in 2006-2007,” he said.

The Putin-Bandar meeting was stormy, replete with warnings of a “dramatic turn” in Syria. Mr Putin was unmoved by the Saudi offer, though western pressure has escalated since then. “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters,” he said, referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier.

Prince Bandar in turn warned that there can be “no escape from the military option” if Russia declines the olive branch. Events are unfolding exactly as he foretold.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: monsta666 on August 27, 2013, 05:31:25 PM
I am not quite sure what to make of current events. It is easy to say war is inevitable but sometimes a degree of caution must be exercised; perhaps this is simply warmongering and there will be no follow through. Remember how people were saying that a war between Iran and Israel was inevitable a year ago? Syria is not a major oil producer and to put this into context they reached peak production in the mid-90s at something like 600 kb/d. They currently produce around 400 kb/d and are just about a net exporter of oil although they are likely to make the switch in the near future. If you are thinking about oil and oil prices then the conflicts in Libya are likely to have a greater effect on global oil supplies as recent declines there have been larger (Libya's oil production has declined from 600 kb/d to 200 kb/d recently). So any motive to move into Syria to gain access to oil supply totalling only 400 kb/d does not make much sense. I suppose one could say since Syria are neighbours to Iraq there maybe profits to be had via pipelines but this seems unlikely.

What can be noted however is that Syria is an ally to Iran and Iran have generally been supportive of the Assad regime. The Iranians in recent years have been more low-key about this relationship as defending Assad recently is likely to garner unwanted attention and Iran have their own problems to deal with. Still, the prospect of taking out Syria means that Iran will be more isolated as they will lose one ally in Syria. Furthermore it should be noted that Russia and China have a positive relationship to Syria at least it is strong enough that those countries are willing to defend Syria in the UN against sanctions from the western nations. If the US could neutralise Syria through direct warfare (as opposed to economic warfare which failed due to Russia/China using vetos) then the US can reduce the influence of Russia/China in the middle-east. On top of that the Iranians will become more isolated as most of the other Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar etc. are pro-American.

Weakening Iran is quite favourable in this regard especially if you consider that the war in Iraq severely weakened Iraq. Since Iraq has been the long-term enemy of Iran this weakening of Iraq by the US had the blowback that Iranian influence grew stronger in the region as Iraq lost its capacity to counter various insurgents groups the Iranians sponsored. The Iranians now have plenty of groups in Iraq and Saudi that can cause mayhem at a short notice. Now I am not sure these are big enough reasons to start a war but it is something to consider in why a war would be started. You could make the case that a war could be a means for the US to maintain hegemony over the whole region and they see Russia's/China's meddling as a threat to the status quo they wish to maintain.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 05:33:03 PM
Quote
Saudi Arabia could help boost oil prices by restricting its own supply. This would be a shot in the arm for Russia, which is near recession and relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget.

Money, Money, Money, like I said.

Putin is going to have a ball with this one, milking both ends, and filling his KGB pockets with all sorts of goodies. Nothing like Pigs offering secret deals! The Russians were always very good at chess.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 05:49:33 PM
Quote
And where did I refer to Obama?

Is he not the Commander and Chief of what is to transpire, or has he conned you into thinking it is still Bush and Cheney?
//  Excuse me? Hasn't Obama clearly shown he is not one bit different than Bush and Cheney. Except he has been in fact even more duplicitous and masked in his intentions.

Yes he has, which was my point. I felt that JoeP was watering down his participation by making it into a group effort, or I am just being kind to Republicans for future favors nonsense.  This is Obama's war like Iraq was Bush's.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: monsta666 on August 27, 2013, 06:01:42 PM
Yes he has, which was my point. I felt that JoeP was watering down his participation by making it into a group effort, or I am just being kind to Republicans for future favors nonsense.  This is Obama's war like Iraq was Bush's.

Bush is an idiot. He cannot plan a war even an ill-conceived one like the war in Iraq. That war, like this possible one in Syria, is one that is largely orchestrated by powerful interest groups that operate in the background. It then becomes a question of figuring out who stands to benefit from such a conflict. Like the war in Iraq it is not the president who benefits (their reputations is likely to be tarnished) but other special interest groups in the background. In the case of Iraq you could say it was the US oil contractors (although that point is debatable) and pro-Isareli lobbies such as AIPAC that benefited from the conflict. The same is likely to be true if there is a war in Syria.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 27, 2013, 06:07:41 PM
Thanks for putting that up, RE.

Bandar's kind of an idiot, isn't he? How could anyone think that open threats and bribery would get anywhere with Putin? That room must have been Arctic cold.

The Saudi deal was turned down flat- of that I'm sure. The Saudi offer was a bum deal only a fool would take, and Putin is no fool. And, the threats... that would have definitely put a stop to any discussion.

Putin's got the moral high ground in this (and other) situations, and it just so happens to coincide nicely with Russia's practical interests.

I agree with monsta that it's the shadow special interests that gain from these conflicts.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 06:13:16 PM
Yes he has, which was my point. I felt that JoeP was watering down his participation by making it into a group effort, or I am just being kind to Republicans for future favors nonsense.  This is Obama's war like Iraq was Bush's.

Bush is an idiot. He cannot plan a war even an ill-conceived one like the war in Iraq. That war, like this possible one in Syria, is one that is largely orchestrated by powerful interest groups that operate in the background. It then becomes a question of figuring out who stands to benefit from such a conflict. Like the war in Iraq it is not the president who benefits (their reputations is likely to be tarnished) but other special interest groups in the background. In the case of Iraq you could say it was the US oil contractors (although that point is debatable) and pro-Isareli lobbies such as AIPAC that benefited from the conflict. The same is likely to be true if there is a war in Syria.

Yes Monsta, I get it. No one is ever responsible for their actions, and there is never any accountability.

"The bad guys behind the curtain made me do it."

"I was only obeying orders."

There is this group called the Illuminati that called me on the phone and said "attack Syria or else, we are running the show."

How convenient. 

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 06:24:34 PM
Thanks for putting that up, RE.

Bandar's kind of an idiot, isn't he? How could anyone think that open threats and bribery would get anywhere with Putin? That room must have been Arctic cold.

The Saudi deal was turned down flat- of that I'm sure. The Saudi offer was a bum deal only a fool would take, and Putin is no fool. And, the threats... that would have definitely put a stop to any discussion.

Putin's got the moral high ground in this (and other) situations, and it just so happens to coincide nicely with Russia's practical interests.

I agree with monsta that it's the shadow special interests that gain from these conflicts.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't get too carried away with Putin and his high moral ground. Something about the former head of the KGB and morality just don't mix well in my view. I have a feeling the promise of very high oil prices was very appealing to Mr. Putin, especially with winter right around the corner. Remember his big Squeeze with the Gas shortage in Europe a while back. He didn't kick him in the ass and send him walking, that's for sure.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: monsta666 on August 27, 2013, 06:33:10 PM
Yes Monsta, I get it. No one is ever responsible for their actions, and there is never any accountability.

"The bad guys behind the curtain made me do it."

"I was only obeying orders."

There is this group called the Illuminati that called me on the phone and said "attack Syria or else, we are running the show."

How convenient.

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to defend or excuse Bush/Obama from guilt. They are responsible because at the very least they have been complicit in the atrocities that are being inflicted upon millions. However all I will say is they are not the main instigators in this wars as is commonly suggested. To make an analogy, you could say that the president is a bit like the person who witnesses the rape of a woman and when a trial is called to attempt to bring justice they will side with the perpetrator because they wish to keep their favourable social standing. These people who become president are not seekers of justice and are more interested in maintaining the "peace" which is just another way of saying they wish to maintain the status quo. To answer you question; the president carries much guilt however if you wish to find the most guilty party you must look elsewhere.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 06:44:39 PM
Yes Monsta, I get it. No one is ever responsible for their actions, and there is never any accountability.

"The bad guys behind the curtain made me do it."

"I was only obeying orders."

There is this group called the Illuminati that called me on the phone and said "attack Syria or else, we are running the show."

How convenient.

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to defend or excuse Bush/Obama from guilt. They are responsible because at the very least they have been complicit in the atrocities that are being inflicted upon millions. However all I will say is they are not the main instigators in this wars as is commonly suggested. To make an analogy, you could say that the president is a bit like the person who witnesses the rape of a woman and when a trial is called to attempt to bring justice they will side with the perpetrator because they wish to keep their favourable social standing. These people who become president are not seekers of justice and are more interested in maintaining the "peace" which is just another way of saying they wish to maintain the status quo. To answer you question; the president carries much guilt however if you wish to find the most guilty party you must look elsewhere.

I respect your opinion, it is understandable.

Fell strongly however that Obama can stop this entire episode right now, and his failure to do so is on his soldiers, no matter who the pressure groups.

Understand also please that I am a Libertarian, and there is no doubt in my mind that if Ron Paul had been elected there would be no Syria attack from the US. That of course is my opinion and is not considered a good thing by many. It does make the Syria thing more irritating to me, because we had a chance to vote in a real anti-war candidate, and I believed him.  :-[
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 27, 2013, 06:51:05 PM
Ah, GO- I understand what you're saying, but don't you think you're being a little Cold War-ish about this?

Yes, Putin was KGB, but that was a normal enough career for an intelligent young man in those times. And, it's worth considering that the KGB was always an agency that had its own factions within. A fairly good argument could be made that Putin's rise to power had some backing from KGB factions that wanted to save Russian sovereignty from the oligarch plunder. Sometimes the cloak and dagger stuff is necessary. I judge Putin by what he does, and the fact that what he says tends to match his actions pretty well. He regularly fields questions from reporters and the general public, including a lot of very difficult and awkward questions, in marathon sessions. With no teleprompter and no fumbling or evasiveness. That by itself speaks volumes to me. I believe he does have integrity, and he has no intention of invading the US or anything like that. He and Lavrov are some of the very few voices of reason these days and I'm cheering them on.

By the way, GO- I'm a libertarian as well. I voted for Ron Paul in every bid for the presidency he made.  :)

Oh- to RE and all: here is the first article about the Bandar thing. I couldn't remember which site I'd seen it on first, and the Infowars version was the one I came up with when I started searching. This article is better:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-credible-report-about-what-happened.html?m=0 (http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-credible-report-about-what-happened.html?m=0)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 07:06:31 PM
Ah, GO- I understand what you're saying, but don't you think you're being a little Cold War-ish about this?

Yes, Putin was KGB, but that was a normal enough career for an intelligent young man in those times. And, it's worth considering that the KGB was always an agency that had its own factions within. A fairly good argument could be made that Putin's rise to power had some backing from KGB factions that wanted to save Russian sovereignty from the oligarch plunder. Sometimes the cloak and dagger stuff is necessary. I judge Putin by what he does, and the fact that what he says tends to match his actions pretty well. He regularly fields questions from reporters and the general public, including a lot of very difficult and awkward questions, in marathon sessions. With no teleprompter and no fumbling or evasiveness. That by itself speaks volumes to me. I believe he does have integrity, and he has no intention of invading the US or anything like that. He and Lavrov are some of the very few voices of reason these days and I'm cheering them on.

By the way, GO- I'm a libertarian as well. I voted for Ron Paul in every bid for the presidency he made.  :)

Oh- to RE and all: here is the first article about the Bandar thing. I couldn't remember which site I'd seen it on first, and the Infowars version was the one I came up with when I started searching. This article is better:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-credible-report-about-what-happened.html?m=0 (http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-credible-report-about-what-happened.html?m=0)

I accept your criticism Hellsbells. His views as well as China's on this matter do have the ring of reason to them.

These friggin endless wars starting every few years are taking a toll on me. They seem so pointless and avoidable, and the MSM looking for a good story, stoking the fires,  the entire thing just makes me sick and angry. 

You are no doubt correct to root for the sane heads in this situation.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 27, 2013, 07:19:22 PM
Thanks, GO. It all gets real nerve wracking for me as well.

So.... do you think sanity will prevail or not? I get the eerie feeling that we're witnessing a self-correcting function in human nature and society- the evil and the insane destroy themselves at the 11th hour and the world pulls itself together and goes on.

One of the things I like about the Diner is the discussions about historic cycles, The Fourth Turning and all that. In that book, the authors explored the persistence of certain mythological themes as being reflective of the way things tend to go in these cycles. I wonder if our love for movies and books with psycho evil people doing themselves in just before the world blows up is one of those?

The insanity is becoming more shrill and the idiocy more blatant by the day now. It's that feeling of impending doom you wrote a very good thread about not long ago. Maybe the bad guys are on a runaway train in their own minds and will derail themselves.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 07:39:06 PM
Thanks, GO. It all gets real nerve wracking for me as well.

So.... do you think sanity will prevail or not? I get the eerie feeling that we're witnessing a self-correcting function in human nature and society- the evil and the insane destroy themselves at the 11th hour and the world pulls itself together and goes on.

One of the things I like about the Diner is the discussions about historic cycles, The Fourth Turning and all that. In that book, the authors explored the persistence of certain mythological themes as being reflective of the way things tend to go in these cycles. I wonder if our love for movies and books with psycho evil people doing themselves in just before the world blows up is one of those?

The insanity is becoming more shrill and the idiocy more blatant by the day now. It's that feeling of impending doom you wrote a very good thread about not long ago. Maybe the bad guys are on a runaway train in their own minds and will derail themselves.

I have a very frightened feeling of a powerful evil influence whose presence I felt a while back and tried to explain with that Evil Presence thread I started.It has not gone away, and remains with me now as I write. Very frightened that we are in for some real evil horror, as if we haven't seen enough already in a very short period of time.

Wish I could be more concrete or offer something more substantial than a very bad vibe. It is there though, that sense of Unusual forceful evil being present, and is most worrisome and dreaded by me.

When the sun is shining and I am with my grandchildren your hopeful views are what come to mind to me, but they leave quickly when I read the news and ponder things alone in the quiet. Something is very amiss, it is evil and obvious to some and hidden from most. I can say that because I know of another who has told me of experiencing the exact same phenomenon.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 27, 2013, 08:02:05 PM
I been reading that thread since you started it. I was one of the quiet ones lurking in the background. I didn't post because there really wasn't much I could think of to say that wasn't already being said. But I actually do know that feeling you describe. I suppose I could have replied to the thread to say at least that, and probably should have pitched in with some solidarity.

Herman Melville once wrote about the eternal thump that goes around and around and all we can do is stand and rub each other's shoulders in sympathy.

Since I am an optimist by nature, and a very stubborn one at that, I believe we'll be alright somehow. The evil is real, VERY REAL, but it sure looks like it's actually destroying itself right before our eyes. For every horror story, there are more stories demonstrating the absolutely jaw-dropping idiocy and delusional insanity of those psychos. Whatever supernatural evil force animates them found a real shitbox for a vehicle.

Just now, I was trying to find a video clip from that movie "The Mummy Returns" - the scene where the evil army of Anubis is racing towards the terrified Bedouin soldiers and- at the very, very last second, the evil army disintegrates into harmless black dust and the soldiers look up in amazement and cheer.

Maybe it'll be like that.

I remain hopeful. If I'm wrong, I'll either have plenty of time to cry about it in the gulag camp, or I'll be dead.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 08:34:18 PM
Quote
I remain hopeful. If I'm wrong, I'll either have plenty of time to cry about it in the gulag camp, or I'll be dead.

Your optimism is most refreshing. Let's hope we awake in the morning with some peace breakthrough in the Syria situation.

I am hitting the hay, brain dead from watching  a violent day in the markets with the Syria rumors in the background.

Great conversation on the forum this evening, Good Night Diners.


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 10:47:44 PM
Far as Syria goes, the big problem for NATO is contagion through the neighboring countries to Syria, not so much Syria itself.  Similar problem exists with Egypt.  If the Regime is not Kowtowing to NATO needs and demands, the problems spill over across the borders.

Obviously, the situation is spinning out of control in many places over there now, and NATO is trying to bring in enough Military Force to hold it together a while longer.  If you look at the Map, on a Geopolitical level far as War is concerned, Syria is VERY important because it sits on the Coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

(http://www.freeworldacademy.com/globalleader/images/n_africa_mid_east_pol_95.jpg)

If NATO is going to start Rolling Tanks manufactured in Germany into the neighborhood, to roll over Iraq and Iran, Syria provides the best beachhead to bring them in across multiple locations.  Israel is already under Siege, so controlling Syria is an important Insurance Policy.

From Syria, NATO can roll tanks toward Egypt and toward Iraq and Iran.  In the event the Ruskies decide to play this game, they want to control Syria to PREVENT it's use as a Military Beachhead for NATO.

This is not to say that the collapsing Economic system isn't a driver here and War provides a distractiion and excuse for oncoming problems, that is certainly true.  However, the real IMPORTANCE of Syria is in its Geographical Location from a Logistics level of having good Supply Lines to feed the War Machine.  NATO KNOWS they are going to WAR, so they are trying to gain control of this portion of Mediterranean Coastline to roll in the Heavy Equipment.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 03:45:55 AM
Caveat emptor. Possible disinfo.

U.S. Intercepted Calls From Syrian Army Discussing Chemical Attack


(http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18yd9r76ocek4jpg/ku-bigpic.jpg)
According to a report in Foreign Policy, U.S. intelligence agents intercepted "panicked" phone calls last Wednesday between officials at the Syrian Ministry of Defense and the leaders of a Syrian chemical weapons unit. The calls, along with visual evidence, are the principal reasons the Obama administration believes the Syrian government is responsible for last week's alleged chemical weapon assault against Syrian civilians. Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry called the alleged attacks a "moral obscenity" and President Obama ordered the release of a document justifying a military strike against Syria.

In the intercepted phone calls, one official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense reportedly demands answers from the chemical weapons unit's leader for the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed over 1,300 people last week. While the phone calls, if true, would prove that the Syrian government was responsible for the attacks, it would raise other questions, like was the attack intentionally ordered by Assad's government or was it work of a rogue Syrian officer?

From Foreign Policy:

Quote
"It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"


"We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."
What is known by American authorities is that the alleged chemical attack took place on August 21, though the U.S. still lacks hard evidence from the scene – soil samples, blood, etc. The United Nations is in the process of collecting such evidence, but the White House is debating whether or not to wait for the U.N.'s confirmation.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that a U.S. strike would be intended to "deter and degrade" Assad's forces, rather than removing Assad from power. The strikes reportedly would be "a far more limited unleashing of American military power than past air campaigns over Kosovo or Libya." From the Times:

Quote
A wide range of officials characterized the action under consideration as “limited,” perhaps lasting no more than one or two days. The attacks, which are expected to involve scores of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from American destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, would not be focused on chemical weapons storage sites, which would risk an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe and could open up the sites to raids by militants, officials said.

The strikes would instead be aimed at military units that have carried out chemical attacks, the headquarters overseeing the effort and the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks, according to the options being reviewed within the administration.
[Image via AP]
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 03:49:12 AM
Currently, officials in Washington are assessing their various options for an attack which would “probably last no more than two days and involve sea-launched cruise missiles — or, possibly, long-range bombers — striking military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.”

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/08/us-warships-poised-to-strike-syria-as.html (http://www.activistpost.com/2013/08/us-warships-poised-to-strike-syria-as.html)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: JoeP on August 28, 2013, 03:52:22 AM
Yes he has, which was my point. I felt that JoeP was watering down his participation by making it into a group effort, or I am just being kind to Republicans for future favors nonsense.  This is Obama's war like Iraq was Bush's.

Bush is an idiot. He cannot plan a war even an ill-conceived one like the war in Iraq. That war, like this possible one in Syria, is one that is largely orchestrated by powerful interest groups that operate in the background. It then becomes a question of figuring out who stands to benefit from such a conflict. Like the war in Iraq it is not the president who benefits (their reputations is likely to be tarnished) but other special interest groups in the background. In the case of Iraq you could say it was the US oil contractors (although that point is debatable) and pro-Isareli lobbies such as AIPAC that benefited from the conflict. The same is likely to be true if there is a war in Syria.

Yes Monsta, I get it. No one is ever responsible for their actions, and there is never any accountability.

"The bad guys behind the curtain made me do it."

"I was only obeying orders."

There is this group called the Illuminati that called me on the phone and said "attack Syria or else, we are running the show."

How convenient.

Just curious GO - what subjects do you think the Bilderberg folks discuss when they get together?  The weather?  Golf?  Fashion?
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 03:53:59 AM

A Victory For Humanity: The American People Have Not Been Brainwashed By Pro-War/Anti-Assad Propaganda

http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-victory-for-humanity-american-people.html (http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-victory-for-humanity-american-people.html)

(http://latuffcartoons.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/syrian-revolution.jpg?w=590&h=858)
Source: Latuff Cartoons.
"As Secretary of State John Kerry made the Obama administration’s most forceful statement yet on Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds just 9 percent of Americans supporting intervention in Syria, with about 60 percent opposed." - Joshua Keating, "Least Popular War Ever?" Slate, August 26, 2013.
A lot more needs to be said about the fact that the most powerful state media in the world, and in all of human history, has not been able to successfully indoctrinate its people in the mad push for an aggressive war against Syria.

For two years now the U.S. government and media have tried to sell the lie that Assad is killing his own people and that he is using chemical weapons, but hardly anyone in America is buying this lie. This speaks to the innate wisdom and intelligence of the American people.

The rest of the world should applaud the American people, even while their murderous and evil government rains down death on millions of innocent people from Libya to Yemen to Syria to Pakistan to who knows where else.

It is the diabolical rulers who are stupid and mentally ill, not the people. As Chris Floyd writes, "They are insane. They are stupid. They are enslaved to murderous power -- so they will kill."

The political and media elite in America have failed their people, their country, and themselves. Assad is an angel sent from God compared to these goons who weave cobwebs of lies and then expect everyone to fall for their obvious trap.

One of these characters says that Obama must "punish" Assad for his imaginary crimes, and that, get this, "hope" that it all turns out well in the end. Here is what he says:
History says don’t do it. Most Americans say don’t do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s homicidal regime with a military strike—and hope that history and the people are wrong.
Are you fucking kidding me? Is this the crap that gets published in the U.S. press?

Wars are not won on hope. And, second, if anyone deserves to be punished for war crimes and crimes against humanity, it is not Assad and the Syrian people, it is the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, France, and England, all of whom are openly financing, arming, and supporting Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria. And that is the God honest truth.

The U.S. press has failed its beautiful country and amazing people once again by using obvious lies to justify another aggressive, criminal, and monstrous war against an independent and sovereign nation that poses no threat to America's national security.

Truth smells like victory.
Smells like Victory (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdzoIHJBGt0#)
POSTED BY SAMAN MOHAMMADI AT 11:52 PM
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 28, 2013, 03:59:17 AM

A Victory For Humanity: The American People Have Not Been Brainwashed By Pro-War/Anti-Assad Propaganda

http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-victory-for-humanity-american-people.html (http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-victory-for-humanity-american-people.html)

(http://latuffcartoons.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/syrian-revolution.jpg?w=590&h=858)
Source: Latuff Cartoons.
"As Secretary of State John Kerry made the Obama administration’s most forceful statement yet on Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds just 9 percent of Americans supporting intervention in Syria, with about 60 percent opposed." - Joshua Keating, "Least Popular War Ever?" Slate, August 26, 2013.
A lot more needs to be said about the fact that the most powerful state media in the world, and in all of human history, has not been able to successfully indoctrinate its people in the mad push for an aggressive war against Syria.

For two years now the U.S. government and media have tried to sell the lie that Assad is killing his own people and that he is using chemical weapons, but hardly anyone in America is buying this lie. This speaks to the innate wisdom and intelligence of the American people.

The rest of the world should applaud the American people, even while their murderous and evil government rains down death on millions of innocent people from Libya to Yemen to Syria to Pakistan to who knows where else.

It is the diabolical rulers who are stupid and mentally ill, not the people. As Chris Floyd writes, "They are insane. They are stupid. They are enslaved to murderous power -- so they will kill."

The political and media elite in America have failed their people, their country, and themselves. Assad is an angel sent from God compared to these goons who weave cobwebs of lies and then expect everyone to fall for their obvious trap.

One of these characters says that Obama must "punish" Assad for his imaginary crimes, and that, get this, "hope" that it all turns out well in the end. Here is what he says:
History says don’t do it. Most Americans say don’t do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s homicidal regime with a military strike—and hope that history and the people are wrong.
Are you fucking kidding me? Is this the crap that gets published in the U.S. press?

Wars are not won on hope. And, second, if anyone deserves to be punished for war crimes and crimes against humanity, it is not Assad and the Syrian people, it is the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, France, and England, all of whom are openly financing, arming, and supporting Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria. And that is the God honest truth.

The U.S. press has failed its beautiful country and amazing people once again by using obvious lies to justify another aggressive, criminal, and monstrous war against an independent and sovereign nation that poses no threat to America's national security.

Truth smells like victory.
Smells like Victory (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdzoIHJBGt0#)
POSTED BY SAMAN MOHAMMADI AT 11:52 PM

Amazing how the voice of the American people is just ignored by our elected leaders.

And what ever happened to that law in the constitution that says only Congress can approve a war declaration, has that been flushed down the toilet with everything else.

Top notch posting Surly!       :exp-angry: :exp-angry:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 03:59:33 AM
The Dummies Guide To Understanding The Middle East
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-27/dummies-guide-understanding-middle-east (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-27/dummies-guide-understanding-middle-east)


Over the weekend we laid out the textual "short guide to the Middle East" (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-25/short-guide-middle-east), today we provide the graphic (visual) version of the dummies guide to the Middle East. Simple, right?

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/08-2/20130827_ME_0.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 28, 2013, 04:04:04 AM
Quote
Just curious GO - what subjects do you think the Bilderberg folks discuss when they get together?  The weather?  Golf?  Fashion?
Money, Money, and then Money, how to make tons of it and keep it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 04:04:56 AM
And if the "morality" of th decision doesn't make you pause, follow the money. Or what the money thinks.
Go to original to follow the many links.

The Market Has Spoken: A Syrian War Would Suck
Posted on August 27, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-market-has-spoken-a-syrian-war-would-suck.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-market-has-spoken-a-syrian-war-would-suck.html)

Will War Against Syria Trigger Another Recession?

A war against Syria would be the least popular war in American history.

The market doesn’t like it either, and has voted with its wallet.

The Dow, FTSE, Japanese, Canadian and other stock markets are way down on war drums
Crude oil is soaring to a 52-week high on war jitters
And gold – a safe haven asset during times of uncertainty and distrust in government – has skyrocketed 1 percent
This is not surprising. Top financial experts have long forecast war. But they say that war is bad for the economy.

Well-known economist Nouriel Roubini says that attacking Iran would lead to global recession. The IMF says that Iran cutting off oil supplies could raise crude prices 30%.

Everyone knows that Syria is just a stepping-stone to war with Iran.  Iran and Syria have had a mutual defense pact for years. So war in Syria could well drag Iran into a hot war.

Indeed, Barclays is already warning of the “spillover effects” of a Syrian war on other oil-producing countries.

Russia has repeatedly stated that it would consider an attack on Syria as an attack on its national security. (And Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that if the U.S. invades the sovereignty of countries like Syria, it could lead to nuclear war.   And see this.)

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on August 28, 2013, 04:13:19 AM
Currently, officials in Washington are assessing their various options for an attack which would “probably last no more than two days

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I am laughing so hard I am going to PUKE!

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 04:16:10 AM
22 Reasons Why Starting World War 3 Is A Really Bad Idea
Michael Snyder


While most of the country is obsessing over Miley Cyrus, the Obama administration is preparing a military attack against Syria which has the potential of starting World War 3.  In fact, it is being reported that cruise missile strikes could begin "as early as Thursday".  The Obama administration is pledging that the strikes will be "limited", but what happens when the Syrians fight back?  What happens if they sink a U.S. naval vessel or they have agents start hitting targets inside the United States?  Then we would have a full-blown war on our hands.  And what happens if the Syrians decide to retaliate by hitting Israel?

If Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv, Israel will be extremely tempted to absolutely flatten Damascus, and they are more than capable of doing precisely that.  And of course Hezbollah and Iran are not likely to just sit idly by as their close ally Syria is battered into oblivion.  We are looking at a scenario where the entire Middle East could be set aflame, and that might only be just the beginning.

Russia and China are sternly warning the U.S. government not to get involved in Syria, and by starting a war with Syria we will do an extraordinary amount of damage to our relationships with those two global superpowers.  Could this be the beginning of a chain of events that could eventually lead to a massive global conflict with Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other?  Of course it will not happen immediately, but I fear that what is happening now is setting the stage for some really bad things.  The following are 22 reasons why starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea...

#1 The American people are overwhelmingly against going to war with Syria...
Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria's government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

 

#2 At this point, a war in Syria is even more unpopular with the American people than Congress is.

#3 The Obama administration has not gotten approval to go to war with Syria from Congress as the U.S. Constitution requires.

#4 The United States does not have the approval of the United Nations to attack Syria and it is not going to be getting it.

#5 Syria has said that it will use "all means available" to defend itself if the United States attacks.  Would that include terror attacks in the United States itself?

#6 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made the following statement on Tuesday...
We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves
#7 Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria.  What do you think would happen if images of sinking U.S. naval vessels were to come flashing across our television screens?

#8 When the United States attacks Syria, there is a very good chance that Syria will attack Israel.  Just check out what one Syrian official said recently...
A member of the Syrian Ba'ath national council Halef al-Muftah, until recently the Syrian propaganda minister's aide, said on Monday that Damascus views Israel as "behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire" should Syria be attacked by the United States.
In an interview for the American radio station Sawa in Arabic, President Bashar Assad's fellow party member said: "We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel."
Al-Muftah stressed that the US's threats will not influence the Syrain regime and added that "If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area's security, but the world's."
#9 If Syria attacks Israel, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising that any attack will be responded to "forcefully"...
We are not a party to this civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt to attack us we will respond and we will respond forcefully.
#10 Hezbollah will likely do whatever it can to fight for the survival of the Assad regime.  That could include striking targets inside both the United States and Israel.

#11 Iran's closest ally is Syria.  Will Iran sit idly by as their closest ally is removed from the chessboard?

#12 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with Russia.  On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the West is acting like a "monkey with a hand grenade".

#13 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with China.  And what will happen if the Chinese decide to start dumping the massive amount of U.S. debt that it is holding?  Interest rates would absolutely skyrocket and we would rapidly be facing a nightmare scenario.

#14 Dr. Jerome Corsi and Walid Shoebat have compiled some startling evidence that it was actually the Syrian rebels that the U.S. is supporting that were responsible for the chemical weapons attack that is being used as justification to go to war with Syria...
With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.
You can examine the evidence for yourself right here.

#15 As Pat Buchanan recently noted, it would have made absolutely no sense for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons on defenseless women and children.  The only people who would benefit from such an attack would be the rebels...
The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?
To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad’s, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.
The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.
#16 If the Saudis really want to topple the Assad regime, they should do it themselves.  They should not expect the United States to do their dirty work for them.

#17 A former commander of U.S. Central Command has said that a U.S. attack on Syria would result in "a full-throated, very, very serious war".

#18 A war in the Middle East will be bad for the financial markets.  The Dow was down about 170 points today and concern about war with Syria was the primary reason.

#19 A war in the Middle East will cause the price of oil to go up.  On Tuesday, the price of U.S. oil rose to about $109 a barrel.

#20 There is no way in the world that the U.S. government should be backing the Syrian rebels.  As I discussed a few days ago, the rebels have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, they have beheaded numerous Christians and they have massacred entire Christian villages.  If the U.S. government helps these lunatics take power in Syria it will be a complete and utter disaster.

#21 A lot of innocent civilians inside Syria will end up getting killed.  Already, a lot of Syrians are expressing concern about what "foreign intervention" will mean for them and their families...
"I've always been a supporter of foreign intervention, but now that it seems like a reality, I've been worrying that my family could be hurt or killed," said one woman, Zaina, who opposes Assad. "I'm afraid of a military strike now."
"The big fear is that they'll make the same mistakes they made in Libya and Iraq," said Ziyad, a man in his 50s. "They'll hit civilian targets, and then they'll cry that it was by mistake, but we'll get killed in the thousands."
#22 If the U.S. government insists on going to war with Syria without the approval of the American people, the U.S. Congress or the United Nations, we are going to lose a lot of friends and a lot of credibility around the globe.  It truly is a sad day when Russia looks like "the good guys" and we look like "the bad guys".

What good could possibly come out of getting involved in Syria?  As I wrote about the other day, the "rebels" that Obama is backing are rabidly anti-Christian, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western.  If they take control of Syria, that nation will be far more unstable and far more of a hotbed for terrorism than it is now.

And the downside of getting involved in Syria is absolutely enormous.  Syria, Iran and Hezbollah all have agents inside this country, and if they decide to start blowing stuff up that will wake up the American people to the horror of war really quick.  And by attacking Syria, the United States could cause a major regional war to erupt in the Middle East which could eventually lead to World War 3.

I don't know about you, but I think that starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea.
Let us hope that cooler heads prevail before things spin totally out of control.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 04:19:20 AM
Currently, officials in Washington are assessing their various options for an attack which would “probably last no more than two days

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I am laughing so hard I am going to PUKE!

RE

Because one can always fully assess the implications of one's actions, because things always go according to plan and because, well, they are all, all honorable men.

Besides, a little death from above for two days means you can still keep the holiday weekend at the Vineyard.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 28, 2013, 04:23:34 AM
Currently, officials in Washington are assessing their various options for an attack which would “probably last no more than two days
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
I am laughing so hard I am going to PUKE!
I could see it happening...
We send cruise missiles into Syria...
Syria launches an attack against Israel
Israel retaliates
Iran attacks Israel
Israel nukes Iran
Russia nukes Israel
US nukes Russia
Russia nukes US

Wouldn't have to take more than 48 hours...  :icon_scratch:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Does Obama need Congress to approve Syria strike?
Post by: g on August 28, 2013, 04:43:30 AM

The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Decoder Wire
Does Obama need Congress to approve Syria strike?

Recent presidents have gotten permission from Congress or the UN Security Council before launching attacks. But on Syria, neither of those options looks feasible for President Obama.

 By Jennifer Skalka Tulumello, Correspondent   
posted August 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm EDT
Washington

As President Obama’s administration makes a case for military action in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own civilians, the discussion is prompting a key legal question: Does Mr. Obama have the authority to act without congressional approval or a UN Security Council resolution?

In England, Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament and asked for a government motion and vote on the appropriate British response.

But opinions are mixed about Obama’s need for similar backing. And the question is not only a legal one but also political. Legally, does Obama need congressional support? And politically, should he desire it?

Even though President George W. Bush’s administration ultimately had to defend the supporting evidence it produced – or misrepresented, depending on your view – to lobby for military action in Iraq, Congress did pass a war resolution in 2002 authorizing force.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush also asked for and received congressional backing for the Gulf War waged on his watch. The UN Security Council passed a resolution as well, requiring Iraq to destroy its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons arsenal and pay war reparations to Kuwait.

But the UN Security Council does not appear to be a viable avenue for the Obama administration as it considers how to move on Syria. The Russians, fellow members, have pledged to veto anything considered by the UN. Their comparisons between Obama and his predecessor, often deemed the cowboy diplomat by his opponents, are rampant.

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“Obama is restlessly heading towards war in Syria like Bush was heading towards war in Iraq,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian lower house’s international committee, said on Twitter. “Like in Iraq, this war would be illegitimate and Obama will become Bush’s clone.”

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, added his voice to the mix: "The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law.”

Of course, the Constitution provides Congress with the power to declare war. But the Obama administration would likely argue it’s not proposing war, just, potentially, a missile strike that would represent a slap to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and caution that there’s more where that came from. An effort to dislodge him, but not a full commitment of troops, money, and time.

But some lawyers see danger signs in Obama’s push for strikes against Syria. Obama is advocating an “imperial presidential model,” says Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

“We speak of United Nations support but we continue to act unilaterally in making war on those countries who do not yield to our demands,” Professor Turley says. “The talk of unilateral military action reaffirms the view that the United States only acts within international rules when it suits our objectives.”

Congress is out of session this month, and given the seemingly irreparable fissure between the GOP-controlled House of Representatives and the White House, it’s unclear, if probably also unlikely, that the executive branch and lawmakers could reach consensus on how to proceed in Syria. At least not in a timely fashion.

Congressional approval would give Obama political cover, but it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

“Legally the president is on very firm ground if he seeks congressional authorization,” says Wells Bennett, a national security law fellow at Brookings. “The question then becomes is that doable as a political matter.”

With the situation in Syria fluid, what then might Obama use as backing?

Mr. Bennett says the president’s powers to act independently loosely encompass several areas: national security, national interest in providing for regional stability, and protection of US property or persons. A claim of self-defense, another possible support for executive action, isn’t evident in this situation.

More likely, where Syria is concerned, the administration is clearly considering the humanitarian principles involved and the tenuous balance that seems to be slipping away in this fraught region. With this rationale, the administration might reasonably make the claim that action is “morally and strategically justified,” Bennett says.

He also says the most likely, though by no means perfect, historic parallel is the 1999 NATO air campaign in Kosovo. Then, as now, civilians were involved in atrocities perpetrated by the government in power. Russia had ties, too, to Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, so President Clinton was unable to secure a UN resolution. Instead, he used NATO backing as endorsement for US air strikes.

Kosovo was a serious humanitarian crisis requiring expedited action; the Obama administration is making a similar claim for Syria.

“The trouble is that the legality of the Kosovo action was and remains acutely controversial, too – domestically, because the president acted alone, without a self-evident basis for doing so and without announcing his legal rationale publicly,” Bennett says, “and internationally, because (again) the Security Council did not sign off and no self-defense claim was implicated there, either. So Clinton’s actions were certainly controversial legally, then as now.”

Much as Obama’s are bound to be when, and if, he moves forward. The president likes to echo his predecessor, President Harry Truman, in stipulating that the buck stops with him. In the case of the Syria firestorm and US reaction to it, that couldn’t be more true.

 http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2013/0827/Does-Obama-need-Congress-to-approve-Syria-strike (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2013/0827/Does-Obama-need-Congress-to-approve-Syria-strike)  :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Does Obama need Congress to approve Syria strike?
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 06:36:27 AM

//
Congressional approval would give Obama political cover, but it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

“Legally the president is on very firm ground if he seeks congressional authorization,” says Wells Bennett, a national security law fellow at Brookings. “The question then becomes is that doable as a political matter.”

With the situation in Syria fluid, what then might Obama use as backing?

Mr. Bennett says the president’s powers to act independently loosely encompass several areas: national security, national interest in providing for regional stability, and protection of US property or persons. A claim of self-defense, another possible support for executive action, isn’t evident in this situation.

More likely, where Syria is concerned, the administration is clearly considering the humanitarian principles involved and the tenuous balance that seems to be slipping away in this fraught region. With this rationale, the administration might reasonably make the claim that action is “morally and strategically justified,” Bennett says.

He also says the most likely, though by no means perfect, historic parallel is the 1999 NATO air campaign in Kosovo. Then, as now, civilians were involved in atrocities perpetrated by the government in power. Russia had ties, too, to Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, so President Clinton was unable to secure a UN resolution. Instead, he used NATO backing as endorsement for US air strikes.

Kosovo was a serious humanitarian crisis requiring expedited action; the Obama administration is making a similar claim for Syria.

“The trouble is that the legality of the Kosovo action was and remains acutely controversial, too – domestically, because the president acted alone, without a self-evident basis for doing so and without announcing his legal rationale publicly,” Bennett says, “and internationally, because (again) the Security Council did not sign off and no self-defense claim was implicated there, either. So Clinton’s actions were certainly controversial legally, then as now.”

Much as Obama’s are bound to be when, and if, he moves forward. The president likes to echo his predecessor, President Harry Truman, in stipulating that the buck stops with him. In the case of the Syria firestorm and US reaction to it, that couldn’t be more true.


"Considering the humanitarian principles involved." That's pretty funny.

The political sideshow ought to be interesting, as the Tea Party-birther contingent who oppose everything proposed by the Kenyan Userper, and who decry the Nuclear-Mafia-owned dems as soft on everything, twist themselves into knots to find a way to oppose this.

I foresee some very strange bedfellows.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Does Obama need Congress to approve Syria strike?
Post by: g on August 28, 2013, 06:45:09 AM

//
Congressional approval would give Obama political cover, but it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

“Legally the president is on very firm ground if he seeks congressional authorization,” says Wells Bennett, a national security law fellow at Brookings. “The question then becomes is that doable as a political matter.”

With the situation in Syria fluid, what then might Obama use as backing?

Mr. Bennett says the president’s powers to act independently loosely encompass several areas: national security, national interest in providing for regional stability, and protection of US property or persons. A claim of self-defense, another possible support for executive action, isn’t evident in this situation.

More likely, where Syria is concerned, the administration is clearly considering the humanitarian principles involved and the tenuous balance that seems to be slipping away in this fraught region. With this rationale, the administration might reasonably make the claim that action is “morally and strategically justified,” Bennett says.

He also says the most likely, though by no means perfect, historic parallel is the 1999 NATO air campaign in Kosovo. Then, as now, civilians were involved in atrocities perpetrated by the government in power. Russia had ties, too, to Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, so President Clinton was unable to secure a UN resolution. Instead, he used NATO backing as endorsement for US air strikes.

Kosovo was a serious humanitarian crisis requiring expedited action; the Obama administration is making a similar claim for Syria.

“The trouble is that the legality of the Kosovo action was and remains acutely controversial, too – domestically, because the president acted alone, without a self-evident basis for doing so and without announcing his legal rationale publicly,” Bennett says, “and internationally, because (again) the Security Council did not sign off and no self-defense claim was implicated there, either. So Clinton’s actions were certainly controversial legally, then as now.”

Much as Obama’s are bound to be when, and if, he moves forward. The president likes to echo his predecessor, President Harry Truman, in stipulating that the buck stops with him. In the case of the Syria firestorm and US reaction to it, that couldn’t be more true.


"Considering the humanitarian principles involved." That's pretty funny.

The political sideshow ought to be interesting, as the Tea Party-birther contingent who oppose everything proposed by the Kenyan Userper, and who decry the Nuclear-Mafia-owned dems as soft on everything, twist themselves into knots to find a way to oppose this.

I foresee some very strange bedfellows.

It's a total mess Surly, with so many variables and possible outcomes as to be incomprehensible.

My own guide to it all is the old quote " Think the worse, you won't be disappointed.  :'(
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 06:51:12 AM
If the signatories to the letter described below came out in favor of sunlight, I would become wholly nocturnal. But that's another matter. Another cabal of so-called "intellectuals," none of whose sons or daughters will ever find themselves in harm's way.

Time to shine a light on these bastards, and shame them relentlessly.

As if they could know shame...



The Neocon March on Damascus


Jacob Heilbrunn

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/jacob-heilbrunn/the-march-damascus-iraq-20-8968 (http://nationalinterest.org/blog/jacob-heilbrunn/the-march-damascus-iraq-20-8968)
|
August 27, 2013

(http://nationalinterest.org/files/imagecache/resize-340/images/soldiers_marching_forward_pd_82713.jpg)

Here we go again. As Americans prepare to march on Washington, Washington is preparing to march on Damascus. As part of the buildup to war, a chorus of liberal hawks and neoconservatives has issued a new manifesto in—where else?—the Weekly Standard calling upon President Obama to engage in regime change in Syria. Just as they demanded military action to topple Saddam Hussein, so they now are insisting upon the removal of Bashar al-Assad.

Yet if anything might be calculated to give Obama pause before he embarks upon a bombing campaign, it should be this truculent letter, whose signatories include Fouad Ajami, Elliott Abrams, Paul Berman, Eliot A. Cohen, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Bernard-Henri Levy, Tim Palwenty, James Traub, Eric Edelman, Karl Rove, Dan Senor, Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier. (At Politico, Dylan Byers astutely notes that the presence of Wieseltier and Peretz should come as no surprise because, "Wieseltier et al. aren't emissaries from the 'new' New Republic, they're stalwarts of the Old Republic. Wieseltier served on the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and Peretz led the magazine's call for military intervention there (he still thinks it was a good idea)." So there you go. The very same crew, by and large, that declared that Iraq could be transformed into a blossoming democracy in 2003. Now it wants to duplicate its roaring success.

Well, not exactly. For one thing, the letter never mentions the term "democracy." So it isn't fair to say that the signatories have remained totally immune to the cataclysmic events they triggered in 2003. Instead, their missive suggests that the "world—including Iran, North Korea, and other potential aggressors who seek or possess weapons of mass destruction—is now watching to see how you respond." It further suggests "direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime." And it minutes that America should "train, and arm moderate elements of Syria's armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country."

These are lofty goals. Obama, for a variety of reasons, including his notorious "red line" statement, is in something of a pickle of his own making, and probably has little choice but respond to Assad's defiance. But given the tangled nature of the ethnic and religious conflicts in Syria, the confidence of what the Weekly Standard deems "experts"—the same kind of experts who got America into Vietnam, incidentally, and whom Daniel Patrick Moynihan more colorfully and accurately dubbed "warrior intellectuals"—exude in this letter may perhaps stir some lingering doubts about the efficacy of their prescriptions, particularly when considering that the last ministrations they offered essentially left their most recent patient—Iraq—in a state of prostration and life support for almost a decade. But the anfractuosities of Islam and nationalism have never particularly seemed to worry these experts whose faith in their expertise, you could say, remains pretty unruffled, at least if this letter is anything to go by.

If democracy is no longer their lodestar—or if they are too cautious to proclaim it openly—then what is left? The remnants of their doctrine reside in the raw exercise of American power. Both the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the paper's columnist Bret Stephens make it crystal clear that the chemical weapons attacks perpetrated by Assad and his goons simply form a convenient casus belli for a wider engagement. The Journal says, "The real problem isn't the chemical weapons. It is the leader who has used them, Bashar Assad." Scarcely to be outdone, Stephens writes, "What's at stake now is the future of civilization, and whether the word still has any meaning." The Assads, he says, should be polished off, the consequences for their behavior "inescapably fatal." Condign punishment, in other words, is in order.

Well. It is certainly true that the Middle East would be a better place without the Assads. Or would it? The old order represented by the wily Hafez al-Assad, who would have been mortified by the bungling of his children, is crumbling. But the vexed problem in Syria is that no one—not the Obama administration, not the neocon and liberal-hawk "experts"—really knows what would ensue were America successfully to overthrow the regime. The bellicose rantings of Stephens are redolent of Orwell's remark that intellectuals like to fancy themselves with the "whip-hand" on history, meting out punishment to the guilty and setting wrong aright. The road to Damascus could indeed prove a revelation to America's foreign-policy intellectuals, but not necessarily one that would prove a very pleasant experience.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Is Our Leadership About To Commit Treason?
Post by: g on August 28, 2013, 08:28:46 AM
A view on the Syria situation from Karl Denninger  :icon_study:

Is Our Leadership About To Commit Treason?
 

As The Independent says this morning:

    If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.

    ....

    The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

This morning I saw John Mc(****)Stain on CNBS trying to justify what appears to be a now-inevitable attack on Syria's government.

There are several problems with this, far beyond what The Independent lays forth -- although that's enough standing alone.

The biggest problem is that while I'm quite-convinced that someone used chemical weapons in Syria I am not convinced and it certainly has not been proved that it was the Syrian Government that did so.

Never mind all the connections that appear to be present between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaida, the "rebels" in Syria and the botched operation in Benghazi, among others.

Many people throw around the word "Treason" with wild abandon, but it in fact has a rather-precise definition.  Treason is the act of waging war against one's own nation or consciously and purposefully aiding its enemies in a time of war.

Specifically:

    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

If this attack goes forward then I believe there is a clean argument that McCain, Obama and every other member of the Congress and military who willingly and knowingly participates or permits, with the ability to refuse or stop said attack, has committed this crime.

Al-Qaida is a declared enemy of the United States.  This is not a matter of speculation, it is by their own name, hand and actions, including the attacks of 9/11 and those that both preceded and followed that event.

It is that specific threat that has led both President Bush and Obama to extend the formal state of emergency that has existed since 9/11 and which extends to this day.  Absent that justification the declared state of emergency is unconstitutional and by itself a violation of the oath of office and would constitute levying war on the citizens of this nation.

I believe a clean case can be made that arming these "rebels", along with what was going on in Benghazi, has already crossed that line.

But attacking the Syrian Government, irrespective of the justification, would absolutely constitute providing material aid and comfort to the militants who are known to be Al-Qaida affiliated.

If, as I suspect, it turns out that it was the Al-Qaida-linked rebels who actually used the chemical weapons then we will have joined a war on the side of Al-Qaida after they used chemical munitions!

But what if I'm wrong about that?  What if Syria's government used the chemical weapons instead?

Then we're still providing material aid and comfort to a declared enemy of the United States.

This one can't be justified folks, no matter which way the facts on the ground fall.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=223932 (http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=223932)  :icon_study: :icon_scratch: :-\
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 03:12:44 AM
Russian warships 'to set sail for Syria'
Navy official says amphibious ships preparing to sail for Tartus to protect Russian nationals and possibly evacuate equipment

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/18/russian-navy-sail-syria-tartus (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/18/russian-navy-sail-syria-tartus)

Associated Press in Moscow
theguardian.com, Monday 18 June 2012 09.34 EDT

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has opposed any use of western force in Syria. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images
Two Russian warships are completing preparations to sail to Syria with a unit of marines, on a mission to protect Russian citizens and the nation's base there, according to a news report.

The deployment appears to reflect Moscow's growing concern about the future of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified Russian navy official as saying two amphibious landing vessels, Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov, would be heading shortly to the Syrian port of Tartus, but gave no precise date.

The official said the ships would carry an unspecified number of marines to protect Russians in Syria and evacuate some equipment from Tartus if necessary.

Interfax said each of the ships was capable of carrying 150 marines and a dozen tanks. It quoted a deputy Russian air force chief as saying Russia would give the necessary protection to its citizens in Syria.

"We must protect our citizens," Major-General Vladimir Gradusov told Interfax. "We won't abandon the Russians and [we will] evacuate them from the conflict zone if necessary."

Asked whether the air force would provide air support for the navy squadron, Gradusov said they would act on orders. The defence ministry had no immediate comment, and an official at the Russian Black Sea fleet declined to comment.

Tartus is Russia's only naval base outside the former Soviet Union. It serves Russian navy ships on missions to the Mediterranean, and hosts an unspecified number of military personnel. Russia also has an unspecified number of military advisers teaching Syrians how to use Russian weapons, which make up the bulk of Syria's arsenal.

Syria is Moscow's last remaining ally in the Middle East, and has been a major customer of the Soviet and Russian weapons industries for the last four decades, acquiring billions of pounds worth of combat jets, helicopters, missiles, armoured vehicles and other military gear.

Russia has shielded Assad's regime from international sanctions over its violent crackdown on protests. Moscow has continued to provide Syria with arms despite western calls for a halt in supplies.

Opposition groups say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011 with mostly peaceful protests against Assad's autocratic regime. But a ferocious government crackdown led many to take up arms, and the conflict is now an armed insurgency.

Russia has criticised Assad for slow reforms and heavy-handed use of force, but has strongly opposed any sanctions or foreign interference in Syrian affairs.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 03:16:01 AM
Barack Obama: no final decision on Syria air strikes
President warns Assad regime of 'international consequences', but insists he has no interest in open-ended conflict
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/syria-crisis-un-strike-sanction-civilians (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/syria-crisis-un-strike-sanction-civilians)


Paul Lewis in Washington
The Guardian, Wednesday 28 August 2013

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2013/8/28/1377704082328/Syrian-refugees-010.jpg)

Syrian refugees at a temporary camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Farour. Photograph: Bilal Hussein/AP
Barack Obama says that no decision has been taken on an air strike on Syria, but warns the Assad regime its actions have 'international consequences'.

"If in fact we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime will have received a pretty strong signal that in fact it had better not do it again," the US president told PBS.

"We are consulting with our allies. We're consulting with the international community. I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable."

Legal experts have said that the United States and its allies are unlikely to build a clear case under international law for a military strike, and may instead make novel arguments about chemical weapons prohibitions.

Britain's resolution to the UN security council condemns the alleged chemical attack last week and calls for the authorisation of "necessary measures to protect civilians" in the country.

However, Russia, which has a veto on the council, is expected to oppose any military action against Syria. Western powers will therefore need to find another basis – outside a security council resolution – to justify a strike against Syria.

The only other universally agreed basis for military action under international law is self-defence. The US would find it hard to argue that the Syrian conflict poses an imminent national security threat.

In Geneva, the UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said on Thursday that while inspectors had uncovered some evidence of a chemical attack, "internat­ional law says that any US-led military action must be taken after" agreement at the 15-nation security council.

"At this point the weight of international opinion would be that military action would not be legal," said Ian Johnstone, a professor of international law at Tufts University. "However, I do think that there could be a case where violation of the law would be excused on the grounds of humanitarian necessity."

Barry Pavel, a former director on the national security council under the Bush and Obama administrations, said without UN or even Nato support, the US and its allies would seek to justify a strike on "policy, political, moral and legal grounds".

US, British and French political leaders have so far described the expected assault on Syria as a form of punishment or deterrence over its purported use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus, which resulted in hundreds of deaths.

Lord Goldsmith, the British attorney general at the time of the Iraq war, said military action would be legal without a UNSC resolution "if it was necessary in order to avert a very serious humanitarian crisis".

He told BBC2's Newsnight: "We don't quite know enough about that. We're not sure, for example, whether or not the chemical weapons attack which took place was in fact by Assad's regime."

Goldsmith said he would be uneasy if it was not clear that was the only purpose of military intervention. He added: "I think the only thing that would be justifiable would be action that was no more than was necessary in order to prevent a further attack by chemical weapons. Not punishment, not reprisals, but in order to stop that happening again."

He added that the west did not need to rely on UN inspectors to determine whether a chemical attack had taken place because there were "other ways to check that out".

The US navy has four destroyer ships in the region equipped with cruise missiles, while the British navy also has a ship and probably submarines in the eastern Mediterranean sea. Some analysts are predicting that the US will also deploy long-range B2 bombers.

The White House has signalled that it will soon release a declassified intelligence assessment, directly linking the chemical weapons attack that claimed hundreds of lives in Damascus last week to the Assad regime. The US and its allies say there is little if any doubt that Assad's forces were behind the attack, but Syria strongly denies involvement, blaming rebel groups.

Reports from Germany and the US overnight suggest that the evidence centres around an intercepted communication, linking the attack to a special Syrian unit that oversees the army's chemical weapons. The reports, in the Wall Street Journal and a German magazine, Focus, suggested that the intercepted call was obtained by Israeli intelligence and passed to the CIA.

The Republican chairman of the US House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers, said he had been briefed on US government intelligence about Syria's involvement in the chemical attack. "I believe that evidence exists that is convincing, if not compelling, that the government of Syria was involved in launching those attacks," Rogers told Reuters. "I do not believe that it was a single source person deciding to do it. I believe it came from the [Syrian] administration."

Meanwhile, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon urged more time for diplomacy. In Geneva, the UN's special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, confirmed that some kind of "substance" was used in Syria that may have killed more than 1,000 people but insisted that the US would require security-council approval before launching military strikes.

Brahimi did not say whether the information came directly from UN inspectors, who began their second full day of inspections on Wednesday. The Syrian government blocked the team of weapons inspectors for five days. Their work was delayed by security concerns after the convoy of vehicles carrying the scientists came under sniper fire.

Ban Ki-moon said the UN inspectors needed four more days to complete their work. However, the White House said on Tuesday it believed the work of the inspection team was "redundant" because it had already been established that chemical weapons were used by Syria on a large scale.

The Arab League has tacitly backed that assertion, blaming the use of chemical weapons on Syria, but stopped short of providing the US with much needed regional support for punitive military strikes. Jordan said it would not be used as a launching pad for attacks on Syria. The announcement came amid concern that Iran may see through its threats to retaliate against Israel.

An unnamed senior Syrian army officer told the Iranian news agency Fars: "If Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria's neighbours."

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the country was "prepared for every scenario". The Associated Press said reservists had been called up.

Barry Pavel, a former senior director for defence policy and strategy on the US National Security Council staff, said officials would be frequently revising a list of potential targets, seeking to avoid chemical weapons sites, which, if struck, could leak chemical agents. "It looks likely we'll go after air defence radars, air force bases and aircraft, ground force units," he said. "And there would be some targets I imagine that include military command and control facilities."

He said US military commanders would also want to steer clear of civilian areas. "That said, there will be civilian casualties. Things go wrong," he said. "Targets that are not on the target list will get hit as happened in 1999, in Belgrade, with the Chinese embassy."

An advocate of military action, Pavel said it was necessary to make the "cost-benefit analysis" of the lives that might be saved by punishing Assad.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 03:31:45 AM
Descending Into Chaos: Gearing up for an Imminent invasion of Syria, an Act which Could Ignite World War III.

By Dr. Ismail Salami
Global Research, August 29, 2013

http://www.globalresearch.ca/descending-into-chaos-gearing-up-for-an-imminent-invasion-of-syria-an-act-which-could-ignite-world-war-iii/5347338 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/descending-into-chaos-gearing-up-for-an-imminent-invasion-of-syria-an-act-which-could-ignite-world-war-iii/5347338)
 

The West is apparently gearing up for an imminent invasion of Syria, an act which can ignite World War III. 

 Washington hawks have already warned of a strike as early as Thursday. Senior US officials told NBC News on Tuesday that Washington could “hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than to topple him or cripple his military.”

 The idea of attacking Syria was initiated and augmented by the US State Department when it announced that it was already “crystal clear” that Assad’s government was responsible for using “chemical weapons against rebels Aug. 21 near Damascus.”

While the US-friendly intelligence community has not yet confirmed the veracity of such a claim and despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence to substantiate this idea, the US and the UK have unanimously voiced their readiness to launch their military strike against the middle Eastern country.

Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal al-Miqdad said on Wednesday that the United States, Britain and France helped militants in Syria to use chemical weapons, warning that the same groups would soon use chemical weapons against Europe.

“We repeat that the terrorist groups are the ones that used (chemical weapons) with the help of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and this has to stop,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

 ”This means these chemical weapons will soon be used by the same groups against the people of Europe,” he added.

He also said he had presented UN chemical weapons inspectors with evidence proving that “armed terrorist groups” were behind deadly chemical attacks near Damascus last week.

 Further to that, the claim that Syria used chemical weapons runs counter to what UN diplomat Carla del Ponte said earlier regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria in April. She announced that the recent chemical weapons attack in April was conducted by the Syrian rebels and not the regime, as it had been widely assumed. Speaking to a Swiss television channel, del Ponte said that there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels had carried out the attack. Also, she stated that UN investigators had no evidence that the Syrian army might have used chemical weapons, but that further investigation was needed.

The vociferous cry for war comes from the US and the UK which are already responsible for the myriad deaths that resulted in the ravaging wars they waged in Afghanistan and Iraq under similar pretexts. Besides, it is quite farcical to hear claims to humanitarian concerns from those who themselves thrive on evil and contribute financially and militarily to the emergence of chaos in the Middle East and North Africa and the rest of the world.

US Vice President Joe Biden has openly and blatantly lied to an American Legion audience in Houston: “Chemical weapons have been used.”

 ”No one doubts that innocent men, women and children have been the victims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and there’s no doubt who’s responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in Syria: the Syrian regime,” Biden said.

With a firm resolve, the US has decided to punish the Syrian government for a crime it has not committed, that is, gassing his own civilians while at the same time, the selfsame government paradoxically extended a generous hand to Saddam Hussain in using chemical weapons against the Iranian combatants and civilians during the Iran-Iraq war.  Apart from facilitating the supplies of chemical weapons to a despotic regime, the US government tacitly approved the use of such lethal weapons against the Iranian population.

A recent Foreign Policy article suggests that in 1988, Washington learned through “satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.”

 Quite naturally, the US officials chose to stay in a state of denial during all these years, condescending to hear a word of complaint from Iran which they have always looked upon as a source of their agony in the region, insisting that Saddam Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

“The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew,” he told Foreign Policy.

According to reports, the use of chemical weapons by Iraq has incurred over 100,000 casualties on the Iranian side, with many others dying as a result of the chemicals on a daily basis. Around 20,000 soldiers were killed instantly by nerve gas.

Is there now a volte-face in Washington’s behavior towards others?

Paradox after paradox.

Paradoxes abound in US foreign policy and the hypocrisy the US officials exhibit in tackling every issue in a manner most pleasing to them leaves no room for doubt that their call for action is a far cry from humanitarian concerns for Syria or the Syrian people. The agenda they follow in the Middle East is clear and one suffices to bear in mind that their plan to strike Syria is yet another part of their grand-scale modus operandi in the region.

Indeed it is extremely excruciating to have to see that the West does not seem to have learned from the past and that it still views the Muslim world as a non-western ‘Other’ in need of political tutelage and parental protection.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 03:54:57 AM
U.S. Admits It Has No Idea WHO Carried Out Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack
Posted on August 29, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
One Rogue, Low-Level Officer Could Have Carried Out Attack

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/u-s-admits-it-has-no-idea-who-carried-out-syrian-chemical-weapons-attack.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/u-s-admits-it-has-no-idea-who-carried-out-syrian-chemical-weapons-attack.html)

Even though the U.S. government claims that the Syrian government is the perpetrator of the chemical weapons attack, it admits that it has no idea who in the government ordered the attack. It could have been a rogue, low-level military officer.

Foreign Policy reports:

With the United States barreling toward a strike on Syria, U.S. officials say they are completely certain that Bashar al-Assad’s government is responsible for last week’s chemical weapons attack. They just don’t know who in the Syrian government is to blame.

On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf admitted as much. “The commander-in-chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership, even if … he’s not the one that pushes the button or said, ‘Go,’ on this,” Harf said. “I don’t know what the facts are here ….”

On Tuesday, The Cable reported that U.S. officials are basing their assessment that the Assad regime bears responsibility for the strike largely on an intercepted phone call between a panicked Ministry of Defense official and a commander of a Syrian chemical weapons unit. But that intelligence does not resolve the question of who in the government ordered the strike ….

***

Because of that lack of clarity, Harf took a beating on Wednesday. In a testy exchange during her daily briefing, Harf very nearly admitted that it makes no difference who in the Syrian government ordered the attack, a reflection of the lack of certainty that still shrouds U.S. understanding of the chemical attack that may have left as many as 1,000 people dead.

In effect, Harf was left arguing that because no one else could have carried out the attack, it must have been the Syrian government. “The world doesn’t need a classified U.S. intelligence assessment to see the photos and the videos of these people and to know that the only possible entity in Syria that could do this to their own people is the regime,” she said.

Given that U.N. inspectors with a mandate to investigate chemical weapons use were on the ground when the attack happened, the decision to deploy what appears to have been a nerve agent in a suburb east of Damascus has puzzled many observers. Why would Syria do such a thing when it is fully aware that the mass use of chemical weapons is the one thing that might require the United States to take military action against it? That’s a question U.S. intelligence analysts are puzzling over as well. “We don’t know exactly why it happened,” the intelligence official said. “We just know it was pretty fucking stupid.”

Pressed on whether the United States would still consider itself justified in launching a punitive strike if the chemical weapons were deployed by a “rogue officer,” Harf said, “yes,” before quickly adding a caveat: “But that’s also a wildly conjecturous question.”

Given that American, British and other Western soldiers have pleaded guilty to massacring civilians and committing war crimes, should we condemn the entire Syrian regime if it turns out to be a crime carried out by one rogue officer?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 29, 2013, 04:12:14 AM
One Hundred Thousand are dead before the gas attack. What is so special about death by gas as oppose to death by bullets, bombs, or grenades.

What is all this bull shit?  Where are the people with more than half a brain hiding??   :icon_scratch: :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :exp-angry:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: monsta666 on August 29, 2013, 07:04:39 AM
One Hundred Thousand are dead before the gas attack. What is so special about death by gas as oppose to death by bullets, bombs, or grenades.

What is all this bull shit?  Where are the people with more than half a brain hiding??   :icon_scratch: :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :exp-angry:

Well chemical weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction so from a international legal perspective the situation changes noticeably as the use and production of such weapons must comply with various set of conventions and treaties. I suppose you could file this under following the laws blindly when they make little sense but then  taking a cynical stance against such conventions/treaties you can easily see why there are strong political pressure to limit weapons of this nature and these reasons are not often made for altruistic reasons. Does the US/Russia/China want this country to have a WMD is it in their interest for them to have it? Who benefits from the status quo and who benefits if the status quo is broken?

Going further, even if we dispute the WMD moniker given to these weapons you must see this form of attack as an escalation of violence. If chemical weapons are allowed to be deployed more frequently without consequence from the international community then this method of killing will become more frequent more systematic and if that happens, you are really walking into the realms of genocide. This leads to the next question which is when does bloodshed get classed into acts of genocide? Difficult one to draw the line exactly and I suppose it is easy to have genocide occurring even without chemical weapons (it happened in Rwanda) but the fact remains that if no action of any kind is taken then you undermine not only the legitimacy of various international organisations such as the UN but the argument often made in the West about placing great value in justice and good morals is weakened considerably. If I talk and make a show about justice and caring for one another but then watch a close friend of yours get attacked and do nothing (not even report to the police) my arguments about morality and doing the right thing must be questioned. This scenario gets undermined even further if it is found later on I provided training or weapons to the perpetrators in question or received some kind of reward for maintaining the 'peace'.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 29, 2013, 07:48:49 AM
What I don't get, is how this Administration which is hell-bent on crushing any whistleblower, declassified material pointing to CIA involvement in gassing Iranians in the 80's? At the same time they are preparing for war, over the use of nerve gas, supposedly by Assad, but maybe by some rogue element in the Syrian government, or more likely by jihadists in the camp of the rebels, who have every motive and plenty of funding from the West.

The MSM simply parrots what the gov says. The one question that cannot be asked is, did the rebels do it, to draw down the war dogs of America? Even to ask the question, if you are in the MSM, would probably lead to you not being in the MSM anymore, ie out of a job. I suppose this is why they call it the fog of war: the government tells outrageous lies, which the media report as if it were gospel, while anyone who attempts to get at the truth is marginalized, harried and/or incarcerated.

There is a feeling of inevitability about all this, as if some great beast leviathan is muddling it's way toward it's inevitable death, but not before attempting to lay waste to everything opposing it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 08:57:48 AM
What The Assault On Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria
To stop attack on Syria, we must support whistleblowers.
http://www.alternet.org/activism/what-assault-whistleblowers-has-do-war-syria?paging=off (http://www.alternet.org/activism/what-assault-whistleblowers-has-do-war-syria?paging=off)
August 28, 2013  |  By Norman Solomon

 (http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_943447.jpg)

Without whistleblowers, the mainline media outlets are more transfixed than ever with telling the official story. And at a time like this, the official story is all about spinning for war on Syria.

Every president who wants to launch another war can’t abide whistleblowers. They might interfere with the careful omissions, distortions and outright lies of war propaganda, which requires that truth be held in a kind of preventative detention.

By mid-week, media adrenalin was at fever pitch as news reports cited high-level sources explaining when the U.S. missile attacks on Syria were likely to begin, how long they might last, what their goals would be. But what about other (potential) sources who have documents and other information that contradict the official story?

It’s never easy for whistleblowers to take the risk of exposing secret realities. At times like these, it’s especially difficult -- and especially vital -- for whistleblowers to take the chance.

When independent journalist I.F. Stone said “All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed,” he was warning against the automatic acceptance of any government claim. That warning becomes most crucial when a launch of war is imminent. That’s when, more than ever, we need whistleblowers who can leak information that refutes the official line.

There has been a pernicious method to the madness of the Obama administration’s double-barreled assault on whistleblowers and journalism. Committed to a state of ongoing war, Obama has overseen more prosecutions of whistleblowers than all other presidents combined -- while also subjecting journalists to ramped-up surveillance and threats, whether grabbing the call records of 20 telephone lines of The Associated Press or pushing to imprison New York Times reporter James Risen for not revealing a source.

The vengeful treatment of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, the all-out effort to grab Edward Snowden and less-publicized prosecutions such as the vendetta against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake are all part of a government strategy that aims to shut down unauthorized pipelines of information to journalists -- and therefore to the public. When secret information is blocked, what’s left is the official story, pulling out all the stops for war.

From the false Tonkin Gulf narrative in 1964 that boosted the Vietnam War to the fabricated baby-incubators-in-Kuwait tale in 1990 that helped launch the Gulf War to the reports of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction early in this century, countless deaths and unfathomable suffering have resulted from the failure of potential whistleblowers to step forward in a timely and forthright way -- and the failure of journalists to challenge falsehoods in high government places.

There are no “good old days” to point to, no eras when an abundance of whistleblowers and gutsy reporters thoroughly alerted the public and subdued the power of Washington’s war-makers. But we’re now living in a notably -- and tragically -- fearful era. Potential whistleblowers have more reason to be frightened than ever, and mainline journalists rarely seem willing to challenge addiction to war.

Every time a president has decided to go to war against yet another country, the momentum has been unstoppable. Today, the craven foreshadow the dead. The key problems, as usual, revolve around undue deference to authority -- obedience in the interests of expediency -- resulting in a huge loss of lives and a tremendous waste of resources that should be going to sustain human life instead of destroying it.

With war at the top of Washington’s agenda, this is a time to make our voices heard. (To email your senators and representative, expressing opposition to an attack on Syria, click here.) A loud and sustained outcry against the war momentum is essential -- and so is support for whistleblowers.

As a practical matter, real journalism can’t function without whistleblowers. Democracy can’t function without real journalism. And we can’t stop the warfare state without democracy. In the long run, the struggles for peace and democracy are one and the same.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Norman Solomon is founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org. He co-chairs the national Healthcare Not Warfare campaign organized by Progressive Democrats of America. His latest book is War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - China's In - Zero Hedge
Post by: WHD on August 29, 2013, 08:58:30 AM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-28/china-joins-russia-warning-syria-strike-would-have-catastrophic-consequences (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-28/china-joins-russia-warning-syria-strike-would-have-catastrophic-consequences)

Until now, the loudest and most material opponent to a Syrian invasion by the "liberating" powers was Russia. Moments ago, China joined the anti-western axis. BBC reports: "Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region."

More:

    Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC an international military response to the suspected use of chemical weapons would be possible without the backing of the UN.

     

    The UN Security Council is divided, with Russia and China opposing military intervention and the UK and France warning that the UN could be bypassed if there was "great humanitarian need".

     

    In a column in The Times newspaper, former UK PM Tony Blair has written that if the West does not intervene to support freedom and democracy in Egypt and Syria, the Middle East will face catastrophe

     

    The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Assad began more than two years ago. The conflict has produced more than 1.7 million registered refugees.

Adding to the picture, Interfax reported moments ago that representatives of Russia and China have withdrawn from a UN Security Council session on Syria. And since both countries have UN veto power, just like back in 2012 when this whole scenario was being replayed, there can be not joint UN resolution.

Which means if the US wants an invasion, it will have to do it away from the UN, further cementing the UN's role as the world's most irrelant organization. Of course, it also means that the PR selling of such an invasion to a gullible public will be just that much more difficult, and the TV spin machine will be working on overtime.

Finally, just to make sure that should the Nobel Peace Prize winner begin a war (without Congress or the UN of course) it would be of the "world" variety, earlier today Japan promptly aligned itself with the insolvent west:

    JAPAN PM SAYS SITUATION IN SYRIA IS FAULT OF ASSAD

The axes are thus set once again: US, UK, Europe and Japan vs Russia and China.

Let the games begin.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - The Wheels Just Came Off the Syria War Wagon
Post by: WHD on August 29, 2013, 09:07:36 AM
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-wheels-just-came-off-the-syrian-war-wagon.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-wheels-just-came-off-the-syrian-war-wagon.html)


The Wheels Just Came Off the Syria War Wagon

Posted on August 29, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog   
U.S. and British Intelligence Officials Admit they Don’t Know Whether the Syrian Government Or Rebels Used Chemical Weapons

A U.S. State Department spokesman admitted yesterday that the U.S. doesn’t know whether a low-level, rogue Syrian official is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks.

Today, the wheels came off the war wagon altogether.

AP reports:

    An intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.

    So while Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,” U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

    ***

    Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war.

In other words, the U.S. hasn’t yet ruled out that possibility … but only hopes to.

The New York Times writes:

    American officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack

    ***

    It appears that the public presentation of the Syria evidence will be limited. Instead of the theater of Mr. Powell’s 2003 speech — which included satellite photographs, scratchy recordings of conversations between Iraqi officials and a vial of white powder meant to symbolize anthrax — American officials said the intelligence assessment they are preparing to make public will be similar to a modest news release that the White House issued in June to announce that the Assad government had used chemical weapons “on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

Except that – last time there was a chemical weapons attack in Syria – it turned out to have been the rebels who launched the attack.

Similarly, the Guardian notes that British officials say there is not 100% certainty of who carried out the attacks, and that the conclusion of government culpability is not based on hard evidence, but a series of assumptions.

See this for background on the crisis in Syria.http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/cheat-sheet-on-syria.html] [url]http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/cheat-sheet-on-syria.html (http://[url)[/url]
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Oil Price Explosion - Michael Snyder
Post by: WHD on August 29, 2013, 09:28:04 AM
Quote
Will War With Syria Cause The Price Of Oil To Explode Higher?
By Michael Snyder, on August 28th, 2013
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/will-war-with-syria-cause-the-price-of-oil-to-explode-higher  (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/will-war-with-syria-cause-the-price-of-oil-to-explode-higher)
     
(http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/F-16-Photo-by-TMWolf-300x194.jpg)Are you ready to pay four, five or possibly even six dollars for a gallon of gasoline?  War has consequences, and a conflict with Syria has the potential to escalate wildly out of control very rapidly.  The Obama administration is pledging that the upcoming attack on Syria will be "brief and limited" and that the steady flow of oil out of the Middle East will not be interrupted.  But what happens if Syria strikes back?  What happens if Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv?  What happens if Hezbollah or Iran starts attacking U.S. or Israeli targets?  Unless Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all stand down and refuse to fight back, we could very easily be looking at a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could cause the price of oil to explode higher.  Syria is not a major oil producer, but approximately a third of all of the crude oil in the world is produced in the Middle East.  If the Suez Canal or the Persian Gulf (or both) get shut down for an extended period of time, the consequences would be dramatic.  The price of oil has already risen about 15% so far this summer, and war in the Middle East could potentially send it soaring into record territory.

We can always hope that cooler heads prevail and that a conflict is avoided, but at this point it does not look like that is going to happen.  In fact, according to Richard Engel of NBC News, a senior U.S. official has admitted that "we're past the point of return" and that a strike on Syria can be expected within days.

Obama is promising that the U.S. will "take limited, tailored approaches", and that we will not be "getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about", but how in the world can he guarantee that?

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have all threatened to attack Israel if the U.S. attacks Syria.

If missiles start raining down on Israeli cities, the Israelis are not just going to sit there and take it like they did during the first Gulf War.  In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, "Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked".

If Israel is attacked, their military response will be absolutely massive.

And then we will have the major regional war in the Middle East that so many people have been warning about for so many years.  Hundreds of thousands of people will die and the global economy will be paralyzed.

So what will Obama do in such a situation?

Will he pack up and go home?

Of course not.  We would be committed to fighting a brutal, horrific war that there was absolutely no reason to start in the first place.

And we are already starting to feel the effect of rising tensions in the Middle East.  This week, the price of oil rose to a 10-month high...

    U.S. oil prices soared to an 18-month high as traders worried that a potential military strike against Syria could disrupt the region's oil supplies.

    October crude futures surged 2.9%, to $109.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their highest close since February 2012. Brent futures ended up 3.2% at $114.28 a barrel, a six-month high.

Posted below is a chart that shows how the price of oil has moved over the past several decades.  Could we soon break the all-time record of $147 a barrel that was set back in 2008?...

The Price Of Oil

And of course we all remember what happened when the price of oil got that high back in 2008.  The global economy was plunged into the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A major conflict in the Middle East, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time, could send the price of oil to absolutely ridiculous levels.

Every single day, a massive amount of oil is moved through the Suez Canal.  The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article...

    To the southwest is the Suez Canal, one such chokepoint, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of the Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal transports about 800,000 barrels of crude and 1.4 million barrels of petroleum products daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Another regional oil shipping route potentially threatened by the Syria crisis is the Sumed, or Suez-Mediterranean, pipeline, also in Egypt, which moves oil from the Persian Gulf region to the Mediterranean. The Sumed handles 1.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, the EIA said.

And of course an enormous amount of oil moves through the Persian Gulf each day as well.  If the Suez Canal and/or the Persian Gulf were to be shut down, there would almost immediately be global supply problems.

So how high could the price of oil go?

Well, according to CNBC, some analysts believe that $150 a barrel could easily be hit if the U.S. attacks Syria...

    Some analysts believe even U.S. crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI crude) could get close to the $150 zone. "If oil prices spike on the Syria attack, and surge above $120, the next logical upside target is going to be the 2008 high of $147, which could easily be taken out," said John Kilduff of Again Capital. "It's the retaliation to the retaliation that we have to be worried about."

If the price of oil soars up to that level and keeps going, we could see the price of gasoline go up to four, five or maybe even six dollars a gallon in some areas of the country.

You better start saving up lots of gas money.

It looks like you are going to need it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 29, 2013, 09:40:06 AM
Good post, WHD.

Drilling down into the treachery aspect. Fond this on Banoosh. I read this and infer that it must be bullshit, yet they claim to be citing some leaked em,ails in great specificity, about circumstances which die directly into the treachery that the above article cites.

Truth or bullshit? What do you think?

Putin Orders Massive Strike Against Saudi Arabia If West Attacks Syria


(http://banoosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wwz1.jpg)

A grim “urgent action memorandum” issued today from the office of President Putin to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is ordering a “massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia in the event that the West attacks Syria.

According to Kremlin sources familiar with this extraordinary “war order,” Putin became “enraged” after his early August meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan who warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat of Syria, Saudi Arabia would unleash Chechen terrorists under their control to cause mass death and chaos during the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held 7-23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Lebanese newspaper As-Safir confirmed this amazing threat against Russia saying that Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord by stating: “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

(http://banoosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/saudi_russia.gif)


Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off.“These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”

London’s The Telegraph News Service further reported today that Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria, an offer Putin replied to by saying “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters” [Putin said referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier HERE], and which Prince Bandar in turn warned that there can be “no escape from the military option” if Russia declines the olive branch.

(http://banoosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/wwz3.jpg)


Critical to note, and as we had previously reported on in our 28 January 2013 report “Obama Plan For World War III Stuns Russia,” the Federal Security Services (FSB) confirmed the validity of the released hacked emails of the British based defence company, Britam Defence that stunningly warned the Obama regime was preparing to unleash a series of attacks against both Syria and Iran in a move Russian intelligence experts warned could very well cause World War III.

According to this FSB report, Britam Defence, one of the largest private mercenary forces in the world, was the target of a “massive hack” of its computer files by an “unknown state sponsored entity” this past January who then released a number of critical emails between its top two executives, founder Philip Doughty and his Business Development Director David Goulding.

The two most concerning emails between Doughty and Goulding, this report says, states that the Obama regime has approved a “false flag” attack in Syria using chemical weapons, and that Britam has been approved to participate in the West’s warn on Iran, and as we can read:

Quote
Email 1: Phil, We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We’ll have to deliver a CW (chemical weapon) to Homs (Syria), a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion? Kind regards David

Quote
Email 2: Phil, Please see attached details of preparatory measures concerning the Iranian issue. Participation of Britam in the operation is confirmed by the Saudis.
With the events now spiraling out of control in Syria, and London’s Independent News Service now reporting that Prince Bandar is “pushing for war,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich further warned the West today by stating, “Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”

Heedless of Russian warnings which have fallen on deaf ears, however, British Prime Minister David Cameron this morning recalled the British Parliament to vote on attacking Syria as the Obama regime abruptly cancelled their meeting with Russia scheduled for tomorrow on finding a path to peace for Syria, and the West begins its plans to attack the Syrian nation “within days.”

As Syria itself has warned that should it be attacked by the West there will be “global chaos,” the Western peoples themselves have not been told of the fact that on 17 May 2013, Putin ordered Russian military forces to “immediately move” from Local War to Regional War operational status and to be “fully prepared” to expand to Large-Scale War should either the US or EU enter into the Syrian Civil War, a situation they are still in at this very hour.

With Putin’s previous order, and as we had reported on in our 17 May report “Russia Issues “All-Out War” Alert Over Syria,” and now combined with his new ordering of massive retaliatory strikes against Saudi Arabia, any attack on Syria is viewed by Russia as being an attack on itself.

And as we had previously explained in great detail, the fight over Syria, being led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their lap-dog Western allies, has but one single objective: To break Russia’s hold on the European Union natural gas market which a pipeline through Syria would accomplish, and as reported by London’s Financial Times News Service this past June:

    “The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government, but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels.

    The cost of Qatar’s intervention, its latest push to back an Arab revolt, amounts to a fraction of its international investment portfolio. But its financial support for the revolution that has turned into a vicious civil war dramatically overshadows western backing for the opposition.

    Qatar [also] has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey in a sign the emirate is considering a further expansion of exports from the world’s biggest gasfield after it finishes an ambitious programme to more than double its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).”

     

And in what is, perhaps, the most unimaginable cause to start World War III over Syria was noted by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich who said this past week: “We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature,” he stressed. “In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”

For the West to have so sloppily engineered yet another “false flag” attack to justify a war where they posted the videos of this so-called chemical weapons attack a full day before it was said to occur is the height of arrogance and disdain, but which their sleep-walking citizens, yet again, will fall for as they have done so many times in the past.

Source

www.eutimes.net

www.whatdoesitmean.com (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 29, 2013, 10:26:14 AM
Quote
Good post, WHD.

Drilling down into the treachery aspect. Fond this on Banoosh. I read this and infer that it must be bullshit, yet they claim to be citing some leaked em,ails in great specificity, about circumstances which die directly into the treachery that the above article cites.

Truth or bullshit? What do you think?

Is there any truth in anything related to Syria, at this point? Nothing is ever as it seems in the realm of International fuck yer brother.

The emails cited seem bullshit to me. I don't see mercenary dude saying the Qatari's "swear" there is US approval, except in somebody's imagination (but then, does your average capitalist fascist mercenary type believe in ANYTHING other than money?) I do think this is all more or less based on truth, insofar as the evidence and instinct suggests it was not Assad who is responsible for this attack. Treachery everywhere you look in this one. Reminds me of Barbara Tuckman describing the mindless butchery of WWI, except like three times worse.

Who is the bad guy in this, if we are in bed with the Saudi's and the Qatari's? I can assure you I would be more comfortable hanging with the Iranian people than Saudi's generally (fuck everybody's government: Iran, Saudi, Syria, US etc)  Personally, I don't care if Putin lays waste to Prince Bandar and his tribe, I'm so sick of cars. Though I would be much happier if they all stood down on all sides and smoked ganja for the rest of their days. Obam-bam and the whole of Congress, Military, Law Enforcement need an INFUSION (bankers and corp execs aren't worth an ounce of pot.)   :laugh:

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk : Nigel Farage on Syria
Post by: g on August 29, 2013, 11:27:09 AM


                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/v/7VUMamkRcaw&fs=1   :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:
Title: Syria, The Illuminati , & Money Money Money
Post by: JoeP on August 29, 2013, 04:12:58 PM
Quote
Just curious GO - what subjects do you think the Bilderberg folks discuss when they get together?  The weather?  Golf?  Fashion?
Money, Money, and then Money, how to make tons of it and keep it.

I expecected more than than just a projection of what YOU would be doing if YOU were invited and attended.  We all know this is how YOU think. You've made this very obvious in some of your recent comments citing your precious time may be spent paying "special" attention to the markets due to The Syria Factor. Have you ever looked over a list of the people invited?  They obviously have a "larger" agenda than money, money,  bla...money...blah.  Sorry to find out you are so naive in your twilight years.
   
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 29, 2013, 05:55:43 PM
The 2013 White House Christmas ornament has arrived (I thought this was a joke, but sadly it is true)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/29/white-house-debuts-peace-themed-christmas-ornament/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/29/white-house-debuts-peace-themed-christmas-ornament/)

I wanted to post the picture of it here, but I cannot figure out how to do it. I can get the image to show on the attach button, but preview does not show the picture.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 29, 2013, 05:57:13 PM
Aha ! It shows only when I put up the post, not on preview. Now I know....  :emthup:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 29, 2013, 08:21:21 PM
Good post, WHD.

Drilling down into the treachery aspect. Fond this on Banoosh. I read this and infer that it must be bullshit, yet they claim to be citing some leaked em,ails in great specificity, about circumstances which die directly into the treachery that the above article cites.

Truth or bullshit? What do you think?

Putin Orders Massive Strike Against Saudi Arabia If West Attacks Syria
I'd say yes.  ;)  In other words, truth AND bullshit.  I think the "leak" is genuine, the order is not.  To me this smacks of an intelligence agency disinformation campaign.  It could be the Russians making a veiled threat with plausible deniability, or someone trying to make the Russians look bad.
Title: The Syria Desk: Ambrose Preps us for Oil Shortages
Post by: RE on August 30, 2013, 02:05:24 AM
Ambrose out Fear Mongering here today.

RE


Worldwide loss of oil supply heightens Syria attack risk (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10274958/Worldwide-loss-of-oil-supply-heightens-Syria-attack-risk.html)

Libya's oil output has crashed to a near standstill over the past year as warlords and strikes paralyse the country, tightening the screws on global crude supply as the crisis in Syria comes to a head.

(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02656/oil_2656697b.jpg)

A worker of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation checks oil flow of well PK-2 during its inauguration at Ingoli village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Ahmadabad, India

Jitters over Syria have already pushed Brent to $115, near levels that typically erode confidence and inflict serious economic damage Photo: AP

By Ambrose Evans-Prtichard

8:31PM BST 29 Aug 2013

“We are currently witnessing the collapse of state in Libya, and the country is getting closer to local wars for oil revenues,” said the Swiss-based group Petromatrix.

The country’s oil ministry said production has slumped to an average of 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) in August, down by more than four-fifths from its peak after the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime two years ago.

“Militia groups are behaving like terrorists, using control over oil as political leverage to extract concessions,” said Dr Elizabeth Stephens, head of political risk at insurers Jardine Lloyd Thompson. Port closures and strikes have compounded the damage but the deeper story is the disintegration of political authority.

Libya is the most extreme example of political mayhem around the world disrupting output and causing a chronic shortfall in oil supply. Production has slumped in Iraq, Nigeria, Iran, Yemen and Syria itself, each for different reasons.

This has cut daily global supply by 1.1m over the past year to 92m, explaining why Brent crude prices have remained stubbornly high despite the slump in Europe and China’s slowdown. To compound the problem, Libya’s oil is some of the highest quality produced in the Middle East and the kind preferred by European refiners. Jitters over Syria have already pushed Brent to $115, near levels that typically erode confidence and inflict serious economic damage.

Bank of America says the “global shortfall” in oil has reached 4m b/d and leaves the world extremely vulnerable to a supply crunch if any missile strike in Syria goes wrong.

The bank said the most likely outcome would be a “short-lived spike” to between $120 and $130 provided the Nato operation is limited to a few days. The bank said a “protracted Vietnam-style boots-on-the-ground proxy war” could lead to a $50 jump, pushing Brent crude to $160.

The warning follows a disturbing report by Societe Generale’s Michael Wittner, a former oil analyst for the US Central Intelligence Agency and an expert on geo-strategic issues.

Mr Wittner predicted a rise in oil prices to $150 if the missile strikes lead a regional spillover, citing retaliatory attacks by Iran on Iraqi oil supply lines as the chief risk. Conflict between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites has returned to levels last seen in 2008.

“Our big worry is Iraq,” he said. The country’s northern pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey has been attacked repeatedly over the past three months, cutting exports by 40pc. Mr Wittner said the danger is that the attacks will move south to the Basrah port complex that supplies 2m b/d, this time orchestrated by Iranian proxies.

“Iraq is close to civil war,” said Jardine’s Dr Stephens. “Pipelines keep being blown up by al-Qaeda and Sunni militants – it is never quite clear – and this is a huge impediment. On top of this there is still no hydrocarbon law and no legal framework for contracts because they can’t agree on how to carve up the pie.”

Iraq’s output has slipped to 2.9m b/d from 3.2m in April, far short of expected levels.

A report by the International Energy Agency said last year that Iraq’s output would reach 6m b/d by the end of the decade, and 8.3m by 2035, adding almost half of all extra global oil supply. That now looks like a distant dream.

Dr Stephens said an attack on Syria could fly out of control in all kinds of unpredictable ways. “Syria is pivotal to the whole region. Even if the Assad regime is ultimately toppled, it will not solve anything. It will more likely drag in every surrounding state and external powers.”

The US has 710m barrels of oil in its strategic reserves and other OECD states have stocks that could be released to offset any price shock, as occurred during the Western assault on Libya. However, shortfalls in so many countries at once have greatly increased the risk of a supply squeeze.

Nigeria’s output has slumped to 1.9m from 2.5m over the past year as bandits prey on supplies in the Delta region, while scheduled rig maintenance will shave a further 500,000 b/d off output in the North Sea and Canada. United Nations sanctions against Iran over its nuclear enrichment programme have drastically reduced Iranian oil exports by 1.2m b/d.

The slip in supply has come just as China starts to rebound, with imports of crude jumping 20pc in July to an all-time high. The eurozone is also coming back to life, led by a resurgent Germany.

Citigroup said it is far from clear whether Saudi Arabia has the spare capacity to crank up production by up 2m b/d to cushion any shock if necessary, as widely assumed, to help cap any rise in oil prices. “There is no tangible evidence of this,” it said.

There are still pockets of rising oil output, notably in the US where shale oil is rapidly reducing US dependence on energy imports. The geo-strategic effect of shale is double-edged for the US: it lowers the incentive for Washington to commit forces to the Middle East, but it also means the US is better able to handle the consequences of any oil spike.

The biggest losers would be those emerging economies such as India and China that rely on fuel imports and operate inefficient industries. An oil shock could quickly cause the latest emerging market sell-off to escalate into a grave crisis.

Simon Wardell from IHS Global Insight said it is impossible to price the risk of a “nightmare scenario” where any attack goes horribly wrong and turns into a regional conflagration. “There is a very small chance that this occurs, but a massive impact on prices if it did. How do you put an insurance premium on the risk?”
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 30, 2013, 04:18:38 AM
It seems that the opposition to Syria intervention is finally being heard. Hope I am not just having a pipe dream, but it seems there is renewed hope.   :icon_sunny: :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:

British Parliament says no go, and many in congress, BOTH sides of the aisle.  are now voicing stronger opposition. Let's hope for a miracle.
Title: Re: The Syria DeskSyria crisis: Dovish Democrats urge Obama to consult Congress
Post by: g on August 30, 2013, 04:31:39 AM
Who says there aren't some wonderful Lefties??   :exp-grin:


The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Syria crisis: Dovish Democrats urge Obama to consult Congress

In a letter, 54 Democratic lawmakers urged Obama Thursday to 'seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any US military engagement to this complex crisis.'
Temp Headline Image
President Obama pauses while speaking at Henninger High School in Syracuse, N.Y., Aug. 22, 2013. Lawmakers sent a letter to the White House Thursday 'expressing unequivocal condemnation over the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria' but also cautioning against bypassing Congress.
(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Jennifer Skalka Tulumello, Correspondent / August 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm EDT
Washington

With Washington focused on the prospect of military action in Syria as retaliation for the apparent use of chemical weapons by its government, whither Congress’s more liberal members?

It seems the doves have a dilemma. To support their Democratic president in the quest to right a humanitarian wrong? Or to back the institutional protections that require congressional approval before a White House can engage in anything resembling war?

“There’s a certain wing in the Democratic Party that’s pacifist that doesn’t support the use of force in most instances, except in the case of an attack on the US,” says Brian Katulis, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress. “I don’t think they’re going to move.”

These and other Democrats are also concerned that public opinion isn’t yet in favor of military intervention in Syria. Mr. Obama should not move forward with military action, they say, without a full congressional review and members’ approval.

Spearheaded by Rep. Barbara Lee (D) of California, 54 Democratic members, many of whom made up the coalition of those opposed to the last Iraq war, sent a letter to the White House Thursday “expressing unequivocal condemnation over the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria” but also cautioning against bypassing Congress. The apparent human rights violations there “should not draw us into an unwise war,” they write.

“While we understand that as Commander in Chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the constitutional obligation and power to approve military force, even if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) have not been attacked or threatened with an attack.”

Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates.

These lawmakers urge Obama to “seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any US military engagement to this complex crisis.”

Polls are an issue for members of Congress, regardless of party identification, and on the Syria matter, they’re showing the public to be war weary following years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Reuters-Ipsos survey released recently indicated that most Americans want nothing to do with military action in Syria – some 60 percent are opposed, while 9 percent are in favor. The number in support of intervention only modestly increases – to 25 percent – when the variable of a chemical weapons attack is introduced.

Iraq fatigue is of particular note where Syria is concerned. After all, the evidence presented by the administration of President George W. Bush as he made his case for war there turned out not to be accurate.

Democrats, and Republicans, reflecting on the Iraq intervention, which dragged on for years, are proving they’re once bitten and twice shy.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) of California, who opposed the Iraq intervention and Thursday signed onto Lee’s letter, wants a congressional vote, not just a briefing. The president, she says, needs to make an appeal to Congress. It is, after all, she reminds him, the people’s house.

“Aside from the legal requirement, there’s a political requirement,” she said Thursday afternoon in an appearance on MSNBC. “The president apparently believes that some kind of military action should be taken. The American public doesn’t agree. So he needs to make his case. We need to listen carefully to his arguments to understand why bombing Syria would be good for America, good for the world. What’s the end game?”

The tensions in Syria and prospect of strikes there seem to be drawing together an unlikely grouping of tea party Republicans and more conservative members with liberal Democrats, according to former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello, who represented Virginia’s fifth congressional district in the House from 2009-2011 and now serves as president and CEO of the Center for American Progress.

Perriello believes Obama does not need congressional approval in this case for a limited engagement in Syria but that it helps his cause to have “as much buy-in as possible from the legislative branch.”

“For those of us who care about international norms and crimes against humanity, you’re likely to come down on the side of intervening in some way,” Perriello says. “I really do think that members of Congress from both parties are taking very seriously this question of whether this is the next Iraq or the next Rwanda.”

On the matter of congressional sanction of the administration’s Syria policy, it seems the parties aren’t that far apart – about process at least. House Republicans, almost 100 of them, have lined up to register their fervent plea that President Obama consult Congress before taking any military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Another 18 Democrats signed onto that letter to the White House, which was circulated by Rep. Scott Rigell (R) of Virginia.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who voted against the US invasion of Iraq during the Bush years, was one of them.

“Since there is no imminent threat to the United States, there is no legal justification for bypassing the constitutionally required congressional authorization,” said Nadler, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

“The American people deserve to have this decision debated and made in the open with all the facts and arguments laid out for public review and debate, followed by a congressional vote.”

The White House is actively engaged in courting congressional approval, although for now that process seems informal. In a conference call Thursday evening, the White House provided leading members of Congress with evidence that the Syrian regime had carried out chemical weapons attacks that killed hundreds of civilians. With members out of session until Sept. 9, Obama would have to call them back to town for a more formal vote.

For his own political cover, and perhaps for the good of his party more broadly, many members believe he should allow Congress to do its part to weigh the issues involved in the Syria conflict. Lofgren says Congress has been overly lenient in recent years in allowing presidents to seize too much authority over these types of interventions.

“Congress has been complicit in allowing the executive, including this one, but not just this one, to act without regard to the requirements of the constitution, and without regard to the War Powers Act,” she said on MSNBC. “I think that’s not correct. It’s not the right course of action. The fact that it’s happened in the past does not mean at this juncture in our history that we shouldn’t go back to what the law and constitution requires. I think the country will be better off if we do.”

And, she added: “There’s a broad bipartisan consensus, way more than a majority in the House, that says the same thing.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/0829/Syria-crisis-Dovish-Democrats-urge-Obama-to-consult-Congress (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/0829/Syria-crisis-Dovish-Democrats-urge-Obama-to-consult-Congress) :icon_study: :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Robert (qslv) on August 30, 2013, 05:15:20 AM
I saw a video on RT (Russian Television) about a week ago which show Jihadist rebels strapping packets of what seemed to be polyisocyanurate crystals to small mortar projectiles which were about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter with 4 fins at one end. They then dropped them into mortar tubes and sent them off somewhere. RT stopped playing the video and has censored most reports about Syria since then. It seems like RT, which does not represent the Russian government and is strongly pro-jihadist has blacked out any reports which suggest the rebels are responsible for gas attacks.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk Flash: UK People Are Smarter Than Obama
Post by: g on August 30, 2013, 05:22:18 AM
 From Karl Denninger this morning.

Flash: UK People Are Smarter Than Obama
 

Ok MaObama, go ahead and do it alone if you insist.

    LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron has lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes, a stunning defeat for a government which had seemed days away from joining the U.S. in possible attacks to punish Bashar Assad's regime over an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Yeah, the Brits aren't convinced that Assad was the one who used chemical weapons.

Neither am I -- in fact, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it was the Al-Qaida linked rebels that did so, and in fact an attack by America (or anyone else) on Assad's government would be a factual and formal act of war in support of avowed terrorists!

Now this does not mean that I like Assad.  I don't; he's clearly a bastard.

But that one side of a conflict is bad doesn't make the other one good.  Sometimes all "sides" of a conflict are detestable and unworthy of being feral hog food.  This is one of those cases.

But there is in fact no support for action in support of Al-Qaida linked rebels in Syria (which any attack on Assad's government would be) outside of certain wamongering jackasses like McStain and Obama himself.

And as for Obama I believe one can make a cogent argument for his administration having already having directly supported insurgent forces linked to terrorists -- and the attempted cover-up of those acts is why there is no full public exposition of what happened in Benghazi.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=223970 (http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=223970)  :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 30, 2013, 05:24:41 AM
Good morning Robert (qslv)  Great to have you posting on the forum.   :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: monsta666 on August 30, 2013, 06:19:33 AM
A few notes to bear in mind. The British public were against the war in Iraq and voted against it. However at the time Tony Blair and the Labour party had a powerful majority in the House of Commons so the party could enforce their will upon the people with some immunity and they did not need to worry about votes from the opposition party either as they could get their bill passed without needing any conservative MPs needing to vote for their policy. So the move could went ahead and the rest is history.

After the war, Britain's international reputation was damaged after taking part in what was essentially an illegal war. This made going into another war more politically difficult to sell to the public and the opposition party. To add to this Cameron and the Conservative party do not even hold a majority in the House of Commons (this is the reason why the Conservatives must form a coalition to run the country) so they needed the votes of Labour/Liberal Democrats MPs to get the vote for war passed through Parliament. That didn't happen and so the war is less likely to happen. It is an embarrassment for Cameron though because he called Parliament back from holiday to make a vote for war but got rejected. He will need to pay the spin doctors to recover from this setback. To go back though this isn't so much a case of the public being more intelligent than before but rather the party in power are in not such a powerful position to push their agenda so easily. If Cameron had the same majority as Labour did going into the war in Iraq I am pretty sure he would have got his war in Syria regardless of what the public thought of it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 08:58:29 AM
A few notes to bear in mind. The British public were against the war in Iraq and voted against it. However at the time Tony Blair and the Labour party had a powerful majority in the House of Commons so the party could enforce their will upon the people with some immunity and they did not need to worry about votes from the opposition party either as they could get their bill passed without needing any conservative MPs needing to vote for their policy. So the move could went ahead and the rest is history.

After the war, Britain's international reputation was damaged after taking part in what was essentially an illegal war. This made going into another war more politically difficult to sell to the public and the opposition party. To add to this Cameron and the Conservative party do not even hold a majority in the House of Commons (this is the reason why the Conservatives must form a coalition to run the country) so they needed the votes of Labour/Liberal Democrats MPs to get the vote for war passed through Parliament. That didn't happen and so the war is less likely to happen. It is an embarrassment for Cameron though because he called Parliament back from holiday to make a vote for war but got rejected. He will need to pay the spin doctors to recover from this setback. To go back though this isn't so much a case of the public being more intelligent than before but rather the party in power are in not such a powerful position to push their agenda so easily. If Cameron had the same majority as Labour did going into the war in Iraq I am pretty sure he would have got his war in Syria regardless of what the public thought of it.

I was like, wait a minute, Tony Blair was of the Labour Party? LOL Double-take. Oh, right. He just doesn't LOOK like as much of a money grubbing corporatist warmonger as Cameron does. :icon_mrgreen:

What's a liberal socialist like Obam-bam supposed to do, now?  :laugh:

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcEWIPGeDGlEUm0ELv3lHgUcWQlPovTFE6zArmnsjFQlo2_EBoCQ)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Don't Show This Report to Obama - Zero Hedge
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 04:41:57 PM
Don't Show Obama This Report About Who Really Is Behind The Syrian Chemical Attacks

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/30/2013 10:33 -0400 - ZERO HEDGE
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-30/dont-show-obama-report-about-who-really-behind-syrian-chemical-attacks (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-30/dont-show-obama-report-about-who-really-behind-syrian-chemical-attacks)



As we showed mere days ago, it appears the truth of who the real puppet-master in the Middle-East is becoming plainer to see. The incredibly frank discussion between Saudi's spy-chief Prince Bandar and Russia's Putin exposed a much deeper plot is afoot and the following details from the actual people on the ground in the chemically-attacked region of Syria suggest Obama is playing right into the Saudi's plan. While Obama is 'certain' that the chemical attacks took place on al-Assad's orders, as MPN reports, "from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack."

The narrative for public consumption is well-known and quite clear - it was all as-Assad's fault. And yet...

Via MPN,

    ... from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

     

    “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

     

    Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

     

    Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

     

    Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.

     

    “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

     

    “When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

     

    A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

     

    “We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.

     

    Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.

     

    The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders added that health workers aiding 3,600 patients also reported experiencing similar symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision. The group has not been able to independently verify the information.

     

    More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.

About the report authors: Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and the Associated Press. Gavlak has been stationed in Amman, Jordan for the Associated Press for over two decades. An expert in Middle Eastern Affairs, Gavlak currently covers the Levant region of the Middle East for AP, National Public Radio and Mint Press News, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Contact Dale at dgavlak@mintpressnews.com Yahya Ababneh is a Jordanian freelance journalist and is currently working on a master’s degree in journalism,  He has covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Libya. His stories have appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.

For those who may have forgotten, here are the details that were exposed a few days ago...

    what are some of the stunning disclosures by the Saudis? First this:

     

    Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. ... As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

     

    It is good of the Saudis to admit they control a terrorist organization that "threatens the security" of the Sochi 2014 Olympic games, and that house of Saud uses "in the face of the Syrian regime." Perhaps the next time there is a bombing in Boston by some Chechen-related terrorists, someone can inquire Saudi Arabia what, if anything, they knew about that.

     

    But the piece de resistance is what happened at the end of the dialogue between the two leaders. It was, in not so many words, a threat by Saudi Arabia aimed squarely at Russia:

     

    As soon as Putin finished his speech, Prince Bandar warned that in light of the course of the talks, things were likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although he appreciated the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt and their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt's future.

     

    The head of the Saudi intelligence services said that the dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that “there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

     

    At the end of the meeting, the Russian and Saudi sides agreed to continue talks, provided that the current meeting remained under wraps. This was before one of the two sides leaked it via the Russian press.

     

    Since we know all about this, it means no more talks, an implicit warning that the Chechens operating in proximity to Sochi may just become a loose cannon (with Saudi's blessing of course), and that about a month ago "there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate." Four weeks later, we are on the edge of all out war, which may involve not only the US and Europe, but most certainly Saudi Arabia and Russia which automatically means China as well. Or, as some may call it, the world.

     

    And all of it as preordained by a Saudi prince, and all in the name of perpetuating the hegemony of the petrodollar.

Again we remind: Russia and Saudi Arabia account for 25% of global oil production, but far more importantly absent the Qatari natgas (and a potential pipeline crossing under a receptive Syrian regime - i.e., not Assad -  and going into Turkey), Europe will remain beholden to every rate-hiking whim by Putin and Gazpromia.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Saudi's Behind Chemical Attack? - Mint Press News
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 04:47:59 PM
EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.
By Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh | August 29, 2013 - MINT PRESS NEWS
http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/ (http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/)


This article is a collaboration between Dale Gavlak reporting for Mint Press News and Yahya Ababneh.

Ghouta, Syria — As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.

Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.

The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.”

However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.

Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.

The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders added that health workers aiding 3,600 patients also reported experiencing similar symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision. The group has not been able to independently verify the information.

More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.

 
Saudi involvement

In a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the U.S. against Assad.

Ingersoll referred to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks alleging that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping Assad.

“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” Ingersoll wrote.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians.

“Along with Saudi officials, the U.S. allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote.

“Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added.

According to U.K.’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort.

“They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said.

Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train rebels out of a planned military base in Jordan.

The newspaper reports that he met with the “uneasy Jordanians about such a base”:

    His meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah sometimes ran to eight hours in a single sitting. “The king would joke: ‘Oh, Bandar’s coming again? Let’s clear two days for the meeting,’ ” said a person familiar with the meetings.

Jordan’s financial dependence on Saudi Arabia may have given the Saudis strong leverage. An operations center in Jordan started going online in the summer of 2012, including an airstrip and warehouses for arms. Saudi-procured AK-47s and ammunition arrived, WSJ reported, citing Arab officials.

Although Saudi Arabia has officially maintained that it supported more moderate rebels, the newspaper reported that “funds and arms were being funneled to radicals on the side, simply to counter the influence of rival Islamists backed by Qatar.”

But rebels interviewed said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” or ‘the lover’ by al-Qaida militants fighting in Syria.

Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, has issued a word of caution about Washington’s rush to punish the Assad regime with so-called ‘limited’ strikes not meant to overthrow the Syrian leader but diminish his capacity to use chemical weapons:

    Consider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them.

    It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a U.N. commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible.

Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates .

Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and has reported from Amman, Jordan, writing for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC. An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak covers the Levant region, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Contact Dale at dgavlak@mintpressnews.com

Yahya Ababneh is a Jordanian freelance journalist and is currently working on a master’s degree in journalism,  He has covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Libya. His stories have appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - The Crossroads on Syria - Bromwich
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 04:54:22 PM
(one of the few in the MSM who is honest about this  - WHD)

The Crossroads on Syria
David Bromwich
Professor of Literature, Yale University
HuffPost
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bromwich/the-crossroads-on-syria_b_3839952.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bromwich/the-crossroads-on-syria_b_3839952.html)


Yesterday, in an interview aired by PBS, President Obama said that the United States must now attack Syria. The reason was the imminent danger that, if we do not, the Assad government will use chemical weapons against Americans on the U.S. mainland. "When you start talking about chemical weapons," the president told Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill,

    in a country that has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world, where over time, their control over chemical weapons may erode, where they're allied to known terrorist organizations that, in the past, have targeted the United States, then there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons that can have devastating effects could be directed at us. And we want to make sure that that does not happen.

This fantastic and hollow pretext comes so close to a statement made by Tony Blair in the run-up to the Iraq war that the two assertions invite a comparison.

What Blair said on September 24, 2002, was that "Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be active within 45 minutes. . .and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability." All this turned out to be based on false reports, forged evidence, outdated sources, and wishful thinking toward war. It precipitated a change in the fame of Tony Blair from "the conscience of the free world" to something a good deal smaller and shabbier.

Compare, once more, President Obama's words yesterday on PBS: "the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world. . .their control over chemical weapons may erode. . .allied to known terrorist organizations. . .target the United States. . .devastating effects." Or to put the new claim in familiar language: "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." President Bush's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had a conscience as quick on the trigger President Obama's adviser Susan Rice. But in the president's own televised claim, the pileup of distortions was entirely worthy of the predecessor who hired the earlier Rice; for the "terrorist organizations" he was speaking of could only have been Hezbollah and its affiliates, the sworn enemies of Israel; and yet those organizations happen never to have attacked the U.S. or any of its assets on the scale of the bombings carried out by al-Qaeda in 2001. In Syria the president is already allied with al-Qaeda's sister sect, the al-Nusra Front, and to the extent that he weakens the Assad government he will strengthen al-Qaeda.

Probably Obama, like Blair, justified the untruth to himself by a mental reservation. "What I mean is the distant 'possibility'; the 'prospect' as I call it; the small (say 1%) remotely projectable chance that chemical weapons might get into the wrong hands in Syria and be transported to the U.S. and be used thereafter not by Bashar al-Assad but by agents of his at three removes to hurt the American people here at home." But will letting those weapons fall into the hands of a successor regime of uncertain allegiance be likely to have effects less disastrous for the U.S.? Some way under the surface, what the president also doubtless intended to say was that "devastating effects" would likely be directed not at the continental United States but at are our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and our security operatives stationed in Libya and elsewhere. But again the question returns: will you lessen or heighten the risk by weakening the hold on those weapons by Syria and bringing them closer to the control of al-Qaeda?

The president spoke in the same place on Wednesday about the need for "limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about."

Well, we are worried, it's true, and more than worried we are apprehensive and angry, because we remember Iraq. We suspect that any soldier who has suffered in a war, and any family that has seen its members decimated among the collateral damages of an American "surgical strike," would grow angrier still at the sound of the anesthetic phrase tailored approaches.

What can one say? The scurry of avowals and reservations and retractions and reassertions over the past three days may represent a tailored approach to the truth, but it doesn't fit the body that the president is trying to hang it on. The body in question is called Syria. Its fate is now in the balance, at the reckoning of a superpower half a world away; and the decision is being made on the basis of videos of people who were horribly killed by chemical weapons of some sort. The president and the president's men have mistaken their reaction to those images for assurance about the persons who caused the suffering. They spoke their reactions early and loud, and without the qualification that others who saw the same evidence have felt necessary to enter. And now they are trapped by the unconditional words they were heard to utter.

John Kerry and Joe Biden set the stage for the president's startlingly dishonest formulation about the danger Assad poses to the American people. They said the evidence that the Assad government had used the chemical weapons was beyond challenge. On the contrary, it was described with lukewarm approval by Mike Rogers of the congressional intelligence committee as "convincing if not compelling." When pressed by Robert Siegel of NPR to say that the evidence "disproved" the alternative theory that the chemical weapons could have been used in a false-flag operation to convict Assad and draw in the U.S., Rogers answered that far from being "inconceivable" (as Siegel had suggested) such a hypothesis of falsification by the rebels was "not improbable." Like others in Congress, Rogers is now urging the president to consult the legislative branch and not to act unilaterally, as he did in Libya with regrettable effects that are still being counted. Again, in the past day-and-a-half we have heard that "U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity said there were noticeable holes in US intelligence assessments linking Bashar Assad to the use of chemical weapons on 21 August." And further: "A classified assessment by the director of national intelligence said agents could not continuously pinpoint Assad's chemical weapons supplies, according to an AP report. The White House said it would publish an unclassified version of its intelligence assessments."

Why should this atmosphere of political slackness and imprecision matter? The interventionist argument starts by reducing the choice to a calculation of pure morality and brute power. What should matter is that we believe Assad probably did it; and he has committed other atrocities (as have the rebels); and therefore, who cares about the evidence, or for that matter about international law? We feel that punishing the Syrian government by bombing their defenses is right. So what if the Arab League have announced they won't go along with it, and Jordan has said the same. It "shocks the conscience" to see the video images, as Secretary of State Kerry said, and that means we must bomb somebody; but we can't bomb the rebels because, even though they are al-Qaeda-linked, the noisiest Americans on the subject such as senators McCain and Graham have closed their eyes to the facts about al-Nusra in Syria. Aren't the fanatics provisionally on our side? The president himself has turned against the emphasis of his entire first term, and has thrown away his primary justification of the Afghanistan war, when he now evokes Hezbollah as an organization superior in evil and more dangerous to the U.S. than al-Qaeda.

As Hans Blix recently pointed out, the Obama administration in the panic days we have lately witnessed has also behaved a great deal like the Bush-Cheney group of 2002-2003 in its show of disregard for UN inspectors. The administration said it wanted inspectors. Then it said that the inspectors permitted by Assad came in "too late to be credible." Thus, having accused Assad of reluctance, the state department and the White House tried to call off the UN in order to begin the bombing on schedule. They used the improvised excuse that the sites of chemical harm would have been degraded by shelling by the time that inspectors arrived. This bogus explanation lasted until the chemical experts weighed in and said that there was no truth at all to such an assertion: it had clearly been made up on the spot by a government operative with no knowledge of the weapons. And now, word has come that the initial data about who used the chemical weapons was passed to the U.S. by Israeli intelligence; and that American intelligence did not hold so high an opinion of it as Kerry and Biden had let on. So, after all, we are waiting for the results of the inspection, though the French Doctors Without Borders are quite sure that they know who did it, and the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who was equally sure about another such attack five months ago where the evidence didn't hold up, has affirmed that France will back the U.S. in doing whatever we end up doing to Syria.

For Congress, this has become a test of constitutional function. Are they a vestigial limb of the executive branch -- persons who need not be consulted on the most pressing matters of national policy and the commitment of arms, resources, and the fame of the country in defiance of international law? Are the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives less significant than the parliament of Britain, which demanded consultation and debate after David Cameron tried to extract their support without it? Just this evening, parliament rejected Cameron's push for war as a piece of adventurism that worked against the interests of the people of Britain. Both the action and the proceeding were instructive.

Many left-liberals have been silent at this moment, and many right-wing Republicans, with voting records that attest their credentials as lovers of war, have risen to challenge the president. And so it is being said by some loyal Democrats that the questioners of the president -- everyone from John Boehner to Ted Cruz -- are merely cynical men: altogether unlike the well-meaning and sympathetic leader who unhappily cornered himself by saying the words "red line" once too often and clearing one too many unnamed officials to declare the U.S. had reached "the point of no return." But a great fact about constitutional democracy is that the very structure of political opposition encourages bad people to do good things for the most ambiguous reasons. Besides, the truth is that this president's good nature, if that is what it is, and his reliance on the parental posture have misled him and done harm before now. He spoke the words "Mubarak must go" and "Gaddafi must go" also once too often. The results are before us: the Egyptian coup, the Benghazi attack, and more. President Obama also said "Assad must go," and in saying it, threw down a gauntlet to himself which he now feels compelled to pick up, or else. Or else what? Or else (it is said) the U.S. will lose credibility because the president will lose face.

Perhaps so. But weigh against that embarrassment the catastrophe of war--a catastrophe that one series of "tailored" missile strikes will not make smaller. It is sheer delirium to suppose that a world power can inflict massive damage and then pull back, full stop. You can't support the rebels now and watch in silence while they are hammered in retaliation, with or without chemical weapons. This seems to be a truth that the president, with his antiseptic power of fantasy, cannot bring himself to recognize. The largest delusion at work however is the idea that -- no matter who is the guilty party -- the right response for the U.S. is to direct missiles against Syria as a "shot across the bow": another of the president's phrases and a bad euphemism. A shot across the bow is a warning that inflicts no damage, but the strikes he is planning will inflict much damage, and will surely kill people unrelated to chemical weapons. All of the persons who want this attack also want the U.S. to enter as a large player in a regional war. The president is trying to convince himself that he can play their game without moving toward their result.

The way out of war is always peace. The way out is not limited, well-tailored, well-spoken, discreet, "smart" shots across the bow which you pretend are not acts of war. But peace comes from negotiations: an activity of which this president has always spoken in the warmest terms but at which he has shown few results during five years in office -- not in Afghanistan, not in Iran, not with Russia or China, not on global warming or nuclear proliferation. Why not start with Syria? It is smaller than those other cases, and peace there might lead to peace elsewhere. It will be unsatisfactory, no doubt. And deeply disappointing to people who admire speed and decision and the chance to wrestle with fortune while employing the largest weapons in the world. But it will be better than the multiplication of deaths. It may be too much to expect the administration to see the good of such a course in the next few days. Let us hope for it all the same. And let Congress call an end to its passive obedience and irresponsibility, and help the president to get out of the trap he has laid for himself and for this country.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - "Senator" Al Franken
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 05:13:45 PM
I heard "Senator" Al (MF) Franken on Minnesota Public Radio today arguing that Obama has the unilateral right to bomb Syria, without Congress. He's also been on there lately arguing about the necessity of NSA total surveillance. Who needs "big fat idiot" fascist conservatives when you have liberal comics like that? - WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHvy6gQT3UTRFp13XIOL5_izv54KB8NTs_J40ASlw4KYTKg7xzuQ)

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRkqGrvNdaQEci-qudCgZsssgT9fBQICfeEmOyQgfb73xH1jSBIWg)

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTmeU_GZq66XuNpxBv6lfXqT4qTm6htZr9rMiCpJzDyJ64zk3mc)

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQaZTgykcgbGH0ZxjQLqy-wJjefSFJByBhf9iXQigYbizc0BjNi)

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTsW480m_FLGEIG9StE6_15LKegbFUFbW60WcKs0I3hlt1D8fjh)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg/240px-Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 30, 2013, 05:28:20 PM
So what's next, do you think? Looks like our Warmonger-in-Chief and his puppet masters might be going ahead with strikes, against all evidence, world opinion, and the wishes of American citizens.

That Christmas ornament I posted a picture of really, really infuriates me. "peace on earth".... What hypocrisy ! War criminals.  :ranting3:

I sure hope the rest of world appreciates that most of us Americans have about as much say in our government as Ukrainian farmers did under the Bolsheviks.  :sadangel2:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - lluminati What? - Hells Bells said:
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 05:49:58 PM
The 2013 White House Christmas ornament has arrived (I thought this was a joke, but sadly it is true)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/29/white-house-debuts-peace-themed-christmas-ornament/ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/29/white-house-debuts-peace-themed-christmas-ornament/)


(http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2013/08/29/image_s160x238.jpeg?8d981bedd831125252ca8bd99d6b162e8f072292)

HellsBells,

I hadn't looked at the link when you posted this. I just did. That, along with the fact that this government that otherwise crushes whistleblowers, declassified last week, info that the CIA was involved in helping Saddam gas Iranians in the 1980's, I'm sort of like, maybe there are Illuminati, and maybe they are Luciferic in the worst possible way? Woodrow Wilson got us into WWI, and presided unwittingly over the creation of the Federal Reserve. Right? Here we are, on the verge of WWIII, and the imminent collapse of the Federal Reserve Note commonly referred to as the Dollar. UN-fucking-believable.  :exp-evil:


WHD

Quote
As President Obama readies a possible military strike against Syria Thursday, the White House 2013 Christmas ornament is going on sale with the slogan, “Peace on Earth.”

The White House Historical Association is advertising the new ornament on its website and on signs around town, including one in Lafayette Park across from the White House. This year’s ornament honors Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president, who pushed for a precursor to the United Nations.

The center of the ornament depicts an American elm tree planted by Mr. Wilson on the North Lawn of the White House on December 18, 1913, just before Christmas. It includes a wreath of olive branches, with two peace doves perched on the branches.

The reverse side is inscribed with part of Mr. Wilson’s message to Congress of April 2, 1917, as the U.S. prepared to enter World War I: “Peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.”

The ornament is available for $18.95.


Title: Re: The Syria Desk - lluminati What? - Hells Bells said:
Post by: JoeP on August 30, 2013, 06:10:09 PM

I'm sort of like, maybe there are Illuminati, and maybe they are Luciferic in the worst possible way?

Now try not to get carried away with all this illuminati speculation.   :laugh:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on August 30, 2013, 06:17:12 PM
Yes, I also read the revelation that the CIA was involved in the gassing of Iranians. That's a war crime, another proven one to add to the growing list.

I'm seriously wondering if there might be some actual war crimes trials coming up. I sure hope so. Get those neo-cons, Hillary, Goldman Sachs.... all of 'em. Get their counterparts in London and Tel Aviv too.

Time to start fresh, and evil empire-free.

For all the doom scenarios that get tossed around, maybe there's one that hasn't been mentioned (at least not that I've seen). Perhaps the US and co-conspirator countries will be placed under world sanctions while the war criminals are hunted down and prosecuted. Perhaps that will be our hardship scenario. Not a bad one, certainly not compared to most of the ones we've imagined. What would it be like under trade sanctions and a transitional government? I think I'd be okay with that.



Title: Re: The Syria Desk - HellsBells said:
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 06:22:00 PM
So what's next, do you think? Looks like our Warmonger-in-Chief and his puppet masters might be going ahead with strikes, against all evidence, world opinion, and the wishes of American citizens.

That Christmas ornament I posted a picture of really, really infuriates me. "peace on earth".... What hypocrisy ! War criminals.  :ranting3:

I sure hope the rest of world appreciates that most of us Americans have about as much say in our government as Ukrainian farmers did under the Bolsheviks.  :sadangel2:

WWIII, collapse of the dollar, suspension of the Constitution, the Black President with the Muslim-like name who aspires after Lincoln, assumes official dictatorial martial-state powers in an effort "save" the union, all hell breaks loose, Fukushima rains nuclear fallout on the only nation that ever dropped nuclear weapons on (Japanese) people, "dissident" Americans like WWII Japanese-Americans are rounded up and interred, people starve, turn to cannibalism?

Or maybe everybody in America embraces cannabis and chills the fuck out? Decommissions nukes, plants gardens? Disavows global empire? Disbands the standing military, consigns all gov/bank/corp elite to humanure maintenance or seppuku?  :icon_mrgreen:

WHD 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - lluminati What? - Hells Bells said:
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 06:23:38 PM

I'm sort of like, maybe there are Illuminati, and maybe they are Luciferic in the worst possible way?

Now try not to get carried away with all this illuminati speculation.   :laugh:

JoeP,

I lean toward - the universe has a twisted sense of humor.  :exp-grin:

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - HellsBells said:
Post by: JoeP on August 30, 2013, 06:30:55 PM
So what's next, do you think? Looks like our Warmonger-in-Chief and his puppet masters might be going ahead with strikes, against all evidence, world opinion, and the wishes of American citizens.

That Christmas ornament I posted a picture of really, really infuriates me. "peace on earth".... What hypocrisy ! War criminals.  :ranting3:

I sure hope the rest of world appreciates that most of us Americans have about as much say in our government as Ukrainian farmers did under the Bolsheviks.  :sadangel2:

WWIII, collapse of the dollar, suspension of the Constitution, the Black President with the Muslim-like name who aspires after Lincoln, assumes official dictatorial martial-state powers in an effort "save" the union, all hell breaks loose, Fukushima rains nuclear fallout on the only nation that ever dropped nuclear weapons on (Japanese) people, "dissident" Americans like WWII Japanese-Americans are rounded up and interred, people starve, turn to cannibalism?

Or maybe everybody in America embraces cannabis and chills the fuck out? Decommissions nukes, plants gardens? Disavows global empire? Disbands the standing military, consigns all gov/bank/corp elite to humanure maintenance or seppuku?  :icon_mrgreen:

WHD

Fantastic chill recommendations...but for the short term, I think it's BAU  ::)
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 06:43:04 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

US Tomahawk missiles aimed at Damascus missed their target and landed on Washington, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve instead. Luckily, there were few casualties, as Wall Street and Federal Reserve usual suspects were all in the Hamptons fucking $5000 whores and swilling $60,000 bottles of Dom. Military spokesmen were at a loss to explain the derivation, but one expert said, off the record, that perhaps a recent solar flare had messed with the tomahawk tracking systems. Maybe. Obama is safe and being watched over by angels. Congress was luckily out of session, though no members have as yet been accounted for, as per usual. The MSM media is reporting that the missile strikes were a complete success, and Assad can no longer get an erection.

Stay tuned for further developments...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: JoeP on August 30, 2013, 07:03:29 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

US Tomahawk missiles aimed at Damascus missed their target and landed on Washington, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve instead. Luckily, there were few casualties, as Wall Street and Federal Reserve usual suspects were all in the Hamptons fucking $5000 whores and swilling $60,000 bottles of Dom. Military spokesmen were at a loss to explain the derivation, but one expert said, off the record, that perhaps a recent solar flare had messed with the tomahawk tracking systems. Maybe. Obama is safe and being watched over by angels. Congress was luckily out of session, though no members have as yet been accounted for, as per usual. The MSM media is reporting that the missile strikes were a complete success, and Assad can no longer get an erection.

Stay tuned for further developments...

IMO, your best evah Reuterz.  Perfect.  This kind of writing may be your "gift".  :icon_sunny:
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 07:19:46 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

In the aftermath of the obliteration of Wall Street, Washington Institutions of Governance, and the Federal Reserve, there has been much confusion as to who, or what, would fill the power vacuum.

(cue giant sucking sound) Billary Clintons were heard on NPR moments ago, soothing the nation. "It is a terrible day," the conjoined twins said, "for democracy and the light of the world that is America. Luckily, we're here to make everything better. We are announcing a new foundation, in conjunction with the Bushes, for the betterment of Obama (and then Jeb and then Chelsea[Conjoined with a Mannings]) as President of the World!!! We are calling it the ClintonsBushes Foundation for Global Governance Over Everything and Then Some. Bread and circuses for everybody. We are hereby, um, recommending everyone in America take ClintonsBushes as their surname, and dispense with the Constitutional pleasantries." A less then traumatized nation was heard to utter a collective yawn. Miley Cyrus immediately thereafter showed her cootie to Jimmy Fallon on network TeeVee, and all of America was otherwise google-eyed.

Stay tuned for further developments...

 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: JoeP on August 30, 2013, 07:52:12 PM
Cootie or Cooter?   :icon_mrgreen:
 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 08:04:22 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

Earlier today, in the confusion in the aftermath of the dust-ification of Wall Street, Washington Institutions of Governance and the Federal Reserve, an all-points bulletin was issued, calling all DHS, TSA, NSA, FBI, CIA and Local and State Law Enforcement, in the search for Larrys Summer, Roberts Rubins, Lances Blankfeins and Jamies Dimons.

"A quadruplet of leggy, exceptionally flamboyant transvestites reported them missing," said a Hamptons Police Department Spokesperson. "They apparently didn't show up for their appointment. Everybody else did, apparently."

Speculation abounded. Social media was alight, most of the afternoon, the devastation of the errant tomahawks forgotten, Syria seemingly not any longer newz.

"Lances is such a big boy," said one of the man-whores, dressed like a peach peacock dominatrix, to Caty Kurik moments ago. "He likes it so much, he's ever so very punctual."

"Jamies ummm, just so...I hope he's ok," said another, otherwise identifying "herself" as "Jamies's play toy."

The nation is mourning this evening. All four were found in the rubble of the New York Federal Reserve. "Hands on each other's cock," said a clearly angry police representative. "Funny thing was, we didn't find any gold."

Timothys Geitners could not be reached for comment.


Stay tuned for further developments...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 08:12:47 PM
Cootie or Cooter?   :icon_mrgreen:

The way Miley was dancing with mR Thicke, I think she probably has cooties.  :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 08:53:27 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

http://www.youtube.com/v/OoA0cTC228M?feature=player_detailpage

"Putins, Ayatollah whoever, Xi Jing-pings," said Obama, under the influence of the Angels, "sitting in a tree. XYZ, kissing tomahawks baby." As he listened to LCD Soundsytems, Dance Yourself Clean, in an undisclosed location, underground somewhere.

"Assad, aSS-AD, lookitme. Future president of the world, supported by the BushesClintons," mistaking the order of things, but then, not really.

http://www.youtube.com/v/LQZLPV6xcHI?feature=player_detailpage

"U2! What! Shut it off! Those traitor English! Goddammit, Executive Order, no more god-damned English music in the land formerly known as America."

http://www.youtube.com/v/It7107ELQvY?feature=player_detailpage

"Sing it Johnny! Hot damn, gonna ring that Middle East in a ring of fire! Libya, Egypt! Syria! Iran! Feels good god damn, actually, thinking and talking like the Bushes! Fukushima rain down, what do I care, underground! Soon to be in Brussels. Presiding over a New World Order. President of the mother fucking world. Yeah!"

"God dammit! I decreed! No more god damn English music!

http://www.youtube.com/v/luDgb5vVHuA?feature=player_detailpage



Stay tuned for further developments...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 09:05:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/rGKfrgqWcv0?feature=player_detailpage
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - NEWZ FLASH!!!
Post by: WHD on August 30, 2013, 09:18:14 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters:

Overheard on the streeT:

"What the fuck do we do now?"

"Make it up as we go, I guess."

"Like how?"

"Be good and kind to people."

"Yeah, but..."

"Get drunk, get high, grow stuff, build stuff, sing, dance, share."

"Yeah, but..."

"Yeah, but what?"


Stay tuned...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on August 31, 2013, 05:25:58 AM
The Wisdom and Foresight of George Orwell keeps coming to mind. 

What a Diner he would have been!


  WAR IS PEACE                             WAR IS PEACE                              WAR IS PEACE                                  WAR IS PEACE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on August 31, 2013, 05:34:51 AM
An Epic Disaster In The Making: A Round-Up of Articles About Obama's Upcoming War On Syria
http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/an-epic-disaster-in-making-round-up-of.html (http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/08/an-epic-disaster-in-making-round-up-of.html)

(http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2013/06/Obama-G8-Summit_Horo-e1377764771917-635x357.jpg)
Obama looking sombre and grave as he prepares to drop bombs over Damascus. Photo Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci. Cheer up, Obama. We're all mortals.

An Epic Disaster In The Making: A Round-Up of Articles About Obama's Upcoming War On Syria.

"Release of the long-awaited US government intelligence dossier on the alleged chemical attack in Syria on Aug. 21, had been moved and postponed until the media black-hole of a Friday afternoon before a big US holiday weekend.

Now we see why.

Here is the crux of the White House argument for war on Syria:

A chemical attack took place. Trust us. Someone (the Israelis) told us they tapped a call where two Syrian government officials talked about the attack in an incriminating way. Trust us. The Syrian government was moving troops around in a way that suggested they were about to launch a chemical attack. Trust us. More than 1,400 people were killed even though at most a couple of dozen were seen in the videos that purported to be of the attack. Never mind, trust us. We watched a lot of YouTube videos of people who seemed to be suffering from a chemical weapons attack. Trust us." - Daniel McAdams, "Obama's Syria Dossier: 'Trust Us'," Ron Paul Institute, August 30, 2013.

"Barack W. Bush. Joe Cheney. Here they come. Girded for a war that the British took one look at and bailed out on before it even began. Announcing that they are prepared to go it alone. Who said that unilateralism went away with George W. Bush?

Obama said acting unilaterally was a bad thing when he campaigned for office in 2008. That was then. Obama, who has followed in Bush's footsteps on national security surveillance measures, as the Washington Post's extensive revelations about the reach of government spy agencies show today, is about to go to war again." - Jacob Heilbrunn, "Barack W. Bush: Unilateral War In Syria," The National Interest, August 30, 2013.

"Two years ago, Obama declared that Assad “must go,” eviscerating prospects for a political settlement.  Obama further damaged diplomatic prospects with three UN Security Council resolutions effectively authorizing coercive regime change in Damascus, which Russia and China vetoed.  His Syria strategy rested on the surreal proposition that a staggeringly fractious “opposition,” much of which publicly aligns with al-Qa’ida and is not supported by anything close to a majority of Syrians, would unseat Assad, who (according to polls and other evidence) enjoys support from at least half of Syrian society.

Obama compounded all this with an equally foolish declaration that chemical weapons use was a U.S. “red line”—giving those looking for U.S. intervention motive to gas innocent civilians.  Now that such weapons have been used, Obama cannot entertain that oppositionists may be responsible, for this would undercut his Syria strategy.  His administration has presented no evidence that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in Ghouta; when it alleged chemical weapons use at Khan al-Assal in March, it also offered no evidence of government responsibility.  By contrast, Russia publicly presented a detailed forensic analysis showing that neither the munitions used at Khan al-Assal nor the chemical agent in them had been industrially manufactured and that, “therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons.”  Washington rejected this—and, after trying to derail a UN investigation of more recent allegations about Ghouta, has preemptively dismissed whatever UN inspectors there now may conclude." - Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, "Syria and the Waning of American Hegemony," GoingToTehran, August 30, 2013.

"Essentially then, the United States is using social media, a system over which they have control, to justify their pre-fabricated war narrative.  Additionally, the idea that videos constitute a shred of evidence is laughable.  As any investigator can tell you, videos are easily manipulated and, even if they are untouched, they cannot be used to assess the culprit of a crime.  Videos merely show what is visible, not the underlying motives, means, and opportunity – all part of genuine investigation.
Finally, one must feel serious apprehension at the idea of journalist reports as being part of this pastiche called a “high confidence assessment,” for the simple reason that Western coverage of the conflict in Syria is mostly coming from journalists outside the country or those already sympathetic to the rebel cause.  Whether they are paid propagandists or simply convenient tools used as mouthpieces of the corporate media, their reports are highly suspect, and certainly should have no role in shaping war-making policy." - Eric Draitser, Debunking the "U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government's Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013," Land Destroyer Report, August 30, 2013.

"No matter how “limited” the strike, bombing a foreign nation is a major act of war. In fact, after WWII the Nuremberg trial concluded that the Nazis’ “supreme international crime” was not genocide or holocaust, but waging aggressive war, since all other war crimes were spawned from this original sin. Of course, Obama’s aggressive war plans involve more than tossing a couple of missiles at some Syrian tanks. That is why he’s moved five Navy destroyers into the region.

It is also presumably why — as reported by the French daily Le Figaro — hundreds U.S. Special Forces and “trained militant fighters” entered Syria on August 17.   

It has widely been speculated that the real intention of attacking Syria is to prop up Obama’s ailing rebels, who have received massive U.S. support in the form of guns, training, and money, for —according to The New York Times — almost two years now, and possibly longer. It’s an undisputed fact that Islamic extremists militias are the most powerful fighting forces in the opposition to Assad; if he falls then they will be in power." - Shamus Cooke, "The Lie of “Limited” War Against Syria," Global Research, August 31, 2013.

Long Live The King (Kingdom of Heaven) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALq64E0klZI#ws)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - "Senator" Al Franken
Post by: Surly1 on August 31, 2013, 05:37:03 AM
I heard "Senator" Al (MF) Franken on Minnesota Public Radio today arguing that Obama has the unilateral right to bomb Syria, without Congress. He's also been on there lately arguing about the necessity of NSA total surveillance. Who needs "big fat idiot" fascist conservatives when you have liberal comics like that? - WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHvy6gQT3UTRFp13XIOL5_izv54KB8NTs_J40ASlw4KYTKg7xzuQ)

//
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg/240px-Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg)

Utterly appalling. If I didn't know better I would think the Mossad had their hand up his ass.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - "Senator" Al Franken
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 06:29:43 AM
I heard "Senator" Al (MF) Franken on Minnesota Public Radio today arguing that Obama has the unilateral right to bomb Syria, without Congress. He's also been on there lately arguing about the necessity of NSA total surveillance. Who needs "big fat idiot" fascist conservatives when you have liberal comics like that? - WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHvy6gQT3UTRFp13XIOL5_izv54KB8NTs_J40ASlw4KYTKg7xzuQ)

//
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg/240px-Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg)

Utterly appalling. If I didn't know better I would think the Mossad had their hand up his ass.

You mean like a sock puppet?  The only thing any of those miserable failure for statesmen have up their ass is money.  They'll say or do anything as long as you deposit the right amount of money up their ass.  Which the money masters do...of course...shove money up their asses.  That's how they stay in power. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - "Senator" Al Franken
Post by: Surly1 on August 31, 2013, 07:39:48 AM
I heard "Senator" Al (MF) Franken on Minnesota Public Radio today arguing that Obama has the unilateral right to bomb Syria, without Congress. He's also been on there lately arguing about the necessity of NSA total surveillance. Who needs "big fat idiot" fascist conservatives when you have liberal comics like that? - WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHvy6gQT3UTRFp13XIOL5_izv54KB8NTs_J40ASlw4KYTKg7xzuQ)

//
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg/240px-Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg)

Utterly appalling. If I didn't know better I would think the Mossad had their hand up his ass.

You mean like a sock puppet?  The only thing any of those miserable failure for statesmen have up their ass is money.  They'll say or do anything as long as you deposit the right amount of money up their ass.  Which the money masters do...of course...shove money up their asses.  That's how they stay in power.

Precisely.

If this and, say Dianne Feinstein represent what so-called "liberals" look like in the FSA, language, like politics, has lost its meaning.

As I have said to GO, it's all one party anyhow, and you ain't in it. I think George Carlin was the first to observe that. And he's still right.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - "Senator" Al Franken
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 07:44:58 AM
I heard "Senator" Al (MF) Franken on Minnesota Public Radio today arguing that Obama has the unilateral right to bomb Syria, without Congress. He's also been on there lately arguing about the necessity of NSA total surveillance. Who needs "big fat idiot" fascist conservatives when you have liberal comics like that? - WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHvy6gQT3UTRFp13XIOL5_izv54KB8NTs_J40ASlw4KYTKg7xzuQ)

//
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg/240px-Al_Franken_Official_Senate_Portrait.jpg)

Utterly appalling. If I didn't know better I would think the Mossad had their hand up his ass.

You mean like a sock puppet?  The only thing any of those miserable failure for statesmen have up their ass is money.  They'll say or do anything as long as you deposit the right amount of money up their ass.  Which the money masters do...of course...shove money up their asses.  That's how they stay in power.

Precisely.

If this and, say Dianne Feinstein represent what so-called "liberals" look like in the FSA, language, like politics, has lost its meaning.

As I have said to GO, it's all one party anyhow, and you ain't in it. I think George Carlin was the first to observe that. And he's still right.

yeah, Carlin said "it's a club, and you ain't in it...it's the same club they use to beat you on the head with...."

something like that.  I'd put the youtube vid of him doing that bit but I can't seem to figure out how to post youtube videos to the Diner since the change over. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on August 31, 2013, 08:01:46 AM
Quote
something like that.  I'd put the youtube vid of him doing that bit but I can't seem to figure out how to post youtube videos to the Diner since the change over. 

Right click on vid, copy embed code, paste in comment box, highlight, click embed icon. I typically resize diner embed code to 660/449, and center.

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 08:26:17 AM
Quote
something like that.  I'd put the youtube vid of him doing that bit but I can't seem to figure out how to post youtube videos to the Diner since the change over. 

Right click on vid, copy embed code, paste in comment box, highlight, click embed icon. I typically resize diner embed code to 660/449, and center.

WHD
http://www.youtube.com/v/i5dBZDSSky0?feature=player_detailpage
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 08:27:14 AM
thanks William  ;)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 07:32:59 PM
Newsflash:

Current Republicrat in White House gains new title of Chief Waffler. No surprise to the cynical, lemmings confused by apparent change in useless saber rattling rhetoric.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/31/20273128-the-white-house-walk-and-talk-that-changed-obamas-mind-on-syria?lite (http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/31/20273128-the-white-house-walk-and-talk-that-changed-obamas-mind-on-syria?lite)

WTF are you talking about :icon_scratch:

"saber rattling rhetoric"...what are you plugged into homey?  A civil war reenactment of Greeks philosophizing? 

I mean...a saber?  What exactly does a saber have to do with anything these days other than MSM bullshit?   
Title: Unidentified Navy/Marine Officer on the Syrian War
Post by: RE on August 31, 2013, 08:52:52 PM
H/T Zero Hedge.

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/08-2/MARINE.jpg)

RE
Title: Syria: Ambrose Flaunts his Illuminati Pedigree!
Post by: RE on August 31, 2013, 09:36:33 PM
This says it all about Ambrose:

Quote from: Ambrose
I have been following this debate with a keen interest because my father, E E Evans-Pritchard – an Arabic speaker, and captain in the Eighth Army – wrote the original intelligence report on the Alawite region of Syria in 1942, while planning for a post-war settlement. I am told that this included a classified profile of the Assad family, already seen as future leaders.

You see how at the end off WWII the "Leadership" of these countries was chosen by the colonial powers, Victors in this War for Resources.

Ambrose now sees it as our "responsibility" to take care of our Syrian Children.  I am Heaving the Technicolor Yawn here.

(http://mrbricksworld.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/family-guy.gif?w=610)

Quote from: Ambrose
Now we must deliver on our duty of care to the Syrian people as best we can.

I do not see what we are DELIVERING as CARE here.  JMHO.

(http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/b-1b/images/b-1b_4.jpg)


RE


Syria: David Cameron's fairly honourable defeat (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10276421/Syria-David-Camerons-fairly-honourable-defeat.html)

The question of who murdered 1,430 civilians remains but, crucially, so too does our faith in the power of democracy


(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02657/assad_2657878b.jpg)
Iron grip: Syria's late President al-Assad with his sons Bassel and Bashar  Photo: Alamy

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

8:34PM BST 30 Aug 2013

Thursday was, above all, a momentous day for British democracy. The era of presidential rule is over. Parliament has reclaimed the powers chipped away by successive prime ministers, most notably Tony Blair.

It has even snatched some it never had, beyond control of the purse. There can now be no going to war on executive authority alone, or by royal prerogative. Britain’s living constitution was re-fashioned before our eyes, in eight hours of exhilarating debate. Much of the world’s political class watched events unfold, riveted by the clash of moral argument. Has anything quite like it been seen since the Bulgarian Atrocities of 1876, when Gladstone turned the slaughter of civilians in a faraway country into the central issue of British politics?

Whether David Cameron is down, or Ed Miliband is up, is essentially trivial. The Government handled the crisis badly, of course – no doubt pressured into premature action by Washington for reasons of military imperative. Yes, Assad is dispersing his targets. Every day counts. But this is the Schlieffen Plan reflex: you cannot let railway timetables dictate great-power diplomacy.

In retrospect, it was foolish even to think of pre-empting the UN weapons inspectors, given what happened in the “poisoned well” of Iraq. They will determine exactly what chemicals were used. That is part of building a case: given that a senior UN official, Carla Del Ponte, suggested in March that the rebels might well have used sarin gas, one might reasonably hesitate until we know a great deal more than we know now.

Many of us had been through this before. Personally, I was assured by Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, at a Nato summit in Brussels just before the invasion of Iraq that the Government had the intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD. “Just trust me, we have the proof but can’t reveal sources,” he said to four of us, all British journalists. We did indeed trust him, and bitter we are too, snake-bitten for ever.

Yet the reality remains that somebody killed at least 1,429 people in Damascus with chemical weapons, including at least 426 children. And the preponderance of evidence points one way. Will we let this stand?

The Joint Intelligence Committee almost certainly “sexed down” the dossier this time, bending over backwards to be as banal as possible – but also because almost nobody in the upper echelons of the British security services and Armed Forces thinks that a fusillade of Tomahawk missiles makes much sense, if any. It is jejune to send “messages” in such a fashion. As one Labour MP put it, in warfare you are either “in or out”.

I have been following this debate with a keen interest because my father, E E Evans-Pritchard – an Arabic speaker, and captain in the Eighth Army – wrote the original intelligence report on the Alawite region of Syria in 1942, while planning for a post-war settlement. I am told that this included a classified profile of the Assad family, already seen as future leaders.

There were very good reasons why the French and the British chose to rebuild Syria the way they did, searching for a formula that could hold together a mosaic of Orthodox Christians, Assyrian Chaldean Christians, Melkite Catholics, Alawites, Jews, Sunnis, Shiites and Druze. Mess with that at your peril.

In terms of the broader context, it is now said that Britain’s “Special Relationship” with the US is in ruins. Such claims are overly melodramatic. Much the same divisions exist internally within Congress, and within US public opinion. There will be a great many Americans who sympathise with the House of Commons, and who want their own restraining debate. Indeed, many Congressmen have called for such a hearing.

Ultimately, President Barack Obama is rushing into half-baked action for the wrong reason, because he offered a hostage to fortune a year ago by declaring the use of chemical weapons against civilians to be his red line. He is now preparing to go to war – for war it is – to uphold his own credibility. This is not a proper foundation for great power policy. Palmerston got away with it, but he chose his incidents more shrewdly. In the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former US National Security Advisor, if Mr Obama has coherent policy on Syria, “it is a well-kept secret”.

The result is a colossal mess, which can only end badly whatever happens. If the US acts, it will stir up a hornets’ nest without solving anything. And what happens if Assad survives the missile strike unscathed and then uses chemical weapons a second time? Retreat at this late stage would be seen as abdication, risking a free-for-all across the region. Yet I think this is the lesser danger.

What Washington and London should have done was to build a moral and strategic case methodically, brick by brick. They should have exhausted the UN channels before uttering a single word about missiles, pushing first for a vote that placed Vladimir Putin on the record as the defender of chemical-weapons atrocities.

America should have used its diplomatic power to put China on the spot, forced to choose whether it wished to be in the same camp as the pariah Putin, or one step safely removed. Mr Obama should have held Russia’s feet ever closer to the fire, refusing to attend the G20 in St Petersburg, flicking the “reset button” back off again, tightening a cordon sanitaire of Cold War isolation.

Let us not forget which is the superpower, and which is the basket case. For all the talk of American decline, the reality is that the US is storming back – soon to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, and likely to retain its economic dominance over China for at least another half-century – while Russia faces demographic collapse, a victim of gross misgovernment, hobbled by the resource curse of oil wealth.

It may seem cynical to say that treating this crisis as a management task, conducted by calibrated diplomacy and soft power, will do more for Syrian civilians in the end than spasms of media-friendly emotion. Unfortunately, the cynics are often right.

My hope is that David Cameron will come out of this episode less damaged than is currently assumed. His behaviour has been civilised – even altruistic to a fault. He bent over backwards to secure consent. He gave Parliament the last say. There is no shame in honourable defeat, for an honourable cause.

As for Ed Miliband, the Labour Party was right to demand delay – but we are left with the deep suspicion that he played party politics, luring the Prime Minister into a snare. You do not do that in the great power league, or in the face of atrocities.

For Parliament, it has been a week of triumph. The House of Commons has prevented a historic blunder. It is asserting almost Cromwellian ascendancy; let us hope it keeps hold of this power in the face of Europe’s encroachments. In the end, the will of the people has prevailed. Now we must deliver on our duty of care to the Syrian people as best we can.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Jaded Prole on September 01, 2013, 04:39:01 AM
It is a victory for all of us that Obama now has to fade into the fetid swamp of idiocy that is Congress. I hope for some P-Tardy obstruction on this.

Let the idiocy begin:

 http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/8/31/in-congress-someuniqueviewsonsyria.html (http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/8/31/in-congress-someuniqueviewsonsyria.html)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 01, 2013, 07:04:58 AM
It is a victory for all of us that Obama now has to fade into the fetid swamp of idiocy that is Congress. I hope for some P-Tardy obstruction on this.

Let the idiocy begin:

 http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/8/31/in-congress-someuniqueviewsonsyria.html (http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/8/31/in-congress-someuniqueviewsonsyria.html)

JP,

Leave it up to Louie Gohmert to state the unfckngbelievable. I think he knows exactly what a gomer he is and is taking it out on the world. LOL.

Quote
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas

“'Yes, we knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,' Gohmert said on Washington Watch, citing Saddam Hussein’s 1988 gas attack against Kurds in Halabja. 'There were rumors about them moving over into Syria and other countries but they never were able to verify where they went but we knew he had them. So anyway, there was talk about nuclear arms, but we knew he had those and now we know Syria has them.'”

Thanks for the link. I can already tell Al Jazerra will be a daily check-in for me on my Internet rounds. Very professional, neat and trim. The other major networks including googly yah-ho and msn are for the matrix dwellers, who want to be told what to think and how.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 01, 2013, 07:24:08 AM
Newsflash:

Current Republicrat in White House gains new title of Chief Waffler. No surprise to the cynical, lemmings confused by apparent change in useless saber rattling rhetoric.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/31/20273128-the-white-house-walk-and-talk-that-changed-obamas-mind-on-syria?lite (http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/31/20273128-the-white-house-walk-and-talk-that-changed-obamas-mind-on-syria?lite)

eMking,

Based on your 'chief waffler' and 'useless saber rattling', and your past rhetoric, can we assume you would have dropped a nuclear weapon on Damascus a long time ago, occupying Syria as we speak with an invasion force crossing the border into Iran?

Hint - literary license is for those around here who have a heart.

WHD

I mean...a saber?  What exactly does a saber have to do with anything these days other than MSM bullshit?

Literary license receives no notice among the intellectually confused. MSM bullshit? You mean, what Surly1 falls for every time he pimps one of the MSM current events episodes into something to distract from non-collapse? Please....


(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQKBDw1HT00F6-Go4jw_LU69XbcaSrJKjzz_9kbqa0Wvm3AP5Nk)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 01, 2013, 08:38:59 AM
“'Yes, we knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,' Gohmert said on Washington Watch....
because the Germans sold him WMD when he was at war with Iran, he failed to mention.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 01, 2013, 08:59:42 AM

eMking,

Based on your 'chief waffler' and 'useless saber rattling', and your past rhetoric, can we assume you would have dropped a nuclear weapon on Damascus a long time ago, occupying Syria as we speak with an invasion force crossing the border into Iran?

Of course not. I was merely noting that those who speak with forked tongue get what they deserve, credibility wise. It strikes me that even the modern world of RE "everyone cares about me driving my SUV to McDonalds because it is me doing it and therefore special" saying what you mean, and following through with it, has value.

Our current Republicrat President, lacking experience commiserate with his age in business, politics, or much of anything really, does not have these basic precepts figured out apparently. Unfortunate for him. And us.

Mking,

Well then, presuming you have the commiserate experience in business, politics and most everything apparently, the only one here apparently who doesn't speak with a forked tongue, please enlighten us as to the basic precepts of a proper Middle East foreign policy?

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 01, 2013, 10:18:42 AM

Mking,

Well then, presuming you have the commiserate experience in business, politics and most everything apparently, the only one here apparently who doesn't speak with a forked tongue, please enlighten us as to the basic precepts of a proper Middle East foreign policy?

WHD

My experience is primarily technical and relates to project management. I am also wise beyond my years.  8)

So of course I have an opinion based upon that experience.  :icon_study:

Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

i.e. couch the language of regime change and imperialism in the language of the humanitarian? How again would your big stick relate to the Middle East, oh soft speaking man of wisdom beyond your years?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 01, 2013, 08:18:25 PM
Quote
And as far as the big stick and the Middle East, that is easy. I would tax crude oil imported into the US from anywhere outside of North America at $200/bbl. Maybe $250.

Fine with me, as that would be more than enough to crash the economy. Most of the country no longer able to drive to work anymore.

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Jim Willie Golden Jackass on Syria, Demise of Petro-Dollar
Post by: WHD on September 02, 2013, 09:57:01 AM
Kunstler linked this article in his blog. Very Interesting stuff.

WHD



http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-syria-pipeline-politics-opec-the-usdollar/ (http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-syria-pipeline-politics-opec-the-usdollar/)


Syria is about the last gasp for the Petro-Dollar, the emergence of energy pipeline geopolitics, the rise of the NatGas Co-op, the new dominance of Russian Gazprom, the eclipse of OPEC, the fall of the house of Saud, and a grand adjustment process in global commerce and banking.

The NatGas Co-op eclipses OPEC and ushers in a new era.

Refer to trade settlement outside the USDollar and diversification away from USTreasury Bond reserves management. It took some time to realize it, but the Cyprus bank incident was a misdirected attack against Gazprom. It failed. The entire Arab Spring movement, an ambitious disruptive project waged with foolhardy ambitions, has turned on itself. Egypt fell, its US puppet discharged. The entire North African region will be in flames soon. The USGovt interfered with a grand industrialization project for European industry, to be placed on North Africa intended to take advantage of cheaper labor, available minerals, nearby resources, and easy shipping. The resentment of Europe will show up in the future. The Middle East and Persian Gulf region is shifting its salute to Russia & China, as the noisy sectarian battles have been a common fixture since long ago. Bahrain has erupted. Saudi is clamping down and converting into an Islamic police state to create the Iran-Saudi repressive bobsey twins. Chaos is the longstanding objective of the USGovt in foreign policy infection, no change in decades.

 

Syria is about a lot of things, most of which are volatile, many unsolvable. To be sure, the naval port of Tartus is valuable for the Russian Military, always eager to wrest a seaport. Like Lebanon, Syria is a hotbed stronghold for HezBollah, never to be taken lightly. They are mortal enemies to Israel, whose nations have exchanged covert violence for years. Syria might have tight relations with the Shiites of Iran, even some in Iraq. However, Syria represents the crossroads of many important shifting geopolitical roadways that pertain to the global financial structure and commercial systems. Syria is the tipping point for a Grand Global Paradigm Shift. It is the last stand for the Anglo Banker world. Syria will not go easily into the Russian camp, into the Gazprom fold, into the European energy market sphere. For if it does, the entire USDollar system of commerce and the USTreasury Bond system of reserves management will fall by the wayside and open a new era with Eastern dominance. But the Western powers cannot stop it. Clouds of whatever type do not halt pipeline flow, nor pipeline geopolitics.

 

WHAT SYRIA MEANS

Syria stands at the door to the emergence of the Eastern Alliance, the new dominant energy pipelines, a new payment system detached from the USDollar and Anglo banks. Syria stands at the door which controls some incremental European energy supply. Syria stands at the door to Gold Trade Settlement, with a transition step that brings more importance to commodity backed currencies and proper valid systems for trade. Syria means the pipelines strangle the USDollar. Syria means the end of the US system of IOU coupons that pollute the global banking system. Syria means the status quo is coming to an abrupt end. Syria represents a clash of East versus West, which has more commercial and bank significance than anything reported by the lapdog press. Notice the direct line from Iran through Iraq to Syria. The natgas of Iran reaches the Mediterranean Sea through Syria.

 

(http://www.silverdoctors.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/willie.jpg)

 

RISE OF PIPELINE POLITICS

Syria is the end port for what the Jackass calls the Shiite Gas Pipeline. It begins in Iran and ends at the Mediterranean seaport in Syria. It was designed to terminate at a Shiite friendly nation. Thus my informal name. Ironically, Qatar is fighting against the Syrian Assad loyalists, but the Qatari natural gas will be directed into the same pipeline. In the last year, a giant Persian Gulf gas discovery was made in a joint Iran-Qatar project. Syria is about the last gasp for the Petro-Dollar. It represents a climax in Energy Pipeline Politics. Quietly for the last 15 to 20 years, Russia has been building crude oil pipelines and natural gas pipelines from the Mother Russian lands to points in Europe and China and the Former Soviet Republics. They have been constructing modern LNG gas port facilities. They have been forging contracts to supply energy to countless nations. The US-led plans have been more interference than constructive. They have consistently attempted to obstruct, rather than to build with some justification of common benefit.

The US news networks cannot tell why or how Syria is important relative to the USDollar. Most Americans cannot define money, let alone conceive of a Petro-Dollar defacto standard. They do not comprehend the global banking system having practices as an extension of Saudi crude oil sales in USDollars. They remember nothing of the Kissinger Arab Oil Surplus Recycle Pact into USTreasury Bonds and US big bank stocks. The focus should be on Pipelines and the closely related geopolitics. The focus should be on the eclipse of OPEC. The focus should be on the loss of Western Europe to the Russian fold, where natural gas supply will alter decisions. Notice the UK Parliament did not offer military support for the USGovt in Syria. They might have received a phone call from either Putin at the Kremlin or the CEO of Gazprom. Coming to a world near you is the NatGas Coop led by Gazprom. A regular feature  in geopolitical decisions will be the integration of natgas supply to Europe and Great Britain.

 

ECLIPSE OF OPEC

Clearly heading out is OPEC and its influence. The dirty secret for ten years has been the depletion and decline in Saudi oil reserves. The water cut has surpassed 80% on a regular basis at Saudi oilfields. It is the percentage of water in produced “oil” wells. The interior pressures are dissipated. The Saudis are suffering from lost oil surplus, rising government debt, higher domestic energy costs, higher food costs, internal strife, fascist islamic rule, rising political prisoner population, and geriatrics at the throne. It sure would be good to know how King Abdullah returned from a coma after a few months, where his organs were declared defunct. Maybe like Saddam Hussein, he has some handy doubles. The OPEC nations in the last several years have become a loud disorganized gaggle of devious dealers who discount prices and lie on output on a regular basis. The cartel has no unity anymore. Their honorable Saudi core is disintegrating. The Saudi OPEC core is precisely the foundation to the Petro-Dollar and the justification for global banking systems being based in USTreasury Bonds. Coming online is the NatGas Coop. Coming online is gold trade settlement. Coming online is the BRICS Bank. Coming into prominent view is Gazprom, the leader of the NatGas Coop. It has some powerful strange bedfellows who deal in one currency, natural gas.

 

CYPRUS INDIRECT ATTACK

The news networks told of Cyprus being the site of bank crisis, account confiscations, the bail-in procedures creating a Western model, and resolutions. It took a while to realize, but the Jackass back in the March Hat Trick Letter noted the Gazprom angle and potential motive. The Jackass mapped out a Prima Facie case for motive on the Cyprus bank attack. It was a challenge to Gazprom and the Russian banking system, more than a Bail-in Model. It was an attempt to cut off the Russian encroachment into Europe with their Gazprom weapon, the most disruptive economic weapon seen in decades.

War Bird

Cyprus used to serve as the primary window for the entire Russian banking system, and the central bank too. All bank transactions from Russia went through Cyprus. The conclusion could be that the Bail-in procedure is a suicide pact for the West. It is a declaration that if accounting rules are to be enforced, and capital requirements enforced, then the big Western banks would slit their throats and force the vanish of private bank accounts. Ditto if the legal prosecution of big bank were to begin in earnest. They cannot pull that switch unless major banks are all dead gone, from grotesque contagion. Since Lehman failed, all the big Western banks are lashed together, much like sailors at sea on deck during a nasty storm. If one goes, all go. The banker elite needed to disguise their attack of Gazprom in Cyprus. They wanted to interrupt the progress made by Russia in Pipeline Politics. The public bought the false story, again, like they always do. They do not think beyond the first visible layer.

 

FAILED USGOVT POLICY

The USGovt lost on disruptions to Iran internet and undersea communication lines between 2004 and 2007. To be sure, the planned Iranian island center for trade processing never occurred, a success of sorts. The USGovt lost on Iranian sanctions. The rise of Turkey, India, and Chinese deals with unique payment systems have come to the table. Even the Japanese and South Koreans refused to play along. The entire workaround process served as a training ground for gold trade settlement. It will have a certain blossom, with the full weight of the BRICS nations behind the current initiatives. The US lost on Iran-Pakistan Pipeline, since China stepped forward, guaranteed funding for its completion, and even worked to extend the connected pipelines to the Western border of China for supply. The USGovt lost with its puppet named Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in Egypt. The unspoken cause was food price inflation, not political discord as reported by the US news network minions. The USGovt won the Qaddafi’s gold (144 tons) but with a grand backfire on the Libyan Embassy controversy. The Pentagon does not appreciate the sacrifice of Navy SEALS to deceit and hidden motives. The biggest failure by the USGovt could be the monetary policy at work by the US Federal Reserve. The QE bond purchase program has produced massive broad price inflation globally, in addition to rising energy costs, rising material costs, and rising related follow-on costs. It is difficult to find any USGovt or USFed policy of value, other than to serve the bank syndicate.

 

NATGAS COOP

The key to the future is seen on the margin of new power. It is the Natural Gas Coop. To date, it has no name. Curiously, its power might lie in the fact that it has no name, no central nexus. It is a de-centralized cooperative. But more accurately, it has a Russian core, a brain trust at Gazprom. It has a certain Kremlin command center, since a newfound strategic weapon. It is their greatest global weapon in decades. The strange bedfellows consist of Russia (home HQ of Gazprom), Turkmenistan (#2 natgas global producer), Iran (giant renegade producer), Qatar (biggest LNG star), and Israel (from Tamar Platform). The presence of Sunni Qatar from the Persian Gulf and US Fascist Ally Israel make for the odd mix. In June, the Israel Govt signed a deal with Russian Gazprom. It called for directing all surplus natgas output from Tamar to the Gazprom pipeline system, and the European market. The Israeli Economy will greatly benefit from the surplus revenue.

 

Game over for OPEC and a guaranteed demise of the Petro-Dollar. Simply stated, Saudi Arabia is to OPEC, what Russia is to NatGas Coop. The phase out of OPEC is in progress, without much recognition. The emergence of the NatGas Coop is to be better understood in the near future. A tremendously important shift is taking place in energy geopolitics. The consequences will be rapid diversification out of the USTreasury Bond, colossal Indirect Exchange in asset deals, and broad abandonment (aka dumping). In the process, almost no buyers of USGovt debt will be visible, and the USFed will be leaned upon more fully for bond purchases. The Weimar machinery will strain to the limit. The USGovt debt default will occur, as the event has become more visible, a 2008 Hat Trick Letter forecast.

 

DEMISE OF PETRO-DOLLAR

Not 5% of Americans comprehend the defacto Petro-Dollar standard. They will when the Saudis must step aside and permit OPEC to be eclipsed by the NatGas Coop with its expansive global network of pipelines. The great USDollar devaluation will occur when the Petro-Dollar falls by the wayside. The result will be profound price inflation in the USEconomy. The fall of the Saudi regime is guaranteed eventually, and likely soon. The Saudis cannot play both sides (US & Russia) successfully. They will fail with both partners. The NatGas Pipelines are critical, as they wield enormous economic leverage and power. Together, the NatGas Coop phases out OPEC and assures the end of the USDollar as it is currently known and structured. Watch the Saudis soon indicate that non-USDollar payments are accepted for crude oil sales, like accepting GBPounds, Euros, Japanese Yen, even Swiss Francs. Watch the Saudis closely for various signals of impending doom, death signals. As energy sales move gradually, then rapidly, away from the USD settlement, the world will go through a transformation. The banking system will change in their foundations, one nation at a time, with diversification away from USTBonds. It is Game Over!!

 

Syria is the last line of defense for the USDollar and the exalted position of OPEC. Syria is the potential recognized debut of the NatGas Coop in significance. It is all hidden, except to the Hat Trick Letter. In the new era emerging, Gold will prevail as the Gold Trade Standard is put in place. It will not be done with a stake in the ground from the banking system of the FOREX currency trading arenas. Therefore it is so dangerous to the status quo. My full expectation is that the USGovt will back off in Syria. The retreat will not be seen as a magnanimous gesture, but rather more like a bully backing down. Revelations will be very damaging on chemical weapons and the roles played. Roots to Saddam Hussein will be reviewed. Iran already has tens of thousands killed by chemical weapons over 20 years ago in a war waged with Iraq, with a hand from the Bushes. The United States leadership is in for some cold water in the face. The United States is due for some extreme isolation. The NatGas Coop will change the global map. It will open the door to the Eurasian Trade Zone for commerce, and open the door to the Gold Trade Settlement for finance. Some quantum leaps are in store and soon. Gold will emerge with a new Gold Trade Standard, whose price will shock most observers. Think multiples higher. Syria is a seminal event for gold.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 02, 2013, 10:06:04 AM
Remarkable article. Bears further investgation, but it has the whiff of truth.

Or perhaps that's cordite.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 02, 2013, 10:46:47 AM
Been reading Jim Willie for years, and it's usually worthwhile.  He often adds to my stock of puzzle pieces. 

A man who calls himself Jackass is likely dealing with the ego problems of high intelligence so they don't obscure his vision.

His open articles seem somewhat limited in focus, perhaps in seach of subscribers, or maybe by a desire to remain alive.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 02, 2013, 11:25:50 AM
Been reading Jim Willie for years, and it's usually worthwhile.  He often adds to my stock of puzzle pieces. 

A man who calls himself Jackass is likely dealing with the ego problems of high intelligence so they don't obscure his vision.

His open articles seem somewhat limited in focus, perhaps in seach of subscribers, or maybe by a desire to remain alive.

Hi Snowleopard. Dr. Willie is a very bright fellow, has a doctors degree in statistics and is a most respected member of the Gold bug community.

Have introduced him previously to the forum but he didn't get much attention, probably because the articles  presented were his thoughts on Gold. This one on Syria points  out his unique perspective on matters, and as you say creates puzzles as well as answers. He is well worth reading.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2013, 11:43:48 AM
Cocaine's for horses, now it ain't for men
The doctor said it'll kill you but he didn't say when


It's that "when" question that nobody can answer, Not even Jim Willie, who seems to get the big picture. Rickard's book is full of the same logic...but the when...and the speed of the collapse...subject to speculation.

Right now we have asset deflation combined with inflation in energy costs and food costs. To understand the future just magnify both of those a thousand times. Sort of like the Great Depression on steroids, except with no subsistence food growers.

Time to plant the fall garden in Texas. I need to put in a lot more beds.I'm glad I got the dump trailer and my composting operation started. But I am going to buy more bulk soil, as Brandon smith suggested. Garden soil is the new gold.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: In vote on Syria strike, Americans face moment of truth for
Post by: g on September 02, 2013, 11:51:34 AM
In vote on Syria strike, Americans face moment of truth for 'values that define us'

                                                               As Congress preps for a vote on a possible US punitive strike on the Syria regime, Obama frames the issue as one about 'values that define us.' That throws the question squarely on defining the American identity.
                                                               
syria full 380
syria full 380
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, pictured here last May, has been moved with four other ships into the Red Sea in what officials call 'prudent planning' in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria.
(Reuters)

By the Monitor's Editorial Board / September 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm EDT

Before Congress votes on a resolution in support of an American military strike on Syria, it should carefully study President Obama’s Aug. 31 statement for the priorities he lays out. The statement will help guide the debate and influence the choice that the people’s representatives must make on whether to back an act of war.

What stands out in the statement is that Mr. Obama speaks more as a global leader than a national one. He starts from the basis of universal ideals, such as human dignity, constancy in values, and a shared responsibility of nations for global order. The congressional resolution proposed by the White House anchors the purpose of an American attack on the need to uphold “international norms, laws of war, and the international Chemical Weapons Convention.”

Obama hints that a limited strike on Syria’s military as a punitive act would reaffirm the identity of Americans as a people with a larger mission than narrow national self-interests. “We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us,” he said.

Yet Obama also seems rightly humbled by the fact that previous presidents evoked the “values that define us” for past wars, with some of those disappointing Americans on promised outcomes. The Iraq war, for example, remains an open disappointment compared with its original purposes, such as establishing an Arab democracy. Even in the 2011 campaign in Libya, Obama’s initial humanitarian goal ended up being transformed into regime change and an uncertain future for Libya.

Wars rarely go as expected. But America’s mistakes in past conflicts, and even its hypocrisy at times, may not be enough to end the role it assumed in the 20th century in taking the lead to set up international norms, such as treaties on nuclear and chemical weapons and bans on terrorism and genocide. “We aren’t perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities,” he said.

If US lawmakers accept that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, they too must weigh the balance between affirming America’s identity as a global ideal leader against a humility in knowing the history of America’s war-waging disappointments.

Since 2009, Obama has turned America inward in many ways to fix its many problems. But having long held a vision of a world free of the most destructive weapons, he has wisely taken the Syrian question to Congress as a test of whether Americans still uphold a universal idealism.

To win the argument, he tries to assure those wary and weary Americans that an attack on Syria won’t repeat the mistakes of recent wars. This one would not put US soldiers on the ground. It is not designed to solve Syria’s civil war, let alone resolve the deep sectarian fissures of the Middle East.

For those not persuaded of idealist action, Obama also says a strike on Syria would serve a specific purpose of “national security” – reducing the possibility that chemical weapons might end up being used against Americans or on US soil.

Other specific US interests probably drove Obama to seek an attack. Confronting Syria may be a signal to Iran that it cannot cross a red line in developing an atomic weapon. The US must also assist Israel in guarding against Syria’s chemical weapons possibly being set loose for an attack on Israel.

The vote in Congress will not really be a constitutional exercise. Obama claims legal authority to strike Syria without congressional approval. The United Nations, he suggests, is currently a failed mechanism to enforce global rules when Russia and China seem intent on wielding their veto threats to exert their power.

The vote is not even really a referendum. Pollsters can do that. Rather it is the president’s way of asking every voting American to reflect on the “values that define us.”

In the week or more that lawmakers will hear from constituents – and with the political freedom to vote their conscience rather than on a party line – Congress will either try to fix America’s historic but tarnished role or push it into a new but undefined future.

Obama has made his case. Too many past presidents didn’t pass the buck and instead opted for war. This president says an attack on Syria requires the buck to stop with all Americans.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2013/0902/In-vote-on-Syria-strike-Americans-face-moment-of-truth-for-values-that-define-us (http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2013/0902/In-vote-on-Syria-strike-Americans-face-moment-of-truth-for-values-that-define-us)  :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 02, 2013, 11:57:00 AM
Cocaine's for horses, now it ain't for men
The doctor said it'll kill you but he didn't say when


It's that "when" question that nobody can answer, Not even Jim Willie, who seems to get the big picture. Rickard's book is full of the same logic...but the when...and the speed of the collapse...subject to speculation.

Right now we have asset deflation combined with inflation in energy costs and food costs. To understand the future just magnify both of those a thousand times. Sort of like the Great Depression on steroids, except with no subsistence food growers.

Time to plant the fall garden in Texas. I need to put in a lot more beds.I'm glad I got the dump trailer and my composting operation started. But I am going to buy more bulk soil, as Brandon smith suggested. Garden soil is the new gold.

Hi Doc, Not sure about the asset deflation, but the inflation part seems true enough.

Great to have you back posting.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2013, 12:07:41 PM
I see it as inevitable because of the need for asset managers...as well as millions of Americans...to deleverage themselves as the bond markets unwind. I don't see how that can NOT happen. I wish I could.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2013, 12:17:42 PM
And we do have relative asset deflation now, despite what the MSM says. I am actually still underwater on one nice piece of real estate here in the hot, hot market of Austin Texas...that I bought in 2009, AFTER  the market collapse. If that's the case here, it certainly is the case in weaker markets. It's a mixed recovery we're having...if you want to call it a recovery. Imo, the hot market here has more to do with shifting demographics than any real national recovery.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 02, 2013, 01:06:45 PM
Cocaine's for horses, now it ain't for men
The doctor said it'll kill you but he didn't say when


It's that "when" question that nobody can answer, Not even Jim Willie, who seems to get the big picture. Rickard's book is full of the same logic...but the when...and the speed of the collapse...subject to speculation.

Right now we have asset deflation combined with inflation in energy costs and food costs. To understand the future just magnify both of those a thousand times. Sort of like the Great Depression on steroids, except with no subsistence food growers.

Time to plant the fall garden in Texas. I need to put in a lot more beds.I'm glad I got the dump trailer and my composting operation started. But I am going to buy more bulk soil, as Brandon smith suggested. Garden soil is the new gold.

It is great mental exercise speculating and reading other's views on the timing and outcome of moves in the so-called "Great Game".   No doubt the timing and speed of collapse will be influenced by which wars get started and how they turn out.   Since most of the real dialogue is conducted in secret, I suspect there are surprises ahead for most of us.

It's easy to spend alot of time thinking about things we cannot effect, and little time acting on those we can.  Your focus on improving/adding to your garden soil seems an appropriate response.  I'll be working on expanding next year's garden space soon, once the firewood racks/sheds are full. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 02, 2013, 01:07:23 PM
Garden soil is the new gold.
One problem with that metaphor: gold is very easily transportable, garden soil is not, especially after gasoline is no longer affordable.  Vacuum-sealed garden seeds might come closer, although they have a different problem, being perishable.

Still, now is the time to load up on garden soil, while it is still dirt cheap...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2013, 01:36:45 PM
One problem with that metaphor: gold is very easily transportable, garden soil is not,

The main reason I never wanted to be a farmer as a young man, was that unlike my father and grandfather before me, I wanted to be free to travel. I always knew that farmers are tied to the land. Even when my Dad was quite old, he'd come for a visit, but in a couple of days he'd be worried about getting back to his animals.

Even the little bit of gardening I've started doing in the past couple of years has made me the same way...except maybe worse,because the water situation here is much more critical than where I was raised over on the eastern side of the "dry line". I almost lost two fig trees in my yard this last week while I was gone...in spite of the fact that the kids did water them...just not as regularly as I do.

It's ironic to me to be moving in that direction...but if you are going to grow food, you have to put down your own roots somewhere.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 02, 2013, 03:07:17 PM
The main reason I never wanted to be a farmer as a young man, was that unlike my father and grandfather before me, I wanted to be free to travel. I always knew that farmers are tied to the land. Even when my Dad was quite old, he'd come for a visit, but in a couple of days he'd be worried about getting back to his animals.

Even the little bit of gardening I've started doing in the past couple of years has made me the same way...except maybe worse,because the water situation here is much more critical than where I was raised over on the eastern side of the "dry line". I almost lost two fig trees in my yard this last week while I was gone...in spite of the fact that the kids did water them...just not as regularly as I do.

It's ironic to me to be moving in that direction...but if you are going to grow food, you have to put down your own roots somewhere.
That is the difference between agriculture and permaculture.  A well-designed, established permacultural system you can literally walk away from for years and come back and it will be more productive than when you left it.  Of course, it won't be feeding you while you're away from it, and you won't necessarily be able to take a break from it before it is established.  But Geoff Lawton demonstrated this property of permacultural systems, albeit unintentionally, in his Greening the Desert video.  He set up a permaculture system in Jordan, and after two years the funding for it ran out, so it had to be abandoned.  He came back 10 years later, and as a whole the place was more productive than when he left it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 02, 2013, 03:29:37 PM
The main reason I never wanted to be a farmer as a young man, was that unlike my father and grandfather before me, I wanted to be free to travel. I always knew that farmers are tied to the land. Even when my Dad was quite old, he'd come for a visit, but in a couple of days he'd be worried about getting back to his animals.

Even the little bit of gardening I've started doing in the past couple of years has made me the same way...except maybe worse,because the water situation here is much more critical than where I was raised over on the eastern side of the "dry line". I almost lost two fig trees in my yard this last week while I was gone...in spite of the fact that the kids did water them...just not as regularly as I do.

It's ironic to me to be moving in that direction...but if you are going to grow food, you have to put down your own roots somewhere.
That is the difference between agriculture and permaculture.  A well-designed, established permacultural system you can literally walk away from for years and come back and it will be more productive than when you left it.  Of course, it won't be feeding you while you're away from it, and you won't necessarily be able to take a break from it before it is established.  But Geoff Lawton demonstrated this property of permacultural systems, albeit unintentionally, in his Greening the Desert video.  He set up a permaculture system in Jordan, and after two years the funding for it ran out, so it had to be abandoned.  He came back 10 years later, and as a whole the place was more productive than when he left it.

Are you familiar with the premise that Charles Mann advanced in 1491 as regards the native peoples and the Americas? He said that in many places that the europeans made as "wilderness," the native peoples had actally cultivated fruit and nut trees in a plan that sounds similar.

Good link ere:
http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/What_American_Indians_can_teach_us_about_permaculture/ (http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/What_American_Indians_can_teach_us_about_permaculture/)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 02, 2013, 04:33:49 PM
You can breathe a Sigh of Relief.

Elvis sees escalation of the Syrian War as unlikely.  From Economic Undertow (http://www.economic-undertow.com/2013/09/02/left-to-our-own-devices/#comment-29204):

Quote from: Steve from Virginia
For this reason, there is diminishing likelihood of a US or NATO attack on Syria, only saber-rattling to keep the crude price from plunging below cost of production. The consuming world cannot afford to attack Syria, it cannot afford the risk of a wider conflict, it cannot afford for the Saudis and Iranians to launch missiles at each others’ tankers, pipelines, fuel terminals and desalinization plants. As with everything else in this not-quite-so-green Earth, there are diminished returns to war.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 02, 2013, 05:29:44 PM
You can breathe a Sigh of Relief.

Elvis sees escalation of the Syrian War as unlikely.  From Economic Undertow (http://www.economic-undertow.com/2013/09/02/left-to-our-own-devices/#comment-29204):

Quote from: Steve from Virginia
For this reason, there is diminishing likelihood of a US or NATO attack on Syria, only saber-rattling to keep the crude price from plunging below cost of production. The consuming world cannot afford to attack Syria, it cannot afford the risk of a wider conflict, it cannot afford for the Saudis and Iranians to launch missiles at each others’ tankers, pipelines, fuel terminals and desalinization plants. As with everything else in this not-quite-so-green Earth, there are diminished returns to war.

RE

I dropped in to read Steve's post.  On a somewhat related topic he said:



Quote from: Steve from Virginia
"A strike at the whim of the president without a coalition or support from Congress would be a manifestation of his personal insecurities and weakness of character; like a Macbeth or a murderous barbarian king who orders random subjects be put to death so as to demonstrate to himself and to others that he is indeed king."

I suggested there might be another motive than appearances for consulting with Congress (but my comment did not post):

Quote from: Snowleopard
Not only that...but Al-Queda is an official "enemy" of USA per the continuing state of emergency since 9/11.  This state of emergency and enemy status was renewed/signed by Obama himself.  Since Al-Queda is a significant part of the "syrian rebels" a strike on Syria at the "whim of the president" would give "aid and comfort" to an acknowledged enemy of USA.  ie. It establishes a prima facie legal case for impeaching the president for treason.

Obviously the likelyhood of the president actually being impeached and tried for treason is quite small.  But it is alot smaller if those who must try him for this offense are on record voting for it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on September 02, 2013, 06:24:46 PM
From Snow Leopard - "Obviously the likelyhood of the president actually being impeached and tried for treason is quite small.  But it is alot smaller if those who must try him for this offense are on record voting for it."

True. Very true. Tragically true. They'll all be covering for each other to cover for themselves.  If we could actually start writing indictments on Washington insiders and their cronies and puppet masters, we'd run out of paper. And, as much as I'd like to see an impeachment, we'd then be left with Biden. No improvement. I don't know how far down the chain of authority we'd have to go to find someone not corrupted and guilty of war crimes.

All I can hope for is that, sensing the ship going down, some of them might turn on the others in exchange for clemency.

Yup. I'm an unrepentant optimist, aren't I?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on September 02, 2013, 08:23:22 PM
  Steve from Virginia says, "The consuming world cannot afford to attack Syria" and then explains in great detail why he thinks so. I fail to see what this rational kind of thinking has to do with the threat of war what so ever. When did not being able to afford something ever stop either the government, those in power or even ordinary citizens lately in THESE GREAT UNITED STATES? Isn't the going acceptable motto " I did it because I could"? When did war ever happen on a "rational" basis? Isnt going to war the ultimate testosterone thrill to see who can not only piss the furthest, ie lob projectiles on to the opponent from skunkbags of urine, but who can demolish and bring ruin the most? Who can display the most power, bring about the most death and destruction? This is about a never ending death wish harbored deep within every individual and group that has not achieved enough insight to access it. It is connected to primeval origins pressing for power over empathy and compassion. Who can be surprised by the true nature of men and their so "loved" helpmates? Who even contemplates that men have evolved higher than their bonobo cousins? Only someone who has succumbed to the delusion of self induced dogma. Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on September 02, 2013, 08:39:46 PM
I say that men cannot help themselves. They learn early that the way to be "a man" is to be self destructive. They are incapable of listening to their insides. They are taught NOT to connect with their emotions or to be able to either recognize or express their true feelings. So lacking even the barest respect for their own integrity, how could they even fathom reality or the way to healthy survival, or the recognition of the reality of another. Karpatok
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 12:01:52 AM
When did war ever happen on a "rational" basis?

At least during the Nation-State era since the Industrial Revolution, just about always I think.

Wars begin when the Economic system run by the Elite for the Elite begins to break down.  War is their Rational Solution for redistributing the power structure and resetting the economic system.

Far as the Religious Component goes, this is the rational explanation for why one group of people deserves the resources of the Earth more than another group of people.  Thus in MENA, you have Sunni and Shiite Muslims duking it out for survival there.

Far as why Males generally are leading the charge, this is the role of Males generally speaking in the Mammalian Kingdom far as Territorial Disputes go.

(http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/021/c/4/Locking_Horns_by_kkart.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:16:58 AM
Oh yeah, Syria. Thread-driftin' &(*#&@%@&...

TODAY IN THE MARCH TO SEMI-WAR
By Charles P. Pierce at 3:55pm

(http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/MN/esq-mccain-graham-0913-xlg.jpg)
Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham answer questions after their meeting today with President Obama about military action in Syria.



The president had Senator Angry Grampy and Senator Huckleberry, the presiding geopolitical thinkers in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, over today to discuss Syria, and to give them the opportunity to stand on the White House lawn afterwards and call him a dithering dilettante whom they will support if he stops his dithering and his dilettanting and give them the Great Big Boom Boom in Syria that they want. You could tell it was serious because Angry Grampy said that, if Syria didn't matter now, then "Czechoslovakia" didn't matter in the 1930s, nor did "Abyssynia," also in the 1930s, and he was not immediately set upon by hordes of angry historians. Senator Huckleberry was more concerned about Iran than he was about any impromptu performance from Bad Historical Analogy Theater.

But the both of them continue to insist that there is one Syrian "opposition" for us to back and that, once we back that opposition, and it wins, there will be an outcome assuredly to our liking. This is not something I believe, and I don't think the president believes it, either, and I think he knows what these two comedians will be saying if Assad is overthrown and an Islamist-friendly government comes to power out of the chaos. (Hint: the phrase "missed opportunity" will fly more often than will the phrase, "We miscalculated.") Their other point was that the president has to, you know, lead, the way Senator Angry Grampy would be leading, right there with Vice-President Princess Dumbass Of The Northwoods, had we been smart and elected him in 2008. Or else...Abyssinia!

Nice of you to stop by, boys.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:29:06 AM
And then there's this-- wondering if this will derail the cruise missile express?

EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.
By Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh |

http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/ (http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/)

(http://mnpprodpublic.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Mideast-Syria_Muha1-e1377263904358.jpg)
This image provided by by Shaam News Network on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, purports to show several bodies being buried in a suburb of Damascus, Syria during a funeral on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, following allegations of a chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed 355 people. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)


Clarification: Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents.

Gavlak is a MintPress News Middle East correspondent who has been freelancing for the AP as a Amman, Jordan correspondent for nearly a decade. This report is not an Associated Press article; rather it is exclusive to MintPress News.


Ghouta, Syria — As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.

Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.

The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.”

However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.

Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.

The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders added that health workers aiding 3,600 patients also reported experiencing similar symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision. The group has not been able to independently verify the information.

More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.

 

Saudi involvement
In a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the U.S. against Assad.

Ingersoll referred to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks alleging that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping Assad.

“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” Ingersoll wrote.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians.

“Along with Saudi officials, the U.S. allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote.

“Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added.

According to U.K.’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort.

“They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said.

Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train rebels out of a planned military base in Jordan.

The newspaper reports that he met with the “uneasy Jordanians about such a base”:

His meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah sometimes ran to eight hours in a single sitting. “The king would joke: ‘Oh, Bandar’s coming again? Let’s clear two days for the meeting,’ ” said a person familiar with the meetings.

Jordan’s financial dependence on Saudi Arabia may have given the Saudis strong leverage. An operations center in Jordan started going online in the summer of 2012, including an airstrip and warehouses for arms. Saudi-procured AK-47s and ammunition arrived, WSJ reported, citing Arab officials.

Although Saudi Arabia has officially maintained that it supported more moderate rebels, the newspaper reported that “funds and arms were being funneled to radicals on the side, simply to counter the influence of rival Islamists backed by Qatar.”

But rebels interviewed said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” or ‘the lover’ by al-Qaida militants fighting in Syria.

Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, has issued a word of caution about Washington’s rush to punish the Assad regime with so-called ‘limited’ strikes not meant to overthrow the Syrian leader but diminish his capacity to use chemical weapons:

Consider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them.

It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a U.N. commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible.

Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates .

Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and has reported from Amman, Jordan, writing for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC. An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak covers the Levant region, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Contact Dale at dgavlak@mintpressnews.com

Yahya Ababneh is a Jordanian freelance journalist and is currently working on a master’s degree in journalism,  He has covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Libya. His stories have appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.

Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Ingersoll/Bandar
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:35:29 AM
Herein the Ingersoll article referenced in the story above.

REPORT: The Saudis Offered Mafia-Style 'Protection' Against Terrorist Attacks At Sochi Olympics
GEOFFREY INGERSOLL   
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/saudis-russia-sochi-olympics-terrorism-syria-2013-8#ixzz2dpAkgkPs (http://www.businessinsider.com/saudis-russia-sochi-olympics-terrorism-syria-2013-8#ixzz2dpAkgkPs)

(http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/521d08dd6bb3f7db337c0a14-480/sochi-olympics.jpg)
Buried inside a Telegraph post about secret Russian and Saudi talks was a strange passive-aggressive alleged quote from the Saudi head of intelligence about terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
The talks — divulged in leaked documents — were allegedly about an oil deal that would stabilize Russia's markets, if Saudi Arabia curtailed the amount of oil it put on the global market. In exchange for their global price fixing — the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that Russia "relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget" — Russia would back off its support for Assad.

But there was a threat allegedly hidden in there right along with the fruit.

From The Telegraph [emphasis theirs]:

[Soudi intel chief] Prince Bandar [bin Sultan] pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.

Along with Saudi officials, the US allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise. Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves the guy.

From WSJ:

They [Saudi officials] believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn't: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout.

Saudi Arabia's distaste for Syria and Iran is as epic as it is old, so its geopolitical alignments with the U.S. comes as no big surprise. The Saudis and Qataris have been running guns in line with American interests in the Arab uprisings for quite some time now.

On the flip side, Russia's (alleged) reaction is quite disconcerting, if you're in the anti-Assad camp.

Russia — notoriously rife with corruption and fat cat oligarchs — would rather keep supporting Assad than allegedly fix global oil prices or make lucrative weapons deals (another Saudi initiative).

That, folks, is simply astounding.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:45:53 AM
Point-By-Point Rebuttal of U.S. Case for War In Syria

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/point-by-point-rebuttal-of-u-s-case-for-war-in-syria.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/point-by-point-rebuttal-of-u-s-case-for-war-in-syria.html)

See original for many embedded links.

The American War Brief Is Extremely Weak

The White House released a 4-page document setting forth its case for use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

But as shown below, the case is extremely weak (government’s claim in quotes, followed by rebuttal evidence).

“A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children, though this assessment will certainly evolve as we obtain more information.“

But McClatchy notes:

Quote
Neither Kerry’s remarks nor the unclassified version of the U.S. intelligence he referenced explained how the U.S. reached a tally of 1,429, including 426 children. The only attribution was “a preliminary government assessment.”
Anthony Cordesman, a former senior defense official who’s now with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, took aim at the death toll discrepancies in an essay published Sunday.

He criticized Kerry as being “sandbagged into using an absurdly over-precise number” of 1,429, and noted that the number didn’t agree with either the British assessment of “at least 350 fatalities” or other Syrian opposition sources, namely the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has confirmed 502 dead, including about 100 children and “tens” of rebel fighters, and has demanded that Kerry provide the names of the victims included in the U.S. tally.

“President Obama was then forced to round off the number at ‘well over 1,000 people’ – creating a mix of contradictions over the most basic facts,” Cordesman wrote. He added that the blunder was reminiscent of “the mistakes the U.S. made in preparing Secretary (Colin) Powell’s speech to the U.N. on Iraq in 2003.”

An unclassified version of a French intelligence report on Syria that was released Monday hardly cleared things up; France confirmed only 281 fatalities, though it more broadly agreed with the United States that the regime had used chemical weapons in the Aug. 21 attack.

Next, the government says:
Quote
“In addition to U.S. intelligence information, there are accounts from international and Syrian medical personnel; videos; witness accounts; thousands of social media reports from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area; journalist accounts; and reports from highly credible nongovernmental organizations.”

Reports on the ground are contradictory, with some claiming that the rebels used the chemical weapons. See this and this.  Indeed, government officials have admitted that they’re not sure who used chemical weapons.

More importantly the U.S. government claimed it had unimpeachable sources regarding Iraq’s WMDs … and that turned out to be wholly fabricated.

“We assess with high confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year, including in the Damascus suburbs. This assessment is based on multiple streams of information including reporting of Syrian officials planning and executing chemical weapons attacks and laboratory analysis of physiological samples obtained from a number of individuals, which revealed exposure to sarin.”

Chemical weapons experts are still skeptical.  The chain of custody is suspect, given that the U.S. hasn’t revealed where the samples came from, and who delivered them to the U.S.  McClatchy reports:

Among chemical weapons experts and other analysts who’ve closely studied the Syrian battlefield, the main reservation about the U.S. claims is that there’s no understanding of the methodology behind the intelligence-gathering. They say that the evidence presented points to the use of some type of chemical agent, but say that there are still questions as to how the evidence was collected, the integrity of the chain of custody of such samples, and which laboratories were involved.

Eliot Higgins, a British chronicler of the Syrian civil war who writes the Brown Moses blog, a widely cited repository of information on the weapons observed on the Syrian battlefield, wrote a detailed post Monday listing photographs and videos that would seem to support U.S. claims that the Assad regime has possession of munitions that could be used to deliver chemical weapons. But he wouldn’t make the leap.

On the blog, Higgins asked: “How do we know these are chemical weapons? That’s the thing, we don’t. As I’ve said all along, these are munitions linked to alleged chemical attacks, not chemical munitions used in chemical attacks. It’s ultimately up to the U.N. to confirm if chemical weapons were used.”

Moreover, Dan Kaszeta – a former Chemical Officer in the United States Army, and one of the foremost experts in chemical and biological weapons – said in a recent interview that there can be false positives for Sarin, especially, when tests are done in the field (pesticides or other chemical agents can trigger a false positive for sarin.)

The bottom lines is that – even though the U.S. has done everything it can to derail a UN weapons inspection – we have to wait to see what the UN tests reveal.

“We assess that the opposition has not used chemical weapons.”

The rebels absolutely had had access to chemical weapons. While the American government claims that the opposition has not used chemical weapons, many other sources – including the United Nations, Haaretz, and Turkish state newspaper Zaman - disagree.

“The Syrian regime has the types of munitions that we assess were used to carry out the attack on August 21, and has the ability to strike simultaneously in multiple locations.”

The types of munitions which were apparently used to deliver the chemical weapon attack are an odd, do-it-yourself type of rocket.   The rebels could have made these.

“We assess that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons over the last year primarily to gain the upper hand or break a stalemate in areas where it has struggled to seize and hold strategically valuable territory. In this regard, we continue to judge that the Syrian regime views chemical weapons as one of many tools in its arsenal, including air power and ballistic missiles, which they indiscriminately use against the opposition.

The Syrian regime has initiated an effort to rid the Damascus suburbs of opposition forces using the area as a base to stage attacks against regime targets in the capital. The regime has failed to clear dozens of Damascus neighborhoods of opposition elements, including neighborhoods targeted on August 21, despite employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems. We assess that the regime’s frustration with its inability to secure large portions of Damascus may have contributed to its decision to use chemical weapons on August 21.”

This is not evidence. This is a conclusory opinion without any support.   (To give an analogy, this would be like claiming Saddam was using weapons of mass destruction right before the Iraq war started because he didn’t like short people … without refuting the actual fact that Saddam didn’t have any WMDs.)

“We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel – including personnel assessed to be associated with the SSRC – were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack. In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.

Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of ‘Adra from Sunday, August 18 until early in the morning on Wednesday, August 21 near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin.”

American intelligence sources have repeatedly been caught lying.  During the run-up to the Iraq war, the government entirely bypassed the normal intelligence-vetting process, so that bogus claims could be trumpeted without the normal checks and balances from conscientious intelligence analysts.

“On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks.”

This is an oddly-worded – and carefully crafted – statement.  Assad has repeatedly warned that the rebels might steal chemical weapons and use them on civilians. The utilization of gas masks could have been a preventative measure because the Syrian government had received word that the rebels might carry out a chemical attack. More information is necessary.

Quote
“Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah. This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches also leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.”

The area in which attacks occurred was heavily contested by the both government and the rebels, and both sides were in and out of the area. 90 minutes before the first attack is an eternity when fighting a war on a heavily-contested battlefield … and could have been plenty of time for rebels to slip in and fire off chemical weapons.

As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes:

Quote
It’s unclear why this is supposed to be persuasive. Do rockets take 90 minutes to reach their targets? Does nerve gas escape from rockets 90 minutes after impact, or, once released, take 90 minutes to cause symptoms?
In a conflict as conscious of the importance of communication as the Syrian Civil War, do citizen journalists wait an hour and a half before reporting an enormous development–the point at which, as Kerry put it, “all hell broke loose in the social media”? Unless there’s some reason to expect this kind of a delay, it’s very unclear why we should think there’s any connection at all between the allegedly observed rocket launches and the later reports of mass poisoning.

The government next turns to social media:
Quote
“Local social media reports of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs began at 2:30 a.m. local time on August 21. Within the next four hours there were thousands of social media reports on this attack from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area. Multiple accounts described chemical-filled rockets impacting opposition-controlled areas.
Three hospitals in the Damascus area received approximately 3,600 patients displaying symptoms consistent with nerve agent exposure in less than three hours on the morning of August 21, according to a highly credible international humanitarian organization. The reported symptoms, and the epidemiological pattern of events – characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers – were consistent with mass exposure to a nerve agent. We also received reports from international and Syrian medical personnel on the ground.

We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure. The reported symptoms of victims included unconsciousness, foaming from the nose and mouth, constricted pupils, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Several of the videos show what appear to be numerous fatalities with no visible injuries, which is consistent with death from chemical weapons, and inconsistent with death from small-arms, high-explosive munitions or blister agents. At least 12 locations are portrayed in the publicly available videos, and a sampling of those videos confirmed that some were shot at the general times and locations described in the footage.”

No one contests that some kind of chemical agent was used.  The question is exactly what type of chemical it was and – more importantly – who used it.

Moreover, the rebels were making propaganda videos for years … and they’ve gotten more sophisticated recently.   More information is needed.

“We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.”

Another conclusory opinion without evidence. More importantly, it is a red herring.  No one is saying that the tragic and horrific deaths were faked.

The question is when and where they occurred, and who caused them. For example, one of the world’s leading experts on chemical weapons points out that it is difficult to know where the videos were taken:

Zanders, the former EU chemical weapons expert, went even further, arguing that outsiders cannot conclude with confidence the extent or geographic location of the chemical weapons attack widely being blamed on the Assad regime.

He singled out the images of victims convulsing in agony that have circulated widely on the Web, including on YouTube.

“You do not know where they were taken,” he said. “You do not know when they were taken or even by whom they were taken. Or, whether they [are from] the same incident or from different incidents.”

Zanders added: “It doesn’t tell me who would be responsible for it. It doesn’t tell me where the films were taken. It just tells me that something has happened, somewhere, at some point.”

The government then expands on allegedly intercepted intelligence:

Quote
“We have a body of information, including past Syrian practice, that leads us to conclude that regime officials were witting of and directed the attack on August 21. We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence. On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations.”
The Washington Post points out that alleged intelligence intercepts are “the core of the Obama administration’s evidentiary case….”    America’s war intelligence has been spotty.  For example:

The U.S. Navy’s own historians now say that the sinking of the USS Maine — the justification for America’s entry into the Spanish-American War — was probably caused by an internal explosion of coal, rather than an attack by the Spanish.
It is also now well-accepted that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which led to the Vietnam war was a fiction (confirmed here).
And the U.S. and Israel have admitted that they have carried out false flag deceptions (as have Muslim countries such as Indonesia; but to our knowledge, Syria has never been busted in a false flag.)

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting writes:

Quote
Recall that Powell played tapes of Iraqi officials supposedly talking about concealing evidence of banned weapons from inspectors–which turned out to show nothing of the kind. But Powell at least played tapes of the intercepted communication, even as he spun and misrepresented their contents–allowing for the possibility of an independent interpretation of these messages. Perhaps “mindful of the Iraq experience,” Kerry allows for no such interpretation.

David Swanson notes that American officials mischaracterized the communications to justify the Iraq war:

Powell was writing fictional dialogue. He put those extra lines in there and pretended somebody had said them. Here’s what Bob Woodward said about this in his book “Plan of Attack.”

Quote
“[Powell] had decided to add his personal interpretation of the intercepts to rehearsed script, taking them substantially further and casting them in the most negative light. Concerning the intercept about inspecting for the possibility of ‘forbidden ammo,’ Powell took the interpretation further: ‘Clean out all of the areas. . . . Make sure there is nothing there.’ None of this was in the intercept.”

[In addition] Powell … was presenting as facts numerous claims that his own staff had warned him were weak and indefensible.

The government then makes a throw-away argument:

“At the same time, the regime intensified the artillery barrage targeting many of the neighborhoods where chemical attacks occurred. In the 24 hour period after the attack, we detected indications of artillery and rocket fire at a rate approximately four times higher than the ten preceding days. We continued to see indications of sustained shelling in the neighborhoods up until the morning of August 26.”

This is another red herring. If the Syrian government believed that the rebels had used chemical weapons on civilians, they may have increased artillery fire to flush out the rebels to prevent further chemical attacks. Again, further information is needed.

“To conclude, there is a substantial body of information that implicates the Syrian government’s responsibility in the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21.As indicated, there is additional intelligence that remains classified because of sources and methods concerns that is being provided to Congress and international partners.”

This sounds impressive at first glance.  But Congress members who have seen the classified information – such as Tom Harkin – are not impressed.

And see these further details refuting the government’s argument for war.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:52:22 AM
(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/1185103_501055303316902_1464771959_n.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Ingersoll/Bandar
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 03:58:38 AM
Russia — notoriously rife with corruption and fat cat oligarchs — would rather keep supporting Assad than allegedly fix global oil prices or make lucrative weapons deals (another Saudi initiative).

That, folks, is simply astounding.

(http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lv4h3kXI3m1r03muio1_500.jpg)
Not THAT astounding when you realize Vlad the Impaler is KGB Pro.

Methinks he realizes his best ploy is to stay out of it directly and force Obama to make the first move here.  He has more to gain down the line than making a deal now with anyone.  He is keeping his Options Open.

I don't think Putin will endorse anybody.  He will just destabilize anybody Obama-sama tries to install into power.

Spy vs Spy, CIA v KGB, like the Good Old Days.

Generally speaking, I think Vlad is better at this game, as Ruskies are generally better Chess Players.  Unless we turn up a Bobby Fisher here soon, Vlad will Checkmate.

(http://nsarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/spasskyfischer1972color.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Ingersoll/Bandar
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 04:09:05 AM
Russia — notoriously rife with corruption and fat cat oligarchs — would rather keep supporting Assad than allegedly fix global oil prices or make lucrative weapons deals (another Saudi initiative).

That, folks, is simply astounding.

(http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lv4h3kXI3m1r03muio1_500.jpg)
Not THAT astounding when you realize Vlad the Impaler is KGB Pro.

Methinks he realizes his best ploy is to stay out of it directly and force Obama to make the first move here.  He has more to gain down the line than making a deal now with anyone.  He is keeping his Options Open.

I don't think Putin will endorse anybody.  He will just destabilize anybody Obama-sama tries to install into power.

Spy vs Spy, CIA v KGB, like the Good Old Days.

Generally speaking, I think Vlad is better at this game, as Ruskies are generally better Chess Players.  Unless we turn up a Bobby Fisher here soon, Vlad will Checkmate.

(http://nsarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/spasskyfischer1972color.jpg)

Maybe. Although in light of the article WHD posted yesterday (by Joe Willie?)  about Syria being the "line in the sand" vis a vis the East West divide and the Eurozone's energy future, Putin's posture makes sense.

It's usually all about the Benjamins; in Syria, it's all about the pipelines.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Ingersoll/Bandar
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 04:21:03 AM
It's usually all about the Benjamins; in Syria, it's all about the pipelines.

DING DING DING! We have a WINNER!

I think Vlad grasps it is not about the Money and he is not Negotiating in Dollars anymore.  I don't think he takes bribes in Dollars anymore.

He is manipulating for control over Oil Resource in the KGB way.

He has enough Firepower to provide a credible threat and he cannot be intimidated like the client states can.  He is not going overt like Kruschev did with the Cuban Missiles, but he is most certainly going back door to make an EZ "solution" impossible for Obama.

Vlad is a thoroughly unlikeable guy, but in this case where you got Spy v Spy,  I gotta go with Vlad over Obama-sama.  When things get realy DIRTY, it takes an ASSHOLE to jimmy the works.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 04:25:59 AM
I say that men cannot help themselves. They learn early that the way to be "a man" is to be self destructive. They are incapable of listening to their insides. They are taught NOT to connect with their emotions or to be able to either recognize or express their true feelings. So lacking even the barest respect for their own integrity, how could they even fathom reality or the way to healthy survival, or the recognition of the reality of another. Karpatok

There is something terribly  wrong with us, no doubt about it K. 

Your posting brought to mind this wonderful post from Diner Jaded Prole that he posted on his blog last year. I knew it was a keeper when I first heard it. True and remarkable words from a wonderful woman.  It is called "Alice Walker Speaks."

I tried my darndest to embed it, but cannot figure out how, but this link will take you to this highly recommended video which speaks to your point.

jadedprol.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html  :icon_study: :icon_study:


                                                                 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 04:33:33 AM
(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/1185103_501055303316902_1464771959_n.jpg)

And it sure is about time. Think we can thank the internet for how much of this is truth Surly.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 04:45:03 AM
I say that men cannot help themselves. They learn early that the way to be "a man" is to be self destructive. They are incapable of listening to their insides. They are taught NOT to connect with their emotions or to be able to either recognize or express their true feelings. So lacking even the barest respect for their own integrity, how could they even fathom reality or the way to healthy survival, or the recognition of the reality of another. Karpatok

There is something terribly  wrong with us, no doubt about it K. 

Your posting brought to mind this wonderful post from Diner Jaded Prole that he posted on his blog last year. I knew it was a keeper when I first heard it. True and remarkable words from a wonderful woman.  It is called "Alice Walker Speaks."

I tried my darndest to embed it, but cannot figure out how, but this link will take you to this highly recommended video which speaks to your point.

jadedprol.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html  :icon_study: :icon_study:
                                                     

That is a Dead Link, and besides the wrong date.  However I did find an Alice Walker Vid on JPs site in the Sept 2012 archives, so here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Oz-hnyVRvpM?feature=player_embedded

Frankly, I just do not grasp why people who otherwise seem fairly intelligent (if deluded) have so much trouble figuring out how the fucking internet works.  It's driving me nuts with the Collapse Cafe too.  This is NOT FUCKING ROCKET SCIENCE!

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 04:58:56 AM
Quote
Frankly, I just do not grasp why people who otherwise seem fairly intelligent (if deluded) have so much trouble figuring out how the fucking internet works.  It's driving me nuts with the Collapse Cafe too.  This is NOT FUCKING ROCKET SCIENCE!

RE

Many of your humble flock, like myself Dear Leader, do not posses the genius and skill that one so heavenly blessed as yourself possesses.

Kindly continue to deal with our 10 watt bulb brains with that love and compassion you have so generously displayed so far.

Thanks in advance for your understanding of our  hapless state of  ignorance and ineptitude.    :-*
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 05:08:44 AM

Many of your humble flock, like myself Dear Leader, do not posses the genius and skill that one so heavenly blessed as yourself possesses.

Understood, but if you can't figure out the fucking internet, I can't see why anyone would figure you have any better concept of Gold and Currency questions?  The Internet is WAY simpler than that stuff.
RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 05:19:50 AM

Many of your humble flock, like myself Dear Leader, do not posses the genius and skill that one so heavenly blessed as yourself possesses.

Understood, but if you can't figure out the fucking internet, I can't see why anyone would figure you have any better concept of Gold and Currency questions?  The Internet is WAY simpler than that stuff.
RE

Our creator endowed us all with different gifts, talents, and workable skills.

The fact that the creator was so generous and showered you with his entire array of gifts, is a trait you should use to understand our shortcomings and not make our plight worse by making us ashamed of not being amongst the Chosen Few Dear Leader.

We got "Screwed", Live with It.   :exp-grin: :exp-grin: :exp-cheesy:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 05:31:06 AM
The fact that the creator was so generous and showered you with his entire array of gifts, is a trait you should use to understand our shortcomings and not make our plight worse by making us ashamed of not being amongst the Chosen Few Dear Leader.

Understanding the Little People is a never ending effort on my part.  :icon_mrgreen:

Regardless of my efforts at Understanding the Internet Challenged though, it does nothing for your credibility on Economic Questions if you can't figure out how to Embed a Vid on the Diner.  ::)

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 03, 2013, 05:35:42 AM
French military intelligence is convinced that it was Assad who used the poison gas.

So...it MUST have been a false flag attack, right?
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 05:41:24 AM
French military intelligence

The ULTIMATE Oxymoron!

(http://www.joshreads.com/images/09/10/i091018crock.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 06:16:38 AM
The fact that the creator was so generous and showered you with his entire array of gifts, is a trait you should use to understand our shortcomings and not make our plight worse by making us ashamed of not being amongst the Chosen Few Dear Leader.

Understanding the Little People is a never ending effort on my part.  :icon_mrgreen:

Regardless of my efforts at Understanding the Internet Challenged though, it does nothing for your credibility on Economic Questions if you can't figure out how to Embed a Vid on the Diner.  ::)

RE

Nor your views on scientific and technical computer questions Dear Leader.

The fact that you would be carrying a sign that reads Doom without the generosity, care, and gift of the incredible knowledge our beloved God #1, the Numero Uno, Peter our beloved Creator has bestowed upon you and your followers cannot be forgotten by many of us, as it has by you, Your Benevolence.

Thank You Peter for showing Dear Leader how to build The Diner. Our gratitude cannot be expressed Peter.   :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: ;D
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 06:40:22 AM
French military intelligence is convinced that it was Assad who used the poison gas.

So...it MUST have been a false flag attack, right?

Made me think of this, an email I received from a high school classmate, purportedly from John Cleese... certainly wry enough.


ALERTS TO THREATS
IN 2013 EUROPE


From JOHN CLEESE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 03, 2013, 08:24:11 AM
Made me think of this, an email I received from a high school classmate, purportedly from John Cleese... certainly wry enough.
I remember seeing almost the exact same email a couple years ago, except "Libya" was in place of "Syria"... or maybe it was 10 years ago with "Iraq"... 12 years and "Afghanistan"? 20 years and "Kuwait"?

The more things change....

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 09:56:52 AM
Made me think of this, an email I received from a high school classmate, purportedly from John Cleese... certainly wry enough.
I remember seeing almost the exact same email a couple years ago, except "Libya" was in place of "Syria"... or maybe it was 10 years ago with "Iraq"... 12 years and "Afghanistan"? 20 years and "Kuwait"?

The more things change....

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Probably true.

Keep the faith-- in another ten years, you'll be able to sub in "Mars."
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 10:48:58 AM
Congressional leaders back Obama on Syria strike
September 3, 2013
House Speaker Boehner and House Minority Leader Pelosi support military action against Assad regime


http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike.html (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike.html)
(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378228383380.jpg)
Craven lickspittles gather to endorse plan to come to the aid of Al Qaeda, sworn enemy of the US, Israel and the House of Saud with American blood and treasure, in which your children are free to bleed and die for pipelines and profits, as well as to hasten the beginnings of WW III.

President Barack Obama urged Congress Tuesday to act quickly on a resolution authorizing use of military force against Syria, as he ramped up his effort to win support for limited strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's forces in response to an alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that the U.S. says killed nearly 1,500 people.

During a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, Obama said he was confident Congress would vote in favor of military action and said the United States had a broad plan to help the rebels defeat Syrian government forces.

"What we are envisioning is something limited. It is something proportional. It will degrade Assad's capabilities," Obama told reporters. "At the same time we have a broader strategy that will allow us to upgrade the capabilities of the opposition."

Obama said Saturday that he has decided to take military action against Assad's regime, but would seek congressional approval before implementing that decision.

The president said he's confident Congress will authorize the strike and tried to assure the public that involvement in Syria will be a "limited, proportional step."

"This is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan," Obama said.

After the meeting with the president, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he believed responding to the attack in Syria was "something the United States as a country needs to do."

"I'm going to support the president's call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action," Boehner said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that any strike in Syria would be "targeted, tailored" and of "short duration." Pelosi said that she didn't think that congressional authorization was necessary, but believed it was "a good thing," adding that trying to get authorization for any action from the U.N. Security Council, with pushback from Russia and China, was "a luxury we cannot afford." Pelosi said she did not believe Congress would reject the resolution calling for the use of force in Syria.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also said he would support Obama because the U.S. had a compelling national security interest to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction. 

Their endorsements do not, however, resolve the deep ambivalence and opposition in both parties about taking action. Dozens of conservative Republicans and several liberal Democrats have come out against intervention, and may be prepared to ignore the positions of their leaders and the president. After a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, polls show most Americans are opposed to any new military action overseas.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande, who has been outspoken about the need to respond to the suspected chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, said Tuesday that he would wait for a decision from the U.S. Congress on possible military action in Syria and insisted his country would not strike the Assad regime alone.

The U.S. said a sarin gas attack killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children. Those numbers are significantly higher than the death toll of 355 provided by the aid group Doctors Without Borders.

Al Jazeera and wire services

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 03, 2013, 10:53:58 AM
Aw fuck!

Such douchebaggery!
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 02:07:49 PM
IN which you will hear echoes of the article by Joe Willie posted by WHD yesterday, as well as some thoughts of his own.

The top 9 real reasons to go to war in Syria

by Jon Rappoport
September 4, 2013

www.nomorefakenews.com (http://www.nomorefakenews.com)

In no particular order:

One: Give the appearance of unifying the country behind the President, who "did his job the right way," by going to Congress for approval. This elevates Obama's ratings and, by inference, suggests that his other programs should be accorded more merit. A wartime president always gains more support.

Two: Give the people an adrenaline rush. The effect should never be underestimated. Cleanses the pores, cleans the slate, and relieves frustration by proxy, temporarily...if you have very little access to your cerebral functions.

Three: In this case, winning Congressional approval reinstates the illusion, for a few moments, that we are a Constitutional Republic, with a government dedicated to justice.

Four: Help fulfill the long-planned US-Israeli agenda of destabilizing Syria and causing it to partition into warring and chaotic ethnic factions.

Five: Stop the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Syria, which would boost Iran's economy by sending Iranian gas to Europe. Iran's economy must be torpedoed.

Six: Send a message throughout the Middle East that the US is all-powerful and the dollar must remain the reserve currency in all oil transactions.

Seven: Feed the US military-industrial complex, which demands wars.

Eight: Aid the long-term goal of Globalism/Free Trade, which involves putting the entire Middle East into unresolvable debt and suffering...and then coming in with outside elite bankster financing, to rebuild the entire region and own it, lock, stock, and barrel.

Nine: Distract Americans from a number of scandals, including: Benghazi, Fast&Furious, IRS non-profit division crimes, NSA spying, the continuing failed war in Afghanistan, and a tanking domestic economy with more and more people living below the poverty line.

None of these reasons has anything to do with "punishing Assad for using chemical weapons." In any case, that whole scenario has been thrown into extreme doubt.

Your government at work.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on September 03, 2013, 05:30:58 PM
RE and Surly- why so negative on Putin? He's been doing a pretty righteous job cleaning up that mess Russia was in before, and he's got no plans to invade us or anything. He's got the moral high ground in the Syrian matter, which is a crisis not of his making. I think he's a pretty good guy. Reminds me of a few of my relatives, and even myself at times.

He'd also be a great Diner. He likes to do many of the things the rest of us like to do. He likes history, science, animals, and the great outdoors. He's also come right out and said what few other world leaders dare to say. And he's got a great sense of humor. Notice how he mocks the Merkel by mimicking her signature hand sign:



Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on September 03, 2013, 05:33:24 PM
By the way, how do you get pictures to display larger and more in connection with the text? The picture I just posted is down low and quite small. Somewhat ruined the effect I was trying to make, but hopefully you all will enjoy it anyway.  :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Rooters Newz SirVis
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 05:43:51 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters Newz SirVis:

Vlad the impaler showed his kgb stripes today, sneaking a vibrating corn cob onto Nancy Pelosi's chair just prior to Prezident Obama's Thumbs Up to WWIII conference; while John Boner had one - among other reasons (bombing people etc) contemplating Ms Pelosi's recent boob job. All were at ease, more or less, as earlier in the day GeorgeUUBush had called to assure the prezident that when mR Bush saw into the soul of Vlad the Impaler back in the day, he had seen nothing but puppy dogs, chocolate truffles and "he's an oil man so he can't be anything but good." Prince Bandar was under the table, his mouth you-know-where, hands outstretched on two cobs (one smaller than the other.) Billary Clintons called earlier in the day also, to affirm everybody's righteousness. Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian clan were on either side of the table, distracting from anything else that was said. In fact it is unclear anyone was paying attention. it was unclear as to whether or not the water in the glasses had been fukushimaded. 

(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378228383380.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 05:49:38 PM
By the way, how do you get pictures to display larger and more in connection with the text? The picture I just posted is down low and quite small. Somewhat ruined the effect I was trying to make, but hopefully you all will enjoy it anyway.  :icon_sunny:

right click on the pic, copy image location; copy on the post reply, click on the pic "insert image"  icon (http://)

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 05:53:03 PM
By the way, how do you get pictures to display larger and more in connection with the text? The picture I just posted is down low and quite small. Somewhat ruined the effect I was trying to make, but hopefully you all will enjoy it anyway.  :icon_sunny:

right click on the pic, copy image location; copy on the post reply, click on the pic "insert image"  icon 

WHD

(http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1762.0;attach=218;image)

(can center as well) (probably have to click on the original pic to have it post bigger)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 05:54:19 PM
(http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1762.0;attach=217;image)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 03, 2013, 05:55:59 PM
Some clarifying details about this morning's launch of two missiles by Israel and about the Hezbollah mobilization  

 
Ok, now the picture of what actually happened this morning is becoming clear (thanks to the Russian media which is in a coverage frenzy over this and which has plenty of contacts inside the Russian military).

The two missiles fired this morning were not cruise missiles of the Tomahawk type, but Israeli ballistic missiles of the "Anchor" type which are used as targets by the Israeli air defenses and which are supposed to imitate the flight profile of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missiles.

Contrary to the practice of sane and civilized countries, the Israelis did not pick a target area far away from shipping lanes, they did not declare a temporary exclusion zone and they warned nobody.  Yet again another proof that the craziest rogue state on the planet is not the DPRK or the KSA, but Israel.

Officially, these target missiles were supposed to be intercepted by Israeli Arrow-3 missiles but the Israelis are not confirming anything.

Normally, such missiles are fired off the wing of an F-15 but it appears that this time the launch was executed from a naval platform, probably with the assistance of the USA.

Russian military analysts agree that the real purpose of this launch was not to test the Israeli air-defense systems, but to test the capabilities and reaction of the Russian and Syrian air defense system.

The Russian military seemed to have detected the flame of the starting missiles through special satellites and through its advanced early missile launch warning radar in southern Russia which tracked the full flight and pass on the data to the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean and to the Syrians.  Sources inside the Russian military confirm that Russia now has complete radar coverage of the entire Middle-East.

On another important development, I have received confirmation that Hezbollah is now at full mobilization.

The Saker

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/09/some-clarifying-details-about-this.html?m=0 (http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/09/some-clarifying-details-about-this.html?m=0)

A hat tip to hellsbells for pointing to this site earlier.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on September 03, 2013, 06:04:19 PM
Thank you, WHD !

I'm glad you like the Vineyard Saker site, Snowleopard. It's one of my favorites  :)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 07:02:00 PM
eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters Newz SirVis:

(http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1762.0;attach=217;image)

For old times sake, on the verge or WWIII, the old gang got together at Churchill Downs, Vlad happy to display for the others the size of his recent enhancement.

"You want some of this, Tony?"

But mR Blairs was preoccupied by mR George UU macking on Ms Angel ruff ruff, in her green velour jacket (not really matching her black pants), trying as she could to settle down her clenched left hand, mR Bush leaning in, hahaha as he always was.

"Reminds me of Colin, WMD, UN what? LOL," said the former "leader of the free world," as he ignored mR Tony, "who here isn't a former ruler, of a former empire? There's like, history, on this faggy bench. Reminds me of my college days, hump this, hump that. Didn't you all know i was skull and bones?"

mR Tony was like, "why aren't you paying attention to me? Just last week I called for continued war, just like i was told."

Ms Angel was not entirely comfortable, stuck as she was between a not so cold war, knowing what a whore she had to be for the man on her right (for his fossils) but wondering what the two on her left might be able to do to give her access to Iran, Qatar and Saudi gas and oil, despite their status as former Super douchebags.   

"Makes me kind of hard," said the former prezident, former emperor wannabe of the known world, "thinking i could have set up that gassing, bombing that fucking ASS-ad."

The man with the $160,000 platinum watch (inflation is a bitch) rubbed his hands together, waiting for the photo-op to end, so he could put the four back in their cage.


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 07:17:22 PM
Quote
it was unclear as to whether or not the water in the glasses had been fukushimaded. 

Boner does seem to be wondering. But I doubt it.

(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378228383380.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: hellsbells on September 03, 2013, 07:22:29 PM
Brilliant, WHD ! I loved that.

The reason I put up that picture is that Putin is clearly mimicking that hand gesture that Merkel is famous for, and he's looking right at her while he does it.

Like I said before, Vladimir has a great sense of humor and he'd fit right in here at the Diner, if only people would stop trashing him so much.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 03, 2013, 07:56:47 PM
Like I said before, Vladimir has a great sense of humor and he'd fit right in here at the Diner, if only people would stop trashing him so much.

Vlad does have a great sense of humor.  I particularly enjoyed his verbal sketch of "the monkey with the hand grenade" helping out the "liver eaters"!  ;D

He is also quite intelligent, and unlikely to be anyone's puppet.

That said, he is also quite ruthless.  One doesn't rise to lead outfits like KGB and then Russia in the wake of the fall of Soviet Union by being a nice guy.  It was done (mostly) by eliminating the competition.  He is also known for imprisoning and/or driving his critics out of business or out of the country.  That does put him ahead of our so-called leaders who take  money and do what they're told, but i wouldn't want to party with him.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 03, 2013, 08:00:11 PM
Quote
it was unclear as to whether or not the water in the glasses had been fukushimaded. 

Boner does seem to be wondering. But I doubt it.

(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/congressional-leadersbackpresidentonsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378228383380.jpg)

What a picture.

Democracy in Action.

Leaders of the left and right coming together to voice the opinions of the voters they represent.

Where is the fucking PUKE BUCKET!       :exp-embarrassed: :exp-lipsrsealed: :exp-huh: :exp-cry:

                                                               
Pukes
Pukes


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 03, 2013, 08:04:05 PM
Brilliant, WHD ! I loved that.

The reason I put up that picture is that Putin is clearly mimicking that hand gesture that Merkel is famous for, and he's looking right at her while he does it.

Like I said before, Vladimir has a great sense of humor and he'd fit right in here at the Diner, if only people would stop trashing him so much.

HB,

Thanks! Though I don't necessarily share your affection for Putin. Don't necessarily have anything against him (maybe his association Kiril, that kgb leader of the EOC?) Though he is harboring Snowden, so I will give him props for that.  :emthup: I particularly love the recent developments, the spying on Mexico and Brazil. LOL. Not that all governments aren't prone to spying, I am just particularly disgusted by my home gov(s), seeing as THAT is the one(s) bearing down on me(ME).

That would be fun though, if Vlad dropped in for a drink.  :icon_mrgreen: God damn sure no American gov leader ever would.  8) Unless they are out there, reading/lurking?  :exp-angel: Speak up.

WHD


Quote
That said, he is also quite ruthless.  One doesn't rise to lead outfits like KGB and then Russia in the wake of the fall of Soviet Union by being a nice guy.  It was done (mostly) by eliminating the competition.  He is also known for imprisoning and/or driving his critics out of business or out of the country.  That does put him ahead of our so-called leaders who take  money and do what they're told, but i wouldn't want to party with him.

I would party with him (though I will drink with anyone.  ;) ) Make for a GREAT story.  :icon_mrgreen:

WHD


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 03, 2013, 08:30:11 PM
Another reason O'Bomber has to support the "rebels" soon.  They are about to run out of cannon fodder.

--From WaPo via Japan Times

Teenagers start filling ranks as rebel losses soar

The Washington Post    Sep 3, 2013


MAFRAQ, JORDAN – Just 16 years old, Mohammed Hamad was heading to war.
 
The lanky Syrian teenager was joining what United Nations officials warn might be the start of a flood of underage fighters enlisting in rebel ranks. About half of the 200 new recruits who board buses each week to Syria from Jordan’s sprawling Zaatari refugee camp are under 18, U.N. officials at the camp estimate.
 
Hamad said it was his duty to “fight in the name of God to take back the country” from government forces.
 
“If my generation doesn’t take up arms, the revolution will be lost,” he said, shortly before boarding a bus for the border on a three-day journey to join rebel forces on the outskirts of his home village in southern Syria.
 
The flow of fresh troops has helped the Free Syrian Army (FSA) replenish ranks diminished by a series of recent losses.
 
But it also has prompted unease from U.N. officials, who in an internal report last month warned of growing “recruitment by armed groups, including of underage refugees” in Zaatari and across the region, indicating rebels may no longer be honoring a pledge to bar fighters younger than 17.
 
“We are concerned by reports that some groups may be attempting to use Zaatari as a recruitment center, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it stays a refugee camp and not a military camp,” said Andrew Harper, the U.N. refugee agency’s representative in Jordan.
 
After more than two years of conflict that has already claimed more than 100,000 lives, some rebel commanders defend the use of teen fighters as inevitable.
 
“Many of these young men’s fathers and older brothers have died before them,” said Abu Diyaa al-Hourani, commander of a Free Syrian Army battalion outside the Syrian border town of Sheikh al-Maskin. He said that Syrians as young as 15 now serve in his 800-man unit, whose average age has plunged to 19, down from 25 not long ago. “It is only natural for the next generation to carry on the fight,” he said.
 
Conscription in the Syrian Army is compulsory for all males once they reach the age of 18. But at the camp, rebel officials say theirs remains an all-volunteer force and that prospective recruits are carefully vetted. But the officials acknowledged that verifying birth dates may be all but impossible in camps.
 
“At the end of the day, if they can carry a gun and are willing to fight, who are we to say they can’t?” said Ayman al-Hariri, a member of the Syrian National Council, an umbrella opposition group, who coordinates repatriation from Zaatari, home to more than 100,000 Syrians.
 
The families of the young fighters receive monthly benefits from the Free Syrian Army, including salaries and even priority in the distribution of food aid and cash assistance within the camp, refugee officials said. Several parents — some of whom arrived in Zaatari with little more than the clothes on their backs — said those incentives had influenced their family’s decision.
 
Rebel officials say Zaatari’s proximity to major fighting in southern Syria has transformed the camp into the major supplier of fighters for rebel battalions that are suffering an average loss of 50 fighters per week.
 
In the camp, rebel officials said, the FSA carries out background checks, physical examinations, agility tests and “mental and emotional” evaluations of potential recruits. On a recent day, Syrian National Coalition and FSA representatives in a pair of unmarked prefabricated trailers received a long line of teenage camp residents seeking to enlist with rebel forces.
 
A group of young men whom the recruiters had rejected for being too young, too weak or otherwise unfit for battle gathered outside. But the young men said they remained determined to join the battle. “I am going to wait here every day until the Free Syrian Army accepts me or until Sept. 10,” said Ahmed Saeed. “Then I will turn 15.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/ (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on September 03, 2013, 08:46:50 PM

 
A group of young men whom the recruiters had rejected for being too young, too weak or otherwise unfit for battle gathered outside. But the young men said they remained determined to join the battle. “I am going to wait here every day until the Free Syrian Army accepts me or until Sept. 10,” said Ahmed Saeed. “Then I will turn 15.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/ (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/)

That's how I felt during desert storm, when I was 10 years old.  WTF :icon_scratch:

We should be ashamed of our species coming up with this type of nonsense.  Sending kids to go die because the adults can't play nice.  It's fucked up...and fuck the Matrix, the American Hologram, the American Dream, and this fucked up business of death by drone.  So what?  Now America is about killing 15 year old kids in the name of spreading freedom and democracy?  Wait...that's not what this is about is it?  This next installment of fuck the middle east cause they sittin' on the oil. 

No, this is about destabilizing the region...I mean because of that oil. 

So now we're killin' fifteen year olds via remote control from an airconditioned arcade in Las Vegas, and goin' home to suburbia (which is the reason we need the oil in the first place) to remain in a mental fog which acts to keep the greatest misallocation of wealth in the history of man going for just a few more fracking years.  To stay in denial about the nature of physical reality and a civilization built on the Earth's blood...who's heart happens to be in the middle east. 

This is complete bull shit.  And FTN while I'm at it. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on September 03, 2013, 09:02:34 PM
but wait...we're going to help the rebels to keep the poor 15 year olds from waiting around to get their chance to die for no reason. 

So who are we gonna kill to keep the 15 year olds from going to war?  Oh right...the other side's 15 year olds...

my bad, I'm straight now...so long as it's not the first set of 15 year olds. 

I swear, I'm pretty damn close to being convinced that I'm not human.  After all...I share little in common with this fuckin Newspeak logic that the supposed "free" world keeps taking seriously. 

And BTW, William, love your Rooters installments.  Seems a fitting way to spend our time here at this fucked up juncture.  Making each other laugh 8) 
Title: The Syria Desk: The FSoA Walks Alone
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 11:25:38 PM
U.S.Diabolical Design for Syria (http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-diabolical-design-for-syria/5347840)

Politically entrenched in a self-made predicament, US President Barack Obama is going through tough times these days regarding Syria.

 Those whom he thought would unconditionally support him in launching an invasion of Syria and ridding the West of Bashar al-Assad and installing a West-friendly puppet in the country have turned their backs on him. The President has now no choice but to wait for the formal report the UN would release on Monday to expose the real culprit behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria which reportedly killed 1500 people, among them, women and children.

But does it really matter what the UN report would be?

Obama has already said that beyond a reasonable doubt, Assad is to blame for the chemical massacre and any claim to the contrary would be bizarrely detrimental to the interests of Washington.

 Besides, war-thirty Obama may have to wait until September 9 when the Congress recess will be over. But what of that? He has already said he does not need anyone else’s permission though he’ll go to Congress for approval before launching a strike against Syria.

“While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger … and our actions will be even more effective” if the strike is authorized by Congress,’ Obama said Saturday in a televised address from the Rose Garden.

Whilst the western media are brandishing the blade of blame at the Syrian government, other independent sources claim the rebels are to blame as they improperly used the chemical weapons provided to them via Saudi intelligence boss and mastermind of political mayhem in the region Bandar bin Sultan AKA Bandar Bush.

According to a recent report published by Mint Press News, the rebels and local residents in Syrian Ghouta claim that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan is behind providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida-affiliated group.

Certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta, says, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry.”

 Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside a weapons tunnel provided by a Saudi militant known as Abu Ayesha. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

In consideration of the fact that the government of Assad could possibly reap no benefits in using chemical weapons on its own civilians, it would be a rather fair judgment to believe that the Takfiris fighting against the government of Assad and who have a long history of brutalities from beheading the Syrians to eating their innards would be held accountable for the chemical attacks. Former US congressman Ron Paul also believes that a chemical attack in Syria was a “false flag” likely carried out by the US-backed militant groups.

“We are not really positive who set off the gas,” Paul, a long-time Republican representative from Texas, said during a Fox News interview filmed Wednesday.

“The group that is most likely to benefit from that is al-Qaeda. They ignite some gas, some people die and blame it on Assad,” he noted.

A recent US report called ‘Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013’ sheds no new light on the chemical attacks in Syria; rather, it is to be considered but a flagrant declaration of war against the sovereignty of Syria.

In this grotesquely engineered report, the United States Government “assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.  We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.”

Interestingly, most of US reports are based on the reports of intelligence bodies rather than actual facts and that’s exactly where the problem arises. And this one is no exception. All wars fought by Washington in the name of democracy and fighting terrorism have been waged on the strength of the reports released by American spy apparatus.

At any rate, all this claim stands in need of reasonability and is far removed from the realities on the ground.

In a similar strain, Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said during an address to the students of the Moscow State University of International Relations on Monday, said, “What our American, British and French partners have shown us before – as well as now – does not convince us at all. There are no supporting facts. There is only repetitive talk in the vein of ‘we know for sure.’ And when we ask for further clarification, we receive the following response: ‘You are aware that this is classified information, therefore we cannot show it to you.’ So there are still no facts.”

Ironically, the US report says, “We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.” How can the report question the capability of the ‘opposition’ while they are well-provided, well-funded and well-financed thanks to the generosity of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the West?

 Though confronted by critics of war, Obama does not seem willing to stand back and discount this potential casus belli to start a war to the full satisfaction of Tel Aviv.

Be that as it may, the US is beefing up its military presence and preparing for an invasion of Syria. On Friday, the USS San Antonio, an amphibious US warship with hundreds of US Marines on board, joined five US destroyers armed with cruise missiles in the eastern Mediterranean. According to Reuters, the sixth warship has received orders to remain in the eastern Mediterranean after it passed through the Suez Canal on Thursday from the Red Sea.

In the final analysis, one can say that nothing may stop Washington from embarking on another military expedition in the Middle East in order to expand its sway in the region on the one hand and to curtail the political muscle of its archenemy Iran on the other. However, the situation has changed politically and barely does anyone buy the fabricated narrative the West presents to the world regarding Syria.

 Yet, in all this murky diabolical design is some degree of pleasant optimism: Washington no longer enjoys the support of other western countries in its military adventurism.  It should act solo.

 The US is desperately alone now.
Title: The Syria Desk: They Are Going to Need a Bigger Boat
Post by: RE on September 04, 2013, 12:44:15 AM
In the ongoing War Posturing, Vlad the Impaler has dispatched a couple of Ruskie Marine Amphibious ships with somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 Ruskie Marines aboard to hit the Syrian Beaches if Obama-sama plows onward with a Syrian War Campaign idea.

Meanwhile, the FSoA Military also is positioning Marine ships with a few hundred dumb Grunts who signed up here as Empire Conquistadores off the Syrian Beaches.

So project this one out here, Obama gives the Green Light for the Fly-boys and Joystick Drone controllers at Langley to Drop a few Mega-Tons of Conventional Death From Above down on "Surgical" targets in Syria, and after in theory wiping out any major opposition, sends in  a few hundred Marines to secure the Parliament building and install a Puppet, while the Ruskies then land THEIR few hundred Marines on the beaches to Prop Up another Goobermint housed over at the Department of Motor Vehicles maybe.  LOL.

I am not precisely sure of what numbers anybody needs these days in the Conquistadore meme, though back in the Good Old Days the Spaniards did pretty well with around 500 or so knocking down Montezuma's poorly equipped fighters.  As good as that worked back then with Body Armor and Muskets against Stone Age people, I am not too certain 500 Amerikans or 500 Ruskies can keep control over Syria, especially if these two bunches are on opposite sides of the conflict.  LOL.

Obviously, this is a game of Chicken, to see who will back down here first.  Back in the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in the end Kruschev backed down.  I don't see Vlad the Impaler as the backing down type, so if Obama-sama does let loose the Death From Above on Syria, he will have to respond.

I don't think those Troop Ships with 500 Marines aboard will do the trick here.  They will need some Bigger Boats.

(http://bluerootblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/jaws_swims_behind_chief_brody-1.jpg)


Russia Sends Two Marine-Carrying Ships To The Mediterranean
(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-03/russia-sends-two-marine-carrying-ships-mediterranean)         
 (http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-5.jpg) (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden)
   
Submitted by Tyler Durden (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden) on 09/03/2013 16:38 -0400

If the direct result of today's surprising and unannounced Israeli missile test was to provoke a response by Russia, the Allies have succeeded. ITAR TASS reports that Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets’ Ropucha-class landing ships Novocherkassk  (http://flot.sevastopol.info/eng/ship/amphibious/novocherkassk.htm)(150 marines on board) and Minsk (http://rusnavy.com/nowadays/strength/surfaceships/minsk/) (225 marines) have sailed off for the Mediterranean Sea. What was not reported is that the destination of the two marine carrying ships is the sensitive area around Syria already staked out by the US navy. It is implied.
(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/novocherkassk_01_0.jpg) (http://flot.sevastopol.info/eng/ship/amphibious/novocherkassk.htm)
From the Russian press agency (http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/863141.html):



“The Russian Navy continues stage-by-stage rotation of warships and support ships of the standing naval force in the Mediterranean,” the spokesman said. “Having passed through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, the big landing ships will reach the designated area in the Mediterranean Sea on September 5 or 6 to start their mission under the command of the remote zone headquartered onboard the big anti-submarine ship of the Russian Pacific Fleet Admiral Panteleyev.”
 
Currently, one of the key tasks of the Russian standing naval force in the Mediterranean is “comprehensive monitoring over the air, underwater and surface situation in the zone of its deployment,” the Russian defence ministry said, adding that the rotation of Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea would continue till mid-September.

In other words, more ships will be "rotating" into the Mediterranean for the next two weeks. The last time Russia dispatched one or more squadrons of ships to Syria was last December (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-18/russia-sends-two-squadrons-ships-syria), when Syria was once again a hot bed of pre-war foreplay. This is what Russia did back then: "The squadron of five ships that sailed from the Baltic Sea base of Baltiysk includes a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels that could evacuate hundreds of people... Another group of three navy ships departed Tuesday from Severomorsk, the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula." Will Russia repeat a comparable pile up of naval powers now as it did then? Most certainly.
Summarizing the balance of power so far:
Our prediction: the next ship to be dispatched in direction Syria will be the missile cruiser Moskva, the "flag ship of the Black Sea fleet" and more of its affiliated warships, which was last deployed in November of 2012  (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-24/russia-sends-warships-gaza-coast)during the 8 day escalation between Israel and Gaza which culminated in Operation Pillar of Defense. That, and a whole lot of submarines.
(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/missile%20cruiser_0.jpg) (http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/missile%20cruiser.jpg)
 
Finally, for those curious or simply "mocking" Russia's navy, here is a full breakdown of just the Russian Black Sea fleet currently (http://flot.sevastopol.info/eng/ship/today.htm):
(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/Russian%20Black%20Sea%20Fleet_0.jpg) (http://flot.sevastopol.info/eng/)
 
And a snapshot of the entire current Russian Navy  (http://russian-ships.info/eng/today/)as of August:
(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/Russian%20Navy%202013_0.jpg) (http://russian-ships.info/eng/today/)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 03:05:07 AM

 
A group of young men whom the recruiters had rejected for being too young, too weak or otherwise unfit for battle gathered outside. But the young men said they remained determined to join the battle. “I am going to wait here every day until the Free Syrian Army accepts me or until Sept. 10,” said Ahmed Saeed. “Then I will turn 15.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/ (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/03/world/teenagers-start-filling-ranks-as-rebel-losses-soar/)

That's how I felt during desert storm, when I was 10 years old.  WTF :icon_scratch:

We should be ashamed of our species coming up with this type of nonsense.  Sending kids to go die because the adults can't play nice.  It's fucked up...and fuck the Matrix, the American Hologram, the American Dream, and this fucked up business of death by drone.  So what?  Now America is about killing 15 year old kids in the name of spreading freedom and democracy?  Wait...that's not what this is about is it?  This next installment of fuck the middle east cause they sittin' on the oil. 

No, this is about destabilizing the region...I mean because of that oil. 

//

Because of the pipelines, but a small quibble. Point taken.

And the story behind the story is that our decades of endless wars have created, as you can see in the Japan Times story, another generation of young people who know nothing of America except its imperial boot on the neck of their country. WHo hate America and everything in it and every thing about it. Which will spawn a new generation of fighters "terrorists™" whose lives and immortal souls will be consecrated to destruction and obliteration of "The Great Satan."

Which will, of course, be very good business for the Boeings, Lockheed Martins, Raytheons, Halliburtons of the world. To say nothing of the Booz Allens. More conflict, more defense/intel needs, more budget requirements...

Almost as if they had planned it.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 03:17:55 AM
Since 9/11, US 1% killed over 100 million children from poverty: they don’t care about ‘innocent lives’ in Syria

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/since-911-us-1-killed-over-100-million-children-from-poverty-they-dont-care-about-innocent-lives-in-syria.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/since-911-us-1-killed-over-100-million-children-from-poverty-they-dont-care-about-innocent-lives-in-syria.html)

(Go to the original to follow the many links)
Posted on September 4, 2013 by Carl Herman

US 1% spin to save “innocent lives” in Syria (explore here, here) is refuted by that same 1% reneging on every promise to save innocent children’s lives from preventable poverty. Since 9/11, US reneged promises to end poverty have killed over 100 million children, twice the number of children enrolled in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade in the US.

US 1% “leadership” care for “innocent lives” in Syria is the same as their care to poverty-murder every child in every US school, and then poverty-murder the same number of children again.

Since the 1%’s reneged promises from just 1998, the total deaths from preventable poverty is conservatively greater than from all wars, revolutions, murders, accidents, and suicides in the 20th and 21st centuries. Since the 1990 World Summit for Children where the promise to end poverty was again sincerely pledged, total deaths from poverty eclipse all the above categories of death in all known human history.*

Despite the investment to save a million children’s lives each month from preventable poverty being just 0.7% of our gross national income, despite that every historical case of ending poverty reduces population growth rates, and despite US promises to make that investment at global summits, the 1% “leadership” in government and corporate media renege and ignore all promises to end this crushing torture, these excruciating and prolonged deaths of children.

The leverage point to remove the 1% is for those of us among the 99% with arrest authority to exercise it for “emperor has no clothes” obvious ongoing War Crimes and murders of US soldiers who were lied-into criminal wars.

*Assuming 15 years of poverty deaths totaling 225 million and 23 years at 400 million (poverty deaths have decreased over the past 20 years) compared to the estimates of 160 million war deaths from Scaruffi, P., Wars and Casualties of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and 230 million from Leitenberg, M, Deaths in Wars and Conflicts in the 20th Century, (along with the relatively smaller numbers for murders, accidents, and suicides). Total global deaths in recorded history is probably a safe estimate given a global population of ~1.6 billion in 1900. My assignment for high school students on ending poverty with all of the documentation: The Economics of Ending Poverty.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 03:49:12 AM
Evil complicit neocon bastards.

Senate committee passes draft resolution on Syria
September 3, 2013  10:34PM ET
Foreign Relations Committee draft recommends up to 60 days of US military action, with a possible 30 day extension
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/3/u-s-senate-committeepassesdraftresolutionauthorizingsyriastrike.html (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/3/u-s-senate-committeepassesdraftresolutionauthorizingsyriastrike.html)

(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/u-s-senate-committeepassesdraftresolutionauthorizingsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378288047802.jpg)
Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee listen to testimony Tuesday from Obama administration officials on justifications for striking the Syrian government.
Along with other restrictions, the committee agreed on a resolution that prohibits U.S. ground forces from being deployed in the country. Joshua Roberts/Reuters


The U.S. Senate Foreign relations committee agreed Tuesday on a draft resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to strike the Syrian government in order to stop it from using chemical weapons, but also called for the U.S. to attempt to find a political solution to end the country's bloody civil war.

The resolution is just the latest in a series of wins for Obama administration, which has been seeking approval from Congress to use military force as a punishment for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged deployment of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens.

The compromise deal reached by Senator Robert Menendez, (D-NJ) the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), its top Republican, authorizes a more narrow use of force than President Obama was seeking from Congress.

The draft sets a 60-day limit on U.S. military action in Syria, with a possibility of a single 30-day extension. It would require President Obama to fully inform lawmakers of any planned military strikes, and require the president to include Congress in formulating a negotiated political settlement to the conflict. It also includes a provision banning any use of U.S. ground forces in Syria.

"Together we have pursued a course of action that gives the president the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime's criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, while assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria," Senator Menendez said in a statement.

The draft resolution paves the way for a committee vote on Wednesday. If approved by the committee, that would lead to a full vote on military action by the Senate when lawmakers return from their August recess on Sept. 9.

The House of Representatives must also pass its own version of the military authorization and the two must be reconciled before they can be submitted for Obama's signature.


Click for Al Jazeera's special coverage of the conflict in Syria
Secretary of State John Kerry testified Tuesday in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying that failure to launch a strike against Syria would undermine U.S. credibility around the world. He said a lack of action would weaken America's ability to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined Kerry in testifying in support of a military intervention.

House Speaker John Boehner also rallied behind the plan for intervention Tuesday, saying that responding to an alleged chemical attack is, "something the United States as a country needs to do."

Obama began lobbying Congress for a speedy approval for force after the U.S. received what the Obama administration said is credible evidence that almost about 1,400 Syrians were killed by a chemical attack carried out by Assad's government on Aug. 21.

But Obama is still far from achieving unanimous support for any action. Many liberal Democrats and a large part of the Republican Party have voiced opposition to intervention.

And a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday shows only 29 percent of Americans back U.S. intervention in Syria, while another 48 percent oppose and 23 percent remain undecided.

Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen told Al Jazeera that Obama has probably already calculated that he will get the votes necessary. "It may not be by virtue of support of the American people, but support of countries in the region, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and also Israel. Israel has very strong lobby in this country," he said. "I think their voices will carry a lot of weight with Congress."

Cohen said the real challenge for the president is the possibility of failing to win a majority in both houses of Congress, but still opting for a military strike. "I think it's a danger here, if he was to lose this by a close vote, the country would have spoken through their elected officials, at that point, Obama may feel so strongly that he's going to go forward anyway." he said. "I think you'd be in a very difficult position politically, in this country."

Cohen noted that there has only been one declaration of war since World War II. "All the others have been carried out through the executive without necessarily the full support of Congress," Cohen said.
 

Highlights from the resolution's text:

SECTION 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION-The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria, only to: (1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian government in the conflict in Syria; (2) deter Syria's use of such weapons in order to protect the national security interests of the United States and to protect our allies and partners against the use of such weapons; and (3) degrade Syria's capacity to use such weapons in the future.

SECTION 5. SYRIA STRATEGY.

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this resolution, the President shall consult with Congress and submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives an integrated United States Government strategy for achieving a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Syria, including a comprehensive review of current and planned U.S. diplomatic, political, economic, and military policy towards Syria, including: (1) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian Supreme Military Council and other Syrian entities opposed to the government of Bashar Al-Assad that have been properly and fully vetted and share common values and interests with the United States; (2) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian political opposition, including the Syrian Opposition Coalition; (3) efforts to isolate extremist and terrorist groups in Syria to prevent their influence on the future transitional and permanent Syrian governments; (4) coordination with allies and partners; and (5) efforts to limit support from the Government of Iran and others for the Syrian regime.

SECTION 7. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. The authority set forth in Section 2 of this resolution shall not constitute an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war except to the extent that it authorizes military action under the conditions, for the specific purposes, and for the limited period of time set forth in this resolution.

Al Jazeera and wire services
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 04:02:12 AM
Just in case there were any doubts. Somewhere Perle, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld are smiling, as Cheney enjoys a breakfast of a child's heart.

US-Allied Warships off Syrian Coastline: Naval Deployment Decided "Before" the August 21 Chemical Weapons Attack


(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/nimitz9-400x336.jpg)
A massive US and allied naval deployment is occurring in the Eastern Mediterranean off Syria's coastline as well as in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

While this display of military might may not be part of an immediate attack plan on Syria, it is creating an atmosphere of fear and panic within Syria.

The US Navy has deployed the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport ship to the Eastern Mediterranean. The San Antonio is joining five US destroyers which "are already in place for possible missile strikes on Syria, a defense official said Sunday."

The USS San Antonio, with several helicopters and hundreds of Marines on board, is "on station in the Eastern Mediterranean" but "has received no specific tasking," said the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. US Navy deploys five warships, one amphibious ship to Mediterranean for Syria

While the USS San Antonio has amphibious landing equipment, which can be used to land some 6,000 sailors and marines, "no boots on the ground," however, remains the official motto.

So why then has the US deployed its most advanced amphibious landing ship? The reports suggest that this is routine and there are no attack plans:

(http://www.opednews.com/populum/cachedimages/s_500_upload_wikimedia_org_0_800px-Uss_san_antonio_1330453.gif)


USS San Antonio

There are currently five destroyers off the coast of Syria: the USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Graveley, not to mention the San Antonio amphibious landing vessel.

The destroyers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles which "are ready to fire ... if Obama gives the order."

On 28 August the U.S. Navy announced the deployment of  the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stout   en route to join four other destroyers "amid allegations that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians on August 21."

In a not unusual twist, this deployment of US and allied naval forces preceded the chemical weapons attack which is being blamed on president Bashar al Assad.

According to Naval records, the guided missile destroyerUSS Stout(DDG 55) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on August 18, 2013, "for deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility" (see image below upon its departure in Norfolk on August 18).

The USS Ramage destroyer left Naval Station Norfolk on August 13 for the Eastern Mediterranean, "to relieve the Mahan."

Yet in fact what was decided was to deploy all five destroyers along the Syrian coastline. This decision was taken by the Pentagon well in advance of the chemical attacks of August 21, which constitute Obama's pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds.

"The amphibious transport dock San Antonio, carrying elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has joined the five Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a defense official confirmed [August 30].
"'No specific tasking has been received at this point,' the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'The San Antonio is being kept in the sea as a prudent decision should ship capabilities be required.'


More at-
http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Allied-Warships-off-Syr-by-Michel-Chossudovsk-Attack_Political_Syria_Syrian-Situation-130903-843.html (http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Allied-Warships-off-Syr-by-Michel-Chossudovsk-Attack_Political_Syria_Syrian-Situation-130903-843.html)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 09:35:42 AM
By the way, how do you get pictures to display larger and more in connection with the text? The picture I just posted is down low and quite small. Somewhat ruined the effect I was trying to make, but hopefully you all will enjoy it anyway.  :icon_sunny:

Am not terribly down on Putin; in may ways Russian counterweight is the best thing those of us loath to engage in another war for oil, or to keep Iranian gas out of Europe by denying them the pipeline, could have. Someone to make these out of control chickenhawk neocons realize that life is not a beep game, and there are real costs to war. As to his personal qualities, he is KGB, a murderer, and a cold blooded opportunist. So he is probably a candidate for a spring reality show opposite Donald Trump.

As to the pictures, in the edit display above your writing window, click the image that has a little miniature Mona Lisa on it, the paste in the URL for the image you want to post.

I generally check "preview" before posting.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Bombing Campaign
Post by: WHD on September 04, 2013, 10:30:41 AM
It is ASTOUNDING to me, that these jackasses say this is not an act of war, when they are talking about reigning hellfire from above for up to 90 days! Shot across the bow? They could level the entire country in a week. 90 days! They make it sound like some afternoon, they will blow some shit up and then be done with it. In reality they are talking about a Dresden-like campaign, sounds more like to me.

After a week of bombing reports, Americans, if they care at all, are going to be like, I thought you said "limited"? Limited to what, you haven't killed any baby's yet?

I say, drop these guys from a drone on Damascus. Them, and everybody else in Congress who votes for this.

(http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/9/3/u-s-senate-committeepassesdraftresolutionauthorizingsyriastrike/jcr:content/mainpar/adaptiveimage/src.adapt.960.high.1378288047802.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Bombing Campaign
Post by: Snowleopard on September 04, 2013, 01:50:00 PM
It is ASTOUNDING to me, that these jackasses say this is not an act of war, when they are talking about reigning hellfire from above for up to 90 days! Shot across the bow? They could level the entire country in a week. 90 days! They make it sound like some afternoon, they will blow some shit up and then be done with it. In reality they are talking about a Dresden-like campaign, sounds more like to me.

After a week of bombing reports, Americans, if they care at all, are going to be like, I thought you said "limited"? Limited to what, you haven't killed any baby's yet?


It is quite simple of course.  They (the Imperial state) have adopted an Emperor's regard for law:

As was often said about Roman law:  "Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi" or roughly "The laws of gods do not apply to cows"  where by "cows" they mean subjects.  And subjects are beneath contempt, actual cows merit more concern.

This attitude is not just for foreign nation subjects, as many USA city dwellers know, it is quite visable in many (not all) major city police departments.

For example: It is not assault (for the city cops) when they beat the crap out of someone for disrespecting them (just like the lesser gangs in the city).  SOP when/if it gets to court  there is some minor charge (disobeying an officer or disorderly conduct) followed by resisting arrest and assaulting an officer (unless you take a plea and sign a waiver, payoff through a "good" lawyer, or have an uploaded video beyond their reach).

In less blatant ways this attitude (citizens = subjects = cows to be milked or ground into hamburger if milk is not forthcoming) is festering in USA government at all levels.


I say, drop these guys from a drone on Damascus. Them, and everybody else in Congress who votes for this.


I would appear kinder to them.  Those who vote for bombing get clandestinely dropped into Syria (with black parachutes) as forward observers in advance of the attacks to witness and report on the action.  They get whatever communitations equip and supplies they want, limited by what they can carry with them, including personal weapons if desired, and local currency only up to Syrian annual family income.  They must display USA flags on all exterior clothing (subdued flags and camo permitted).  Their relocation within the battlespace would be at the discretion of military.  Requests for extraction out of the battlespace would be acted on not sooner than ninety days after USA ceases military action. 

I wonder how many would return??  Those who did return might then be worth having in Congress.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Bombing Campaign
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 04, 2013, 05:49:22 PM
I say, drop these guys from a drone on Damascus. Them, and everybody else in Congress who votes for this.
I would appear kinder to them.
Haven't the Syrians suffered enough?  I think the cruise missiles would ultimately do less damage....
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 04, 2013, 05:56:15 PM

More indication that "whatever is hidden will be revealed".

From RT

http://rt.com/news/chemical-aleppo-findings-russia-417/ (http://rt.com/news/chemical-aleppo-findings-russia-417/)


Russia releases key findings on chemical attack near Aleppo indicating similarity with rebel-made weapons

 Published time: September 04, 2013 17:02
Edited time: September 04, 2013 19:00



Probes from Khan al-Assal show chemicals used in the March 19 attack did not belong to standard Syrian army ammunition, and that the shell carrying the substance was similar to those made by a rebel fighter group, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

 A statement released by the ministry on Wednesday particularly drew attention to the “massive stove-piping of various information aimed at placing the responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria on Damascus, even though the results of the UN investigation have not yet been revealed.”
 
By such means “the way is being paved for military action”against Damascus, the ministry pointed out.
 
But the samples taken at the site of the March 19 attack and analyzed by Russian experts indicate that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, the ministry statement suggests, outlining the 100-page report handed over to the UN by Russia.
 
The key points of the report have been given as follows: 

• the shell used in the incident “does not belong to the standard ammunition of the Syrian army and was crudely according to type and parameters of the rocket-propelled unguided missiles manufactured in the north of Syria by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade”;
 
• RDX, which is also known as hexogen or cyclonite, was used as the bursting charge for the shell, and it is “not used in standard chemical munitions”;
 
• soil and shell samples contain “the non-industrially synthesized nerve agent sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate,” which was “used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.”


The findings of the report are “extremely specific,” as they mostly consist of scientific and technical data from probes’ analysis, the ministry stressed, adding that this data can “substantially aid” the UN investigation of the incident.
 
While focusing on the Khan al-Assal attack on March 19, in which at least 26 civilians and Syrian army soldiers were killed, and 86 more were injured, the Russian Foreign Ministry also criticized the “flawed selective approach” of certain states in reporting the recent incidents of alleged chemical weapons use in August.
 
The hype around the alleged attack on the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta showed “apparent attempts to cast a veil over the incidents of gas poisoning of Syrian army soldiers on August 22, 24 and 25,” the ministry said, adding that all the respective evidence was handed to the UN by Syria.
 
The condition of the soldiers who, according to Damascus, suffered poisoning after discovering tanks with traces of sarin, has been examined and documented by the UN inspectors, the ministry pointed out, adding that “any objective investigation of the August 21 incident in eastern Ghouta is impossible without the consideration of all these facts.”
 
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday said the UN investigators are set to return to Syria to investigate several other cases of alleged chemical weapons use, including the March 19 incident in Khan al-Assal.







Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Bombing Campaign
Post by: Snowleopard on September 04, 2013, 06:22:02 PM
I say, drop these guys from a drone on Damascus. Them, and everybody else in Congress who votes for this.
I would appear kinder to them.
Haven't the Syrians suffered enough?  I think the cruise missiles would ultimately do less damage....

  :LolLolLolLol:  :laugh:   :roll2:

Ok, now that i'm done laughing....

The Syrians have suffered enough, the politicians who support this shit have not.  Considering most of our politicans roles as domestic parasitic puppets, i can see how you might think dropping them in as equivalent to loosing biological weapons! 

In reality most of those few politicians with occaision to actually fight in the past have grown used to their problems being handled by others.   Having to actually survive in a war zone where ten year olds have Kalashnikovs without their buffers and handlers would be a death sentence for all but the brightest, presuming any are that bright.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 04:24:06 AM
Who's surprised?

Pro-War Senator Votes Bought With 83% More Defense Lobby Money?
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-05/pro-war-senator-votes-bought-83-more-defense-lobby-money (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-05/pro-war-senator-votes-bought-83-more-defense-lobby-money)


Wednesday's 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting an authorization of military attacks on Syria may have been affected by varying levels of financial support the senators got from political action committees representing the defense industry, and from the companies' employees. As The Daily Mail reports, on average, a 'yes'-voting senator received 83% more money from defense contractors than one who voted 'no.' Committee members who voted Wednesday to support the proposal collected an average of $72,850 in defense campaign financing between 2007 and 2012, Wired magazine reported, based on data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Those who dissented in the committee vote averaged $39,770, with the four senators who received the least amount of defense dollars, ranging from $14,000 to $19,250, all voted no. At a Pentagon-estimated cost of around $5 billion per month (for a 2-month deployment) - and in light of our previous discussion on lobbying ROIs - is it any wonder?


(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/08-2/20130905_lobby_2_0.png)
 

Via The Daily Mail,

...
 
Among the biggest contributors to senators involved in yesterday's vote were Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies and Honeywell International, companies that make everything from stealth bombers to long-range missiles and aerial drones.
 
While members of Congress have complained that Pentagon budget cuts due to the 2013 budget sequester will hamper any military effort in the Middle East, those giant contractors will likely benefit from any military action.
 
A single Tomahawk cruise missile costs the government between $700,000 and $1.4 million, according to published estimates. And each unmanned Predator aerial drone sets the Defense Department back a whopping $4 million.
 
In 2012 A Pentagon spokesman told CNN that it costs another $815,000 per year to pay, deploy, feed, house, arm and maintain every soldier on the ground in Afghanistan.
 
Applying that math to the 75,000 troops the Pentagon has said it will need to secure Syrian chemical weapons sites, a two-month deployment at similar costs would cost $5.09 billion per month.
And as a reminder, here again is the Greatest ROI opportunity ever... if only to corporations:

The dream of virtually anyone who has ever traded even one share of stock has always been to generate above market returns, also known as alpha, preferably in a long-term horizon. Why? Because those who manage to return 30%, 20% even 10% above the S&P over the long run, become, all else equal (expert networks and collocated flow-frontrunning HFT boxes aside), legendary investors in the eyes of the general public, which brings the ancillary benefits of fame and fortune (usually in the form of 2 and 20). This is the ultimate goal of everyone who works on Wall Street. Yet, ironically, what most don't realize, is that these returns, or Returns On Investment (ROI), are absolutely meaningless when put side by side next to something few think about when considering investment returns.

Namely lobbying.

Because it is the ROIs for various forms of lobbying the put the compounded long-term returns of the market to absolute shame. As the following infographic demonstrates, ROIs on various lobbying efforts range from a whopping 5,900% (oil subsidies) to a gargantuan 77,500% (pharmaceuticals).

How are these mingboggling returns possible? Simple - because they appeal to the weakest link: the most corrupt, bribable, and infinitely greedy unit of modern society known as 'the politician'.

Yet who benefits from these tremendous arbitrage opportunities? Not you and I, that is for certain.

No - it is the faceless corporations - the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks - which are truly in the control nexus of modern society, and which, precisely courtesy of these lobbying "efforts", in which modest investments generate fantastic returns allowing the status quo to further entrench itself, take advantage of this biggest weakness of modern "developed" society to make the rich much richer (a/k/a that increasingly thinner sliver of society known as investors), who are the sole beneficiaries of this "Amazing ROI" - the stock market is merely one grand (and lately broken, and very much manipulated) distraction, to give everyone the impression the playing field is level.

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2012/05-2/Lobbying%20ROI_0.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 06, 2013, 05:30:59 AM
We are just fucking doomed.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 06:40:28 AM
This just in--


Tyler Durden's picture
State Department Orders Evacuation Of Lebanon Diplomats


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/state-department-orders-evacuation-lebanon-diplomats (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/state-department-orders-evacuation-lebanon-diplomats)

A month ago, when Obama was desperate for some distraction from the torrent of scandals plaguing his administration, he ordered the evacuation of countless US embassies around the world. In the meantime, Syria happened. And now, that the Syria conflict appears it may not get the required congressional approval, it is back to Plan A again.

Quote
MORE: State Department orders nonessential U.S. diplomats to leave Lebanon due to security concerns: http://apne.ws/14wN4BV (http://apne.ws/14wN4BV)  -JM

Expect many more regional embassies to get their "evacuation orders" shortly as the distraction frenzy hits an extreme once again.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 06:45:58 AM

The Soap Opera Plot Thickens: Iran Plots Revenge If US Hits Syria, According To "Intercepted" Message


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/soap-opera-plot-thickens-iran-plots-revenge-if-us-hits-syria-according-intercepted-m (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/soap-opera-plot-thickens-iran-plots-revenge-if-us-hits-syria-according-intercepted-m)

We have not seen the YouTube clip that will serve as "incontrovertible" evidence of the following, nor is there any indication that Iran is actually aware of the NSA and that it intercepts every form of electronic communication (and when such communication is not available, one is made up), but since we have no reason to doubt the US government or its pristine, best intentions with or without YouTube clips, it is only obvious that the latest development in the Syrian/Iranian/Qatari/Saudi/Israeli soap opera is definitive proof that a US attack must happen to punish not only evil Assad but the just as evil Iranians, who dare to contemplate retaliation in the case of the latest defensive US war of aggression.

From the WSJ:
Quote
    The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.

    Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran and their allies. U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran's fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf, where American warships are positioned. U.S. officials also fear Hezbollah could attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

    ...

    The Iranian message, intercepted in recent days, came from Qasem Soleimani, the head of Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force, and went to Iranian-supported Shiite militia groups in Iraq, according to U.S. officials.


    In it, Mr. Soleimani said Shiite groups must be prepared to respond with force after a U.S. strike on Syria. Iranian officials didn't respond to requests for comment.

    Iraqi Shiites have been sympathetic to the Alawite-dominated government of Syria and oppose U.S. strikes against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
   

U.S. officials said the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was one likely target. The officials didn't describe the range of potential targets indicated by the intelligence.

Somewhere out there, there is, or will be, a YouTube clip, which shows Iran launching ballistic missiles at the cornucopia of US destroyers parked in the vicinity of Syria:

Quote
    The destroyers positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean are equipped with—in addition to Tomahawk missiles that could be used against Syria—the Standard Missile-3, which could be used to intercept ballistic missiles should Iran launch a retaliatory strike, officials said.

Then there are, or will be, YouTube clips showing "vicious offensives" by Syria against the opposition. Even more "vicious" than the YouTube clips "proving" Assad launched the chemical weapons against the opposition:

Quote
    Syrians could also respond with "a vicious offensive" against the opposition inside Syria, said Aaron David Miller, a former top Middle East negotiator in the State Department who now is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Such a move, he said, would be a way "to demonstrate defiance" without running the risk of hitting American targets.

And if that doesn't happen, there will be a YouTube clip showing Hezbollah attacking the US, Israel, or whatever other US ally was currently easiest to edit in the NSA's evidence manipulation room:
Quote
    Some officials believe a direct response from the Syrian or Iranian governments is less likely than reprisals from allied militant groups, such as Hezbollah.
     
Quote
    Hezbollah, whose members have been fighting alongside government forces against the Syrian rebellion, could be used to launch rocket attacks against U.S. military assets or American allies, including Israel.

But the funniest YouTube clip proving beyond a reasonable doubt a US war of aggression was really a defensive one, is when the French are attacked:

Quote
    French officials said they are concerned Hezbollah could target the hundreds of French troops taking part in a U.N.-backed peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon.
And so forth. That US foreign policy has devolved into a false flag hypothetical narrative chain is beyond deplorable: in the past at least they tried to make it somewhat credible. Now Kerry's minions are appealing to the lowest common Kardashian-watching denominator. Which is why we know for sure: no matter just how preposterously idiotic the next false flag will be: there will be YouTube clips!
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 06:52:09 AM
Propaganda Alert: Peace with Syria Will Crash the U.S. Economy-
Copier salesman argues that failure to attack Syria will destroy the American economy--
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/propaganda-alert-peace-with-syria-will-crash-the-u-s-economy.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/propaganda-alert-peace-with-syria-will-crash-the-u-s-economy.html)

Moronic Drivel from Clueless Warmonger

Former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission – and now Kyocera copier salesman – Peter Morici argues that failure to attack Syria will destroy the American economy:

    President Obama’s vacillation on Syria—first delaying military action and then booting the decision to Congress—poses grave threats to U.S. prosperity.

Quote
    Imminent military action, especially in the Middle East, instigates fears of shortages and panic in oil markets. Two years ago, oil prices jumped to more than $110 in anticipation of the U.S. action in Libya but then subsided when the worst did not happen to oil supplies.

    ***

    A prolonged debate in Congress could push gasoline above $4.00. That would dent Detroit’s resurgent auto sales, shelve investment decisions across manufacturing, and weigh on already flagging new home sales.

    ***

    The president exacerbated near term fears by first vacillating after Syrian President Assad crossed his red line, and then asking Congress to vote the week of September 9.

    ***

    The president faces formidable opposition among Congressional liberals and the Tea Party, who don’t grasp what is at stake for U.S. security and economic interests.

    Since Roosevelt, the United States has carefully promoted a system of international law that prohibits aggression, protects human rights, and promotes freer markets for international trade and investment.

    ***

    The liberals and Tea Party, who are very reluctant to support military force unless U.S. security is directly threatened, should consider the longer-term consequences of U.S. inaction on the economy and jobs.

    ***

    If the liberals and Tea Party block U.S. military action, that vote will mark the end of the United States of America as a prosperous nation with the resolve to lead.

Outside of the fantasy world of the warmongers, things are a little different.

In reality, it is the threat of yet another unnecessary, counterproductive war in the Middle East – and not any delay in approving such a boondoggle – which is destabilizing the economy.

Moreover, far better-known and more impressive economists than Morici have shown that – contrary to long-standing myths – war is horrible for the economy.

Finally, a strong rule of law is the main driver of economic growth.  On the other hand, institutional lying and corruption is one of the main factors hurting our economy.

Attacking Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more serious chemical weapons attacks than anyone in Syria has committed).

Polls show that the American public – and the entire world -  believes that the American government is lying about its case for war … just as it did in Iraq.

As such, attacking Syria would further undermine the rule of law, further erode trust in the government … and therefore further damage our economy.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk/Vlad Brings It
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 07:40:41 AM
Putin "Brings It": Says Will Assist Syria In Case Of Attack

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/putin-brings-it-says-will-assist-syria-case-attack (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/putin-brings-it-says-will-assist-syria-case-attack)

Following a supposedly "warm" 20-30 minute conversation this morning with President Obama, Russian President Putin has rattled the sabre one more time:

    PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TO ASSIST SYRIA IN CASE OF EXTERNAL ATTACK

This will not end well... and of course will raise more doubts among Congress that this 'strike' makes sense. Equity markets are not amused...

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/08-2/20130906_putinblewupthebulls_0.png)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 07:49:15 AM
Quote
“Will we help Syria? We will. And we are already helping, we send arms, we cooperate in the economics sphere, we hope to expand our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, which includes sending humanitarian aid to support those people – the civilians – who have found themselves in a very dire situation in this country,” Putin said in response to a reporter's question.

Quote buried in American MSM, no repeated anywhere I can find as of 10:45 AM EDT.

Putin: Syria chemical attack is ‘rebels' provocation in hope of intervention’
http://rt.com/news/putin-g20-syria-meeting-511/ (http://rt.com/news/putin-g20-syria-meeting-511/)

(http://rt.com/files/news/20/59/f0/00/putin-g20-syria-meeting.si.jpg)
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gives a press conference at the end of the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg (AFP Photo)

The alleged chemical weapons use in Syria is a provocation carried out by the rebels to attract a foreign-led strike, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the G20 summit.

There was no 50/50 split of opinion on the notion of a military strike against the Syrian President Bashar Assad, Putin stressed refuting earlier assumptions.

Only Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and France joined the US push for intervention, he said, adding that the UK Prime Minister’s position was not supported by his citizens.

Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Italy were among the major world’s economies clearly opposed to military intervention.

President Putin said the G20 nations spent the “entire” Thursday evening discussing the Syrian crisis, which was followed by Putin’s bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron that lasted till 3am Moscow time.

Russia “will help Syria” in the event of a military strike, Putin stressed as he responded to a reporter’s question at the summit.

“Will we help Syria? We will. And we are already helping, we send arms, we cooperate in the economics sphere, we hope to expand our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, which includes sending humanitarian aid to support those people – the civilians – who have found themselves in a very dire situation in this country,” Putin said.

Putin said he sat down with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit and talked for about half an hour in “a friendly atmosphere”.

Although the Russian and the American leaders maintained different positions regarding the Syrian issue, Putin said they “hear” and understand each other.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will continue discussing the situation in Syria “in the short run,” Putin said.

Meanwhile, President Obama reiterated in his summit speech that the US government believes Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces were behind the chemical weapons use.

Obama pledged to make a good case on the issue for both the international community and the American people, saying many nations are already “comfortable” with the US’ opinion.

While admitting “a number of countries” at the summit stressed any military action plan should go through the UN Security Council, Obama said the US is in a different “camp” that questioned the UNSC effectiveness.

“Given the Security Council’s paralysis on this issue, if we are serious about upholding a ban on chemical weapons use, then an international response is required and that will not come through the Security Council action,” Obama said.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 06, 2013, 08:07:11 AM
Quote
Peace with Syria Will Crash the U.S. Economy
In reality, it is the threat of yet another unnecessary, counterproductive war in the Middle East – and not any delay in approving such a boondoggle – which is destabilizing the economy.

Moreover, far better-known and more impressive economists than Morici have shown that – contrary to long-standing myths – war is horrible for the economy.

Finally, a strong rule of law is the main driver of economic growth.  On the other hand, institutional lying and corruption is one of the main factors hurting our economy.

Attacking Syria would be a much more serious war crime than even a chemical weapons attack.  (And history shows that the U.S. is guilty of more serious chemical weapons attacks than anyone in Syria has committed).

Polls show that the American public – and the entire world -  believes that the American government is lying about its case for war … just as it did in Iraq.

As such, attacking Syria would further undermine the rule of law, further erode trust in the government … and therefore further damage our economy.
I think you're both right... peace will crash the US economy, and war will crash the US economy...
I think the time is coming, as RE likes to say, to "short the phone book"... and be long on potatoes....
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 11:38:24 AM
Quote
Peace with Syria Will Crash the U.S. Economy
In reality, it is the threat of yet another unnecessary, counterproductive war in the Middle East – and not any delay in approving such a boondoggle – which is destabilizing the economy.

//

As such, attacking Syria would further undermine the rule of law, further erode trust in the government … and therefore further damage our economy.
I think you're both right... peace will crash the US economy, and war will crash the US economy...
I think the time is coming, as RE likes to say, to "short the phone book"... and be long on potatoes....

Actually, JD, due to you, LD WHD, and others who have posted here, I am expanding my planned future portfolio from long potatoes to "long tubers."

(It was Contrary who actually fed me my first turnip last year. Yes, I had gone an adult lifetime without eating a turnip; thought they were like beets, which to me taste like dirt.

Turnips: Fabulous.

Rutabagas? Hell yes.

Somebody here observed that they are also less of a pain to care for and harvest and store than grain. So there you go.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 06, 2013, 11:51:25 AM
Cabbage loopers were a problem with my rutabagas. They showed up every time it rained in the spring. and ate the leaves off my tubers. Get a plan for those bad boys. They do a lot of damage in a hurry.

I tried soapy water and an organic product with essential oils...didn't phase 'em much.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 01:49:04 PM
Cabbage loopers were a problem with my rutabagas. They showed up every time it rained in the spring. and ate the leaves off my tubers. Get a plan for those bad boys. They do a lot of damage in a hurry.

I tried soapy water and an organic product with essential oils...didn't phase 'em much.

Hmmm. Good to kn0ow.

I know that aphids run from neem oil like they were in the presence of the Great Satan himself...
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 02:06:57 PM
As just posted on the DDFB page, that medieval Greenland colony to the Viking homeland here at the Diner Forum--

Charlie Pierce at his best. Pierce ripping the face off neocon shill Michael Gerson.

Quote
"We are going to kill people in Syria out of pure imperial dick-waving. These people will have fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and fifth-cousins-once-removed, and every one of those people will hate us until the day we die, and they will teach their children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and fifth-cousins-once-removed to hate us, too, forever."
[/size][/i]

Excuse Michael Gerson While He Whips This Out

By Charles P. Pierce at 11:20AM

(http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/ql/esq-michael-gerson-0913-xlg.jpg)
Kris Connor/Getty Images

Michael Gerson at a Clinton Global Initiative panel discussion in 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/v/5PmnKOkt7fI&fs=1
(Optional Video Accompaniment To This Post)

Michael Gerson made his bones by strategically placing verbs and things in the sentences for the least literate president in the history of the Republic. Famously, Gerson was the Christian conscience of the administration that brought the United States over to the side of nations that torture and that wage aggressive wars. Yes, dear friends, Michael Gerson was the gospel bobo of the waterboard. Naturally, this all qualified him for a post-ventriloquism career on the op-ed pages of The Washington Post, under the command of Fred Hiatt, whose skill in personnel matters rivals that of the 1962 New York Mets. It seems now that Gerson has examined his deeply Christian conscience and has come out on the other side as a brawny spokesman for the Why Do They Laugh At My Mighty Sword? position on Syria.

First, we should have been backing the Free Syrian Army all along, because they are the good-guy moderates, and Republican thinkers historically have been terrific at identifying good-guy moderates in the Middle East, like Ahmad Chalabi, and those guys in Iran that Bob MacFarlane went to see with the Bible and the cake.

Quote
    Especially during a war, policy pronouncements can cause a ripple of unintended effects. In this case, an unfulfilled pledge has disillusioned our natural ally within Syria, the Free Syrian Army, and weakened it in competition with jihadist groups.

Yes, because in the Middle East created by the gossoons and general fk-ups with whom Gerson used to work in the administration of former president C-Plus Augustus, the endorsement and support of the United States is just the ticket for any group resisting jihadist elements in its midst. And anyway, the president should have been killing people, or arranging to kill people, in Syria years ago, because then the Republicans in the Congress would have been on his side.

Quote
    Obama is inviting members of Congress to share responsibility for a Syrian policy that has achieved little to justify their confidence. In fact, he has undermined political support for the legislative outcome he seeks. For more than five years, Obama has argued that America is overcommitted in the Middle East and should refocus on domestic priorities. Now he asks other politicians to incur risks by endorsing an approach he has clearly resisted at every stage. Obama attempts to rally the nation around a reluctant exception to his ambivalence. And this exception - a calibrated punishment for the use of chemical weapons - seems more of a gesture than a strategy. 

These are the words of a man who never will have to worry whether or not a Tomahawk is out there with his name on it. How many people die in a "gesture"? Ten? Fifty? A couple hundred?

Quote
    Members of Congress have been provided an array of excuses to vote against the authorization of force. And still it would be an act more feckless than anything the president has done. The formal request for legislative support has transformed a policy debate into a determination of institutional responsibilities. Legislators are not arguing between preferred policy options, as they would on issues such as health care or welfare. They are deciding if they will send the chief executive into the world with his hands tied behind his back. This would be more than the repudiation of the current president; it would be the dangerous weakening of the presidency.


Dear Jesus, this again. The constitutional order makes us weak. Only John Yoo makes us strong. If you now have a mental image of Gerson's weeping over a picture of Paul Wolfowitz in a heart-shaped frame, you are not alone.

Quote
    This does not, of course, amount to blanket permission for self-destructive military actions such as attacking China or surrendering to Monaco. 
Oh, why the fk not? Personally, I'd rather cover Congress in Monte Carlo than in Washington.

(The China bit does remind me of a moment early in the career of President Stupid, when he went hat-in-hand to the butchers of Tiananmen Square because they'd detained the crew of one of our spy planes. Somehow, this truckling didn't "weaken" President Stupid's hand when it came to launching idiotic wars of choice based on cooked intelligence.)
Quote
    But the course Obama contemplates does not fall into such a category. What has been dismissed as"therapeutic bombing" would actually be a military response to the violation of an important international norm. Not every gesture is an empty gesture. And even if this military action were wrong or pointless, it would have to be sufficiently dangerous to justify the gelding of the executive branch on a global stage.

Gelding? Really? Are we making things that plain now? And there you have it. We are going to kill people in Syria out of pure imperial dick-waving. These people will have fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and fifth-cousins-once-removed, and every one of those people will hate us until the day we die, and they will teach their children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and fifth-cousins-once-removed to hate us, too, forever. This is not "therapeutic." This is Vietnam, 1962. And to set such things in motion just to prove we still have sufficient national penis to do it is the dumbest reason for making war since the last one devised by anyone who worked for George W. Bush, the ungelded fool.


Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 06, 2013, 04:01:59 PM
Cabbage loopers were a problem with my rutabagas. They showed up every time it rained in the spring. and ate the leaves off my tubers. Get a plan for those bad boys. They do a lot of damage in a hurry.

I tried soapy water and an organic product with essential oils...didn't phase 'em much.
Wheeler's Permaculture Principle of Pest Control: your first year's crops goes to feed the bugs that feed the predatory insects  :icon_mrgreen:

(and no, I didn't actually come up with the idea, I'm just stating a little differently).
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on September 06, 2013, 04:55:13 PM
Cabbage loopers were a problem with my rutabagas. They showed up every time it rained in the spring. and ate the leaves off my tubers. Get a plan for those bad boys. They do a lot of damage in a hurry.

I tried soapy water and an organic product with essential oils...didn't phase 'em much.
Wheeler's Permaculture Principle of Pest Control: your first year's crops goes to feed the bugs that feed the predatory insects  :icon_mrgreen:

(and no, I didn't actually come up with the idea, I'm just stating a little differently).

What are your rutabagas planted with?  But John's philosophy is my own on this matter.  I don't worry about bugs.  Gotta figure on feeding them if your gonna garden.  But then I've pretty much given up on "gardening" anyways.  Annuals are mostly kinda stupid if you want to feed yourself.  I mean, if that's all you are doing.  Of course a kitchen garden is great...

I don't know...I just think that trying to control the bugs outside is akin to hubris...and also akin to just plain old stupid.  WTF?  We're gonna control bugs and weeds?  We're gonna control nature?  Not me...I'm done with that...now I'm just mostly trying to nudge nature along it's predestined track by just inserting the plant species I want instead of the ones nature will provide.  Although the ones nature provide all have uses.  Even Pigweed (spiny amaranth) has many medicinal and edible properties. 

Title: Re: The Syria Desk - John Kerry Goes Full-On Imperial
Post by: WHD on September 06, 2013, 06:00:31 PM
For anyone who wants to puke into their Friday night beer.  :icon_mrgreen: Can anybody say H_U_B_R_I_S? One can clearly see this escalating into WWIII, reading this transcript. You can watch video and get sick to your stomach, if you follow the link. Seriously, what fucking candyland does this dick live in, that he thinks we are going to bomb Syria for 90 days and America's standing in the world will be restored, the great emancipator, lol. By the end of it though, I had a vision of this dick, and that dick O, and dick Rumsfeld, dick Cheney, dick Bush et al on trial for war crimes. Except the whole bloody country is so corrupt at this point, who would try them?

Oh well, prelude to the whole world falling apart, one way or the other apparently.

LOL though at Kerry actually saying Iraq when he meant to say Syria. I really, really wish he had said IRAN.  ;)

 
John Kerry: Obama Can Bomb Assad Even If Congress Votes No

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/john-kerry-congress-syria_n_3881200.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/john-kerry-congress-syria_n_3881200.html)

Howard Fineman - Huffpost



WASHINGTON -- Even as he beseeches former colleagues in Congress to vote for President Barack Obama’s plan to bomb Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear in an interview with The Huffington Post that he thinks the president has the right to order air strikes in the face of congressional disapproval.

If that scenario were to materialize -- a bombing campaign after a "no" vote -- the result would almost certainly be an impeachment drive in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Citing their role as commander-in-chief, U.S. presidents have assumed ever-greater latitude in ordering apparent acts of war without obtaining Congress’ permission, as the letter of the Constitution requires. Firing cruise missiles and/or dropping bombs on the military infrastructure of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime would be an “act of war,” according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- especially since the United States would not be enforcing a United Nations-sanctioned enforcement mission.

At first, as evidence mounted that Assad had used chemical weapons on his own people in the midst of a two-year-old civil war, Obama tentatively decided to follow his recent predecessors and take action on his own, without seeking support in a congressional vote. Then last week the president surprised his own aides (including Kerry) and changed his mind, apparently because he lacked much international support and because he wanted to spread the domestic political risk.

But even though Obama is now seeking Congress’ support, Kerry insisted that the president is not bound by law to stand down should his plan be rejected.

Hadn’t the president in essence ceded that leeway by coming to Congress? I asked the secretary of state.

The answer, he said, was no.

“Constitutionally, every president, Republican and Democrat alike, has always reserved to the presidency, to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the right to make a decision with respect to American security,” Kerry said during an interview in his State Department reception room on Thursday.

“Bill Clinton went to Kosovo over the objections of many people and saved lives and managed to make peace because he did something that was critical at the time. Many presidents have done that. Reagan did it. Bush did it. A lot of presidents have made a decision that they have to protect the nation.

“Now. I can’t tell you what judgment the president will make if, in three weeks, Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons again. But the president reserves the right in the presidency to respond as appropriate to protect the security of our nation.”

The constitutional question aside, wouldn’t the president risk a political firestorm if he were to move ahead in the face of a “no” vote, should one come to pass?

“I am not going to speculate about it because I hope Congress will exercise its best judgment,” Kerry said, by supporting the president's “unbelievably limited and tailored” plan.

“Tailored” though the plan may be, Kerry offered a rather murky, “trust us” explanation for how the Obama administration could obliterate Assad’s chemical weapons delivery systems without risking dispersal of the weapons themselves into even worse hands.

How can it be done? Kerry was asked.

“By being very thoughtful in your selection of what you do,” he replied, “so that you do not undo his ability to be able to maintain and guard the actual stockpiles. Stockpiles are spread out in various parts of the country.

“And we know where they are. And the United States is obviously going to be very careful not to do something that makes matters worse. You know, we’ve sat around and talked through all of those issues.”

During a 24-minute interview, Kerry reiterated the themes and points he has been pressing, with limited success, in public and behind closed doors in Congress.

The essence: that evidence of Assad’s perfidious use of chemical weapons is clear “beyond a reasonable doubt”; that the mission to punish him and “degrade” his chemical weapons capability is narrowly targeted; that the material will not fall into the wrong hands; that there is a greater risk of the spread of such weapons if the U.S. does not act; that there is a critical mass of trustworthy opposition forces such that al-Qaeda would not take over if Assad were forced out; that even though the U.S. wants Assad gone, the U.S. will not put ground troops in Syria for any purpose.

Kerry argued that his own history as an anti-war Vietnam War veteran has given him a deep skepticism of military intelligence and military solutions, which, in his view, makes him a more credible advocate now.

But at times during the interview, the distant echo of Vietnam-era rationales and rationalizations -- domino theories, fears of being seen as a weak “paper tiger,” assurances that we would avoid local civil wars and their military “quagmires” -- was deafening.

Still, the secretary of state did his best to make the case.

Here is the full transcript:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said recently that al-Qaeda is the main "military echelon" of the opposition in Syria. Was he wrong?
Was he wrong about that? Yeah. He’s dead wrong. Are they engaged? Yes. Are they fighting on the ground? Yes. But the opposition has far more people on the ground -- far more -- than all the “bad guy” groups put together. There are about 11 “bad guy” groups, of which al-Nusra is one. You’ve got al-Qaeda in Iraq. You’ve got [Jund] al-Sham. You’ve got a group of them that are very bad actors. But the vast majority of the opposition -- which is not getting any assistance through any of the other people, which is separate and separated -- they are not plotting with them, they are not planning with them, there is no joint command with them.

You said that only 15 to 25 percent of the opposition are "bad guys." Where did you get that figure?
It comes from our intel community. It comes from Ambassador Robert Ford, who is deeply engaged and very knowledgeable about it. It comes from our own people on the ground.

But the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently expressed concern that the most radical elements could take over in Syria, and some stories of opposition brutality support that view.
I agree with that. We are all concerned about that. That is a legitimate concern. It is one of the concerns, actually, where Russia and the United States have something in common. We share a concern about the increase of the radicals. My concern is that if we don’t hold Saddam -- I mean Bashar al-Assad ...

It’s an understandable Freudian slip.
No, no, no. If we don’t hold Bashar al-Assad responsible for the use of chemical weapons; if the United States doesn’t step up, with allies, in order to assert this international norm with respect to the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons; if we don’t step up to do that, I believe what will happen is that the United States will lose the current influence that we have -- which has helped the moderate opposition to separate and make sure that assistance is not going to the bad guys and that they are operating independently of them. What I fear is that the support that has been directed appropriately, in the way that it is now, will stop. They will stop listening. They won’t feel that the United States needs to be listened to. Any leverage we have for behavior will be gone. And you will see vast amounts of money start pouring in to the worst actors.

Isn't it equally plausible that the one thing that could give credibility, clout and forward momentum to the most radical elements would be if the U.S. gets involved militarily?
I’ll tell you why I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that because of a couple of things. Number one, the world condemns the use of chemical weapons, including Iran and Russia, both of whom are supporting Assad. And I believe that they, in fact, will be limited in their ability to mobilize people because the evidence will become more clear as we go through the debate, because we will not act alone, we will act in concert with other countries. Already 80 countries have condemned the use of chemical weapons, and 34 countries have said that if it is proven the Assad regime did this, action should be taken. Now there may be different kinds of action …

Do you include Russia in that number?
Russia actually has said that they wouldn’t rule out taking action if it were proven, but I do not count them in that number. Putin actually said something similar the other day. And they are in double digits now, the number of countries that are specifically prepared to take action with the United States -- that’s right now. I believe that will grow as more evidence emerges.

You talk to Putin. You are close to Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. What is your answer to Putin when he calls you a liar on the global stage?
Well, Lavrov talked to me today [Thursday] and told me very clearly Putin had a -- this is what Lavrov said -- that apparently there was some translation that was not correct and that he understands ... Look things happen in this process, and I am not going to get personal about it.

Did they call you or did you call them?
We had a call that was scheduled and we are continuing to work on the question of a political settlement.

Did Lavrov apologize on behalf of Putin to you?
I don’t want to get into personal conversations. I am very comfortable we need to move on to bigger issues.

The fact is, he said your information was wrong and you knew it.
Well, that is incorrect. There are 18 different references in my testimony yesterday to the fact that al-Qaeda is on the ground and operating and that they are bad guys and that part of our concern is their presence there. I don’t want to dwell on that.

This is what your readers and listeners and others need to understand.

I am someone who is deeply informed by war. Personally, having fought in one I thought was a mistake, that was bad decision-making, where people didn’t share all the truth. I know about another war, based on evidence that was presented in the Senate, and it was faulty evidence, and then a war took place. And as an official now, in a position to make these choices and to advise a president with respect to these choices, both [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel and I are absolutely deeply committed to respecting the history we have lived. We are not going to put in front of the American people evidence that has not been properly scrubbed and vetted, that we don’t trust and believe. This evidence, we believe, is overwhelming beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people, that the regime ordered this, and that they are responsible for what happened.

If that is the case, why is there such widespread opposition to U.S. military action here and, according to our Huffington Post global survey, around the world?
Because a lot of people -- and I understand this and I am very sympathetic to it, it is not a small deal -- think of Iraq or they think of Afghanistan again, the longest war in our history. And people think, "Oh my God, we are getting into another war." And that’s the automatic reflex. People think the United States is going to unilaterally ... And I understand people who don’t trust our intelligence. How could I not, after Iraq? How could anybody not? So that’s why we have taken such pains to scrub the intelligence, to share it, to declassify, to put things out there, and we will do more.

Because I want people to understand from this interview and others that this is not Iraq, this will not be Iraq. This is not Afghanistan and will not be. This is not Libya and will not be. There is no similarity between any of those other things and what the president is asking Congress to permit him to do, which is to enforce the norm with respect to the prohibition on use of chemical weapons, to degrade Assad’s ability to use those weapons and send the message.

If we don’t, after all that has been said about the prohibition for almost 100 years; if the world hears the United States say, “This is unacceptable” -- and by the way, it’s not President Obama’s red line, it’s a global red line, it is the multilateral community that has drawn this line -- if we don’t enforce that, Assad will say to himself, “I am free to use all the gas I want.”

If that is so clear, where is the U.N., where is NATO, where is the Arab League?
The Arab League has condemned Assad for its use and issued a call to take action.

Military action?
They called for action. They left it open for people to define it. But read between the lines. You have some countries -- Lebanon, Iraq – who don’t want to do it.

What about the idea that Saudi Arabia will financially support this?
A number of Arab countries are 100 percent prepared to be part of this action. There are Arab countries prepared to be part of this action if it has to take place.

Where is the U.N.? Why isn't the U.N. speaking on this?
Well, the United Nations will speak, can speak, but the U.N. has decided, in their mandate to their inspectors, that they will not assign culpability. So when the U.N. speaks, they will tell us what we know: that Assad used these materials. It was gas.

Yes, but why wouldn't you want to get a vote from the U.N. to support what the president is proposing to do?
We’ve already seen that Russia ... We tried to pass a simple condemnation of the use of gas, without any citing of who did it, and the Russians said no. The Russians have already vetoed the previous efforts to hold Assad accountable. So the point is, if we are going to have meaning here, we need to bring people together who are prepared to do that. Now I am all for the United Nations to do this if the Security Council is not going to veto it.

Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat who now holds your Massachusetts Senate seat, voted "present" on the president's plan. Your reaction?
I’ve talked to him, and he indicated to me that he wanted an opportunity to read the full classified report. And if that is what he needs in order to make a decision, I welcome it. And I will talk to him again.

I've talked to several senators and they asked me to assure the American people that we are not about to enter another military quagmire. But how can you give an ironclad assurance to the American people? Things happen in war. It's more complicated than a simple assurance.
It is not more complicated, because the president of the United States and all of his team are absolutely committed that what we are doing is enforcing the norm with respect to the non-use of chemical weapons.

But if we "degrade" the structure for controlling those weapons, how do we keep them from getting into the wrong hands without some kind of on-the-ground involvement?
Let me give you the reverse question. If we don’t send this message to Assad that this should not be used, and if we don’t strengthen the opposition over a period of time through the support that the world is giving to them, and the United States backs off of sending this message, there is a much greater likelihood that those weapons will fall into the hands of the bad guys and a much greater likelihood that you will have a lot more of them, because those are the people who are going to get the support to remove Assad.

But the specific question is, if you degrade the delivery systems, how do you keep those materials from getting into the wrong hands?
By being very thoughtful in your selection of what you do, so that you do not undo his ability to be able to maintain and guard the actual stockpiles. Stockpiles are spread out in various parts of the country. And we know where they are. And the United States is obviously going to be very careful not to do something that makes matters worse. You know, we’ve sat around and talked through all of those issues.

I want to assure everybody that we have no intention, nor will we, put American boots on the ground or get sucked into a quagmire. We are not -- I repeat -- we are not considering taking over or assuming responsibility for their civil war. They will fight their own civil war. We may help them, as we have decided to do in response to the earlier use of chemical weapons. The president ratcheted up the assistance to the opposition, and the opposition is there and prepared to fight. They haven’t asked us to come in and fight. They will fight. And we will not put American boots on the ground nor get directly involved in a civil war.

The resolution adopted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee bars the use of forces "on the ground in Syria for the purpose of combat operations." Does that mean that they could be there for non-combat purposes?
There will be no American forces on the ground for any purpose.

Well, why does it say "for combat operations"?
I have no idea.

Another concern is that the resolution requires the administration to plan and put in place ways to "change the momentum on the battlefield." That sounds like military involvement.
That’s something that the Senate and the House have already supported. They are supporting providing assistance to the opposition.

That is where the quagmire concern is.
Let me be very clear: No. No American troops are going to get involved in fighting or combat or crossing into Syria. Nobody is envisioning that. That [language] talks about how you provide the support, whether it’s training or meals or medical equipment or radios or other things, which is being provided to the opposition. That everybody knows is happening. And that support is what he is talking about increasing, to increase their capacity to carry the fight themselves. There is no discussion whatsoever -- even [Senator] John McCain, he wants the prohibition against American troops. Nobody is talking about American troops. It’s critical for your readers and everyone else to understand that.

The instant people hear “military action in Syria,” they think, they think, "OK, here we go again. It’s Iraq." And what we have to make crystal clear to everybody is that nobody wants that and nobody is talking about allowing some back door or slide-in or slippery slope that gets you there. That will not happen.

But things happen in war. What if the Syrians retaliate? What if Hezbollah gets a hold of something?
Those are all threats that we face at the time we would have to face them. What if we don’t pass this and Hezbollah gets a hold of them? The president is going to have to face that decision. What happens if we don’t do this, and as a result Assad thinks he has impunity to use these weapons and he uses them in a month? And it is in a huge amount? Is everybody in America going to sit back and say, "Oh my God, we didn’t expect that"? Or who is responsible for that? Is America going to assume responsibility for stepping back, when this is something the world has fought to enforce for almost 100 years?

I ask everybody to go back and look at the images of what happened in World War I. And why people decided, 189 nations or so. We’re not going to let all that happen again. Well, it is happening again.

And if we don’t stand up and stop it, what happens to Israel in the future when Hezbollah has these weapons? What happens for Iran when they decide America is a paper tiger, that we are not going to stand up and defend our word? So they go ahead and build their nuclear weapon. And the world is in a greater clash. This is important to the continuum of the choices we face in foreign policy. Your word is critical. If you don’t stand up for the things you say are important -- like a multilateral international treaty with respect to the use of chemical weapons -- you are walking away from a global and critical responsibility.

Having chosen to ask Congress to support his plan to punish Assad, hasn't the president bound himself to follow Congress' decision, even if it's no?
Constitutionally, every president, Republican and Democrat alike, has always reserved to the presidency, to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the right to make a decision with respect to American security.

Bill Clinton went to Kosovo over the objections of many people and saved lives and managed to make peace because he did something that was critical at the time Many presidents have done that. Reagan did it. Bush did it. A lot of presidents have made a decision that they have to protect the nation.

Now I can’t tell you what judgment the president will make if, in three weeks, Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons again. He reserves the right in the presidency to respond as appropriate to protect the security of our nation.

No matter how the Congress votes?
To protect the security of our nation, the president has the power to make the choice to protect our country.

If Congress votes this down and he does it anyway, don't you think an impeachment move in the House is certain?
Howard, I am not going to speculate about it because I hope Congress will exercise its best judgment to prevent the worst elements in Syria from even growing stronger. I hope the Congress will decide not to let Assad believe he has impunity in the use of these weapons. I hope the Congress will believe that upholding the credibility of our nation in the conduct of foreign affairs is important. I hope the Congress believes that this is a message that Iran needs to understand as they proceed, conceivably, to be developing nuclear weapons. I hope that they will also agree to uphold it with respect to others in the world, like Kim Jong Un in North Korea, who needs to know that America stands by its word. And for all the people in the world who depend on America as a reliable partner, this is a critical message. I hope Congress will recognize that the plan is appropriately and unbelievably limited and tailored in its scope so that it is not going to war -- it is a limited action to uphold the importance of degrading his capacity to use chemical weapons.

And I do not believe Assad will respond this time because he doesn’t want to invite Israel to retaliate against him. He doesn’t want to invite the United States to do that. I believe that this is a very important moment, and I hope that the Congress will do the right thing.
Title: The Syria Desk: RT says War is a LOCK
Post by: RE on September 07, 2013, 06:08:46 PM
Over-Under.

How long after the first bombs are dropped on Syria before shortages appear at the Gas Pumps?

RE

No law will stop Obama’s democracy-bombs over Syria (http://rt.com/op-edge/obama-attack-syria-g20-law-461/)

Nile Bowie is a political analyst and photographer currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Get short URL
Published time: September 05, 2013 13:47

(http://rt.com/files/opinionpost/20/56/d0/00/obama-attack-syria-g20-law.si.jpg)
US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)


Tags
Arms, Conflict, G20, Military, Syria, USA

Regardless of how Congress votes, Obama is going to attack Syria. The president is doing his best to avoid constructive dialogue when the focus should be international law, not ‘international norms’ as defined by Washington.

As world leaders descend on the Russian city of St. Petersburg to discuss global tax regimes and international trade, this year’s G20 Summit is really a G20+1, with an extra seat allocated for the massive elephant in the room.

Many of the leaders attending have brought along their foreign ministers, as the summit will also informally serve as a global platform to discuss the sorry state of affairs in Syria. One can only speculate as to the substance of any exchanges between President Putin and his American counterpart and forced smiles will be in no short supply.

“He is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad,” said Putin, of John Kerry’s address to the US Congress. That about sums it up – the lies and deceit of the Obama administration are so breathtaking, so innumerable, and they’re being trumpeted knowingly and shamelessly. Want a taste of highly moral and ethical narrative being championed in favor of “the Syrian people?” Look no further than the New York Times, with its recent headline “Bomb Syria, Even If It Is Illegal,” which argues that Obama and his poodles should “declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria."

The establishment press is calling for blood, and they're claiming the moral high ground while doing it – slightly pathological? You bet. The insane are really running the asylum on this one.

The Russians have been pushing for Geneva II with focused perseverance, but Barry and his flesh-eating rebels aren’t going to let that happen – not without a substantial sprinkling of Tomahawk cruise missiles over Damascus at the very least. The trigger-happy White House, with the most sophisticated military arsenal in the history of man, has demonstrated that it is unwilling to acknowledge any evidence that contradicts its cooker-cutter narrative – it is not open to reasoned arguments, and so the world yet again faces a dangerous precedent due to US intransigence.

To the surprise of many, the British parliament made clear that it would not drink the Cameron kool-aid, and even Ban Ki-moon chimed in to remind the Commander-in-Chief that the use of force is only legal in self-defense or with Security Council authorization.
 
(http://rt.com/files/opinionpost/20/56/d0/00/111-11.jpg)
Members of CodePink, Tighe Barry (L) and Medea Benjamin (2nd L) protest as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) arrives at a hearing on "Syria: Weighing the Obama Administration's Response" before the House Foreign Affairs Committee September 4, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP )

International law? Pssh! Obama knows his bombs-for-peace program isn’t going to get past Russia and China, and in the absence of a unified coalition of the willing, he’s been forced to seek approval from Congress to maintain the façade of legitimacy.

When reading in-between the lines, it’s clear that the Obama administration will proceed with an attack on Syria whether Congress gives the green light or not – in all likelihood, Congress will vote ‘Yes’. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has broken its silence on Syria, and called for war.

Unfortunately, Congress can be bought and be sure that lobbyist dollars are being dealt out faster than you can say ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ to seal the vote. “Emperor” Obama insists that he is not required to consult Congress to seek approval for his Syrian adventure, but did so anyway after receiving a letter from more than 160 members of the House of Representatives reminding him that to take the country to war without congressional approval is an impeachable offense, which doesn’t exactly bode well for his credentials as a constitutional lawyer.

And what about the evidence? The US government insists that it has “high confidence” that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, and that the evidence is so compelling that Washington is willing to go to war – before the UN team of chemical weapon experts have yet to make a determination. If you question this narrative, you are a conspiracy theorist. But what about the UN’s commission of inquiry led by Carla Del Ponte that implicated the rebels with using chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal? What about the Russian reports that claim the projectiles were crudely produced and clearly not military grade or consistent with the weapons in Assad’s stockpiles? What about reports that rebel forces were caught with cylinders of sarin nerve gas in southern Turkey near the Syrian border? As far as Obama is concerned, all of that has already been sent down the memory hole. It’s not the media’s job to present this information in a balanced and unbiased way, its only function is to sell war and educate the public about the benefits of twerking, as displayed by Miley Cyrus last week, stealing the headlines on CNN as US warships amassed in the Mediterranean.

(http://rt.com/files/opinionpost/20/56/d0/00/111-22.jpg)
A picture downloaded on September 4, 2013 from the US Navy website and taken on September 3, 2013 shows an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 launching off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Red Sea. (AFP Photo)
Nobody believes the “limited strike” assurances

Just as in Iraq, the war on Syria is being sold as “limited strike” designed to hasten the rebel advance, but the original draft resolution for military intervention that Congress is set to vote on suggests otherwise. The wording of the text is so broad that Obama could virtually get away with anything he pleases. For example, the phrase “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” is deliberately vague. The intentional legal ambiguousness of the text raised eyebrows in Congress (clearly the executive branch was trying to pull a fast one) so much so that Kerry was forced to prohibit "boots on the ground," which he argued against on the grounds of Obama having options if Syria "imploded".

If there is a real danger of Syria imploding, which it very well might under a sustained campaign of US aggression, then the limited strike rhetoric should be seen as what is it – empty assurances designed to rubber stamp the war as quickly as possible.

The drive to military intervention in Syria is transparently a move to topple the legal authorities in Damascus. If that happens, it would create a power vacuum that would immediately destabilize the country and pit dozens of warring factions against one another as they vie for power – Syria explodes. Al-Qaeda and other jihadi militias will declare caliphates all over Syria while persecuting Alawite minorities and Assad loyalists. The instability could lead to the fracturing of Syria under ethnic and sectarian lines into several smaller states, and the chaos would swallow the currently war-torn and destabilized Iraq.

The toppling of Assad is a transparent declaration of war against Hezbollah and Iran and could lead to a major regional conflict that would kill large numbers of people. In essence, nothing about this situation indicates that it will be limited. Moreover, the United States has few strategic benefits here, while Saudi Arabia and Israel are dragging Washington by the nose into this conflict. When Kerry recently testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he divulged that the House of Saud and Qatar even offered to bankroll the whole US operation in Syria – tough bargain for cash-strapped Washington hawks to pass up!

(http://rt.com/files/opinionpost/20/56/d0/00/111-33.jpg)
A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on July 29, 2013, shows an aerial view of destruction in the al-Khalidiyah neighbourhood of the central Syrian city of Homs. (AFP Photo/Shaam News Network)

Obama wears rainbow suspenders

Few have speculated about the recent “joint” missile launch conducted by the US and Israel, which was first denied, then classified as an atmospheric rocket for scientific research purposes, and finally it was admitted to be a test launch of a military rocket.

Nobody, not even NATO, was informed about it and the sketchy cover story only heightens suspicions. The Pentagon eventually admitted that the launch was carried out with technical support from the US Defense Department. This incident was probably not a legitimate Israeli missile defense system test – a launch during the incredibly tense situation in the region suggests a quality of psychological warfare and panic creation, but ultimately the Americans were measuring the preparedness and response of the Syrians to an unannounced missile launch.

Either way, the move was entirely reckless, but nothing else can be expected from Washington and Tel Aviv. As Putin said, the US is lying and it knows it’s lying. The US has fueled the Syrian conflict from the beginning under the euphemistic guise of “democracy promotion” – first by training and financing anti-Assad activists, and once they built momentum in Syria, arms and foreign fighters began pouring in.

The Syrian conflict could not have reached this point without a steady influx of aid from the US, via its stooges in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar. Is it really worth it to pass the point of no return by setting off a powder keg in the region? The human losses thus far could pale in comparison to what would follow in a wider regional war. The further destruction of lives, of culture, and even of the Syrian state as it exists is what will follow.

If Washington was serious about peace, it would have called off the rebels and channeled all of its diplomatic muscle into Geneva II, and it would cooperate with Russia, the other largest stakeholder in this conflict. Obama could have met with Putin during this G20 Summit to bridge the differences and put effort behind a political solution, but no.

Obama will use his trip to Russia to meet with gay activists, a childish gesture that is entirely political – a weak attempt to stick it to Putin for his stance on various issues. Meeting with activists and members of civil society is not wrong in and of itself, but the fact that Obama chose to meet with LBGT activists at a time when his cooperation with Putin is most needed on Syria is a move that speaks volumes. Obama is demonstrably doing everything possible to avoid any attempts to make peace through dialogue.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Title: The Syria Desk: StopImperialism.com Video
Post by: RE on September 07, 2013, 06:19:17 PM
H/T Land Destroyer (http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/)

RE

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.com appears on Press TV on Sunday September 1st, 2013.  Draitser discusses the larger geopolitical context of the war in Syria.  He explains the motivations for the United States and its regional partners in attacking Syria, both in terms of economic and strategic interests.  Draitser examines how the US drive to maintain hegemony in the Middle East is at the heart of the proxy war in Syria.


http://www.youtube.com/v/dS3w3GJi7TQ?feature=player_embedded

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.com appears on Press TV on Friday August 30, 2013  to discuss the latest on the situation in Syria.  He examines the political divides that exist in the US ruling establishment between military and civilian factions.  Draitser explains how Syria might respond to any military strike, including widening the conflict to other parts of the region.  He also lays out the scenario for a possible escalation before any strikes might take place.


http://www.youtube.com/v/QEgkJP1pfvg?feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: luciddreams on September 08, 2013, 07:21:20 AM
this seems to me to be a logical progression if we start with Desert Storm and continue forward to now.  Afghanistan was a slam dunk as far as public relations went.  We were attacked (although it was an inside job) and so were justified in going to war.  Then there was the WMD's in Iraq which had nothing to do with Sadam.  Iran is the end game probably...or Syria. 

I can't help but think that they are creating the conditions for "terrorist" in the U.S. to be made from concerned and ethical Americans.  I mean when is enough enough?  Do the zombies never wake up and get upset about what our country is doing?  Well...lot's of people protested Iraq...look what good it did?  None as far as I can tell.  Not one fuckin' bit of good did all of those millions of people marching on the streets in protest of the war all over the U.S.  America does not want to go to war.  Mostly.  But guess what can be done about it.  Absolutely fuckin' nothing.  That's what. 

Obama is just doing what he's told.  I hope he is impeached...but it won't do any fuckin' good if he is.  If people can't see what a sham the American Government is at this point...then they will never see it.  There is no American Government any longer.  There is just a pretend shell of one, an empty one, might as well be a child's toy made out of cardboard.  A sock puppet performing from a stage tossed together with household items by six year olds to entertain themselves with.  MSM is completely fabricated by the same six year olds.  WTF?  And yet people still talk about left and right and bla bla bla. 

On and on the bull shit black hole sucks galactic sized golf balls through universe sized memory holes.  American brains along with it.  What's left is a nation on fukitol enamored by "twerking" with a sock puppet president meeting with the gay organization probably while starting world war three.  I'm sure the first bombs will be dropped while Obama is patting the butts of the gays...assuring them that they will get to be married. 

I seriously can no longer participate in the Matrix.  I have no desire to waste any of my time there any longer.  It requires you check your soul at the door cause you won't be needing it.  I really am ashamed for this once great nation (given we give a pass for the genocide of the natives of course). 

The world has become a prison for the minds trapped in the Matrix.  The only thing for those of us to do, whom have some moral fibers left, is to begin ignoring our government wholesale.  We have to begin doing the work of healing this planet against the odds and wishes of TPTB.  They want destruction, death, disease, and slaves and they have made that abundantly clear.  Well fuck you TPTB...you're a rotten excuse for a human institution if you ask me. 

I've got wild plants in my yard to identify.  That's more important than wasting any more time being distracted by your evil nonsense. 

 :thefinger:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: US strike on Syria to be ‘Significantly larger than Expected
Post by: g on September 08, 2013, 07:46:20 AM
Report: US strike on Syria to be ‘significantly larger than expected’
By Raja, on September 7th, 2013

ABC News: US is planning an aerial strike in addition to a salvo of Tomahawk missiles from Navy destroyers; New York Times: Obama ordered expansion of list of targets following reports Assad moved troops, equipment.

JPost/ABC News, September 6

Despite statements from both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that a US-led strike on Syria would be a “limited and tailored” military attack, ABC News reported on Thursday that the strike planned by Obama’s national security team is “significantly larger” than most have anticipated.

According to ABC News, in additional to a salvo of 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from four Navy destroyers stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, the US is also planning an aerial campaign that is expected to last two days.

This campaign potentially includes an aerial bombardment of missiles and long range bombs from US-based B-2 stealth bombers that carry satellite-guided bombs, B-52 bombers, that can carry air-launched cruise missiles and Qatar-based B-1s that carry long-range, air-to-surface missiles, both ABC News and The New York Times reported.

“This military strike will do more damage to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s forces in 48 hours than the Syrian rebels have done in two years,” a national security official told ABC News.

http://agonist.org/report-us-strike-on-syria-to-be-significantly-larger-than-expected/ (http://agonist.org/report-us-strike-on-syria-to-be-significantly-larger-than-expected/)  :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Syrian President Assad says no evidence of chemical attack:
Post by: g on September 08, 2013, 09:12:59 AM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied that he was behind a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people and said evidence was not conclusive that there had been such an attack, CBS reported on Sunday on its news program "Face the Nation."

"There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people," CBS reported Assad said in an interview conducted in Damascus.

The full interview will air on the CBS network and PBS's "Charlie Rose" show on Monday. Rose said he met with Assad in Damascus. The CBS "Face the Nation" report was a summary of the interview and did not contain any audio or video of Assad.

Assad spoke as the Obama administration was pressing its case in the United States for congressional authorization of a U.S. strike against Syria in response to the August 21 sarin gas attack that Washington said killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including several hundred children.

The Obama administration has accused Assad's forces of carrying out the attack. Assad has blamed the rebels.

Passage by Congress of the authorization for use of force is by no means certain. Votes are expected this week.

Rose, speaking by telephone, said Assad would neither confirm nor deny that Syria had chemical weapons, but if they did they would be under centralized control. The United States should produce evidence of his involvement, if it has the evidence, Rose reported Assad said.

Assad warned, the CBS interviewer said, that if there was a military strike by the United States, there would be retaliation by those aligned with Syria. Syria was as prepared as it could be for an attack, Rose said he was told by Assad.

Rose said he raised the question of whether Assad feared the attack might degrade the Syrian military and tip the balance in the 2-1/2-year-old civil war, and was told by Assad that he was very concerned about that.

He had a message for the American people that they should not get involved in another Middle Eastern conflict.

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-president-assad-says-no-evidence-chemical-attack-150841849.html (http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-president-assad-says-no-evidence-chemical-attack-150841849.html)  :-\ :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Eddie on September 08, 2013, 09:39:18 AM
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied that he was behind a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people and said evidence was not conclusive that there had been such an attack

And maybe those women and children were overcome by air pollution...caused by every civilian left with a car revving their engine to haul ass the hell out of Syria.

Assad is an evil dictator. Too bad for him he isn't OUR evil dictator.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 08, 2013, 03:22:56 PM
This War Too Is A Lie


Posted on September 8, 2013 by DavidSwanson

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/this-war-too-is-a-lie.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/this-war-too-is-a-lie.html)

 Some smart people thought, and perhaps some still think, that the 2003-2011 war on Iraq was unique in that it was promoted with the use of blatant lies.  When I’d researched dozens of other wars and failed to find one that wasn’t based on a foundation of similar lies, I wrote a book about the most common war lie varieties. I called it War Is A Lie.

That book has sold more than any of my others, and I like to think it’s contributed some teeny bit to the remarkable and very welcome skepticism that is greeting the U.S. government’s current claims about Syria.  The fact is that, were the White House telling the truth about the need for an attack on Syria, it would be a first in history.  Every other case for war has always been dishonest.

The United States sought out war with Mexico, not the reverse.  There was never any evidence that Spain sank the Maine.  The Philippines didn’t benefit from U.S. occupation.  The Lusitania was known to be carrying troops and arms.  The Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.  Iraq didn’t take any babies out of incubators.  The Taliban was willing to turn bin Laden over to be tried in a neutral court.  Libya wasn’t about to kill everyone in Benghazi.  Et cetera.  Even wars that people like to imagine as justified, such as World War II, were nonetheless packaged in lies; FDR’s tales about the Greer and the Kearney and supposed secret Nazi maps and plans were a step on the steady trajectory from Woodrow Wilson to Karl Rove.

The idea that Syria used chemical weapons is more plausible than the idea that Iraq had vast stockpiles of chemical, biological, and (in some versions) nuclear weapons and was working with al Qaeda.  But the evidence offered in the case of Syria is no stronger than that for Iraq.  It’s harder to disprove merely because there’s nothing to it: no documentation, no sources, no science.  Congress members who have seen the classified version say it’s no better than the declassified.  Experts within the government and reporters in Syria who have seen more than that say they don’t believe the White House’s claims.  The assertions masquerading as a case come packaged in dishonest claims about how quickly Syria gave access to inspectors, and are written in a manner to suggest far greater knowledge and certainty than they actually assert on careful examination.  The latest claims follow a series of failed claims over a period of months and stand to benefit a Syrian opposition that has been found repeatedly to be manufacturing false propaganda aimed at bringing the United States into the war.  It seems, at this point, unlikely that the Assad government used chemical weapons two weeks ago, and already certain that even if it did, President Obama and Secretary Kerry don’t know it — they’ve only guessed it at best.

The debate over chemical weapons, itself, is framed by the lie that a law against chemical weapons can be enforced by one nation attacking another.  In fact, Syria is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.  If it were, it would be subject to prosecution in court.  In any event, it is subject to the judgment and action of the world and its courts, not of one vigilante representing 4% of the world.  The bizarre idea that bombing a country can be a form of law enforcement dishonestly hides the fact that the action itself violates the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact.



Wars, a central lie maintains, are fought against evil.  But Assad is not the devil incarnate.  He’s a horrendously awful ruler, pushed in bad directions by those around him as much as they by him.  He’s someone who has proposed disarmament in the past and been rejected by the United States.  He’s someone who has done evil things in cooperation with the United States, including lawless imprisonment and torture.  He’s not going to eat American children in their sleep.  He’s never threatened the United States, and has shown remarkable restraint in the face of threats by the United States and the CIA’s efforts to undermine and attack his government.  Residents of the United States in search of dangers to get excited about shouldn’t arrive at Bashar al Assad until far, far down the list past poor diet, poor healthcare, lack of exercise, automobiles, obesity, industrial pollution, unsafe workplaces, gun accidents, chain saws, lightning strikes, and countless other causes of death.

Wars, a common lie holds, are fought in defense.  But Syria is no threat to the United States, and when President Obama suggests that theoretically it could be, the laughter you hear from most listeners is the correct response.  The White House hasn’t sought to build much of a case for “defensive war” against Syria, even on the Benghazi model, and that deficiency is a major weakness.  Most people have no tolerance for non-defensive wars.  Exceptions are sadists and believers in humanitarian bombings, or — to name a category that encompasses both of those groups — imperialists.

The Syrian government is, like any government the United States wants to attack, a brutal government that the United States worked with until recently, situated in a region full of brutal governments the United States still supports.  In this case, the brutal governments still armed and supported by the U.S. government include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Yemen.  If the US. government wanted to reduce violence, it could end its 2001-begun war on Afghanistan, it could end its drone strikes, and it could stop supplying Saudi Arabia with cluster bombs and Egypt with tear gas and Bahrain with ex-police chiefs.  Wars are not driven by generosity, despite what you’ll often — and increasingly — hear.

We’ve also been hearing that President Obama has no choice.  He’s painted himself into a corner.  War simply must happen now, for better or worse.  This is nonsense, of course.  If Kennedy could back off from a nuclear pissing match with Khrushchev, then surely Obama can accede to the opinion of the United States and the world on the matter of Syria.  Had Kennedy prioritized stupid machismo, we wouldn’t admire him more. We wouldn’t do anything at all.  We’d all be dead or never born.  Wars, despite a common lie, are not inevitable.

Violence doesn’t reduce violence, despite the prevalence of this lie.  Wars are not ended by enlarging them.  Adding violence to the Syrian civil war will kill directly, escalate the killing by both sides, risk further escalation into a regional conflict, exacerbate a refugee crisis, damage existing aid operations, and make a cease-fire and negotiations more difficult.  Killing some Syrians and blowing up some Syrian buildings will leave Assad with exactly whatever “impunity” he had before — particularly if no nations pursue his indictment in any court for any crimes.  But those Syrians killed and everyone else impacted indirectly will be worse off, not better.

As war drags on and expands, the arguments for continuing it will be retaliation against the attacks of other nations, even if our nation provoked them, and the almost religious duty to “support the troops.”  But the dirty little secret hidden by that shiny lie is that the troops don’t benefit from adding years to each quagmire.  The troops, in fact, suffer — often severely.  Wars are not prolonged for the good of soldiers, no matter what your television says.  They’re prolonged for politicians and profiteers.

The beneficiaries of a U.S. attack on Syria will be war profiteers, their political servants, media outlets that gain higher ratings, and a gang increasingly dominated by al Qaeda-affiliated groups that is seeking power in Syria through the use of vicious violence that is illegal in its entirety.  War makers do not have noble motives.

A U.S. war on Syria, short or long, will not be fought by armies on a battlefield.  It will be fought by missiles and planes and drones in and above the neighborhoods where men, women, and children live.  The human, societal, and environmental damage will be something that too many parts of the world are familiar with but the United States itself is not.

This war, like others of its sort, will not be won.  Syria was not going to be the first case in which a war was based on honesty.  It’s also not going to be the first place where a humanitarian war benefits humanity.  It’s not going to be the first place where the U.S. military builds a stable democratic nation.  It’s not going to be the first nation whose people are grateful for such an intervention.  And it’s not going to involve anything that could be properly called a victory.

The deepest lie at the route of this drive for war is perhaps the lie that a nation can prepare for war, dumping its energies and resources into every possible plan for every conceivable war, and yet manage to avoid those wars unless they are forced upon it as a “last resort.”  This next dishonest, immoral, illegal, unpopular, murderous, atrocity-laden, uncontrollable, environment-destroying, rights-eroding, money-wasting war will come relentlessly, ineluctably, it will come . . .  unless we compel our government to consider other possible courses of action, including that of actively working for peace through a posture of respect for others that would require a bit of truthfulness.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 08, 2013, 03:47:55 PM
(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/1011903_383069528487095_2762581_n.jpg)

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 09, 2013, 01:46:02 PM
"I think one very important thing to realize about what's happening in Syria is that you have four or five different conflicts all rolled into one. At the beginning you had a popular uprising against a dictatorship, but you also have Sunni against Shia and these other issues, Iran against Saudi Arabia, a proxy war going on. And that's what makes it so difficult to stop, that if you sort of resolve one question, you still have all the other questions to resolve."

The Countries Pulling the Strings in the Syrian Civil War
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10688 (http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10688)

Patrick Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. Among the most experienced commentators on Iraq, he has written four books on the country's recent history. Cockburn's latest book is Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq.

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to part three of our interview with Patrick Cockburn about Syria.

Now joining us from London is Patrick Cockburn. He is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper. He spent two weeks reporting from Damascus, Syria, this summer, and he's been covering the Middle East for over 30 years.

Thanks for joining us, Patrick.

PATRICK COCKBURN, MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT, THE INDEPENDENT: Thank you.

DESVARIEUX: So, Patrick, let's talk about an actor that doesn't get much media attention in this whole ramp up to a potential strike against Syria, that being Saudi Arabia. What in your opinion are the motives for Saudi Arabia to be funding the opposition? And what's really driving their agenda?

COCKBURN: Well, Saudi Arabia has always had difficult relations with Syria, not every year but a lot of the time. They really don't like Syria being allied to Iran. Iran is the great rival of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf. And, you know, Sunni--Saudi Arabia isn't just Sunni, but it's fundamentalist Sunni and regards the Shia and the leadership of Syria or Alawites (they're sort of Shia) as being basically heretics. So you have the Saudis seeing this as a way of getting at Iran and also driving back the Shia. Those are probably the main motives of the Saudi monarchy.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. And what about Qatar? They're also funding the opposition. Is it for very similar reasons that they're fighting against Assad?

COCKBURN: For similar reasons, but they had supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, which the Saudis don't like. There's rivalry there, although they have a lot in common. And the Qataris are now playing a lesser role. They were playing a bigger role previously in supporting and financing the opposition.

And they also have great influence through the Al Jazeera satellite channel. It's played a crucial role at the beginning of the Arab Spring and still plays a pretty significant role as one of the main media outlets in both Arabic and English in the region.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. And what about Turkey? What's their role in all this?

COCKBURN: The Turks began with a very good hand, to my mind, and they played it pretty badly. They had good relations with Assad. They had good relations with the--reasonable relations with the U.S. They turned against Assad when he didn't take their advice. They support the rebels. The rebels could move--rebel guerrillas can move backwards and forwards across Syrian border with Syria, which is about 560 miles long, which is crucial for the rebels to be able to use Turkey as a base. Their arms and their equipment largely come from Turkey.

But the Turks somehow haven't been able to use their influence that they once had, because they've become 100 percent enemies of Damascus. They could have perhaps taken a slightly more central role, a more mediating role, and had more influence. So I think--and also there's great opposition within Turkey to the prime minister's involvement in Syria.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let's look at Assad's allies. You have Iran, as well as Russia. That is, they're both still standing by the Assad regime. What do the Iranians have to gain from supporting Assad?

COCKBURN: Well, they see Syria as their one big ally in the Arab world. They're also Shia. This is a sectarian conflict.

I think one very important thing to realize about what's happening in Syria is that you have four or five different conflicts all rolled into one. At the beginning you had a popular uprising against a dictatorship, but you also have Sunni against Shia and these other issues, Iran against Saudi Arabia, a proxy war going on. And that's what makes it so difficult to stop, that if you sort of resolve one question, you still have all the other questions to resolve.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. And lastly, what is your take on this G-20 Summit? You're going to have Vladimir Putin, as well President Obama, sitting down at the G-20. Of course Syria is going to be discussed. Do you see Russia and the United States being able to come up with a deal in order to sort of de-escalate this growing fervor for a military strike in the region?

COCKBURN: I suspect there will be a military strike. The question is: will it be part of [incompr.] broader diplomatic move, including a peace conference bringing the two sides together? And there's no reason that these two things shouldn't both occur. But, you know, [incompr.] Russia, for instance, insisting that Iran turn up because they're a major player in Syria. The U.S. says no, because the U.S. is confronting and Saudi Arabia are confronting Iran on the nuclear issues and other questions.

Now--so there have to be sort of changes in U.S. policy, rather profound changes. Now, will that happen? Previously, there was a rather hypocritical attitude, to my mind, on the part of Washington and London and the others that they say, well, we're in favor of a peace conference, but Assad must agree to go. But Assad still controls 13 out of 14 provincial capitals in Syria, so he wasn't looking for surrender terms.

But it's difficult to see either side in this civil war winning an outright victory. Both of them have core support within Syria. Both of them have powerful allies. So the only alternative, really, is some sort of peace conference, which probably won't end the fighting, but might lead to a ceasefire and might sort of de-escalate the violence, at least temporarily.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Patrick.

COCKBURN: Thank you.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Syria Capitulates, Washington Looks Like ImperialWarmongers
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 02:14:50 PM
This says a lot about Putin, and the fact that this option was NEVER heard emanating out of Washington. Can any one say False Flag?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-international-control_n_3893951.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-international-control_n_3893951.html)

Russia To Push Syria To Put Chemical Weapons Under International Control

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 09/09/13 03:57 PM ET EDT AP
From HuffPost

MOSCOW -- Syria on Monday quickly welcomed a call from Russia, its close ally, to place Syrian chemical arsenals under international control, then destroy them to avert a U.S. strike, but did not offer a time frame or any other specifics.

The statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem appeared to mean that diplomatic efforts to end Syria's 2 1/2-year civil war were gaining momentum. But it remained to be seen whether it represented a genuine goodwill gesture by Syria or simply an attempt by Syrian President Bashar Assad to buy more time to prepare for a U.S. military attack.

"Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people," al-Moallem said during a visit to Moscow, where he held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

However, al-Moallem, would not give any further details in his brief statement and didn't take any questions from reporters.

Russia's proposal confirmed for the first time from Syria's most important international ally that the Syrian government possesses chemical weapons, and al-Moallem's welcome was a tacit acknowledgment. Syria's Foreign Ministry last year retracted a threat to use chemical weapons, saying it was not acknowledging that it had them.

Moallem's statement came a few hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces by surrendering control of "every single bit" of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.

Also Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria to immediately agree to transfer chemical weapons and chemical precursors to a safe place within the country for international destruction. Ban said he will also propose to the Security Council that it unite and demand an immediate chemical weapons transfer should U.N. inspectors conclude that such weapons were used in an attack Aug. 21 in a suburb of Damascus.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Lavrov's proposal "deserves close examination" but the chemical weapons would have to be placed under international control in a short time and those responsible for "the chemical massacre" must be punished.

Al-Moallem and Lavrov didn't make any immediate reference to Kerry's statement when they spoke to the media after their talks, but a few hours later Lavrov went before cameras to say that Moscow would urge Syria to quickly place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle it.

Lavrov, who held talks with al-Moallem in Moscow earlier in the day, said he expected a quick positive answer from Damascus.

"If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus," Lavrov said.

"We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons," he said.

The surprise series of statements from top U.S., Russian and Syrian diplomats followed media reports alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who discussed Syria with President Barack Obama during the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg last week, had sought to negotiate a deal that would have Assad hand over control of chemical weapons.

Putin himself said Friday at a news conference marking the summit's end that he and Obama discussed some new ideas regarding a peaceful settlement of the crisis and instructed Kerry and Lavrov to work out details.

Speaking Monday, Lavrov denied that Russia was trying to sponsor any deal "behind the back of the Syrian people."

The Russian move comes as Obama, who has blamed Assad for killing hundreds of his own people in a chemical attack outside Damascus last month, is pressing for a limited military strike against the Syrian government. The Syrian regime has denied launching the attack, insisting along with Russia that the attack was launched by the rebels to drag the U.S. into the civil war.

Lavrov and al-Moallem said after their talks that U.N. chemical weapons experts should complete their probe and present their findings to the U.N. Security Council.

Al-Moallem said his government was ready to host the U.N. team, and insisted that Syria is ready to use all channels to persuade the Americans that it wasn't behind the attack. He added that Syria was ready for "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression."

Neither minister, however, offered any evidence to back their claim of rebel involvement in the chemical attack.

Lavrov said Russia will continue to promote a peaceful settlement and may try to convene a gathering of all Syrian opposition figures to join in negotiations. He added that a U.S. attack on Syria would deal a fatal blow to peace efforts.

Lavrov wouldn't say how Russia could respond to a possible U.S. attack on Syria, saying: "We wouldn't like to proceed from a negative scenario and would primarily take efforts to prevent a military intervention."

Putin said Moscow would keep providing assistance to Syria in case of U.S. attack, but he and other Russian officials have made clear that Russia has no intention of engaging in hostilities.

___

AP correspondents Zeina Karam in Beirut, Edith Lederer at the U.N., and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Syria Capitulates, Washington Looks Like ImperialWarmongers
Post by: g on September 09, 2013, 02:30:10 PM
This says a lot about Putin, and the fact that this option was NEVER heard emanating out of Washington. Can any one say False Flag?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-international-control_n_3893951.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-international-control_n_3893951.html)

Russia To Push Syria To Put Chemical Weapons Under International Control

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 09/09/13 03:57 PM ET EDT AP
From HuffPost

MOSCOW -- Syria on Monday quickly welcomed a call from Russia, its close ally, to place Syrian chemical arsenals under international control, then destroy them to avert a U.S. strike, but did not offer a time frame or any other specifics.

The statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem appeared to mean that diplomatic efforts to end Syria's 2 1/2-year civil war were gaining momentum. But it remained to be seen whether it represented a genuine goodwill gesture by Syria or simply an attempt by Syrian President Bashar Assad to buy more time to prepare for a U.S. military attack.

"Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people," al-Moallem said during a visit to Moscow, where he held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

However, al-Moallem, would not give any further details in his brief statement and didn't take any questions from reporters.

Russia's proposal confirmed for the first time from Syria's most important international ally that the Syrian government possesses chemical weapons, and al-Moallem's welcome was a tacit acknowledgment. Syria's Foreign Ministry last year retracted a threat to use chemical weapons, saying it was not acknowledging that it had them.

Moallem's statement came a few hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces by surrendering control of "every single bit" of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.

Also Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria to immediately agree to transfer chemical weapons and chemical precursors to a safe place within the country for international destruction. Ban said he will also propose to the Security Council that it unite and demand an immediate chemical weapons transfer should U.N. inspectors conclude that such weapons were used in an attack Aug. 21 in a suburb of Damascus.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Lavrov's proposal "deserves close examination" but the chemical weapons would have to be placed under international control in a short time and those responsible for "the chemical massacre" must be punished.

Al-Moallem and Lavrov didn't make any immediate reference to Kerry's statement when they spoke to the media after their talks, but a few hours later Lavrov went before cameras to say that Moscow would urge Syria to quickly place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle it.

Lavrov, who held talks with al-Moallem in Moscow earlier in the day, said he expected a quick positive answer from Damascus.

"If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus," Lavrov said.

"We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons," he said.

The surprise series of statements from top U.S., Russian and Syrian diplomats followed media reports alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who discussed Syria with President Barack Obama during the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg last week, had sought to negotiate a deal that would have Assad hand over control of chemical weapons.

Putin himself said Friday at a news conference marking the summit's end that he and Obama discussed some new ideas regarding a peaceful settlement of the crisis and instructed Kerry and Lavrov to work out details.

Speaking Monday, Lavrov denied that Russia was trying to sponsor any deal "behind the back of the Syrian people."

The Russian move comes as Obama, who has blamed Assad for killing hundreds of his own people in a chemical attack outside Damascus last month, is pressing for a limited military strike against the Syrian government. The Syrian regime has denied launching the attack, insisting along with Russia that the attack was launched by the rebels to drag the U.S. into the civil war.

Lavrov and al-Moallem said after their talks that U.N. chemical weapons experts should complete their probe and present their findings to the U.N. Security Council.

Al-Moallem said his government was ready to host the U.N. team, and insisted that Syria is ready to use all channels to persuade the Americans that it wasn't behind the attack. He added that Syria was ready for "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression."

Neither minister, however, offered any evidence to back their claim of rebel involvement in the chemical attack.

Lavrov said Russia will continue to promote a peaceful settlement and may try to convene a gathering of all Syrian opposition figures to join in negotiations. He added that a U.S. attack on Syria would deal a fatal blow to peace efforts.

Lavrov wouldn't say how Russia could respond to a possible U.S. attack on Syria, saying: "We wouldn't like to proceed from a negative scenario and would primarily take efforts to prevent a military intervention."

Putin said Moscow would keep providing assistance to Syria in case of U.S. attack, but he and other Russian officials have made clear that Russia has no intention of engaging in hostilities.

___

AP correspondents Zeina Karam in Beirut, Edith Lederer at the U.N., and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

What do I tell the grandchildren Duncan?  The head of Russia is a peace maker, and the leader of our country is a war lord?

How did we get this fucked up so fast.  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch: :exp-angry: :exp-angry:

                                                      http://www.youtube.com/v/VFCM6TZgTMI&fs=1
Title: The Syria Desk: Kerry Promises War will be "Unbelievably Small"
Post by: RE on September 09, 2013, 04:55:44 PM
Kerry Promises “Unbelievably Small” Attack on Syria (http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/kerry-promises-unbelievably-small-attack-on-syria/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kerry-promises-unbelievably-small-attack-on-syria)

September 9, 2013
By Daniel Greenfield

(http://frontpagemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/isr_kerry_israel_reuters_07172013-584-450x328.jpg)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during news conference in Amman
Come on. Let the man have his “unbelievably small” war. Look at that face. How can you say no to it?

Sure, there’s two ways to read “unbelievably small”. Either it’s so small that you’ll have trouble believing how small it is. Like Kerry’s brain. Or it’s “unbelievably small” because it’s actually big and Kerry is lying to you.

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that any military action undertaken in Syria would be “unbelievably small.”

    “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war,” Kerry said during an appearance with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, according to The Guardian. “That is exactly what we are talking about doing – unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

As I recall, Obama promised an unbelievably small effort in Libya that would be over in “days, not weeks”. It proved to be really unbelievable because it took months.

Super war hero John Kerry who singlehandedly defeated Cambodia doesn’t seem to understand that once hostilities begin, you no longer have absolute control the duration of the conflict. Especially if you aren’t determined to finish it.

Kerry is promising a war that he may or may not be able to deliver on. And either he doesn’t understand what any working member of the military does. Or he does and is deliberately lying.
Title: The Syria Desk: Syria and the Limits to Growth
Post by: RE on September 09, 2013, 11:32:53 PM
From Brian Davey on FEASTA.

RE

Syria and the Limits to Growth (http://www.feasta.org/2013/09/06/syria-and-the-limits-to-growth/)
Sep 06, 2013
by Brian Davey

Just before the war broke out in Syria food prices doubled, triggering the protests that were put down brutally by Assad’s troops. Syria used to be self sufficient in wheat but over the last few years has had to import grain.

Why did this happen? The answer is a combination of many years of drought caused by climate change, the accompanying water shortages and rocketing fuel prices. Of course, fuel is a major input in agriculture. But why the rocketing fuel prices? Syria is also an oil producer, however it hit the peak of its production in 1996 and is now producing at half of that peak. This has hit exports and state revenues. It means that the price for oil that ordinary people, including farmers, had to pay has shot up.

The result has been a catastrophe for Syrian agriculture and more generally for the Syrian economy. Many people living in rural areas, who are Sunni Muslims, migrated in desperation to the towns because towns are places where things are traded and food is available. However the towns on the coast are largely controlled by the Alawite minority which is the power base of the Assad regime. Religious and ethnic tensions have thus powerfully magnified by the migration. The map shows features of the agricultural crisis in 2009 (click to enlarge).

DroughtSyria

Despite all of these problems it might not have been inevitable that they would lead to a civil war. Unfortunately for the people of that country regime change in Syria has been an agenda for the US elite, for Britain, for Israel and for Saudi Arabia. On the surface it appeared that what has happened in Syria was an extension of “the Arab Spring” but there were other, external influences at work, winding up the tensions in the country, supporting movements of opposition and giving them arms, training and support.
The civil war is thus not all that it appears – it is a proxy war – outside countries and outside interests are sponsoring different groups with arms, money and food in the hope that whoever comes out on top will be their allies and promote their agendas.

The Americans are powerful, and violent, players. After the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq their strategy has changed – they don’t want “boots on the ground” – but they don’t want to risk the flow of oil out of the “Middle East” either. Their long run strategy of multiple regime change to create governments favourable to the US remains just the same under Obama as under Bush, but the methods are less visible. They support proxies, as well as sponsoring private contractors, in other words mercenaries, to train opposition groups, as well as using drone attacks – extra-judicial murder – from the air in countries like the Yemen (though not, as yet, in Syria).
 
As early as 2007 Seymour Hersh was reporting in the New Yorker:
“The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” [1]

Note that while the story for the children is that the war against terror is against militant Islamic extremists, behind the scenes the US is prepared to ally itself with and support these groups if it is believed that this will destabilise and weaken regimes that do not pursue US corporate interests. This was the same policy pursued in Afghanistan under the Soviets that went so badly wrong before. When we look at the games played by the American security services we are looking at people who have learned absolutely nothing.

As regards Syrian specifically Hersh notes that “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria,” with a view to pressure him to be “more conciliatory and open to negotiations” with Israel.

Britain has been involved too. British politicians speak for public consumption as if they are motivated by concern for the welfare of the people of Syria – but the involvement of British military intelligence in Syria has not been training people in non violent direct action, or helping develop strategies for the agriculture hit by climate change. British actions have wound up tension that have helped build the level of violence. Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas claimed that Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. The interview on French television with English subtitles can be seen on YouTube.
“I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business”, he told French television, “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.” [2]

The “Daily Star” is not the kind of British newspaper that one would normally think of as a source for information but, in January of 2012 it reported:

    “Britain is gearing up for fighting in Syria that could be bigger and bloodier than the battle against Gadaffi. The Ministry of Defence is drawing up secret plans for a NATO-sponsored no-fly zone but first it needs backing from the United Nations Security Council. As the unrest and killings escalate in the troubled Arab state, agents from MI6 and the CIA are already in Syria assessing the situation, a security official has revealed. Special forces are also talking to Syrian dissident soldiers. They want to know about weapons and communications kit rebel forces will need if the Government decides to help. “MI6 and the CIA are in Syria to infiltrate and get at the truth,” said the well-placed source. “We have SAS and SBS not far away who want to know what is happening and are finding out what kit dissident soldiers need. “Syria supports Hezbollah. That threatens Israel and the whole of the Middle East. “This has been given the highest priority as the whole thing could implode.” [3]

What are the different outside agendas in this conflict rooted in?

In a world where fossil fuels oil and gas are becoming increasingly costly and difficult to extract geopolitics is largely about fossil fuels -  and particularly about gas pipeline routes and proposals. Russia, Iran and Assad would like to have a gas pipeline supplying Europe built with the help of Gazprom that comes out of Iran, crosses Syria and exports via the port of Tartus. Tartus is a long standing naval base of Russia. Small and under-equipped as it is, it is the largest Russian naval installation outside of Russia itself and gives the Russian navy access to the Mediterranean and beyond.

By contrast, Saudi Arabia working with Qatar would like a pipeline that goes through Syria up to Turkey, supplying Europe in a way that avoids all Russian and Gazprom involvement.

Another player in this game of torturing the ordinary people of Syria is Israel – they have wanted a pipeline out of Iraq across Syria to Israel for several decades.[4]

Obviously absolutely none of these players can be trusted to tell the truth about what is happening. The people who play these war games are state sponsored psychopaths – they think nothing of killing large numbers of people to advance their agendas and lying is second nature to them. Winning, proving that they are the smartest, strongest and most ruthless, is all that matters to people like this.

The Saudis are deeply involved also because of their links with extremist Islamic groups.  The Assad regime does not favour the Saudi/Qatar pipeline option which counters Russia interests so the Saudi regime is sponsoring its proxies in Syria – its spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan keeps the al Nusrah brigade well resourced with weapons – and possibly with chemical ones. Clearly the Saudis would love to drag the Americans, British, French and others in on their side. One interpretation of the incident was that it was an accident by rebel fighters who did not know what they were doing with chemical weapons – though this has not been verified. Certainly in May of this year Carla Ponte thought that an earlier chemical weapon incident involved not Assad’s regime, but that of the rebels. [5]

Whatever happened and now happens I draw two conclusions from this situation.

Firstly what we are witnessing arises out of tensions that are occurring as the world reaches the limits of economic growth – climate change, peak energy, water shortages, agricultural crisis are all leading to explosive tensions. Many countries in the global south have a demographic structure heavily weighted by young people. Obviously small children eat far less than adults – so as these “young populations” grow older the demand for food rises at a more than the rate of population. It does not then help when corporations use vast amounts of liquidity, produced to rescue dysfunctional financial markets, to speculate on rising food prices on world markets, driving up food prices even more.

Secondly these tensions are being exploited by the ruthless psychopaths, the gangsters found in the military, in politics, in security corporations in all countries. These are the people who direct the geopolitical games, exploiting the tension, making it worse and diverting attention and the emotional energy from the kind of strategies that would genuinely address the global crises that we face.
These global crises are climate change, peak energy and in general the limits to economic growth (including a global crisis of fresh water, serious depletion of other resources like phosphates, multiple forms of toxic production) – as well as a dysfunctional financial system based on debt based money which is driving the vast tragic process called (incorrectly) “economic growth” . (“Incorrectly” because it is uneconomic and driving the world out of balance.)

Horrendous as the situation in Syria is we have seen nothing yet. Within a very short time scale, unless the global economy can get onto a trajectory that contracts carbon emissions by at least 6% per annum there will be a temperature runaway that will melt the Greenland ice sheet leading to a 7 meter sea level rise.

Despite this, in order to continue the production of fossil fuels the energy sector is resorting to more extreme forms of extraction which are immensely damaging to water supplies, communities and the climate – and are using their friends in government to “frack” the political and media system, turning the police into a private security force, and resorting to mass surveillance, in order overwhelm opposition by and from communities.

At the same time a criminally irresponsible financial sector has been allowed to continue operating, without fundamental reform. Instead, new speculative bubbles are being blown by economically illiterate politicians who cannot see what is happening beyond the end of their noses. In the meantime crime grows in abundance throughout the political and economic system. The fact that criminality is rife in the financial sector is clear from the fact that 80% of international loans are routed through secrecy jurisdictions, as well as one half of world trade. To then add insult to injury the United Nations Environment Programme argues that the way to protect the ecological system against collapse is to marketise it and “hardwire it into financial markets” – in other words to sell it to the criminals who are wrecking the global economy.
Things are not looking good for the world – but one area of hope is that there are more educated people in the world in all countries who have developed the ability to interpret the real issues and the real problems. Millions of people can see more clearly the extreme level of violence, criminality and plain futility in the strategies undertaken by the people who govern us. More and more people simply no longer believe the lies and can see that the real problems of the world are being made much worse by a dysfunctional and psychopathic elite whose only answer is deception and violence.

Now we have to work out what to do about them.
Endnotes

[1] http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=all (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=all)
[2] Roland Dumas: The British prepared for war in Syria 2 years before the eruption of the crisis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyRwFHR8WY#)
[3] http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/227911/Syria-will-be-bloodiest-yet (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/227911/Syria-will-be-bloodiest-yet)
[4] http://www.nafeezahmed.com/2013/08/special-report-syria-intervention-plans.html (http://www.nafeezahmed.com/2013/08/special-report-syria-intervention-plans.html)
[5] http://www.nafeezahmed.com/2013/08/special-report-syria-intervention-plans.html (http://www.nafeezahmed.com/2013/08/special-report-syria-intervention-plans.html)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - pinheads
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 11:40:26 PM
Quote
What do I tell the grandchildren Duncan?  The head of Russia is a peace maker, and the leader of our country is a war lord?

How did we get this fucked up so fast.  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch: :exp-angry: :exp-angry:

GO,

Depends on how old they are. If they are very young, you can tell them pin headed people have taken over America. If they ask what a pinhead is, just tell them too much power shrinks people's brains, and no one has ever been more powerful than the people who lead America, so they are like the biggest pinheads ever. If they ask why we let pinheads take over America, tell them, pinheads control the television, so people are distracted and don't know what pinheads we have for leaders. If they ask what can we do about it, tell them, don't watch television, and don't give people so much power to shrink their brains with. They will probably not listen to you about the television, but if they ask how do you not give people so much power to shrink their brain with, tell them, that's for you to figure out, since most grownups are addicted to television, and aspire one way or another to pinheadedness. 

WHD

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRNZLfdOHVUxwSPbgkk0Zy6nrn04vMVQJiFKRDEvcbl0fLjXXYtBw)


From Survival of the Idiots
http://www.youtube.com/v/yi1CycFTh3E?feature=player_detailpage
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: WHD on September 10, 2013, 12:07:08 AM
Quote
Millions of people can see more clearly the extreme level of violence, criminality and plain futility in the strategies undertaken by the people who govern us. More and more people simply no longer believe the lies and can see that the real problems of the world are being made much worse by a dysfunctional and psychopathic elite whose only answer is deception and violence.

Now we have to work out what to do about them.

I haven't seen an article spell it out more clearly than this. I know RE has some ideas about what needs to be done. That is a lot of heads to take off, and some wicked people who don't want to lose them, manifestly more powerful and violent than anybody else on earth.

Anyone else with ideas? I say, an all out effort for the SUN project.  :icon_sunny:

BTW - Somebody needs to send this to Brandon Smith @ alt-market. He won't read it if I or RE sends it. Brandon is telling the Liberty crowd a cornucopian tale of abundance. This Brian Davey is saying basically the same thing about the global elite as Brandon does, but with a much firmer grasp of water, climate and oil issues. He needs to see this.

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Kerry Promises War will be "Unbelievably Small"
Post by: WHD on September 10, 2013, 12:14:55 AM
Kerry Promises “Unbelievably Small” Attack on Syria (http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/kerry-promises-unbelievably-small-attack-on-syria/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kerry-promises-unbelievably-small-attack-on-syria)

September 9, 2013
By Daniel Greenfield

(http://frontpagemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/isr_kerry_israel_reuters_07172013-584-450x328.jpg)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during news conference in Amman
Come on. Let the man have his “unbelievably small” war. Look at that face. How can you say no to it?

Sure, there’s two ways to read “unbelievably small”. Either it’s so small that you’ll have trouble believing how small it is. Like Kerry’s brain. Or it’s “unbelievably small” because it’s actually big and Kerry is lying to you.

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that any military action undertaken in Syria would be “unbelievably small.”

    “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war,” Kerry said during an appearance with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, according to The Guardian. “That is exactly what we are talking about doing – unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

As I recall, Obama promised an unbelievably small effort in Libya that would be over in “days, not weeks”. It proved to be really unbelievable because it took months.

Super war hero John Kerry who singlehandedly defeated Cambodia doesn’t seem to understand that once hostilities begin, you no longer have absolute control the duration of the conflict. Especially if you aren’t determined to finish it.

Kerry is promising a war that he may or may not be able to deliver on. And either he doesn’t understand what any working member of the military does. Or he does and is deliberately lying.

Douche-bag, plain and simple.  :emthdown:

WHD
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Douchebag Strikes Gold!
Post by: WHD on September 10, 2013, 12:29:32 AM
I didn't realize it was Douche-bag's idea! Wow, he is going to get it. That move REALLY pissed off all those psychopaths who have been working so hard behind the scenes to pulverize Syria.  :oops:  :iamwithstupid:



http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/09/09/kerry-gaffes-the-russians-blink/ (http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/09/09/kerry-gaffes-the-russians-blink/)
Kerry Gaffes; The Russians Blink
Sep 9 2013 @ 12:27pm

Andrew Sullivan - The Dish

US Secretary of State John Kerry Visits The UK

In his latest stream of unpersuasive self-righteousness, John Kerry today threw out an idea. Instead of threatening an imminent military strike, Kerry actually got creative:

    Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led attack, Mr. Kerry said, “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week — turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow the full and total accounting.”

He was, apparently, just being hypothetical. The State Department had to walk him back:

    “Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to reporters after Mr. Kerry’s comments. “His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment.”

I’d have thought a pretty basic qualification for being secretary of state is not to air hypothetical ideas in a public forum that the US does not intend to pursue. But Kerry, who is already doing a huge amount to make Hillary Clinton’s tenure at Foggy Bottom look magisterial, winged it. And the Russians immediately reacted:

    “We don’t know whether Syria will agree with this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in the country will prevent attacks, then we will immediately begin work with Damascus,” Mr. Lavrov said at the Foreign Ministry. “And we call on the Syrian leadership to not only agree to setting the chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also to their subsequent destruction.”

Wow. So we have the possibility of two things: that Russia might actually act decisively to rein Assad in, and also support the only viable policy to accomplish what Obama wants – protecting the world from these vile weapons. I have no idea whether this is a serious move by Lavrov – but it sure seems so, and it presents a fascinating non-binary option. It would manage to bring Russia in to solving this problem, without its having to acquiesce to what Putin regards as American grand-standing. And it would surely have some traction at the UN.

Sometimes, it seems, Kerry’s incompetence strikes gold. Here’s hoping.

(Photo: US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a joint press conference with Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague at the the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 9, 2013 in London, England. By Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images.)

Title: "Unbelievably Small War" Newzspeak
Post by: RE on September 10, 2013, 12:47:50 AM

Douche-bag, plain and simple.  :emthdown:


Indeed, but the level of the Newzspeak hits New Lows with this one.

How can Wars be "Small", much less "Unbelievably Small"?  By DEFINITION, Wars involve LOTS of people KILLING each other!  When a couple of people get in a fistfight which escalates to them pulling weapons, its a "Duel" not a "War".  Even a dozen or so people from different Clans or Families shooting at each other is not a "War", it is a "Feud".  If you pull together a few hundred duking it out to the death, it is a "Battle" not a "War".

The population of Syria is somewhere in the neighborhood of 22M, less the folks already dispatched to the Great Beyond and those who who are running for the borders as refugees.  This ENTIRE POPULATION is now engaged in an ORCHESTRATED Civil War with Arms Merchants from all corners arming both sides to the TEETH.  You got the Saudis and Emirates footing the bill for one side, the Ruskies and Chinese footing the bill for the other.  How is 22M People shooting at each other daily an "Unbelievably Small War"?

Not to mention, once Obama-sama authorizes the Death From Above, do you think the B-1 Bombers will be dropping Firecrackers or even M-80s from these BIG and EXPENSIVE aircraft?  Do you think they will drop just 1 or 2 Small Bombs and fly home?  No, they will drop BIG BOMBS, and LOTS of them!  How pray tell is this an "Unbelievably Small War"?

(http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/b-1b/images/b-1b_4.jpg)

RE
Title: The Syria Desk: Infographic
Post by: RE on September 10, 2013, 01:38:13 AM
H/T Zero Hedge

RE

(http://www.mapsofworld.com/poll/images/will-strikes-end-conflict-in-syria-facts-infographic.jpg)
Title: The Syria Desk: Current Naval Deployment
Post by: RE on September 10, 2013, 01:56:52 AM
H/T Zero Hedge

RE

(http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08-2/Navy%20Map%20Update.jpg)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Nigel Farage lambasts "extreme militarists" during Syria deb
Post by: g on September 12, 2013, 06:01:30 PM
Nigel Farage lambasts "extreme militarists" during Syria debate


                                                                   http://www.youtube.com/v/urIdnpb5sRc&fs=1
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Putin Appeals for Peace in NYT OP-ED
Post by: Snowleopard on September 12, 2013, 07:34:37 PM
Vlad puts a bit more pressure on Obama...




A Plea for Caution From Russia


What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria



By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
 
Published: September 11, 2013 3920 Comments
 


MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.


Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.

 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?ref=opinion&_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?ref=opinion&_r=0)

A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 12, 2013, on page A31 of the New York edition with the headline: A Plea for Caution From Russia.
 .

Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 12, 2013, 08:07:48 PM
Quote
.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.


Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.
Great posting Snowleopard, one heck of a quote at the end, wasn't it.? 

Wish it was our President that said it.   :-[
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 12, 2013, 09:56:00 PM
Quote
.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.


Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.
Great posting Snowleopard, one heck of a quote at the end, wasn't it.? 

Wish it was our President that said it.   :-[

Not bad considering English is his third language!

What i suspect is that Iran has a commitment to defend Syria, and Russia has a commitment to defend Iran.  Putin has no desire for that scenario to play out, especially vs USA, so he is expending some effort to prevent it.  There is a fair chance he will succeed.  If so, Israel is not going to be happy. 

If Obama does not attack before then, a new provocation is likely late OCT to early NOV.  It might not happen, or if it does we might skate again, but I'm topping off my fuel tanks!
Title: Syria Podcast/Vidcast Scheduled
Post by: RE on September 12, 2013, 10:40:05 PM
Good Newz!

I have a Podcast or Vidcast on Syria scheduled with BOTH Gail Tverberg and Brian Davey for Monday recording.  :icon_sunny:

Not sure which format we will go with yet, depends on the quality of the various connections.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 13, 2013, 02:34:10 AM
Syrian Rebels Slit Throat of Christian Man Who Refused To Convert To Islam, Taunt Fiance, “Jesus Didn’t Come To Save Him”
Posted on September 13, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/syrian-rebels-slit-throat-of-christian-man-who-refused-to-convert-to-islam-taunt-fiance-jesus-didnt-come-to-save-him.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/syrian-rebels-slit-throat-of-christian-man-who-refused-to-convert-to-islam-taunt-fiance-jesus-didnt-come-to-save-him.html)

U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel Support Al Qaeda Terrorists Who Are Brutally Persecuting Syrian Christians

Until recently, Syria was a safe-haven for Christians.

The New York Times notes:

As secular leaders from the secretive Alawite sect, the Assad dynasty largely preserved Christian life, protecting Syria’s minorities from what was perceived as a collective threat from the country’s Sunni majority.

Watching their once-shielding dictators fall like dominos across the region, Christians have suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of history. Faced by a rising tide of radical Sunni Islam, Christians in Iraq and Egypt have fled by the thousands. In Syria, concern over Christian repression has fallen on deaf ears, drowned out by popular support for the country’s opposition in the face of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown.

BBC points out:

Syria has for much of the century had a sizeable Christian minority, making up at least 10% of the population.

***

In recent years Syria has been considered one of the easier Middle Eastern countries for Christians to live in. Power is concentrated in the hands of the Alawite minority – a Shia sect considered heretical by many Muslims – which has clamped down hard on extreme forms of Islam.

But that’s all changed since Al Qaeda terrorists started targeting Christians in Syria more than a year ago.

Agence France-Presse reports:

Jihadists who overran Syria’s ancient town of Maalula last week disparaged Christians as “Crusaders” and forced at least one person to convert to Islam at gunpoint, say residents who fled the town.

***

“They arrived in our town at dawn… and shouted ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,” an Islamist term for Christians ….

***

Maalula is one of the most renowned Christian towns in Syria, and many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

***

“I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” said Nasrallah, a Christian.

One of them “put a pistol to the head of my neighbour and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’.”

“Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now’.”

***

Another resident, Rasha, recounted how the jihadists had seized her fiance Atef, who belonged to the town’s militia, and brutally murdered him.

“I rang his mobile phone and one of them answered,” she said.

“Good morning, Rashrush,” a voice answered, using her nickname. “We are from the Free Syrian Army. Do you know your fiance was a member of the shabiha (pro-regime militia) who was carrying weapons, and we have slit his throat.”

The man told her Atef had been given the option of converting to Islam, but had refused.

“Jesus didn’t come to save him,” he taunted.

Daily Mail writes:

Another Christian resident said: ‘I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, “Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded”.’

Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.

The Christian Science Monitor notes:

Anas, their son, says he got threatening messages back in Syria: “Your money is for us to take, your wife is for us to sleep with, and your children are for killing. This is all halal,” or permissible under Islamic law. He escaped with his wife and children to Jordan, but not before his liquor store had been burned down.

WND reports:

“The Christian residents were offered four choices: 1. renounce the ‘idolatry’ of Christianity and convert to Islam; 2. pay a heavy tribute to the Muslims for the privilege of keeping their heads and their Christian faith (this tribute is known as jizya); 3. be killed; 4. flee for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.”

The Washington Times reported in June:

“A priest and another Christian were beheaded before a cheering crowd by Syrian insurgents who say they aided and abetted the enemy… The reported beheading of the two Christians comes about the same time America has started sending arms to rebel fighters, the Wall Street Journal revealed this week.”

Most of the Syrian “rebels” are Al Qaeda.  As NBC News reports, Al Qaeda is gaining more and more power among the rebels.

And the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel  have been backing these guys for years.  Indeed, we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.

Congressman Amish points out that the U.S. is breaking the law by aiding and abetting a designated terrorist group.

Indeed, Obama’s own top lawyers warned him that arming the rebels would be illegal.

Ironically, Obama has just renewed the Declaration of a State of Emergency for America first started by Bush in September 2001.  That declaration of emergency is supposed to be about fighting – you know – Al Qaeda.

But the U.S. has long wanted regime change in Syria … and long backed the most violent terrorists in the world for geopolitical reasons.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 13, 2013, 02:38:53 AM
Classified U.S. Military Document: Syrian Rebels DO Have Chemical Weapons
Posted on September 12, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
Al Qaeda In Syria Had Sarin Before August Attack

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/classified-u-s-military-document-syrian-rebels-do-have-chemical-weapons.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/classified-u-s-military-document-syrian-rebels-do-have-chemical-weapons.html)
(follow links at original)


We’ve extensively documented that the Syrian rebels do have access to chemical weapons.

It turns out that a classified U.S. military document says the same thing.

A former senior security policy analyst in the office of the secretary of defense, F. Michael Maloof, reports at WND:

In a classified document just obtained by WND, the U.S. military confirms that sarin was confiscated earlier this year from members of the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, the most influential of the rebel Islamists fighting in Syria.

The document says sarin from al-Qaida in Iraq made its way into Turkey and that while some was seized, more could have been used in an attack last March on civilians and Syrian military soldiers in Aleppo.

The document, classified Secret/Noforn – “Not for foreign distribution” – came from the U.S. intelligence community’s National Ground Intelligence Center, or NGIC, and was made available to WND Tuesday.

It revealed that AQI had produced a “bench-scale” form of sarin in Iraq and then transferred it to Turkey.

A U.S. military source said there were a number of interrogations as well as some clan reports as part of what the document said were “50 general indicators to monitor progress and characterize the state of the ANF/AQI-associated Sarin chemical warfare agent developing effort.”

“This (document) depicts our assessment of the status of effort at its peak – primarily research and procurement activities – when disrupted in late May 2013 with the arrest of several key individuals in Iraq and Turkey,” the document said.

“Future reporting of indicators not previously observed would suggest that the effort continues to advance despite the arrests,” the NGIC document said.

The May 2013 seizure occurred when Turkish security forces discovered a two-kilogram cylinder with sarin gas while searching homes of Syrian militants from the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra Front following their initial detention.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamic radicals detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia.

Some 12 suspected members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested. At the time, they were described by Turkish special anti-terror forces as the “most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels.

In the seizure, Turkish anti-terror police also found a cache of weapons, documents and digital data.

***

Sources tell WND the documentation indicates that deadly sarin poison gas was manufactured in a Sunni-controlled region of Iraq and then transported to Turkey for use by the Syrian opposition, whose ranks have swelled with members of al-Qaida and affiliated groups.

High-level former U.S. intelligence officers say that it was the rebels – not the Syrian government – which carried out the chemical weapons attack.

They note that their high-level intelligence colleagues currently working in U.S. intelligence agencies agree.

The director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare from 1988 to 2004 – who was a former senior consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State – (Yossef Bodansky) also says that the rebels were the perpetrators of the chemical attack.
Title: Choose WISELY where you Hole Up!
Post by: RE on September 13, 2013, 02:58:10 AM
Syrian Rebels Slit Throat of Christian Man Who Refused To Convert To Islam, Taunt Fiance, “Jesus Didn’t Come To Save Him”


Unwise to be a Christian in a Sea of Muslims these days.

Unwise to be a White Guy in Downtown Detroit these days.

Unwise to be a Black Man in Patterson, NJ in 1960.  "In Patterson, that's just the way things go.  You better not show up on the Street less you wanna draw the HEAT."

Hurricane - Bob Dylan on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/53933900)

Unwise to be a Gringo in the Banana Republics in the near future.

Unwise to be a Liberal on TBP at any time.

Unwise to be a PIGMAN on the Doomstead Diner at any time.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Limited Options
Post by: g on September 13, 2013, 03:06:28 AM
                                                       
130916 r23965illu p233
130916 r23965illu p233

Toward the end of last week’s Senate hearing on American military action in Syria, Tim Kaine, of Virginia, admitted to being confused. Secretary of State John Kerry had been repeating for hours the Administration’s line that the purpose of bombing Syria was “limited”: to punish Bashar al-Assad for gassing more than a thousand of his own people, including hundreds of children, and to discourage him from doing it again. On the other hand, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had tersely acknowledged that the act of destroying Syrian military assets would inevitably hurt Assad’s ability to fight the rebellion—so the effects might not be so limited after all. Meanwhile, the American goal in Syria remains a negotiated settlement. Since no one from the Administration would connect the dots, Kaine struggled to do it. Bombing, he offered, “will level the playing field by removing the ability to use chemical weapons, and it will therefore increase the odds that the parties will then come to the table to try to figure out that political solution.” He went on, “Is that the connection between the military option you are proposing and the stated end goal of a solution to the civil war only being—only being achieved through a political end?” “It’s the collateral connection to it,” Kerry replied. “It’s not the purpose of it, but it is a collateral connection.”

The Administration’s case for making Assad pay is as practically flawed as it is morally defensible. The war-weary American people overwhelmingly oppose it, and the debate in Washington is not winning them over to President Obama’s side. There’s also a problem with the debate itself: Obama seems to be reserving the right to ignore Congress if it fails to deliver the verdict he wants, which has led Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, to accuse the Administration of “making a joke of us.” In the meantime, a number of Republicans talk about the Syria crisis as if it were an overseas extension of the debt crisis—another chance to thwart a President they despise. The geopolitics of military action are just as problematic: the United States, supported by a handful of mostly silent partners, is upholding a collective standard single-handedly, and preserving the mission of the United Nations by ignoring it.

It would be less difficult to wave off these contradictions if the Administration seemed to have a plan for the day after the last cruise missile takes out the last Syrian jet. But the flaws start to appear fatal when you consider the lack of any strategy beyond bombing. It’s a worrying sign when America’s chief diplomat refers to the central objective in Syria as “a collateral connection.” The Administration would like to frame missile strikes as a kind of judicial action, a one-time ruling from the bench, not as a military intervention. Yet bombing would change the balance of power in Syria and, one way or another, entangle America in the civil war despite Obama’s ardent wish to stay out. The White House clearly failed to plan for a mass chemical-weapons attack; it would now be far better for the Administration to think through ways of reaching American goals before the missiles launch.


For almost two years, the U.S. has conducted a barely perceptible, utterly futile diplomatic exercise with Russia. Vladimir Putin has frustrated every effort to negotiate a ceasefire and a political transition in Syria, and now Russia is preventing the U.N. from even condemning the use of chemical weapons. Russia has relatively little invested in Syria, and it wants nothing from the U.S.—the war is just a cheap way for Putin to damage American interests. The clearest path to a settlement now may be not through Moscow but through Tehran. Iran has a lot at stake in Syria—in money, arms, lives, and regional strategy. The Revolutionary Guard has always tried to carry out foreign policy with no fingerprints, through proxies and covert operations, but Syria is becoming an Iranian quagmire.

The Obama Administration has refused to allow Iran a seat at the Geneva talks, but Iran has a new President, Hassan Rouhani, a seemingly pragmatic centrist whose top priority is to ease tensions with the U.S. and to end Iran’s international isolation. He and his foreign minister, Javad Zarif, issued conciliatory tweets on the Jewish New Year, while former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Rouhani’s political patron, dared to blame Assad for the chemical attack. During the Iran-Iraq War, tens of thousands of Iranians were gassed by the forces of Saddam Hussein. It’s conceivable that the atrocity in Damascus has turned the stomach of Iran’s political leadership. In the wake of American strikes, Iranian radicals might want to retaliate—there are reports of a secret order to attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or Beirut—and restraining them would be the first test of Rouhani’s power to carry out his agenda.

Some Iranians point to the Bonn Conference of 2001—where Iran and the U.S. coöperated in the formation of an Afghan government, after the fall of their mutual enemy, the Taliban—as a model for what might take place with Syria. The U.S. and Iran have a common interest: preventing Salafi extremists, affiliated with Al Qaeda, from gaining power in the region. If this appeared probable in Syria, Iran might be willing to drop its support for Assad in exchange for a face-saving transition, backed by Turkey, Jordan, and the Gulf states: a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force made up of Muslim troops from the region, protections for Alawites and other minorities, U.N.-sponsored elections, and exile in a comfortable dacha for the Assad family.

None of this is likely. It would take imaginative diplomacy of the kind that the Administration has shown little taste for in the Middle East. Iran would have to be convinced that it can’t win but also that it needn’t lose, and this would not be possible without deeper American engagement. The question of arming rebel groups came up at the Senate hearings. “The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation,” Kerry said, “by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process.” Yet this version of Iraqi “sweets and flowers” is contradicted by accounts of rebel brutality, and by a new report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which describes fractured rebel forces that are increasingly dominated on the battlefield by hard-core Salafists. The fact that promised American weapons have been so slow to reach the rebels suggests that U.S. intelligence shares this view. Nonetheless, one of the report’s authors, Andrew Tabler, an American with long experience in Syria, argues that, with careful vetting, U.S. arms, along with political support in border areas, could still strengthen the more secular nationalist rebels. Without some such effort, the war looks more and more like a choice between Assad and Al Qaeda.

This strategy carries tremendous risks and few prospects for a resolution. There’s an easier case to be made for doing nothing—letting the war burn on for years. That policy would have the virtue of being clear and consistent, which cannot be said of what the Administration seems poised to do. But fires are hard to contain. The conflict is already spreading to Lebanon, Iraq, and perhaps the wider region. In the end, there’s no way for a conflagration in the Middle East to spare American interests. ♦

What a friggin mess :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch:

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2013/09/16/130916taco_talk_packer (http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2013/09/16/130916taco_talk_packer)   :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 13, 2013, 03:14:07 AM
RE,  Just pointing out that the video you posted in this posting is not appearing, something is wrong with it.   GO


It is the Careful where you hole up posting.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: RE on September 13, 2013, 03:24:07 AM
RE,  Just pointing out that the video you posted in this posting is not appearing, something is wrong with it.   GO


It is the Careful where you hole up posting.

It is a Vimeo Vid of Bob Dylan's Hurricane Video, and will not embed.  It has been removed from You Tube.

You can view it and download it also from Vimeo still.  I suggest doing so before it is lost entirely.  I got a copy now on my hard drive.  Fabulous Video.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 13, 2013, 03:57:15 AM
Fine article.

In re Rand Paul's pronouncement that Obama "is making a joke of us, " I would suggest that the Senator from Kentucky requires no additional assistance on that score.
Title: Re: Choose WISELY where you Hole Up!
Post by: Eddie on September 13, 2013, 05:54:30 AM
Syrian Rebels Slit Throat of Christian Man Who Refused To Convert To Islam, Taunt Fiance, “Jesus Didn’t Come To Save Him”


Unwise to be a Christian in a Sea of Muslims these days.

Unwise to be a White Guy in Downtown Detroit these days.

Unwise to be a Black Man in Patterson, NJ in 1960.  "In Patterson, that's just the way things go.  You better not show up on the Street less you wanna draw the HEAT."

Hurricane - Bob Dylan on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/53933900)

Unwise to be a Gringo in the Banana Republics in the near future.

Unwise to be a Liberal on TBP at any time.

Unwise to be a PIGMAN on the Doomstead Diner at any time.

RE

Don't be a WOMAN in Egypt...or Texas.
Title: Re: Choose WISELY where you Hole Up!
Post by: luciddreams on September 14, 2013, 06:28:40 PM
Syrian Rebels Slit Throat of Christian Man Who Refused To Convert To Islam, Taunt Fiance, “Jesus Didn’t Come To Save Him”


Unwise to be a Christian in a Sea of Muslims these days.

Unwise to be a White Guy in Downtown Detroit these days.

Unwise to be a Black Man in Patterson, NJ in 1960.  "In Patterson, that's just the way things go.  You better not show up on the Street less you wanna draw the HEAT."

Hurricane - Bob Dylan on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/53933900)

Unwise to be a Gringo in the Banana Republics in the near future.

Unwise to be a Liberal on TBP at any time.

Unwise to be a PIGMAN on the Doomstead Diner at any time.

RE

Don't be a WOMAN in Egypt...or Texas.

that's funny :laugh:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk: Putin Steps into World Leadership Role
Post by: g on September 16, 2013, 04:08:45 AM
Great article from Sibel Edmonds  :emthup:

“The Squealing Stuck Pigs Include Human Rights Watch Bloggers Who Seem to be Financed Out of the CIA’s Back Pocket.”
                                                               
0913 pig
0913 pig

                             
Putin’s article in the September 11 New York Times has the stuck pigs squealing. The squealing stuck pigs are just who you thought they would be–all those whose agendas and profits would be furthered by an attack on Syria by the obama Stasi regime.

Included among the squealing stuck pigs are Human Rights Watch bloggers who seem to be financed out of the CIA’s back pocket.

Does any institution remain that has not been corrupted by Washington’s money?

Notice that the reason Putin is being criticized is that he has blocked the obama regime from attacking Syria and slaughtering countless numbers of Syrians in the name of human rights. The stuck pigs are outraged that obama’s war has been blocked. They were so much looking forward to the mass slaughter that they believe would advance their profits and agendas.

Most of Putin’s critics are too intellectually challenged to comprehend that Putin’s brilliant and humane article has left Putin the leader of the free world and defender of the rule of law and exposed obama for what he is–the leader of a rogue, lawless, unaccountable government committed to lies and war crimes.

Putin, being diplomatic, was very careful in his criticism of obama’s September 10 speech in which obama sought to justify Washington’s lawlessness in terms of “American exceptionalism.” Obama, attempting to lift his criminal regime by the bootstraps up into the moral heavens, claimed that United States government policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.”

What obama told Americans is exactly what Hitler told the Germans. The Russians, having borne more than anyone else the full weight of the German war machine, know how dangerous it is to encourage people to think of themselves as exceptional, unbound by law, the Geneva Conventions, the UN Security Council, and humane concerns for others. Putin reminded obama that “God created us equal.”

If Putin had wanted to give obama the full rebuke that obama deserves, Putin could have said: “obama is correct that the policy of the US government is what makes the US exceptional. The US is the only country in the world that has attacked 8 countries in 12 years, murdering and dispossessing millions of Muslims all on the basis of lies. This is not an exceptionalism of which to be proud.”

Putin is obviously more than a match for the immoral, low grade morons that Americans put into high office. However, Putin should not underestimate the mendacity of his enemies in Washington. Putin warned that the militants that Washington is breeding in the Middle East are an issue of deep concern. When these militants return to their own countries, they spread destabilization, as when extremists used by the US in the overthrow of Libya moved on to Mali.

The destabilization of other countries is precisely the main aim of Washington’s wars in the Middle East. Washington intends for radicalization of Muslims to spread strife into the Muslim populations of Russia and China. Washington’s propaganda machine will then turn these terrorists into “freedom fighters against oppressive Russian and Chinese governments,” and use Human Rights Watch and other organizations that Washington has penetrated and corrupted to denounce Russia and China for committing war crimes against freedom fighters. No doubt, chemical weapons attacks will be orchestrated, just as they have been in Syria.

If Washington’s NATO puppet states wake up in time, the warmongers in Washington can be isolated, and humanity could be spared WWIII.

# # # #

Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.

© PaulCraigRoberts.org

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/09/13/putin-steps-into-world-leadership-role/ (http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/09/13/putin-steps-into-world-leadership-role/)  :icon_study:
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 16, 2013, 06:42:27 AM
 :emthup: :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:

Four thumbs up for that article.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 16, 2013, 11:26:26 AM
USA has indeed fallen far when a vicious empire builder like Putin can portray himself (with legitimacy) as a saint compared to our current and recent presidents. 
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: g on September 16, 2013, 11:55:39 AM
USA has indeed fallen far when a vicious empire builder like Putin can portray himself (with legitimacy) as a saint compared to our current and recent presidents.

That's how I see it Snowleopard, a sorry state of affairs indeed.

The article I posted made me much more sad than it did angry.  Then, as usual, the old billion hollow point bullets comes to mind. What has happened to our country?   :'(
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Snowleopard on September 16, 2013, 04:09:45 PM
The article I posted made me much more sad than it did angry.  Then, as usual, the old billion hollow point bullets comes to mind. What has happened to our country?   :'(

Yes, it IS sad.  :( 

Obviously they stole the nation, it's debatable exactly when.   The bullets are probably for when they decide to cull the herd and/or for any who try to take the nation back before then.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Surly1 on September 17, 2013, 03:24:41 AM
On The Syrian Front, The World Is Not Out of The Woods Yet: Prepare For New False Flags To Be Blamed On Assad
http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/09/on-syrian-front-world-is-not-out-of.html (http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2013/09/on-syrian-front-world-is-not-out-of.html)

Why is the Syrian government declaring victory after the U.S. and Russia made a deal about the status of its chemical weapons? This is an obnoxious and stupid move. No victory is a victory if it is not decisive.

Don't the Syrian officials know that full-scale war against them is still on the agenda? This diplomatic breakthrough between the United States and Russia is tentative at best, and purposely designed to fail because of the artificially shortened timetable to hand over the chemical weapons.

Syria has conceded its chemical weapons stockpile, but what has the Obama administration gave in return? That it will put off aggressive and illegal strikes until future notice? This is supposed to be a victory? A bully stops punching you for a minute or two, and you declare victory?

This is not a victory. The bully has not been beaten, not in the least, it is still in bully-mode. America is still a source of terror to Syria and the whole region.

Declare victory when the bully leaves the playground and goes home for good, not when he's staying around the area and still trying to kick his victims to the ground.

Washington has yet to admit its role in arming, training, and financing the Jihadist terrorists in Syria, who were behind the chemical weapons attack in August. Washington still has its missiles and ships in motion in the Mediterranean and across the region, ready to strike at a moment's notice. Its finger is still on the trigger, and it wants to pull it the minute it feels right. The crazies are still running the show in DC. So, please, Syria, stop this delusional talk of "victory."

II.   

Ray McGovern writes:
Quote
One still has to wonder what might revive prospects for U.S. missile strikes. Some in the Middle East are worried about the possibility that radical jihadists among the Syrian rebels might try to derail peace talks by launching a chemical weapons attack against Israeli targets with the hope that the provocation will be blamed on the Assad regime and set off a rush to retaliate.
Whether likely or not, it is a threat that the cooler heads in the Obama administration should anticipate and be ready to head off.


Tony Cartalucci writes:
Quote
Reports of sniper fire targeting UN inspectors attempting to investigate an alleged August 2013 chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria already give a troubling indication of the dangers future inspectors face amongst a landscape plagued with dangerous, lawless terrorists the West has purposefully empowered and is currently perpetuating in Syria.
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Massacres reported in Alawite villages
Post by: Snowleopard on October 02, 2013, 07:19:39 PM
Very little seems to be getting out, in proportion to what is happening.  But the more i read, the more disgusted i am with our "masters" for supporting these so-called rebels:

-- from the Guardian, Wednesday 2 October 2013 02.41 EDT


Syria: massacre reports emerge from Assad's Alawite heartland


Alawites are fleeing their homes, recounting gruesome tales of executions and other atrocities


For more than two years, as fighting has escalated throughout Syria, a group of villages peopled by government supporters in the mountains above this coastal city has been spared any attacks.


In spite of their proximity to the Turkish border, across which rebel fighters are armed and financed, farmers continued their lives as normal, even though as Alawites allied to the Shia sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs they could have been obvious targets.


At dawn on 4 August their peace was shattered. Armed rebels, led by local jihadis as well as members of Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Qaida linked group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, left their headquarters in the largely Sunni town of Salma. They sneaked into the al-Akrad mountains, taking control of five Alawite villages. The rebels called it Operation Liberation of the Coast and the aim was to send the government a message that even the Alawite heartland was no longer safe.


Rumours of massacres spread as some 25,000 Alawite villagers fled to Latakia. The next day the rebels captured more Alawite villages and reached Aramo, about 12 miles north of Qardaha, the Assads' home town where Hafez al-Assad, the former president, is buried in a mausoleum. Over the next few days government forces regrouped and gradually recovered the lost ground with help from air strikes as well as local paramilitaries.


On 19 August Syrian state TV reported that all the Alawite villages had been freed. But they did not highlight any massacres and refrained from showing graphic images of mutilation.


"For the first time the government acted discreetly because they feared a sectarian war could break out all along the coast. At the beginning they even denied massacres took place", Rajaa Nasser, an opposition politician in Damascus told the Guardian. He speculated that the attacks on the Alawites could have been revenge for the slaughter of Sunnis in Banias and Baida in May, two places about 30 miles south of the city of Latakia. Human Rights Watch said 248 Sunni civilians were executed there.


The Syrian army has not allowed foreign reporters into the Alawite villages to check the massacre reports, but in Latakia city the Guardian spoke to three officers who took part in recapturing the villages. Each was interviewed in separate locations. Two were relaxing off-duty in beach-front hotels and villas. They spoke of executions and other atrocities.


"The attacks started with treachery," said Hassan, an officer in Syria's special forces. "There was a unit of 40 troops. A Sunni defected from it and took 30 other Sunnis with him. A few days later they were part of the attack that started with the village of Hambushiya. The 10 Alawite troops left behind in the area were killed." Hassan said he could listen to the rebel's radio communications. "I heard a rebel telling another rebel: 'Kill this one, but not that one' . One rebel asked: 'What do I do about the girls?' The answer came: 'I'm sending a truck to pick them up'. Several were taken and raped, and have not been seen again," he said.


"They kidnapped Sheikh Badr Ghazal and stripped girls and the sheikh to humiliate him. The sheikh was then killed. Rebels videoed the events and we found the pictures on the mobiles of dead rebels when we retook the villages. They have not been shown on Syrian TV or media because they are too distressing."


Shadi, a 32-year-old officer in a local defence unit that is separate from the Syrian army, was lightly wounded during the government's counter-attack. "When we got into the village of Balouta I saw a baby's head hanging from a tree. There was a woman's body which had been sliced in half from head to toe and each half was hanging from separate apple trees. It made me feel I wanted to do something wild," he recalled.


Ali, a member of the regular army, said he also saw the baby's head. "We found two mass graves with 140 bodies. They were not shot. They had their throats slit. About 105 people of different ages were kidnapped," he said. "It's really scary what happened. Nobody has gone home to the villages because so much has been destroyed and many houses have been burnt. The whole area is unusable. Salafists from abroad were behind the attack."


The officers' accounts cannot be independently verified but the Guardian has obtained lists, compiled by local activists, with the names of victims from Hambushiya, Balouta, and five other villages. They include 62 people listed as killed, 60 kidnapped and 139 people who are missing. The dead range in age from a toddler of two to a man of 90. The vast majority are women, children and the elderly since most men in the villages were away on duty as part of the volunteer defence forces elsewhere in the region. They did not expect their own villages to come under attack.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/02/syria-massacre-reports-alawites-assad (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/02/syria-massacre-reports-alawites-assad)
Title: Re: The Syria Desk - Reported Israeli Airstrike
Post by: Snowleopard on November 01, 2013, 05:12:35 PM
from RT


Israel won't comment on Syria strike, vows to hinder Hezbollah arms shipments


Israel has declined to comment on airstrikes which allegedly hit a Syrian air defense base on Thursday. Instead, officials issued a déjà vu statement which said that Israel will not allow advanced weapons to fall into the hands of Hezbollah.

“We have said many times that we will not allow the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. We are sticking to this policy and I say so without denying or confirming this report,” Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan told Israeli Radio on Friday.
 
The Home Front reportedly met just hours before the alleged airstrike on Syria’s base in Latakia.
 
On Thursday afternoon, an explosion rocked an area which housed an air force brigade with troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, an activist based in the principal Syrian port city of Latakia told Reuters.
 
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of contacts in Syria, said there had been up to five explosions at the air force base but that only limited damage was reported. The damage suggested a pinpoint guided missile strike, an anonymous local source told the organization.
 
A former Syrian intelligence agent who has defected to France alleged that Russian-made ballistic missiles had been stored at the air force base that was attacked.
 
However, neither Israel nor Syria confirmed that the strike took place at all.

A confirmation came from a US security official instead, who leaked to the press that Israel carried out the strikes and that the target was surface-to-air SA 125 missiles.
 
Israel was less than amused with the leak. Yedioth Ahronoth, the top selling Israeli daily, said that “Washington is selling our secrets on the cheap.”
 
Israel is believed to have attacked Syria on four occasions, the last time on July 5, 2013. At that time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again said that he wouldn’t let Hezbollah get its hands on sophisticated weapons.
 
Israel also attacked a military research center outside Damascus on May 5. The airstrike was confirmed by a senior US official to NBC news, who said that it targeted Iranian supplied Fateh-110 missiles.
 
A senior Israeli source confirmed to AFP that an Israeli airstrike carried out near the Damascus airport targeted Iranian missiles which were destined for Hezbollah.
 
The Syrian Ministry of Health did not confirm if there were casualties, though rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers who were stationed there were killed.
 
Hezbollah is based in Lebanon and has close relations with Shia states such as Iran. It also has close ties with Assad’s Alawite leadership in Syria.
 
Hezbollah actively supports the Palestinian cause and is in a state of virtual war with Israel. In 2006, a 34-day conflict raged between Israeli armed forces and Hezbollah in Lebanon, northern Israel, and the Golan Heights.
 
http://rt.com/news/israel-syria-air-strikes-103/ (http://rt.com/news/israel-syria-air-strikes-103/)




Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 04, 2017, 01:02:11 AM
You can breathe a Sigh of Relief.

Elvis sees escalation of the Syrian War as unlikely.  From Economic Undertow (http://www.economic-undertow.com/2013/09/02/left-to-our-own-devices/#comment-29204):

Quote from: Steve from Virginia
For this reason, there is diminishing likelihood of a US or NATO attack on Syria, only saber-rattling to keep the crude price from plunging below cost of production. The consuming world cannot afford to attack Syria, it cannot afford the risk of a wider conflict, it cannot afford for the Saudis and Iranians to launch missiles at each others’ tankers, pipelines, fuel terminals and desalinization plants. As with everything else in this not-quite-so-green Earth, there are diminished returns to war.

RE
Title: Re: The Syria Desk
Post by: Karpatok on August 04, 2017, 01:02:15 AM
The US hits the debt ceiling in mid-October. Maybe the reason for the US going into Syria is all about debt creation? The US invades Syria creating more debt. R's get to pump up the war machine - keeping the illuminati satisfied.  The R's will support the increase in debt cuz the US will be "at war".

There will be a "common cause" for killing yet more brown people in the ME. D's are delighted to have more spending. R's get an erection rampin' up the war machine and sticking J6pack with more debt.
// That certainly makes sense to me, Joe P. Nice going.
// To me it seems you are missing the point GO. I think Joe P is saying that this action will unite both skunk parties. It has no relation to whether Obama is a republican or democrat. He has shown that it makes not one iota of difference to him. He is a lackey to those above the two tweedledum tweedledee so called parties who are really calling the shots. Because republicans love war they wil not object to more debt and more spending to facilitate the same. Ditto for the democrats; they too can get their hands in the till. You are very right about one thing though. Its all about money and especially so for big oil and big armaments and a chance for the whores of congress to further spread their butts. Karpatok

Obama is not a Republican JoeP, nor is his staff of advisors.