Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 19, 2011

Another Step For War On Syria

March 3: Obama: Gaddafi Must Go

March 20: Libya: US, UK and France attack Gaddafi forces

August 18: Obama: Assad must go

September 2: Syria: US, UK and France ...

As Daniel Larison points out no one expected an attack on Libya when Obama said that Gaddhafi should go. Today many feel that there is no possibility of an attack on Syria. Maybe there isn't, but the precedence of the attack on Libya can not be ignored. A UN sanction resolution on Syria is already in preparation and may is likely the next step for a war on Syria.

Obama will be attacked from the right if he doesn't follow through on Syria with something more than just rhetoric and useless sanctions. As his record shows he usually follows the rights lead.

Meanwhile Turkey bombs Kurds in Iraq after a guerrilla attack in Turkey, Israel bombs Gaza after a guerrilla attack from Sinai, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicts (with dubious proof) four Hizbullah men for killing Rafik Hariri, Israel had huge social demonstrations against Netanyahoo's economic policies, Iraq just saw a series of terror attacks and Jordan barely suppresses protests against the king.

The areas around Syria is now more than ever a powder keg and there are too many people with matches around. This fall the Middle East could see some rather large and violent explosion.

Posted by b on August 19, 2011 at 09:14 AM | Permalink


Obama will be attacked from the right if he doesn't follow through on Syria with something more than just rhetoric and useless sanctions. As his record shows he usually follows the rights lead.

And we all know why that is at this point, don't we? Because if we don't, then it will be more of the same until we are all on our hands and knees, once again, digging up turnips and potatoes in the fields just outside the gates of the heavily guarded estates.

I think it is a distinct possibility, b, although the timing may not be as exact as Libya. The overall strategy is to destabilize those countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa that pose a threat to future plans. The future plans are really what needs to be deciphered and discussed, because ultimately those plans will affect all of us in a very up close and personal way....sooner than we think, as a matter of fact.

So, considering that, what about Chavez and Venezuela? It would be rather bold to go after both....Syria and Venezuela, or do they wait and see if Chavez dies of cancer, and then make their push?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Aug 19, 2011 9:36:08 AM | 1

Certainly cannot rule out NATO intervention in Syria, but, we'll find out soon. May be, just another step towards the "New World Order", the wet dream of the mega-corporate universe. No matter how loudly the elites scream about poverty in governments around the globe, there seems to ALWAYS be plenty of money for military intervention. If the intervention takes place, it'll only be another step on the road towards serfdom for the working class.

Posted by: ben | Aug 19, 2011 9:58:37 AM | 2

I think any attack on Syria will be done through Turkey with only a support role for the US-EU. Plus where does Russia and China weigh in on all this. Russia, which has a naval base in Syria certainly is not going to allow the US to cut them off from the Med. China has long had a policy of not being involved in countries Internal Affairs and will be reluctant to give an UN Sec Council vote for any major push against Assad.

I think the US might for now be planning to pressure Syria and hope that the Syrian people save NATO the trouble of getting rid of Assad.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 19, 2011 10:26:18 AM | 3

Doesn't it strike anyone as 'odd' that (during a War on Islam) Turkey is still one of NATO's most trusted and competent members?

Israel, backed up by Uncle Sam, sent a loud and clear message after the Mavi Marmara incident. The message was that Turks are, at the end of the day, just expendable untermenchen with the wrong-colored skin and religion.
That was a big mistake.

Daniel Pipes was interviewed on ABC Lateline this evening. He seems to think that regime change in Syria is vital to 'isolating' Iran. Since whatever Bibi wants, Bibi gets, it's beginning to look as though the chastening of the world's only superpower is about to begin.

It's probably also relevant that Gorbachev took a slash at Putin today for putting Russian democracy on the back burner - presumably as the prelude to an attempt to sow the seeds of a Russian Spring.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2011 10:58:11 AM | 4

This is the link to the Lateline interview with Pipes mentioned in #4 above.
Pipes discusses uncertain times in ME

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2011 11:15:24 AM | 5

b, you may want to consider adding Obama's April 29th, executive order in your nifty timeline.

On April 29 the White House issued an executive order to enforce new and more stringent sanctions against Syria and appealed to European North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to follow suit.
In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives President Barack Obama wrote, “I have determined that the Government of Syria’s human rights abuses….constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and warrant the imposition of additional sanctions.”

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Aug 19, 2011 12:18:45 PM | 6

I have determined that the Government of Syria’s human rights abuses….constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States

By his own words, he indicts the U.S. National Security State as being a "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States" considering the following:

As Syria continues its brutal crackdown on demonstrators, we speak to a Canadian citizen who was repeatedly tortured by Syrian authorities after he was rendered to Syria by the United States in 2002. Maher Arar was seized at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 and sent to Syria, where he was tortured and interrogated in a tiny underground cell for nearly a year. He now works as a human rights advocate in Canada. “The cooperation with the Syrian government, as well as other dictatorships in the Middle East post-9/11, gave some kind of legitimacy to those dictatorships,” says Arar. He calls on the United States and the United Nations to declare the Syrian regime illegitimate and refer the matter to the International Criminal Court.

What's interesting is that he engages in Exceptionalism by implying the U.S. and Canada are legitimate, when in fact, they are no better than the leadership in Syria, and as a matter of fact, are in bed with them.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Aug 19, 2011 1:43:32 PM | 7

Following Israel's alienation of Turkey comes this...

Egypt Registers Complaint With Israel Over Killings of Officers

CAIRO — Egypt has registered a formal complaint with Israel over the killings of three Egyptian officers at the Sinai border and demanded an immediate investigation, state television reported Friday, as tensions threatened the once stable alliance a day after armed attackers carried out deadly strikes near the Red Sea resort of Eilat in Israel.
Egyptian security officials said that the three officers were killed when an Israeli aircraft fired at people suspected of being militants who fled into a crowd of security personnel on the Egyptian side of the border on Thursday.

What was it the Hasbarites used to say about never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity...?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2011 2:00:39 PM | 8

I see your point, b. The US is capable of any folly these days. But Syria is a more serious and more difficult target than Libya.

Qaddafi was and is isolated. Nobody in the Arab League cared. When the TNC squealed from Benghazi, Qaddafi seemed like a tempting target. Not many consequences for an intervention. OK it hasn't turned out like that, but it seemed so at the time.

Syria still has allies, perhaps more quiet than active. Getting a vote through the Arab League would be difficult. There is also division among the opponents. Saudi wants a Wahhabi regime in Syria, that would be quite the opposite of what the US and Israel want.

Getting a vote through the Security Council depends upon Russia and China. Not obvious.

Turkey. Ah yes, all depends on Turkey. Who else is going to make the ground intervention? The US will bomb, and the Turks will intervene on the ground. That must be the plan.

No good. Erdogan will have trouble convincing his popular support to help out the US in invading a fellow Muslim country.

You're forgetting the basic Turkish interest here: that is, to prevent a revolutionary situation in Syria, so that the Syrians don't think about wanting to recover the territory in Antakya (Antioch), that the Turks stole in 1939. At the minimum, defend themselves against such a possibility.

They've been very quiet since Davidoglu's visit to Damascus.

In the end, in order to satisfy American requirements, the Asad family could simply push aside Bashshar, and put another of the family in his place. He is, after all, only a titular head.

I would have thought this affair will end in debilitating long-term sanctions, much like Iraq in the 1990s. There may be a move towards action, but it will most likely quieten down.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 19, 2011 3:18:11 PM | 9

I forgot to discuss the possibility that the US might bomb Syria, or impose a no-fly zone (much the same), and arm the rebels. As has happened in Libya.

The problem there is that the rebels are exaggerating their position, though they have a hold on the news media in the US, and elsewhere in the West. Whatever one might have thought about the position in Libya, the rebels are much weaker in Syria. They hold no town, there are are no great defections from the national armed forces.

The Syrian regime is weaker than it was; there are continuing rebellions in provincial towns. The regime is damaged, no doubt, and perhaps cannot recover its position. But they are far from being defeated, without foreign intervention on the ground, not bombing.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 19, 2011 3:44:37 PM | 10

More Obamanible World WAR Si Se Puede!

Posted by: Buster | Aug 19, 2011 10:18:13 PM | 11

I have been watching the British, Austrian and German news and all claim that the rebels in Libya are on the outskirts of Tripoli and the outskirts have been captured? Reading the article by Franklin Lamb who is in Tripoli it appears this is all a propaganda. So what is the true picture I for one am confused.

Posted by: hans | Aug 20, 2011 1:08:08 PM | 12

@Hans - me too. It seems like no one has any hard news of what is really going on in Libya. One has to be careful with the news. Franklin Lamb isn't a neutral source just as the "western" main stream media are no neutral source.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2011 10:52:28 AM | 13

re b 13 & hans 12

Come on, Tripoli is on the point of falling. The rebels have just taken the Khamis brigade base, and loaded themselves up with the latest weaponry, under the eyes of at least one western journalist.

The interesting question will be: will Tripoli make a fight of it or not?

Posted by: alexno | Aug 21, 2011 12:36:52 PM | 14

Re #12 - #14.

The 'Tripoli assault' angle sounds like hogwash to me. The 'rebels' don't need to take Tripoli. They and their TNC capital, Benghazi, have already been recognised by the 'international community' (of 4 and a few halves).
Logic would dictate that NATO defend Benghazi so the rebels could consolidate. If the 'rebels' get into Tripoli, they'll need a Green Zone just to stay alive.

It looks like mission creep to me. NATO is saying it won't abandon its rebels. In Yankee-speak that means abandonment is a top priority. Gaddafi should have been a pushover for NATO but the rebels couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.
I won't be surprised if NATO's Fogh of mock-war conducts an informal hand-washing ceremony in the next week or so.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 21, 2011 1:29:34 PM | 15

Hoarse 15

You have to face facts. Things are moving very fast now. Qaddafi has said he is staying in his bunker in Tripoli. But Tripoli could fall tomorrow.

A quote from a Guardian CiF comment:

From Tripoli a few minutes ago.

My brother just called from Souk Al Ajuma who said most of Tripoli is free of Gaddafi forces.

I'm gobsmacked - I thought this was going to be a long drawn out bloody affair - it is looking more and more as if the vast majority of the population, long touted as being huge supporters of Gadaffi, are in fact, very much against him.

I think I'll have to retract my Friday prediction that this will all be over within a week - looks like it could be down to a matter of hours now.

He's exaggerating of course - it's still an open question whether Tripoli will continue to fight for Qaddafi or not.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 21, 2011 1:47:54 PM | 16

@ alexno #16.
I'm half-listening to the BBC. They're being much more cautious and circumspect than the Grauniad (or you and me).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 21, 2011 1:57:10 PM | 17

So far TeleSur says nothing about rebels near Tripoli, rather they claim small sleeper cells shooting at nothing just to terrify the citizens of Tripoli. we shall see!

Posted by: hans | Aug 21, 2011 2:18:31 PM | 18


So far TeleSur says nothing about rebels near Tripoli, rather they claim small sleeper cells shooting at nothing just to terrify the citizens of Tripoli. we shall see!

This is Comical Ali stuff. There are plenty of western correspondents giving a different picture, from personal observation. They can't be completely wrong. Telesur was the one that reported the retaking of Misrata by Qaddafi the other day, wasn't it?

I just watched an al-Jazeera reporter talking from an outer suburb of Tripoli.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 21, 2011 2:59:42 PM | 19

Call me Indignant!
It's starting to look better for the Obama Mafia than for Gaddafi.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 22, 2011 12:03:13 AM | 20

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