Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 03, 2012

Syria: Three Month To Win

Two weeks ago Obama announced that his red line on Syria would be the use of chemical weapons against the insurgency. I suggested that this was a wink to the Syrian government that it is free to do whatever is needed to get rid of the insurgents.

That view was confirmed by a report in today's Washington Post:

Even a limited expansion of the minimal U.S. role is unlikely for the next several months and perhaps beyond, according to American and foreign officials.

“We could get dragged into this, no question, but we’re just not there yet,” said one of several senior U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the complicated internal and diplomatic debates over Syria.

The U.S. public is against an open war on Syria. That is the likely reason why the Obama administration is holding back. But that reasoning may well change when the U.S. presidential election is over. The Syrian government has thereby three more month to do what must be done.

The reports of the fighting on the ground are extremely vague. The media operations of the insurgency is filled with lies and exaggerations and the Syrian government reports are rather vague. As far as I can tell the borders to Jordan and Lebanon are mostly closed off. There seems to be a lot of fighting in Idlib near the Turkish border and that is also the way weapons and men are coming into Syria.

The Turkish government is in serious domestic policy trouble. Over the weekend another ten Turkish soldiers, those are draftees, got killed in fights with the Kurdish PKK which has renewed its fight for Kurdish independence since the insurgency in Syria started. Many Turkish people and opinion writers relate the PKK incidents to Turkey's support for the Syrian insurgents and want that to end. There have also been pro-Assad rallies in Turkey and the economic loss of Turkish middle east traders is piling up. With the pressure on Erdogan growing Murat Yetkin of Hurriyet detects some change in the government's stand:

Damascus was shaken by a new wave of attacks on Sunday, as the Turkish government began to show some indications that it would fine tune of its Syria policy. That would not amount to a revision regarding the refugees in the humanitarian context, but could be a revision of the support given to rebel groups.
...
It is a fact that not only the international political atmosphere, but also the Turkish media and the opposition, is forcing the government to be more cautious on its Syria policy.
This Al Jazeerah insurgency propaganda piece includes an interesting detail (@1:55). The insurgents say they have trouble to get their wounded into Turkish hospitals. "Before Turkey used to help us. They no longer help us," says on fighter.It is not clear how true that statement is.

For the Syrian government to win within the next few months the border with Turkey has to be closed as much as possible. This is difficult as long as Turkey actively supports the insurgents. The pressure on Turkey to stop that support must continue to grow. Iranian military maneuvers near the Turkish border are helpful diversions but not enough. Turkey depends on natural gas from Iran and Russia for heating and electricity. With the winter reaching the Anatolian plateau any supply problems could quickly become a really important issue.

Posted by b on September 3, 2012 at 02:23 PM | Permalink

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Frankly, b., it does not look good for Syria, there is this

“The civil airports of Damascus and Aleppo may become targets of FSA attacks beginning on Tuesday next week, since they are being used by the criminal regime for military aviation to carry out strikes against Syrian rebels,” the report said.

The Syrian air force was forced to begin using civil airports due to a string of successful rebel attacks on military bases, including one on an airfield near Idlib that destroyed 10 military planes, it said.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry said the rebels are approaching a “red line, beyond which lie actions that in no way differ from the crimes of Al-Qaeda.”

Full responsibility for such “terror attacks” would be borne by the FSA and “its enablers,” the commentary said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday that the FSA’s threat was the product of “irresponsible” deliveries of portable surface-to-air missiles to rebel forces.

Simultaneously with the threat of attacks on civil airports, the Foreign Ministry advised Russians not to travel to Syria and advised Russians already in Syria to find the safest available routes out of the country"

So basically the West is going to "disengage" from the rebels because their acts are indefensible, but Syria is left with a huge problem ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2012 4:01:44 PM | 1

@somebody #1
Well, gosh, that sounds bad.
Frankly, b., it does not look good for Syria.
somebody links to--
RIA Novosti, Sep 3:

Russia said on Monday it would work with other countries to ensure that the rebel Free Syria Army stops making “unacceptable” threats, following the announcement on Friday that the FSA now views Syria’s two biggest civil airports as “military targets,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.


links to:

RIA Novosti, Aug 31:

Syrian Rebels Threaten Attacks on Airports -- The Free Syria Army has warned airlines to suspend service to Damascus and Aleppo, saying rebel forces could begin attacking airports in the two cities as early as next Tuesday, the London-based daily Asharq Alawsat reported on Friday, citing the FSA's high command.

wiki, Asharq Alawsat: Although published under the name of a private company, the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the paper was founded with the approval of the Saudi royal family and government ministers, and is noted for its support of the Saudi government. The newspaper is owned by Faisal bin Salman, a member of the Saudi royal family.

Now it doesn't look so bad.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 4:21:07 PM | 2

Don Bacon, are you sure you understand what the Russian side is saying?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2012 4:31:53 PM | 3

Somebody, given that the Saudi media is the least reliable media in the ME it does change the complexion of the story to know it originated in SA, not Russia.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 3, 2012 5:12:46 PM | 4

Even though the reports surrounding the rebels alleged successes in destroying military aircraft on the ground are hard to verify it seems that there is a three-pronged strategy against Syrias airforce:

a) Attacks on military airports (2-3 are said to have occurred in the last week, with 10-12 jets and helicopters supposedly destroyed)
b) Attacks on airdefence installations (resulting in the capture of surface-to-air missiles)
c) Increasing attacks on helicopters and planes while pn bombing mission

Youtube features attacks or at least their aftermath on locations that are supposed to be the Taftanaz (also called Afis) helicopter airfield and the Abu ad Duhur airfield, both in Aleppo/Aleppo province. The clips are far from being clear and convincing in their content, as one wonders why not all aircraft is destroyed on these airfields if the rebels really took over them.

Posted by: KerKaraje | Sep 3, 2012 5:25:48 PM | 5

@somebody
I'm just saying it doesn't look so bad. This conflict is mainly characterized by propaganda; we've established that. And it's 99% anti-Syria. We've established that too; from KSA give it 100%. I'm not sure what Russia is saying based on this "news" report, most of which is in the words of the media, not the source, the Russian Foreign Ministry. RIA is pulling some words and phrases and making a story out of it about terrorism in Syria, which has only been there for a year or so.

Travel warnings? If you followed US travel warnings there are many places you couldn't go. The deputy's tweet? I'm not impressed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 5:27:29 PM | 6

Do you think the Russians trust Saudi Arabia to know what is going on in Syria?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2012 5:28:03 PM | 7

Don Bacon, the Russians gave travel warnings to Syria before. This time they say that Russians living in Syria "should find ways to get out of the country"

The issue is this here.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2012 5:37:17 PM | 8

"The issue is this here.
Clinton: Chemical warfare is planned for. Rebels get first anti-air Stingers
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 11, 2012, 5:36 PM (GMT+02:00)

Hey, DebkaFile claims they're right 80% of the time. They may be in the zone with this. Or not.

In other news, David Petraeus just paid a quick visit to his Turkish counterpart. According to a high government source the subject was "transition" in Syria. It's possible the US is going to do something really stupid (it wouldn't be the first time). If so, I suspect that Russia and Iran wouldn't take it kindly, which would tend to heighten the alert level.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 6:38:51 PM | 9

@KerKaraje Yes, I am certain the SAA just leaves their fleet of Gazelles, Mi-8s, Mi-17s, and Mi-25s and various MIGs sitting out in the open waiting for attacks. The General Staff of the Syrian army never thought that its air force bases would be attacked so they left 2 janitors to watch over them.

:D

Posted by: revenire | Sep 3, 2012 7:41:24 PM | 10

As a supplement to the comments of 'b' about politics in Turkey, here's a recyle of something already posted by commenter 'somebody' in an earlier thread:

A Turkish public opinion survey was conducted between 22 and 27 August 2012 by means of in-depth interviews with 3,251 people in 21 provinces in Turkey. On the question of the government's handling of the Syria affair, only 18% of the interviewees took a positive view of how the Turkish government is handling it; 67% took a negative view; and 15% had no opinion. The survey also showed a significant swing in public opinion against the ruling AKP party's governance in general, relative to opinion at the time of the parliamentary elections last year on 12 Jun 2011. http://www.todayszaman.com/news-290815-people-want-new-political-party-and-leader-poll-shows.html

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 3, 2012 7:42:43 PM | 11

just wondering if this is not Iraq 1990 revisited ?? "Hey Saddam, we don't care if you invade Kuwait over the slant drilling . . not our problem" . . we know how that turned out for The Iraqis

Posted by: NoStinkinUserName | Sep 3, 2012 7:46:03 PM | 12

Don Bacon says at #6: "This conflict [in Syria] is mainly characterized by propaganda." I disagree. The conflict is mainly characterized by vicious fighting by the rebels. Bashar Assad said on 29 Aug 2012: "They [the rebels] have a will to destroy the country." (Likewise Bashar Assad said 3 Jun 2012: "The problem is that some people's anger pushes them towards destroying the country.") The security forces are vastly stronger than the rebels both militarily and in terms of popular support. But still they're experiencing very serious difficulties quashing the rebellion. Sure there's been lots of propaganda. But a real vicious conflict inside Syria is happening between Syrians (plus a smallish number of foreign jihad fighters whose presence is overhyped by propaganda). A million people are currently displaced from their homes due to the fear and destruction wrought by the rebels. Scores of people are getting killed every day.

There has been a failure by the security forces so far to put a stop to the chaos and mayhem the rebels are creating. Bashar Assad said on 29 Aug 2012: "There has been a failure of the armed terrorism in Syria recently at achieving real results on the ground." That's true or false depending on what you consider to be "real results". I consider a million people too afraid to live in their own homes to be real results.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 3, 2012 8:19:01 PM | 13

Don Bacon says at #6: "I'm not sure what Russia is saying based on this "news" report, most of which is in the words of the media, not the source, the Russian Foreign Ministry." Some of the words of the Russian Foreign Ministry in English are at its official Twitter account at https://twitter.com/mfa_russia .

By the way, the following is a long and in-depth interview with Lavrov about Syria dated 18 Aug 2012:
http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/1DD562C5BCDF848144257A62004250A6 . Lavrov is asked "How could you characterise the current situation in Syria?" He replies: "First of all, it is an armed conflict."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 3, 2012 8:27:31 PM | 14

b says " Three Months to Win". IMO they can't end this " revolution" in three months. There might be a lull while the US elections take place, but, once they're over, the forces behind the unrest will be fully funded, and ready to go. The US\NATO folks will not relent until Assad is history. And with Russia recently joining the WTO, economic pressure will lead Russia to abandon Assad. Hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: ben | Sep 3, 2012 8:44:51 PM | 15

@Parviziyi
By the way, the following is a long and in-depth interview with Lavrov about Syria dated 18 Aug 2012: http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/1DD562C5BCDF848144257A62004250A6 . Lavrov is asked "How could you characterise the current situation in Syria?" He replies: "First of all, it is an armed conflict."

Horsepucky. Lavrov has said many stupid things. I recall when he said he agreed with the six points but (later) he didn't agree that the Syria military should return to barracks.

The simple fact is that the Syria conflict, for most people (as the Washington Post publishes), is not an armed conflict but is characterized by a vicious, "horrific" (a Nuland fave) regime terroristic massacre of innocent protesters, which is raw propaganda, and not an "armed conflict." Lavrov's "armed conflict" is really characterized by terrorist attacks on Syria and Syrians.

“We will not let the murderers reach their target,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said in a statement. “We will not fall into the trap of those traitors who aim at setting us against each other and at driving us to hatred.” --Hurriyet, today

Erdogan wasn't talking about an armed conflict in Turkey, he was talking about "murderers" and "traitors" IN TURKEY. So why should it be murder and terrorism in Turkey but "armed conflict" in Syria? Incidentally, Erdoğan reacts to these thugs the same way that Assad does -- with jet planes and helicopter gunships. Horrifically, in Nuland's words.

So much for "armed conflict." These terrorists, mostly foreigners, sneak into peaceful cities and terrorize them by killing innocents in order to foment a government reprisal. Syrians, largely, don't support them. So, no way can we glorify these criminals by calling their crimes an "armed conflict."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 8:56:17 PM | 16

Nobody but nobody can predict the future. But if you can, who do you like in the third at Santa Anita?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 8:59:58 PM | 17

I think b may be counting too heavily on Obama and his French mouthpiece, Hollande, being rational actors. There is the distinct possibility that the proclamation of "red lines", now or later, is irrelevant to the present war planning or war objectives. Leaders like Obama or Romney (or those controlling them) will do what they want, whenever they want, despite the objections of the US public. These leaders will go to war if it improves their chance of being elected or holding on to office. These leaders employ their own armed forces covertly, pay foreign mercenaries, supply arms to the most reactionary and despotic states, --and in the case of the US,--increasingly bully even their own home population.

The more I think about it, the less I believe that the repeated and very pointed warnings to Assad not to use WMD, can be any kind of example of a permissive, diplomatic wink.

Why are the propagandists continuing to create the impression that Assad might use chemical weapons? Why do they keep implying that Lebanon could be drawn into the conflict? It's ridiculous to expect Assad, who seems to have the upper hand against the insurrectionists, because such an outrage could only work against him. Only those who would be part of a foreign organized false flag, would count on gaining the upper hand, by the use of such weapons in a staged incident.

I doubt that the Washington Post column confirms what b seems to think it confirms. It seems to be saying we're not ready to be dragged into war just yet. In point of fact, the words "We could get dragged into this, no question, but we’re just not there yet,” could mean almost anything. And there is also the matter of pressure Obama is using on Iran, with US warships about to do mine sweeps in, or adjacent to, Iranian waters. This minesweeping operation has been described, in the press, as a way to placate Israel, temporarily; and the public is being conditioned to expect that all-out war is thereby being postponed only, and the logic implied means that war is the outcome our leaders expect.

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 3, 2012 10:37:12 PM | 18

Copeland, with respect, you're wrong. I don't think b is counting on anything, other than what the facts suggest. He doesn't go into fantasyland, he goes for the truth.

Obama can't do 'what he wants.' General Dempsey has made that clear, bless him.

The concern with chemical weapons, I believe, was not that Assad would use them. They really believed their own propaganda that Assad would fall and the chemicals would go to Hezbollah, causing problems for Israel.

The Washington Post? Come on. A stupid, misinformed, warmongering rag.

Minesweeping? US minesweeping is pitifully behind times. They haven't needed it to attack third world primitive countries, but Iran isn't in that category.

Iran Mine Threat Scares Navy; CNO Scrambles To Fix Decades Of Neglect
WASHINGTON: Iran's threat to strangle oil tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz has the Navy scrambling to redress its decades-old neglect of mine warfare. Admirals from the Chief of Naval Operations on down have publicly admitted the service is not where it needs to be. When asked point-blank whether he was "comfortable" with the Navy's mine-clearing capabilities, the Chief of Naval Operations said bluntly, "No."
http://defense.aol.com/2012/05/04/iran-mine-threat-scares-navy-cno-scrambles-to-fix-decades-of-ne/

Iran has a full inventory of thousands of mines. These include the hard-to-detect "rocket mine" that's triggered by the distinctive magnetic our acoustic signature of a ship, such as a US aircraft carrier, and then launches a propelled 600-popund warhead at the target. Then there's the Russian MDM6, equally difficult to detect, that can tackle multiple targets. It lies on the seabed that fires a torpedo-like warhead when it senses a vessel. Both these mines can be laid by Iran's Kilo-class submarines.

Finally, what our leaders expect is irrelevant. The US has been predicting Assad's imminent fall for what -- a year? And if Assad does fall, what then? It's a great unknown, and not benign.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3, 2012 11:09:32 PM | 19

Latest from Penny on Syria.

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ben | Sep 4, 2012 12:23:31 AM | 20

Don,

Obama did what he wanted when he set the military on Libya. And US Generals can be outflanked by the CIA as well as by events. I'm not saying b indulges in fantasy either, just that in this case he is misreading the US establishment. The corruption of US officials, their venality and political fealty to Israeli interests is at the heart of the matter. The top US pols are so enmeshed in, and committed to support Netanyahu's prospective acts of aggression, that they will be left with no room to maneuver after the fact. General Dempsey can be fired; and it would be unwise to count on his assurances.

It would be a mistake to set too much store in Obama's sincerity, or in the honesty of any remark he makes; for all is on the table and subject to change without warning. An analogy to his reliability in foreign affairs, can be taken from his work in progress on our police state. The TSA is constantly having its purview and area of responsibility expanded, beyond anything connected to transportation. These gropers are being seconded to political events now. In addition to this, there are abrupt military exercises that are causing consternation and concern in American cities now; for example the mission of Blackhawk helicopters in the skies over downtown Minneapolis, to test scenarios of civil unrest.

The more times the administration brings up the subject of Assad's chemical stockpiles; the more likely it is that they are offering a pretext for direct military intervention.

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 4, 2012 12:33:36 AM | 21

The Turks seem to agree that the election is a crucial point in time: Ankara eyes US elections for Syria policy shift

Turkish officials are pretty sure that the U.S. stance on Syria will change after the elections. Referring to a denial by a U.S. embassy spokesman of the “utterly fabricated” reports about a statement by U.S. Chief of Joint Staff General Martin Dempsey (who said that military - preferably NATO - coverage might be necessary for establishment of a buffer zone within Syria, but misquoted in some Turkish press as not being NATO’s business), a ranking government official said the following: “Whether Barack Obama will stay as president or Mitt Romney replaces him, we believe that U.S. policy on Syria will shift into a more active one after the election.”

Then we can ask questions about the issues Petraeus and Fidan discussed on the “transition” in Syria from the Bashar al-Assad regime to a new one, with the concrete fact of increased terrorist attacks in Turkey and the allegedly increased activities of Syrian and Iranian intelligence services in and around Turkey, among others. Perhaps we will see the outcomes and consequences of these before being able to learn the details.

Posted by: b | Sep 4, 2012 2:34:41 AM | 22

I personally don't pay so much attention to "reports" in the msm. It's clear by now that the fsa rebels(terrorists) have failed to achieve anything significant and out of frustration, have now resorted to terrorizing the masses into submission - which is not working either. Israel's been using this strategy for years against the Palestinian.TERROR!!!

The western/anti-Assad media have basically been reduced to writing their way to victory with all sorts of alarm and hysteria..They somehow think that will help the fsa win. I see these "reports" as some sort of morale booster for those funding the chaos and also as a recruiting tool.

A typical Reuters "report" on anything regarding the chaos in Syria always make sure the reader knows where bombs are falling. So you see a line like this: "Assad forces bomb a rebel Sunni town".. Now this here is a clear example of how they've framed the conflict(I like to call it non-conflict) - "a Sunni town". This is designed to incite other Sunnis living anywhere in the world to support the rebels.

Meanwhile, when the terrorists bomb a town mostly inhabited by Christians etc. etc., you get this line: "Bomb blast in Damascus suburb, rebel claim responsibility"..No hint is made on whether the bombed area is Sunni, Shia, Druze, Christian or Alawi.

No sane person should take anything from Saudi media outlets seriously..It's almost as though there's a competition between Saudi and Qatari media on who can outdo themselves lying to the masses..And may I also add that most msm news sources are in fact Saudi/Qatari sources..Clearly not kosher in my book..

If we're to go by "reports" from the fsa, the Syrian army will be left with 3 tanks and two planes by now..They always claim they destroyed 20 tanks, x number of fighter jets and helicopters etc, etc.

I mean, If anybody's seen an airforce base before, it's not something that can easily be taken by a bunch of lightly armed guys. It's massive.They'll be slaughtered in their hundreds..I'd avoid such targets if I were an fsa strategist.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4, 2012 2:50:06 AM | 23

b @ 22

I'm more inclined to think Obama's going to blow off the whole issue of Syria after the election. What hes done so far has been keeping the voters happy, and that's what's gonna change post election. I'm sure Obama see the real issue of national souvereignty, GCC meddling outside their sphere of business, and the legitimate crackdown by the Syrian government on even US hostilities towards Syria. I don't think Obama want's to persue this lost cause after he wins the election, which I'm sure he does.

Posted by: Alexander | Sep 4, 2012 4:26:05 AM | 24

http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=752615

Intrade places the probability of syrian regime change at 39%

Posted by: nikon | Sep 4, 2012 5:07:37 AM | 25

Once thing about the turkish government is they always make up the number of PKK members killed in conflict to be more than the number of turkish soldier kiled. If 10 Turkish soldier were killed, the government will say 20 PKK members were killed; if 20 turkish soldier were kiled, the government will say 100 pkk members were killed.

Posted by: nikon | Sep 4, 2012 5:23:14 AM | 26

Satellite Channels Broadcast
The Information Ministry said that a group of Qatari and French experts are setting up devices and mobile stations in Wadi Khaled and Akroum Mountain in North Lebanon to jam the broadcast of the Syrian satellite channels and wiretap communications in Lebanon and Syria.

The Ministry said that the Qatari intelligence intends to set up satellite broadcasting devices in North Lebanon to be used by the armed terrorist groups, adding that French technical experts have started execution. The Ministry said that the stations are connected to communication devices connected with communication bases north of the occupied Palestine.
http://www.syriaonline.sy/?f=Details&catid=12&pageid=3511

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 7:42:22 AM | 27

I find it somewhat amusing that so many here think that they can think what Obama is thinking, whereas I don't think he thinks at all (that's not his job).

But I'm really with Copeland on this though.

I doubt that anyone anywhere who is old enough to remember the name April Glaspie would be stupid enough to believe that any kind of diplomatic signal from an American is good for anything other than a chuckle. Election or no election, if these cutthroats see an opportunity, they will tear Syria to shreds.

Diplomacy is dead, and if there ever was such a thing as the Age of Reason, it's long gone.

Posted by: DM | Sep 4, 2012 7:46:03 AM | 28

Germany's now pushing the snc to organize themselves for "transition"..This is a recipe for disaster. This trend of recognizing dubious groups within a country as legitimate representatives of that country is very very dangerous..It's a bad precedent that will come back to haunt these air-head Europeans.

The recent CIA chief's trip to Turkey, Israel's daily threats of striking Iran etc. etc. tells of worse things to come..The entire region is about to explode uncontrollably..Maybe this is the plan after all - perpetual chaos.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4, 2012 8:10:38 AM | 29

UK NOW a center for islamic terrorism
100 British Fighters Ignite Violence in Syria

Sep 3, 2012

There are up to 100 British fighters in Syria in the forefront of foreign brigades, fighting side by side with the terrorist groups in the country, the British Mail Online newspaper said Monday.

In a special report on Syria it posted, the daily revealed that a team of MI6 officers working with GCHQ’s monitoring station in Cyprus is trying to trace the whereabouts of British fighters, “including one who said he was a London hospital doctor.”

The man was one of a group of extremists who kidnapped the British journalist John Cantlie and the Dutchman Jeroen Oerlemans, it added.

“Both detainees were held for a week before being rescued and said many of the rebels appeared to be British Pakistanis with London accents,” the British newspaper noted, adding that some of the Pakistani origin have been also identified among foreign fighters.

Before this fact, British extremists are being stopped from travelling to fight in Syria amid concerns that they will return home with deadly skills in weaponry and bomb-making.

“MI5 and counter-terrorism police units are using anti-terror powers to disrupt their travel plans,” Mail Online claimed.


Source: Newspapers

http://www6.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=67201&cid=31&fromval=1&frid=31&seccatid=91&s1=1

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 8:19:22 AM | 30

Why Americans Must End America’s Self-Generating Wars" by Peter Dale Scott. Lots of facts, but essentially nonsense, as it fails even once to mention the real underlying problem, a common fault of 'progressives' who don't want to be slurred. People like Scott have to realize that it is the delicacy that is the root cause of the fact that the necessary change in American politics is impossible.
http://xymphora.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/just-say-no.html

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 8:21:26 AM | 31

18+ Syria Breaking News- Evidence that FSA Terrorist killed Female Japanese Journalist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh71X_T-TuA&feature=share

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 8:26:56 AM | 32

A significant indication of the fractured US government characterized by foreign policy failures is vividly illustrated this week. It's the Democratic National Convention, a time for consolidation and mutual party dedication to get the Dem president re-launched for another four years, which he must have earned as a result of domestic and foreign achievements.

Key to this effort should be a rousing nomination speech by Obama's chief rival four years ago, the person of which Obama told the assembled State Department workers in January 2009: "I'm giving you my best."

Now here it is nearly four years later and "Obama's best" will be nowhere in sight, unable to iterate US foreign policy achievements. Which is completely understandable because there aren't any achievements, and so Hillary Clinton will be as far from the DNC scene as she can possibly get, in China, purported to be the principal US global adversary, with no particular issue warranting such a visit. That will be Clinton's final visit -- she's quitting. She's going to rest on her laurels. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 4, 2012 9:28:25 AM | 33

Copeland "The more times the administration brings up the subject of Assad's chemical stockpiles; the more likely it is that they are offering a pretext for direct military intervention."

and DM @28 April Glaspie

sorry copeland, missed your number.

The more chemical weapon mentions the more pretext is being offered up.

I couldn't agree more.

Do we seriously think these words are offered up willy-nilly?
They are not. I harp on this at my place regular, this is "narrative creation" for perception management purposes- to sell the justification for killing and take over
I am not even calling it "intervention", because that is just more spin.
The US, France, Britain,Turkey, SA, Israel etc., are all present. Are all complicit in the terrorism in Syria

Every leak is planned. Every word is chosen.
It was not a coincidence that Obama comes out with his chemical weapons "red line" (great meme planting, right?)
Cameron and Hollande jump on the band wagon
It is reinforcement of the narrative.

Why the insistence that Obama is waiting until after the election?
There is no concern over the election. Non-issue.
The US is fully involved.
Only the lying media keeps it out of the minds of the masses

I originally left the link it at my place in response to a comment from Don

The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion so far and played a far larger role in Libya than it has acknowledged, quietly implementing an emerging "covert intervention" strategy that the Obama administration hopes will let America fight small wars with a barely detectable footprint.

Convert Intervention- America fighting small wars with a "barely detectable footprint"

What seems to be evolving is a new American way of war.

Inthis post there is an article covering an obvious front group siphoning money to the rebels

-"From a one-room office in an unfinished glass tower three blocks from the White House, an amorphous network of activists is doing what the Obama administration will not: attempting to arm the rebels. The Syrian Support Group.”came together late last year”
- “The group became more organized last spring when it formally incorporated, started its Web site and, in May, hired a former NATO political officer, Brian Sayers, as its director of government relations in Washington."
-"That same month, it applied for a license from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to raise money for the rebels.-The group cannot ship weapons, it can send money that the rebels can use to buy them."
-"The group has not disclosed its fund-raising efforts so far, though its license requires it to report each month to the State Department how much it raises and sends."

Alarm bells ringing? They should be. The US waiting until after the election? Not on your life.

Why does anyone think these leaders are rational?
Their very actions indicate they are psychotics.
Look at what they have done to Libya. To Syria.
Is this rational? Is it humane?
Never mind what hasn't been done to address Fukushima?

The Emperor wears no clothes and these people are psychopaths
Call them what they are.

Posted by: Penny | Sep 4, 2012 9:49:05 AM | 34

Al Qaeda blowing up a Syria army checkpoint..These are the same people the US claim to be fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen etc....

http://breakingnews.sy/en/video/102.html

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4, 2012 9:50:15 AM | 35

@ DM # 28 "April Glaspie" - could not for the life of me remember her name when I posted earlier?? . . didn't have time to search for it and whats left of my brain would notgive it up!! But I agree with you. I can't help but think that this statement from the administration smells just like hers before The Kuwaiti invasion by Saddam, utter bullshit, designed to lure "them" in to acting, them being the "villan du jour"

Posted by: DontNeedNoStinkinUserName | Sep 4, 2012 10:52:09 AM | 36

DontNeedNoStinkinUserName@ 36

I had a real April Glaspie flashback regarding Egypt and the movement of tanks to the border of the Sinai
Only Victoria Nuland is rehashing the role


There appears to be a very dangerous set up going in in that area
Dangerous for the Egyptians that is.

Posted by: Penny | Sep 4, 2012 11:31:18 AM | 37

I wish Haytham Manna good luck!

Translation from German:

Vice president Faruk Scharaa and Ali Haidar, Minister for National Reconciliation have supported the initiative publicly. On September 12, a large conference of the Syrian opposition is planned in Damascus, where further steps for the realization will be planned. 21 Syrian political parties have agreed to participate, we hope that Lakhdar Brahimi or a representative of him will take part too.

A large part of the Syrian opposition and their stand has been ignored by the Western press. Go figure.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4, 2012 12:30:00 PM | 38

somebody @ 38

The western press only see the fighting rebels, foreign or Syrian, as the legitimate opposition, apparently.

Posted by: Alexander | Sep 4, 2012 1:59:33 PM | 39

'somebody' #38 says a large part of the Syrian opposition, such as the likes of Haythma Manna, are largely ignored by the Western Press and he indicates he's puzzled about why. There's a good reason: Those dissidents don't have any substantial political support among the people of Syria. It's my impression that such dissidents like Haytham Manna have attracted as much and more interest from the Western Press than they have attracted from the people of Syria, while at the same time Western Press sees correctly that the fighting rebels are the only opposition who possess a power worth talking about.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 4, 2012 2:47:35 PM | 40

Parviziyi, the power of a gun is not very democratic, don't you think?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4, 2012 3:00:47 PM | 41

Apparently, the people in Hatay have threatened to take up arms and fight alongside the Syrian army if Erdogan doesn's stop his meddling in Syria..Why didn't Erdogan think of this before accepting the contract from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and US?

The non-conflict in Syria has taken a dangerous sectarian turn which threatens to break Turkey itself apart..If the remedy's worse than the side effect, avoid it..

Turkey was not too long ago, the darling in the region..They were praised for their non-biased approach to resolving conflicts and such..Now they're hated by many in the region.Who didn't see this coming?

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4, 2012 3:14:53 PM | 42

Speaking for myself, what I am interested in is Syria. For someone like me the prevailing mindset among the commenters on this board on the topic of Syria is too much internationalist, too much Western-centric, too much interested in high-level diplomacy, and not enough interested in Syria's internals.

The following are some Youtube videos recorded in recent days in Aleppo city. Many commenters on this board probably find them boring because the videos are down-in-the-trenches. I consider the videos as far more informative and substantive with respect to Syria than for example the gossip that 'b' posted at #22 or 'somebody' at #1, which are really not about Syria at all and instead are about Western diplomacy with Syria as a mere context.

Footage of the army fighting in Aleppo city against invisible snipers, dated 2 Sept 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=JGhcCJoEJXY#t=148s .

More of the same kind in Aleppo city, broadcast 27 Aug 2012 by Addounia TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsEOT-GV3Ro .

More of the same kind of footage of the army fighting against invisible snipers in Aleppo city, dated 28 Aug 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gei_D9dNiqk .

Footage of civilians at a temporary shelter for homeless refugees in Aleppo city, uploaded 25 Aug 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_ycxf5x6ts .

Footage of the rebels in control on the ground in a neighborhood in Aleppo city, uploaded 4 Sep 2012:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9obPyn1j01M#t=23s

As I look at the footage of how the Syrian army soldiers are fighting in Aleppo streets, I keep on saying to myself "there has got to be a better way".

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 4, 2012 3:17:34 PM | 43

Parviziyi, what these videos show is one male age group destroying their cities including cultural heritage and women and children suffering.

You think this is the essence of the Syrian conflict?

Where are the old men?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4, 2012 4:19:58 PM | 44

Apparently, the people in Hatay have threatened to take up arms and fight alongside the Syrian army if Erdogan doesn's stop his meddling in Syria..Why didn't Erdogan think of this before accepting the contract from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and US?

At the beginning, the Hatayans were not at all keen to join in the Syrian revolution, because life was too comfortable in Turkey, according to the Syrian Antakyan waiter in my local Turkish restaurant (I say this just to annoy Don Bacon, who finds my source of information dubious, though waiters, like taxi-drivers, are in fact a very good source of information).

I recall, for information, that Turkey pressured France, as mandatory power for Syria, in 1939 to surrender the province of Hatay, formerly a province of Syria. A referendum was held on a sectarian basis. The Syrians were split, but the Turks were the majority individual community.

As a result, Hatay was absorbed into Turkey. The French did not want Turkey to be on the Nazi side.

Today, things change, there are demonstrations in Hatay.

I am not yet sure they will lead to anything. But it is a sign that Erdogan has made a mistake in supporting the rebels, as with the Kurds.

I would think that both the question of the Kurds, and that of Hatay, are going to prevent Erdogan from intervening militarily in Syria, even in the case of establishing safe zones for refugees, which is in fact a sort of military invasion.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 4:26:42 PM | 45

Speaking of war, the on again-off again Juan Cole posted days ago another inference that he had always opposed the Iraq War. But his wiki says, while he had earlier delineated Bush would need another UN approval before the war could be legitimate, on the day of the war's inception Cole actually told US troops to be proud, that whatever the outcome they would have performed a service which would be worth it if it resulted in Saddam's removal.

"On the day of the U.S. invasion Cole wrote that 'for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides.'"


As Cole had earlier outlined several possible very adverse scenarios, this retreat in the clutch is telling.
This "it was worth it" is/was not the position of real anti-war people, for example not the position of conservative Andrew Bacevich who lost a son in Iraq, was from a military family like Cole, and who had always opposed the war. It is not also the position of (ironically when it comes to Cole) at least the bulk of and perhaps all of the members of www.ivaw.org.

Why does Cole not simply apologize rather than pretend this compromised retreat isn't what it is?

Posted by: amspirnational | Sep 4, 2012 4:40:29 PM | 46

re 46

Back in 2003, there were many against Saddam, including me. I met some of Saddam's ministers, one in a lunch at Samarra, another at a conference in Baghdad. It was an ugly regime.

It was difficult to say that the invasion of 2003 was wrong, and Cole said that.

Soon we were proved to be wrong. The American occupation was indeed worse than Saddam.

The problem of Juan Cole is that he always wants to suck up to Washington. It's not useful for him, as he hasn't been invited to visit Iraq. Nor is he necessarily taken seriously by Washington. He's a provincial academic, who didn't succeed in getting a post at Yale.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 5:21:33 PM | 47

I meant to add:

Juan Cole has now turned to environmental questions, about which he knows nothing. Simply repeats the conventional view.

I could go on about this, but it would be off topic.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 5:38:20 PM | 48

'Back in 2003, there were many against Saddam, including me. I met some of Saddam's ministers, one in a lunch at Samarra, another at a conference in Baghdad. It was an ugly regime'

unspoken here is the 'ugly regime' was secular and inclusive having women and christians in government.

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 5:43:44 PM | 49

'What seems to be evolving is a new American way of war.'

not really new...The brits used locals to fight their wars..remember the thuggish Gurkhas? and using islamic insurgents...US(Democrats again)/NATO used alqaeda and KLA in their war against YUgoslavia

Posted by: brian | Sep 4, 2012 5:48:15 PM | 50

re 49

unspoken here is the 'ugly regime' was secular and inclusive having women and christians in government.

Yeah, his regime was evil; Saddam had an admiration for Stalin, never mind the secular aspects.

That doesn't mean that I support the US invasion.

By contrast, Bashshar al-Asad is really delicate in comparison. A nice guy who's stuck in a situation he doesn't want.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 6:18:22 PM | 51

The worst thing imo opinion Saddam ever did was co-operate with the US in attacking Iran.
Kuwait didn't bother me in the slightest.

Posted by: amspirnational | Sep 4, 2012 6:33:06 PM | 52

re 52

The worst thing imo opinion Saddam ever did was co-operate with the US in attacking Iran.

That's wrong. The US never had anything to do with the initial Iraqi inva

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 6:39:16 PM | 53

That's wrong. The US never had anything to do with the initial Iraqi invasion of Iran. It was "invading a revolution", always a mistake, encouraged by the possibility of taking their oil-fields in the southwest.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 6:42:33 PM | 54

What exactly is a local "Coordination Committee?"

It is one single NATO sponsored terrorist, that has been sent back to Syria with satellite Internet communication equipment – with the mission of uploading massacre and action videos to YouTube. This photo form Zamalka shows a Thuraya IP satellite router and two TP-LINK TL-WA5210G High Power Wireless Outdoor CPEs.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 4, 2012 6:43:44 PM | 55

A "local Coordination Committee" is whatever you want.

Such a committee sent out a communiqué that Robert Fisk's report on the massacre at Dar'iya was wrong. However my student, whose family lives only a few kilometres from there, says that Fisk was quite right. All the dead, including the postman, were from the government side, though attributed by the FSA to killings by the government.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 4, 2012 6:57:59 PM | 56

@ 'somebody' #44, on the question "where are the old men?", did you see the following data table which was posted on this board a couple of months ago: http://www.cbssyr.org/work/2011/compare/TAB3.htm .

On the question "what is the essence of the Syrian conflict", what follows are couple of considerations, but let me stress that I do not claim or pretend that the conflict is reducible to what I say here.

Syria's Information Minister Mohammed Al-Zoubi said 3 Sep 2012: "Those who call themselves revolutionaries do not have an ideology or a political program. From the beginning of the Events until now, I have not heard from Istanbul Council one single political sentence or program related to economy or freedoms." http://sana.sy/eng/21/2012/09/04/439409.htm

Al-Zoubi is approximately right about that. He could've said the same too about Haytham Manna and his ilk, the non-Islamist dissidents. They have no ideas. Their political programs consist wholly of vapid platitudes, plus mindless negativity towards the Assadists. The vapid platitudes contain nothing that runs contrary to the policies of the governing Establishment.

I've heard it said over and over in the Western Press that the Syrian dissidents are internally divided and can't agree on a policy agenda. What that's saying is there are secular dissidents and Islamist dissidents, and the two can't agree about the place of religion in the State. Much less often said in the Western Press, but more important, that the dissidents both individually and collectively are devoid of ideas -- ideas of any kind, good or bad, and especially devoid of good ideas. Moreover if any dissident did have a good idea, meaning a proposition that'd be politically popular with most of the population and would be beneficial for the economy or the society, then that idea would be appropriated by the governing Establishment in a heartbeat. Leaving the dissidents once again with no competitive advantage.

For most of the Syrian opposition, the conflict is not about doctrinal or policy issues. An exception is the Salafis and the so-called "Islamic extremeists", who do have a serious doctrinal and policy dispute with the government. For the most part, the opposition consists of poorly educated poorly paid and unemployed young men who are not Salafis and not Islamic extremists and are not motivated by a positive policy agenda. The agenda is just "Down with the System".

The case of Tunisia, although not fully comparable with the case of Syria, is a worthwhile reference point. Here's something that someone wrote about Tunisia about six months ago:

The main motive behind the uprising in Tunisia was economic dissatisfaction. But those who rebelled had no program or solution in mind for the economic dissatisfaction. The uprising had been spontaneous. It spread from the improverished hinterland to the working-class suburbs of the main cities. But it had no agenda other than rage at the regime. Soon after the ouster of President Ben Ali it became clear that the revolt had not overthrown the old order. Crucially, the rebels had not enjoyed the active support of the middle class, who had stayed at home during the uprising. And did the rebels really expect that an Establishment that had spent five decades building the modern Tunisian State was going to voluntarily hand over everything to them -- the economy, the army, the education and health systems, the airports? Few in Tunisia knew who the rebels were. Barely out of their teens, the rebels had no experience to speak of, other than incanting slogans. After Ben Ali and his family fled came the question that always poses a greater challenge following an effective revolt, when the vanguard of the revolt does not have the capacity to exercise ruling power: What comes next? The answer was: pandemonium.

Another commentator about Tunisia said:

Tunisia's uprising was not a middle class achievement but was, on the contrary, driven forward by young men and women on the margin of society, bitter at their own economic misery and at the perceived corruption of the former ruling elite. Of all the political parties, the Islamic Arab parties can justly claim to be closest to the common people and the underprivileged. But in Tunisia the Islamists will be constrained by the counter-weight of long-established secularists. Tunisia’s large and educated middle class will be a force that Tunisia's Islamic political parties will have to accommodate.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 4, 2012 6:59:49 PM | 57

"Back in 2003, there were many against Saddam, including me. I met some of Saddam's ministers, one in a lunch at Samarra, another at a conference in Baghdad. It was an ugly regime."

Back in 2003, I am happy to say, I was not against Saddam. It mattered not at all to me that his was "an ugly regime" because the ugliest regime of all was and is the empire: the United States and its allies who have been responsible not only for successive holocausts in the world since 1945, but who are the actual living legatees of the regimes which practised genocide in America and Australia and have looted, raped and terrorised the planet since 1500. They did to Iraq what they have done wherever they have gone. Their behaviour was entirely predictable, even in its boneheaded stupidity and crass ultra violence. Jenin was their model, Fallujah their monument.

"It was difficult to say that the invasion of 2003 was wrong, and Cole said that..."

It was very easy to say, months in advance, that the disgraceful adventure planned by Bush and his ghoulish playmates required, of all decent people and honest citizens, total opposition. Not to oppose this crime was to choose to be an accessory to a million murders. And to give credit to obvious lies.

Cole was then, and has been since, over Libya and Syria as he was during the ludicrous "Green" agitation designed to cripple Iran's defences, an accomplice of the State Department and Tel Aviv. His pose as a liberal and an open minded academic should deceive nobody. It certainly doesn't deceive his bosses. At least Alan Dershowitz foams at the mouth, thus warning the unwary that he is demented. Cole, as much a child of NATO as Obama is of the CIA, affects civilised behaviours.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 4, 2012 11:44:38 PM | 58

bevin@58... ...Cole was then, and has been since, over Libya and Syria as he was during the ludicrous "Green" agitation designed to cripple Iran's defences, an accomplice of the State Department and Tel Aviv. His pose as a liberal and an open minded academic should deceive nobody.

I thank gawd, as a Bahá'í, that he's since renounced his ties to the Bahá'í Faith...! He's obviously not following the dictates of Bahá'u'lláh...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 5, 2012 1:00:36 AM | 59

brian @50 says: US(Democrats again)/NATO used alqaeda and KLA in their war against YUgoslavia

Wrong. The US/UK/Fr proxy that played decisive role in the destruction of Yugoslavia were Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbs. The role the Serbs played in Yugoslavia is very much comparable to the role that the Syrian insurgents and foreign mercenaries play in Syria. The major difference is that the Serbs had control of the federal army and that's what made them so efficient in murder and destruction of their neighbours. Al Quaeda and islamic jihadis had virtually no role in Yugoslav wars and definitely didn't bring down Yugoslavia nor played any role whatsoever in it's demise.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 5:17:35 AM | 60

re 58

Back in 2003, I am happy to say, I was not against Saddam.

That's because you never went to Iraq and know little about the country. So your only interest is the evils of the West. Unfortunately there are two sides to the issue: what the US and its acolytes are up to, and what is going on inside the country.

Most Iraqis I know had no interest in defending Saddam, and didn't want to fight for him. I go along with their view.

Of course many now have repented of the line they took in 2003.

Posted by: Alexno | Sep 5, 2012 7:00:47 AM | 61

BTW forgot to say: my first comment here. Hi to everyone :-) Good site. Interesting comments. Thumbs up :-)

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 7:03:05 AM | 62

New Syria · 1,169 like this
Yesterday at 8:10am ·
The 'Activist/s' calling on Syrians to protest to call for Stop the Violence in certain hot places in Syria had their cover blown by a mistake done by the admin of their group, they're not in Syria, they're in Istanbul, Turkey, and most likely they won't be Syrians even.. as usual.

The call for stopping the violence from all parties and implementing the law sounds good but has a hidden agenda calling on people to protest illegally in places facing security issues which would definitely cause casualties and their goal is achieved: inciting civil war.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456574811043965&set=a.183719261662856.41636.183696178331831&type=1&theater

Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 7:51:45 AM | 63

nix @60
'The US/UK/Fr proxy that played decisive role in the destruction of Yugoslavia were Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbs. The role the Serbs played in Yugoslavia is very much comparable to the role that the Syrian insurgents and foreign mercenaries play in Syria.'

wrong....youve been fooled:

'In the introduction to "Fool's Crusade", Johnstone puts forward the standard liberal narrative of Yugoslavia:
Yugoslavia was a "prison of peoples" where the Serbs oppressed all the others. It was destroyed by the rise of an evil leader, Slobodan Milosevic, who set out to create a "Greater Serbia" by eliminating other peoples in a process called "ethnic cleansing". Those other peoples sought to escape, by creating their own independent states. The Yugoslav army, actually Serbian, invaded them. In Bosnia, the invading Serbs tried to drive out the Muslims, who wanted to perpetuate an exemplary multi-ethnic society. The Serb ethnic cleansing killed 200,000 unarmed Muslims while the international community looked on and even prevented the Muslims from arming in self-defense. At Srebrenica, the United Nations allowed the Serbs to commit genocide. Only U.S. bombing forced Milosevic to come to the negotiating table at Dayton. The resulting agreement brought peace and democracy to multi-ethnic Bosnia. However, the international community had failed to save the Albanian majority in Kosovo from apartheid. In 1998 Madeleine Albright warned that NATO must intervene to keep Milosevic from "doing in Kosovo what he could no longer get away with in Bosnia". In January 1999, Serbian security forces massacred defenseless civilians in the Kosovo village of Racak, awakening the NATO governments to the need to act to stop genocide. After the turning point of Racak, the Serbs were summoned to peace negotiations in Rambouillet, in France. Milosevic stubbornly refused to negotiate. NATO had no choice but to start bombing Yugoslavia. Masses of Albanians were deliberately driven out according to a preconceived plan called "Operation Horseshoe". Finally, Milosevic gave in, and NATO liberated the Kosovars from their oppressors. Conclusion: from now on, humanitarian intervention constitutes a principal mission for NATO, as the military arm of an international community henceforth committed to protection of human rights.
After presenting this version of what took place, Johnstone says, "Almost everything about this tale is false."
http://www.swans.com/library/art9/lproy04.html

and so it is..the syrians and the serbs...both are being trashed by the usual suspects....then as now: US NATO islamic terrorism...for the FSA they had the KL...then as now the western media demonised: Milosevic/Assad...

http://www.zcommunications.org/diana-johnstone-on-the-balkan-wars-by-edward-herman
'Book Review: Diana Johnstone on the Balkan Wars
Edward S. Herman

Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Monthly Review Press, 2002) is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the causes, effects, and rights-and-wrongs of the Balkan wars of the past dozen years. The book should be priority reading for leftists, many of whom have been carried along by a NATO-power party line and propaganda barrage, believing that this was one case where Western intervention was well-intentioned and had beneficial results. An inference from this misconception, by "cruise missile leftists" and others, is that imperialism can be constructive and its power projections must be evaluated on their merits, case by case. But that the Western intervention in the Balkans constitutes a valid special case is false; the conventional and obvious truths on the Balkan wars that sustain such a view disintegrate on close inspection.'


and so on and so forth


Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 8:00:19 AM | 64

Petri Krohn ‏@PetriKrohn
For your stand against #Syria ppl & your support to #terrorists & your lies & fabrications we have #hacked @AJEnglish http://gizmodo.com/5940345/al+jazeera-gets-the-crap-hacked-out-of-it ….

Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 8:37:45 AM | 65

muslims never sank so low as this brazen lie:
Syrian Commando ✩ ‏@syriancommando
Criminal "opposition" kill this poor child twice by blaming #Assad for her murder when it was their terrorists #Jarmana pic.twitter.com/syfTST7q
Retweeted by Petri Krohn
--------------
the girl is Shantal Awad

Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 9:34:44 AM | 66

Now there's media terrorism against Syria..The Arab satellite operator, Nilesat, has take Syria's state TV off air..

I'm sorry to say but Arab are such fools that they help their own enemies against their fellow Arabs..No wonder they've never made any progress in centuries.

If my memory serves me right, Nilesat is an Egyptian company, right??? So much for their revolution that was supposed to bring change..

Posted by: Zico | Sep 5, 2012 9:38:26 AM | 67

FSA to be renamed Syrian National Army

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/fsa-be-renamed-syrian-national-army
https://twitter.com/#!/THE_47th/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2Fodw4tsaU

guess the 47th was correct again

Posted by: hipsterscumbag | Sep 5, 2012 9:39:58 AM | 68

Nix@60

For the straight goods on Serbia. There is a two part piece done by a well informed blogger LVB. It's a tough read, but, well worth it.


The Biggest Lies of Our Time: Serbia vs. The New World Order


The Biggest Lies of Our Time, Part II - Aftermath in the Balkans

Kosovo is for all intents and purposes a criminal state guarded by NATO. It really isn't much more. It is a NATO terror fighting breeding ground. Drug trafficking. Human trafficking. Organ trafficking state.
Many of the rebels terrorizing Syria have been trained in Kosovo
Just and FYI

Posted by: Penny | Sep 5, 2012 9:44:24 AM | 69

We have consulted the Free Syrian Army represented by its commander, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, about the formation of the Syrian National Army. They accepted but they put conditions that the name "Free Syrian Army" should stay as it is and work under a joint military command. But this is illogical and unfunctional. We do not want the army to be loose. There is no army in the world called a "free army" – the army should have discipline not be free to do anything.

So, till now the FSA did not join us but they do not represent all the brigades who are fighting on the ground and they are in control of a small area in Syria.

We call upon Colonel Riyadh al-Assad to join the Syrian National Army in order to get the support of the world as a military institution not a personal one.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/sep/05/syria-rebels-down-jets-live#block-50473b12c0e3ec4f5dc5bc14

they can't agree on a name?

Posted by: hipsterscumbag | Sep 5, 2012 9:47:07 AM | 70

Nix: My bad, that is "Just an FYI "
Read or not as you wish


Posted by: Penny | Sep 5, 2012 9:47:50 AM | 71

good and growing resource on Daraya massacre:
http://acloserlookonsyria.wikinet.org/wiki/Daraya_massacre

Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 9:53:54 AM | 72

@68.....most of the FSA are not even syrian but egyptian tunisian afghan jordanian saudi qatar....etc..all stupid arabs serving USrael

Posted by: brian | Sep 5, 2012 9:55:41 AM | 73

brian @64 says: wrong....youve been fooled

@brian: I was not fooled. I was there, dodging Serbian shells. Are you talking from a personal experience from Yugoslav wars or is your information from the books and the internet exclusively? Be careful: paper takes anything. Certainly, disintegration of Yugoslavia remains one of the least understood events of modern times. But one thing has become clear so far: The Serbs executed the imperialist agenda in the former Yugoslavia. There's no possible doubt about that. Presenting Serbia as a victim of the West is one great spin - and that's all that it is.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 10:09:00 AM | 74

Penny @69 says: Kosovo is for all intents and purposes a criminal state guarded by NATO. It really isn't much more. It is a NATO terror fighting breeding ground. Drug trafficking. Human trafficking. Organ trafficking state.
Many of the rebels terrorizing Syria have been trained in Kosovo
Just and FYI

@Penny Kosovo is one of the main routes for heroin from Afghanistan to Europe. Organ trafficking story has been largely exaggerated.

I will check on your links and comment on them later.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 10:16:17 AM | 75

Is it just me that immediately thinks 'Liar' when someone tries to close down an argument with the phrase ""I've been there!!" (in a very transparent attempt to claim some sort of infallible Guru-hood on the subject) followed by some generic anecdote such "Dodging Serbian Shells"?

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 10:31:12 AM | 76

Penny@69

Jesus, have YOU been fooled. Your link is a typical Serbian propaganda piece. I came to the Bin Laden photo and stopped there because I have no patience any more for any of that crap. Believe me, I have had enough of it in the last 25 years. IT'S ALL LIES.

If you were able to read Serbian I would have directed you to a Serbian portal that deals in detail with Serbian crimes, war propaganda and so on. But I suppose you are not, so I suggest that you stick with the MSM narrative about the Yugoslav war. It may not be accurate when it comes to the motives of the Western powers but it's actually quite accurate in it's description of actual events, particularly in Bosnia.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 10:43:25 AM | 77

Please nix and all the others talking about Kosovo and the alleged role it plays in drug/heroin traficking from Afghanistan to Europe: pls explain why and how these two landlocked countries are organising the traffic - is it by special airline from Kabul to Pristina?

or are they transporting through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia on land, or the other way around through Usbekistan and Russia - why is it that small little Kosovo plays such an important role? any direct banking connections the US doesn't know about between Kabul and Pristina?

and how are the drugs spread then from tiny little K to big big European states and cities, K not even member of the so called european "Schengen room" ???

Posted by: thomas | Sep 5, 2012 10:48:19 AM | 78

Is it just me that immediately thinks 'Liar' when someone tries to close down an argument with the phrase ""I've been there!!" (in a very transparent attempt to claim some sort of infallible Guru-hood on the subject) followed by some generic anecdote such "Dodging Serbian Shells"?

@Hu Bris 76

"Dodging Serbian shells" could be a way of speaking. But it ain't. In Sarajevo alone more than 12000 civilians were killed, mosty by shelling, some by sniper fire. Sarajevo was under siege for 3 and half years. Dodging Serbian shells was a way of life during that entire period. It has all been documented, go to the site of the ICTY and read.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 10:53:33 AM | 79

"Please nix and all the others talking about Kosovo and the alleged role it plays in drug/heroin traficking from Afghanistan to Europe: pls explain why and how these two landlocked countries are organising the traffic - is it by special airline from Kabul to Pristina?"

or more likely special airline from Kabul or Helmand to Camp Bondsteel (1, 2.)

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 10:58:00 AM | 80

""Dodging Serbian shells" could be a way of speaking. But it ain't."

For a chap claiming specialised Guru-like knowledge on this subject you're rather a bit of a disappointment, tbh, because so far all I see is the usual MSM-type bullshit about events in Yugoslavia.

Mixed in with a bit of "Dodging shells" nonsense of course . . .for a bit of supposed "authenticity", I guess.

Why, one can, from this gentleman's prosaic descriptions alone, almost smell the rotting corpses of unlucky Sarajevans . . . Hemingway! eat yer heart out !

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 11:06:39 AM | 81

Kosovo and the alleged role it plays in drug/heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe: pls explain why and how these two landlocked countries are organising the traffic

These two countries are not "organising" the traffic - they are merely a start point and a way-point in the chain

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 11:12:50 AM | 82

We have consulted the Free Syrian Army represented by its commander, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, about the formation of the Syrian National Army.

This is all part of the plan to get things organised before the 66th session of the General Assembly. Many heads of states and dictators will be attending this session. There is going to be a realignment of the UN, the battle will begin during this session. Iran will have a prominent position during this session a the chair of NAM. They will try to force the rats of the FSA as legitimate government of Syria.

Posted by: hans | Sep 5, 2012 11:28:13 AM | 83

@Hu Bris


The only "arguments" you have been able to come up with are insults. Talking about a disappointment... Besides, you are using well known disinformation techniques:

- The troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words:

Where did I pretend to have "specialised Guru-like knowledge" of the subject? Quote please.

- Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate:

Here we go: "Why, one can, from this gentleman's prosaic descriptions alone, almost smell the rotting corpses of unlucky Sarajevans . . . Hemingway! eat yer heart out !"

Do you pretend that people were not killed en masse in Sarajevo by Serbian shells?

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 11:36:31 AM | 84

Dear Hu Bris, what sense does it make for Kosovo to be a way-point in you proposed chain? Where is the point of distribution, e.g., in Kosovo you are speaking of? How are the goods transported into the country and out to european cities? Why Kosovo? Why not Turkey, Serbia, which have much more favourable visa regulations with EU than K?

In my view its just BS talk of "Kosovo drug line etc.", sure there are Kosovarians involved in the traffic but only relatively as much as there are serbians, turks, germans, etc.pp. The same BS talk like the "organ trafficking"

I strongly support nix re this answer:

"Dodging Serbian shells" could be a way of speaking. But it ain't. In Sarajevo alone more than 12000 civilians were killed, mosty by shelling, some by sniper fire. Sarajevo was under siege for 3 and half years. Dodging Serbian shells was a way of life during that entire period. It has all been documented, go to the site of the ICTY and read."

Hu Bris, unfortunately I also only have "personal experience", interest and discussions in these regions of around 40 years so far, obviously not enough for you to accept my opinion??

Posted by: thomas | Sep 5, 2012 11:41:59 AM | 85

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNahc8gTE2c

Lies and tricks of a German minister - this is how propaganda works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI4kz8CSYmA

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeRXLw4nUhI

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part2

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 11:51:15 AM | 86

Hu Bris, unfortunately I also only have "personal experience", interest and discussions in these regions of around 40 years so far, obviously not enough for you to accept my opinion??

what are you talking about?

Prior to my previous replies to you, you had expressed no describable opinions on the subject - you mainly asked questions - seriously, you're behaving a little weird tbh

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 11:54:20 AM | 87

"Do you pretend that people were not killed en masse in Sarajevo by Serbian shells? "

I never said anything of the sort - why are you making such ridiculous and patently false claims?

You are trying to reduce the whole of the Wars in Yugoslavia to "Dead people in Sarajevo" - and trying to intimidate people into silence by over-emotionalising the wars, in your responses, and reducing them merely to "Sarajevo!!!" which is ridiculous- personally I consider that to be that is extremely dishonest

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 11:58:55 AM | 88

Surely, this guy knows something about Bosnia
"John R. Schindler is a professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer."

"The Bosnian conflict of 1992 to 1995 has been largely misrepresented in the West . . . until now. In Unholy Terror, John R. Schindler—professor of strategy at the Naval War College and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer—reappraises the war in Bosnia, illuminating its pivotal role in the development of radical Islamic terrorism.


The long hidden truth is that Bosnia played the same role for al-Qa’ida in the 1990s that Afghanistan did in the 1980s, providing a battleground where mujahidin could learn to wage holy war. Schindler exposes how Osama bin Laden exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends and the disturbing level of support the U.S. government gave to the Bosnian mujahidin—just as had been done with the Afghan mujahidin. Repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan contributed to blowback of epic proportions: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (the mastermind of 9/11) and two of the 9/11 hijacker pilots were veterans of the Bosnian jihad."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5, 2012 12:27:15 PM | 90

"Surely, this guy knows something about Bosnia
"John R. Schindler"

Ah, but can he write "I was there!!" in an aggressive manner and expect to be believed while demanding that "ergo" his opinion/pov be given precedence over all others, all the while remaining a completely anonymous poster on the net?

cos that's what really counts!!

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 12:45:49 PM | 91

Hu Bris @88

Geez Hubris, that's some trolling, projecting on me what YOU are actually doing: "...trying to intimidate people into silence by over-emotionalising the wars..." now, THAT'S extremely dishonest.

Was it me who professed insults about you, or was it you who started by calling me a liar, "Guru", ironising about the dead pople of Sarajevo, which indeed is disrespectful and disgusting. Reall, all that you've come up with so far is ad hominem crap. Let me guess: are you a Serbian?

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 12:53:46 PM | 92

@somebody 90

"Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (the mastermind of 9/11) and two of the 9/11 hijacker pilots were veterans of the Bosnian jihad."

Now that's new to me, it was the Bosnians who struck down the Twin Towers, together with the WTC7...

somebody, I believe you will agree with me that Colin Powell was talking crap about Saddam's WMDs. Yet, you take Schindler's words at face value even though he's clearly a part of the establishment:

"John R. Schindler is a professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer."

Let me ask you this: do you by some chance know what was Schindler's take about Saddam Hussein's WMDs in 2003? I don't, but am curious about the matter...

And one more question somebody: have you ever been in Bosnia?


Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 1:09:58 PM | 93

@hipsterscumbag #68F and @hans #83

We have consulted the Free Syrian Army represented by its commander, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, about the formation of the Syrian National Army.
This is all part of the plan to get things organised before the 66th session of the General Assembly. Many heads of states and dictators will be attending this session. There is going to be a realignment of the UN, the battle will begin during this session. Iran will have a prominent position during this session a the chair of NAM. They will try to force the rats of the FSA as legitimate government of Syria.


So there may be more afoot to the proposed name change for the FSA than simple re-branding? Here I was thinking that they didn't like being branded as the Foreign Salafist Army.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Sep 5, 2012 1:15:39 PM | 94

Reall, all that you've come up with so far is ad hominem crap. Let me guess: are you a Serbian?

Really?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNahc8gTE2c

Lies and tricks of a German minister - this is how propaganda works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI4kz8CSYmA

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeRXLw4nUhI

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part2

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 1:24:27 PM | 95

Reall, all that you've come up with so far is ad hominem crap.

Really?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNahc8gTE2c

Lies and tricks of a German minister - this is how propaganda works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI4kz8CSYmA

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeRXLw4nUhI

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part2

Let me guess: are you a Serbian?

seriously - you're a joke

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5, 2012 1:26:58 PM | 96

Nix @ 77

"Jesus have YOU been fooled"

I don't think so

"Your link is a typical Serbian propaganda piece."

Don't you mean links?

Those pieces were written by an American who worked hard to put that all together so you could "dismiss it" with ridicule and adhominem

HuBris has got your number.

Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist

Additionally-

KLA and other terrorists


Posted by: Penny | Sep 5, 2012 2:22:57 PM | 97

corrected second link

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2010/12/richard-holbrooke-kla-terrorists-kosovo.html

not bothering with html tags, have to run

Posted by: Penny | Sep 5, 2012 2:25:58 PM | 98

@hipsterscumbag "guess the 47th was correct again"

He sure was wrong about the defection of VP Al-Shara and others.

Posted by: revenire | Sep 5, 2012 2:43:45 PM | 99

thomas @85 says "I strongly support nix re this answer:"

thomas thank you for your support. Some people really have issues with the truth.

I've been following MoA for about a month now and I've posted an opinion because it was my impression that people here were interested in the truth. However, the truth can hurt and Hubris is clearly one of those who feel the pain.

Re your question about Kosovo: it's an old smuggling route, nothing new. A lot of traffic was always going across the Adriatic Sea, from Albania or Monte Negro to Italy. What is new is the NATO presence in the region.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 3:03:42 PM | 100

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