Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 06, 2012

German Paper: U.S. Pressing For NATO War On Syria

While U.S. "officials" continue to spread rumors of Syrian preparations of chemical weapons the reliable center-left German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports (in German) on U.S. attempts to get NATO to fight a war against Syria. The report is by Martin Winter, the resident Süddeutsche correspondent in Brussels. As similar reporting has yet to occur in the English media I offer my (rough) translation of his important piece.

During a diner for NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday evening NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen talked about the situation in Syria and about the conflict with Iran over the street of Hormuz in a way that one participant characterized as "beating the drums of war".

As multiple sources confirmed to the Süddeutsche Zeitung Rassmussen said with regards to the situation in Syria and the western dependency on the oil supply through the street of Hormuz that NATO must not "bury its head in the sand".

As was clear to everyone at the table what he meant: NATO should prepare for a military intervention in Syria. Politically this would be a radical change of NATO's current course which excluded any intervention in Syria. Rassmussen was supported by the foreign minister from Turkey and Great Britain as well as the American Hillary Clinton.
[...]

Rassmussen opened the political U-turn with two questions: What would NATO do should the Syrian army use chemical weapons? And what if Iran would block the street of Hormuz? France foreign minister Laurent Fabius dismissed the second question remarking that one should not ask questions "which are not acute". But the one with regard to Syria started a fierce and controversial debate in which the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and his colleges from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic or Poland argued against Rassmussen.

In difference to the USA or Rassmussen many European foreign ministers do not trust American secret service reports claiming that Syria may prepare for the use of chemical weapons. European secret services, including the German Bundesnachrichtendienst which is well networked in the Middle East, have "no perception" in that direction. Earlier Tuesday the Russian foreign minister Sergej Lavrow had warned his NATO colleges in Brussels to not take reports on such weapons in Syria at face value. Russia had in recent years looked into into many such rumors and reports and many had proven to be false or half truths.

Together with Rassmussen all the foreign ministers had warned Syria on Tuesday with consequences from the "international community" should it use weapons of mass destruction. But, said a minister from a smaller county, that did not imply NATO but the United Nations. Westerwelle harshly rejected a question about a military mission behind the drawn "red line" he had also drawn. There has to be a political solution [he said].

Even if there was no vote during the dinner at least two opposing camps were visible: One formed around the USA, Turkey, Great Britain and the NATO secretary general with France leaning into that direction. The other camp, which Germany belongs to, sternly rejected these ideas. One of the reasons is that they estimates the risk as high that one would help people to rule in Damascus who would turn out to be more dangerous than the current regime and who would then have their hands on chemical weapons.

But there is also a different reason for the German and Dutch foreign ministers to turn against Rassmussen. They are afraid that, should their be suspicion that NATO may think of a military intervention in Syria, they will meet resistance in their parliaments while requesting permission to deploy Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey.

Then those Patriots, including two German batteries, would be part of a military offensive and no longer, as held out so far, solely for the defense of Turkey. If that point will ever be reached is unsure. Even an order to the military leadership of NATO to plan for a mission in Syria, even provisional, needs the approval of all 28 NATO member countries. The dinner meeting was far from achieving such.

It seems like the U.S. and its tool Rassmussen want, like in Libya, contract NATO for their dirty fights. Judging from user comments in German online media there is, despite an avalanche of anti-Syrian propaganda, a strong opposition against any intervention in Syria. Should Westerwelle or chancellor Merkel support a NATO mission their advantage in next years federal elections would be at risk. I therefore expect that the German government will continue to reject any NATO intervention in Syria as well as in Iran. Today's report on how the U.S. failed to control the weapon flow from Qatar to Libya will only bolster their arguments.

Posted by b on December 6, 2012 at 02:56 AM | Permalink

Comments

Nothing is off the table, including that which is under the table.

Posted by: biklett | Dec 6, 2012 4:07:42 AM | 1

I think US's real fear is Syrian army may loose control of chemical weapons sites to jihadist rebels, not that Assad is going to use chemical weapons.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 6, 2012 4:27:17 AM | 2

As I understand it, Rassmussen asked for a consideration of the action that would become necessary in response to the deployment of chemical weapons. He was not suggesting or even suggesting the suggestion of NATO involvement on any other grounds...but rampant media speculation bolsters the morale of militants fighting Assad's forces.

This talk about Assad's chemical weapons suits the Turkish Government fine and provides a neat and tidy justification for those Patriot systems on their border. It's all part of their game to demonise the Syrian Government, strike fear into the hearts of the Turkish population and thereby justify their support for rebels, which had been an unpopular move. The Turks are still chasing that no-fly zone.

The massacre marketing strategy ran out of steam, attempts to undermine the Government by bribing officials to defect achieved little, the rebels can't gain any traction beyond the rural areas and the poor outskirts of city centres. Time for a new strategy.

The Chemical Weapons angle is just another propaganda strategy being deployed. Didn't speculation come from one "unnamed US official". Is that it?

This is the third time that we've heard about these "fears" coming from the US Government. I remember opposition activists/rebels claiming shortly after the first talk of chemical weapons that victims had been found with "unusual burn marks". It's an unending cycle of propaganda.


Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 6, 2012 4:58:37 AM | 3

@Pat Bateman - As I understand it, Rassmussen asked for a consideration of the action that would become necessary in response to the deployment of chemical weapons.

And as soon such action would be seriously considered a false flag attack with chemical weapons in Syria would become inevitable.

Posted by: b | Dec 6, 2012 6:35:57 AM | 4

Syria is not Libya and definitely not as defenceless as the NATO cowards usual targets. Not even after 2 years of war against NATO/gulf despot mercenaries.

Im sure Foggy Rat-mussen will get more than a bloody noose there....

Posted by: Marcy | Dec 6, 2012 7:24:18 AM | 5

This is one expensive psychological warfare waged by NATO..They hope to scare the Syrian government into submission.

If the much vaunted "Iron dome" couldn't stop missiles from striking Israel proper, what makes them think the patriot system can stop Syria's several thousands of rockets?

Fact is, the fsa has morphed into something else and out of control..They can neither hold/control any territory.

Just so people know, Russia just sent two warships to Syria and may be deploying missiles in Syria soon.

Posted by: Zico | Dec 6, 2012 8:01:08 AM | 6

Gee, let's hope the FSA don't fire any rockets at a Patriot base. Assad would surely get the blame.

Posted by: dh | Dec 6, 2012 8:14:23 AM | 7

So-called "pro-democracy" troops, who are funded by NATO/US/Israel, are actually Libyan/Syrian terrorists that are committing atrocities on behalf of the West. In typical Orwellian fashion, they are claiming Assad is going to use chemical weapons when in actual fact, it will be the "rebels" that are going to use these weapons, which will then be twisted to make it seem like it was Assad. It'll be just like the fake story of civilian killings in Aleppo which was again carried out by rebels.

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 6, 2012 10:15:56 AM | 8

It's now post election, and the war snowball is rolling downhill towards Syria. Just like pre-invasion BS about Iraq, I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before the disinformation blitz works it's magic, and the West/NATO folks have their way with Assad and Syria.

Posted by: ben | Dec 6, 2012 10:44:37 AM | 9

Süddeutsche Zeitung has it wrong.

In difference to the USA or Rassmussen many European foreign ministers do not trust American secret service reports claiming that Syria may prepare for the use of chemical weapons. European secret services, including the German Bundesnachrichtendienst which is well networked in the Middle East, have "no perception" in that direction.

Berlin says "go"--
Zaman, Dec 6
German gov't approves Patriots, 400 troops to Turkey
Germany's cabinet on Thursday approved sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect the NATO member against possible attacks from Syria, in a major step toward a possible Western military role in the Syrian conflict.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.

The decision must be endorsed by the German parliament, but approval is all but assured. The parliament will vote on the mandate between Dec. 12 and 14, according to a statement from Germany's defense and foreign ministries.


and Brussels is on board
Zaman, Dec 5, 2012
NATO commander: Patriots can stop Syrian chemical missiles
The Patriot defense missile that NATO has just approved for deployment in Turkey could be used in intercepting Syrian missiles with chemical warheads, a senior NATO commander said on Wednesday.

Frederick Ben Hodges, commander of NATO's newly activated Allied Land Command in Izmir, said there is no doubt that Syria possesses chemical weapons and that the international community has made it clear that Syria's use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. "If for some reason Syria decided to use missiles with chemical heads, Patriot missiles have the ability to render the Syrian missiles ineffective,” he told the Anatolia news agency.

NATO ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday approved plans to deploy the Patriot systems near Turkey's border with Syria to augment Turkey's air defense system. The ministers have also unanimously expressed "grave concern" about US intelligence reports suggesting Syria might use chemical weapons as a last resort to protect embattled President Bashar al-Assad, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 11:39:03 AM | 10

b- "I therefore expect that the German government will continue to reject any NATO intervention in Syria as well as in Iran"

Are you aware that Germany is looking to share in the spoils of the destruction of Syria?

Posted by: Penny | Dec 6, 2012 12:05:34 PM | 11

Israel is warning that syrian rebels are close to chemical weapons sites

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-chemicals-israelbre8b418y-20121205,0,4475993.story

Posted by: nikon | Dec 6, 2012 12:11:13 PM | 12

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, after three days of fierce fighting, Syrian rebel units Thursday seized control of the small southwestern Syrian town of El Saphira, just 3 kilometers from the Syrian army’s largest chemical weapons store. Our sources disclose that this base holds Scud D missiles armed with chemical warheads which are pointed towards Israel. This is the closest the Syrian rebels have come to a major mililtary WMD storage center.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 6, 2012 12:20:14 PM | 13

I do apologize for a repeat response, I initially put this response in the previous posting. If b could remove it that would be great
OK...
Thanks for linking over to my blog Ben :)

Has Obama decided to wage war on Syria?

Let's first be clear that Obama made that decision some time ago and has been waging a covert war of destabilization since March 2011 and likely longer

More recently
there was an article in Australian media I had it up in yesterday's post

Here


A no fly zone and ground troops
75,000 in the region presently

excerpt

" If a political decision is made to intervene, a limited no-fly zone could be imposed to stop the Syrian Air Force dropping bombs with chemical warheads.

Special operations forces would be deployed, backed by a substantial number of support troops, up to 75,000, to seize or safeguard the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities.

"We have (US) special operations forces at the right posture, they don't have to be sent," a US official said, suggesting those troops are already in the region.

The preferred method of armed intervention would be for a "multinational coalition"

that means no UN approval

In today's post, we suddenly have news of a impromptu meeting between Hillary and Lavrov allegedly arranged at the behest of Brahamini

Here">http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2012/12/clintonlavrov-surprise-meeting-iskander.htm">Here

One of my savvy commenters caught news out of China
that Russia had suggested placing Iskander missiles to counter Patriots

Was this true?
Was it enough to give NATO pause for thought?
Hell if I know, but, it just might have been

"Let’s all be realistic. The US does not attack any nation that can put up a good fight.
The US and it’s chicken hawk coalition partners prey on the weak. Iraq. Libya. Afghanistan.
Syria has so far put up a dam good fight. If Russia was indeed intending to provide Iskander Missiles.... the NATO bullies would have a much harder time of taking down Syria"

The chemical weapons are a pretext. If anything happens it will be NATO' s mercs.

As for Egypt?? The military is guarding the palace. That tells us all we need to know.

Posted by: Penny | Dec 6, 2012 12:34:03 PM | 14

It's a sticky wicket for the US, a conflict between two story lines on Syria.
1. There's no real conflict, Assad is slaughtering defenseless civilians and may gas them too.
2. The radical jihadists, soon to be classified terrorists, are taking so much territory and are so militarily strong that they may get access to Syria chemical weapons.

That won't bother the US, probably.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 12:50:06 PM | 15

Firstly I just want to mention that I was watching Russia Today earlier and they had a segment on the chemical weapons used on rabbits video you posted yesterday. They also mentioned that the USS Eisenhower is on its way to the Syrian coastline and should get there within the next 3-4 days. This coupled with the Propaganda on Syrian WMD's makes me more inclined to think an attack is coming than anytime in the last 18 months.

Secondly I think this is an indication that the rebels are getting desperate. After all if NATO were so confident of the rebels winning, they would not need to consider an NATO led attack. A few days ago I tried to post a dispatch on the big Damascus offensive but it wouldn't send. I'll link to some of it from Mohammed Assafir (was translated from Arabic so some broken English in parts).

A prominent opposition person, closely associated with the FSA, estimates that the number of fighters that have entered the Damascus district is close to 40,000, they have a huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition, and they are battle ready for an extended period as they have secure supply lines despite the aerial bombing. According to a well-informed Syrian source, units of the FSA have abandoned their post in Huran and went to join the fight in the Damascus district and he adds that the increase in numbers is another indication that the Syrian opposition is trying to take the battle to Damascus by giving it priority in the attack against the Syrian Army and to drag the Special Units that are barricading around Damascus down to the battlefield.

However, the Syrian Army might be hoping for this, and encouraging another charge on Damascus.

On the other hand, an internal circular within the FSA ranks looks with great suspicion at the quick progress its units have been able to achieve in the Damascus district and this circular warns of the possibility that the regular Army has deliberately retreated from some areas around the airport and the district in general for the purpose of luring the FSA into a situation that they cannot match. The circular clearly hints to a scenario of a huge ambush that the Syrian Government is possibly preparing for the FSA by pretending that it is has been overwhelmed and is retreating only to turn around later and strike devastatingly.
There are a lot of indications on the ground that indicate that the regular Syrian army has for months been trying to turn the area of the Damascus District into a trap for the FSA. In the last few months the strategy of destroying the infrastructure that aids the FSA has been expanded and it is very clear now that the towns of Eastern Ghouta and its satellite towns that stretch all the way from Deir Al Asafir, all the way to Harasta have turned into virtual ghost towns. These areas have been turned into strong defence lines by the elite Republican Guards and the Fourth Brigade who are heavily bunkered in and can maneuver at liberty as the risk of civilian casualties doesn’t exist.

Seems to be that the plan is to use this chain of ghost towns as a gauntlet or alleyway that the FSA have to fight through before getting into Damascus city. As always these large troop movements by the rebels are the exact opposite of what a guerrilla force should be doing. Based on the previous offensives in Damascus and Aleppo, don't see any reason why this one will end different.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 6, 2012 12:59:15 PM | 16

I can still remember all those weeks ago being lectured by liberals that Obama just had to talk tough for the election, and that after it was over, he would ditch all the talk of war, would pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state, and generally would bring peace in our time.

Posted by: Bill | Dec 6, 2012 1:13:21 PM | 17

The airport will be top of the list for an intervention.

Posted by: dh | Dec 6, 2012 1:15:35 PM | 18

Despite the (defensive) Patriot move by NATO (US, Germany and Netherlands), there will be no US or NATO attack on Syria without UNSC approval, which won't come, in my opinion. SecDef Panetta and General Dempsey have not made any statements in that direction; quite the opposite.

Regarding the Ike with its objective to "To Send A Clear Message," US carriers having been ineffective at that.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 1:20:02 PM | 19

Basically the argument the Süddeutsche mentions is the knock out for any idea of intervention on the side of
"people more dangerous than Assad who would attain chemical weapons."

With this logic NATO has to support Assad or take power themselves micromanaging the country i.e. reenter Iraq.

Unspoken in the Süddeutsche report is that it obviously makes geopolitical sense for a part of NATO members to orient towards Russia whilst other - former colonial powers - orientate towards a transatlantic coalition.
On another level the Social Democrats (and Greens) the Süddeutsche feels close to are in election mode and the patriots for Turkey have to go through parliament. It is clear that German voters would not support war in Syria.

There of course is also the issue of the leak of the Rasmussen talk.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 6, 2012 1:22:37 PM | 20

I think this the US is testing it's NATO allies appetite for more war. The US is as usual only looking at the situation with the standard Cold War era blinders on. They see Syria as a golden opportunity to roll back Iran, after two humiliating set back in the past decade. This would be a first step, next would be Iran, these would then secure the US strangle hold on the region and block or at least put Russia and China firmly back in line.

Sadly, Syria on its current path can only end up in the best case as a more pathetic version of Iraq. Only without the oil and a much more complex ethnic jig saw, which could easily drag Lebanon and Iraq, and potentially Turkey and Jordan. Weak central government is sure to allow for Jihadi to set up h

Posted by: OAB | Dec 6, 2012 1:23:14 PM | 21

@16

Makes you wonder if an imminent siege on Damascus is being planned in coordination with the movement of the US military and recent talk of chemical weapons.

ie Message to Assad from the US: The rebels are about to throw all they can at you. You might be tempted as a last resort to a chemical attack, but don't, because we are expecting you to lose.
Oh, and once the rebels move in on chemical weapons sites, we'll utilise that FSA occupied airport of yours to seize the chemical weapons from those rebel groups who we decided to classify as terrorists in the meantime.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 6, 2012 1:31:13 PM | 22

... setup house a la Mali, Libya, Somalia, Egypt (in Sinai), etc etc.
Making the reason any but friendly to western interests.

The first thing Iran will do after the fall of Assad is start funneling money and training to all the parties unhappy with the result and the shoe will be on the other foot, as it has been in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Iranians will buffer themselves with Iraq and they will sit back and watch. This does not even begin to take into account Russian and Chinese to prevent the success of US plans which clearly present a strategic threat to both of them.

Posted by: OAB | Dec 6, 2012 1:33:36 PM | 23

Inside the Washington echo chamber there is no Truth.

CBS, Dec 3, 2012

The use of chemical weapons is "totally unacceptable" and "if you make mistake of using -- there will be consequences and you will be held accountable," the president said.

FoxNews, Dec 6, 2012
"The whole world is watching," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. "There will be consequences if the Assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people."

Truth or Consequences is a spa city and the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico, United States.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 1:44:54 PM | 24

CNN: The USS Eisenhower is being sent home immediately for repairs to its flight deck. It will remain in Norfolk, Virginia, for two months and then return to the Middle East early next year to complete its deployment.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 1:51:14 PM | 25

@nikon you believe after the US backing every Salafist and Takfiri Al-Qaeda murderer they could to rape and murder Syria they are now concerned that chemical weapons could fall into their hands? Maybe there always were sane US military who didn't support Obama's crazy war and, of course, they would be concerned. It is all pretty nuts.

I feel the Israeli warnings, coupled with US ones, are a pretext for an attack on Syria by NATO and Israel.

Posted by: revenire | Dec 6, 2012 3:09:44 PM | 26

here's fox news NATO moves toward deployment on Syria border

Germany's Cabinet approved the move on Thursday, and German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that the overall mission is expected to include two batteries each from the Netherlands and the United States, plus 400 soldiers and monitoring aircraft.

"Nobody knows what such a regime is capable of and that is why we are acting protectively here," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Posted by: annie | Dec 6, 2012 3:24:56 PM | 27

'During a diner for NATO foreign ministers '....'dinner'!

'Rassmussen opened the political U-turn with two questions: What would NATO do should the Syrian army use chemical weapons'


again the idea is to project NATO as a force for good which acts out of justice and in the bounds of law...you could almost makea movie out of it! even when the subtect is aggressive invasion seeking pretexts to present to the europeann public whos money NATO war criminals like Foggy are using.


'FoxNews, Dec 6, 2012

"The whole world is watching," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. "There will be consequences if the Assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people." '

-------------
beware Fox news...it rots the brain!

Posted by: brian | Dec 6, 2012 3:43:10 PM | 28

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 6, 2012 10:15:56 AM | 8

yes indeed, NATO/US have to project themselves as good good good....and those they seek to destroy as villainous in order to justify their war plans. The ordinary european is as remote from their leadership as the americans.

Posted by: brian | Dec 6, 2012 3:48:17 PM | 29

This is the closest the Syrian rebels have come to a major mililtary WMD storage center.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 6, 2012 12:20:14 PM | 13


what makes you or DEbka think these felons are syrian or 'rebels'? dont repeat the fraud of Debka by repeating that they are

Posted by: brian | Dec 6, 2012 3:50:12 PM | 30

beware Fox news...it rots the brain!

ha! i know. just googling around and saw it being reported(first US msmi am sure it will saturate within hrs.) and assumed it was part of the ramp up to the the US populace up to speed on an attack..cbs reporting 'No concrete Syria plan after US, Russia meet' oh what a relief! and the latest 'Syrian activists skeptical on chemical weapons USA TODAY-15 minutes ago'

it was more about watching the unfolding of media than believing everything they say.

plus, i take b's reporting seriously. fox mentioned the parliament had to approve and the election issue in germany. so it's not a done deal.

Posted by: annie | Dec 6, 2012 3:50:19 PM | 31

@26

US backs muslim brotherhood controlled FSA, Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda backs the jihadists. US can count on muslim brotherhood to secure chemical weapons, but not the jihadists, who are increasingly becoming the dominant force fighting Assad.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 6, 2012 4:28:27 PM | 32

I came across this http://saideman.blogspot.ca/2012/12/nato-patriots-missiles-oh-my.html today and the author of the blog, a political scientist in Ottawa, thinks the same. Interesting points.

Posted by: Sophia | Dec 6, 2012 5:35:58 PM | 33

Anders Fogh Rasmussen hat die Nato-Mitgliedstaaten mit Überlegungen zu einem radikalen politischen Kurswechsel vor den Kopf gestoßen. Das Bündnis dürfe in Sachen Syrien "den Kopf nicht in den Sand stecken", sagte der Nato-Generalsekretär nach Informationen der "SZ" - und löste damit eine heftige Debatte aus.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has snubbed NATO members with the proposal of a radical, political change of course. “NATO should not ‘stick its head in the sand’ with regard to the Syrian question,” said the NATO general secretary, and thus triggering a 'turbulent/lively' discussion.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 6, 2012 8:25:53 PM | 34

In my #15 above--

It's a sticky wicket for the US, a conflict between two story lines on Syria.
1. There's no real conflict, Assad is slaughtering defenseless civilians and may gas them too.
2. The radical jihadists, soon to be classified terrorists, are taking so much territory and are so militarily strong that they may get access to Syria chemical weapons.

Those were also the two (conflicting) positions at State today.
State Press Conference, Dec 6
Mark C. Toner, Deputy Department Spokesman (excerpts)
MR. TONER: Again, you’re asking me to determine [Assad's] next action. We want to see an end to the violence, we want to see an end to the bloodshed. His regime is the one perpetrating this violence against the Syrian people. We’ve called on him to step aside and allow for that political transition to take place.

MR. TONER: Well, as I said, I believe, on Monday, we are very concerned as the opposition continues to take ground, make strategic advances, continues to grow in strength. We’ve seen fighting in and around Damascus this week. We’ve seen time and time again that this regime, when its back is up against the wall, up the ante.


So Syria is "the one perpetrating this violence against the Syrian people" while "the opposition continues to take ground, make strategic advances, continues to grow in strength. We’ve seen fighting in and around Damascus this week. We’ve seen time and time again that this regime, when its back is up against the wall"

It's amazing that this government with its back up against the wall is still able to perpetrate all this violence against the Syrian people and not against the opposition (which Toner neglected to say is mostly foreign jihadists, al-Nusrah Front, which State is about to brand as terrorists). Why would Syria do that? Why would any government do that, attack citizens instead of the terrorists with its back up against the wall? None, and neither is Syria. It's silly.

Now the U.S. in its desperation has concocted a fictitious scenario, burying its head in the sands of unreality. Now the U.S. in its hatred of Assad is having to make a new Syria out of the new "National Coalition" headed by inexperienced Moaz al Khatib, a moderate, soft-spoken Muslim who until recently was the imam of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus on the political side, and the violent al-Nusrah Front of al-Qaeda jihadists on the military side. So who's got whose back up against the wall?

Say goodbye, Hillary. Don't let the door hit ya.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 8:31:26 PM | 35

Especially after her appearance at the Saban Center dinner this week, I had been dismissing Hillary's saber-rattling comments about Syrian chemical weapons as just more rhetoric to raise money from the Israel Lobby. But Panetta's comments cause me more concern.

The Israel Lobby clearly is pushing for regime change in Syria. Yesterday, NPR had a guest from WINEP who was spinning incredible excuses for intervention, even suggesting that if the Obama administration had intervened militarily sooner, there wouldn't be such a problem with Al Qaeda militias. Then NPR had Josha Landis on today, for a "different perspective" -- which was pro-rebel from another angle.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 6, 2012 8:35:34 PM | 36

Panetta's comments should never cause concern.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 9:08:00 PM | 37

@ Rusty Pipes 36
Sorry, I went a little overboard there. I just consider the guy a zero, which doesn't mean that what he says isn't important at all.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2012 10:01:45 PM | 38

@32 I don't buy that and don't buy the idea the US can count on the Ikhwan to secure anything. I believe the jihadis were dominant from the start.

Posted by: revenire | Dec 6, 2012 10:23:42 PM | 39

German Paper: U.S. Pressing For NATO War On Syria

Yawn!

NATO can't do shit without UN approval.

Posted by: Calig | Dec 6, 2012 10:40:14 PM | 40

After the cock and bull story surrounding the events of 9/11/01, and the subsequent fiasco and con-job known as the GWOT, is it really possible that the American public is so fuckin' ignorant that they continue to fall for this horseshit?

Sadly, apparently so. Really, we should be running these pieces of shit politicians out of DC, coated in a thick layer of hot tar and soiled chicken feathers. Instead, we'll stand mute while these fuckers embark on another blood soaked foreign policy mis-adventure.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 6, 2012 11:04:51 PM | 41

OMG. Someone cites "DEBKA"??? What, he thinks we are complete idiots?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 6, 2012 11:15:24 PM | 42

@ Rusty Pipes [#36],

Q: The Israel Lobby clearly is pushing for regime change in Syria.

R: Is it safe to assume the Israeli leadership doesn't want Wahhabi neighbors [house of saud]?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 6, 2012 11:27:22 PM | 43

@ PissedOffAmerican [#43],

Q: What, he thinks we are complete idiots?

R: No. Idiots produce the news and only fools fall for it [and I don't see any fools around here].

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 6, 2012 11:29:12 PM | 44

@40, you being sarcastic? If not, how bout an example.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 6, 2012 11:44:29 PM | 45

#46

I was not talking about history. duh. I meant they can't do shit in Syria without UN approval.

Posted by: Calig | Dec 7, 2012 12:04:32 AM | 46

Syriangirl Partisan shared a link.
2 hours ago
The reason why the US is now considering putting Al Nusra front on a terrorist list. Quote: " National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, CNN reports. The al-Nusra Front has expressed opposition to this new coalition and some fear the group wouldn't accept its authority if Assad is defeated."
http://rt.com/usa/news/us-opposition-group-terrorist-449/
Do you remember that video that came out where a bunch of FSA leaders said we don't accept the govt the US set up as the govt, and want to run an islamic state? Nusra front was among them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WM04XdUjnA
Since they wouldn't yield under the power umbrellah of the US, they were then declared terrorists, otherwise they would have been freedom fighters all the way.

Posted by: brian | Dec 7, 2012 2:19:08 AM | 47

So, back in the day, we should have armed the [European] resistance and partisans to the teeth, not waste trillions on actually fighting ground/air wars. I think I fully grasp the Syria liberation model.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 7, 2012 5:31:44 AM | 48

Anders Fogh Rasmussen translates as "otherwise Fogh Rasmussen". Well, we can all agree on that. Fogh him to hell and back. And as "Rasmussen" seems to mean something like "we must rage", he's clearly in the same class as King Lear raving on the heath.

And when he says "NATO must not 'bury its head in the sand'", he's calling NATO an ostrich, which we all know is true, and as ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, he's admitting that NATO serves no useful purpose whatsoever, other than sticking its head up Israel's arse instead.

Afghan readers, though, who have forced NATO to bury rather more than its head in the sand, may recall Shelley's lines on Ozymandias:
"... on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies ...
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

Posted by: Bob Jackson | Dec 7, 2012 6:26:11 AM | 49

On the topic of Afghan poems, a few lines from Kipling:

The evil and the good.
Now it is not good for the Christian's health to hustle the Aryan
brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the
Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of
the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the
East."

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 7, 2012 8:51:44 AM | 50

Apologies if others have already reported this


Russia Docks Warships in Syria as NATO Arms Turkey

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 7, 2012 9:54:09 AM | 51

Perhaps the Patriot move is really a NATO move against Russia, a tit-for-tat escalation.

Press TV, Oct 29, 2012
Russia installing S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to target Turkey

Russia is installing an advanced anti-aircraft missile system in its southern military region in reaction to Turkey’s deployment of a NATO missile system, a report says.

Actually the "NATO missile system," the part involving Turkey, is a radar.

bianet, Sep 15, 2011
One foot of the much disputed NATO "Missile Defence System" will be established in Turkey.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by USA Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Siniroglu on Wednesday (14 September). Turkey is going to a deploy early warning radar in Malatya (eastern Anatolia) as part of the Missile Shield. The memorandum was signed by the US American Ambassador because the NATO-backed shield will be assigned by the USA, it was reported.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7, 2012 1:34:12 PM | 52

@46, if by "approval" you mean rubber stamp, I agree.

Posted by: yes_but | Dec 7, 2012 1:48:14 PM | 53

from my #35:

MR. TONER: Well, as I said, I believe, on Monday, we are very concerned as the opposition continues to take ground, make strategic advances, continues to grow in strength. We’ve seen fighting in and around Damascus this week. We’ve seen time and time again that this regime, when its back is up against the wall, up the ante.

And so it's common sense that Syria "when its back is up against the wall" would not attack more powerful Turkey, as the only adult in the room (Putin) says.

RIA, Dec 3
Putin Reassures Turkey that Syria Is No Threat
ISTANBUL, December 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday reassured Turkey that Syria is too busy dealing with its internal conflict to plan any attack on its neighbors.

“It’s common sense, you don’t have to be an expert or use intelligence reports to see that Syria is far from plotting an attack on its neighbors – it is absolutely unrealistic,” Putin said at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

But common sense isn't so common.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 7, 2012 1:50:16 PM | 54

Egyptian protesters firebombed Al-Jazeera office

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-protesters-firebomb-al-jazeera-cairo-office-125213545.html

Posted by: nikon | Dec 7, 2012 8:59:51 PM | 55

Still psychological warfare I guess.

Here is some strange BBC reporting embedded on the Syrian government's side

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8, 2012 2:27:40 AM | 56

OT (Egypt not Syria).

I knew b was too pessimistic about Morsi's proclamations last week. It looks like he is backing down in the face of the people's demonstrations.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/signs-of-retreat-by-morsi-after-thousands-protest-against-vote-8393574.html

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 8, 2012 4:08:05 AM | 57

The headlines in the Israeli-American media is all Goebbelsian "big lies" constantly promoting NATO war against Syria. It's non-stop. They creep the war propaganda into everything. Even on unrelated subject matter, the parasites working some Assad or Iran demonisation. The whole lot belong in prison for mass murder, alongside Son of Sam and other fellow travelers, including supposed progressive media such as NPR (which now stands for Nazi Propaganda Radio).

Posted by: вот так | Dec 8, 2012 1:41:48 PM | 58

It is a bit surreal to see US media doing the same thing as they did in the run up to Iraq.

Posted by: revenire | Dec 8, 2012 2:23:12 PM | 59

Analyst says Syrian use of chemical weapons remains difficult to verify

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_08/Analyst-says-Syrian-use-of-chemical-weapons-remains-difficult-to-verify/

"The U.S. accusation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is preparing to use chemical weapons to suppress his country’s 20-month conflict has drawn comparison to U.S. claims of weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that the use of these weapons would be “crossing a red line,” but Russia says these weapons charges are a farce, adding that it’s a pretext for military action."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 8, 2012 7:37:15 PM | 60

As I've been predicting for months now, the US and NATO have always intended to attack Syria as soon as the time was propitious, i.e., after enough "diplomatic efforts" had failed and after the Syrian military has been hard pressed enough to make an attack more feasible, and after public opinion had been manipulated enough.

The real purpose of the entire crisis is to enable the US and Nato (and probably Turkey and Israel as well) to attack and degrade Syria's military, and in particular its missile arsenal, so that Syria can not be an effective actor against Israel in an Iran war.

In addition, the Syria war will be used to cover and enable an Israeli attack against Hizballah both in southern Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valley for the same purpose - to flush out and capture as much of Hizballah's missile arsenal as possible and to force Hizballah further north so that its remaining arsenal will be less effective in an Iran war.

These are necessary strategic precursors - from the Israeli viewpoint - to an Iran war and the reason why Israel has not attacked Iran before now. Israel can not afford in terms of domestic politics is allow the country to be hit by Iranian missiles, AND Syrian missiles, AND Hizballah missiles, which would force much of the Israeli electorate into bomb shelters for most of every day, damaging the Israeli economy and ticking off the electorate who might then vote the Likudniks out of office in the next election.

So the US and NATO, allies and supporters of Israel, also want to protect Israel from this scenario, and more importantly weakening Iran's asymmetric war capabilities in Lebanon and Syria so as to minimize the damage Iran can cause the region in an Iran war. By attempting to "knock off" Iran's main allies in the region prior to an Iran war, the US and NATO and Israel intend to make the Iran war more feasible or at least "cheaper".

The US and NATO first attempted to get UN Charter Chapter 7 language in every resolution on Syria. But Russia and China saw that and vetoed it.

Then they tried to get Turkey to start the war by having Syrian insurgents shoot mortars into Turkish territory and have the Turks fire back killing Syrian troops. That didn't work because Assad was too cautious. Then they tried the same thing with ISRAELI forces firing back against alleged Syrian mortars. That didn't work either.

So now they've rolled out the "chemical weapons" scam which is perfect because Assad doesn't have to do anything but be blamed for something that never happened. Thus, we have Youtube videos proclaiming insurgents killed by "chemical attacks", and we have insurgents seizing control of a chlorine factory and other videos showing insurgents with chemical weapons set for a "false flag" chemical attack.

Plus since Syria has said it will never use chemical weapons against its own people, but only against foreign invaders, the US and Britain move their warships close to Syria and NATO puts missiles on the Turkish border. So Syria moves their chemical weapons either to protect them from being seized or to prepare them for use against a threatened attack. And this in itself plays into Washington's hands, with alleged Israel agents sending intel about the movements so Obama can claim Syria is preparing to attack civilians.

All of this is so obviously intended to justify and lay the groundwork for a foreign military intervention that it's difficult to comprehend people who can't grasp the obviousness of all this.

I predict the US and NATO will attacking Syria within the next ninety days, although as usual I could be very wrong on the timing.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Dec 12, 2012 6:37:54 PM | 61

"I think US's real fear is Syrian army may loose control of chemical weapons sites to jihadist rebels, not that Assad is going to use chemical weapons."

So it is, for now.
But, as the MANPADS looted by contras from the deposits of the Syrian Arab Army show their effectiveness in the skies of Afghanistan, the real fear of the United States will change.

Posted by: Pierpaolo | Dec 16, 2012 2:32:27 AM | 62

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter