Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 08, 2012

Syria: More Arms To The Insurgents

The U.S. continues to use the weapon of mass deception:
Once more, weapons of mass destruction could become weapons of mass deception at screaming high volume these past few days. From the western media who, in the heated atmosphere pre-Iraq and under pressure from Bush and Blair, brought us the Baghdad WMD story, now we have the “Damascus chemical weapons threat”.
...
Readers and viewers, meanwhile, should question why, and why now, there is suddenly a supposed chemical weapons “threat”? Where’s the proof? What is the evidence? The past should be a lesson to us all.
While blasting propaganda the U.S. is working through its proxies on revamping the sectarian Sunni terrorist army for Syria:
"Syrian rebel groups meeting in Turkey elected a 30-member unified command on Friday at talks attended by security officials from international powers, delegates said.

The 30 included many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, and excluded the most senior officers who had defected from President Bashar al-Assad's military, they said.
...
Security officials from the United States, Britain, France, the Gulf and Jordan have been attending the talks, which come days before a conference for the Friends of Syria, a grouping of dozens of countries that have mostly pledged non-military aid to rebels fighting to oust Assad. The new military leadership includes Jamal Marouf, an Islamist commander and Ahmad al-Issa from al-Zawiya region in Idlib, as well as Colonel Abdelbasset al-Tawil, who has links with Salafists in the province. At least two figures representing the adjacent province of Aleppo were Salafists, including rebel leader Abdelqader Saleh.

The NYT hides a bit why the U.S. is doing this now. The terrorist army was losing:
[R]ebel commanders said they were facing a stark new reality. Their advances in recent weeks have been built largely on fatigue and low morale among government soldiers, as well as on random weapons captured from military bases, they said.

But both the initial attempt to batter the ramparts of Damascus and the long struggle for Aleppo have given many commanders the sober sense that they had better obtain stronger weapons for any final showdown over the main government strongholds.

All those who have said "Assad must go" are now in a bind and they are doing the worst thing one could think of. Pumping more weapons into the Middle East. France seems to be heavily involved:
Large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders in the past month, diplomatic sources have confirmed. The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces.
...
Some of the French cash has reached Islamist groups who were desperately short of ammunition and who had increasingly turned for help towards al-Qaida aligned jihadist groups in and around Aleppo.
...
The French newspaper le Figaro reported this week that French military advisers had recently met with rebel groups inside Syria, in an area between Lebanon and Damascus, in further evidence of efforts by Paris to step up pressure on president Assad.
You know where all those material now pumped into Syria will end up? History says it will kill some people in Istanbul, be used blow up buses in Paris and London and overrun this or that U.S. embassy. Blowback is a bitch.

Posted by b on December 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

Comments

For those with interest in the USS Eisenhower (CVN69) aircraft carrier in the Med, this from facebook.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)'s Notes
A note from the commanding officer
2 hours ago
Dear IKE Family and Friends,
IKE has steadily sailed west across the Mediterranean Sea this week on its way to homeport. We experienced rough seas and high winds, but the ship remained steady and we launched and recovered aircraft and kept our aviators proficient at what they do best! It has been a little shocking to some as the temperatures dropped to the high 50's and low 60's -- we are used to 80's and 90's! But, home in our near future, we are happy to start acclimatizing! We are starting to focus on reunion and safety training this weekend in order to ensure your Sailors have shift gears easily when we pull in to Norfolk.

Don Hodde Thanks for the update, sir. Good to hear these words in light of other news in the media.
2 hours ago


Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8, 2012 12:29:13 PM | 1

The al-Nusrah Front is the most active anti-Syria force in Syria. They have caused the majority of suicide attacks, and have led FSA forces in installation attacks. Being the most active and the most dedicated, they have attracted fighters from other militias to their ranks.

The US is supposedly considering labeling al-Nusrah as terrorists, which would result in similar action from EU/NATO, but wouldn't affect the Front's primary source of funding.

McClatchy: The impact of the terrorist designation for Nusra, whose members have been at the forefront of many of the rebels’ most recent victories, remains unclear. Many rebel sympathizers said they were concerned that the designation would make it impossible for rebel groups to coordinate in their fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. Nusra members in Syria have told McClatchy that most of their funding comes from individuals in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8, 2012 12:46:40 PM | 2

@2 An interesting dilemma. Not unlike the one the Irgun had with the Stern Gang....or Jerry Adams with the Real IRA.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8, 2012 1:18:07 PM | 3

NATO intervening in Syrian conflict – Russian diplomat

http://rt.com/politics/nato-russia-syria-turkey-missile-defense-527/

"Russia’s ambassador to NATO criticized the Western military alliance for its planned deployment of Patriot missiles on the Turkey-Syria border, saying the move threatens to increase hostilities.

After dismissing the idea that Syria was interested in “fanning tension on the border” with Turkey, Alexander Grushko said the proposed deployment of US-made Patriot missile defense systems indicated that NATO “is getting involved in the conflict after all."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 8, 2012 1:52:53 PM | 4

It looks like Israel-America will have their terrorist proxies stage an attack using chem warfare and blame it on the Syrian government, as a pretext to getting NATO in there.

Rebels can use chemical weapons: Syrian govt

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_08/Rebels-can-use-chemical-weapons-Syrian-govt/

"Syria’s Foreign Ministry has warned the UN that rebels may use chemical weapons in the conflict, AFP reports.

Recently, the rebels gained control of a factory producing toxic chlorine to the east of the city of Aleppo and may use chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the Foreign Ministry said in a letter, adding that Syria would never use chemical weapons."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 8, 2012 1:57:03 PM | 5

Think the reason that the US is going after Al Nusri is to make sure that there proxies (FSA aligned Muslim Brotherhood) comes out on top. The US can "work with" the Muslim Brotherhood, it can't work with the Salafists. It learned that lesson in Benghazi with Ambassador Stevens and Ansar al Sharia. Easy to see Al Nusri Front turning around and biting the US after Assad is gone.

Could be however that they are being premature. Al Nusri is the backbone of the rebels. Sowing division and conflict within the ranks now and pitting the Muslim Brothers against Al Nusri before Assad falls could backfire.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 8, 2012 3:02:28 PM | 6

arming terrorists is normally illegal under US law...but BEING the law puts one above it

Posted by: brian | Dec 8, 2012 5:47:35 PM | 7

Susan Dirgham ‏@SusanDirgham
In one day alone in Homs, Mother Agnes saw 100 people killed and mutilated... "My life is changed from this moment" http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/two-of-us-20121126-2a261.html#ixzz2EVAPUj5E

Posted by: brian | Dec 8, 2012 5:56:17 PM | 8

Susan Dirgham ‏@SusanDirgham
"Islam should move on to bring the UK under its control and indeed, eventually, the whole world" Syria fights extremism http://news.sky.com/story/1022491/syria-rebel-prisoners-on-their-religious-war
note the turks and iraqis in this mix of 'syrian rebels'

Posted by: brian | Dec 8, 2012 6:15:27 PM | 9

Patrick Cockburn a great Middle East journalist (who wrote the books "Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Shia Revival" and "The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq") has a good piece from Damascus explaining the current vibe in the city for Independent Newspaper.

In the heart of Damascus fear is almost tangible. A dull booming sound from distant shelling reverberates across the city at night, individual detonations merging with each other.

When I was last in Damascus in early summer people here were still having picnics on the slopes of Mount Qassioun, which overlooks the city, at the same time as there was ferocious fighting in Homs which left much of it in ruins. Villagers in Houla had been bloodily massacred, allegedly by pro-government militiamen. But checkpoints were fewer and more relaxed and the international airport was still open. Yesterday the Free Syrian Army declared it a military target, but even before this few planes would have chanced a landing.

Even taking into account that today is Friday and it has been raining in Damascus, the streets have a desolate and menacing feel. For once, the traffic policemen outside the magnificent Ottoman Hejaz railway station have no traffic to direct. Earlier in the year many restaurants were doing little business, but there were still smart cafés with plenty of customers. Not any more.

From what I have read the fighting still seems to be contained in the ghost towns around Damascus and not in the city yet.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 8, 2012 7:27:16 PM | 10

Humanity advances and humanity retreats; and history with its cycles moves through the delusional purifications of violence, from one extremity to the next one. We are cycling down into a dark place now. With Obama, one of the most deceitful US presidents ever, whose cards remain ever close to his vest, supported by Hillary Clinton, that harpy of eternal war, at the State Department, with Susan Rice, more viper than diplomat, rumored as her replacement. How can we take any comfort in this? And then there is the depravity, also, of prominent European governments: France, Britain, even Germany--agreeable to finding a space on Syria's scrawny neck where a boot heel will yet fit.

Corrupt power is flexing its muscle, spinning its propaganda, making ready its false flags, and salivating in anticipation of the truly biblical image of Damascus in smoke and utter destruction.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 8, 2012 9:34:10 PM | 11

It's not fun being the citizen of a hegemon with an illeberal government with designs for continuous war.

Ah, but we have a president who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! This would be called ridiculous were it a screen play being pitched....

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 8, 2012 9:39:10 PM | 12

When propaganda masquerades as news--
antiwar.com headline today
"Syrian Rebels Press in Battle for Damascus Airport"

This is a verbatim headline quote from an AP article which features a scary photo of a terrorist firing a rifle with the caption--

Associated Press/Ugarit News via AP Video - This image from amateur video AP obtained from Ugarit News has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting and shows a rebel firing a weapon around a corner at Syrian government forces in Damascus, Syria Friday Dec. 7, 2012. Fighting around the Syrian capital has intensified in recent days as rebels press a battle they hope will lead to the collapse of President Bashar Assad's regime after 20 months of conflict. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP Video)

Firing a weapon around a corner!! Imagine that.

Who is Ugarit news?

Ugarit News - English ·
For more information or commentary, please contact:

Ausama Monajed, Executive Director of Strategic Research & Communication Centre.
Email: monajed@strescom.org

Ausama (or Osama) Monajed is a member of the Syrian National Council and the Executive Director of London-based Strategic Research and Communication Centre.

Monajed is a member of the SNC, adviser to its president, and according to his SNC biography, “the Founder and Director of Barada Television”, a pro-opposition satellite channel based in Vauxhall, south London. In 2008, a few months after attending Syria In-Transition conference, Monajed was back in Washington, invited to lunch with George W Bush, along with a handful of other favoured dissidents.

Barada TV gets a large chunk of its funding from an American non-profit organisation: the Democracy Council. One of the co-sponsors (with the MJD) of Syria In-Transition mini-conference.

From the article:
-- Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad declared Damascus International Airport a "legitimate target"
--The rebels issued a stern warning to the regime
--Fighting around the Syrian capital and the airport has intensified
--The clashes already have forced the suspension of commercial flights over the past week
--Rebels said they were trying to cut military supplies to the government.

AP and antiwar.com -- the mouthpieces of the anti-Syria terrorists.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8, 2012 11:44:30 PM | 13

"Firing a weapon around a corner!! Imagine that."

Sounds like a typical Spielberg action film. Should be quite a blockbuster for the holiday season.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 12:45:25 AM | 14

17 US warships now off Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_06/17-US-warships-now-off-Syria/

Some Nobel Peace Prize winner...

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 12:48:02 AM | 15

Syrian troops pursuing terrorists

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_09/Syrian-troops-pursuing-terrorists/

"Syrian troops are pursuing terrorists on the outskirts and in the suburbs of Damascus. The intensity of the fighting around the capital has significantly decreased.

On Saturday, the Syrian Foreign Minister reiterated that "under no pretext will it use chemical weapons against his own people."

In addition, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the Security Council and the UN Secretary General, expressing surprise at the silence of the international community after media reports appeared about the capture of "al-Qaeda" backed insurgents who were producing toxic chlorine near Aleppo.

The Syrian authorities have demanded that observers make a return trip to the facility where terrorists were producing chlorine. Previously, when UN experts approached the area gunmen opened fire."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 12:50:17 AM | 16

In a small sense, the war against Syria and Iran (and the recent past ones in the region) are for Israeli interests, in a large sense, it's part of western (re: Israeli-American-European) dream of total world domination. The "new" Hitlery lays it out...

Hillary Clinton: thwarting re-Sovietiztion or imposing Americanization?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_07/Hillary-Clinton-thwarting-re-Sovietiztion-or-imposing-Americanization/

"As reported by the Financial Times, on Thursday, hours before meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a news conference that the US is to prevent Russia from integrating more closely with its neighbors in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

"There is a move to re-Sovietise the region," said the US Secretary of State. "It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that. But let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it."

What irritated Ms. Hillary to the extent that she is obviously going to rethink the "reset" policy in relations with Russia, declared in 2009 and launched with her direct participation, is the process of growing integration between former Soviet States, and in particular Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan which formed a customs union in 2010. In 2012, the union was transformed into a common economic space with prospects of turning into a Eurasian Union that would enable other neighboring countries to join it along lines similar to of those the European Union."

MacKinder spelled it out early in the 20th century. Dominate the world's energy supply, by dominating Eurasia, and one dominates the world. From Zbig's Afghanistan
ops on, Israel-America has been pursuing "the great game". Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, these are part of this geostrategy, like Hitler securing western Europe before attacking the USSR (Hitler was a "great gamer" as well). Next up is the central Asian countries, who have already been substantially infiltrated by western covert special ops forces, "color revolutionaries" and the ever present Israeli run drug mafia elements. I'm surprised Hitlery was so blatant about the west's aggressive geostrategical intent, but then, who in the western media would make the obvious connection? Tel Aviv and New York don't allow such coverage of home team war criminal intent.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 1:12:14 AM | 17

"who have already been substantially infiltrated by western covert special ops forces, "color revolutionaries" and the ever present Israeli run drug mafia elements."

I forgot another major element, tied in closely with the others, the "al Qaida" terrorist agents run by the west (mostly by Israel, USA and UK). Created in Afghanistan, and closely mirroring the Israeli-American death squads used in Latin America and by Israel against Palestine, these terrorists operate as the ultimate cover for Israeli-American violence.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 1:25:48 AM | 18

@ Don Bacon [#13],

Q: Firing a weapon around a corner!! Imagine that.

R: StG-44's Krummlauf, WW II, Germany. Guess which country picked up on that en made an Uzi out of the Schmeisser MP 40?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 9, 2012 4:37:09 AM | 19

More evidence that the US wants the current president to go:

It also includes an amendment requiring the administration to report to Congress on the US military options available for degrading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of air power against his own people, although it does not expressly authorize the use of US military force and is not to be construed as a declaration of war against Syria.

Link

Posted by: William | Dec 9, 2012 5:41:34 AM | 20

Came across the following story:
Syria warns rebels may use chemical weapons.

A chemical factory in the hands of a group that will likely be classified as a terrorist organization this week? Sounds pretty perfect as an excuse for the US to take it to the next level.

Posted by: YesMaybe | Dec 9, 2012 9:59:06 AM | 21

The Syrian people need humanitarian aid and they need it yesterday.
If the media really cared about Syrians, they should show the suffering of the residents in Aleppo. They are literally dying of starvation. No Electricity at all for one week. No water for 5 days.
I spoke to someone in Aleppo yesterday, she told me her family is literally dying of starvation. If Russia or the USA cares about Syria, they need to find a way to get aid to these poor people and stop the fighting.

Posted by: Hilmi Hakim | Dec 9, 2012 11:02:28 AM | 22

Yes, as shown in this video Aleppo has suffered, and matters have gotten worse. Assad doesn't look so bad now. The corrupt FSA is less popular and the (possibly) less-corrupt al-Nusrah Front is gaining popularity. This flies in the face of the recent election of the new Supreme Military Council which did not include the al-Nusrah Front.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 1:29:23 PM | 23

@вот так 15
You are wrong on US warships off Syria. See my #1.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 1:32:17 PM | 24

How credible are reports of Syrian WMDs? Al Jazeera w/ Hillary Leverettt and Steve Clemons

Bashar al-Assad, Syria, and the truth about chemical weapons by Robert Fisk

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 9, 2012 1:51:35 PM | 25

another article on front page of NYT about jahbhat al-nusra

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/world/middleeast/syrian-rebels-tied-to-al-qaeda-play-key-role-in-war.html?hp&_r=0

Posted by: nikon | Dec 9, 2012 2:30:24 PM | 26

@ Don Bacon re #1 and #24. Is there other reporting that the carrier USS Eisenhower is returning home other than the facebook entry? I could find NO corroboration of this, and even the FB site has ZERO entries other than from the commanding officer, Captain Marcus Hitchcock. Even the official site USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) does not reveal its present location. Anyone have independent (of Hitchcock's assertion) re where the carrier is?

I feel uncomfortable about dismissing the RT and Voice of Russia reporting so readily, which contradicts the commander's reporting. This would not be the first time that "official sources" have tried to mislead.

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 9, 2012 2:51:14 PM | 27

re. my previous comment, I am not even sure that this is part of of even the
cvn69 entry, or that THAT entry is in any sense official. There has been much reporting about the effort DOD has made, continues to make, re dis information, especially on social media.

Don, how and where did you find what appears to me could be a stand alone page? Your information overall seems to be quite good, but I am troubled re this one. Hold my hand and walk me through why one should have more confidence in that single Fb entry than the Russian reporting.

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 9, 2012 3:01:59 PM | 28

Just spent a bit of time at some of the comments to the various Russian reports, mostly from the US, and IMO, sounding very much like the DOD disinformation patrol is extremely active. Wonder what others think?

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 9, 2012 3:18:06 PM | 29

According to gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html CVN69

01Dec2012, transited the Suez Canal, and returned to the Mediterranean Sea 01Dec-04Dec2012, Med

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 9, 2012 3:25:53 PM | 30

Dylan Syriana00:00 (edited) - Public(Top Secret)
Honored Major General Saud AlThanyan (May God protect him)

May Allah's Peace & Mercy be upon you.

Re the Royal fax# 112, on 19/4/1433 Hijri the one mentioning the prisoners in the Saudi prisons that are sent to death by sword we wanna inform you that after contacting those proved guilty of drug smuggling, murder & rape from the following nationalities: 105 Yemeni, 21 Palestinian, 212 Saudi, 96 Sudanese, 254 Syrian, 82 Jordanian, 68 Somali, 32 Afghani, 194 Egyptian, 203 Pakistani, 23 Iraqi & 44 from Kuwait.

We have agreed to spare them from death, give their families & parents monthly salaries, who will be banned from leaving Saudi Arabia in exchange of training the prisoners & preparing them for Jihad in Syria.

Follow up Manager in the Interior Ministry
Abd Allah Bin Ramizan

A Copy to the head of the Promotion of Virtue & Prevention of Vice Committee
A Copy to the General Intelligence

Posted by: brian | Dec 9, 2012 3:37:45 PM | 31

@erichwwk 27
facebook rules, in this case. The Ike will be in Norfolk for Christmas, along with its accompanying ships. The exact position of US Navy ships is seldom known publicly; this was a slip-up. You may look at the website for ANY ship and you will not see its exact or even proximate position except perhaps a port call. I was monitoring Anatlya Turkey b/c US ships (including Ike last year) often pull in there but there was nothing. I think perhaps the conference to elect the new Syria rebel Supreme Military Council, which was held in that city, kept the Ike away. In any case the families of six or seven thousand sailors and Marines have been alerted to the Ike's impending (after crossing the pond) arrival. Accept it.

Poor journalism is now the rule not the exception.

At thus time there is no chance of a US air war or no fly zone in Syria, in my opinion. There is absolutely no stomach for it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:02:58 PM | 32

correction: Make that Antalya Turkey.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:04:09 PM | 33

The new Supreme Military Council has been launched with these people:

chief of staff - Brigadier Selim Idris

deputies
Colonel Abdelbasset al-Tawil
Abdelqader Saleh - leader of the Tawheed Brigade, FSA
Mustafa Abdelkareem
Ziad Fahd
Abdeljabbar Akidi
Jamal Marouf
Ahmad al-Issa

and these features: (extracted from news reports to save you reading them all)
-30-member unified command
-bowing to intense pressure from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who the fighters said promised more advanced weapons once a central military council was in place.
-now backers will funnel money and weapons through the new military council rather than playing favorites among the groups,
- a marked departure from previous attempts because it was built strictly around commanders from inside Syria rather than imposed by Arab countries and the West
-two-thirds of the leadership had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or were politically allied with the group, a composition which resembles that of the civilian opposition leadership coalition created under Western and Arab auspices in Qatar last month.
-Security officials from the United States, Britain, France, the Gulf and Jordan have been attending the talks,
- two of the most extreme groups fighting in Syria were not invited -- Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham
-It excludes the most senior officers who have defected from Assad's military.

There was also a new military council created last Spring.

Syrian National Council (SNC) leader Burhan Ghalioun said his political opposition group had formed a military body to oversee and organize armed rebels within the country under a unified leadership. "The creation of the military council was agreed upon by all armed forces in Syria," he told a news conference in Paris on Thursday. "We will be like a defense ministry."

The SNC has now been sidelined by the new Syrian National Coalition, Ghalioun has resigned, and the military council has been replaced.

Next the rebels will select a Defense Minister. Two mentioned prominently are Mohamed al-Fares, who was an air force officer most famous as Syria’s first astronaut, sent aloft by the Soviets in 1987, and Manaf Tlass, the scion of a famous Sunni Muslim family. Commanders said that Mr. Tlass was a favorite of the French and Saudis, but that they distrusted him both because of his senior military position under President Assad and because his father was defense minister for almost 30 years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:17:24 PM | 34

The new Supreme Military Council has been launched with these people:

chief of staff - Brigadier Selim Idris

deputies
Colonel Abdelbasset al-Tawil
Abdelqader Saleh - leader of the Tawheed Brigade, FSA
Mustafa Abdelkareem
Ziad Fahd
Abdeljabbar Akidi
Jamal Marouf
Ahmad al-Issa

and these features: (extracted from news reports to save you reading them all)
-30-member unified command
-bowing to intense pressure from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who the fighters said promised more advanced weapons once a central military council was in place.
-now backers will funnel money and weapons through the new military council rather than playing favorites among the groups,
- a marked departure from previous attempts because it was built strictly around commanders from inside Syria rather than imposed by Arab countries and the West
-two-thirds of the leadership had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or were politically allied with the group, a composition which resembles that of the civilian opposition leadership coalition created under Western and Arab auspices in Qatar last month.
-Security officials from the United States, Britain, France, the Gulf and Jordan have been attending the talks,
- two of the most extreme groups fighting in Syria were not invited -- Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham
-It excludes the most senior officers who have defected from Assad's military.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:20:54 PM | 35

There was also a new military council created last Spring.

Syrian National Council (SNC) leader Burhan Ghalioun said his political opposition group had formed a military body to oversee and organize armed rebels within the country under a unified leadership. "The creation of the military council was agreed upon by all armed forces in Syria," he told a news conference in Paris on Thursday. "We will be like a defense ministry."

The SNC has now been sidelined and replaced by the Syrian National Coalition, Ghalioun has resigned, and the military council has been replaced.

Next will be the selection of a Defense Minister. Two mentioned prominently are Mohamed al-Fares, who was an air force officer most famous as Syria’s first astronaut, sent aloft by the Soviets in 1987, and Manaf Tlass, the scion of a famous Sunni Muslim family. Commanders said that Mr. Tlass was a favorite of the French and Saudis, but that they distrusted him both because of his senior military position under President Assad and because his father was defense minister for almost 30 years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:24:17 PM | 36

There does not seem to be a stomach for it in Britain either.

This here is the Daily Telegraph.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9, 2012 4:31:46 PM | 37

Many Syrians are realizing that the government is better than the jihadists who only know how to destroy and not how to govern, with Aleppo a case in point.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 4:48:08 PM | 38

22) sure. if anybody cared they would deliver food instead of weapons.

edward dark ‏@edwardedark
can anyone explain why rebels are going for the energy, communication, food & transportation infrastructure of #Syria? whats the purpose?

2h Carla Fanchin ‏@carlafnch
@edwardedark Which is your opinion Edward?

2h edward dark ‏@edwardedark
@carlafnch rebels follow whatever their foreign backers tell them to do. apparently they think more civilian suffering is good for them

2h Carla Fanchin ‏@carlafnch
@edwardedark who are those foreign backers?
Öffnen
2h edward dark ‏@edwardedark
@carlafnch Turkey and the Gulf states of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Western Intelligence services

1h Tore ‏@potifar66
@edwardedark then Its about maximizing civilian suffering, just to justify a humanitarian intervention? @carlafnch

and this


Dec 7 Jenan Moussa ‏@jenanmoussa
I really really dont understand why international community isnt sending food/ aid 2 North #Syria thru #turkey. How difficult can that be?

Dec 7 Sarab ‏@SarabNY
@jenanmoussa they are hiding behind "its dangerous" & "no partners" excuses 2 avoid dealing w/ activists/ FSA as legitimate nonstate actors

Dec 7 Jenan Moussa ‏@jenanmoussa
@SarabNY anyone can just drive a convoy in.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9, 2012 6:16:22 PM | 39

#24

First off, I'm not wrong, I just posted the story. The story may be wrong, but probably not. One of the selling points of using nuclear power in warships is that the ships can cruise at high speed for a lot longer than conventionally powered ships. In the case of the Eisenhower, that means the ship can do a steady 30+kts. That's about 800 miles a day. Keep that in mind.

The media announced back on the 22nd of November the ship was returning to the USA and would arrive by Xmas. The report I posted was from 6 Dec. Your facebook entry is from 8 Dec., and the ship is still in the Med. The distance from Suez to Gibraltar could be traversed in 3-4 days by the Eisenhower group, easy. The task group may have already been off Syria for several days before the Russian report was posted. It's likely the group spent some time off Syria, perhaps they still are in the region. They have time to still hang about a few more days and still make it home for Xmas. Atlantic crossing is 5-6 days.

Another thing, the media reported the Eisenhower group as being either 3 or 5 ships (Eisenhower and 2-4 escorts) and that this group was the one scheduled to return. The Russians are reporting that 17 ships were present. That means there was a lot more ships than just Eisenhower's core task group, and reinforces the speculation that the USN is up to something off Syria. The Eisenhower group may be part of that, or just passing through. The recall home may also be just a cover for the task group being off Syria for a short op of some sort, such as recon or supporting the infiltrating of special forces unloading from the other ships reported there.

I wouldn't dismiss this Russian account because the USN wrote in facebook where they were.

#29

Saw that too, when I posted the article link. I agree, it is kind of suspicious they made so much effort to "debunk" this story. The U.S. military has a very active "hasbara" corps of their own, just like the IDF, and these are independent and additional to all the other spammer rubbish Israel-America floods the web with.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 7:14:54 PM | 40

@ вот так 39 -- First off, I'm not wrong, I just posted the story. The story may be wrong.

That's classic. I'll keep it. Countering my #1 with your #15 and then professing innocence. As if an article in Voice of Russia trumps the declaration of the ship's captain. Hah.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 7:28:42 PM | 41

"That's classic. I'll keep it. Countering my #1 with your #15 and then professing innocence. As if an article in Voice of Russia trumps the declaration of the ship's captain. Hah."

That's a pretty childish and dishonest portrayal of my comment, and also quite American chauvinistic. I'll remember that. And yes, I do give more credibility to a VOR report that to a facebook post by a USN captain. I've known a few ex-navy, and the stories they tell of their commanders...

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 7:43:25 PM | 42

Anyway, whether Eisenhower's group has left the eastern Med doesn't address the info about the other dozen or so ships reported off Syria in the VOR story. It is what those ships may be doing that is probably the more important matter.

Syria: Iraq 2.0, another false-flag invasion, rated XXX

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_07/Syria-Iraq-2-0-another-false-flag-invasion-rated-XXX/

"The US and NATO are set to invade Syria, something many of us have been warning about for a while now. It has been obvious that they have been looking for a pretext and that pretext has already been injected into the public debate. That pretext: chemical weapons, revealed by Fox News and the Director of the CIA, the same two sources that brought us all of the Iraq invasion lies.

"The United States has been usurped by madmen and lunatic killers bent on forcing the entire planet to its knees by force. Maybe those are strong words but that is the truth. Just like a brutal cop who murders and then places a cold gun in his dead victim’s hand, the US is rolling through the world like a cancer, killing and invading at will. They will invade Syria and Iran, and then like that cop, come up with the reason later, and like that cop they must be stopped.

We know, without a shadow of a doubt that the US will lie about and produce “evidence” of anything under the sun if it will allow them to carry out their military adventures. Then why should we be surprised by or believe anything they say now with regards to Syria, in particular the claim that President Bashar al-Assad has chemical weapons.

The US has long ago lost any and all credibility and needs to be locked in a padded cell and have all of its weapons removed forcibly before it kills any more people.

Unless one is suffering from loss of long term memory all of the above facts should be enough to cause alarm, and the hairs on the back of the neck to stand on end when a “news” outlet like Fox News, which has lied and lied again, tells the world Syria has chemical weapons. War lie, invasion to come.

When it comes to the lies on Syria, well they have been going on for years. We just learned that Egypt Air resumed flights into Damascus because they found out all of the reports of violence around the international airport were lies. The fact that slimy looking Leon Panetta, dressed in his thousand dollar mafia-thug suit, gets in front of a microphone trying to look all worried while having trouble making his eyes meet the reporters, as he states he is “concerned the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons,” just doesn’t get it. Where is the proof? That is what the international community should be asking, and if the US is lying, yet again, which I am sure it is, the world needs to seriously look at ways of disarming the most dangerous aggressor on the planet."

Personally, I think Robles give the USA too much of a rosy view when he characterises it as being taken over by "madmen and lunatic killers". That is not something new in American history, but is standard operating procedure. America has been run by people with the moral values of mafia thugs for a very long time now. The main difference between the USA now and before is they no longer take much effort to hide this fact. They are so full of hubris, they don't care. Much like Nazi Germany, they are thrilled the world sees them as bullies, since they view it as their "natural right" to lead the world.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 7:58:10 PM | 43

Personally I dont think it matters much where Eisenhower's group is, nor its a certain indication what they'll do. Iran is constantly shadowed by several carriers with all their support warships, for decades.

Most likely US is just using psychological pressure on Syria, but I doubt it will have much effect on Assad, he doesnt seem like weak-hearted leader.

Lets say the worst happens, and US attacks Syria. If carrier group is within striking distance - it will quickly become a new home for fishes. If it keeps safe distance, it wont have as much effect in the war against Syria. If Iran and/or Russia helps in the war, warships will be the least of Syria's worries.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 9, 2012 8:27:49 PM | 44

Thanks Don Bacon et al. Appreciate it.

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 9, 2012 8:43:27 PM | 45

@ вот так 41 That's a pretty childish and dishonest portrayal of my comment

Okay, I can see I've been too easy on you so I'll give you a more adult version. I presented ironclad proof -- a declaration of the ship's captain -- in my #1 that the USS Eisenhower was on its way out of the Med and you came back in your #15 with an article from a Russia source that the Ike was off Syria, an obvious mistake on your part, which I called, and called you wrong. And then you come back with a really stupid response: "I'm not wrong, I just posted the story" which means you think that you can post any story you want to, and not care about its veracity.

That's wrongful thinking on your part. There is a quest for truth here, and your sloppy thinking is an impediment to it. So just stop it, and raise your standards. Before you post an opposite story, particularly one that counters a story that has some authority to it, like the declaration of a ship captain, whether there is any good reason to post a different story, and not just do it because it satisfies some agenda of yours regarding offensive action against some other country.

So you're doubly wrong. Wrong in posting a bogus story, and wrong in the careless way you did it. Is that adult and honest enough for you?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 8:49:28 PM | 46

@вот так 42
Anyway, whether Eisenhower's group has left the eastern Med doesn't address the info about the other dozen or so ships reported off Syria in the VOR story.

The Voice of Russia's reporting has been proven wrong, and you're still sticking by it?

wiki-- A carrier strike group (CSG) is an operational formation of the United States Navy. It is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier, at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two destroyers and/or frigates,[1] and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. A carrier strike group also, on occasion, includes submarines, attached logistics ships and a supply ship.

"The US and NATO are set to invade Syria, something many of us have been warning about for a while now."

Some of us = you and Penny -- are probably wrong, as proven above.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 9, 2012 8:57:56 PM | 47

45,46

Why is it so important to you to be seen as "right" when none of us can really know for sure the facts in the matter? Why is it so important to you that the USN is not seen as having deployed ships near Syria, even if was just done temporarily? You're taking this way too personally, when I posted the story I wasn't referencing your earlier post. I would have noted the post number if I had been.

I have not seen VOR invent USN ship deployments before. I have seen the USN lie about their deployments frequently. So I have no reason to doubt the USN moved some ships into the region. Usually when VOR notes USN ship movements, it's an unusual development and there is a reason to note the change. Such as increasing USN carriers off Iran, a deployment of in a hotspot not usually seen, or closer to the shores of China, for examples. If the USN was secretly deploying ships off Syria, having the deployment exposed cant hurt. If the ships were simply passing by, a little preventative reporting cant hurt, either. Exposure is the best preventative medicine when it comes to Israeli-American behaviour.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 9:22:42 PM | 48

46

"'The US and NATO are set to invade Syria, something many of us have been warning about for a while now.'

Some of us = you and Penny -- are probably wrong, as proven above."

The quote is from Robles, not me. It was clearly quoted as part of the story. My comments were clearly noted as separate.

Do I personally think Israel-America will invade Syria, or have proxies do it? I don't know. I think they will try and do it by terrorism first (what they are doing now), but if this route fails, I don't think the fascists will simply back off. They are not giving any indication of that. I'm not sure what the situation in Syria is, one gets different scenarios from the different sources. My feeling is the terrorists are being gradually taken care of. One thing I am certain of is that Israel-America will continue increasing the attack on Syria until they either succeed or are forced to pull back. If their terrorists get neutralised, I do think that "plan B" will be outright invasion of some sort.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 9:35:07 PM | 49

BTW, it's not just VOR who is reporting this Eisenhower deployment:

US tightens military noose around Syria

http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-tightens-military-noose-by-Bill-van-Auken-121207-783.html

See also:

Mounting Evidence of US Plans for Military Intervention against Syria

http://www.globalresearch.ca/mounting-evidence-of-us-plans-for-military-intervention-against-syria/5314765

Several others have reported on this also (run a search). These articles names what the other ships are which make up the 17 ships. Three of them are apparently amphib warfare ships ("USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall" - articles). They are also reporting the Eisenhower task group joined these ships. We can claim it's psychological warfare, the Israeli-Americans are not seriously thinking of invading Syria. We can even convince ourselves this is the case. But I stopped doing that sort of second guessing when Israel-America invaded Iraq. I think expecting the worst, and trying to counter that, is what needs to be done. The first line of defense is exposing them when ever and where ever one can.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 10:08:23 PM | 50

Another speculated scenario to get the jackboots into Syria:

New plan to invade Syria

http://www.voltairenet.org/article176891.html

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 10:49:23 PM | 51

BOT TAK is certainly acting like a BOT posting speculative scenarios non-stop. And the people who make up these scenarios keep on modifying them again and again, adjusting the time, the means, the location of the upcoming invasion to suit. Not worth more than a "Penny", IMO.

A number of such speculative scenarios could also be attached to the various recent movements of Russian ships in the Med, and some people indeed do this, including some Greek defence sites, talking about "5000 Russian marines in Syria", "oh no, not in Syria but on their way there," , "oh no, not in Syria but flexing muscles and blowing on smoke off Syria", "oh no, in Syria and evacuating Russian military families", ad infinitum.

I keep coming here because there is usually higher level analysis than this. Oh well, perhaps I should have just ignored the current round of speculation.

Posted by: kodlu | Dec 9, 2012 11:25:51 PM | 52

51

The "support team" arrives.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 9, 2012 11:34:03 PM | 53

Only 2 more days to raise $10,000; please support

Manufactured Crisis: A History of the Iranian Nuclear Scare
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1549675470/manufactured-crisis-a-history-of-the-iranian-nucle

Posted by: kiterunner | Dec 9, 2012 11:43:50 PM | 54

While back in Afghanistan, an American soldier was killed while on a mission to rescue an American, Dr. Dilip Joseph.

I think the man was with a Christian group out of Colorado. This would explain the urgency in rescuing him. The New York Times refers to the doctor working for Morning Star Developments.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/world/asia/american-doctor-dilip-joseph-rescued-in-afghanistan.html

This link refers to Morning Star Developments as a Christian organization.

http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=17431

He may have been in danger because he was trying to preach Christianity to the Afghans.

I haven't found any references to his Christian faith in any of the news stories about him. This may have been on purpose.

Posted by: Gagemunsun | Dec 10, 2012 12:18:21 AM | 55

Don, don't knpow enough to sort it out, but I am troubled by your assertion that you consider "ironclad proof" as being -- a declaration of the ship's captain".

We all know (by DOD's own admission) that there is a program of disinformation targeting social media such as FB. So IMO there is no way of knowing whether the post "was a slip" or a case of such disinformation. The Russians still have good satellite capability, and would know for certain where the carrier is. Of course, they too could be "misleading".

We all know (I think) that Gen. Petraeus main contribution was in the area of propaganda. He has been quoted by John Pilger as stating "The enemy is not the Taliban, but the American Public". So BOTH Russia *AND* the USA are engaged in the struggle of what the narrative re the "GWOT" is about. BOTH militaries know "facts on the ground" in a way we cannot. The *ONLY* reason for carrier groups not to reveal to the public there location is NOT to keep information from the enemy, but from the public.

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 10, 2012 7:52:03 AM | 56

@55. I would add.....if it turns out that the family and friends of the carrier crew have been deceived for propaganda purposes they are not the kind to complain. Or maybe they are. It will be interesting to find out.

Posted by: dh | Dec 10, 2012 9:53:00 AM | 57

sorry, that should be @56

Posted by: dh | Dec 10, 2012 10:10:44 AM | 58

I think Don is right. The US has no reason to hide an intention to attack from the Syrians. Quite the contrary, keeping up the prospect of attack is good for rebel/terrorist morale and is psywar on the government.

Posted by: Lysander | Dec 10, 2012 11:22:51 AM | 59

Friends of Syria’s goal is to ‘destroy the country by force and use its strategic geographical location for their own purposes’ – interview

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_10/Friends-of-Syria-s-goal-is-to-destroy-the-country-by-force-and-use-its-strategic-geographical-location-for-their-own-purposes-interview/

An interesting interview that covers a lot of territory. One thing I'll single out is his reporting that the terrorists are losing support among world governments:

"BA: First of all, this will not be the meeting of Syria’s friends, but of its enemies! Secondly, this Friends of Syria meeting once numbered 134 countries, and now there are 65 countries."

Israel-America is losing the ability to coerce some of the world into supporting their war crimes. Even France and Britain have made recent statements backing off from earlier war mongering rhetoric, though behind the scenes, these criminal entities are still helping run the terrorist ops against Syria as much, or greater than before.

While the Israeli-American mafia/fascists are losing support for expanding their war against Syria, they have expanded their propaganda efforts. The shrillness and hysteria in the western media continues to be ramped up. This was done previously in their attack on Libya. They created the illusion of a collapsing Libyan government through constant use of Goebbels style "big lie" propaganda.

They are doing this routine against Syria, but a key element is missing that was needed against Libya to make the hoax work. That is outside military involvement. The no-fly zone and the air support attacking Libyan government forces which allowed the terrorist proxies to then gain ground and take the country over. Before that NATO air attack, the terrorists were in fact being steadily neutralised.

This western propaganda hype should be seen as a preliminary part of an overall strategy to repeat the Libya scenario in Syria. First, they create the false image of imminent Syrian government collapse, while moving in support infrastructure for war expansion (examples: Patriot abm in Turkey, amphib ships off the coast, troop movements to, and ground support aircraft rebasing in neighbouring country bases). The next stage is a no-fly zone or some similar legal smoke screen to activate their military assault. While one sees talk by the western thugs of moderation, preparation for an expanded war continues behind the scenes.

Ignore what they say, and watch what they do.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10, 2012 1:53:56 PM | 60

In shining armor: Apache-piloting Prince Harry to ‘help oust Assad’

http://rt.com/news/prince-harry-sent-syria-721/

Was he the royal recently in the tabloids for frolicking naked at a party? Perhaps he could flash the Syrians and dazzle them with his .... "manhood"?

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10, 2012 2:38:05 PM | 61

Sending Prince Harry to Syria is a very good idea I think. Perhaps with Bernard-Henri Lévy as door-gunner. Let's hope they don't get captured.

Posted by: dh | Dec 10, 2012 3:00:50 PM | 62

NATO has voted to deploy Patriot missiles to the Turkish/Syrian border and US troops are reported to be part of that installation. Does anyone know when these weapons are scheduled to be installed in Turkey, how many US troops will be involved and what kind of long-term US commitment of troops is involved just to monitor/maintain the weapons even if they are not used?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 10, 2012 5:09:36 PM | 63

@63. I saw a figure of 400. To be installed in 2 or 3 weeks with a one year renewal. Of course they are for defensive purposes only.

I'm wondering what happens if/when somebody lobs a mortar bomb at one of them.

Posted by: dh | Dec 10, 2012 6:49:24 PM | 64

Preemptive Strike on Syria Looms

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2012/12/preemptive-strike-on-syria-looms.html

"Washington planned war on Syria years ago. Only its timing and methodology remained to be decided.

US administrations want all independent governments replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes. War is the bottom line option when other methods fail.

Washington's proxy war on Syria raged since winter 2011. Full-scale intervention looms. Pretexts are easy to invent when none exist.

Fabricating a chemical weapons threat appears the option of choice. Iraq WMD 2.0 hype headlined enough convinces most people of a nonexistent danger.

Full-scale war could erupt anytime. Washington positioned a powerful fighting force off Syria's coast. British and French warships joined it. Offensive Patriot missiles are being placed in Turkey on Syria's border.

On December 8, Today's Zaman headlined "Six Patriot batteries, 600 foreign troops to be deployed in Turkey."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 11, 2012 1:30:40 AM | 65

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10, 2012 2:38:05 PM | 61

imagine the outcry if a syrian was sent to oust the brutal Cameron...or the Queen!

Posted by: brian | Dec 11, 2012 4:04:46 AM | 66

Posted by: kodlu | Dec 9, 2012 11:25:51 PM | 52

those who attack Voltaire net reveal who they really are

Posted by: brian | Dec 11, 2012 4:07:42 AM | 67

"Washington planned war on Syria years ago. Only its timing and methodology remained to be decided."

Indeed 64 years ago George Kennan's 1948 memo contributing to the 1950 NSC68:

"We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only about 6.3 percent of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of Altruism and world-benefaction….We should cease to talk vague…and unreal objectives such as human rights, the rising of the living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

As Oliver Stone suggests in his "Untold History of the United States", and MANY others before him, the atomic bomb was thought to give the US the opportunity to decide political outcomes by force, staying ahead of rivals with "full spectrum dominace". The Wohlstetters were perhaps the first to openly advocate that Russia and China needed to be militarily defeated, before they gained their projected economic and military power as the bomb was developed.

Later documents, such as the 1996 A Clean Break leading to the more well known Project for a New American Century made the path through Syria more explicit.

Posted by: erichwwk | Dec 11, 2012 11:56:00 AM | 68

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