Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 25, 2013

Position Changes On Syria

There seems to be some recognition that the attack on Syria is failing:
France said on Thursday there were no signs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is about to be overthrown, something Paris has been saying for months was just over the horizon.
...
Fabius told RFI radio in December "the end is nearing" for Assad. But on Thursday, he said international mediation and discussions about the crisis that began in March 2011 were not getting anywhere. "There are no recent positive signs," he said.
This is definitely a change in the French governments mind. The attack on Mali may be the reason for that. The public can hardly be deceived about the fact that the Jihadists France is trying to fight in Mali are the same ilk that Bashar Assad is fighting against. There is only so much hypocrisy that can be covered up.

Peter Lee believes that the Saudis are the ones that are still lobbying against a negotiated solution:

The United States and its European allies, it appears, would welcome some kind of negotiated settlement as long as Western face is saved by Assad stepping down. Turkey, which is facing a growing Kurdish calamity and has probably had a bellyful of its Syrian adventurism, would probably agree. And, as noted above, Qatar has a post-Assad electoral agenda based on its M[uslim] B[rotherhood] assets.

However, Prince Saud has drawn the line in the sand, indicating that Saudi Arabia is optimistic about a scenario of total regime collapse—and a subsequent political endgame in which Saudi allies occupy a privileged and protected position in the new power structure instead of getting massacred by a tag team of threatened Sunni citizens and the newly “democratic” Syrian army.

I have a different read of the Saudi position.

Some Saudis have indeed yet to acknowledge their defeat:

A senior member of Saudi Arabia's monarchy called on Friday for Syrian rebels to be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to "level the playing field" in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad.
...
"I'm not in government so I don't have to be diplomatic. I assume we're sending weapons and if we were not sending weapons it would be terrible mistake on our part," said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and brother of Saudi Arabia's foreign minister.
Turki al-Faisal was ambassador to the U.S. but resigned after his predecessor, Bandar bin Sultan, visited the White House several times without Turki al-Faisal knowledge. Turki al-Faisal no longer has a political role in Saudi Arabia. But Bandar bin Sultan is now Secretary General of the National Security Council and Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency. Bandar bin Sultan planned and is running the Saudi part of the campaign against Syria. As Seymour Hersh reported back in 2007:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. [...] The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
...
The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser.

There is recently some news that the arms flow to Syrian insurgents has much diminished. They are on the verge of loosing their positions in Homs and the Damascus suburbs.

I take the public demand for more arms by Turki al-Faisal as criticism of a change in his rival's Bandar bin Sultan's policies towards Syria.

Bahsar Assad has the upper hand in Syria and is slowly regaining ground:

[T]he prospects of the ground battle are changing. There are new factors and military strategies. The army has learned from its mistakes. The army has gained more control over security breaches caused by corruption. Popular committees, which have been intensively training for two months, have been formed. An information and eavesdropping network has been installed (with great help from the Russians, which has surpassed all Western aid to the armed opposition). Self-protection measures in minority areas have been taken. It is said that the popular committees’ accomplishments have exceeded the army’s expectations.
Bashar Assad's now acknowledged survival has changed the Saudi policies towards him:
Behind-the-scenes contacts between Syria and Saudi Arabia have changed the relationship between them. Nothing major has come of these efforts, but they are a good start. The talks are not with the official Saudi authorities, but many inside the Saudi government hold a different opinion about interfering in Syria. Damascus is mostly resentful of Qatar, although Moallem often talks about Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Algerian, Iraqi, Lebanese and Egyptian officials have relayed genuine Syrian frustration about Qatar’s insistence on arming the opposition.
There is indeed, as Peter Lee describes, a deep split between Qatar's and Saudi Arabia's policies. While Qatar wants to install the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, a group the Saudis fear, Saudi Arabia had planned for conservative Sunni regime, headed by a strongman or - preferable - a king. And while the Saudis use Jihadis for their purpose in foreign policies they also fear them at home. As the situation has now developed in Syria a defeat of Assad would likely end in a significant role for the Jihadists and those would immediately threaten Jordan and the Saudi borders.

As Saudi Arabia recognizes the danger from the powers it unleashed it is looking for a way out. Keeping a - much diminished - Assad regime in place may well be preferable to a win for those powers, the MB or the Jihadists, who do not recognize and would fight against the Saudi princes legitimacy.

Hard proof for the change in the Saudi position is not yet in. But the situation has developed to a point where a win for the opposition would result in likely trouble for the Saudi state.  My hunch is therefore that the Saudis will agree to a negotiated solution while the Qataris will likely be against anything that leaves the Muslim Brotherhood out of a governing position.

But Qatar may have overstretched its position. Supporting the Jihadists in Mali, as some in France allege it is doing, may bring an end of its freewheeling intervention policy by money and weapon support.

Posted by b on January 25, 2013 at 01:36 PM | Permalink

Comments

“Jordan’s King Abdullah II reportedly told the Saudis that “Jordan is not weak. We will not accept to be economically blackmailed. It is Jordan that protects the Saudi borders.”

“In truth, Saudi Arabia does not only face pressure from Jordan and Syria, but also within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). According to the source, the Saudis feel today “that the Kingdom no longer carries the same weight in the organization.” Kuwait and the UAE threatened to pull out of the GCC “if Saudi Arabia continued to back the Salafis.”

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/saudi-looks-lebanon-regional-boost

Posted by: Rd. | Jan 25, 2013 2:55:14 PM | 1

Syria has magically dropped right out of the news.

Reminds me of when Iraq was declared sovereign, Bremer left, and Iraq immediately moved to the second page of our local newspaper. Of course, that's precisely when things started to heat up. Nonetheless Iraq stayed second page news.

Isn't a free press wonderful?

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 25, 2013 3:13:37 PM | 2

From b,s piece:

"An information and eavesdropping network has been installed (with great help from the Russians, which has surpassed all Western aid to the armed opposition)"

Russia is playing a crucial role here, thankfully. I thought once the Russians joined the WTO, pressure would be brought to abandon their support for Syria. Glad to be wrong on that count.

Posted by: ben | Jan 25, 2013 3:29:32 PM | 3

The returning, in defeat, of a jihadi army to those countries that unleashed them on foreign soil, is the stuff of classic tragedy; and it does not bode well for the regimes that sent them off, to have them come home in tatters.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 25, 2013 3:59:25 PM | 4

I have had the feeling now for some weeks even (since its hardly anymore on the news) but when i read this guardian article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/17/syria-crisis-alqaida-fighters-true-colours
i felt pretty sure that "the west" has, at the moment, admitted defeat.
Well who knows who was after which goals exactly there.
I have the feeling that from early on, france have been playing their own game in that conflict, since they always were the first ones to recognise several "opposition groups" as "the only legitimate representation of the syrian people" and stuff, while the gulf monarchies were playing their own game by their own rules. I guess that the Syrian government with help from russia and china have been quite good at playing these opposition groups against each other.
At least for the moment it looks like they might re-gain control over most of Syria.
But again, who knows, maybe tomorrow "the west" steps back in again with airstrikes or what have you.
Generally, following the news coverage between the lines, things look good for the syrian gov.
If they can work on having the elites of different fractions participate in the power, then maybe they can "win" over the insurgents, as far as thats possible at all. But theres still chance that Syria might turn into (or remain) a second Iraq.

Posted by: peter radiator | Jan 25, 2013 4:06:09 PM | 5

I think the support Syria is getting from its allies has played a crucial role in preventing Israel-America pulling another Libyan scenario. There has obviously been some maneuvering behind the scenes between Syria's allies and the Israeli-Americans, and that might have had a decisive affect also. It would makes sense now for Israel-America to slow down the more extreme of the terrorist ops and push the more "diplomatic" Muslim Brotherhood style ops instead. They will still have their terrorists terrorise Syria at every opportunity, but have their "lip-service" stress the MB types in their phony rebels. Israel-America has a lot on its plate right now, I suspect the back-off has to do with that, as well, since for them to succeed in Syria, they would probably have to bomb and invade and they cant do that right now.

As for SA and Qatar, without Israeli-American backing, I don't believe they cant really do anything. They may gripe, and jostle for position, but ultimately they have to follow the Israeli-American lead.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 25, 2013 4:08:14 PM | 6

If Syria can weather this storm; then I expect the society will be sound, and more united than before. But those who have sown the dragon's teeth, and failed, will get what's coming to them.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 25, 2013 4:13:00 PM | 7

I would say the change occurred after the Benghazi 'embassy' incident. Clinton, Rice and Co just weren't having fun anymore.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25, 2013 4:25:07 PM | 8

Thanks b. Great stuff!
Imo, Russia and "Israel" were the keys here.

The cowardly, dumbass, own-bullshit-believing "Israelis" warned Syria that its air defenses needed fixing and it fixed them. Quick-smart.

The cowardly, dumbass, own-bullshit-believing Yankees forgot (literally) that Syria was no longer the kind of weak, pissant, defenseless little military nonentity susceptible to US-NATO pseudo-military self-deception. As soon as the Russians stepped up to the plate it was GAME OVER for Yankee daydreams.

As an aside, I found it irritating that Russia didn't interfere in the Yankee invasion of Afghanistan. But, as several pundits have opined, the Russians probably realised that the Yankees were quite capable of turning their AfPak adventure into an expensive (and utter) debacle without Russia lifting a finger.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 25, 2013 4:53:10 PM | 9

I agree with dh. The decision to change probably took place right after Benghazi, when the covert Libyan supply chain got cut. Also, a major supply coordinator in Lebanon got taken out about the same time.

However, implementation of the decision probably had to wait for Obama's reelection. The neconderthals would have made a big stink before the election.

Brahimi recently said that the alternatives in Syria were a negotiated settlement or "Somalization." That probably reinforced the decision. Assad started looking like the lesser of two evils. Israel loves to dismember enemies who are not too numerous (Palestinians) or relatively far away (Iraq, Somalia, Libya).

But Syria is too big and too close. Israel can't simply build a fence around it to contain the blowback.

Also, the beloved "international community" got a taste of blowback when troops formerly paid by Qaddhafi turned up in Mali. Blowback from Syria could potentially be much more serious.

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 25, 2013 4:53:53 PM | 10

'France said on Thursday there were no signs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is about to be overthrown, something Paris has been saying for months was just over the horizon.'

nice that reuters uses the word 'overthrown'

Posted by: brian | Jan 25, 2013 5:46:36 PM | 11

'While Qatar wants to install the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, a group the Saudis fear, Saudi Arabia had planned for conservative Sunni regime, headed by a strongman or - preferable - a king. '

its not as if the syrian people have any say!

Posted by: brian | Jan 25, 2013 5:48:31 PM | 12


b, this has to be one of the more intelligent analyses on Syria that I have seen for some time. I also noticed the Peter Lee article -- it was also refreshing. Of course, predicting the future is difficult and even if some of your more optimistic predictions fail to materialize it doesn't detract from this article.

There seems little doubt that the Benghazi consulate attack and now Mali and Algeria has seriously undermined the West's enthusiasm to support the Islamic militants in Syria. At the time of Ambassador Steven's death, it struck me as an incredibly stupid move even for these Saudi backed Salafi forces. I speculated then that perhaps Syrian intelligence had deeply infiltrated Al Qaida Iraq and those agents were sent on to Libya. We do know that many of the volunteers for Al qaida Iraq came from Syria and we also know that many of those trained fighters were the shock troops for the Libyan rebels. Syria has a history of fighting their fundamentalist going back 4 decades and they have one of the largest intelligence branches in the ME so they had many opportunities to plant agents that would be in a position to offer the good "advice" to whoever leads those Islamist groups.

Before jumping on me for my wild speculations think of Angry Arab's warning: of course there are many nutty conspiracy theories in the ME, but anyone who discounts conspiracies as an important source of unexpected circumstances do not know ME history.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 25, 2013 6:35:15 PM | 13

This is interesting (from AA):

http://www.dw.de/why-were-german-soldiers-attacked-in-turkey/a-16547390

Sounds like Turkey is having second thoughts about inviting Nato in to install those Patriot batteries.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 25, 2013 8:12:32 PM | 14

How long before a mortar bomb hits one of those missile sites? Days? Weeks?

Posted by: dh | Jan 25, 2013 8:24:57 PM | 15

Let's not forget Iran's surprise penetration of Israeli airspace.

Posted by: Bob M | Jan 25, 2013 9:01:31 PM | 16

@ 14.
Thanks. Pretty amusing ... two Total Tools of "Israeli"-inspired US Foreign Policy (Turkey & Germany) participating in a pointless pantomime designed to add substance to a Carl Rove-style 'new reality'.

What makes it so amusing is that it proves, once again, that the Crusaders think the Turkish untermenschen can't be trusted with mechanical devices more complicated than daggers, barrows or bottle-openers...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 25, 2013 9:25:10 PM | 17

"I would say the change occurred after the Benghazi 'embassy' incident. Clinton, Rice and Co just weren't having fun anymore."

You are either a fool or naïve! Pick you poison.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 25, 2013 9:33:16 PM | 18

copeland @4: The returning, in defeat, of a jihadi army to those countries that unleashed them on foreign soil, is the stuff of classic tragedy; and it does not bode well for the regimes that sent them off, to have them come home in tatters.

This is something that always puzzled me. The Jihadi army are motivated by deep religious and ideological motives. How long can they continue to be pawns in hands of the Arab monarchies? Turned on one moment for some national strategic gain, and abandoned the next. One would think that they might finally wise up and get really pissed off. I really do not know, they just might be the perfect soldiers that accept they can only do what their masters order them to do.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 25, 2013 9:52:30 PM | 19

#19
I guess the "jihadi" army consists of broke and impoverished young men all across the muslim (sunni) world that see a perspective for either their future or their families by taking up a job in the big transnational muslim army ;-). It's called mercenaries I guess. Of course on might wonder whether one day they'll just say: fuck the paycheck we're heading for the money ourselves, but I can't see that happening. Compare maybe to the french foreign legion (although that might not be spot on).

Posted by: peter radiator | Jan 26, 2013 3:05:02 AM | 20

I read the comments of 'b' and the comments following it bearing in mind something said by Nir Rosen that I strongly agree with: "I think there's been way too much focus on the international or foreign external side of the struggle in Syria. The real struggle has been inside." -- ref.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jan 26, 2013 4:18:18 AM | 21

@18. b. thinks there may have been a change in policy towards Syria. I suggested the Benghazi incident may be a factor. Obviously you disagree. Do you have some other theories you would like to share?

Naive? Interesting word. I tend to think of myself as overly cynical.

Your tone BTW is not conducive to civilized discussion.

Posted by: dh | Jan 26, 2013 4:28:28 AM | 22

22) I think the Benghazi incident is a symptom, less a factor. The US has lost the intelligence/information/cyber war. They can no longer use Islamist groups as they have no influence.

They seem to blame Quatar for that. Presumably it was their system that got broken.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26, 2013 6:14:57 AM | 23

Let's not forget Iran's surprise penetration of Israeli airspace.
The Iranian have been training the training the secular, nationalist guerilla force, the peoples militia which have made a huge difference in defeating the rats. Also the first batch of re-engineered RPQ drones complete with night vision and the ability to fire precision missiles are now being battle tested in Syria. Well done to the Iranian experts for so quickly decoding and re-engineering this beast.

Belgium MP Laurent Louis, considered one of the most controversial and demonized national political figures, delivered the most powerful truth ever told in a political arena. See him in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkzXTgslFNE

Click on the “Captions” icon to get the English subtitles. You won’t be disappointed I promise.

Posted by: hans | Jan 26, 2013 6:38:09 AM | 24

Plus, b. forgets in his analysis that political Islam was first successful in the Iranian revolution, and exporting this revolution has been a threat to all the Kingdoms. Therefore Iranian relations to all these groups are complex to say the least.
This guy here for example has just returned to Mauritania from Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26, 2013 6:38:10 AM | 25

#24 thanks for the link!

Posted by: peter radiator | Jan 26, 2013 7:42:11 AM | 26

plus, the reality sinks in just how much the Libyan war has damaged "Western" interests

No Better in Benghazi

In the de facto Libyan capital of Benghazi, meanwhile, a campaign of attacks on members of the police and military continues as Western nations begin to pull out their nationals amidst rumors of an impending terrorist attack. Many of the victims of assassination were formerly employed by the Qaddafi regime (Xinhua, January 14; January 16; see Terrorism Monitor Brief, August 10, 2012). The government is considering what it described as a “partial curfew” to help deal with the deterioration of security in Benghazi (Middle East Online, January 17).

Western diplomats also continue to be targeted; on January 12, unidentified gunmen fired on the Italian consul’s bullet-proof car, damaging the vehicle but causing no casualties in a strike that Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi described as “a vile act of terrorism” (AFP, January 13; Xinhua, January 12). On January 16, Italy agreed to provide logistical support to air operations targeting terrorists in northern Mali after shutting down its Benghazi consulate and withdrawing all diplomatic personnel (Telegraph, January 16; UPI, January 16; Reuters, January 16).

On January 19, a car carrying Libya’s defense minister, Muhammad al-Barghati, came under attack at the Tobruk airport, east of Benghazi. Al-Barghati claimed the attack was the work of followers of al-Sadiq al-Ghaithi al-Obeidi, a reputed jihadist who had just been sacked as deputy defense minister after refusing to bring his fighters under the command of the army’s chief-of-staff. Al-Obeidi was formerly responsible for border security and the security of foreign oil installations (AFP, January 19; Reuters, January 21).

Conclusion

The “closed military zones” of the south are little more than a fiction without the resources, personnel and organization necessary to implement strict controls over a vast and largely uninhabited wilderness that is nonetheless the heart of the modern Libyan state due to its vast reserves of oil and gas that provide the bulk of national revenues and its aquifers of groundwater that permit intensive agriculture and supply drinking water for Libya’s cities.

The Libyan GNC and its predecessor, the Transitional National Council (TNC), have failed to secure important military facilities in the south and have allowed border security in large parts of the south to effectively become “privatized” in the hands of tribal groups who are also well-known for their traditional smuggling pursuits. In turn, this has jeopardized the security of Libya’s oil infrastructure and the security of its neighbors. As the sale and transport of Libyan arms becomes a mini-industry in the post-Qaddafi era, Libya’s neighbors will eventually impose their own controls over their borders with Libya so far as their resources allow. Unfortunately, the vast amounts of cash available to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are capable of opening many doors in an impoverished and underdeveloped region. If the French-led offensive in northern Mali succeeds in displacing the Islamist militants, there seems to be little at the moment to prevent such groups from establishing new bases in the poorly-controlled desert wilderness of southern Libya. So long as there is an absence of central control of security structures in Libya, that nation’s interior will continue to present a security threat to the rest of the nations in the region, most of which face their own daunting challenges in terms of securing long and poorly defined borders created in European boardrooms with little notice of geographical realities.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26, 2013 8:28:36 AM | 27

If this analysis of the situation in Syria is correct it shows the narrow limits of US power.
In terms of "bang for a buck" the old Soviet defence industries seem to stack up very well against the trillion dollar a year Pentagon expenditure, not to mention the alliance of every old imperialist power in Europe, Israel and compradors (including pseudo Leninist sects like the SWP in the UK) everywhere.
The lesson for Iran is very clear, stand pat, improvise new trade arrangements and invest in Russian missile systems.
If the "west" doesn't succeed in Syria most of the world will understand that it has suffered a big defeat. No doubt it is the subject of many a conversation in Baku today.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 26, 2013 9:37:12 AM | 28

Some folks ARE waking up:

Jordan’s King Abdullah: “The New Taliban Are In Syria”

Jordan's King Abdullah warned today that those who think the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad will fall in weeks don't know the situation on the ground. He expects Assad will hold on for at least the first half of 2013. And he cautioned that even if that government falls and is replaced by a strong and effective new administration (which is doubtful) it could take years clean out the jihadists that have established themselves inside Syria's war-torn territory. Al Qaeda has established itself there, he said, and, "The new Taliban we are going to have to deal with are in Syria."

Yes, King Playstation, and soon they will come to, and for, you.

Posted by: b | Jan 26, 2013 9:55:04 AM | 29

Isn't the journey the reward? Assad won't be able to win an asymmetric war as the US didn't win in Iraq and in Af/Pak. In my opinion, the goal is the destabilization of any major power in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

Posted by: k_w | Jan 26, 2013 11:22:25 AM | 30

Hans @ 24: What a speech delivered by MP Louis! A must hear for sure. Thanks for the link. Another bookmark for me.

Posted by: ben | Jan 26, 2013 12:23:48 PM | 31

I wonder if the recent support by China and Russia for the UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea is a sign of some deal brewing on Syria.

Posted by: FB Ali | Jan 26, 2013 1:04:16 PM | 32

hans - 24

Thanks for posting the Laurent Louis speech link. He covered a lot of ground in that 13 minutes.

This is his website:

http://laurent-louis.be/

bevin - 28

"If the "west" doesn't succeed in Syria most of the world will understand that it has suffered a big defeat. No doubt it is the subject of many a conversation in Baku today."

&

b - 29

"Yes, King Playstation, and soon they will come to, and for, you."

Once one person successfully stands up to the bully, others soon do the same, it's "catching". While the bully's cohorts start thinking maybe it's time to secure a well hidden hole to hide in.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 26, 2013 1:06:16 PM | 33

Once one person successfully stands up to the bully, others soon do the same, it's "catching".

Saudi Arabia is the dirty bully soon it will feel the pressure very soon.

Posted by: hans | Jan 26, 2013 1:19:00 PM | 34

hans - 34

"Saudi Arabia is the dirty bully soon it will feel the pressure very soon."

They're one of the bully's minor cohorts reserving a safe hole to hide in. The bully is Israel-America.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 26, 2013 1:27:09 PM | 35

Something else has been changing - Germany no longer relies on global markets to buy resources but forms "raw material partnerships"

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26, 2013 2:15:46 PM | 36

@ peter radiator, post 20.

I guess the "jihadi" army consists of broke and impoverished young men all across the muslim (sunni) world that see a perspective for either their future or their families by taking up a job in the big transnational muslim army..

Sunni or other. What happens in a country with low state control or stability, or in semi-chaos, or invaded, when more than 50% of young, or not so young (35+) men don’t have jobs / legit income, are side-lined, even if with education, so can’t marry, have children, an affordable home away from parents, and at the same time see a few snotty others with connections manage what society tells them they must aim for?

This position is something Western youngish men can’t really imagine *yet*, as it has not percolated down at present as a desperate problem (contained for now.. e.g. in Spain and Greece.) At some point, destroying the status quo is all that is left. Take up arms, get pay, find comrades, give up your life, f*** them all. Ride in the desert, or anywhere, at least, a hand to shake, an allegiance one can take on, and, of course, revenge.

Islam? A calling card for patriarchy domination (half the population is knocked out and become invisible or domestic slaves), for rules that the temporary upstarts can enforce, to take power and control. A free hand, domination. Hyper conservative Republicans are not much different in mind-set. Say.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 26, 2013 2:16:30 PM | 37

There has been some sort of attitude change towards Syria.
I first noticed it around Christmas 2012

First an article was published in the UK
Russia's presence in Syria complicates intervention.

Contained in this post

This article discussed the Iskander and the presence of Russians advisers along with the missiles

"The depth and complexity of Syria's anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky. The possibility of Russian military casualties in such a campaign could have unpredictable geopolitical consequences"

That seemed a pretty big admission, contrasting most of the rhetoric that had been forthcoming from western media talking heads

The second item of interest?
At Christmas time, again. Israel planted the chemical weapon story and the US has fallen all over itself, repeatedly to deny it.
To say it was wrong. To say the information was incorrect. Etc.,
You get the picture
And yet the chemical weapon story persisted with the US issuing more then one clarification, rebuttal etc
Covered it twice at my place...

Those two incidents signaled to me something was up. Or something had changed.
Since the new year the narrative has toned down completely
There are other factors of course. The cohesiveness of Syrian army. The hatred of the vast majority of Syrians towards the NaTO backed terrorists
IMO Libya/Benghazi was a non issue for the usurpers when it applies to Syria. It did not give them pause for thought


Posted by: Penny | Jan 26, 2013 2:17:36 PM | 38

Noirette - 37

"Islam? A calling card for patriarchy domination (half the population is knocked out and become invisible or domestic slaves)"

That's the standard zionist feminist line of prejudice used against Muslim people to denigrate and dehumanise them.

Penny - 38

I noticed things had changed in Dec. as well. In addition to what you noted, the Russian official diplomatic comments about the Israeli-American war on Syria became much more direct and critically blunt than they had been earlier. This indicated to me that the Russians had probably made an internal decision to hold the line and were communicating such to Israel-America.

The fact that Israel has been the major instigator against Syria (and Libya and the rest of this regime change rubbish in the ME) has been continuously covered up by pundits of the closet zionist "left" and so-called progressives promoting the R2P war crimes. They initially claimed Assad was an ally of Israel, in order to demonise him in anti-zionist, pro-Palestinian progressive eyes. They used the same line of propaganda against Qaddafi. Lately, in the last month I've noticed the closet zionist "left" has stepped up it's propaganda against Syria. They had been ignoring Syria, but within the last month, there has been a slurry of new articles by "leftist/progressive" pundits demonising the Syrian government and trying to resurrect the Israeli-American propaganda. Resurrecting that Nov. Rosen propaganda talk is part of that, and so is the timing of Richard Falk now deciding he will promote the R2P war crime policies. These people make a useful litmus test for determining zionist interests. When one sees them start smearing the government of a country, look a little deeper and one will probably find that government had been critical of Israel, and sympathetic to the Palestinians (or one of their allies), and know that Israel-America will be trying to "regime change" that government soon. Once one is familiar with closet zionist "progressive" tactics, they can be a more reliable determinant than the openly zionist psychos, such as one finds at Fox news or the NYT.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 26, 2013 3:36:26 PM | 39

Somebody @36. Those "raw materials partnerships" could draw Washington's ire. Germany has already done a deal with Russia and gas is flowing through the Baltic pipeline.

Russia and Iran have both tried to do direct deals with other consumers, like China. The problem is that such deals circumvent the US' "liberalized energy trading system." Pricing gets set up front. There is no need for commodities futures or even foreign exchange trading. The dollar can be avoided entirely.

Since financial markets are the US' chief point of leverage these days, going around them cuts the US right out of the game. Qaddhafi’s Gold Dinar Plan and Libya’s Public Central Bank would have changed the monetary system and freed all of Africa from the Private Central Bank System. We see how that turned out. Iran tried to set up an oil bourse and was met with more financial sanctions.

Will the US dare to sanction Germany for its hubris?

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 26, 2013 5:01:25 PM | 40

@39
'They initially claimed Assad was an ally of Israel, in order to demonise him in anti-zionist, pro-Palestinian progressive eyes'

the same was said about Gadaffi....to get arabs to support the insurgency

Posted by: brian | Jan 26, 2013 5:56:36 PM | 41

@ bevin [#28],

Q: and invest in Russian missile systems.

R: A bit if a side note - have you wondered why the Russians are dragging their feet when it comes to delivering those S-300 STA batteries?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 26, 2013 6:48:29 PM | 42

@ Daniel Rich #42

"A bit if a side note - have you wondered why the Russians are dragging their feet when it comes to delivering those S-300 STA batteries?"

West offered concessions to kill S-300 export to Iran. That said, West also knows S-300 inside-out, therefore their usefulness would be limited.

That said, Bavar-373 is progressing faster than expected, I wouldnt be surprised if Iran bought blueprints of S-300 or HQ-9. This would be vastly better choice for Iran.

Posted by: Harry | Jan 26, 2013 10:39:42 PM | 43

40) They have been doing it for a while, there already exist resource cooperation contracts with Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

It has all kinds of ramifications as Germany went it alone, not in the framework of the EU and it is a way of subsidizing its industries, same as Germany has been subsidizing its workforce to compete with China. As Germany is supposed to finance the EU nobody calls them out on that.
France still does old fashioned "development cooperation" citing all kinds of altruistic motives. Germany seems to use the Chinese "win-win" model.

There is this list of countries by exports independent of their population size and it tells you a lot.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27, 2013 3:09:11 AM | 44

Xcellent analysis B. Since the SHHTF over Benghazi I believe there has been a pulling back by the West. The Fact that weapons are /were being shipped from Libya to the Jihadists has started to be talked about in the US. ret General Boykin (a prize Whacko in his own right) has done an interview where he implicates the Embassy there. Despite the msm's unending crap this time what was really happening on the ground started to break through the "programming" and once they had to start admitting Jihadists that "we" have been fighting since 911 were now "our" guys in Syria, the constant "Bad Syria" meme has slowed and since the start of the Mali business Syria has gone to nearly zero columb inches.

Posted by: DontNnSUName | Jan 27, 2013 8:00:22 AM | 45

B

Good to see that you made some time to write this piece in the midst of your busy schedule. Your analysis looks spot on. It seems that the West realized that the tactical use of Islamists was something that they "lost control" of (the control being illusory and born of imperial hubris).
What we're seeing today is a hasty effort to stuff the genie back into the bottle. Mali was France's wake up call, Benghazi was the US's, loss of control of Salafi elements was the future movements (Lebanon), the rising tide of Islamist oppositions in Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain set alarm bells off in all sorts of places.
I believe the potential threat from an invigorated pan-Islamist movement forced the US allied "moderate" regimes to blink.
I think UNSC resolution on Mali is a clear sign that Russia and China have won the argument.

Posted by: OAB | Jan 27, 2013 1:01:23 PM | 46

thanks 45 for mentioning Boykin, he raises the interesting question if it was a "legal" covert action, this is the interview

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27, 2013 1:14:28 PM | 47

Russia is easing its position, too ...

Assad’s chances of retaining power get ‘smaller and smaller’

Discussing the ongoing civil war in Syria, which has seen around 60,000 people killed there during almost two years, Medvedev said that Syrian President Bashar Assad's chances of retaining power are getting "smaller and smaller" every day.

"President Assad made a mistake in carrying out political reforms. He had to do everything much more quickly, attracting to his side part of the moderate opposition, which was ready to sit with him at the same table. This is a considerable mistake, maybe a fatal one," said Medvedev adding that Assad's days could be numbered.

Medvedev reiterated calls for talks between the government and its foes and repeated Moscow's position that Assad must not be pushed out by external forces.

“Therefore, the task of the international community and all countries – and the United States and the Europeans, and regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries – to put parties together at the negotiating table, but not just demand that Assad should leave, and then he is either executed like Gaddafi, or carried on a stretcher at the hearing, as they are carrying now Hosni Mubarak,” concluded the PM.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27, 2013 2:03:05 PM | 48

What was the logic in Medvedev's comments? The guy is a prize clown. None of this would be happening but for Russia's abstention at the UNSC on Libya, on the orders of this dickhead.


I've completely given up trying to second guess the position of any external stakeholders.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jan 27, 2013 2:20:42 PM | 49

49, Putin and Mediewew are playing good cop, bad cop ...

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27, 2013 2:53:05 PM | 50

@ 48

It seems Russia is selling out Syria, just waiting for the right offer. But why now, since Syria is gaining ground against terrorists? Maybe previously West havent offered concessions big enough to interest Russia, and now since terrorists are losing left and right, Russia has more leverage.

Sad days of realpolitiks, nobody of external players gives a damn about Syria. Maybe only Iran, but I have doubt about them too.

Posted by: Harry | Jan 27, 2013 2:56:03 PM | 51

*Edit: Nobody of external players gives a damn about Syrians. About Syria USrael and PGGC arabs care a lot, for vast geopolitical reasons.

Posted by: Harry | Jan 27, 2013 2:59:24 PM | 52

I dont know if Medvedev and putin are playing good and bad cop to totally confuse everyone, but in my oppinion, russia has evthng to lose if they gave in to this bizarre alliance between the US EU Qat Saud and Turkey! Think about it: If we have figured out why this arab spring is a big hoax, russians have known it for a long time. Of course its not about the syrian population, but for the russians its about losing their foothold in the med (offshore gasfields) and their control over an area that wld endanger the very existence of russia. If Syria, and subsequently Iran fall, theyll have this sheer unkillable masses of Djihadists who will enter the caucasus. Russia will have to take it up with the western backed "pro democracy" movements inside russia AND a salafi invasion in the south! And if erdogan survives the syria crisis hell be more than glad to suck all the opportunities to support snackbar-mercs while guiding turkey into a new ottoman era into syria, Iraq qnd Iran, fighting off the Kurds once and for all. So...MMedvedev obviously plays a role given by putin or he soon will be ousted and exposed as an american snitch...i think the latter is less probable

Posted by: Hussel | Jan 27, 2013 5:20:42 PM | 53

@48 RT:
'Discussing the ongoing civil war in Syria,'

there is no 'civil war'...

Posted by: brian | Jan 27, 2013 6:24:34 PM | 54

@48
when USrael turn their jihadist militias on Russia, slowly putin and medvedev will lose power

Posted by: brian | Jan 27, 2013 6:26:25 PM | 55

Dr Ali Akbar Velyati recently stated "an attack on Syria, is an attack on Iran..." Too many people believe Syria's fate is tied with Russias position - this is not the case. As long as Iran backs the Syrian state against the terrorist, the Syrians will survive. Ay. Khamenie in a speech last year said, Iran will support any state/movement that opposes Isreal. Pres. Assad in his speech recently stated Syria will always support Palestine and resist Isreal (something the foriegn backed thugs keep quiet about). You connect the dots...

Posted by: Irshad | Jan 27, 2013 6:42:20 PM | 56

Root cause: I am going to ramble, but hear me out. Before rambling, I disagree with the intervention of Libya and the current ongoing conflict in Syria, however if it were not Libya or Syria etc, this would be another conflict in another Country/Region. We are dealing with with something that is the jugular artery of of human society.

In my opinion, the West cant afford Syrian intervention as it is geopolitical rather than asset based, to keep it in limbo is far more effective. Take Iran V's N. Korea, N.Korea has Nuclear deployment systems and 16 warheads, Iran nothing yet, we would rather strike Iran - The logic here is fuzzy, but it's actually simple, it's Oil. Syria is loosing it's media (Both sides)- A clear distraction and cover up from past errors is Mali as this draws the attention away from Syria and tackles the weapons proliferation/failures of Libya that were not admitted, Libya was a absolute failure and the access to the Oil is still problematical, likewise drawing in Algeria is fundamental.

A weak or on-board N/W/E and central Africa is the 'prize' an abundance of minerals, not just for the West, the EU (Apart from Germany that seems to be an independent and EU partner), UK, China and Russia; this is where all are hammering out who is getting what. The stakes are high and need is great - It is be be all or end all of civilization as we know it, and it is called Oil.

On thing that many forget outside the mineral wealth such as rare earth, Gold/Silver(Only ten years of silver left)diamonds etc is Oil and why it is unique; it is still the planets greatest and most used commodity, and in constant need other than the 3 primaries, Air/Water/Food. Most think of oil as just energy based and we can substitute with solar/Nuclear/Gas,Bio fuels etc, but if you look at any product on any shelf anywhere in the wold, it will have used Oil in some manner, be it processing, packaging, part of the make-up, nothing on this planet is excluded from Oil in its A-Z. We are so reliant on Oil that as our World develops the need is greater and the reality is that their is no substitute, synthetic or otherwise for the complete and very complex picture, its just not power generation and logistics/transport, yet without that we could never feed the planet, its embedded into every facet of our lives and the backbone of modern civilization.

In that, the black stuff is worth creating Wars, conflicts, and many are red herring War's as part of that monopoly and grand agenda, much is planned decades in advance. If Oil stopped production, supply cut to the West and others, they would shut down and hurdle back 100 years, it would be the of end of our society as we know it, markets would collapse, War (Global) would ensue.

The critical problem and the issue I see, whoever is in control would do the same, just the power would shift and some Nations would be less forgiving in that control - Would the devil you know be worse?

Every superpower since the dawn of farming has had a downfall, it's biblical, historical and perpetual, the next downfall of human society as we know it could well be from the big slick AKA -Oil; and that is the race.

At the dawn of our first breakdown of society as a global element we were a mere 5 million, today we exceed that vastly, 6,973,738,433 and growing by the second, and each within this number use some sort of Oil derivative within their daily lives, be it a plastic bag/bottle, to driving a SUV, supply chain e.g. food to market. We can never feed our populations without Oil, a fact.

The question I ask; if Oil was controlled by other powers than currently do, what would be the Wars today? In addition as a species would we be any better off? As I see it, one side or another would always be the victim.

I guess the answer is depending on what side of the fence one sits, and this can merely be as simple as place of birth in many ways. However many Oil/Mineral rich Nations are dismal in the development of their respective societies, yes there my be external influence, and many blame colonialism etc. Example, if asked, and deliberating, I would rather be British than Nigerian from birth, although Obama is both (I think). At least I have a basic right to education, health and potential based on equality, OK, it may not be perfect, but in the grander scheme of things it is a better shared as a civil society, even if it is going down the pan every now and again.

Posted by: Kev | Jan 27, 2013 8:25:30 PM | 57

RE: Russian government support for Syria, and also that of the Palestinian leadership not sucking up to Israel, have a look at this report starting around 2:45:

27_01_2013 ~ Syrian Video News from National Syrian Television (ENG)

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

Posted by: вот так | Jan 27, 2013 8:40:43 PM | 58

Take note:

Israel places missiles near Syria border

"Israel has deployed missiles in the Haifa area near the Syrian border, a move that the Tel Aviv regime claims is "routine."

On Sunday, an Israeli Army spokesman confirmed reports that two “Iron Dome” missile batteries were moved to the Haifa area.

The official, however, insisted that the move is not due to any specific security situation but part of a routine of rotating these missile systems.[yeah, sure]

The deployment came after NATO’s first Patriot missile batteries on the Turkish border with Syria became operational on Saturday."

Is that deployment connected with this?

Israeli DM: Lack of Syria Invasion a ‘Lesson’ to Israel
Can't Count on Other Nations to Start Wars, Warns Barak

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/01/24/israeli-dm-lack-of-syria-invasion-a-lesson-to-israel/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 27, 2013 9:54:16 PM | 59

Forgot the link to the first article:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/28/285919/israel-deploys-missiles-near-syria-border/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 27, 2013 9:55:05 PM | 60

What might start as a seemingly irrelevant sidenote may well become a look at the center: Germany an their new deals.

First one must not forget Germanys frame and background.

After basically being a us satellite and a "buffer" against the evil Sowjets for tens of years - and - being declared "eternally guilty" by the zionist west ... German politicians *can not* but to nicely follow whatever the zionist west happens to have as official line.

It should not be forgotten, however, that the Germans are not stupid. Sure enough a major part of the Germans has doubts about the official line, concerning both historical and current events.

So, to make it short, what we begin to see (and what actually began aers ago with Germanys almost-No, i.e. minimal support for the us wars) might quite well lead towards Germany breaking more loose from us/nato and getting more close to Russia.
After all, Germany has high-tech, way too many people for way to little land and land without much resources.
Russia on the other side has a need for high-tech (and proper organisation), and way too few people for a giant landmass full of resources.
And Russia is pretty close.

Furthermore, a significant part of Germans has to learn russian in school. That's a solid basis and it's psychologically important because it "proves" to the ordinary German that learning russian is feasible.

Again, Germans aren't stupid. The *must* be nice pro-nato, pro-us guys but actually a large part of Germans ridicules or rightout detests americans.

Contrary to the picture zionists love to paint of Germany, Germans are actually rather pragmatic, "unpolitical" people, that is, they are neither clearly right nor left, neither really pro-us nor clearly against the east.
And those (few) who actually know about it have not forgotten that Russia was the only honest and fair party during the reunification negotiations.

Looking at things this way, the picture get's clearer.

Germans would not even think about mangling in another countries inner situation; accordingly they talk the talk but commit next to nothing to those nato endeavours. Actually this is again something they have in common with Russia; both are peaceful and care about their own business as long as you leave them alone.

Same with those pipelines and deals. Russia is close, Russia has the resources Germany needs and Russia doesn't needlessly complicate everything with some weirdo conquer the world plans (like the us does). So, it's just pragmatically smart and reasonable to intensify the Russia-Germany connection.

Last but not least, again Germany likes the middleground. They don't like mega corporations and even less so if they make dirty deals or even wars. And Germany knows, of course, that the us is moribound and such less and less in a position to dictate Germany like a satellite state while Russia is clearly a power to grow.

The fact that Angela Merkel is from Eastern Germany, was raised and schooled there and speaks russian isn't harmful either.

Now for La France ...

Germans basically like them. But then, France is the major counter-weight in the eu (although usually they follow a more or less common line). Actually France is considerably weaker and smaller but on the other hand France is one of the former WW2 allies and therefore has somewhat more weight (for Germany).
But whatever Germany decided, whatever was Germany would go, France would at least partially go along or they would end in serious trouble. And quite probably, the French wouldn't even have a problem with it; after all, they don't exactly love the americans - and they (as pretty everyone in europe except the british spies and us-ass-lickers) know very well that only a more or less united europe can stand up against the us (or whomever) and survive. But then, such a Europe will be wherever Germany happens to be because germany is the engine of the european car.

Huh? What? Syria?

I don't care for details of the day. It was clear to anyone with eyes, a brain, and some experience that Russia (and Iran) wouldn't allow the dirty western games to succeed. Actually I'm sure that Russia was nad is ready to start a war over Syria if needed. And, putting their loud noises aside for a moment, the crippled us wouldn't stand a chance and couldn't afford such a war. Even Iran is too big a chunk to bite for the americans.

The american century is over. The us will continue to die (and terrorize their citizens), Russia and China will continue to grow and prosper and Germany (and quite probably a major part of Europe) will get closer and closer to Russia.

In my minds eye there is only one open major question: *How* will israel be terminated?

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jan 28, 2013 2:27:12 AM | 61

Israeli Officials Meet, Threaten Syria Attack

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/01/27/israeli-officials-meet-threaten-syria-attack/

"Israeli officials held a secret meeting last week in which they discussed the possibility of a pre-emptive attack on war-torn Syria, according to Vice Premier Silvan Shalom.

Shalom said the meeting was held the morning after Tuesday’s election. It had not been made public before today, but he insisted the focus was Syria’s chemical weapons and whether Israel ought to attack to avoid them falling into the hands of either Hezbollah or “al-Qaeda inspired groups,” apparently a euphemism for the Western-backed rebels."

All they seem to be waiting for is for their agents to invent the proper pretext.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 2:28:42 AM | 62

In Syria, are the Israeli-Americans adding a new tactic? I don't recall hearing this tactic being used before. What if Israel has some of their agents dress as Syrian army and then unleash a chem. weapons attack?

Terrorists Assuming Identity of Syrian Arab Army Personnel Arrested in Aleppo

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/01/27/464121.htm

"The authorities arrested members of an armed terrorist group which were stealing cars and citizen's properties, assuming the identity of the Syrian Arab Army personnel, in al-Sabeel, al-Jalaa and al-Suryan neighborhoods in Aleppo."

BTW, the SANA was down for for more than 18 hours. I wonder if they did this, or if it was under web attack during that time.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 3:36:45 AM | 63

BOT TALK @ 61

Ironically, or not. I mentioned yesterday in a comment at my place that Israel was the wild card, they can go it alone in an attack on Syria
And they would.

Posted by: Penny | Jan 28, 2013 8:18:30 AM | 64

apologies BOT TAK
I threw an extra letter in your moniker.
will be more mindful in the future

Posted by: Penny | Jan 28, 2013 8:20:11 AM | 65

I was not disappointed by the video linked to at #24, the speech by Belgian MP Laurent Louis telling why he was going to vote against the parliamentary motion to support France's interference in Mali. I was sad to hear him say that he is the only MP in the Belgium parliament who is on record opposing Western interferences in Libya and Syria.

I cannot agree with him when he says: "The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear." I really don't understand mainstream thinking on Mali, Syria, Libya, Iran, North Korea, earlier Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan.... It's not clear to me what the mainstream Westerners themselves understand themselves to be thinking. They seem profoundly incoherent and stupid more than anything else to me.

Thanks to Hans for the link.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jan 28, 2013 9:56:06 AM | 66

@65 "It's not clear to me what the mainstream Westerners themselves understand themselves to be thinking."

Well you've got the right wing Westerners who are big on Control. And the left wing who have replaced religion with Liberal Evangelism. Throw in the the fact that they are all afraid of The Other. Hope that helps.

Posted by: dh | Jan 28, 2013 10:10:32 AM | 67

Report on speech of King Abdullah on 25 Jan 2013: "King Abdullah of Jordan called for the foreign powers to craft an inclusive transition plan for Syria, saying the army must be preserved intact to form the backbone of any new system and avoid the anarchy that prevailed in Iraq after the US-led 2003 invasion." -- Ref.

My comments: (1) To say that the Syrian army must be preserved intact is effectively to say that the Syrian Assadist government must be preserved intact! (2) Foreign powers cannot solve the dispute in Syria, no matter what the foreign powers might wish to do. (3) Sergei Lavrov said on 20 Mar 2012, and it remains true today, and it will be true next year as well, and it's true because Russia has a principled position on Syria: "An analysis of Russia’s statements on Syria will make it patently clear that the revision of Russia's position is out of question."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jan 28, 2013 10:18:07 AM | 68

Russia has a principled position on Syria

Russia has a principled position only because the Orthodox Church has taken a stand, same WRT homosexuality coming into mainstream in Russia. Putin and his weasel of boy wonder premier would throw Syria to the Islamist if the price was right. The one support Syria can count on is Iran.

Posted by: hans | Jan 28, 2013 10:53:51 AM | 69

A baker's dozen reasons to be cheerful about Syria (all except the last reason were reported by SANA on 23 Jan 2013):

The terrorists Mohammad and Ahmad Kanaan, Khaled Khaito, and others were liquidated in al-Zabadani town in Outer Damascus. In Dariya town in Outer Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces killed the terrorists Ahmad al-Abbar, Mohammad al-Dabbas, Abdul-Latif al-Ezz, and their hideouts were destroyed, all weapons and ammunition confiscated. Furthermore in Outer Damascus terrorists were killed in Harasta, al-Saida Zainah, Hayira, al-Dyabia, al-Housinia, and the al-Aiyb farms. Their arms and ammunition were taken. Among the dead terrorists are Anas al-Tourk, Ali Shala, Wisam Bakour, Maher Kalamoun, Maher Touama and Bilal Arida. Another terrorist group was liquidated in Damascus suburbs and consequently persons who are now dead are Ahmad Younis, Ahmad al-Rifai, Omar al-Nymir, Midian al-Manzour and Andziad al-Boush..... Bye Bye!.... And last but not least Dr. Bashar al-Assad (PBUH) is alive and well. Viva Bashar al-Assad! Long life and best of luck! http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/25-01-2013/123579-syria_optimism-0/

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jan 28, 2013 11:16:35 AM | 70

67) I doubt there is "mainstream Western thinking" I agree with
"They seem profoundly incoherent and stupid more than anything else to me."

The underlying war machine is bureaucratic and business driven. However, civilian politicians in western countries are supposed to decide on the war machine and as a matter of fact do, with decisions on budgets (and taxes).

Foreign policy is not decisive in any election campaign in Western countries as long as a)there is no conscript army involved b)taxes are not raised c)interventions can be sold by the political class as necessary, protective and successful d)opponents have to fear to be portrayed as weak, defeatist and traitors

"Mali, Syria, Libya, Iran, North Korea, earlier Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan ..."
All these wars have been the result of the Cold War and the "Green Belt Strategy"


Posted by: somebody | Jan 28, 2013 11:29:35 AM | 71

there is also this: a new Green Belt for the Dragon

Posted by: somebody | Jan 28, 2013 11:56:22 AM | 72

I will reiterate once again that the entire point of the Syrian crisis is to render Syria - and by additional conflict, Hizballah in Lebanon - an ineffective actor in an Iran war. This requires that Syria's and Hizballah's missile arsenals BOTH be degraded to the point of being less effective. This is the plan embraced by the US and Israel.

Therefore it doesn't matter a whit if Qatar or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or anyone else in the mix are having second thoughts.

In addition, the basic strategic facts on the ground have NOT changed a whit regardless of any recent Syrian military successes, or any second-guessing by the players. The bottom line is that Assad cannot win as long as the insurgents have a safe haven in Turkey and support from external actors. And the insurgents cannot win as long as Assad maintains control of the Syrian military and enjoys the support of perhaps fifty percent or more of the Syrian population.

Therefore the resolution of the conflict depends entirely on the external players. And the only external players who are actually behind this crisis are the US and Israel (and probably NATO as well, with Turkey as their stalking horse.)

France just yesterday suggested that it was BECAUSE of the Islamist insurgents that the West needs to increase support for the insurgents. This is the same argument that was used in Iraq after the Iraqi insurgency started in 2003: that we needed to "lure Al Qaeda to Iraq and fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." This was nonsense, of course, but today the same argument is likely to be made that we need to support the "good insurgents" in Syria so we can defeat the "bad insurgents". This will be used to justify foreign military intervention, just as France has now suggested.

Again, the SOLE reason for the existence of the Syrian crisis is the necessity to take Syria (and Hizballah in Lebanon) out of play in an Iran war. And therefore there can be NO resolution of the Syrian crisis until that has happened.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 28, 2013 12:11:43 PM | 73

Penny - 64,65

No problem, as long as it looks enough like the moniker that I recognise I'm being addressed, that's close enough.

The Israelis have stepped up their hysterics about getting others to attack both Syria and Iran. With Syria, they might go as far as to try airstrikes. They know how much control their zionist network has on the USA and Europe. A pretext, Israel begins bombing, NATO and the USA then step in to "protect" Israel. They could try the same with Iran, though would need to use the cruise missiles on their submarines.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 3:48:19 PM | 75

Rothe - 73

Thanks for the follow-up. I had wondered whether that story of his death had been true.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 3:52:33 PM | 76

This might be that very pretext Israel-America has been working to set up so they can have an "excuse" to to go all out in support of their terrorist death squads:

Hacks Expose Chemical Weapons False Flag

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ptYLoIl4Do

A company called Britam was hired to set up a chem attack in Homs, which would be blamed on the Syrian government. Could be useful to see who, or what, are behind Britam.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 4:02:49 PM | 77

Follow-up

Is UK Defense Contractor Planning Syrian WMD False Flag?

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/is-uk-defense-contractor-planning.html

"Unconfirmed "leaked" documents indicate Washington-approved, Qatari-funded false flag attack using Libyan chemical weapons in Homs, Syria.

January 28, 2013 (LD) - Documents allegedly "hacked" belonging to UK-based defense contractor Britam (official website here) appear to show the company considering an offer from Qatar to use Libyan chemical weapons in Homs, Syria in order to frame both the Syrian and Russian governments. The plan involves using Britam's Ukrainian mercenaries and Soviet-era chemical weapon shells brought in from Libya's large, Al Qaeda-linked, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) controlled arsenals."

He has copy of the hacked email posted up there.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 4:08:49 PM | 78

Here is a lot more information about the the hack, and Britam, along with copies of more of the leaked documents and further links to check out:

britam defence hacked, confidential documents leaked, site offline

http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2013/01/24/britam-defence-hacked-confidential-documents-leaked-site-offline/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 4:14:44 PM | 79

Syria militants possess chemical arms: Video

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/29/286102/syria-militants-possess-chemical-arms/

"New video footage has surfaced online showing the foreign-sponsored militants in Syria in possession of chemical weapons.

The video, which was posted on the internet recently, apparently shows armed militants holding canisters containing chemical substances.

The militants had earlier released footage in which rabbits were killed by inhaling poisonous gas.

In December 2012, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the foreign-backed militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.

Damascus is "genuinely worried" that Syria’s enemies could provide chemical weapons to armed groups "and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government," Ja’afari stated."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 28, 2013 11:42:20 PM | 80

Posted by: hans | Jan 28, 2013 10:53:51 AM | 69

so far Russia and Putin have shown principle and backbone over syria

Posted by: brian | Jan 29, 2013 1:43:38 AM | 81

Interesting discussion on the Britam chem. weapons false flag op. The staory is being ignored by the msm (naturally, they'd want it squashed), but not by Russian media.

Leaked Files of Britam Defense Implicate the Plot Against Russia and Syria

http://redhotrussia.com/britam-defense-hacked-russia-syria/

"The news about the security breach of the military contractor Britam Defense was not reported by any Western media outlet. Instead it was shared through blogs, communities of hackers and social platforms.

Also, in Russia this news was first picked up by different blogs (EX I, EX II) and only later published in some mainstream sources (EX I, EX II).

Anyway, I will first recap the news itself, afterwards translate an article from “Komsomolskaya Pravda” to show how it was presented in one of Russia’s major newspapers and finally translate the comments of Russian netizens..."

One can see why Israel-America would lie much greater control over web content. The same sort of control they have in print and broadcast media now.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 29, 2013 2:57:57 AM | 82

"Germany doesn't like mega corporations". Hello? "The Zionists under the bed control everything". Israel is strong, but not that strong, it's the US support of Israel that's the problem. "The west are all afraid of 'the other'." Whatever, and Putin embraces budhism, does he not? "Russia has a principled position only because the Orthodox Church has taken a stand, same WRT homosexuality coming into mainstream in Russia." This is one for the ages! Precious bodily fluids and Dr Strangelove comes to mind. The Orthodox Church, though not as bad as the stupid Wahhabism expounded by Al Qaida, or Salafism, is not far behind it, as far as religions go.

Where to begin? I don't mean at all that what's written is total garbage but some of the stuff that comes out is *interesting* to say the least. By the way, as Parviziyi pointed out, check out some pro-Assad, "anti-western imperialism" voices' position on Mali, you will see an interesting contradiction.

Posted by: kodlu | Jan 29, 2013 7:53:50 AM | 83

At least one of the emails in the Britam Defense leak looks like a poor forgery (header timestamps differ only in day; UIDs are identical)
Could be both - the absence of any mailboxes or spools does not exactly reduce suspicion.

Posted by: nil | Jan 29, 2013 8:41:42 AM | 84

Breakdown of the Britam files leaked:

A Look into the Britam Defence Data Leak Files

http://www.cyberwarnews.info/reports/a-look-into-the-britam-defence-data-leak-files/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 29, 2013 12:41:08 PM | 85

Syrian crisis far from over as US pledges $155m in additional aid

http://rt.com/news/syrian-crisis-us-aid-024/

"The UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected to tell the Security Council that he has no plan that could end Syria's civil war. It comes as the US pledges $155m to aid rebel groups which have so far failed to organize or enter talks.

­The UN Security Council meeting comes after a US supported push to unify rebel groups, encouraging the country’s opposition to form military councils in each of Syria’s 14 provinces."

New tactics and strategy, but no real change in the Israeli-American position about Syria. They want to destroy the country. $155 will buy a lot of chem. weapons.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 29, 2013 6:54:08 PM | 86

Syrian terrorists execute civilians

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_30/Syrian-terrorists-execute-civilians/

"Syrian security forces in the northern city of Aleppo have discovered the bodies of more than 80 people, saying the victims were killed execution style.

The bodies of young men and boys were found in the Quweiq River, which separates Bustan al-Qasr district from Ansari, in Aleppo’s southwest.
The area is under the control of the foreign-backed militants who are seeking to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Some of the bodies had their hands tied behind them and the others appear to had been shot in the head.

A senior security source said many of the victims had previously been reported kidnapped.
He blamed the terrorists of carrying out the executions.

President Bashar Assad recently promised to uproot what he described as an al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria.

On January 21 a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed truck in a town outside Hama killing 42 people asd injuring 165."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 29, 2013 6:59:35 PM | 87

Israel Sends Hawkish Security Chief to Moscow to Discuss Syria Chemical Weapons
Urges Russia to 'Take Steps' to Prevent Loss of Weapons

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/01/28/israel-sends-hawkish-security-chief-to-moscow-to-discuss-syria-chemical-weapons/

"With Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom making public Israeli considerations to attack Syria over questions about the security of their chemical weapons only yesterday, Israel is now deploying National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror to Moscow for talks with the Russian government.

Amidror, an extremely hawkish retired general affiliated with Jewish Home, is scheduled to meet with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and other top officials, reportedly to press them to “take steps” to prevent the transfer of weapons out of the control of the Assad government.

According to Shalom, a meeting of Israeli security chiefs, held secretly last week, decided that Israel would attack Syria at the first sign of any movement of any of their chemical weapons."

To be a fly on the wall at those meetings...

Posted by: вот так | Jan 29, 2013 7:26:21 PM | 88

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