Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 05, 2013

The Angry Arabs Will No Longer Fight Against Syria

It took As'ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab, two years to come to his senses and to acknowledge his errors:
This was never a “revolution”. I among other leftists in Lebanon signed a petition early on after the events in Deraa in which we denounced the regime and mocked and dismissed its narrative of armed groups roaming the country and shooting at people. I now figure that I was dead wrong: I do believe that armed groups were pre-prepared and armed to strike when orders (from Israel and GCC countries) arrive. They had a mission and it had nothing to do with the cause of liberation of Syria from a tyrannical regime.
It was quite obvious that the insurgency in Syria was preplanned and managed from professional outside forces. Why did it take so long to recognize that?

It seems that the Israeli air attacks yesterday were many and severe. They hit several Syrian army installations and units and are obvious outright acts of a war of aggression. The attacks Thursday or Friday on alleged "weapon transports to Hizbullah" were only a diversion to set a propaganda picture for today's air campaign. The U.S. will at least have known of this plan. It is likely that it helped to develop the target list.

A response will come, either through Lebanon or at sea, but not immediately. Five days ago Israel called up reservists for a surprise live fire training maneuver in the north. This supposedly to hold of an immediate retaliation for the long planned attack. But it can not keep reservist in the field for long. The economic impact is too big.

This air attack happened after the Syrian army's offense against the foreign sponsored insurgents showed some serious progress. Israel and the U.S. want to prolong the fighting. To achieve that they hit the Syrian army to "level the playing field". As even As'ad AbuKhalil finally acknowledges their aim is to destroy Syria. Not Bashar Assad, not the government but Syria the country. Their aim has not yet been achieved.

The Israeli attack and its now obvious cooperation with the so called Free Syrian Army will have a significant negative impact on the insurgency. In the early phase many Jihadist from other countries came to Syria because they believed in the propagandized cause of overthrowing an, in their view, un-islamic regime. That early flood has already changed to a trickle. It will now run dry. Likewise many Syrian patriots who had joined the insurgency will now change their mind. Defections from the army to the insurgency had already stopped. We will now see defectors from the insurgents who will be willing to (re-)join the army. They will have valuable intelligence.

In my estimate, gained from hundreds of videos and reports, the total number of insurgents has never been above 30,000. Early on casualties were compensated for by new recruitment. But the recent gains of the Syrian army already had me guessing that the number of insurgents was in decline. Either through defections, people being just tired of it and going home or due to weapon impacts. This process will now accelerate.

This hemorrhage of personal is something neither the U.S. nor Israel can compensate for without putting boots on the ground. Something neither wants to do. A dwindling number of insurgents and the drying up of their recruitment pools, while the Syrian army can still replenish its ranks (if needed from outside the country) makes it certain that the insurgency will lose. The larger formations that currently hold territory will diminish in strength and melt away into a underground terror campaign that will be more of a nuisance than a real national danger. The Angry Arabs now more and more understand what this war is really about. They will no longer fight against Syria. Israel's attack accelerated that process.

Posted by b on May 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

Comments
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I have enjoyed the Angry Arab's attack on the "opposition"... he's taken a lot of heat for being neither pro-rebel nor pro-regime, a respectable position if you understand the true nature of this conflict.

Land Destroyer blog has been pointing out from the beginning that there were S. American style death squads helping to stir the pot from the start.

Posted by: LevantReport | May 5, 2013 1:21:35 PM | 1

Angry Arab has not taken a neutral position at all
If I recall correctly he did not wrt Libya
Gatekeeper


B - "The attacks Thursday or Friday on alleged "weapon transports to Hizbullah" were only a diversion to set a propaganda picture for today's air campaign"

I see no evidence of attack on Thurs/Friday at all
What I read was a perception management/ propaganda campaign as disinfo/muddying the waters for the attack on Damascus.

in the post I put up today I take note of the fact that John Kerry is set to visit Moscow this week. Tuesday/Wednesday. Therefore the attacks were coordinated to coincide with this visit


http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2013/05/israel-strikes-damascus-early-sunday-am.html


A response to this in a few days?
We shall see
However that will make this situation very ugly. For everyone

Posted by: Penny | May 5, 2013 1:46:18 PM | 2

Some immediate economic damage to Israel

Israel 2023 Benchmark Bond Yield Jumps After S&P Rating, Syria


Israeli government bonds fell, lifting the yield on the benchmark 10-year debt the most in almost nine months, after Standard & Poor’s cut the country’s rating and amid reports Israel attacked targets in Syria.

Posted by: b | May 5, 2013 1:58:56 PM | 3

Wishful thinking. The brainwashed fanatized jihadists (on western hands leashes of course) will keep coming because 'shiites' are as unholy as 'jews'. They have a war they are being paid and armed for and that's what they will be fighting. Support inside Syria has been basically meaningless in this battle since they attacked Aleppo and other pro Syrian government cities. God or 'someone else' will handle the other enemy at the chosen time (or so they will be 'adviced' by their religious handlers paid from the Kingdom of Terror in alliance with the Occupiers).

And I still not see Syria or Iran (even less Russia, China isn't even registering on Syria, perhaps if Iran is involved she will have to take some position) committed at starting WW3 which would immediately involve US/NATO. Iran may prefer to fight it on Syria's land for obvious reasons but unless Iraq is fully integrated into the alliance, which I don't see happening yet because of the weakness of the Iraqi state, and a secure land connection between the two states (which being the Iraqi Sunni heartland won't be easy even if Iraq is fully committed). So Syria will keep shouting menaces and perhaps there may be some token rocket attack on Occupied Palestine northern frontier at some point with someone claiming or not claiming responsibility.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 5, 2013 1:59:35 PM | 4

"Recent gains of the Syrian army already had me guessing that the number of insurgents was in decline. Either through defections, people being just tired of it and going home or due to weapon impacts"

Unfortunately, since this process is driven by Saudi and Qatari money - effectively infinite for these purposes - tacitly encouraged by the U.S. - there will always be enough wannabes in the cohort just coming of age - each year's crop of T-driven 18 year-olds, so to speak - to keep this process going.

30,000 recruits a year is miniscule when spread out over the whole region from Morocco to Pakistan.

Until Uncle closes the spigot, that is.

Posted by: spoleta | May 5, 2013 2:02:10 PM | 5

Possible Israeli motives(?):

1) Somaliazation of Syria: create a sectarian wasteland and future playground for western drones
2) Prevent post-Assad govt. from possessing military installatons and technology
3) Draw Syria and eventually Iran into all out war so U.S.-Israel-neocons can accomplish grand plans for region
4) Ensure continued Sunni terrorism in Syria which justifies perpetual need for Israeli military police state

It seems like all of the above can be accomplished simultaneously.

Posted by: LevantReport | May 5, 2013 2:17:31 PM | 6

Ok,if as b said, the insurgency will go " hold on, are we actually helping israels cause?!D'UH!" and think about their Umma plans after this attack, then we can be sure Israel knew about those consequences! Which leads me to the following conclusion (ahem): As we all know, this bizarre EUUSQatSaudIsrael-alliance wants to destroy Syria by any means! So now, they might have figured out, the islamob is unreliable, and their goals are getting harder and harder to sell to sheepnation! IMHO, theyll try to drag Syria in a total war, bullying and taunting the Syrian Nation! Hoping for the embatteld leadership to justifiably respond!Cuz after all, whatever geopolitical traps and strategic snares there might be, the Syrian nation will have to defend itself eventually, after Israeli planes bomb Damascus! The will spin it as usual, and NOTHING is going to happen!Maybe, Merkel will say, the collateral damage is regrettable! This is what I fear! Needless to say, after a Syrian counter-attack, zio-infested US and EU will pledge their allegiance to their holy tribe, and carpet-bomb Syria! Russia wont have anything to say on that one! Itll be too late by then! This tribe is not about peace or negotiations! This tribe is about all or nothing! They show the world how they torment defenceless palestinians on a day to day basis! They are what they have been all along: a parasitic, fungal species, that grows for growth sake!

Posted by: Kal | May 5, 2013 2:25:33 PM | 7

Recent Syrian army gains may support your assumption that the number of insurgents is drying up, but today will have certainly gone some way to "level the playing field". And I expect more strikes to follow - at other strategic locations across the country.

But the prize is Damascus and Syrian forces have fought hard to create a safety zone around it. Whilst the effects of this strike will become clearer in the days to come, if reports indicating that the attack has wiped out entire battalions are found to be true, then the loss of hundreds of Syrian soldiers tasked with protecting the capital will be a 'game changer' in Damascus and soldiers advancing in other areas will now be redirected.

Installations at Mount Qasyoun were integral in efforts to protect Damascus.

B, I don't share your optimism moving forward.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 5, 2013 2:33:36 PM | 8

The AngryArab site is good because it compile news. However Khalil himself dont know much about middle east as he self now admit.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2013 2:45:37 PM | 9

The Israeli attack and its now obvious cooperation with the so called Free Syrian Army will have a significant negative impact on the insurgency.

But something is very wrong with this. If so, they must be aware of it, so why they did this? Why would they weaken mercenaries by bombing munition depot? No objective at all. If this took place than settler state had blessing from DC and Moscow.

One might believe that bombing in Boston had happened and believe State Security apparatuses' and their Photoshoped photos and images, same here with Zionist "bombing". It is interesting that Hezbollah is at forefront of information campaign.

As for AA I always has been curios about his thesis that "new regime" will fight with settler state for Golan because "Assad regime is best friend of israel" according to him. Not that I gloat over this, all this but I question his wisdom and everything what he is saying. Wondering, as As'ad AbuKhalil how he was "permitted" to work where he works at all.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 2:46:56 PM | 10

Maybe the bombing was not as bad as it looked. Al Manar is claiming the IDF hit a poultry farm, showing chickens. LOL.

Posted by: David | May 5, 2013 2:52:27 PM | 11

The Sunday Times, May 5
Arabs join Israel in ‘defence crescent’

ISRAEL is preparing to agree a defence co-operation deal with Turkey and three Arab states aimed at setting up an early warning system to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.

The proposal, referred to by the diplomats involved as “4+1”, may eventually lead to technicians from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan working alongside Israelis in joint command-and-control centres.

The American-brokered plan is to build a “moderate crescent” of allied states that share a powerful vested interest in countering Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“The plan is to start with information-sharing about Iran’s ballistic missiles,” said an Israeli official.

Israel, he said, believes President Barack Obama has no appetite for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “That’s why the Americans are working on a regional alliance to deter and contain Tehran.”

Under the plan the Israelis would have access to real-time data from radar stations in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.


The Turkish Foreign Ministry today dismissed a British newspaper report suggesting a role for Turkey in a regional cooperation against the “fundamentalist crescent,” which consists of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah. “These are manipulative reports which have nothing to do with the reality,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Hürriyet Daily News.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 3:00:36 PM | 12

the guy reporting lives in Damascus, the bombing was in the outskirts
Syria protested to the UN quoting a number of casualties. I think it is meant as psychological warefare. Israel is counting on noone of the usual suspects wanting to start a war.

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 3:01:59 PM | 13

Israel assumes Syria will not retaliate and has no interest to escalate
oh well, they might miscalculate ...

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 3:06:43 PM | 14

There have been reports that Egypt and the Arab League have condemned Israeli attacks, but I haven't been able to find any such condemnations. Both parties are anti-Syria, of course.

So the Israeli attacks, if true, have the effect of pressuring Obama and the Gulf States to get with the Israeli belligerents, which of course is also an indication that Syria has been successful.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Abbas is in China, and Binyamin Netanyahu will leave this afternoon for a five-day trip to China.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 3:11:17 PM | 15

I quite agree, b, about the prospective collapse of the revolt. I have been thinking this is an important factor for a week or two. Iraq showed that local populations, although in theory sympathetic to AQ and other jihadis, can get fed up of them and leave them isolated (because of their poor behaviour). I would not be surprised if this is the major factor allowing the government troops to advance.

Posted by: alexno | May 5, 2013 3:19:38 PM | 16

I guess Dr. assad, of the the vanted "resistance" against the "Zionist entity", is the weak link. Striking Israel is one thing, dismembering young Sunni Children is easier.

Posted by: David | May 5, 2013 3:23:02 PM | 17

This makes some sense.
One American official said Israel may have fired into Syria from Lebanese airspace, without actually flying over Syria. Israeli jets have flown into Lebanese airspace repeatedly in recent days, incursions that have drawn criticism from Lebanese officials.

But that didn't keep McCain from ridiculing Dempsey today.

“. . . the Arizona Republican said on “Fox News Sunday,” was that the raids appear to weaken an argument that Syria has a far more daunting air defense system than, for example, Libya had under Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. . .[and not as Dempsey said] Syrian defenses as “a much denser and more sophisticated system” than Libya’s. . .[McCain] said the United States was capable of disabling the Syrian air defenses on the ground “with cruise missiles, cratering their runways, where all of these supplies, by the way, from Iran and Russia are coming in by air”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 3:25:04 PM | 18

Well, was an Israeli jet shot down over Syria, yes or no?

What do you think?

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 3:28:21 PM | 19

Syria’s Information Omran Zoabi said Damascus had no evidence an Israeli jet was shot down. Evidence would include identifiable parts of of a shot-down Israel plane.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 3:35:53 PM | 20

20) Don't you think he was being ironic?

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 3:45:20 PM | 21

These are very interesting times.
b's logic is impeccable but the US and many others long ago departed from the smooth coasts of the world of reason.
For example, is the cost of maintaining a few thousand reservists in uniform important to an Israeli economy that is both artificial, heavily subsidised and able to get anything it want from Congress?

And, as to the alliance between the wahhabis, Israel and NATO drying up the source of the jihadis. You might think so but, after years in which young muslims have poured into imperialist militias to fight anyone who offends Uncle Sam and Prince Bandar, I will wait before I call an end to the campaign.

It wouldn't surprise me if Jordanian and even Egyptian, perhaps even the Palestinian Authority's forces started volunteering to please Obama and Netanyahu. And, of course, the Qatari and Saudi forces are already there, because they, plus quislings, are the "rebels."

Then there are the Kurds for whom the reality of Kurdistan, (with swaths of Iraq, chunks of Syria and the promise of Iranian territories, and a truce with Turkey) must seem close enough to lick.

I agree that it seems inconceivable that muslim militias would collaborate with Israeli aggression but they have been doing so, in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere for decades. Look at the MEK-Khalq!
The Gulf states owe their existence to collaboration with the British, they continue to rule their people with police and paramilitaries staffed by Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries. The divisions introduced by imperialism, geographical anomalies such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai etc are crucial to the maintenance of imperial hegemony: the Arab nation is chopped up into pieces. It is going to take more than a front page picture of the Qatari emir kissing Netanyahu to shock people who are okay with the Brotherhood's pumping raw sewage into the tunnels that bring vital medicines to the wounded children in Gaza.

As to the Angry Arab: let those who are without fault cast as many stones as they please. In the meantime let us grow up and leave sectarianism to those who want to fail. I imagine that there are good people in Syria and Lebanon today-serious resistance figures- very happy to have Asad abuKhalil at their side.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 3:51:15 PM | 22

David@17
"...dismembering young Sunni Children is easier." And selling their organs is very profitable, too. But nobody ever accused Syria of that trade.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 4:01:22 PM | 23

@Pat Bateman #8

"...if reports indicating that the attack has wiped out entire battalions are found to be true, then the loss of hundreds of Syrian soldiers tasked with protecting the capital will be a 'game changer' in Damascus and soldiers advancing in other areas will now be redirected."

Indeed, if a lot of troops were hit then that will be a problem which is why this all the more shows they (FSA/Israel) are working together. Anyone else also saw that whenever the terrorists attacked Israel on the Golan it was always towards the Syrian army they retaliated? We'll just have to wait for more information to be released.

As to the point of b that this can be a catalyst for the collapse of the "revolt": It can be for the Joe Average (Achmed Average if you will) whose nationalist feelings can be stirred because their traditional enemy makes an attack. But it also depends on wether the SAA wil press on the attack on them.

As to the foreign elements they will just continue to do what they're being paid to do. Loot and kill.

If the SAA only concentrates on the foreign elements there is a possibility they might join in and unite ranks. However considering the amount of bloodshed from the past years it is a very slim chance. Not happening i.m.o..

Posted by: Gehenna | May 5, 2013 4:10:39 PM | 24

My people there in Jamraya confirm that multiple military installations were hit on the backside of Qasyoun Mountain, and extending to the few mountains that lie perhaps 3-5+ miles away from Jamraya. (as I speak to them, they are covered in glass and are quite pissed off as well as scared)

I've been to this side of Qasyoun mountain.. I've spent much time in Jamraya as well...
Lots of military installations in this area, military technology institute - troop training grounds as well...
Lots of whorehouses and a Hyandai dealership - I expect these didn't fair too well in the attack.

"Jamraya" refers to the community of apartment/condo blocks that house those employed in Syrian missile defense techology institute (I never knew its proper name). There is a freeway that separates this civilian community (it'd be like our "GS" workers) from a massive restricted government zone. Thankfully this housing community was not hit, but all glass is of course gone (as happened in the last attack). All residents of Jamraya are bussed daily to the different installations at which they work. They range in occupations from data entry clerks to technology researcher PHD-types and engineers, etc.. Many have completed advanced studies in Europe.

U.S. intelligence services have been trying to gain assets among these Jamraya workers for a few years now (esp. National Clandestine Service of the CIA), which used to monitor (thru the embassy in Damascus when it was open) every time a resident of Jamraya applied for a U.S. visa. Syria knows these workers are sometimes monitored by foreign governments when they travel abroad, which is why it's usually difficult for these workers to travel. Supervisors in these Syrian research facilities confiscate passports among all workers - all travel permission abroad must be pre-approved by Syrian government authorities (esp. as some years back a Jamraya resident supposedly gave the Russians some info.).

National Clandestine Service, even 3-4 years ago, was desperate for info on Jamraya and related facilities. Jamraya residents, if they could get work approval for foreign travel, and if they applied for a U.S. visa, would be given the visa quickly and easily (B-1). They'd get to U.S. airport and right away they'd be interviewed by NCS Officer with a U.S. Immigration agent in the room, giving the appearance that it was a standard immigration/visa interview. Once Syrian would enter U.S. soil, NCS Officer would attempt to set up a meeting to convince Syrian to become CIA asset. If Syrian refused, NCS Officer would threaten an interrogation at airport of departure, and even threaten to keep Syrian in the U.S. until some info could be gained.

These backroom airport interrogations are of course illegal and are typically done by deceptive means, but I suspect they happen all the time.

If you are in a similar situation and you don't want to talk to the CIA, then call the FBI. If you are on U.S. soil with a valid visa, calling the FBI works like a charm.

The thing that's frustrating about being contacted by NCS or any intel-related operative is they have no known supervisor/chain of command (and of course you won't get their real name anyway). They know everything about you but you know nothing of them. In short, there's no one to complain to!

As for chem weapons at these govt installations... well, no one in Jamraya has reported, either this time, or last time, any chemical fallout in the air from the Israeli strikes.

Posted by: AnonSoutherner | May 5, 2013 4:11:51 PM | 25

The Syria cabinet is reportedly meeting, or has met, today. Hezbollah will be looking for a signal, I imagine.

from a recent appraisal of Hez arms:

In its latest assessment of a future conflict, Israel concluded that 1,200 rockets, of various types would hit Israel on each day of fighting. Furthermore, 5,000 warheads are currently pointed towards Tel Aviv, each carrying an explosive payload of between 300 and 880 kg.

With Netanyahu in China this week, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is acting PM.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 4:22:46 PM | 26

B, how long have you been repeating this narrative that the tide is turning in favor of Assad? Come on, have you no shame? Do you even feel the slightest bit embarrassed about your other failed predictions that this thing is coming to an end?

Look, the Middle East is a messed up place...you have Sunnis cheering an Israeli attack on a Arab country, and the theocratic Shias in Iran supporting a staunch secular man who has the nerve to let his uncovered wife to appear in public!

So don't fantasize anymore about the Sunni's ending their support for the rebels because of this attack...because what it all comes down to is SUNNI versus SHIA. It has been this way for hundreds of years, and it will be for hundreds.

And sadly for you and the people who read this blog, the Sunnis have more people, money and foreign support. All Assad and Nasrallah do is run their mouths, but they never have the ability to strike Israel. Get that through your heads!

The only reason this war has even lasted for this long is because Obama has been a coward and not ramped up his support for the opposition in a real way, like he did in Libya. The day that happens will be a sad day for the readers of this blog, and I can't wait to visit your site then!

Posted by: Amused Reader | May 5, 2013 4:31:43 PM | 27

Reportedly Syria will not strike back.

The Daily Star, May 5

Syria's government called the attacks against its territory a "flagrant violation of international law" that has made the Middle East "more dangerous." It said "Israel should know that our people and state do not accept humiliation" and warned Syria has the right "to defend its people by all available means."

The generally muted response, read out by the information minister after an emergency government meeting, and appeared to signal that Damascus did not want the situation to escalate.

Instead, it tried to use the strikes to taint the opposition, claiming the attacks were evidence of an alliance between Israel and Islamic extremist groups trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 4:32:11 PM | 28

Alex Thomson sees what Israel is up to.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 5, 2013 4:39:18 PM | 29

@Amused Reader #27
Oh, you prefer the US narrative, when Frederic Hof of the US State Department testified to the US Congress in December 2011 that Syria was "a dead man walking?"

I'm not aware that b ever offered any "predictions that this thing is coming to an end." Syria, to date, has prevailed against the mightiest country on earth together with its petro-despot allies, which even cost the life of a US ambassador. This includes a thorough military and propaganda campaign, which sometimes includes government-sponsored sock puppets on popular blogs.

Recently, Syria has enjoyed some tactical success, which is probably contributed to this illegal attack by Israel, which the US has supported. So the UN Charter is in the dumpster to promote the US and Israel, and the world sees it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 4:39:22 PM | 30

I've checked in with you for awhile now and admire your work. But, right this instant, I'm wondering. I do want to know the truth but have some questions. Why should I care? What do I do? Is it just for the sake of knowing truth or is there actually something I can do besides feel contempt and hope for justice?

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 5:35:32 PM | 31

31) no no need to do anything, just Israel acting stupid

The source also claims the attack – if it managed to hit the objects it targeted – served more of a political than a military purpose.

“Several civilian factories and buildings were destroyed. The target was just an ordinary weapons warehouse. The bombing is an ultimatum to us – it had no strategic motivation.”

Western intelligence sources told the media that the strikes targeted transfers of weapons from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, which is sympathetic to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The official who spoke to RT denies this.

“There was no valuable equipment at the site. It was all removed after a previous attack on the facility. The military losses from this are negligible.”

Now, why does Israel always seem to bomb the same place?

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 5:44:44 PM | 32

So, it looks like Israel used DU shells.

What's that about chemical weapons again?

http://rt.com/news/syria-israel-uranium-air-strike-847/

Posted by: guest | May 5, 2013 5:52:57 PM | 33

I know that I am ignorant, but why is Israel involved in this at all? I've been asking this for a long time now about many things. I would really like to cuss and put all my words in all caps but I'm trying to be cool and like a boss.

Don't get me started.

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 5:53:39 PM | 34

Israel escalates in Syria. This is the yahoo! headline that I read today. Or maybe it was yesterday.

I sure wouldn't want to be Israel right now. The universe simply cannot take such bullshit. There's got to be karma involved if nothing else.

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 6:16:07 PM | 35

1) Syria blamed for use of chemical weapons - did not work
2) Arrests of Jihadi terrorists in Europe, Turkey, US, Canada, terrorist attack in Boston ..., acknowledgement Syrian opposition dominated by Jihadi terrorists ... - did not work
3) Massacre in Banyas - Erdogan getting emotional about it - does not seem to have any effect
4) Destruction of holy sites of Islam in Syria - did not spark retaliation yet
5) Bomb strike by Israel, no retaliation yet but surely Obama must act now as Israel is threatened :-))

next step?

Posted by: somebody | May 5, 2013 6:16:41 PM | 36

Next step? Well perhaps the motherfuckers can explain it all to us. Wouldn't that be totally awesome?

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 6:44:31 PM | 37

Now, when judgement falls upon Islam? Look at it.

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 6:53:05 PM | 38

But no, I don't like Islam either, okay?

Posted by: tsisageya | May 5, 2013 6:59:27 PM | 39

Nice for s'ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab to have finally seen the light.

And just look how corrupted and spineless they are those terrorists. Now is blabbering about valuable insight to be given to the Syrian army.
Simple reason: Now they want to come back to mother Syria and trade forgiving for "valuable insights" (read: This time they'll betray the other side - as they did before with Syria) and then abuse the Syrian army for their private little revenge against israel.

Too bad, unlucky circumstances, heh, that some ten thousand innocent Syrian civilians have been raped and slaughtered by you and your terrorist accomplices until you found out that you are nothing but a lousy, and for that matter cheap, whore and thug for your masters.

So sorry, Mr. s'ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab, but if the Syrians have any minimum of honour they'll beat what little in "valuable insight" you and your accomplices may have out of you and then do what every self respecting army does with lousy traitors and terrorist scum, shoot a bullet in your head.

My advice: Make a little detour through turkey and show their police and military live - on their bodies - what you have learned to do with the weapons they gave you. If turkish whores and Syrian traitors kill each other everybody wins.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 7:55:19 PM | 40

Iran has now publicly given an offer to Syria to send "trainers" if Syria wishes so. Note that this is mil-diplo lingo for sending modern weapons (and trainers along) and/or sending special forces (who train their hosts by showing them how to effectively kill terrorists - live, of course).

Too bad for the israscum regime that they have believed in their won (and their american go-fors) "supremacy" bullsh*t.

The line is simple: Iran will provide Syria with much needed resources and Syria again will considerably enhance the resources of Hezbollah.
And how could israel complain? After all they themselves get "support" from zusa.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 8:02:17 PM | 41

Amused Reader (5)

Sorry. Did you say anything? No? Just farting? Well, that must be the israeli food.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 8:10:24 PM | 42

Israel probably got the depleted uranium shells from the U.S.

Fallujah, Iraq - Contamination from Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 9:10:27 PM | 43

I thought that only Christians turned the other cheek. /s

Or is it a strategic form of the old rope-a-dope, Foreman flailing against Ali.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 5, 2013 9:14:54 PM | 44

I don't know if anyone else has suggested it but what about if the strikes were to pull the plug on the FSA? this will finish them in propaganda terms, that all they were dupes and puppets of the Zionists, willing or otherwise.
to escalate the war meant heavy weapons in the hands of Al Queda afiliates which nobody sane in DC or Tel Aviv wanted to contemplate and the idea of invading so soon after the debacle in Iraq especially to help out jihadis was political suicide.

Posted by: heath | May 5, 2013 9:34:27 PM | 45

heath said:

"to escalate the war meant heavy weapons in the hands of Al Queda afiliates which nobody sane in DC or Tel Aviv wanted to contemplate..."

I've often wondered whether Washington elites were ignorant/blindly ideological or simply Machiavellian...

Please know that they are Machiavellian - the ruling elites, at the highest echelons of power, know that the rebels are filled with Bin Ladenites. They wish to use the Bin Ladenites for their sick purposes.

Your tax dollars are going to support Al Qaeda in Syria plain and simple!

Posted by: LevantReport | May 5, 2013 9:45:36 PM | 46

"So don't fantasize anymore about the Sunni's ending their support for the rebels because of this attack...because what it all comes down to is SUNNI versus SHIA. It has been this way for hundreds of years, and it will be for hundreds."

How did all those husbands and wives in Iraq manage to overcome the "hundreds and hundreds" of years of hated between these two sects?! The US saw their way out of Iraq and its problems with Iran by igniting an ethnic war across a vast region of the globe. That's par for the course from the world savior of democracy and freedom.

@N'43 The Boston Bombings were the FBI. The Syrians weren't just bombed at all, that's all a trick as well or something? I'm starting to see a theme here.

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 10:22:43 PM | 47

http://rt.com/news/un-syria-rebels-chemical-weapons-854/
UN notes 'concrete suspicions' that Syrian rebels used chemical weapons

Russia clearly wants to keep this legitimate for those in the international community who are against war in Syria - meaning I guess, all of Europe east of the Rhine and a few high placed democrats in the United States.

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 10:30:20 PM | 48

http://rt.com/op-edge/rizk-oren-syria-israel-839/
‘Israel trying to drag US into Syrian conflict’

RT: We've heard from commentators from Israel that the strikes are a balanced reaction. Do you agree?

AR: Balanced reaction to what?

LOL. Come on RT. I hope you were just being facetious.

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 10:37:43 PM | 49

Ho much longer can the Gulf Oil Oligarchs, now allied with Israel as well as the US/EU, kill Arabs and Muslims and destroy Muslim states before the people of the region rise up and kill them?

Posted by: john francis lee | May 5, 2013 10:41:42 PM | 50

Carla Del Ponte on the use of chemical warfare in Syria (specifically sarin) - "This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,"

O'bummer/Hollande/Cameron - "You see, this is why it's imperative that we arm the poor things , so they don't have to resort to chemo"

Posted by: Sasha | May 5, 2013 10:43:57 PM | 51

From RT on the US testing a new hypersonic cruise missile:

"Last year, when asked why such technology is necessary, Air Force officials cited a failed attempt of the life of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in 1998. Upon learning of his location, military intelligence was able summon Naval ships to fire cruise missiles at the target within 80 minutes. This new technology, the Air Force told the Los Angeles Times in 2012, would cut that response time down to twelve minutes."

LOL! And if he happens to leave ten minutes early, we're still screwed! Throw another 800 Trillion on the fire boys!

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 10:49:07 PM | 52

Good read today. As a qualifier, everything I read here, and everywhere else, is taken with a grain of salt, but...

Kal @ 7: rough prose, but, I think I agree with your overall thought. This thing ain't hardly over. The empire/NATO/Israel alliance will not relent.

bevin @ 22: As always, a well written and reasoned post. IMO,right on point.

AnonSoutherner @ 25: Thanks for the window into the area bombed. Something quite unique.

AR @ 27:
"The day that happens will be a sad day for the readers of this blog, and I can't wait to visit your site then!"

WTF?

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2013 11:02:46 PM | 53

An "ex-mossad" agent recently posted on Twitter: "Hey Nasrallah, how's that 'fighting the Zionist occupier working out for you?"

I've seen this sentiment a lot from Israelis, along with @27. Israel will certainly press for a furthering schism and bloodshed. I'm not so sure they can keep their Frankenstein from turning on them, but we'll see. And the USA will dutifully play the puppet because we have no REAL interests in the region, but we have to do SOMETHING with all those weapons.

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 11:11:21 PM | 54

@ 52: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/science/

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2013 11:25:34 PM | 55

U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE94409Z20130505?irpc=932

Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 12:13:45 AM | 56

Amused,

You are a sick puppy if you think a Libya-like campaign is a good thing. We are already on the verge of serious war. Study WWI a bit. It started with an Arab Spring of Western intel types, and no-one could imagine the disaster that followed. This kind of thing may or may not happen, but the hubris of NATO and Israel seems unlimited. Meanwhile, their relative economic power is sinking every month.

Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 12:43:18 AM | 57

U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator

Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave no details as to when or where sarin may have been used.

Posted by: somebody | May 6, 2013 12:47:24 AM | 58

This attack by Israel and the subsequent revelations of sarin attacks by those cheeky monkeys = the best week for Assad & Syria since this whole thing began. Will Barry and Dave scold the little rascals? Perhaps send them back to their rooms without couscous? We breathlessly await the decision...

Posted by: Sasha | May 6, 2013 1:00:03 AM | 59

Although the UN merely has testimonies, and no concrete evidence, they suspect that ir was the rebels that'd crossed the red line. How will Obama respond to that?

I think now is the right time to put some much needed (international) pressure on US/France/England.

Posted by: never mind | May 6, 2013 1:05:16 AM | 60

Well, I'm glad everyone is FINALLY coming to their senses and getting the clear picture I tried to convey at least a year ago. Hello!

But of course the goal was always the destruction/neutralization of Syria. This was never about revolution. This was a fabricated, operative-driven revolution. The fall of Iran runs through Damascus and the leveling of Syria, don't you know.

This attack represents an end run around Russia and China at the Security Council. This is a devious way of vetoing their veto and neutering their power to act.

This is Lebanon 1982 redux. When Israel butts in with a flimsy excuse you know the targetted country's in the process of bein g razed to the ground.

Arabs/Muslims encouraged to fight each other and fooled AGAIN. When will they ever learn? By the time Syrians get back on their feet and figure out what happened to them: The Golan will be a permanent part of Eretz Israel and Iran will be under attack.

Posted by: kalithea | May 6, 2013 1:05:16 AM | 61

@61 kalithea - On behalf of "everyone" I apologize most profusely! ... and to think we all thought this was a genuine and homegrown struggle for freedom against an evil dictator. How could we have been so blind!?
You are Tony Cartalucci, aren't you?

Posted by: Sasha | May 6, 2013 1:23:00 AM | 62

I have too much respect for As'ad AbuKhalil to criticize him too strongly. But his reaction to the attack against Syria reminds me of a historical precedent when the left refused to compromise on principle. In 1932 the German Communist Party refused to enter into a coalition with the German Social Democrats. They were still pissed off from what happened in 1918 when a Social Democratic government permitted the bloody suppression of the communist revolution. This was when the state police murdered Rosa Luxemberg and Liebnitz.

In 1932 neither the communists nor the socialist had a majority but in a coalition they would have. Rather than a compromise among the left the Nazi Party, that polled only 33% of the vote, was invited to form a government. We all know how that turned out. A few years later the communists were crying out for a United Front against fascism but it was by then too late.

Let us hope that the left wing Arab forces in the ME have not waited too long in realizing the danger of the neocolonial/Zionist assault against the current Syrian government.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 6, 2013 1:34:46 AM | 63

kalithea (61)

Well, I'm glad everyone is FINALLY coming to their senses and getting the clear picture I tried to convey at least a year ago. Hello!

But of course the goal was always the destruction/neutralization of Syria. This was never about revolution. This was a fabricated, operative-driven revolution. The fall of Iran runs through Damascus and the leveling of Syria, don't you know.

Not meaning to make your amazing prognostic talents look any less overwhelming but ...

zusa/uk (and later israel) have been *the* major factor there (near/mid-east) since more than 100 years.

Things there have a magic tendency to befit the interests of zusa/uk/israel.
In the rare cases they don't it can be most easily recognized: The united western propaganda industry yells loudly all over the place and shoots accusations like "terrorism!".

To make it really simple even for idiots one must just follow a very simple rule:
If they talk about freedom, democracy or otherwise positive (as defined by the empires) a lot of people will die and a lot of harm will be done.
If, however, they talk about "gruesome slaughtering", "terrorist attacks", "illegal regime" and the like everything is fine except some criminal assh*oles have failed in raping some country.

Short: Quite nobody here ever believed that Assad is an evil dictator who finally had it coming to him in the form of democracy loving "freedom fighters".

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 6, 2013 1:49:33 AM | 64

Immediate retaliation to these Israeli airstrikes is the best option for Syria. That way the aggressor's attack is fresh in the minds of on-lookers and the world will see the military response by Syria as justified. The longer they wait to respond, the less public opinion will associate the retaliation with the attack that provoked it, giving the media spin machine the opportunity to cast Syria as the aggressor and the bad guy.

If an effective response doesn't come soon it indicates that Syria is not capable of responding effectively which is bad news for those who are expecting Syria to be the wrench in the spokes of the American Israelist global agenda. And the Syrian air defense system is looking pretty worthless if it can't protect against major incursions like this one.

b's take on the effect the attack has on the rebels' support is intriguing but one also has to consider that people will naturally gravitate to whichever side looks more likely to prevail. So a blow like this can also prompt Assadis to abandon ship for the Western-back FSA.

Posted by: J. Bradley | May 6, 2013 1:53:20 AM | 65

@65 It's am oldie but a goodie - "Revenge is a dish best served cold"

Posted by: Sasha | May 6, 2013 2:02:19 AM | 66

65)In the end this will be not be decided by public opinion but by realities on the ground.

Any retaliation would "threaten Israel" thereby giving an argument to interventionists. But sure, Syria cannot attack Israel without risking major losses. Israel seems to be sure to have acted under the threshold where Syria (or Hezbollah) has to attack.

I guess it was meant to "change the calculations of the Syrian regime".

The interesting part is who is missing from this "Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Israel security axis".

Posted by: somebody | May 6, 2013 2:18:18 AM | 67

So, there we have it, UN find rebels using Sarin chemical weaponry, this news will be ignored by Obama & co.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2013 2:21:02 AM | 68

THE FECKLESS LEFT

***1

One must not forget the disgraceful petition put out by what calls itself the "Left" in the name of "dignity and freedom" last week, the so-called "Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution". The geo-political analysis of the screed would not pass the muster of a child, and the empty verbiage comes straight out of a George W. Bush or Barak Obama speech -- without exaggeration. In any event, don't mislead yourself into thinking the timing was accidental in the face of the collapse of the mercenary Takfiri front. Because it wasn't. When the empire finds its back against wall, it will not hesitate in pulling out all stops -- even if it means trotting out a brigade of tired old leftists in its dirty service.

And if ever there was evidence that the entire moribund left intellectual class is bought and sold, this is surely it. One should carefully examine the list of names and publicly excoriate them for their now public complicity in international war crimes and the use of chemical weaponry. Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein!, Richard Seymour (author of "The Liberal Defence of Murder," "tracing the descent of liberal supporters of war..."), Anthony Arnove (Howard Zinn's boy), Fredric Jameson, Vijay Prasad, Ilan Pappe, Stephen R. Shalom, Alice Walker and so on down the line, over 220 Benedict Arnolds in all. Laudable behavior in the past is no excuse for lying while supporting Takfiri murderers in the present. May every single one of them know what it is like to be exposed to DU -- in the name of freedom and democracy, of course!

According to these house puppets, "The revolution in Syria (sic) is ... also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation", and every other emotional struggle for justice that these betrayers can throw against the wall and hope it sticks, while, like a virus, they live off the suffering of others, with their pompous pontificating and venal obfuscating, as their salaries and position are paid for by the big boys.

I am sorry that do to personal problems I am not at present able to take the time to deconstruct the empty verbiage of that embarrassing petition line by line as I have done with others in the past (The Euston Manifesto). This document's vacuous invocation of democracy, freedom and the Geneva Convention, its selective one-sided claims bereft of any factual evidence whatsoever, its twisting of truth on its head and its transparent Orwellism against "Asad’s regime" should be a deep and enduring embarrassment for any signatory of the document.

In ostensibly "hop(ing) for a free, unified, and independent Syria," (Didn't that exist, albeit with blemishes, as all power structures exhibit, until a few years ago? The same hope was evinced for Iraq after the nation was first destroyed, but why should a few well trained house lackeys quibble over cause and effect?) while "confront(ing) a world upside down" consisting of "Russia, China, and Iran," (the bad guys) and in throwing in their lot and supporting "the US and their Gulf allies" (the good guys -- Saudi Arabia and Qatar for hummus sake!) these ahistorical ignoramuses not only have the blood of innocent Syrians on their heads, but that of the multi-million Iraqis and hundreds of thousands of Libyans, Afghanis, Yemeni, Sudanese and many other nations killed, injured, displaced and dispossessed by the time honored imperial strategy of divide et impera, divide and conquer. Apparently, those who refuse to study the bloody history of the West's destabilization campaigns are consigned (perhaps enlisted?) to support them.

As the election of Barak Obama, supported by similar empty-headed intellectual idealists, has proved, "Hope," in the absence of an honest and rigorous economic and power analysis, a realistic and workable political strategy of opposition, and the building of a viable alternative power structure, is even more destructive than surly apathy. These intellectuals' piteous petition evinces none of the above minimal requirements for successful activism -- except, of course, for Hope, the Orwellian trope of our decade. Their elitist Hope, is misplaced from the get go, of course -- for there is no attempt in the petition to address or assay the hopes and desires of the majority of the Syrian people. Instead, it is all about their precious hope. When your car careens off the road, you momentarily "hope" you won't be killed, although you know it is too late for hope; Intellectual study, attainment and popular acclaim is supposed to provide more effective tools than hope. In this case, like petition signing, apparently.

It simply beggars belief that the Left -- which claims to pride itself on solid structural analysis as opposed to groupcentric conspiracy theory -- betrays its utter ignorance of its purported forte (the former) while buying whole hog into the later, namely into the magical conspiracy theory that the removal of an individual, Assad, rather than the democratic restructuring of a power structure and national political economy, will in any way help solve the Syrians' problems. The undemocratic abdication of the duly elected "Bashar al-Asad," as called for by the petitioners, would clearly leave a prolonged bloody power vacuum, with every interested external and internal party vying in the darkest of ways for support, thereby inaugurating in a reign of terror even worse than at present and destroying the state. The recent bloody examples of Iraq and Libya should be obvious even to the purblind pusillanimous petitioners. One might think… An honest leftist, Stephen Gowans once described this type of thinking among the left as the "Rogue's Gallery" syndrome: the demonization of individual "monsters" like Saddam Hussein, Qaddaffi, Chavez, Castro. As the noted political thinker Noam Chomsky notoriously and repeatedly opined a decade ago, (paraphrased), "Iraqis, and the world, would be much better off without Saddam Hussein." So much for the vaunted structural analysis of the left. But who, especially the tenured left, has time for historical memory in an age of evanescent tweets?

To even imagine that one could throw one's hat in with the US, Zionist Israel, bought off and dying NATO, Saudi Arabian, and Qatari interests and end up with some type of leftist anti-globalist democracy movement complying with the will of the Syrian people is absolutely and utterly laughable. The destruction of Sirte and the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha, as well as the confessional partition of Iraq, come to mind as case examples of more likely consequences, especially for a multi-confessional state such as Syria. Do these people really have academic degrees; do they study history; are they in any way capable of critical thinking? They betray the rankest of historical ignorance, and to my mind, these moronic intellectuals demonstrate the far-sighted perspective of an ostrich with its head in the sand. It is truly a left gone mad.

***2

Of more serious import, is these morons' ignorance of, and complicity in, the process of shock doctrine globalization: How are nations dragooned into debt servitude, the Washington Consensus, by the bankers, the IMF, the WTO, while a few dozens walk away with billions? The destabilization of Iceland, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, a veritable rampage of county after country demonstrates that military means need not be necessary. Politicians are bought, laws are changed without fanfare or understanding by the masses, globalist media lies, populations are mislead, non-democratic agreements are passed, and fewer and fewer corporations run by an interlocking directorate of hundreds gets stronger and stronger. The commons is privatized, safety nets are cut, and unemployment, a form of soft genocide, is abetted. Everything is privatized and centralized into non-accountable, non-democratic global corporatist hands. The entire world has become just one big "externality" for the globalized military to handle. For holdouts, stronger means are necessary: Markets, commodity prices, interest rates, etc. are manipulated by the market makers. Ethnic and confessional destabilization campaigns are funded and fomented. Anger is channeled through unaccountable foreign NGOs, globalist funded faux-democracy movements, neo-liberal and powerless placeholders for the big boys all, but with catchy brands and great graphics, led by cult-like charismatic leaders whose radiant clothes cover their programmatic nakedness: This charade is what the aforementioned signatories, without a trace of awareness or irony refer to in their petition as "civic society," a faux society of profession technicians who manage the now crumbling societies "unrealistic expectations" and resistance. George Soros would be proud!

Peaceful protests against the hapless leader who initially attempted to placate the Globalist neo-liberal order by privatizing the commanding heights of the economy, by providing rent-a-torture services to the empire, are organized by the same globalist powers who forced or bribed the nation's venal leaders into neo-liberal contortions in the first place. It is never enough for the ghouls. Once the International order has their eyes on your country, you're damned if you attempt to comply and damned if you attempt to resist. False flag attacks destabilize, and then the hired hands come in -- in Syria's case, the Takfiris. Apparently, these esteemed intellectuals, so concerned with democracy and dignity, have never read John Perkins, Naomi Klein, or the blog LandDestroyer, among others. The entire process is, as Hannah Arendt might say, banally ordinary. And the feckless left happily signs on to the banality.

Iraq, Libya, Indonesia, Panama, the Phillipines, and a dozen other countries. The feckless left should have a grip on the storyline, or what they like to call "the narrative" by now. But no, like the Keystone Cops, they fall for it every time.

And yet, despite the violence and destabilization that is taking down the world, one nation at a time, in a mad, mad race to the bottom -- might one think that this is cause to organize and petition for the feckless structural left. Nay, they say! All problems will be solved once Assad goes, declares the feckless structural, magical thinking left! Get on the bus, sign the magical petition, and go Furthur!

***3

In 1940, the astrophysist George Gamow published "The Birth And Death Of The Sun." In it, he described the evolutionary tracks of stars. Stars differ by mass, and composition, and thereby final fate, but their evolutionary sequences, their life paths, could now be reliably predicted, he stated. Without an intelligent, informed, organized global resistance, we are now in the same place with nations within the global world order or more accurately, world system. If they resist, they can be a Haiti, a Honduras, a Yugoslavia, an Iraq, a Libya, a Syria, perhaps even a Soviet Union. Depending on their "mass," the composition of their industries, their constituent ethnicities and religions, and the strength of their resistance to Globalism, their fate can be reliably predicted.

Its nice to talk about dignity and democracy and freedom as the wealthy petition signers do. But the reality is that there is none of that without jobs and economic security for all. And the neo-liberalism of centrally controlled Globalism that is rapidly being rolled out around the world is all about destroying that for everyone (including the petition signatories), in the name of "workplace flexibility." Corporations have freedom and dignity and democracy within globalized trade organizations, not people, these days. That is to say, they now have the legal standing and rights which people once had, no matter how much the petition's signatories may wish or bleat otherwise. To blame Assad for this globalized transfer -- theft, really -- of rights is naive and misplaced, and to expect a seriously destabilized society to provide what their own relatively more stable societies cannot is both illogical and deeply patronizing of the Syrian people.

At the present juncture, the only force strong enough to resist this shock doctrine globalism-at-gunpoint crisis methodology is economic nationalism. Sure, nationalism is a drag, outmoded, and overly narrow in perspective. Many historical complaints can be legitimately set against it. In the long run, it is not the way to go for the planet or its inhabitants. But right now it is the only force strong enough to stand up to neo-liberal globalism. At the moment, as that wicked witch Maggie famously said, "There is no alternative." A movement of a few naive students have not been able to stand up to globalism, and neither have 1 million people occupying a nation's central square. Effective resistance to this global process -- an intentional run-down to the lowest common denominator of wealth, health, security, etc., and a run-up to the highest common denominator of pollution and ecological destruction, all in favor of corporate rights owned by a few people and enforced at the end of a gun -- without an effective global strategy and sustained global support, is merely wishful thinking, i.e., hope. Yet, we are are nowhere near that point of resistance yet, and with the aid of these moribund intellectuals, fecklessly yet sanctimoniously targeting one "monster" at a time, we may never get there. In my humble opinion, economic nationalism must be seen as a stepping stone away from centralized unaccountable globalism towards a more decentralized, economically just world. If I should be mistaken, I welcome any viable alternative strategies. Perhaps the feckless left will invite me to sign their petition!

These great vaunted intellectuals have not come up with an education program of resistance to globalism for their own countries, or one for Syria. Neither have they come up with a game-plan, a strategy for resistance. They lead no great movements of resistance in their own countries. they speak not to the masses, but to other intellectuals, a privileged 10%, if that. Like ostriches all, they deny and ignore the problem. Worse, they misdiagnose it: The problem is Assad (Hussein, Qaddaffi, Aristede, Chavez wasn't good enough) -- whatever -- it is an individual problem, not a systemic and global one. He, (whomever) is a bad leader; he made concessions to the globalists; he made deals with his national elite, whatever. In the end, for these utopians, Castro was not good enough for them, and neither was Chavez. They are all "problematic." In a world with virtually no left, the existing left, such as it is, warts and all, is not worth supporting when one can idealistically envision a Platonic left. Go figure. This is a solipsistic, deeply nihilistic politics of self-absorption. And because they see the problem to be an individual one, rather than a systemic one, they call for individual solutions to the wrong problem -- which clearly will never work. But perhaps that's what these moral geniuses are paid to do: Provide unworkable solutions to fictitious problems. To monkeywrench the resistance. And to do so in a non-holistic manner. Ad hoc -- sort of like Bush v. Gore. Remove the monsters one by one and stand up in feckless disbelief when they are each replaced in turn with worse monsters and worse bloodshed. "Don't blame me, I stood up to the monster," they bleat in astonished sheep-like unison. The feckless left. The non-structural, magical left. What can one expect of a group who supported Obama, because he was marketed as "Hope?"

***4

In examining the behavior of the feckless left, it might help to focus in on one specific example -- in this case, Michael Alpert, not a signatory to this document, but an intellectual of much the same ilk -- and examine how his behavior during the Libyan intervention mirrors that of the feckless left now. Dr. Alpert, a former member of SDS, a co-founder of the well known leftist publisher, South End Press, with a doctorate in economics, is proprietor of the ZNET community, a well known group who generally consider themselves far-left political radicals in the Chomskian mold. There is a high representation of young intellectuals. ZNET has extensive source material, topical articles, blogs and discussion groups, like many other sites. In addition to this bread and butter work, Dr. Alpert fancies himself as a political theorist, particularly as the developer of an idealistic economic vision called participatory economics or parecon. I have spent a fair amount of time studying parecon, and related participatory structures, and, in my opinion, they have a lot to say for themselves in an ideal world.

With that type of background, top-notch intellectual credentials and a life spent in radical politics, along with a doctorate in economics, one might expect Dr. Alpert to understand the processes of globalization. And in theory, he might. But when the rubber hits the road, as it did in with Libya, where I tracked his site closely, he transforms into a card-carrying member of the feckless left.

In other words, he abandoned all pretense of structural analysis. Further, he abandoned any accurate historical discourse: The roots of Qaddafi's politics in nationalism, pan-africanism and socialism, his accomplishments in 42 years of guiding his nation, the war the west has fought against Libya without respite for over 30 years, how his family was bombed and killed, how Libya was falsely blamed for both the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing and the explosion of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, how Qaddaffi was finally worn down resisting and began a program of neo-liberal privatization in a country of vast wealth and resources.

At this point, as I described above, a leader is in a lose-lose position. If he neo-liberalizes he loses the support of his people, yet it will never be enough for the globalists. And if he doesn't, his nation is worn down by endless destabilization campaigns. Destabilization is almost assured at this point. This is the ubiquitous pattern which should be the basis for any thinking persons analysis of the political situation.

But not for Dr. Alpert, who came down with a bad case of "Rogue's Gallery" syndrome. Qaddafi, he declared, based upon unsubstantiated reports in western corporate media, was killing his own people. It was a close call, he stated, but like the blind umpire, he was assured of getting it wrong. We must support intervention. And what was most striking was that his language was almost exactly, to the word, the language the current petitioners employ: The empire is bad and it acts in "cynical self interest." But in this one case, that cynical self interest magically coincides with the needs of the innocent people to not be slaughtered. So, in this one case, we should support the empire in stopping the monster, but no more. We should not support the empire in intervening militarily.

All of which serves to derail any structural analysis of the left in favor of ad hoc limited complicity based upon a western created crisis designed to appeal to the emotions, and to disarm, or at least divide any leftist resistance, which, as usual, opens the door to western intervention, which magically, never foreseen by the feckless left, always causes more killing and destruction and destabilization, which to any sentient being was the point in the first place. Wash, rinse, repeat.

These are the processes of the feckless left: historically created problem not analyzed, emotional reaction, pre-engineered ad-hoc solution, short-circuiting rational analysis, which are repeated every time. But, to their credit, they always stand firm against the monster du jour.

Here is the Orwellian position of the current petition: "one where states that were allegedly friends of the Arabs such as Russia, China, and Iran have stood in support of the slaughter of people, while states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the US and their Gulf allies, have intervened in support of the revolutionaries. They have done so with clear cynical self interest. In fact, their intervention tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.


Given that regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone, we ask you to lend your support to those Syrians still fighting for justice, dignity, and freedom, and who have withstood the deafening sounds of the battle, as well as rejected the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom."

Russia, China and Iran (the bad guys) support the slaughter of people. The US and their gulf allies (the good guys, whose very names are carefully omitted as they have no credibility whatsoever) support the revolutionaries (hurray!), but only after trying to crush -- not support -- them. Got it? But the good guys don't really support the revolutionaries enough because "regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone" an Orwellian lie on par with one of Hitler's big lies. And the bad guys are responsible for "the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom," a line which apparently fell out of a Reagan speech from 1981.

We are never told exactly how supporting leftist revolutionaries falls within the cynical self interests of the empire, but by then no one is capable of critical thinking anyway.

It is simply impossible to follow this hollywood gobly gook and maintain a rational, historical, and structural analysis of events.

***5

In a sane world, the left would first provide us with honest analysis: Foreign countries are arming, training, infiltrating and paying for an armed mercenary force to destabilize Syria. Honest leftists would call for the cutting off of all support for this foreign destabilization before all else. Until all foreigners are removed from the destabilization scene, stopped from blowing up civilians, mosques and churches, businesses, the industrial infrastructure of the country, how can anyone, in their right mind, talk of dignity, freedom and democracy? What world do these signatories live in?

In a sane world, the left would stand against Israel and the US, attacking other nations unprovoked, dropping depleted uranium on defenseless people to cause injuries and defects for all of future history, perhaps. In this world, the feckless, magical thinking left, petition against Assad.

Finally, the word "revolution" has been bandied about as a propaganda word, preventing meaningful discourse and analysis of the political economic structure of the nation being analyzed. It has all the meaning of "swish!", "goal!", or "home run!" these days; it is fashionable. It has become a media term and stripped of a meaningful descriptive role. And the feckless left promotes this meaningless glamorization: The wanton destruction of a nation through age-old divide and conquer tactics has magically morphed into "the revolution in Syria." What is happening in Syria is as much a revolution as the self-serving, sanctimonious, feckless left is a force for good in the world, that is to say zilch.

***6

As far as the Angry Arab goes, the anger over events from his childhood might be real, but he has generally comes across as a petulant, overstuffed humus eater. He is not known for presenting any viable analysis of the process of globalization, and how it effects the Arab world, nor current day real geo-political possibilities of resistance in a very bleak era, although to his credit, he is excellent at the much easier task of pointing out ever-present political hypocrisy, commentary on long past events and actors, translations of beautiful poetry, and indulging in Utopian dreams. With his position and contacts, it is inconceivable that his stance could have been anything but willful ignorance over the mercenary, mendacious, and intentionally violent and destructive of life forces nature of the Takfiri "revolution." His public mea culpa, while laudable in theory, must be viewed as a rear guard action to preserve any street cred he has left with his audience so that he may mislead them again in the future. If he is not a member of the feckless left, he is still a member of the unprogrammatic, magical left.


If you want to be looked at as a leader and teacher of human beings, a credible human rights advocate or a credible intellectual analyst, you must make the crucial calls correctly when it counts, not two years later. The Angry Arab, by his conscious actions, has condemned tens of thousands of Syrians of all confessions to the fate of his own people in Lebanon a generation ago - the crucible which supposedly formed his moral spine - and that is unforgivable. It is incumbent upon one to learn the lessons of one's own life. His, albeit small, responsibility will be on his head forever, and he will never escape the judgment of it by humane people the world over for the rest of his life. He will never be thought of seriously by any thinking person as a political force for good, a member of a programmatic resistance, and his blog will be considered a mere curiosity, querulous and quixotic, not deeply insightful or moral, more along the lines of titillating political entertainment, like Jon Stewart. There is a difference being "mistaken" and refusing to read the accounts and understand the processes (processes, as I make clear above, which have changed little in intent since time immemorial and which are repeated quite regularly the world over) which every reader of this humble blog has been aware of for well over a year. A very big difference.

***7

What can we do? It is incumbent upon us that the list of petitioner's names and the empty verbiage and puerile analysis should be deconstructed and spread far and wide to discredit these puppets. Their empty program should be exposed for the nihilism that it is and replaced with a viable program of education and resistance.

As has been well documented, for instance at Landdestroyer, geo-political plans are devised years, if not decades, into the future. What has been transpiring in Syria is no surprise to any serious student of geo-politics, and was planned and publicized long ago. The feckless left has no excuse for ignorance if they expect to be a geo-political force for good.

What, one may reasonably ask, is to be the role of intellectuals? (No less a luminary than Noam Chomsky gained renown addressing this question.) Intellectuals are presumably given a voice and widespread exposure and the following and trust of people as leaders so that they can tell the truth to us while confronting those in power. They should take the time and effort to unravel the tortuous and purposely opaque mechanisms of power and explain the process to us mere mortals in simple terms which we can understand. One might expect them to elucidate how the west and its ZATO and Arab puppets has, over several decades, created a world of artificial austerity without meaningful work for millions, a network of fundamentalist schools spitting out nihilistic fanatics devoid of humanism or critical thinking, a pipeline of illegal arms, armies of brainwashed mercenaries provided jobs and cult-like group identity, all focused on destroying nation states one by one -- Syria being the current focus of destabilization. One might expect them to limn out this process to those of us who are burdened by simply getting by day-to-day and putting food on our table, a roof over our heads, taking care of our cratering health, so that we can understand and follow them. One might, at the very least, expect them to tell us what Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard) and Wesley Clark (The US will destabilize seven countries...), partisan political players both, have let on. That is the very least one might expect of a public intellectual, even if they are a member of the feckless left.

However, in these extremely bleak days it seems the so-called "opposition" is given voice, funding, positions of authority and following so that the global mafia can call in their chits when it really counts. They can lie to us and spin meaningless confections of freedom, dignity, and a democratic future for Syria. (What hopes for freedom, dignity, and a democratic future do the unemployed, the underemployed, the great mass of flexible labor have in their own countries these days?) They can lie to us and turn cause and effect on its head: "the regime has pushed for the militarization of the Syrian nonviolent movement", and by implication somehow now has responsibility for the completely unmentioned mercenary Takfiri opposition, as if a non-violent movement could be forced into violence -- sell that analysis to real leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, neither a showboat intellectual.

Real leaders, from Martin Luther King to Hugo Chavez to Gary Webb risked their life to reveal the truth instead of gallivanting with the Rolling Stones, or being feted by some astroturf group, or funded by some globalist foundation or tenured by some pseudo-intellectual organization (university) held afloat by government and corporate contracts in killingry and global domination. These chickenshit, pathetic signatories, as well as other well known "leftists" such as Amy Goodman, Juan Cole, Josh Landis, Michael Alpert, Stephen Zunes, and others, are case examples of weak, pathetic traitors to humanity worldwide. They have willfully traded honest systematic analysis for emotional string pulling -- only real lives (not theirs) are involved. Nobody forced these people to become public intellectuals; they could be greeters at Walmart nation, like the rest of us shmoos.

Those who consciously through their words and actions seek positions of power and privilege within the left are all well aware, as are all activists, union organizers, journalists, etc. of the danger this entails and the courage involved in being a real leader in a land of the deepest imperial and neoliberal reaction, while living in countries which make no pretense whatsoever these days of providing for even the most basic welfare of their own people when it stands in opposition to the needs of multi-national capital. Therefore, these house intellectuals, these whitewashers of extremism, murder and mayhem -- are as guilty as traitors, for when the chit from on high gets called in by those who supported their rise to prominence, they cravenly put their own safety and privilege over the quest for intellectual rigor, truth and justice and the trust put in them by people who only want justice and peace in the world.

Truth is hard-won in times of universal propaganda and deceit, and one must think for oneself, and not blindly follow leftist, or any other, gurus. Rather, one must ruthlessly tear down, expose and destroy the propagandists, the cloaked aiders and abettors of empire. Its the least we can do.

Posted by: Malooga | May 6, 2013 2:57:47 AM | 69

Malooga,

Feckless Left or Opportunistic Left? Not all of these folks are stupid, petulant, or what have you. They only say they want a Platonic Left to keep the rubes in line. In the case in discussion, Angry Arab looks calculating to me. Good luck looking for honest Leftists. They vanished a long time ago, and seem to have taken honest environmentalists at the same time. Coincidentally, the Greens of Europe seem to be much more bothered with defending those who disrupt or damage churches than NATO bombing innocent countries into the Stone Age.

Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 3:20:59 AM | 70

Kalithea,

It might be a lot worse than that. Turkey and Israel don't want Syria on her feet for at least a century and probably in a country one-fourth the size. But, did this war really fool Arabs/Muslims or are they simply for sale?

By the way, this war is not really devious. ZATO has been advertising its plans for a long time. For some reason, Syrians and others seem to be deaf, and this deafness is the real blind spot in current Arab and Islamic culture. And, of course, a willingness to do anything for a shekel.

Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 3:27:40 AM | 71

Malooga, could you elaborate on that please?
Seriously a magnificent tour de force, and I was certainly relieved to see a #7, something that's almost universally lacking. This should be read outside of a small forum of like-minded.
Thank you for this modern "J'accuse"

Posted by: Sasha | May 6, 2013 3:41:40 AM | 72

@65 "Immediate retaliation to these Israeli airstrikes is the best option for Syria."

Just out of curiosity, but would Assad know which IDF airbase was used to launch this air raid?

If he did then he would be fully justified in launching, say, 50 of his best ground-to-ground missiles at that base in an attempt to crater the runway and render it unusable.

Israel would scream blue murder, of course, but it would have a very hard time claiming that its initial attack was "self-defence" but Assad's response was "naked aggression". At best the argument would be made that such a barrage would be a dangerous escalation, but even there the retort is obvious i.e. well, maybe Israel should factor that in before it King Hits someone when they aren't looking.

You know, Assad would probably be able to get away with it; raising the ante with a precisely-aimed barrage might just be enough to force the USA to tug the leash on the Middle East's most vicious attack dog.

Posted by: Johnboy | May 6, 2013 3:55:50 AM | 73

@69 "THE FECKLESS LEFT"

The Zionist aligned/paid left.

Posted by: guest | May 6, 2013 4:16:09 AM | 74

Ad "retaliation":

As israel and his zato dogs (I know, I know, the tail doesn't wag the dog but to every rule there is an exception) have set up the stage, the rules of the games and the security guys in this theater one doesn't retaliate against israel.

To be more precise, one does bomb israhell once, completely, and finally *and* makes sure that some big guy like Putin smiles politely at zusa - with a large caliber gun pointing right at their heart.

OK, forget the pointing the gun part. The american politicians and bankers already took care of that. But anyway, someone must pull the trigger. And smile politely while doing it.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 6, 2013 4:41:54 AM | 75

69) If you wish to believe in "good leaders" staying in power for over 40 years just because of their good governance you are free to do so, just do not expect any self respecting antiauthoritarian leftist to follow you.

The left manifesto you link to is interesting, I don't think people signed that because they werre bought, they just try to remain relevant.

Obviously the fight in Syria is not about democracy and it is not by the left.

Posted by: somebody | May 6, 2013 5:00:43 AM | 76

Now, if we did not know before, we surely know why the rebels and gangs were so intent to attack air defense bases that had no offensive capability against them. As hard to believe as it may be, orders came from above even the brilliant tactical genius and powerful emotional leader, General Idris. I hope they're happy that they helped make the country they're fighting for vulnerable to Israeli attack.

Posted by: Crest | May 6, 2013 6:00:07 AM | 77

40: "So sorry, Mr. s'ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab, but if the Syrians have any minimum of honour they'll beat what little in "valuable insight" you and your accomplices may have out of you and then do what every self respecting army does with lousy traitors and terrorist scum, shoot a bullet in your head."

Well, Mr. Pragma, you prove you are a complete kook every single day. A'sad Abu Khalil is a traitor? Who should be shot? Sheesh...

Posted by: kodlu | May 6, 2013 6:53:04 AM | 78

Angry Arab. Whether he is a traitor or not, what good is he? Useless naive idiots are all over. The damage has been done. I dont see any value with that type of person.

Posted by: hilmi | May 6, 2013 7:09:26 AM | 79

The Angry Arab isn't even Syrian.

Posted by: xyz | May 6, 2013 7:10:46 AM | 80

paul 57

how did WW1 start with a western intellectual 'arab spring'. I thought it had more to do secret defence treaties among the western governments.

Posted by: heath | May 6, 2013 7:40:43 AM | 81

kodlu (77)

I was referring to the terrorists acting in or against Syria as well as to their supporters, no matter from where.

After tens of thousands died in Syria one can't just say "So sorry, I see now that I was wrong".

As far as I'm concerned Mr. s'ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab, can go swimming at the Fukushima coast.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 6, 2013 8:00:34 AM | 82

Carla Dle Ponte is unreliable but the headline is of course welcome:

U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator

She has nothing but testimonies and the issue of what was used (it was Chloreine, not Sarin) is simply interfered from the therapy used.

"Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she added, speaking in Italian.


The victims were treated with atropine. Now that would help against Sarin (if applied fast) but atropine would have positive effects on many other acute problems too. It has such effects on healthy people too. So Del Ponte is making claims that have no sound basis. Still the headline is welcome. Makes the attackers public relation problem a bit bigger.

Posted by: b | May 6, 2013 8:45:23 AM | 83

An Israeli Syria watcher is also concluding that the Israeli attack will hurt the insurgents.

Do the Israeli Airstrikes Play
Into Assad's Hands?

“Israel’s alleged airstrikes in the Damascus region play nicely into the hands of Assad and the Syrian regime,” says professor Kais Firro from Haifa University. “In fact, they’re celebrating. It’s exactly what they needed.”
...
“Now, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his men can state openly who the real force is behind the uprising. As far as Syrian pundits are concerned, it used to be 'the Agent' ('al-Waqil'), who took up arms against the Assad regime. Now it’s 'the Source' ('al-Asil'), who fights against the regime surreptitiously through 'the Agent.' With these attacks, claim Syrian commentators, Israel revealed that it is actually pulling all the strings. This certainly has an impact on the public opinion in the Arab world. I follow the public opinion in Syria very closely, and I can tell you that it is changing very quickly, without much push back. Until recently, people regarded the Syrian regime as the worst of all possible worlds. Now that’s beginning to change.”

Firro continues: “You can already see the beginnings of demonstrations in support of Syria. People identify with Syria now. They see it as a victim in some enormous plot to take down its government.”
...
We have even begun hearing about negotiations under way with Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, who are prepared to surrender now that they are being defeated. The same is true in the east, where the Syrian army has scored some major victories and managed to force the rebels out. There are also battles under way in the Daraa Horan region and near the Israeli border. The Syrians are quite explicit in their claims that because of the rebels’ failures in these battles, Israel attempted to boost morale by attacking Syria directly. And of course, this has an enormous impact on public opinion
...
And you say that it could last years?

“Yes, because it is also quite obvious that there is someone willing to defend Assad’s regime, including ethnic minorities, liberals and the Syrian middle class. This includes most of the country’s urban population, which once demonstrated against Assad. They have since stepped back from that position and now support keeping the current regime in power.”

Posted by: b | May 6, 2013 8:50:28 AM | 84

More chaos in the Syrian opposition. The U.S. has turned against the SNC and is now solely betting on the FSA and General (withoutany troops) Idriss: Syrian Opposition Leader Notes 'Militarizing' of Political Approach

---
As I expected above:

Iraqi Shia fighters warm up to fight in Syria

---
Guardian war propaganda compared to the real timeline:

Rewriting the Syrian script

Posted by: b | May 6, 2013 8:54:04 AM | 85

Recent events illuminate the real state of affairs.

The US, Israel (but see questions about the latest attack on Damascus), those great democratic Nations; Saudi Arabia and Qatar are in an alliance with djihadist ”terrorists.” With the EU poodle yapping along as usual. Turkey and Jordan ..

Not terribly new, or surprising, and certainly the hypocrisy will not be pointed to in the MSM. Assad, like Saddam, Kadafi and Moubarak had green claws and blooood dripping from their chins, supposedly, though some were the most stellar subservient Western allies, particularly Kadafi and Assad I’d say... There it is.

An echo to the past and the break-up and impoverishment of the USSR:

Gorbatchev, whose proposed reforms went straight into a W direction, even Thatcher was buddies with him, though they quarreled mightily and often, was not supported by the US - Dick Cheney who was Sec. of Defense and Bush Senior weak -, Saudi (in alliance with the US they lowered oil prices which was a death blow to the USSR), nor Japan. Those willing to go to bat, at the time, were Mitterand (F), Delors (the EU), the Italians, others, soon understood there was nothing they could do and gave up. Lesson learned, I guess.

We see here the power of evil and death merchants, domination thru arms, their production, and other such as Banks, human trafficking, drug trade, Big Corps who act illegally, or take over territory, see Glencore/Xstrata etc., a thrust to a new world order of a dispensable serfs at the mercy of a small group of top dogs, top leaders. Exaggeration? I sincerely hope so!

Posted by: Noirette | May 6, 2013 11:01:30 AM | 86

@85
The 'Militarizing' of Political Approach" is yet another indication that there is no political approach. So President Assad should leave office (the US position) to be replaced by -- what? who? how? Somebody in media needs to ask State that question. But of course they won't -- it's too obvious.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 11:20:06 AM | 87

italics gone?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 11:22:18 AM | 88

@83 - continuing with the UN - Del Ponte story on chemical weapons claims

Interesting news from the irrepressible Matthew Russell Lee at Inner City Press:

Last week at the Russian mission, a Russian state media reporter Anastasia Popova showed some of her footage from eight months inside Syria.

Inner City Press asked her about chemical weapons. She replied she had been in Khan al Assal, and had eye witness testimony that chemical weapons use was by the opposition.

At the next UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson if his prober, Ake Sellstrom, would take a look at the information Popova assembled inside Syria. (Popova said the HRC's Paulo Pinheiro panel, which includes Del Ponte, had been unwilling to.)

The answer was yes. Now this. Again, how fast can Ban, the HRC or really the P3 walk back from this?

Footnotes: When Inner City Press reported on the session at the Russian mission, anonymous social media accounts associated with Reuters and others of the UN Correspondents Association board quickly made the false allegation that Inner City Press must be funded by the Assad government, then asked the UN's Stephane Dujarric to dis-accredit Inner City Press -- just after "World Press Freedom Day."

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 11:36:46 AM | 89

Only USA and UK can blindly support Israel because of obvious bias. The actions of Israel are in total disregard to international law and sovereignty of nations. Israel comes up with all sorts of excuses to bomb other nations in the region. That is a policy that will ensure further isolation of their country and perpetual potential retaliations. Regimes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan should be so ashamed of themselves-the rebels they support simply opened a door for destabilization in the region to the glee on Israel. The same situation that led to colonization in history-of divide and rule! Any retaliation by Syria or any of its allies I believe is fully legitimate. Those bombings are uncalled for no matter the justifications being concocted by the Israel and US leadership.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 6, 2013 12:37:24 PM | 90

Malooga, your statement was a tour de force. If Assad can pinpoint his attack and solely hit a military objective. He can get away with it. Even better if there are no KIA's. blow up a couple of

Posted by: Fernando | May 6, 2013 3:49:40 PM | 91

A couple of planes and some trucks.

Posted by: Fernando | May 6, 2013 3:50:48 PM | 92

"The Angry Arab isn't even Syrian."

Don't let this get around, but people tell me he's quite pleasant, unfailingly polite, and cheerful a lot of the time. What can you say? It's a world of phonies. The man isn't even irritated.

Posted by: Mooser | May 6, 2013 4:24:42 PM | 93

"So President Assad should leave office (the US position) to be replaced by -- what? who? how?"

Maybe the Israelis could administer it for a while, until a stable government emerges.

Posted by: Mooser | May 6, 2013 4:29:02 PM | 94

"The revolution in Syria is a fundamental part of the North African revolutions, yet, it is also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian, and Chinese movements for freedom."

omfg. With a straight face? With a fucking straight fucking face?

But anyway, anyone's whose title is "militant leftist" is suspect. Workers of the world...have fucking jobs.

I would like to note that Noam Chomsky DID NOT sign it.

Posted by: guest77 | May 6, 2013 9:09:57 PM | 95

One thing that bothers me is that this is the second or third time the israelis have bombed targets inside Syria with syrian air defense systems unable to intercept them. Didn't the russians suposedly upgrade Syrias air defenses? @Mr.Pragma, assuming your russian, do you know anything about what the syrians have? Has the foreign generated "civil war" negatively impacted the deployment of syrian air defense systems? Or is it that they simply suck? At any rate, with air defence suppression tactics used by advanced forces, perhaps solutions based solely on ground to air systems may not be enough. Which also has me worried about Iran. Irans interceptors are obsolete and as far as I know so are even the countries land based anti-aircraft systems. Pressure by the US and Israel made Russia not deliver the S-300 system to Iran.
If anyone wishes to comment on the takes of Sibel Edmonds and Pepe Escobar. Sibel seems to think Assad is all but done for. Where the hell does she get that from?? Wishful thinking maybe? Shes recently written at her website "With the approaching Finale for Syria’s Assad the Uber-Neocon architects of US foreign policy have been hard at work. Assuming (albeit knowingly) the certainty of the soon-to-come end for Assad’s government, the neocon architects are drafting and crafting their objectives for the Post-Assad regime in Syria."

Pepe Escobars take during an interview on RT:
RT: The U.S. said Israel is justified in its concerns over the Hezbollah threat. So wasn't making a move to defend itself the right thing to do?

Pepe Escobar: "Let’s recapitulate. First of all, this is an act of war and a provocation at the same time. Why happening now? It starts with Chuck Hagel, Head of the Pentagon’s tour in the Middle East and Israel a few days ago. Remember that Chuck Hagel was against arming Syrian rebels, and then he changed his mind and said that rebels actually used chemical weapons in Syria with no evidence. At the same time rebels start losing ground inside Syria. The Syrian army has been making advances in the Homs corridor these past few weeks. And at the same time we also know that all these divergent strands of the Free Syrian Army - they are basically the one that are really fighting on around jihadis. Obama cannot arm jihadis in Syria, period. So what is his fallback plan: a kind of mini shock-and-awe. But would the US start a shock and awe in Syria? No. It’s by proxy. It’s via Israel. This is what Hagel and the Israelis were discussing only a few days ago."

Personally, I think the role of the zionists, both in Israel and in the US has been decisive from the very beginning in shaping the policies for regime change in Syria.

Posted by: Luca K | May 6, 2013 9:58:28 PM | 96

@Luca K
There's no evidence that Israel bombed targets inside Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 6, 2013 10:50:03 PM | 97

@Don Bacon: well, the mainstream media is full of s**t but it has been reporting that one of the strikes was near the syrian capital. Has the syrian government denied this attack? And I remember that the first israeli air strike, couple of months ago or so, hit a research center around Damascus. An example: "BEIRUT (AP) — Israel's weekend airstrike on a military complex near the Syrian capital of Damascus killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers, a group of anti-regime activists said Monday, citing information from military hospitals."

Posted by: Luca K | May 7, 2013 12:03:15 AM | 98

@Don Bacon

As the great Will Rogers once said, all I know is what I read in the papers. That said, How can you say that? It was carried on Hezbollah news. It was carried on Syrian state television. It was "confirmed" by DoD, and ground accounts and photographs from inside Syria. I'm not saying you are wrong, but how do come to the conclusion that there is "no evidence" when there certainly seems to be quite a bit? Why would sources as disparate as those mentioned all come up with the same story?

Info about how the Israelis (POSSIBLY) managed to get through the air defenses:

"Moreover, Israel is alleged to have tested a new air-to-ground missile, the Spice-2000, [1] and to have conducted the raids from "stand-off" distance over Lebanese air space. Analysts claim that this served both to protect the Israeli warplanes from the Syrian anti-aircraft defenses and to send a message to Iran about the Israeli capabilities."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-060513.html

Posted by: guest77 | May 7, 2013 12:03:58 AM | 99

Posted by: LevantReport | May 5, 2013 1:21:35 PM | 1

trouble is Levant is i am aware of the situation,but you dont seem to be:

'I have enjoyed the Angry Arab's attack on the "opposition"... he's taken a lot of heat for being neither pro-rebel nor pro-regime, a respectable position if you understand the true nature of this conflict'

theres no such thing as a 'regime' in syria.There IS agovernment, and by now it has the support of most syrians TO attack both jihadi and syrian gov is not a 'respectable position'. No to Assad is YES to the FSA, cause you end up undermining the resistance to the jihadis.This is what Angry Arab has been doing, he had your 'respectable position'.Like yo, he didnt understand the true nature of the 'conflict' He does now

Posted by: brian | May 7, 2013 4:33:42 AM | 100

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