Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 30, 2013

No Climb-down Yet - But Lots of B...s...

Secretary of State Kerry just gave a press statement which he started 26 minutes late. I will spare you my rough notes and point to the Washington Post transcript.

Obama will go to Congress and the American people to make the case against Syria.

The unclassified intelligence assessment is here (pdf) There is also a unspecific map of the allegedly targeted areas.

Kerry cited intelligence that sounded weak to me. He claimed 1429 killed by "chemical weapons" in the recent incident. That doesn't make sense. The 30+ videos I have seen of the incident have shown about a 100 dead people max.

Then came some heart bleeding nonsense, the usual USA, USA, USA and the false claim that "the world stands with us".

He then promised some U.S. reaction but mentioned no legal base for that.

I'll take some time to read the assessment and will later let you known my opinion on it.

Update: Read through the very short unclassified assessment and it basically says "we know" and "trust us". Not one bit of something concrete or independently verifiable. Some circumstantial observations in a battlefield that may mean this or that. This sentence especially makes we very suspicious:

We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure.
The issue here is that exposure to a nerve agent like Sarin should show certain symptoms that the people in the videos do NOT show. Sarin "closes the pupils and opens the anus". In those videos all people seem clean, none have defecated, none have thrown up. That is inconsistent with chemical weapon effects and not mentioned in the assessment.

Posted by b on August 30, 2013 at 01:20 PM | Permalink

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cut away the verbiage and the only words that mattered in the whole speech were "credibility," "leadership," "Iran," "our role in the world," "Hezbollah," and something about a president "who does what he says will do."

in other words, this is all about US power in the region and the world, and about Obama saving face.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Aug 30, 2013 1:33:48 PM | 1

This is getting hilarious. So the only evidence is pretty much a wall of text? They have had over a week and this is the best they could produce?
US obviously know as little as they know the incident occured which is nothing!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 1:40:20 PM | 2

Collect Underpants ----> ? (something happens) ----> Profit

Collect Videos -----> ? (something happened) ----> Profit (and war)

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 30, 2013 1:42:55 PM | 3

"Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation."

2)It would be unpatriotic to assume your intelligence services are lying, no? Problem is, they did it with Iraq ...

Actually it is pretty silly to go to war over something like this, it would be reason to pester the Syrian regime with questions and accusations in front of the UN, not more ..

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2013 1:44:17 PM | 4

Skim reading you'll see John Kerry, speaking, sarin, anus, defecation, throwing up.

Posted by: heath | Aug 30, 2013 1:49:19 PM | 5

Unless Cameron is even sneakier than Obama, I don't see how he can get out of his promise - freely given, and after the fact - to abide by the War vote.

One reason for that may be that some of the Tories voting Aye must have done so only as a matter of party unity and insisted on being excused from voting for war in any subsequent tally, if the first vote failed.

Another reason may be that Cameron fears the possibility that his Liberal Democrat partners might either withdraw from his coalition or facilitate a vote of no confidence. That means another election just when Cameron's popularity is way down.

Lastly, in a parliamentary system the Prime Minister depends directly on his Tory Members of Parliament: they can elect a new party chief - in effect a new PM - whenever they like, and without intervening elections (think Chamberlin/Churchill, May 1940) . Cameron can't ignore his members nearly all the time, unlike Obama, who does just that.

So much for the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

Posted by: traherne | Aug 30, 2013 1:54:46 PM | 6

Pity no you tube around when Vietnam was subjected to naplam and agent orange attacks

Posted by: cloned_poster | Aug 30, 2013 1:56:59 PM | 7

The White House seems to have released this map of the Damascus areas affected by the attack

They state the chemicals were delivered by rockets - ie. unguided / random, the map shows governement, rebel and contested areas. There seem to have been attacks in contested areas, too. That makes no sense - I think the Syrian government said so - as that would affect their own if the attacks were done by the Syrian government.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2013 1:57:44 PM | 8

Everybody is backing down, obama is not he have to bomb and kill some otherwhise people think US are weak and that is so horrific..thats such schoolyard-juvenile nonsense.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 2:02:33 PM | 9

...It will not involve any boots on the ground. It will not be open ended. And it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well underway.

The president has been clear: Any action that he might decide to take will be limited and (sic) tailored response to ensure that, a despots brutal and flagrant use of chemical weapons is held accountable. And ultimately, ultimately we are committed -- we remain committed, we believe it’s -- the primary objective is (sic) to have a diplomatic process that can resolve this through negotiation, because we know there is no ultimate military solution.

It has to be political.

It has to happen at the negotiating table.

And we are deeply committed to getting there...

Wtf, So bombs away...?

Posted by: CTuttle | Aug 30, 2013 2:04:47 PM | 10

JSorrentine posted a link in a previous thread that is getting a lot of play in the alternative media.

Did the rebels accidentally trigger the chemical attack because of inexperience in handling chemical agents? Seems that AP journalist Dave Gavlak, who interviewed a lot of people in Ghouta area, including rebels and the father of one of the killed fighters, seems to have built up the clearest picture of what happened.

Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels. Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”
They didn't tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.” A well known rebel leader in Ghouta named "J" agreed. "Jahbat al Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.

Source (original link is down due to traffic) alternatives include: Zero Hedge and Antiwar.com

The article also seems to implicate Saudi Arabia as the source of the chemical weapons. Passing them onto inexperienced Al Nusra fighters who stored them in the tunnels as they stayed in houses and mosques above ground. At some stage there was an accident where it got triggered inside the tunnel killing 12 rebels and I assume breached the poorly built tunnel and above ground causing the 300 deaths. This would also explain why SAA soldiers were hospitalised 3 days after the attack, claiming they explored a tunnel and started having convulsions.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 30, 2013 2:07:20 PM | 11

statement from the Carter Center on the Syrian Crisis

Seems to me Obama is crowdsourcing his decision.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2013 2:09:09 PM | 12

Kerry:
"It matters today that we are working as an international community to rid the world of the worst weapons."

But the US won't back the Arab League on a denuclearized Middle East, which the League has long sought, because it would be anti-Israel and that never happens.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 2:14:14 PM | 13

JSorrentine posted a link in a previous thread that is getting a lot of play in the alternative media. Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 30, 2013 2:07:20 PM | 11
As I've pointed out before, I don't think the statement, "unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions," was read by Gavlak, the reporter, as meaning THE explosions. He doesn't say so, or imply so. It is difficult to see how any quantity of explosions of gas weapons in a storage tunnel could kill hundreds of people at various locations in the open. I read the quote, as I think Gavlak read it, as "unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off explosions," without the definite article. We know in fact that when Syrian troops arrived, they found the tunnels flooded with gas, which caused some of the soldiers themselves serious injury. So it is very important that Gavlak and his colleague/translator Yahya Ababneh clarify from their notes and recordings of the interviews, which was the intended meaning, and I have asked them to do just that, in a comment at the source page, which is here. Since the page is down due to the overload it got after Infowars' P J Watson linked it (Watson also jumped to the conclusion that it was the tunnel accident that caused the hundreds of deaths), and the copy of the relevant parts of the article which we have here on a previous thread is on page 2 of the comments of that thread, and hence a hyperlink cannot get you to it, I offer my own carefully edited transcript, here, if anybody wants it. But the original Mint Press News will probably be back up by the end of the day. Gavlak and Ababneh are probably very pleased at the spike in attention, but their web hosting company may be telling them they need to pay more for the hosting if they are going to get so many more visitors.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 30, 2013 2:24:19 PM | 14

Hate to throw a wrench into everyone's hope this rush to hit Syria will go away, but, if recent history proves anything, it's that this is just part of the empire's geo-political strategy, and IMO, that won't change. When the strikes come, they will be limited enough to allow Russia to suck it up and do nothing militarily. I think Russia, despite it's rhetoric, knows where the money comes from, as does China, because without the world's multi-nationals in their corners they would suffer economically. I would also add, I'd really like to be wrong on this, but, money, in today's world, means everything to some.

Posted by: ben | Aug 30, 2013 2:26:08 PM | 15

Interesting speculation on Press TV: One of the surprises might be a Syrian attack on Saudi Arabia ...

Also: US military is strongly opposed to a strike, it is an alliance of Neocons and liberal humanitarian interventionists ... they are the same basically ...

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2013 2:27:32 PM | 16

Kerry:

"The world is speaking out."

The US does not have a coalition of the willing for any military action. Kerry's list:
#The Arab League, which hasn't condoned violence
#The Organization for Islamic Cooperation - likewise
#Turkey -- "The international community shoulders the responsibility from now on." -- FM
#France - push ahead with military action
#Australia - punitive action

The US, France and Australia. Some world.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 2:30:37 PM | 17

Kerry:

"It matters to our security and the security of our allies. It matters to Israel."

Yes, because Syria's chemical weapons are meant to counter Israel's nukes, so they must go.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 2:34:59 PM | 18

A better link to today's US government document assessing the 21 Aug 2013 attack is http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syrian-government-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21

The document does not mention any toxic agent by name, nor any specific symptom that was on exhibit in all or even any of the victims. Suppose, as a thought exercise, I assert that it's plausible that the rebels rounded up the children and murdered them with carbon monoxide in a closed room, and then laid the children out on the floor for the video cameras. And I challenge you and Kerry to tell me why that's not plausible. You can't say "but it couldn't have been carbon monoxide because...." You and Kerry don't even know the toxic agent, yet.

Today's US government's assessment says: "We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack.... Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation. We will continue to seek additional information to close gaps in our understanding of what took place." (Emphasis added by me).

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 30, 2013 2:37:16 PM | 19

Pro Kerry diatribe commentators keep referring to the declassified evidence made available for everyone to look at? do they mean YouTube or did I miss something?

Posted by: Rod Brown | Aug 30, 2013 2:37:48 PM | 20

. . . . it is an alliance of Pro-zio-Nazi Jewish interests, Neocons and liberal humanitarian interventionists ... they are the same basically ...

There fixed it for you.

Posted by: hmm | Aug 30, 2013 2:38:10 PM | 21

There is reason to believe that the case for CW use by the Syrian government side is falling apart. hence the increase in shrillness and pretend-confidence from Kerry and the "humanitarian" intervenshinists. It's like the weaker the case the louder the shouts and the greater the emphasis on the firmness of the 'resolve". the real worry now on the administration side is what those UN inspectors will come up with. There are already accounts circulating from a reporter who heard from people in the Ghoutta area that it was a rebel "accident' that caused the chemical incident. But some leaks are starting to flow from the UN team as well who did their own interviews. If people in the area told something to a reporter they will tell somethings to UN inspectors too. All in all, one thing is clear, it was far from a clear-cut case of a government attack or else there would not be so many different rumors.

So let's think this through logically: if indeed the Obama administration is aware that not only is their case weak but may be non-existent, and here they were, out in force committing to military punitive action, what are the options?

I see only three;

1. Do the bombing quick and get it over with. Argue about the case after the dust settles and the deed is all but done.

2. Wait a few more days while applying maximum pressure to the UN to make sure that nothing that undermines an already flimsy case leaks through and that at worst, things stay "ambuiguous" allowing the bombing to proceed.

3. Find a face-saving way to climb down, perhaps using those same ambiguous UN findings as an excuse. Up the ante by efinding another way to sanction Assad's government.

There are downsides and consequences to each option but my own analysis points to option 1 as the "least painful" for the administration (or shall we call it a regime now that it has lost some legitimacy?). Find a way to get a fig-leaf of congressional support somehow - perhaps while the bombs are already falling. That will hold back the Lobby +Israel pressure, by showing commitment to "red line' enforcement (ie Iran). Convince the recalcitrant military somehow by assuring them that empires do do punitive actions, and in this they should behave as proper centurions and not mess with politics that's not their charter (sounds like Rome because -- well, it is Rome-like).

Option 2 presents obvious risks. The pressure on Ban may work but leaks may be hard to stop. If the evidence is decisively negative especially - and there's a strong chance that it may be just that. Can't count ion the Russians to keep a straight face either, Sochi or not.

So Option 2 runs a very high risk of turning into Option 3, in which case the pain from the Israel/Lobby corner will be extreme. People may not realize how hard it is to bear that pain. Water torture may be nothing compared to that, since it will just go on and on. basically israel committed the US to this course of action, which may not even be very good for israel, much less the US. But israelis don't back down easily once committed so neither will the Lobyy. Want proof/ look at that pathetic op-Ed from Roger Cohen of all people. it took major infliction of pain to get that out of him.

My unfortunate conclusion is that Obama will be driven to Option 1, do the bombing, perhaps sooner than we expect, then spend its capital to try and pull a PR rabbit out of a hat. That of course assumes the Russians can be kept at bay, something they are no doubt attempting to negotiate as we speak. Basically it's up to the bear now and they have their own calculations to make. And that analysis i find very complicated to do.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Aug 30, 2013 2:38:51 PM | 22

somebody 16

the 'humanitarians with guillotines' and the descendants of the the trotskyists who remember only one thing, destroy Russia.

Posted by: heath | Aug 30, 2013 2:39:27 PM | 23

Killing the messenger before he arrives.

". . . the U.N. can’t tell us anything that we haven’t shared with you this afternoon or that we don’t already know."

How does Kerry know that?
One problem here is that while Ban Ki-moon can be and has been a docile US puppet, that doesn't extend to denigrating the UN. Ban must retain credibility among his own people.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 2:44:46 PM | 24

Could US military reluctance to intervene reflect their fear of significant losses?

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 30, 2013 2:46:21 PM | 25

In those videos all people seem clean, none have defecated, none have thrown up. That is inconsistent with chemical weapon effects and not mentioned in the assessment.

To add to this. People do froth at the mouth if poisoned with Sarin. But they ALSO froth at the nostrils. In not even one of the photos or videos that I have seen can this symptom be observed. Furthermore the colour of the froth is wrong. In all of the photos and videos I have seen it's a whiteish colour. It should be be greenish and flecked with blood (particularly at the nose).

Dubhaltach

Posted by: Dubhaltach | Aug 30, 2013 2:46:26 PM | 26

The Mint Press News story is now back up, here. There's no response to my query about the exact meaning of the man's statement about the explosions in the tunnels, yet.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 30, 2013 2:50:34 PM | 27

PS: people interested in the Mint Press News story may wish to keep an eye on their Twitter feed, as well.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 30, 2013 2:53:17 PM | 28

21/22

That will hold back the Lobby +Israel pressure, by showing commitment to "red line' enforcement (ie Iran)

I don't think their interests are the same in this case. They would all agree on the US attacking Iran. Syria is too close for people actually living in the region.
I think Obama is indecisive because he does not know where the power is. If there was a mainstream majority bi-partisan opinion on this he would just follow it.
Kerry's face at the beginning of his speech was funny actually, his intonation too:

President Obama has spent many days now consulting with Congress and talking with leaders around the world about the situation in Syria.

And last night the president asked all of us on his national security team to consult with the leaders of Congress, as well, including the leadership of the congressional national security committees. And he asked us to consult about what we know regarding the horrific chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs last week.

I will tell you that as someone who spent nearly three decades in the United States Congress, I know that that consultation is the right way for a president to approach a decision of when and how and if to use military force. And it's important to ask the tough questions and get the tough answers before taking action, not just afterward.

And I believe, as President Obama does, that it is also important to discuss this directly with the American people. That's our responsibility, to talk with the citizens who have entrusted all of us in the administration and Congress with responsibility for their security.

That's why this morning's release of our government's unclassified estimate of what took place in Syria is so important.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2013 2:57:20 PM | 29

Colm O'Toole @ 11; Land Destroyer did a post on it here;

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2013/08/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied_29.html

Link is still active.

Posted by: Mark | Aug 30, 2013 2:58:13 PM | 30

The US needs to act and act fast. Before the UN comes with the evidence that no Sarin or other "classified as Chemical weapon" was used. For the second time they try to dangle "proof" in front of our noses and expect us to follow in line.

It was no coincidence that Kerry mentioned the axis of evil countries (and hezbollah) by name. He should have left out the fact that Iran was gassed since the CIA was implicated in this. Trying to take the moral high ground while being a hypocrite is just retarded.

Posted by: Gehenna | Aug 30, 2013 3:00:27 PM | 31

obama seems more stupid than I thought, since UN team getting out tommorow, the strike may come late saturday or sunday.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 3:02:20 PM | 32

Who cares about evidence? That's for all those truthseeking wusses.

Obama needs to feel "manly" and do it and receive all the backslaps and "good job" compliments from his pals.

Bandar and his best buddy NetanYahoo are laughing away and high 5ing!

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 30, 2013 3:31:15 PM | 33

“Read for yourselves the evidence from thousands of sources,” Mr. Kerry said (presumably snickering over the fact that the US intelligence report contained no such "evidence" for anyone to read, just claims that they had seen such evidence).

Posted by: Bill | Aug 30, 2013 3:44:13 PM | 34

obama in new interview talk about "limited action"/military strike. Again mention Israel's security...

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 3:44:33 PM | 35

Obama sell himself to Israel.

Obama says Syria chemical weapons attack threatens Israel, Jordan.

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-says-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-threatens-israel-185412570.html

Obama is obsessed protecting the israeli regime.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 4:06:29 PM | 36

Apparently UN ignored to inspect all sites they came for to inspect for, apparently they have to leave asap because obama feel to bomb a little. What a joke!

He noted that the team only investigated sites in Damascus Countryside while the agreement signed with the Syrian government covers investigating three other sites, but the US rushed the team and prevented them from completing their mission.

http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/08/30/500042.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 4:20:31 PM | 37

Barack Obama, when campaigning for President on 20 Dec 2007, said:

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.... In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch." Source: ref (h/t ref).

I got that link from ref, which also has this from Vice President Joe Biden in 2007:

"The president has no constitutional authority ... to take this nation to war ... unless we're attacked or unless there is proof we are about to be attacked. And if he does, if he does, I would move to impeach him."

I'm not very knowledgeable about Washington politics and I intend to keep it that way. But I feel confident from reading a couple of very recent USA public opinion polls that if the Syria attack issue goes to the Congress for approval, it will lose. Like it did in UK. Furthermore the polls also show that the President cannot initiate an attack against Syria without getting Congress to approve it -- see ref.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief this evening, after having been a bit ill-at-ease right before Kerry's statement today. On the evening after Kerry's belligerent statement on 26 Aug, I said on this board I was willing to bet that the USA and NATO would NOT attack Syria (ref) and now this evening it's looking like I'm going to win that bet (inshallah).

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 30, 2013 4:29:47 PM | 38

Obama on video --

This kind of attack is a 'challenge to the world' . .I've had my military [sic] look at a wide range of options. . .we are looking at a limited, narrow act

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 4:34:27 PM | 39

He should have said: A limited, narrow, illegal and inconsequential act, but one which is necessary to get me personally off the hook.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 4:37:26 PM | 40

@Christos #45
So why did Russia evacuate their people

They didn't.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 4:46:40 PM | 41

Don Bacon

obama pretty much admit himself in the interview without being aware of it apparently that he will attack Syria not because what Assad do or not do but because it threatens Israel. You are correct that first target would be israel-reaching SCUD missiles.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 4:51:47 PM | 42

Turks are on it again.

Turkey wants regime change in Syria: Erdogan
http://presstv.com/detail/2013/08/30/321316/turkey-wants-regime-change-in-syria/

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 4:53:28 PM | 43

@Christos #51
@ Don Bacon - So what is this? http://www.telegraph.co. . . .

This is something that you should actually read before you waste our time with it.

The Ilyushin-76 jet landed at the Latakia airport with 20 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly consisting of tinned foods and sugar, a ministry spokeswoman said.

About 180 people who “have expressed a desire to leave Syria”, 100 of them Russian, are set to leave on the return flight.

Russia said it had evacuated all of its defence personnel from Syria in June, but a foreign ministry spokesman said at the time that about 30,000 other Russians were still living across the country.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 5:04:00 PM | 44

Limited strikes have limited success
Stars and Stripes

Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has coined the term “discrete military operations” to describe limited uses of force such as the one reported to be in consideration against Syria, where the goal is to achieve a narrow objective, under strict rules of engagement and without destroying an enemy, controlling its territory or changing regimes. He has counted 36 such operations since 1991, with varying levels of success.

“We’ve gotten more accustomed to doing it on a more frequent basis since the end of the Cold War,” he said.

Examples include the 1998 cruise missile strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan after the al-Qaida bombings at American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; the enforcement of Iraqi no-fly zones between 1991 and 2003; and the 1993 cruise missile attack against Iraqi targets as punishment for a supposed assassination plot against President George H.W. Bush.

Yet the operations are not as effective as imagined, Zenko argues. In the 36 incidents he counts, military objectives were achieved little more than half the time, he said, while the political goals were realized in a mere 6 percent of the attacks.

In cases where the operations are meant to punish a regime for past actions, success depends solely on whether military objectives are achieved, Zenko says.

The civilian world overestimates precision military weapons, he said, which can be affected by human error, technical malfunctions and poor intelligence. Many operations include some military setbacks; some operations are outright failures, such as the February 2001 strike against Iraqi air defenses in which all but two of the 28 missiles fired missed their targets.

“People just have this conception that is tremendously at odds with how these weapons are used,” Zenko said.

The risks of even the most limited operations, meanwhile, are high, Zenko and others point out. They raise expectations and potentially set the stage for more attacks, increasing the risk of wider war or greater intervention than initially intended.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 5:14:03 PM | 45

Still the US has this false notion that it can make other countries obey by bombing them, whereas when the US is attacked there must be retribution. It's like, we're human and seek revenge, but they're sub-human and give up easily.

Actually Syria/Iran/Hezbollah/Russia have a myriad of ways for payback in response to a US strike. Somebody should tell young Obama the facts of life.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 5:19:49 PM | 46

I'll chime in with #52 against #51. The Russian government is not insisting nor strongly exhorting Russian and CIS citizens to leave Syria. I'm unclear about whether it is advising them in any way about the question, but obviously Syria is a dangerous warzone in many areas due to the rebellion, and an ordinary Russian citizen in Syria might be better off leaving for that reason. The Russian aircraft bringing food to Syria on 28 Aug 2013 returned to Russia with exactly 112 Russian and CIS citizens aboard who were living in Syria -- ref. As per #51 and #52, in June 2013 the Russian Foreign Ministry said there were 30,000 Russian and CIS citizens in Syria. So 112 is miniscule, and I suggest the 112 who left on 28 Aug would've probably wanted to leave anyway, without regard for the latest menace from the USA.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 30, 2013 5:22:22 PM | 47

@55 Firing of a few million dollars worth of whizz-bangs won't affect the situation much. Some people are hoping that Syria will respond and justify an escalation.

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 5:24:40 PM | 48

I think most of us realize the missiles could start flying at any minute. What would you suggest we do? Post youtube clips?

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 5:55:14 PM | 49

Syrian FM have a nice rebuttal of the lies by kerry @ http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 6:08:56 PM | 50

@63
This is what Assad is doing I also read that Damascus is in the Dark,all lights off because of satellites and army movement.
link to reuters india ACLU

Posted by: Some1 | Aug 30, 2013 6:15:07 PM | 51

'Where are you dh?'

None of your business.

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 6:16:52 PM | 52

"It is imperative to determine the facts of the attack and present them to the public. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must bear personal responsibility," said President Carter. "The chemical attack should be a catalyst for redoubling efforts to convene a peace conference, to end hostilities, and urgently to find a political solution."

Thanks for that link above.

Posted by: cloned_poster | Aug 30, 2013 6:34:15 PM | 53

Kerry Aug 30, 2013 v. Powell February 5, 2003

Kerry
But still, in order to protect sources and methods, some of what we know will only be released to members of Congress, the representatives of the American people. That means that some things we do know, we can't talk about publicly.

Powell
I cannot tell you everything that we know. But what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling. What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior.

Kerry
We know that for three days before the attack, the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area, making preparations. And we know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons. We know that these were specific instructions.

Powell
Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again, against his neighbors and against his own people. And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them.

Kerry
We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time. We know where they landed, and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods. And we know, as does the world, that just 90 minutes later all hell broke loose in the social media.

Powell
Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers. How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one of the four chemical bunkers.

Kerry
It matters to our security and the security of our allies. It matters to Israel. It matters to our close friends Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, all of whom live just a stiff breeze away from Damascus. It matters to all of them where the Syrian chemical weapons are -- and if unchecked they can cause even greater death and destruction to those friends.

Powell
The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 6:37:57 PM | 54


It matters to our security and the security of our allies. It matters to Israel. It matters to our close friends Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon,

Lol kerry even let israel be put first and that in a separate sentence...all to get the kiss from aipac..
Kerry why do you even say "jordan, turkey, lebanon" we all know this is about your administration's love for Israel.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30, 2013 6:43:14 PM | 55

@ Don #72: Nice one.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 30, 2013 6:43:41 PM | 56

And thanks for stooping to a level I didn't want to go to, above.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 6:46:56 PM | 57

Powell had photos of fake trucks and bunkers and stuff right in his presentation. Kerry only referred those fake videos. Edge to Powell.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 6:50:13 PM | 58

Looks like commentator Don Bacon was wrong two days ago when he said the "USA has lost control of Ban". The UN investigators are being rushed out of the country, and they will leave tomorrow 31 Aug, before they've had time to complete their investigations, and Syria and Russia are complaining about this.

For the Syrian government's complaints about it, see http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/08/30/500030.htm and http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/08/30/500042.htm

For the Russian government's complaints about it, see http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/08/30/500019.htm and http://www.mid.ru/bdomp/brp_4.nsf/e78a48070f128a7b43256999005bcbb3/ce8d05d4fd6cbd3344257bd7005251a0!OpenDocument

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 30, 2013 6:52:29 PM | 59

@Parviziyi #77
Looks like commentator Don Bacon was wrong two days ago when he said the "USA has lost control of Ban".

Nope. I was wrong three time two days ago -- but not on that. I said Ban was off his leash. Now he's back on. Nice try. And you be careful, now, hear.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 7:02:09 PM | 60

Two nights ago, on network news, it was said that there was a phone intercept of Syrian military officials in a "panic" about the use of chems. The implication was that the syrian military had in fact used chems. Of course, this "evidence" was reportedly supplied by "an Israeli source".

Then, much to my disgust, same evening, I saw that sold-out puppet mouthpiece Steve Clemons nattering away on Rachel Maddow's show about how the Syrian military definitely used chems, the intelligence was rock solid, and an American military response was absolutely warranted and necessary.

Its too bad our population is comprised of idiots and assholes, who buy this crap. Maybe if it wasn't so, we wouldn't have idiots and assholes in DC selling it to us.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 7:05:31 PM | 61

#57

"Firing of a few million dollars worth of whizz-bangs won't affect the situation much"

I beg to differ. It will affect how big this fucking lyin' sack of shit Obama thinks his own balls are, and it will affect the bank accounts of these fucking whores in DC that will endorse an attack because they are owned lock stock and barrel by the defense industry and Israel. And, when it turns into a major foreign policy clusterfuck, which it will, it will affect what party lands in the White House next Pres term.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 7:14:12 PM | 62

Excellent summary POA. I was thinking the initial 'limited' strike was designed to turn into something much bigger. Hopefully you will get a better choice of candidates for the next Pres term.

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 7:21:33 PM | 63

BTW, b....

As said on the previous thread....

You're dead wrong. Obama ain't climbing down. He's on the same side Cheney is on. We were sold a Trojan Horse

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 7:21:37 PM | 64

Looks like problems with the "consultation." The idea was for the administration to have a telephonic conference call with a few congress-critters, and call that "democracy." That way the Congress wouldn't have to step up and actually vote on anything, given that the people don't want this but AIPAC does.

“Total amateur hour at the White House right now. The conference call crashed… members are not able to call in. WH says they are trying to fix it…,” a House staffer said in an email.

Total amateur hour at the White House right now? Hell, it's gone on for years but yes, it does seem to be worse.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 7:21:42 PM | 65

POA! If any situation called for your pungent analysis, this is it. I mean cogent.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 7:24:33 PM | 66

You feel that, people?

That's the bated breath of the

entire world, waiting

America's suicide

Scorn swirling thick in the air

Posted by: L Bean | Aug 30, 2013 7:27:59 PM | 67

One thing that hasn't been noticed is that Kerry's speech had two audiences.

One was the American people; hence the emotional blabber about protecting human rights and WW1, etc.

The other was the US foreign policy establishment and other western states. Think of it: wasn't it surprising that Kerry actually spelled out the *strategic* necessity of doing something? Hence his overt references to credibility, leadership, Hezbollah, Iran, and Israel. In effect, he was saying, "if we don't something, US power is going to plummet in the Middle East and wider world, and Israel will be at risk. Get on board or risk losing everything." That was the second message. And it means that the White House is worried about fissures in the power bloc, for example, the worries in the media, DOD and across Congress and in other NATO countries.

At the end of the speech, you could tell that the White House is also worried about Obama's image and wants to save face by doing something.

All of this suggests a real weakness.

Even if they do fire off a few random cruise missiles, the latter will have no effect and no one in the resistance bloc is going to be scared. In fact it will make the resistance even stronger *politically*.

The only question is if the resistance bloc decides to slap the US back with some limited strikes of its own, perhaps on Saudi Arabia or Israel. On the other hand, it could simply ride out the one-off salvo and double down on the counterinsurgency, perhaps with the help of more HA forces.

We'll know soon. If Obama really is dumb enough to do this, he will act before the UN report.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Aug 30, 2013 7:30:45 PM | 68

@86 I suspect the UN report will be doctored anyway. Poor old Ban. He tried. It's too bad we never hear from inspectors further down the line. Nice gig I guess.

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 7:34:55 PM | 69

@18 Kerry: "It matters to our security and the security of our allies. It matters to Israel."

That's an interesting pair of sentences, since it means then Israel, apparently, isn't considered to be an ally of the United States of America.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 30, 2013 7:40:04 PM | 70

This is not simply a 'limited strike' to save face, though they have every incentive to convince the Syrians, Russians and Iranians of that. If there is no response from the resistance, the US will look for reasons to attack again and again until Syria is totally helpless and either devouref by the terorrists or open to a full on us attack.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 30, 2013 7:41:15 PM | 71

from the assessment

We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel – including personnel assessed to be associated with the SSRC – were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack. In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.

Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of ‘Adra from Sunday, August 18 until early in the morning on Wednesday, August 21 near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin. On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks. Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons.


If that's true, and there was an attack, and they didn't raise an alarm, aren't they complicit in 1,429 deaths? Which indicates that maybe it isn't true.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 7:45:55 PM | 72

"That's an interesting pair of sentences, since it means then Israel, apparently, isn't considered to be an ally of the United States of America"

You're reading too much into it. Its just that these assholes don't realize what they're saying most of the time, until its too late to unsay it.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 7:50:02 PM | 73

@89 I think the 'limited strike' is supposed to convince Americans. I doubt if any Syrians, Russians and Iranians will buy it.

Posted by: dh | Aug 30, 2013 7:50:52 PM | 74

"If Obama really is dumb enough to do this....."

Does a bear shit in the woods? But you got the "dumb" part wrong. He ain't "dumb", he's just evil.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 7:51:53 PM | 75

Parviziyi @42

Obama can and will engage in hostilities without Congressional authorization.

The only thing Congress can do is then try and impeach him. Do you think there is any likelihood of that with the neo-cons and neo-wilsonians in both parties? Sorry, aint gonna happen.

Some in the GOP may bluster but like they have any leg to stand on. The Democrats who were howling when Bush was invading Iraq will now be rallying behind their Chocolate Messiah. It's all just a big game to all of them. There's no strategy here. This is nothing about national interest. This is all about who has a bigger dick! And because they can act with impunity. Watchya gonna do?

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 30, 2013 7:53:21 PM | 76

It seems highly likely that Obama will authorise a "limited' strike on Syria any day soon-regardless of the lack of evidence. He is committed via his previous 'red line" comments and the deals with the Israelis to destroy as much of the external oriented Syrian military hardware as possible, to give the Israelis (and maybe Turkey) free reign. What Obama Kerry and people like Hague in the UK fail to appreciate is that the world has changed since Iraq . Alternative news sources since then have exploded (Chinese, Russian and certainly Arab online news) which make their Facebook and Youtube "facts" farcical. These guys are shown for the fools they are- but that wont stop the violence-yet
My compilation of the facts of the chemical attacks as far as they can be determined here at http://www.newantarctica.com/human-rights/syrian-chemical-attack/

Posted by: Paul | Aug 30, 2013 8:39:20 PM | 77

Canada is out. The UK is out. The Arab League says no. The French, despite what that purile pencil dick Whore-llande says, know how to get on the streets and say NO.

This is Israel and Saudi Arabia and the US deep state's war. It's a weak vessel I've put my political hopes in, namely Obama. He still has left room to say "no" or that would have been him making Kerry's speech.

Kerry, by the way, used the phrase "We know" like Morsi used the term "legitimacy." And to the same effect in my opinion.

If these clowns intend to carry through this madness, then only people power will stop them. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is plotting his next war and calling it a "humanitarian act." No good can come from such depraved hypocrisy.

My heart goes out to the Syrians who are stuck in this war, who now await this man made hurricane to roll in from the coast. They scrape by for food while the man who launched it holds another fund raiser and sees another direct deposit go into his bank account from book sales.

Mostly my heart goes out to the Syrians who will not survive Obama's "humanitarianism."

Another stain on a record so blemished. This is a country whose leaders know no shame.
....

Oh, Tariq Ali is back, he who apparently cannot tell a western backed terror war from a people's revolution nor probably from a cucumber. Tariq Ali, signer of a document that makes attacks like these easier and not harder, now "revels" in the victory of the vote in Parliament rejecting the bombing. What an embarrassing display. That he rejoices in the failure of a war he once supported that will probably till be carried out. Is it possible to be more ineffectual? He is little more than a airheaded cheerleader shaking his pom poms (apparently at his own image on the jumbotron) after every play no matter what the result - while the real players have to make real choices on the field chancing victory and suffering defeats.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 9:13:18 PM | 78

Kerry, the Ketchup Prince. He cuts such a bizarre figure. So lacking in any moral gravity. He sounds like the bad narrator in the horror movie that is US foreign policy.

"This is common sense, this is evidence, these are facts" No. This is bullshit.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 9:25:15 PM | 79

"With our own eyes we have seen the reports" *With our own eyes* he says with such affectation *we have seen... the reports*????

This is the most moronic thing I've heard said yet.

I

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 9:27:12 PM | 80

I don't want to come off as naive but...

It really has been wonderful to see the power of people across the entire planet be able to come together on websites and counter this sickening US,UK,French,Saudi Arabian, and Qatari pro-war propaganda.

For the past two years I have been reading the Guardian's comment section and it really has been extraordinary. Having watched the US fabricate the excuse to launch a war against Iraq and saw how any and all dissent was squashed, marginalized, or worse simply ignored, to see people from all across the world post links or information they themselves gathered from more primary sources that gave lie to sick pro-war propaganda showed the amazing power of the Internet. And just how badly governments want to take complete control of it.

I remember Guardian footage from Syria a couple years ago where the narrative was 'simple oppressed Syrian citizens rising up to fight a murderous dictator'. And posters jumping on the Guardian pro-war hacks pointing out the Black al-Qaeda/jihadists flags everywhere among the so called 'Syrian citizens'. Or people catching the Guardian trying to pass of foreign fighters as actually Syrian and pointing out Saudi/Chechen accents or dress.

On the one hand it is almost laughable just how amateurish the pro-war propaganda has been with Syria. I think the Western intelligence agencies were really caught off guard with Syria. They had been use to the days where the mainstream media was all they had to deal with and who were perfectly will to run with whatever the pro-war narrative was and didn't bother or care to turn a critical eye on the material.

On the other hand despite how transparently fake the pro-war propaganda is, the power of the mainstream Western media is still enormous with hundreds of millions of people still getting nothing but unquestioned propaganda from the evening network news.

If I was the head of a Western intelligence agency I won't be making damn well sure that a Syrian type fiasco doesn't happen again. Future pro-war propaganda is going to be more carefully fabricated. No more Syria style screw ups:

* Same intelligence agents/actors showing up in videos over and over again
* Footage leaking out of agents staging events where you see the guy on camera telling people in the back 'ok, start shooting now' to pretend his is under fire
* Victims of chemical attacks that don't show the actual symptoms of Sarin or other chemicals - all it takes is a single poster with knowledge to ruin an entire piece of propaganda

Posted by: Wesley | Aug 30, 2013 9:31:49 PM | 81

Damn, guest77, that's good. You have become a force.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 9:53:50 PM | 82

great cartoon: http://thefreeonline.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/1235002_206839026150329_1285822279_n.jpg

All the video you want to see: http://www.c-span.org/

.....

aw shucks Don. thx.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 10:02:25 PM | 83

@Wesley '
Excellent. The times the are a'changin' for sure. The sun has set on the British Empire, for one thing.

Louisiana lawmakers urge caution on Syria

WASHINGTON — Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and Bill Cassidy joined other lawmakers from Louisiana and elsewhere Friday in calling on President Barack Obama to obtain congressional approval before taking military action against Syria.

“I firmly believe that the president needs to come to Congress for authority before commencing any hostile actions,’’ Boustany, R-3rd District, said in an interview. “The administration needs to be very, very thorough and complete in describing what are our objectives politically, geopolitically and diplomatically, and how any military action that he proposes to take would help achieve those ends.’’

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 10:09:46 PM | 84

Just watched Kerry, now watching Cameron.

You'd think that after Iraq, the level of evidence for making attacks like these would have gone up, not down. But now we see, where as in Iraq they had to lie and invent evidence, here they are both saying "it's a judgement" and "it's common sense".

So when they are wrong, there is no way to hold them accountable at all. They'll just say... "we made a bad judgement." Thing is bad judgement on this level should be a fucking crime. This is insane.

Cameron: "There is no way to be 100% positive" Okay then. That's all I need to know. No war. I'm glad the House felt the same.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 10:23:38 PM | 85

This Executive Privilege thing started with Clinton, expanded with Bush, and reached full fruition with Obama. The agreements with Iraq are an example. A product of Bush only on the US side, reviewed by the Iraq parliament on that side. Going to war, parliament in UK and a botched conference call in the US. It ain't right, and even in Louisiana they see that. (AIPAC must be weak there.) Obama's going to war in Libya, claiming all the time that it wasn't about regime change, and then doing Gaddafi -- he's naturally expected to want to do it again and people are calling him on it. That's good.

Gotta go back and read up on this. "With the Stroke of a Pen" -- Executive orders and Presidential Power, by Kenneth R. Mayer. Presidents use the Constitution's Article II -- "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America" as a reason the president can do any damn thing he wants. But then there is the theory that the Congress legislates and the executive executes, a theory to which I hold.

Meantime it's good to see people stepping up and speaking out. It's the vocal few who can change the course of events, not the silent majority. And cast aside the doomsayers with their negativity. We can't let them sap our strength. There's always a reason why a thing can't be done. That doesn't make it right.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 10:28:15 PM | 86

@ 96 by guest 77: "This is a country whose leaders know no shame."

Yep, straightforward, simple, and oh so true! Obama, Kerry, and most of our leadership in congress plus others, are mere actors mouthing the words of their masters. Sickening!

Posted by: ben | Aug 30, 2013 10:59:03 PM | 87

I don't see Milliband say a damn thing but "let's not do this till we can convince more people."

Am I wrong?

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 30, 2013 11:03:34 PM | 88

Hmm, still reading that unclassified assessment, and I'm massively unimpressed.

The kicker would normally be this one: "This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media."...

OK, sure, that would be pretty damning evidence. If that were true.

So why can't we see those satellite images proving this claim to be true?

It can't be "To protect sources and methods," since we know what the source is (it's a spy satellite, dude) and we know the method (a big-ass camera, dude, and ass-kicking radars).

Odd, isn't it?

The most damning of all evidence, and the USA won't release it even though there really is no good reason to withhold it.

Oh, yeah, and the other thing that jumped out at me, near the end:
"We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and"....

...."we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations"....

Notice the difference between those two claims?

When it comes to that Syrian official demanding to know what went down then they claim to possess direct evidence (i.e. a phone intercept), but when it comes to that order to cease fire they only claim to possess "intelligence" that this happened.

Which means that they
a) DO have a recording of Someone Important demanding to know WTF is going on, but
b) DON'T have a recording of Anyone Important issuing an order to stop firing CWs.

It's an important distinction.

It looks more and more that the USA's entire case hinges on that one phone call and (this always bears repeating) we keep being told what that "senior official" was demanding to know, but we are never told what reply was given.

Not once.
Not ever.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 30, 2013 11:19:34 PM | 89

"We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and"....

...."we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations"....

Undoubtedly, these would be the phone intercepts provided by the Israelis. Now theres a credible source, by golly!

I wonder, did they supply this hard intelligence by Presidential suppository? After all, is there anyone in DC that isn't dropping their drawers and bending over for Israel????

It ain't no fair, our "leaders" bend over, but we're the ones that get reamed.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 30, 2013 11:34:52 PM | 90

Remarks by President Obama and the Presidents of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, August 30, 2013

This kind of attack threatens our national security interests by violating well-established international norms against the use of chemical weapons by further threatening friends and allies of ours in the region, like Israel and Turkey and Jordan. And it increases the risk that chemical weapons will be used in the future and fall into the hands of terrorists who might use them against us.

We're afraid, but Obama will save us. He thinks about our security every night before he goes to sleep. What he DOESN'T think about is the pledge he swore to when taking office.
"I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So impeach him.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30, 2013 11:53:57 PM | 91

Here's a piece from the Moscow Times which might shed a little light on the dust up earlier with regard to the Russian position with respect to evacuating Russian nationals from Syria. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russian-navy-assault-ships-ready-to-evacuate-nationals-from-syria/485290.html

Posted by: Tazor Raoule | Aug 30, 2013 11:55:27 PM | 92

from the #110 link

France's President Francois Hollande said Friday the British vote would not stop Paris taking from military action if necessary, Le Figaro reported. (Because in Paris there will be no vote. Forget Jean-Jacques Rousseau.)

Imagine the humiliation -- the US and France attack France's former colony Syria -- as colonial powers should do when the ex-colony gets out of line -- while UK watches from the sideline, having been given the red card. hah But instead let's imagine the attack won't happen.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 31, 2013 12:10:20 AM | 93

This also from a summary of articles in other Russian newspapers, a regular feature of the MT:

Novyye Izvestiya

1. Konstantin Nikolayev article titled "Half of Russians don't mind dragging the country into a war in the Middle East" provides the results of a reader poll on attitudes to the conflict in Syria. Forty-six per cent of respondents speak in favour of a military operation in support of the Al-Asad government; pp 1-2 (150 words)

Read more: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-the-papers-say-aug-30/485282.html#ixzz2dW6fJu00


The Moscow Times

Posted by: Tazor Raoule | Aug 31, 2013 12:16:56 AM | 94

@108 POA: "Undoubtedly, these would be the phone intercepts provided by the Israelis. Now theres a credible source, by golly!"

Well, yeah, maybe. Probably.

But at least the US Assessment claims to actually be in possession of a phone intercept i.e. a recording in which Someone Important is berating An Unimportant Underling about what has just been posted on Facebook.

But when it comes to claiming that Someone Important ordered An Unimportant Underling to cease firing those CW's then the Assessment no longer claims to be in possession of a recording of that conversation.

It merely has "intelligence" that such an order was given, which is not at all the same thing as claiming that "we heard him give that order".

Pardon me for being sceptical, but that sets off all sorts of alarms on my Bullshit Meter.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 31, 2013 12:30:29 AM | 95

Speaking about Syria debates....

Note the time stamp on this (as yet) disallowed post at Mondowiess....

****************

Blank State says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm
+ Show content
I know there are still those here that respect Steve Clemons. If you watched him two nights ago on Maddow, you’d have to be an idiot to still entertain that respect. If you have any doubt that he has completely and utterly sold out, you missed it. He was touting the intelligence that the Syrian military used chemical weapons as being rock solid, and he was blathering that a military response from us was not only warranted, but was necessary. He seems to have forgotten what he was taught on his old blogsite, that some of us out here in the real world aren’t blithering idiots.

***************************************

Then, go to the thread.....

http://tinyurl.com/pylssgh

........ and note the time stamps on the posts that have been allowed. The monitor over there is a petty jackass that seriously needs to grow up.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 31, 2013 12:34:13 AM | 96

On Milliband:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23896034

Posted by: ben | Aug 31, 2013 12:42:03 AM | 97

113)
It is obvious it is a pretext. They are saying "Trust me". Fool me once ...

What is stopping them is this though:

The biggest concern, however, is that any U.S. attack could prompt retaliation by Assad, including the possible use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens or even attacks on nearby nations.

You can cut out the Syrian citizens of the above sentence, nobody worries about them.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 31, 2013 12:45:46 AM | 98

Cut all the re-bop and idle chit chat: Uncle Sam will deliver a wicked one two combination with the US Navy and US Air Force to Assad[s breadbasket and give him a taste of good old US deviltry. Seems like the US is the only one to take its responsibility to protect seriously, while the Europeans act like slackers. Some things never change.

Posted by: Lee May | Aug 31, 2013 1:19:08 AM | 99

117) no doubt. And after that?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 31, 2013 2:10:04 AM | 100

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