Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2012

Cameron Obviously Lies - Then Reuters Distributes Lie As News

Reuters UN bureau chief Lou Charbonneau is treating a rumor peddled by UK's prime minister Cameron as news even after it was proven to be false.

@lou_reuters
UK Prime Minister Cameron says #Russia's #Putin was explicit in saying he doesn't want #Assad - remaining in power in #Syria - @reuters
3:21 PM - 19 Jun 12

As there have been some ten or so news alerts over the last months, all proven wrong, that the Russian Federation changed its position on Syria, shouldn't a serious journalist first confirm what a lying shit like Cameron says before distributing it?

@lou_reuters
If confirmed, this is big news #Russia's #Putin no longer backs #Syria's #Assad UK's PM Cameron http://reut.rs/L2oeyV via @reuters
4:02 PM - 19 Jun 12

Yeah, if confirmed, otherwise it is nonsense. So why is Lou Charbonneau distributing it?

@lou_reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says Cameron remark about #Putin wanting #Syria's Assad out doesn't correspond to reality @reuters
4:29 PM - 19 Jun 12

Which was of course obvious for anyone who has followed the issue. For example for Blake Hounshell, the editor of Foreign Policy

@blakehounshell
I'm old enough to remember the previous 10 times people have reported that Putin is ready to dump Assad.
5:21 PM - 19 Jun 12

So is this settled now and will Lou Charbonneau backpaddle on his false rumor spreading?

@lou_reuters
British PM #Cameron says #Putin no longer backs #Syria's #Assad http://tinyurl.com/cdoasda
6:05 PM - 19 Jun 12

Lou Charbonneau continues to spread Cameron's lies despite of his obvious knowledge of a clear denial from the Russian Federation. However you might call that, reporting it isn't. 

@lou_reuters
#Russia's Putin reiterates Syrians should decide whether Assad remains in power in #Syria http://tinyurl.com/cbuegbg
6:24 PM - 19 Jun 12

So after even Putin confirms what Lavrov said - no change in Russia's position, does Lou Charbonneau finally get that Cameron obviously lied?

@lou_reuters
Contradictory signals from G20: UK says #Russia turns on #Syria's #Assad Obama, Putin cast doubt on that http://reut.rs/L2C58n via @reuters
6:53 PM - 19 Jun 12

He didn't get it. Or more likely, he doesn't want to get it. These ain't contradictory signals. Cameron obviously lied about what Putin said. Putin says so as does Lavrov as does Obama.

So the real story here is that Cameron openly lied. But Reuters has nothing about that. Despite clear denials by the Russian president and the U.S. president Reuters' UN reporter Lou Charbonneau continues to spread the obvious false fact Cameron told.

We can now mark him, and his company, as just another partisan outlet with exactly zero information value.

Posted by b on June 20, 2012 at 3:49 UTC | Permalink

Comments

louis charbonneau is one of the journos at UN trying to get the only independent, non-mainstream media reporter, inner city press, banned from covering the UN. after charbonneau stole inner city's scoop about feltman being posted to UN, inner city confronted louis c. on his plagiarism- which charbonneau then dubbed "harrassment"- and charbonneau is using alleged 'harassment' as grounds to get inner city ousted. the lies of louis are daily fare. a treacherous weazel with low integrity

Posted by: file2 | Jun 20 2012 4:06 utc | 1

On Jun 11, Voltaire Network’s Thierry Meyssan headlined “NATO preparing vast disinformation campaign,” saying CIA-created videos will air on television. They’ll blame Assad for recent massacres. They’ll falsify anti-regime demonstrations. They’ll claim ministers and army generals are resigning, “Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.”

The is logic in the madness!

Posted by: hans | Jun 20 2012 5:26 utc | 2

The real story here is that Cameron openly lied.

Indeed.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 6:24 utc | 3

Well, Cameron just shifts the emphasis of what Putin says, so technically you cannot call it lie.
Putin, indeed says, that Syrians should decide, so "does not want to keep Assad in power" is correct in saying , that Putin is open to somebody else being president.
Anyway, Cameron makes it clear that Britain is highly invested in Syria (Saudi Arabia and Quatar) and does not want to appear to abandon its allies.
So Cameron's shifted emphasis is also used in Turkey.
http://www.todayszaman.com/news-284077-putin-no-longer-backs-syrias-assad.html
It is politics as usual. Actually all politicians involved indicated space to find a diplomatic settlement.
The fun fact is that Russia here is on the side of democracy, he must enjoy to rub it in to Western powers
http://www.rt.com/news/putin-g20-syria-assad-252/
Putin on Syria: No state can decide another's government

Nothing will happen before the US elections, low intensity warfare will continue till then (probably beyond). It will be interesting to watch if oil prices and the EU will survive the Iran oil embargo (I am expecting car free Sundays and stuff like that, I am on a bike anyways, the only downside for me is that trains will be packed).

Western powers are not really winning hearts and minds in what they are doing, so ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda
"Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media considers the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious."


Posted by: somebody | Jun 20 2012 7:55 utc | 4

here is another eg of a media lie that one govt took action against only to see said action treated as repression:

'Of particular concern was the million-dollar fine that President Correa imposed on an Ecuadorian newspaper for printing a letter to the editor alleging he had been involved in ordering police to fire on demonstrators at a protest in September. The letter's author, ironically, is currently seeking asylum in the U.S.'
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/julian-assange-might-want-to-think-twice-about-seeking-asylum-in-ecuador/258704/

Posted by: brian | Jun 20 2012 7:58 utc | 5

Here's some reporting that Louis Charbonneau did get right yesterday 19 Jun 2012:

Robert Mood said UNSMIS would only resume full operations if both the opposition and government voiced their commitment to the observers' safety and freedom of movement, and in fact "the Syrian government has expressed that [commitment] very clearly in the last couple of days," whereas "I have not seen the same clear statement from the opposition yet," Mood said. The opposition have said they no longer felt bound by an April 12 truce that Annan brokered. The opposition has stepped up its military operations, contributing to an overall escalation in the violence. Most activities of the UNSMIS are suspended due to "extremely serious security concerns". Reuters @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/20/worldupdates/2012-06-19T235530Z_2_BRE85I1MW_RTROPTT_0_UK-SYRIA-CRISIS-UN-MONITORS&sec=worldupdates

It is clear to me that the Syrian security forces are fighting back pretty vigorously at the present time in a number of localities around Syria. Especially in Homs province. But here are a couple of video examples from Deir Ezzor province uploaded yesterday. The first is a large transportation convoy of armoured fighting vehicles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2SJzDhYLmo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX_kSf4tJGw
The following uploaded 17 Jun 2012 shows soldiers in Tartous province (a quiet province) who appear to be getting mobilized to go fight somewhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4rd82rkmsg

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 8:15 utc | 6

Pro-Assad demonstration in Hamburg Germany on Saturday 16 Jun 2012: Schön dass alles gut geklappt hat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnySrFOloak

Pro-Assad demonstration in Hamburg Germany on Saturday 5 May 2012: Schön dass alles gut geklappt hat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Ueb8g34rA

Meanwhile in Lebanon:

Loads of supporters of Lebanon's football team chant pro-Assad and pro-Syria slogans during a football match between Lebanon and Qatar, 3 Jun 2012 in Beirut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCr3SubzOJ4

Undated, uploaded 4 Jun 2012, Tripoli Lebanon: People on the street, showing support for Syria and President Assad, sing a good rendition of "Ya Bashar Ya Habib Al-Malayeen": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SitRw2qEtfY

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 8:28 utc | 7

About Robert Mood, and his reluctance to report explicitly on rebel violence to public media; He sees the UN observer mission as exclusively fact-verification, and not voicing this or that narrative, narration isn't his job. He only reports hard facts to the UN, and in this delay in information getting public he hoped to not get attacked by either side. Though, that strategy now seems to have failed, as the rebels see now they are not getting away with their abuses and exploits indefinitely, and the observers will report the straight facts eventually, and then the rebels narrative is blown.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 9:01 utc | 8

Alexander spoke of the "rebel narrative". The narrative they had last summer is totally defunct. The narrative nowadays is they're in a vicious armed rebellion against the government, they are successfully killing around 25 security forces men per day, they are gaining more fighters every day, they are getting better experienced and better armed, they are fighting with more vehemence and commitment than the government's security forces, and it's all about armed fighting now, and it's not about winning democratic or mass support, and they are fighting to overthrow and destroy the legacy of the Assads, to be replaced with something (fuzzily) more Muslim.

عملية نوعية للجيش الحر = a quality operation of the Free Army. A search for that Arabic text at Youtube returns a number of videos of exploits of armed rebellion, including this vivid one recorded 17 Jun 2012:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYwmEwY7Udw

and these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eejPKoP3Tog - deir ezzor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3OZC-2Iv0E - hama city
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjJWkvvIvdc - homs city
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgAQL7Yz9LQ - douma
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7UTMqv-FoY - various locales

More rebel narrative in videos recorded by rebel sources within the last 10 days:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHrwxrb_J7w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PSqEFdvcHov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdH_tWEObM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voJ43AzzEC8

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 11:24 utc | 9

re press - this is funny in a sad way - quality paper Le Monde needs a round up of conspiracy websites plus an independent journalist to explain that something in Affaire Merah stinks
Affaire Merah, voyage au pays des conspirationnistes
http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2012/06/19/affaire-merah-voyage-au-pays-des-conspirationnistes_1717409_3224.html

"Cette suspicion à l'égard de la parole officielle a été largement renforcée par la fantastique confusion qui règne depuis le début de cette affaire. "On est dans une histoire où tous les officiels mentent. La communication est totalement verrouillée. C'est du pain béni pour les complotistes !", résume Frédéric Helbert. "

Posted by: somebody | Jun 20 2012 11:31 utc | 10

Somebody, the paper was sending a message. While it was describing conspiracy sites and seemed critical of them, it was itself planting seeds of doubt, especially the Merah-French Secret Service connection and an indirect way saying that there's a connection between the murders, Israel and the presidential campaign. Also a reminder to not forget the DSK/Sofitel misadventure that also had a Sarkosian political smell to it. LM got away with it by saying the others are talking about it.

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 13:19 utc | 11

If you agree that Putin says it's up to Syria to determine their leader; this IS another way of saying Putin isn't backing Assad to the exclusion of all others. I think there's room for both to be right. Clearly Cameron overstates the case, but I do think this represents a change in Putin's tone. Putin has gone from unequivocal support to leaving his position in the hands of Syrians.

I think you overstate your case, just as Cameron does. I appreciate the many lies and obfuscations you regularly expose, but here, I think you over-react a bit.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 20 2012 13:38 utc | 12

Nah, Putin's position has been the same all along, no amount of outside pressure is going to make Putin yeald on this. What Putin is really saying, and has been saying all along, is that the Syrians have to decide whether they want Assad, or not. It is not up to the UN, Quatar, the US or SNC to decide whether he has to go. It has to be a result of democratic elections in Syria if Assad is to go.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 13:59 utc | 13

FYI
APPEAL FOR EVIDENCE ON ARMS TRADE

AND DELIVERIES TO INSURGENTS IN SYRIA.

nsnbc is investigating foreign involvement into the financing and delivering of illegal arms shipments to insurgents in Syria. nsnbc is encouraging any witnesses, whistle-blowers, and others with relevant evidence or documentation about the illegal arms trafficking to insurgents in Syria to come forward and contact nsnbc. If necessary, nsnbc guaranties the best possible protection of witnesses and whistle-blowers identity.

nsnbc is particularly interested in information pertaining:

The name of the German, Stuttgart based Security Firm, information about it´s involvement, insider information about recruitment procedures and other information that can lead to clarification of the full scope of it´s involvement in arming insurgents in Syria.
Foreign Military Forces. Any information that can lead to the identification of the foreign military forces which are deployed in Syria in violation of international law.
Saad Hariri. Any information that can contribute to clarifying the full scope of the involvement of Saad Hariri in materially supporting insurgents in Syria, including money transfers, weapons trade, transports etc.
Walid Jumblatt. Any information that can provide evidence and details of Walid Jumblatt´s involvement into arms shipments to insurgents in Syria. Of particular interest is arms trafficking of Israeli Arms via Raphael Industries.
Raphael Industries. Any information and documentation that clarifies the involvement of the Israeli Raphael Industry in arms shipments to insurgents in Syria.
Governmental Involvement. Any information that leads to clarification of the involvement of governments, governments functionaries and/or officials into illegal arms deliveries to insurgents in Syria. Of particular interest are the following countries. USA, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, Denmark, Bahrain, Germany, France, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Israel.

http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/appeal-for-evidence-on-arms-trade-and-deliveries-to-insurgents-in-syria/

Posted by: brian | Jun 20 2012 14:04 utc | 14

Contrary to what scottindallas thinks at #12, Vladimir Putin has never expressed "unequivocal support" for Assad during this past year. Instead Putin, and Lavrov and the Russian foreign ministry has been consistent in upholding the fundamental principle that the affairs in Syria are internal affairs and must be decided by the Syrians, and whatever the Syrians decide should be accepted by all the outside world as legitimate. For example, on 8 Feb 2012 Putin said "We must provide to the Syrian people the possibility to resolve their problems on their own… our task is limited to helping them do that without any foreign interference." http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2012/02/08/399203.htm .

Again on 1 mar 2012 Vladimir Putin said about Syria: "It is up to the Syrians to decide who should run their country." Asked if President Assad can survive, he said: “I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s obviously a grave problem. The reforms are long awaited and should be carried out. Whether the Syrian government is ready to reach a consensus, I don’t know." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/putin-backs-away-from-assad-regime/article2355956/

In year 2011 Putin was pretty much silent on Syria. Medvedev was the President. The talking on Syria was mostly done by Lavrov. Medvedev said on 10 Oct 2011: "If the Syrian leadership is unable to complete such reforms, it will have to go, but this decision should be made not by NATO and certain European countries, it should be made by the people of Syria and the government of Syria." http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/07/world/meast/syria-unrest/ .

It is the assessment of most of the Russians that Assad has the support of the majority of the people of Syria. They point to the voter turnout in the referendum on the new Constitution in February 2012, and the turnout and results of the Local Council Elections in December 2011, the turnout and results in the parliamentary elections in May 2012, the peacefulness of ongoing life in most of country outside the "hotspots", and other items of evidence. That assessment of the Russians reinforces their core position, but it is not in their core position.

The Russian position today is the same position as Lavrov set forth in late summer or early autumn of 2011. It is the same position today as when Russia vetoed at the UNSC in early October. Just before and just after that UNSC veto, 4 Oct 2011, a slew of statements were issued by Russian foreign ministry spokesmen. If you go read those statements you'll see that anybody who thinks the Russian position is evolving is mistaken.

Finally, I'll repeat from an earlier post: Lavrov, 20 Mar 2012: "An analysis of Russia’s statements on Syria will make it patently clear that the revision of Russia's position is out of question.... Most statements by Western and some Arab countries showed a lack of insight into the Syrian crisis." http://twitter.com/#!/MFA_Russia

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 14:31 utc | 15

I agree with scottindallas. Also, I looked up the Reuters stories on Cameron and Putin and this wasn't the guy reporting it. It was a guy named Luke Baker who was reporting on Cameron from Mexico. Lou Charbonneau was just tweeting it along with dozens of others who tweeted what Cameron said. Not sure why you're blaming this Charbonneau guy for other people's reporting.

That aside, I don't think Cameron's the sharpest knife in the drawer, but maybe Putin did say something like that. Why should we assume that it was Cameron and not the Russians who are lying? An-Nahar newspaper reported on Monday that the Russians have given up on Assad. Maybe there's something to it. Let's keep an open mind. All we have now is what people are saying and if nobody reported that, we'd have nothing.

Putin didn't deny he told that to Cameron (Lavrov did, as in the tweet above). He just repeated that they aren't wedded to Assad. Those two statements aren't contradicted.

Maybe Cameron did lie. Or maybe he misunderstood Putin because he's a doofus. I just don't think it's this guy's fault and I think you're misplacing the blame here.

Posted by: fred | Jun 20 2012 14:53 utc | 16

>>> FYI
APPEAL FOR EVIDENCE ON ARMS TRADE

AND DELIVERIES TO INSURGENTS IN SYRIA.>>>


That's a shot in the dark. It accuses Sada Hariri and Junblatt that are painted as gun-runners. On what are the accusations based?

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 15:09 utc | 17

fred #16 "An-Nahar newspaper reported on Monday that the Russians have given up on Assad."

An-Nahar of Hamadeh fame? surely you must be joking.

Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 20 2012 15:32 utc | 18

www "On what are the accusations based?"

probably because jumblat asked the druze to leave the syrian army and
saudi arabia has called for providing arms to the opposition?

Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 20 2012 15:40 utc | 19

Erraticideas, google said there were 2 Hamadehs that work at that paper. Which one did you mean?

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 16:12 utc | 20

I hate to be skeptical in a room full of skeptics . . . . but

How do we know Cameron lied? We don't know what Putin and Cameron said to each other and I don't trust either of them. I don't trust ANY politicians of this level and with similar histories. It's he said he said and we don't know all the motivations.

I suspect Cameron and Putin are working together and putting on a show.

Plus, we already have Putin on record as saying that Assad is like the sinking Titanic and is a dead man and that he will have to go to save Syria:

"Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of fueling the Syrian conflict by backing government opposition, but his foreign ministry said it will not protect Syria from military intervention. . . . 'There is no talk about us offering military assistance,' Lukashevich said in a statement. 'Russia isn’t going to do anything of the kind.'

Putin ridiculed Western demands of Assad, saying the next thing they want will be for the Syrian leader 'to grab a wooden mackintosh and have music play in his house.' A wooden mackintosh, or trenchcoat, was a jovial term used in Soviet-era comedy movies to mean coffin.

Assad 'will not hear (the music) because it will be his funeral,' he said. 'He will never agree to that demand.' . . .

It seems to us that Russia is not going to preserve those interests that it deems important if it rides the Assad Titanic all the way to the bottom of the Mediterranean,' he said.

http://just-another-inside-job.blogspot.com/2012/03/war-on-russia-green-lights-invasion.html

So this alleged statement from Putin to Cameron is not much different than the public statement Putin gave last year.

Putin admitted this early on that he would not ride Assad to the bottom of the sea. Since the West is demanding Assad's head as a condition of peace Russia is by default siding with the West. If Russia were going to try to defend Syria's sovereignty Putin would not have thrown Assad under the bus like he did in those statements. His denials about what he allegedly said to Cameron is weak in light of these previous statements.

He also admitted that Russia will not be honoring its treaty with Syria which most likely requires a mutual self defense. This is huge. Russia has admitted it will not fight to defend Syria so all this talk about war games and ships and advisers is bullshit. It's to take our eye off the ball and to distract us with fake diplomatic maneuvering.

Russia may veto a Security Council Resolution but they are allowing war.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 16:13 utc | 21

Of course Russia will not engage in military defense of Syria in case of a NATO intervention, that would be initiating ww3. And there are plenty of other possibilities of ww3 happening even if Russia doesn't come to the defense of Syria. That is a given, but from that to conclude that Russia are willing to flip position in the next UN resolution veto-opportunity is another issue altogether, and is not going to happen.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 16:24 utc | 22

And that's what Cameron was implying with his statement on what Putin said.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 16:25 utc | 23

www. both brothers. the senior, marwan is the de facto chief of the paper. Ghassan Tueni
the owner was married to the sister of the hamadehs (i am not sure about the ownership, i believe it is owned by the orthodox church and managed by tueni)

it is an open secret that the syrians tried to assassinate marwan in 2005? (or was it 2004) before Rafic
Hariri was assassinated.

Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 20 2012 16:31 utc | 24

www. i am not sure why i wrote the last post. i have a feeling that you already know all there is
to know about it.

Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 20 2012 16:32 utc | 25

What's the big deal about Cameron lying or not? Anyone know a politician that doesn't lie?

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 16:32 utc | 26

Russia has a principled position on Syria, which has not changed and will not change. If Assad goes or stays, Russia's principles will be the same. Talk about "Putin admitted that he would not ride Assad to the bottom of the sea" is an ignorant crock of shit.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 16:34 utc | 27

One thing that remains clear, is that the US/NATO aggression will not end with Syria. The problem is that the aggression spreads out. What happens next, in the event of NATO air strikes on Assad's forces?

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 20 2012 16:36 utc | 28

More of this needs to happen. Let those who are building the insurgency to destroy Syria (and other lands) have it come right back to themselves where it originated.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18516934

Posted by: file2 | Jun 20 2012 16:38 utc | 29

Alexander. Now. Now. You're allowing reality to be turned upside down by criminals. NATO is engaging in criminal aggression and they should bear the legal and moral burden for their crimes. Russia is within its rights to defend Syria and if WWIII started it would be NATO and the U.S. guilty of crimes of aggression.

If Russia followed through on its likely legal obligations to Syria, and sent massive amounts of troops to Syria, I'm pretty sure NATO would not attack because IT WOULD BE CREATING WWIII!

By conceding early on that NATO can take down Assad Russia has given the game away. Game over. NATO and the West are determined to take Syria as a prize. That's obvious. And they are pretty much making an ultimatum that they get Assad's head or its war (which is a lie because its war no matter waht). The only thing that was going to stop this attack is if Russia puts troops and ships there and seriously threatened to defend Syria.

Vetoing the UN Resolution will simply provide Russia with cover as they allow the war to happen. It's the same thing as Democrats getting to vote against unpopular things because it doesn't really matter.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 16:41 utc | 30

Parviziyi,

Can you explain why my talk about Putin's previous statements is "ignorant?" This ignoramus is not seeing your point.

Why wouldn't Putin's previous statements ON THIS VERY SUBJECT be relevant to the discussion at hand?

Seems like it's "ignorant" to ignore previous statements he made.

[I also make a plea to the site administrators to fairly admonish commentators for personal attacks, etc. I was "warned" last time for a fairly innocuous comment I made but I received quite a bit of flack my way first, like people calling me "ignorant", that went unremarked upon by the administrators. I assume the administrators want an intelligent discussion and aren't simply trying to exclude certain viewpoints so I appreciate in advance a fair application of any rules. I'm pretty thick skinned so I'm not much for "rules" except I would rather discuss the subject than get in a pissing contest.]

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 16:52 utc | 31

file2 @ 29

Could it be the French police killed the wrong man, and the serial killer from the area actually were the man they caught in the bank?

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 17:06 utc | 32

Nothing erratic in your perception, erraticideas.

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 17:14 utc | 33

Walter @ 30

Yeah, Russia should put up a force in Syria, an assisting counter-terrorism operation, to rid the Syrians of their FSA rebel revolutionary terrorist scurge. Then what would they do? Retract in a hurry their french foreign legion soldiers, and UK special ops, and Libyan soldiers of fortune, and US navy seals? Or what?

Anywho, the pressing issue now for the west, is to find a way to kill Assad, so he doesn't end up in a ICC trial and divulge the real culprits of this disaster. It's going to be bad enough when Robert Mood delivers his report, but having vitnesses in a trial against Assad would be catastrophically revealing for the French, US, German, Quatari, Saudi and UK role in this foreignly imposed revolution.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 17:15 utc | 34

@ Walter Wit Man : I believe you cannot show us a RELIABLE source quoting Putin saying what you attributed to him. What you are attributing to Putin is contrary to Russia's repeatly stated position.

During his speech in Mexico at the G20 summit yesterday, Putin stated that no nation has a right to decide for another nation on “who should be brought to power and who should be ousted.” That's a longstanding Russian position, but here's something somewhat new: Putin also said that "it is important that after a regime change, if it happens, and it must happen only by constitutional means, peace comes to the country." http://www.rt.com/news/putin-g20-syria-assad-252/ Thus an unconstitutional overthrow by wholly internal processes inside Syria is something that Putin is condemning there, apparently. I don't remember Lavrov saying that in the past. I can only remember Lavrov saying that foreigners should not incite unconstitutional means.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 17:18 utc | 35

I agree with Walter Wit Man that the administrators should reprimand personal attacks like the first message in this thread from file2, which also includes potentially libelous allegations. Can we please stick to the issue at hand?

I also wonder why this post came about. It attacks a reporter (who wasn't actually THE reporter) for tweeting what Cameron said, and some of the responses after he said it. Why aren't we looking all the people and media who reported and/or tweeted what Cameron said? What's so special about this guy?

Posted by: fred | Jun 20 2012 17:25 utc | 36

Well Alexander @ 34. Now you've hit on the crux of the issue.

The U.S./NATO/Israel HAS ALREADY ATTACKED SYRIA!!!!!!! It's obvious. Almost everyone here is in agreement outside forces are funding and running operations . . . otherwise known as illegal acts of war.

Yet Putin and Russia simply issue vague complaints but go along with the UN statements and then the UN monitoring?????

It doesn't make sense. If there were a secret attack against Britain the U.S. would not agree to UN resolutions legitimizing the "rebels." It would condemn the illegal aggression and send assistance if needed and not allow any traction for the rebels in the UN.

If Russia were sincere about defending its interests in the region from U.S. hegemony it would realize that losing Syria will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It would realize that if it allows the U.S./NATO to Syria it is setting a dangerous precedent that could be used again and again. Surely they are not this incompetent, no? Why would an independent Russia allow the West to take out Libya and Syria with such a weak defense, its totally ineffectually appeals to the UN?

Surely you agree that Russia sees things our way as far as the facts on the ground? That Assad will be taken out like Quadafy in Libya and NATO will conduct another operation in Syria like Libya. Surely they know the Israelis may attack Lebanon and the Sinai Peninsula. Surely the Russians know that Iran will be next after Syria is taken out. Surely Russia knows the U.S. is tightening its stranglehold on the region.

Surely Russia knows now is the time to confront the West if they plan on doing so!! Why wait until it's too late? After Syria falls and there are NATO troops there? Then Russia will be even worse off when they go to [pretend] support Iran.

If Russia is going to allow the West to illegally fund terrorists and to do secret coups against their main allies in the Middle East (!!!!!!!) then Russia is not serious about defending itself.

C'mon. It's obvious Russia is blowing smoke up our asses. They agreed to this attack. There is no other logical explanation for their behavior.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 17:32 utc | 37

>>> Russia has a principled position on Syria>>>

Parviziyi, Russia doesn't have any more principles than the US; it's putting on a show now and a deal of some sort to the detriment of Syria will be worked out with the US, like it always happens. The big players don't have principles, they only have interests.

Posted by: www | Jun 20 2012 17:40 utc | 38

@ Walter Wit Man: (1) The US has repeatedly urged the Saudis to not arm the Syrian rebels. There is no respectable evidence that any of the NATO countries (including Turkey) are covertly arming the Syrian rebels. (2) Russia's primary interests are for the acceptance of the international PRINCIPLES that Russia advocates for. The principles are independent of all regimes. As I said already, you have not listened to what the Russians are saying and you don't understand Russia's position.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 17:41 utc | 39

Parviviziyi writes:

"Putin stated that no nation has a right to decide for another nation on 'who should be brought to power and who should be ousted.'"

You know who else also says these platitudes? Cameron, Obama and Bush. They all claim to be upholding the will of the people. The West claims they are saving Syrians from a dictatorial "regime."

These platitudes are meaningless. Especially in the face of contrary facts. Like the fact Russia has disavowed its treaty with Syria and claims it doesn't have to militarily defend Syria.

Or, it could have vetoed all UN resolutions instead of legitimizing the rebels and the attack on Syria by bringing in Kofi Anann.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 17:43 utc | 40

For Russia, general international acceptance and reaffirmation of the principles espoused by Russia, China and the UN Charter is the most important thing. Russia has multiple real interests in those principles. One of those interests was mentioned by 'b' in a post on 6 Jun 2012: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/misunderstanding-russia-on-syria.html

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 17:51 utc | 41

Both Russia and Syria genuinely see the Annan peace process with the UN observer-mission as a hope for setting the facts straight and deligitimizing any calls for an intervention, and to document the foreign interference, at least inside of Syria. Because there is, there are foreign jihadist terrorists, and not all of the shipments of weapons have been intercepted on the borders of Syria, some has gotten thru to the FSA and whatnot in Syria.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 17:56 utc | 42

@ Walter Wit Man: Russia has never committed itself to fight for Syria. Its explicit disavowal of it this year is no new news. PS: If you can't come up with a RELIABLE source for what you attributed to Putin saying, you should seriously consider that your source was in error and that you are in error with it.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 17:57 utc | 43

And by the way, Saudi-Arabia and Quatar are arming the rebels, withcoordination by the USA. You know what that means? Arabs are paying for weapons and wages for the rebels, and Americans are instructing the usage of weapons, and how tu utilize nitrogen fiirtilizer and diesel and whathaveyou to make IEDs, and deciding who of the rebels and terrorists and MB, FSA and all - who of them are getting the weapons and comms-equipment. And who are to be taught how to make Youtube-clip propaganda and who are to get sat-comm Internet (DARPA-net - really) to distribute their counter-intelligence. There's no denying it, the Pentagon footprint in Syria is quite pronounced.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 18:02 utc | 44

Walter Wit Man said "They all claim to be upholding the will of the people." That's mistaken if you're including Russia. Russia does not claim to be upholding the will of the people. Russia claims to be upholding the UN Charter.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 20 2012 18:15 utc | 45

Parviziyi,

Re the sources . . . the blog I cite is actually citing Bloomberg for some of the quotes and The Daily Star in Lebanon for some. Clicking on the Star article I see its actually an AP story: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1139775--russia-s-putin-backs-away-from-syria-s-assad

Both of these stories were fairly widely reported at the time. I believe Putin gave a speech so you may be able to find it. If you can parse his words, preferably from the Russian, I would be interested to hear it . . . but Putin did not deny the reports at the time and you yourself even pointed out that Russia has been saying this from the beginning.

It seems strange because so few of us are pointing to the basic facts. But these facts are the most important! This tells you that Russia is engaging in politics. It's in Russia's interest to gloss over the fact it is letting NATO attack Syria.

Putin and Russia are being clever. They are expressing platitudes but at the same time delivering a message to Assad that he will die unless he steps down.

One does not joke about the murder of an ally like Putin did.

Can you provide further understanding on the saying Putin used about Assad dancing with a coffin?

I'm sure Assad and his close associates heard that message loud and clear. He was predicting a future that is likely to come about in the 'keeping it real' way that Putin has: the West will insist on Assad's head and Assad will say no, he will not give up his head, and Russia will not intervene, so NATO will take Assad's head and take Syria.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 18:49 utc | 46

"Russia has never committed itself to fight for Syria."

I'm not so sure of this. Traditionally, "allies" have mutual defense pacts or agreements, right? Isn't this how the world wars started? Wasn't this the basis of much of the Cold War agreements in the Middle East or Africa, etc.? Didn't the Soviets try to get allies on their side and the West theirs? Didn't they have mutual defense pacts so that an attack on an ally was an attack on them?

I actually have not dug into the details of this treaty that closely, but I saw that this was an open question over the last year and it appeared like Syria interpreted their pact/treaty in this way. Indeed, since they are historical allies I assumed the treaty/pact likely called for mutual defense. So I would be interested to see the language or have it put in better historical context. I am having a hard time finding more authoritative information but mostly recall Russia's disavowal of any mutual defense pact in any agreement they have.

Unfortunately our media is doing the exact opposite and hiding these facts from us. I had to search far and wide to find any information on Syria's defense agreement with Iran, for instance. This is critical information! Basic information that our media and politicians are obscuring and hiding from us.

This is like the U.S. attacking Austria before the world wars and not expecting her allies to get involved.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 18:58 utc | 47

Alexander,

You're right that both Syria and Russia agreed to play footsie with the U.N. That decision baffles me--assuming these are sincere leaders for their people.

If Assad keeps showing the same miscalculation I can only assume he's playing the same game.

It makes no sense to argue they can win over public opinion this way. It's never worked in the past and it's not working now. How'd that go for Libya? How has it helped Syria? It's making things worse. I'm sorry but it would be gross incompetence for Assad to depend on Russia and the UN for defense of his country. This is war and Syria is under attack.

But there could be a valid reason for Assad/Syria to play footsie with the U.N. . . . like maybe they realize Russia will not stop war and they want to drag out the start of the full scale invasion as long as possible. . . . or some other tactical reason.

But surely they don't see the U.N. as a path to peace. That is massively deluded. This is war and I would think they would decide to start defending themselves rather than get caught in traps like this.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 20 2012 19:07 utc | 48

Speaking of lying politicians, a release of documents by the CIA reveals just how much Bush/Cheney and their administration lied to the US public about warnings given to them about possible attacks from Bin Laden.

Lies, misleading statements, making up shit -- that was BushCo.

Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla links to an article about the new release of documents pertaining to Bin Laden and what warnings were given. Some of the information has been written about, but this substantiates in more detail.

It look damn deliberate for so many strong warnings to have been essentially ignored. From Salon:

Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive. The documents were released after the NSA pored through the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission and sent Freedom of Information Act requests.


The material contains much new information about the hunt before and after 9/11 for bin Laden, the development of the drone campaign in AfPak, and al-Qaida’s relationship with America’s ally, Pakistan. Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.

Susie points out this material supports a whistle blower who had some pretty rough treatment.

Interestingly enough, these seven warnings dovetail with the descriptions by former CIA intelligence asset Susan Lindauer, who was held under the PATRIOT act for a year and publicly smeared in the New York Times (itself a publication known to be historically cooperative with the CIA) as mentally unstable. Lindauer says there were not only warnings, she believes there was controlled demolition of the WTC buildings to make sure the attacks were big enough to justify going to war. Again, it really makes you wonder.

This info dump is pretty is also interesting compared to the release of information kept private about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in that much of that is still being held back or redacted. I wonder if this is coming out to try to remind the voters of some of the things they really didin't like about BushCo....


Posted by: jawbone | Jun 20 2012 20:21 utc | 49

Susan Lindauer and her PATRIOT act detention because she knew too much is indeed damning, it's straight indicative of foul play by the Bush regime.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 20 2012 20:50 utc | 50

the US regime keeps doing what were it dont to itself it would consider criminal: the overthrow of sovereign states. Its done or tried to do it inGuatelama Iran (twice) Chile Venezula Haiti Libya and now Syria....while the worlds media and lega systems look the other way

Posted by: brian | Jun 20 2012 21:41 utc | 51

Not only look the other way, but even cheering them on.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21 2012 0:46 utc | 52

guess who else is lying:

Counterpunched? Counterpunch, sucked in by Amnesty,posts an appalling article by Peter Lee who usually posts on china...on Syria he is out of his depth; that quotes Josh Landis and Amnesty and claims the syrian govt has been repressing its people who now feel free to speak out:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/20/wall-of-fear-rebuilt-in-syria/
Counterpunch may need to change its subtitle: 'Tells the facts'...not in this case...go to their FB page have your say:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/10770826458/

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 9:14 utc | 53

Syria announced it lost communications with one of its MIG 21 that was on a routine training flight.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 10:02 utc | 54

>>> guess who else is lying>>>

What makes you so sure he is lying, Brian? I'm not saying he is or that he isn't and I honestly don't know. Have you ever lived under the Syrian regime at any time during your life to be so sure?

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 10:06 utc | 55

Reuters saying the MIG landed in Jordan.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 10:09 utc | 56

Jordanian News Agency saying the MIG landed at King Hussein Airbase outside Amman.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 10:12 utc | 57

From Jazeera:
Syrian fighter jet 'lands in Jordan'

MiG 21 jet lands at Mafraq airport as state TV says contact has been lost with a plane, reports Reuters news agency.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 10:23

Syrian MiG 21 jet lands at Jordan's Mafraq military airport as state TV says contact has been lost with a plane.

Sources said the plane was piloted by Colonel Hassan Mari Hamada and was near the southern border of Syria when it lost contact at 10.34 am local time.

Jordanian media reported it as an emergency landing while Syrian activists said the pilot has defected.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 10:28 utc | 58

www @51.,...read the article...if you have any knowledge of the war on syria...its clear Peter Lees sources(amnesty and Syria Comments Josh landis) are lying

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 10:49 utc | 59

i wonder how much the pilot as paid? or is he really a salafist?

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 10:50 utc | 60

Relax, Brian, maybe the pilot simply had a mechanical failure and had to land in Jordan. BTW, I'm not a fan of Landis. Do you have an any idea about Syria's occupation of Lebanon and the things that were done to the people there? Tons of horror stories on the 'net.

Jordanian government has just confirmed that the aviator asked for political assylum. That's a strike against the Syrian regime that so far had been keeping its military relatively intact except for some low level officers, but now an air force colonel is something serious. That's how Gaddafi's house of cards started to crumble, first with one pilot flying to Malta, then another, and another and so on.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 11:04 utc | 61

Bummer..

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21 2012 11:11 utc | 62

Worse than that, Alexander, Jordanian authorities quoted the pilot saying he refused orders to shoot on opponents of the government and when Syrian authorities discovered him flying towards Jordan, they tried to shoot him down. Sounds like a scripted story to me since MIGS haven't yet been reported used on the rebels by the government.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 11:42 utc | 63

I think Brian might be onto something here, i wonder how much the pilot as paid? or is he really a salafist? Everyone has their price. I don't think the motivation is religious, as muslims aren't supposed to lie. I'm more inclined to believe he's been bought by NATO.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21 2012 11:45 utc | 64

for uptodate info on syria developments...watch this twitter page
http://twitter.com/#!/LindaJuniper

also FYI
syrian_media ‏@syrian_media
Jordanian officials confirm that d #Syria|n Airforce pilot is already on his way back damascus.The MIG 21 will most probably b sold 4 scrap
Retweeted by Linda Juniper

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 12:29 utc | 65

'Do you have an any idea about Syria's occupation of Lebanon and the things that were done to the people there? Tons of horror stories on the 'net.'

with friends like WWW who needs the rats!

Syria occupation of lebanon...no sooner were the gone then the jews invaded in 2006
and no i dont believe your horror stories....anymore than i do the stories of 'Assads shabiha'

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 12:31 utc | 66

. I don't think the motivation is religious, as muslims aren't supposed to lie. I'm more inclined to believe he's been bought by NATO.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 21, 2012 7:45:32 AM | 64

LOL what? they most certainly do lie! witness the salafists and their lies about who committed the massacres...please dont make such rash assertions....even Osama said only he tries not to lie....Lying is as common among muslims as among any group....after all they are not supposed to kill women and children according to islamic rules of war

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 12:35 utc | 67

>>> I'm more inclined to believe he's been bought by NATO.>>>

Is there a remote chance, Alexander, that the guy simply doesn't agree with the way the country is run? If everyone is supposed to love President Assad or else he's a rat, that isn't very democratic and it's only helping confirm these rumors about the place being a police state. I'd rather continue thinking that Syria is a free country. I'm sure the pilot didn't to fly his MIG across the border to defect; he could have simply walked across the border as thousands are doing back and forth and not risking the flight in the antiquated MIG 21.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 13:02 utc | 68

Brian #66.
"Syria occupation of lebanon...no sooner were the gone then the jews invaded in 2006
and no i dont believe your horror stories....anymore than i do the stories of 'Assads shabiha'"

now come on Brian i was there. True the same politicians that were collaborators then are stabbing the syrian regime
in the back. True there is a war against syria by regimes that couldn't care less about human rights.
I also agree that, with high probability, a replacement for the current will be worse.
BUT from that to compare the syrian regime to a group of nuns is too much.
From first hand experience IT IS a brutal regime, like the saudi, qatari, jordanian.. you name it
their "good" side is that they are secular so if you don't meddle in politics you will be probably ok.

Posted by: erraticideas | Jun 21 2012 13:18 utc | 69

>>> Syria occupation of lebanon...no sooner were the gone then the jews invaded in 2006
and no i dont believe your horror stories....anymore than i do the stories of 'Assads shabiha'>>>


Whatever; from what is written about it, you have to feel sorry for the Lebanese for the neighbors they didn't choose. For over 20 years they were sandwiched between the Israeli occupation and the Syrian one. Between worse and worser, you can pin the tail on the donkey. It was Israeli Zionists that invaded, real Jews wouldn't have done such a thing.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 13:25 utc | 70

Re: lies. Mitt Romney, according to one of his political campaign managers for his winning run for the MA governorship, went out to Salt Lake City to meet with the Mormon leadership, where he asked for permission to say things he didn't believe in and that the church did not condone. He was given permission to lie about issues that would please the majority of MA voters, as it was for the greater good to have a Mormon in office.

Perhaps some mullahs are doing the same thing for salafists and other readical Muslims, in Syria and elsewhere. If the lie accomplished greater good for increasing the reach and power of their form of Islam, it's just fine?

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 21 2012 13:55 utc | 71

"Defecting pilot":
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/world/middleeast/syrian-warplane-is-reported-missing.html?_r=1
Exactly the same story as that from Feb 21 2011 regarding the "defection" of two Libyan Mirages to Malta. Which, when you run it to the end, and their "repatriation" in September is fake as hell.
"An anti-Assad activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the pilot flew the plane into Jordan after refusing orders to bomb targets in Syria The source of the activist’s information was not immediately known" [Note "civilians" is missing in the bombing
"In a telephone interview, General Hanna [A retired Lebanese officer, Gen. Elias Hanna, an expert on Syria military capabilities, if you will...] called the reported defection “a psychological blow to the regime” since Damascus “had started losing his grip on the armed forces and now it’s losing its grip on the Air Force"

Psy Op.

Posted by: felix | Jun 21 2012 14:16 utc | 72

Jordanian Cabinet granted political assylum to the pilot. Looks like the guy defected.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 14:19 utc | 73

I think you guys have gotten too hasty to make your judgments. Putin couldn't act now to help Syria, as there is no clear proof that foreign forces are fighting there. (I'm not saying it's not happening, but it's not clear, yet)

Russia has moved some ships in to protect their port, and has kept herself at the table of all the discussions. She has yet to move, and reserves that right. I don't think Assad is yet threatened and so it would be foolish for them to commit to anything. They protect their port in Syria, and will mount their own counter insurgency if necessary to do it.

Like I said before, watch for something to happen in South Ossetia, I suspect Putin would like to remind US how thinly we are stretched.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 21 2012 14:30 utc | 74

scottindallas 74
foreign fighers have been captured by syrian army..fom all over arab world and europe

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 14:46 utc | 75

felix 72

thats an old meme used also for Libya:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/two_libyan_fighter_pilots_defect_rather_than_bomb_protesters_20110221/

it shows us the same forces are behind this war as were behid the war on libya

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 14:48 utc | 76

Ron Paul – Floor Speech, Syria June 19 2012
Congressman Paul on intervention in Syria
When Will We Attack Syria? Plans, rumors, and war propaganda for attacking Syria and deposing Assad have been around for many months. This past week however, it was reported that the Pentagon indeed has finalized plans to do just that. In my opinion, all the evidence to justify this attack is bogus.

It is no more credible than the pretext given for the 2003 invasion of Iraq or the 2011 attack on Libya. The total waste of those wars should cause us to pause before this all-out effort at occupation and regime change is initiated against Syria. There are no national security concerns that require such a foolish escalation of violence in the Middle East.

There should be no doubt that our security interests are best served by completely staying out of the internal strife now raging in Syria. We are already too much involved in supporting the forces within Syria anxious to overthrow the current government. Without outside interference, the strife—now characterized as a civil war—would likely be non-existent.


Whether or not we attack yet another country, occupying it and setting up a new regime that we hope we can control poses a serious Constitutional question: From where does a president get such authority? Since World War II the proper authority to go to war has been ignored. It has been replaced by international entities like the United Nations and NATO, or the President himself, while ignoring the Congress.

And sadly, the people don’t object. Our recent presidents explicitly maintain that the authority to go to war is not the U.S. Congress. This has been the case since 1950 when we were taken into war in Korea under UN Resolution and without Congressional approval. And once again, we are about to engage in military action against Syria and at the same time irresponsibly reactivating the Cold War with Russia. We’re now engaged in a game of “chicken” with Russia which presents a much greater threat to our security than does Syria.

How would we tolerate Russia in Mexico demanding a humanitarian solution to the violence on the U.S.-Mexican border? We would consider that a legitimate concern for us. But, for us to be engaged in Syria, where the Russian have a legal naval base, is equivalent to the Russians being in our backyard in Mexico. We are hypocritical when we condemn Russian for protecting their neighborhood interests for exactly what we have been doing ourselves, thousands of miles away from our shores.

There’s no benefit for us to be picking sides, secretly providing assistance and encouraging civil strife in an effort to effect regime change in Syria. Falsely charging the Russians with supplying military helicopters to Assad is an unnecessary provocation. Falsely blaming the Assad government for a so-called massacre perpetrated by a violent warring rebel faction is nothing more than war propaganda.

Most knowledgeable people now recognize that the planned war against Syria is merely the next step to take on the Iranian government, something the neo-cons openly admit. Controlling Iranian oil, just as we have done in Saudi Arabia and are attempting to do in Iraq, is the real goal of the neo-conservatives who have been in charge of our foreign policy for the past couple of decades.

War is inevitable without a significant change in our foreign policy, and soon. Disagreements between our two political parties are minor. Both agree the sequestration of any war funds must be canceled. Neither side wants to abandon our aggressive and growing presence in the Middle East and South Asia.

This crisis building can easily get out of control and become a much bigger war than just another routine occupation and regime change that the American people have grown to accept or ignore. It’s time the United States tried a policy of diplomacy, seeking peace, trade, and friendship.

We must abandon our military effort to promote and secure an American empire. Besides, we’re broke, we can’t afford it, and worst of all, we’re fulfilling the strategy laid out by Osama bin Laden whose goal had always been to bog us down in the Middle East and bring on our bankruptcy here at home. It’s time to bring our troops home and establish a non-interventionist foreign policy, which is the only road to peace and prosperity.

This week I am introducing legislation to prohibit the Administration, absent a declaration of war by Congress, from supporting — directly or indirectly — any military or paramilitary operations in Syria. I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort

Posted by: boindub | Jun 21 2012 15:13 utc | 77

Felix, checking the general's bio, he's a military commentator on a rabidly anti-Assad TV station; it somewhat explains the tone of the phone interview he gave the NYT.

Syria speaking with Jordan about returning the MiG.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 15:24 utc | 78

RT Interview with Lavrov

RT: British Prime Minister David Cameron says that in Los Cabos at the G20 meeting President Vladimir Putin shifted his view on the situation in Syria. Is that true?

SL: It is not true. The meetings with UK PM David Cameron and US President Barack Obama did discuss Syria. Both our partners said President Bashar Al-Assad must go and external players must develop a transition plan for the Syrians to agree. We expressed our position that we cannot accept a policy which would aim at changing regimes from the outside. This has been our position all along.

We also cannot prejudge for the Syrians what the outcome of the political dialogue would be. We strongly support a political dialogue and efforts to stop the violence. We suggest for this purpose that all external players should lean on the Syrian party on which they have influence and thus persuade them to withdraw from cities – both the government and opposition – to sit down and have a dialogue.

But there should be no prejudging from outside what the substance and result of this dialogue might be. It’s for the Syrians to decide.

I have seen the statement made by PM Cameron that President Putin shifted his position after meetings in Los Cabos. It is not true at all. President Putin was asked in Los Cabos himself at his press conference about his position on Syria. He expressed it exactly the way he did with David Cameron and Barack Obama.

Posted by: b | Jun 21 2012 16:06 utc | 79

A bit of background information on what's been happening with and to Syria and from how far back this has been on the US program. From MidEast specialist Amal Saad-Ghorayeb in al-Akhbar a couple of days back:

"... Two months after the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented Assad with a list of demands that included cutting off support to resistance forces in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as closing down Hamas and Islamic Jihad operations in their Damascus base – policies, Powell claimed which “no longer have the same relevance” in “a changing Middle East”. The price for Syria’s refusal to capitulate to this ultimatum was the imposition of a harsh sanctions regime, known as the Syria Accountability and Lebanon Sovereignty Act which was approved by Congress and signed by President Bush in May 2004. As reported by Eyal Zisser, “the US sanctions damaged and even blocked Syrian efforts to integrate into the world economy”. The US then spearheaded UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, and a year later, engineered the UN inquiry into the assassination of Lebanese Premier Rafik al-Hariri (UNIIIC) which – based on the flimsiest of evidence – accused the Syrian regime of the assassination.

Aside from these political and diplomatic pressures, Washington has overtly harbored regime-change designs for Syria as far back as 1996 when the “Clean Break” document was drafted by former Assistant Secretary for Defence, Richard Perle for Netahyahu who was running for Prime Minister at the time. The report advises:

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

According to The Nation magazine, the Syria Accountability Act itself was a product of the Clean Break document. Further attesting to the US strategy of regime-change for Syria was General Wesley Clarke’s admission in a 2007 interview that he had been informed by a general in 2001 that the Pentagon was planning on “taking out 7 countries in 5 years starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon. Then Libya, Somalia and Sudan. Then finishing off Iran.”

Full article:
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/assad-foreign-policy-i-history-consistence

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 16:20 utc | 80

UK Embassy in Amman is arranging to move the defected pilot to London.

Posted by: www | Jun 21 2012 16:51 utc | 81

@77, Paul is all over the map. He despises international organizations for telling Merka who it can bomb (as if they ever had any say in the matter), then goes on to talk about friendship among nations. And how does he expect Merka to continue to enjoy heaping plates of ribs and plenteous cans of Bud in front of their wide-screens without leaning on furriners?

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 21 2012 17:46 utc | 82

Not to mention the private militias sure to flourish in the marketplace for freedom, corporate freedom.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 21 2012 18:34 utc | 83

Brian, I'm talking about NATO forces. I kinda agree with most of you, but Putin is holding his cards, and has yet to make his move. I think he's wise to do so. He will jealously guard that port, AND will move to protect it if NATO takes an active hand to exclude them from the mix.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 21 2012 22:06 utc | 84

when will US attack syria? after the insurgent terrorists have whittled away at the syrian security forces!

Posted by: brian | Jun 21 2012 22:08 utc | 85

US are attacking Syria, but it's not going to go beyond unconventional warfare, not a no-fly-zone Libya-type of bomb-campaign. The NYT-piece was to silence critique in the west for not doing enough.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 22 2012 2:02 utc | 86

Alexander @ 86 -- Ah! Yes, I should have thought of that. Thanks.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 22 2012 16:18 utc | 87

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