Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 03, 2012

Syria: Three Month To Win

Two weeks ago Obama announced that his red line on Syria would be the use of chemical weapons against the insurgency. I suggested that this was a wink to the Syrian government that it is free to do whatever is needed to get rid of the insurgents.

That view was confirmed by a report in today's Washington Post:

Even a limited expansion of the minimal U.S. role is unlikely for the next several months and perhaps beyond, according to American and foreign officials.

“We could get dragged into this, no question, but we’re just not there yet,” said one of several senior U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the complicated internal and diplomatic debates over Syria.

The U.S. public is against an open war on Syria. That is the likely reason why the Obama administration is holding back. But that reasoning may well change when the U.S. presidential election is over. The Syrian government has thereby three more month to do what must be done.

The reports of the fighting on the ground are extremely vague. The media operations of the insurgency is filled with lies and exaggerations and the Syrian government reports are rather vague. As far as I can tell the borders to Jordan and Lebanon are mostly closed off. There seems to be a lot of fighting in Idlib near the Turkish border and that is also the way weapons and men are coming into Syria.

The Turkish government is in serious domestic policy trouble. Over the weekend another ten Turkish soldiers, those are draftees, got killed in fights with the Kurdish PKK which has renewed its fight for Kurdish independence since the insurgency in Syria started. Many Turkish people and opinion writers relate the PKK incidents to Turkey's support for the Syrian insurgents and want that to end. There have also been pro-Assad rallies in Turkey and the economic loss of Turkish middle east traders is piling up. With the pressure on Erdogan growing Murat Yetkin of Hurriyet detects some change in the government's stand:

Damascus was shaken by a new wave of attacks on Sunday, as the Turkish government began to show some indications that it would fine tune of its Syria policy. That would not amount to a revision regarding the refugees in the humanitarian context, but could be a revision of the support given to rebel groups.
...
It is a fact that not only the international political atmosphere, but also the Turkish media and the opposition, is forcing the government to be more cautious on its Syria policy.
This Al Jazeerah insurgency propaganda piece includes an interesting detail (@1:55). The insurgents say they have trouble to get their wounded into Turkish hospitals. "Before Turkey used to help us. They no longer help us," says on fighter.It is not clear how true that statement is.

For the Syrian government to win within the next few months the border with Turkey has to be closed as much as possible. This is difficult as long as Turkey actively supports the insurgents. The pressure on Turkey to stop that support must continue to grow. Iranian military maneuvers near the Turkish border are helpful diversions but not enough. Turkey depends on natural gas from Iran and Russia for heating and electricity. With the winter reaching the Anatolian plateau any supply problems could quickly become a really important issue.

Posted by b on September 3, 2012 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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hipsterscumbag @89

Look what the header at your link says:

"… by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor … with Voikan Milosevic , Director, European Center for Counter-Terrorism"

Strangely, the "European" center in question is in Belgrade and this Voikan guy is, is it at all necessary to say, a Serb...

Link

hipsterscumbag, Serbian propaganda is not diffucult to come across, it's rampant. Just like the FSA propaganda.

Besides, the narrative in the link you've posted is that Srebrenica massacre was organized by NATO. OTOH, it is well established that the massacre was executed by the Serbian forces. Therefore, it looks like the Serbs were actually working for NATO... Well, that's pretty much what I've been saying from the beginning.

It is self evident that the Serbs were unaware of whose agenda they were really advancing, pretty much the same as the dumbass jihadis in Syria.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5 2012 19:05 utc | 101

"Some people really have issues with the truth. "

Yes - some people certainly do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNahc8gTE2c

Lies and tricks of a German minister - this is how propaganda works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI4kz8CSYmA

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeRXLw4nUhI

It started with a Lie - Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999 Part2

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5 2012 19:08 utc | 102

Penny @97 "Those pieces were written by an American who worked hard to put that all together so you could "dismiss it" with ridicule and adhominem"

So if they were written by an American, it must be true? Bin Laden operating in Bosnia? Give me a friggin' break...

"HuBris has got your number."

Yeah right. The guy was spitting insults from the word 1. That's what makes him credible in your opinion?

Penny, try to realise that it IS a mistake to put the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 in the same category as NATO attacks on Irak in 2003, Lybia last year, and current operations in Syria. However, there are resemblances with the Gulf War I and NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. I'll let you figure for yourself the pattern that emerges from those two cases.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5 2012 19:19 utc | 103

WHY KOSOVO? FOLLOW THE MONEY!
Excerpt -

That the NATO-crats dare to invoke such a pathetic pretext for their plundering is not exactly astonishing. These people are moral monsters, after all, who would have reduced Belgrade to a smoking ruin if they hadn't been too afraid of the political consequences – and they may do so yet.

What is truly astonishing is that all this was predicted, down to the details, back in February by Diana Johnstone, in a remarkably prescient article on Emperors-Clothes.com, in which she foretold not only the expropriation of the Trepca complex, but also exposed Soros as the source of the scheme.Analyzing two key documents – a November 1999 International Crisis Group (ICG) paper on the Trepca mining complex, and a February 2000 article in the Toronto Star by ICG consultant Susan Blaustein – Johnstone saw it all coming, and with such stunning accuracy that one can hardly believe that her piece wasn't written yesterday.

What is especially revealing is the role of the International Crisis Group in fomenting the takeover of Trepca – and the role of Soros as the ICG's main sugar-daddy.In its report, the ICG drools at the prospect of having such a rich prize fall into its benefactor's hands. As Johnston relates:

"In the 'game-plan of measures' recommended by the ICG, UNMIK is advised to instruct a 'Zvecan environmental assessment team' to report on the status of the equipment and thereupon 'advise as to what measures must be taken'... Environmental hazards are to be the pretext to shut down Zvecan and deprive the last Serbs in Kosovo of their livelihood. Meanwhile, 'Stari Trg, one of the richest mines in Europe, must be potentially profitable again and should be a priority for donors interested in setting Kosovo on its feet.'"

PHILANTHROPY, FOR FUN – AND PROFIT

Chief among these "donors" is none other than Soros, who now expects to be paid back for his "philanthropy" – with interest. Trepca can be profitable again, but the question is: for whom. Trepca seems to have fallen into Soros's lap – or was it pushed there? Another interesting aspect of this whole affair is that the seizure of the Trepca complex by NATO forces is part of the Sorosian "business strategy" designed to forestall and ultimately nullify the claims of two European companies derived from contracts signed with the Serbs. As the ICG report puts it:

"InJuly 1999, shortly after the conquest of Kosovo, one Jean-PierreRozan showed up claiming that 2.8% ownership of Trepca belongedto the Paris-based SCMM, of which he was a director. Rozan'sclaim was based on an agreement with Belgrade, in which SCMM took over Jugobanka's subsidiary in Kosovo as a result ofBelgrade's default.

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5 2012 19:23 utc | 104

And yeah, I'm aware that the topic is Syria and it wasn't my intention to hijack the thread. Simply wanted to point out to brian's erroneous perception that NATO used Al Quaeda to destroy Yugoslavia. Who ever knew or heard about Al Quaeda prior to 2001? Yugoslav war started in 1991 and the propaganda that eventually led to the war started many years before, around 1984, perhaps earlier. Slobodan Milosevic tok over Serbia in a party coup in 1987. The timeline of events speaks for itself. It doesn't say everything, but at least it clarifies which causes could possibly lead to which effects and which couldn't.

Posted by: nix | Sep 5 2012 19:43 utc | 105

Using War as an Excuse for More War
Srebrenica Revisited
by DIANA JOHNSTONE

From the the U.N. Secretary General’s 1999 Report on Srebrenica, it emerges that the idea of a "Srebrenica massacre" was already in the air at a September 1993 meeting in Sarajevo between Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic and members of his Muslim party from Srebrenica.

On the agenda was a Serb proposal to exchange Srebrenica and Zepa for some territories around Sarajevo as part of a peace settlement.

"The delegation opposed the idea, and the subject was not discussed further. Some surviving members of the Srebrenica delegation have stated that President Izetbegovic also told them he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible, but could only occur if the Serbs were to break into Srebrenica, killing at least 5,000 of its people." (1)

Izetbegovic later denied this, but he is outnumbered by witnesses.

It is clear that Izetbegovic’s constant strategy was to portray his Muslim side in the bloody civil war as pure helpless victims, in order to bring U.S. military power in on his side

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5 2012 19:55 utc | 106

http://www.iacenter.org/bosnia/ciarole.htm

The CIA role in Bosnia

Another view of U.S. aims and U.S. involvement develops from reading the European press.

Here are some headlines from the British press:

"CIA agents training Bosnian army," The Guardian (Nov. 17, 1994)

"America’s secret Bosnia agenda," The Observer (Nov. 20, 1994)

"How the CIA helps Bosnia fight back," The European (Nov. 25, 1994)

"Allies facing split over Bosnia," The Independent (Nov. 12, 1994)

"Europe braces for more rows with U.S.," The Guardian (Nov.12, 1994)

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5 2012 19:58 utc | 107

Hubris here's some reading for ya (in Serbian):

Peter Maass


Peter Maass went to the Balkans as a reporter at the height of the nightmarish war there, but this book is not traditional war reportage. Maass examines how an ordinary Serb could wake up one morning and shoot his neighbor, once a friend--then rape that neighbor's wife. He conveys the desperation that makes a Muslim beg the United States to bomb his own city in order to end the misery. And Maass does not falter at the spectacle of U.N. soldiers shining searchlights on fleeing refugees--who are promptly gunned down by snipers waiting in the darkness. Love Thy Neighbor gives us an unflinching vision of a late-20th-century hell that is also a scathing inquiry into the worst extremes of human nature. Like Michael Herr's Dispatches (also available in Vintage paperback), it is an utterly gripping book that will move and instruct readers for years to come.

Peter Maas Love Thy Neighbor

Posted by: nix | Sep 5 2012 20:56 utc | 108

"hipsterscumbag, Serbian propaganda is not difficult to come across, it's rampant."

Obviously the Serbs were in full control of the British Press circa 1994. That damn Serb propaganda machine - it's sooooo all encompassing

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 5 2012 20:57 utc | 109

@brian: I was not fooled. I was there, dodging Serbian shells. ...Posted by: nix | Sep 5, 2012 10:09:00 AM | 74

oh well there we have it... he was there fighting the serbs..thus NIX was nixing yugoslavia in support of the US/NATO objective of fremoving one of the last free socoalist mixed states...how despicable...and you augment your sins by smearing Milosevic... and supporting the ruthless KLA

the serbs were there dogding NATO Shells, KLA terrorism, media Big Lies..and you cant see how this relates to the war on syria ? clueless you are

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 21:45 utc | 110

to reiterate../NIX and his ilk are supporting KLA terrorism..


as a reminder:

Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reportsTwo-year inquiry accuses Albanian 'mafia-like' crime network of killing Serb prisoners for their kidneys

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/14/kosovo-prime-minister-llike-mafia-boss

NIX sure knows how to pick em...for the record...syrians support the serbs not the KLA

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 21:49 utc | 111

'
Peter Maass went to the Balkans as a reporter at the height of the nightmarish war there, but this book is not traditional war reportage. Maass examines how an ordinary Serb could wake up one morning and shoot his neighbor, once a friend--then rape that neighbor's wife'

interesting fiction...and yes its not traditional war reportage...its called propaganda..as we know the western media has bene supporting the US/NATO wars from Yugoslavia thru Libya to syria

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 21:55 utc | 112

some useful comments re war on yugoslavia:

http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Crusade-Yugoslavia-Western-Delusions/product-reviews/158367084X/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0
name withheld, October 3, 2006
By been there, saw it - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions (Paperback)
As an intelligence officer from a NATO country who spent three long, and two short tours in Bosnia, I must say the information provided in this book is disturbingly accurate. While the first US and NATO troops on the ground (IFOR) at least made an attempt to present a neutral front, all semblance of neutrality went out the window with SFOR. SFOR was a blatant pro-Muslim, pro-Croatian force.

Several observations for other readers who disagree--what would be the reaction in the world press if Germany re-adopted the Nazi flag? Yet the Ustasa Nazi Croation flag is completely accepted and Serbs who were living in Croatia certainly remembered that flag. How is it that the world bastion of democracy-the United States-can directly intervene in a free and open election in the Republika Serpska and remove an elected president, Dr. Poplassen, and forceably install a corrupt US puppet. (this was witnessed first hand.) Enough venting; for people interested in purchasing this book, be prepared. The story told is not what you will remember from the press and is not US State Department approved. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse | Permalink
Comment Comment (1)

153 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collective guilt, August 1, 2003
By Tom (Australia) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions (Paperback)
Much has been said in times recent about the need for Serbs to come to terms with their collective guilt over the extreme violence surrounding the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. This book makes it abundantly clear that, as far as collective guilt is concerned, it's not the Serbs that should be in the dock.
The litany of lies and misinformation that was used to convince the clueless masses of the righteousness of the case against 'the Serbs' is quite astounding. The big lie technique to justify war is well known, and has been documented extensively elsewhere. However, this wasn't the case with the Balkans, where instead many many small lies were used effectively to create a smoke screen around the reality of the situation. These lies were, and still are, constantly and persistently perpetuated by a subservient media and presscorp, hungry for the gratuities earned from deceptions as gratuitous as the carnage they portray. Reports every bit as bad as that last sentence.

The small lie that convinced the world that the Serbs were the new Nazis, the so-called 'concentration camp' picture from Trnopolje.

The small lie, the Srebrenica massacre, that diverted the worlds attention from a massive piece of cognitive dissonance, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from the Croatian krajina. It's over 8 years now since the alleged genocide occured, and still the media persists in stating as fact, every time Srebrenica is mentioned, that 7000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Serbs, despite the evidence which is at best inconclusive, and at worst indicative of a grand deception. On the other hand, the media never seems to mention the krajina at all.

The small lie about the Croatian and Bosnian leaderships. Would the anti-Serb rhetoric have been so easily swallowed if we had known the truth about Tudjman and Izetbegovic?

All of these small lies worked so well because the vast majority of us corn sucking westerners have been so thoroughly depoliticized that we can only see conflicts in terms of human rights violations. Any political context goes straight out the window. This is a bizarre situation, because the first thing defenders of Empire say when confronted with western power atrocities is 'you've got to consider the political context.'

And when you only see, and are only told about one sides human rights violations, what else are you going to think.

Another irony to come from the Balkans conflicts is the ICTY, and it's relationship to the ICC. The US rejects the ICC because it believes that it will be used for political purposes. Well, duh! That's exactly the precedent set by the ICTY. The whole Milosevic situation, from indictment right through to the trial has been a string of political manipulations. My favourite one is the externally driven kidnapping of Milosevic, and extradition to the Hague, to undermine Kostunicas' credibility, and allow Djinjic (who never was concerned with credibility) to take the power.

This book, as the author states, is not the whole story, but it is a good primer. From this and several other books, and numerous essays on the subject (some of the most damning being from Bosnian Muslims and Croats), I'd say that interventionist westerners need to come to terms with their collective guilt
===========================

these days the media is in overdrive to justify US/NATO wars on sovereign state...what a pity foolish first worlders give them every effort of success

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 21:58 utc | 113

another apposite comment:

'Diana Johnstone's text is extraordinary. One of the main difficulties when dealing with social reality is that no one is neutral. When a particular point of view regarding any issue is supported by those who have the power to influence the flow of information, then the general understanding of that particular issue is biased. This is true for the bombing of Yugoslavia in particular, and for the general understanding of the whole conflict. The reason is that those with power to influence the flow of information had a strong motivation to do it -- putting it into context, US-led NATO needed a justification for their intervention, which in reality had more to do with building oil-pipelines, installing US military bases in Kosovo and control-reconstruct the area, and NATO credibility, than with anything regarding the conflict in Yugoslavia (for anyone who knows anything about politics this should be no surprise, a state act solely out of concern for its national interest). However, the bombing was rather catastrophic for people in Yugoslavia, even for Kosovo Albanians.

In any case, as Johnstone's book demonstrates with strong evidence and the use of reason (the hardest weapon against state propaganda), the US and NATO largely succeeded in their aims, demonizing Milosevic and the Serbs, and reducing the Yugoslav conflict to slogans -- such as the so-called "ethnic cleansing" of the Albanians in Kosovo, or the comparison of Serbs to Nazis and of Milosevic to Hitler. For anyone interested in understanding the conflict, those claims, although widely supported by the mass media in the West, are not only false but rather absurd, and its most immediate consequence is a generally biased understanding of the conflict. What Diana Johnstone does is to demonstrate this bias, widely supported by state propaganda and, surprinsingly, most of the mass media, and compare it with what, as far as evidence can take us, the reality of the Yugoslav conflict from as early as the XIVth century (in the case of Kosovo) through 2000. So, for anyome willing to reason about the conflict instead of following slogans, this is a great book to challenge mainstream accounts.
http://www.amazon.com/review/RTN47YCE5YTPH/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=158367084X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 22:08 utc | 114

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
― Malcolm X
“If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
― Malcolm X

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 22:09 utc | 115

good work HuBris...But the anonymous NIX has no intention of giving up his fantasies...hes telegraphing his nationality and political orientation

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2012 22:19 utc | 116

this is how the gringos showed their gratitude to the serbs [working for nato according to nix], for saving the ass of 500 gringo pilots in ww2
http://home.windstream.net/dwrighsr/a3820cf4d2861.html

Posted by: denk | Sep 6 2012 4:08 utc | 117

what CNNi refused to show and mentioned in Glenn Greenwalds Guardian article:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB2DeZBgTEk

the Greenwald article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/04/cnn-international-documentary-bahrain-arab-spring-repression

CCN has also responded...damage control mode! http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/05/cnn-internationals-response-to-the-guardian/
(barf bags advised for that!)

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2012 7:48 utc | 118


Syria 24 English shared a link via Syrian Air Force.
5 hours ago
Terrorists claim to have shot down a Syrian Su-35.
This is a truly amazing feat that should be commended given that the Syrian air force does not yet fly the Su-35. The terrorists have clearly surpassed the limits of space, time and even lo
gic.

Of course the ever credible Azerbaijani press relayed this amazing feat.

Soon the terrorists will shoot down Syrian F-22 and may even hit the Wright brothers on their first flight.

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/2061916.html

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2012 9:26 utc | 119

attack of of *trojans*

turkey
http://tinyurl.com/6v2tx3n

egypt
http://www.countercurrents.org/glazebrook050912.htm

Posted by: denk | Sep 6 2012 11:10 utc | 120

nix/niks/
Noun: Nothing.


Penny @97 "Those pieces were written by an American who worked hard to put that all together so you could "dismiss it" with ridicule and adhominem"

So if they were written by an American, it must be true? Bin Laden operating in Bosnia? Give me a friggin' break...

Did I say that? No,You did. That person put their time and effort into it. You didn't. You haven't offered anything of substance, just "appeal to authority" I was in Serbia! so you claim? But, what is your claim worth? Nothing.

- Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough 'jargon' and 'minutia' to illustrate you are 'one who knows', and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

You invoked authority almost immediately.

"If you could speak Serbian" Ah, but why assume I can't? So you can portray yourself as able and therefore superior? More authority.

"I thought people wanted truth- After reading here for a month....."


And that makes you a truth teller? Why invoke pity? I am such a victim

"Boy have YOU been fooled"

-Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents


If it talks like a disinfo agent then it must be....


Posted by: Penny | Sep 6 2012 12:40 utc | 121

http://www.iacenter.org/bosnia/us.htm
U.S. support for Croatian invasion of Krajina

In contrast to the storm of outrage in the media when the Serbs moved into the town of Srebrenica, there was no such coverage two weeks later when on Aug. 3, 1995, in a blitzkrieg attack, Croatian forces with U.S. backing launched the biggest and the bloodiest offensive in four years of civil war.

Within a week 200,000 new refugees were fleeing the Croatian army. However, there was no coverage of these old people being driven from their homes or the chaos of thousands fleeing the bombing of their villages. There was no sympathy and there was no talk of sanctions on Croatia. Secretary of State Warren Christopher declared that the crushing military offensive was "to our advantage."

Pentagon support amounted to far more than just a nod of approval. According to the London Independent of Aug. 6, 1995,

"The re-arming and training of Croatian Forces in preparation for the present offensive are part of a classic CIA operation: probably the most ambitious operation of its kind since the end of the Vietnam war."

The London Times of Aug. 5 reported that

"the rearming of Croatia remains one of the biggest untold stories of the Yugoslav war. American officials strenuously deny any involvement in this operation but the region is teeming with former generals who unconventionally chose the Balkans, rather than Florida, for their well-earned retirement."

"Safe areas" launching pads for U.S. war

On a daily basis news coverage in the U.S. refers to Serb violations of UN-declared "safe areas," six towns held by the Bosnian government and surrounded by Serb-held territory. This term reinforces the popular misconception that the "safe areas" are neutral, demilitarized, civilian havens removed from the civil war. U.S. military support has made this term a cynical fraud.

The excuse for every NATO bombing of the Bosnian Serb forces has been an alleged Serb attack on a "safe area." But it is U.S. military intervention that has made these "safe areas" unsafe. The "safe areas" are really staging areas for U.S.-backed Bosnian army offensives against the Bosnian Serb forces.

UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali confirmed this in a report to the UN Security Council on May 30, 1995 (UN Document S/1995/444):

"In recent months [the U.S.-backed Bosnian] government forces have considerably increased their military activity in and around most safe areas, and many of them, including Sarajevo, Tuzla and Bihac, have been incorporated into the broader military campaign of the [Bosnian] government’s side.

"The headquarters and the logistics installations of the Fifth Corps of the [Bosnian] government army are located in the town of Bihac and those of the Second Corps in the town of Tuzla.

"The government also maintains a substantial number of troops in Srebrenica (in this case a violation of a demilitarization agreement), Gorazde and Zepa, while Sarajevo is the location of the General Command of the government army and other military installations. There is also an ammunition factory in Gorazde.

"The Bosnian Serb forces’ reaction to offensives launched by the [U.S.-backed Bosnian] government army from safe areas have generally been to respond against military targets within those areas."

=========

Those sneaky Serbian Propagandists - the get everywhere! - they even managed to subvert the "Independent" Newspaper in 1995, AND the Office of UN Secretary General, with their sneaky Serb Propaganda

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 6 2012 13:43 utc | 122

nix, seems to be common knowledge, this here is from the British Daily Telegraph

"He was born in Kuwait to a family from the Pakistani region of Baluchistan, returning to Pakistan as a teenager and then studying at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in the US where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986.

In the late 1980s he moved to Peshawar in Pakistan from where he fought with his three brothers alongside Osama bin Laden against the Russians in Afghanistan.

After the end of the war, Mohammed, like many of the Afghan fighters, moved on to the war in Bosnia. "

You seem to have a problem with logic - if a lies in one instance and b shares common traits with a then b must lie too would not hold up in any court neither would any straight thinking person believe it.

Having been to a place does not mean knowing anything about a place, so?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2012 16:14 utc | 123

while I don't claim to be an expert in Politics, but being inside Syria, living in the suburbs of Damascus, one of the most dangerous areas concerning the leadership of the Syrian Army leaders in Damascus because of the geographic location, all that gives me a somehow better look at things.
while Media reports seem to be Vague about Military operations, we see the results on the ground, in our day-to-day life.
Soldiers on Military check points, although cautious, they are more relaxed as a result of the operations executed by the Army inside the little towns and cities of Damascus suburbs.
and because of the insugents' behavioral deadly mistakes, many of the religious inhabitants of the subrubs are changing their view of the whole thing, and there has been many cases were previous supporters of the insurgents have reported FSA members and locations.
On the other hand, insurgents in Aleppo are losing huge areas they had influence on, and the losses in Men and Amo is beyond tolerable, which is also causing a Major breakdown in Morale for FSA fighters.
as you've already mentioned, Lebanese and Jordanian borders are almost completely closed, and almost all attempts to smuggle weapons end up under the control of the Syrian Army troops guarding the borders.
I believe the Syrian Army is successfully suffocating the insurgents in Aleppo, as the northern suburbs of Aleppo (reaching to Turkey) are being monitored carefully, and not a day goes by that we don't get reports of attacking reinforcements for the insurgents.
as for the city Homs, the insurgents are literally trapped in a very small part of the city, while the suburbs of Homs (biggest gerographic part of Syria) are being hit hard by the Syrian Army, leving only a few places for insurgents to be able to operate from (these places are definitely being monitored).
my personal expectations (according to what we see on the ground) are that once the Army has officially finished their operations in Aleppo (Please remember that the Army is also practising some sort of Mental war, announcing "WIDE operations" every day, while the activities remain calculated and very careful), Homs should also be done by then, which means the Army will be moving North to Aleppo, covering all the suburbs reaching to the Turkish Borders, while some of the bregades will be heading east to inforce order in Der El-Zor.
according to the speed at which the Army is moving around the country, I believe the Army will be able to finalize this whole operation even before the American Presidential elections start.
That will be a very important leverage in any future negotiations U.S (and allies) may have with the Syrian Regime (and allies), which will be a practical negotiation between the western Allies (U.S, France, UK... etc) and the new international Line up (Russia, China, Iran, India, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa... etc).
I'll come again with another comment about this "innocence of Muslims" movie and what it means at this very specific time.

Posted by: Mazen | Sep 16 2012 12:06 utc | 124

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