Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 12, 2012

Obama Issues Scud Propaganda For War On Syria

Michael Gordon, famous for writing Iraq WMD scare stories together with Judith Miller, is again willingly distributing administration scare stories and to promote a new war: Syria Fires Scud Missiles at Insurgents, U.S. Says
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have fired Scud missiles at rebel fighters in recent days, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday.
One American official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing classified information, said that missiles had been fired from the Damascus area at targets in northern Syria.

“The total is number is probably north of six now,” said another American official, and that the targets were in areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army, the main armed insurgent group.

I call that bullshit. There have been no reports on Scud impacts from the terrorists fighting the Syrian government and people. Martin Chulov, who currently reports for the Guardian from northern Syria, tweeted:
No word of this in the north: US says #Syria Fires Scud Missiles at Insurgents #news
Are we to believe that the Syrian government uses Scuds against the terrorists without any casualties being reported and without even one rumors on the ground over such alleged shooting and their impacts?

Like with the false WMD scare over Iraq and recent false chemical weapon mixing claims in Syria the British government is joined at the hip with the U.S government and propagandist Michael Gordon in distributing this scam:

British officals said intelligence reports indicated that the regime first fired a Scud missile on Monday and the firing has continued.

This is just more nonsense from those who want to get NATO to fight a regime-change war against Syria.

Some 70 bribed and pressed nations, the "enemies of Syria", are currently meeting in Marrakesh and the U.S. wants them to recognize the sectarian Muslim Brotherhood exiles it has organized as a Syrian opposition and to pay up for the continuation of the terror operation against the Syrian people.

Also today the German parliament discusses the stationing of Patriot missiles in Turkey. The final vote will be Friday. What better way to influence that than claiming that Syria shot off some missiles.

There is also bad news for the U.S. plans that this propaganda may cover up. A huge car bomb went off in front of the Syrian interior ministry again confirming that the Syrian government is indeed fighting against terrorists. This while the U.S. created puppet exiles group demanded that the U.S. designation of Jabhat al Nusra as a terrorist group be taken back:

The leader of the National Coalition, cleric Moaz al-Khatib, also criticised a US decision to put an Islamist militia active in Syria on its list of banned terrorist organisations.
Doesn't make that demand the "National Coalition" supporter of terrorists?

Lets hope that no one falls for Obama's obvious Scud propaganda.

Posted by b on December 12, 2012 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

next page »

And the US has indeed recognized the NATO council in Cairo as the 'legit' reps of the Syrian people

US recognizes and more

as was expected

Obama doesn't have to convince NATO to attack Syria
He only has to say when

Posted by: Penny | Dec 12 2012 18:09 utc | 1

Lendman sums up the state of affairs regarding western war making towards Syria:

Syria: Tightening the Noose

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 18:46 utc | 2

Unless friendly bombs has taken on even more Orwellesque names, you mean "hugh car bomb" not "huge care bomb".

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Dec 12 2012 19:29 utc | 3

If Michael Gordon is a known propagandist, then he likely knows some warm sources in the Administration (even with Dennis Ross gone) who will give him an anonymous scare quote that will fit the Israel Lobby's agenda. There are still many neocon and neolib political appointees throughout the Executive branch.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 12 2012 19:32 utc | 4

@ASKOD - thanks - corrected

These sources seem more reliable to me: Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

The Syrian sources would not identify the weapons or where they came from, but they indicated they were the kind of arms that could have a dramatic impact in the fight against Assad's military.
One Syrian rebel fighter, who did not want to be named, said he attended a training course in Jordan and that the training was not led by uniformed Western soldiers, but rather by men in plainclothes who spoke several different dialects of Arabic. This suggests the trainers may have been private contractors, who are sometimes used by the U.S. for training and assembly of sophisticated weaponry. The rebel fighter also said members of the Jordanian military attended the training sessions.

The source said he and about 25 others took part in the course. He said a handful of rebel groups fighting inside Syria each sent a few men to the training.

Another source said hundreds of men have done the training in the past two to three months.

These two sources — along with two other sources (none of whom wanted to be named) — said it was their impression that the sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons are present in Jordan and could be transferred into Syria at any time.

"You have to unite first," a source quoted one American as saying during a training session. The reference is to disparate rebel groups fighting in Syria who don't follow a clear chain of command.

"They want us to have structures. It's all about structures," said a second source, a Syrian army officer who defected and comes from a prominent family.

This same source said uniformed U.S. military officials regularly meet with Syrian defectors to discuss military planning. He said the current debate centers around whether rebel fighters should first seize the southern Syrian region of Dera'a, just across the border from Jordan, before making a march to the Syrian capital, Damascus, just an hour's drive away.

Posted by: b | Dec 12 2012 19:33 utc | 5

well the New York Times says so quoting a "Obama administration officials" however

spokesperson Carney cannot confirm

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2012 19:37 utc | 6

and only minutes later... here it comes

it's a german link and paper, but i guess you can read the headline even if you don't understand any.

Posted by: peter radiator | Dec 12 2012 20:11 utc | 7

Der Spiegel has the same sort of subservient relationship to zionist/Israeli interests as the NYT does. Both should be registered as an entity representing a foreign power in their respective countries of operation.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 20:18 utc | 8

What's wrong with using rockets in an insurgency? As in Afghanistan? Here General Allen visits rocket troops in Parwan.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 12 2012 20:22 utc | 9

agree, vot tak, Spiegel is a typical source for planted news (as is the New York Times)
and Reuters - in this case quoting "US and NATO officials"

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2012 20:48 utc | 10

gets funnier - the Wall Street Journal adds a new twist

WASHINGTON—The Syrian government has fired Scud missiles at targets inside Syria in recent days, U.S. officials said Wednesday, a development some saw as a sign of an escalating battle.

A U.S. official said there have been no confirmed casualties from the missile strikes and the American government hasn't determined why forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched the weapons.

The Scuds were fired from Damascus into northern Syria. Some officials played down the significance of the weapons, saying Mr. Assad's intent was unclear.

Chemical weapons could be loaded onto Scuds, but there is no evidence that Mr. Assad was testing the missiles for that purpose, the official said.

The regime also could have just been firing the Scuds to scare Syrian rebels or signal its intent to use tougher tactics.

"Why? For what purpose? What does it mean? Those type of things go to intent and you have to get inside Assad's head and that is hard," said the U.S. official.

The Obama administration has warned the Assad regime against using chemical weapons against his own people, so evidence that the Scuds were intended for the delivery of chemical weapons could lead to new steps by the U.S.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2012 20:53 utc | 11

To be fair - there are reports from Syria that one scud has been fired

Damascus Suburbs: Yabroud: regime forces fired a long-range Scud missile from battalion 78 and battalion 51 around the town of Nasiriyah, and the destination of the rockets is not determined so far

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2012 21:02 utc | 12


The Syrian Army surely has much more sophisticated Soviet-grade weaponry than scuds. The WSJ angle on the story gives a better clue to why this is a neocon plant. Not only does this story advance the possibility of R2P engagement over alleged "tests" for using chemical weapons, it also brings back the scary memories of scuds that Sadaam used against Israel in the 1st Gulf War (which could have carried chemical weapons but didn't). This is incredibly stupid propaganda, worthy of the "f***ing stupidest guy in Washington." Even if Feith is no longer at the Pentagon, there must be a few Israel Lobby mouthpieces in the administration. No wonder it's off the record.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 12 2012 21:13 utc | 13

So what, it's a war, they could send exploding sheep, what's the problem?

Posted by: Tod | Dec 12 2012 21:15 utc | 14

The term Scud has an especially potent propaganda value to western audiences. It was Iraqi Scuds that were fired into Israel during the first Gulf war and the use of the Scud as the ultimate evil weapon was deeply impregnated upon the western psyche by the occupied media at that time. Since then, the mere mention of Scud sends shivers of horror and fear among western audiences.

The use of these missiles to attack Syrian targets is a ludicrous proposal. The missiles have a 500-700 km range and are ballistic. That means they travel up out of the earth's atmosphere (or at least in the very upper region) and then return, which makes them useless for close range use. They are designed to hit targets 100s of km away. Syria has plenty of artillery rockets designed to hit closer range targets in its arsenal. These are designed to be used like tube artillery and this is the only sort of use the Syrian government could use rocketry in this conflict. If they were going to use rockets, they would use their artillery rockets. The Scuds are for use against foreign countries in a nation against nation war - like Saddam used them.

The occupied media uses the term Scud because it knows this will propagandise the western public a lot more than if they talked about artillery rockets. They'd have no story to hype/invent if they talked about the latter weapons.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 21:21 utc | 15

Looking for info on the Syrian missile inventory, I stumbled upon this document:

Minimizing Dangers Posed by Syria's Military Assets During and After The Current Civil Turmoil
Testimony of Leonard S. Spector[1] Before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, July 19, 2012.

Background material for an obviously planned war.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 21:24 utc | 16

The US rocket system I linked to in my #8 above, that General Allen is so proud of, is the HIMARS which has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) is the newest member of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family. HIMARS is a highly-mobile artillery rocket system offering the firepower of MLRS on a wheeled chassis. HIMARS was developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control under an advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) programme, placed in 1996.

In addition to the standard MLRS round, HIMARS is capable of launching the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket and all future variants. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one army tactical missile system (ATACMS) missile.

The extension of the rocket motor has resulted in a reduction in the payload to 518 M85 grenades, but the dispersion of the grenades is improved for better effectiveness with fewer grenades.

M85 grenades have another name -- cluster bombs -- which some narrow-minded anti-Americans want to ban. In the past there have been large numbers of unexploded M85 submunitions that have failed to detonate as designed and failed to self-destruct afterwards. In effect these submunitions are more dangerous than other types because the self destruct mechanism makes them more problematic to deal with. Children are attracted to them, and then suffer grievous injuries when the explode.

Michael Gordon probably didn't notice.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 12 2012 21:42 utc | 17

One American official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing classified information

This "American official" is illegally leaking classified information, which is why he doesn't want to be identified. I think the FBI should get on this case immediately to find out who it is, and in the meantime lock up Michael Gordon in Leavenworth, along with PFC Manning, for publishing it. That goes for "another American official" also.

I'm not even sure we should be discussing it, but what else to barflies have to do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 12 2012 21:55 utc | 18

Bottalk @ 14

"The term Scud has an especially potent propaganda value to western audiences."

How right you are
Just put this up in the comment section at my place


It was not immediately clear why Assad's forces would deploy Scuds, which can have a range of up to a few hundred km and are best-known internationally from the 1991 Gulf War when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein fired them at Israel.

wash, rinse, repeat
It's always the same old, same old

Posted by: Penny | Dec 12 2012 22:16 utc | 19

#14 вот так

Exactly. That's what I was thinking and it seems very obvious that one would not fire inaccurate and furthermore expensive and rare rockets at some sneaker-rebel hideout if you can go there any other way (aircraft, artillery, whatever).
But exactly as you said "scud vs patriot" that sounds familiar so John Doe doesn't need to think about but only remember what he already "knows".

Posted by: peter radiator | Dec 12 2012 22:19 utc | 20

@ askod [#3]

Q: I call bullshit

R: wonder how that sounds on the phone... :o)

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 12 2012 22:30 utc | 21


"scud vs patriot"

Yeah, they are installing Patriots, they're gonna need some Scuds to shoot at. I hadn't thought about the Patriot-Scud "hook". Introducing Scuds into the propaganda might be their way to introduce Patriots firing into Syrian airspace later. Good spot.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 22:30 utc | 22

@ Rusty Pipes [#12]

Q: The WSJ angle on the story gives a better clue to why this is a neocon plant.

R: Why not call a bull a bull? Do not trust rags run by Jews when it comes to the M.E. Uh-oh... Not PC? Scuds are [ancient duds] for large/r, static targets. The opposite of the supposedly fluid, Syrian guerrilla hordes.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 12 2012 22:37 utc | 23

The latest Israeli-American terrorist bombing in Damascus was a major criminal attack. One can imagine the sick smile on Hitlery's face.

12 people killed, several others wounded in Damascus blasts

Recognizing Syria terrorists will not change military equations: Iran cmdr.

"A senior Iranian commander says recognizing the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SNCROF) by the US will not change military equations in favor of foreign forces.

Deputy Chairman of the Iranian Armed Forces' Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said Wednesday that the recognition of Syrian terrorists by the US once again shows the terrorist nature of the American regime.

“Syrians know their enemies well and [consider] resistance against and countering the US and its allies [necessary for] their independence and freedom,” the Iranian commander added."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 22:37 utc | 24

@ BOT TAK [#14]

Q: Since then, the mere mention of Scud sends shivers of horror and fear among western audiences.

R: My testicles cringe a little and say 'Bullocks.' That's about it.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 12 2012 22:42 utc | 25

Very interesting new development:

Damascus issues arrest warrant for Lebanon’s Hariri

"The First Attorney General in the Syrian capital city, Damascus, Mohammed Marwan al-Loji has issued arrest warrants for Hariri as well as another Lebanese lawmaker Uqab Saqr, Syria's official news agency SANA reported on Wednesday.

In a statement Loji announced that the crimes committed by Hariri and Saqr are terrorist crimes which makes the two liable to the international law on terrorism.

He further stated that, Syria's Public Prosecution has been informed of evidence which reveal the involvement of Hariri and Saqr in providing money and arms to Syrian militants.

The Syrian official also stressed that, a public interest litigation will be filed against any person who is involved in terrorist acts in Syria.

The arrest warrants were issued a few days after reports were published indicating that Saqr had admitted to cooperating with foreign-backed militants in Syria.

Saqr is accused of deploying militants and weapons to Syria and recordings of his telephone conversations with militants in Syria were released recently.

Moreover, he had reportedly organized the abduction of 13 Lebanese pilgrims earlier in May and finally paid a certain amount of money to the kidnapping group to transfer the pilgrims to Turkey.

A number of Lebanese Islamic figures issued a statement on December 1 and highlighted Saqr and Hariri’s role in dispatching arms to militants in Syria.

The religious figures stressed that the move jeopardizes Lebanon’s internal stability and called on Lebanon’s Judiciary to adopt necessary measures and prosecute Saqr and Hariri."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 12 2012 22:43 utc | 26

@Daniel Rich #22

Do not trust rags run by rightwing Zionists. At one time, the WSJ was known for its crackpot editorial page and its crackerjack reporting. It's all crackpot now since the neocons have taken over.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 12 2012 23:42 utc | 27

At the top of the hour on NPR's ATC, Mara Liaison is reporting Scuds and truncating Jay Carney's ambiguous response to a White House confirmation. Sadly, such reporting at NPR is not limited to the rightwing Liaison.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 12 2012 23:46 utc | 28

Penny @n 1 -- Indeed, that's what Nobel Peace Prize presidents of the USA do! Make war, not peace.

BTW, how many wars has Obama launched on his own during his presidency? Yemen, or was that a continuation of a Bush war? Syria absolutely is his.

Where else?

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 13 2012 0:09 utc | 29

And here's Reuters' take. Anonymous NATO person saying, short-range scud-type, and Nuland talking "barrel bombs." What on earth are barrel bombs?:

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Scuds had been used.

In Brussels, a NATO official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said a number of "Scud-type" short-range ballistic missiles had been launched inside Syria in recent days.

"Allied intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets have detected the launch of a number of unguided, short-range ballistic missiles inside Syria this week," the official said.

"Trajectory and distance travelled indicate they were Scud-type missiles," the NATO official said.

NATO agreed last week to send Patriot anti-missile systems to alliance member Turkey to reinforce its air defenses and calm its fears of coming under missile attack, possibly with chemical weapons, from neighboring Syria.

The NATO official said the Syrian missiles had landed inside Syria and no missiles had hit Turkish territory. He said the Western alliance had no information about what casualties or damage the missiles had caused.

Asked if there was any evidence of Syrian use of chemical weapons, he said: "We have no information concerning the payload."

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Assad last week not to use chemical weapons against Syrian opposition forces, saying there would be unspecified consequences if he did so.

The United States, Germany and Netherlands have all agreed to send Patriot missiles to protect Turkey, but the missile batteries are not expected to arrive for several more weeks.

The New York Times, which initially reported Syria's use of the missiles, quoted one official as saying more than six had been fired at the rebels. Another official said the missiles had been launched from the Damascus area at targets in northern Syria, the Times said.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters they would not dispute the Times report.

Speaking separately, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, while not confirming the use of Scuds, said the United States has also been seeing the use of incendiary barrel bombs, which she said was "another egregious weapon" that was "completely indiscriminate in terms of civilians."

"As the regime becomes more and more desperate, we see it resorting to increased lethality and more vicious weapons moving forward," she told a State Department briefing.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 13 2012 0:13 utc | 30

Once again, all this shows is that the US and NATO and Israel are concerned over the very existence of Syrian missiles, as well as Hizballah missiles in Lebanon, and the entire Syrian crisis is over how to degrade Syrian and Hizballah missiles arsenals and military capability so as to better enable an Iran war.

The only way to do that is to have the US and NATO (and possibly Turkey and Israel) attack Syria with air strikes to destroy Syria's missile arsenal and launchers and more importantly its command and control capability, as well as enable Israel to attack Hizballah in both the south of Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.

This is the goal, this is the plan and it has been so all along despite any and all statements to the contrary by the US and NATO. They have been lying from day one about their intentions to attack Syria.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Dec 13 2012 0:14 utc | 31

Rusty Pipes @ 12 -- My first thought on merely hearing the words "SCUD missiles" was that the US is trying to gin up US public opinion with an even more obvious play by making the comparison of Assad to Saddam.


And, of course, the US dares to berate an attacked nation for using missiles against rebels/terrorists? When the US daily slams missiles into nations we have reason for ever flying over, because there "might" be terrists somewhere on those nations' territories?

The double standards, the hypocrisy, is so obvious, yet they go on with it and the lapdog MCMers (members of the Mainstream Corporate Media) keep reporting it with great "seriousness."

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 13 2012 0:18 utc | 32

State's Nuland: "as the regime becomes more and more desperate . .it is resorting to increased lethality and more vicious weapons" and that now includes " use of another egregious weapon, this kind of barrel bomb."

Nuland likes "egregious" -- past such utterances have included
-one of the most egregious and disgusting cover-ups
-egregious abuses that the regime is exacting on its people.
-the most egregious and horrific violence we've seen exacted
-who has egregiously violated its international commitments
-suffer from egregious violations of their human rights.


MS. NULAND: We talked about this a little bit yesterday, Jill. I think that I was able to confirm yesterday what we had said to you on background in our conference call that as the regime becomes more and more desperate, we see it resorting to increased lethality and more vicious weapons moving forward. And we have in recent days seen missiles deployed. I’m not going to comment, because it’s going to take me into intelligence, in terms of precise kinds of missiles. I would also say that we’re seeing use of another egregious weapon, this kind of barrel bomb, which is an incendiary bomb that contains flammable materials. It’s sort of a napalm-like thing, and it’s completely indiscriminate in terms of civilians, so very, very concerning and indicative of the regime’s desperation and the regime’s brutality.

So look for barrel bomb in the NYTimes. Chemical weapons are so yesterday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 0:21 utc | 33

Arrest Hariri. I love it! I can see Hariri right now sitting with a wahabee prince, shooting heroin. That coward won't even enter Lebanon. What a disgrace of a man.

Posted by: Hilmi Hakim | Dec 13 2012 0:22 utc | 34

@ RSH 29 -- [attack Syria with air strikes] is the goal, this is the plan

So why haven't they done it, in your view? What are they waiting for?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 0:23 utc | 35

вот так @ 14 -- The MCM uses the term SCUD because their government minders told them to use it.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 13 2012 0:28 utc | 36

@31 is egregious worse than unacceptable? They both cause outrage.

Posted by: dh | Dec 13 2012 0:32 utc | 37

Landis on NPR's All Things Considered this evening.

Syrian air force afraid to fly due to shoulder fired missiles. Syria running out of munitions. Syria resorting to TNT bombs, dropping mines designed for oceans from helicopters, and using nail filled bombs.

Serious discussion, with interviewer contributing a few of the non-traditional bomb mentions.

So, where'd he get that info? Never mentioned.

OMG, we must be going to war because when the MCM jumps the shark like this, the war is usually baked in the oven and just needs the "reason" to send in US troops. Or drones, air force, etc.

Transcript should be up tomorrow.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 13 2012 0:46 utc | 38

One Syria "weapons expert" is UK-based (of course) Brown Moses. He has been quoted by FP and it's no surprise when he's quoted by others who are trying to build a case. On his site you will see the naval mines, incendiary bombs and Grad missiles as a part of Syria's "escalation" because of "desperation."

Of course even if true this is far below the US level of "shock and awe" devastation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 1:06 utc | 39

Brown Moses's real name is Eliot Higgins.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 1:09 utc | 40

@Don Bacon #31

Nuland appears to be going off-message by mentioning napalm:

I would also say that we’re seeing use of another egregious weapon, this kind of barrel bomb, which is an incendiary bomb that contains flammable materials. It’s sort of a napalm-like thing, and it’s completely indiscriminate in terms of civilians, so very, very concerning and indicative of the regime’s desperation and the regime’s brutality.

When trying to demonize Assad for the American public, you'd think Administration officials would avoid mentioning weapons like napalm that call to mind American Vietnam atrocities (not to mention Israel's use of DIME in Gaza). It's harder to type them as egregious "others" when you raise images that parallel "us."

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 13 2012 1:20 utc | 41

Brown Moses is a weapons fetishist. He sits on Twitter all day retweeting activists tweets and calls it news and analysis. I've never seen anything quite like it. Check his Twitter feed sometime for a good laugh

Posted by: revenire | Dec 13 2012 1:23 utc | 42

On the Scuds it does seem a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. I would doubt Scuds would be effective against a guerilla force but you never know (if the rebels have seized a few of those ghost towns around Damascus).

On the topic of Scuds the most prominent use I can think of was the "War of the Cities" during the Iran-Iraq war between Baghdad and Tehran. Baghdad fired so much Scud-B missiles that 2,000 Tehran residents were killed. Iran responded by buying Hwasong-5s, a SCUD varient, from North Korea and launching them at Baghdad.

Like most I don't see any moral outrage at using SCUD's. If you are sitting at your computer and a US cruise missile drops in through your roof, you are likely dead.... If you are sitting at your computer and a SCUD missile drops in through your roof, you are likely just as dead. Hard to argue that one is moral and one is immoral. In short bombs are bombs, they all do the same thing.

The only area morality comes in is who you are aiming the bombs at. Sounds like Damascus is firing them at the front lines of the rebel advance (in short Military targets). I read on this site earlier today that the FSA packed 200 Alawites into a building and fired mortars at it (civilian targets).

Finally don't know if this was mentioned already, but anyone think the SCUD line is being promoted to defend the deployment of Patriots in Turkey. Patriots can down SCUDs.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 13 2012 1:29 utc | 43

@jawbone --

BTW, how many wars has Obama launched on his own during his presidency? Yemen, or was that a continuation of a Bush war? Syria absolutely is his.

Syria is a continuation of what was started under Bush, with the attempt to frame Syria for Hariri's death (and the many different stages of that effort) as well as the ground work among dissidents/insurgents that Sy Hersh was talking about in 2007.


My first thought on merely hearing the words "SCUD missiles" was that the US is trying to gin up US public opinion with an even more obvious play by making the comparison of Assad to Saddam.

Any day now, I'm expecting allegations that Bashar's oldest boy is a sadist who has lifesize pornographic pictures of Sasha and Malia on his wall.


Landis on NPR's All Things Considered this evening.

Syrian air force afraid to fly due to shoulder fired missiles. Syria running out of munitions. Syria resorting to TNT bombs, dropping mines designed for oceans from helicopters, and using nail filled bombs.

Serious discussion, with interviewer contributing a few of the non-traditional bomb mentions.

So, where'd he get that info? Never mentioned.

The most disturbing part about Siegel's interview with Landis is that the centrist analysis is used as a counterbalance to McEvers' preceding report in which she introduced someone from WINEP as simply a critic of Jihadis. After 20 months of a conflict in which terrorism has always been a component, the US finally acknowledges that one of the factions, Al Nusrah, is Al Qaeda aligned and all NPR can do is interview one of the organs of the Israel Lobby which has been insinuating that all Muslims are terrorists (without even identifying WINEP as part of the Israel Lobby)?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 13 2012 1:47 utc | 44

@ Rusty Pipes 39

Well I agree with you. One of the aspects that really flips my bic is that the US can do whatever in foreign countries, destroying people like they're squirrels, and call it counter-insurgency, when the US is really defending a military occupation and a puppet government, but when a government (like Syria) encounters a real challenge and uses 1/10 of the killing power the US uses it's somehow a crime against humanity. The US has regularly used napalm, cluster bombs and WP. In Fallujah, Iraq: "Medical staff and others reported seeing people, dead and alive, with melted faces and limbs, injuries consistent with the use of phosphorous bombs."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 1:48 utc | 45


"but anyone think the SCUD line is being promoted to defend the deployment of Patriots in Turkey."

It was mentioned. See #19.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 13 2012 1:52 utc | 46

Syria is a continuation of what was started under Bush

That's the way to look at it. At least the US, give it credit, has linked al-Nusrah directly to the al-Qaeda the US, intentionally or not, brought to power in Iraq. It's a direct consequence of Operation Iraqi Fiasco which was started under Bush, yes, but was a fully bipartisan affair.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 1:55 utc | 47

Never has the media including Landis, FP, Gordon, Miller, Nuland or anybody in the US has such a deep concern with the use of certain weapons, egregious and otherwise. Certainly they've never had this concern about US weapons, from the one ton bombs dropped by B-2 bombers (e.g. Libya) on down the scale to white phosphorous and cluster bombs. On one level it's amusing. On another level it's totally inhumane.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 2:03 utc | 48

Obomber sponsoring another terror group [totally off topic - sorry. Just very much po]:

After Deadly Siege in Gaza, US to Restock Israeli Munitions Israel continues its retaliation over Palestinian observer status

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

The U.S. Department of Defense stated this week that it will now replenish all of the munitions used by Israel in its recent eight day siege on Gaza, which lead to the deaths of over 180 Palestinians and hundreds of injuries—a large portion being children.

The DoD notified Congress on Monday of the $647 million deal with Israel to restock the Israel Air Force (IAF) with munitions used in the over one thousand bombings conducted during the "Operation Pillar of Defense" on Gaza last month. Congress is expected to approve the deal this week.

The DoD said the deal includes roughly 7,000 Joint Attack Munitions kits, and 10,000 bombs of various kinds, mostly bunker-buster bombs, including 1,725 BLU-109 bunker-buster bombs, and 3,450 GBU-39 bunker-buster bombs.

In addition to the large amount of civilian casualties, the assault on Gaza also destroyed roughly 8,000 buildings and roughly $1.2 billion in infrastructural damage, according to Palestinian officials.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials announced Wednesday that it will now withhold needed tax revenues from the Palestinian administration in the West Bank for at least four months in retaliation for the Palestinians' bid for observer status at the UN this month. The December funds transfer was already withheld.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 13 2012 2:54 utc | 49

One American official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing classified information, is making headlines.

LA Times, Dec 12
U.S. official: Syrian government fired Scud missiles at rebels

WASHINGTON -- The Syrian government has fired half a dozen Scud missiles at insurgents in recent days, a U.S. official said Wednesday. . .White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he could not confirm the reports that Scud missiles had been used.

It's not the US or Obama making the claim.Only one American official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing classified information, with an unconfirmed claim makes the headlines. Journalism at its worst. It can't get worse than this. Can it?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 3:29 utc | 50

Damn. What a shame we haven't had a major attack on a North American urban center that the assholes in DC can blame on Assad. Where the fuck is Dick Cheney when we need him?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 13 2012 3:33 utc | 51

But the NYTimes incorrectly transformed this into "U.S. Says," so eager are they to lie. The "U.S. says" tag should NEVER be used for comments from "American officials" who refuse to identify themselves. But see, they cover THAT with "who asked not to be identified because he was discussing classified information."

They probably have joint training for these crap, including "government officials" and "journalists."

The mission of American public diplomacy is to support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world.

Now here's how to implement "American public diplomacy."
1. concoct a story - the Pentagon can help
2. contact our newspaper friends -- you know who they are. Or go HERE for a list.
3. Give them the false --er new-- information
4. Tell them you can't ID yourself b/c "it's classified information"
5. Pick up your bonus check, and put the next White House dinner on your social calendar

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 3:47 utc | 52

Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford speaking, Dec 12
It's President Assad's fault that AQ is in Syria. . .

The Assad regime’s brutality has created an environment inside Syria that al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) is working hard to exploit.

. . .and the terrorists aren't responsible for violence . .
I want to be clear: President Assad and his inner circle bear the overwhelming responsibility for the violence that continues to escalate inside of Syria.

. . .so stop that rebel support for al-Nusrah . .
We call on all responsible actors to speak out against and distance themselves from al-Nusrah Front

. . .because the resolved fat cats are demonstrating. . .
This week’s Friends of the Syrian People meeting hosted by the Government of Morocco will demonstrate the international community’s growing resolve

. . .and we want you to remember, in spite of ther victories, AQ is bad.
This is your revolution, your country, and your future – not al-Qa’ida’s.

. . .that's it folks, from my Cairo penthouse.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 4:12 utc | 53

NYTimes is peddling the lie that alwaite massacre was committed by alawites.

Posted by: nikon | Dec 13 2012 8:11 utc | 54

AP has quoted the Russian deputy foreign minister as saying that the "rebels" might win. It is all over mainstream media.

What he said in fact was this:

Moscow has admitted the possibility that the Syrian opposition may emerge victorious as government forces continue to lose more territory as the conflict rages on, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said. An opposition victory in Syria cannot be ruled out and Russia is working on plans to evacuate its citizens from the Middle Eastern nation if necessary, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin's special envoy for Middle East affairs as saying on Thursday.

"One must look the facts in the face ... the regime and government in Syria is losing control of more and more territory," state-run RIA quoted the envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, as saying. "Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out."

Moscow warns Syria rebels could seize chemical weapons

Moscow has voiced concern that Syrian chemical weapons could fall into the hands of rebels and terrorists.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov warned Thursday of emerging terrorist hotbeds that had been sprouting throughout Syria and the Sinai Peninsula.

“Al-Qaeda extremists constitute a large part of the armed opposition forces,” he said, adding Syrian militants could and actually had already been seizing arms stockpiles.

In the long run, Mr. Bogdanov said, the same fate would befall the government’s chemical arsenal.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2012 11:34 utc | 55

And again, Russian diplomacy talks and talks and talks! I am sad to say this, but Russia seems to be a deceiving ally, looking to hold on to their effin naval base thru other means! And yeah, who knows what the US and Russia have been discussing in Geneva lately "Ill give u this, and ill take that!" DISGUSTING! Just more bloodshed, destruction and suffering for those who just happen to live in Syria! I dunno; but i hope in case Syria (as a state, i dont care about assad), i hope Iran, Hizb and the syrian military just go all out and fuck up some neighbooring countries, so they at least know what suffering means!!

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 12:11 utc | 56

in case syria falls to the hand of these western backed monsters ....

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 12:13 utc | 57

Sister of London bomb plotters jailed for possessing copies of al-Qaida magazine

What does this mean legally I wonder for politicians supporting "representatives of the Syrian people opposing the government" when these representatives ask them to reconsider its designation of an Al Queida affiliate as a terrorist group?
As a matter of fact politicians who recognize a representation that is fighting with an Al Queida affiliated group officially designed as terrorist?

56 I think Russia is telling "the West" that they endanger Israel if they do not pray for Assad to win.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2012 12:25 utc | 58

@58, well the thing is, some political analysts suggest Israel has all its interest for the Sinai to become a terrorist hotbed, so Israel has an excuse to invade the Sinai (multiple reasons), i even think one of these article has been relayed by MoA. As if Morsi was going do do ANYTHING about it! That muslim bro slides up and down the Ziofascist D@%#! sorry for my language, im just disgusted and desperate! Everything is just SO OBVIOUS!

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 12:42 utc | 59

59, possibly, however invading Sinai would officially mean the end of Camp David.

Somehow I doubt Israel would risk warm hostility with a population of 80 million when they cannot win in any meaningful way against less than 2 million in Gaza.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2012 12:55 utc | 60

Russia really couldn't have done any more than it already has done. Only Syrians can decide their fate. If the people of Syria are not prepared to fight for their Government, they have effectively chosen sides with the opposition, in which case they can only blame themselves for not preventing what is happening.

If Syrians are happy to see their country decimated in the process of getting a new head of State, with hundreds of thousands killed, then they're welcome to do so, but more fool them. They will have to go through those who wish to protect their present way of life.

Sure foreign extremists have entered the fray, but have only succeeded because the opposition supports them. If these are the sort of characters that the opposition sides itself with, and that the opposition really does represent the Syrian majority, then Syria isn't worth saving.

But the will of the people will prevail.

As a side note, however, I wonder if Russia would facilitate the creation of a breakaway republic along the mountains and down to the coast - A return to the Alawite state..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 13 2012 13:06 utc | 61

@61, i also have been thinking that way lately: If most Syrians are happy with this, well then, its not worth it! On the other hand, u cant say syrians support this rebellion (mostly islamofascists who use snackbaring as a means of comm. as can be heard in EVERY SINGLE rebel video), otherwise, Assad wld have gone down quicker! I think most of the Syrians are just scared about everything! They may well despise the Assad gov. which is understandable, but I think they fear at least as much those braindead fanatics! And this is why i think Russia is just way to soft!! As I said in another post: Its not too soon for them to say: Enough already! Al Kaida is taking over Syria, and we will help our ally to get rid of them!!!

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 13:23 utc | 62

6 scuds fired is meaningful?

Posted by: scottindallas | Dec 13 2012 13:46 utc | 63

But like I said, if the opposition supports such Islamist groups, then Russia would be imposing its will on these Syrians by intervening and purging the country of terrorists. Such is the integration between terrorist groups and the other elements that form the opposition that it would be viewed as an attack against the entire opponsition movement.

Besides, most mainstream media continues to portray the militants as anything but, uh, militants. Russia would be portrayed as propping up "a brutal regime" by killing civilians.

Sure, the US can launch two wars on the basis of defeating these groups and those who support them, but since when has the US cared about what a nation and its people want if they stand against its interests? And they're now paying for it with a nation that despises them and a hole in the pocket.

If more Syrians are prepared to fight for the Government than those fighting against it, Assad wouldn't be going anywhere. It's just desperately sad to watch.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 13 2012 14:11 utc | 64

This is what Russia & China could have done to save Syria.

They could have requested to be a major part of a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed on Syria's borders. The mission would have been to stop the infiltration of Libyan and other foreign Jihadists. Of course its too late for that. They could actually put their words into action even now. Why not say that the Syrian Govt has requested boots on the ground to protect civilian areas from terrorists like Nusra Front. In the end, I regret to say, Syria is not worth the sacrifice for Russia & China. These two major powers may be paving the way for the color revolutions ultimate destination: (Moscow & Beijing)

It seems to me they should have drawn the line on Syria. The next battle against zionist think tanks & ngos will be on Russian & Chinese soil. Putin should have been more wise.

Posted by: Hilmi Hakim | Dec 13 2012 15:15 utc | 65

They could have and should have vetoed unsc on Libya. That would have nipped all this in the bud. Qhadafi would have retaken benghazi and settled the matter back then. Without Libyan terrorists or money or weapons it is doubtful Al Qaida would have made much progress.

And even if NATO intervened in Libya anyway, any delay in terrorist victory there would have given Syria more breathing space.

Posted by: Lysander | Dec 13 2012 15:35 utc | 66

@ Pat Bateman

Only Syrians can decide their fate. If the people of Syria are not prepared to fight for their Government, they have effectively chosen sides with the opposition
If more Syrians are prepared to fight for the Government than those fighting against it, Assad wouldn't be going anywhere

There is more to it than that. Fighters are flooding in from all over the Middle East. As the US learned during the Iraq war, foreign fighters are an almost inexhaustable supply. It is not just a question of "If Assad falls it's because his people didn't fight for him" they have been fighting almost 2 years now.

But how do you fight against someone who can flood in thousands of new fighters every month, who has Saudi Arabian wealth buying them new supplies and well established logistical routes through neighbouring countries.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 13 2012 15:48 utc | 67

I hear today in RT that it is being claimed that some 60% of Syria is under the rebel control, and Russia has apparently said today that a rebel victory is possible but at an unacceptable cost.
The situation seems really gloomy...
If Syria falls, I am afraid we will witness armed gang infiltrations into Iran... It worked in Libya, if it works in Syria, I don't see why they shouldnt try the same method in Iran.

Posted by: pirouz_2 | Dec 13 2012 16:17 utc | 68

Today, the propaganda machines were in full operation. It was obvious to us that something was being built up. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister was misquoted in headlines couched in language suggesting Russia's surrender to NATO machinations. If you read the articles, all Mr. Bogdanov says is that the Syrian government is losing control of some parts of the country and that "it is possible" that the opposition might win. Instead of reading his statements as speculation, they are offered to an audience as headlines conclusively heralding Russia's abandonment of Dr. Assad.

Sergei Lavrov announced clearly that the United States has violated its agreement under the Geneva Declaration; that NATO is, in fact, directly involved in fighting in Syria. This is basically a declaration of war. Iran's forces will soon begin pouring across Iraq to begin the much-anticipated process of exterminating the Jihadist garbage infesting Syria. You see Iran is not only fighting for it's survival but it is also fighting the survival of Shiaism, the protection of it's holy shrines and mosques. This cannot be allowed to happen.

This is the much vaunted Mayan Night Wave, the victory of Islam and Rus against the Khazars and their Islamic and Christian mercenaries. Time is very short indeed.

Posted by: hans | Dec 13 2012 16:46 utc | 69

Kalimbour, Pat, Lysander, Pirouz et al.

All this is just an escalation in the media warfare to give the impression that Syrian govt. is loosing control and given what the war mongers have been drip feeding the media over the last week or so (patriot missles in Turkey, charges of possible chemical weapons and scud missle usage). It is the next logical sequence of event they will peddly - Syrian govt has lost control of 60% of the country - which means - Nato needs to go in and secure the chemical weapons as it may go in to the worng hands (Al-Qaeda).

The role of Russia and China is only good in the diplomatic front - physically they had no plan to do anything to protect Syria - the Russians have said this along. What matters in Syria more importantly is the regional behemoth - Iran. Iran will support the Syrian state against the Axis powers (US/EU), their local vassal states and the various terrorist groups thats allied with them. They have declared a mini world war against another member of the Axis of Resistance - 2006 Hezbollah - hezbollah endured. 2009 Gaza - Hamas endured. 2012 Gaza - Hamas endured (because Iran provided the weapons to fight Isreal, whilst the Arabs and Turks were busy watching and talking). Since 2011 - they have been attacking the Syrian govt. And they will survive this through ENDURANCE and Resssitance. No one will invade Syria openly - the USA will not risk an hot war with iran for Syria. What we are now seeing is the begining of whats happened in Lebanon. There will be years of slow pain and bloodshed as this plot of the Axis Powers is defeated. As the next project for the Turks and the Gulf Arabs is taking back iraq - after losing it to Iran. The same patterns as in Syria is already there.

Posted by: Irshad | Dec 13 2012 17:01 utc | 70

The propaganda machine has been in full motion from the onset.


As I understand it, 75% of Syria is barren wasteland. I am yet to see any proof of rebel controlled areas that are anything more than ruinous ghost ghettos or where farm animals make up the majority of the population.


Fair point. That being said, the ultimate aim of rebel supporters must then be the destruction of Syria. It's clearly not about democracy - Bahrain showed us that. If an armed victory is only achieved through foreign fighters, it is a misrepresentation of what Syrians really want. Rebel supporters will be defeated by Syrians at the polls. They must be aware of this...unless Syrians are only given a choice between head of the Syrian National Council and the head of the Syrian National Coalition..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 13 2012 17:03 utc | 71

In less then 2 years, the Gulf Arabs/EU with the blessing of USA provided the terrorists figthing the Syrian state with all type of weapons including MANPADS. Iran never provided this (in sufficient numbers/quality - if it even did) to the Taliban in Afganstan or the Iraqi resistance. Expect this taboo to be broken, as PKK suddenly start uploading videos of their MANPADs in action in Turkey, and the Taliban starts shooting down helicopters in Afhnaistan, just as the US is planning a mass evacuation.

Whats good for the goose is good for the gander!

Posted by: Irshad | Dec 13 2012 17:07 utc | 72

This is not about Shiah-Sunni split in Syria - most Sunnis - I will argue - prefer the current govt. in Syria then what the Jihadist terrorist got to offer, which is basically Taliban Afghanistan ala 1990s. Who wants to live in an islamic Emirates where the only entertainment is weekly beheadings by kids - Syrian Sunni islam is very different to what the Wahabi Saudis are trying to force on that country. This is also a war within Sunni Islam - either join Jihadist groups who view you as semi-Muslim to oust the govt. and maybe kill you afterwards (like what happend in Libya) or stick with the govt. and see these terrorists defeated. Did you know that the tomb of the Sufi shaykh Sirajuddin in Aleppo was attacked and damaged by salafi/wahabi terrorists? The same thing has happened in Libya with the tomb of Ahmad Zarruq.

Posted by: Irshad | Dec 13 2012 17:16 utc | 73

news report
French carrier off Syria: Voice of Russia

voltaire, Dec 5

More than 70 years has passed and the grandson of this Nur-Eddin – Mouaz al-Khatib, a former preacher at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus and now a deserter and traitor – has been elected head of the “Qatar Coalition” which was created on 11 November at a meeting in Doha.

France has shown its gratitude to the third-generation collaborator al-Khatib, whose grandfather collaborated with the colonisers, for his faithful service. Namely the former colonial power has been the first to recognise the “Qatar Coalition” as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. It is no surprise that the flag of the “opposition” – green, white and black with three stars – is the same as the flag from the time when Syria was under French mandate.

No sooner had Syria gained their freedom from Turkish rule than it immediately fell under the authority of the French in 1920, and the League of Nations gave France a mandate to control Syria. The French occupation army, headed by General Henri Gouraud, faced weak opposition from an armed Syrian army which had only just been formed and had nothing except rifles and machine guns, while the French had heavy artillery and aircraft. The conflict was one-sided.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 17:48 utc | 74


I did not mention any Shiah-Sunni split or conflict, what I am saying is that the Khazars with their Islam and Christian mercenaries are battling Islam led by Iran and Orthodox Christianity led by the Rus. The end result is the new enlightment as forecast by the Mayans (my interpretation).

Posted by: hans | Dec 13 2012 17:51 utc | 75

Even if regime change in Syria is a priority for Obama, he has no need to rush toward that outcome. Right now, his main focus is the budget. His SOS was sick, so he made a statement that now the administration is prepared to recognize the new grouping as representing the full Syrian opposition.

If anyone in the Obama administration needs to prod regime change along, it's Clinton. Especially since the Bengazi debacle, she needs some concrete neolib accomplishments for her SOS resume in order to fundraise for her 2016 bid. And she only has a few weeks left on the job.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 13 2012 18:28 utc | 76

Syria denies using Scud missiles against militants

In a statement on Thursday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry denied the reports that the Syrian government is using Scud missiles against armed opposition groups.

The statement described the reports as “little more than a conspiracy.”

On Wednesday, a source in the US Administration told Fox News that the Syrian troops fired Scud missiles at northern areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 13 2012 18:42 utc | 77

@64 Well, mainstream-technically speaking, the US blacklisted that AlNusrah group!I can imagine they had some reasons to do it, which have everything to do with their strategy and nothing with peace or "happy children"! Its not about Russia intervening rite now, sending troops or whatever in there now, its about the possibility for the Russians to say: "Ok, uve blacklisted that scum (al nosra)! Theyre terrorists, we know that since it all started, but now uve also come to that conclusion (mainstream audience)! SO the US made a clear choice of distinguishing brave stinger shooting freedom fighters from that alkaida monsters! We do think too this offspring of AlKaida in Syria is very bad! But ur clown al Khatib was sceptical of the decision of the US to blacklist alnusrah! So actually alkhatib is alkaida (mainstream), so we say: we'll do everything in our power to protect Syrians from those terrorists, as they are no real peacelicking democrats, like the other bunch of the FSA or whatever!" Its precisely because of the mainstream going " oh some of em are bad ppl", Russia wouldnt be presented as a fan of a "bloodthirsty dictatorship", fighting innocent children!!

@70, Russia have obvious interests in syria! Their harbor to the Med, and the drilling of gasfields off the Syrian coast! Thats why theyre there in the first place! Now it seems, they try to find another way to secure their interests! It doesnt have to be assad, it could well be an islamist like Ramsan Kadyrov in Chechenia! Maybe theyre trying to get some of those islamist shitheads on their side to secure their interests! This is my fear! AFter al, i dont care about russian or Iranian interests, i just believed that their interests seem to fit with the protection of Syria, as geo-strategic knot on their map!

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 19:14 utc | 78

Posted by: вот так | Dec 13 2012 19:17 utc | 79

At a time when NATO is installing Patriot missiles in Turkey and Qatar is funding the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned rebels in Syria, Abbas is accepting help from Turkey and Qatar. Is he being an opportunist, seeing which way the wind is blowing, or is he coordinating with US strategy for the region?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 13 2012 20:40 utc | 80

More than 100 countries have recognized the new Syrian opposition coalition, and the coalition head, considering that backing, has endorsed the al-Nusrah Front, which puts him at odds with the U.S.

Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib: “We love our country. We can differ with parties that adopt political ideas and visions different from ours. But we ensure that the goal of all rebels is the fall of the regime."

Al-Khatib owes much of his support to the Muslim Brotherhood. The US, France and Qatar carefully ensured that two-thirds of the Coalition leadership had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or were politically allied with the group, a composition which resembles that of the new Supreme Military Council.

The Muslim Brotherhood has backed up al-Khatib on this issue. US blacklisting of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front as a "terrorist organisation" was "wrong and hurried," Syria's influential opposition Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement on Wednesday. "We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria believe that some states' decision to add revolutionary movements in Syria to their lists of terrorist organisations was a hurried, wrong move that should be condemned," the Brotherhood said.

Meantime, it looks like France may be moving into the schism created by the U.S. At a Friends of Syria conference in Marrakech, Morocco, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that recognition by the international community could allow for more humanitarian assistance — and possibly military aid — to the rebels. Mr. Fabius said the European Union is renewing its weapons embargo on Syria every three months rather than annually to give it more flexibility as the situation on the ground changes.

“We want to have the ability to continue or to change our attitude on this point — the fact that the coalition, which is asking for the right to defend itself — is now being recognized by a hundred countries, yesterday the U.S. and first France, I think this is a very important point,” he said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2012 21:13 utc | 81

Let civil war rage.

Let the country be destroyed (who cares about those foreignors.)

Publish a lot of contradictory info. Let is seem to be an intractable problem.

Wait and see. Be patient. Oppose Russia and China, always good.

Give just enough support for war to rage on.

Sit back.

Wait. Jaw on about anything - chem weapons for ex.

Play the non-interventionist role.

Wait some more. (Syrian oppo started way back.)

Once a winner emerges out of the rubble of a destroyed country, taking into account that there will be nobody - efficient, or just powerful, legitimate, or welcomed by the ppl - to take charge, and the citizens will be desperate for some kind of calm, take over. Offer minimal aid in return for complete subservience. In cahoots with winners or a winner that is incredibly weak (nobody emerges from such a civil war with any strength.)

Cheaper than Iraq. No US (W) Lives Lost. Let the Natives kill each other.

Wait. Hold back.

Better than Lybia - there is potential for better, more over reaching, control. And if that fails, well no matter: withdraw, leave, cut the country off. - Syria has no energy or other resources worth anything much.

Assad was good, he collaborated up to a point, but could not open up the country entirely, as he had the position of Leader who kept the country *together* (but then failed at that because of liberal economic reforms and his general stupidity and mindless hubris.) So, let it fall apart. Let the chips tumble. Chaos is good. In any case a lot of ppl die, excellent.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 13 2012 21:18 utc | 82

Yeah Noirette: whether these comments are ironc or not, i think u should jsut imagine urself in such a position! No compassion for suffering ppl? Great ure such a tough guy! Think about what u just said! U will! If ur family was in danger? think about it! Think urself thru the nite! THINK about it! And, Noirette, u are going to think about it! Dream urself to death!

Posted by: Kalimbour | Dec 13 2012 21:34 utc | 83

Hans - you are saying since the Mayan calendar forecasts some type of entry into a new world by Dec 21, time is short and Iran will send troops across the border to save Assad and the Russians will be involved too?

Is this a movie script you're writing?

I am honestly interested if you can point to some credible writing on this topic of the new world/Mayan calendar/etc.

Posted by: Will | Dec 13 2012 22:38 utc | 84

83) The whole "non-intervention" into Syria is beyond cynical, it is not Noirettes fault, I think she was trying to give an impression of the thinking behind it.

Hardships fuel anti-West rage

For residents with money, food is still available. Yet after 22 months of revolution even those with savings are running out of cash, and the city's middle class is joining the poor in the food queues.

Water, fuel and electricity are in critical shortage. Medical facilities are often swamped with casualties.

But Aleppo is not an encircled city deep in Syria. It sits just 50km across the border from Turkey, along a direct road link from the Turkish town of Killis straight through opposition-held territory. Killis should be a hub of international aid workers and food warehouses, distributing critical humanitarian aid supplies including flour, medicines and blankets.

It is nothing of the sort, however. In seven assignments in northern Syria this year I have yet to see evidence suggesting that any of the much trumpeted "non-lethal aid" to opposition areas has arrived.

The aid vacuum has created a Western policy failure in its own right, allowing a sense of abandonment to turn into anti-Western sentiment. From faraway Morocco the leaders of Syria's Western-backed opposition now say they are planning to move hundreds of millions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid into the most deprived areas of the country.

They must move fast before winter turns a disaster into a catastrophe. Even if they succeed, however, they will be too late to turn around the popular perception that the West has washed its hands of Syria's suffering.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2012 22:44 utc | 85

slightly off topic, Susan Rise - current US ambassador to the UN - has withdrawn herself from consideration for secretary of state, in part, due to the public opposition by Republicans to her lies about Benghazi on Sunday talk shows.

Many sane critics substantively had objected to her 'possible' nomination due to her bloody legacy in fueling the genocide in the Congo-DRC (1996- present) by diplomatically protecting Rwanda and Uganda, who routinely use proxy forces to commit mass atrocities - clearing people out of desired areas - and extracting the rich minerals of eastern Congo.

This past month Rice was at it again when she tried to 'disappear' a report by the UN Group of Experts (tasked with investigating the crimes in Congo). Why? Well, according to the testimony of Steve Hege, the coordinator of the UN GoE's, he reported that Rwanda (meaning the government of President Paul Kagame) "orchestrated the creation of M23" [proxy military force fighting in the Congo] and "senior Ugandan officials" actually participated in the current invasion of eastern Congo and the mass gang rapes, killings and destruction that has been ongoing.

So, Rice is out and many can let out a sigh of relief, an ambitious psychopath that would have been devastating for Africa is out. Would John Kerry be any better, well at least with respect to violence in Africa he has the track record of no track record.

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 13 2012 23:07 utc | 86

and this

We are falling under the conditions of a siege - for God's sake, help us," Abu Ahmed, 52, the head of Hanano council, said. He shook his fists in the air and there were tears in his eyes.

"We have nothing to do with armed groups. We are civilians, but the regime is using bread as a weapon against us! They want us hungry. We are in crisis."

The hungry crowd outside pushed and surged, banging their fists against the gates. An FSA fighter suddenly burst into the office and began screaming at the staff, demanding bread for the fighters on the frontlines.

"Two units abandoned their positions today because they hadn't been fed for 24 hours!" he yelled. "Give us bread or else we'll lose even more ground." An official argued with him briefly, but the power of the gun prevailed and a van was loaded with bread.

Support for the FSA is waning as the hunger grows and desperation sets in with the winter.

"We are caught between three rocks," a man said. "The FSA, who thieve and can't look after us; a regime that would steal the air from our lungs if it could; and a world that doesn't care."

above article blames the Syrian army deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure, however there is this contradictory report

edward dark ‏@edwardedark

can anyone explain why rebels are going for the energy, communication, food & transportation infrastructure of #Syria? whats the purpose?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2012 23:13 utc | 87

Noirette @82

I have to say, I think that's one of the most accurate, concise summations I've read about how the sociopathic upper echelons probably perceive the wholesale destruction the've spent lots of time and resources putting into motion in Syria and elsewhere in the region. chilling.

maybe that's why you got immediately concern-trolled.

Posted by: lizard | Dec 13 2012 23:22 utc | 88

Perhaps if we let history shine its wavering light over today's unfolding pages of time, we might get a better grasp of what's happening in Syria today. During WW II, when German forces occupied large parts of Europe, the partisans/resistance/freedom fighters ruled the rural areas as well and occasionally did hit and run attacks in larger cities. German forces would burn down entire villages if and when they were attacked by said partisans/resistance/freedom fighters. If the Syrian populace doesn't stand/rise up against these foreign-backed invaders [like their counterparts in Europe during WW II], they get what they deserve [as did the Europeans]. Armies can not defeat guerrilla warfare. On people can.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Dec 13 2012 23:57 utc | 89

I'm not that into military weapons, but, as described elsewhere (or here?), how can a long range missile be used for just a short distance? Is is aimed nearly straight up in order to come down fairly close to where it was launched from?

Seems like a major waste, plus, iirc, Scuds don't have very dependable accuracy.

But it sure is a blast from the past!

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 14 2012 0:03 utc | 90

@90 Short range is right. From Fox to the American public.

Posted by: dh | Dec 14 2012 0:04 utc | 91

Kalimbour @ 83 -- Noirette has shown great empathy and sympathy for the beleaguered of all the various US wars on small countries. She tends to offer cogent and realistic appraisals.

I've been MIA for a few months due to RL, so haven't been here as much as usual and I don't recognize your nym. But, I can assure you, Noirette is definitely not without concern and feelings for those whose lives are being ruined by the hegemonic actions of the US and its Western allies and lapdogs.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 14 2012 0:12 utc | 92

Militants in Syria threaten to execute Ukrainian journalist

"Militants in Syria have threatened to execute a kidnapped Ukrainian journalist if their demand for a USD-50-million ransom is not met.

Anhar Kochneva, who reported about the Syrian militants for Russian and Ukrainian news outlets, was kidnapped near the western Syria city of Homs on October 10.

Her kidnappers, allegedly from the Members of the terrorist Free Syrian Army, have released videos, saying that they would kill the journalist on December 13 unless Ukraine pays the ransom.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Dikusarov urged Damascus to work more actively to help free the journalist.

Militants have released a video featuring a group of armed, masked fighters, one of whom reads out a statement, calling Kochneva a "spy."

The statement also included a threat to kill any citizen of Ukraine and Russia, who is captured in Syria.

"The embassy of Ukraine, the embassy of Russia, citizens of these countries...from now on will be the prey and target of all our forces," it said.

New York-based independent nonprofit organization, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), London-based human rights organization, ARTICLE 19, Vienna-based global organization International Press Institute, and Paris-based international NGO Reporters Without Borders have issued a joint statement, asking Washington, London, and Paris as well as representatives of the EU that they urgently push the so-called National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Free Syrian Army to prevent the murder of Kochneva and facilitate her release."

Kidnapping for ransom. How very Jewish mafia.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 14 2012 0:57 utc | 93

Iranian Bomb Graph Appears Adapted from One on Internet

Posted by: Paul | Dec 14 2012 1:35 utc | 94

@94 Ah yes the bomb graph. I remember it well. Then came the Patriots and the chemical weapons. Now we're hearing about Scuds. Anybody care to predict tomorrow's headlines?

Posted by: dh | Dec 14 2012 1:46 utc | 95

lizard @ 88 said:

"Noirette @82"

"I have to say, I think that's one of the most accurate, concise summations I've read about how the sociopathic upper echelons probably perceive the wholesale destruction the've spent lots of time and resources putting into motion in Syria and elsewhere in the region. chilling."

I completely agree, kudos noirette!

Posted by: ben | Dec 14 2012 2:28 utc | 96

95) Humanitarian catastrophe in Syria - they are laying the groundwork for that now

Posted by: somebody | Dec 14 2012 8:06 utc | 97

told you so

Syrian humanitarian disaster looms as internal refugees face bread shortages

With Assad's regime targeting bakeries, displaced families are starving as harsh weather compounds the struggle for food

let's repeat this tweet

edward dark ‏@edwardedark Dec 9

can anyone explain why rebels are going for the energy, communication, food & transportation infrastructure of #Syria? whats the purpose?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 14 2012 9:04 utc | 98

fun with maps

compare this disproportionally drawn out map

with Google Maps Damascus

for the size and importance of rebel held areas ...

Posted by: somebody | Dec 14 2012 11:51 utc | 99

A massacre is taking place in Syria, and the rebel cheerleaders amongst the Western press are staying silent.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 14 2012 12:07 utc | 100

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