Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 15, 2013

War On Syria: "Exactly Like Iraq"

The New York Times and others try to paint a picture of a president Obama who only reluctantly took the decision to escalate the war on Syria by no longer just helping to arm the Syrian insurgency but to deliver its own weapons and to thereby commit the U.S. into a prolonged war.
Mr. Obama came around to the idea of arming the rebels, at least modestly, only months after rejecting it. In part, that was because of confirmation by intelligence agencies that Mr. Assad’s forces had used sarin gas against his people.
That picture is incorrect. As the Washington Post reports:
U.S. officials said that the determination to send weapons had been made weeks ago and that the chemical weapons finding provided fresh justification to act.
The insurgency is already well armed with tanks, artillery and modern anti-air weapons. Throughout the last months many new wire guided anti-tank missiles reached the northern front. The decision to arem them with more and better weapons was taken month ago and had nothing to do with chemical weapons. That chemical weapons fake did not convince Russia and not even the usually compliant United Nations:
[U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] cautioned that “any information on the alleged use of chemical weapons cannot be ensured without convincing evidence of the chain of custody.”
U.S. officials admit that they have not established the chain of custody for the medical tests that were done to "prove" chemical weapons use. Experts also doubt that Sarin, as the U.S. alleges, has been used:
[Jean Pascal Zanders, a leading expert on chemical weapons who until recently was a senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies] said that much about that [the Le Monde] report bears questioning. Photos and a video accompanying the report showed rebel fighters preparing for chemical attacks by wearing gas masks. Sarin is absorbed through the skin, and even small amounts can kill within minutes.
Le Monde reported that one doctor treated a victim with atropine, which is appropriate for sarin poisoning. But that doctor said he gave his patient 15 shots of atropine in quick succession, which Zanders said could have killed him almost as surely as sarin.
All this "chemical weapon" stuff is obviously just an excuse to announce a decision that has been taken months ago and is already long into its implementation. The decision was likely taken simply because the insurgents were losing and Obama had committed himself for them to win. The recent new weapon deliveries certainly did not happen without active U.S. support:
The CIA is preparing to deliver arms to rebel groups in Syria through clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year in an effort to establish reliable supply routes into the country for nonlethal material, U.S. officials said.
The infrastructure was there and has been used for quite some time to push weapons, ammunition and other stuff to the insurgents.

Together with the Obama announcement to extend and prolong the war came the call by three important Sunni clerics for all young Muslims to go to fight in Syria. The Jihad call was made at a Muslim Brotherhood sponsored event in Egypt. All those weapons the U.S. delivers need hands to use them. The Syrian insurgency has had big losses of personal and now foreign fanatics are send in to replace them. This is part of Obama's plan.

Besides those now announced but long delivered fresh weapons the U.S. is already implementing the next stage of the war:

A Jordanian government official dismissed as “premature” reports that there are plans for Jordan to serve as the base for a future Syrian no-fly zone. The kingdom currently has no plans to “be part of any international military action against Syria,” he said.

However, a Jordanian military official said that Amman and Washington drew up plans for such a zone in March and that the dispatch of the missiles and fighter jets represented a “first phase.”

“We already know what a no-fly zone over southern Syria will look like, how to enforce it and who we will work with on the ground,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “All we are waiting for is the final decision.

Yesterday's Walls Street Journal had a quite extensive description of these plans:
U.S. military planners, responding to a request by the White House to develop options for Syria, recommended the limited no-fly zone along the Syrian border to protect rebels and refugees inside Jordan.

The plan would create what one official called a "no fighting zone" that would stretch up to 25 miles into Syrian territory along the Jordanian border, preventing Mr. Assad's forces from launching attacks against the rebels and refugees and protecting U.S. personnel involved in distributing weapons and providing training.

Under this plan, the U.S. and its allies would enforce the zone using aircraft flown from Jordanian bases and flying inside the kingdom, according to U.S. officials.
The U.S. has already moved Patriot air defense batteries and F-16 fighter planes to Jordan, which could be integral to any no-fly zone if Mr. Obama approves the military proposal.

Proponents of the proposal think a no-fly zone could be imposed without a U.N. Security Council resolution, since the U.S. would not regularly enter Syrian airspace and wouldn't hold Syrian territory.

U.S. planes have air-to-air missiles that could destroy Syrian planes from long ranges. But officials said that aircraft may be required to enter Syrian air space if threatened by advancing Syrian planes. Such an incursion by the U.S., if it were to happen, could be justified as self-defense, officials say.

How please does one defend a "no fighting zone" from long range missile artillery? That is not possible. All this sounds like a preparation for a large ground campaign in south Syria. The U.S. would use the Syrian defectors who it has trained in Jordan to lead the ground attack to conquer the "no fighting zone" protected by U.S. air power. What Obama is planing here and has likely already decided on is consciously designed to creep into a full out U.S. war on Syria.

Russia and other will want to have a word on that. Russian foreign minister Lavrov immediately pointed out that any such no-fly zone would violate international law. I do expect that Russia will use more than just words on this issue.

Applauding Obama's decision to wage an extended war on Syria is war-criminal Tony Blair:
Blair suggested that regime change in Syria was inevitable. "People are no longer going to accept that a minority ruled the country without the say of the majority. It's exactly the arguments we went through over Iraq," [Blair] said.
Indeed. Fake allegations of chemical weapons, breaking international law followed by ten years of torture and other war crimes. Exactly like Iraq. If Obama gets his way on this.

Posted by b on June 15, 2013 at 13:35 UTC | Permalink


There is no other source for the claim that the White House is planning a no-fly zone except the WSJ (Entous/Barnes) article, which is supposedly quoting two unnamed officials. I am quite sure of this. Reuters have an article entirely based on the WSJ one, then JPost, Ynet, etc pick up the Reuters one. And Rhodes, the official White House spokesman, explicitly ruled out a no-fly zone, not once but several times. The fact that there is a Pentagon plan for one proves nothing. The Pentagon will produce plans for all options considered. But all reports say the Pentagon opposes this particular option, knowing that contrary to the claims of McCain etc, a no-fly zone cannot be enforced without a major and continuous air campaign which must begin by suppressing anti-aircraft capacity.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 15 2013 13:51 utc | 1

Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before “The Arab Spring”

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin
Global Research, June 15, 2013
In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said:

‘’ I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria.

This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.

Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.’’

Dumas went on give the audience a quick lesson on the real reason for the war that has now claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

‘’This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance.

Consequently, everything that moves in the region- and I have this from the former Israeli prime minister who told me ‘we’ll try to get on with our neighbours but those who don’t agree with us will be destroyed.

It’s a type of politics, a view of history, why not after all. But one should know about it.’’

Dumas is a retired French foreign minister who is obliged to use discretion when revealing secrets which could affect French foreign policy. That is why he made the statement ‘I am French, that doesn’t interest me’. He could not reveal France’s role in the British plan as he would be exposing himself to prosecution for revealing state secrets.

so no spontaneous uprising! UK politicians need to be take to the Hague

Posted by: brian | Jun 15 2013 14:06 utc | 2

to be fair, he doesn't say two years before the violence in syria, but "around two years ago, before hostilities"

Posted by: rototo | Jun 15 2013 15:22 utc | 3

Like we thought, there is no evidence on chem. weapons, Obama lies again!

"No single piece of intelligence led to the conclusion that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons, said a senior administration official"

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 15 2013 15:29 utc | 4

The evidence, both of the "uprising" being planned abroad by imperialists and of the non-existence of sarin gas weaponised by Syria's government, surely exists among the vast amount of data collected and stored by the US government.

In this the situation differs from Iraq in 2003 when intelligence capacity was much more rudimentary and "deniability" -of having been involved in a campaign of criminal propaganda- much easier to maintain.

Obama et al want to think about this: the real truth will come out not far in the future and it will be impossible to deny it. I would not be at all surprised if Mr Hague ended his days in one of Her Majesty's Prisons- that would be cruel and unusual punishment for the other inmates.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 15 2013 15:52 utc | 5

Roland Dumas.

(pol under Mitterand to make it short)

has been condemned, even in France!, to several prison sentences and heavy fines for corruption, fraud, abuse of trust, etc. Endless scandals.

Elf-Aquitaine affair amongst others.

One news article from the NYT:

While Minister of Foreign Affairs, his mistress, Christine Deviers-Joncour, was a plant from Elf (reportedly, in fact..she was only hired by Elf because she was f** Dumas) and Dumas paid her a high salary, fantastic housing, jewels, all on the public dime. She has been called the Whore of the Republic all over the media fo years.

Dumas has been involved - one has to be delicate here, his name will turn up stuff - in the Taiwan ships scandal (bribery, kickbacks, huge sums, etc.) and many others.

He is best know in pop culture in F for his shoes.

A bill of 11K FF for one pair of shoes. And the next bill was for 13K! - expense account paid by the State...

Giscard, remember, was smashed by the so called spontaneous gift of Diamonds from...Bokassa!

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 15 2013 15:54 utc | 6

I just wonder how it looks, Obama agreeing to a Geneva conference on Syria, then abruptly repudiating his own proposals, and withdrawing without even a fig leaf. Wouldn't he have done better honoring his given word? Isn't that more risky internationally than if he had gone to the conference as he promised?

Now, the Russians have been lied to, exploited and double-crossed by the US over and over again since 1992, and this latest charade is bound to harden their position. I believe they are sincerely for peace and the international status quo - not from the goodness of their hearts - but because anything else is against their interests. Also against our interests, though we can't see it.

But the US government - or should I say, the shadow government - is out to destroy Syria at all costs, and it's inane bleating about peace and human rights intended for a clever ruse, concealing Obama's real intentions; and deceiving no one.

Posted by: rackstraw | Jun 15 2013 16:00 utc | 7

Noirette @ 5 -- Should we take from your post about Dumas that he is lying about the early planning for taking out Syria? What does he stand to gain from lying, if he is?

I tend to take most officials' statements, esp'ly those currently in office, with about 10 pounds of salt, but sometimes former officials' revelations, if they are not supporting the current regimes, do tend to make me think about what is being said.

Anyway, are you suggesting we should ignore this stuff from Dumas? T/U.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 15 2013 16:08 utc | 8

Seems to me Obama has clearly joined the elite club of war criminals who will not be prosecuted. Kissinger, Bush the Younger, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Blair. How Hollande and Cameron?

I know I've left others many to keep straight.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 15 2013 16:10 utc | 9

I have to confess I was stunned to hear that Bill Clinton is supporting John McCain on his belligerent approach to Syria.

Sometimes I just can't figure out what's up with these politicians.... It's just so overwhelmingly stupid.

Is it the Corporatism of the MIC? Just playing along to keep the big bucks rolling in?

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 15 2013 16:12 utc | 10

rackstraw @ 6 -- Sometimes I wonder just how much info the NSA has tapped into and how it's being used to affect government policy. Has Obama been blackmailed into doing some things he might not fully support, just because there's some email, some phone conversation, some memo somewhere in the NSA's reach that has been used to make him, oh, more supportive of the Corporatist plans? The MIC in general?

It might explain some of the glaring flip-flops Obama's made while in office.... Or not.

J. Edgar Hoover was known to use inforamtion he obtained, mostly illegally, to coerce politicians to do his bidding. I can't imagine the NSA types wouldn't use whatever they had to get what they want and to shape US policy.

Pure conjecture.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 15 2013 16:19 utc | 11

*leave syria alone*

harry browne

Posted by: denk | Jun 15 2013 16:39 utc | 12

Russia calls Bullshit

evidence cited by the Americans was unreliable because the samples were not properly handled by experts until they reached a laboratory.


In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry said that while the United States still sought a political solution for the conflict, “the use of chemical weapons and increasing involvement of Hezbollah demonstrates the regime’s lack of commitment to negotiations and threatens to put a political settlement out of reach.”

It's interesting that Kerry blames the Syrian government when it's the opposition that said it wouldnt go to Geneva without getting more arms.

Posted by: ess emm | Jun 15 2013 17:03 utc | 13

@Rowan B.- There is no other source for the claim that the White House is planning a no-fly zone except the WSJ (Entous/Barnes) article

I quote the Washington Post with the Jordan official as well as the WSJ. I did not quote Reuters or a derivative from that. Those are at least two independent sources.

Posted by: b | Jun 15 2013 17:21 utc | 14

Yeah, I see your second WaPo blackquote:

A Jordanian government official dismissed as “premature” reports that there are plans for Jordan to serve as the base for a future Syrian no-fly zone. The kingdom currently has no plans to “be part of any international military action against Syria,” he said. However, a Jordanian military official said that Amman and Washington drew up plans for such a zone in March and that the dispatch of the missiles and fighter jets represented a “first phase.” “We already know what a no-fly zone over southern Syria will look like, how to enforce it and who we will work with on the ground,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “All we are waiting for is the final decision.”

The first official is actually dismissing the rumour even that there are plans. The second official isn't claiming the White House has made a decision in favour, just that the plan exists, which I don't deny. The presence of the jets is supposed to be part of "Eager Lion", though DEBKA claimed on Jun 5 that both jets and US troops will stay after the exercise. Anyway, you don't have authority that White House has agreed a no fire zone in those quotes.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 15 2013 18:14 utc | 15

Talk of the devil - Hagel has just confirmed F-16s and Pac-3s will stay on Jordan border after "Eager Lion":

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 15 2013 18:27 utc | 16

"Eager Lion", you'll be glad to hear, ends Jun 20. The thought of it suddenly "going live" is extremely unnerving. But planning secretly for it to "go live" would be near impossible, there are 19 countries involved:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 15 2013 18:53 utc | 17

Zbigniew Brzezinski on Syria: US is engaging in "mass propaganda"

"Who is fighting for democracy? Qatar and Saudi Arabia is fighting for democracy?

Posted by: erichwwk | Jun 15 2013 20:34 utc | 18

I do find Obama's decision to declare Syria at fault over the use of chemical weapons bizarre, given the quantity of evidence that the rebels may be trying to furnish the proof. The question will be whether the arms furnished, and the no-fly zone imposed, on the Jordanian border, will make a difference.

The fact is that both the Syrian army and the rebels have been reduced to small groups who continue to fight for their cause, by losses. That is one reason for the intervention of Hizbullah. The more important question is whether the local Sunni communities want to continue the war. There I have doubt. They may be about to give up, if a hand were held out from Damascus. The behaviour of the jihadis is difficult to tolerate.

I don't know how this issue will go.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 15 2013 20:42 utc | 19

On the question of whether the Sunnis want to continue the war, the model I've been using is that of the Sunnis in Iraq. There the Sunnis ended up disgusted with the jihadis, and joined in part the American Sahwa, but, true, only after Falluja.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 15 2013 21:07 utc | 20

Great news!

Finally zusa seems to not any longer avoid that final battle. Although, well, actually there seems to be hardly more than blah blah from serials liars.

A no-fly zone at the border to Jordan? Funny. I guess that could be correctly translated as "taking care of israels interests but formally not doing it from israel".
I just wonder how those zusa jets will enter the Syrian airspace, once it is protected by S-300s.

I assume, Putin while officially protesting is actually smiling. Why? Well, as some journalist has put it so nicely, the arab spring so far didn't reach the kingdoms; strange that as it is these kingdoms where the people are really suppressed by real dictators.

As coincidence has it there are hardly contained protests in jordan. What if Assad had the idea to say "thank you" and send some thousan terroris ... uh ... freedom fighters along with some weapons into Jordan?

An "arab spring" in the kingdom would quite directly translate to a breakdown of the dollar and in particular its position as reserve currency which again is the very power base for zusa happy money spending. And, of course, sheiks and kings losing a lot of money while heaving well equipped "freedom fighters" on their streets isn't exactly what they wish for.

Being at weird things. Anyone noticed that since quite some time the zusa military doesn't seem to be obamas best and most loyal friend? Actually, since Bengazi he seems to rely on (have available?) cia only.

But then obama (even more than bush) embodies pretty much the contrary of what the american officers got instilled at their academies. Honour, to name an example. And, oh yes, allegiance to the constitution and the people - not to the president. Which might explain, why obama had an admiral relieved of his command when this admiral went against standing orders to let their comrades in Bengazi die. Which again is about the most reliable method for a zusa president to bring up his own officers against him.

No, Mr. gaybama, you can not.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 15 2013 21:21 utc | 21


Bill Clinton is an entirely political animal. As one of the main founders of the DLC, he brought together a coalition of "moderate" New Democrats (hawks, business leaders and Zionists) to challenge the Liberal establishment and Rainbow-coalition Democrats in his 1992 primary win. Through his good fortune of having Perot split the Republican base, he has continued to convince many Democrats that his centrist split-the-difference (give-away-the-store-before sitting-down to negotiate) strategy is the only winning strategy for Democrats (even though he won by only a plurality of the vote -- even Dukakis got more votes than Clinton did in 1992). An important part of Clinton's fund-raising and foreign policy strategy has been to tell Zionist donors whatever they want to hear and give them whatever they want. His wife has followed the same strategy since her first campaign for public office as a senator from New York.

Bill is campaigning for Hill in 2012. He and McCain are competing with each other to prove to Zionist supporters that each is more worthy than the other of Israel Lobby support. Further, since Hill is on record as driving the "Assad must go" policy while she was in the Obama Administration, any retrenchment from this policy by Obama would call into question Hill's foreign policy qualifications, even in the eyes of Americans who are not big supporters of the Israel Lobby ("Well, gee, if Hillary was shortsighted about Libya and Syria, does she have the insight to be a commander-in-chief?").

The major support that Bill gave Barack in the last election came with strings. Even if he wanted to, Barack cannot sabotage Hillary's reputation or her relationship with major donors. Unwilling to confront the Israel Lobby or Israel on any issue, at this point, Obama is more deserving of a passive-aggressive or pacification prize than a peace prize.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jun 15 2013 23:57 utc | 22

I'm not convinced. The political opposition is a shambles and the militants on the ground are taking a beating, but Assad cannot be allowed to win (though it doesn't necessarily follow that the militants will be either).
Too much credibility has been staked on Assad's departure.
The US wants to save face. As Lavrov recently stated in an interview with CBS:

They [Western supporters of the opposition] say, "You must understand that very early in the conflict we said he must go. And now we cannot eat our hat." Okay, we have to choose. Either you think about your reputation because you made the wrong statement two years ago or you think about achieving real results, which would save lives.

These foreign backers have not yet decided to drop this demand, and moves to openly declare the provision of military support for the opposition is meant to keep the pressure on Assad and force his departure - but through a negotiated settlement.

British FM Hague stated during an interview on British television last week that Assad's departure should not be a precondition for negotiations to take place, but that his departure should be secured through these talks. To achieve this they must place sufficient pressure on the Syrian Government. Talk of a no-fly zone follows the same pattern - threats designed to draw concessions.

However, it's an odd decision by Morsi today to shut down the Syrian embassy in Cairo and withdraw the Egyptian charge d' affaires from Damascus. Why now?

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jun 16 2013 0:53 utc | 23


I really don't know how he can live down that "When the American people say no, it really means yes..." statement.

I do hope that is dragged out and rightly used against him.

The State Dept sex scandals that are coming out I hope will put a dent in her efforts as well. It will certainly all come up with the campaign comes around.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 16 2013 0:58 utc | 24

France's Former Foreign Minister: #UK Government Prepared War in #Syria 2 Years before 2011 Protests

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 1:18 utc | 25

The current Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government is a disgrace to humanity. They cut off all "diplomatic ties" with Syria; the Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi closed the Syrian embassy in Cairo and closed the crossing point with Gaza. He also promoted Egyptian jihadis to go and fight in Syria. Mohammad Morsia and the Muslim Brotherhood are CIA and tools of Wall Street/London imperialism across the Middle East. Obama and Morsi don't serve "Allah", they serve the dollar:

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 2:00 utc | 26

Re Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before “The Arab Spring”

Actually decision to attack attack Libya and Syria was made in the US in early November 2001.

Wesley Clark:

" And what happened after 9/11 is — we didn't have a strategy, we didn't have bipartisan agreement, we didn't have American understanding of it — and
we had instead a policy coup, a coup — a policy coup in this country."

"I went through the Pentagon ten days after 9/11. I couldn't stay away from Mother Army. I went back there to see Donald Rumsfeld, I had worked for him as a White House fellow in the 1970s. He said "I read your book," — this is the book that talks about the Kosovo campaign — and he said, "I just want to tell you nobody is going to tell us where or when we can bomb. Nobody."

"And then I came back to the Pentagon about six weeks later, I saw the same officer, I said: Why haven’t we attacked Iraq? Are we still going to attack Iraq? He said: "Oh sir, its worse than that."

He pulled up a piece of paper off his desk. He said "I just got this memo from the Secretary of Defense’s office, it says we are going to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years. We are going to start with Iraq and then we are going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran." Seven countries in five years.

video of speech

transcript of speech

Posted by: erichwwk | Jun 16 2013 2:02 utc | 27

how cuba reports syria "US tries to prevent defeat of armed gangs in #Syria"

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 2:10 utc | 28

Al-Nusra Front Terrorists Kill Young Man by Amputating Hand, Foot in Syria's Aleppo

Jun 15, 2013

Al-Nusra Front Terrorists in Syria brutally amputated hand and foot of a young Syrian young man in Reef (outskirts of) Aleppo's Al-Bab.

Terrorists of the al-Nusra Front left the 22-year-old Eid Satouf in front of his house to bleed to death after amputating the young man's hand and foot.

Al-Nusra Front accused the young man of theft.

Terrorist and militant groups, which are fighting against the government in Syria with the strong support of the United States and its western as well as the regional allies, have caused an atmosphere of fear and intimidation throughout the country for their brutal and vicious crimes, Alalam reported.

Aleppo has been the scene of uncountable violations since militants seized and occupied some areas and set up a local ruling system of their own.

They hold trials and execute punishments based on their own laws.

Earlier this week, the Al-Nusra Front brutally executed a 15-year-old boy named Mohammad al-Qatta in front of his family in Aleppo's Sha'ar.

The terrorists accused the young boy, who was a coffee seller, of blasphemy while he was fighting with another man in a market in the neighborhood.

They lashed him severely according to witnesses and then they took two shots at his head while his mother and father were begging for saving their son.

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 2:35 utc | 29

from an upright man to fukus
* fuck you, all the so-called do gooders, both left and right wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me. Fuck you all, leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! Fuck you! - you who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than low class criminals. *

this man is awesome, one good man in a sea of assholes
i cant use fukus in atimes, the comment got deleted !

Posted by: denk | Jun 16 2013 3:44 utc | 30

@18 Zbigniew Brzezinski on Syria: Posted by: erichwwk | Jun 15, 2013 4:34:00 PM | 18

This is actually quite interesting, at least for me. I'm not following every twist of internal or external US policies very closely, but in the back of my memory I felt like Brzenzinski is something like the godfather of the US raids on Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and so on. I believe that he's provided some "intellectual" foundation for the PNAC and the aggressive military stance of US foreign policy.
So what does it mean when a guy like him is criticizing the current US (or Nato) approach in Syria and even the results of Libyan intervention?
What I read from that interview would be: it seems like there's indeed rivaling lobbies within the us about what to do with their military (like represented by maybe mccain vs. obama vs. bushes?), which groups to fund and how to control the occupied territories. On the other hand he seems to be incontent with the actual implementation of his strategic vision in Libya and Iraq. Sounds like Iraq is not under US control in the way that he would have imagined.
I tend to believe that most of what the european audience arrogantly perceives as "american stupidity" is in fact part of an american strategy (roughly divide and conquer), but maybe the american leadership is more heterogenous than I thought? What are your thoughts on this?

Posted by: peter radiator | Jun 16 2013 5:49 utc | 31

Robert Fisk (who may or may not be right - depending on his blood alcohol level)

World exclusive: Iran will send 4,000 troops to aid Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria

Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.

For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. Breaking all President Barack Obama’s rules of disengagement, the US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East.

The Independent on Sunday has learned that a military decision has been taken in Iran – even before last week’s presidential election – to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the largely Sunni rebellion that has cost almost 100,000 lives in just over two years. Iran is now fully committed to preserving Assad’s regime, according to pro-Iranian sources which have been deeply involved in the Islamic Republic’s security, even to the extent of proposing to open up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel.
Washington’s excuse for its new Middle East adventure – that it must arm Assad’s enemies because the Damascus regime has used sarin gas against them – convinces no-one in the Middle East.
For the real reason why America has thrown its military power behind Syria’s Sunni rebels is because those same rebels are now losing their war against Assad.
From now on, therefore, every suicide bombing in Damascus - every war crime committed by the rebels - will be regarded in the region as Washington’s responsibility. The very Sunni-Wahabi Islamists who killed thousands of Americans on 11th September, 2011 – who are America’s greatest enemies as well as Russia’s – are going to be proxy allies of the Obama administration.
Iranian sources say they liaise constantly with Moscow, and that while Hizballah’s overall withdrawal from Syria is likely to be completed soon – with the maintenance of the militia’s ‘intelligence’ teams inside Syria – Iran’s support for Damascus will grow rather than wither. They point out that the Taliban recently sent a formal delegation for talks in Tehran and that America will need Iran’s help in withdrawing from Afghanistan. The US, the Iranians say, will not be able to take its armour and equipment out of the country during its continuing war against the Taliban without Iran’s active assistance.

Posted by: b | Jun 16 2013 6:20 utc | 32

Patrick Cockburn :Only an all-out war can depose Assad. Anything less is like being 'half-pregnant'

The supposed aim of the United States arms supply is to "tip the balance" in favour of the insurgents and force Bashar al-Assad's government to negotiate its departure from power. But Assad holds all but one of Syria's cities and large towns, so, to transform the military situation on the ground the US, Britain and France would have to become the main fighting force of the rebels and engage in a full-scale war.
There is a disconnect between the rebels as they really are and as presented by Western politicians such as David Cameron. Suddenly there is international concern about what will happen in Aleppo if the Assad forces launch a counter-attack to drive the rebels out of the parts of the city they hold. The rhetoric is similar to that used by then president Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron over the need to save the people of Benghazi from massacre in 2011. It is a measure of British and French cynicism that they hardly seemed to notice when, 10 days ago, militiamen in Benghazi, whom they formerly supported, shot dead 31 Libyans protesting against militia rule.
The volume of propaganda justifying Western military intervention in Syria is so high because leaders advocating it know that polls show that such intervention is highly unpopular at home.
At the G8 meeting in Enniskillen tomorrow it may become clearer how far the US and its allies distinguish between propaganda and reality in relation to Syria. Do Britain and France really imagine that a mix of bluff, threats and a limited supply of infantry weapons will have a decisive impact on the battlefield? Cordesman argues for a no-fly zone that should be rapidly transformed into "a de facto no-move zone". This is the most effective way to allow the rebels to defeat Assad if they can. In other words, only an all-out war by the West will work against Assad; anything else will be like being "half-pregnant".

Cordesman is probably right in his military assessment but surely wrong, as we have seen in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, that this will end the fighting. Better by far for the G8 leaders to compel all parties in Syria to go to Geneva, agree a ceasefire, establish a UN mission in Syria to monitor it, and then seek to negotiate long-term solutions.

Posted by: b | Jun 16 2013 6:36 utc | 33

the arab spring is a series of feints and fiddles with the ultimate prize being syria it has been a cleaning up of the opposition before the final assualt-spring training- but along the way there have been a few setbacks for israels enemies.the signal for the pushback against this arab assualt which began with 9/11 will be the bombing of saudi arabia and its oil fields,but first a major attack along the syrian coast will bring about the fall of both assad and his lebanese allies'

a tsunami followed by a swarm of locusts,the burning of damascus will start by accident,a russian transport plane crashing into a fuel depot or refinery

the leper will return to israel asking for help

Posted by: wes | Jun 16 2013 8:19 utc | 34

Hala Jaberposted toSyrian views
Meet Abu Musab, a British jihadist with a distinctive northern English accent shows how Islamist fighters have obtained at least 30 shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles.

UK jihadist’s video reveals missile cache

Mark Hookham, Defence Correspondent Published: 16 June 2013
Comment (5) Print

ISLAMISTS fighting in Syria have obtained a large stockpile of surface-to-air missiles capable of downing civilian airliners, heightening fears that arming rebel fighters could boost terrorist groups that target the West.

A video posted on the internet and narrated by a British jihadist with a distinctive northern English accent shows how Islamist fighters have obtained at least 30 shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles.

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 10:04 utc | 35

whos popular whos not:
syria 24 english @syria24english Protected account 8m
72% of Egyptians against Morsi
NATO Study: Assad Winning War, 70% of Syrians Support Him

thats what 'arabsprings 'bring: Morsis

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 10:18 utc | 36

Turkey Threatens Doctors and First Responders, Violates Medical Neutrality
by Margaret Flowers / June 15th, 2013

The Turkish Health Ministry issued a threat to take medical licenses to practice away from doctors who have been providing treatment to the protesters in Istanbul. They are also demanding the names of all medical volunteers including Emergency Medicine Technicians. This threat constitutes a violation of the human right of the protesters to receive treatment and the principle of medical neutrality.


Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 10:18 utc | 37

thats what 'arabsprings 'bring: MorsisPosted by: brian | Jun 16, 2013 6:18:02 AM | 36

morsi just received 1 billion from the USA . HE was bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia via Obama
Arab spring as in how high does........sunni got munni ,but the shite got bite

Posted by: jub | Jun 16 2013 10:58 utc | 38

Some potentially game changing news from turkey.

According to news-reports a rather well known german green politician (Mrs Roth) has been inmidst of the turmoil in Istanbul. Now she reports things like "it was like war" and about police terrorizing even small children.

This could turn out to be very important because this now denies erdogan the possibility to paint the occupy people as something in between respectless hippies, hoodlums and terrorists.
If a well known german politician says that erdogan and his henchmen behave like savages ignoring even basic human rights then that has a lot of weight in Europe, such immensely increasing the pressure from europe on erdogan.

Good news.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 16 2013 11:34 utc | 39

f a well known german politician says that erdogan and his henchmen behave like savages ignoring even basic human rights then that has a lot of weight in Europe,

There were German politicians on the Mavi Mara boat which was attacked too!

Posted by: hans | Jun 16 2013 11:43 utc | 40

What if the us has no intention of going into syria and even the jordanian based no fly does not play out? the us may be trying to entice young, gullible sunnis to die in syria to offset syrian army advances.

Posted by: alaric | Jun 16 2013 16:05 utc | 41


The definitely seems like the plan. Especially with that troll Morsi's announcement. Real success that regime has turned out to be; seems he's hit upon the scheme of selling Egypt's youngsters for sacks of USAID grain. To imagine that they'll all be willing fighters is to fool oneself. How many will get Shanghai'd into going to Syria, we can only guess. Egyptian youngsters sold to the al Qaeda by Morsi's friends for a couple of thousand a pop. Slap worn out weaponry from the Afghan pullout into their hands and wait for the "sorry your son got martyred" notice to pop up on Al Nusra website. The sickest part of it all is that Morsi managed to equate the whole thing with "Freedom of Movement" as if the ability to go slaughter Syrian children are the fruits of democracy. That son of a bitch really makes my skin crawl.

Perhaps it is somewhat of a trap. Not that the US doesn't intend to deliver all kinds of horrors in the process. Certainly Egypt will be more than pleased to get rid of its enthusiastic Islamists. The US has presumably politely asked its regional allies to no longer send their young men into the Afghan meat grinder (too many US casualties and we've got to be on our way...), so Syria and Iraq are the next best places.

I can't believe anyone is falling for this idea that the US and Israel will allow Syria to become an Islamic emirate, but then fanatics are fanatics. Maybe they think along similar lines to Lindsey Graham "first will kill the Shia, THEN we'll take care of the Zionists!"

Can anyone say whether the rebels have any civillians under their control? Are the places they hold in Aleppo empty? Can they actively recruit or are they entirely dependent on foreign fighters? What percentage at this point can we say are actually Syrian as opposed to foreigners. I keep seeing it billed, by sympathetic people, as a "civil war" but frankly the best term would seem to be invasion.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 16 2013 16:49 utc | 42

"I can't believe anyone is falling for this idea that the US and Israel will allow Syria to become an Islamic emirate..." Well, I can, because I believe that the CIA more or less controls all these Jihadi organisations, including the various al-Qaedas, via the local mukhabarats or directly. The Jihadis talk constantly about how they want to smash the evil crusaders and zionists, but I think it's just a grand deception, firstly of their own useful idiot recruits, and secondly of the general public. Their real targets are always the targets of the US and Israel themselves, ie dangerous nationalists and anti-imperialists, along unfortunately with Shi'ites at large. The number of Jewish targets they have attacked, anywhere, is miniscule, and when such attacks do occur, there is always reason to suspect that the attacks are false flag operations (starting with the WTC on 9/11). On the other hand, they have killed quite a lot of US and other NATO troops, and I suppose one has to remember Kissinger's dictum:

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.

By the way,'s "Killer Apps" blog has produced a nasty post called "Here’s a map of the 23 places the US will bomb if there’s a Syria no-fly zone," with an interactive Google map.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 16 2013 18:55 utc | 43

yep, some friendships are rather strange

Traffic Accident with Deep Connections

On February 15, 2013, Mr. Yasin Abdullah A. Kadi, having a meeting with Mr. Hakan Fidan, Undersecretary of Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT), in Ankara and then moving to Istanbul, had an interesting traffic accident together with his business associate and close relative Usame Kutub, and Ibrahim Yildiz, Police Lieutenant at Prime Ministry’s Guard Office while they were traveling by official vehicle in Bakirkoy, Istanbul, on February 16, 2013. In the accident, the car was wrecked and these three passengers (Kutub, A. Kadi and Yildiz) were then taken to the Bagcilar Medipol Hospital for medical treatment.

The accident was immediately reported to the Prime Minister by Mustafa Latif Topbas (very close friend of A. Kadi). The Prime Minister then asked his son Bilal Erdogan to go to the hospital. A. Kadi and Kutub did not have any serious injuries, but that was not the case for Lieutenant Yildiz. For several days, Lt. Yildiz stayed in the hospital under medical observation.

However; the original report was replaced with a new report to cover up such seemingly unexplainable togetherness in the accident. The new report claimed “as if Lt. Ibrahim Yildiz was alone during the accident”, but he was actually not.

This here is Wikipedia on Yasin al-Qadi

Above description of a traffic accident is part of many signs that the Turkish police is having a fight with the Turkish secret service starting with the Reyhanli bombing - or if you wish - the Gülen movement is having a go at Erdogan.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2013 19:17 utc | 44

re Robert Fisk; it is not only the question of the man's blood alcohol level but also of his intelectual dishonesty. From the very same article you referenced we can find this:
"Indeed, Israel’s policies in the region have been knocked askew by the Arab revolutions, leaving its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, hopelessly adrift amid the historic changes.

Only once over the past two years has Israel fully condemned atrocities committed by the Assad regime, and while it has given medical help to wounded rebels on the Israeli-Syrian border, it fears an Islamist caliphate in Damascus far more than a continuation of Assad’s rule. One former Israel intelligence commander recently described Assad as 'Israel’s man in Damascus'."

If this is not disinformation I DO NOT KNOW what it would be.
Luca K

Posted by: Luca K | Jun 16 2013 20:11 utc | 45

Syria's Information Minister Omran Al-Zoubi said today that any transition of power or new formation of power in Syria is not possible except through ballot boxes, adding that the leadership of the government is committed to the results of any referendum or electoral process (ref).

What that means is: the government insists that all opposition agendas and opposition factions must compete against the government's agenda in democratic elections. This has been the foundation of the government's position for the last two years and will be so for the next three years. Meanwhile for the last two years the various opposition factions (taken as whole) have had a policy of not entering into competition against the government in elections. And they show every sign they will maintain this policy for the next three years.

The government is confident it will be the winner at all and any elections (but if it loses then it loses). As I've said a number of times before on this board, I too believe the government will be the winner at any and all elections and I believe the opposition factions believe it too.

Geneva II and all the talk about "resolving the crisis through political methods" is doomed by the fundamental thing that the opposition factions (taken as a whole) won't agree to compete against the government at elections, and the government won't agree to anything other than competitive elections.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 16 2013 22:28 utc | 46

I can't believe anyone is falling for this idea that the US and Israel will allow Syria to become an Islamic emirate, but then fanatics are fanatics. Maybe they think along similar lines to Lindsey Graham "first will kill the Shia, THEN we'll take care of the Zionists!"

Can anyone say whether the rebels have any civillians under their control? Are the places they hold in Aleppo empty? Can they actively recruit or are they entirely dependent on foreign fighters? What percentage at this point can we say are actually Syrian as opposed to foreigners. I keep seeing it billed, by sympathetic people, as a "civil war" but frankly the best term would seem to be invasion.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 16, 2013 12:49:23 PM | 42

the fanatics are loyal to israel

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 22:41 utc | 47


That's a good point. Maybe if they get a fiefdom where they can stone some poor adulterers they'll be satisfied. The Palestinians be damned.

I just finished up a "conversation" with a 20 year old kid in South Dakota via Twitter. He assured me that the cannibal only ate the Syrian soldier because "his daughters were raped" (of course you can always trust a cannibal's first excuse) and asked me "what I would do" to which I replied that, no matter what unsavory things I might do, I most certainly wouldn't eat a rapist. The kid went on to assure me he will go fight in Syria "if his parents let him."

Is this what the information age has brought us? Is this all part of the process... have you all heard that statistic like, in WW1, only 15% of American soldiers fired their weapons. WW2 it was 40%. By Vietnam it was 75% and now it is 100%? And now we have engineered such a cult of death, you don't even wait for a war - you just take your m-16 to school and fire away.

What the fuck is this world coming to, I'd really like to know.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 16 2013 22:43 utc | 48

Syria's Information Minister Omran Al-Zoubi said today that any transition of power or new formation of power in Syria is not possible except through ballot boxes, adding that the leadership of the government is committed to the results of any referendum or electoral process (ref).


Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 16, 2013 6:28:32 PM | 45

nice but the fanatics tell us democracy is unislamic

Islamist leader Burhan Hanif tells Aussie Muslims told to 'shun democracy' By -THECODECRACK-
Added: Monday, 05 July 2010 at 12:36 AM

Australia a 'Godforsaken country' , Muslims told to shun secular democracy, Islamic group's presence sparks protest,
LEADERS of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called on Australian Muslims to spurn secular democracy and Western notions of moderate Islam and join the struggle for a transnational Islamic state.

British Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Burhan Hanif told participants at a conference in western Sydney yesterday that democracy is "haram" (forbidden) for Muslims, whose political engagement should be be based purely on Islamic law.

and he had the gall to come from UK to australia to tell us that

Posted by: brian | Jun 16 2013 22:45 utc | 49

@42 "Maybe they think along similar lines to Lindsey Graham "first will kill the Shia, THEN we'll take care of the Zionists!"

Graham will kill himself after he he kills the Shia? If only that were part of his plan. Give me something to look forward to.

Posted by: J. Bradley | Jun 22 2013 4:20 utc | 50

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