Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 28, 2013

U.S. Rush To Strike Syria Slowed Down

Following the deadly use of unknown chemicals by unknown sources in Syria the Obama administration tried to rush into some "punitive" strikes on Syria, which would have unintended consequences and little success. To this purpose it tried to derail an investigation into the incident by UN observers in Syria.

Today it looks like this rush has been blocked by several forces.

The claim by Secretary of State Kerry that Syria was too slow in accepting a UN probe proved to be a lie. The UN only asked Saturday, after the U.S. blocking was rejected, to start an investigation in Syria and was allowed to do so by Syria on Sunday. UN secretary Ban Ki Moon resisted U.S pressure and the UN team in Syria continues its investigation. It will need at least four days until its has some reasonable results. The UN declared that its observers so far have found some "chemical substances" which will have to be analyzed and it insisted that any strike would only be legal if the UN Security Council could agree on it.

The Obama administration has yet to provide any evidence that the alleged chemical attack came from the Syrian government. The only "evidence" purposefully leaked is from rather suspicious Israeli communication intercepts of alleged confused talk between Syrian military units AFTER the alleged attack happened. Those certainly ain't proof of Syrian military involvement.

While the UN insists that a strike could only be internationally legal following an UNSC affirmation, Bush lawyer Jack Goldsmith argues that such a strike, without congressional approval, would be illegal under U.S. domestic law.

In the UK premier Cameron faces resistance not only from the labour party but from a significant part of his fellow conservatives. A rush by Cameron today to get a Libya like UNSC resolution for "all necessary force" to "protect civilians" in Syria was rejected by Russia and China who insisted on voting only after getting results from the UN observers in Syria.

In Europe Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Norway have, for good reasons, spoken out against any use of force against Syria. Austria blocked its airspace for any air operation related to Syria. The Arab League blamed the chemical incident on the Syrian government but rejected to endorse any punitive measures.

The Turkish premier Erdogan, who would also like to strike Syria, is like Cameron running into problems with his own party. He also has a huge problem with the tanking Turkish Lira and rapidly increasing interest rates. The Turkish economy is currently taking a deep dive which is at least partly to blame on Erdogan's aggressive foreign policy.

In the U.S. skeptical voices against any further interference in Syria are getting some attention. The U.S. people seem to be solidly against any new war in the Middle East.

Today's slow down of the rush to war may only turn out as a delay that still ends in a catastrophe. But today showed that any strike will lack any international legitimacy. It also gives a shimmer of hope that the whole deadly nonsense may be avoided.

Posted by b on August 28, 2013 at 17:55 UTC | Permalink

next page »

its known sources

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 17:57 utc | 1

...and syria has about 70 YAKHONT antiship cruise missiles...hello/goodbye USN flotilla??????

Posted by: bfrakes | Aug 28 2013 18:06 utc | 2

If someone put gun on Assad head and say " attack Israel or die " he will choose dying ...

you don't know Arabs ... when they think they are inferior to someone , they won't do anything , even if they are stronger ...

now , after 40 years , USA and Zion and Western block put this idea to their heads that they are inferior to Zato ... so Arab won't fight and choose to surrender ...

and in other hand , if they think they are above of someone , they will fight him till they have a drop of blood in their body .... even if they are fare inferior to them ...

Posted by: R.P | Aug 28 2013 18:15 utc | 3

The warmongers play smart, they want more time to build their case against Syria.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 28 2013 18:21 utc | 4

So b isn't buying the story about Sisi and the Suez Canal. But again, we haven't seen an official rebuttal from the Sisi govt, have we?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 28 2013 18:41 utc | 5

Hmm… Labour opposition to an invasion in the UK parliament is spotty and cannot be relied upon. There are just too many imperialists in the LP (well it an imperialist party).

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 28 2013 18:50 utc | 6

Rush to strike slowed down for these reasons or they backtracking after realizing that the consequences would be dismal (eg. Russian intervention, missiles raining on Tel Aviv, etc.)? Unless all this is bluff and they'll strike in a moment...

Rowan #5. Maybe Siss closed the Suez canal to show he's firm with the US after the warships passed it... ;)

Posted by: Gregg | Aug 28 2013 18:57 utc | 7

The West is indeed experiencing turbulence today as it readies its Tomahawk cruise missiles for flight, not the least of which is concocting a plausible explanation as to why the Syrian government would launch a gas attack on an area against which it was making gains with conventional arms and at a time when UN inspectors had recently arrived in Damascus.

For an attempt to flesh out such an explanation check out the piece today in the NYT by that reliable Syrian National Coalition propagandist and likely CIA-asset Anne Barnard.

Her analysis is threadbare, relying on quotes from think tank hacks who repeat the opposition's assertions Assad did it because he knew he could get away with it. No where is there the least discussion of everything the rebels had to gain by staging the attack.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 28 2013 18:58 utc | 8

I hate to say it but I agree with Anonympus. They won't let, can't let them win.

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 28 2013 19:07 utc | 9

The Americans have done a great job making ppl think they are the "good guys" RP

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 28 2013 19:09 utc | 10

As linked to by 'b' above, in case you missed it, "Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria" has good reasoning (though some of the eight are not as good as some of the others):

Consideration #3 is "The Problem with Evidence":

* We may now be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Assad regime has deployed chemical weapons. Yet that determination has not been made in a sufficiently robust way. We must at least take seriously and acknowledge that there is a degree of conviction with which some non-western actors are making a counter case - whether that be in Russia, China, Iran or elsewhere in the region and the world, notably on a ‘cui bono’ (who benefits) basis.

* The suggested irrefutability of the western claim is undermined by the sense that we are being hasty and rushing to conclusions and that we have pre-determined the outcome of the UN inspections currently being undertaken by not giving those sufficient time. It is worth remembering that the UN inspectors on the ground, a development that the West pushed for hard at the UN, are ostensibly in Syria to review claims of CW use from five months ago, western leaders would therefore appear to be on shaky ground in claiming that an investigation of CW use from five days ago is too little, too late.

* Given that the backers of the Assad government in Moscow and Tehran have rushed to condemn CW use, a better strategy might be to pursue a stronger evidentiary base.

* It will not be easy for Assad to use or use again CW on a mass scale and in ways that would be ever-more detectable under these circumstances.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28 2013 19:11 utc | 11

Kerry, the dimwit, said that Syria used chemical weapons then destroyed the evidence. News reports now say that sarin lasts for years, as recent tests in Iraq have shown.

Kerry lied about destroying the evidence. He is not a reliable source. But we already knew that.

After all his years in politics, he still doesn't know how to tell a good whopper, a basic requirement for high government service. I'm surprised the elites have put up with this dimwit this long.

Posted by: JohnH | Aug 28 2013 19:25 utc | 12

So, it appears that TPTB are now shamelessly and forthrightly calling for the commission of war crimes.

This human piece of garbage, Mr. Hurd, should be immediately canned from any university position and then beaten to an f*cking pulp.

Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 28 2013 19:29 utc | 13

Off topic:
The TV is on in the other room, with France24 showing President Obama's speech at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. I really could not care less. Would like to spit on his face. Sad.

Live here.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 28 2013 19:36 utc | 14

@#8: The link to the NYT story doesn't work

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 28 2013 19:38 utc | 15

Or maybe it's been hacked again? nothing connects to NYT

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 28 2013 19:39 utc | 16

It is getting funny. US is going to take action independent of the Security Council "after President Obama has made a decision".

Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2013 19:42 utc | 17

I'm a little worried about Ban Ki-Moon. He seems to be developing a mind of his own.

Posted by: dh | Aug 28 2013 19:43 utc | 18

IDF confident Syria will not retaliate and lob a few missiles on Israel.

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 28 2013 19:44 utc | 19

Martin Luther King would vomit at what Odummy is doing.

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 28 2013 19:45 utc | 20

18) Don't worry, Obama will follow him.

Officials from Iran, Syria's chief ally, said publicly for the first time that U.S.-led strikes on Syria would provoke retaliation on Israel. "Any attack on Syria would burn down Israel," Iranian news media reported Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, as saying.

Syria's Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi warned Wednesday that any Western military intervention would turn Syria into "a graveyard of any invader," according to SANA, the official Syrian news agency.

Asked in New York whether Syria would strike Israel in retaliation for any attack, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja'afari, said: "We have the right to self-defense under the U.N. charter."


Posted by: somebody | Aug 28 2013 19:50 utc | 21

Absolutely awesome sentence from above NYT FUD:

"Since Russia and China won’t help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria."

Evolving law!!!!

Posted by: Caroll | Aug 28 2013 19:50 utc | 22

JohnH 12

they put up with him because his wife got the Heinz fortune and she's always good for a contribution.

Posted by: heath | Aug 28 2013 19:54 utc | 23

Jordan formally announced today that its territories will not be used for any military action against Syria. Jordan's foreign ministry said its position is based on the principle of non-interference in Syria's internal affairs.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28 2013 20:04 utc | 24

For those interested in contacting the employer's of America's newest John Woo, here are the contacts for anyone who might have a say about Mr. Hurd's employment at Northwestern University.

Below is the college of which the poli-sci dept is a part of:

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 28 2013 20:07 utc | 25

#13 JSorrentine

Re: Ian Hurd: Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal

Under international criminal law, not only a "war of aggression", but also "propaganda for war" is a crime against peace. By publishing this outburst the New York Times has earned itself a seat at the dock in Nuremberg.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 28 2013 20:10 utc | 26

Assad made big mistake not retaliating against earlier Israeli attacks.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 28 2013 20:11 utc | 27


"He added that Jordan's position toward Syria is based on the non-interference in Syria's internal affairs.

Military and security apparatuses in Jordan are capable of protecting the stability and security of the country, the minister said, asserting that they have proved their ability to prevent any attempt to smuggle weapons from Syria."

Yet, they allowed those Syrian rebels (American trained) to pass their border last week.... this declaration to me is useless. They're afraid of Syria but even more of FUKUS and it's Muslim brotherhood paymasters.

Posted by: Gehenna | Aug 28 2013 20:11 utc | 28

Re 'evolving law'; that's exactly what the Right to Protect (R2P) doctrine is all about! Gareth Evans, the author of the R2P doctrine, cut his teeth in East Timor. It's also what impunity is all about. This is what the Empire is all about; making up the rules as it goes along. What used to be called gunboat diplomacy, is now called humanitarian intervention. The world of the jungle, of us and them.

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 28 2013 20:16 utc | 29

somebody @20

IDF: "the likelihood of Israel being attacked as a result of an American strike on Syria is low."

No worries.

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 28 2013 20:23 utc | 30

I wonder if the United States has already received preliminary information from the UN inspectors. Sarin is a very persistent chemical weapon so if it had been used there would still be traces in any target area. Highly sensitive detectors capable of identifying Sarin immediately are available (I believe), so the UN will almost certainly know whether or not Sarin was used by now. If it wasn't Sarin, determining what chemical it actually was could take a little longer.

BTW, if the United States does launch cruise missiles at Syria, there is little the Syrians could do in effective response immediately and I doubt whether Russia or China will come to the aid of Syria beyond perhaps shutting down United States/United Kingdom access to Afghanistan through Russian territory. As for Iran, I doubt they will do anything immediately but I would expect to hear a lot more reports of Iranian volunteers fighting in Syria. So Syria's best policy is probably to disperse its aircraft and keeps the pilots out of harm's way, perhaps to Balud Air Base in Iraq and sit it out as they would have already won this little action. Perhaps the United States will eventually learn that every time they bomb someone they lose.

Posted by: blowback | Aug 28 2013 20:24 utc | 31

I know Assad reads MoA everyday. Dr. Bashar, listen to us, please, porfavor mueve toda tu gente a un lugar safe!
If they shoot tomahawks, Assad would be entitled to strike back at them in self defense, no?

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 28 2013 20:51 utc | 32

The fact that this:

doesnt get any attention by MSM proves how political the accusations are against Syrian government.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 28 2013 21:03 utc | 33

blowback @30

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are caught between a rock & a hard place.

If Syria retaliates by lobbing a few missiles into Israel, it will provide the pretext for Israel to launch a bombing campaign. Same goes for Hezbollah. Do they want Lebanon to be bombed and attacked as that will be a near certainty. Likewise for Iran. Do they want to respond overtly and be on the receiving end of missile strikes on their assets? Or more covertly?

Now, if it escalates with Israel joining the assault, then they should also be concerned that at that point Hezbollah and Syria will have much less to lose and launch whatever they have against them. I am sure the Israeli public will not want to take that risk.

But, since stoopid rules. Well, anything can happen once the first cruise missiles get launched.

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 28 2013 21:07 utc | 34

re 23. Jordan formally announced today that its territories will not be used for any military action against Syria.

Important. The US has not understood the limits of what Jordan can do.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 28 2013 21:23 utc | 35

Et tu Merkel...?

Syrian gas attack must draw reaction, Merkel and Cameron agree

"The Syrian regime must not hope to be able to continue this warfare that violates international law ... Therefore an international reaction is inevitable in the view of the chancellor and the prime minister."

Posted by: CTuttle | Aug 28 2013 21:27 utc | 36

re 27 They're afraid of Syria but even more of FUKUS and it's Muslim brotherhood paymasters.

You don't understand Jordan. Abdullah may be a fool, but he understands very well that if he touches the fundamentalist tendencies of Zarqa and the South, it's all over for the Hashemites.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 28 2013 21:30 utc | 37

re 28 that's exactly what the Right to Protect (R2P) doctrine is all about!

The folly is that R2P is inapplicable to Syria. Missile attacks don't protect.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 28 2013 21:33 utc | 38

re 30 I wonder if the United States has already received preliminary information from the UN inspectors.

You wonder, probably true, but US policy doesn't show signs. Probably tomorrow, the situation is highly mobile.

I'm increasingly expecting that US/UK will slowly back down, but I could be wrong. The situation is simply not sufficient for grand anger. Too much of the world is sceptical.

But I wouldn't be surprised if there were not suddenly another event, to reinforce the sentiments.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 28 2013 21:44 utc | 39

When a criminal decides to rape somebody he don't go the police and ask for authorization and he sure don't wait to be uncovered.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 22:13 utc | 40

Now the raper achieved some unexpected problems:

1) To many police officers showed up.
2) The victim can not be surprise and scared anymore.
3) The raper is in bad mood because the victim started to threat.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 22:19 utc | 41

re 28 that's exactly what the Right to Protect (R2P) doctrine is all about!

The folly is that R2P is inapplicable to Syria. Missile attacks don't protect.Posted by: alexno | Aug 28, 2013 5:33:59 PM | 37

You do realise that the phrase "Resonsibility To Protect (R2P)" is just a marketing slogan, slapped on to a blueprint for a massmurder campaign, right?

The people that came up with this Sales-device don't actually want to "protect" the Syrian people, nor do they feel ANY "responsibility" for their well-being

Posted by: hmm | Aug 28 2013 22:21 utc | 42

Fernando @31 - Assad would be perfectly within his rights to strike back but his ability to do so is truly trivial compared to the response from the United States. Assad's objective is the preservation of his regime, responding in anyway would make that an almost impossible task. If he was quixotic, he could respond in the hope of drawing the Americans into a land invasion which would further weaken the United States but Assad's regime would be gone, so he loses. Far better to maintain his air force as best he can and still be around on January 20th, 2017!

ab initio @33 - I quite agree so the best thing for the regime would be not to respond except by crushing the rebels.

alexno @{38 - Cameron is dialling back the push for war - he is now talking about going to the UNSC for a resolution (which he'll never get, so count the UK out of any action for a while, long enough for the UN inspectors to report. The British military take the threat of war crime prosecutions a bit more seriously than the American military and attacking Syria without an UNSC resolution would be a war crime so that will create enough delay. Another "event" would be too damned suspicious. Although it could be that this lull is merely intended to divert pressure on Cameron and the attack will go ahead anyway.

As an aside what would the US, UK and France do if it turned out that the chemicals had originated in Saudi Arabia. Send a few Tomahawks into Riyadh? I don't expect an answer.

Posted by: blowback | Aug 28 2013 22:27 utc | 43

Did anybody wonder why we ended with west to attack directly?

Because the ones who was supposed to do the job (FSA)turned out to be a handful of criminal peasants. Meanwhile the supporters of FSA got uncovered and Assad where about to win.
But as I said above 'the raper' is loosing control and is confused making wrong tactical moves which delays him.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 22:31 utc | 44

This was an interesting exchange at State today, that the President of Syria is responsible for any atrocities that may be committed by Syrian troops. It's a responsibility not shared by western heads of state. Bush, Obama and others should be thankful for that.

QUESTION: How can you hold [Assad] accountable regardless of where the command and control is? If the command and control doesn’t rest within him or his people below him in the food chain, how do you hold him responsible?
MS. HARF: Well, let’s be clear. The commander-in-chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership, even if command and control – he’s not the one that pushes the button or said, “Go,” on this. And again, I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.
QUESTION: So it doesn’t matter to you whether he personally gave the order? It doesn’t --
MS. HARF: He is responsible at the same level --
QUESTION: It doesn’t matter --
MS. HARF: -- either way.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28 2013 22:34 utc | 45

Seumas Milne @SeumasMilne 2h
Why did the US try to get UN weapons inspectors to stop their #Syria investigation if the evidence is 'undeniable'?
think about that and tweet it to the americans

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 22:36 utc | 46

The UNSC avenue was closed today for the US and its allies. Obama will make a decision regardless.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28 2013 22:37 utc | 47

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 28, 2013 2:50:18 PM | 6

a in US or australia etc politics is one party two right wing war party system

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 22:37 utc | 48

"The Syrian regime must not hope to be able to continue this warfare that violates international law ... Therefore an international reaction is inevitable in the view of the chancellor and the prime minister."

Posted by: CTuttle | Aug 28, 2013 5:27:51 PM | 35

can i speak of Merkel and Cameron regimes?

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 22:39 utc | 49

The U.S., Britain and Israel have Used Chemical Weapons within the Last 10 Years

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 22:40 utc | 50

FUSUK etc now feel need to provide their jihad army air support: FUKUS try again their R2P rotting figleaf

Posted by: brian | Aug 28 2013 22:44 utc | 51

Allow me to continue the theater with the criminal:

At this point the victim could gain some area by go kidnapping the rapers sister eg. and then tell him if you ...

But I don't see that intention, unfortunately.

In any case if you can't out of the trouble why not hit first.

The Israeli's are scared to death, I heard the are wearing masks even when make TALMUD love. LOL.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 22:45 utc | 52

It's going badly in UK. Suddenly there's a mass of headlines against intervention. 'How Labour forced David Cameron to make tactical retreat on Syria crisis'. 'It's outrageous that the Syria vote will be whipped' (whipped means MPs are forced to vote). That means that it's in question who will vote for the war, even if forced.

OK, I took the headlines from the Guardian, a supposedly liberal newspaper. The BBC says "Obama 'sure Syria behind attack'" They had something less certain earlier. Evidently there's been a wobbly moment, and the government has reimposed certainty.

The truth is that evidently there's a big problem, and they're trying to conceal it.

How the parliamentary vote will go in the end, I don't know. The Brits are very obedient, and it may be that even the Labour rebels will vote for the war in the end. But there's been a problem tonight.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 28 2013 22:49 utc | 53

News: The UK Labour Party leadership has changed its tune and is now demanding "compelling evidence" that the Assad government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. And it is demanding there be a UN Security Council vote on the UN inspectors’ report before an attack, and that there shall be a second vote in the UK parliament after the UN Security Council has reviewed the inspectors report.

As linked to above by 'b', a considerable number of UK Conservative Party members of parliament are inclined to vote against a UK attack on Syria. So the UK Conservative Party leadership has to agree to the Labour Party's demands. The Labour Party may still vote to authorize an attack. The Labour Party is also demanding a "clear basis in international law" for the attack, but apparently they are willing to go along with the Conservative Party leaderhship's notion that a UNSC authorization for an attack is not strictly necessary in "international law" (the law of Might makes Right).

The demand for "compelling" evidence that it was the government's side who did the chemical weapons attack last week is the key.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28 2013 22:55 utc | 54

You can find as many theoretical hinders as you want for this to be cancelled, but what will follow such a situation?

The ones that are really deep in the sh... are the Israeli's, because if the campaign is cancelled they should count on Hezbollah willing to make love to them, and that won't be romantic.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 22:59 utc | 55

As I wrote yesterday :

As it seems right now US has problems to start up aggression because of heavy delay, and probably that's why Cameron rushes in to this, but he will need an incident to justify the start up. Things got screwed up down the line, at the same time as Israel can't wait much longer.
We should wait for some sudden provocative event very soon.

But to add more delay:

Syrian navy parks vessels at the margin of their territorial waters to prolong missiles area to cover. At the same time Assad invites a couple of allied submarines to 'fish' back of the vessels and outside the coast.
Will the attack?
What a disgrace for president Mr. ...

And as somebody wrote: Soon it will be winter, that's Russians favorite season.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 23:07 utc | 56

You see when the submarines come into the theater there is no way to prove who did what. the satellites can't identify submarines. If SM are inside Syria's water and start to launch from there then it is self defense.

Like bfrakes says in the beginning of this thread: hello/goodbye USN flotilla??????

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 23:14 utc | 57

Ahead of the G-8 meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin told U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron that “one should hardly back those who kill their enemy and eat their organs,” presumably referring to a shocking video of a Syrian rebel seemingly cutting out and eating the heart of a soldier.

Only counties that have experienced civil war can understand the above.
It could be acceptable to protest against your regime and even fight, but you have to be ready to be beaten.

But cutting out and eating the heart of a soldier is far worse even than attack with chemical weapons.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 23:31 utc | 58

The big fish running US foreign policy don't mind swimming against the current. World and national opinion mean nothing to them. I fully expect the attack on Syria to happen. No matter what. It's only a question of when.

Posted by: ben | Aug 28 2013 23:34 utc | 59

Agree ben

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 23:40 utc | 60

But I would like it to start right away so we can stop hypothesis. And of course I wish I was younger to be at the battle field.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 28 2013 23:42 utc | 61

I'm less sanguine than many others about what is likely to happen here.
The alacrity with which USuk raced to war indicates that they decided a long while back they would wait for the provocation then jump straight in. (a bit like the patriots act n all the other gwot oppression legislation. Those laws were already written & saved for an opportune moment).

Now we know that this isn't quite the moment. That tells us is that israel is further off the reservation than even we imagined.
They were prolly 100% confident that their murder of Syrian civilians would crank up the ME Armageddon they appear to live for, however, we can see now that the israelis have lost touch with their 'allies' citizens.

Once the single strongest weapon in the zionist armoury, the ability to brainwash western audiences, nowadays israel shows they can't comprehend, much less influence the wage slaves of the west anymore.
The fucking Daily Mail, the worst, most reactionary of all the englander fishwraps, much loved by the sort of human any thinking MoA-ite would loathe, yesterday carried threads chocka with comments from readers hugely opposed to intervention in Syria.

This is why camoron & oblamblam (see WaPo & other amerikan media) have pulled their heads in, they have suddenly realised that they have convinced no one of their case for blowing away mobs of Syrians.
These guys live & die by opinion polls.
They may buck em from time to time but when they do they depend on a solid minority of loons to back em and carry them through the initial phases, at least until they can harangue the easily swayed into agreement (eg 'support the troops' lines of bullshit), but right now they lack even that drongo minority.

No, I'm not sayin these guys listen to the people and act on the peeps wishes, but they know from alla the years of focus groups, research and profiling of the citizens which the political class lives by, that they need to move in reasonable proximity to the citizens, otherwise if they completely lose touch with the populace, even once reliable dingbats come over all stubborn & instransigent & from then on the pols struggle to implement their masters' orders on all the other stuff required by the elites.

But this doesn't mean they've given up on Syria - quite the reverse.
If they do back off now, which is still only a 50-50 proposition, dependent on how many of the weapons inspectors they own, they won't be giving up.
Every incident which causes casualties in Syria from then on will be measured against the decision not to intervene & found wanting.
twitter, blogs & fishwrap opinion threads will all get stacked full of sock puppets unrelentingly 'blaming' the weak-assed call not to 'hit Assad where it hurts' as being the sole cause of some Syrian child's demise. That will be repeated over and over again.

(The fact that didn't happen this time indicates that fukus were unprepared for the gas ploy, that the zionists had pulled this scummy stunt without any consultation at all with fukus.)

Even worse, if the assholes don't go now, they will claim they did 'listen to the people' and limited punishment strikes are off the table.

As soon as sufficient dingbats are convinced by the old water dripping on stone technique the warmongers will revert to, 'intervention' will include ground troops from the start.
Probably not in any great number from fukus - maybe from israel although the Saudis are unlikely to favour that, since it would make them just too obviously lubing up their asshole for zionist dick.

There are any number of dodgy developing world economies stricken with debt, some of whom have resorted recruiting young men into their military. This has been primarily to keep a lid on internal problems by finding 'something useful' for idle young hands. Fiji is a classic example but it has been tied to the UN thus far and lacks a large enough population for an effective force in Syria, but not to worry, somewhere in Asia, maybe India or even Cambodia, could be 'just the ticket' for providing a patina of legitimacy by sending a national army into Syria to 'protect the people'. Indonesia would be ideal - though likely to be problematic if the zionist involvement is too apparent.

Anyway given the wariness most westerners look upon the contractor system, I reckon the assholes will be looking for a national military force from an unwhite jurisdiction. That way the inevitable casualty & death among 'the rescuers' wont provoke too many 'letters to the Times' or tweets or whatever.

Of course that's gonna take some time - it is difficult to see all the ducks in a row for such an operation before next summer.
Big problem cause the SNC likely won't last that long, which is why israel pulled this stunt right now.

So - if a decision not to blow Damascus to the shit in the short term is made, there's gotta be some other embargo or maybe some sort of device foisted upon Syria, as an attempt to stymie the destruction of those terrorist forces currently on the ground.

This is where Russia's gonna hafta be very careful. They already understand the thin end of the wedge stuff played to enable Iraq & Libya, but nevertheless they will be cornered into some sort of a concession over the immediate strike back-off if that happens.

Whatever form it takes the play will be primarily designed by fukUS to ensure that the SNC survives within Syria, and doesn't become a paper force that exists only in Turkish refugee camps.

Watch out Vlad!

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 28 2013 23:55 utc | 62

Obama, on the PBS NewsHour, offers no proof that there was a chemical strike or that Syria used chemical weapons. Regardless, Obama wants to send a message that Syria better not do it again, despite the fact he isn't even sure himself!
Quote: "And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences."
Some Obama quotes--

#And although what’s happened there is tragic, and although I have called for Assad to leave and make sure that we got a transitional government that could be inclusive in Syria, what I’ve also concluded is that direct military engagement, involvement in the civil war in Syria, would not help the situation on the ground.
#But what I also said was that if the Assad regime used chemical weapons on his own people, that that would change some of our calculations. And the reason has to do with not only international norms but also America’s core self-interest.
#So what I’ve said is that we have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place. And nobody disputes – or hardly anybody disputes that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in Syria against civilian populations.
# We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.
# I think it’s important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again. And that doesn’t solve all the problems inside of Syria, and, you know, it doesn’t, obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria.

It's all about what Obama has said and what he will decide. He's the new Decider. It's the same way he ran his campaign in 2008 -- I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. Various people in the Congress have complained that they have not been consulted on this matter.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28 2013 23:58 utc | 63

@ Debs is dead

I think you have some good points in there, but when aggression starts the theater will change totally, so I wouldn't be sure talking about next summer because there are to many player's involved this time.
What can appear from day day is at his moment unpredictable.
Depending on the very first day's of that campaign we will have better picture of any development.

Keep on speculating.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 29 2013 0:10 utc | 64

One thing about Obama's behavior over Syria over the last 18 months helps establish is that he is not being directed by some small clique that rules the capitalist world. What we see is complete lack of any over arching strategy or even well defined goals. No witting conspirator would run things in such slap shod manner. Nope, poor Obama is in totally over his head, has no idea how to create new situations that would benefit the US, but just reacts impulsively to one circumstance or crisis after another.

Two days ago it was instant war, today it is delay and uncertainty. Sure makes predicting what he will do next very difficult.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 29 2013 0:35 utc | 65

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that an American military operation on Syria is scheduled to start Friday night, early Saturday Aug. 30-31. The report adds that US forces are finalizing a a major buildup at the huge US Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 29 2013 0:44 utc | 66

BEIRUT: A massive military strike by the United States and its Western allies on Syria aimed at changing the balance of power in the country will likely trigger a swift intervention by Hezbollah, political analysts and sources close to the group said Tuesday.

Posted by: Caroll | Aug 29 2013 1:07 utc | 68

'These guys live & die by opinion polls."

There's a great deal of truth in that but consider the implications of Debs's argument.

The governments in question,"these guys", who appear to have been blindsided by the obvious lack of enthusiasm for Round 200 million of Captain Jingo vs the Unarmed Coloured Man, are operating total surveillance systems which allow them to look into the minds (thanks to the mathematical magic of alogarithms) of the people.

They have the information, but they are too dumb to understand or use it.
These governments make the wizened old clown behind the curtain in Oz look like a gathering of very wise and crafty statesmen. They keep trying the same old tactics until they are so discredited that nobody believes them except the "pundits" (who are paid to believe what they are told) and the media who believe that if the government says something it is unpatriotic to question it.

What they are doing is re-running the long campaign against Saddam which lasted from 1990 to 2003. (And is still going on, long after it is over which is the way of these things.)
But what they seem to have missed is the fact that everything else has changed. They haven't, life in Westminster and Washington goes on as it always has, but everywhere else people are wiser and older.

After Iraq the saliva just doesn't flow so automatically when authority screams out WMD. After Libya people tend not to listen when reptiles like BHL or Medecins Sans Frontieres croak out warnings against imminent massacres. And the liberal bien pensantry warns the world to act at once or be ready to die with the blood of innocents on its hands. Also UN Security Council members, having been made to look like idiots once are reluctant to put on the cap and bells again and do somersaults.

But Washington and Westminster are still stuck in 1989. The world they believe is their oyster, nobody can stop them, history has ended, and they are the winners. They can make war whenever they fancy, wipe out villages, bomb cities, villify "dictators" invade Panama daily if so inclined, blow up aspirin factories, stop women from wearing veils, make women wear veils and anything else their hearts desire.

If they are lucky they will soon be escorted gently into some padded space in which they cannot harm themselves or the rest of us any more. But that, sadly, is unlikely and these mad deluded warmongers will just carry on as if the Soviet Union just passed away and they had just convinced themselves that they were responsible, until either they do something so bloody stupid that they get kicked out or they blow the world up, playing games. With lies on their lips.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 29 2013 1:17 utc | 69

My guess is that Russia and Iran have already been told about the target and as daily star puts it those strikes will no be game changers. Putin has already notified Bandar, and Iran the same to Feltman, that they will not tolerate any substantial operation. The Syrians are well aware of this.

There will be no UN approval. US will act outside "international laws" blowing another hit to the current order (and by the same token to the foundation of her own power) and Syrian state will not be dismantled by that.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 29 2013 1:25 utc | 70

@Carol: "Evolving law!!!!" This is actually the first known example of evolution from man to slug if you don't count Christopher Hitchens.

Whoever concocted this event - presumably the Saudis and the Israelis - pulled out all the stops in the media. There wasn't a paper that wasn't (or isn't for that matter) calling this event "inevitable." Surely the most sensitive schools of fish are put to shame by the way our "free press" holds formation through the tightest twists and turns of these events. I think the more we see DEBKA and the like try to push politicians into a corner by saying an "attack is imminent" the more we can assume their hand is behind it. There is no doubt they'd use the excuse to attack Hezbollah.

Whether the right thing to do for the Syrians and/or Hezbollah is to counter attack is theirs to make, but I don't see that the attacks could simply be "limited." The problem is that no one knows how far the west intend to take the strikes, and no one knows where this will go if the Syrians do respond. If Obama is not conducting some serious behind the scenes negotiating, then he is running insane risks. But if the Syrians do respond what do they have to lose if the west intends to deliver the whole country into the hands of the cannibal head choppers?

@Fernando "Martin Luther King would vomit at what Odummy is doing." Without a doubt. He would be the first to condemn Obama's drone strikes. If this man intends any link to the legacy of Dr. King he will refuse to launch an attack on a Syria.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 29 2013 1:38 utc | 71

@my 70

I have to give credit to George Galloway for the first line as much as I'd love to take credit for it.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 29 2013 1:39 utc | 72

I don't understand the reason behind the "surgical strike". Really, unless Obama genuinely believes that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack, I really don't understand why they would with hold a full-out attack and instead go for the "surgical" version.
Here is why I don't understand this:
Assuming that the US administration is fully aware that the rebels are behind the attack (and I can't see why they should not wait for UN investigation to conclude, otherwise), then a "surgical attack" is only a PLAIN, OBVIOUS and DIRECT command to the rebels to keep using the chemical attacks to get the USA to make more and more "surgical attacks".
Now what's the point in that? Why not just use this chemical attack as an excuse to go for a full-blown and continued air assault and even close air support to the rebels (as it was the case in Libya)? Why the charade? what would that charade achieve except more people being gassed by the rebels to instigate further "surgical attacks" by USA?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Aug 29 2013 1:48 utc | 73

Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 4, 1967
Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I'm in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 1:52 utc | 74

@73 One of the most important speeches in human history.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 29 2013 1:58 utc | 75

@ Pirouz_2 #73
I don't understand the reason behind the "surgical strike".

Debs touched on it. These clowns are detached from reality. And special.

A bomb delivered to America or Americans anywhere is an insult and must receive a response, times ten.
A bomb delivered by America to an inobedient country sends a message that it must obey.

Obama: "The Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 2:01 utc | 76

@Guest77 @74
One of the most important speeches in human history.

Yes -- I still tear up reading it. I had an army friend, African-American, Captain M***l, back then in the sixties. We'd both been to 'Nam, and he ditched MLK after that speech, an indication of the courage it took to make the speech.

Dr. King was assassinated exactly one year later, April 4, 1968. What a loss. Damn it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 2:09 utc | 77

I'll pass on the video -- but thanks.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 2:10 utc | 78


It's pretty incredible to think of the people lost around that time - his most certainly the greatest - and how those huge personalities might have changed the world.

I have differing thoughts on all of them that I'm not going to go into here as I discuss their deaths, but even as problematic as some are I still think having their voices over the last decades would have moved this country in a far different direction: MLK, The Kennedy Brothers, Malcolm X, John Lennon.

Those were some heavyweights whose voices were cut short.

It's really a remarkable to think of what a violent period that was.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 29 2013 2:20 utc | 79

These governments make the wizened old clown behind the curtain in Oz look like a gathering of very wise and crafty statesmen.

Aug 27 -- A delegation of Israeli officials met with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice in Washington on Monday afternoon to discuss the latest developments in Syria and Egypt, as the Obama administration planned its response to a chemical attack near Damascus. The Israeli team was headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outgoing National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 2:56 utc | 80

The war is back on!

Brown Moses has found the smoking gun, a video of his "Mystery Rocket" being launched by what look like a Republican Guard unit.
Video Shows Assad's Forces Loading, Firing, Munition Linked To Chemical Attacks – Brown Moses, 28 August 2013

The problem with the evidence is that it is Brown Moses himself, that has linked the rocket type to alleged CW attacks.

How do I know? Al-Qaeda did it. The delivery system must thus be something al-Qaeda has. If the government has this and al-Qaeda does not, then it cannot be the delivery system – as simple as that :-)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 29 2013 3:00 utc | 81

...continued from #80

(Somehow pressed Post button in the middle of edit.)
How do I know what? That the rocket has nothing to do with chemical weapons and most likely even August 21st.

Most likely the mystery rocket is a thermobaric weapon. This is what some other analysts think:
Evidence at least part of Aug. 21st munitions were fuel air explosives, not chemical warfare munitions – Matthew Asheville, August 23, 2013

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 29 2013 3:12 utc | 82

@Petri Krohn #81
Most likely the mystery rocket is a thermobaric weapon.

The US developed a thermobaric weapon for mine clearance, similar appearance to the rocket in Brown Moses, but it was never fielded.

SLUFAEs ((Surface-Launched Unit, Fuel-Air Explosive) were 5 inch-wide, Zuni rockets with a 13.5 inch-wide, 100-pound, barrel-shaped warhead filled with explosive gas mounted on the front. The whole contraption was about 8-feet long. As you can see by the image above, the rear end of SLUFAE bears an uncanny resemblance to the weapons found in Syria. The front-ends of of the mystery rockets also appear to have been large, barrel-shaped warheads that were destroyed or disfigured upon detonation and impact with the ground.

This gas would be expelled from SULFAE's warhead when it was just above the target and then explode "a split second later," according to the ex-inspector. "This gas explosion did not normally burn anything, but the detonation caused significant overpressure. This was found to be very deadly for people and animals."

People and animals unlucky enough to be near a thermobaric explosion have their internal organs crushed by waves of air pressure instead of suffering shrapnel wounds or burns.

Israel developed a similar thermobaric weapon - CARPET - and reportedly used it in Lebanon.

killer apps

The U.S. abandoned the SLUFAE effort before it was ever fielded. However, in the decades since it was tested, several countries have built similar weapons loosely based on SLUFAE, according to the inspector.

In fact, "a very similar munition was found 3-5 years ago, during one of the Israeli excursions," into Southern Lebanon, said the former weapons inspector. That weapon turned out to be Israel's CARPET thermobaric mine-clearing weapon

Minefield Clearing and IED Neutralization/Detonation System

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 4:03 utc | 83

news report:
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia — The United States has ruled out unilateral military action against Syria and is conferring with allies on potential punitive strikes that could last for more than a day, a senior US official said Wednesday. "Any military action would not be unilateral. It would include international partners," the senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.//

The US will partner with UK and France, who can write anything they want on the missile each country will send into Syria. The UK will write "Take this Royal Baby"; France will probably go with "The Mandate Will Rise Again."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 29 2013 4:18 utc | 84

Hey, anybody see that tinfoil-hat piece on the EU Times, which said Putin had ordered a massive strike on Saudi Arabia if the west attacked Syria?

Not credible, naturally; countries which dance diplomatically just don't do that - except for the USA and UK - but I couldn't help thinking what a piece of genius that would be for leverage. Can you imagine what would happen to the price of oil if the world's second-largest energy producer were to be attacked by the largest? And the Saudis' allies could not even get there to help without sucking their strategic reserves dry, leaving them nothing to fight with and no domestic reserve with winter coming on. Russia could announce it was temporarily diverting all its production to the war effort, so sorry, no foreign fuel sales. Game, set and match. There is no possible way the remainder of the world's energy producers could make up for the loss of both Russia and Saudi Arabia's production, and Europe would be swept by panic.

The piece was written by a loony, I'm sure Putin never said anything of the kind, although he had to have been a little PO'ed by Prince Bandar's thinly-veiled threat to sponsor Caucasian extremist attacks during the Olympics, if that is what he actually said. But loony or not, the writer inadvertently came up with a strategy that would have tremendous resonance if Russia ever actually used it.

Posted by: Mark | Aug 29 2013 4:34 utc | 85

'U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry constantly claim to have irrefutable confirmation that the Syrian government is responsible for the use of sarin on August 21 in Joubar. But who is the source? It turns out that it's the same as always. The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, for example, reports that the information that al-Asad used chemical weapons was given to Washington and European countries by Israel. The newspaper writes that the Chief of General Staff of TZAHAL, Benny Ganz, told the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey that «Israel has indisputable evidence that chemical weapons were used against the civilian population by al-Asad's army.» And the German newspaper Focus writes that supposedly the Israeli army’s 8200 intelligence unit intercepted a conversation between high-ranking Syrian government and army officials during which an order to use chemical weapons was given. The blame is focused on the younger brother of the Syrian president, Maher al-Asad, who commands the units which have chemical weapons in their possession. However, can Israel, which is directly involved in the conflict, be considered a reliable source in this instance? By no means! The story of Israel's interception of government communications on the use of chemical weapons sounds especially fantastic. Syrian leaders are well aware of the capabilities of their neighbors, and for such a delicate matter they probably could have found more secret means of communication'

Posted by: brian | Aug 29 2013 5:19 utc | 86

#Syria Mother Agnes raises critical questions re death of children in 'rebel' held area Where did kids come from?

Posted by: brian | Aug 29 2013 5:26 utc | 87

What is going on with the ny times website. I can't access it since yesterday

Posted by: Hilmihakim | Aug 29 2013 7:30 utc | 88

I wonder which is the heaviest reason for delay and maybe cancel,

1) Constitution of US or,
2) The fact that they finally realized that Israel is totally bloated.

I think Israel now fear this aggression. Barking louder than you can bite was always a Jewish tactics.

Theoretical such a situation will in power enlarge the initial strikes to minimize Syria's retaliation option, mainly on Israel.
On the other hand I think that Hezbollah has made their own plans and are just waiting for the sun to rise.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 29 2013 7:46 utc | 89

What is going on with the ny times website. I can't access it since yesterday

Posted by: Hilmihakim | Aug 29, 2013 3:30:03 AM | 87

hopefully its history.Heresa sample of their woeful opinionating

which reminds me of Nixon

Posted by: brian | Aug 29 2013 7:53 utc | 90

The daily mail must have a lot of faith in the 'surgical strike' kif they think it can do this:

'back the Prime Minister’s determination to launch a punitive military strike against Syria’s President Bashar Assad.'

so are all these missiles aimed at one man?

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

a lawyer on twitter recommended people not use the phrase 'military strike' but use crime of agression' is more apt

Posted by: brian | Aug 29 2013 8:17 utc | 91

brian 90

this is how a typical *precision strike* works...
* But in this kind of shell game, you can never know which coconut the evil ones might be hiding under — so the CIA destroyed not one but three houses, just to be sure.*

Posted by: denk | Aug 29 2013 9:02 utc | 92

I suppose this corrects the rumours about closing the suez canal:
Tamarod wants Syria-bound ships blocked from Suez
al-Masry al-Youm, Aug 28 2013

Egypt’s Tamarod movement has called on Egyptian authorities to close the Suez Canal, preventing military destroyers that could be used in an impending strike on Syria. The campaign’s website quoted Tamarod spokesperson Hassan Shahin as saying that Egypt should take a firm stance against the anticipated US military strike against Syria. Shahin also posted on Facebook:

We should shut the Suez Canal before destroyers, machinery or oil vessels pass to strike Syria. Supporting the Arab Syrian military is a national duty. We’ll support the Arab Syrian army. No place for traitors. Arab people should revolt after schemes by the FSA and its supporters of the MB and extremists to strike the whole Arab world were disclosed.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 29 2013 9:05 utc | 93

Rowan Berkeley

Seems like sisi wont do that, unfortunately. Its time the region wake up and unite against attacks on them from abroad.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 29 2013 9:10 utc | 94

Obama: I have not made a decision yet


U.S. sources: Intelligence on Syria chemical weapons is 'no slam dunk' Intelligence officials say they have not been able to pinpoint the exact locations of Assad's supplies of chemical weapons, assessing that Assad might have moved them in recent days as U.S. rhetoric built.

It is obvious, precision strikes with escalation possible for any actor are not an option - it is all out war or nothing.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 29 2013 9:11 utc | 95

What if the Russian ships were located close to the Syrian coast, still in international waters, and used their air defense systems to destroy the incoming cruise missiles launched from that side?

I don't think that could be considered aggression against US/NATO and they could still claim that cruise missiles fired on their general direction were considered a threat and eliminated ...

It would minimize the impact of the attack. However possible B1, B2 bombers and cruise missiles from the Red Sea would still to be able to get to Syria.

It has been just announced that the UN inspector will leave Syria on Saturday morning and then present a report with the preliminary results of their work. So the early attack date is Saturday to Sunday night.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 29 2013 9:22 utc | 96


Sorcha Faal? I can't understand why anybody would want to give this harebrained stuff any credence! The story you reference originates from the What does it Mean Website. It's further out even than Alec Jones. Russia bomb Saudi Arabia? Off the wall!

What does it mean Wiki entry

I quote from the Wiki site:

Sorcha Faal is the alleged author of an ongoing series of "reports" published at, whose work is of such quality that even other conspiracy nutters don't think much of it. There is a high chance that "Sorcha Faal" is actually David Booth, the owner/operator of the website, or someone collaborating with him.

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 29 2013 9:34 utc | 97

“Brzezinski US Military Intervention in Syria is Wrong”

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 29 2013 9:40 utc | 98

You do not need to believe the Jordanians when they say they are not letting their territory being used. They claimed the same during each Iraq war.
Look at the guy in Fort Hood for an example of USJord cooperation: the so-called "triple-agent" who couldn't take it anymore.

The French TV yesterday was plainly stating that the UN has voted for war (no matter if it was just a UK draft being passed). But they still want to wrap it into a fake legality by waiting for some UK and French parliament meetings next week at the end of the recess (the French one on 4th Sept won't be followed by a vote, i. e. Obomber will have taken the decision the White Man has dictated and UK/F will pretend to follow). No more Ashton/Van Rompuy on the screen. Bye bye EU. It costed too much anyway, and now that Greece and Cyprus can serve as US military bases for cheap, why wouldn't they try to please their defense industries? So many jobs for airheads.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 29 2013 9:46 utc | 99

#72 - "I don't understand the reason behind the surgical strike'."

My working hypothesis is that yes, the Western powers know the rebels did it and also that the rebels couldn't have done it without technical assistance from Western covert ops.

Why then only surgical strikes? Perhaps this entire event is largely an intelligence op in preparation for going after Hezbullah and Iran, which will come later.

Posted by: berry | Aug 29 2013 9:46 utc | 100

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