Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 24, 2013

What Is The Sudden Issue With Syria?

According to the insurgency supporting Syrian Observatory 136 people have been killed two days ago by some unknown substance released during ongoing fights by unknown perpetrators in some villages east of Damascus.

Based on that Washington is now all giddy about waging open war on Syria.

A few days ago the Egyptian military killed hundred of Muslim Brothers who were protesting against a military coup against the elected government.

Washington didn't care.

And what actually makes the hundred something people killed by some unknown substance in Syria different from those killed in Syria by the 3,500 tons of weapons the CIA got from Croatia and distributed to the insurgents in Syria?

I do not think that the U.S. will in any outright way attack Syria. The unknowns for the U.S., including the potential reactions by Russia and China, are just too many and too big.

Posted by b on August 24, 2013 at 15:33 UTC | Permalink

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Syrian troops find chemical agents in tunnels used by rebels – state TV
Oliver Holmes, Reuters, Aug 24 2013

BEIRUT – Syrian state television said soldiers found chemical materials on Saturday in tunnels that had been used by rebels Syrian TV said soldiers came across chemical agents in rebel tunnels during an advance into the Jobar district. It said:

Army heroes are entering the tunnels of the terrorists and saw chemical agents. In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar. Ambulances came to rescue the people suffocating. Soldiers discovered a cache of gas masks and imported pills used to ward off exposure to chemical attacks.

It promised to air footage of material and drums later. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 24 2013 16:01 utc | 1

Huh? West and Israel have looked for a justification to attack Syria for years of course they try to use this "incident".

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 24 2013 16:16 utc | 2

Unfortunately you are wrong. The US will bomb Syria because is the only remaining way for their objectives to be reached. I The buildup of forces in Jordan since July and the chemical attack this week are no coincidence.

It's hard to see what Russia could put into the table to deter such an attack and after the fact it won't be able to do anything as it would mean war between nuclear powers.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 24 2013 16:17 utc | 3

Could be simply that a Syrian army shell or missile hit a rebel cache of chemicals.

Posted by: biklett | Aug 24 2013 16:18 utc | 4

Yeah some of the reports coming out of Washington had me a bit worried. They were pushing the false flag pretty hard in the media, congressional leaders pressuring Obama to "do something", Defence Sec Chuck Hagel moving a fourth cruise missile ship the USS Mahan into the eastern Mediterranean, and Obama holding a Saturday morning National Security Meeting to discuss Syria.

But the more I thought about it the more I think its a bluff used to pressure Assad into negotiations (similar to the bluff of invading Iran unless it agrees to surrender in the nuclear talks).

Reasons why the US won't attack:

1) No UN Security Council Resolution: Without it would be illegal under international law, a complete repeat of Iraq.

2) Syria ain't Libya. It's got a population size closer to Iraq than Libya. Even a No Fly Zone would entail a bombing campaign similar to the First Gulf War. A Massive and expensive undertaking.

3) Hezbollah and Iran. They would have to get involved. Hezbollah alone could threaten any cruise missile ships that dock of the coast of Syria or Lebanon for such an attack. The Last time Israel used a naval destroyer to bomb positions in Lebanon (2006 war), Hezbollah used a Chinese C-802 missile to almost sink the ship (live on TV, Nasrallah gave the order and had a live feed of it burning off the coast of Beirut as he gave a speech) though it managed to stay afloat and was towed back to Ashdod. It certainly sent a message that ships off the coast aren't safe.

4) Lack of trust. The US can't trust the Syrian opposition to be dependable puppets. The Syrian National Coalition couldn't even agree on the color of the sky, if there life depended on it. Even a best case scenario of regime change would be a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood government. A more realistic scenario would be a government close to Jihadists or a choatic Libya scenario with warlords holding chunks of the country.

5) Regional War. A US attack on Syria would cause a regional war. Jordan would become shaky. Iraq would be dragged further in. So would Lebanon. And in such a case Iran and Saudi would could come to blows. No way the US would risk it. The disruption of oil supplies through the middle east alone make it unthinkable.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 24 2013 16:27 utc | 5

@Colm O' Toole | 5

"But the more I thought about it the more I think its a bluff used to pressure Assad into negotiations (similar to the bluff of invading Iran unless it agrees to surrender in the nuclear talks)."

Bingo. USrael are simply pressuring Assad to surrender, same as with Iran. I also posted my thoughts about this subject in previous thread:

Posted by: Harry | Aug 24 2013 16:49 utc | 6

"It promised to air footage of material and drums later. The report could not be independently confirmed."

They better damn well get off their ass and provide proof, because the cruise missiles are being readied. The PR is reaching crirical mass.

Posted by: ben | Aug 24 2013 16:50 utc | 7

Syria could retaliate against Israel. And the one thing the US and NATO would never risk is significant Israeli casualties. Moslem lives worthless, Christians not much better, but Israeli s must be protected at all costs.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 24 2013 17:13 utc | 8

And as the 67th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki just passed with very little coverage in America,the hypocrisy and hand wringing by our poohbahs is laughable over these deaths(?) by alleged gas,which if true are a bad, bad thing.But the 1400 and counting(and who's seen any counting lately)Egyptian dead,if they could speak(which they obviously can't,but I can),would say,what about us?And to attack Syria would entail more dead to dwarf even those alleged victims of WMD,so I mean,what logic is there in any more war?
But of course,as documented by Wesley Clark,Syria is just another domino in the Israeli security and expansion game,and it's destruction has been written.
Unfortunately for the ME,the Israeli and Western scheme of divide and conquer finds fertile ground in a region of long historical and ethnic animosity,as these blinded fools(and we are also)are destroyed from within by these stirred up allegiances.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 24 2013 17:13 utc | 9

b: Based on that Washington is now all giddy about waging open war on Syria.

Not really.

President Obama, CNN interview, Aug 23:

... when we take action -- let's just take the example of Syria. There are rules of international law.

And, you know, if the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work, and, you know, those are considerations that we have to take into account.

... this latest event is something that we've got to take a look at.

General Dempsey: Letter from Gen. Martin Dempsey to Rep. Eliot Engel, Released by: U.S. House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee, August 19, 2013.
. . .the use of USA military force can change the military balance, but it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious, and tribal issues tht are fueling the conflict. . .
Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 24 2013 17:30 utc | 10

The USgov has been making all the wrong decisions. They have been stepping into piles of shit repeatedly. The Libya affair made them believe they could it again. They are wrong, they were wrong then too. It seemed easy but Gaddafi held out and made them have to work for it. Old man Gaddafi held out as long as he did out of sheer grit.
He had no anti aircraft weaponry worth mentioning. At best 90,000 men at arms. A flaky ally Algeria and Tuareg militia.
His infantry, logistics, transports and weapons caches were old and atrophied but he held out for 8 long painful months.

Now onto Syria, battle hardened army over 200,000 strong.
A mix of modern and soviet times weapons.
A strong airforce
Competent logistics.
And excellent antiaircraft, SAMS etc.
Assad has the Russian Navy as a buffer.
The Hizbollah watching his southern flank in the Lebanon.
Iran and Iraqui assistance.
Kurdish leeway.
Numerous militias.
PFLP-GC, al Saiqa.
Spy's and sympathizers.

The USGov is going to start a shitstorm, what does the USgov do when it makes a big mistake?
It makes even bigger mistakes!
This going to get ugly.
Because the Americans and their allies just can't keep their big fat Jewish noses out of anybody's asshole.

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 24 2013 17:39 utc | 11

Syria will let UN inspectors probe chemical attack: Syria FM

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 24 2013 17:52 utc | 12

Regarding the current "red line crossing" that the the MSM is prattling about, they have a short memory. The US and its allies determined in June that the alleged use of chemical weapons was evidence enough.

Jun 22, 2013: Foreign ministers from 11 countries (the "London 11") meeting in Doha, Qatar cited the presence of foreign fighters in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus in agreeing Saturday to increase arms shipments to the "rebels".

Jen Psaki at State clarified it (?) Thursday.

MS. PSAKI: Well, the redline has been clear. I know there’s been some confusion about this. The redline is the use of CW, the use of chemical weapons. That was crossed a couple of months ago [sic]. The President took action, which we talked about at the time.

Apparently little or nothing was done by the London 11 at that time.
Could it be that they don't even believe their own BS?
Or are they playing games with the Saudi instigators? (Rowan and Bevin have correctly indicted Bandar IMO).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 24 2013 17:54 utc | 13

What happened to the 1000+ dead? The SOHR is reporting:

We have so far documented the death of 322 people killed as a result of the regime assault on the eastern and western Ghouta on 21/8/2013. The dead include 54 children, 82 women and tens of rebel fighters.

According to my calculations that means that 186 of the dead were rebel fighters and should anyone care about them? According to western standards the rest were just collateral damage. Is Ghouta an area that is currently only inhabited by rebels and their camp followers? Paradoxically, that makes it more likely that the Syrian regime would use chemical weapons, and lest any one gets too sanctimonious, a regular army needing to assault such an area would have been just as brutal but would have used heavy artillery and aerial bombing on a massive scale. You just have to look at what happened to Fallujah.

Posted by: blowback | Aug 24 2013 18:03 utc | 14

Here's the video, just click the YouTube link:

Syrian army finds chemicals in militants tunnels
Hands Off Syria, YouTube, Aug 24 2013

A number of soldiers have suffered from cases of suffocation while entering Jobar neighborhood in Damascus countryside on Saturday as armed terrorist groups used chemical weapons, an official source announced on Saturday. The source added in a statement to SANA that the staffs of emergency have rescued the soldiers with suffocation cases, indicating that "some of the injured are in a critical condition." The source told SANA that an army unit had pushed into the area where the suffocation cases among army soldiers have been reported, following violent clashes with the armed terrorist groups in the area. The armed forces seized a warehouse containing barrels, large number of protective masks, coveralls and drugs. The warehouse was found in a rebel-held area in Jobar.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 24 2013 18:05 utc | 15

NATO's bombardment of Yugoslavia, trotted out as a fine example of how to discipline a bad state actor the last time Syria was accused of gassing its own people in June, is in the news again.

But it's helpful to remember that the 78-day air campaign 1) created a huge refugee crisis for neighboring countries; 2) blew up the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, causing a diplomatic crisis; and 3) almost led to a shooting war with Russia when NATO Commander Wesley Clark wanted to attack the Russia tank units that had taken control of Pristina airport.

So if Kosovo is seriously being considered as a model for intervention in Syria expect a global conflagration to be the result.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 24 2013 18:30 utc | 16

Regarding Washington, I have learned a new word courtesy of Pat Lang.

President Obama has surrounded himself with a camarilla, with Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, flanked by Valerie Jarrett, the Iranian-born public housing millionaire. . . These are amateurs, and it is anyone's guess what they will do from one day to the next.

And according to FoxNews:
America's ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power was in Ireland on a personal trip when she missed an emergency meeting on the alleged chemical gas attack in Syria, U.N. sources tell Fox News. . .The meeting, and her absence, came just 19 days after Power assumed the U.N. leadership post.

wiki: A camarilla is a group of courtiers or favourites who surround a king or ruler. Usually, they do not hold any office or have any official authority at court but influence their ruler behind the scenes. Consequently, they also escape having to bear responsibility for the effects of their advice.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 24 2013 18:31 utc | 17

I've tried three times over the last four hours or so to get SANA but I can't. After a couple of minutes of watching the little twiddly thing go round and round, I get a time-out. I wonder if someone is DDOSing it.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 24 2013 18:58 utc | 18

So-called liberal hawks pushing Syria war are the lowest scum on earth. Most of them tools of Israel and AIPAC.
Repeated polls show most Americans do not want another Mideast war, but who cares what they think.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 24 2013 19:04 utc | 19

@Rowan (18)

I know it was down for an extended period when the "uprising" began. This, though maybe not (or maybe) directly related is interesting anyway:

@19 I couldn't agree more. I would say that it is shocking that the people who attain these positions of power could be so blind to the endless hypocrisy associated with our foreign policy, but that is of course precisely why they get these positions in the first place.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 19:20 utc | 20

@Rowan (18)

I get similar problems when trying to connect with Press TV online. About half of the time I get can't find the server at but half the time there is no problem. Then you have to track them down on YouTube.

Often with RT the live stream is choppy and slow, even with the quality reduced down to 180p.

When put coupled with the attempts to remove them from satellite TV in the UK and having their account disabled on YouTube, its difficult not to think that there are some shenanigans going on.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 19:27 utc | 21

Two things to consider: The army was on the verge of pushing insurgents out of the Damascus periphery, and the army has been fighting continuously to prevent the new advanced weapons from slipping in from Jordan via Der'ah.

If the false flag cw attack doesn't work, it still puts the the government on its heels a bit, enough to let the FSA groups in Damascus suburbs fight another day. Once the nato trained rebels with advanced weapons cross the border, they hook up and Damascus becomes a battleground for the first time since early 2012. They attempt to turn back the tide in the south, and give the FSA umbrella groups a bit more sway.

B, you said a long time ago that Syria reminded you more of Angola than anything else, and that was a very good observation.

Posted by: Crest | Aug 24 2013 19:29 utc | 22

The Brits and French have been wanting to intervene in Syria for a long time. Obama has just been indecisive yet although his coterie of women national security advisors and the ziocons have all been gungho. One reason Obama has held back so far has been Gen. Dempsey who does not want to get the US military in another middle eastern quagmire. Obama may find the easy way out and order the firing of cruise missiles which has the added benefit of pleasing Israel immensely. The biggest beneficiary of the civil war in Syria and Egypt and now slowly Lebanon is Israel. The question is will Obama keep ratcheting up the intervention from cruise missile strikes to air strikes, special ops incursions, etc. What will the Brits and French do since they are all so eager? Participate so that they get the "coalition of the willing" redux!

At the end of the day we can be certain that there will be a lot more chaos!

Posted by: ab initio | Aug 24 2013 19:54 utc | 23

US/NATO aggression will always be on the table until they get a bloody nose somewhere. That is the bottom line.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 24 2013 19:58 utc | 24

Here you go Rowan:

Turkish hackers attack websites of Syrian state agencies
Turkish hackers attacked and destroyed the official websites of several Syrian state agencies, including the websites of Road Regulatory and Emergency Assistance Agencies.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 20:19 utc | 25

US/NATO aggression will always be on the table until they get a bloody nose somewhere. That is the bottom line.

They will, the infantry tactic battle is already being won by the Syrian axis. If Syria is attacked, it will be painful but they will survive the initial attack. The warships will have to quickly disappear from the scenario, else they will be sitting ducks. The key is always to listen to what Iran says, lots of time it may sound bravado talk, but it is their way of telling FUKUS not to dare attack. The latest is with regards to anti-ship missels.

Posted by: hans | Aug 24 2013 20:30 utc | 26


If some US naval ships are sunk or seriously damaged, that could trigger a crisis of confidence in the dollar and a global stock market crash. Another reason for the war mongers to think twice

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 24 2013 21:05 utc | 27

Some people here need to stop with their fantasy that Russia or Iran would attack NATO or even US if they do something against Syria.

You really think Russia want war with the west to save Syria?
You really think Iran have any change against the US?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 24 2013 21:16 utc | 28

Could someone point out to me why it always comes down to Aipac/the Jews? I've never understood the why of that.

Posted by: TikTok | Aug 24 2013 21:44 utc | 29

probably just trying to distract people from egypt.

Posted by: skybox | Aug 24 2013 22:00 utc | 31

Sarin Gas : a new propaganda campaign against Syria

yet those attending wore no special clothing: like this in japan

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 22:02 utc | 32

@ guest77 & Rowan

Yep Sana down again its been DDos'ed a few times since the war started. Hopefully will be back up by Monday.

@ Anonymous

You really think Russia want war with the west to save Syria?

Your confusing the meaning. Hell Russia is already in a proxy war with the West in Syria. Its the cold war tactics returning. Russia doesn't need to airdrop 100,000 troops into Syria to fight the US. Just keep them armed, move forward with the S-300 air defense batteries, pass along satellite imagery, intelligence, keep the UN deadlocked.

There are many ways to fight them without Russian soldiers physically shooting US soldiers (see Afghanistan 1980's, Vietnam, Korean War).

You really think Iran have any change against the US?

Well look at Iraq post 2003. Iran was smart enough to know that any democracy in Iraq with a 60% Shiite population would be a win for itself. It still managed to bleed the Americans through the Mahdi Army and the Badr brigades (probably to keep them so busy in Iraq they couldn't invade Iran). Those new IED's used in Iraq with explosively formed penetrators were obviously Iranian.

Or look at Lebanon with the Marine Barracks bombing or kicking out the Israelis twice. Or even being smart enough to use the US Military to bleed the Iran-hostile Taliban in Afghanistan. Iran consistently comes out on top against the US. As the saying goes "The Americans are playing Checkers while the Iranians are playing Chess).

Iran knows Asymmetric warfare better than any other world power its a result of the revolution and Iran-Iraq war.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 24 2013 22:06 utc | 33

@TT #29
Could someone point out to me why it always comes down to Aipac/the Jews? I've never understood the why of that.

US politicians place a higher regard for Israel (a Jewish country the size of New Jersey with less people) than for their own country because if they don't, they become ex-politicians, due to AIPAC. So US policy toward Syria is principally driven by whatever is seen to provide the most security for a Greater Israel, as well as (hopefully) what is beneficial to the US.

Thankfully current US policy toward Syria is being principally driven by General Dempsey and not by US politicians. This junior general with a lackluster background has surprised us all. He even put SecState Kerry in his place regarding the nonsense of military intervention in Syria.

Dempsey may yet (have to) cave as SecDef Gates did on Libya (Hagel being a nonentity), but at least he's made a clear case for not doing so.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 24 2013 22:32 utc | 34

@COT #33
Iran knows Asymmetric warfare better than any other world power its a result of the revolution and Iran-Iraq war.

Right you are. Diplomacy, too. Being a chief US target has forced Iranians to be smarter, and they have been in various fields -- military, diplomatic and economic. Toughlove. heh

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 24 2013 22:36 utc | 35

Colm O Toole

You really think Russia put saving Assad in front of relations with the West? Russia have already made clear they arent selling S300 btw.

What does Iraq have to do with anything. We are talking about missiles from ships sitting in the mediterranean or air sorties. Now tell me how Iran could inflict any successful damage on those targets and win?

If you think Iran and Russia would step in and block US/NATO, sorry but nothing remotely will happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 24 2013 22:44 utc | 36

@Crest #22

B, you said a long time ago that Syria reminded you more of Angola than anything else, and that was a very good observation.

In what way? I know plenty of people who've fought in Angola. I never delved into it and their stories. In what way is it similar? As a proxy war or?!

Posted by: Gehenna | Aug 24 2013 22:44 utc | 37

Libya on the brink of chaos

Posted by: skybox | Aug 24 2013 22:52 utc | 38

I'm afraid, b is perfectly right.

Quite probably zusa will do what it does best: noise.

Two alternative scenarios:

- This whole thing is theater and a ruse to get zusa warships close to israel so as to terminate israel once and for all.
Probability: Very low. But not zero because as long as israel exists zusa has no chance whatsoever to get back on their feet.

-Putin held still and showed plenty patience. For a reason: Sochi, his one *big* mistake. But that has limits. If zusa militarily attacks Syria the Russia/China *will* act.
My personal guess: Russia will a) deliver the real goodies to Syria and otherwise stay out of a direct confrontation with zusa but rather concentrate to swiftly clean up their near abroad and, being at that put a revolver right at turkeys head.
China will attack and destroy japan, the most important ally of zusa in the region.
In a second phase one will dictate a very weakened zusa to never ever again dare to leave its 12 (yes, then 12, not 200) mile zone or else.

Chances are that war won't cross the nuclear barrier (except israel but I guess that Russia is well prepared to rip out the snakes teeth aerly on) simply because on that level Russia is way better positioned than zusa.

As for europe, brits will be where they always are, i.e. right in zusas rectum and the french will, albeit somewhat reluctantly engage in a limited fashion (Where fabius comes from, one has a loud aggressive mouth but nothing but cowardice behind it).

Which again explains why zusa won't do much more than some saber rattling. Unfortunately.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 24 2013 23:03 utc | 39

Josh Landis hasn't had much to say about the supposed chemical attacks.

Though this tweet by him says all you need to know about those who are "bringing democracy" to Syria by fighting "the worst tyrant of his era", Assad:

Joshua Landis ‏@joshua_landis 7h
Iraqi #ISIS stop three #Alawite truck drivers; ask them how many time they kneel for prayer. Wrong answ. Are executed

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 23:04 utc | 40

@Gehenna 37

Like Angola in the sense that a civil war became a sort of fractal war, with actors' alliances, antagonisms, and goals refracting into different things at different levels. And importantly, the welfare of the people the last concern of the western backed oppositions.

Posted by: Crest | Aug 24 2013 23:48 utc | 41

@38 Chaos? II think you meant to say "neo-liberal paradise. Let's count the ways:

1. No social services: "crumbling schools, filthy hospitals, endemic corruption and pollution of the coastline"
2. Massive corruption: "unrest, theft or corruption"
3. A free hand for Wall Street to steal the oil: "A major international commodities trading house apparently recently received an offer to purchase oil outside official channels"

This isn't chaos, it's Plan A.

The article attacks Gadhaffi for "trying to hold his country together with force". What a despicable. He must have thought he was Abraham Lincoln.

It is only a matter of time before this oil rich, depopulated Benghazi region is nicknamed "The Dubai of the Mediterranean" by the international business press and the glass highrises start popping up in the Benghazi skyline. If it could be made to be a kingdom so that the population who received services from the oil cash could be reduced from 1 million to 5,000, that would really be ideal.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 23:50 utc | 42

I think you're wrong.

The US will start something very soon.

The assets are in place -- in Turkey, in Jordan, in the Med, and in Syria itself.

Look at the people surrounding Obama. They are all liberal hawks. They will use 'Kosovo' as an ideological model -- protecting citizens through a non-sanctioned air campaign -- and 'Libya' as a military model -- enforcing some kind of limited no fly zone to establish buffer zones for the opposition.

The US -- and Obama personally -- have invested too much cultural and ideological capital into the chemical weapons issue, not to mention regime change ('Assad must go'). It also fears the resistance axis much more than the stupid wahabbis and opposition forces, which are totally dependent on outside funds and weapons. The US has worked with similar crazies in the past and will do so now -- think the Afghan mujahideen and the Nicaraguan contras.

The US also recognizes that this is the moment to go on the offensive. The false flags have occurred. The military is back in charge in Egypt. HA might be distracted by internal tensions. And something has to be done to save the Syrian 'revolution' from its own death spiral. Even Congress will be on side.

A war will start soon. The US, Saudi, and Israel need this war now and they will go for it.

The only thing that will stop it is if clear evidence emerges tomorrow to reveal that the chemical attacks were staged by the opposition or if Iran and HA announce that they will respond immediately with rocket salvos on Saudi and Israel -- or if they do so once the cruise missiles start flying.

If this war happens, it will be *the* regional war.

What is most disturbing is that the vast majority of sunni Arabs (even progressives) -- in the Middle East and abroad -- have signed on to the 'Syrian revolution' and will line up with the Israeli-American-Saudi plot. They have lost all credibility.

Posted by: anon | Aug 25 2013 0:15 utc | 43

Instability 'R Us = Divide and Rule

Dahr Jamail, 2008, The myth of sectarianism - The policy is divide to rule

Large mixed neighborhoods were the norm in Baghdad. Sunni and Shia prayed in one another’s mosques. Secular Iraqis could form lifelong associations with others without overt concern about their chosen sect. How did such a well-integrated society erupt into vicious fighting, violent sectarianism, and segregated neighborhoods? How is one to explain the millions in Iraq displaced from their homes simply because they were the wrong sect in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Back in December 2003 Sheikh Adnan, a Friday speaker at his mosque, had recounted a recent experience to me. During the first weeks of the occupation, a U.S. military commander had showed up in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province located roughly twenty-five miles northeast of Baghdad with a mixed Sunni-Shia population. He had asked to meet with all the tribal and religious leaders. On the appointed day the assembled leaders were perplexed when the commander instructed them to divide themselves, “Shia on one side of the room, Sunni on the other.”

It would not be amiss, perhaps, to read in this account an implanting of a deliberate policy of “divide and rule” by the Anglo-American invaders from the early days of the occupation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 0:20 utc | 44

@44 great article. Thanks.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 25 2013 0:53 utc | 45

#43 I share your reading of the situation but I do hope b is right. I have noticed in the past that his instincts are right more often then mine so that gives me some encouragement.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 25 2013 1:10 utc | 46

It's too easy to throw up our hands and say "a war will start soon". It's more difficult to search for truth, to get the facts on why a war shouldn't start soon. But the more difficult way is the correct way.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 1:19 utc | 47

The US, holier-than-thou on chemical warfare. But facts are facts.

wiki: Riegle Report

On February 9th, 1994, U.S. Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. delivered a report to the Senate entitled, "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Gulf War". This report, commonly called The Riegle Report, summarized testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs with Respect to Export Administration co-chaired by Senators Riegle and Al D'Amato. It cites evidence that biological and chemical weapons were provided by the U.S. to Saddam Hussein to help him during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and were subsequently used against American and Czechoslovakian troops during the Gulf War (1990-1991). Senator Riegle implicates the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as the American Type Culture Collection in the shipment of these agents.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 2:26 utc | 48

@ #34 Don Bacon -" US politicians place a higher regard for Israel (a Jewish country the size of New Jersey with less people) than for their own country because if they don't, they become ex-politicians, due to AIPAC" Yes, yes I get that, but nowhere is it explained exactly why America protects Israel, what is the why of it? just 'due to aipac' doesn't answer.

Posted by: TikTok | Aug 25 2013 2:48 utc | 49

guest 77 @ 42: Great synopsis on the soon to be Neo-liberal paradise of Libya. Plan A it is, and not just for Libya, but globally, if the New World Order has it's way. "The comfort of the rich, is dependant on an abundance of the poor."

Posted by: ben | Aug 25 2013 3:13 utc | 50

@TT #49
What part of politicians potentially losing their jobs don't you get? The US is not exactly a democracy, after all. If Burkina Faso had such a powerful lobby as AIPAC, we'd all be focused on west Africa.

It would be good for you to listen to Cynthia McKinney explain how she had to sign a pledge to support Israel when she began to serve her six terms as a US Congresswoman. It's in this video. McKinney was finally ousted by the powers that be, and as a life-long Democrat last ran as a presidential candidate for the Green Party.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 3:41 utc | 51

Hey, SecDef Chuck Hagel's on top of it. He's currently in Malaysia, then on to Indonesia and Brunei. The Chuckster's hitting all the hot-spots. What's next, Antarctica?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 3:48 utc | 52

If we are to accept the reports of anti-government forces in Syria why don't we do it in Afghanistan too? Here's the website of the (former government) Islamic Emirate if Afghanistan, surely the equivalent of the Syria Observatory (AKA the Coventry clothier) with its news reports.

#Enemy sustains heavy losses in ongoing Dehrawod operation
#War crimes of American & NATO forces inside Afghanistan (July 2013)
#Rejoinder of the Islamic Emirate about the recent report of UNAMA regarding the civilian casualties

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 4:07 utc | 53

*Air War in Kosovo Seen as Precedent in Possible Response to Syria Chemical Attack*

fool me once....

new york [all the news fit to print] times
japan [all the news without fear n favor] times
both r afraid to publish my comments
damn white faced speaking in forked tongue !

Posted by: denk | Aug 25 2013 4:13 utc | 54

@ 53: "If we are to accept the reports of anti-government forces in Syria why don't we do it in Afghanistan too?"

Great point, thanks for the link.

Posted by: ben | Aug 25 2013 4:16 utc | 55

Reuters is reporting this: "Senior United States and Russian diplomats will meet in The Hague next Wednesday to discuss ending Syria's two-year civil war, the U. S. State Department announced on Thursday."

So I would suggest that the USA diplomat is going to say this:
We are going to whack Syria, you must stand aside and not interfere.

At which point the Russian diplomat can say one of two things:
1) We aren't happy about this but, OK, it's your funeral.
2) No, we won't. Don't even think about this.

It's actually in Obama's best interests that Lavrov says (2) but that's hardly guaranteed.

After all, today the Israeli papers are screaming that the decision Has Already Been Taken To Attack Syria.

So the tail is already wagging, guys.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 25 2013 4:17 utc | 56

news report
US Navy Destroyers Move Near Syria -- U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government.

But cruise missiles are not peculiar to the US.

IDF: Israel is in range of nearly 65,000 Hezbollah, Iran, Syria rockets -- Hezbollah has some 60,000 rockets and missiles, is developing drones, sea-to-air missiles, IDF top brass tells Knesset committee. Some 3,500 missiles in Syria and Iran are currently aimed at Israel, while Hezbollah is developing drones and sea-to-air missiles.

On July 14, 2006, in the 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired two YJ-82 (C-802) cruise missiles at Israeli warships. One missile hit the corvette INS Hanit, causing significant damage and four fatalities.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 4:25 utc | 57

I can't see how Assad could fail to win points, no matter what the US does in its futility. Lavrov knows this too.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 4:31 utc | 58

Tip: To see your comment posted right away, hit 'preview' and then 'post' and then 'post another comment.'

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 4:40 utc | 59

news report:
Doctors Without Borders said three hospitals it supports in the eastern Damascus region reported receiving roughly 3,600 patients with “neurotoxic symptoms” over less than three hours on Wednesday morning, when the attack in the eastern Ghouta area took place. Of those, 355 died, said the Paris-based group.

Doctors Without Borders said in its statement that it could not definitively confirm that chemical weapons were used, and if so, by whom. (end report)

They can't confirm that anyone went to the hospital or that anyone died, either.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 4:52 utc | 60

dartmouth option

Posted by: cloned_poster | Aug 25 2013 5:16 utc | 61

US Navy Destroyers Move Near Syria -- U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles ...

Yes, but one shouldn't forget that Russia has vastly superior missile capabilities.
And: navy destroyers are also capable to sink.

My personal guess: An extremely bad surprise for zusa in the form of Club missiles. They are hightech, swift killers and they are transported in and are started from standard containers.

Sure, zusa has something in mind but not attacking Syria - also I'd love them to suicide.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 25 2013 5:19 utc | 62

The Yankees, Brits and Fr won't dare try a Libya-style attack on Syria. Russia isn't there for fun. It's there to blow a gaping hole in the Superpower myth. How idiotic is it to even imagine that a Podunk pseudo-military outfit like the US (which cut its mock-war superpower teeth on Grenada, for Christ's sake), and got thrashed in Vietnam AFTER watching the Fr surrender there?

The Yankees are out of their depth in Afghanistan because it's an Afghan tradition to let smart-ass fuckwits IN and then slaughter them when they try to leave. It's happening now. And that's what all this Syria Hogwash is about.
i.e. how much more than they could chew the Yankees bit off (yet again) in Afghanistan. They stopped counting/reporting US casualties in AfPak last year. That should tell you something. The Yankees are cowardly, genocidal military morons who still prefer killing women and children to confronting people who can trade casualties 1 for 1 with them.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 25 2013 6:04 utc | 63

...the Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene more forcefully in Syria’s civil war. A victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.

At this point, a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.

...An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran’s power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism.

There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

Posted by: Calig | Aug 25 2013 6:48 utc | 64

The latest polls seem to show that less than 10% of the American public is gung-ho for an attack on Syria. Despite all of the "heart-wrenching" propaganda photos being spread throughout the MSM, the American public is actually standing firm on staying out of Syria & not taking the bait. It will probably take something a lot more severe than the use of chemical weapons to get the American public onboard for this one, so I'm starting to wonder what the government/media complex might have in mind to sway public opinion?

I'm almost afraid to know..............

Posted by: RC | Aug 25 2013 7:12 utc | 65

ANNA news report- Link

Posted by: biklett | Aug 25 2013 7:42 utc | 66

@65 Nothing would bother NATO less than the approval of their "own" populations. If anything, it'll be airstrikes that they deliver, and won't cost many american lives. Even if they start their war, people might not consent but no one will go protesting on the street. It simply doesn't matter what the public thinks about it. Our "western" regimes wouldn't hesitate to bomb "their own" folks, too, if they'd pose any threat some day. I guess people, slowly, come to realize that.

Posted by: peter radiator | Aug 25 2013 8:01 utc | 67

If the missiles start flying and navy ships go down. I think Obama's presidency will go down with them. Or I could be wrong and they could be sent in as a scacrificial force to incite the American people to seek revenge if too many lives are lost.
These ships are not part of a carrier group. Truly they are sitting ducks.
It's a trap?

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 25 2013 8:29 utc | 68

@Crest #41
All I know is that it was a dirty war. That it was mostly brutal ambushes. My uncle came back pretty fucked up (in the head that is) as have most people I know that fought in Angola (and Mozambique, Guinee Bissau for that matter).

Back on topic. I was definitely going with the hoax approach (immediate unprotected access to a cw hit site, medical staff unhurt by toxins, clear white foam, etc) I just discounted it as one more "cry wolf" by the terrorists. One possibility could be for it not to be weapons grade.
Has anyone read anything similar to this: Liwa al Islam responsible for chemical attack

Why were the Europeans and Americans hesitant to take an action against Syria in the United Nations Security Council, in the alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons in Ghouta?
Arab sources suggest that the US and Western missions had received the real story of chemical weapons. The story wasn’t officially distributed, but it is supported by Russian documents and satellite images of the battlefield, and Ghouta.

According to sources, the Russian delegation presented the documents during a UNSC meeting Friday. During the meeting, the Americans did not file any documents that contradict the Russian documents, given that the US satellites have come to similar conclusions: the opposition had fired the chemical rockets.

This comes as the Syrian representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari returned quickly from Damascus to New York on to provide the evidences that support the Russian stance.

Meanwhile, informed sources clarified that the Westerns refrained from accusing the Syrian regime to only ask for an expand to investigations , due to the images the Russians delivered.

The images showed that the rockets were launched from Duma at 1:35 on Wednesday.

Posted by: Gehenna | Aug 25 2013 9:00 utc | 69

Don Bacon

Exactly folk here needs to stop being hysterical the non-coming war. Are people really that gullable here that they are fooled by US propaganda?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25 2013 10:25 utc | 70

The latest ruse is the report from Doctors Without Borders claiming 3,500 plus casualties but as Tony Cartalucci points out, the DWB is a corporate funded outfit, operating only in the 'rebel' held areas. Moreover, as his article points out:

In Doctors Without Borders' own official statement, it was reported that:

Since 2012, MSF has built a strong and reliable collaboration with medical networks, hospitals and medical points in the Damascus governorate, and has been providing them with drugs, medical equipment and technical support. Due to significant security risks, MSF staff members have not been able to access the facilities.

It was further explained that:

“MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack,” said Dr. Janssens.

It is most likely hoped that the vast majority of those reading their news simply take the compromised Western media for their word and never bother to read what Doctors Without Borders actually is doing in Syria or what they even really said regarding the most recent incident. A similar routine was used in Libya where Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International spent their legitimacy attempting to create a pretext for Western military intervention there.

The BBC ran with the DWB story today, quoting extensively from DWB-sourced material as part of its war crusade.

Posted by: William Bowles | Aug 25 2013 12:18 utc | 71

They don't seem to have swayed the US public hardly at all judging by polls. Judging by comments on news sites, the public is downright angry at their own government.

Now these opinions don't matter if a NATO attack results in no (visible) costs. But if things go to hell in a hand basket afterwards, then all bets are off. The political elites could find themselves very exposed at that point and the ever diminishing credibility of the US government (I mean among the US public, not the rest of the world, which already knows better) will take its final swan dive. So there's a bit of a risk.

Also, I wonder if Russia is willing to hold the NATO army in Afghanistan hostage until sense returns to the minds of policy makers. No need for any fancy S-300s or yakhonts if the Russian government is willing to cut off NATO supply lines.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 25 2013 13:01 utc | 72

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 25, 2013 9:01:38 AM | 72

the use of foreign jihadis is to cut out the political cost of US troops being killed. Muslim jihadis are cheap plentiful and expendible

Posted by: brian | Aug 25 2013 14:02 utc | 73

Sorry if this is unrelated

Here is the reason why David Miranda was held in London, looks like they have no clue as what he took and what information he has.

“U.S. government having difficulty uncovering Edward Snowden's digital trail: officials

If Snowden could defeat the NSA’s own tripwires and internal burglar alarms, how many other employees could do the same?

Government officials say leaker Edward Snowden deleted or bypassed electronic logs that would have showed what information he viewed or downloaded.”

Read more:

Posted by: kooshy | Aug 25 2013 14:35 utc | 74

This chess board (game) is just at the beginning. Remember Yugoslavia,
it lasted 10 years, because Serbia had a defense system, like Assad has. Milosevic stepped down (sick and tired) only after his army turned against him.( I was engaged in MSF in Belgrade during this moment ). Assad will go down only when his (including support) army denies him backup. The ancient Greeks said if you want have a city or a country you must have army. Now in order to see complexity of this chess game one must go back to search what is this Syrian army about.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 15:02 utc | 75


Exactly. So for the US to protect its "interests" in Syria - which at this point seem to be little except to be able to give Putin a smug, superior look at the next G20 Summit - the Syrian people must endure seemingly endless starvation, slaughter and rule by psychopaths.

I'd call this the nadir of American foreign policy, but we been scraping the bottom for so long...

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 25 2013 15:07 utc | 76

This situation differs little from that in June, when the 'London 11' decided to support the anti-Syria forces. In June all they had were allegations, and that's all they have now. No evidence, no proof, just doubts -- and they don't want proof of anything.

A top Obama administration official says there is "very little doubt" the Syrian government last week used a chemical weapon on civilians, killing at least 100 people. . .The Syrian government reportedly said Sunday it will allow U.N. inspectors to visit the site. However, U.S. officials think any evidence of an attack has already been too degraded.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 15:08 utc | 77

#49;The Zionists own every MSM publication,most radio,and most TV in America( outside of Newsday,a LI paper;which is owned by the Dolans,cruds in their own right,as their editorial policies are identical),so all news,comment and policy decisions remain under their blackballing revue,witness Howard Dean and his alleged scream,a day after saying that America should be more even handed towards the Israeli Palestinian conflict,and his political assassination by the criminals who have every politicians election prospects in their traitorous hands.Control the medium and control the message.
Bezos's purchase of Wapo,which so far hasn't changed its neolibcon tune,gave me a little hope,as he is an alleged libertarian, but we will see.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 25 2013 15:37 utc | 78

SecState Kerry has spoken recently with Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Muallem, and it's possible that they came to an agreement which would allow the US to save face. This would include:
#no UN inspection which might implicate the anti-Syria forces
#token cruise missile attacks on some unused airfields
#otherwise (as after the Israel missile attacks) business as usual, with the usual rhetoric

This would allow Obama to say that he did something, and allow Assad to continue cleaning up the vermin.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 15:54 utc | 79

I didn’t want to get into this, but here goes.

I only looked at ONE short vid (others may show other things, idk) the first of the top of goog.

from CNN, less than 2 mins. August 22, 2013.

Graphic Video: Victims of Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

The first seconds show dark confusion, crowd scenes, with bodies that might be from alternative media, a lot of flesh, hints at sadism, it is dramatic, artistic, alarming...

Next, boys all with shorts, pants, underpants, so acceptable for G rated viewing.

They all have their T shirts pulled up showing their chests, in a kind of theatrical scenario.

This is because genitals can’t be shown (which would be bared in any medical setting, hospital, where toxic clothes would be removed...) and having the T shirt pushed up to the neck creates an image of vulnerability, as young boys don’t present like that, or don’t like to.

They are lying in a heap reminiscent of Holocaust pictures, but in real life that would never happen, they would be separated. The boys have put their arms in the classical theatrical positions of unconsciousness or death, with arms splayed out like at the High School play.

Dead ppl are more messy... now I look at it again, the images are quite pedophilic.

Then some confusion, and one child is roughly man-handled to be turned over, this would never happen in real life. At the same time, some black trousered male adults, and the camera man, are tramping all around this scene. Very strange. All efforts would be towards keeping ppl away and taking care of the kids. There is no doc, nurse, med, or organizer, person to be seen.

Then there is a switch to an affected adult - make of that whatever. A few seconds purport to show med equipment, it isn’t. Note what is not shown or understandable, is, are these ppl in in the street? In hospital? A house?

The guy who tugs at the T shirt of one of the children is unbelievable, acting like a teen in a nasty fight, nothing to do with getting rid of clothes, not even by a clueless adult. Bad acting!

The sound was either not cut or superimposed, there is a lot of speechy hum, even faint clapping, cheering, where that came from, no idea.

Then there is a flash of someone doing pretend heart massage on the bare chest of a child, with now a sprawled open legged yet discrete (no genitalia) very cute little girl in the background.

And that was the first 50 seconds. I gave up on the rest.

War porn, child porn.

Look at it, stop the frames, think about what is portrayed, why.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 25 2013 16:05 utc | 80


Sure, that's true. But the percentage of folks who don't believe the media or want to pay attention to the media is much higher now than in the past. This latest story of chemical weapons is practically a joke to many people. Sure, he's winning, the US inspectors are in the area, and he uses them. Right.

In any case, the issue has been that the US likes attacking weak countries that can't fight back. Syria is not weak enough to attack, especially with Russia and Iran there.

And you really shouldn't put much faith in American or British media these days. They lie because they are so uncomfortable telling the truth.

Posted by: Ozawa | Aug 25 2013 16:05 utc | 81

I don't think USA (started to be UN-united States of America) has any interests in Syria, somebody else wants to impose their right (law) over there.
Now if they had anything over there (Syria) that was harmed or lost or endangered then we could say it would be in their interest to fight for it.

But they don't have anything that belongs to them.!!!

If USA wants to make a colonial war to enslave the Syrian people that's ok GO AHED and fight. Declare war on whole (including opposition) Syria not on Assad.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 16:10 utc | 82


Like Soviet did with Afghanistan long before USA , but they got beaten up really good. That's war.
This front against Syria is Terrorism on the highest level.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 16:26 utc | 83

Regarding the chemical attack: Why would Assad kill his own unarmed people? In front of UN inspectors yes?
Shouldn't it be an attack on armed opposition troops, at the war field and not at some Damascus suburb.

Further the recent official entry of the small force from Jordan could should be reason for Syria to declare war on Jordan. But somebody advising something else.

Any way the whole scene started to be interesting.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 16:39 utc | 84

But you see Dahot,things have passed the point of return.
That 300 men force that entered from Jordan is not to be ignored.
At the chess arena this means that the rebels had weakened dangerously and their supporters didn't want to give up the game.
In chess when you loose to many soldiers or peasants you are close to be defeated.
On the other hand as we can read today many humanitarian org. is sheltered behind the opposition lines and need protection.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 16:58 utc | 85

3500 tons of weaponry + 300 formally trained jihadis en route to...Damascus, maybe?

It's a great time for a ceasefire.

Posted by: china_hand-no.2 | Aug 25 2013 17:04 utc | 86

As a lot of MoA commenters speculated, Syria and Iran both reacting in a hostile tone to US threats to attack Syria.

Syria Information Minister

US military intervention will create a very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the Middle East.

Iran Armed Forces Chief of Staff

If the United States crosses this red line, there will be harsh consequences for the White House. The terrorist war underway in Syria was planned by the United States and reactionary countries in the region against the resistance front (against Israel), despite this, the government and people of Syria have achieved huge successes. Those who add fire to the oil will not escape the vengeance of the people."

Certainly fighting words from both Syria and Iran. Syria stressing that it will led to a regional conflict, and Iran setting any US attack as a red line on Syria (echoing Obama's own red line).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 25 2013 17:11 utc | 87

John Bolton on UN etiquette...

Posted by: dh | Aug 25 2013 17:18 utc | 88

You see 3,500 ton of weaponry from Croatia doesn't mean anything, because as I read these guns works only with specific ammunition held by Croatians, so they sit on the top on that. And they will want to to profit from this. The 300 jihadis should be a piece of cake for Hezbollah.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 17:23 utc | 89

Another hypothesis, would be that the rockets fired were thermobaric, fuel-air explosives rockets, not chemical. The fuel, inhalated is as almost dangerous as sarin and the symptoms are almost the same. Frequently it's ethylen oxyd which is used. You can touch people wounded and this would explain why doctors and nurses were not in danger. What a reader of m blog told me today is very interesting on Deutchsland rundfunk she has heard that the investigators were not in a hurry to cover the old chemical cases, if the stuff is not quickly sealed off for analysis the traces evaporate. As their presence in Damascus was known it was easy for the djihadists to offer them a new fresh case and the opportunity for the warmongers to wake up...

Posted by: André | Aug 25 2013 18:51 utc | 90

"I do not think that the U.S. will in any outright way attack Syria. The unknowns for the U.S., including the potential reactions by Russia and China, are just too many and too big"

It amuses me seeing a reasonably informed person positing that these inept assholes in DC will act in a logical or competent manner. I certainly would not accuse b of not paying attention these last three decades, so his confidence in these DC sluts is inexplicable.

B, you should know by know, if they CAN fuck it up, they WILL fuck it up.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 25 2013 18:52 utc | 91


Uh, the Koch Bros are 'alleged libertarians'. They call themselves that, at any rate.

So yeah, dont get too excited about Bezos.

Posted by: Massinissa | Aug 25 2013 19:01 utc | 92

Whats the big deal about chemical weapons, anyway? Heck, the satanist Cheney and his personal Igor, Rumsfeld, were all too happy to make sure Saddam had chems, as long as he was gassing Iranians.

And gosh, a little Lebanese toddler being blown to bitsw by an Israeli cluster bomblet is somehow more tasteful, more moral, than some Syrian kid gagging to death on poisonous gas?

How 'bout them kids that drank water stored in yellow cake barrels, bathed in it, and ate food cooked in it, because this fucking buffoon Bush and his skull faced military "advisors" failed to protect the UN storage facility at Tuwaitha?

Seeing these pieces of shit in DC indignant about anything is a lesson in hypocricy, to say nothing about sheer out and out dishonesty. Gads, I hate these bastards. How the hell did we sink so low to deserve them?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Aug 25 2013 19:06 utc | 93

To P.O.A. :

The US administration is 'up to the wall' with all kind of sh.t they wont miss this chance, after all nobody knows if they will get a second chance to it up, as you say. Agree!

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 19:10 utc | 94

As someone said earlier, this warmongering is just bluffing, cannonboat diplomacy. Aslong as Russia/China use veto the sickos wont get their war.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25 2013 19:15 utc | 95

This would allow Obama to say that he did something, and allow Assad to continue cleaning up the vermin.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25, 2013 11:54:38 AM | 79

Wow! A Yankee promise?
It's a good chance for Assad to show the world how gullible he is. Or isn't.
I can't see the Russians going along with that one, either.

Although Xymphora has been saying, for a couple of months, that Barry would take the pressure off Assad to allow him to extinguish the vermin. I can't remember the reasoning.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 25 2013 19:23 utc | 96

Taken from a NYTimes article by Edward Luttwak, this key graph seems to capture the apparent US position:

A decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States. An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran’s power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism. There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

So, given this objective, the US would seek to find an excuse to take some action which might reduce the military edge that President Assad seems to enjoy at this time. They have apparently found such an excuse -- a new alleged chemical attack.

But that's easier said than done. General Dempsey has said that the Syria Air Force could be taken out -- "We can destroy the Syrian Air Force" -- and Senator McCain (and others) have picked up on this. It's a twist on the old no-fly zone gambit. But General Dempsey has stated that "ensuring that Syria's airplanes don't fly addresses about 10 percent of the problem." So a no-fly zone is clearly insufficient in terms of limiting the SAA advances on the ground.

The UK's General Richards has addressed this. “If you wanted to have the material impact on the Syrian regime's calculations that some people seek, a no-fly zone per se is insufficient. You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya, to hit ground targets. You have to establish a ground control zone. You have to take out their air defences. You also have to make sure they can't manoeuvre - which means you have to take out their tanks, and their armoured personnel carriers and all the other things that are actually doing the damage."

But probably the SAA advances are not characterized by armored columns (as in Libya) which can be targeted, but rather by armored vehicles operating in built-up areas in support of pro-government partisans on the ground, a movement which has bee addressed before on this blog. Stand-off air attacks on Syria's urban areas would probably create more problems that then any military benefits they might bring.

So, as others have pointed out, there is no purely military solution to the problem by external forces. There is a long-term domestic solution, which President Assad is pursuing. Winning over the locals, backed up by overwhelming military force on the ground. Advantage -- Assad.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 25 2013 19:28 utc | 97

Anonymous YOU DON'T GET IT , DO YOU?

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 19:30 utc | 98


Of course Russia and China would say no/using veto, dont you understand? The US, UK, France wont act without UN mandate, well unless they want to commit obvious war-crimes.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25 2013 19:34 utc | 99

They done it before and got away.

Posted by: Christos | Aug 25 2013 19:37 utc | 100

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