Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 22, 2013

Kerry Can Not Be Trusted

Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution on Syria under Chapter 7
“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry',” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel 1's Sunday Time program.
“Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”
“I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach,” said Lavrov.
There were two Geneva agreements on negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition between the U.S. and Russia. Then there was the latest agreement on Syria's chemical weapons. The U.S. has tried to renegotiate or reinterpretate all three of these agreements.

It is obvious, not only to Russia, that the United States government and especially its current Secretary of State can not be trusted. It will not stick to even written agreements.

Iran's new president Rouhani and his team must keep this in mind when they start to negotiate with their United States government colleagues.

Posted by b on September 22, 2013 at 16:22 UTC | Permalink


this was completely inevitable and predictable given the decidedly vague references to "Chapter 7" the Lavrov/Kerry agreement/proposal contained.

It was clear as soon as the text of the agreement was published, (to me at least) that the US strategy was always going to use very vagueness of the Chapter 7 references as a stick to beat both Syria and Russia with.

Whatever Lavrov now says, the latest Lavrov Kerry proposal contained several references to Chapter 7. Undeniable references, irrespective of how vague the wording was - "could" & "should" instead of "shall, "must" or "will" might have seemed like Grand Master chess moves at the time, but to me it just look like amateur-hour at the Poker-play-offs.

The future of that proposal/agreement as ALWAYS going to revolve around those references.

Their mere existence as part of the agreement practically guaranteed that the US could pull the plug on this anytime they wanted, and with some ostensible claims of legitimacy for their pull-out.

Simply by claiming that the Russians, by refusing to implement, or even merely allow for the possibility of, some sort of chapter Seven punishment procedure in the event of syria somehow not living up to the agreement, or even merely in the event of US claims that they had not done so, the US would gain the upper-hand PR-wise.

which is exactly why I said weeks ago that Lavrov made a bad move here. this sort of "opportunities for Legal sophistry" is exactly what the US wanted, and Lavrov gave it to them on a plate

Were people really foolish enough to believe that the US would NOT act this way? I get why some might have hoped that the US would not behave in this manner, but to assume that they would behave otherwise was always going to be a losing strategy (imho )

Posted by: hmm | Sep 22 2013 16:55 utc | 1

It is meaningless anyway, as the US still reserve the right to strike unilaterally.
Either Russia/Iran/Syria/Hezbollah have deterrence or they have not. I think they have.
The US though do not seem to have any incentive for peace.
Which would seem to be the recipe for the other side to go on some kind of offensive. Or to cave in.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 22 2013 17:11 utc | 2

Lavrov already said this, six days ago:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 22 2013 17:13 utc | 3

The full text of the Sep 14 Kerry/Lavrov Agreement is here - assuming the State Dept didn't rewrite it after the meeting, to suit their whims.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 22 2013 17:18 utc | 4

they don't have to re-write it rowan - they merely have to "creatively" interpret the meaning and implications of the words "could" and "should" in anyway they desire

Posted by: hmm | Sep 22 2013 17:23 utc | 5

" US still reserve the right to strike unilaterally."

that is undoubtedly so - but this spat is not at all meaningless

by choosing how to interpret "could" and "should" the US has ostensible legal grounds for claiming that the agreement is not being upheld by the Russians, and can then claim to be legally pulling out of the agreement.

They can then use that as a basis for claiming to have a legal grounds for launching an attack on Syria - which is what they have sought from the start -

They can then claim that "punishing" Syria is somehow not mere unilateralism but an inevitable, and legal, consequence of either Russia or Syria not living up to what the US will claim are the agreed terms.

This agreement, with it's ridiculously vague, but undeniable, references to Chapter 7, gave them the legal-fiction they needed to claim that such unilateral actions on their part would be legal -

To you or I that claim might be nonsense, but the US is betting they can sell it their own people. that is a bet I think they might actually be able to win.

This ridiculous claim, of legality, will be used as a shield to protect US pols from potential future war-crimes tribunals

Posted by: hmm | Sep 22 2013 17:35 utc | 6

"Diplomacy" means nothing in the current situation and just saying that "This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry" is not going to achieve anything.
If Russia has really realized that "the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach," then they should arm Syria with air defence and missiles which would have true deterrence.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 22 2013 17:39 utc | 7

"Kerry cannot be trusted" = "Kerry is a lying piece of shit, like 99% of these maggots in Washington DC."

So, this well deserved distrust is somehow an epiphany on anyone's part?

Sheer genius, this common sense conclusion?

Of course Kerry cannot be trusted, which has been obvious for years, not just recently. These kind of "revelations" are astounding to me. Do we really need to debate the obvious? Its like standing in a barnyard, pointing at a pig, and stating "That's a pig".

What the fuck have we done in the Middle East, ever, to earn the trust of the global community? Egads, just our whore/pimp relationship with Israel and its despicable and vast lobbying machine should make any potential "partner" to our policies and advocations run screaming away from the bargaining table. And the blatantly dishonest manner in which Kerry was marketing these so called "peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinians, just prior to this false flag "crisis" in Syria, should have convinced anyone with half a brain that Kerry is the kind of lying sack of shit that Washington DC seems to produce as a matter of course.

Trust the United States? You gotta be kidding me. This thread is a waste of time, as there ain't enough bandwidth on the entire internet to list the reasons to distrust the United States, much less Kerry and his ilk. Hell, we have spent over two centuries proving ourselves worthy of distrust. Just ask the indigenous people of N.America. Or Mexico. Or just about any other people or country that has entered into treaties or pacts with us. Or uh, anyone that was duped into buying into the horseshit that Obama fed us so he could slither his lying ass into the White House.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 22 2013 18:12 utc | 8

I see it that the west has completely lost the propaganda war here. If they couldn't pull off an attack when they had their chemical weapons attack to use as an reason, they cannot pull one off because of some obscure wording in a negotiating resolution with the Russians.

At best the west can return to the position they were in immediately following the Ghouta attack - threatening a war which would surely be a disaster for all involved - but without the moral cover that the videos of dead children and their manic claims of Assad's guilt provided. The fact is that attacks have focused people's attention on Syria. The situation on the ground has only become more clear and it does not show the rebels in a good light.

This road has been traveled and the west had to back down. The fact is that opinion polls clearly show that US support for "military action" is falling. The Russians know this, and, I would assume, are relying on it. The west is now doing what they can to support their position politically but they will not return to the tense stand off that we witnessed after the attacks.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 22 2013 18:16 utc | 9

So what now? Come back and try again later? Skip Syria and pick fight with Iran? Cause more trouble in Africa?

hey dan

Posted by: therevolutionwas | Sep 22 2013 18:22 utc | 10

@8 "anyone that was duped into buying into the horseshit that Obama fed us so he could slither his lying ass into the White House."

Yes. Trust in Obama among the treasured independents are at an all time low (and they are treasured because they are needed to win the razor thin elections America has gone through since 2000).

If Obama does decide to attack in the face of vast opposition, I expect well see every rat with 2016 political hopes jump ship.

That's not to say that these snakes aren't capable of the most idiotic moves pushing this country straight - and by straight I mean skipping even the grace of a final swirl around the bowl - down the shitter.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 22 2013 18:23 utc | 11

John Kerry has always been a hollow, pretentious man. He wasn't a brave spear-header for the peace movement, he jumped on that movement only after plenty of others already had. He was angling to get into elected office in his liberal state. Now he's just been angling to appease the special interests who fund his re-election. The man's face looks dead because his soul is dead.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 22 2013 18:46 utc | 12

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "A shell exploded on the premises of the Russian embassy in Damascus when the Mezzeh neighbourhood was being shelled on Sunday morning. Three Russian diplomats were wounded. Their lives are not in danger. The incident is under investigation. Additional steps are being taken jointly with the Syrian authorities to ensure the Russian diplomatic mission's security." (Interfax)

- I don't somehow imagine this was an accident.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 22 2013 18:58 utc | 13

I tend to agree with hmm analysis.However the Kremlin cannot back down after Lavrov's words,the russians would never forgive it if they bend to zusa requests .Not to mention the Brics's reaction ("...the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East").Or the enraged South American after the scandal of the NSA/Roussef and the Maduro's plane incident.The world has had enough of the West criminal behavior.A West that doesn't possess anymore the means of applying its own will on the planet.What with their real proprietor China holding their financial purse,the Pentagon Budget sequestration,the almost emptied military power of France and the UK,so vacuous is their strength that they had to pull it together in the Lancaster agreement of November 2010 before the launch of the so called "arab spring" and the bombing of Lybia (the Charles de Gaulle ship had to be sent for repairs for a whole year)the only aircraft carrier the French have.
Also interesting is the military parade today in Tehran in front of Ruhani who saw the exhibition of 30 new ballistic missile with a range of 2000km entirely produced by the iranians.There is in it a clear and loud message for the West.And if I was the West I wouldn't forget what General Yanir Gulani,chief of the northern front in"Israel" said in a conference in Herzilia that Hezbollah is the eighth military force in the world for the missiles and missiles launchers not to count the Katiouchas they possess and produce according to him.And finally I wouldn't discount the real discontent and anger of civil societies in the West regarding war with Syria.Kerry can finesse whatever he wants ,20 000 churches in the States alone have prayed for Syria and to avoid war.Western public has reached its own limit too in terms of war.I know full well that in the democracies we live,public opinion doesn't count but that might eventually change and more quickly than governments expect due to the profound anxiety that 100 of millions are experiencing because of the big economical collapse.

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 22 2013 19:00 utc | 14

Iran's new president Rouhani and his team must keep this in mind when they start to negotiate with their United States government colleagues.

US dont talk to Iran.

This story also shows how naive russians are when it comes to the U.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 22 2013 19:02 utc | 15


I detest Kerry as much as you but are wrong on one point.

Kerry is extremely rich and does not depend on others to fund his campaigns.

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 22 2013 19:25 utc | 16

We all know, or should know that the US has stategic goals. We should all know that the strategic goals have changed very little since the end of WWII.

In 1945 Saudi Arabia's oil was described by the US State Department as "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history"

Eisenhower described it as "the most strategically important area of the world"

Back then the US realised that by controlling the region they could control Japans energy supply and thus, their economic growth.

Now, control of Saudi oil is firm (they think). They need to control Irans oil as well. They've tried before and we all know what happened and how it went.

So what's changed? Iran, Syria and Hez need to be dealt with so that the US can have strategic control of the region. Control of the region is a massive part of the "pivot" to Asia (Read China).

Why should we be surprised? It matters not who is in the Whitehouse. The strategic survival of the US is bigger and more important than any one man or political party.

They will do what it takes, nothing else matters. So we should know what to expect. I have to agree with POA that somtimes the threads are pointless because we should all know what to expect.

Lies, obfuscation, hypocricy and killing.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Sep 22 2013 19:40 utc | 17

Kerry can't be trusted?!!!

How the eff can ANY AMERICAN official be trusted?

Seriously, as an American who actually has a conscience and that knows were are being led by a rogue regime of Zionist war criminals and have been for a long while, I ask myself over and over and over again but especially after every betrayal which my country perpetrates upon the world community:

How can ANY sane, rational person trust the USA in regards to ANYTHING?

What conceivable more proof could any nation or person need?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 22 2013 19:43 utc | 18

I watched Zakaria this morning interviewing Clinton. It is indeed telling that the semantics used to describe the UN findings are so carefully nuanced. "Traces of sarin gas were found" is as far as these pieces of shit are willing to venture. They dare not say that proof was found that Assad's forces are responsible. This tells me that the truth is very close to the surface, and the scum in DC see a real possibility that in the near future they will have to say; "Well, I never said...."

And, uh, BTW, how did we find out about the cigar??? I mean, egads, was it Monica or Bill that copped to it? "Oh, uh, BTW, we used a cigar to....." HUH? How'd that become mean "public"?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 22 2013 19:51 utc | 19

Linda Tripp, i think, via a phone call with monica?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 22 2013 19:57 utc | 20

The US/UK interpretation of UNSC resolution 1441 in 2002, caused one of the greatest disasters in US military history with the loss of 1 million lives, also the cost recently estimated at 6 trillion dollars [Kennedy law School]. The resolution text was drafted jointly by the United States and the United Kingdom, the result of eight weeks of tumultuous negotiations, particularly with Russia and France. France questioned the phrase "serious consequences" and stated repeatedly that any "material breach" found by the inspectors should not automatically lead to war; instead the UN should pass another resolution deciding on the course of action. In favour of this view is the fact that previous resolutions legitimizing war under Chapter VII used much stronger terms, like "...all necessary means…" in Resolution 678 in 1990 and that Resolution 1441 stated that the Security Council shall "remain seized of the matter." Many International law lawyers were of the opinion that......

(1)Security Council Resolution 1441does not authorise the use of force by member states of the UN.

(2)The UK would be in breach of international law if it were to use force against Iraq in reliance on Resolution 1441 without a further Security Council Resolution.
The bottom line is the war is on between the US and Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, the US will use any means to prosecute it, the Russians will not trust the US nor should they concede an inch to these lying gob shites.

Posted by: harrylaw | Sep 22 2013 19:59 utc | 21

The truth is very close to the surface... Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 22, 2013 3:51:51 PM | 19
I found an interesting example of that yesterday. CBS This Morning are talking to John Miller, a former FBI assistant director, and he unwisely mentions that al-Qaeda in Itaq were already busted with sarin. Both CBS hosts signal immediate alarm and caution to him with their voice tones and body language, and safely steer him away from this dangerous admission, although they require him to contradict himself twice to avoid returning to it:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 22 2013 20:08 utc | 22

i don't think this is so much of a reflection on kerry as it is on the usa at present.. neither is presented in an honourable way - just the opposite..

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2013 20:21 utc | 23

"i don't think this is so much of a reflection on kerry...."

Being a front man for for the lies doesn't "reflect" on Kerry???


Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 22 2013 20:24 utc | 24


If he decided to tell us the truth, would that "reflect" on him?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 22 2013 20:32 utc | 25

@POA & James

I think either of you suggesting he has a reflection is a bit far fetched. Haven't you seen Dracula?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 22 2013 20:50 utc | 26

God, I watched the video...Charlie Rose looks like shit...

Posted by: Fernando | Sep 22 2013 21:22 utc | 27

Lavrov did not make a bad move. He gave Kerry some rope. If Kerry and cronies chose to hang themselves with that rope, it's their choice.

The hasbara elements here want to equivocate plain English. Lavrov's recent statements cannot be misinterpreted. Syrian regime change is a bridge too far for the Zionists. Not gonna happen.

Posted by: DM | Sep 22 2013 22:05 utc | 28

'Kerry Can Not Be Trusted'

No ! really?! how sad...

Posted by: brian | Sep 22 2013 22:31 utc | 29

Iran's new president Rouhani and his team must keep this in mind when they start to negotiate with their United States government colleagues.

I agree.

So who or what is causing the US to repeatedly step back from agreements made with Russia regarding Syria? In fact, at Geneva 1.0, a broad consensus was reached between all the key players on Syria, before a shifty retreat in the days immediately after the meeting.

There were two absences, of course. Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Disagreements apparently emanating from a difference in interpretations of terms of an agreement made by the parties involved isn't credible. It would have been discussed in the first place - as Lavrov points out RE his recent talks with Kerry.

This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry

In reality, disagreement stems from outside players not privy to the original agreement.

It was telling that Kerry made a beeline to Tel Aviv following his meeting with Lavrov, as if to ask "Did I do good?"

Apparently not.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 22 2013 22:34 utc | 30

Russia ready to send military observers to Syria

This is important. If the Russians can put their people on the ground the risks for the US in a bombing campaign go up exponentially.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 22 2013 23:52 utc | 31

@guest77 #9 - yes, if the Us wanted to strike they would/should have done so right after Ghouta; but this leaves open the question of what are they up to now;

I instinctively opposed the agreement because I thought it would be used by the Us to impose a strict regime of inspections, Iraq-style, but apparently that isn't it;

@hmm #6 - the "legal ground" is so thin, I'd speak at most of "political cover" that Uk and France are providing for a Us unilateral action (at most, Us-France) in some future contingency; the agreement is just too clear on this point, any military action against Syria must be sanctioned by the UNSC, period;

what's for certain, is that they are backtracking from an agreement that would de facto legitimize Assad and impose restrictions on future actions against Syria;

it signals that the attrition war against Assad continues; but without an air force cover, they will look for other ways to escalate, maybe like in RB's post #13

but the main point of the Us-Russia agreement, that there won't be a unilateral military strike, should hold; my feeling is that there are just too many interests that aren't allowed to speak out against the dominant narratives (e.g., see RB #22), but showed they weight in the decision-making process (see also Nobody #14); yes, Israel, SA and Turkey are displeased, but that cannot come as a surprise, and also within those countries not everyone will be displeased

unless, after all, someone to manages to stage a really really good false flag attack ...

Posted by: claudio | Sep 22 2013 23:59 utc | 32

Just out of curiosity, exactly how can the USA prevent Syria from joining the OPCW?

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 23 2013 1:48 utc | 33

Just out of curiosity, exactly how can the USA prevent Syria from joining the OPCW?
Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 22, 2013 9:48:32 PM | 33

Good question. I'm only a bush lawyer (amateur) but I'm pretty sure a non-member can oppose, but not prevent, the entry of a potential new member to a voluntary organisation if the aspirant agrees to abide by the rules of membership. Similarly it was a blunder for the US (of all people) to pretend that Syria could/should be coerced into joining an organisation in which membership is voluntary.

I'm sure I remember b writing a piece called No Need for UN in CW Solution not so long ago. If Yankees weren't such myopic dimwits b's contention would have been true. The US brought up the UN only as an attempt to put the illusion of a Ch 7 on the table. But Russia and China can kill a Ch 7 and deprive the US of the illusion of legality for any attack on Syria.
The Yankees are still just as snookered as they were the day Putin moved his fleet out of Syria.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 23 2013 2:47 utc | 34

Iran's new president Rouhani and his team must keep this in mind when they start to negotiate with their United States government colleagues.

Iran needs no coaching on Yankee untrustworthiness (been there, tasted that).
Iran has taken a leaf out of USrael's hasbara negotiation-preconditions book and set local enrichment and removal of sanctions as preconditional goals of any 'talks' (which in USraeli NewSpeak means 'listens') according to the Leveretts.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 23 2013 3:15 utc | 35

@b, I disagree completely! Kerry can always be trusted… to shoot himself in the foot, that is. And multiple times while he is at it. That said, that Kerry guy is even worse than I’d expect. He’s playing such a transparent school yard bully games and throws a tantrum whenever someone tells a joke at them. Watching all this from afar, it is getting a little boring… :-p.

@Johnboy, comment 33 - as far as I understand it (not a legal head and I don’t play one on the inter-tubes), the US has no veto right at the OCPW. They can oppose Syria’s membership application, they can play all kind of bureaucratic games to delay the approval of said membership application and even find some partners to oppose it (the same parters that always join the US when a UN General Assembly resolution against Israel comes to a vote?), but ultimately the US can not block membership application.

PS - I read somewhere this AM, but forgot where, that US officials conceded that they were happily surprised by the documents submitted so far by the Syrian administration, hinting that, in their opinion, Syria was playing a fairly clean and honest game so far. Anyone seen this as well?

Posted by: Philippe | Sep 23 2013 6:26 utc | 36

36) lavrov may mean practical support like costs, destruction technology, logistics ..., Assad quoted costs of 1 billion, Germany seems to have promised support of 2 million ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 23 2013 7:38 utc | 37

The AP Journalist Dale Gavlack and Syrian Journalist Yahya who covered the story about Chemical Weapons being given to Syrian Rebels by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia were both threatened by the Saudi embassy that there "careers would be ended" if they continued to take interviews and didn't step away from the story. Dale Gavlack has since been 'perminantly suspended" from AP. Yahya's fears for his saftey. No mainstream media outlet covered the story.

this confirms their story is real and a threat to the saudis

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 11:41 utc | 38

Dale Gavlack has since been 'perminantly suspended" from AP. Posted by: brian | Sep 23, 2013 7:41:20 AM | 39
That isn't even what P J Watson says, let alone what the originals he's quoting say. What he says is that Gavlak has now been “indefinitely suspended” by AP. And you have spelled her name wrong, twice.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23 2013 11:55 utc | 39

the mispelling as in the original on syrian girls thead on FB...and a misplaced C is the best you can do? how petty.

as for the
'What he says is that Gavlak has now been “indefinitely suspended”

thats also petty: my advice: piss off!

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 12:13 utc | 40

Syriangirl Partisan
This is how those the powers that pretend to care about freedom of speech and free press control the mainstream media they crush any voice that speak outside of the narrative. They threaten their lives and their livelihoods. Correspondence received by Sharmine Narwani Guardian contributer between a source connected with AP and an international journalist who knows Dale:
Source: "Dale was suspended over the article to Mint Press News."

Journo: "You're kidding me. AP suspended her? on what grounds exactly?"

Source: "Not kidding. On grounds that she's violated AP standards
And ethics of professional journalism."

Journo: "What standards are those exactly? She's a free lance writer, isn't she? Did she violate her contract in any way?"

Source: "They were so unfair. The problem is that MPN refused to remove her byline and the reference they made to the AP. They kept the article running on their web despite Dale's repeated appeals to remove the reference to the AP. The article took a full run in the football field pissing off the top AP people in New York."

Source: "Syrian TV read the article in several news bulletins. Saudi denied the story, which as you know went viral on all social networks. AP says she shouldn't have crammed the AP into this in the first place. Bottom line, they're afraid that Bandar will sue AP."

Journo: "How is Dale doing?"

Source: "She's hurt as you can imagine. She's been with AP for nearly 10 years and for one mistake she's fired."

Journo: "Dont tell me she regrets this as a 'mistake?'"

Source: She doesnt. She stands by the reporting of the Jordanian guy who gathered the info. But she depended on AP as one of the main sources of income."

The source also separately mentioned that AP is suing the Pentagon for spying on its employees and that may have caused some unusual sensitivity.

Sounds like Dale Gavlak just got screwed. She pushed a story she believed in, AP took umbrage at use of their name, MPN wouldn't budge.

thats for Petty sniper Rowan

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 12:16 utc | 41

While b is obviously right, there is some more to be seen:

Yes, the zusans may or may not go military anyway, no matter what has been agreed. But so can the Russians. Their ships are still around, they are still delivering "special freight", aso.

I'm not sure that the negotiations and diplomatic steps undertaken by Russia are targetting *only* what they are about. In my minds eye, those moves have (at least) a second level from the very beginning. That second level is quite visible in Putins nyt article. It's to do with zamerican exceptionalism, one major root of their double talk, double standards and imperialism.

Even the zusa mil-ind-fin-pol complex aka zio government & establishment can't reasonably start a war *against* their peoples will. But then, until now it was relatively easy to bend the stupidized people into any direction desired. This, however, also is to do with the comfort of perceiving themselves havig risk-free options (in part because they are the other "chosen people" ~ exceptionalism).

That is the real target of the Russians. First, they succeeded to take away the (if only self delusional) moral high ground position from zusa. By opening a peaceful way and "evil" Assad agreeing to it, it is bluntly strikingly obvious that there *are* alternatives to war. Furthermore, zusas standing and reputation has been *immensely* damaged internationally.

zusa - once more - being very short before a breakdown of state functions, in a major financial crisis and left with an increasingly weakened and expenditure-cut military, this is a very good moment to pay out a series of punches into zamericas increasingly vulnerable internal structure and to make their self-delusion vs. actual real needs more and more visible, both to the world and to the zamericans themselves.

I think that is also the context in which mc cain't and other scumbags are to be looked at. From their perspective, zusa is playing with and probably loosing the center stone of their self-delusional basis. With every millimeter this center stone loosens and moves, the whole empire building is crumbling somewhat. Beyond a certain point the damage can not be repaired any more. With zamericans loosing their dumb pseudo-self confidence that "no power on earth" can possibly stand against zusa and learning that their sons might not return as glorious victors but in body bags or maimed and crippled - and left olone by the government - they will not send their sons to war and already now many in the zusa military have become quite cautious to put it mildly.
So, of course, mc cain't & cohorts fire from all canons against any and everthing even remotely Russian and most of all against Putin, the man who increasingly holds zusa at their balls and squeezes.

The risk for Russia? None, whatsoever. If zusa decides to ignore contracts and promises once more (as usual) they'll find Russia in no worse position than before and Syria actually in a somewhat better and stronger position than weeks ago.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 23 2013 12:39 utc | 42

It gets better than a Le Carré novel,

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 13:05 utc | 43

The fact that Sharmine quotes some unnamed journo as saying Dale Gavlak was "fired" doesn't make it so, Brian, nor does it refute my original reproof, which was that you simply misquoted your source by substituting "perminently" (sic) for "indefinitely". Let's stick to the facts in future, not misrepresent them at will, please.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23 2013 13:23 utc | 44

Where did someone here find the names of the Nairobi attackers? There was no hint anywhere I read until an hour ago on the BBC where it says "The gunmen involved in the attack are "clearly a multinational collection from all over the world," Julius Karangi, Kenya's chief of general staff, has said. "We have an idea who they are, their nationality and even the number. We have also have an idea that this is not a local event. We are fighting global terrorism here and we have sufficient intel [intelligence] to suggest that.""

I can imagine they'll try to bury it very deep if indeed there are some Syrians in the group.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 13:28 utc | 45

Whoops, failed to close link, sorry.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23 2013 13:40 utc | 47

45 - this is the AP part of it

Gavlak implied that the nearly three-week delay in her public repudiation of the claim was due to legal advice and pressure from the AP to let the controversy over the story die down since the story, which was thinly sourced, was not picked up by any major media outlets.

In a statement to McClatchy, Paul Colford, AP’s director of media relations, declined to discuss details of AP’s internal discussions or its communications with Gavlak about the story. But he said it was “obviously of paramount importance… that this was not seen as assigned, edited or distributed in anyway [by the Associated Press.] AP had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

And the the NYT confirms "suspended"

Ms. Gavlak told The Lede that she has been suspended by The A.P. as a result of the article.

There is also an Israeli connection as Dale Gavlak also published in the Times of Israel and Yahya Ababneh is mentioned as a visitor to Israel in an Jerusalem Post article.

And there is this comment which makes the trail Jordanian ...

The war is coming soon. Jordan was threatened by the Syrian government this time.

Who used the chemical weapons?
The answer is neither the Syrian regime, nor the rebels. This is the game of Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief. He gave these weapons to the rebels via tunnels but they did not have enough information about them. Almost all of the rebels handling the weapons were killed because they used them incorrectly.

Many people inside the village were really angry with Jabhat Al Nazrah (an Al Qaeda associate in Syria).

The Assad regime so far has not let anyone from the UN visit the village to investigate. I will not be surprised if the Assad regime will use this case to support its situation in the eyes of Russia and Iran. The first country who suggested to fight Assad was France and Saudi Arabia were ready to pay for the weapons.

The Assad regime will get his army ready with many Iranian soldiers. Some old men arrived in Damascus from Russia and one of them became friends with me. He told me that they have evidence that it was the rebels who used the weapons.

The US people will pay the price again.

No one cares about the children who were killed in this way. The people are really concerned about who used the chemical weapons in Syria. If in these days it is believed that Assad used chemical weapons, then there will be a devastating war including the USA, France, Britain and Arab countries. After some years when they have paid the price to kill the Syrian people, they will say that they are sorry but it was actually Al Qaeda who deployed the weapons. Already they know that this is the game of Bandar bin Sultan.

Posted by: Yan Barakat | 28 August 2013 at 09:31 PM

Posted by: somebody | Sep 23 2013 13:43 utc | 48

Letter from Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) alleging Blackwater mercenary involvement in the war:

"5. One of the prisoners from Asifat Al Ashamal revealed that the group worked with BlackWater, the anti-Islamic company."

Posted by: revenire | Sep 23 2013 14:02 utc | 49

The MSM are in no hurry to write syntheses on the total failure of the "war on terrorism". Just in the last week: Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Kenya (I am sure I forget some).
Wars don't solve the problem as long as Wahhabis hate preachers are allowed to rave on satellite channels and that we still consider the countries who host them as "partners". The same is true for the speeches of hate on Israeli and US TVs.
What Rushdie's Memoirs brings to attention is that yes, there are laws against "incitation to sectarianism, hatred, terrorism, killing", but they are not applied but it goes against states' interests.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 14:11 utc | 50

Both "Yayha" and "Dale" wrote in Israeli newspapers; check the comments here.(Google:Brian Withaker "Yahya Ababneh exposed".)
He is a failed actor who became a failed journalist. He might be true, but his close connections with Russia won't help him make a career in the West. I would advise him to sign up for the intensive course if he wants a job at RT.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 14:15 utc | 51

Eliot Higgins/Brown Moses is a strange case. His 2-3 media bios report he's an unemployed finance and admin worker, had no background in analyzing military intelligence and spent a lot of time playing video games on his Xbox after being declared redundant by Barclays.

"Higgins, 34, has no training in weapons, human rights research or journalism – he dropped out of a media studies course at university."

He is now treated by the media as an expert. Robert Mackey of the Lede called Moses "highly-regarded" but...

"He (Higgins) is amused to be referred to as a weapons expert. 'Journalists assume I've worked in the arms trade,' he says, "But before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons that the average Xbox owner. I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo.'"

Posted by: revenire | Sep 23 2013 14:16 utc | 52

I'm not a fan of BM either...

On the topic of TV/websites and how easy they recruit half-brained.
Anyone to mention that this applies to Iraq/Syria/Lebanon/Egypt/Tunisia/Pakistan as well?
" 1411:"Movements like al-Shabab have incredibly sophisticated, attractive internet propaganda forums," says the BBC World Service's Africa editor Mary Harper. "They have this rousing rhetoric, they have these slick videos, and so it's quite easy to tempt and attract young men to become radicalised," she says. "It doesn't take many people to cause a maximum amount of chaos, and maximum amount of world headlines.""

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 14:22 utc | 53

Finally some good news
(it was not reported in al Ahram)

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 14:50 utc | 54

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23, 2013 9:39:39 AM | 47
so brian whitaker is seeking to debunk the Mintpress story....why? whats his interest in this?

Whitakes main claim to fame is his article on MEMRI

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 15:07 utc | 55

The fact that Sharmine quotes some unnamed journo as saying Dale Gavlak was "fired" doesn't make it so, Brian, nor does it refute my original reproof, which was that you simply misquoted your source by substituting "perminently" (sic) for "indefinitely". Let's stick to the facts in future, not misrepresent them at will, please.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23, 2013 9:23:27 AM | 45

the 'permanently post is a transcription from syria girls FB page : you can easily look it up. i substited this your idea of 'investigation'? Pretty slipshod

A i said : go ask Sharmine... and you seemed to say No need why this attack on Sharmine? Go ask her for the source...if i were her id say: 'no: youre dodgy'

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 15:12 utc | 56

Higgins spent all day and every day for months on end at The Guardian's online middle-east blog posting links to YouTube videos within the user comments section. The Guardian editor of the blog began referring to his links within the live updates - thereby jettisoning the guy into a figure of authority.

But I don't blame him for the position he now finds himself. It is a reflection of the sheer absurdity and amateurishness of the media's reporting on Syria that they refer to an unemployed university drop out with no experience or expertise in weaponry. The guy was bored and just looking for something to do.

A report in the Telegraph today published by the Action On Armed Violence charity actually cites Brown Moses as its source for the use of the FROG-7 in Syria. Believe it.

But then in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't even begin to compare to the heights reached by the dubious SOHR.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 23 2013 15:29 utc | 57

To revenire (53). I concur. Something isn't quite right about the Brown Moses 'expert'. Tentative research indicates he's given far more gravitas than an unemployed financial admin deserves. It's not just recently that the BBC have been singing his praises. They have been stressing his credibility for quite some time without any substance. It appears the managing editor of the anti-Assad website 'Syriadeeply' interviewed Eliot Higgins ....Very favourably. Furthermore, I thought it took years of studying under the supervision of respected tutors to claim to be an expert..Not x-box and Arnie films.

Posted by: Andy | Sep 23 2013 15:30 utc | 58

All you need to know about Brown Moses is the following from his wikipage:

"Brown Moses is among the best out there when it comes to weapons monitoring in Syria," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.[1] New York Times war reporter CJ Chivers said that fellow journalists should be more honest about the debt they owe to Higgins' Brown Moses blog. "Many people, whether they admit or not, have been relying on that blog's daily labour to cull the uncountable videos that circulate from the conflict," he said.[1] Amnesty International said that the Brown Moses Blog was vital in proving the Syrian regime was using ballistic missiles, information then used to send a research mission to Syria.[3]

Let's see: HRW, CJ Chivers AND Amnesty all sing his praise?

Don't believe a word this man types....

Again, this sentence of BM's "Before the Arab Spring..." is enough to send bells ringing.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 23 2013 15:40 utc | 59

CNN relies on a Twitter account to claim the Shabab are behind the Nairobi operation. Any verification, please?
(It seems to be the same account that provided CNN with a list of the names and nationalities)

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 15:57 utc | 60

The Nusra/ISIL battle in Northern Syria is ongoing

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 16:03 utc | 61

Lavrov and Russia have slowly manouevred Kerry and the US into such a weak position that they are reduced to raising Chapter VII "powers." Kerry isn't doing this because he wants to but because he has to. It is only one degree removed from saying, as they have said," It doesn't matter what the UN says, it doesn't matter what Congress says: if Israel orders us to attack we will do so."

As somebody rightly remarks, the real question is whether a combination of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah (with the SCO in the background)constitutes a deterrent. And he's right, it seems to do so.

Kerry may say what he wants but it is going to take more than another showing of the snuff movie to reverse the course now established in Syria. Today the Turkish President Gul put on a masterful display of hypocrisy and claimed that Turkey has been doing all that it can to prevent Syrians from crossing its borders. This would seem to suggest that the hand washing has begun.

Most important in these calculations is what is happening in the States, and probably throughout NATO, at the tectonic plate level of politics: after years of declining living standards, cuts in social wages, increasing un, and under, employment and other earnests of dystopia, the citizenry is waking from its long drugged sleep. And, as it opens its eyes the dream of inexorable material progress, in a society in which new freedoms constantly unfold themselves, dissolves.

So far very little has changed: a few politicians have discovered that populist economic programmes catch hold; while the media is finding that it can no longer tell people what to think then report that it is what they are thinking. On the right it is noteworthy that in Congress it is the Tea Party types who are leading the campaign to de-fund the NSA. There is a split among those who have been the rock solid base supporting US militarism for many years- the neo-cons can no longer rely on the rednecks to go along with them.

Liberal imperialism has preached for seventy years that the military exists as much as a form of generosity, towards a world that "needs" US military assistance as to protect the USA. And now, finally, those voices which have been opposing the Pentagon because they can see no threats to the United States, are joined by a burgeoning isolationist lobby which points out that, if the US doesn't have the money to pay pensions or fund public education, it should not be doing "good deeds" abroad, "protecting" people who can't protect themselves. It is going to get harder to promote military adventures than it has been for decades, as people realise that foreign policy is not peripheral but central, and blame the collapse in their living standards, and the coming of permanent precariousness or insecurity, on the waste of trillions in Iraq, in subsidies to the bankers and in an arms race with no other contenders.

Time is not on Kerry's side, which is why he won't stop wriggling.Those who seem to think that the US can do what it wants whenever it chooses, and that the drool from its incontinent rulers' flapping lips should be treasured and savoured, are wrong. It is not just that Kerry is a fool- which is par for the course- but that he is surrounded by fools, his boss is a fool, the UN Ambassador is a fool, the National Security advisor is certifiably idiotic. And they choose their own advisors and assistants. After Bush and Obama the White House has become nothing but a campaign HQ, staffed entirely by machine politicians. And this is taking place just as, down at the grassroots, their machines are breaking down, because they can no longer be greased and oiled.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 23 2013 16:03 utc | 62

According to Le Canard Enchaîné, O is under pressure of Fabius and a small group of "intelligence" folks who are behind the big CW story. In addition to that, Le Canard has reported on Sept. 4th that France and the US were ready to bomb Syria on 29/30 August, but stopped when Iraq announced it would step in to defend Syria. (I am not sure about this last point because I haven't seen yet a copy of the Sept 4th issue, just an article the week after mentioning the previous one in a summarized version).

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 16:44 utc | 63

Here we go, as expected by many here:
Chemical weapons body cannot meet unless US and Russia agree on text of Security Council resolution detailing how to make Assad stick to disarmament measures

(If it was about money, it would get much quicker:

Posted by: Mina | Sep 23 2013 17:13 utc | 64

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 23, 2013 11:40:03 AM | 59

this is the asme (IN)Human Rights Watch that trashed Mothet Agnes

NYT and HRW do a job on Mother Agnes...
A Nun Lends a Voice of Skepticism on the Use of Poison Gas by Syria
“The fact that the Russian government is relying on this woman’s assessment of what happened just shows the lack of evidence for their case,” said Lama Fakih, a Syria researcher for Human Rights Watch. “She is not a military expert.” {...}
“This led me to become a hippie,” she said with a grin.
She fell in with foreigners who came to Lebanon for the drugs — “Lebanese marijuana is the best in the world,” she said — and traveled to India and Tibet before returning to religion.

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 21:51 utc | 65

Posted by: Andy | Sep 23, 2013 11:30:32 AM | 58

well Higgins is also anti-assad as his blog makes clear early on.

Posted by: brian | Sep 23 2013 21:55 utc | 66

"Diplomats at the OPCW in The Hague confirmed that the chemical watchdog's executive council could not meet to agree the plan until the Security Council decides how to make Assad stick to the measures."

Posted by: hmm | Sep 23 2013 22:28 utc | 67

claudio - @hmm #6 - the "legal ground" is so thin, I'd speak at most of "political cover" that Uk and France are providing for a Us unilateral action (at most, Us-France) in some future contingency; the agreement is just too clear on this point, any military action against Syria must be sanctioned by the UNSC, period;

The "legal ground" for the Iraq war was pretty thin too - Mr Tony Blaah and Attorney General Goldsmith had a lot of back and forth torturing it into something they could, with a straight face, pretend was "legal" - course that all seemed like a silly set piece anyway at the time to me - so maybe the "legal ground" theory is nonsense - but after tribunal(s) and testimony related to "the Legal case" I got the feeling that MrTB and Goldsmith actually were serious about laying out some semi-plausible pseudo-legalish mumbo-jumbo to cover their asses. and so far it seems to worked have for them.

A "legal grounds" game has got to be at least one strategy. Messing with the inspection team personnel another.

This whole "O'Kohn made a mistake, lets yank his chain and accept it " is a bizarre concoction

I'm not saying that the ARE intending to hit Syria, I still don't think it will happen in the near future , if at all. I actually do think that there's some resistance to it in the Mil. Obviously that has to be attributed to being as a result of Russian actions to a major degree, but I suspected prior to that that something of the sort seemed to be coming from that direction. And maybe right now, that's where this is centred. But mil-types are "supposed to" do what they are ordered. I recall the purge of Brass immediately after O'Bomber was granted the throne for the 2nd time, and occasionally wonder about who or what , if anyone, might just possibly be playing a slightly longer term game. So.

zbiggy's been quiet lately

Posted by: hmm | Sep 23 2013 22:55 utc | 68

the actions of the Us administration are so confused and contradictory, verging on the ridiculous (threatening to strike Syria because of its alleged use of CW, and at the same time threatening to oppose its membership in OPCW!), that maybe the best explanation is that they are really confused, being pulled by different constituencies (and conflicting desires and fears) in opposite directions;

the Russian threats must have played a big part, especially towards NATO, which was the first to flinch, opening the gateway for the escape of all other Us allies (that's my updated explanation :-)), panicking Obama;

but this happened also because this new Russian assertiveness must be welcome to all those sectors of the establishment who are tired of senseless bellicose unilateral adventurism and silently dream of a new ordered bipolar (or tripolar) world, where huge appropriations will be destined for the Mil-Ind complex with much less hassle and with a resized AIPAC

@hmm - well yes, covering their asses from domestic backlash and political bickering is certainly a worry they have; I thought you were referring to international law ...; but what does "This whole "O'Kohn made a mistake, lets yank his chain and accept it " is a bizarre concoction" mean?

Posted by: claudio | Sep 24 2013 0:51 utc | 69

@bevin "as people realise that foreign policy is not peripheral but central [to]...the collapse in their living standards"

So right.

At $700 Billion+ a year - an impossible $7,000,000,000,000 per decade (numbers so big they make your eyes melt) - this boondoggle has long outlived every sorry excuse given for its existence.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24 2013 0:55 utc | 70

@68 Zbiggy is beside himself that the US is being led around on desert adventures by Israel while Russia, China, and Iran secure the Eurasian landmass.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24 2013 0:57 utc | 71

@ 69 Claudio...

how about 'multipolar' - I think that's the term the Russians are using. (Bipolar brings to my mind the mental disorder ;-)

@ 71 guest77, you're on point with that thought... amazing, isn't it, that US can't see beyond its nose (well it has gotten longer and longer with all the lies)

Posted by: Crone | Sep 24 2013 2:50 utc | 72

Brian (66) He has claimed that he's impartial and that both pro and anti Assad supporters have accused him of being biased. However, from what I've seen of his writing so far he's shown more than a tendency to be anti Assad. For example , he totally dismissed video footage of alleged terrorists firing suspected CW's as fraudulent yet seems quite happy to accept at face value other videos that appear to implicate Syrian government troops. My own opinion is that YouTube is not the place we can find convincing evidence and the fact that his conclusions are based on them reduces his credibility all the more. The mystifying part is that so many organisations have used him as a reference point at all. Perhaps using Moses Brown for evidence is a sign of just how desperate interventionist supporters are getting?

Posted by: Andy | Sep 24 2013 3:11 utc | 73

@72 Crone - ok, multipolar; the world is already bipolar enough :-)

Posted by: claudio | Sep 24 2013 6:48 utc | 74

"@68 Zbiggy is beside himself that the US is being led around on desert adventures by Israel while Russia, China, and Iran secure the Eurasian landmass.

hence to post-election purge of the Military?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 24 2013 8:54 utc | 75

the Russian threats must have played a big part, especially towards NATO, which was the first to flinch, opening the gateway for the escape of all other Us allies (that's my updated explanation :-)), panicking Obama;

I don't see any panicking - Sir Richy Dannatt told us one truth and one lie at the end of august. The one lie seemed just as important to him as the one truth

Posted by: hmm | Sep 24 2013 8:57 utc | 76

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite feared to be behind Nairobi shopping mall massacre

By Russell Myers
Fanatical Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the White Widow, is a key member of al-Shabaab, the militant group which has claimed responsibility for the slaughter.

The British soldier’s daughter, from Aylesbury, Bucks, is an Islam convert whose husband was one of the suicide bombers in the 7/7 attacks on London. . . . .

. . . A senior source said: “There is a strong possibility that Samantha Lewthwaite could be one of the terrorists. We have reports that at least one, possibly two women were involved in this siege.”

He added: “There are strong indications Lewthwaite has the capability and influence within al-Shabaab to carry out such an atrocity.”

Lewthwaite, whose Muslim fundamentalist husband Jermaine Lindsay, blew himself up on a Piccadilly Line train during the 7/7 attacks in 2005, is also wanted over a bomb plot to kill hundreds of British tourists in Mombasa. Together with her British accomplice Jermaine Grant, the pair were days away from carrying out their attack before being arrested in December 2011.

Grant from East London, is due to stand trial in Mombasa today. He was snared before their deadly plan succeeded but Lewthwaite "escaped" and has been on the run ever since.

She recently wrote on her blog: “Fear can make you do many things.”

she has a blog - that's so cute

Posted by: hmm | Sep 24 2013 11:00 utc | 77

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