Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 10, 2013

No Need For UN In Syria's Chemical Weapon Solution

Gregg Carlstrom summarizes Obama's confused messaging on Syria:
We are "seriously skeptical" of an offer, which we originally and accidentally proposed just a few hours earlier, to peacefully resolve a standoff over a "red line" which we accidentally set down last year. At the very least, it will delay for several weeks our response to a "deplorable" slaughter, our "Munich moment," which we promise will be "unbelievably small and extremely limited."
For anyone who closely followed yesterdays events (and the longer term issues) it is clear that the Obama administration had not planned for this development to happen. It was not the result of apt U.S. diplomacy but the result of another Kerry gaffe that Russia used to turn a terse situation into a win for nearly all sides.

The Russian initiative using Kerry's offhand remark saves Syria from an imminent attack by U.S. forces that would have shifted the battlefield balance towards the foreign supported insurgents and terrorists. It reenforces Assad's international position as the head of the state of Syria. It also saves the Obama administration from a serious defeat in Congress and from an embarrassing unilateral and illegal strike that would have been too big to be seen justified - internationally as well as domestically - and too small to placate the Israeli warmongers and other insurgency supporters.

The United Nations Secretary General, China, Britain, France and the Arab League welcomed the Russian initiative. Syria accepted it. Predictably the Syrian insurgents are against the Russian proposal as are the Israelis. They will not matter. The Obama campaign momentum towards war is now broken and can not be repaired. Going to war now would require a complete new propaganda campaign build on a different pseudo-rational cause.

France now proposes a UN Security Council resolution to underwrite the yet to be defined proposal. The U.S., Britain and France will try to put such a resolution under UN Chapter VII which would eventually allow for the use of force against Syria. Neither Russia nor China will agree to that. There is actually no need for a UN resolution at all though Russia may prefer to have some UNSC statement on the issue if only to pull the United States back into the realm of international law.

Syria's chemical stockpiles can be put under international control by immediately handing the keys of the warehouses over to Russian and Chinese officers. Syria could then contact the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and ask for its inspectors to work with those foreign officers to compile and verify lists of the stockpiles and to create plans for their eventual destruction. The OPCW is a legal international organization in its own rights and not a United Nations agency. Syria would join the OPCW by signing and ratifying the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC). Syria would inform the United Nations Secretary General of these steps. There is no legal reason at all for the United Nations or the Security Council to be involved in any of these steps.

The destruction of Syria's stockpiles will take a long time. One would want to avoid to transport those chemicals and would preferably build a special handling and incineration facility somewhere in the Syrian desert to then destroy those chemicals and munitions. This may take, like in the United States, a decade or two or even longer.

I do not see any way the U.S. and its allies can reasonably press for a Chapter VII resolution. Syria declares, like many states did earlier, that it will voluntarily take the steps towards fulfilling the CWC. Why then should it, unlike any other countries before it, be threatened with force to do so? If there is to be a UNSC resolution on chemical weapons in the Middle East Russia and China must insist for it to cover all Middle East countries including of course Israel's chemical weapons. It is an reasonable demand and will be rejected bei the U.S. which is then a good reason to blame it for a failing resolution.

If Obama is smart he will recognize that Russia pulled him back from destroying his presidency. He should use the moment to rethink his Syria strategy, to dissociate himself from the Saudi-Israeli-Turkish alliance to destroy Syria and to finally agree on a diplomatic-political solution for the Syrian people.

Posted by b on September 10, 2013 at 11:13 UTC | Permalink

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If anybody wants it straight from the horses mouth

Live! Secretary Kerry answers questions on Syria. Today via Hangout at 2pm ET.

Posted by: heath | Sep 10 2013 11:33 utc | 1

From the OPCW Web Site:
189 nations, 98% of the global population, have joined the OPCW, latest being Somalia.
Syria the 190th?

And Israel is not among them.

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 10 2013 11:43 utc | 2

The west wants a war. What will they do now to get it. I'm not convinced this Russian deal will stop it.

Posted by: john | Sep 10 2013 11:44 utc | 3

Bravo. This is real diplomacy.

I think even those fools who run the United States will have to recognize that the world has been pulled back from the brink and their own over done chestnuts have been, undeservedly, yanked from the fire.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 10 2013 11:49 utc | 4

Syria accepts Russian proposals for chemical weapons handover

Sub-head - "With France pushing for UN Security Council resolution on the matter, Assad regime says it has agreed to Russia’s ‘concrete plans’ in a bid to avoid US military strikes"

Mr Lavrov had told reporters the proposals would be presented to other nations soon, and he stressed the urgency of the situation, saying that “contacts with the Syrian side are being conducted literally at this minute”.

“We hope to present this plan in the very near future, and will be prepared to finalise it and work it out with the involvement of the UN Secretary General, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and members of the Security Council,” Mr Lavrov said.

So far no 'concrete Plans' have been published, despite people saying otherwise.

Personally I'm gonna wait for actual details to be published , of whatever plan is eventually proposed, before celebrating too wildly.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 11:55 utc | 5

Well, Obama miraculously got rid of his red line with full deniability.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 12:08 utc | 6

b is absolutely correct: if Syria signals that it is WILLING to sign the CWC treaty then there is no reason for a UNSC Chapter VII Resolution that attempts to COMPEL Syria to sign up.

Any attempt by the Security Council to do that would be ultra vires, precisely because treaties are voluntary instruments of international law, and being coerced into signing a treaty against one's will makes that signature invalid.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 10 2013 12:10 utc | 7

"Lavrov's plan" certainly does deal with the immediate threat, no doubt about that, and in that sense can certainly be portrayed as a "a triumph", along with attendant exclamation marks should one desire.

the idea that Lavrov's intent on keeping this out of the UN for the moment has a lot to be said for it.

But what is initially proposed and what is eventually agreed upon are usually two different things

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 12:12 utc | 8

I'll say this again, coz' it never gets old: the big winner here will be Russia, who will definitely be the guys with Boots On The Ground when it comes to "securing" those CW stockpiles.

And that means that as far as the Middle East is concerned then Ivan Is Back, Baby! Yeah!

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 10 2013 12:12 utc | 9

#Aggression is rewarded. #Putin chooses #appeasement. #Obama escapes the #gallows.

This may seem like a victory for Syria, but is in fact a gigantic defeat for the Resistance Axis. Israel's war aims have been achieved. Personally I am most disappointed by the fact that Obama now escapes the gallows for his criminal conspiracy to wage a war of aggression. The crime of the century – the cold-blooded murder of 500 Syrians to start World War III – will never be investigated.

Damascus agrees to cede chemical weapons to intl control – Syria FM – RT, September 10, 2013 11:09, Edited 12:19

The net effect is a shift in the balance of power in the Middle East, ultimately allowing Israel to achieve ethnic cleansing on Palestinian land. It is not a win-win as Helena Cobban claims. On the other hand, Syria is destroyed; this outcome was inevitable.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2013 12:30 utc | 10

RUSSIA, INITIATIVE OVER SYRIAN CHEM WEAPONS, AND DYNAMIC BETWEEN CLOSE ALLIES: No surprises that there are some who seem to not fully understand the Russian role with Syria of the past several years. Bluntly speaking, without Russian backing for Syria, Syria would now have seen the fate of Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries that nato has destroyed, with the Syrian result being worse than these other countries.

The Russian proposal is an obvious delaying and sabotage tactic towards the imperialists intention to bomb Syria. It is also a way of putting the onus and burden on the yanks, instead of them trying to put it on us (Syria).

Putin/Russia has said openly that john kerry is a liar, has been blatant about the actual situation in Syria, has deployed his military to set up air defence AND STAFF IT, has sent his warships to protect Syria: these are major moves to defend Syria. However there are still some who are in the pro-Assad camp but who are come across fickle enough to attack the proposal for international monitoring of Syria's chem weapons stockpiles. These same people seem to forget that the Syrian leadership, FM Moallem and others, are IN AGREEMENT with this proposal and were obviously part of the discussions with the Russians that has led to the public suggestion of this proposal.

Is it a fantastic move? Of course no. It is a tactical move in the context of Syria about to being bombed, it is a move to delay things so we get our positions as best as possible in the case of a bombing. Also I think it is important for people to realise that Russia is NOT all powerful, it cannot do ANYTHING to 100% ensure that Syria is protected. We need another ten to fifteen years of military development especially of Russia and China to be able to really match and stop the imperialist war machine.

While some pro-Assad people are sniping at Russia for their friendship with Syria, the Syrian leadership themselves are very content for the most, and I think they are better placed to judge the relationship that a few facebook warriors who havent had to deal with any political diplomacy or alliance building in any real meaningful sense.

The Baathist and Patriotic Resistance in Syria has excellent relationships with Russia, and we for out part should understand all things are not perfect in real life between best friends, nor are they when it comes to situations where whole nations and regions fates are at stake. BUILD UNITY, not feed the imperialist and zionist disinformation and dividing campaigns. Study into these things, the more one understands, the more one can have a more effective approach in promoting the defence of our peoples against empire.

Here is President Assad on the issue: "If Russia were to seek a compromise, as you stipulated, this would have happened one or two years ago when the picture was blurred, even for some Russian officials. Today, the picture is crystal clear. A Russia that didn’t make a compromise back then, would not do so now."

Posted by: brian | Sep 10 2013 12:40 utc | 11

"If Obama is smart he will recognize that Russia pulled him back from destroying his presidency."

I hope the Russians have saved us all from the war that Obama was set up to prosecute ... on behalf of the usual triad : Israel, US war profiteers, and the fossil fuel cartel.

The thing that strikes me is how out of the loop Obama himself is. This is not news ... he was never an executive, he was always a corporate lawyer, an employee ... but it became so apparent as he danced at the ends of their strings this time, trying to save their ridiculous plan at every stage of its demise.

As an employee, he was never consulted when the plan was made, had no input into its implementation, so ... naturally, perhaps ... never gave a thought to whether it was 'doable' or not. He just marched off to his death, like any other employee of the Wehrmacht.

Read the Guardian's one year meditation on Benghazi for an illumination of the impotence and inattention of the Nobel Peace Clown. He is a buffoon ... but he is responsible for the deaths of others day in and day out nonetheless. Our tragedy, not his. He's nothing but smiles.

Two more years of drone deaths and miscalculations in Obama's slow-motion war crime of the millennium. 11 killed in Yemen and 16 killed in Afghanistan while we were all terrified and distracted by his shocking, awful display of incompetence.

We Americans need to do what it takes to replace our entire political class. Hell, there are 314 million of us and just 546 ... total ... of them. As far as the actual political actors go ... they are not even 1% of 1%.

Posted by: john francis | Sep 10 2013 12:48 utc | 12

9) :-)) the name is Vladimir.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 12:50 utc | 13

Looks like this political plan has been setup between Iran and Syria in coordination with the Russians. Boroujerdi, head of national security committee of the Iranian parliament, travelled to Damascus last week and came up with the framework of the plan during a meeting with Assad. Russia was kept in the loop all the time and it was decided that the latter will convey the initiative to the Americans in a convenient timeframe, the objective being not to spoil the outcome by openly presenting Syria and Iran as the ones that are making US save face. In the case of success the winner of this round will clearly be Syria, Iran and obviously Russia.

Posted by: ATH | Sep 10 2013 13:00 utc | 14

"If Obama is smart he will recognize that Russia pulled him back from destroying his presidency. "


True, along with your other points. However, just curious on a few points; Obama said in his mon night interview with pbs, he had talked to putin on the option to remove Syrian CW to avoid war!?!?

so one can argue, obama was covering his back side.. then Charlie rose happen to be in Damascus on a very short order with no flight to Damascus (drive from Beirut) to interview Assad. In that interview he happen to ask the same question where Mr Assad confirms his willingness to give up an otherwise useless CW. And of course Kerry's famous gaff.. just too many coincident.. agree that Russia helped US walk back from an abyss of their own making.. but seems there is more..????

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 10 2013 13:03 utc | 15

The Russians and Syria have played this very well.

The fact of the matter is that chemical weapons are fairly useless -- and that is why the majority of nations have discarded them.

A Syrian deterrence strategy does not require chemical weapons.

Russia and Syria have seemingly achieved a major diplomatic victory.

Obama needs to recognize that American power can only be strengthened or maintained in the Middle East by pursuing fair and just diplomatic solutions -- and thus by turning away from Israel and seeking rapprochement with Iran.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Sep 10 2013 13:09 utc | 16

In addition to the warmongers being stymied diplomatically, their repudiation by the public can't be understated. Despite a constant drumbeat in the media to let the missiles fly, anti-war sentiment has only grown larger. Now the public is opposed to even arming the rebels. From a story about the latest New York Times/CBS News poll:

The resistance to getting involved in Syria is deep. While 75 percent of people think that Mr. Assad’s forces used chemical weapons, 74 percent say they oppose supplying rebel forces in Syria with conventional arms.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 10 2013 13:13 utc | 17

"This may seem like a victory for Syria, but is in fact a gigantic defeat for the Resistance Axis. Israel's war aims have been achieved."
Petri Krohn@10

The world changes incrementally. The primary fact of political life in the levant is US domination. It is by far the most powerful force, financially, militarily and in terms of its cultural reach. Besides which it has subsumed most of its rivals, France, Turkey, Britain into satrapy.

This is less true today than it was last week. A week ago the situation was that when the US threatens an attack, backed up by AIPAC etc, thousands die and the world, disgusted though it may be, has to grind its teeth and watch as the death squads and the Human Rights prostitutes and the ideologists and the bloodstained media pumps an unending stream of lies over the smoking remains of an ancient seat of civilisation.

That will not be happening this week. Furthermore it is considerably less likely to happen in Iran in the coming months, or south Lebanon. And for these things we have to thank the Resistance, the two independent powers on the Security Council, the residue of intellectual honesty that remains in the "west" and, in a very minor way, forums of this kind where, taking shrewd and original analyses as a starting point, sincere people, with a few trolls throne in for contrast, engage in the sort of debate that is the basic requirement of democracy.

It is very wise always to be sceptical and Petri performs a useful service by reminding us that, if things are any better, the progress has been small. But there has been progress and the "crime of the century" will not be forgotten, just as Fallujah has not been and Jenin lives in our consciousness.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 10 2013 13:27 utc | 18

throne = thrown

Posted by: bevin | Sep 10 2013 13:28 utc | 19

@Rd. #15

"...with no flight to Damascus (drive from Beirut)..."

Who says there are no flights to Damascus? As far as I know, all SyrianAir international flights are operating normally to all Middle Eastern countries and Russia. (The EU has banned flights as a result of the sanction.)

See here: A Closer Look On Syria: Are_Syria's_airports_operating?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2013 13:30 utc | 20

Pepe - You have the right to remain inspected

Now for the fine print. Everybody knows what happened to Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi after they gave up their deterrence. Assuming both Washington and Damascus accept Lavrov's proposal, this could easily be derailed into an Iraqi-style ultra-harsh inspection regime. At least in theory, no US Air Force will attack UN inspectors at Syrian chemical weapons depots. As for false flags, don't underestimate the deep pockets of Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan - aka Bandar Bush.

Still, considering Washington won't abandon its real agenda - regime change - Obama might eventually be re-presented with his full Emperor hand to "supervise" the chemical weapons handover and "punish" any infringement, real or otherwise, by Damascus, facilitated by the usual spies infiltrated into the inspectors mechanism. As in, "If you complain, we bomb."

which imo was the whole point from the start

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 13:34 utc | 21

Good synopsis b, I hope you're right.

john francis @ 12: "As an employee, he was never consulted when the plan was made, had no input into its implementation, so ... naturally, perhaps ... never gave a thought to whether it was 'doable' or not. He just marched off to his death, like any other employee of the Wehrmacht.

Good post, love the above, cause' I believe it's true.

Now we can all watch, as the war mongers struggle to invent new "reasons" to demolish Syria. The cabal that owns Obama, will not stop. ( as stated above in 12:Israel, US war profiteers, and the fossil fuel cartel.)

Posted by: ben | Sep 10 2013 13:35 utc | 22

Obama was chosen not to lead, but to sell. He recommended himself to the king-makers at AIPAC and the Chamber of Commerce with a terrific performance at the 2004 Democratic Convention. He gives a great speech, no question, and he triumphed in his first campaign by selling the rebirth of liberal idealism.

Since then, not so good.

He does fine when he's pushing product everybody wants, but now he's been assigned a real stinker. This Syria thing is ripe roadkill. There are no stirring turns of phrase that can prop this putrid sucker back on its feet.

But sell it he must. It's what he's paid to do. That fat, warm seat on the Goldman board just hangs out there, almost in reach. All he's gotta do is bring this one home.

H/T: WR Curley @ Truthdig

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 10 2013 13:43 utc | 23

Here's the French UN resolution proposal. Was it dictated by NothingYahoo or what?

They say the resolution will include five conditions:

1.The UN condemns the "chemical massacre" committed on 21 August "by the Syrian regime"

2.The Syrian regime "shed all light" on its chemical weapons programme without delay, placing it under international control and dismantling it

3.Syria must put in place a complete procedure to allow full inspections of chemical weapons and must become party to the chemical weapons convention

4.There would be extremely serious consequences if these obligations were violated

5.The "authors" of the 21 August chemical attacks must face legal sanctions via the international criminal court

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 10 2013 13:48 utc | 24


France is a "non-player" in this game. For now, she is just a tool. Until maybe the day she decides to show more autonomy in her foreign policy decision-making processes or push for the EU to show more independance towards "Atlantists".

Posted by: ATH | Sep 10 2013 14:04 utc | 25

The most important factor I think is that this gains Russian/Syria time. Time for what?

For the nature of the obvious Ghouta false flag to come to light more and more. The ONLY reason that the world at large doesn't think that this is a false flag is b/c of the media onslaught. With an already skeptical American and world populace, more and more revelations will eventually break through. Now there is time for Russia and Syria to go about dismantling the Gouta claims. The Aleppo file was 100s of pages long, I'd be surprised if there's not a similar sized Russian tome at some point about Ghouta. This was designed to be a bum-rush to war and it's been stymied for the moment.

Two, although it could have been some well-placed propaganda in RT yesterday about a potential false flag in Israel, the story quoted multiple sources (anonymous, I know). Agreeing with the Russian plan makes it even MORE nonsensical for Assad to theoretically engage in any other (false) gas attacks if they should just happen to occur - right, Zionist scum? Thus, the Russians may have felt the need to check any other Zionist shenanigans.

Not that the nonsensical circumstances surrounding the Ghouta attack stopped the murderous Zionists et al from concocting their little story anyways. Not to harp on it but although this is very much like the Iraq War, go and revisit the 9/11 evidentiary claims and you'll be reminded as to how utterly implausible the stories the elite use are at times. With an already highly skeptical world populace closely monitoring every development, allowing the "keyboard brigades" more and more time to pore over info on the Net can be a detriment to TPTB - something they didn't have to quite contend with in 2001 as the Web was still pretty nascent.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 14:09 utc | 26

"...with no flight to Damascus (drive from Beirut)..."
Who says there are no flights to Damascus? "

Rose had to fly to Beirut, then drive to Damascus.

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 10 2013 14:15 utc | 27

Petri 10

Sure we don't get the coup de main where the DC/zionists are utterly destroyed but really you have to admit that the Assadies have achieved a quite spectacular victory one that may cost some CW which is pretty low rent as far as deterrence goes.

interestingly since Syria may now sign the Anti CW Treaty, the nations that haven't signed it are Egypt and of course, Israel.

Posted by: heath | Sep 10 2013 14:22 utc | 28


The Saudi proposal will be even worse. The French proposal is just to show Hollande's owner that he is a good dog.

What matters is stopping a US attack.

Posted by: Ozawa | Sep 10 2013 14:22 utc | 29

re 27 Rose had to fly to Beirut, then drive to Damascus.

That's because he didn't want to risk a missile in the belly of his plane as it was landing at Damascus, or he didn't want to fly SyrianAir.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 10 2013 14:25 utc | 30

Great, great news - for now. Looks like the Imperialists are going to have to find another pretext for smashing Syria up. They will find it no doubt, because Syria is now second from the top of the list it's been on for a few years now.

I'm concerned that the strategic balance between Syria and Israel has been altered somewhat and, as Pepe Escobar reminds us, Libya and Iraq were both decimated once the west was sure they couldn't retaliate with nasty, scary non-conventional weapons. Not so easy IF there are Russian or Chinese boots on the ground mind you.

This is a great big slap in the face for the warmongers, all down to bumbling, incompetent "diplomacy".

It would be funny if the stakes were not so high. Still loving it though.

Posted by: Billy boy | Sep 10 2013 14:32 utc | 31

That's because he didn't want to risk a missile in the belly of his plane as it was landing at Damascus, or he didn't want to fly SyrianAir.

The point of original comment was the extend in which Rose had to go thru trouble of getting to Syria for the photo up in such a short notice? What other reasons besides the apparent gaff(s) caused the US to walk from an abyss of their own making?

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 10 2013 14:51 utc | 32

Excellent roundup and summary of all of the many salient points, b.

Is anyone surprised the the Yankees new position is that Kerry's CW remark (the only sane Yankee contribution to the Syria non-debate since it began) was an accident. And those pesky Russians 'stole' it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 10 2013 14:52 utc | 33

32 AIPAC watch

Op-Ed: AIPAC: Stop Lobbying for a US-Syria Attack! Seven reasons that a limited US strike in Syria - and AIPAC's lobbying for it - are an egregious error. ... 3) Obama's invoking Israel as a reason to stop the Shiite chemo-genocidal massacre of Sunnis in Syria is as inaccurate as having invoked Israel as the reason to militarily reverse Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Obama's incendiary linkage of the safety of Israel to the legitimacy of his attack on Syria achieved nothing except to give Assad legitimate reason to counter-attack Israel. Instead of delimiting Hezbollah's likely counter-attack on Israel, Obama maximized the likelihood and severity of Iran's counter-response.

4) AIPAC's active involvement in lobbying for the Obama attack will be correctly seen by the Iran-Syrian axis as a casus belli of Israel against Syria. Hence, AIPAC's lobbying has only guaranteed there will be a horrific, possibly even unconventional, blow-back against Israel. AIPAC isn't prudently lobbying for the safety of Israelis, they're lobbying for the safety of Obama's foreign policy.
7) AIPAC is advocating for an American strike where (given Syrian Yakhont missiles) US forward-deployed forces are thin, at best, and wholly insufficient at worst. The US forces seem prepared to attack from far away(Tomahawks have a range well over 1000 miles), but not to absorb a close-in Syrian counter-attack. Syria possesses Russian deadly Yakhont missiles that have a range of 300 kilometers from the Syrian shoreline. This will limit a close-in US deployment without a preliminary massive debilitating US first-strike which clearly isn't in the cards.

This again means a much greater likelihood of a Syrian counter-strike (most likely against Israel) where Israel will have to fight alone.

To compound the escalation problem, US Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh recently stated that, because of the sequester, in Syria, "We are not going to be as ready as we would like." Gen. Welsh added that two capabilities likely needed would be F-16CJ Wild Weasels, which are specially configured for suppression of enemy air defenses, and F-22s. Squadrons of both those capabilities were also grounded earlier this year, "That's not a good place to be for us," he said.

Last month, Air Combat Command chief General G. Michael Hostage III was also quoted saying “If Syria blows up or Iran blows up or North Korea blows up, I don’t have a bunch of excess forces I can immediately shift to that conflict. I’m going to have to pull them from other places.”

So, is AIPAC lobbying for a war where Obama starts it, can't defend anybody from a Syrian counter-attack, and Israel is left to finish it at Israel's cost in blood?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 15:04 utc | 34

Why are people here celebrating? Major win for Obama, major loss for Syria if they hand over CW.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 15:17 utc | 35

FLASH urgent message from al-CIA-duh command: prepare another false flag...round up some hostages and gas them...the "hospital" set is ready and waiting! allahu akbar!!

Posted by: bfrakes | Sep 10 2013 15:28 utc | 36

The US wanted war--diplomacy would not serve, for reasons known only to the powers that be--and wanted it now. Not coincidentally the rebels had started losing, at the very least the US intended to provide them with air cover. Now all that is pushed back. The US will try again, but it will take time, especially after the current debacle. Internationally, the US image, already in decline, took a major blow, and recovery of that will not be easy. Of course the US assumes it can ignore other countries, but there are limits. Losing in the British Parliament was one of them.

This is a strategic victory for Russia and China, for time is on their side, and not on the side of the US. Both Russia and China have their troubles, but compared to the US they are under far less time pressure. This is well understood by the powers that be, and is the underlying reason the US wanted its war now. Though the US will try again, future circumstances will be less favorable, and this is understood by everyone.

Syrian defense has always depended on outside support, and that will not change. Chemical weapons are not an effective deterrent--even against Israel--have limited military use, and in this context are a net liability that can be given up easily. And for the time being, Syria has avoided a US assault.


Posted by: Gaianne | Sep 10 2013 15:34 utc | 37


Russians bowed to pressured from west, they are the losers! It just shows that threat of war works when US does it.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 15:37 utc | 38


Your hasbara - there is no other word - is sickening. Again, I know hasbara is coming from somebody when he prints out the articles even though he knows how to link to them. Inevitably, the parts that he cuts and pastes will deflect blame AWAY from Israel.

This article was written - and I'm quoting from the article, too, somebody - by a person who "At the outset, I want to make clear that I have consistently publicly opined that the US must support the Syrian rebels. I have argued then, and now, that Assad must be toppled because it is in the supreme national security interest of the United States."

Yup, this guy's probably got a keen critical eye fixed right on AIPAC, right, somebody?

Oh, I get it, Assad must be toppled for America, huh? Like Saddam and Qaddafy and the leaders of other states who must be ousted as outlined in the Yinon Plan and other Israeli hegemonic strategies.

Just for kicks, here's a reprint of the last two paragraphs of somebody's article (which he didn't include, funny). Maybe people would like to count the outright lies, the misdirections and straw men the author presents. Above all notice that far from being critical of AIPAC for - oh I don't know moral and humanitarian reasons - his MAIN concern is that now that AIPAC's exposed its gonna be bad for the Zionists who are - once again in his eyes - COMPLETELY blameless.

"For 5 years AIPAC has passively watched Obama refuse to draw any red-lines on Iran's nuclear program, which is the real existential danger to the US and Israel. But, when it comes it an Obama ad-libbed red-line on the chemical weapons that killed a fraction of the 120,000 dead Syrians, AIPAC goes into lobbying mode for an undefined, limited, slap-on-the-wrist attack. If, G-d-forbid, US body-bags come back from Obama's misadventure, the Jews of America should expect virulent anti-Semitism as a direct result of the ill-advised lobbying.

American Jews got wrongly accused of pushing America into the Iraqi war, despite the fact that the then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly warned Bush against it. AIPAC has positioned Jews as the scapegoat once more. Catastrophically, American Jews will be excoriated for actively pushing America into a war."

Yesterday you cut and pasted the entire article by gatekeeper Robert Parry - btw, I addressed that post in the other thread - who like Chomsky takes the NYT's line that Israel is really just a passive observer in all this Syria business and they just have no designs on seeing Assad toppled.

You are all shameless.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 15:50 utc | 39

From August 31, Amos Yadlin :-))

Putin can prevent US attack on Syria says Israeli ex-intelligence chief

If Assad fears the US is going to strike hard, and Russia offers to take out his chemical weapons, Obama could claim a genuine achievement, says Amos Yadlin ...


Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 15:51 utc | 40


Along with the decline of American hyper-power we should also factor in what is sure to be an irrevocable loss of support for Obama. Through skilled rhetoric and outright sophistry Obama was able to keep the Democratic activist base yoked to him and the national party. Now that's over, believe me. His star was waning because of the Snowden revelations, his expansion of drone warfare, maintenance of Guantanamo, his U-turn on protecting social programs -- the list could go on -- but this is the end.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 10 2013 16:01 utc | 41

The US did use 'agent orange' in Nam and other chemical weapons many times elsewhere; Israel did so as well with white phosphorus against Gaza and Lebanon. How dimwitted of those in power to point a finger elsewhere when they are guilty of the same charge. All a part of living in the New World Hypocrisy that has inundated the new millennium, I suppose.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 10 2013 16:25 utc | 43

Hey, here's another story from that wonderful somebody source israelnationalnews. Why it looks like evil Putin has lied and begun to deliver the S-300 systems to Syria after all - or so someone heard on Voice of Israel radio! Well, I guess, since Yaalon said that "they would know what to do" if Russia delivered the S-300s it's time for them to do it, huh? Passive observers those Israelis. So soothing and passive.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 16:30 utc | 44

All the CW hoopla gets all stripes of non-Syrians panties in a twist and has ppl concentrating on what the dolt Kerry said, or what Obomber stated.


like, hah, I hafta admit = rough quote >

Even wifey Michelle is against WAR! etc.

As if war was a cuddly topic suitable for pillow talk or sitting in front of whatever icon, like a BBQ, or a new cute puppy, while Sasha proudly spells unconstitutional, irreverent, abysmal, advantageous, arachnid, omelet, occurrence, omniscience, chauvinism, pseudonym etc. And writes an essay about her last cool vacation!

(The spelling scene sketched is fiction.)



CW considerations obscure that the situation of a complex proxy war with multiple players is set to continue.

USisr is just sitting waiting for Syria to continue being destroyed from the inside in a ‘civil war’ with covert support for that by many quarters. Right now there are some more that 6 million displaced, internal and external. The more huff and puff and quarrels arise around any topics, major or trivial, is good for the imperialists.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 10 2013 16:30 utc | 45

Some of you commentators are very mistaken.

This is a huge accomplishment for the resistance axis and Russia.

You have to understand that chemical weapons are largely useless weapons. They serve almost no constructive purpose, are very ineffective on the battlefield, and just cause political problems for governments who stock them.

Syria doesn't lose any deterrence by getting rid of them. And there is zero chance of a repeat of the UN inspections on Iraq. We live in a different world today and Russian and China will not allow anything detrimental to happen to Syria. Syria has NOT been sold out.

You are also giving far too much power and intelligence to the US state. Recent events show that it is NOT in control and doesn't have the capacity for rational planning and strategic action. Furthermore, clearly no one believes in it anymore save for the European colonial powers and dependent quislings in the Third World.

We have witnessed another significant set back for the US primacy strategy in the Middle East.

All the momentum has now been sucked out of the US drive for war. US bombs will not be falling on Syria. Obama would have been humiliated in Congress and the public would not assent to the regional war that Obama was about to spark. There is no chance of a war now happening, especially given the fact that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah were fully mobilized to rain hell on Israel.

Russian, Iran and Hezbollah just checkmated US hegemony in the Middle East.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Sep 10 2013 16:40 utc | 46


I agree, this effort by obama have demonized Syria and threatened it all out, and at the same time maybe got rid of syria's CW. Obama will be celebrated after this. I really hope Syria isnt going to accept this, they must get something back otherwhise its a capitulation!

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 16:41 utc | 47

I like tracking in the MSM what I am calling the Israel-who? meme. At the end of this 3 page article in today's NYT entitled White House Backs Global Push to Secure Syria’s Arsenal we finally find on page 3 what Israel-who? thinks about the whole situation.

In Jerusalem, the Israeli government had no immediate comment on the Russian proposal, in line with its policy of trying to keep out of the heated American debate over how to deal with Syria. (snip)Mr. Netanyahu and his aides have long argued that a diplomatic solution to the Iran problem has no chance unless it is coupled with a credible military threat. (snip)“In Jerusalem they should be happy,” wrote Ron Ben-Yishai, a military affairs analyst on Ynet, a leading Hebrew news site. “It has clearly been proven that a credible American military option can be a successful deterrent. The Iranian context is as clear as the sun, as is the future direction of the joint strategic course of the United States and Israel regarding Tehran.”

Oh, I see, Israel-who? doesn't want to take sides and threaten anyone militarily - shhhh - but the Zionists are just lucky that in this present case of Syria that was the tack taken by the US leadership, huh? Not only that, Israel-who? should be happy because even though they would never press for any kind of US military threat - shhhhh - they think they'll just get lucky again vis a vis Iran in the same way when the US government just happens to start threatening Iran militarily.

Man, some countries - who? - have all the luck.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 16:50 utc | 48

How can the Russians would accept any UN résolutions which such wordings?

1.The UN condemns the "chemical massacre" committed on 21 August "by the Syrian regime"

France is really a barking poodle since the beginning of this crisis.

From now on, the US administration and the barking poodles will do anything to derail the russian proposal. Bottom line is still: let's bomb Assad.

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 10 2013 16:56 utc | 49

46) agree. I would not think along these frontlines though.

This here is Yossef Bodansky - look him up

The U.S. placed itself as the self-anointed manager and arbiter of the outcome of this fateful dynamic. Nobody in the region believes the Obama White House’s assurances about a limited strike with no intent of “regime change”. After all this was the exact assurances given by the Obama Administration on the eve of the UNSC’s vote on Libya solely in order to convince Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to abstain and let the resolution pass (which they did). Now, should the U.S. strike Syria, alone or at the head of a makeshift coalition, the U.S. would have crossed the threshold of active participation and leadership. Pressure would mount on the U.S. to complete the job: to invade and get involved directly in the fighting, to secure the strategic weapon arsenals (which will take 75,000-100,000 troops by the Pentagon’s latest estimates), and to overthrow Assad and empower what Bandar calls “moderate” Islamists.

Arab leaders and their Islamist protégés are now convinced that only the U.S. can, and should, defeat the Assad Administration and empower the Islamists for them.

Should the U.S. shirk or dither, there would be more and worse provocations, and more innocent Syrians would die in the hands of their brethren and saviors until the U.S. delivered Damascus to the Islamists-jihadists and their sponsors.

After the catastrophe that Libya is today, does Washington really want to try again in Syria? Wouldn’t confronting reality and the Islamists-jihadists be a more expedient (and honest) way of doing things?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 17:09 utc | 50


I'm so grateful for this bar... thank you for your usual perceptive view of things, which we here in US are too often to blind to see. I don't watch TV, haven't for 6 years now, but I get reports online from others everyday of what's being propagandized. Another forum that I was posting on has revealed itself to be suffering severely from cognitive dissonance... so, I have abandoned it. Some folks simply won't believe their lying eyes!

This site is my 'got-to' for sane analysis... which you never fail to deliver. I don't think we tell you often enough how much we appreciate the time and effort you put into this bar.

So, drinks all around... and hear! hear! for B...

Posted by: crone | Sep 10 2013 17:11 utc | 51

Please people. Wake up. This is not a capitulation or sell out in any way. You are giving far too much credit to the White House, which in reality doesn't have a clue about what it's doing.

If you want to know what happened, Russia served an 'out' for a terrified, isolated and stupid US administration.

Obama can try to take credit for this 'side issue' of chemical weapons, but he lost big time.

By way of contrast, Syria is not losing anything of importance. It will not be subject to harsh sanctions or inspections. It will not be bombed. And it will not lose any military deterrence by getting rid of chemical weapons, which are really useless military hardware. Don't believe the hype on chemical weapons; they are not important for Syria's defense strategy.

The most important thing to know is that, with Russian diplomatic and military assistance, the resistance axis has stood up to the US-led empire in the Middle East.

Even though it was ready for a regional war -- and in fact was fully mobilized for one -- the resistance successfully avoided this scenario. A big accomplishment in and of itself.

The conflict in Syria is still far from over but the rebels are now going to be defeated in Alleppo. After that, they will slowly lose their last remaining pockets of action.

Please stop giving the US so much omnipresent power. It is clearly weak, isolated, and stupid.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Sep 10 2013 17:11 utc | 52

anon @ 46 posted:

You have to understand that chemical weapons are largely useless weapons. They serve almost no constructive purpose, are very ineffective on the battlefield, and just cause political problems for governments who stock them.

Absolutely correct.

CW have been touted as the epitome of all evil, but in fact they are not efficient, it is easy to protect against them, even massive doses of whatever kills very few ppl (and to what purpose, some civilians? ...) It is even true for mustard gas or the like in WW1 when chem warfare came on the stage and became all the rage...It's impact is questionable beyond the News.

CW existence as the ULTIMATE horror serves to obscure regular bombing, airstrikes, the destruction of agriculture, infrastructure, particularly water delivery and electricity, hospitals, schools, civilian homes, roads, factories, businesses, etc.

A red herring, or a black and striped grey one.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 10 2013 17:16 utc | 53

Obama Agrees To U.N. Discussion Of Putting Syria Chemical Weapons Under International Control

Obama has said the proposal marks a potential breakthrough that could halt plans for a U.S. military strike, though he said the details remain unclear.

The official requested anonymity because the officials was not authorized to discuss the private conversations by name.

A White House official emailed The Huffington Post with further details:

This morning, the President spoke separately with President Hollande and Prime Minister Cameron. They agreed to work closely together, and in consultation with Russia and China, to explore seriously the viability of the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons and related materials fully under international control in order to ensure their verifiable and enforceable destruction. These efforts will begin today at the United Nations, and will include a discussion on elements of a potential UN Security Council Resolution.

Posted by: annie | Sep 10 2013 17:19 utc | 54

add to 50)

GCC: Russian plan won't stop Syria bloodshed

JEDDAH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Tuesday rejected a Russian proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, saying it would not end the bloodshed in Syria. “We’ve heard of the initiative,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa told a news conference after a meeting of GCC members states.

“It’s all about chemical weapons, but doesn’t stop the spilling of the blood of the Syrian people,” he said.

The GCC, composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, insists that Syrian President Bashar Assad be punished for using chemical weapons against his own people.

The Russian proposal, accepted by Damascus, aims to prevent the United States launching an attack on Syria to punish it for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

Khalifa called for “appropriate deterrent measures against those who committed this crime” and said the chemical attack required “the United Nations and the international community, represented by the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibility.”

Also on Tuesday, the GCC also denounced the Hezbollah for interfering in the Syrian crisis.

"As GCC strongly condemns the blatant interference of Lebanese Hezbollah in the Syrian crisis and its consequent killing of innocent civilians, it considers that Hezbollah's participation in shedding the blood of the brotherly Syrian people revealed the nature of this party and its real objectives which surpassed the borders of Lebanon and Arab homeland," said the GCC General Secretariat in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Council also stressed that "Illegal interventions of Hezbollah and the heinous practices of its militias in Syria, would harm its interests in the GCC's member countries, and that the GCC Ministerial Council decided to consider action against any members of Hezbollah in the GCC countries, both in their residency or their financial and trade transactions,"

"GCC also calls on the Lebanese government to assume its responsibilities towards the behavior of Hezbollah and its illegal and inhuman practices both in Syria and the region." the statement said.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 17:23 utc | 55

WMD have no value all of a sudden? What is this!?

Ask Qadaffi, ask Saddam Hussein or ask North Korea and ask them why they havent been attacked yet.

This is a win for west/obama! This offer was made by the americans not russians!

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 17:24 utc | 56


Really? Are you doing some kind of Andy Kaufman hasbarist-parody type thing here?

Yossef Bodansky (born in Israel[1]) is an Israeli-American political scientist who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004. (lucky there was nothing going on during that time period, huh?)

His book Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America a NYT's bestseller nonetheless has this to say:

"Bodansky concludes "Ultimately, the quintessence of bin Laden's threat is his being a cog, albeit an important one, in a large system that will outlast his own demise -- state-sponsored international terrorism." The book details support from Sudan and Afghanistan but claims that perhaps bin Laden's biggest supporter is Iran.[1] Bodansky also alleges a cooperative relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.[2] The book's success as best-seller was amid controversy of a purported political agenda therein.[3]"

Wow, that sounds about right! I guess if a luminary with credentials such as Yossef says it's the Saudi's, the Saudi's MUST have done it? I also especially like the reiteration of the old line "Israel would NEVER want Syria to end up like Libya nonsense".

Please don't throw Israel-who? into the briar patch, America!!!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 17:31 utc | 57

Why Obama would be celebrated for anything boggles the imagination. The Russians & Syrians simply checkmated him and eliminated his "stated" purpose for the bombing which was to degrade the "regimes" ability to deploy chemical weapons - so we were told. With those weapons coming under international control, the primary reason (at least the one given to the US public) for the attack has been nullified. It will also make it impossible for the terrorist mercenaries to carry out anymore false flag attacks with chemical weapons since we'll now know who was responsible. The chemical weapons were causing more harm than good and as several here have already pointed out, they make a poor deterrent for ANYTHING.

Left to his own devices, Obama would've bombed the hell out of Syria.

I don't buy for a minute that he "planned" anything with Putin at the G20. He was caught off guard & diplomatically beaten. If you look at how the administration waffled on and off yesterday, it's obvious to anyone with a kernel of commonsense that they were caught like a deer in headlights. He's now attempting to spin it into a "victory" to save his sagging poll numbers and his presidency. His cultists may buy it, but I don't. The Russians probably won't reign in on Obama's parade because they achieved their objective -for now. I still think this is far from over and there will be more attempts in the months ahead to carry out war since an Assad victory would be intolerable for the US, the Saudi's, Israel, etc. it would be a geo-political disaster for the US if Russia, China & Syria came out the winners.

One last comment on Obama:

As an African American, I never seriously got the Jim Jones cult like fascination with this man.

Posted by: RC | Sep 10 2013 17:41 utc | 58

Anonymous - can you PLEASE stop trolling?

Posted by: RC | Sep 10 2013 17:43 utc | 59

After some thought I'm moving towards the more optimistic interpretation of events. Yesterday it sounded like Iraq and Libya to me.

The purpose of the now in doubt us attack was NOT because it wanted to remove Syria's chemical arsenal. It was intended to either enable an Al Qaeda victory or to continue a destructive stalemate. The reasons behind it was to break the Iran-Iraq-Syria-HA alliance, introduce radical Salafis that would continue to attack the primarily Shiite resistance, and to break Syria as a nation state.

If this deal is reached, the US can forget about those goals for quite some time. If it is not, the US will have to recreate momentum for war from scratch. No easy feat under the circumstances, but if somehow it manages it then we are no worse off than now.

By contrast, the resistance axis and its land link from Iran to lebanon is intact.

I'm sure the US dreams of an Iraq like inspection regime, but the russians are neither stupid nor powerless.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 10 2013 17:56 utc | 60

Administration Changes Russian Proposal’s Origin Story

The Obama Administration’s explanation of how a Russian proposal to get rid of Syrian chemical weapons came to be has morphed rapidly in the past 24 hours from being portrayed as an unexpected slip-up to — in its new incarnation — a plan that U.S. officials were involved in as early as last week.

To believe the U.S. administration is a violation of an "international norm" and can get be "punished" with an "unbelievable small" bombing.

Posted by: b | Sep 10 2013 17:59 utc | 61

Re #50. This is the third article Yossef Bodansky has written on the Syrian crisis. They're all on that same site and they're all equally good. I think the key to Bodansky, which is consistent with his performance as Director of the US Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare from 1988 to 2004, is just this: although he is a full-blown USraeli dual-national, he hates the Jihadis even more than he hates the Iranians and their allies. Whether this position is more than an occasional one among intelligence veterans, comparable for instance to Bob Baer's position among US veterans, is a question it would be hard to get a reliable answer to, but intelligence veterans are not among the elite decision-making circles in either country, unfortunately.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 10 2013 18:02 utc | 62

57) I know. That's why I find it interesting what he is saying now.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 18:02 utc | 63

Even a temporary aversion of a devastating war whose best possible consequence(1) would be a defeat for the empire at the cost of loss of life of tens or even hundreds of thousands middle easterns from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq to my own country (Iran), is something which causes a relief.
However, as I mentioned in my previous message on the earlier thread, I am not as optimistic as many people on the long or even mid term consequences of this Russian proposal:

“It is unlikely that we would have arrived at that point without a credible military threat,” Obama told CNN.

A point which is often neglected is that if a warmonger is looking for "excuse" to start a war of aggression, no amount of international "supervision" and "inspection" or compromises will stop it! The warmonger can always come up with a new "excuse". In fact the more compromise is made the more aggressive the bully will become, becoming more and more confident that its military bullying tactics actually work!
Now the question becomes: Was Obama reluctant in starting a new war and actually looking for a face-saving escape route? Or is he just a warmonger (or an unwilling puppet in the hands of warmongers, it really does not make any difference) looking for an excuse to attack?
Sadly I am more inclined towards the latter rather than the former.
There will be mounting pressure on him to use more and more the military threat to force its regional agenda in the middle east.

(1) This is a best case scenario, such a devastating war could also result in further destruction of Syria as a country, with Saudi controlled Jihadies controlling large chunks of the country, doing the imperialism's bidding and wreaking havoc all over the country.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 10 2013 18:04 utc | 64


Your approach is classic denial. US scared russia and syria into submission to give up maybe the most valuable they syria in terms of weapons/deterrence and you say that syria "won"?! It makes nose sense. Unless Syria get nothing back this is indeed a big failure for Syria and also russia and iran. Just wait a few days and I could promise you that you will change your views.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 18:07 utc | 65

62) There is a also a likelyhood that US/Israeli intelligence officials just do not know much and like to make things up.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 18:08 utc | 66

As a number of people have pointed out (while others missed the point entirely) is that chemical weapons aren't that much of a deterrent these days. They have to utilised on a massive scale to be very effective, generally use clumsy delivery systems, and have been demonised to a point that anyone who uses them even in a totally defensive manner will get most likely get their country wiped off the map. The US military industrial complex would love a chance to fully unleash their full power in a 'truly just' war where they can just concentrate on delivering massive amounts of ordanance, & this would give them the opportunity.

What hasn't been touched on is that because chemical weapons have been demonised as some kind of ultimate weapon & the Syrians would supposedly be now giving up a major part of their deterrent arsenal against foreign invasion, the Russians can now supply them with some real deterrence without so much fuss - after all, they are ensuring the 'evil' 'deadly' weapons are gone!

You want to see a real deterrent?
While the Yakhonts are the weapons that really concern the 'interventionists' - atleast the military professionals who have to carry out the orders - this is the system that is spooking the hell out of them:

The Club-K Container Missile System - an advanced cruise missile system that fits into an ordinary shipping container - complete with satellite links & radar. It is also being specifically marketed at small countries as a deterrent against 'foreign invasion by an advanced military power'. And with the heavy computerization of advanced systems these days, much easier to use that the very complex old soviet stuff - a power like Syria or Venezuela could likely field them effectively within a few months of them being delivered.

Posted by: KenM | Sep 10 2013 18:15 utc | 67

@60 Lysander:

Yes, the 'chemical weapons' are a *side story* and a *rhetorical cover* for Obama's retreat.

The US was trying to launch a war to degrade the Syrian Army and to break the resistance axis. THAT was the goal.

But the US couldn't pull it off.

The American public was against it. The British public was against it too. But more importantly, Russia and the resistance axis stood their ground and upped the ante. Obama knew that any strikes would likely be matched with hellfire on Israel. The situation would have spiraled out of control, hundreds of thousands of people would have died, and Obama would take the blame. The US military was also aware of this scenario and was pushing back behind the scenes (as multiple articles in the Washington Post suggest).

As it stands, the chances of bombs falling on Syria are quite small. The momentum is broken and the White House looks like a bunch of amateurs (which is true).

Going forward, the US will have to recognize the limits of militarism in the Middle East, the perils of working with Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the need for rapprochement with Iran and a just solution in Palestine. If the US fails to pursue these strategic ends, it will collapse as a global empire.

Unfortunately, all the evidence suggests that the US state is incapable of producing the types of diplomats and strategists to advance such a project...

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Sep 10 2013 18:19 utc | 68


US having the military strenght to bully everyone doesn't necessarily translate into having the political force behind herself to advance the strategy. In the nature strength might be enough to make you the king of the jungle but in the real world of human societies you need further "stuff" to prevail.

Russia, Iran and yes Syria's strategy have been since the start of the crisis to de-escalate the security-military situation into a political one and calm down the whole thing. They know that a political solution, in the current context, will turn out into their advantage. US, on the other hand push, either directly or through proxy, a policy of exacerbation and polarization to bring about political change by forcefull means.

If this agreement come to fruition it will be a success for the political path and a defeat for the military option.

Posted by: ATH | Sep 10 2013 18:24 utc | 69

People who keep talking about the "ineffectiveness" of CW are, IMHO, missing the point. USA was never losing its sleep over the threat of Syrian CW (as ineffective as they indeed are) to begin with.
It is NOT about Syrians losing an important strategic tool. It is about USA strengthening its position in the balance of power in this region. If a regime change for a predictable and "sane" US puppet (which excludes Al-Qaeda)or at least a "destructive stalemate" (as our friend Lysander put it) between two unattractive candidates for ruling Syria (ie. Assad and Al-Qaeda) is not possible in the immediate short-term, further deteriorating the Syrian sovereignty would be the next best thing!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 10 2013 18:28 utc | 70

People who keep talking about the "ineffectiveness" of CW are, IMHO, missing the point. USA was never losing its sleep over the threat of Syrian CW (as ineffective as they indeed are) to begin with.
It is NOT about Syrians losing an important strategic tool. It is about USA strengthening its position in the balance of power in this region. If a regime change for a predictable and "sane" US puppet (which excludes Al-Qaeda)or at least a "destructive stalemate" (as our friend Lysander put it) between two unattractive candidates for ruling Syria (ie. Assad and Al-Qaeda) is not possible in the immediate short-term, further deteriorating the Syrian sovereignty would be the next best thing!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 10 2013 18:28 utc | 71


Obviously it is a great detrerrent if a superpower like the US and Israel consider it a threat. Since Assd isnt going to win anyway there is no point to talk about S-300 which isnt interesting anymore, it would be if Syria had it BEFORE this war started.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 18:28 utc | 72

I believe in b's post above that Russia took this opportunity to check (not mate) the US into not bombing Syria. In my opinion this is a short term victory but it may turn out to be a hollow one. Syria will lose it's deterrent against invasion in the long run. What stopped Israel through the years from invading were the CW. What stopped Turkey from invading in the last couple of years... the fear of having their troops gassed/greeted by a rain of sarin/vx/etc.

Jihad Makdissi's comments still ring through everybody's heads:

"Any stocks of WMD or any unconventional weapons that the Syrian Arab Republic possesses will never be used against civilians or against the Syrian people during this crisis in any circumstance, no matter how the crisis should evolve,"

"All of the stocks of these weapons that the Syrian Arab Republic posses are monitored and guarded by the Syrian army," Mr. Makdissi said. "These weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic."

Hence why this is still only a proxy war being fought by terrorist cronies instead of a regular army.

They avoided the blow but put their heads in the noose thereby giving the FUKUSGCC a stick to beat them. The blundering of Kerry and Obama is just too funny to watch but they're still dangerous. Like monkeys they're fun to watch but they can still rip your arm out at will.

Posted by: Gehenna | Sep 10 2013 18:31 utc | 73

JS #26 - I also believe that the extra bit of time will help those who are steadily, but surely, making the case that ghoutta was a false Flag. Every day seems to bring in some new revelations, each one small, but together adding up. yesterday, it was the belgian hostage. Someone or something else will come forth today or tomorrow.

I wish i knew a way to bring more attention to Petri Krohn's superb analysis at his site. And here is another one i just came across - a different angle, but largely pointing out the same incosistencies we saw about the videos.

Petri, your thoughts? not sure whether you already know all about this report and included in your own analysis. Am just trying to establish a sequence.

In any case, more time is needed to get these reports out into the public's conciousness. I think it's absolutely essential to keep harping on those videos, which, the closer one looks, the more they seem to point to the opposite conclusion of what's drawn by Obumbler et al.

BTW, petri, per #10, you are a bit too pessimistic. For one, a CW inspection regime requires an intact government to help it along, which, by definition, solidifies Assad's and the syrian government position. no reason for the government to not continue going after the "rebels' methodically eradicating the takfiris, as they have been doing. It buys time to present the false Flag case, which is needed. It also weakens the american administration's position, which is good on more than one level. And, if there is no great bombing fun, that many more Syrian lives are spared.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Sep 10 2013 18:31 utc | 74


Sorry, Bodansky is one of the nuttiest nuts in nut-town. He's been the terrorism analyst at the ultra-Zionist Freeman Center since 94 and his whackdoodleness seemingly knows no bounds. Beside the fact that he presaged the 9/11 attacks and coined term - in 2001, mind you - "spectacular terrorism" to describe the terror attacks that would soon be carried out against the US - again, those lucky Zionists!! - he's written extensively and his articles which I link to below have been featured on the nuttiest of far right-wing sites on the Internut including WorldNutDaily. Seriously go here or here or here to get a flavor for Yossef's nuttiness.

The fact that this nut was allowed to be anywhere NEAR the levels of power in the US shows you how truly Zionist the US government is.

Beside his geopolitical nuttiness though, as I alluded to above, Yossef had the seemingly uncanny ability to predict the exact nature and perpetrators of some of the most heinous of "terrorist" attacks including 2001. That Bin Laden book was originally published in 1999. He wrote a paper about how airplanes would be used as missiles before 9/11. He wrote about the connections between all of the 9/11 players. He coined the term spectacular terrorism and on and on and on.

Let's just say, that if someone was looking for a plausible, ready-made narrative - no matter how nutty - for a false flag attack or two Bodansky's work was a freaking textbook. Giuliani - while busy making sure all the WTC evidence was being shipped off to China - testified that he had Bodansky in to brief everyone on what happened and he encouraged everyone to read the book.

Dangerous ideologue nut. End of story.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 18:33 utc | 75

Tired from trolls? Take a stroll
(the map)

Editing of Rose's interview

A reader here points to "rebels" talking live with US advisors

Posted by: Mina | Sep 10 2013 18:35 utc | 76

If "having the military strenght to bully everyone doesn't necessarily translate into having the political force behind herself to advance the strategy", then why worry so much about an imminent US attack on Syria?
If we are so confident about USA not actually going for an attack on Syria (because of lacking "the political force behind it") then why making this proposal at all? Let Obama backtrack and humiliate himself, rather than giving him some compromise to be happy with.
And if we think that there was a serious chance that Obama would attack Syria -with or without congress' approval, willing or unwilling does not matter- then nothing has changed. If anything Obama will be pressured further to use its Navy to force its agenda!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 10 2013 18:39 utc | 77

France's motion at the UN is dead in the water. It will not go through. Russia has already rejected it and proposed a different approach. This is from the NYT ticker:

"Russia to Offer Its Own Proposal at Security Council

MOSCOW — Russia will propose a presidential statement on Syria at the United Nations Security Council, which is far less binding than a resolution, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

The statement will call on the secretary general and the organization that oversees the Chemical Weapons Convention to carry out the proposal to put Syria’s arsenal under international control.

“The Russian draft confirms that there is no alternative to a political and diplomatic settlement of the conflict” in Syria, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


Also, as someone pointed out above, have no doubt that Russia and Iran will continue to arm the Syrian Army -- now with even more powerful conventional weapons. Chemical arms were never a deterrent for Israel and in fact buttressed Zionist propaganda.

Posted by: anon4569245555 | Sep 10 2013 18:50 utc | 78

@bevin #18

Yes, this is a great victory for Team Eurasia. I just would like to smell the napalm in the morning.

This is not a result of Kerry's offhand remark nor Lavrov's checkmate. In fact, this victory may have little to do with the chemical weapons at all. I believe the victory was achieved on two other fronts:

1) The Russian fleet in the Mediterranean neutralized the US threat. Militarily Putin has not backed down. Diplomatic softness is achieved through military strength.

2) Exposing the chemical massacre false flag conspiracy. Behind the scenes Russia is milking every last bit out of this. The theater we are now seeing is only for Obama to save face.

I call the Ghouta chemical massacre the crime of the century. Not because of the number of people killed – far more have died in individual war crimes, like the atomic bombings of Japan. What makes the "chemical massacre" special is that it is not a chemical weapons attack. It is not even mass murder. It is a collection of individual murders on multiple site coordinated in a grand conspiracy to ignite what may have turned into World War III.

Even if the war is now averted, we still have 500 murders to solve. My current understanding is that the victims were hostages, killed with chlorine gas and other toxins in cellar jails and other confined spaces.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2013 18:56 utc | 79

Ce n'etait pas Assad qui a use le sarine

Belgian hostage on conversations he has overheard

The other hostage confirms with a disclaimer.

“During our kidnapping, we were kept completely in the dark about what was going on in Syria, including the gas attacks in Damascus”, Quirico said. “But one day, we heard a Skype conversation in English between three people whose names I do not know. We heard the conversation from the room in which we were being held captive, through a half-closed door. One of them had previously presented himself to us as a general of the Syrian Liberation Army. The other two we had never seen and knew nothing about”.

“During the Skype conversation, they said that the gas attack on the two neighbourhoods in Damascus had been carried out by rebels as a provocation, to push the West towards a military intervention. They also said they believed the death toll had been exaggerated,” Quirico said in his statement.

“I don’t know if any of this is true and I cannot say for sure that it is true because I have no means of confirming the truth of what was said. I don’t know how reliable this information is and cannot confirm the identity of these people. I am in no position to say for sure whether this conversation is based on real fact or just hearsay and I don’t usually call conversations I have heard through a door, true,” Quirico said.

“You must bear in mind the conditions in which we were; we were prisoners and heard things through doors. I have nothing to judge whether the things that were said are true or not. I am used to checking my facts before I speak and confirm something as true. In this case I was unable to check anything. It is madness to say I knew it wasn’t Assad who used gas,” Quirico added.

Actually the New York Times links to it. More will come. This will end very badly for any credibility the US might have left.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 18:57 utc | 80

Sadly I am more inclined towards the latter rather than the former.

Your premise is based on this latest gaff(off hand remark lol). However, kerry had made other gaffs as well. During senate hearings he remarked boots on the ground. Then had to retract that. One could argue, given obama's sudden 180, perhaps kerry, others were not prepared to promote their lies effectively, hence the various gaffs. But, this does not explain why the brits had a sudden change of hearts. After all, you would know well how cold blooded their elites are and they are nokar (servant) of US diktat. So why did they change? What does UK has to loose for being a pompous supporter of the war? US is the one that carries the bulk. Further, people in UK , EU and US also objected to the war in Iraq! That didn't stop them. It seems, there is more to this change. The gaff, may be part of the distraction.

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 10 2013 18:57 utc | 81

Actually what Quirico says in the BBC is more damning for the West

"Our captors were from a group that professed itself to be Islamist but that in reality is made up of mixed-up young men who have joined the revolution because the revolution now belongs to these groups that are midway between banditry and fanaticism," he said.

"They follow whoever promises them a future, gives them weapons, gives them money to buy cell phones, computers, clothes."

Such groups, he said, were trusted by the West but were in truth profiting from the revolution to "take over territory, hold the population to ransom, kidnap people and fill their pockets".

Mr Quirico said he and his fellow captive were kept "like animals, locked in small rooms with windows closed despite the great heat, thrown on straw mattresses, giving us the scraps from their meals to eat".
Metella and Eleonora, the daughters of the Italian journalist Domenico Quirico, in a video appeal for information about their missing father broadcast on the website of La Stampa on 1 June Mr Quirico's daughters appealed for information about their father on 1 June

He said his guards seemed to take no interest in anything other money and weapons - spending entire days lounging on mattresses, smoking and watching old black-and-white Egyptian movies or American wrestling shows on television.

He said he felt these men took satisfaction from seeing what they would regard as two rich Westerners reduced to the status of beggars.

more is to come ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 19:04 utc | 82

You can put brakes on Obama, but what about Facebook?
FB has the right to let djihadists make pages and boast of their latest battles, decapitations, etc. Snuff movies are the latest fashion, calling for religious wars and discrimination is the latest hype.
Even better, FB has the right to let people set groups where they can exchange or sell adopted kids they got tired of. It's not only in Iraq that life is cheap!

Posted by: Mina | Sep 10 2013 19:05 utc | 83

Mr Sorrentine, instead of damning Bodansky on ad homunem grounds, or on the grounds of other things he has written, or on the grounds of his opinions, or on the grounds of what websites have reprinted his articles (this last being the argument by association that the Zionists most often use to damn people, ie "David Duke has it on his website, so the author must be a neo-nazi"), why don't you tell us what exactly it is in this current article of his that you find misleading? Or have you decided that you don't need to give it a serious reading before dismissing it as "nutty"? It will take you less than ten minutes, and I promise you it isn't technically difficult.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 10 2013 19:05 utc | 84


I don't want to get too far afield but as it concerns the creation of false flag narratives I found this piece from History Commons illuminating vis a vis Bodansky. Seems that in his 1993 book "Target America: Terrorism in the US Today", he wrote that it was Iran who was training hijacking teams to fly commercial airliners into buildings. Days after 9/11, Bodansky is on record still believing it was Iranians who piloted the planes echoing the same call by made days earlier by freshman Congressman and AIPAC fave, Eric Cantor. However, it was his Bin Laden book with its dubious - at best - pan-Islamic terrorist network claims that formed the basis of the Bin Laden 9/11 narrative.

And you want us to believe this man? Note: the next item on the History Commons site concerning Bodanksy is also revealing but I feel too OT to discuss in this thread.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 19:07 utc | 85


"People who keep talking about the "ineffectiveness" of CW are, IMHO, missing the point."


The CW's are primarily of important symbolic significance, and despite what others say do have obvious deterrent capability.

It might not be much, but it's something. One can argue over the extent of that deterrence capability, but imo pretending CW have no deterrent value at all, as some are doing, is ridiculous. But pretending so seems somewhat necessary in order to convincingly portray this as an out-and-out "Win!" for Grand Master Lavrov.

No one seems to want to consider for one moment that maybe the WarMongers got exactly what they came for, or close enough for gov't work anyway

So people will tell themselves what they need to tell themselves

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 19:31 utc | 86


I said "doesn't necessarily", which means that I didn't intend my line of argument to exclude other possibilities. Apart from zero sum games, you obviously have actions that translate into a loss for both parties, or, rarely though, a gain by both parties. The use of force, in the political context, is usually when the initiator is looking for an outcome of victory for his side and defeat for the other, although even in an open war defeats or victories are not 100%.

Besides, preparing the legitimacy for an act of force is a political action by itself and the criteria used to gauge its effectivness is how astutely you have prepared your homework. If you play the preparation game cleverly you have done the necessary "stuff" to run your "brute force" through, if not you will most of the time loose the strategic outcome.

Now in this particular case, the Obama administration got outplayed at this stage of the game by the opposing players; realized this afterfact, and a little bit too late in my opinion, and backtracked, at least temporarily, from the use of force. This is called poiltical shelaking in his own jargon.

Posted by: ATH | Sep 10 2013 19:31 utc | 87


Hey, Rowan, I'm sure you never bull-shitted on a exam before - chortle - but if you ever had you might be familiar with the tactic that Bodansky - Mr. "Here A Jihadist, There a Jihadist, Everywhere a Jihadist" - uses in this article. It's called the "shit sandwich".

Here's the meat of the what Bodansky says:

No independent evidence ties Bandar to the actual chemical attack.

Presently, there is no independent evidence connecting Bandar, or any other Saudi official, to the supply and use of chemical weapons in Damascus. There exist, though, the long-time connections between the various jihadist commanders and both Saudi intelligence and Bandar himself. However, Bandar’s threats in the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin cast a shadow on the question of Riyadh’s fore-knowledge, and, given the uniquely close relations between Bandar and CIA Chief John Brennan, Washington’s foreknowledge as well."

And you know where these paragraphs occur in the piece? That's right, between two massive piles (by my count 25 paragraphs before and 31 paragraphs after) of detailed, erudite-sounding "analysis" aka bullshit.

Gee, that sure is weird, huh, that the title of a 50+ paragraph article entitled "Bodandsky: New Granular Evidence Points To Saudi Role in Chemical Attack" would bury the finding that there really is NO EVIDENCE pointing to the Saudis right in the middle of a shit sandwich, huh, Rowan?

Is that slow enough for you?

Wow, and to think you wasted all that snootiness just to defend a "shit sandwich" - sorry - "shite sandwich" as they say across the drink.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 19:32 utc | 88

86) New York Times just has a video where Kerry tries to answer - amongst others - questions by a teacher received from kids -
eg. a very good one - "Why has it taken the US 2 years of conflict before becoming so concerned about Syria's chemical weapons to threaten a strike if they did not hand them over?" If that was the goal why did they not ask for it in the first place?

88)He is a spook, we know that. But why does he want to put the blame where he puts it.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 19:52 utc | 89

They seem generally happy enough with the rate of the slaughter.

Why not wait 2 years?

It's not like Syria's going anywhere. Maximum screentime, the long slow agony. Win win for the Great Pirates.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 20:00 utc | 90

The best thing that could happen now, that

1.obama keep warmongering and
2.reject russian "deal" and
3.that the congress vote no this week.

With that the warmongering will vanish and Syria doesnt have to do anything.

Posted by: Anoymous | Sep 10 2013 20:02 utc | 91

90) yep, this chemical weapons thing does not seem that urgent ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 20:08 utc | 92

Well it's nice we agree on something.

It's the little things in life that count

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 20:14 utc | 93

Had the Great Pirates asked for this at the start, everyone would have said "Not this nonsense again, you did that with Iraq and Iran, get lost"

Now everyone is running around like this exact scenario is a "Win!"

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 20:37 utc | 94

94) simple, because of this

Russia’s effort to reach a deal “makes sense and can function and work only in the case that we hear that the American side -- and all that support the U.S. in this situation -- renounce the use of force,” Putin said, according to a statement in Russian today on the Kremlin’s website.

Putin’s comments put him directly at odds with President Barack Obama, who met today with Senate Democrats. The president asked senators to “keep the threat of credible military action available,” Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware said after the meeting.

Kerry told the House Armed Services Committee in a hearing today that only such a “credible use of force” threat -- bolstered by Congress authorizing strikes -- can force a diplomatic solution after Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens.
Joining Convention

While Syria hasn’t admitted it has chemical weapons, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said his country now is willing to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans such arms, according to a statement on the website of Russia’s Interfax news agency. The convention, joined by 189 countries, prohibits production of chemical weapons and requires their disclosure and eventual destruction.

Disputes over what should be included in a United Nations resolution led Russia to cancel a UN Security Council meeting on Syria that it had requested for today, according to two officials at the world body who asked not to be identified in advance of a decision.

and so on and so forth ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2013 20:50 utc | 95

Some comments above were good.

Off topic. Reuters has the following news from Egypt today 10 Sep. I don't see it at other news outlets (not counting those merely re-hashing Reuters). Nothing at nor, for instance. If Mina or anyone else can confirm or disconfirm, please do.

In the latest move against sympathisers of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments announced today it will bar 55,000 unlicensed clerics from preaching in mosques. The ban will mainly affect small unlicensed mosques and informal praying areas. The banned clerics, besides lacking government licenses to preach, are considered to be fundamentalist and a political threat to Egypt's secularists. The minister of Religious Endowments, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, said "the decision is meant to only legalise the preaching process during Fridays' mass prayers, and make only those approved to do it, do it". The ministry's intention is to spread a moderate message of Islam and keep Egyptians away from radical Islamist ideas. Previous secular governments tried to move against fundamentalist preachers and their mosques but largely failed because of the wide influence of Islamists in the society, but today --[according to Reuters' reporter]-- the army and security forces now have political backing from a large section of the public that was critical of Mursi's governance. . Duplicated at

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 10 2013 21:00 utc | 96

@ Rowan

Also, let's not forget that Bodansky's piece is a companion to an earlier Sept. 1 article he penned entitled Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?

So, a far-right Israeli nut who has a history of providing false flag narratives has separately accused the WH and the Saudis for the attack within the span of just over a week, huh?

This has prompted me to review Dale Gavlak's work and the MintPress article.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 21:03 utc | 97

Now obama want to cancel congress vote for the moment.

Boy isn this man a mess..

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 10 2013 21:05 utc | 98

Thanks somebody for drawing attention to Bodansky's I am really skeptical of the claims of Saudi involvement in the Aug. 21st false flag.

I apologize if this was already covered here but I guess I lost the part where Dale Gavlak mentioned that she was also a writer for the Times of Israel .

Some other info about the mintpress piece here . Again, nothing conclusive but interesting.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 10 2013 21:17 utc | 99


Looks like he already got what he wanted, don't it?

Why bother with unecessary votin?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 10 2013 21:21 utc | 100

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