Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 05, 2013

Obama's (In-)Credibility Campaign

Remarks by the President to the White House Press Corps, Aug 20 2012
We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.
Obama says he didn’t draw the red line on Syria, world did, Sept 5 2013
Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm ahead of an economic summit in Russia, where he will seek support for a U.S. military strike against Syria, Obama said the “red line” he talked about a year ago against Syria’s use of chemical weapons wasn’t his but an international standard.

“I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama said.

“My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’ credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.”

Obama is going into wild territory here. It IS his credibility that is on the line. Despite all Israeli fed propaganda against Syria I can not find one internet forum where his case for War On Syria has even slight support.

The President of Russian Federation Putin just called U.S. Secretary of State Kerry a liar. This because Kerry insisted, in contradiction to U.S. intelligence and recent news reports, that the al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in Syria are only a shrinking minority of the Syrian opposition.

Kerry asserted that the armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "has increasingly become more defined by its moderation, more defined by the breadth of its membership, and more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution.

"And the opposition is getting stronger by the day," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday."

To this Putin responded:
Mr Putin said: "This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans) and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad."
That is in diplomatic settings an extremely strong, though surely calculated wording. It is also correct.

Should Obama and Kerry continue with their ridiculously, amateurish, it's all secret campaign they will lose any and all credibility not only on Syria but on any political issue they will in future touch on.

Posted by b on September 5, 2013 at 11:08 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Should Obama and Kerry continue with their ridiculously, amateurish, it's all secret campaign they will lose any and all credibility not only on Syria but on any political issue they will in future touch on.

I am sorry but most leaders (and alot of people) in west support US no matter what, US could dump nukes on these western puppet states and they would still love Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 11:29 utc | 1

"This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans) and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad."

oh boy, do I know THAT feeling

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 11:38 utc | 2

Notice how AP immediately spin the story away from its obvious point. Jackass clearly claimed that AQ was a diminishing fraction of the Syrian opposition, and this is a conscious lie. Having misstated that, by accusing Putin of having said that Jackass had "denied that AQ was fighting with the Syrian opposition" at all, AP can demurely claim that "It was unclear exactly what Mr Putin was referencing."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 5 2013 11:48 utc | 3

Kerry has said Russians will not risk war to defend Syria. May be true, but what about a Russian attack on Saudi Arabia which Putin reportedly has threatened?

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 5 2013 11:51 utc | 4

The other shoe drops?

Yossef Bodansky alleges the Free Syrian Army was briefed in Turkey on August 13-14 that there would soon be a "war-changing development' which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria", coupled with a preparatory roll-out of 400 tons of weapons to the rebels from Qatar/Turkish warehouses supervised by the US. Bodansky implies that this briefing was done by "very senior opposition commanders" under the instruction of U.S. Intelligence, including US Amb. Robert Ford, present at this meeting of the Mukhabarat Amriki. Worth checking out; another rumor to add to the pot.

Posted by: Imagine | Sep 5 2013 11:51 utc | 5

b: "Despite all Israeli fed propaganda against Syria I can not find one internet forum where his case for War On Syria has even slight support."

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com

Jeffery Lewis expresses his disappointment at the declassified US assessment because he *knows* that Assad is guilty, ergo, the NSA and the CIA could have shown us all the proof if they had wanted to.

It's just that they insist on being coy because.... well.... because......

Anyone who disagrees is censored since - of course - anyone who doesn't agree with him that Assad is beggin' fer' it is peddling "conspiracy theories".


Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 12:08 utc | 6

Another fantastic op-ed at (who would'a thunk it?) the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/opinion/what-sir-william-would-do-in-syria.html

The killer quote at the end, referring to the clamour in 1860 for the UK to intervene to end the bloodbath that was the US Civil War: "We are asked to go we know not whither, in order to do we know not what."

Terrific writing.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 12:11 utc | 7

EU are not leaving Syria, note the ignorant comment by Mr. Rump.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130905/eu-europe-syria/?utm_hp_ref=homepage&ir=homepage

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 12:12 utc | 8

The German spy agency is claiming to have intercepted a phone call in which a HizbAllah official asys that Assad is behind the attacks:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/04/us-syria-crisis-germany-idUSBRE9830TV20130904

So now, after recently learning that everyone everywhere is being spied upon, we are told that a German ship was spying on the Syrians and happened to intercept a phone call that happens to plug a few of the holes in the US/French narrative. But of course the actual recording of the call will remain secret, for "national security" reasons, of course. So what this all adds up to is that anything can be put forward and we will believe it because we have been conditioned to believe that the regimes in power know everything. That alone should be grounds for Bradley/Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden receiving a joint Nobel Peace Prize.

Posted by: Snake Arbusto | Sep 5 2013 12:18 utc | 9

@4 "Kerry has said Russians will not risk war to defend Syria."

And he well may be right. Very probably is.

But at the back of my mind I hear the faint echo of an Austro-Hungarian Generalissimo confidently advising Emperor Franz Joseph that the Russians will not risk war to defend Serbia.

And he might well have been right. He probably had every reason to feel confident.

Except he wasn't right, and his confidence was misplaced arrogance, and four years later Serbia and Russia were still standing.

Alas, the same was not true of the once-mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire....

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 12:19 utc | 10

@Johnboy | 6

"Jeffery Lewis expresses his disappointment at the declassified US assessment because he *knows* that Assad is guilty"

armscontrolwonk.com is run by "US über alles" crew. They stop just short of being die-hard zionists themselves. If anyone disagrees, they are censored, or outright banned. A LOT of posters who

I remember time when that site was more moderate, pro-US but at least trying to be somewhat objective. With time it got more and more biased, now its unreadable.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 5 2013 12:20 utc | 11

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-absorbs-shock-delayed-us-strike-syria
Poor thing...

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/80830/Egypt/Politics-/US-faces-substantial-losses-if-Egypt-aid-halted-Of.aspx
Poor bankrupted thing...

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/80807/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-constitution-drafters-defend-eliminating-co.aspx
Poor Islamists...
The attack on the interior ministry convoy in Cairo today might be a very simple revenge: the guy had been in Morsi's government and is keeping his job in the new one.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 12:21 utc | 12

Re #9, I've got this from Der Spiegel:

Schindler also presented an additional clue, one that has not thus far been made public. He said that the BND listened in on a conversation between a high-ranking member of Hezbollah and the Iranian Embassy. The Hezbollah functionary, Schindler reported, seems to have admitted that poison gas was used. He said that Assad lost his nerves and made a big mistake by ordering the chemical weapons attack.

I suppose it's a mistake to jump to conclusions based on rank prejudice, but I'll indulge myself and say this is assuredly 100% disinfo, comrades, and as you will note it gets more and more ingenious as the bastards sit in their cages and reflect.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 5 2013 12:39 utc | 13

@11 "With time it got more and more biased, now its unreadable."

Yeah, agreed. When I first went there I found it very readable. But now it's just a platform for Jeffrey Lewis to display to everyone that he is an arrogant know-it-all.

Heck, I'd even say that even David Albright's vanity-piece puts out more professional and dispassionate information.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 12:40 utc | 14

1) No. The Swedish prime minister was much more friendly and diplomatic than Putin but he did say UN. That would be the European position, including the French if it came to a vote.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2013 12:45 utc | 15

Rowan

Of course its nonsense. Rather its prejudice on behalf of german intelligence, hearing what they want to hear, and of course they have to drag in Iran and Hezbollah, typical disinfo.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 12:46 utc | 16

Even though he said it a long time ago, Jaques Chirac could have been talking about O'Drama, Kerry (or Hollande) when he said:
"He missed a wonderful opportunity to shut up."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2013 12:49 utc | 17

Putin says it is "sad"....Not sad, pathetic. I can't believe Dubya was right and his assertion that Kerry is "flip flopper" was correct. He was against the war in Syria before he was for it. They also wished to compare Odummy to Carter. What an insult compared to Oidiot, Carter is a GIANT!!

Posted by: Fernando | Sep 5 2013 12:57 utc | 18

Schindler's List . . . . ning post in the Med?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 12:58 utc | 19

b: "That is in diplomatic settings an extremely strong, though surely calculated wording. It is also correct."

Everything that Putin has been saying lately (including his I-won't-actually-veto-if-you-can-show-me-proof taunting of Kerry) indicates that he knows that the USA has nothing.

Not a damn thing.

It's not just that he is hiding behind: "you can't prove that Assad did this".

It's more than that. He wouldn't be this confident otherwise; he wouldn't be double-dog-daring Kerry unless he was 100% certain that the rebels did this.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 13:00 utc | 20

Perhaps a better, because more complete, source for what Putin said in his interview:

“Even in the US there are experts who question the reliability of the facts presented by the administration. These experts do not exclude the possibility that the Syrian opposition has conducted a pre-planned provocation in order to give their sponsors a reason for military intervention,” he acknowledged.

Putin later leveled criticism at US Secretary of State John Kerry as he spoke to human rights activists on Wednesday, saying Kerry “lied” by claiming there was no Al-Qaeda militants fighting in Syria and that the military strike against President Assad will not boost the terrorist network’s presence in the region.

“They lie, plainly. I watched the Congressional debate. A congressman asked Mr. Kerry: “Is there any Al-Qaeda [in Syria]? There are reports they have been growing stronger.” He [Kerry] replied: “No. I say with all responsibility: there is no [Al-Qaeda] there,” Putin explained.

The Russian President then said the Al-Nusra Front terrorist organization, which pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, has been at the forefront of the rebel groups fighting Assad’s forces, and that the US is well aware of that.

“Well, he [Kerry] lies. And he knows that he lies. This is sad,” Putin remarked.

Putin warns against 'illegal' military action in Syria, bypassing UNSC — RT News:

Posted by: Dubhaltach | Sep 5 2013 13:12 utc | 21

This morning I am actually hopeful that the Obama administration doesn't have the votes in the House to pass its AUMF. Public opinion is not moving the warhawks way despite a non-stop feast in the media on John Kerry mendacity. I expect this is just the first round though. Next week when the full Congress is in session, round two, what is likely to be the checkbook round, will get underway.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 5 2013 13:18 utc | 22

We need the names and the parents of those dead children. They cannot be anonymous. Not in this age.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2013 13:30 utc | 23

here is Tariq Ali, spoiling his analysis of the #arabspring with an 'i hate Assad' rant:

'What of Syria? Here too the mass uprising was genuine and reflected a desire for political change. Had Assad agreed to negotiations during the first six months and even later, there might have been a constitutional settlement. Instead he embarked on repression and the tragically familiar Sunni-Shia battle-lines (this divide a real triumph for the United States following the occupation of Iraq) were drawn. Turkey, Qatar and the Saudis poured in weaponry and volunteers to their side and the Iranians and Russians backed the other with weaponry.'
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/04/what-is-a-revolution/

Assads repression? funny that he is very popular in and outside syria.But the goal whether by israel US or ALI is to get rid of Assad

Ali again:
'The notion that the SNC is the carrier of a Syrian revolution is as risible as the idea that the Brotherhood was doing the same in Egypt. A brutal civil war with atrocities by both sides is currently being fought. Did the regime use gas or other chemical weapons? We do not know.'

1, there is no 'civil war' in syria: not when most of one side is notsyrian
2. 'the R word (Regime) spoils ever report on syria

'The strikes envisaged by the United States are designed to prevent Assad’s military advances from defeating the opposition and re-taking the country. That is what is at stake in Syria.'

the Syrian Arab Army(SAA) is not Assads private army'

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2013 13:39 utc | 24

Where are the swift boaters who smeared Kerry during his presidential run now that we need them?

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 5 2013 13:40 utc | 25

I'm pretty sure they do flights from Frankfurt to Beirut, somebody, you could always hop-on a 747 to Lebanon and travel across land to syria and offer your services to investigate on their behalf, might sate your stated need somewhat.

the Syrians seem kinda busy at the moment . . .

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 13:43 utc | 26

The New York Times quoted former Israeli ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich as warning that it would be “a mistake to overplay the Israeli interest” in striking Syria.

“It’s bad for Israel that the average American gets it into his or her mind that boys are again sent to war for Israel. They have to be sent to war for America” he said.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 14:02 utc | 27

Conspiracy Theory 1998 Movie: THEY
JERRY
So now they feed us terrorists.
To create fear.
==============================


Liza reaches into her pocket, takes out the newsletter.

LIZA
Elaborate on 'they,' okay?

JERRY
There are all kinds of groups, all
kinds of initials. But they're
all part of two warring factions.
One: families that have held
wealth for centuries.
They want one thing. Stability.
Group Two: the boat rockers.
Eisenhower's military industrial
complex. They want instability.
It's a trillion dollar a year
business. When there isn't a hot
war, they make a cold one.

LIZA
Cold War's over, Jerry.

JERRY
So now they feed us terrorists.
To create fear. How much do you
think an airport security system
goes for? Then multiply it by
every airport in the country.

LIZA
And you think Group One is at war
with Group Two.

JERRY
Latest casualty? Ernest Harriman.
You heard of him?
http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/conspiracy-theory.html

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2013 14:05 utc | 28

26) yep, it is strange, isn't it that after the initial huge amount of pictures and one journalist who seems to actually have gone to the area there is a virtual news blackout now. Fighting never prevented rebels from issuing videos before.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2013 14:07 utc | 29

@9

Did the Germans happen to catch someone say "Let's Roll!" in Arabic? Because that's what this all reminds me of.

The more nonsense that comes out and the more these murderous villains once again attempt to convince us of a false reality I am struck by the similarities that this false flag/lead up to war have not only with Iraq - obviously - but 9/11 as well.

If you remember, it was the phone calls - especially the original ones by Barbara Olsen - FOX celebrity - to her husband Ted Olsen/Solicitor General - that initially determined for everyone that the planes had been hijacked by terrorists armed with box cutters.

It was also the phone calls - Let's Roll - which were used to whip up patriotic frenzy in the ensuing aftermath of 9/11.

Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it, right?

BTW, I mentioned this in a post yesterday but bit by bit it we are once again - just as with 9/11 - beginning to hear about the involvement of two players in this whole affair: The Saudis and Israelis and with the same interesting twist.

Although, Saudi involvement in both cases has been and is being highlighted - the hijacker's nationalities(9/11), the recent FBI reports on Saudis/9/11, Bandar's missiles and Syrian rebels, etc - once again Israeli influence is being purposefully downplayed; their footprints - both politically and militarily - erased.

The NYT tried to downplay AIPAC's role, the Haaretz article speaking to downplaying Israel's role.

Anywho, just interesting observation/speculation over perceived similarities.

BTW, here's a great article about Israeli involvement in 9/11.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 14:08 utc | 30

ann clark first reported the #IDIDNTJOIN army revolt against Obamas war aiding alqaeda against syria
http://xrepublic.tv/node/5197

Posted by: brian | Sep 5 2013 14:17 utc | 31

LOL. The BBC has decided to toe the Yankee line.
I'm listening to World Service and they're about to do a hit piece on Russian corruption/lack of transparency - the punchline the Beeb has promised me is...
"What can the most corrupt nation in the G20 bring to the Syria debate?"

My answer to the BBC's supine dimwits (if they asked me) would be
"Have you forgotten Bliar, Cameron and Hague, or did I imagine them?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2013 14:41 utc | 32

In case anyone is wondering about the French ‘proofs’ of the 21 Aug CW Syria attack, the supposed declassified documents can be read below (PDF in French.)

Summary..

Syria has a huge stock or CW arms and capability for implementing them (long description.) Only Assad has the power to order, launch, implement such an attack.

> Damas has already used CW on its ppl, in April 2013. (No date, time, place, no. of dead, proof, type of agent, investigation, conclusions, mentioned.)

> details follow in a disconnected part of the text, Saraqueb (Idlib) 29 april, 20 ppl intoxicated, and supposedly analysis showed presence of sarin.

This incident was actually treated somewhat fairly? by the BBC, 8 ppl intoxicated. Worth a watch:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22559421

Jobar (Damascus), mid April, 40 intoxicated, the text says proof of sarin. (?)

The F declassified text says that the authorities analyzed 47 videos with methodical technical expertise re. the events of 21 Aug.

Note: *they state they analyzed vids.*

Claim of proof of deaths from the vids. in (copied from their text) > Ghouta Est (quartiers d’Ain Tarma, de Douma, d’Erbin, de Jobar, de Kfar Batna, de Qas Alaa, de Zamalka) et Ouest (quartier de Mudamiyat Sham).

Heh this is fantasy, none of the murky vids are solidly dated or placed in any locale, or whatever.

Report also states that MSF testifies to 355 deaths, kinda far off from the 3,600 announced by the MSF.

And that in the “Douma Hospital” (? ridiculous), half the victims are women and children. (Meaning they are aware of a big problem with the vids, which often show no women at all.)

And that ‘attested’ reports show some med personnel have been contaminated from various sources. (There is no evidence of this at all.)

That the multiple vids of young children suffering on 8 different websites sites (!! - !!, not even a humble blogger would stoop to this kind of BS) who are having convulsions (NONE show that at all) are proof that this could not be a set up.

For more BS one has to read the original. Believe me, there is much, much more. I only picked out the first anomalies, contradcitions.

This document was cobbled together from internet sites and a vague knowledge of what ppl are questioning or wondering about, like, why no med personnel affected?

This is not a ‘declassified’ doc, it is a text made up on the spot by very ignorant ppl.

Amazing.

http://www.elysee.fr/assets/pdf/Synthse-nationale-de-renseignement-dclassifi.pdf

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 5 2013 14:43 utc | 33

brian @ 24: "Assads repression? funny that he is very popular in and outside syria.But the goal whether by israel US or ALI is to get rid of Assad."

Yep, The big "R" word again.(regime) The end game in Syria for the West is regime change.

Posted by: ben | Sep 5 2013 14:53 utc | 34

This Syrian debacle is forcing Obama to reveal his true allegiances. The "we love Obama no matter what" folks are seeing him lie to further the goals of his REAL bosses, the monied elites of the corporate world. Too bad the Syrian people are caught in the middle of this great struggle over the energy resources of their part of the world. There will be others.

Posted by: ben | Sep 5 2013 15:13 utc | 35

@Hoarsewhisperer I'm listening to World Service and they're about to do a hit piece on Russian corruption/lack of transparency - the punchline the Beeb has promised me is...

It is a campaign. several German news media had Russia hit pieces today. This for example. Funny - reader comments there are 95% opposite to that piece.

Posted by: b | Sep 5 2013 15:15 utc | 36

brian

Funny how all anti-imperialist leftwingers have left the ship, shameful! I even saw Chomsky more or less accepting arming "rebels" as next step.
Just watch how Tariq/Chomsky will react AFTER the war on Syria, then they will come forward and condemn it.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 15:28 utc | 37

Perhaps a better, because more complete, source for what Putin said in his interview: “They lie, plainly. I watched the Congressional debate. A congressman asked Kerry: “Is there any AQ? There are reports they have been growing stronger.” He replied: “No. I say with all responsibility: there is no AQ there.” (RT.com) Posted by: Dubhaltach | Sep 5, 2013 9:12:11 AM | 21
I don't think that's better, I think it's worse. Kerry is not so stupid as to have said there were no undesirable Islamists fighting Assad. What he said was that they are a diminishing rather than an increasing fraction of those who are fighting Assad, which if it were true he would be entitled to regard as a hopeful trend. But it isn't true, it is the very opposite of the truth, as he knows, and this was the essence of his lie, as presumably Putin also knows and indeed said. But unfortunately, all reporters are morons. Let us go direct to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and see what the question and answer were. A convenient transcript is here. We have the main rekevant passage as follows (you will doubtless be as impressed as we are by the new President-In-Waiting of Free Syria, Jabba the Hutt):
SENATOR JOHNSON: What do we know about the opposition? I mean, have we been tracking them for the last two years? I mean, this is more of an impression I have as opposed to any exact knowledge, but it seems like initially, the opposition was maybe more Western-leaning, more moderate, more democratic, and as time has gone by, it's degraded, become more infiltrated by al-Qaida. Is that basically true? Has that happened? JACKASS KERRY: No, that is actually basically not true. It's basically incorrect. The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation, more defined by the breadth of its membership and more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution, which will be broad-based and secular with respect to the future of Syria. And that's very critical. One other point about the opposition. It's my understanding, because I talked to the president to the opposition yesterday. He's in Germany now; he's meeting with the German parliament. He is coming to Great Britain. He will be meeting with the Parliament in Great Britain. And he is prepared to come here as soon as those meetings are over in order to meet with you, and you can have an opportunity to talk to President Jarba and meet with the opposition, have a much better sense of who they are. JOHNSON: We appreciate that. Do you have a feel for the number of members of the opposition? I mean, how large is their force? I'm kind of a numbers guy. And do you also have a pretty good feel for how many really would be considered moderate versus elements of al-Qaida? JACKASS: I think we need to talk about that in our classified session. But let me just say to you that in terms of the opposition numbers, you see ranges up to eighty, ninety, a hundred thousand in total opposition. You see ranges in the tens of thousands in terms of operative, active combatants. I've seen some recent data on the numbers of the extremists in al-Nusra. They're actually lower than former expectations. I would also say to you, Syria historically has been secular, and the vast majority of Syrians, I believe, want to remain secular. It's our judgment and the judgment of our good friends who actually know a lot of this in many ways better than we do, because it's their region, their neighborhood. I'm talking about the Saudis, the Emirates, the Qataris, the Turks, the Jordanians. They all believe that if you could have a fairly rapid transition, the secular component of Syria will re-emerge and you will isolate -- JOHNSON: OK. Very good. That tends to argue for a more robust response.
I have simplified the above to make it readable, but go the transcript if you want to spend ten minutes just finding things. Now this, Jackass & Walnuts:
WALNUTS MCCAIN: John, over the weekend, the WSJ ran an important op-ed by Dr Elizabeth O'Bagy, I hope you saw it, a Syria analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, spent a great deal of time inside Syria, including just this month. And I want to read her assessment of the situation on the ground. And I quote the story. "The conventional wisdom holds that the extremist elements are completely mixed in with the more moderate rebel groups. This isn't the case. Moderates and extremists wield control over distinct territory. Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely or even predominately by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida diehards. The Jihadis pouring into Syria from countries like Iraq and Lebanon are not flocking to the front lines. Instead, they are concentrating their efforts on consolidating control in the northern rebel-held areas of the country. Moderate opposition forces, a collection of groups known as the Free Syrian Army, continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime. While traveling with some of these Free Syrian Army battalions, I've watched them defend Alawi and Christian villages from government forces and extremist groups. They've demonstrated a willingness to submit to civilian authority, working closely with local administrative councils, and they've struggled to ensure that their fight against Assad will pave the way for a flourishing civil society." John, do you agree with Dr O'Bagy's assessment of the opposition? JACKASS: I agree with most of that. They have changed significantly. They have improved, and as I said earlier, the fundamentals of Syria are secular, and I believe, will stay that way. WALNUTS: And I think it's very important to point out, again, as you just said, it's a secular state. They would reject radical Islamists, and they, in some cases, in the areas in which they have control, the people are demonstrating against them, is the information I have. So when we see these commentators say, well, we don't know which side will win; we don't know, you know, who the bad guys are, if you agree with this assessment, we certainly know who the bad guys are. Is that correct? JACKASS: I believe we do, for the most part. There are some worse than al-Nusra, and they tend to be, most of them, in the northern area and the east. WALNUTS: I thank you.
So you see, anybody who imagines that an intelligent trained observer like Putin could have watched these hearings and come away with the impression that Jackass Kerry said there were no AQ in Syria, is deluding themselves.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 5 2013 15:42 utc | 38

TW, I mentioned this in a post yesterday but bit by bit it we are once again - just as with 9/11 - beginning to hear about the involvement of two players in this whole affair: The Saudis and Israelis and with the same interesting twist.

Although, Saudi involvement in both cases has been and is being highlighted - the hijacker's nationalities(9/11), the recent FBI reports on Saudis/9/11, Bandar's missiles and Syrian rebels, etc - once again Israeli influence is being purposefully downplayed; their footprints - both politically and militarily - erased.

The NYT tried to downplay AIPAC's role, the Haaretz article speaking to downplaying Israel's role.

I heard from my totally anonymous but totally trustworthy Hollywood contact that Harvey Weinstein is thinking about commissioning Michael Moore to do a movie on this whole affair, to "explain" it all to us

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 16:00 utc | 39

Proposing another mindless debacle in the Middle East is approaching insanity. The same mob crying for a war there is the same group which will demand withdrawal after it has begun.

There is absolutely nothing our enemies would like better than to see us hip deep in another failed effort like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Our compulsive intervention in the affairs of other sovereign nations remind me of ‘beach renourishment.’ You can spend all the money you like moving all the sand you want, but the ocean will laugh at your miserable efforts to control the uncontrollable.

Our ignorance is exceeded only by our arrogance.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 5 2013 16:05 utc | 40

Chemical weapons are not more awful than bombs are.
This aversion to chemical weapons comes from the first world war, when anything other than bullets, artillery shells, and bayonets was considered poor soldiering. In those days, indiscriminate bombing from the air was unknown.

Later in the 20th century, aerial bombing was considered just as outrageous as chemical weapons, until it became expedient to no longer consider aerial bombing as outrageous.

It is just as outrageous to kill random people with a bomb as a chemical.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 5 2013 16:07 utc | 41

@30

I had to run before I could post link demonstrating how impossible and therefore fake all of the 9/11 airplane phone calls were.

@ brian and anonymous

As hmmm(38) alludes to in Michael Moore, Chomsky, Ali et al are gatekeepers - ie. professional "leftists" who are there to define the leftmost limits of the debate in the US.

Being gatekeepers, they are implicitly PRO-empire although they are allowed - due to their job titles - the ability to seemingly stray from the party line.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 16:07 utc | 42

Didn't we cross a red line when we tortured people?

Didn't we cross a red line by using depleted uranium?

Didn't Israel cross the red line by using white phosphorus against the Palestinians?

On what moral ground does Barack Obama stand on to kill more innocent people to pursue yet another war when he refuses to prosecute perpetrators of our own war crimes?

And what about signature drone strikes? Obama is a war criminal.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 5 2013 16:08 utc | 43

Cynthia #40, good point

there was also a post in a previous thread - unfortunately can't remember who - that made an important point regarding the abused parallel to Monaco 1938: it was Hitler who was invoking R2P!

Posted by: claudio | Sep 5 2013 16:39 utc | 44

@38

Speaking of perception management.

Here's a funny thing I've noticed.

As you probably know, the Mossad agents arrested on 9/11 were known as the "dancing Israelis". Google searches in the past - ie. 5+ years ago - would list the links associated w/ said Mossad agents when "dancing israeli" or something along those lines were entered into search engines. Not many links and many to the same site.

As time has passed and more and more sites have addressed this issue and more links are retrieved when that search term is entered however lately I noticed a couple of "coincidental" things.

In 2010, a unit of IDF soldiers oddly filmed themselves dancing to a Lady Gaga song in the West Bank. The video hit YouTube and for a while the search term "dancing Israelis" brought you to that video before the Mossad links.

Similarly, 6 days ago, some IDF soldiers decided to get up and dance at a Palestinian wedding. The story got picked up by the Guardian and other sites so that again search terms involving "dancing israelis" would be mixed.

On YouTube "dancing Israeli" you'll find numerous videos of IDF soldiers dancing/stripping - remember the naughty IDF girls a few months ago? - etc intermixed with videos addressing the 9/11 Mossad videos.

Is Mossad involvement in 9/11 starting to make some people sweat?

Obviously any one who would point out such a thing would be labeled a nutter. Too bad I don't seem to mind such labels.

Oh well. Thought you might enjoy.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 16:44 utc | 45

Claudio,

This is Iraq all over again. Attacking a country based on faulty, incomplete and questionable intelligence is the epitome of irresponsible. I don't understand the rush. Let's take a breath, gather all the evidence and THEN make an INFORMED decision. But even then, we need to evaluate why chemical weapons are the "red line." Thousands have died in Syria over the last 2 years at the hands of guns, bombs, missiles, etc. What difference do chemicals make? Dead is dead.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 5 2013 16:46 utc | 46

In one of the postings, somebody gave a link to a timeline of the plan to take Syria out, starting from 2006. It was a link from Mondoweiss website, by a commentator there - does anyoneone know where this is? I have been looking for it here at MoA but cannot find it! :(

Thank you in advance

Posted by: Irshad | Sep 5 2013 16:52 utc | 47

As you probably know, the Mossad agents arrested on 9/11 were known as the "dancing Israelis". In 2010, a unit of IDF soldiers oddly filmed themselves dancing to a Lady Gaga song in the West Bank. Similarly, 6 days ago, some IDF soldiers decided to get up and dance at a Palestinian wedding. On YouTube "dancing Israeli" you'll find numerous videos of IDF soldiers dancing/stripping etc intermixed with videos addressing the 9/11 Mossad videos. Is Mossad involvement in 9/11 starting to make some people sweat? Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5, 2013 12:44:00 PM | 44
That is a truly far-fetched hypothesis. I am trying to imagine the phone call. "Hello, Benny? Benny Gantz? This is Tamir Pardo. Are you listening? I need you to make your soldiers dance. That's right, dance. Anywhere they will get filmed doing it. Jericho, Ramallah, controversial places, so they will be filmed, all over YouTube. Why? Ah, Benny, it's perception management. You wouldn't understand. But remember I have cabinet rank, and you don't. So just, please do it, OK? Thank you Benny. And Shana Tova to you too."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 5 2013 16:56 utc | 48

@ Irshad #46

That was my post here no. 41 on previous thread

and you're correct, the cites came from Mondoweiss (I think I linked to mondo?)

Posted by: crone | Sep 5 2013 17:10 utc | 49

About MoA credibility campaign, just a suggestion: b could limit the posts to 5 per person per day? It would help fit the chatboxes. A daily/weekly "unlimited" open thread could be used as Spielplatz.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 17:16 utc | 50

@Irshad | 46

"In one of the postings, somebody gave a link to a timeline of the plan to take Syria out, starting from 2006."

Those plans date back to 2001, even before attack on Iraq.

http://youtu.be/9RC1Mepk_Sw

Posted by: Harry | Sep 5 2013 17:21 utc | 51

Another stone in the monument
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey couldn’t answer what exactly the U.S. was seeking in Syria Tuesday during questioning from Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) about a resolution authorizing military action there:

DEMPSEY: The answer to whether I support additional support for the moderate opposition is yes.

CORKER: And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.

DEMPSEY: I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support –

CORKER: What you’re seeking. What is it you’re seeking?

DEMPSEY: I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.

LOOOLLLLL

http://freebeacon.com/dempsey-cant-say-what-u-s-is-seeking-in-syria/

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 17:24 utc | 52

Chinese ship target of an attack in the Gulf of Suez on fire for a week went unreported in Western media
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/80886/Egypt/Politics-/Islamist-militants-claim-responsibility-for-Suez-C.aspx

Vatican's pope Francis writes a letter to Putin urging him to do anything to avoid a war in Syria
http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/09/05/pope_francis_writes_letter_to_president_putin_of_russia_ahead_of_g20/en1-725816

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 17:37 utc | 53

Mina, MOA has always been an "open" bar... your suggestion of limiting posts is imho a form of censorship... that is not welcome.

Posted by: crone | Sep 5 2013 17:42 utc | 54

@Crone,
Thank you! Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Irshad | Sep 5 2013 17:42 utc | 55

Censorship? Begging people to think before they write? With computer it's not so hard to write and "save as draft" and then add to what you intend to say next time... What about 10 per person per day?

Why and how boycott Israel:
http://freedomfunnies.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/the-power-of-our-voices/

Ignoring it is the best way. The verbal diarrhea of some people here help make MoA appear as "yet another extremist website". I would bet some are paid to do that.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 17:48 utc | 56

@Crone - do you have a link to the Mondoweiss site you got it from??? Thank you

@Harry - thank you!

Posted by: Irshad | Sep 5 2013 17:52 utc | 57

@ Irshad

here's the thread http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/aipac-comes-out-for-strike-on-syria-and-mentions-iran-more-often-than-syria.html

scroll down to post from Bandelero

Posted by: crone | Sep 5 2013 18:07 utc | 58

Mina, Dempsey cant answer because the objective is regime change.

Posted by: hilmi hakim | Sep 5 2013 18:09 utc | 59

... this is my third attempt at posting after several hours ...so apologies for potential dupl. posts. I will now try without the links and put them in a separate post.

In case anyone is wondering about the French ‘proofs’ of the 21 Aug CW attack, the supporting supposed declassified documents.mentioned all over the MSM, can be read below (PDF in French.)

link

Summary.

Syria has a huge stock or CW arms and capability for implementing them (long description.) Only Assad has the power to order, launch, implement such an attack.

> Damas has already used CW on its ppl, in April 2013. (No date, time, place, no. of dead, proof, type of agent, investigation, conclusions, mentioned.)

> details follow in a disconnected part of the text, Saraqueb 29 april, 20 ppl intoxicated, and supposedly analysis showed presence of sarin.

This incident was actually treated somewhat fairly? by the BBC, 8 ppl intoxicated. Worth a watch:

link

Jobar (Damascus), mid April, 40 intoxicated, the text says proof of sarin.

The F declassified text says that the authorities analyzed 47 videos with methodical technical expertise re. the events of 21 Aug.

Note: *they state they analyzed vids.*

Claim of proof of deaths from the vids. in (copied from their text) > Ghouta Est (quartiers d’Ain Tarma, de Douma, d’Erbin, de Jobar, de Kfar Batna, de Qas Alaa, de Zamalka) et Ouest (quartier de Mudamiyat Sham).

Report also states that MSF testifies to 355 deaths, kinda far off from the 3,600 announced by the MSF.

And that in the “Douma Hospital” (? ridiculous), half the victims are women and children. (Meaning they are aware of a big problem with the vids, which often show no women at all.)

And that ‘attested’ reports show some med personnel have been contaminated from various sources. (There is no evidence of this at all.)

That the multiple vids of young children suffering on 8 different websites sites (!! - !!, not even a humble blogger would stoop to this kind of BS) who are having convulsions (NONE show that at all) are proof that this could not be a set up.

For more BS one has to read the original. Believe me, there is much, much more. I only picked out the first anomalies, contradcitions.

This document was cobbled together from internet sites and a vague knowledge of what ppl are questioning or wondering about, like, why no med personnel affected?

This is not a ‘declassified’ doc, it is a text made up on the spot by wildly ignorant ppl.

Amazing.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 5 2013 18:15 utc | 60

links re. previous post.

BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22559421

French declass. doc in Fr.

http://www.elysee.fr/assets/pdf/Synthse-nationale-de-renseignement-dclassifi.pdf

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 5 2013 18:16 utc | 61

@ 9
and
The Iran spy agency is claiming to have intercepted a phone call in which a Saudi official asys that Obama Bin Ladan is behind the attacks...

so will you accept it !?

Posted by: R.P | Sep 5 2013 18:28 utc | 62

Posted by: b | Sep 5, 2013 11:15:40 AM | 35

Few here would be surprised that so many can see thru the bs. The public groundswell has been rising for more than a year. In Oz, we're being drowned in some appallingly puerile and desperate 9/11 crap. SBS and ABC have exhumed some 9/11 bathos showing Americans with names, relatives, children, neighbors and feelings - unlike the millions of Eye-Rackies Motherfucker Bush murdered in cold blood who remain almost as anonymous as the 1%'s Schadenfreude Vampires.

On a side note, I heard a rumor that O'Drama and Kerry were invited to appear on Mythbusters as guest hosts. Their agent asked M-b's producer...

W.H. "Why the F would Mr O'Drama and Mr Kerry want to be on your show, again?"
M-b. "Err, well, your motto and ours are the same now."
W.H. "Whaddya mean?!"
M-b. "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. Remember?"
W.H. "Oh yeah. You're right. They'll be there. Btw, what're ya gonna blow up?"
M-b. "Sorry, that's confidential. We can't risk breaching National Security."
W.H. "LOL. They'll love that."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2013 18:43 utc | 63

Obama visit a synangogue on his short Sweden trip, and of course drag in Syria.

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.545456

Enough said.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 18:45 utc | 64

Are you remember news about USA training camp for FSA members in Jordan and Turkey .... some reports saying the trained warriors will begin their operation when USA begin his so called "limited Strike " ....

and Arab nations ( read it as monarchies ) will pay for war ...

Posted by: R.P | Sep 5 2013 18:46 utc | 65

@48

Yeah, admittedly it's a bit out there. Just wanted to note for accuracy the 2010 video I mentioned was in Hebron to Kesha's Tik Tok not the WB and Lady Gaga. Just for fun looked at google search results totals for following search terms in VIDEOS:

"dancing U.S (or US) soldiers" = 2,750,000 hits
"dancing American soldiers" = 1,220,000 hits
"dancing Israeli soldiers" = 50,600,000 hits

50 MILLION? Again, nuttiness abounds.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 18:53 utc | 66

Should Obama and Kerry continue with their ridiculously, amateurish, it's all secret campaign they will lose any and all credibility not only on Syria but on any political issue they will in future touch on.

Credi-what?

If there is anythings maller than Planck-Length (the tiniest unit known in Physics) then it's obama-soetoros and john kohn aka. kerrys creditibility.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 5 2013 19:04 utc | 67

Rowan thou knoweth not of which thou spaketh

The very day the dancing soldiers vid hit the net I knew exactly what they were up to, merely by the title of the vid.

I checked by googling "dancing israelis" and also "5 dancing israelis"

Both searches returned only a short clip of an Israeli tv interview with the 5 9-11 mossad agents, talking about their role on 9-11 being to "document the event" -hard to do without knowing about that event beforehand, no?

A mere 12 or 16 hrs later the search "dancing Israelis" returned pages of video results, or blogs/sites, showing/mentioning the cute'n cuddly Israeli soldiers dancing in the streets of hebron, whereas the "5 dancing Israelis" search returned the 9-11 mossad agent in #1 position followed by the hebron dancers in #2 position.


Excellent psy-op imho

Clearly the latest vid of wedding-crashing Israeli murder-gang members is designed to repeat the success of the original psy-op

Posted by: hmm | Sep 5 2013 19:16 utc | 68

Keeping in mind that if Russia and China aren't quite ready "help" the Yankees to sober up, re Syria, then we're probably all fucked, I'm quite looking forward to seeing what the Russians do if the Yankees follow the whims implanted by their stupid gene. I've been a big fan of Russian humour since I borrowed a big book of Chekhov short stories from the school library when I was 10 or 11.

Up until now, I've only been exposed to Russians being funny with words. So it'll be interesting to see them being funny with warships and 57 varieties of missiles. I'm pretty sure Adolph Hitler didn't find Russian military humour very amusing and I suspect/hope that Barry Hitler will feel the same way.

With so many of Adolph's foes/victims forming a conga-line of suck-holes to lick the boots of Barry Hitler, the stage is already set for some even more bizarre turns of event.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2013 19:43 utc | 70

Noirette
On Sept. 3rd on France Culture radio, in the 8 AM news, there was a sane voice, a consultant in intelligence who works with ex-DGSE people, saying that their analysis of the videos concluded to radically different results than the governement ones, and to many doubts. His name is "Eric Dénécé, le directeur du Centre Français de Recherches sur le Renseignement." What is hilarious is that in the 7AM news they made a pure laudatory exercise on the proofs and of the "intelligence" reports obeying to the gov guidelines.
http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-journal-de-8h-la-france-s-est-engagee-dans-la-bataille-mediatique-2013-09-03
(Dénécé speaks at 3'30)

Good news from Egypt:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/80909/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-opposes-an-individual-decision-by-the-US-on-.aspx
"Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour told a US Congress delegation that Egypt does not support an individual US decision on a military attack on Syria, state news agency MENA reported.

“Egypt does not understand the US’s insistence on acting individually, without the approval of the UN Security Council and without commitment to international legitimacy,” he said, according to a presidential statement published by MENA.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on 29 August that Egypt will not “partake in any military strikes against Syria” adding that it is strongly opposed "to any foreign military intervention in Syria.”"

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5 2013 20:01 utc | 71

perhaps someone with better googling skills than my own can help me find the answer to a question. If the answer is as I expect it to be, it might be used to counter this silly argument of responsibility to protect that is all the rage these days.

ok, who knows from where all these Syrian refugees come from that are overwhelming Jordan and Turkey. Do they come from the Syrian Government held areas or do they come from the areas that are occupied by the terrorists and so called rebels? Bonus points for answering if those people left the rebel occupied areas, would they come back if the current Syrian government were to be overthrown?

I deliberately did not mention the leader of Syria's name as I do not consider him to be the Syrian government, true that he is the figure head and holds power and influence, but he is certainly not where he is all by himself. as with other leaders and kings, if the princes and counts turn on you, it is game over

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 5 2013 20:18 utc | 72

@69

‘‘The system has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world’s largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century, when chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town,’’ Power said.

Shall we have a little look at this presentation entitled: U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel as it has a nice little chart of showing vetoes of UNSC resolutions protecting apartheid Israel.

Here's a more complete list of resolutions the US has shot down at the UN.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 20:35 utc | 73

JSorrentine

When Israel/US used depleted uranium which killed thousands of people in sum, wasnt a graver crime? Crimes that we also KNOW who commited compared to this syrian case. Stupid Power!

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5 2013 20:50 utc | 74

@74

But all those murders, maimings, displacements were for freedom, silly.

And all those freedom babies in Fallujah - y'know, the ones free from having two eyes, free from having all their internal organs on the inside of their bodies, free from having 4 3 2 1 working limb(s) etc - why, I bet they can't wait to scrape themselves together and give us a high-three(?) somewhere down the line.

And that's not even mentioning our Pals-estinian freedom friends and their phosphorus-rich diets!!! Why, those lucky campers have so exceeded the 750mg/day RDA recommendation they'll NEVER have to eat phosphorus again!!

Yes, Powers and her ilk are truly fucking monsters who are traitors to humanity. There are no other words.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 5 2013 21:07 utc | 75

@72 dan of steele

Great question.

While I don't have an answer, I think it's most likely along the lines of the purposefully misleading civilian population deaths, you know, the 100,000 Syrian dead which are by conscious ommission attributed as civilian deaths to the Syrian government.

In fact, the rebels lump their deaths in with civilians.

Some interesting info on how Syrian deaths are counted:


Al Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen reported that many of the deaths reported daily by activists are in fact armed insurgents falsely presented as civilian deaths, but confirmed that real civilian deaths do occur on a regular basis.[19] A number of Middle East political analysts, including those from the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper, have also urged caution.[20][21][22]

This was later confirmed when in late May 2012, Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is one of the opposition-affiliated groups counting the number of those killed in the uprising, stated that civilians who had taken up arms during the conflict were being counted under the category of "civilians".[23][24][25]

In May 2013, SOHR stated that at least 41,000 of those killed during the conflict were Alawite

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_civil_war#Opposition_forces

Posted by: sleepy | Sep 5 2013 22:11 utc | 76

In his testimony before Congress, John Kerry is dissembling information about Syria through his broad use of the term "opposition" (replying to questions about the armed insurgents with answers about the SNC or SNCoalition). At one level, he is just framing his remarks within the longstanding policy-language that the State Department set for Syria under Clinton at the outset of the Syrian conflict. The State Department maintains that "The Opposition" (internal and external) represent the majority of the Syrian people. This assertion is even less true today than it was in the first six months of the conflict (if Kerry can only claim 100,000 Syrians in hard opposition among a population of 22 million, the hard opposition of Syrians has decreased from 15% to less than 1%). The State Department also maintains that there is unity (with diversity) and accountability/quality control between the internal and external opposition. They continue to claim this even though the external opposition has gone through many configurations and changes in leadership, even though the internal armed opposition is a collection of groups with no visible common command structure, but rather a semblance of a unified pay structure for the Free Syrian Army through Idriss. The United States, especially the State Department has put in a lot of work to cobble some structure within the opposition together; for Kerry to state the truth would be to admit failure.

By their actions, the insurgents have alienated a lot of the soft support they initially had from some moderate and conservative Sunnis and they have galvanized other Syrians who were apathetic or critical of the government to support the government. Even reporters who have traveled with the insurgents have noted that their initial success in recruiting friends to defect from the Syrian Army evaporated after the first year. Indeed, many former insurgents have accepted various government offers of amnesty. The moderate rebel forces in Jordan are recruiting teenagers from refugee camps. Foreign Jihadists have always been a segment of the armed resistance. Even so, with more and more of the eligible pool of Syrians either having been killed, sought refuge elsewhere or accepted amnesty, the proportion of foreign to domestic fighters will only increase in the future. No matter how Kerry dodges around the questions, his answers do not paint an accurate picture.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Sep 5 2013 22:41 utc | 77

B - #50s comment - an excellent idea, limiting posts per day, not censorship but considered editing, would improve the readibility of MOA. The constant back and forth so common on MOA is a drag, and adds nothing of value to the discussion at hand. Of course it is useful for the people to blow off steam, but the constant whining from the same old faces is tiresome.
Good wishes to Giap.

Posted by: lowell | Sep 5 2013 23:48 utc | 78

Fareed Zakaria - Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwh Shut up, already!

So he thinks Obama should still strike Syria even if Congress says NO to somehow restore his credibility as President...yada,yada...know-it-all.

Here's the thing. The day Obama looked the other way when over 400 children were slaughtered in Gaza with the illegal use of U.S. weaponry, and the day he escalated in Afghanistan and subsequently sent the first drone to slaughter groups of people including children followed by dozens of other drones AFTER he was decorated with the Nobel Peace Prize, THAT’S WHEN HE LOST ALL CREDIBILITY. Oh yeah they decimated and chased out Al-Qaeda...riiiiight. But-but how come Al-Qaeda’is slaughtering dozens of people in Iraq every week! And Al-Qaeda’s all over Syria beheading Christian clergy, blowing everything up and summarily slaughtering and executing Syrians. And now Obama wants to throw his weight behind the opposition that is being LED by Al-Qaeda, yes Al-Qaeda was the only rebel faction that was making headway in the Syrian conflict against Syrian forces.

Syria is becoming Obama's downfall, and this downfall is looking like karma for all his staggering hypocrisy and betrayal of values he pretended to stand for. His loss of credibility with the majority of American’s and the rest of the world has been a long time coming.
He deserves every bit of flack coming his way from Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians. I see "lame duck" in his future.

Posted by: kalithea | Sep 5 2013 23:56 utc | 79

Kerry can lie all he wants to the Congress. Lies may start a war but they certainly won't win one, will they. "Cakewalk" and "The Iraq war will pay for itself" come quickly to mind.

The Democrats seem to be attempting to outdo even George Bush with this shit show.

Suddenly appearing defecting scientists? Intercepted phone calls? YouTube videos? This bullshit makes the house of cards that was the reasoning for the Iraq war look like the foundations of the Egyptian pyramids.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6 2013 0:21 utc | 80

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 5, 2013 11:28:55 AM


not if this is true.

http://www.a-w-i-p.com/index.php/news/2013/09/05/chomsky-syria-strike-would-be


Chomsky calls any attack on Syria a war crime.

Posted by: amspirnational | Sep 6 2013 0:41 utc | 81

JSorrentine | Sep 5, 2013 12:07:46 PM

I don't agree that MIHOP is a gatekeeping issue with reference to "far and further left."

I do have some respect for Raimondo's LIHOP "Terror Enigma" but it is NOT a left or right gatekeeping issue.

Posted by: amspirnational | Sep 6 2013 0:43 utc | 82

ABC News: House Majority Opposes Syria War Leadership Backs War, But Doesn't Have the Votes

... Snip

"... An historic defeat for the administration’s war plan, it sets the stage for Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated claims that President Obama could attack after losing the vote to be put to the test. Officials have so far refused to discuss that prospect too deeply, insisting they are “confident” in winning the vote, but now that it seems clear they’ll lose, that confidence seems as ill-placed as their confidence in the rest of the case for war."

SNAP!

Posted by: crone | Sep 6 2013 1:16 utc | 83

Yeah... It is really important to launch some really disparaging attacks on some left-leaning intellectuals who have laid much of the foundations for the fight against this war... especially when the world's most reactionary right wing forces are ready to murder thousands of civilians.

...except for brian @24. I'm in full agreement that, at least on this issue, Tariq Ali is wishy washy dipshit.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6 2013 1:17 utc | 84

A glimpse of the city Obomber is so eager to throw missiles into. It's just radom stuff from YouTube but is worth taking a look at the people we're about to kill and that we've been trying to kill for two years now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WJMPuTOtGo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU6dxWtyHQs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6svi8DUIhGU

These are real videos of real people going about their business. This is the war porn the rebels are so eager to display. There is no crime so heinous that they won't brag about on film.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6 2013 1:26 utc | 85

46/50
I would write history back to this timeline

1920 March - The National Congress proclaims Emir Feisal king of Syria "in its natural boundaries" from the Taurus mountains in Turkey to the Sinai desert in Egypt. French control

1920 June - San Remo conference splits up Feisal's newly-created Arab kingdom by placing Syria-Lebanon under a French mandate, and Palestine under British control.

1920 July - French forces occupy Damascus, forcing Feisal to flee abroad.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 1:30 utc | 86

Re: gatekeepers/Chomsky

Gatekeepers' - of all persuasions - jobs are to steer "the conversation" away from certain topics and towards others.

Thus, Chomsky, as a "lion" of the left, with his utter dismissal of 9/11 as not important while still clinging to his mantra of scientific rationality is therefore engaging in gatekeeping especially as it involves a seminal event. That's the truth no matter what he says about other things.

His other writing? I've read many others - on both the left and right - who have said the same things. It's not "Chomskyian" to be against empire, war and murder. It's called being a rational human being. That nowadays people seemingly need others to help them understand that wanton murder, destruction and theft are deleterious to mankind's survival doesn't speak to the great intellect or eloquence of the Chomskys of the world but rather to how far Western man has fallen in that he has lost the ability to see common truths. Certainly Chomsky says many things that I agree with but any one who is allowed to become a "lion" of any type in our degraded society must be viewed with caution. That's all I'm saying.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 6 2013 2:02 utc | 87

72) I don't think there is a clear answer to this. The latest bunch of refugees came from Kurdish areas and went to Iraqui Kurdistan where they would get help. Civilians leave the zones when there is fighting and go to where they can find help - that would mean family, ethnic, political alliance.

A lot of things are kept quiet about in the media not to confuse the public with. Like what happened to Kurdish people in Syria, to Armenians, to .... Syria has every minority of the Middle East across it borders.

Like in Yougoslavia there is a rationale behind the atrocities, like in Yougoslavia the US plan is to split the country, but ethnic minorities live across it and people have mixed. So there is ethnic cleansing going on to get the desired contingent entities. People lose their possessions, their lives because of this shit. It is like splitting the United States according to the ethnic origin of the immigrants. Bordering countries are part of this, e.g. Turkey does not want to have a Kurdish entity on its border.

The people backing Assad are fighting for a central secular state. If they win people will be able to return as long as they are not political opponents just refugees. If the US and allies are able to split the country, many minorities will find no place.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 2:07 utc | 88

Question for the group. When you access links, does it throw you back to the top of the thread upon your return? It does this to me, and is a pain in the ass. Maybe it's just my machine, or I'm just lame.

Posted by: ben | Sep 6 2013 2:26 utc | 89

THESE are the people the administration supports...

Screenshot from the New York Times video “Syrian Rebels Execute 7 Soldiers.”

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/nyt-article-raises-questions-about-possible-us-allies-in-syria-as-rebels-ransack-christian-village.html/comment-page-1#comment-591036

Posted by: crone | Sep 6 2013 2:30 utc | 90

@88

Remember. As far as US political elite is concerned, Yugoslavia "worked." Ethnic cleansing is good and should be encouraged, or so they think.

Posted by: a different anon | Sep 6 2013 2:49 utc | 91

91) Yep. It worked for them because their goal was to weaken Russian influence spheres. It was a crime against the people. Bosnia and Kosovo et al are not viable independent states. Kosovo is still under the EULEX - The European Rule of Law Mission - police officers and judges - and no end is in sight. NATO is still there also. Official unemployment is above 40 percent, real unemployment much higher. The EU has accepted Slovenia and Croatia as members, they are - you guess - the richer (Catholic) parts - and keep the poor (Muslim) parts out, with all that means in travel, work and residence rights across EU countries. People got cheated big time.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 3:54 utc | 92

From RT:

"The potential of strategic US strikes in Syria has sparked fears Damascus’ chemical weapons could fall into the wrong hands if the government is toppled. A recent congressional report says 75,000 troops would be needed to safeguard the WMD caches."

http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-weapons-troops-458/

Posted by: ben | Sep 6 2013 3:58 utc | 93

@ben #89: I open links in a new tab/window and never leave the page, so it doesn't have to reload. Getting into that habit might cut down on your scrolling.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 6 2013 4:18 utc | 94

Question for the group. When you access links, does it throw you back to the top of the thread upon your return? It does this to me, and is a pain in the ass. Maybe it's just my machine, or I'm just lame. Posted by: ben | Sep 5, 2013 10:26:00 PM | 89
Ben, I think this will only happen if the comment you got the link from is on a second (or even third) page of comments (ie it is comment #100+). This is because the page manager software provided by our host's web company is defective in that it cannot follow links to second or subsequent pages, and just bounces back to the top of the article. As we ramble on, filling pages and pages with our merry quips and jolly japes, we naturally fill more and more pages, so this flaw in the software becomes more and more apparent, but there's nothing to be done about it, probably.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 6 2013 4:24 utc | 95

In his testimony in front of Congress John Kerry very sternly emphasized how heinous and unacceptable the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is and pointed out that only three instances of the use of such weapons has occurred since the Geneva Conventions in the 1920s.

The incredible suffering inflicted by these weapons has made them utterly unacceptable for the civilized world and any breach of this long-standing global norm must be punished. Assad’s use is just the third time in the last century.

But in 1924 in the United States the gas chamber as a method of execution was just getting underway. When did it end?

On of January 30th, 1998, Ricky Sanderson was executed by lethal gas at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, for stabbing a 16 year old girl to death in 1985. Having been on death row for nearly 13 years, 38 year old Sanderson waived his right to further appeals. His last words were, "I'm dying for a deed I did and I deserve death for it and I'm glad Christ forgave me." The execution commenced at 2.01 a.m. EST and he was pronounced dead at 2:19 a.m., 18 minutes later. He died in just a pair of white boxer shorts, which is standard procedure, according to prison officials. He was seated in a wooden chair and wearing a leather mask to hide facial contortions. Lethal injection is now the sole method of execution in North Carolina.

capitalpunishmentuk.org

594 people were killed in American gas chambers up to 1998. So, looks like Kerry was really low balling it with his "just three times" The gas chamber is still legal in some states.

Posted by: JBradley | Sep 6 2013 4:40 utc | 96

US military does not want to have anything to do with Obama's war.


They are tired of wannabe soldiers who remain enamored of the lure of bloodless machine warfare. “Look,” one told me, “if you want to end this decisively, send in the troops and let them defeat the Syrian army. If the nation doesn’t think Syria is worth serious commitment, then leave them alone.” But they also warn that Syria is not Libya or Serbia. Perhaps the United States has become too used to fighting third-rate armies. As the Israelis learned in 1973, the Syrians are tough and mean-spirited killers with nothing to lose.

Our military members understand and take seriously their oath to defend the constitutional authority of their civilian masters. They understand that the United States is the only liberal democracy that has never been ruled by its military. But today’s soldiers know war and resent civilian policymakers who want the military to fight a war that neither they nor their loved ones will experience firsthand.

Civilian control of the armed services doesn’t mean that civilians shouldn’t listen to those who have seen war. Our most respected soldier president, Dwight Eisenhower, possessed the gravitas and courage to say no to war eight times during his presidency. He ended the Korean War and refused to aid the French in Indochina; he said no to his former wartime friends Britain and France when they demanded U.S. participation in the capture of the Suez Canal. And he resisted liberal democrats who wanted to aid the newly formed nation of South Vietnam. We all know what happened after his successor ignored Eisenhower’s advice. My generation got to go to war.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 5:00 utc | 97

@JBradley #95: "... looks like Kerry was really low balling it with his "just three times"

Yeah, that figure seemed a little on the low side to me, too.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 6 2013 5:05 utc | 98

97) The exact description is lying.

91/92) Add: This here is the context of the Wesley Clark quote on the list of countries to be targeted

Clark’s book also describes a telling encounter nearly a decade earlier with neoconservative eminence Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense under Rumsfeld who resigned under a cloud of scandal from the World Bank last spring. In May 1991, according to Clark, he dropped in for a conversation with Wolfowitz, then the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon, to congratulate him on the success of the Gulf War.

“We screwed up and left Saddam Hussein in power. The president [then George H.W. Bush] believes he’ll be overthrown by his own people, but I rather doubt it,” he quotes Wolfowitz lamenting. “But we did learn one thing that’s very important. With the end of the Cold War, we can now use our military with impunity. The Soviets won’t come in to block us. And we’ve got five, maybe 10, years to clean up these old Soviet surrogate regimes like Iraq and Syria before the next superpower emerges to challenge us … We could have a little more time, but no one really knows.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 5:30 utc | 99

And now - the climbdown

Saving Obama from himself

My own fervent hope is that this is the moment when the people of America stand up and tell their president no. I support and admire this president and understand that this impulsive, foolish, reckless decision was motivated by deep and justified moral concern. But the proposal is so riddled with danger, so ineffective in any tangible way (even if it succeeds!), and so divorced from the broader reality of an America beset by a deep fiscal crisis, a huge new experiment in universal healthcare, and a potential landmark change in immigration reform, that it simply must not be allowed to happen.

We can stop it. And if Obama is as smart as we all think he is, he should respond to Congress’s refusal to support him by acquiescing to their request. That would damage him some more – but that damage has been done already. It pales compared with the damage caused by prosecuting an unwinnable war while forfeiting much of your domestic agenda.

This is not about Obama. It’s about America, and America’s pressing needs at home. It’s also about re-balancing the presidency away from imperialism. If a president proposes a war and gets a vote in Congress and loses, then we have truly made a first, proud step in reining in the too-powerful executive branch and its intelligence, surveillance and military complex.

In other words, much good can still come from this.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6 2013 6:06 utc | 100

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