Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 06, 2013

On The Way Towards War

Harper writes at Pat Lang's place that the launch of the new Middle East war is imminent:
I am told by current intelligence officials that President Obama intends to bomb Syria in the coming days--with or without Congressional approval. With the whip count in the House of Representatives looking worse and worse for the war party, the White House is pressing Harry Reid to rush the Senate vote, perhaps as early as Monday evening, Sept. 9, the day that the Congress returns to Washington and the debate is scheduled to begin. If Obama can get a Senate majority, sources close to the White House say that he will order strikes before the House can get started. Perhaps this is why Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is saying that a House vote is unlikely before the week of Sept. 16, given that passions are running so high on the issue. The reality is that opposition in the House is growing and the chance of a "yes" vote from the GOP-led lower chamber is well below 50 percent.
A report in the New York Times somewhat disagrees:
Although Mr. Obama has asserted that he has the authority to order the strike on Syria even if Congress says no, White House aides consider that almost unthinkable. As a practical matter, it would leave him more isolated than ever and seemingly in defiance of the public’s will at home. As a political matter, it would almost surely set off an effort in the House to impeach him, which even if it went nowhere could be distracting and draining.
Obama's and Kerry's arguments, based on dubious intelligence, for the illegal war that they don't even dare to call such are not having the impact they hoped. Even fanatic Obama supporters reject their reasoning.

While the Senate may pass the all-out-war resolution the House seems likely to reject it. To change that a massive Israeli and AIPAC lobbying operation for war on Syria and Iran is underway:

Officials say that some 250 Jewish leaders and AIPAC activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill beginning next week to persuade lawmakers that Congress must adopt the resolution or risk emboldening Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon.
Obama has canceled further travel to press on Congress and to propagandize to the public for his war.

One reason for this war and its likely extension to Iran is the fact that sanctions against Iran are breaking down in Europe and elsewhere. That the sanctions on Iraq were receding without achieving their goals was one of the arguments that was made for the war on Iraq.

But rejection of the war within the U.S. and globally is massive. The U.S. military is not at all on board and also rejects the war on Syria and its likely regional escalation. The administration is showing no understanding that the other side of an attack also has a vote and that any escalation could well have militarily catastrophic consequences.

Mission creep already starts even before the open shooting begins. Instead of "a few cruise missiles" the orders have moved to an all out bombing campaign on more than 50 sites to "degrade" the Syrian military and thereby relatively increase the power of the already coordinating and preparing al-Qaeda insurgents.

The build up of forces in the area continues. Russia is sending more ships to the Syrian coast as are other countries. The U.S. has moved an aircraft carrier to the Red Sea from where it could reach Syria. I am certain the Navy would prefer that carrier to be in the Mediterranean. But to get there it would have to pass through the Suez Canal where only this week a container ship was attacked with several RPGs by al-Qaeda aligned fighters. A U.S. carrier on its way to kill more Muslims would certainly be a preferred target to them. The Suez Canal is for now a no-go zone for U.S. war ships which could have a serious impact should U.S. war plans, as they are likely to, fail after the first contact with the enemy. In further war preparations the U.S. ordered non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave Lebanon.

Turkey is shifting more and more troops towards the border with Syria. This could be the preparation of a land invasion. Erdogan urgently wants and needs a war while the Turkish population is largely against it. Erdogan's peace negotiations with the Kurds seem to go nowhere and the Turkish economy is on the verge of breaking down:

[T]he benchmark Istanbul stock index has lost one-third of its value since hitting a record high in mid-May, the lira has plummeted to record lows and bond yields have doubled to 10%. Turkey's central bank has failed to stem the declines despite spending more than 15% of its net reserves as billions of dollars exited the country.
...
Turkey's total foreign debt has nearly tripled since 2002 to $350 billion, more than half of which must be repaid or rolled over within one year. That puts short-term liabilities at about a quarter of Turkey's GDP—two to three times more than Brazil and India.
A war against Syria will hurt Turkey further. It will also hurt the United States. The already diminished global standing of the "sole superpower" will decrease further. The likely prolonged war will cost it more money it does not have without achieving its aim. Going to war against the will of its own people will let others laugh at any U.S. argument of "democracy promotion". The global oil price hike that is already occurring in anticipation of the war will hurt the global economy while it will fill Russia's, Iran's and other oil producers war chest.

But argue against a useless war that will cost the U.S. a lot and you will be accused as "anti-American".

This is the non-sensical response one gets for challenging war promoters:

Laura Rozen ‏@lrozen
look moon you wld like nothing better than russia & iran & china architects of global order. “@MoonofA:
And this is the appropriate response to such idiocy:
billmon @billmon1

Scratch a "liberal" interventionist, find Joe McCarthy hiding underneath.

Posted by b on September 6, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Listening to O-bomber's speech, it sounds very much like he's hell bent of starting his war, sorry "limited action", one way or the other..

He even claims the US's never targeted civilians with CW...The journos in the rooms lets him get away with such BS statement. Vietnam, Iraq etc etc comes to mind..He also seem to be convinced, by his generals that the US army is all powerful than any other in the world. I guess we'd have to wait and see how true it is.

I sincerely hope the US army gets humiliated and punish in their involvement in Syria. Once the body bags start arriving home in the hundreds, it'll be a different story.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 6, 2013 10:41:11 AM | 1

followed-up my email with a phone call to my congressclown's office this a.m. i like the new obummer moniker: Barry Hitler!

Posted by: bfrakes | Sep 6, 2013 10:47:08 AM | 2

@1

Don't fool yourself that Syria would stand a snowballs chance in hell of surviving any true full-on assualt by Barry Hitler and "his" generals.

If Barry Hitler and "his" generals decided to roll up the sleeves on this one, Syria would be toasted moonscape in a very short time indeed.

The only unknown here is the reaction of 3rd parties, to Mr Hitler's generals getting their freak on.

Just saying . . . .

Posted by: hmm | Sep 6, 2013 10:59:12 AM | 3

Two interesting news.

> US have urged american officials in Lebanon to go home.

> Obama will speak on tuesday, I guess this will be Obama declaring US going to attack Syria, starting tuesday night.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 11:02:23 AM | 4

hmm @ 3

But you're assuming it's Syria alone that will be doing the fighting when the missiles start flying..Once thing for sure, the US army CANNOT survive a war on multiple fonts across the entire region..

So yeah, they can have and play with their high-tech toys. But they won't be deciding the ones deciding when/how the war will end.

Do you seriously think/believe Syria's survived this past two years of pure unadulterated terror on her own without the backing of others??? Don't fool yourself.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 6, 2013 11:03:17 AM | 5

3) yep. Remember that "bombing back to the stone age thing"? How did that go for Israel?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 11:07:27 AM | 6

"look moon you wld like nothing better than russia & iran & china architects of global order."

Notice how utterly silly, hollow and pathetic this kind of murderous nonsense sounds. In this sentence:

1) LR reveals that she's actively cheering on US hegemony even if that means the murder of more innocents and further war crimes. What, Laura, you don't want to move from you posh digs in DC to Moscow in order to whore yourself out to a new set of "architects"? Sniffle.

2) LR ridiculously tosses in Iran along with legitimate superpowers R & C just to appease her Zionist paymasters. Hey, LR, that was a nice article about Iran's nuke program in The Tablet last year. Looks like you have a new assignment! Congrats.

3) LR "cleverly" accuses people - through purposeful Zionist misdirection, mind you - of being anti-American when it is in fact her Zionists-in-arms who are actively advocating actions which will endanger the future of the US. Oh, I get it. It's the Israel-first crowd who really have America's best interests at heart. Duh.

Lastly, b, I would seriously take this tweet as a notice that you are fully on the AIPAC/Zionist radar. Your wonderful site has been garnering a lot more attention as of late and this seemingly insipid banter may be a signal for others to drop by. Having lurked for a while, I've already noticed the emergence of some new posters whose statements ring suspicious as they are artfully deflective of certain topics.

Cheers.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 6, 2013 11:08:25 AM | 7

Pepe Escobar as usual nails it on Syria. My favourite is this exchange by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey with Senator Bob Corker:

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

Sen Corker: And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction?

Gen Dempsey: I don't know how the resolution will evolve, but I support -

Sen Corker: What you're seeking. What is it you're seeking?

Gen Dempsey: I can't answer that, what we're seeking

Meanwhile in Syria, the Chechen groups operating in Syria have consolidated to form a new group called "The Mujahedin of the Caucasus and the Levant". No way will Russia sit by and allow these guys a safe base of operations to hit Russian interests. Also adds another threat to Russia after Bandar's reputed comments that he "can control Chechen groups" and keep "the Sochi Olympics safe". Now having this new Chechen group forming a few weeks later, the message to Putin is clear.

Smart move the US removing all its diplomats from Lebanon, but doubt it will be enough to stop Hezbollah's reaction. This is a slippery slope Obama is on. Once he bombs Syria, there will be a regional reaction. Maybe a few hostages, or a missile strike on a US ship, something. Once that happens and Obama is looking at dead Americans or Israelis, he will be forced by events to escalate.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 6, 2013 11:09:49 AM | 8

b. I would not believe any rumours Harper spreads

From RT

11:00
Russian Navy may join NATO drills in 2014
There is a “strong chance” that Russian warships will take part in NATO naval training next year, Director of NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel announced at a press conference. He also informed that on October 10-14, six NATO warships from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland will call to St. Petersburg on a friendly visit.

So Russia/China/US have agreed on the new World Order.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 11:14:47 AM | 9

it's frightening. i remember the build up to iraq, i couldn't believe we would really do it. it seems unfathomable after years of iraq we would take such action, and what is left? attacking iran? it's unbearable. and inevitably it will come to our shores. how could it not? this is insane.

thank you b.

Posted by: annie | Sep 6, 2013 11:16:32 AM | 10

@somebod

Russia warships have had, along with China and as recently as 2 months ago, friendly visits to Iranian port as well, so that doesn't mean much. Russia feels herself part of the "western civilization", but her goals regarding Nato is to make it obsolete by emptying the organization from any threat against Russia's goals in her near abroad. This way the overall strategy of anchoring Europe on Russia's big continental mass can be achieved.

Posted by: ATH | Sep 6, 2013 11:27:41 AM | 11

I have been wondering about O'bomber's sudden intense fire in the belly. It is totally uncharacteristic of the man who has made a virtue of leading from behind. He has never showed this much passion, even for his signature healthcare plan, which he let Republicans dub Obamacare.

My reading of the tea leaves goes as follows: it has been reported that the CIA just delivered 400 tons of weaponry to the rebels. Earlier reports say that the CIA has been training rebels in Turkey and Jordan. Yet another report claimed that the CIA trained rebels are ready to march on Damascus. In other words, the CIA has secretly ginned up a nice little invasion, just as they did in Libya. The problem is that they need air cover, and O'bomber is on the hook to authorize it.

To facilitate Obama's task, Prince Bandar had chemical weapons delivered to the rebels in Ghouta, who didn't exactly know what they were or how to use them. That attack happened just after reports of US conversations with rebels indicating a game changing event about to happen

When O'Bomber signed onto the plan, he thought that the world would be so outraged by the use of WMDs that it would be a slam dunk to roll American and world opinion. He was wrong.

Now time is of the essence. Obama is under enormous pressure to deliver on his commitment and is sweating bullets, so to speak. Delay increases the odds that Assad can target the rebels and the weapons. Delay also increases the odds that it will come out that the administration and top intelligence officials colluded with the Saudis and Israelis to gin up a nice little war without so much as a thought to consulting Congress, the American people or even top military brass. Already the Israelis are reported dismayed at the delay.

Pressure is so enormous to make good on O'bomber's commitment to the CIA, Saudis and Israelis, that he may be willing to bomb before a vote by the House, thereby inviting impeachment.

Such a reckless step would be a pretty good indication of who's really running the show..

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 6, 2013 11:32:02 AM | 12

Iran could shake the US economy a little by just suggesting that they will close the Straights of Hormuz if the US attacks Syria. If they actually did it, the crash of the stock and bond markets would not be pretty. And what will Hezbollah do if they are attacked? They have thousands of missiles which could be launched against Israel in a use-them-or-lose-them scenario. It would be best for Obama to climb-down from threats of war after a defeat in Congress, but I think the man has developed a taste for blood during the last few years of drone strikes.

Posted by: Gareth | Sep 6, 2013 11:34:01 AM | 13

Elizabeth O'Bagy -- the expert cited by McCain who implausibly claimed the Free Syrian Army is now playing the lead role in the resistance -- turns out to be paid by the Syrian opposition. Why am I not surprised ?

Posted by: Harper Langston | Sep 6, 2013 11:37:00 AM | 14

11) are you saying that NATO just ditched the US to please Russia? :-)) Of course Russia being part of NATO is a big thing.

This here is the White House website

Regional Issues

“In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold. The traditional divisions between nations of the South and the North make no sense in an interconnected world; nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War.”

– President Obama, United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2009

You mean Obama is prepared to end up completely ridiculous?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 11:51:45 AM | 16

@1

"But you're assuming it's Syria alone that will be doing the fighting when the missiles start flying..Once thing for sure, the US army CANNOT survive a war on multiple fonts across the entire region.."

Yes and No, go back and read what I said - "The only unknown here is the reaction of 3rd parties, to Mr Hitler's generals getting their freak on."

I have assumed nothing of the sort. I'm just using a simple 1-on-1 US-vs-Syria template as a starting point. Beyond that everything else is mere speculation.

I may well be wrong, but so far I have yet to actually see any reliable hints that the Russkies will do more than 'advise' through Sig-intel etc (maybe a few boots on the ground, but nothing major) - which I spose is as it should be, since why give your game-plan away before you use it.

But it's going to be very hard for Russkies to make any deliveries of anything once the fireworks have started (IF? Cos it's still an IF as far as I am concerned) - DHL and FedEx don't do WarTime deliveries, not even at premium rates, as far as I know, so if things like the S3/4/500 ain't already in Syria, then they ain't gonna get there anytime soon.

And joining in a little while after the firing starts is just fucking stupid. Putin is many things, but he ain't stupid. Either you're in at the start or forget it.

You can pretty much forget about resupply by land too, from either the Russkies nor the Iranians.

SO the US has a lot more men and material than do the Syrians. The syrians will run out of missiles for air-defence or for flinging at Israel pretty soon once the firing starts. After that it's rocks.

Dempsey said something very very interesting, imo, the other day which no one here seemed to notice the significance of, even though someone c&p'd it in the threads.

Something about "sharing the burden with our allies" - which imho seemed to mean he's telling the Zio-Nazis that "if we're doing this thing (for you), you're going on stage too, whether you like it or not" and the zio-Nazi Lobby came out from under their rock to slime-us with the hard sell just around that time, so it looks to me like Nuttinyahoo's fine with that. I might be wrong but that is how I interpreted it - admittedly just my speculation.


And I'm not convinced that the Iranians will jump right in, feet-first, into this one, should it kick-off. They lack the ability to project real Military might over distance.

There are plenty of US troops and Material stationed near their borders, so to some degree, unless the Iranians have a "let's all die today rather than in a few years time" outlook, which imho is doubtful, then their reaction possibilities are fairly limited. Though they de seem to be a clever bunch so I'm sure they may have a few surprises up the sleeves, but I doubt an full-on open assault on the US forces nearest them is one of those surprises

IF it is true that the US carrier in the red sea provides a reliable platform for an extra vector of attack, then the Russkie Naval presence off the coast of Syria is to some degree largely neutralised.


@6 - apples and oranges, as usual

a more fitting example would be Laos and Cambodia, and as far as I can recall, the old "bomb them back into the stone age" went pretty well from a US perspective.

We ain't really talking boots on the ground here as far as I can tell - so far. Does not look like to me that clear-and-hold is the game plan, my little lying friend. This is more of a Smite-them-bigtime-just-to-show-that-we-can, kinda deal.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 6, 2013 11:52:55 AM | 17

b, you forgot the Chinese ship which is supposed to be arriving. Chinese military intervention in the West; it hasn't happened since the 14th century, when a fleet of Chinese junks arrived in the Gulf around 1335.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 11:56:19 AM | 18

For me, MoA is like a cafe at the end of the Western universe. The end of the universe is defined by a massive black hole, and MoA is situated on its fringe or 'event horizon', after which point everything gets sucked in, to be spat out into another universe altogether (such as one populated by the Islamic world view, for example). The proximity of this Cafe to the massive gravitational field brings with it certain unique characteristics, including relatively novel perspectives, which are closer to reality. In other words, if it can be said that there is any sanity left in the West, it can only be found at MoA and other similar sites wit a "loony loft" viewpoint. As such, I thought I'd share an email I wrote this morning to my Italian friend Roberto Quaglia, the science fiction writer and 9/11 researcher and author.

*

Greetings, my friend. How are you? How is life in rustic and laid-back Romainia? I hope life is treating you well there.


Sometimes I wake up inspired with an idea, and don’t ask me why, but this morning, it involved you! I had been thinking about your very interesting insight into the fact that (if I understand and paraphrase you correctly), there comes a point where the sheer volume or quantity of hypocrisy brings about a qualitative change in that a person (or culture) who acts sufficiently hypocritical or incapable of abiding by his own professed values and beliefs initially starts to display but ultimately becomes indistinguishable from a sociopath. That, at least, is what the empirical phenomenology indicates.

The thought I had about this, this morning, is that I connected it with Dostoyevski’s point that if God is dead, everything is permissible.

And with its other (atheistic) existentialist corollary, Nietzsche’s Will to Power.

Lastly, I also connected it with a French movie I saw, oh, about 10 years ago I guess, which left a deep impression on me at the time. It is translated as “With a Friend Like Harry” and it is about a man who runs into an old school chum of his, who embodies Nietzsche’s Will to Power and uses this will to grant favors to his friend, so that, for example, if the man complains to him about his parents, that they are old and sick and are in constant need of attention, and it is a drag on his time, etc., Harry simply gets rid of the problem for his friend by getting rid of his parents for him. He is a sociopath, in other words. Here is a link to the film’s details.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0216800/

So I wanted to recommend this movie to you. And if you end up writing a review of it using your original insight, I would love to read it.

My contention based on all of this is that not only is the West acting sociopathically as a whole (in its foreign policy double standards, etc., as you keenly pointed out), but that its individual members are more or less acting in this way also, save only for the absence of their Will to Power. And that, in time (on a sociological and not individual scale, of course), (and this is my prediction), their squeemishness will abate, and more and more numbers will be less and less demure about their visceral and libidinal desires, and so, will display attributes of sociopathy more and more, feeding into the viscious cycle of the police state at a geometric or hyperbolic pace. This is the price of supra-individuation and social fragmentation and atomization at the expense of commonly held sacred beliefs, the traditional definition of society, in other words – at the expense of society itself. This is the price and the ultimate destiny of the Enlightenment project.

Zhou Enlai was once asked what he thought of the French Revolution and famously quipped that it was “too early to tell”. I beg to differ, I guess.

Best salaams,

UU.

Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Sep 6, 2013 11:57:26 AM | 19

Maybe a southerly invasion of Lebanon is what Dempsey was hinting at, I don't know. Just found his comment quite cryptic.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 6, 2013 11:59:00 AM | 20

In my view, it's gone beyond limited war. I don't think I'd really appreciated how much of a major world crisis it is that is developing. Of a systemic order. Not World War 3, but the question of whether the western elites are going to be free to inflict damage on the rest of the world without any control or limits. Certainly without any democratic control. It'll be interesting to see how it goes, but it will change the future, whether or not Obama gets to bomb Syria.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 12:00:35 PM | 21

Obama is a clown compared to Putin.

G20 on Syria
http://rt.com/news/putin-g20-syria-meeting-511/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 12:08:02 PM | 22

An american-syrian woman talks to McCain video

Posted by: b | Sep 6, 2013 12:08:46 PM | 23

@alexno - 21 - yup, that's what I am seeing too.

Posted by: b | Sep 6, 2013 12:14:57 PM | 24

ahem, beg to differ. Not with a satirical article in the New York Times like this

Speaking with reporters as he was about to end his three-day overseas trip, Mr. Obama repeatedly refused to say whether he would abide by the congressional vote he asked for authorizing the use of force against Syria if lawmakers say no.

“You’re not getting any direct response,” he said. But Antony Blinken, his principal deputy national security adviser, told NPR that while the president maintains he has the authority to act regardless of Congress, “it’s neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him.”

The Syria dispute came to dominate the G-20 meeting here and underscored the difficulty Mr. Obama has faced with Mr. Putin in recent months. After Russia gave temporary asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who disclosed secret American surveillance programs, Mr. Obama canceled a separate one-on-one meeting with Mr. Putin in Moscow.

But the two ended up talking on the sideline of the group session on Friday, mainly about their disagreement over Syria. Mr. Obama said Mr. Snowden’s case did not really come up. “It was a candid and constructive conversation, which characterizes my relationship with him,” Mr. Obama said.

The president said he appreciated that Mr. Putin had allowed a full airing of views about Syria at a long dinner of the leaders Thursday night that stretched on until almost 2 Friday morning. By several accounts, it was a vigorous discussion in which Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin in effect were competing for support. Mr. Obama emerged having changed no one’s mind about military force, but most of the leaders at least agreed with his assessment that Mr. Assad’s government was responsible for the attack, something Mr. Putin has dismissed as “utter nonsense.”

“I’ve been encouraged by my discussions with my fellow leaders this week,” Mr. Obama said Friday. “There is a growing recognition that the world cannot stand idly by.”

But he acknowledged the deep reservations over the use of force and said he reminded the leaders at the dinner that he had opposed Mr. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. “I was elected to end wars, not start them,” Mr. Obama said he told them.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 12:20:20 PM | 25

@somebody

I just spelled-out what I strongly presume to be the Russian position towards Nato. Since the latter is under US command it is inaccurate to say that Nato "ditched" the US to please Russia. The overall strategy of the US through Nato seems to be, Russia is a partner not a friend, so let's treat her as exactly that.

Posted by: ATH | Sep 6, 2013 12:25:58 PM | 26

i'm not seeing a video at that link b.

Posted by: annie | Sep 6, 2013 12:29:54 PM | 27

b;

I understand that you have been an officer in the German army so you are fairly familiar with military issues.

"By throwing every military asset possible in attack of the surface action group of 4 destroyers in the Mederterranian Sea, and throwing the entire armed forces of Iran against the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Pakistan, the entire US policy for the Middle East would be dead in the water if Iran and Syrian attacks were to be successful.
.....
This isn't some impossible scenario, Syria does have the military capability to defeat 1 surface action group of 4 destroyers if committed to that tactical action, and Iran does have the capability to destroy a single Carrier Strike Group in a surprise attack less than 300 miles off the coast of Iran."

1)Do you really find the idea of Iran staging an attack against "the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Pakistan" realistic?

2)Do you really believe that if Iran were so bold, that it would succeed in making a "surprise attack" and destroy a carrier strike group?

3)Do you really think that Syria will send over what ever military asset that it has against those 4 destroyers in mediter. sea? And if they do, do you really see them as having any chance of hitting them successfully?

With regards to the first question I don't see Iran doing it, at least they don't say anything which would even imply the possibility of their confronting the US military directly. Iranians in their comments sound far too cautious to suggest such a possibility.

To me the far more likely scenario is that Assad will attack perhaps some targets in Israel, and as for Iran they will most likely get involved at most as far as sending some military personnel with some of their anti-cruise missile, anti-aircraft weapon systems, or perhaps some other way of covert involvement. I have a hard time believing that Iran will take US military head on and attack USN on high seas.

Posted by: pirouz_2 | Sep 6, 2013 12:32:49 PM | 28

@all,
A commentator, posted a link, on the previous few threads, to a recent(ish) report on the reasons why the uprising in Syria took place - looking at the impact of low rain fall, crop/harvest failures, largely agricultural people moving in to cities but not enough jobs for the, allowing a tinder box situation to develop needing a small spark for it all to explode. Does anyone know where it is?
Thanking you n advance.

@b - How do you think, the situation in Syria will play out with the US/Nato operations and withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Posted by: Irshad | Sep 6, 2013 12:35:15 PM | 29

It's not hard to map out a scenario for Obama bombing before Congress has a chance to act. The propaganda writes itself. Remember Kerry claims, for some reason, that the US had information about the Aug. 21 attack three days before it happened. So it seems likely we'll see that exact claim made again:

Around tuesday, the US will discover Syrian forces in the process of preparing to launch chemical weapons again, and so we will have no choice but to attack to save the helpless civilians. American intelligence is 100% confident that there was a chemical attack about to take place, even though they can't show anyone the documents. It's a shame Congress didn't have time to act, but it's really Congress's own fault for taking days to debate a war instead of voting to attack immediately. Once we've started shooting, we can hardly stop before finishing the mission, etc, etc, etc.

Posted by: Bill | Sep 6, 2013 12:48:25 PM | 31

Iranian national television news is reporting that Putin stated in the g20 press conference that Russia will help Syria with humanitarian aid *and arms* in the event the US attacks Syria without UNSC approval.

Thoughts on the significance of this statement?

Also, remember the Exocet Moment in the Malvinas/ Falklands war (where a British frigate or destroyer was sunk by an Exocet missile fired from a Mig)? Is it possible to have a similar moment here in the event of US aggression? (similar in the sense of a substantial punch being landed)

Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Sep 6, 2013 1:09:30 PM | 32

Unknown Unknowns

What Putin said that he would keep helping Syria, not that Russia would attack US as some seems to imply.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 1:17:49 PM | 33

Typical pattern of the so-called rebels attacks and victories in Syria
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/jabhat-al-nusra-and-other-islamists-briefly-capture-historic-christian-town-of-maloula/

You really want to help these guys transform the whole region into a new Somalia?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 6, 2013 1:30:05 PM | 34

Russia to help Syria in case of external military strike Voice of Russia

Posted by: par4 | Sep 6, 2013 1:32:52 PM | 35

Laura Rozen is scum. Had a run in with her on her blog years ago after she made the laughable claim that Israel doesn't toture. You're making all the right enemies B. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: ran | Sep 6, 2013 1:42:49 PM | 36

Imagine if the UN team report that there were no chemical weapons used at all after Obama have start his bombing, what a blow that would be to the warmongers and their lies! Maybe naive but remember that UN the first Days said that they couldnt what/if chemicals had been used.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 1:46:02 PM | 37

The scenario of a U.S.-Russia clash over Syria is not outlandish. It happened before in Kosovo in the race to take control of the Pristina airport. It was fortunate that Gen. Mike Jackson refused NATO Commander Wesley Clark's orders to escalate the situation with the famous words, "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you."

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 6, 2013 1:46:16 PM | 38

@annie @27 - i'm not seeing a video at that link b.

scroll down, at the end of the post, takes a few seconds to load

@pirouz_2
1)Do you really find the idea of Iran staging an attack against "the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Pakistan" realistic?

2)Do you really believe that if Iran were so bold, that it would succeed in making a "surprise attack" and destroy a carrier strike group?

3)Do you really think that Syria will send over what ever military asset that it has against those 4 destroyers in mediter. sea? And if they do, do you really see them as having any chance of hitting them successfully?

1. not likely, I'd expect a more covered response
2. possibly, some fast boats as diversion, than a strike from a plane, a submarine inbetween ..
3. Syria does not the means to attack those destroyers, Nasrallah though may have a trick or two up his sleaves

@Irshad @29
How do you think, the situation in Syria will play out with the US/Nato operations and withdrawal from Afghanistan?

If the U.S. goes all in on Syria the Pakistani route will get blocked and Russia will take care that the northern route is very slooooooooooooow to use - it is going to be a mess and very expeensive to fly all the stuff out

Posted by: b | Sep 6, 2013 1:48:42 PM | 39

US Hits Back at Putin ‘Liar’ Comment About Jackass
Matthew Lee, AP, Sep 5 2013

The State Dept is hitting back at what it calls false accusations that Putin made about Jackass Kerry. Putin accuses Jackass of lying about the extent of AQ in Syria. State Dept spokeswoman Jen Pisski says Jackass is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam war and has had more than words aimed at him. Pisski says Jackass is not losing sleep because of Putin’s quote preposterous comment that was based on an inaccurate rendering of what Jackass said. Putin said Wednesday that Jackass lied about AQ in Syria after Jackass told Congress the Syrian opposition was becoming more moderate.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 6, 2013 1:56:12 PM | 40

39) b. What you say does not sound like there will be war, does it? Plus

Reuters:France to await U.N. inspector report before Syria action: Hollande

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 1:57:26 PM | 41

Dont care about this "laura rozen" shes been an eager warmonger on behalf of american, israeli and sunni gulf states for years.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 2:08:38 PM | 42

Next month?
Obama now faces a timeline that may delay until next month -- after the seven-day opening of general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York that starts Sept. 24 -- an attack that he has said would be “limited in duration and scope” to punish the Syrian government and to reinforce an international norm against “heinous acts.”

Posted by: Maracatu | Sep 6, 2013 2:08:50 PM | 43

I am by no means an expert on sea warfare, but these days there are many means to sink a ship, including so called sleeper torpedoes. Dropped from helicopters, surface ships or submarines ages ago, slightly buried in the sea bed, say the Persian Gulf or somewhere off the Syrian coast in the Med, just waiting on coordinates for targets within range and an 'engage' signal. Extremely hard to defend against, as there is no attacking platform on the target ships' radar.

Now what if suddenly two US destroyers blow up, with no one claiming the kill, who are they gonna blame? Those sleeper torps could have been placed there many months ago by anyone, meaning Syria, Russia, Iran or China all can believably state it wasn't them who attacked.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Sep 6, 2013 2:33:42 PM | 44

I think Obama’s congressional gambit is as follows. He realizes that he won’t get the House to go along with his war. But if he can get just a third of the Senate (and he’ll probably get more) to vote for the AUMF, then he can withstand an impeachment trial brought by the House after he attacks. Those 33 Senators would be able to argue that they agreed with the decision to attack anyway, so there should be no impeachment. He won’t even need the AUMF to pass the senate. This is why he keeps referencing his “right” to attack without congressional authorization. If he cannot get at least a third of the Senate behind him, then he’d be toast if he started bombing.

Posted by: skuppers | Sep 6, 2013 2:38:26 PM | 45

General Dempsey has apparently warned John McCain that this Syria action could lead to a military confrontation with Iran or Russia, in which McCain dismissed Dempsey's claims as "disingenuous."

It seems the US military brass is in open revolt over the plan to attack Syria. In fact, they don't sound nearly as confident as some of the posters here who claim Russia won't do anything.

A Tomahawk striking the Russian embassy or the Israeli's attacking a Russian ship transporting goods to Syria or anything alone these lines could plunge the world into an apocalypse. Those who don't consider all angles or scenarios in war are setting themselves up for defeat. In war, things rarely go as one expects. We also still really don't know the endgame of what Russia and China are planning with their ship movements to the Mediterranean (outside of what they're telling us - which could be a smokescreen).

Posted by: RC | Sep 6, 2013 2:39:51 PM | 46

RC

Israel doesnt need to attack russian ships, they attack when the stuff reach syrian soil as they have Always done. If US starts bombing I think Russia would take home its embassy staff.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 2:51:52 PM | 47

11 G20 states mock logic by blaming syrian gov for the attack.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.545600

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2013 2:54:20 PM | 48

48) yep, they needed Spain to pass by and claim Gibraltar to make it 11 out of 20 :))

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 3:05:17 PM | 49

@Irshad #29:

Don Henry Ford Jr. posted it at The Agonist recently also. Here you go:

Why Climate Change May Be Responsible For The Horrors In Syria

If not the outright trigger, it's certainly a contributing factor. I've been reading Mr. Ford's posts at The Agonist, and his window on Texas and the climate/fracking issues. Seems Texas is ripe for just this kind of problem also. They've gotten almost no rain for several years in a row, and the fracking operations are sucking up lots of fresh water. Mr. Ford tells of crop failure and having to sell precious livestock to keep his farm afloat (his neighbors likewise, if they're lucky).

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 6, 2013 3:18:25 PM | 50

re 25 ahem, beg to differ. Not sure to whom that was directed.

My view is that there'll be a major crisis, not a major war. Obama could be forced to back down. If he loses in Congress, he's unlikely to persist and go to war. In that case AIPAC will be the loser, and a limit to their power will have been declared. If he wins in Congress, I suppose he will go to war, isolated. Syria will be reduced to a greater heap of rubble than it is. Russia will supply arms, but not go to war. The American future will depend on whether they take losses. I should think they will somewhere. If they do, pushing on to Iran will be more difficult. But that is too far ahead to predict.

The question, as usual, is back in the United States. How far can AIPAC et al push its case, against popular sentiment? If it wins without a problem, then that's also a statement about palace politics within the Beltway. Anyone within the Beltway can win, against popular sentiment. That's why it is a major crisis but not a major war. The US will be isolated, but if AIPAC is to be believed, who cares?

AIPAC has always wanted to conceal its activities, here they've lost the game. If Israel has any sense, they will pull back, in order to preserve their anonymity, and preserve their potential for the future.

The US will be left in the shit, of course.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 3:25:16 PM | 51

Laura Rozen, in Lawrence Wilkerson's phrase, "works for Israel."

Posted by: Dick Fitzgerald | Sep 6, 2013 3:45:17 PM | 52

You better believe AIPAC have got a trick or two left up their sleeves. Remember what I said about the Israeli technique of ventriloquism? When they appear to be speaking through the mouths of their US puppets? Well, here it is again, at the very inception of its perception management operational cycle. Watch this trend solidify and spread, from a vile entity called the Washington Free Beacon, a pure zionist front, into the mainstream:

Sources say the White House has been privately urging pro-Israel groups to call on Congress to support military force in Syria, ahead of a congressional vote that is expected to be close and contentious. AIPAC is mounting a lobbying effort in Congress, after the White House reached out to the organization for help, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday. In addition, the ADL, the AJC, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Republican Jewish Coalition publicly supported the authorization on Tuesday. J Street, the dovish Middle East activist group with close ties to the Obama administration, is still weighing whether to support an authorization for the use of military force in Syria. “We’re in internal discussions now,” a spokesperson for J Street told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday. The spokesperson said she had “no comment” on whether the Obama administration had been reaching out to J Street on the Syria issue. “The White House went to a lot of pro-Israel groups and asked them to do a solid for the President,” said one official at a Washington-based Jewish organization. Still, sources say Syria is not a priority for the pro-Israel lobby. “Syria is not an ‘Israel issue,”’ the official added. “But if you put sensible pro-Israel groups on the spot like the administration did, they’ll do the math and draw the obvious conclusions." (Source)

What the bitch has done is reverse the polarity on the Daily Beast story. If you want to know who the bitch is, here's the story: Alana Goodman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, she was assistant online editor at Commentary. She has written for the Weekly Standard, the NY Post and the Washington Examiner. So this is the real core, and you can see how precise and purposive it is. The Daily Beast said this, in fact:
A senior official at AIPAC tells The Daily Beast that the organization’s leadership received a phone call from a senior White House official on Saturday, after the president’s surprise announcement that he would be seeking congressional authorization for a Syria strike, asking what AIPAC's position would be on a congressional resolution. This official said the lobby received similar calls from Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. The senior AIPAC official said the conversation with the White House was informational. “‘Where are you going to be on this?’ That was a similar message that came from the Hill as well,” this official said in describing the call from the White House and congressional leaders. “It was not so much an ask as much as an inquiry of where you are going to be.” But, this official also said, the message was clear that AIPAC’s participation in the lobbying effort to pass the authorization “would be helpful.” (Source)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 6, 2013 3:45:40 PM | 53

Everyday the deceit of puppet Obama expands. The candidate of the “Rule of Law” ignores the Constitution and wants to unilaterally start his 2nd unauthorized war. One must ask if this President who was fine with double tap strikes on funeral mourners of his drone strike victims is truly concerned about humanitarianism in Syria, or is there an ulterior motive? Again, this is happening in the Middle East with its oil resources and its supposed implications on Israeli security as envisioned by Netanyahu, and after worse atrocities have occurred in many resource poor countries without any such action. And truth be told, if one is killed by one of Obama’s drone strikes or a cluster bombs, you’re just as dead as the chemical warfare victim. Obama’s outrage is an act to serve his monied interests 100%.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 6, 2013 3:47:04 PM | 54

If you like Moon of Alabama, make sure to read Vineyard of the Saker as well:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-tentative-survey-of-possible-us.html

The blogger has a very good handle on military strategy, global politics, and Russian foreign policy. Check out the link above -- it offers a very good survey of possible US military options, and of counter-strike options by Syria, Hezbollah and Iran.


Posted by: anon1234 | Sep 6, 2013 3:49:49 PM | 55

51) I don't think they will vote on it, it is too damaging. The game is up anyway, as Israel's (and Obama's) strategy was to help neither side in Syria but to prevent Assad (and Hezbollah, Iran) from winning so that all sides keep weakening each other.

That strategy is up as soon as Syria (Hezbollah, Iran, whoever) retaliates, as then the US either has to take the losses and withdraw, or gets drawn into a war it does not want. It gets worse if they retaliate in a way the US cannot withdraw from the war (raining rockets on Israel, closing the strait of Hormuz) but has to negotiate a stop.

So when Hezbollah, Syria, Russia did not back down but insisted they would retaliate that was it.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 3:51:28 PM | 56

@ 55

kind of rude to come to this forum and advertise your own, don't you think? And not very subtle. You could at least made a contribution by way of comment.

Posted by: crone | Sep 6, 2013 4:07:52 PM | 57

Alexno ask (51) How far can AIPAC push its case against popular sentiment?

AIPAC doesn't give a sh*t about popular sentiment in the USA. Their goal is to defend the interests of Israel, no matter what, even if it brings the whole world is in tatters.

Members of Congress are another matter. Of course they gladly accept AIPAC money, but money can't buy all votes and taxpayers are fed up with useless wars. I'm pretty sure many many people have told their representatives they won't vote for them if they vote for a new war and those elected know this too well.

More and more USaians are tired of ruining their economy and loosing their soldiers fighting Israel's ennemies. Maybe a We, the people, will stand one day and ask their government to stop taking Israel's interests before the interests of the USA.

Oh yes there will be a war, and a stupid one with dramatic consequences. The amateurism of the Omabomba administration is dismal.

The only way I see an end to this folly is for the US army to tell Omabomba and his acolytes that this war makes no sense and I suspect that will happen sooner than later, because many generals know too well that its a road to escalation. And what about the army ranks and files, who are not at ease with the prospect of fighting alongside Al Quaeda and its ramifications? Be sure that with the first casualties, there will be some sort of revolt.

Does America needs a Sisi?

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 6, 2013 4:07:56 PM | 58

Evidently this crisis is about two interests: 1) Israel and 2) Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi interest is being driven by Bandar ibn Sultan. The King is aged, and so the princes play their game. The princes, of whom there are 1000 at least, seem to support him, by fear of the Shi'a in the Eastern Province. The aim is to eliminate Shi'ism. The technique being used is the same as was used in 1921 and after to conquer the territory of Saudi Arabia, as it is now. That is, raise jihadis to do the work. Bandar scoffs that he knows how to control jihadis, but Syria and Iraq are different, and who knows what will happen if he's wrong?

So far, Asad has not hit back at Saudi. It would be easy to attack their infrastructure. The Angry Arab says, and I believe him, that Asad wants to retain good relations with Saudi, for hope of good relations in the future, and no doubt cash. However if Asad is desperate, for example following an American attack, he could go for it.

That's the problem of aggressive policies emanating from Saudi and the Gulf. It is quite easy to imagine how serious damage could be inflicted, without the US 5th fleet in Bahrain being able to do anything.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 4:21:08 PM | 59

Anonymous ---

You continue to miss my point.

In war there are always variables that don't pan out as they should. Israel has made threats to attack Russian transports in the past (also, there last attack failed to destroy the Yakonets, so they may opt for a different strategy next time --who knows??). Is this bluster? maybe, maybe not. It's the "maybe's" that are troublesome. Maybe the Russian Embassy will be empty or MAYBE NOT. MAYBE the Russians will take the bombing of their embassy as an act of war since attacking an embassy is like attack a countries actual territory. Don't you understand this? War is one big game of risk & unknowns and with the Mediterranean getting crowded with Russian, Chinese & American ships, the odds of something potentially going wrong goes up dramatically. I am not saying that Russia will actively seek to start a confrontation with the US, only that circumstances may force them to.

I don't disagree with your logic, only with your position that a confrontation is impossible when it most certainly isn't.

General Dempsey obviously considers a confrontation possible.

Posted by: RC | Sep 6, 2013 4:33:11 PM | 60

@ crone | 57

"kind of rude to come to this forum and advertise your own, don't you think? And not very subtle. You could at least made a contribution by way of comment."

I doubt VineyardSaker is his site, and links to good blogs are as much allowed to post as any other media. If we would start to filter, first should go Western media with 90% BS and 10% distorted semi-truth. Saker site provides good analysis and its worth to check it out as well. Good media is few and far in between these days.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 6, 2013 4:34:10 PM | 61

@57 the vineyard saker blog is a very good one and I doubt that is the blog author advertising here. IIRC, the blog owner wrote a guest post here several years ago.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 6, 2013 4:35:09 PM | 62

re 53 and 58. You better believe AIPAC have got a trick or two left up their sleeves.

Nobody doubts that. The question is whether it is in the interest of Israel to push it to the limit. Expose themselves, and their potential for the future will be reduced.

Also, it should not be forgotten that Netanyahu's interest is not actually to attack Iran, which he doesn't believe to be an existential threat, but to clear the territory around Israel, or to reduce it to confusion, so that ethnic cleansing of the West Bank can take place.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 4:37:46 PM | 63

with 9/11 around the corner, if there were to be any action, would US use that date?

interesting scenario on the war possibilities..

http://journal-neo.org/2013/09/04/rus-siriya-nakanune-agressii-ssha/

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 6, 2013 5:02:54 PM | 64

@61, 62 Harry and Lysander... point taken. Guess I was being protective of b when there was no need. Thanks

Posted by: crone | Sep 6, 2013 5:24:08 PM | 65

I wonder whether the AIPAC war vote is going to hold, there's really a lot of opposition.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 5:26:38 PM | 66

If the U.S. goes all in on Syria the Pakistani route will get blocked and Russia will take care that the northern route is very slooooooooooooow to use

Blah. you have repeated some version of this sentence for the past 10 years.

You ever push your chair away from your computer and throw up your hands and whisper to yourself that you really don't know what you are talking about?

Your "false flag" comments are risible. I keep returning for the German comedy.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 6, 2013 5:28:51 PM | 67

There are again and again attempts to paint Russia as traitors who will allow Syria to be destroyed. As only alternative those people paint a full fledged mil op. against zusa.

That is bullshit.

For a starter this is not a simple zusa vs. Syria scenario. There are multiple countries around and those wont ignore what happens in Syria. To aggravate the situation all but one (Iran) ofthose countries are more or less closely linked to zusa.

It seem quite likely, for instance, that the insane despotic turkey whore aka "prime minister" erdogan will enter Syria right after zusa finished their criminal attack. There, for instance, a clear Russian "Njet. Or else ..." might be extremely valuable for Syria.

At the same time one has to ask whether it would be Syrias best option to counter attack zusan forces. This is even more true when considering that those forces would do their job unwillingly. It might be wiser for Syrian to attack israel, the root of the problems which also is a more adequate adversary than zusa.

Iran again must not attack zusa directly, neither. It might be smarter and a lot cheaper to just immensely drive up the risks and costs for zusan assets to beor move in the region.

As for Russia, two things are absolutely clear:
- Syria is on a line at the end of which is Russia. Russia is the final target of zusa and sure enough, Russian leaders aren't stupid enough to just foolishly wait and pray. Let's face it: A war against Syria *is* also, to a degree, a war against Russia.
- One doesn't send a formidable flotilla just to observe. One doesn't send ships that were built to destroy zusa carrier groups as observers. One sends those as a statement and, if needed, to destroy carrier groups.

As for the tomahawks and zusas immense smartness to possibly fire them from 1000 km away, one might be well advised to remember that Russia has cruise missiles, too.

Last but not least one must not rely too much on zusa big mouth bragging and PR. *Fact* is that that zusa widely failed to win wars against weakened and militarily weak countries. It is just reasonable therefore to conclude that Syria would be too big a chunk to digest for zusa; Iran would turn into a bloody desaster for zusa. To even dream that zusa might stand a chance against Russia, is to be taken as a symptom of insanity.

Finally, zusa has no business in Syria; zusa security is not touched by Syria and the only imaginable danger, the terrorists, have been brought in, payed and staffed by zusa. This whole issue is about a crook who stupidly threw around red lines and the master crooks behind him who are the real drivers of all those wars - israel, the mass murder cancer.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 6, 2013 5:48:34 PM | 68

re slothrop. Could be that this will happen if it were not for the fact that the US is fighting for al-Qa'ida in Syria. A bizarre change, the Taliban will be very happy to have allies.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 6, 2013 5:54:32 PM | 69

@53

I was going to post on that nonsense, I'm glad someone else saw the risible nature of how it was the WH telling AIPAC what to do. As if.

From that bit of malarkey I think it can be inferred that they know they feel as if they're beginning to walk a fine line at least concerning public awareness/perception.

In the same vein, here's a link to AIPAC's Syria page where at the bottom you'll notice that the Daily Beast has been AIPAC's bitch-minion for some time with a story called "Assad's House of Torture" appearing last October. Oh those poor innocent protestors!

If you actually read the story you'll see that US Intelligence Front group Amnesty - who has been at the forefront of pushing anti-Assad propaganda from the get-go - is also featured prominently.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 6, 2013 5:59:48 PM | 70

Am seeing reports that Saudis are trying to bribe US officials and Congressmen to support an attack on Syria. THe list of the bribed could include Obama himself.

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 6, 2013 6:49:34 PM | 71

reports Xtian town Malooloa is free of ra infestation
http://syrianperspective.blogspot.ca/2013/09/first-post-september-6-2013-christian.html

also
mothe agnes on Ghoua video footage: fool me once!
http://rt.com/op-edge/mother-chemical-attack-footage-fraud-509/

Posted by: brian | Sep 6, 2013 6:52:54 PM | 72

WSJ: Wall Street Journal OR We Serve Jews?

Posted by: brian | Sep 6, 2013 6:58:41 PM | 73

Weird reports all over investment sites - initially supposedly from Al-Arabiya and then Bloomberg - about ANOTHER gas attack by Assad in Qabun but it appears that news sources are back-peddling. Many links/headlines have been scrubbed. Probably just some "savvy" investors making a quick buck before the close.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 6, 2013 7:17:17 PM | 74

nice to see a Billmon tweet. for some reason he blocked me on twitter, I think for asking if he was that Billmon.

Posted by: lizard | Sep 6, 2013 7:26:02 PM | 75

Just want take a moment before this weekend to dedicate a post to one of the most atrocious sources of Zionist propaganda in the "alt" press: (shitrag) Vice Magazine.

From the very very early stages of this Zionist backed coup in Syria this supposed "fashion"/counter-culture magazine/website has not let an issue go by without some propaganda promoting the Zionist line in this nonsense.

Although their anti-Assad push began nearly as soon as the conflict began in 2011, they really began cranking out the garbage in July of 2012 Vice including a weekly Syrian Slaughter Update which unceasingly painted the conflict as the Hitlerian Assad versus the plucky freedom fighters.

If you think that was bad, take a gander at Vice's Guide to Syria and their timeline of the "civil war" a Road To Ruin if you really want to puke.

Mind you, this mag is aimed precisely at people who don't spend much time thinking about foreign affairs so this propaganda push is even more offensive.

Vice Magazine: Zionist Shitrag.

Please if you know anyone who visits this shitrag site or reads the shitrag magazine stop them.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 6, 2013 7:44:06 PM | 76

@67:

Welcome back, sloth! Now, stand still and prepare for re-Neducation.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 6, 2013 7:56:39 PM | 77

Best thread of great threads of late. All great but I always value alexno because of your experience in the field. You know these creeps.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6, 2013 8:51:08 PM | 78

I sort of think that KSA is the weak link in USA long-term strategy, though. Am I alone in this?

Posted by: vladR | Sep 6, 2013 9:17:03 PM | 79

Assad must be removed he is a war criminal who has gassed his own people.
the anti israel fart brigade have failed to understand that gazprom will drop assad when a deal is made this week at the g20


Posted by: mace | Sep 6, 2013 9:20:16 PM | 80

Hey, the morons are back. The lobby is pulling out all stops now that slothrop is on the case.

Posted by: DM | Sep 6, 2013 9:29:24 PM | 81

@81. Are you saying disinformation follows Slothrop like V-2 falling from the London sky?

Posted by: Tazor Raoule | Sep 6, 2013 9:32:25 PM | 82

...V-2s, that is.

Posted by: Tazor Raoule | Sep 6, 2013 9:34:19 PM | 83

I'd say for MoA it's a sign of respect that whenever a major western propagandized event is happening, the trolls and sheer number of comments explodes. thanks b, as always.

Posted by: lizard | Sep 6, 2013 9:36:29 PM | 84

Why does Iran even have to retaliate by attacking US military forces?

Totally unnecessary.

Here's all they need to do:
1) BOOM! BANG! 237 tomahawk cruise missiles smack into Syria
2) Obama dusts off his hands and says "OK, I'm done, what's for dinner?"
3) Assad appeals for help coz', you know, that's a lotta' rubble to clean up.
4) Tehran says "Oh, sure. We have a cleanup team we can send: the 4th, 7th, and 23rd Armoured Division, plus 27 Infantry Division. They'll even bring their own shovels".
5) Within a month there are 227,000 Revolutionary Guard soldiers in Syria, and the "civil war" is over.

In **all** of that where, exactly, does Obama find an excuse to attack those Iranian soldiers? How - exactly - is he going to decry their "interference" in this civil war when HIS OWN ACTIONS have given them their justification for being there?

He doesn't. He went BANG! on Syria and Syria's ally Iran has come to help clean up the mess.

But the end result will be 227,000 Iranian soldiers + one battle-hardened Syrian Army + one really pissed-off dictator, and all of them looking over a fence at Israel and making Netanyahu very, very, very nervous.

Would this American adventurism look quite so smart then?

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 6, 2013 9:36:40 PM | 85

obama warned...

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/09/06/obama-warned-on-syrian-intel/

Posted by: Rd. | Sep 6, 2013 9:55:22 PM | 86

Brecht once titled a film of his "who owns the world?" I believe we're about to find out the answer to that question.

Are the owners of the world people like the Ketchup Prince? Wealthy, powerful, but ultimately empty and soulless? Or is it common humanity? People like the Syrian mothers and fathers who now rush to buy a few more things before the man made storm comes. People like the Iranian conscripts who, though they'd rather be home with their girlfriends, bravely man their bunkers not knowing what is coming. The people of the west whose peaceful options have been reduced to nothing but impotently holding up a sign saying they're against the hell about to be unleashed in their name. People, if I may be so bold, like you and me.

Fate has chosen the Syrian people, like it chose the Soviet people in the 1940s, to suffer in the face of the world's most powerful war machine. 100,000 have already died. Many more, undoubtedly, will. But they will die, like those 20,000,000 brave souls before them, as heroes.

It is the US that will suffer a fate worse than death: if it carries through with this act it will have lost its soul. It will have lost even what good, long seen through by its many victims, that it thought of itself. It will have lost the respect of even its own citizens. The final downfall of this colossal bully cannot be far off. We can only hope the world survives it.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6, 2013 10:12:48 PM | 87

Where is bevin I wonder?

I really would be interested to hear his thoughts about this important moment.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6, 2013 10:14:45 PM | 88

Brilliant: probably already posted but so important:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x_vusWz33c

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 6, 2013 10:20:24 PM | 89

Funny that you should ask! I have just got a new computer and it devours my posts as I make them.
I will keep this brief: the end of this long crisis, which goes back at least to 1991 is in sight. China and the Russians have, very cleverly, watched with, well masked, glee as Washington has destroyed its position.

First Bush, in 2003, produced the Iraq war debacle, whose consequences are daily evidencing themselves. Then, and it really must have astonished them, the United States put on a clinic in juvenile deceitfulness, over the top propaganda (black mercenaries on viagra raping... a racist fantasy right out of the Jim Crow South) which ended in, that most emblematic of American creole performances, a lynching accompanied by gratuitous sadism which was greeted by Hillary Clinton, no less, with guffaws of satisfied (but highly deviant) laughter.

After Libya it was just a matter of time before the White House once again asked the world for more rope in order to hang itself.

Russia and China must be sorely tempted to do what they did then and miss the Security Council vote. But they realise that they don't need to: if Obama isn't given the rope to hang himself he will take it anyway.
One thing is certain, in strategic terms, war against Syria will be disastrous both for the US government and for Israel.

It is very sad that the lives of millions of ordinary human beings are at the mercy of politicians and their corrupt apologists who really are utterly incompetent at anything except lying and conning their semi-zombie electorates.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 6, 2013 10:48:58 PM | 90

This Reuters article makes a valid point - that Saudi Arabia is pushing for regime change in Syria and Israel wants the parties to fight each other eternally.
So the different lobbies in Washington are fighting for different outcomes.
The article does not mention Turkey. Turkey presumbably wants regime change.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 6, 2013 10:51:24 PM | 91

Johnboy 85

thats an interesting thought but how do you get all those dudes and gear over to Syria?

skuppers 45

depends on how much heat those democratic senators are taking. With the AR15 Control flap (that seems so long ago now) Obama's hands were tied by a lot of Democratic senators in western and southern states who liked being reelected. In 2014 there are 33 senate spots up for grabs then and a military campaign going sour wouldn't go well for democrats. Of course, the midterms are a long way off but I don't think anyone here would expect the Syrian Adventure to be wrapped up quickly.

Posted by: heath | Sep 6, 2013 10:59:28 PM | 92

Well.....b....where's that 'ol "climb down" business that this fucking fraud Obama was supposed to be engaged in? I'm telling you folks, this guy was truly a trojan horse. He's just an extension of the murderous and satanic pieces of shit he was supposed to replace.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 6, 2013 11:03:51 PM | 93

@ 93 POA: " He's just an extension of the murderous and satanic pieces of shit he was supposed to replace."

Except for some social changes, yup, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

P.S. Welcome back slothrop.

Posted by: ben | Sep 6, 2013 11:16:34 PM | 94

@92 Well, they can tell Iraq that they are coming through regardless, so the Iraqi pm has the choice of AGREEING to that transit OR he can preside over the forth rending of his country by war in 30 years. His choice.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 6, 2013 11:22:36 PM | 95

somebody 91

the Turks thought they would be the big dicks but now they've ended up with severe STI

Posted by: heath | Sep 6, 2013 11:24:10 PM | 96

johnboy 95

The Eastern part isn't the problem, its the getting through Al Anbar that might prove to be a bit sticky.

Posted by: heath | Sep 6, 2013 11:30:11 PM | 97

bevin (90) is right.

But zusa isn't the first dictator of the world (as far as it was known then). All those dictators have sonmething in common: They tried to rule with an ever more hard fist. And they all were brought down sonner or later; usually not by direct confrontation but by cooperation of the weaker countries.

What we experience during the last years and now is simply the convulsions of a dying dictator who desperately tries to cling on power by every, really every means, no matter how brutal. zusa brutality in the end is just a reflection of its coming demise.

The real target, the target behind the obvious target is a people that has bent to its needs and weaponized everything, really everthing, the military, of course, politics, finances, media, laws, education. Their destiny is bound to be coming true what they invented and lied about for decades.

Putin on the other hand not only is an intelligent man and leader but also one with the human quality that is needed to understand that todays global world can only florish with multiple poles of power, ideally balancing each other.

zusa possibly was planned for to be one of those major powers albeit not anymore *the* power. bush and obama have worked hard to not make that happen. zusa will be brought (and bring itself) down and then broken to size so as to enjoy no more importance than Italy or Spain.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 6, 2013 11:55:22 PM | 98

Sharmine offers a few insider assessments (including one on Russia):
“existential for you, existential for me,”
wasn’t that one of abba’s big hits in the 1970s?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 6, 2013 11:59:16 PM | 99

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-04/adelson-new-obama-ally-as-jewish-groups-back-syria-strike.html
"Have Adelson and Hopey-Changey spent his own silverlings and poor his own precious blood to get ride of Assad. I don't want to gamble mine."

Posted by: Amir | Sep 7, 2013 12:07:05 AM | 100

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