Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 07, 2013

Senate Surrenders War Powers Over False Flag Incident

While U.S. citizens are calling their representatives to vote against AIPAC pressure and against a war on Syria and Iran the really problematic vote is more likely to happen in the Senate.

The Obama administration asked the Senate for an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack. That AUMF was already worded incredibly wide and would have allowed the president to wage unlimited war over all the Middle East and beyond.

But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was first to consult over the AUMF, partially made the already wide language of the Obama draft AUMF even wider and worse. It effectively surrenders all war powers to the office of the president.

While on first sight the body of the new AUMF (pdf) seems to limit the president's ability to wage war, a huge "Easter egg" was put into the preambling Whereas clauses. Here are the three critical ones which have to be seen in combination:

  • Whereas in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–175), Congress found that Syria’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the national security interests of the United States;
  • Whereas Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction and its conduct and actions constitute a grave threat to regional stability, world peace, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners;
  • Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to use force in order to defend the national security interests of the United States

That last whereas clause contradicts the constitution as well as the War Powers Resolution of 1973. It gives the president unlimited power to wage war anytime he finds the wobbly defined "national interest" of the United States endangered. It is huge blank check.

Why are the Senators on the verge of handing such power to the president? It makes life easier for them. It can push off their responsibility to decalre wars and blame the president when things go wrong. It is a dereliction of the Senate's duty.

While the AUMF looks likely to be defeated in the House, a positive vote in the Senate on these new presidential powers would be taken by this and future presidents as a precedent and would support any future case in which the president wants to go to war without consulting with Congress.

The citizens of the United States should concentrate on defeating this Senate vote. Call your Senators before you call your House members and ask them to vote against this overarching claim of presidential powers.

This is even more important now as the case of the "chemical attack" in Syria looks more and more fraudulent. A number of former intelligence officers have written to the president to warn him that the case has not been made, that the provided intelligence is fraudulent and that the incident in Syria was, as we maintained from the beginning, a false flag incident created by Saudi, Turkish and Israeli services:

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this.
...
Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you.
That the incident near Damascus was a false flag committed by the insurgents in Syria is also the stated opinion of the Russian Federation.

The Israeli plan for Syria is to keep up a lengthy war of attrition between the insurgency and the Syrian government:

“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”
As we said a year ago:
Destruction of the infrastructure, economy and social fabric of Syria is their and their supporters aim.
The Israeli plan of endless war in Syira also seems to be the plan the United States government supports. Balance both sides, provide weapons and support the insurgents when they are week, reduce support when they are winning, keep the war ongoing as long as possible and with the most possible damage:
"I don’t expect huge, huge change on the day after on the ground,” said the official, who is traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry to a meeting here with European Union foreign ministers on the Middle East.

“That grinding war of attrition will continue and the regime’s manpower shortages will continue to grow, but I would not expect a breakthrough on the ground.”

The war on and in Syria could stop within a few weeks if the United States and its allies would stop delivering weapons, ammunition and other support to the insurgency and would seriously seek a negotiated solution. But the United States will not do so as long as its strategy for the destruction of Syria is working.

The Syrian government and its supporters must recognize this. It is not enough to keep fighting the insurgents. The war must be pushed onto those who support them. The Jordan King Abdullah needs to feel under pressure to finally close down the CIA insurgency training camps within his country. The Turkish prime minister Erdogan is already in political trouble. This trouble needs to be reenforced to induce him to change his aims and to shut down any and all support for the insurgency. There are ways and means, not necessarily neat ones, to achieve such.

Posted by b on September 7, 2013 at 11:54 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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You spectularly missed the point bevin.

AA claims to be an Anti-Imperialist all the while attacking actual anti-Imperialists, fighting against real Imperialism.

He is, to all intents an purposes, little more than an effctive propagandist for the Imperislists themselves when he does so. All the while claiming to by Anti-Imperialist, and all from the safety of the the Empire itself

He probably got the 2nd-rate job in the 2nd rate institue preciscely because when he attacks the real actual Anti-Imperialists in his homeland and elsewhere in the region, he is essentially doing the work of the Imperialist themselves.

Surprising really that you misinterpreted to such a degree, what I said

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7 2013 22:53 utc | 101

@100

Nice to see another fake Anti-Imperialist at work ;-)

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7 2013 22:57 utc | 102

All those discussions are nice and all, but ...

if they have any chance, no matter how insane, to go zusa *will* go. Because their masters who bend and control media and public opinion, finance and pretty much all western politicians want it that way. Frankly, neither the "president" nor their "parliaments" have any say in that.

So, let them bring it on.

It would have been easier and more comfortable for Russia, China, Iran, and others if it happened some years later, with zusa even more weakened and Russias military even more enhanced but that's not a matter of choice.

So, let them bring it on.

The relevant question simply isn't "Should or will zusa go against Syria?". It is how to coordinate and how to implement the destruction of zusas mil. power, the crippling and maiming of zusa, and the termination of the dirty "country" behind all the evil.

All zusa has is basically their carrier groups. Sink them and zusa militarily is in a wheel chair. Their nuclear weapons won't help them; their missiles are less advanced than Russias and so is their air defense; they won't risk a step that is bound to leave them completely destroyed.
Their soldiers aren't worth much and their land forces will be ineffective with their navy crippled.

As Putin - unlike obama, kohn & accomplices - posesses human quality, zusas chances aren't bad to be offered a humnan deal along the lines of splitting the country in 4 to 6 pieces of which those who completely and unconditionally surrender may continue to exist albeit under strict surveillance. Of course the lifes of the people there won't be comfortable for a while as basically everything of value will go to Syria, Iran and many others to compensate for the unhumane cruelty and the criminal acts done by zusa during decades.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.
As for israel such gracious conditions can not be offered. It must be completely terminated and so must all zionists whereever they may be on this planet.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 7 2013 23:09 utc | 103

@103
Once again Mr. Pragma swings in to cheerlead for war and revenge. Not helpful.

Posted by: ess emm | Sep 7 2013 23:14 utc | 104

@ 104 ess emm

Mr Pragma is not cheerleading for war. I think Nasrallah summed it up best with his comment a few years ago when talking about Hezbollah's mindset. "We do not want war, but we crave it". A seemingly contradictory statement but it sums up the view. An expression that even though they would like to live in peace, the reality of Israel means war will always be on the cards. Hezbollah would never start a war, but once a war is inflicted on it, the resistance will respond.

I believe Mr Pragma is saying the same. No one here would seek a US war in Syria, but once the war starts as it likely will, the only option is to fight fire with fire.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 7 2013 23:39 utc | 105

Interesting take on whether or not Putin ordered plans drawn to attack Saudi Arabia.

2:52 p.m. September 6, 2013
Q: Is Putin Really Planning To Bomb Saudi Arabia?
By Mark Ames

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/putin-saudi-arabia/8cb6df719a291a2b57a654dc7260bebf4e43c40d/

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Sep 7 2013 23:46 utc | 106

@101 Give it a rest hmm. You must have spectacularly missed a few lessons on how to not to be such a fucking cock all the time.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2013 1:22 utc | 107

Excellent op-ed in the NY Times from Alan Grayson(Dem).

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/opinion/on-syria-vote-trust-but-verify.html?_r=0

He says that he can't discuss the classified summary, but does so in such a way that makes it pretty clear that he is deeply, deeply suspicious of the reason why he is not allowed to see the evidence.

As he points out: he has a security clearance, yet even his is being told to take this assessment "on trust".

That simply is not good enough.

The US intelligence community admits it can not CONFIRM that Assad attacked civilians with CWs. They a.d.m.i.t. that, and that alone should be enough to end the discussion about choosing to go to war against Syria.

This isn't a day at the races, where being "highly confident" about which nag is fastest is More Than Good Enough Reason to place your bets.

Obama is contemplating *going* *to* *war*, and being "Highly confident" about your reasons for doing so simply doesn't cut it.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 8 2013 2:08 utc | 108

And just to balance out Alan Grayson's sensible op-ed the NY Times also publishes this contemptible nonsense from Maureen Dowd:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/opinion/sunday/dowd-barrys-war-within.html?hp

Paragraph after paragraph of windbaggery until we finally get to the core: Obama has to strike Syria because otherwise the Israelis will be pissed.

And the USA Dare Not Piss Off The Israelis.

Holy Shit, Maureen. Just who is The Big Dawg in this relationship, and who is nought but the little waggy-thing whose closest point of attachment is that Dawg's Anus?

I must have this relationship the wrong way around, because in DowdLand who-wags-what is not at all what I have assumed it to be....

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 8 2013 3:05 utc | 109

"He is, to all intents an purposes, little more than an effctive propagandist for the Imperislists themselves when he does so. All the while claiming to by Anti-Imperialist, and all from the safety of the the Empire itself

"He probably got the 2nd-rate job in the 2nd rate institue preciscely because when he attacks the real actual Anti-Imperialists in his homeland and elsewhere in the region, he is essentially doing the work of the Imperialist themselves..."

Hmmm, it doesn't work that way. If it did he would be in a "first rate" job in a first rate institute.
Can't you see that? The bourgeoisie rewards its friends. You appear to dislike Asad, no doubt because you have studied the matter relentlessly, but leave it there. Don't tire yourself: the typos give it away, you need rest.

We will agree to disagree. I'm sure that the Angry Arab won't care but don't expect the Stanislas campus of the University of California to be so forgiving. You can cross them off any applications you might be mailing out.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 8 2013 3:34 utc | 110

Mr.Pragma, you should add "et Arabina Saudina" to your end salutation.

Posted by: Albertde | Sep 8 2013 3:36 utc | 111

Mr Angry has written some excellent pieces. I picked one out as especially good, just a month ago.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 4:04 utc | 112

@100 i'd say @99's post is more like +1000 (inflation dontcha know)

Posted by: Linda J | Sep 8 2013 4:18 utc | 113

Johan Galtung, "Syria's chemical aseiskun behind the United States"
Peace and Conflict Research's father, a Norwegian Johan Galtung says that the United States wants to strike Damascus before the UN Study report will be completed. And the reason.

Photo by Petri Kaipiainen At a time when the world wrestle with whether to punish the government of Syria to the use of chemical weapons, Johan Galtung calls to think about who is behind the use of chemical weapons actually is.

"I'm 99.9 percent sure that it was organized by the American covert operation."

When the claim says overscheduled, Galtung is responsible, it is much harder to say that the Assad administration did it.

"We must not forget that the Assad regime, said that UN investigators are welcome and that they are willing to supported its work."

The second criterion is that only a few days earlier at a secret meeting in France, Britain and the United States discussed the cruise missile shooting of Damascus.

"France and the United Kingdom said that the United Nations is expected to report to complete. United States of America did not want to wait. They knew what the report might reveal. "

And even before the UN inspectors were able to place in Damascus, communication machinery of the United States began a strong campaign, in which the message was that the evidence was failed to destroy so much already, that reliable information on the site can no longer obtain.

The experts disagreed.

"We all know that there was a used sarin, but who did it, the United States did not want to be settled."

Galtung points out that in 2003, the UN's fact-finding team made ​​it clear that there is not sufficient evidence of Saddam Hussein's WMD weapon, the United States settlement was not valid. Swedish Hans Blix , led by the UN team was thrown from the ground and the invasion of Iraq began.

And no weapons of mass destruction was ever found.

Afghanistan and Iraq experience has been so bad that the U.S. Armed Forces is now willing to send troops to Syria, says Galtung.

"The second best is to send someone else and pay them. To Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been suitable partners. "

The United States long-term plan

Peace and Conflict Research 82-year-old pioneer points out that he has been following the U.S. foreign policy in a very in-depth and at a high level for 50 years.

Department of Sociology and a PhD in mathematics has worked for decades as a researcher and pulled the peace negotiations and processes, focusing on non-governmental organizations.

Galtung believes that changing presidents of the United States, regardless of a clear long-term plan. Its mission is to safeguard the interests of the United States, and access to raw materials.

But these goals for the implementation of the country's leadership needs time and time again excuse, the functioning of which is measured by regular surveys of public opinion.

"As Afghanistan. As early as seven months before the 9/11 attack the United States had a clear plan to attack Afghanistan and had nothing to do with the Taliban. United States wanted an oil pipeline across the country. Even then, such as the Bagram base was already drawn on the map with the Americans. "

"I saw myself in Pakistan, the maps."

"When George W. Bush became suddenly a feminist who wanted to liberate Afghan women. And the invasion of Afghanistan began. "

China and Russia felt cheated

For that Russia and China have stood firmly alongside the Syrian government and the ruling torpedoed by the UN Security Council, was originally Galtung's view, little to do with Syria.

"Russia and China are extremely angry about what happened in Libya. They are not the UN Security Council voted in favor of using its veto. "

UN Security Council decided that the protection of civilians can be used as an air gun.

"But the purpose of the resolution was to protect civilians, not to change the government. China and Russia felt cheated. "

"And they do not want to experience it, never to be again."

Russia's problems in the etelähelmoissa as China's problems in Tibet are the toes in all activities with the protection of civilians will therefore follow the change of government. Who knows what would be next?

America does not want to send ground forces to Syria. Therefore, it is preparing an air attack.

Russia, it is a question of who does it can be used as represented by the area.

"The answer is, Hamas and Iran."

Russia and China's strong connection to Iran realized the little-known organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO through.

SCO was established in 2001 and its headquarters are located in Beijing. The members are Russia, China and four Central Asian states as members. Among other things, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have observer status.

"It is a silent military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, a kind of sequel, but a hundred times larger, and the focus is clearly more in the East. "

According to Galtung's SCO is one of the key factors in the power in the world today, even though the Western media talks about it a little bit.

It is also a bus, in which Russia and China agreed common policy in relation to international affairs. As Syria.

What was I broke the cardinal sin?

Galtung considers the situation in Egypt with concern.

According to him, the events are much more complex than what the public wanted to let you know.

Galtung believes that the U.S. and its allies in the eyes of the elected president , Mohamed I broke the cardinal sin was by no means the islamisoiminen but social reforms.

"Mursi wanted to industrialize the Suez area, create jobs, and he drove a strong social reforms, such as the minimum wage. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it sounded like socialism. They did everything they could to I broke out. "

Millions of Egyptians took to the streets to demand was I broke a difference, when the power cuts continued from day to day and petrol stations had no fuel.

The cops did not show up on the streets at their order and anarchy in the country was allowed to drain.

"It was not a coincidence that the same day that General al-Sisi came to power, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf Emirates gave Egypt $ 18 billion aid - and opened the oil taps."

Power cuts ended, the gasoline flowed into the tubing.

"They only did I broke it impossible for management."

Consistent analyzes have also Americans, journalists and researchers.

Political scientists have repeatedly warned that the Muslim Brotherhood Mursia denial and repression of demonstrations in support of the movement can lead to radicalization and Islamist terrorism in Egypt to rise.

This week in Cairo, the first car bomb exploded.
http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/jutut/ulkomaat/johan-galtung-syyrian-kemiallisen-aseiskun-takana-on-yhdysvallat

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2013 4:33 utc | 114

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7, 2013 4:22:28 PM | 80

joshua landis(jewish name?) no friend of syrians

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2013 4:36 utc | 115

#99/ +anyone I know.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 5:00 utc | 116

I totally called that final "Whereas."

Wait.

They're not reading this, are they...? *facepalm*

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 8 2013 5:16 utc | 117

Another LOL in the unfolding bluster-fest...

Kerry's latest non-sequitur is
"The number of countries which support a US attack on Syria has now reached double digits" - conveniently forgetting that:

1. Most of those 'countries' are in reality only the 'leaders' of pissy little faux democracies who habitually ignore the opinion of the people who elected them.
2. The number of Human Beings who oppose the US is a much bigger 10-digit number than the number of Zombies and Vampires who support it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 8 2013 5:35 utc | 118

@117 I assume he's talking about that G20 statement?

Surely not, since that tortured statement does NOT sanction any US attack on Syria.

Indeed, as written it doesn't offer support for the notion that anyone has any right to use force against anybody.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 8 2013 6:30 utc | 119

Interesting bit from Britain

When I joined the party I had this really strong instinct that it was the party of social justice and liberalism. It was the only party that operated in that space." But now, with the pressure of coalition bearing down on him, Teather, 39, says Clegg and his team react too easilyto immediate pressure to appease public opinion. "It is about the reactive pursuit of the latest poll irrespective of what is right and wrong.

"What really gets me is that we remove ourselves from any responsibility for forming public opinion … You achieve change not just through policy but by presenting arguments and having debate and leading debate, and using all the platforms you have in television, parliament, the media. All of those things form and respond to public opinion."

I guess responding to polls is state of the art statescraft. We have come a long way from manufacturing consent via Main Stream Media. Politicians basing their decisions on youtube videos anybody can produce cheaply signifies what?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 6:47 utc | 120

The Media push for war is now on, yep, they got Washington Post and New York Times on board, also the Israeli Press

For some reason they did not get AP

"Lingering Doubts Over Syria Gas Attack Evidence"

What's missing from the public record is direct proof, rather than circumstantial evidence, tying this to the regime.

The Obama administration, searching for support from a divided Congress and skeptical world leaders, says its own assessment is based mainly on satellite and signal intelligence, including indications in the three days prior to the attack that the regime was preparing to use poisonous gas.

But multiple requests to view that satellite imagery have been denied, though the administration produced copious amounts of satellite imagery earlier in the war to show the results of the Syrian regime's military onslaught. When asked Friday whether such imagery would be made available showing the Aug. 21 incident, a spokesman referred The Associated Press to a map produced by the White House last week that shows what officials say are the unconfirmed areas that were attacked.
...
"We can't get our heads around this — why would any commander agree to rocketing a suburb of Damascus with chemical weapons for only a very short-term tactical gain for what is a long-term disaster," said Charles Heyman, a former British military officer who edits The Armed Forces of the U.K., an authoritative bi-annual review of British forces.

Inconsistencies over the death toll and other details related to the attack also have fueled doubts among skeptics.

The Obama administration says 1,429 people died in 12 locations mostly east of the capital, an estimate close to the one put out by the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition. When asked for victims' names, however, the group provided a list of 395. On that list, some of the victims were identified by a first name only or said to be members of a certain family. There was no explanation for the hundreds of missing names.

In Ghouta, Majed Abu Ali, a spokesman for 17 clinics and field hospitals near Damascus, produced the same list, saying the hospitals were unable to identify all the dead.

Casualty estimates by other groups are far lower: The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it only counts victims identified by name, and that its current total stands at 502. It has questioned the U.S. number and urged the Obama administration to release the information its figure is based on. The AP also has repeatedly asked for clarification on those numbers.

The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders says it has not been able to update its initial Aug. 24 estimate of 355 killed because communication with those on the ground around Damascus is difficult. That estimate was based on reports from three hospitals in the area supported by the group.

Moreover, the group, whose initial report was cited in U.S. and British intelligence assessments, has rejected the use of it "as a justification for military action," adding in a disclaimer published on its website that the group does not have the capacity to identify the cause of the neurotoxic symptoms of patients nor the ability to determine responsibility for the attack.

...

But Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general who closely follows Syria's war, said it would be "political suicide" for the regime to commit such an act given Obama's warning. He also questioned U.S. assertions that the Syrian rebel fighters could not have launched sophisticated chemical weapons. He said that some among the estimated 70,000 defectors from the Syrian military, many of them now fighting for the opposition, could have been trained to use them.

"It is conceivable that one or more know how to fit a rocket or artillery shell with a chemical agent," said Jaber, who also heads the Beirut-based Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research. He claimed Syrian insurgents have acquired chemical weapons, bought from tribes in Libya after the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, through Saudi interlocutors. Other weapons from Libya have been used in the conflict, though Jaber did not offer evidence to support his chemical weapon claim.

Saudi Arabia has been a chief supporter of the opposition. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence, recently flew to Moscow, reportedly on a mission to get Russia ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 10:17 utc | 121

Strangely the NYT has a balanced article, for once
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/world/middleeast/syrian-refugees-reach-havens-in-lebanon.html

About my doubts on Le Figaro's scoop, it seems the 300 finally appear in the stats. Also notice that it says "many of them are Jordanians", which fits the reports saying that they had difficulties enroling people when they started the training.
http://www.syrianperspective.com/2013/09/first-post-september-7-2013-dayr.html

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2013 10:44 utc | 122

It gets very interesting indeed - business model bites back

The president hasn't won over liberal activist groups, either. The Associated Press reported late Saturday that MoveOn.org has spent "in the mid-five figures" to air a TV commercial urging Congress to oppose airstrikes against Syria. The 30-second ad, titled "Not Again," says the U.S. didn't set out to spend eight years at war in Iraq and a decade in Afghanistan and predicts the same thing will happen if Congress approves Obama's desired military action in Syria. The commercial concludes by telling Congress, "Don't lead us down this road again." Viewers are given a telephone number and urged to call Congress to voice opposition. MoveOn says the ad will air this week on MSNBC, with a heavier rotation around Obama's planned address to the nation Tuesday night. MoveOn was one of Obama's biggest campaign supporters, but Anna Galland, its executive director, told AP Saturday that the organization is following the will of its members. During a recent 24-hour vote, more than 70 percent of MoveOn's members came out against military strikes, she said. Galland said the group "will stand closely" with Obama on other issues, such as the implementation of his health care law. But on Syria, "we had a very clear mandate from our members to go out strongly on this," she said. "This is a big moment."

This here is a CNN discussion on the bias of media in favor of war - They think cable tv showing youtube atrocity videos will do it


Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 10:47 utc | 123

Got to be tackiest dept: "Bashar and Asma are a match made in hell because they feed one another’s needs to keep reality at bay. All marriages make psychological sense, even the ones that make for mass murder," says Dr Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. (Faux Nooz)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 10:47 utc | 124

122) Yep. That was yesterday though. They count on people not interested on Saturdays but having time on Sundays. It will be very interesting if the media is able to change public opinion, which seems to be set.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 11:11 utc | 125

German secret services offer a new twist"

According to a German spy boat on the Syrian coast Syrian army officers kept demanding to use chemical weapons from the Assad government, however were always denied. BND assumes mid level officers were responsible for the Damascus attack.
BND confirms a dramatic shift of rebel groups to Al Qaida, the FSA has lost all influence.

No I do not believe the spooks but it is a nice spike in the works.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 12:09 utc | 126

The paper quoted by the way is the one with the largest distribution in Germany.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 12:11 utc | 127

Bit late in the day. I have posted in this direction a few times before.

About the vids. I’m on the side of Assad who said ‘arbitrary videos’ (in his interview with the Figaro, Fr. newspaper.) and Putin though I forget his exact words, quote, this is total BS.

There is no evidence for the 21 aug. CW attack.

Slim, dodgy, unconvincing, etc. Basically what is out there is very odd, falsely dated, many fakes, very suspect vids of lovely little girls screaming “I am alive” and a LOT of distraction .. nothing solid ever.

The usual evidence is completely lacking.

No locales are credibly reported, that is as a match to some video footage.

One can’t goog X hospital or call them. Note that no journalist on the ground or not has done so.

No lists of deaths. No appeals for help in treating victims. No survivors suffering, needing treatment, evacuation to better places. No WHO statement, even if only with lame expertise and advice. No funerals, btw, while plenty of ‘dead’ bodies are shown.

No solid info about what was done, used and the antidotes (I’m no doctor) but on many vids docs talk about atropine. No living victims who report about their trials (actually there are 2 or 3 - very questionable...)

No evidence from chem. analysis of bodies, ground, clothes, etc. No (a few vids show that, heh) samples taken - note from my previous posts alleged CW attacks have been going on for more than a year in Syria, with the US mostly denying their veracity, but no clear analysis has seen the light of day, ever.

The UN inspectors are reported to be on the ground, but news about that is also made up..I expect no real evidence will ever clarify the matter.

So it is not a false flag, it is media hype, an invented propaganda event.

The attack is accepted as ‘real’ and the question is a blame-game, who is on the side of whom?

Possibly, on 21 Aug. imho, there was just one minor incident with tear gas or some panic making stuff, or some local scare with a bomb or whatever, or even some ‘attack’ that affected at most 20 ppl.

The US, France, Russia, the UN, everyone, all the secret services, knew that before I did. They all know it is fake.

This might have something to do with Cameron’s forced backtracking, beyond political jockeying, e.g. it is supposed or surmised that no real evidence will ever be found, and stating that it has been ‘destroyed’ or whatever will not appear credible.

After all, there will have to be lists of the dead, victims who can testify, doctors and hospitals same, forensic analysis, etc. Well, one would hope. My guess is that none of that will ever be forthcoming. I base that judgement partly on the fact that the MSM either do not state where the attack(s) occurred, beyond “Damascus” or quote wildly different places. It’s like the whole of Syria was gassed!

The Russians have (Sept. 4, 2013) come out in line with what I gleaned from the vids. The March 19 2013 alleged CW attack in Aleppo is the only one that is video documented with some high credibility. After it, the US denied it was a CW attack but changed it’s mind much later. (goog: Syria chemical attacks wiki.) The article from RT mentions identification of sarin.

http://rt.com/news/chemical-aleppo-findings-russia-417/

Here a curious article, just for fun, from the Mail online that uses purported US pre-knowledge of the attacks to bolster their existence (and throw a lot of red herrings into the mix.)

http://tinyurl.com/lylxgfe

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 8 2013 12:28 utc | 128

I was just reading another site and people were pointing out something I hadn't noticed yet.

The claimed attack was supposed to take place at 2am I believe.

Yet:

1. As far as I can see almost all of the children are in their day time clothes

2. Their parents aren't with them

3. Most areas in Syria that are overrun by the FSA terrorists are abandoned by families. Yet fighting had been going on for some time in these areas.

Along with people mentioning the one of videos' lighting indicates it was filmed in the middle of the day.

Sickening to see the mainstream Western media completely and utterly abdicate their responsibility and go all in with the war propaganda.

Posted by: Blinn | Sep 8 2013 12:42 utc | 129

And if you read the interview of Mother Agnes on RT, you will see that with an attack at 2-3 AM, Reuters manages to have pictures at 6 AM, showing people in other locations and not on the places of the supposed attacks.
There is no doubt a big event was needed to derail the UN mission. The 300 "rebels" crossing from Jordan that day were also part of the diversion and extra-pressure on the government, in a last attempt to help the rebels not being totally defeated in getting closer to Damascus.
It is 2003 all over again. As for Iraq, they know it's Sarin because they kept the bills.
http://rt.com/news/uk-sarin-syria-weapons-chemical-573/

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2013 12:59 utc | 130

Nice strike from the Pope in a massive prayer for peace which gathered apparently 100,000 people
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/81084/World/Region/Pope-hits-out-at-war-to-sell-arms-in-Syria-prayers.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2013 13:01 utc | 131

What happend with the del ponte report?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 8 2013 13:15 utc | 132

What you, Blinn at 129, probably don’t grasp, not that you pretend to do so, is that :

1) you are talking about images or vids that are undated and can’t be dated, except by going back in time and finding the same vid. posted before 21 Aug. This is hard work and nobody does it. Give it a shot, try it.

2) The scenes of ‘dead’ bodies, all children and men, are certainly in part arranged or faked. Some may be real, who knows...

So that they are wearing day clothes is suspicious, as I pointed out long ago.

What site(s) are you quoting exactly? Please link.

Heh I’m still pleased that some are paying attention!

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 8 2013 13:18 utc | 133

Haaretz has picked the German information up

Not the New York Times.

It is 9:20 in New York. Sunday starts.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 13:20 utc | 134

ah fun

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House asserted Sunday that a "common-sense test" rather than "irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence" makes the Syrian government responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response.

Huffington Post has picked the Reuters article up now but omits the sub-headline.

This is the Haaretz sub-headline

Commanders had been urging Assad for authorization to use chemical weapons for more than four months but hadn't received it, Bild reports based on intercepted radio messages.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 14:19 utc | 135

"The chief of staff of Germany's armed forces, General Volker Wieker, also told lawmakers the influence of al-Qaeda linked forces with within the rebels was becoming stronger and stronger."

Interesting... Maybe a little debate between the General and the Jackass is in order.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2013 14:24 utc | 136

I watched this asshole "White House spokesman" advocate "common sense conclusions". Does it escape the attention of these pieces of shit that if they cannot directly answer direct questions that "common sense" dictates that we assume they are lying through thier teeth? When the White House sends these inept stuttering jackasses out to speak to the masses, it doesn't exactly instill trust, does it? This guy, with his "common sense" horseshit was one of the worst I've seen yet. Its pretty bad when even the White House propaganda is of low quality and ineptly delivered. Can't they at least lie with a little competence?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 14:35 utc | 137

136:-)) Al Jazeera

However, in a joint news conference with Qatari foreign minister, Kerry acknowledged on Sunday that there is only a political solution to Syria's war, not a military one.

Kerry also said that the US is considering a French suggestion of possibly bringing the Syria issue back to the UN Security Council after UN inspectors who investigated claims of chemical weapons use have finished their report.

He said President Barack Obama had not yet made a decision on the issue.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 14:36 utc | 138

For the new German claims, I've gone back past Suddeutsche Zeitung to Bild am Sontag, where the claims originated, and found two stories with relevant paragraphs, both dated Sept 8, which I have translated as follows:

A German spy ship off the coast of Syria has reportedly overheard conversations between Assad and his commanders, in which the military has long demanded use of poison gas, while Assad has denied this. This changes nothing in the responsibility of the political leadership, but casts a new light on the relations of power in Syria. Could it be that the dictator’s ruling apparatus has less of a grip than previously assumed, and that crazed generals have defied his orders? (Link 1)

Commanders of the Syrian Army pushed for the use of chemical weapons months ago but Assad “consistently rejected” this and probably did not personally approve the use of poison gas of Aug 21. The report cited German security circles. Radio conversations were intercepted by the German spy ship “Oker” cruising off the coast of Syria. Syrian divisional and brigade commanders called on the Presidential Palace for the use of chemical weapons for around four months and over again in vain. (Link 2)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 14:38 utc | 139

139) no, your quotes are from FAZ, that is a different paper. This here is Süddeutsche concluding that August 21 attack was presumably not authorized by Assad, as he had always refused before.
Bild am Sonntag (BAMS) is print.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 14:52 utc | 140

more fun

PARIS, Sept 8 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the United States did not rule out the possibility of returning to the United Nations Security Council to secure a resolution on Syria once U.N. inspectors complete their report.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris with his Qatari counterpart Khaled al-Attiya, Kerry said President Barack Obama had yet to make a decision on the issue.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 14:56 utc | 141

Ah - and this here is the Jerusalem Post by the way piling it on - I wonder if AIPAC knows about it when lobbying congress

Desperation? Misplaced?

There are signs of desperation in the Obama-Kerry campaign to obtain support for an attack on Syria from the Congress, the public, and European governments.


Or is it a Kerry-Obama campaign?


The Secretary of State has been furthest out in his claims of a moral imperative, and now conjuring up a doubtful Munich comparison.


The Administration is also reaching out to AIPAC, in order to include Israel in Congressional thinking and create a connection between Syria's use of chemical weapons and Iran's development of nuclear weapons.


Munich might work with respect to Iran, but not with respect to Syria.


If the boys from Washington are serious, they would be preparing an attack on Iran rather than Syria.


Those who have followed several years' efforts to negotiate with Iran, and weigh Syria's use of chemical weapons against how the Iranian leadership has threatened Israel ought to reach a similar conclusion.


Ugly as they are, Syria's chemical weapons kill a thousand or so at a time, if wind and other weather conditions are appropriate. Iran's nuclear weapons--said by some to be 6 months or even less into the future--would multiply the casualties many times over.


Also in the White House campaign are the ugliest of videos showing civilians suffering from poison gas. These are being shown to Members of Congress and--via CNN--to the American public.


Remember the Tonkin Gulf incident, used by Lyndon Johnson to justify a major escalation of what John Kennedy began in Vietnam. Subsequent research found the story exaggerated or manufactured.


News from Russian media, also circulating from several sources on the Internet, is that a Jihadist brigade massacred a village of Syrian Christians.


How will that fit with Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who owe their seats to voters who take their Christianity seriously, who recognize that an American attack will help those Jihadists who also massacred Alawis, and would do the same to Assad and his family if they could?


Uzi Arad is a skeptical Israeli, as well as having been a senior figure in the Mossad and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. He reminds us that Syria is not a signatory to the agreement prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, or transfer of chemical weapons, that it is possible to read the earlier Geneva Convention of 1925 outlawing chemical weapons (which Syria has signed) as dealing only with their use in "warfare" against the army of another nation, and that the evidence to date does not show that Assad or anyone close to him ordered their use.


...

Israel and Jordan can also find themselves in the escalation that the US would have trouble ignoring. Various Syrians, Hezbollah, and Iranians have threatened Jordan because it is a staging point for American aggression, and Israel because of what it is. Both Jordan and Israel have put their forces at various levels of alert, but not against one another.

All told, there is a lot of explosive stuff already primed, while Barack Obama and John Kerry are playing with matches.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 15:04 utc | 142

Fareed Zakaria had that button-down, starch shirted zealot Zionist Bernard Levy on GPS. Of course that pompous ass BHLevy is FOR war with Syria. But does Zakaria really believe that pretentious fop and zealot Zionist makes a convincing argument with Americans and appears credible in any way selling the Zionist narrative? Thank you Zakaria! A whole lot of Americans are no doubt more convinced than ever that this potential strike is a very bad move for the U.S.

Posted by: kalithea | Sep 8 2013 15:12 utc | 143

143) As I said - no one wants war at home. There is a difference of interest of people who actually live in a place and warmongers abroad.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 15:16 utc | 144

Obama will start the war this week and he will do six interviews in the coming days to push his propaganda to max!


Pentagon adjusts plans for more intense attacks on Syria


The stepped-up military planning comes as President Obama and his aides prepared to press their own offensive to seek public support, as well as congressional votes for authorization to use military force to punish Assad's government for alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians last month.

Obama plans to blanket the nation's airwaves in coming days to make his case to a skeptical public. Aides say he will tape interviews Monday with the anchors of CBS, NBC and ABC, the three major broadcast networks, as well as with PBS, CNN and Fox News. He also will address the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday, the night before the full Senate is expected to vote.


http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-syria-strikes-20130908,0,6708714.story

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 8 2013 15:25 utc | 145

Somebody...

Are you still peddling the ridiculous notion that the Israelis are not chomping at the bit to incite us into attacking Syria?

I often wonder what kind of individual peddles a premise he KNOWS to be disengenuous in order to advance a political agenda. You want Israel to escape the blame for any disastrous outcome that may be the product of an American attack on Syria. So, you downplay Israel's role in inciting the attack, knowing full well that Israel is in fact lobbying for such an attack.

This manner of pressing an agenda has always intriqued me, particularly as it applies to Israel, and its lobbying activities through organizations such as AIPAC. Has it not occurred to you that agendas and policies that have to be defended with lies, exagerations, and false accusations of prejudice (pointing the 'ol "anti-semitism" finger) are very probably agendas and policies that do not deserve a defense? Frankly, I find your manner of debate despicable, but exactly the manner of debate I assume I will have to go up against whenever debating issues that involve Israel. I can think of no other issues that are argued so despicably, and so dishonestly, as those issues argued by the pro-Israel, pro-zionism, pro-AIPAC crowd. Your manner of debate throws away all inclusion of morality, integrity, or honor from being included in your side of the exchange.

Again, it really makes me wonder about what kind of individual engages in such an activity. If you have to lie and bullshit your way through a debate, whats the reward??

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 15:34 utc | 146

146) how do you explain the Jerusalem post article I quoted above?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 15:39 utc | 147

"how do you explain the Jerusalem post article I quoted above?"

I did just explain it.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 15:40 utc | 148

Somebody....

You presented us with an opinion piece written by a single Israeli.

In typically "somebody fashion", you expect us to consider that opinion piece a window into the official Israeli position. Do you really think wee are that ignorant?

I'd tell you go fuck yourself, but I am trying desperately to temper the expression of disdain I feel for people that engage in your particular brand of transparent horseshit.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 15:47 utc | 149

148)

sorry, but you din not explain a major Israeli paper arguing this

Also in the White House campaign are the ugliest of videos showing civilians suffering from poison gas. These are being shown to Members of Congress and--via CNN--to the American public.


Remember the Tonkin Gulf incident, used by Lyndon Johnson to justify a major escalation of what John Kennedy began in Vietnam. Subsequent research found the story exaggerated or manufactured.


News from Russian media, also circulating from several sources on the Internet, is that a Jihadist brigade massacred a village of Syrian Christians.


How will that fit with Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who owe their seats to voters who take their Christianity seriously, who recognize that an American attack will help those Jihadists who also massacred Alawis, and would do the same to Assad and his family if they could?


Uzi Arad is a skeptical Israeli, as well as having been a senior figure in the Mossad and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. He reminds us that Syria is not a signatory to the agreement prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, or transfer of chemical weapons, that it is possible to read the earlier Geneva Convention of 1925 outlawing chemical weapons (which Syria has signed) as dealing only with their use in "warfare" against the army of another nation, and that the evidence to date does not show that Assad or anyone close to him ordered their use.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 15:47 utc | 150

But BTW, somebody, keep it up. You are underscoring the validity of my opinion I expressed in post #146.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 15:50 utc | 151

@Somebody

Israel is notorious for playing both sides against the middle... see Syria, see Iraq ...

the Israel Lobby, in all its facets, has been exposed to the daylight... Americans are waking up to the fact that Israel wants this war with Syria, so that it can push US military to go forward, into Iran.

The JP is engaged in propaganda 24/7

Posted by: crone | Sep 8 2013 15:59 utc | 152

152) I know, their propaganda does not seem to help Kerry/Obama though at this precise moment?

In other news - Charlie Rose has interviewed Assad to be aired Monday - content so far

"WASHINGTON (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied in an interview with CBS television that he was behind a chemical attack last month and called on lawmakers to reject planned US military strikes, the US network said on Sunday.

"He denied that he had anything to do with the attack," CBS veteran correspondent Charlie Rose said, speaking after earlier interviewing Mr Assad in Syria.

"He denied that he knew there was a chemical attack, notwithstanding what has been said and notwithstanding the videotape. He said there's not enough evidence to make a conclusive judgment.

"The most important thing, as he says, is that 'there's no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people'," Mr Rose said.

Mr Assad's rare interview with an American network is to be aired on CBS on Monday."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 16:11 utc | 153

In the meantime Iran is enjoying life on the moral highground

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 16:24 utc | 154

Haaretz by the way is really unhelpful also.

Assad to CBS: No evidence I used chemical weapons against my people U.S. will ignite a fire across the Middle East if it attacks Syria, says new Iranian foreign minister.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 16:26 utc | 155

Questions mount? Love the use of "conspiracy theories", ugh...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2013/0908/Chemical-attacks-in-Syria.-Where-s-the-proof-Assad-was-responsible

Chemical attacks in Syria. Where’s the proof Assad was responsible?

So far, no convincing evidence has been made public proving that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of Syrian people. That has left the door open to alternate scenarios and conspiracy theories.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2013 16:36 utc | 156

Somebody vs POA: You should both have noted the fact that the story you are arguing about was not 'a JPost story' in the sense of either news or op-ed. It was a blog item. You should realise that for the commercial press, 'blogs' are pseudo personal items, not real personal items like our blogs are. Their function is to ventilate deviant, idiosyncratic, or contrarian views. Now we turn to the owner of this particular blog. Ira Sharkansky is Professor of Political Science at HUJI. That makes him one of the Ashkenazi elite, with its traditional heritage of pseudo-'Labour' politics. Now I shall give you summaries of his previous three blog posts.
On Sep 3 he wrote:

How we got here. The dramatic forth and back of Barack Obama on Syria has provoked a great deal of commentary and speculation about what's next. My own concerns are less with the unknown future, than with what the paths to the present might tell us about the forces likely to affect the next few days. Given the number of factors that influence any major event, I dismay of guessing what comes later. There are several sources influencing how we got to the confusion of this week about the US and Syria. Prominent in what should be considered are: (1) The ascendance of an aggressive element in Islam. (2) The ascendance of a militant "anti-terror" campaign, along with aspirations to reform Middle Eastern regimes, and then a reaction comprised of shock and fatigue shown by Americans and others. Obama's ambivalence with respect to Syria reflects not only his own personal concerns, but more widespread reactions apparent among many Americans. It is by no means certain that the US and others will abandon the Middle East or a war against terror. There are also signs of fatigue with looking after the interests of Israel, promoted by some with shrill accusations that the Jewish state has been responsible for all the problems.

On Sep 4 he wrote:
Where are we? The US is moving toward something in Syria. We are beholden to America, and evaluations of the President are problematic. Commentators tend to the critical of the American President, some of them well into the range of ridicule. Overall, Israeli writers are wary of an American President who seems to have accepted views of Islam that moderate Muslims have described for their faith. While he has repeated several times his commitment to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the center of gravity is somewhere between suspicious and doubtful.

On Sep 6 he wrote:
Complications. The Assad government, while clearly over the edge by virtue of targeting civilian populations with conventional and, from all the persuasive evidence, chemical weapons, is the established government trying to defend itself in a civil war, in which there are involved many outsiders as well as Syrian fighters, with recruitment, munitions, and training from a variety of foreign governments that include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and the US. It is certain that many of those outsiders are Islamic extremists. It is not certain whether Islamic extremists are the weightiest elements among opponents to the Assad regime, or whether they would be likely to control whatever government emerges to replace Assad. The greatest plus of the Assad government is that it is secular, and has a record of protecting the ethnic and religious minorities of Syria. Russia has shown signs of opposing Assad's use of chemical weapons, as well as Iran's development of nuclear weapons. One neat solution is for Russia and Assad to agree that Russian personnel will take charge of all chemical weapons and either neutralize them in Syria or take them out of the country.

Among the interest groups, one of the signs worthy of comment from an Israeli perspective is AIPAC's support of the President. According to an item in the J Post: "The powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington came out in support of the resolution in a statement issued earlier this week, but was expected to step-up its lobbying efforts, as the measure to attack Syria was thus far failing to muster a sufficient number of votes to pass in the House of Representatives. Some 250 Jewish leaders planned to make the case to lawmakers next week that failure to act in the face of Assad's use of chemical weapons would serve to embolden Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons." It's anybody's guess how this fits with the Israeli government's repeated assertions that it has no stake in the Syrian civil war. One possibility is that Israel is being Jewishly deceitful, and trying to save its cake and eat it too. Another possibility is that the AIPAC action demonstrates that the organization is more American than Israeli. It is not in Israel's pocket, and may be moved to demonstrate American patriotic inclinations by supporting the President in his moral crusade against evil weapons. Its leadership may think that this is in Israel's best interests, with or without the agreement of Israeli officials. Despite a headline, "Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria," a NYT article quotes no Israeli official in support of that position.


One could go even further back. But his pose is that of the detached academic. That's what the JPost pays him to exhibit: the view from the ivory tower of academia. He's not writing leaders, get it?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 16:50 utc | 157

To be honest, this is actually a major improvement for him.

"Typical somebody fashion" is actually to link to something that does not say at all, what he claims it says. Often, when it is not completely irrelevant, it says the exact opposite of what he claims.

So imo, congratulations are in order . . . .

"Well done, zomebody! You are at least bullshitting less regularly and less obviously"

Posted by: hmm | Sep 8 2013 17:11 utc | 158

149) they put top on the front page - from Chomsky - manufacturing consent -

CHOMSKY: It's basically an institutional analysis of the major media, what we call a propaganda model. We're talking primarily about the national media, those media that sort of set a general agenda that others more or less adhere to, to the extent that they even pay much attention to national or international affairs.

Now the elite media are sort of the agenda-setting media. That means The New York Times, The Washington Post, the major television channels, and so on. They set the general framework. Local media more or less adapt to their structure.

And they do this in all sorts of ways: by selection of topics, by distribution of concerns, by emphasis and framing of issues, by filtering of information, by bounding of debate within certain limits. They determine, they select, they shape, they control, they restrict -- in order to serve the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 17:43 utc | 159

The spokesman from Human Rights Watch makes clear its heavy bias.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooRICVYWHyQ&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2013 17:53 utc | 160

RT Arabic is reporting that the newly trained "rebels" continue to arrive from the Jordanian border, including Europeans, and that 180 have already been killed in the Ghuta.

So you can count the interviews, UN meetings and other press conferences as the never-ending "panem et circenses". The war has started 2 years ago against Syria, and because they are the West is losing it, they are ready for Armageddon. Boys will be boys.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2013 17:56 utc | 161

I wonder what are the opinions of ordinary Russians and Chineses about what's going on in Syria...

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 8 2013 18:09 utc | 162

The HRW toadie gives the "Assad kills 5000 civilians a month" line, a misrepresentation so patently false that even the clothier from Coventry wouldn't even try to put it forward.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2013 18:10 utc | 163

Mina, how popular us RT Arabic and how is its production quality compared to Al Jazeera or al Arabia?

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 8 2013 18:14 utc | 164

Daily Mirror UK

Syrian warplanes flee after testing defences at British air base in Cyprus Bombers had refused to respond to repeated attempts by the control tower at the UK’s Akrotiri air base to make radio contact

...

Officially Monday’s Syrian warplanes are still being classified as “unidentified aircraft”.

But the Su-24 is feared as the most dangerous aircraft in the former Soviet arsenal.

It is a low-level bomber with capabilities similar to those of the American F-111 but the Su-24 is lighter and more powerful.

It is capable of supersonic speeds at low level and is equipped with terrain-following radar and laser-designators for guided weapons. These features give the SU-24 the ability to streak towards enemy targets beneath radar and attack with pinpoint accuracy.

The Sukhoi Su-24s used by the Syrian Air Force are assigned to Assad’s 819 squadron and based at Tiyas air base.

I looked it up: A Tomahawk missile has a speed of 550 miles per hour those planes 1.400 mph.

But what do I know.


Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 18:24 utc | 165

The Daily Mirror

Sounds like lies to me

But whadda I know

Posted by: hmm | Sep 8 2013 18:42 utc | 166

guest77

Its Kenneth Roth, one could put a blindfold on and think this representing the Obama administration, he even politically criticized Russia(ns)!

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 8 2013 18:49 utc | 167

Hi Lysander,
I am not in the Middle East at the moment so I just check the healines of Arabic rt. But I think they have a very high quality of news and documentaries (and the journalists have an excellent level Arabic, kind of "above" MSA... you bet it's not anyone who can be bilingual Russian-Arabic). They do indulge in fake news at times though (remember when I posted that they announced something on Qandil the day of Morsi's fall which ended up not to be true) but I guess it's the rule now.
As for al Jazeera, people I know in Egypt have slowly moved away from it to watch the Iranian news channel in Arabic (can't remember the name)and the numerous Egyptian channels. Usually, when women watch TV, it is rather to watch the Turkish and Brazilian soaps. That's for my last stays there, around 4 times in the last two years.
Al Arabiyya has always been super low. Kind of Lebanese channels, with a lot of Lebanese journalists (they couldn't find many who could speak MSA in KSA it seems). Whenever it is politically motivated, they change into a "non-stop covering" (not of Bahrein or Yemen you guess).
I remember al Jazeera had some excellent documentaries, but I decided to boycott them after they started to bring in Qardawi and direct the people directly from Tahrir to Benghazi. At the same time they aired a documentary where they claimed that the Medina Constitution was the first constitution written in the history of humanity. That was enough!
RT is good too for live events and press conferences that remain uncovered elsewhere.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2013 18:53 utc | 168

166) I tend to agree with you, though I wonder what the intended effect is. My feeling is a few very small countries are getting very threatened and begin to freak out.

I also wonder if it was such a good idea to use John Mc Cain as surrogate

Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack

I mean a warmonger can survive many things but can he survive laughter?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 19:11 utc | 169

Syrian warplanes flee after testing defences at British air base in Cyprus Posted by: somebody | Sep 8, 2013 2:24:11 PM | 165
Yeah, it's lies, as hmm comments. A spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defence said: “The MoD can confirm that Typhoon Air Defence Aircraft operated from RAF Akrotiri on Monday to investigate unidentified aircraft to the east of Cyprus; the aircraft were flying legally in international airspace and no intercept was required.”

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 19:11 utc | 170

Today's Zaman interviews Turkey's former Foreign Minister

Former Turkish FM: Turkey moving away from solution without Assad

...

Turkey favored, since the beginning, a solution without Assad. I suggested to the decision makers in Turkey that if the international community tilts towards making Assad part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, Turkey should not oppose this consensus.

President Obama made it clear now that the aim of the US military action is not to oust Assad but to force him towards a negotiated solution. This may be an indication that the international community is moving towards supporting the Geneva II process. Turkey has also started moving away from its initial position and supporting, though reluctantly, the Geneva II process which means negotiating with Assad.

This is a welcome development for Turkey because the initial position exposed Turkey to further isolation in case it were to oppose a negotiated solution. A negotiated solution with Assad does not mean keeping Assad indefinitely in his present position. However, if the solution achieves the end of the bloodshed and initiates an acceptable democratization process, the remainder has to be left entirely to the Syrian people to decide.

Now, I do wonder, if the above is true and I am sure the Former Foreign Minister is well informed, can you demonize someone you plan to make part of the solution as murderer killing his own people with chemical weapons? Something has got to give.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 19:28 utc | 171

You remember I noted DEBKAfile saying "Russia and Iran are already getting set to replenish by air and sea the losses the US air and missile offensive is expected to inflict on the Syria military" versus JPost saying "Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan ruled out sending troops or weapons to Syria"? What I should have stressed was the equally explicit statement from Putin at the G-20: "‘Will we help Syria? We will. And we are already helping, we send arms." The fact that both these statements are equally categorical and were made in such swift succession (Dehghan on Thursday, Putin on Friday) suggests an agreement between the two, doesn't it?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 8 2013 19:36 utc | 173

172) Doesn't make sense. Kerry is trashing Assad in a way he won't be able to talk to him again. On the other hand Kerry won't be able to talk to Putin again. Maybe Obama will need another Foreign Minister.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 20:11 utc | 174

Seems to me the question for the war party is not so much how good a case they can make for intervention, but how bad a case. What is the lowest possible threshold of evidence that will allow them to proceed? They want to know this for all their future interventions.

Posted by: Browning | Sep 8 2013 20:17 utc | 175

@170 "The Daily Mirror wishes to apologize to the international community for publishing a false alarm in order to sell more papers."

Posted by: dh | Sep 8 2013 21:00 utc | 176

175) It is not going very well

America does not want to pick sides between two groups in Syria that hate us. America doesn't want any part of this one. Only politicians and defense contractors want this war.

Establishment Democrats and Republicans who are pushing for more American muscle in the Middle East keep talking about the need for America and the president to save face.

If they truly want to save face, they're should start with their own faces, not ours.

They're welcome to take their own faces to Syria and save them over there. And leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 21:03 utc | 177

#173....

I question not only why someone would cite DEBKA, but even why someone would bother to visit, read, or acknowledge DEBKA.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 21:03 utc | 178

BTW, Rowan, you have an extremely pretentious and seemingly narcissistic manner of expressing yourself, (never mind the actual content of your contributions, some of which that I definitely agree with).

I'm just curious if you're aware of your pretentious and high manner of expressing yourself, or if it is simply a component of your personality that hasn't been the target of any introspection, therefore unnoticed, (except by those who you so obviously consider yourself superior to).

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 21:12 utc | 179

176) Actually, some people in Britain seem to be itching for a fight. If they can construct an attack on British forces they can retaliate without parliament, probably. Or invoke NATO defense.

However, Cypriot newspapers cited reports by local air traffic control sources that the Syrian air force jets had been observed flying over the city of Famagusta well within North Cypriot airspace.

Last night one senior RAF source said: “As the delivery of six Typhoons would suggest, Atrokiri is on high readiness in case of any Syrian incursion.

“It seems that this incident may have been a case of a goad-and-probe sortie by a Syrian air force acting more brazenly than ever after recent inaction by the West.”

While all British activities within Syria were suspended after Parliament failed to support David Cameron’s vote for intervention, the UK is still involved in “non-kinetic” operations.

These are focused on electronic counter measures, monitoring Syrian air force movements and communication intercepts gathered at the British top-secret “Pluto” signals base on Mount Olympus.

...

More than 600 Royal Marines from 30 and 42 Commando units will arrive in Aqaba, Jordan, next week for planned war-games, kitted out with chemical warfare equipment.

Their numbers will include signallers from the Y Troop unit, mobile cyber war specialists attached to 3 Commando. Foreign Secretary William Hague was last night expected to meet resistance as he urged EU involvement at a meeting of European foreign ministers and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 21:22 utc | 180

@180 "some people in Britain seem to be itching for a fight." What else is new?

Posted by: dh | Sep 8 2013 21:26 utc | 181

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8, 2013 12:36:14 PM | 156


the MSM is feeling the winds of Change from Obama and smells disaster, hence their moment of truth! The game they play to lie to the publioc may have disastrous consequences. Even the NYT is feeling it:

Syria Video Turns the Debate on U.S. Intervention
by Lloyd Grove Sep 6, 2013 4:30 AM EDT
The tape made ‘New York Times’ editors sick. Lloyd Grove on the footage of a rebel slaughter that’s upended talk of an authorized U.S. intervention.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/06/syria-video-turns-the-debate-on-u-s-intervention.html

the Candidate for the Change You can Believe in is maybe delivering! but not in the way anyone expected

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2013 22:03 utc | 182

If this thing escalates due to Obama's obvious impending attack on Syria, (of course it will, because, after all, that is the unspoken plan), the British will have no choice but to jump into the fray (which is, also, part of the plan).

Netanyahu is creaming his jeans. Iran, here we come.

Wouldn't it be an irony if this lying sack of shit, Obama, (in league with the murderous racists captaining the Israeli ship of state), started WWIII right on the heels, (figuratively), of recieving the Nobel Peace Prize?

Egads, who woulda thought we'd end up here when Obama's marketeers were selling us this despicable fraud of a human being? I would never advocate for the assasination of a President. However, I am not beyond believing that one may be deserving of such a tragic end to thier tenure. This man is everything he claimed not to be. He has completely and irrevocably betrayed the trust of every American citizen that voted him into office. Using our "credibility" as an excuse, he is destroying what small vestige of credibility we had left after the crimes and deceptions of the Bush Administration. Does he actually think that the global community can fail to notice the glaring hypocricy of our current saber rattling, masqueraded as a concern for "human rights" and the rule of international law? Why aren't these fucking criminals like Rumsfeld and Cheney in prison for thier role in greasing the skids of Iraq's development of chemical weapons during the 80's? Why didn't we attack Israel with cruise missiles to punish Israel for its indiscriminate targeting of civilian populations in Lebanon and Gaza with White Phosphorous and cluster munitions? Why did we seek to marginalize, demonize, and ridicule Goldstone for his accurate reportage on the truth about Operation Cast Lead?

The rest of the world community does not form its opinions based on Fox News, Kerry's bullshit, or the pathetic blathering performed by these inept asshole "spokespersons" the White House sends out to stutter through White House briefings. Do these clowns in this Administration really think the global community is blind, deaf, and dumb?

So...although I cannot, and will not, hope that someone puts a .223 round through Obama's forehead Tuesday as he stands before us being everything he told us he wouldn't be....

....is it too much to hope that someone in the crowd has a shoe, an egg, or a tomato in thier arsenal? One can only hope.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 8 2013 22:04 utc | 183

'the UK is still involved in “non-kinetic” operations.'

that has to be the WORST euphemism ever invented!

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2013 22:04 utc | 184

183) shoe would be good.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2013 22:07 utc | 185

The zuk is in comfortable reach of Russias northern fleet. And the zuk is a rather insignificant "power" nowadays that just happens to insanely have ignored their significance going down during decades.

And it wouldn't even be a problem if zuk was bombed into oblivion. zusa would find some other toilet tissue to keep it's rear clean and in continental Europe one also could find another zusa cut-out, poland for instance; they seem to apply with fervour since years.

On the other hand, zusa is just increasing its speed on its way toward the abyss.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 8 2013 22:17 utc | 186

Interesting titbit from AP that I had not previously known:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/08/syria-chemical-attack-evidence_n_3890120.html?utm_hp_ref=world

"U.N. experts, who had been collecting tissue and other samples from victims in Ghouta, also visited the Mazzeh military hospital in Damascus, taking samples from injured soldier there."

I know that Syrian and Lebanese sources were reporting that Syrian soldiers had suffered CW symptoms when clearing out a rebel tunnel.

I didn't know that the UN gave that news enough credence to go and take samples from the soldiers who were involved.

Is this the first time that this hospital visit by the UN observers has been reported?

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 8 2013 22:39 utc | 187

@183

"Does he actually think that the global community can fail to notice the glaring hypocricy of our current saber rattling, masqueraded as a concern for "human rights" and the rule of international law?"

"Do these clowns in this Administration really think the global community is blind, deaf, and dumb?"

Arrogant Zionists f*cks don't care. Once they have sworn their allegiance to Israel - an overtly apartheid and genocidal state - nothing else seems to matter as concerns public perception as they are fully confident in their abilities and means in continuing to "create their own reality". I would add 9/11 to your litany of crimes that went unpunished as that was the one which - once they knew they had gotten away with it - set the stage for all of the smaller bits of "theater" much like what we are witnessing currently.

On a related note from an earlier thread: The concept of Jewish nationality is nonsense. Despite the academic contortions of Rowan to try and justify said ideas, the belief that a person can state that their ethnicity is derived from some line thousands of years long is laughable garbage. Believe me, as a half-Sumerian/half-Scythian (on my mother's side) no one seems to buy what I'm selling. It's all Zionist nonsense used to 1) keep the weapon of "anti-semitism" accusations viable when there is no Jewish race and 2) provide a conceptual foundation for the stealing of Palestinian land and the genocide of the indigenous people there. Everything else is academic bull-hockey.

Woody Allen said it best in "Deconstructing Harry":

"And if our parents converted... to Catholicism a month before you were born, we'd be Catholics."


Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 8 2013 23:00 utc | 188

PoA, 179

While I have not read each and every one of Rowan's posts, the ones I did read do not strike me as pretentious at all. Grammatically correct, properly spelled English that doesn't verbally attack anyone is not pretense. Also, I see no upside at all to picking fights with people who agree with you on the key topics. Save your energy for the Hasbarists (open or covert) and the trolls.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 8 2013 23:35 utc | 189

@POA " This man is everything he claimed not to be. He has completely and irrevocably betrayed the trust of every American citizen that voted him into office."

This pretty much says it all about this President. You got a hint the first time he said "if you want me to do something, you've got to push me" as though those people scouring the face of America to get people registered and to vote for him wasn't enough. Then when issues came up that people did what he asked - "pushed him" - his spokesperson called them "the professional left" and that they needed "to be drug tested" for believing in such wild things as kept campaign promises. Then when the Congressional loses of 2010 came, he didn't blame his utter failure to even attempt to do what he said, but rather again insulted those who had worked so hard to elect him in 2008.

This administration is the equivalent of sitting down to breakfast only to find the contents of your favorite box of cereal replaced with a dog turd.

And that was before this Syria business. This is just incredible. I'd put this move as more probably more dangerous for the country and certainly more disingenuous to the world - if hopefully in the end less destructive though time will tell - than even what Bush did in Iraq. Even with all the other betrayals, I seriously never thought it would come to this.

....

@179 Aw, that's not nice.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9 2013 0:03 utc | 190

"While I have not read each and every one of Rowan's posts, the ones I did read do not strike me as pretentious at all. Grammatically correct, properly spelled English that doesn't verbally attack anyone is not pretense. Also, I see no upside at all to picking fights with people who agree with you on the key topics. Save your energy for the Hasbarists (open or covert) and the trolls.'

Motion seconded. Rowan adds a lot to these discussions.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 9 2013 1:00 utc | 191

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 8, 2013 6:39:12 PM | 187


depends what they do with that? will they mix up what came frmo where?

Posted by: brian | Sep 9 2013 1:47 utc | 192

Do I know I'm deferential or whatever the man said? Yes, of course I do. Now this is remarkable:

The concept of Jewish nationality is nonsense. Despite the academic contortions of Rowan to try and justify said ideas, the belief that a person can state that their ethnicity is derived from some line thousands of years long is laughable garbage. Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 8, 2013 7:00:21 PM | 188

That's a complete nonsequitur. Nothing that I said made any reference to ethnicity, whatever that is, or to race, which is what you are evidently thinking of. 'Nation' is a political concept, not an anthropological one or a biological one. People sometimes do not appreciate any more (and this is the first time in history this has been true) that the political is an irreducible field. You can't reduce it to something beneath itself. This is the philosophical illiteracy of the postmoderns on conspicuous display. Not your fault, JSorrentine, old boy. You can't know what is no longer available in your culture to be learned.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 9 2013 2:19 utc | 193

PS: I had intended to clarify something, but I forgot: it's commonly said that the concept of the 'nation' was not 'invented' until the French Revolution, and as far as the rest of us are concerned, that's possibly true. But the Jews invented it about 1400 years before the rest of us, thereby becoming 'Jews'. That, I am convinced, is the only way to understand the so-called 'Bible'. It is the charter of Jewish nationhood. The religion it propounds is the definition, possession, guarantee and stigma of Jewish nationhood, and it's intended to be ineradicable, though in fact it is no longer ineradicable, because it's certainly been possible since at least the time of Spinoza to be and remain a Jew while publicly rejecting 'Judaism'. It's even possible to be and to remain a Jew while publicly espousing Christianity, like Heine. And this is not because of 'race'. You can call it 'ethnicity' if you must, but in my opinion that's a weasel concept that explains nothing. I would prefer to call it nationality, meaning that as a properly political term. A possible definition might seem to be something like "a collective, self-perpetuating sense of shared identity," but then again, sometimes Jewishness is preserved in an individual not by any 'sense' of his or her own, but by ascription: the surrounding culture defines them as a Jew, so they are stuck with being one. It does not positively require a shared religion, territory, language, or even 'culture' as normally understood. It cannot be defined in any other terms but political ones, which are ex post facto, not a priori, precisely because it cannot be defined in terms of anything else but itself.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 9 2013 3:05 utc | 194

@193

Wow, what you said AND US$4.00 will buy me a gallon of gas!! Thanks, man!!

My favorite part about you trying to appear philosophically well-versed was your throwing in the word "culture" in the last sentence because everyone thinking person (yourself included) certainly agrees upon the definition of that word academically, huh? No, don't worry, old boy, that thing called consistency has finally made it's way over to the colonies! Cheerio!! Say no more.

If it makes you feel any better to split hairs about the terms "national identity", "ethnicity" and on down the line, that's great.

I like to flex in front of a mirror myself. But that's neither here nor there.

However, in the final analysis, although you pretend - or is your hiding behind "philosophy" authentic? - to be sincerely seeking a proper, more accurate "explanation", you are in reality futilely questing for the holy grail which from your earlier posts appears to be an overly ratiocinated proof for what we both know - how do you say? FULL WELL, is that it? - to be a chimerical; namely, that it is legitimate for those who adhere to the Jewish faith to claim a common history/ancestry that entitles them to be considered a "nation", "ethnicity", "race" - or whatever modern/postmodern/etc term you think is most applicable.

This is especially the case in our very real "post-modern" world where - stripped of the comforts of pedantic sophistry - ideas on "nationhood" (or what have you) has been systematically used to practice apartheid and genocide upon other very real people all the while said "nationhood"/race/ethnicity is used to crush any one who attempts to honestly address the situation.

Is that clear enough? Night.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 9 2013 3:07 utc | 195

@194

PS: what I said times in 195 x 10.

If you really are convincing yourself of something or feel you're coming closer to some sort of "truth" - now there's a word - go ahead.

But to the common person all of your philosophical wrangling is light years away when what we are talking about is this question:

Is is legitimate for Jewish people to claim "Jewish" as an ethnicity when you ask them? PS: I have many many friends and acquaintances who do so, so please let's agree on that.

No Heine, no 1400 years ago, no Derrida just:

When a person tells me they are Jewish by nationality is that REALLY a legitimate statement?

I say no as it defies common sense and really unfairly stretches what the majority of people - yes, in our post-modern world - would agree is a fair definition of the word "nationality" "ethnicity" or whatever other term people use.

Sure, an individual can twist oneself up in knots about everything but the realpolitik of what we're speaking to is what I think interests the people at this site.

Sorry, gotta go. Night.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 9 2013 3:20 utc | 196

#'s 189, 190, 191.....

Well, perhaps its my perception, (intuition?), that has me reading Rowan's tone as I do. It intriques me, BTW. I'm curious, (having but recently returned here to comment and not being privy to a lot of your nationalities and backgrounds), what Rowan's nationality and story is. My guess would be British, higher education, and blue blooded. Second guess would be Aussie, same sort of background. Then again, I may be waaaaay off base. Mayhaps Rowan will enlighten me. If an apology on my part is warranted, eventually I'd guess that that will become obvious to me. Certainly, I'm not there at this point, and it will probably be a while before I get there, if in fact I do. But I'm not shy about apologizing if I see the light about my own transgressions. Hopefully I've read Rowan wrong.

BTW, along the lines of "thats not nice", what happened to Don Bacon? I felt he got kinda a raw deal in that last debate he engaged in, even though I strongly disagreed with his position. Its too bad hmm accused him of deception, and b came down the way he did. I've interacted with Don Bacon for a number of years now, and have no doubts about his sincerity in arguing an issue. If he is arguing it, he believes in it. I'll miss his contribution here. If b kicked him out, I hope he'll reconsider. Or, if it was Don's choice, I hope he will reconsider as well.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 9 2013 3:20 utc | 197

@192 "depends what they do with that? will they mix up what came frmo where?"

Not if they follow the protocols from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Which I assume they have.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 9 2013 3:47 utc | 198

POA:
I appreciate your words. Really.
The whole thing was (is) going in a direction that doesn't suit me.
I go for truth. Truth rules. And so I shy away from religion,rants, baseless opinions and ad hominems.
And readers with a character problem.
(I've always had a soft spot for your rants, though. Really. Going back to Kervick and before.)
And I don't care who is the messenger. The message rules, no matter the source.

I stated what I thought was truth, with links to references, and got blasted.
Didn't I know that opinions trump truth? I should shut up. I will never do that.
No, I didn't, and don't.
When it goes that way, there are plenty of other blogs.
So that's me. Truth rules.

No big deal. Blogs swing that way and this.
MOA will swing back, and I'll be back.
It's not the first time.

I gravitated to some military blogs. You can imagine!
Combat ship procurement plans etc.
Not so exciting. But they are well-mannered.

Thanks again, J. You're such a softy. :-)
DB

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 9 2013 3:57 utc | 199

Dayam, Don, I was about to pile on POA's I'll miss his contribution here. If b kicked him out, I hope he'll reconsider. Or, if it was Don's choice, I hope he will reconsider as well.

*whew* Good thing I didn't have to...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 9 2013 4:08 utc | 200

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