Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 03, 2013

U.S. War On Syria Now Likely To Happen

The United States, France and Britain have made claims that they have evidence of chemical weapon use by the Syrian government against the Al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents.

But those were just claims. None of the claimed evidence has actually been produced. There are claims of satellite pictures showing the launch of rockets, there are claims about interdicted telephone calls between parts of the Syrian military, there are claims of "signatures of sarin" in bio-samples. None of these claimed evidences has been published and opened to public and expert scrutiny. The Russian government as well as the Syrian government allege that these claims of evidence are false. That no evidence exists because the alleged strike from the Syrian government never happened.

One would expect that the media, legislators and the public would demand that real evidence be produced. There is no sound reason to hold it back. The capabilities to get such evidence, should it exist, are well known. There is no need to protect "sources and methods". Still McClatchy, who were also excellent on the false claims about Iraq's WMDs, is the only media outlet asking questions.

That none of the claimed evidence has at all actually been produced tells me that, as I have maintained all along, there is none and that the incident was a false flag one.

The Syrian opposition is today in the process of presenting a "defector", a "medical examiner" with allegedly some knowledge about the incident. His codename is curveball.

Whatever - the truth does not matter anymore:

“The debate is shifting away from ‘Did he use chemical weapons?’ to ‘What should be done about it?’ ” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, a California Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, in an interview after the Monday conference call.

Obama has played the reluctant warrior who would only make a "punitive" strike on Syria that would not change the powers in the battlefield. But he then requested an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that has holes big enough to drive an army through and into Tehran. Why would he do so if he really would want to limit himself to a few strikes? Why would he press Congress to pass it? Obama is now also arguing that Iran, Hezbollah and the security of Israel are the real reasons why it is necessary to bomb the Syrian people. Already 16 month ago the President of the Russian Federation Putin had expected such bombing to happen:

At the time, Mr. Obama had no plans for military involvement in the civil war raging in the heart of the Middle East, but Mr. Putin did not believe that. In Mr. Putin’s view, the United States wanted only to meddle in places where it had no business, fomenting revolutions to install governments friendly to Washington.
Well, the plans to attack Syria are indeed quite old and Putin surely knew about them.

The AUMF will be rewritten by the House and the Senate and will then be a bit more restricted than the Obama draft. It will likely still be wide and vague enough for the Obama administration and its successor to justify any and all bombing in the Middle East they would ever like to do. It will likely, like Obama's draft, allow for a war on Iran. From the perspective of the Israel lobby and many in Congress that would not be a bug in the AUMF, but a feature.

It is still difficult to estimate how the votes in Congress will go. There will silent but full force pressure from AIPAC, “the 800-pound gorilla in the room," to vote for war on Syria. One might expect the Senate to vote yes and the House to vote no. Unless the result is a very loud "No!" from both houses Obama will be ready, just as Kerry has announced, to ignore it. I for now expect that strikes will happen and that the situation will escalate from there.

Like the Syrian President Assad I see no way that any outright military strike by the United States against Syria would not escalate into some bigger and probably huge conflagration. While many would get killed and maimed there is one aspect to this that might be positive. President Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski thinks that such a widening war would be the end of Israel as the Zionist entity:

It will simply do to Israel what some of the wars have done to us on a smaller scale. Attrite it, tire it, fatigue it, demoralize it, cause emigration of the best and the first, and then some sort of cataclysm at the end which cannot be predicted at this stage because we don’t know who will have what by when. And after all, Iran is next door. It might have some nuclear capability. Suppose the Israelis knock it off. What about Pakistan and others? The notion that one can control a region from a very strong and motivated country, but of only six million people, is simply a wild dream.

Posted by b on September 3, 2013 at 12:58 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Posted by: vaclav | Sep 3, 2013 9:06:53 PM | 91

democrats have been the party of choice for many jews

Posted by: brian | Sep 4 2013 1:33 utc | 101

The Yakhonts are the main reason that the "limited intervention" rhetoric may be true. Those missiles will sink ships, there is no question. So the common carrier group tactics simply can't be used, unless the US wants to lose some carrier support ships.

If you look for what NATO and Israel fear, look at the tactics of Israel and the FSA. Israeli jets attacked s-300 twice, and yakhonts once. FSA systematically targeted air defense bases throughout 2012.

Ballistic missiles are much safer, the stakes are much lower for everyone but the innocent people who'll suffer because of the loss of electricity/sewer/ whatever basic infrastructure.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 3, 2013 8:52:08 PM | 89

youve raised what may be a vital point: that the FSA target airdefence: why would rhey need to as they have no airforce! they must have been ordered to by their handlers

Posted by: brian | Sep 4 2013 1:37 utc | 102

@11

From the Gaurdian:


Defector?

A spokeswoman for the opposition Syrian National Coalition has confirmed that chemical weapons official from Aleppo is due to announce his defection to the opposition.

She said Abdel Tawwab Shahrou was head of forensics in Aleppo and has the details of a disputed chemical attack on the Khan al-Assal area in March.

The avid Syria blogger Eliot Higgins, aka Brown Moses, points to reports that Shahrou was reported to have been kidnapped by insurgents two weeks ago.

Syria Direct published reports Abdultawab Shahrour, today's defector, was kidnapped two weeks ago. Cover story? http://t.co/Ls05UmtLDl
— Brown Moses (@Brown_Moses) September 3, 2013

http://www.theguardian.com/world/middle-east-live/2013/sep/03/syria-crisis-2-million-refugees-live


If that's the case, he's probably been beaten/tortured too much to trot out in front of the media just yet.
Maybe they got his kids too.

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 4 2013 1:43 utc | 103

Here's the kind of assistance Iran can provide Syria at this critical moment without getting in too much of a "jam", excuse the pun.:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30026.htm

And no doubt Syria needs this technology now; cause no doubt someone's watching everything.

Posted by: kalithea | Sep 4 2013 1:53 utc | 104

kalithea @103 Well, Putin is definitely watching what's going on... Russia Defense Ministry Warns About ‘Playing With Arms’ After Israel Launch...

...Hours after Israel admitted to firing “ballistic targets” that resembled missiles in the Mediterranean, a launch that the country did not priorly announce, Russia’s Defense Ministry spoke out against “playing with arms and missiles” in such a “volatile” region.

“Is there any other region more volatile and packed with weapons today?” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told journalists. “I don’t completely understand how someone could play with arms and missiles in that region today.”

Antonov called on those who launched the so-called missile-like targets to be more responsible for regional security and “not play with fire.”

“The Mediterranean is a powder keg,” he said. “A match is enough for fire to break out and possibly spread not only to neighboring states but to other world regions as well. I remind you that the Mediterranean is close to the borders of the Russian Federation.”

*ouch*

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 2:23 utc | 105

In which Brzezinski clearly suggests that Israel may use this chance to occupy Jordan.

Holy shit.

Heilbrunn: Your response earlier about Israel was quite fascinating. Do you think that if the region were to go up into greater upheaval, with a diminution of American influence, Israel would see an opportunity to consolidate its gains, or even make more radical ones if Jordan were to go up in flames?

Brzezinski: Yes, I know what you’re driving at. I think in the short run, it would probably create a larger Fortress Israel, because there would be no one in the way, so to speak. But it would be, first of all, a bloodbath (in different ways for different people), with some significant casualties for Israel as well. But the right-wingers will feel that’s a necessity of survival.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 4 2013 2:27 utc | 106

@ guest77 Unlike other anti ship missiles, yes it could be used on land, but it would be a waste of money and utility.

Like Harry pointed out, Syria has Iskanders and other theater missiles that are designed for land strikes.

@Brian 101

Yeah, it was very telling and came when they were calls for a no-fly-zone all the time. But don't give me credit, I think B or someone else pointed it out long before I noticed.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 4 2013 2:30 utc | 107

On the claim that those two sparrow missiles were launched as part of a "joint US Israel missile test", has the USA actually confirmed the "US half" of that "joint test"?

Because I was under the impression that the USA was a signatory to a protocol that requires the pre-announcement of missile tests that fly over shipping routes in case, you know, one of those missiles malfunctions and smacks into a container ship.

I'm pretty sure that's still true, in which case I can't see how the USA could have been involved in this "joint missile test" and NOT have told the Russians beforehand.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 2:38 utc | 108

Johnboy @107 That's exactly why Israel 'fessed up' to the crime, albeit 'reluctantly'...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 2:46 utc | 109

Btw, this is an itty-bitty step in the right direction by the Senate today... Senate resolution: No boots on the ground in Syria...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 2:51 utc | 110

@guest77 | 105
"In which Brzezinski clearly suggests that Israel may use this chance to occupy Jordan."

Its a very distant possibility, especially since its a puppet of US and PGCC.

But parts of Syria and Lebanon - absolutely. Israel is already expanding occupied territories, "buffer zone for the buffer zone." If Syria becomes a failed state, Israel will grab all they can eat, with UN looking the other way.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 4 2013 2:59 utc | 111

Harry @ 110 The Likud Charter has steadily pushed the 'East Bank' of the Jordan as the 'Palestinian State"...! 8-(

"The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs."[16]

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 3:08 utc | 112

"If Syria becomes a failed state, Israel will grab all they can eat, with UN looking the other way."

I somehow doubt that Syrians who have put up with two years of battling al Qaeda's head choppers are going to put up with some schmucks from Tel Aviv moving into their neighborhoods.

I've heard this a couple times now... that Israel may "choose" to "occupy Damascus". If they even have the balls to think about that for half a second they're crazier than I thought.
____

I don't think it's off topic to point out that Dennis Rodman has been sent off to North Korea to be Kim Jong Un's basketball court jester at this time of heightened hostilities.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 4 2013 3:11 utc | 113

guest77 @105 Exactly... But the right-wingers will feel that’s a necessity of survival... Of all RWers, of any stripe and color...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 3:17 utc | 114

masoud @ 90: Not just interesting, excellent query on the hypocrisy the US indulges in, with regards to international law. No doubt, you'll never get a response from Findler.

Posted by: ben | Sep 4 2013 3:25 utc | 115

@guest77 | 112

"I somehow doubt that Syrians who have put up with two years of battling al Qaeda's head choppers are going to put up with some schmucks from Tel Aviv moving into their neighborhoods.

I've heard this a couple times now... that Israel may "choose" to "occupy Damascus". If they even have the balls to think about that for half a second they're crazier than I thought."

Entire Syria or Damascus for that matter - no, but a chunk of the country - absolutely. They already took Golan, and expanding during this war. Thats not a theory, thats happening right now. If Syria collapses, Israel will grab a bigger region, not just "a buffer zone."

Posted by: Harry | Sep 4 2013 3:28 utc | 116

Brian @99 The four officers leaked information about a situation room, which was established by the Saudi Arabian defense minister, the CIA, and the Israeli intelligence agency the Mossad on Jordanian soil, the report said quoting a British diplomatic source.

The officers are also accused of providing the Syrian army with certain information about the routes, which Saudi militants used while entering Syria to fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The senior military officers were advisers to the chairman of Jordan’s chiefs of staff...

Let's not forget that JSOC has been very active in Jordan too...! I'll betcha Dempsey might rock the boat a bit tomorrow...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 3:32 utc | 117

As to the State of Jordan, the zionist view is invariably that all the Palestinians should be forced out of the West Bank into the State of Jordan, which obviously therefore has to be an Arab State, ruled by an Arab Ruler, otherwise it won't work. Perhaps there are people who are confusing the river with the state. As to the east bank of the river (not the whole State of Jordan, but a 'sliver' which happens to be the only useful bit, the rest being desert), I recall from some previous lifetime a song which used to be sung by Jabotinsky's Betar ziofascist youth movement, which went:

Two Banks has the Jordan –
This one is ours, and that one is as well.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 4 2013 4:04 utc | 118

guest77 (95)

Somewhat brutally simplifying, prettey every missile can be fired against pretty everything. However, as Crest correctly said, it is questionable whether it's wise to do so.

To attack a ship evidently requires quite different capabilities than, say, killing off an airplane and therefore the (tactical) value of missile systems is their specialization.

A for Iranian missile (and generally their weapons capabilities) I'm somewhat careful to not give too much for official statements. Don't get wrong, I profoundly respect the Iranians and it's almost magic what they have achieved, in particular when considering the circumstances.

My personal guess is that the Iranian weapons are usually better than their western equivalents (when we talk about misiles) but still inferior to the Russian equivalents. You see, it's not just the missile but a lot of other factors like satellite and other intel gathering capabilities - and in many of those Iran is still somewhat behind. I would actually assume that Russia makes money not only by selling their (export) weapons systems but by selling access to the necessary intelligence, too.
Syria, for instance, would, no matter what weapons it has, be quite lost without Russian intel.

One other point that doesn't get the attention it deserves is all those "cheap" and/or makeshift missiles e.g. of Hezbollah. For one, cheap and primitive or not, a certain amount of explosives has a certain effect, no matter whether carried by 5 mio$ missile or by a makeshift one. Furthermore and importantly often 1 high-tech missile and 100 cheap thingies are more powerful than 3 high-tech missiles. For a simple reason: those cheap things cost almost nothing and can blind/saturate defense systems such immensely increasing the tactical value of the expensive missiles on has.
I mention that because I'm sure it'll be a, possibly major, factor in any war against Syria. Actually a partnership between Syria and Hezbollah almost begs that combination, multiplying the power of both parties.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 4:21 utc | 119

Oh and btw, as I just mentioned it, a message to those who say, Russia does or will not help Syria.

Ask b, who knows about what he talks: Good intel is a battle half won. Bad intel is gonna cost you very, very dearly.

Russia must not necessarily enter the war officially (although I think at a certain point they'll do. After all, Russia is the final target of zioscum). Providing good, up to date intelligence to Syria will be extremely valuable by itself.
Another thing Russia could do is to sell Syria a good stock of mid level air defense systems. Those don't attract that much attention but can be very effective, particularly when 90% of the cruise missiles come from one direction (the sea).

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 4:30 utc | 120

The Russians sent a warning to the US after the 'Israel' missile test, by mentioning that they detected the test from Russia. So how soon after the dumbass Yankees launch their first Tomahawks against Syria will the Russians be aiming long range missiles, based in Russia, at the source of those missiles? My guess would be somewhere between 5 minutes and 15 minutes.

The favoured 'safe distance' strategy of the Yankees is insanely stupid. It's the same old base & bunker dopiness which has failed so many times in the past. In this case they're going to concentrate ALL of their missiles in no more that 12 locations (and possibly as few as 4 or 5) and then virtually advertise the location of each one.

Why aren't the Yankees mentioning the Russian Med fleet?
Could it be that they realise that it's just a diversion and the heavy-duty destruction will come from dozens of Russian military installations nowhere near the Med?

I'm interpreting Brzezinski's musings as a veiled warning that it's probably not a good time for Israeli's and Yankees to believe so much of their own bullshit.

The fact is that the Yankees tried to topple Assad using Jihadis as cowardly and incompetent as themselves and it didn't work. And now they're pissed off at being proven wrong. So their Plan B is to do something even more cowardly and stupid than Plan A.
Good luck with that Yankees. I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 4 2013 4:39 utc | 121

Judging from the quotes of Senators at the Hearing Jane has put out on firedoglake I really think Congress is going to vote NO. Then watch the monkeyshit fly, esp. since debt goes up $2B a day!
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/09/03/whip-list-tuesday-september-4/

Posted by: TikTok | Sep 4 2013 4:48 utc | 122

Hoarsewhisperer @120 I truly hope that Dempsey makes those factoids abundantly clear to the Senate/House dunderheads, in the Morrow...! I'd hate to see another Millennium Challenge nightmare scenario, the Pentagon can't just 'reset' the Nimitz...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 4:54 utc | 123

This topic of "yakhonts" keeps popping up more and more often. I understand pretty much zero from military matters, but I made a google search on Yakhont and Tomahawk. So far as I understand Tomahawk has a range of over 1000Km, Yakhont's range is only limited to 200-300Km.
So can someone with military knowledge explain to me, why these yakhonts in the hands of Syria, whose navy and air force is far inferior to that of USA, be a "threat" to the US destroyers which will be shooting the Tomahawks? Is there a viable possibility that Syrian ships and fighter jets (assuming that their jets can fire yakhonts) can approach the US navy war ships enough to fire the yakhonts?

I also hear some stuff regarding Syria having S-300. If Syria indeed has up-to-date S-300s (and I some how doubt that), then, having seen their performance against Israeli air raids on Syria in the past 2 years, I am glad the Russians did not sell us Iranians any S-300s!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 4 2013 5:17 utc | 124

@Pirouz_2 #123:

Others maybe can explain the technicals, but my feeling is that it's a target-rich area...one need not target any US ships to accomplish some goals.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 4 2013 5:42 utc | 125

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4, 2013 12:54:59 AM | 122

I'm interpreting the present situation as a variation on the Dog vs Cat stand-off. It prevails in households which keep both a dog and a cat as pets. They quickly reach an agreement along the lines...

"If you don't bite me, or my kittens, I won't scratch you."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 4 2013 6:14 utc | 126

The Russian president also said Moscow is committed to its military contracts with the Syrian government.

http://presstv.com/detail/2013/09/04/321979/putin-warns-against-action-on-syria/

Sell that S-300 already! Are Russia slow?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 4 2013 6:25 utc | 127

HW @125 "If you don't bite me, or my kittens, I won't scratch you."

*heh* Such a simple concept, eh...? ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 6:31 utc | 128

Hoarsewhisperer (120)

The Russians sent a warning to the US after the 'Israel' missile test, by mentioning that they detected the test from Russia. So how soon after the dumbass Yankees launch their first Tomahawks against Syria will the Russians be aiming long range missiles, based in Russia, at the source of those missiles?

I'm afraid your guess is wrong. Simple reason: The sweet spot is around 100 miles, max 180. Anything farther away asks for another, bigger, kind of missile ... and of course carries a by far higher price tag and some, partly major disadvantages.

And why should they - such engaging evidently as an official war party? It's way cheaper and more efficient - and elegant - to provide mid range missiles like Yakhont to Syria and/or Iran and to themselves stay a) an incalculable and b) very threatening risk.

Last but not least: A war is not necessarily an evolution the Russians must perceive negatively only. Syria will be very hard target and it's surrounded by zusa allies and colonies. A Syria war almost necessarily spreading into the region will harm zusa multiply. They themselves get weaker (with an already worn out military) also financially - and - their allies and colonies (some of which are vital to zusa) are basically bound to be badly harmed and broken. Feeding and supporting Syria (and Iran) might be an attractive way for Russia to breaking zusas neck.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm convinced that Russia wants to avoid war. But things being as they are, i.e. zusa maniacally going for war anyway, Russia has to ask herself what the best option is.

Another issue, just as example: Even if Russia engages, they must not necessarily do it in Syria. They could, for instance, probably together with China, hunt down and destroy zusa carrier groups. This would basically cripple zusa completely and would a) cut the Syria adventure short and b) allow to finish off zusa once and for all.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

The main target after all is to cripple or even terminate zusa and israel. Whatever the price, it will be cheaper than zusa staying its faschist course and the world taking it.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 6:35 utc | 129

Pirouz,

The Syrians do NOT have the S-300 systems - despite all the talk and claims from those of us who'd like this to be the case.

Also, comparing a Tomahawk to a Yakhonet is apples and oranges. One is an anti-ship missile (Yakhonet) and the other is a long range cruise missile (Tomahawk). The Russian KH-55 family is the direct competitor of the Tomahawk:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-55_(missile_family)

The KH-55/101 has a range of 2500-3000Km. The KH-102 is the nuclear armed variant and carries a single 200KT warhead. I do not know if Assad has any of these or not, but Iran has an arsenal of them which they could've transferred to Syria at some point.

Posted by: RC | Sep 4 2013 6:36 utc | 130

RC @129 Iran doesn't have a nuke package to even put on a KH-102, but, I don't doubt that they've given Assad the 2500-3000km stand-off advantage...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 6:46 utc | 131

The Syrians do NOT have the S-300 systems - despite all the talk and claims from those of us who'd like this to be the case.

Who says that? And: Is it true? Sure?

One should not forget the reason for Russia superiority in missiles: Decades ago they understood that they can get more bang for the buck and that it's military significant if the cost ratio is on your side.

An additional advantage: missile launchers can be reloaded, airplanes (or ships) not. Which translates to: For the price of 10 jets you get, say, 3 S-300 systems with 100 missiles ~ 90 enemy jets down, costing zusa sth. in the range of 5 billion $.

If Syria has S-300 they would be rightout stupid to brag. If they don't have them, that means nothing because it can change very quickly.

Ad tomahawk: Those are old and quite slow = easy targets. As almost everything in zusa arsenal they are grossly overestimated. And just btw. the Russian ships could kill them saying they thought they were meant against the Russian ships.

If you think zamericans are stupid you are 98% right. To think the same of Russians might prove quite deadly.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 6:54 utc | 132

"Also, comparing a Tomahawk to a Yakhonet is apples and oranges. "

Well, maybe, but it is an apt comparison nonetheless.

A US destroyer needs to get within 1,500km of Syria in order to fire a Tomahawk up Assad's arse.

That Assad could fire a Kh-55 an equivalent distance is irrelevant, since Assad can't aim one of those at that US destroyer.

He has to fire a Yakhont if he wants to sink that US destroyer, and if that ship insists on staying 1,500km away then Assad's missile will splutter and fall into the water before it gets much more that 1/10 of the distance.

That's simply a fact of life. It means that Assad has to find a way of either enticing that US destroyer to approach within 200km of the coast *or* he has to find a way of transporting a Yakhont another 1000km closer to that ship before he fires it.

I can't see how he can do either. The US Navy isn't stupid, even if their political leaders are...

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 7:16 utc | 133

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4, 2013 2:35:11 AM | 128

Spare me the stentorian Latin pronouncements.
Of course I could be wrong.
My position is that the Yankees won't attack Syria. I agree that the Russians aren't crazy enough to want a war with the USA. But there must be someone in the US capable of coming to grips with America's numerous short-comings as a wannabe Superpower. The pseudo-military rhetoric I post here is merely my best guess at why attacking Syria, with Russia taking a keen interest, isn't the smartest idea the Yankees have ever had.
Hope this helps.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 4 2013 7:24 utc | 134

125) Agree, they are in the phase of the dog showing off his muscles and the cat in a safe position under the bed (the dog is too big to get under there) giving an occasional hiss. If the dog gets too close the cat will get for its eyes. Sometimes you have to call your dog back because it is just too stupid.

Those Tomahawks from far away - Russia has just elegantly notified the US that there is a 1988

"Agreement Between The United States of America and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Notifications of Launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Agreement)"

the Agreement provides for notification, no less than 24 hours in advance, of the planned date, launch area, and area of impact for any launch of an ICBM or SLBM. The Agreement also provides that these notifications be provided through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers. The Agreement entered into force on the date it was signed.

That treaty covers all strategic missiles.

As far as I can see the US still has not invaded Cuba.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 7:38 utc | 135

Johnboy @132 Who's to say if it wasn't launched by the Russians, not a ship destroyer mind ya, but, an anti-missile missile...? They seem to be Johnny-on-the-spot lately...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:38 utc | 136

Johnboy @132 Who's to say if it wasn't launched by the Russians, not a ship destroyer mind ya, but, an anti-missile missile...? They seem to be Johnny-on-the-spot lately...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:38 utc | 137

@134 AFAIK Tomahawk cruise missiles are classed as tactical weapons, not strategic weapons. They certainly aren't "ICBMs".

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 7:44 utc | 138

somebody @134 How convenient that the Hasbarists fessed up to that serious 'violation' during a joint Israeli-US 'exercise,' eh...? 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:45 utc | 139

somebody @134 How convenient that the Hasbarists fessed up to that serious 'violation' during a joint Israeli-US 'exercise,' eh...? 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:45 utc | 140

My apologies for the double posts, y'all...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:46 utc | 141

@135 Well, yeah, and maybe the Russian navy will throw up a whopping big butterfly net to catch those tomahawks in mid-flight.

But both are equally unlikely events.

I imagine that the Russian navy will be on the lookout for Tomahawk's being launched, and from 1,500km that will mean that Assad would get well over an hour's notice of their arrival. Certainly a decapitation strike from the sea would be out of the question, and those Tomahawks will have to thread their way through an alert Syrian air defences.

But I can't imagine the Russians going beyond "Watch out! They're on their way!"

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 7:49 utc | 142

FYI, there is an excellent op-ed in today's NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/opinion/on-syria-a-un-vote-isnt-optional.html?hp

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 7:50 utc | 143

Johnboy @140 Why not, many of Assad's ADA batteries have Russians on site...! ;-)

I've had to endure many a Raytheon Rep during the early Patriot daze...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 7:57 utc | 144

I should add that Raytheon's Patriot system, Gen. III, or even IV, still couldn't hit the broadside of a barn...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 8:09 utc | 145

@118 Mr. Pragma

Your point about cost is very good. Very accurate munitions are useful if you're trying to take out command and control or stop an armored column penetrating through lines, if you're not, you're dropping gold plated bombs to blow up a sniper or an rpg team on a hill. And gold plated characterizes almost everything American military uses, even if they'd rather not.

So a few days of conflict not only exhaust their entire stockpile of missiles and bombs, forcing emergency resupply from the stockpiles from all their allies ( this has happened in ever single conflict, from Libya going back to Iraq 1), and it costs billions upon billions of dollars.

The entire Syrian army can operate for a year for less money than it costs the U.S. to operate strikes for a week. The U.S. has lots of money, for sure, but these things add up, especially when the public has no desire for war.

The Syrian Army has developed 'barrel bombs' which are basically barrels of high explosive dropped from a helicopter on rebel positions. These cost less than a couple thousand dollars and 2 or 3 dropped in the same area cause the same amount of damage as as a $222,000 gbu 15.

And you can step through equipment used and the costs of fielding units, and watch the costs pile up. It costs the US military an incredible amount of money to accomplish the simplest tasks, and Syria, taking its cues from Hezbollah and the also the lessons the Iranian Revolutionary Guard learned in Iraq, could fight the united states to a bloody standstill for pennies.

This is why the strikes will be nothing but missiles shot from 1000 miles away.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 4 2013 8:23 utc | 146

137) You are correct. It is part of the theater. I guess the Russians are making the point that they cannot distinguish what is on their radars and might mistakenly make a wrong move.
The "Mediterranean close to Russia" is fun, too.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 8:33 utc | 147

Crest @144 It costs the US military an incredible amount of money to accomplish the simplest tasks, and Syria, taking its cues from Hezbollah and the also the lessons the Iranian Revolutionary Guard learned in Iraq, could fight the united states to a bloody standstill for pennies.

I blame Rummy and Dickhead Cheney, KBR/Halliburton, alongside all the other MIC private contractors...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 8:34 utc | 148

I see a number of people here talking about AIPAC being against a strike? Well let AIPAC speak for itself:

AIPAC urges Congress to grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons. The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children.

Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass.

This is a critical moment when America must also send a forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hezbollah — both of whom have provided direct and extensive military support to Assad. The Syrian regime and its Iranian ally have repeatedly demonstrated that they will not respect civilized norms. That is why America must act, and why we must prevent further proliferation of unconventional weapons in this region.

America’s allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote. This critical decision comes at a time when Iran is racing toward obtaining nuclear capability. Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies. AIPAC maintains that it is imperative to adopt the resolution to authorize the use of force, and take a firm stand that the world’s most dangerous regimes cannot obtain and use the most dangerous weapons.


Posted by: William Bowles | Sep 4 2013 8:41 utc | 149

"In which Brzezinski clearly suggests that Israel may use this chance to occupy Jordan."

Its a very distant possibility, especially since its a puppet of US and PGCC.

But parts of Syria and Lebanon - absolutely. Israel is already expanding occupied territories, "buffer zone for the buffer zone." If Syria becomes a failed state, Israel will grab all they can eat, with UN looking the other way.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3, 2013 10:59:26 PM | 110

Jordan may get what it deserves: a deserved end, as it been willing to be used BY USrael reptiles who when finished will turn around and kill u: just ask Saddam!

Posted by: brian | Sep 4 2013 8:42 utc | 150

From the Russians:

Russian Forces on heightened alert - Antonov News | 04.09.2013 | 08:21 The Russian Federation has elevated the combat readiness of the Central Command Post of the General Staff and the control center for troops in Aerospace Defense due to missile tests in the Mediterranean, according to the Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoly Antonov.

He called the region a powder keg and warned that if a fire starts there, "it may spread not only to neighboring countries, but also to other regions of the world."

The launches in the Mediterranean Sea were carried out in the framework of joint tests between Israel and the United States.

The first reported detection of two ballistic missile launches in the area of the East Mediterranean Sea was by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

Antonov added that the Russian armed forces are closely monitoring everything that happens in the Mediterranean region.

Voice of Russia, RIA Novosti, TASS

Posted by: William Bowles | Sep 4 2013 8:43 utc | 151

Hoarsewhisperer (133)

Spare me the stentorian Latin pronouncements.
Of course I could be wrong.
My position is that the Yankees won't attack Syria. I agree that the Russians aren't crazy enough to want a war with the USA. But there must be someone in the US capable of coming to grips with America's numerous short-comings as a wannabe Superpower. The pseudo-military rhetoric I post here is merely my best guess at why attacking Syria, with Russia taking a keen interest, isn't the smartest idea the Yankees have ever had.
Hope this helps.

I'll spare you the modern version of Cato's as soon as the world is spared the plague (it btw. wasn't even directed specifically at you).

The tomahawk distance story isn't that simple.
For one, shorter distance = shorter travel time = shorter warning/reaction time. Now some smart guy might come up and say "Well, let's fire those tomahawks from Yakhont max distance + 20% from the closest Russian ship. He'd be less smart than he thought.
For Syria it doesn't make that much of a difference from where zusa navy fires the cruise missiles. The important point is the missiles that intercept them, no matter where they come from. Retaliation is another question and there are, I guess, 100.000+ zamericans in comfortable reach of Syria and Iran.
As for defense as in "those zusa ships must be destroyed so as to not anymore fire tomahawks" the cost ratio comes into play again. Considering that the Pantsir/Tor missiles that intercept the tomahawks cost hardly 5% of a tomahawk and that the zusa navy doesn't carry unlimited supplies, the cost ratio might be a better defense than trying to sink those zusa ships anyway.

The zamericans should have learned it by now but evidently they are too stupid. Wars are not won in the air but on the ground. And that's were they get damn bloody for the aggressor, too.

And again, the Russians are free to enter whenever they please, should they please, with no more effort than saying "A Russian citizen was attacked" or "we understand that zusa fired weapons against our ship". A smart Russian general might quite well think "let them bleed out in Syria first. Then we kill them off".

And btw, zamericans soldiers are worth close to nothing militarily. Just watch one of the many, many youtube movies with zamericans. You do not even need to put that next to Russia. Compare it with, say, German troups (Germany hardly being considered a major power); those German troups are *way* more professional and effective. The whole zusa military is based on one strategy only: to cowardly fight against a brutally weakened enemy and only when grossly outnumbering the enemy troups.
This will fail in Syria.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 8:48 utc | 152

146) Yep, it took them a while.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 8:54 utc | 153

In the meantime Haaretz is featuring Putin

"Putin warns Obama not to attack Syria without UN approval
Comparing evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use to intel on Iraq in 2003, Russian president threatens to supply advanced air-defense systems to Assad and elsewhere if America strikes."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 8:57 utc | 154

Crest (144)

You are right except for one point: zusa isn't rich anymore; they just behave like they still were.

Which leads us to zaudi arabia. Whoever kills those "royal" despot bastards will be celebrated on the zaudi streets by the saudi people. Should zaudi arabia (i.e. the zio traitor regime) fall, then zusa's dollar system which has been kept alive by force will completely break down.

This might actually more of a reason for zusa to stay away from a war. On the other hand with the zaudi regime already somewhat weakened it might as well be the reason for zusa to desperately attack Syria (and shortly after Iran) in the hope they could save their system.

Too bad when a despotic, criminal terror regime like zusa is basically depending on other despotic regimes to stay in power.

zusa will fall and fall soon, one way or the other.


Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 4 2013 8:58 utc | 155

Mr. Bowles @146 I seem to recall mentioning that the '800 lb gorilla in the room' has finally weighed in @75...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 8:59 utc | 156

somebody

Putin must step up now, S-300 to Syria and Iran!

Meanwhile, Obama have a chat with ADL and AIPAC

Pro-Israel groups back US military action against Syria
http://presstv.com/detail/2013/09/04/322008/jewish-lobbies-syria-attack/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 4 2013 9:01 utc | 157

In the meantime Haaretz is featuring Putin

You're certainly something, somebody...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 9:02 utc | 158

Gareth Porter went off today... How Intelligence Was Twisted to Support an Attack on Syria...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 4 2013 9:09 utc | 159

There was a closed session at the 2012 Herzliya Israel Security conference on the topis: If oil goes to $250 dollars a barrel, should Israel sell or keep its oil/gas? So, what might cause such an oil price spike?

Israel's intent is to sucker the US into taking the heat and the loss of lives over Syria, Lebanon and Iran. At the end of the day, if the oil economy goes sky-high, the US is dependent on imports, whilst Israel has its own substantial oil/gas reserves.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 4 2013 9:17 utc | 160

@155

The poor idiot is trying to pretend that "featuring Putin"= sending out a clear message that poor old "existentially threatened" Israel is populated by millions of Jewish peaceniks

Writing a straight forward news report on the comments of the leader of one of the largest nations in the world has somehow morphed in "featuring Putin"

The complete bastardisation of language and meaning this idiot engages in would be astounding were it not so laughably pathetic

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 9:21 utc | 161

154) Putin is adding insult to injury - from Russia Today

Russia is fulfilling arms contracts with Syria “because we believe that we are working with the legitimate government and we are violating neither international law, nor our obligations,” assured Putin, stressing that the UN had imposed no sanctions on the export of weapons to Syria.

He confirmed that Moscow has a signed contract with Damascus to deliver S-300 air defense missile complexes to Syria. The S-300 system is kind of outdated, said Putin, “though they might be a little better than Patriot missiles.”

Russia already has deployed S-400 and forthcoming S-500 systems, “[and] these are all certainly very efficient weapons,” Putin noted.

“We have a contract to supply S300 missiles, and we’ve already supplied some parts, but not all of it, because we decided to suspend the supplies for a while. But if we see international law being violated, we will reconsider our future actions, including supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world,” he promised.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 9:22 utc | 162

Following my @157:

Would the Israeli oil/gas platforms in the Eastern Med close to the Israeli shore form a suitable target for Assad's missiles if the US ships are out of range as others has suggested?

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 4 2013 9:28 utc | 163

A look at haaretz's world news page
hhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/world

Will also show that Haaretz is "featuring" amongst others

Mandela,
Cameron,
Rouhani,
Nidal Hasan

A lot of "featuring" for one small newsrag

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 9:28 utc | 164

I am quite fed up with russians half efforts to stop the war and now I see this...


[PUTIN] also said Russia "doesn't exclude" supporting a U.N. resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people.

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-putin-warns-west-syria-action-050109984--finance.html

Russia have itself to blame having nato bases around their state I would say.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 4 2013 9:43 utc | 165

@162 That's a smart play by Putin. He's essentially double-dog-daring John Kerry to come on over to the Security Council and be half the man that Colin Powell was.

Come on, Kerry, if you're so certain of yourself then mosey on up and thwack your thang on the table, all the better for everyone can see how big a dick you really are.

Putin KNOWS that the USA has nothing. Not a damn thing. He's so confident on that score that he can taunt Kerry by saying that IF Kerry really does have the goods on Assad THEN Russia will put its veto back in its pocket.

But Putin knows that Kerry has nothing and, what's more, Kerry knows that Putin knows that.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 9:56 utc | 166

160) I think Iran et al have reached military deterrence. It is a game of chicken now. It is lose lose for everybody or at-least-not-lose/at-least-not-lose for everybody meaning a power share.

I guess while this theater goes on there are furious negotiations in the background.

162) Russia is playing this well. The only way to agree on this between the main players is in the security council. The only way for the US to be integrated in an international framework is via the UN.
Putin gave many good reasons why this chemical weapons attack is unlikely to have happened the way US/GB/France describe. The way to prove this (or not) for the US is also via the UN.
Of course there has to be a UN resolution. This can be a very good thing if it leads to an agreement of disarmament for the whole of the Middle East and includes Israel and Israel borders.


Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 10:00 utc | 167

161) Yep, it is funny, isn't it. They do not feature Obama, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza, Hamas, Hezbollah .... :-))

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 10:03 utc | 168

@149 There would be no need for Putin to "manufacture" a reason to come in on Assad's behalf should Syria suffer an armed attack by the USA.

None whatsoever.

Article 51 of the UN Charter says: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual OR COLLECTIVE self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations"

So Putin can stay out of it if he wants. He is perfectly at liberty to do so.

But if Putin decides later that it's time for some One-In-All-In then all he needs to do is to prod Assad to squeak the word "Hellllp!" and according to Article 51 then Russia would be perfectly entitled to charge in to the "collective self-defence" of Syria against this armed attack from the USA.

That would be perfectly legal.
That would be completely legit.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 10:03 utc | 169

Retaliation is another question and there are, I guess, 100.000+ zamericans in comfortable reach of Syria and Iran.

There are nearly 2M citizens of ZNato working in that region, if the war is going to brake out then we will see those immigrants/migrants all rushing to leave. It has not happened!

Posted by: hans | Sep 4 2013 10:17 utc | 170

with this admission: why invade syria?
#White #House Admits #Assad Not Guilty of #Gas Attacks
White House mouthpiece admits #Syrian forces are not to blame for the gas attacks in the last few weeks but the so-called 'opposition' fighters.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETflixoNVfg

Posted by: brian | Sep 4 2013 10:18 utc | 171

@168 Well, gotta' admit that's a slick bit of audio editing, but who are you really attempting to fool?

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 10:25 utc | 172

First they lie, then they propagate the lies, then they make laws and policies based on those lies and then send their kids to die for the lies. This is America!!!!

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4 2013 10:39 utc | 173

The BIG picture :

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1377892800.php

...Syria is the last line of defense for the USDollar and the exalted position of OPEC. Syria is the potential recognized debut of the NatGas Coop in significance. It is all hidden, except to the Hat Trick Letter. In the new era emerging, Gold will prevail as the Gold Trade Standard is put in place. It will not be done with a stake in the ground from the banking system of the FOREX currency trading arenas. Therefore it is so dangerous to the status quo. My full expectation is that the USGovt will back off in Syria. The retreat will not be seen as a magnanimous gesture, but rather more like a bully backing down. Revelations will be very damaging on chemical weapons and the roles played. Roots to Saddam Hussein will be reviewed. Iran already has tens of thousands killed by chemical weapons over 20 years ago in a war waged with Iraq, with a hand from the Bushes. The United States leadership is in for some cold water in the face. The United States is due for some extreme isolation. The NatGas Coop will change the global map. It will open the door to the Eurasian Trade Zone for commerce, and open the door to the Gold Trade Settlement for finance. Some quantum leaps are in store and soon. Gold will emerge with a new Gold Trade Standard, whose price will shock most observers. Think multiples higher. Syria is a seminal event for gold...

Posted by: Sufi | Sep 4 2013 10:43 utc | 174

166) Russia clearly stated they are not going to fight anyone. So should the US decide to enter into open war with Syria as proxy war with Iran, Russia will not get involved (though will obviously provide help).
The US has no proxies left who would fight, Iran does.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 11:04 utc | 175

@172 I'm not saying that Putin WILL fight against the USA.

I have made it clear in previous posts that I find that unlikely.

What I was saying is that if Putin DID decide to join the fight then international law clearly says that he does not need to invent a reason.

All he needs is for Assad to appeal for his help and then Article 51 of the UN Charter applies i.e. Russia would be joining in a COLLECTIVE DEFENCE of Syria against an armed attack by the USA.

That would be perfectly legal, regardless of how unwise it would be.
That would be perfectly legitimate, irrespective of how impetuous it might be.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 4 2013 11:33 utc | 176

For those here insisting Russia won't fight the US...What makes you guys so certain???

Do you guys really believe the Russians/Chinese have been backing Syria throughout all this nonsense for nothing????

What's the point of using their veto 3 times only to watch it go up in flames by some Tomahawks?

What's the point of sending missile ships etc etc into the Mediterranean..You think it's for fun?

My reading is that Russia won't be the one initiating the fight. There're many idiots in the Pentagon to do that. But they will certainly get involved and claim self defense - perfectly legal under international law(whatever that means).

O-bomber is not very smart. Putin's given him many avenues to bail out of this mess but he keeps insisting on his stupid claims. When the bombs and missiles start flying, all avenues for talks will be closed, then there'll be no turning back.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4 2013 11:51 utc | 177

"166) Russia clearly stated they are not going to fight anyone."

Gullible much?

If they are gonna fight they're certainly not stupid enough to telegraph that info weeks ahead of the show

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 11:57 utc | 178

174) Why should they? They know the weapons Syria and Iran have. Russia is about Russian interests. Their interest is to be able to make life hard for the US. Not to have their soldiers killed.
They won't leave the moral high ground now.
Syria, Iran and Hezbollah will fight. They have to.

I still think it will not come to this.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 12:04 utc | 179

Somebody @ 176

I think you're underestimating the Russians a bit. Nobody expected them to get involved in Georgia. Which is exactly why Bush pushed that Saakasvili idiot to attack. He ended up loosing almost half his country. Mind you, prior to the Georgian war, Saakashvili's been provoking the Ruskies for a while and they allowed him to get away with it.

Russia's defense doctrine is like that of Iran's. Purely defensive but when they strike, they strike. The US's only rationale for attacking Syria is to "protect their partners" and hurt Iran, Hezbollah and North Korea. Even though these same "partners" have done everything they can do draw in the US into the fight.

It's all about sending a "message". Jerk Kerry's testimony was 90% emphasizing the fact that the US needs to send out a "message". As I said earlier, their credibility is on the line here thanks to O-bomber's stupid red-line comment. He painted himself into a corner. The US can be described as the mobster that takes everyone's money and promises them protection. A lot of weak countries depend on her so their failure to act on Syria will make these weaker countries(Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, Israel) recalculate their faith in the US army. These countries will simply collapse without US assistance.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 4 2013 12:22 utc | 180

Problem for you though, as I see it, is that not only are you the least trustwothy person here, your track record on predictions is frankly pathetic

So, in between flooding the place with verifiable nonsense, and posting to tell people how 'correct' they are, you keep posting with your many many "predictions", cos we could all certainly do with a good laugh from time time time

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 12:22 utc | 181

in case of confusion, #178 is directed @ 176

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 12:29 utc | 182

in case of confusion, #178 is directed @ 176

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 12:29 utc | 183

from military perspective ...

cruise missiles aren't enough to win a war ( unless they use CW or nuke warhead with them ) and with some basic efforts from enemy , Ground/sea to ground Cruise missiles will lose their efficacy ...

the main factor of using cruise missile is that enemy doesn't know about " the targets " and "the lunch time " ....

so IMO USA have another plan for Syria ... whole of these "limited strike "are some excuses to begin the war , and when the war begin , American people only will seek VICTORY ( just look at their comments in Yahoo news !! )

so this war will be bloody war .... and IMO more than 100000 persons will die in it ... after all USA and his democracy always come with bombs and blood ....

sorry for my bad English

Posted by: R.P | Sep 4 2013 12:33 utc | 184

"Their interest is to be able to make life hard for the US"

as a summary of "Russian Interests" that statement merely reflects the incredibly-myopic mentally of the individual making it

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 12:37 utc | 185

180) Look, up to now, the US and Russia have avoided to get into war directly ever - Bush did not back up Georgia, did he?
Also, Russia explicitly said, they would not fight, whilst Iran is issuing not very veiled threats
Russia is slowly positioning into the role of Middle East peace maker, which is a very good spot for them to be. The US now has an alliance of Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Quatar, Jordan, Turkey, none of these countries is in a good position to fight.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 14:03 utc | 186

AIPAC in Full Court Press on Syria

America’s largest pro-Israel lobby has deployed its organization in Congress to push for the president’s war authorization against Syria, according to a senior official with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who called the effort a "full court press."

Earlier Tuesday, AIPAC issued a strong statement supporting the president’s call for congressional authorization of limited airstrikes against Syria. 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.
...

Posted by: b | Sep 4 2013 14:13 utc | 187

some report :

look like almost 1000 salafi fighters gathered in east of Lebanon and more than 5000 Palestinian warrior gathered in Palestinian camp in Lebanon ...

their aim is to attack Hezbollah when USA begin his war ...

and some report ( In Iran media ) saying that Salafi/wahhabi/Takfiri fighters (under influence of Qatar and Saudi Arabi and Cia ) have plane to attack Hezbollah from within of Lebanon while Israel get ready to attack them from south ...


look like USA and her allies having some advantage ...

Posted by: R.P | Sep 4 2013 14:13 utc | 188

easiest way for the russkies to deal with this would be to simply position their ships between the US warships and the syrian coast and announce that anyone firing anything in their general direction will simply be obliterated in retaliation.

Then simply announce "The Ball is in your court, assholes"

at the very least that would go a long way neutralising the US Navy presence in the Med

whether they will do that or not is a different matter

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 14:14 utc | 189

1000 NATO MERC Terrorists I can believe,

but

"5000 Palestinian warrior gathered in Palestinian camp in Lebanon ... their aim is to attack Hezbollah when USA begin his war ... "?

Don't believe a word of it.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 14:18 utc | 190

@ 187

I'm shocked, simply shocked, to now suddenly , after all this time, discover that a member of the Israel Lobby is actually lobbying for a war for Israel.

who'd a thunk it, eh?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 4 2013 14:21 utc | 191

I think posting the Iranian site link are useless because you can't read it ... however ..
http://www.irinn.ir/news/26616/%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87%D8%9B-%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B3-%D9%88-%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7

look like USA have plan to kill some of those " Bad Rebels " alongside of Bashar Army as well ...

if thing going this way , USA so called " limited strike " will kill more than this long 2 years civil war between SAA and FSA/Al Nusra and other takfiri groups ...

Posted by: R.P | Sep 4 2013 14:36 utc | 192

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain says he doesn't support the latest Senate resolution to authorize military force against Syria.

McCain is an outspoken advocate of intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action.

The Arizona Republican threatened earlier this week to vote against a White House draft resolution unless President Barack Obama promised greater support to Syria's rebels. McCain then expressed support after meeting Obama at the White House.

He now opposes a resolution crafted by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. It puts a 90-day limit on action and says no American troops can be sent into Syria.

Asked if he supported it, McCain said, "In its current form, I do not.".....

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 4 2013 14:51 utc | 193

Israel has come out with an official position now - via ambassador

Shortly after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concluded a lengthy session debating the approval of a retaliatory strike, Oren released an official statement in which he said that “Israel agrees with President Obama that the use of chemical weapons is a ‘heinous act’ for which the Assad regime must be held accountable and for which there must be ‘international consequences.’ Israel further agrees with the President that the use of chemical weapons promotes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and encourages ‘governments who would choose to build nuclear arms.’”

In his statement, Oren quoted Obama’s exact language to emphasize Jerusalem’s support for the American president’s position.

An hour after releasing the statement, the outgoing ambassador told major donors at a Jewish National Fund (JNF) event,“I’ve heard it suggested that a reason why the US should not act in Syria is fear of retribution against Israel. In response, I say unequivocally that Israel can defend itself and will respond forcefully to any aggression by Syria.”

Oren told the US audience that Israel’s positions on Syria have been longstanding. With respect to supporting the Syrian opposition, he said, “the only thing we suggest is to have it carefully vetted.”

Oren added that “even regarding the jihadist opposition, we prefer the bad guys who aren’t backed by Iran over those who are.”

As Assad’s fortunes have fluctuated in the face of opposition groups, some of which are believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, the Syrian leader has become increasingly reliant for support on the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.

Oren emphasized that even before the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Israel believed that Assad should be removed from power. He described the dictator as “a prohibitively dangerous, destabilizing factor” in the region, and noted that while “Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, was vicious, his son is both vicious and unpredictable.”

Oren’s comments came as the Obama administration is trying to secure Congressional and popular support for a retaliatory strike in response to a chemical attack on August 21 that the US believes killed over 1,400 Syrians.

Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, both likely GOP candidates in the 2016 presidential primaries, oppose the administration’s call for military action against Assad.

During Tuesday’s Senate hearing, Paul pushed US Secretary of State John Kerry on the consequences for Israel if Syria were to retaliate for the proposed American strike.

“I can make it crystal clear to you Israel will be less safe unless the US takes this action,” Kerry responded.

Kerry, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Patrick Dempsey, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Although Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) threw his support behind the president on Tuesday, Republican lawmakers are far from unified on the subject. Boehner’s endorsement may have upped the administration’s likelihood of getting its resolution through the Republican-controlled House, but the House GOP caucus has proven hard-to-control for Boehner on a number of key controversial issues.

In the week before Congress is in session, key committees are debating a White House resolution that would allow for limited engagement in Syria. If the House passes a version of the resolution this week, the House and Senate resolutions would enter a process of reconciliation to make them congruent before a final vote, which is expected early next week.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 4 2013 15:39 utc | 194

This from RT today:

Probes from Khan al-Assal show chemicals used in the March 19 attack did not belong to standard Syrian army ammunition, and that the shell carrying the substance was similar to those made by a rebel fighter group, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

A statement released by the ministry on Wednesday particularly drew attention to the “massive stove-piping of various information aimed at placing the responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria on Damascus, even though the results of the UN investigation have not yet been revealed.”

By such means “the way is being paved for military action” against Damascus, the ministry pointed out.

But the samples taken at the site of the March 19 attack and analyzed by Russian experts indicate that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, the ministry statement suggests, outlining the 100-page report handed over to the UN by Russia.

The key points of the report have been given as follows:

• the shell used in the incident “does not belong to the standard ammunition of the Syrian army and was crudely according to type and parameters of the rocket-propelled unguided missiles manufactured in the north of Syria by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade”;

• RDX, which is also known as hexogen or cyclonite, was used as the bursting charge for the shell, and it is “not used in standard chemical munitions”;

• soil and shell samples contain “the non-industrially synthesized nerve agent sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate,” which was “used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.”

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Posted by: William Bowles | Sep 4 2013 18:25 utc | 195

Senate Committe Approva:l 10Y 7N 1 Present(?)

http://rt.com/usa/senate-foreign-committee-syria-strike-420/

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 4 2013 19:38 utc | 196

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a Wednesday congressional hearing that Russia provided Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime with some of the chemical weapons used against civilians.

Speaking during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Hagel was asked by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) where the weapons came from.

“There’s no secret that the Assad regime has had chemical weapons, significant stockpiles of chemical weapons,” Hagel said.

Wilson asked if they come from a specific country.

"The Russians supply them, others are supplying them with those chemical weapons, they make some themselves," Hagel said......

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 4 2013 21:29 utc | 197

@197 Already been walked back. The DoD spokesman claimed that Hagel was only referring to the delivery mechanism - i.e. the missiles - he was not referring to the payload.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 5 2013 4:53 utc | 198

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