Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 27, 2014

A "Responsibility To Protect" Mercenaries?

From a recent Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing on Iraq and Syria picked up by Micah Zenko:

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): I take it from your answer that we are now recruiting these young men to go and fight in Syria against ISIL, but if they’re attacked by Bashar Assad, we’re not gonna help them?

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL: They will defend themselves, Senator.

MCCAIN: Will we help them against Assad’s air…

HAGEL: We will help them and we will support them, as we have trained them.

MCCAIN: How will we help them—will we repel Bashar Assad’s air assets that will be attacking them?

HAGEL: Any attack on those that we have trained and who are supporting us, we will help ‘em.

The Pentagon confirmed to Zenko that Hagel meant what he said.

But what does this really mean? One hires a bunch of young fanatics, trains them to kill and sends them to fight some foreign government. Then, when that foreign government dares to defend itself against the mercenary goons, one has a "Responsibility To Protect" them? What a sorry illegal excuse for waging a war of aggression.

There is more of such nonsense coming up again. New talk of a "no-fly zone" as the U.S. is somehow the only one allowed to bomb civilians in Iraq and Syria and also new talk of some kind of buffer zone along the Turkish border.

I don't believe that any of these things will happen. Syria and its allies do have the means to block any legal justification for such issues and they have the means to deter against their implementation.

The policy the Obama administration is trying to implement now is too contradictory and not sustainable. It wants to destroy the ideological fighters of the Islamic State with the support of the states, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are based on the same ideology the IS fighters espouse and in which significant parts of the populations support the Islamic State. Obama wants recruit Turkey while the Islamic State is fighting against the Kurd paramilitaries from the PKK/YPK. Turkey has for decades fought against the PKK and the struggle has cost tens of thousands of death. It is also supportive of the Islamic State and similar movements in Syria.

The U.S. wants to bomb the IS in support of the "moderate rebels" who are protesting against such bombing:

The protesters singled out the reported deaths of a dozen or so civilians in the town of Kafr Daryan in northern Idlib province, where a U.S. cruise missile allegedly struck a building that housed displaced people near a base belonging to al Qaida’s Nusra Front.

These "moderate rebels" will now likely put themselves under the command of the Islamic State.

This policy and the lunatic alliances it is based on will break apart. Has there ever been a coalition with such discrepancies that has held throughout the ups and downs of a war? I do not know where, when and how the breaking up will occur but such a mess is simply not sustainable.

That is why I believe that Hagel's "R2P for mercenaries" is just nonsense and something that will never be implemented.

Posted by b on September 27, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

Comments
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For days now, I have been wondering what fairy tale the Obama administration will utilize to explain itself when this so-called "coalition" falls apart and ends in complete disaster.

With so much political rhetoric thrown around and Washington in war fever, I suspect Obama will quickly forget ISIS and this jerry-rigged coalition and move on directly to Assad.

This ISIS fig leaf won't hunt.

Posted by: sleepy | Sep 27, 2014 11:48:18 AM | 1

in the 'lets throw some bombs at ISIS when we really want to bomb assad' dept....then their is the lets support 'moderate rebels, while we go after ISIS' and all the rest of the bs from those bombed out clustered brains at us-neocon-war 24/7 central..

Posted by: james | Sep 27, 2014 12:05:42 PM | 2

R2P is cover for shenanigans. Putin is remaining quiet for now, but he had to be embarrassed when an ancient MIG was downed with ease, and he's acutely aware of his strategic interests (Tartus) or his treaty with Assad which I call O2P (obligation to protect) especially as they box him in further with suggested NO FLY zones in a sovereign state.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Sep 27, 2014 12:07:48 PM | 3

i don't think the 'no fly' is going to fly.. who cares about international law anymore anyway? certainly not the exceptional nation..

Posted by: james | Sep 27, 2014 12:19:27 PM | 4

‘There seems to be a consensus here that there will be boots on the ground. The only question is; whose boots?”

George Galloway.

I'm sure that along with the impossibility of a no-fly zone, would be coupled with the unlikely prospect we could see coffins returning to the US. I'm certain Scot NO voters will be cutting in the waiting line to go.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Sep 27, 2014 12:34:59 PM | 5

I'm just stunned Turkey has an elf fighting the PKK for decades. One bad ass elf.

Came across this tweet of a letter to the editor captured by image, sorry and sweet and about perfect:

ARE you confused about what's going on in the Middle East? Allow me to explain.
We support the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State. We don't like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like.
We don't like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.
We don't like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don't want our enemies who are fighting our other enemies to win.
If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who surely actually they're to begin with until we went in to drive them out. Do you nderstand now?

Aubrey Bailey

Posted by: Colinjames | Sep 27, 2014 12:36:35 PM | 6

There's lots of belly-laughs in all this (if you think USrael's mock wars are as silly as I do).
The people I feel sorriest for are Turkey's turkeys (i.e the 99%) whose leaders have sold them out to NATO for the dubious privilege of being 2nd-class NATO members and "good friends" of Muslim-hating Israel.
It's also hard to ignore the fact that while Obama's white Euro-trash NATO partners are happy to resume bombing the crap out of Iraqi civilians (from a safe distance) they're somewhat more circumspect about the prospect of bombing Assad and having their sorry little asses handed to them by Vlad's missiles.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 27, 2014 12:37:47 PM | 7

So very deep into the MENA(CA - Central Asia) house of mirrors without a political GPS to find the way out. Just wait until the panic sets in, you've not seen nothin' yet. Keep telling yourselves you know what you're doing; you can probably see Russia from there too, like little Sarah Palin could. With some little luck the rout won't be quite as bad as one of the early British retreats from Kabul. May you live in interesting times.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Sep 27, 2014 12:53:47 PM | 8

Oh so difficult to know who is friends with whom

The point is that this coordinated media attack on Qatar – using highly paid former U.S. officials and their media allies – is simply a weapon used by the Emirates, Israel, the Saudis and others to advance their agendas. Kirkpatrick explained: ”propelling the barrage of accusations against Qatar is a regional contest for power in which competing Persian Gulf monarchies have backed opposing proxies in contested places like Gaza, Libya and especially Egypt.” As political science professor As’ad AbuKhalil wrote this week about conflicts in Syria and beyond, “the two Wahhabi regimes [Saudi Arabia and Qatar] are fighting over many issues but they both wish to speak on behalf of political Islam.”

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27, 2014 1:31:32 PM | 9

Seriously who did not know this was about to happen? Will Assad be there in 1 year? Doubtful.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 27, 2014 1:57:38 PM | 10

Two short comments:
- So much for "precision" weapons, right ?
- That's why the US supports Jabhat-Al-Nusrah in the south of Syria.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 27, 2014 2:20:30 PM | 11

Dutch Permit Postponement MH-17 Investigation

Dutch PM Rutte doesn't expect the MH-17 investigation to restart before winter [!] – statement made on TV Nieuwsuur. [Dutch spoken]

Posted by: Oui | Sep 27, 2014 3:08:34 PM | 12

MH17: M’sia will ask UN to send its peacekeeper to Eastern Ukraine

Malaysia will ask the United Nations (UN) to send its peacekeeping force to eastern Ukraine to enable the investigation teams to enter the MH17 crash site, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. The UN should fulfil its promise to provide a safe passage for the teams, including from Malaysia.

MH17: Malaysia mahu penglibatan pasukan pengaman PBB | The Malaysia Insider |

"We are asking the UN to take immediate action so that investigation can be implemented, we regret the attitude of the Ukrainian government that has yet to fulfill its promise to the team investigating into the area safely despite all the efforts and negotiations have been carried out, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak."

Posted by: Oui | Sep 27, 2014 3:09:12 PM | 13

Will Assad be there in 1 year? Doubtful.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 27, 2014 1:57:38 PM | 10

Will Obama be there in a little over 2 years? Doubtful.

Leaders come and go, but The Game goes on.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 27, 2014 3:17:50 PM | 14

I don't believe that any of these things will happen.

The policy the Obama administration is trying to implement now is too contradictory and not sustainable.

b, I bet it does happen, whether sustainable or not, they have the means to implement and they will. Think about that conversation with Hagel:
MCCAIN: How will we help them — will we repel Bashar Assad’s air assets that will be attacking them?

The perfect way to get at Assad's air power is the no fly zone. That's the whole reason the kooky plan was made. The only question is will Assad take the bait.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 27, 2014 3:19:24 PM | 15

Good pun by Lavrov
"archaic bloc mentality based on barrack-like discipline"
http://rt.com/news/191216-lavrov-us-rejects-principle/

Posted by: Mina | Sep 27, 2014 3:28:40 PM | 16

They don't care what cockamamie schemes they invent, or how dangerous it is to us.

They don't care what sort of Rube Goldberg machine of murder, rape, and mayhem they design - so long at they reach their goals.

Capitalist: "Its a machine that makes super yachts, jewelry for our wives and luxury cars. it's fueled by unemployment, misery, and burns virgins at the rate of 2,000 a day..."

Capitalism: "I'll take eight!"

Is this any crazier than pumping the water table of whole states full of toxic chemicals so that a few gas companies can make a quick buck flipping themselves to the next idiot?

The elite do NOT care what happens to us.

Three 9/11 first responders died of cancer on the same day

http://rt.com/usa/191084-fdny-cancer-deaths-same-day/

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 3:59:42 PM | 17

okie farmer

Has Aassad not already taken it?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 27, 2014 4:22:49 PM | 18

Erdogan is very worried to make any move that could threaten Turkey's economy and decrease his support among the pious Sunnis who secretly support ISIS. Elections are looming and if the economy suffers because of Turkey's military involvement in Syria and Iraq, the AKP may loose the majority and Erdogan his dreams of a french presidential-system.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 27, 2014 4:30:12 PM | 19

This sounds interesting A former Saudi army officer has announced the formation of a movement aimed at unseating the Al Saud dynasty in Saudi Arabia. http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/09/27/380239/saudi-exofficer-set-to-topple-al-saud/

Posted by: harry law | Sep 27, 2014 4:41:35 PM | 20

Oui @13

The Malaysians have been trying for ages to get official permission from the Ukraine regime to go to the crash site. The Ukraine government has very good reasons not to give it, especially as the gullibles will lap up the bs that it is because the 'terrorists' would attack the Malaysians. Perhaps the Malaysians should hitch a ride on a Russian Humanitarian convoy? </joking>

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 27, 2014 4:50:30 PM | 21

Colinjames @6 - Brilliant! Where did you find that?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 4:52:09 PM | 22

Perhaps the Malaysians should hitch a ride on a Russian Humanitarian convoy?

Should be no joke. The Malaysians should join with the Russians in this. Though, I suppose having had two planes disappear in a few months means someone is trying to send them a message.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 4:54:03 PM | 23

Anonymous, no. The no fly zone hasn't been implemented yet. But I think it will be shortly. When it is, Assad is going to be between a rock and a hard place. You'll remember when US established a no fly zone in northern Iraq in 1991, it was protect the Kurds, while US did no such thing in the south where Saddam was allowed to bomb the Shia to shit. That no fly zone in northern Iraq gave the Kurds time to set up a govt and train the peshmerga, and gave them a kind of senority over Saddam, some of which they still enjoy with the govt in Badhdad. If Assad takes the bait he knows his aircraft will get shot to shit, if he doesn't defend his northern border it will allow more IS fighters access to Syria via Turkey. It's also a cutesy way Turkey can claim they're part of the "coalition". This "war" against IS intends to allow US to pursue regime change in Syria. It doesn't matter if US "degrades" IS, they're completely expendable, not even collateral damage.

Russia is in a bit of a pickle too. That base on the Med could be lost if US gets regime change. Undoubtedly Russia is in tactical and strategic meetings as we type. I don't think they regret not giving Assad more S-300s or the new S-400. If Assad had them he would be more tempted to take the bait, which would lead straight to an all-out assault on SAA, govt heads, as well as Assad. Do you remember in 2011 when Assad's headquarters were struck by a mysterious explosion? Killed most of his senior staff. But not Assad, he wasn't there. I know more about that than I have time to explain, but certain officials thought they he was dead, and only after he showed up at a mosque for prayers did they admit he survived.

I think US is going all-in, trying for the whole enchilada. Now.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 27, 2014 5:14:58 PM | 24

@ №24
Looking at the back a long time hinders progress forward
See the comment №19 Posted by: Dan Lynch http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/09/a-too-complicate-game-obamas-deals-with-the-saudis-and-al-nusra.html#comments
http://youtu.be/JPVOFeVPH7s?t=1s

Posted by: ALAN | Sep 27, 2014 6:49:09 PM | 25

23

Allegedly Malaysia Air flight MH370 had 4 Chinese co-patent holders of some new military computer chips from a company owned by Jacob Rothschild, who held the remaining 5th patent.
Allegedly MA is majority owned by Jacob Rothschild. And allegedly, Rothschild owns the insurance company that insured both his hardware company and his airline against losses.

It's a felony in EU to make any such statement against an Israeli. How did that come about?
Who knows, but it does seem odd that when a dual-citizen Israeli Coup leader in Ukraine and his dual-citizen Israeli Prime Minister poodle get in trouble with their conscripted armies fighting in Eastern Ukraine, again, a Rothschild-owned Malaysian Air flight is diverted by Kiev air control over the conflict zone, then 'shot down' by what appears to be a cockpit bmob, since no rookie airforce in the world, Ukraine's included, are so accurate, even with the MH17 unwittingly flying level and straight, that they can riddle *just* the cockpit in a tight pattern, but not hit the rest of the plane. It had to be an internal cockpit bmob.

Which then goes back to the MH370 flight lost, suddenly radio silent, gaining altitude to maximum flight ceiling, rupturing the pressure dome, suffocating the passengers, veering sharply left, then trailing out into never-be-found-again SE Indian Ocean. The only thing that could have caused that was a cockpit bmob, together with the over-ridden-only-if-alive remote flight controls that could be operated from any nearby jet, or pre-programmed, since both flights veered sharply left after their cockpit crews were magically raptured away.

Or not... and we'll never know. That's the plan. The Netherlands is basically saying this must be forgotten, and the Pentagon just awarded $7 BILLION for cointel to twelve usual-suspects WADC-NOVA spook firms for domestic intel, for PSYOP, for rewriting world history.

"What MH17? There was never any MH17? That flight never took off from Schiphol! Those were holographic images projected by laser beams from Venus, and besides, ISIS, ISIS, ISISISIS!"

Having with their fake snuff flick 'British pop star beheadings' secured an unimpeachable MindSpace beachhead in the US/UK psyche, then thoroughly flensing their tax-bleed jugular, Perpetual Contingency Action™, together with its blowback, unrest, national police state, the Dark Government, whoever they are, has achieved critical mass.

This is our Trinity moment. We can't shut down the NeoLiberal chain reaction now. Global oil cartel wars, heads on pikes, popular uprisings, epidemic collapses, Apple 666, we're retrograde to pre-12th Century and burning an inexhaustable supply of fiat war bucks, until 'all the useless mouths' are interred in mass graves, and Israel can finally have its 'Peace and Quiet' moment.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Sep 27, 2014 7:29:09 PM | 26

@ChipNikh #26:

Allegedly MA is majority owned by Jacob Rothschild.
So Deutsche Welle is part of the Zionist conspiracy you have cleverly uncovered?
State investment company Khazanah Nasional, which owns 69 percent of Malaysia Airlines and intends to take full ownership, said on Friday that the two crashes this year of flights MH370 and MH17 as well as ongoing financial woes "created a perfect storm for the restructuring to take place," according to Managing Director Azman Mokhtar."

Posted by: Demian | Sep 27, 2014 7:49:24 PM | 27

@22guest77.. i saw that in the past 24 hours as well - i think someone posted it here at moa, maybe a day or two ago..

@26 chipnikh - ot re mh17 - i shared this on the open thread here earlier today..
crash analysis from The Russian Union of Engineers... it is from a week ago, but i hadn't seen it until earlier today.

Posted by: james | Sep 27, 2014 9:21:03 PM | 28

I thought to post this curious bit of information here, For The Record, just in case we start seeing some monkey business in relation to UNIFIL, UNDOF and the like in the future. Will this unknown IDF major be involved with "organizing" assets for the UNFIL troops in southern Lebanon and/or serving in the naval blockade of Lebanon's coastal waters?

Perhaps I'm too cynical and the insertion of this Israeli asset deep into the UN colored helmet corps sausage factory is merely to insure Israeli interests prevail in case the UN is called upon to provide international troops to monitor the WB and/or Gaza.

"From peace in Israel, to peace worldwide, the IDF will take on new responsibilities soon when an Israeli officer will become the nation's first contribution to the United Nation's Peacekeeping forces.

The officer, a major by rank, will be stationed at UN offices in New York where he will help in efforts to organize equipment and peacekeeping troops located in conflict zones across the globe.

"This is our small contribution to peace and security in the world, but it's only the beginning of the road," said a senior source in the Foreign Ministry.

The appointment of the officer to an official UN position is the result of a long effort in communication between the UN, the IDF, the Foreign Ministry, and Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the UN."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4572065,00.html

No matter, this bodes ill. And to think "it's only the beginning of the road.

Posted by: lally | Sep 27, 2014 9:53:04 PM | 29

okie farmer
A No-fly zone, like all the ones that were implemented, requires a UNSC resolution. Be sure that Russia and China will veto it.
Erdogan is calling in the desert. He is stuck, he has to do something other than denying he is a supporter of ISIS. The only thing he is known to do well is shout, give names and make empty threats.
Will the USA be satisfied with that?

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 27, 2014 10:25:21 PM | 30

Great observations okie farmer. But if anyone thought that the US was opening airstrikes in Syria to combat the Saudi-Qatar mercenary force that is ISIL is sadly fooling themselves. The idea of opening a no fly zone is clearly directed at Assad. Far as I know ISIL doesn't have a viable airforce so. What could the point of a no fly zone be other than an affront to Assad's ability to continue as the ruler of Syria? The rationale is as transparent as can be. All one has to do is look at the fine example of R2P Libya 2011. Looks like the no fly zone is a redux and it is not a mistake or misguided war policy, it is by design. McCain and the Saudis want Assad gone and that is the bottom of the pipeline.

Posted by: really | Sep 27, 2014 10:46:14 PM | 31

@29 An IDF officer involved in UN peacekeeping. That's like having John Wayne Gacy involved in a daycare center.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 10:46:35 PM | 32

The idea of opening a no fly zone is clearly directed at Assad. Far as I know ISIL doesn't have a viable airforce so.

Indeed. The concept behind no-fly-zones, first used by the US against the Iraqis following the Gulf War, are meant to deny the use of air power by powers that, presumably, have it.

This is a total sham. Its a difficult position for Assad to be in as many have pointed out.

Give the Americans an inch, and they will take a mile...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 10:51:38 PM | 33

A No-fly zone, like all the ones that were implemented, requires a UNSC resolution. Be sure that Russia and China will veto it.

excellent point. Though if the US tried to implement one unilaterally - Syria would still face the choice of taking action or not. It probably would be wise to not, so long as the stakes were low.

After all, they have been quite happy to see the Israelis throw their US-made and paid for weapons into random chicken farms instead of giving the Zionists an excuse to whine and bomb Damascus.

It is the Syrians decision. I am disgusted by those who demand Assad do this or that, or call him weak. He and the Syrian people are the ones making the decisions, and the ones with their hides in the game. Its not the place of arm chair warriors far from danger to call for "bravery" and "bold action" from those who have all to lose.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27, 2014 10:59:48 PM | 34

@33 guest77

It has been a tough call for Assad. He and his foreign ministry have been willing to forgive and forget about McCain and the Saudis-Qataris etc. attempt to overthrow his govt. to no avail. It seems that Putin, Lavrov and Iran are gonna have to intervene with some heady politicking and increased support for Assad. I highly doubt that Russia is ready to just cede its Meditterranean port. I also saw somewhere that the EU was talking to Iran about natural gas supplies due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, so the backroom deal cutting may have already began. Hopefully for the Syrian population that is the case.

Posted by: really | Sep 27, 2014 11:38:13 PM | 35

Iran ready to supply Europe gas via Austria: President Rouhani

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/sep/1144.html

Posted by: really | Sep 28, 2014 12:28:57 AM | 36

Pepe Escobar wonderfully captures the lunacy:

Operation Tomahawk The Caliph

Posted by: sarz | Sep 28, 2014 12:43:18 AM | 37

Posted by: really | Sep 28, 2014 12:28:57 AM | 36

They were always prepared to deliver gas that is nothing new. Just the US managed to make Europe sanction Iran, as they managed to make Europe sanction Russia (minus the gas).

Turkey's economic interest is with Russia and Iran.

German news this morning claim Erdogan will send boots on the ground across the border creating buffers and safe zones.

There goes another border. Israel will be next.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 3:05:32 AM | 38

This here is what Erdogan said.

- (Will Turkey establish a safe zone in northern Syria by itself?) It should be done with all of the key actors in the region, by talking to all of them, because the international community should see our rightfulness. This is not only Turkey’s problem. It’s about 1.5 million people who will return to their country. One of the negotiated chapters is their return. Maybe new cities will be formed for them [in Syria].

- (On how to conduct a ground operation) The related countries and units are already studying this topic: the distribution of roles, etc. are being negotiated. After the Jeddah meetings, now the U.S. and some Arab countries are conducting joint air strikes. These strikes have made things easier for the Free Syrian Army [FSA]. The ground operation is currently being conducted by the FSA, but the next phase will be different.

- (Who will enforce and control the safe zone?) The coalition. The coordination to do it, etc. are all in the workings now. In the U.N. Security Council, we of course discussed the ISIL. Russia and China agreed with us. None of them said no.

- You can’t destroy a terrorist organization with air strikes. The integral force is the ground force. […] Of course, I’m not a soldier, but the air is just logistics. When there are no ground troops, nothing can be permanent.

- (As the ISIL released 49 personnel from Turkey’s Mosul Consulate after holding them as hostage for 101 days) The current conditions are not the conditions of 102 days ago. Hence, we should re-evaluate the situation. […] The ongoing talks are between the related countries and Turkey. Turkey will do what is necessary in the duty that falls to its share. To say that Turkey will never take a military position is wrong. Will other countries protect our borders? No, we will protect our borders ourselves.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 3:11:36 AM | 39

German radio reporting that the UN has denied that 140,000 Kurds entered Turkey and puts the estimate at 15,000.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 3:18:46 AM | 40

Well the US congress by not voting on a new AUMF has effectively given its collective blessing for any and all use of military force in Syria. If I were a congressional member and I was against expanded military operations in Syria against Assad, I would be voicing my reasons as to why and often. This no fly bs is going to hit the fan if enacted and there are going to be much bs flying in the faces of those who stayed silent instead of voicing their objection or approval of a no fly zone action against Assad. This aggressive potential against Assad has the potential blowback that will make the libya r2p aftermath to look like a game of paddycake. 2016 elections results may reflect on what is happening in Syria now and in the future. Does the US really want to be pondering the question, would Syria and the middle east be better off if Assad was in power? I will go on the record now and answer yes.

Posted by: really | Sep 28, 2014 3:45:40 AM | 42

guest77:

if the US tried to implement one unilaterally -

It won't unilateral, Turkey will sign on, at the very least it will be bilateral. But Turkey is in NATO, if they have ground troops being attacked in the "safe zone", that opens the possibilty for more NATO countries to participate.
If US is going all-in for regime change they will ignore UNSC. Bilateral, NATO, something... We may be at that "trinity moment". Or not. Russia has capabilities that are now known to US via the shoot down in the eastern med of those two missiles.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 28, 2014 3:54:00 AM | 43

Mina, that McClatchy piece had this:
IRBIL, Iraq — European counterterrorism specialists say their American counterparts never mentioned an imminent plot by al Qaida operatives in Syria to attack Western targets and didn’t brief them on the group that’s supposedly behind the plan, a previously unknown terrorist unit that American officials have dubbed the Khorasan group.The interviews with the specialists, from two European NATO allies with close intelligence ties to the United States, raise questions about why the United States used its first series of airstrikes on the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, in Syria to also attack eight installations belonging to the Nusra Front, an al Qaida affiliate that anti-government rebel groups consider an important ally in their fight to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.U.S. officials didn’t use the word Nusra to identify the targets, instead saying the strikes in Idlib province, far from Islamic State-controlled territory, were aimed at the Khorasan group. But activists and other rebels in Syria identified the positions hit as belonging to Nusra and said 50 Nusra fighters were killed.U.S. officials said the Khorasan group was composed of senior al Qaida operatives who’d been dispatched to Syria to plot attacks against the West. The officials said the strikes were intended to break up a plan for an imminent attack.
Khorasan is only known as a region in Iran. The US "dubbed" them their name. The reason is obvious.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/26/241222_europeans-say-us-never-briefed.html?&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 28, 2014 4:09:26 AM | 44

The so-called Responsibility to Protect (RTP) has been the official norm of the Imperial powers ever since the Kosovo war back in the late 90s and since then almost all the military interventions that have taken place around the world fall under this category. More importantly, the R2P has three foundation "pillars."

A state has a responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state to fulfill its primary responsibility.

If the state manifestly fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort. However, experience has shown to us that R2P since its official inception has proven to be a new form of imperialism cloaked in humanitarianism. The advocates of this doctrine includes all the Pseudo Left layers which constitutes Professors Juan Cole, Gilbert Achcar and the French Philosopher Bernard Henry Levy. These individuals in question claim that it is the moral duty of the Free World countries to intervene in countries facing the prospect of ethnic cleansing and genocide. However, little do these people know in the basic political reality which is one cannot be an imperialist and a peacemaker at the same time for it contradicts all basic human logic.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 28, 2014 5:02:55 AM | 45

As Somebody posted yesterday,
http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/19516
the name is well-known since April. Basically it refers to the foreign djihadists which had started to be expeled by the local Syrian rebels who were accepting some agreements including some form of autonomy in some cities. A good number of these left Homs when an agreement was reached and they were allowed to move North, especially to Raqqa. The split occured then.

The name Khorasan is certainly a way to laud the role of the Chechen and Afghans and promise them some help in their fight against Russia/Iran. Khorasan was an important craddle during the Islamic Golden age (no doubt because of the very old cultures who were living there in good coexistence and their output).

McClatchy can be odd. They say "previously unknown" although the alakhbar article is from last April, and in another piece they say that "Daesh" is the slang nickname of the IS, while it is simply the acronym in Arabic: dawla islamiyya fi al 3iraq wa al Sham.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 5:24:40 AM | 46

Turkish troops could be used 'to protect safe zone in Syria' – Erdogan
News | 28.09.2014 | 13:22

Turkish troops could be used to guard a safe zone in Syria near the Turkish border to host refugees fleeing the Islamic State (ISIS) militants if an international agreement to establish such a zone is reached, the Turkish president said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned down allegations in the Western media that his country is reluctant to get fully involved in the fight against the Islamic State.

“We will act together with the [NATO] coalition in terms of military, political and humanitarian support,”the Turkish president told Daily Sabah paper on his way home from the United Nations General Assembly meetings.

The talks are currently underway to determine the roles of the 104 states taking part in the operation, Erdogan said.

The president reminded that, unlike other coalition members, Turkey has common borders with areas in Syria occupied by the Islamic State.

“Parliament will pass a mandate… on October 2, and we will take all necessary precautions to secure our borders, including military engagement,” he said.

Erdogan stressed that “Turkish military alone” will be able to protect the country’s borders from the jihadists.

Among the “necessary precautions” needed to be taken in order to cope with the ISIS threat, he named the creation of the safe zone for the refugees.

“1.5 million people have fled from war to our country. We propose the establishment of a safe zone on the Syrian border for these people,” the President said.

Once the safe zone is set up, it can be secured by establishing “a no fly-zone” and the “military will protect it,” he added.

According to Erdogan, the creation of the safe haven for Syrian refugees will be discussed by the members of the anti-ISIS coalition.

“The US was at first, a bit standoffish, but I believe they are now onboard,” he said.

Turkish spillover

Meanwhile, Turkish territory is affected by the Islamic State’s offensive as four mortar shells landed on Turkish side of the border on Saturday, injuring two people.


Authorities in the border province of Sanliurfa have blocked the main road to the Syrian border as security worsens in the area, Reuters reports.

During the last week, the jihadists have been fighting Kurdish forces for the Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border.

The assault continues despite the US-led coalition launching more airstrikes against the Islamists on Saturday.

The airstrikes destroyed an ISIS building and two armed vehicles near Kobani, the US Central Command said.

An airfield, garrison and training camp near the IS stronghold of Raqqa were also among the targets damaged by the coalition’s warplanes and drones.

The US, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE conducted six airstrikes in Syria during the day.

Three airstrikes also took place in Iraq, destroying four ISIS armored vehicles and a “fighting position” southwest of Arbil, the Central Command added.

The United States has been carrying out strikes in Iraq since August 8, with the Syrian operation, in which the Arab allies are involved, starting on Tuesday without approval from the country’s authorities.

The airstrikes are aimed at “degrading and destroying” the Islamist militants, who have announced the creation of caliphate on large territories it captured in Syria and Iraq.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/09/28/turkish-troops-could-be-used-to-protect-safe-zone-in-syria-erdogan.html

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 28, 2014 6:21:17 AM | 47

It seems there were airstrikes around Kobane and Kurdish men are streaming back into the area to fight - according to Swiss journalist @KurtPelda who is on the ground.
So the buffer zone for Erdogan seems to have been nixed.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 6:38:52 AM | 48

Erdogan wants a bargain chip to be sure that the Syrian refugees in the area of Hatay (lots of them being the families of the early 'rebels' in Edleb, Raqqa etc, not the 'mild' kind either, ref. Jisr al Shughur) will return to Syria and not be left there by Syria who could claim at the ICC that the land actually belong to her (it was the object of a dispute since the Turks took it in 1917).

Crunchy details by Matthew Lee
http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1bahramirrors092614.html
http://www.innercitypress.com/syria2bahrabkmphoto092714.html
http://www.innercitypress.com/syria3bahrabkmphoto092714.html

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 7:01:01 AM | 49

The first picture, from Aleppo, shows that they have to recruit school children to put a number of people in a demo, nothing new here
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29398882

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 7:47:43 AM | 50

Tony Cartalucci has a good piece at Global Research

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-strike-on-syria-is-desperation-incarnate/5404047

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 28, 2014 8:17:58 AM | 51

Turkish soldiers at Suleyman Shah taken hostage by ISIS? Triggering pretext for Turkey's invasion - as discussed by MIT in this leak

This here is what the Kurds say

The Washington Post thinks this

Turkish officials, including Erdogan, totally reject the allegations of their complicity with the Islamic State and also remain clear that they will not consider any sort of detente with the PKK. A tenuous ceasefire already looks on the point of collapse.

While for Washington, the Islamic State is the greatest strategic threat to emerge out of the Syrian war, the same is not true for Turkey. In New York this week, Erdogan reiterated calls for the imposition of a no-fly zone that would impair the Assad regime's ability to use its air power, and also create a "secure area" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey to properly manage the flow of refugees.

Still, Turkey will not want to act alone. Looking on the Washington Post's map, the safe zone would be a safe zone for ISIS.

But of course, they might attack pretending to fight ISIS as boots on the ground and Israel might attack pretending to fight Al Nusrah.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 8:19:17 AM | 52

@ somebody #52
Turkish officials, including Erdogan, totally reject the allegations of their complicity with the Islamic State
Yeah, yeah, that's what they say.
But if that's true, then why is Erdogan calling for a no-fly zone when the only aircraft in the sky are US jets bombing ISIS?
Even I can see through that. :-)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 9:42:09 AM | 54

YPG and Free Syrian Army announce agreement

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the main Syrian Opposition force, The Free Syrian Army (FSA, have announced an agreement to fight Islamic State (IS) militants together in Syrian Kurdistan. The announcement was made in a joint statement in the Kurdish city of Sari Kani in northern Syria. They also said that they would establish a military coordination room to fight IS in Syrian Kurdistan. In the statement both groups call on the international community to assist them militarily so they can eradicate the extremist group. They also said that they would give amnesty to all members from the Islamic group who are willing to switch sides.

Are they the official saudi ones - the ones the US want to train?

If yes, Saudi - Turkey is 2:0.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 9:42:15 AM | 55

posted by: somebody | Sep 28, 2014 8:19:17 AM | 52

Is Erdogan looking to annex some of syria. Sounds like it with all his no fly zone chatter. Makes me wonder just how serious he is about helping syrian refugees. But I have become somewhat cynical and suspicious of motives by Syria neighbors, so read my comment here with a grain of salt please.

Posted by: really | Sep 28, 2014 9:46:50 AM | 56

#55 Probably, as Faysal announced that some harsh decisions have to be taken to fight terrorism. KSA needs Egypt, but it needs it as Singapore needed Malaysia: a nice bordello where they can have fun once in a while when they get out their puritanist tribal surrounding. If Egypt becomes (as it has been) a factory of extremists, holidays for the KSAns just don't look the same. So they need to do something, coz without Egypt, no more schools, no more hospitals in the kingdom will function. There is no way the subjects of the royals will accept degrading and tiresome work ever.

الفيصل يدعو إلى اتخاذ قرارات حازمة لمواجهة الإرهاب

http://arabic.rt.com/news/759774-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%B5%D9%84-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A9-%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B1%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%A8/

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 10:00:55 AM | 57

HAGEL: Any attack on those that we have trained and who are supporting us, we will help ‘em.

Who's "we," kimosabe?
ArmyTimes, Sep 27
Poll: 70% of troops say no more boots on the ground in Iraq

As the tide of war rises again in the Middle East, the military’s rank and file are mostly opposed to expanding the new mission in Iraq and Syria to include sending a large number of U.S. ground troops into combat, according to a Military Times survey of active-duty members.

On the surface, troops appear to support President Obama’s repeated vows not to let the U.S. military get “dragged into another ground war” in Iraq. Yet at the same time, the views of many service members are shaped by a deep ambivalence about this commander in chief and questions about his ability to lead the nation through a major war, according to the survey and interviews.

The reader survey asked more than 2,200 active-duty troops this question: “In your opinion, do you think the U.S. military should send a substantial number of combat troops to Iraq to support the Iraqi security forces?” Slightly more than 70 percent responded: “No.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 10:48:15 AM | 58

Very interesting analysis of available facts on MH17.

"The picture of entry and exit holes in the cockpit area (control cabin) of the Boeing 777 fully corresponds to the assumption that it was caused by being shot through by approximately 20-30mm rounds from a fighter cannon. This supports the second version of the crash. The same can be said about the nature of fragment distribution over the fuselage of the plane. From the left side the edges of fragments of the control cabin fuselage are rolled up from inside to outside, which points at significant damage inside the cabin as a result of dynamic pressure of missiles over its right side.

There are characteristic entrance holes and several exit holes visible on the fuselage. The edges of the holes are bent inwards, they are much smaller and are round-shaped. Exit holes are less precisely shaped, and their edges are bent outwards. Additionally, it is visible that the exit holes pierced the aluminum covering twice and bent it outwards. I.e., the striking elements (judging by the impact type, aircraft missile rounds) broke through the cockpit. Open rivets were also bent outwards.

Boeing 777 fragment Fuselage damage is clearly visible – break through holes, caused by a 20- to 30-mm cannon.

Distinctive inward bends of the fuselage indicate a cannon round impact.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article185484.html

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Sep 28, 2014 11:43:34 AM | 59

Interesting observation about the Fake War on Terror over at Xymphora...

Guess it didn't work

Tweet (Jack Hunter):
"The same people who said we "fight them over there" so we don't "have to fight them here" now say they're coming here. Guess it didn't work."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28, 2014 1:03:06 PM | 60

@59 ben.. same analysis as what i shared in the video @29...

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2014 1:21:26 PM | 61

I think B is right about the no fly zone. It took strenuous Russian action to stop the rush to war after the false flag cw attack. But polls in America showed people were opposed to war on behalf of the jihadists against a secular state, even if it was against "a madman" who "killed his own people."

I think that public opinion will remain the same, especially after all the work making daesh into boogeymen. Although more false flags have to be expected.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 28, 2014 1:31:00 PM | 62

Pics taken at the Turkish border, involve a number of people who have fought or dealt with the IS and left after seeing too many horrors but who still want to fight Bashar al Asad and ultimately dream of a caliphate. Maybe a #getabrain campaign could help?
http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/visuel/2014/09/26/en-syrie-et-turquie-a-la-lisiere-de-l-etat-islamique_4494870_3214.html

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28, 2014 2:00:50 PM | 63

crest

What would stop US no fly zone? Nothing so what about what americans believe? It doesnt matter. Does it?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 28, 2014 2:01:08 PM | 64

On July 9, Syria's Western-backed opposition, the National Coalition, elected Hadi al-Bahra as its new president after a three-day meeting in Istanbul.

Bahra, a U.S-trained industrial engineer, has close ties to Saudi Arabia, as did his predecessor Ahmad Jarba, who stood down after serving the maximum two six-month terms. "We look to President-elect Bahra and other new leaders to reach out to all Syrian communities and to strengthen unity amongst moderate opposition institutions," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

On September 26, Hadi al Bahra addressed the United Nations General Assembly, not a bad feat for a Syrian outsider.

In his speech, Bahra outlined the US strategy in Syria, which is to oppose two enemies in Syria and to form a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers.

...The regime’s forces are as bad as those of ISIL and the sectarian militias that the regime brought from across the border, from Iran and Lebanon and Iraq and other countries, to join it in committing crimes against the Syrian people. We cannot fully defeat ISIL without eliminating the regime, which is its root cause and which continues to nourish it.

For this reason, the opposition presented a declaration of principles in Geneva stating that the fight against terrorism will not be decisive unless we form a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers. This body will be tasked with providing the necessary environment to achieve security and stability in Syria.

...We in the Syrian national opposition openly declare that both Assad’s tyranny and terrorism and ISIL’s terrorism are obstacles to achieving our people’s aspirations: to build their national, democratic, and just state. A state of freedom, equality and rule of law. We will continue this struggle until the Syrian people achieve their legitimate demands for human dignity and fundamental freedoms.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 2:04:41 PM | 65

@65
Unless I missed it, Bahra didn't mention "moderates" or "Free Syria(n) Army." He did say:

...Our next step will be to return to Syria in order to liberate the land from Assad’s authoritarianism and ISIL’s terrorism. We will begin to restore stability and to mobilize the economy in the liberated areas.

Good luck on that. Recall that Free Syria Army has said that it will not join US-led coalition against ISIS.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 2:18:00 PM | 66

I made some post the other day about Khorasan being the oil-rich, Arab region of Iran. That's totally wrong, as I learned today. That is Khuzestan. Khorasan is an extremely poor region of Iran near Afghanistan.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 2:34:28 PM | 67

propaganda, propaganda and more propaganda.. when will it ever stop? the germans swallowed in in the 30's and the usa/uk/western world are swallowing it in 2014..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2014 2:52:20 PM | 68

i might regret saying that as i wasn't around in the 30's in germany, but i am around in canada in 2014.. the level of propaganda and outright lies from the political leaders is astonishing..

Posted by: james | Sep 28, 2014 2:54:42 PM | 69

OnT: Comment w/ George Galloway: Anti-ISIL alliance: boom or bust?

OffT, but interesting map showing countries colored different depending on wether they are higher/lower human development index than Iran.

Interesting to note the Ukraine lags behind Iran.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 3:46:44 PM | 70

PressTV Poll:

What do you make of the anti-ISIL alliance?

It is doomed to fail as some of its members are countries that have helped create the terrorist group. 92 %
It will succeed in uprooting the terrorist group as its members are seriously fighting terrorism. 8 %

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 3:48:25 PM | 71

Level of propaganda is extreme. Media moguls bought "Media Consolidation" from congress - networks owned by war profiteers like GE, for example. Otherwise, media ownership by mega corps bent on other profit centers likewise dependent on maintaining the status quo. Their cozy relationship with congress and government is critical toward maximizing profits.

People generally believe what they see and hear - if they see it on network tv or hear it on a "major network". They tend to disbelieve internet news. Internet full of conspiracy theories, crazies, etc.
This myth - again propaganda - is reinforced and promoted by the MSM.
MSM = only reputable source of information. This is 180 degrees from the truth.

Infiltration and neutering of opposition groups. Penny For Your Thoughts posited: Where is the outcry from Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, Taxpayer Groups, etc regarding the waste and destruction of all those oil wells, infrastructure and $250K Humvees?

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 28, 2014 3:53:48 PM | 72

Propaganda

Yes people in the west are so extremly indoctrinated, most are plain stupid on this, they believe whatever their God Obama says or what their MSM news programme says. Its crazy. Hitler wasnt even close to fool the germans like this.
Shameful world we live in.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 28, 2014 4:22:56 PM | 73

OT but PressTV has a very strange teaser article up:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/28/380329/iran-foils-bbc-bid-to-steal-documents/


Iran foils BBC operation to steal Iranian documents

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry says it has thwarted attempts by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to steal Iran's cultural, historical and art documents.
...
The ministry also noted that further information on the operation will be made public in due time.

Very mysterious. We know of course the the UK has many old art treasures that countries like Greece and Egypt are trying to get back, pilfered by the English just as the Nazis pilfered artworks in the course of their similar empire building.

But this appears to be on a different order. Very interesting.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 8:00:55 PM | 74

The Free Syrian Army was formed on July 29, 2011. On December 7, 2012, rebel leaders from across Syria announced the election of a new 30-member unified command structure called the Supreme Joint Military Command Council, known as the Supreme Military Command (SMC). Some 500 delegates elected the 30-person Supreme Military Council and a chief of staff on Friday and planned to meet soon with representatives from the opposition's newly reorganized political leadership, participants said.

In June of 2013, it was reported that FSA troops make up two-thirds of the 12,000 fighters that report to the Joint Command while the rest are drawn from a patchwork of Islamist groups that Gen. Albtaish said are relatively moderate.

But later last year, the SMC began to break up. “It’s really sad to see,” Elizabeth O’Bagy, a senior research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who just returned from a research trip to Syria, told Defense One. “Islamic movements are taking over the council and people feel they can’t fight back.”

On August 22, 2013, four of the five front commanders threatened to resign from the SMC, promising to break "red lines" and work "with all forces fighting in Syria," a clear reference to the war's growing Salafist-Jihadist contingent.

And now, according to SecDef Hagel, there is nobody in charge of the force that the US has been supporting for years. The SMC and FSA have no chief, and no spokesman.

Yet these ghosts are the basis of the new US policy to attack both Syria and ISIS. These ghosts can't speak . . . .so the White House speaks for them.

FoxNews:

A top White House national security adviser said Sunday that the United States has strong support from Syrian residents in its effort to destroy Islamic State positions in their country, downplaying protests and arguing that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a common enemy.

"We've seen strong expressions of support from the Syrian opposition for the effort that we're making,” Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told “Fox News Sunday.”


Yup -- that's Tony Blinken speaking for the Syria "moderates," telling us about the strong expressions that he's seen. Antony John 'Tony' Blinken has been the Assistant to the President of the United States and Deputy National Security Adviser for President Barack Obama, since January 25, 2013. Blinken was born in Yonkers, New York, to Jewish parents Judith and Donald Blinken. He attended Dalton School in New York City until 1971, when he moved to Paris, France, with his divorced mother and her new husband, Holocaust survivor and lawyer, Samuel Pisar. Pisar, who had survived both the Auschwitz and Dachau, strongly influenced his views. (--wiki)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 8:06:48 PM | 75

Oh, this is bad news. (not)
The Syrian Support Group quietly shut down last month, another casualty of the murky battleground conditions, lack of resources and infighting that have doomed every U.S.-backed attempt at creating a viable opposition partner.(McClatchy)

The Syrian Support Group (SSG) was a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization that was founded in December 2011. A team of Syrian expatriates, led by Ontario resident Louay Sakka, founded the SSG when they came to the conclusion that armed revolution was necessary. The Syrian Support Group was the only organization legally permitted by the U.S. government to provide support directly to the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

On 23 July 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control granted the organization its license to fund the Free Syrian Army. On 1 August 2012, a Treasury Department official confirmed that they had given Syrian Support Group this license. The license requires that the organization make monthly reports of their expenditures to the U.S. Department of State. (wiki)

A timely reminder of the fates of such projects, the group’s implosion comes as President Barack Obama tethers his new strategy against Islamic State extremists to a so-called moderate Syrian opposition force that does not yet exist in a cohesive form.(McClatchy)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 8:33:04 PM | 76

headlines:
Obama: US misjudged Iraqi army's ability, militants' threat -- He noted that his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has acknowledged that the U.S. "underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." Obama also said it was "absolutely true" that the U.S. overestimated the ability and will of the Iraqi army.//

Reminds me of a line from West Side Story, from the 60's (before most of yours' time). Two competing gangs, and a member of one of them explaining his illicit actions: "We aren't depraved, we are deprived."

That's Obama, a gang member, who is not depraved, he says, but deprived. . . of proper intelligence. At least that's his story, and he's stickin' to it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 8:44:54 PM | 77

@77 I'm sure it's all Assad's fault.

Posted by: dh | Sep 28, 2014 8:56:44 PM | 78

US Bombs Syrian Civilians as Boehner Demands “Boots on the Ground”


While U.S. military sources claimed the latest airstrikes were a success, a human rights monitor has reported only civilians were among the dead.

I saw two articles on the German involvement as well ...

The Rise of German Imperialism
German government sends arms to Iraq and backs US air strikes in Syria

This seems a commitment by western government to the destruction of government in the Middle East.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 28, 2014 9:07:28 PM | 79

I have trouble believing some people still think Obama has any real autonomy. He's just the latest incarnation of the dutiful lackey. American "interests" dictate our policies around the globe. Multinational corporations dictate our foreign and national policies, Obama just follows the script.

Posted by: ben | Sep 28, 2014 9:29:18 PM | 80

Well, of course, Obama is a front, how else could a junior member of Congress become president, with all the money that requires. He's a demonstrative example of the failure of democracy, which is why his poll numbers indicate mostly disapproval, and getting worse as seen here. But he is the president, and that means that his teleprompter campaign-style speeches have some importance, especially as indications of his inadequacy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 9:43:05 PM | 81

@ben He's just the latest incarnation of the dutiful lackey.

But there was something about Bush's declaring he was "the decider" that made me think that - though he is probably lead by the nose into every decision by his advisors, by the news they feed him, by the people they let him meet - that these presidents do have to actually sign all the papers and give the final word.

Not that that makes them autonomous. The President of the United States is the most watched, persona on the planet. His entire world is set up and shaped by those around him. Nothing reaches him that isn't sculpted and molded to be as those around him want it.

I'm just bullshitting sort of, it interests me though, how much propaganda these guys are the victim of. I definitely think you are right - he isn't at the center of power.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 9:44:03 PM | 82

@Don - It's a damn shame they can't break that down by age, race, gender, and income. It would really be fascinating.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 9:55:37 PM | 83

Obama is an opportunist, with no character, no principles, no anything but 'hope and promise.' So people who do have an agenda are attracted to him, and welcomed by him, and many of them find opportunity, find that Obama needs people like them. People like Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 9:57:42 PM | 84

#84 Excellent analysis. But are they attracted to him? Or did they create him?

....

OT: Warren Buffet denying the US is experiencing social crisis:

“Since I was born, the real [USA] GDP per capita has increased six times. That is what this system produces. Our system unleashes human potential like nothing ever has. It’s going to blossom,” Buffet said. “There’s no surer bet than that America’s economic progress will continue at a good clip. It may not include everybody… But the overall pie will continue to grow,” Buffett said.

In other words... America will split into two parts - those with and those without. And those without, as we've seen with no real wage growth since the 1970s, will be the majority by an huge amount.

This is the definition of social crisis.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28, 2014 10:24:12 PM | 85

@84: People like Zbigniew Brzezinski are also foot soldiers for the Multinationals, whose business plans will not be interrupted. Business uber alles! Austerity for the masses of workers, great wealth for the servants of the monied elites.

Posted by: ben | Sep 28, 2014 10:27:41 PM | 86

“Since I was born, the real [USA] GDP per capita has increased six times. That is what this system produces. Our system unleashes human potential like nothing ever has. It’s going to blossom,” Buffet said. “There’s no surer bet than that America’s economic progress will continue at a good clip. It may not include everybody… But the overall pie will continue to grow,” Buffett said.

This message from Buffet could be interpreted as the set up for a typical Wall Street "Pump and Dump" ploy.

The Real Estate Housing Bubble and Crash (with all it's accoutrements vis a vis "Mortgage-backed securities" and "Collateralized Debt Obligations" and "Credit Default Swaps" - Fast Credit and erroneously recorded mortgages via fast and loose computer data entry - paper hot and fast, fast and loose.) was not a bug, but a feature. It was the greatest Ponzi Scheme in World History.

If you want suckers to buy, you trot out old Buffet to tell you that shit is made of solid gold.

When the buying is over, you (not you - Buffet) short the hell out of it as it goes down.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 28, 2014 10:40:00 PM | 87

This latest tangent of mine, may seem off topic, but rest assured, all the turmoil in the world is related to the economic struggle going on between "workers", and the malignant elites. To that end, a favorite quote of mine, which I consider highly relevant.

" I hope we shall crush in it's birth, the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our governments to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our countries."

Thomas Jefferson November 12, 1816

Posted by: ben | Sep 28, 2014 10:54:21 PM | 88

now its Hong Kongs turn..some lcoals decide to work a colour revolution, daring the state to crack down, so US can cry: 'repression'

Delecluze ‏@decluze 23h
Hong Kong students incited by #US-GONGOs & #US-QUANGOs http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8603441.html … attempt maidan-style colour revolution http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/26/us-hongkong-china-idUSKCN0HL1T820140926
'Their excuse is that they are "pressing for democracy" in Hong Kong. But how can one safeguard democracy while he is spoiling his nation's sovereignty?

The two opposition activists, both former Hong Kong legislators, met earlier this month with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House'

Posted by: brian | Sep 28, 2014 10:55:37 PM | 89

US backed colour revolution in Hong Kong:
'The leaders of the protest movement "Occupy Central", which organizes in Hong Kong, various public events with the requirements of the democratization of the management system, pre-workshops held in the "Hong Kong-American Center."

It is noteworthy that they were trained in the spring and summer campaign began. This information is leaked to the media. Officially stated purpose of the nonprofit organization is "to promote mutual understanding between the Chinese and the Americans", ITAR-TASS reported.

Pravda.Ru, that it is a social movement in Hong Kong, which formally aims to reform the electoral system, a special area (not to recall the NGO "Voice").  
During the workshops, some international experts taught them the tactics of protest actions, negotiation strategies with the authorities in a large-scale popular uprisings, were isolated from the list of political demands points from which in any case should not be abandoned, says Chinese newspaper "Huanqiu Shibao".

Head of the "Hong Kong-American Center," Morton Holbrook appointed to this position at the end of last year, is "an important spy," about 30 years in the American intelligence agencies, says "Huanqiu Shibao." As noted in the article, Holbrook, as well as Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, a sponsor opposition, close to the former Minister of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

"One gets the impression that the United States-based" Hong Kong-American center "is trying to use the experience of Eastern European" color revolutions "in Hong Kong in order to influence the internal situation," - emphasizes the newspaper.

Pravda.Ru recalls that color revolutions are called "non-violent" overthrow the government.
http://www.pravda.ru/news/world/asia/25-09-2014/1228147-Cina-0/

Posted by: brian | Sep 28, 2014 11:21:19 PM | 90

The apparent contradictions in Americas forever global war policy are only twisted and insane seeming because of the total collapse of the ideological frauds which the US has used since WW2 (and before) to rationalize it - "spreading democracy", "defending the innocent" etc. Once these kinds of political-pseudo legal rationalizations are removed (or simply ignored) and when one stops trying to apply the fraudulent moral/legal rationalizations, the Hobssean war of all against which the US is waging slides logically into view and it is completely consistent with the "logic" of the regime of finance capital, which is behind it all.

Posted by: nomas | Sep 28, 2014 11:36:15 PM | 91

@Anonymous 64

A majority of Americans were against a war in Syria even after all the CW false flag hype.
Yes, the ISIS scare worked, but because ISIS actually did something, and that was shoo the entire Iraqi army out of the Anbar province like flies. They did something worth fearmongering, and again they are the jihadist boogeymen that Americans have been warned about for the last 13 years.

There was no debate about Libya, it was just, Qaddafi killing his own people!!! then attacks. People got weary of this.

The US Air Force is stretched incredibly thin right now. Enforcing a real no fly zone would be rough work for them, even if they aren't facing a huge threat. And the Syrian army is half guerilla right now, it would be really easy for them to go underground. This is what will keep the U.S. military vigilant and eager to stop the ISIS war from becoming war against the Syrian government.

The state department is controlled by neocons, they have a great relationship with the press, they had a readymade villain and that made the ISIS war an easy sell. Attacking the army that's fighting the jihadists and stands for secularism, this isn't so easy to fearmonger about.

That's all I wanted to say. Overestimating the powers of the neocons and their cronies is what they want. Assuming that their desires will simply come to pass is part of their strategy. "There is no alternative" is of course the beat of the neoliberal/neocon drum. There is an alternative.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 28, 2014 11:56:48 PM | 92

in scotland and Crmea the entire peoples held referendums,,,,
in Hong kong, a few thousand use pressure tactics to force the govt to collapse...which is the more democratic?

Posted by: brian | Sep 29, 2014 1:36:31 AM | 93

Everyone thinks the US Empire is going to last for several years. I don't agree with those thoughts. I think the Empire could be "toast" as soon as at the end of this year.

And would be a good thing because then all countries will be forced to come to a peaceful agreement. Because so many US supported countries will find themselves without financial & military support. And think what a US bankruptcy would mean for US oildemand & oilprices and the ensueing consequences for oilproducers in the Middle East.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 29, 2014 2:23:42 AM | 94

Posted by: nomas | Sep 28, 2014 11:36:15 PM | 90

The logic of a regime of finance capital (based on the surplus value of work income) and done by actors who live in a secular democracy themselves would be "comparatively" benign. European/Ottoman colonialists created nightmares in the colonized countries, you can find many examples of them cutting heads, not to mention slavery and torture, the psychological effects probably still at work today. So no, it is not an Islamic custom, but European colonialists had to pacify their empires (missionaries, schools, administration) to be able to profit, and profit would have to be long term. It is instant profit nowadays without the "nation building". The last attempt to do old fashioned colonialism was Iraq and Afghanistan, both failed because of Saudi supported Jihadi fighters and in both cases Saudi were not identified as hostile because they paid their way. And 9/11 and now the IS decapitation videos had links to Saudi, and both managed to get the US electorate to support US intervention.
You now have a business model of resource rich clients paying patrons to fight for their protection and power. In the Middle East and in Ukraine. The "no boots on the ground" is a logical consequence. As long as US and European citizens don't get killed, as long as the war is payed for by the clients via the weapons bought, the jobs in the arms industries created in the US and Europe, voters will not really get upset.

Hillary Clinton-Run State Department Approved Bill Clinton Speeches, Despite Potential Conflicts

Writing about the documents in the Washington Examiner, Judicial Watch's Micah Morrison notes that Bill Clinton also earned millions off speeches to groups with close ties to the government of Saudi Arabia. For one speech in January 2011 at a business forum in Riyadh founded by the Saudi Investment Authority, he was paid $300,000. Those speeches followed 2008 disclosures showing that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica have donated money to the Clinton Foundation.

The documents also show Bill Clinton was also paid $625,000 for two speeches in Russia, including one to an investment bank that the State Department describes as "focused on the emerging markets of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Sub-Saharan Africa." Kazakhstan is particularly noteworthy: In 2008, the New York Times reported that Bill Clinton accompanied Canadian mining executive Frank Giustra to a meeting with Kazakhstan's president. Two days later the Kazakhstan government gave that executive's company permission to invest in a uranium mining project. The Times pointed out that "just months after the (mining) pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra."

Bush family Saudi connections

Bush can spew all the frontier rhetoric he wishes, but in the case of the Saudis, his inaction speaks louder. Why he would rather undermine the war on terrorism than confront Riyadh is an interesting question, and it doesn't require a particularly active imagination to wonder if there is more here than just oil and a bad case of realpolitik.

The links between the House of Bush and the House of Saud are deep, overlapping and notoriously opaque: the Saudi investment in the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm whose rainmakers include George Bush Senior; the Saudi bankrolling of Poppy's presidential library; the lucrative contracts the Saudis doled out to Halliburton when Dick Cheney was at the company's helm. The main law firm retained by the Saudis to defend them against the 9-11 families is Baker Botts -- as in James Baker, the Bush family consigliere. And, of course, there's oil, the black glue connecting all these dots.

And this here is Patrick Cockburn

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country.
A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany

US foreign policy is something you can pay for by funding competing politicians and lobby groups. It is hard to patch the policies resulting from these conflicting interests and personal animosities, therefore the more and more incoherent political statements and speeches.

Assad has called the Saudis "half men". They now insist on getting rid of him.

British alliances against the Ottomans decided Saudi borders and their Wahhabi ruler. The finance capital that pays for the weapons has shifted in this neo colonial enterprise. It is no longer invested by British nor US citizens but by the rulers of the colonies themselves. In hereditary absolute monarchies their investment decisions are guaranteed to be made with a very personal flavour.

This here is the British ambassador to Lebanon's ambiguous blog post in April 2013

It is not just about the last Sykes and Picot, but the next ones. And they should have Arabic names.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2014 3:08:09 AM | 95

willy2

I think thats naive about, you think empires just die like that? This empire will die but it will be when we all here are already dead for a very long time.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 29, 2014 3:28:19 AM | 96

@somebody #94:

Given the humanitarian crisis that Saudi Arabia has unleashed on Syria, I don't think that there's much doubt that Saudi Arabia is at least as evil as Israel. At least Israel has a cultural connection to the Anglo-American empire and to Russia; Saudi Arabia in contrast, with its Wahabbism, is totally alien to Western society (and I include Russia in that category here). So I'm somewhat mystified as to why there is a strong pro-Palestinian movement in the West, without a corresponding anti-Saudi movement. Putting pressure on the US and England to stop propping up the Saudi monarchy is just as worthy a cause as putting a stop to the Israeli ellimination of the Palestinians.

@Anonymous # 95:

Your comments make VietnamVet sound like a indefatigable optimist.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29, 2014 3:54:38 AM | 97

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29, 2014 3:54:38 AM | 96

From 2002

It is an indication of the level of the US elite's urgent concern over Saudi Arabia's instability that it propels Bush Jr's very risky and radical preemptive war plan. A recent commentary article by Mo Mowlan, former member of Tony Blair's cabinet from 1997-2001, accused the US of precisely this motive for attacking Iraq (Comment, The Guardian. 05sep02). Her assessment is worth quoting in some detail:

"Since September 11, however, it has become increasingly apparent to the US administration that the Saudi regime is vulnerable. Both on the streets and in the leading families, including the royal family, there are increasingly anti-western voices. Osama bin Laden is just one prominent example. The love affair with America is ending. Reports of the removal of billions of dollars of Saudi investment from the United States may be difficult to quantify, but they are true. The possibility of the world's largest oil reserves falling into the hands of an anti-American, militant Islamist government is becoming ever more likely - and this is unacceptable.

"The Americans know they cannot stop such a revolution. They must therefore hope that they can control the Saudi oil fields, if not the government. And what better way to do that than to have a large military force in the field at the time of such disruption. In the name of saving the west, these vital assets could be seized and controlled. No longer would the US have to depend on a corrupt and unpopular royal family to keep it supplied with cheap oil. If there is chaos in the region, the US armed forces could be seen as a global saviour. Under cover of the war on terrorism, the war to secure oil supplies could be waged."

True again in 2014. Therefore the reinvasion plans. And therefore the Saudi "Shiite" obsession. A deal with Iran would allow for the destabilization of the Saudi monarchy.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2014 4:27:27 AM | 98

Here is the link

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2014 4:28:09 AM | 99

@Don Bacon | Sep 28, 2014 8:06:48 PM | 75

Be careful of the propagandist you quote …

Kerry's Source Ms O'Bagy Terminated @ISW (Sept. 11, 2013)

A follow-up from my earlier post about John Kerry and his source Elizabeth O'Bagy, "expert" on Syria. Read my diary - It Stinks A Mile In the Wind.

During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain both cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by Elizabeth O'Bagy to support their assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately "moderate," and potentially Western-friendly.

"She works with the Institute of War," Kerry said of O'Bagy. "She's fluent in Arabic and spent an enormous amount of time studying the opposition and studying Syria. She just published this the other day. Very interesting [Wall Street Journal] article, which I commend to you."
[Source: Mondoweiss]

Kerry added, "I just don't agree that a majority are al-Qaida and the bad guys."

Syria researcher dismissed for falsifying credentials hired by Senator McCain

(RT) - The Washington scholar who was cited by US leaders calling for a military strike on Syria, only to lose her job for fabricating her academic credentials, has been hired by the office of US Senator John McCain.

Elizabeth O'Bagy was formerly employed by the Institute for the Study of War, where she quickly became a respected voice on the ongoing conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition forces.

Posted by: Oui | Sep 29, 2014 4:40:23 AM | 100

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