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Amsterhammer said:
So Assad has a "Soviet" ally and thus the Muslim Brothers, while a great threat to US interests in the region, should be assisted by a military intervention?

Assad the secularist against the scourge of religious fanaticism, or is it the meek prey to the scourge of political repression?

Where does one’s fanaticism end and the others begin, I've asked?

Then, what are the underlying geopolitical and economic interests?
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
From the Syrian regime's perspective, Obama has climbed a tree and doesn't know how to get down.
The Syrians surely know it's only a matter of time before a rope is fabricated to get Obama down as well as to try and strangle Assad.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
It would seem so, though which fabrication serves in this moment?
That's the question. The words Syria, Maginot line keep running through my head. Perhaps the Hezbollah card gets played somehow, or the Kurds get used (in every sense of the word) again. Not to be forgotten in all this is that it's really about Iran.

Obama looks really bad here though. What an *******, stirring up a potential world war and then...

Tinderbox waiting for a match, obviously. Epic madness.
 
RetroActive said:
That's the question. The words Syria, Maginot line keep running through my head. Perhaps the Hezbollah card gets played somehow, or the Kurds get used (in every sense of the word) again. Not to be forgotten in all this is that it's really about Iran.

Obama looks really bad here though. What an *******, stirring up a potential world war and then...

Tinderbox waiting for a match, obviously. Epic madness.
I can only relate what the Italian foreign minister, Emma Bonino, has said about the prospective conflict: "One risks a global explosion. Without a UN mandate Damascus will react and Hezbollah might also take action, along with Russia and Iran."

Could a global explosion actually take place? Putin said yesterday that Kerry's statements were ridiculous, while from Iran a global threat has been made. In the words of the Captain of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohamed Ali Jafari: "A military attack against Syria by America would provoke a response beyond its borders." The Syrian prime minister, Wael al-Halqi, has futher made known that "the Syrian army is mobilized and has its finger on the trigger. The army is ready to confront each threat and scenario."

Rhetorical, but where is this headed?
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
I can only relate what the Italian foreign minister, Emma Bonino, has said about the prospective conflict: "One risks a global explosion. Without a UN mandate Damascus will react and Hezbollah might also take action, along with Russia and Iran."

Could a global explosion actually take place? Putin said yesterday that Kerry's statements were ridiculous, while from Iran a global threat has been made. In the words of the Captain of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohamed Ali Jafari: "A military attack against Syria by America would provoke a response beyond its borders." The Syrian prime minister, Wael al-Halqi, has futher made known that "the Syrian army is mobilized and has its finger on the trigger. The army is ready to confront each threat and scenario."

Rhetorical, but where is this headed?
These battle lines have been drawn up for years now. There's no excuse for pleading ignorance or pretending that any strike on Syria won't have much wider consequences, by Obama or anybody else for that matter.

If (when?)Syria does get the royal treatment can they be blamed for retaliating? Not in my book. Israel has bombed them how many times so far? No response to date excepting restraint. Assad isn't a lunatic.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ChewbaccaD said:
While his request is repugnant to me, I am snickering at Obama (the incompetent, out of touch, in over his head president) taking the bullsh!t political football rhetoric of Republicans, and saying, "okay guys, you get to vote on Syria like you said you wanted to." Now, what are you gonna' do Chickenhawks?
From a political standpoint, this was a brilliant move.

UK votes against action, US possibly alone, no chance of a SC mandate with Russia (and perhaps still China as well) objecting.

He puts the ball in US Congress' court, deflecting, or even exploiting a criticism he received after he assisted the overthrow of Qaddafi, or when he sent military advisers to hunt down Kony (which was depicted as an military invasion).

With Congress' low approval ratings, no one would even care if they voted in favor of, and counter to popular current polls about military involvement in Syria, a limited military strike.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
...seeing as I have worked long and hard to become this thread's "house dummy" ( which is why me and SoCal is so tight ) I'll rise to the bait...

....first thing to say is this situation was ugly, is ugly and all future options have ugly plastered all over them....there will no winners here....the winning move here is a situation that does the least harm to least number of people....

...that being said article really doesn't answer the big question why is this supposedly civil fought largely between foreign mercenaries and Syrians?...

...and then there is the emphasis upon the poor victims of the chemical attack...how do they represent a greater loss than the thousands and thousands that have died before....

...and then there is the weird misrepresentation of the Russian position in Syria starting with mention of a port that is little more than a dock and a few tin building ( read minor strategic value and certainly not starting WW111 over )...

....and then the article asks how best can the US prevent more of a slaughter...gee maybe not funding, and organizing, and arming the lung-eater faction seems like an obvious start to this dummie....but for some reason cruise missiles have become a more better choice ( and btw some are supposedly being aimed at gas storage facilities that are in urban areas....and we are supposed to believe that this is a good move to prevent further deaths by chemical means? )...

....this reads like something put out by the same rag before the Iraq mess, except this is more nuanced, like a knuckle-ball instead of a Judith Miller fastball...

Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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RetroActive said:
These battle lines have been drawn up for years now. There's no excuse for pleading ignorance or pretending that any strike on Syria won't have much wider consequences, by Obama or anybody else for that matter.

If (when?)Syria does get the royal treatment can they be blamed for retaliating? Not in my book. Israel has bombed them how many times so far? No response to date excepting restraint. Assad isn't a lunatic.
....good point on the restraint shown in the face of Israeli provocations....which begs the question why would Assad suddenly turn terminally stupid and use chemical weapons...

Cheers
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Indeed, the more you think about it, the smarter this move is. Again, I just wish that he would have done it sooner, and without the bellicose language that he used.

Watch out for mysterious nocturnal explosions, with fingers pointing at Israel.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
From a political standpoint, this was a brilliant move.

UK votes against action, US possibly alone, no chance of a SC mandate with Russia (and perhaps still China as well) objecting.

He puts the ball in US Congress' court, deflecting, or even exploiting a criticism he received after he assisted the overthrow of Qaddafi, or when he sent military advisers to hunt down Kony (which was depicted as an military invasion).

With Congress' low approval ratings, no one would even care if they voted in favor of, and counter to popular current polls about military involvement in Syria, a limited military strike.
....maybe not so much brilliant but more the only move he has left...

...and btw he he is not alone, he has, in his fight to bring democracy and other assorted good things to Syria, the backing of several paragons of democracy, justice and stuff, such as al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel....

Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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.....more fun from the Syrian front...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Homemade canisters and sarin gas without stabilizers??

Last edited Sun Sep 1, 2013, 12:11 PM USA/ET - Edit history (3)

Anyone see UP with Steve Kornacki today? A female guest who worked in both Bush and Clinton administrations (not a political appointee) said that the canisters found in Syria were homemade, not the type any country's military uses, and that the sarin was without the stabilizers you'd expect.

She said that Chinese and Russian inspectors are still on the ground there, but that none of this info (re canisters and non-stabilized sarin) is being reported here in the U.S.

She also said that during the run up to Iraq she was in the room when Clinton approved of the plan, saying the evidence was good - suggesting that both Republicans and Dems are fine with "evidence" that isn't actually evidence. She also suggested that the homemade canisters and type of sarin makes her think of al Qaeda.

A riveting guest I thought. Did anyone see her and get her name? Couldn't find it online yet.

On edit: It was Hillary Mann Leverett (thanks to BigDarryl)
Edit 2: typo
Edit 3: About Hillary Mann Leverett: http://www.american.edu/sis/faculty/leverett.cfm

....and this...


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/30/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE94T0YO20130530
<snip>
"Earlier, several Turkish newspapers had reported that 12 people from Syria's al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front who allegedly had been planning an attack inside Turkey and were in possession of 2 kg (4.5 pounds) of sarin, had been detained in Adana.

The raids highlight the growing concern that Syria's civil war is dragging in neighboring states.

In the worst example of the spillover into Turkey, 52 people were killed when twin car bombs ripped through the border town of Reyhanli on May 11. Turkey has accused Syria of involvement in the attacks, but Damascus has denied any role.

Nusra is one of the most effective forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad and last month pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. The U.S. State Department designated Nusra as a terrorist organization in December.

Experts have long said Nusra is receiving support from al Qaeda-linked militants in neighboring Iraq. The group claimed responsibility for deadly bombings in Damascus and Aleppo, and its fighters have joined other Syrian rebel brigades."

Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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RetroActive said:
Trying to punt while sinking in quicksand.
...exactemondo....

...that being said. would love to see the game plans of the various lobbies that will be involved in working the upcoming vote in Congress to the benefit of their clients....

....and speaking of lobbies, seeking democracy for Syria, showing their hands, we have this late breaking news...

"Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on Sunday blasted President Barack Obama for asking for Congress’ approval before launching an attack on Syria over the President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons."

...couldn't have put it better myself...beautiful insight into the motivations of the good guys who are presently being stymied in their battle against evil and stuff...( loose translation....I mean, really, the nerve of that president guy, actually following the rules and seeking the approval of Congress, especially after everything we've done for him....and we worked this perfectly and the plan calls for cruise missile yesterday....you are really messing up our plan!!!!!!...how dare you!!!!! )... .

....btw someone should feed the dog as he is really worn out and hungry...

...and this...like I've haven't seen this before somewhere?...

"On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative—which was started by Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, Robert Kagan, and other hawkish-minded policy wonks—sent a letter to Obama, urging him to slam Assad in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria: "At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons."

But the letter—which was signed by Elliott Abrams, Fouad Ajami, Max Boot, Ellen Bork, Eliot Cohen, Douglas Feith, Joseph Lieberman, Clifford May, Joshua Muravchik, Danielle Pletka, Karl Rove, Randy Scheunemann, Kristol, Kagan, Senor, and dozens of others—demands that Obama go further. It calls on the president to provide "vetted moderate elements of Syria's armed opposition" with the military support necessary to strike regime units armed with chemical weapons. That is, the neocons and their allies have CW-ized their pre-existing demand for the United States to arm the rebels."

....and these clowns may wonder why they don't have any popular support ( or maybe they don't care for the support here...as they are employed by another "gawd"...)

Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....a sad underlying truth behind this mess...

"There's always money for war but never money for the needs of the people. The MIC must be fed.

Notice how the cost for this isn't even being debated? It doesn't matter if this costs $10 million, $100 million, $1 billion or $100 billion, the money will be found. But the money for our dilapidated infrastructure is nowhere to be found. The money for head start is nowhere to be found. Our priorities are ****ed up. I guess we need to blow **** up to make it a priority.

Yesterday, there was a thread with this link in it. The GOP wants a wider war to take out Assad. They want the MIC to gorge on the budget with a new war and starve the programs for the people like Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, etc. "

Cheers
 
May 11, 2009
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blutto said:
.....
Homemade canisters and sarin gas without stabilizers??

Last edited Sun Sep 1, 2013, 12:11 PM USA/ET - Edit history (3)

Anyone see UP with Steve Kornacki today? A female guest who worked in both Bush and Clinton administrations (not a political appointee) said that the canisters found in Syria were homemade, not the type any country's military uses, and that the sarin was without the stabilizers you'd expect.

.................
Depending the delivery method and design fins (stabilizers) are not always needed.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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avanti said:
Depending the delivery method and design fins (stabilizers) are not always needed.
....in the scenario that was referenced up thread, chemical stabilizers would have been essential because the attack did not have the hall marks of an attack by a binary projectile ( which is how the professional military uses sarin gas ), where stabilizers, as you correctly point out. are not required ( the number of dead is too small for that type of attack....but the relatively small number of dead is more consistent with what the end result an accidental "spill" would have had ..which is what the scenario up thread refers to...)....

Cheers
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Scott SoCal said:
If this were just about sticking his thumb in the R's eye then you might have some semblance of a point.

To make himself look like a total fool on the world stage just to stick it to the R's would make Obama dumber than even I have imagined.

But hey, you might be right.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/world/middleeast/overseas-concern-follows-obamas-new-approach-to-syria.html?_r=0
I'm just curious Scott, what do you think America should do and are the said reasons for why a military strike is "necessary" the real ones, or is this just another ploy in the struggle for regional control?

If you were in Obama's position what course of action do you take, bearing in mind that you will disatisfy someone either way?
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....more interesting news from the eastern front....if true would explain lots...like why Obama is in a pickle or maybe just maybe why Obama has moved the way he has....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brit spy stn on Cyprus would hear anything the Mossad might hear re. Assad authorizing sarin attack.

This is according to the former British diplomat and Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. He seems to think it suspicious that the Mossad is telling the US it has definitive intercepts pinning the blame for the Sarin attack on Assad, and yet this super duper British electronic eavesdropping station in Cyprus which monitors communications throughout the Middle East has apparently not picked up this same evidence. If the British snoops had the same intercepts, presumably they would have passed the info on to Cameron to use to backup the Israeli assertions of Assad's guilt.


The Troodos Conundrum
by Craig Murray

The GCHQ listening post on Mount Troodos in Cyprus is arguably the most valued asset which the UK contributes to UK/US intelligence cooperation. The communications intercept agencies, GCHQ in the UK and NSA in the US, share all their intelligence reports (as do the CIA and MI6). Troodos is valued enormously by the NSA. It monitors all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East, ranging from Egypt and Eastern Libya right through to the Caucasus. Even almost all landline telephone communication in this region is routed through microwave links at some stage, picked up on Troodos.

Troodos is highly effective – the jewel in the crown of British intelligence. Its capacity and efficiency, as well as its reach, is staggering. The US do not have their own comparable facility for the Middle East. I should state that I have actually been inside all of this facility and been fully briefed on its operations and capabilities, while I was head of the FCO Cyprus Section in the early 1990s. This is fact, not speculation.

It is therefore very strange, to say the least, that John Kerry claims to have access to communications intercepts of Syrian military and officials organising chemical weapons attacks, which intercepts were not available to the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

On one level the explanation is simple. The intercept evidence was provided to the USA by Mossad, according to my own well placed source in the Washington intelligence community. Intelligence provided by a third party is not automatically shared with the UK, and indeed Israel specifies it should not be.

More at:
http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/08/the-troodos-conundrum/

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Nov 8, 2012
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rhubroma said:
I'm just curious Scott, what do you think America should do and are the said reasons for why a military strike is "necessary" the real ones, or is this just another ploy in the struggle for regional control?

If you were in Obama's position what course of action do you take, bearing in mind that you will disatisfy someone either way?
Obama made a huge mistake by giving an ultimatum. The "red-line" speech assumed that Obama would have his allies and the American people supporting military action and we now know he has neither. Big mistake #1.

Now Obama has backed off the eminent attack rhetoric and has shown weakness to people you can't show weakness to (Iran, Hammas, Brotherhood, etc.) Big mistake #2.

He has no choice but to go in with force, IMO, which its now clear he doesn't want to do.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
He as no choice but to go in with force, IMO,
....how is it that he has no choice?....here is a thought on choice, why go in at all?....after all the situation is really none of the US's business ( except that their well paid mercenaries are getting their asses kicked ....and that is important?..) and the US most certainly don't have the advantage of a high moral ground from which to operate from...and given the way that world legal thang works what Obama is proposing is arguably illegal....

...and last, but certainly not least. the US populace is seriously against involvement, so going in represents a potential re-election problem...

...or here is the most obvious thing to do, promote a political solution, no one dies, and Obama becomes a humanitarian hero...heck even Assad and Putin are pushing for that...but your only choice is to go in and kill more people....now tell again how the world hates the US because of their freedoms....and not because they have proved to be blood thirsty thugs in large part because they have a habit of backing blood thirsty regimes and all important weapons industries don't make much money in a world sans blood thirsty thugs...

Cheers
 
Nov 8, 2012
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blutto said:
....how is it that he has no choice?....here is a thought on choice, why go in at all?....after all the situation is really none of the US's business ( except that their well paid mercenaries are getting their asses kicked and that is important?..) and they most certainly don't have the advantage of a high moral ground from which to operate from...and given the way that world legal thang works what Obama is proposing is arguably illegal....

...and last certainly not least the US populace is seriously against involvement...

Cheers
Sure. But what happened to the "red-line".... Obama's "change in calculus..."?

Why does Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi come out publicly in favor of action?

I don't disagree with your post. But we will get involved because Obama can't be viewed the way he's now viewed in that region.

Watch how twitchy Israel gets. Watch how bold Iran gets.
 

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