- Ignoring Pleas for Diplomacy, US and ‘Friends’ Bomb Syria (Common Dreams, Sep 23, 2014):
In attacking ISIS, critics say that Obama now waging boundless, endless war
Despite calls for diplomacy and peace, the United States launched airstrikes against Syria early Tuesday targeting Islamic State (or ISIS) fighters, marking the first bombing of that nation since President Barack Obama declared he had all authority needed to conduct such strikes without congressional approval.
According to U.S. Central Command, the attacks struck 14 targets and were carried out with a “mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.” It was conducted with support from five partner Arab nations: the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Such nice friends RT @julianbarnes Obama: We were joined in this action by our friends and partners.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 23, 2014
Russian officials fear regional war may turn into a world war.
- Russia: We warned the Yanks about Islamic State (Al Jazeera, Sep 16, 2014):
By Alexander Nekrassov (a former Kremlin and government adviser)
A joke making the rounds among Russian officials and hacks who take a keen interest in what is going on in the Middle East these days goes something like this: How will the Yanks deal with the Islamic State group? They will create “Islamic State 2″, a bigger and better armed group, and let it deal with the original Islamic State group. And what happens when “Islamic State 2″ turns against them as it happened with the original Islamic State? They will create “Islamic State 3″, and so on. Continue reading »
- Revealed: Britain’s secret plan for 100,000 Syria invasion force (RT, July 4, 2014):
Britain was considering the option of training a massive, 100,000-strong army in Turkey and Jordan to defeat President Bashar Assad, according to a plan drawn up by a leading British general. The invasion was later scrapped as too risky.
The strategy, revealed by BBC Newsnight, involved Britain training a 100,000-strong rebel army in Jordan and Turkey over a 12-month period.
The rebels would have been trained by an international coalition armed with high-quality weaponry, and would have marched on Damascus with air cover provided by Britain and its allies.
And the one and only reason why this ‘brilliant’ Libya 2.0 plan had to be scrapped is called … Vladimir Putin.
The plan echoes the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign used in Iraq during its initial invasion in 2003.
The idea was developed two years ago by Lord Richards, the UK Chief of Defense Staff at the time. During his tenure, he actively lobbied Prime Minister David Cameron to intensify the war effort in Libya, and directly target its then-leader Muammar Gaddafi, rather than just protect civilians. Continue reading »
Jihadists fighting in Syria’s war put to use for the first time on Sunday American-made Humvees that they seized during a lightning offensive in Iraq this month, a monitor said.
- The U.S. Trained Terrorist Group ISIS in 2012 (Veterans Today)
H/t reader squodgy:
“Is this Democracy?”
- Bashar Assad wins Syria presidential election with 88.7% of vote (Pakalert Press, June 5, 2014):
Bashar Assad has won a landslide victory in the Syrian presidential poll with 88.7 percent of the vote. This will secure him a third seven-year term in office amidst a bloody civil war, which stemmed from protests against his rule.
“I declare the victory of Dr Bashar Hafez Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute majority of the votes cast in the election,” parliament speaker Mohammad Laham said in a televised address from his office in the Syrian parliament.
A total of 10.2 million people voted for Assad. The voter turnout stood at 73.42 percent. No violations have been reported, Syria’s Higher Judicial Committee for Elections said as quoted by SANA news agency.
Syrian officials said the result was a vindication of Assad’s three-year campaign against those fighting to get rid of him. Continue reading »
- Israel Assassinates Syrian General (Richard Silverstein, May 8, 2014):
The respected publication, Intelligence Online, reported today that Samir al-Sheikh, the Syrian general responsible for intelligence operations in the southern sector bordering the Golan Heights, was assassinated on April 13th. The publication notes that the typical Syrian resistance means of assassination are booby-trapped cars or grenades. This killing was committed with a gun fitted with a silencer, indicating a different likely author of the crime.
- Syrian regime document trove shows evidence of ‘industrial scale’ killing of detainees (Guardian, Jan 20, 2014):
Senior war crimes prosecutors say photographs and documents provide ‘clear evidence’ of systematic killing of 11,000 detainees
- How The Washington Post and The New Yorker Refused to Publish Article on Obama Admin Syria Lies (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 9, 2013):
Seymour Hersh is not some guy off the street with a laptop and a head full of crazy ideas. The pulitzer prize winning journalist broke the My Lai Massacre story during the Vietnam War and also led reporting on the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. Well his most recent investigative reporting involves covering some of the blatant lies told by the Obama Administration earlier this year in an attempt to push the nation into a war in Syria on behalf of al-Qaeda, based on some very shaky evidence that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. Bizarrely enough, the publication with which Mr. Hersh is most associated, The New Yorker, refused to publish it. So did The Washington Post.
I don’t know about you, but this sure stinks of self-censopship to me. In particular, I think the Washington Post is playing defense following its reporting of the Edward Snowden leaks, and is afraid to further piss off the crony Obama Administration. It also seems likely The Post didn’t want to publish an article that would have showcased the paper’s own sloppy and irresponsible reporting on the matter. Which if true, is beyond pathetic.
From the Huffington Post:
NEW YORK — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Obama administration Sunday of having “cherry-picked intelligence” regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria that served as evidence for an argument in favor of striking President Bashar Assad’s government.
In his piece — titled “Whose Sarin?” — Hersh reported that al-Nusra, a jihadi group fighting in Syria’s long-running civil war, had also “mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” Therefore, he wrote, “Obama did not tell the whole story” when stating with certainty that Assad had to be responsible, crossing a so-called “red line” that would trigger U.S. retaliation.
- Syrian air raid kills rebel commander in Aleppo: activists (Reuters, Nov 14, 2013):
A Syrian rebel commander in a main Islamist brigade was killed and two others were injured in an air strike by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on Aleppo, activists said on Friday, in a setback to rebels defending the city against a loyalist attack.
Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub and most populous city before the uprising against Assad erupted in 2011, has been witnessing heavy fighting since Assad’s forces, backed by Shi’ite militia from Iraq and the Lebanese party Hezbollah, launched an offensive two weeks ago to retake rebel-held areas in the city.
- Half Of Syrian Rebels Are Jihadists Fighting For Al Qaeda-Linked Groups, British Defense Study Finds (ZeroHedge, Sep 16, 2016):
Until now, there was mostly speculation and conjecture that among the Syrian “rebel” parties assisted by the Obama administration and the west in their attempt to overthrow Assad, are various groups either supported or comprising of factions consisting of Al Qaeda, Jihadists and other extremist Islamic group. That speculation is now fact according to extracts from a British defense study published in Monday’s Daily Telegraph, according to which Jihadists and members of hardline Islamist groups make up almost half of forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As AFP reported, the analysis by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s, due to be published in full later this week, puts the number of rebel forces at around 100,000. And half of this number are combatants on an ideological crusade against the west, who are partially or fully affiliated with Al Qaeda, and who will always seek a sponsor when carrying out whatever military operation is most profitable at any given moment. With Made In The USA weapons that is.
- Russia gives UNSC proof of chemical weapons use by militants (PressTV, Sep 11, 2013):
Russia has passed proof of the use of chemical weapons by the militants inside Syria to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“There are suspicions that the militants have used these [chemical] weapons repeatedly,” said the Head of Duma international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov on Wednesday, adding “Russia has just passed existing proof to the UN Security Council.”
He also said that the militants have used chemical weapons near Aleppo in March, adding that Carla Del Ponte, who is a leading United Nations investigator, has also acknowledged it.
- Assad Lays Down His Conditions: “Deal Depends On US Stopping Aid To Terrorists”, Israel Disposing Of WMDs (ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2013):
It was only a matter of time before Syria’s Assad, emboldened by Obama’s recent backtracking and confident he has all the leverage and momentum, started laying down his own conditions. And here they are, as per RIA citing an interview with Assad to air in its entirety later today on Rossia 24 TV:
- ASSAD CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO DISPOSE OF WMD (!)
- ASSAD SAYS CHEMCIAL ARMS DEAL DEPENDS ON US STOPPING AID TO TERRORISTS
- ASSAD SAYS WILL COMPLETE DEAL ONLY IF US STOPS “POLICY OF THREATS”
- ASSAD EXPECTS TO START HANDING OVER INFO ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS ONE MONTH AFTER JOINING OPCW
- ASSAD: ‘ANY WAR AGAINST SYRIA WILL BECOME A WAR THAT WILL DESTROY THE WHOLE REGION’
- SYRIA TO SEND DOCUMENTS TO UN, CHEMICAL WEAPONS GROUP SOON
- ASSAD SAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF DEAL MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MORE
If at all. And now, his bluff called, we go back to Barack Obama penning his Pravda Op-Ed.
- Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know from western media (Guardian, Jan 17, 2012):
Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media considers the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious.
Alas, not in every case. When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed. So it is with the results of a recent YouGov Siraj poll on Syria commissioned by The Doha Debates, funded by the Qatar Foundation. Qatar’s royal family has taken one of the most hawkish lines against Assad – the emir has just called for Arab troops to intervene – so it was good that The Doha Debates published the poll on its website. The pity is that it was ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country whose government has called for Assad to go.
Following up on this morning’s shocking “appeasement” turn of events by Russia and Syria, the White House has promptly fired back in the only way it knows: digging in deeper:
— White House Live (@WHLive) September 9, 2013
The comedy continues:
Yes – in Rwanda, Somalia and all those tens of other conflicts the US never got involved in because Qatari/Saudi petrodollar/gas interests were not involved.
With the mainstream media proclaiming last night’s Charlie Rose interview with Assad “propaganda”, the following headlines from a speech by national security advisors Susan Rice will frighten even the most “Miley Cyrus”-numb American:
- RICE SAYS OPENING DOOR TO CHEMICAL WEAPONS THREATENS U.S.
- RICE SAYS CHEMICAL WEAPONS COULD BE USED EVEN WITHIN THE U.S.
- RICE SAYS U.S. ALLIES BECOME `TEMPTING TARGETS’ IF NO RESPONSE
- RICE SAYS ASSAD ATTACK THREATENS GLOBAL SECURITY, U.S. INCLUDED
We can only imagine the ‘score’ underlying her words, which are getting scarier and louder with every verbal escalation…
- RICE SAYS SYRIA UNLEASHED `HELLISH CHAOS’ IN CHEMICAL ATTACK
and an ominous Carmina Burana ‘drum beat’, crescendoing with:
- RICE SAYS NOT RESPONDING MAY EMBOLDEN N KOREA, IRAN, TERRORISTS
So, it would appear, that a Syrian strike is no longer about preventing Assad from using weapons, as was the story until now, but deterring others from doing what Assad may or may not have done.
At the end of the day, the US will refuse to accept checkmate by being humiliated by grandmaster Putin in the world arena: it seems the decision is already made:
- RICE SAYS U.S. WOULD LIKE UN BACKING BUT IT WON’T HAPPEN
And finally, here is the admission after all. As expected, the whole point of this entire frace was to topple Assad and replace him with a pro-Syria, pro-Qatar, anti-Russia regime:
Rice: “Our overarching goal is to end the underlying conflict through a negotiated, political transition in which Assad leaves power” #Syria
— White House Live (@WHLive) September 9, 2013
And if we were Iran we would be worried. Very worried. A false flag in which Tehran attacks Israel is coming any second:
Rice: Limited strikes “will make clear to Assad and his allies—Hezbollah & Iran—that they should not test the resolve of the United States.” — White House Live (@WHLive) September 9, 2013
- Report: Saudis sent death-row inmates to fight Syria (USA TODAY, Jan 21, 2013):
Saudi Arabia has sent death-row inmates from several nations to fight against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences, the Assyrian International News Agency reports.
Citing what it calls a “top secret memo” in April from the Ministry of Interior, AINA says the Saudi offered 1,239 inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families, which were were allowed to stay in the Sunni Arab kingdom. Syrian President Bashar Assad is an Alawite, a minority Shiite sect.
According to an English translation of the memo, besides Saudis, the prisoners included Afghans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians and Yemenis. All faced “execution by sword” for murder, rape or drug smuggling.
Russia, which has backed Assad, objected to the bargain and allegedly threatened to bring the issue to the United Nations, said an unidentified former Iraqi member of Parliament who confirmed the memo’s authenticity, says AINA, an independent outlet.
- Diplomatic deal? Syria ‘welcomes’ proposal to hand over control of chemical weapons (CNN, Sep 9, 2013):
A new possibility for a diplomatic solution in the standoff between Syria and the United States surfaced unexpectedly Monday as the war-torn country said it supported a proposal to hand over control of its chemical weapons.But a key question loomed: Is that a viable option or simply a stall tactic as President Bashar al-Assad’s government tries to stave off U.S. military action?
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Moscow that his nation “welcomes” a proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks on Monday: put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control to avert a U.S. military response over an alleged poison gas attack last month.
“I declare that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes Russia’s initiative, on the basis that the Syrian leadership cares about the lives of our citizens and the security in our country,” Moallem said. “We are also confident in the wisdom of the Russian government, which is trying to prevent an American aggression against our people.”
- John Kerry’s Case For Syria Attack Fictitious (Veterans Today, By Gordon Duff)
- John Kerry gives Syria week to hand over chemical weapons or face attack (Guardian, Sep 9, 2013):
US secretary of state tells London press conference with William Hague that US intelligence blames Assad regime for gas attack
The US secretary of state has said that President Bashar al-Assad has one week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons to avoid a military attack. But John Kerry added that he had no expectation that the Syrian leader would comply.
Kerry also said he had no doubt that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in east Damascus on 21 August, saying that only three people are responsible for the chemical weapons inside Syria – Assad, one of his brothers and a senior general. He said the entire US intelligence community was united in believing Assad was responsible.
Kerry was speaking on Monday alongside the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, who was forced to deny that he had been pushed to the sidelines by the House of Commons decision 10 days ago to reject the use of UK force in Syria.