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by CTuttle

Wilkerson: Chemical weapon use in Syria ‘could have been an Israeli false flag operation’

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(H/T wigwam)

Here’s the extended Cenk interview… Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Chemical weapon use in Syria ‘could have been an Israeli false flag operation’

…“I think the president’s statement was very circumspect, very prudent,” Wilkerson says. “We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria, … or it could’ve been an actual use by [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey…. “This could have been an Israeli false flag operation,” he said. “You’ve got basically a geo-strategically, geo-political — if you will — inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.”

Now, to add fuel to that wild conspiracy theory, why would the AIPAC funded and staffed, WINEP, at their upcoming 2013 Soref Symposium, scheduled for May 9, host members of the Free Syrian Army…?

Schedule:

— Noon: Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni delivers remarks on “Israel’s New Government and the Challenge of Peacemaking with the Palestinians”

— 2:30 p.m.: Anwar Esmat El Sadat, founder and chairman of the El Sadat Association for Social Development and Welfare; and Dennis Ross, former senior Middle East adviser to four presidents and counselor at WINEP, participate in a discussion on “Egypt’s Revolution, Two Years On: Transition in Distress?”

— 4 p.m.: Col. Abdul Hamid Zakaria, commander and spokesman for the Free Syrian Army; and Col. Abdul Jabbar Akidi, Free Syrian Army commander and head of the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo, participate in a breakout discussion on “Inside Syria: The Battle Against Assad’s Regime.” (The session is off the record)

— 7 p.m.: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel deliver remarks on “U.S. Defense Policy in the Middle East”

LOCATION: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, D.C.CONTACT: Brittany Parker, 202-452-0650 ext. 244; press@washingtoninstitute.org [Note: Speeches by Tzipi Livni, Anwwar El Sadat and Chuck Hagel will be available via live-stream at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org. RSVP to Brittany Parker at press@washingtoninstitute.org for media credentials]

Btw, ya just gotta love Chuck’s recent remarks… Hagel to Israel: Attacking Iran Will Be Considered After June Vote – Nations Will Conduct ‘Joint Assessment’ After Iran’s ElectionWtf…?

What’s fascinating to me is that hot on the heels of yesterday’s Israeli air strike in Syria…

…Israeli aircraft bombed a warehouse in Syria Friday that reportedly held Iran-made Fateh-110 missiles bound for Hezbollah. It’s the second time in four months that Israeli aircraft have hit targets in Syria.

Again today in Damascus…

That awkward moment when Israel launches Air Strikes in Syria…! Ya think…?

Hmmm, a very interesting wrinkle… Israeli jet shot down over Damascus: Hezbollah TV…

Anyways, in other news and views, Marc Lynch, also at FP, wrote a great article…

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

Hopes for peaceful change have been replaced by sectarian animosity and unending bloodshed.

… Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey had a variety of motives for supporting the opposition, and worked through different networks to accomplish their goals. They have often worked at cross-purposes, funneling weapons and cash to competing local forces in ways that undermined hopes for opposition unity and disproportionately empowered not only Islamists, but armed groups over peaceful ones.

Syria also radically changed the media narrative in both the Arab world and the West. During the early days of the so-called Arab Spring, the international media rushed to cover half a dozen rapidly moving storylines — Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen — while anxiously checking in on almost every other Arab country to see if it might be joining the wave. These days, the international media’s coverage of the region is almost completely dominated by Syria, broken only by episodic coverage of Egypt during moments of crisis.

Coverage from inside Syria is dominated by war correspondents, for obvious reasons, while much of the outside coverage relies dangerously on video footage and information found on the Internet provided by activist networks. In Egypt, an army of freelance journalists could rush to check claims about clashes or protests, but that luxury isn’t available to the media covering Syria’s endless claims and counter-claims…

Al Jazeera’s one-sided coverage of Syria and perceived support of Qatari foreign policy has cost it that central position. It is increasingly seen as just another partisan media outlet — and nothing has replaced it. As a result, the Arab media is increasingly fragmented, with regional and national media alike divided along sectarian and political lines and much less of a unifying, common media space. Social media doesn’t really replace that shared broadcast public sphere — instead, it encourages the formation of polarized bubbles as the like-minded seek each other out and reinforce their prejudices…

Ex-CIA Desk Chief, Philip Giraldi, wrote recently…

Drones for “Regime Protection”

The CIA’s insurance plan for Karzai and Maliki—and what it means for Syria

Media reports of CIA preparations to use drones to target al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria, should the post-Assad situation warrant such an intervention, are only partly correct. The plan to use drones under certain circumstances is in reality part of the much larger CIA program in Iraq that parallels the program being set up in Afghanistan. CIA initiatives in both countries are related to what is being mandated by the National Security Council as a policy of “regime survival” to help keep in place governments that are at least nominally friendly to Washington and that will be dependent on American technology and intelligence resources for the foreseeable future to maintain their own security. The CIA will bear the brunt of the two operations, as it can do so without a highly visible military footprint. In Iraq it includes, among other elements, the continued training of something akin to an elite counter-terrorism Praetorian Guard to protect senior officials while also advancing efforts against a growing Salafist presence in the country, linked to resurgent Sunni terrorism that is attempting to weaken the government of Nouri al-Maliki. The Obama administration is hoping to develop a level of cooperation with the Iraqi government that will enable the identification of extremist elements, some of which are taking the opportunity to transit into Syria. They are a threat to what are perceived to be the long-term interests of America and Iraq’s Shia government. Those who are identified as al-Qaeda-linked militants could become drone targets in Syria, if the situation in that country deteriorates

Dronez away, Bitchez…! *gah*

by CTuttle

‘Concern’ Over Syria’s WMDs

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

C’mon Folks, this is just another shiny bauble of fear, once again, being dangled before a gullible populace…!

From the WaPoo…

Clinton: U.S. will act if Syria uses chemical weapons

…Clinton did not directly address new reports that Assad may be moving chemical weapons or making other possible preparations to use his known stockpile. But the Associated Press, citing an unnamed U.S. defense official, reported that international “intelligence sources” have detected signs in recent days that Syria has been moving chemical weapons components to new locations.

The official, who according to AP spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about intelligence matters, said officials don’t believe any developments with the weapons are imminent but are trying to figure out what the Syrians are doing…

Give me a freaking break…! C’mon now, Spencer and Noah…! You do realize you were just played…?

Right…?

…All that’s certain is that the arms have now been prepped to be used, should Assad order it.

“Physically, they’ve gotten to the point where the can load it up on a plane and drop it,” the official adds…

Funny how quickly, b at MOA, blatantly pointed out the Obvious

…There is no need for the Syrian army to combine stuff and fill it up because the precursors are already stored in the ammunition when that artillery ammunition or aerial bomb is fabricated. They are stored in two separate chambers and the ammunition is safe for transport and storage. Only firing the ammunition or dropping the bomb will combine the binaries.

What the anonymous American official claims is not happening in Syria. If the Wired writers Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman, (an avid defender of Israel firsters some might note), had even some basic knowledge about ammunition engineering they would not fall for such a stupid claim some anonymous official makes.

The claim that “the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors” is definitely wrong. Whatever the Syrian army is doing or not doing with its strategic weapons, it is not what that anonymous “American official” claims…

Another FDL Alumna, Marcy, also took Spencer to task…! On Toobz and Gases… With some blistering commentary too…!

Now, I’ve written about this before… Bibi’s ‘ready’ to secure Syria’s WMDs…!

So, let’s look at some recent revelations… FSA-Israeli Connection: Spiritual Leader of FSA declares his complicity with Israel on Israeli TV, and, even more on the failed ‘FSA’, whatever abomination incarnation it’s under…!


Syria’s opposition warns of a rise in extremists

…Jabhat al-Nusra now has somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters, according to officials of a non-governmental organization that represents the more moderate wing of the Free Syrian Army. They say that the Al-Qaeda affiliate now accounts for 7.5 percent to 9 percent of the Free Syrian Army’s total number of fighters, up sharply from an estimated 3 percent just three months ago and 1 percent at the beginning of the year.

The extremist group is growing in part because it has been the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force. “From the reports we get from the doctors, most of the injured and dead FSA are Jabhat al-Nusra, due to their courage and [the fact they are] always at the front line,” said a message sent Friday to the State Department by the moderate Free Syrian Army representatives, who have been warning of the rise of the extremists…

God Help the Syrians, one and all…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

‘Syrian Rebel: Uprising Hijacked by Extremists’

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

CBS’s Holly Williams filed this report today…

…In a new video, men crouching against a wall are about to be killed by an angry mob. Syrian opposition groups said the men who died were members of a family with links to the Assad regime.

The killers were rebels fighting in an increasingly chaotic conflict.

Human rights groups — as well as the rebels’ own leadership — condemned the deaths as summary executions.

However, in a sprawling refugee camp on the Syria-Turkey border, Syrian refugees defended the killings. Many of the men there are rebel fighters.

“If we had a state, we could have taken those men to court,” said Mohammad Hajhasan through a translator. “But we’re in the middle of a revolution, and they were war criminals.” {…}

We want a democracy in Syria,” Mohammad said. “But only if it’s within an Islamic state.

Others disagree. Jamil Saeb, who led protests in Syria in the early days, said he wants a Western-style democracy, and claimed the uprising is being hijacked by Islamic extremists.

“The West isn’t doing enough, and other countries like Saudi Arabia are pushing their Islamic agenda by giving the rebels financial support,” Saeb said.

The Syrian opposition is divided, and there are fears that if and when the Assad regime falls there’ll be continued violence between rival factions…

I really do have to hand it to Faux Spew to actually post the most honest headline I’ve seen today…

With diplomacy dead, US banks on Syrian rebel win

…With Syrian diplomacy all but dead, the Obama administration is shifting its focus on the civil war away from political transition and toward helping the rebels defeat the Syrian regime on the battlefield…

…It’s a scenario analysts see as unlikely, even as the opposition gains ground in Aleppo, Damascus and elsewhere, and as the cadre of high-level defections from Assad’s government grows. Prime Minister Riad Hijab and two other ministers became the latest to abandon Assad on Monday, rebels said.

The defections are “the latest indication that Assad has lost control of Syria and that the momentum is with the opposition forces and the Syrian people,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

“The regime is crumbling,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. {…}

…Ventrell said the goal of much of the recent diplomacy was to help the opposition come up with a post-Assad plan that would be as cohesive as possible…

…The approach is one that American officials liken to a “soft landing.” The goal would be to avoid the power vacuum of post-Saddam Hussein’s Iraq by salvaging as many elements of the state as possible, and avoiding new insurgencies from emerging.

“We want to get there in a way that’s a softer landing,” a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “We don’t want to see the institutions just melt away.”

Btw, folks, lets remember the long standing fact that Oily Bomber, nor even Shrillary, at Foggy Bottom nor any other foreign locales, have not once sat in the same room, much less, talk to anybody even remotely related to the Assad regime…! Just like the failed single roll of the dice that Oily Bomber had gambled on with the Iranians…!

What seems to be the problem with even talking to our supposed Adversaries…? I do seem to recall a ‘hotline’ that we’d set up between the Kremlin and the White House, and was manned 24/7…! What ever happened to even that semblance of old-fashioned Diplomacy…?

Here’s some other analysis from the disaffected ‘populations’ I’d seen today…

Obama brings Erdogan in to bat..

Here’s an excellent synopsis of the ever enigmatic Kurdish Question…!

And, it should be noted that Pepe Escobar, once again, cuts to the quick…

Syria’s Pipelineistan war

This is a war of deals, not bullets

Deep beneath “Damascus volcano” and “the battle of Aleppo,” the tectonic plates of the global energy chessboard keep on rumbling. Beyond the tragedy and grief of civil war, Syria is also a Pipelineistan power play.

More than a year ago, a $10 billion Pipelineistan deal was clinched between Iran, Iraq and Syria for a natural gas pipeline to be built by 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field, traversing Iraq and Syria, with a possible extension to Lebanon. Key export target market: Europe.

During the past 12 months, with Syria plunged into civil war, there was no pipeline talk. Up until now. The European Union’s supreme paranoia is to become a hostage of Russia’s Gazprom. The Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversify Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia.

It gets more complicated. Turkey happens to be Gazprom’s second-largest customer. The whole Turkish energy security architecture depends on gas from Russia — and Iran. Turkey dreams of becoming the new China, configuring Anatolia as the ultimate Pipelineistan strategic crossroads for the export of Russian, Caspian-Central Asian, Iraqi and Iranian oil and gas to Europe.

Try to bypass Ankara in this game, and you’re in trouble. Until virtually yesterday, Ankara was advising Damascus to reform — and fast. Turkey did not want chaos in Syria. Now Turkey is feeding chaos in Syria…

Seriously, Wtf, over…? *gah*

by CTuttle

Syria Will Not Implode, It Will Explode

5:36 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

All war is deception. ~Sun Tzu

Let’s look at some of the current developments that are swirling inside and out, of the Syrian borders…

Syrian tanks amass near Turkish border: FSA general

A general in the rebel Free Syria Army said on Friday that Syrian government forces had amassed around 170 tanks north of the city Aleppo, near the Turkish border, but there was no independent confirmation of the report.

General Mustafa al-Sheikh, head of the Higher Military Council, an association of senior officers who defected from President Bashar al-Assads forces, said the tanks had assembled at the Infantry School near the village of Musalmieh northeast of the city of Aleppo, 30 kms (19 miles) from the Turkish border.

“The tanks are now at the Infantry School. They’re either preparing to move to the border to counter the Turkish deployment or attack the rebellious (Syrian) towns and villages in and around the border zone north of Aleppo,” Sheikh told Reuters by telephone from the border…

Now, using the same Salt Shaker with that last article, DebkaFile reports…

Saudis forces mass on Jordanian, Iraqi borders. Turkey, Syria reinforce strength

…”(H)eavy Saudi troop movements (headed) toward the Jordanian and Iraqi borders (with Syria) overnight and up until Friday morning….after King Abdulah put the Saudi military on high alert for joining an anti-Assad offensive….”

Units include tanks, missiles, special forces and anti-air batteries. Two units were deployed. “One will safeguard Jordan’s King Abdullah against potential Syrian or Iranian reprisals from Syria or Iraq.”

“The second will cut north through Jordan to enter southeastern Syrian, where a security zone will be established around the towns of Deraa, Deir al-Zour and Abu Kemal — all centers of the anti-Assad rebellion.” {…}

The failure of (US/Russian) talks “would spell a worsening of the Syrian crisis and precipitate Western-Arab military intervention, which according to military sources in the Gulf is scheduled for launch Saturday, June 30.”

DF also said that Western forces reported Jordan “on war alert.”

Now, straight from the horse’s mouth…

…Libya’s model isn’t “a solution to be copied because it took (the country) from one situation into a much worse one. We all now see how the Libyan people are paying the price,” he (Assad) said.

“The policies of the Turkish officials lead to the killing and bloodshed of the Syrian people,” he added.

He said reports about Iranian and Hezbollah forces aiding Syria are false.

“This is a joke that we hear many times in order to show that a rift has been created within the army and that therefore there is not an army.”

Pointing fingers at Washington, he said:

“The colonialist nature of the West has not changed. From the colonialist standpoint, regional countries should not move according to their national interests and if any country moves against their (Western) values and interests, they say no, like what happened in the case of Iran’s nuclear program.”

“Western states are opposed to Iran’s access to nuclear knowhow; they are more fearful of Iran’s expertise in the nuclear field than what they claim to be a nuclear bomb.”

He also called insurgents “gangs of mercenaries and criminals.” Outside forces are directing them.

For them and their sponsors, “reforms are not important, since the very forces that claimed (a lack of) reforms were the problem. They never benefited from them…all they wanted was (continued) unrest.”…

Phyllis Bennis largely agrees with Assad’s assertions…

Syria is not Libya: it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders

Probably the only useful thing outside powers can do, would be to engage in serious new diplomacy, in which supporters of both the regime and the armed opposition participate.

Fifteen months on, the short Syrian spring of 2011 has long since morphed into a harsh winter of discontent. Syria is close to full-scale civil war.

If the conflict escalates further, it will have ramifications far outside the country itself. As former UN Secretary-General and current envoy of both the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan put it, “’Syria is not Libya, it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders.”

Like so many other times before, the human cost of this conflict is incalculably high. It’s not surprising that the normal human reaction is “we’ve got to do something!” But exactly what any army or air force might do that would actually help the situation isn’t very clear.

US/NATO military intervention didn’t bring stability, democracy or security to Libya, and it certainly is not going to do so in Syria…

Now, Russia isn’t about to be fooled by a second UN Security Council R2P fiasco, and this CSM article spells it out in a relatively decent fashion, despite all it’s Western biased strawmen…

What is Russia thinking on Syria?

…In Syria, they argue, Western nations are pursuing their own geopolitical interests under the guise of a humanitarian “right to protect” which supposedly trumps the country’s sovereignty. Moscow sees it as its duty to block such attempts. {…}

…Speaking to an audience of students in Copenhagen today, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upped the criticism of Russia, saying, “I have been telling (the Russians) their policy is going to help contribute to a civil war” in Syria.

But today Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, responded emphatically that Russian policy toward Syria will not change under duress. Russia’s position is “well-known, balanced and consistent, and completely logical,” Mr. Peskov told the independent Interfax news agency. “So it is hardly appropriate to talk about this position changing under someone’s pressure.” {…}

…Russian analysts argue that any violation of national sovereignty is a form of neoimperialism which, even if packaged as a humanitarian intervention, tends to be wrapped up with the geopolitical interests of the intervening powers and seldom leads to better humanitarian outcomes. They cite most of the wars of the past decade, from Kosovo to Iraq to last year’s NATO intervention in Libya (which Russia acquiesced to in the Security Council) to make their point.

“We were told that military interference in Libya would be limited to protecting civilians, but we were deceived, pushed aside once we’d let it get through the Security Council,” says Pavel Gusterin, an Arab specialist with the official Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. “Why would we let them do this again?

Just to be sure, it’s already out of Russia’s and the UN’s hands…

Syria Rebels Increasingly Violent, Thanks to Foreign Arms

…The opposition is still a disparate, rag tag group of localized militias with conflicting agendas and many of whom are Sunni extremists or have ties to al-Qaeda. They are increasingly to blame for massacres of civilians as well. Nothing has changed, except that the weapons being funneled to them by the US, European Union, Turkey, and the Gulf Arab states are being put to use.

But none of this bodes well for an end to violence in the country. Foreign meddling on behalf of all sides in Syria has been instrumental in prolonging the conflict by emboldening both sides and making a political settlement more remote.

“The intensity of the divisions in the country, the external environment in which sides are providing arms to both of the contending parties—all of that suggests that the situation’s going to continue to deteriorate,” James Dobbins, director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center and a former US assistant secretary of state, told NPR…

Now, to be clear on our Persian fantasies…

Our obsession with Iran obscures the bigger threat

It is funny what people choose to worry about. The west is obsessed with stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons. By contrast, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not much discussed. And yet, by any sensible measure, Pakistani nukes are much more worrying.

Start with the obvious: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons – probably more than 100 of them – and is thought to be increasing production. Iran has still to assemble a single nuclear weapon. The prospect of an Iranian bomb is said to be unthinkably dangerous because of the country’s connections to terrorist groups, its hostility to the west and Israel, the risk it will spread nuclear technology and the prospect of a regional arms race. And yet, almost all these considerations apply even more forcibly to Pakistan. {…}

…Yet it is Iran’s non-existent nukes that continue to obsess the west. Diplomats have spent so long trying to stop Iran that I get the impression they no longer even ask themselves why it is such a high priority. Press them, and you will get explanations about the dangers of a Middle Eastern arms race and Iran’s regional ambitions.

Interestingly, few seem to take seriously the idea that Israel often evokes – that Iran might actually commit nuclear genocide.

Western concerns are valid. But, in themselves, they do not seem compelling enough to explain the desperate focus on Iran. The main reason the Iranian dossier is so urgent seems to be the fear that Israel will soon attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, provoking a wider war. American and European diplomats are reluctant to put it quite that directly, since this carries the uncomfortable implication that western policy is driven by Israel. But when people say “time is running out” over Iran, it is the prospect of an Israeli attack they are usually thinking about…

Are you surprised…?

AIPAC and Syrian intervention lobby

I have it on good authority that something called Syrian Emergency Task Force in Washington, DC is enlisting the help of AIPAC to lobby the US government for military intervention in Syria.

*gah*

An Apology to the Aligned…

by CTuttle

The Art of War and Spin…

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

It’s not just RT questioning the ‘spin’ of Madame Hillary…

Clinton put ‘spin’ on copters to Syria

Her charge of Russia aiding Assad brought a retort of “hypocrisy” from Moscow’s foreign minister.

…What Clinton did not say, however, was whether the aircraft were new shipments or, as U.S. officials say is more likely, helicopters that Syria had sent to Russia a few months ago for routine repairs and refurbishing, and which were now about to be returned.

“She put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position,” said one senior Defense Department official…

To be sure…

Russia: US Arming Syria’s Rebels

Lavrov Insists Russian Arms to Syria Just Air Defense

…Lavrov confirmed arms shipments, but insisted that they were only weapons related to Syrian air defense, not arms to be used against the rebels. He went on to point out that such deliveries are fully in keeping with international law, in contrast to the arms shipments to the rebels…

FM Sergei Lavrov, further followed up with a great retort in the Huffpoo…

…Let me sum up the points that I have repeatedly made in relation to the evolving situation in the Middle East. First of all, Russia, in common with the majority of countries in the world, encourages the aspirations of the Arab peoples for a better life, democracy and prosperity, and stands ready to support these efforts… …We firmly oppose the use of violence in the course of current transformations in Arab States, especially against civilians. We are well aware of the fact that the transformation of a society is a complex and generally long process which rarely goes smoothly…

…The point is, what should be done if the showdown between the authorities and the opposition does assume the form of violent, armed confrontation? The answer seems obvious -external actors should do their best to stop the bloodshed and support a compromise involving all parties to the conflict. When deciding to support UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and making no objection to Resolution 1973 on Libya, we believed that these decisions would help limit the excessive use of force and pave the way for a political settlement. Unfortunately, the actions undertaken by NATO countries under these resolutions led to their grave violation and support for one of the parties to the civil war, with the goal of ousting the existing regime – damaging in the process the authority of the Security Council.

People versed in politics need not be told that the devil is in the detail, and tough solutions implying the use of force cannot produce a lasting long-term settlement. And in the current circumstances, when the complexity of international relations has increased manifold, it becomes obvious that using force to resolve conflicts has no chance of success. Examples are abundant. They include the complicated situation in Iraq and the crisis in Afghanistan, which is far from being over. There are many indications that things are far from being good in Libya after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Instability has spread further to the Sahara and Sahel region, and the situation in Mali was dramatically aggravated…

Delving ever further into the Media ‘spin’, Stephen Lendman, truly nailed it…

Stepped Up Media War on Syria

When America goes to war or plans one, media scoundrels march in lockstep. Journalism is the first casualty. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure…

For example, as CNN’s Pentagon stenographer, Barbara Starr, breathlessly reports today…

U.S. military completes planning for Syria

…The planning comes as the U.S. has become increasingly concerned that the violence in Syria is verging on civil war. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the recent series of bombings have heightened the worry.

Dempsey said it reminded him of the escalating violence during the Iraq war.

The violence “gives us all pause that have been in Iraq and seen how these issues become sectarian and then they become civil wars and then they become very difficult to resolve,” Dempsey told CNN in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

A senior U.S. official said the developments have been a matter of discussion in the Obama administration.

Editor’s Note: Please avoid quoting more than a few paragraphs from any source -MyFDL Editor

Dempsey is right, in that, ‘Iraq style’ tactics used in Syria…

As I’ve noted before;
Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination…
And in another…Report: Syria rebels get better weapons as US quietly boosts support. What we say and what we do, is two entirely different beasts. Remember, as I’d asked awhile ago… Why Is The Terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army Training The Syrian Opposition On Our Dime? Most particularly; “Follow the weapons” and, to be sure;
Al-Qaeda is in Syria conducting terrorist attacks…!

In summation, the ever intrepid, Pepe Escobar, peeled off the many layers of the ME onion…

The art of war, with a glass of wine

…May we live in tawdry times; if only Sartre was alive to kick BHL(Bernard-Henri Levy) back to his intellectual kindergarten. BHL recently arrived at the Cannes Film Festival carrying a smatter of Libyan North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rebels as pets – companions of his “liberation” adventure such as Mustapha El-Zagizli from Benghazi, proudly displayed as the “prince of the shabab”, and General Ramadan Zarmouth from Misrata.

Colonel Gaddafi used to pitch tents in Rome and have the hem of his gorgeous gowns kissed by Western potentates. Libyan NATO rebels, for their part, were dazed and confused by the explosive Cannes red-carpet experience.

Crucially, alongside his pet Libyans, who carped about the “unity of the revolution”, BHL also brought – what else – pet Syrians; two Kurds and two shady characters in dark glasses and with their heads covered by Syrian flags, described as “combatants who had left Syria in hiding only a few hours ago to discover The Oath of Tobruk”.

So here we have certified Zionist BHL bringing his token Arab pets to watch the world premiere of his new movie; yes, the whole thing had to be a part of yet another BHL-glorifying PR exercise. After winning virtually by himself the Libyan war – according to his own “narrative” – BHL was now stressing that “what was done in Benghazi was not easier than what should be done in Homs”. Waiter, please bring some regime change with my Chablis…

*gah*

by CTuttle

Syria’s ‘Dead Man Walking’…

4:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Reuters reported today…

America and Syria’s ‘dead man walking’

…A peaceful solution to Syria’s protracted crisis now looks remote enough to wonder whether Bashar Assad might outlast Obama in power. The US president is not assured of winning another term in office next November. But the odds of the Assad regime surviving into 2013 look better with every passing day, even though one of the US government’s top experts on Syria has labeled the Syrian president a “dead man walking.”

There are several reasons for skepticism about a resolution to the Syrian crisis in the near future. One is the government’s military superiority over fractured and lightly-equipped opposition forces. More importantly, there is no international consensus on how to deal with what began 14 months ago as peaceful demonstrations against a 40-year family dictatorship and now includes huge suicide bombings of government targets that have raised suspicions of Al-Qaeda involvement.

At the summit of the G8 — the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada and Japan —an aide to Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev made clear, again, that Moscow, unlike the West, does not see Assad’s departure as a necessary step toward ending the bloodshed.

“Some may like or dislike the Syrian government but one cannot avoid a question — if Assad goes, who will replace him?”
said Mikhail Margelov…

A very savvy question, indeed…

Beyond Bashar, Syria’s rebels are facing far more significant resistance

…China, Russia and Iran support for Bashar Assad makes a Western military intervention in Syria impossible, given the likely catastrophic repercussions for all concerned. In the eyes of this coalition, Assad is a tool and pretext. He is the façade against which the courage of the insurgents will continue to collide as long as Russia and its allies on the one side, and the United States and its allies on the other, fail to dispassionately settle their differences, therefore reach agreement over their contending interests, through negotiations…

Negotiations…? What negotiations…

U.S. considering plan that arms Syrian rebels…

…The effort, U.S. officials told The Associated Press, would vet members of the Free Syrian Army and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Assad government and to ensure that weapons don’t wind up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked terrorists or other extremist groups such as Hezbollah that could target Israel.

The plan, which has not yet been finalized, reflects U.S. frustration that none of the previous efforts — including diplomatic rhetoric from the United Nations and the multinational Friends of Syria group, and special envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for a cease-fire — has even begun to nudge President Bashar al-Assad from power. The vetting would be the first tiny step the U.S. has made toward ensuring that the Syrian opposition uses the weapons to fight Assad and not to turn it into a full sectarian conflict.

While some intelligence analysts worry that there may be no suitable recipients of lethal aid in the Syria conflict, the vetting plan has arisen as the least objectionable idea in a complicated situation…

As Steve Hynd wrote… US To Vet Syrian Rebel Arms Recipients – Really?

So if this vetting will prevent Saudis funding arms for Al Qaeda (yeah, right) how far beyond that will it go? The chances of arming some pretty nasty people that have the only virtue of being not-AQ are pretty high.

A United Nations investigation said Syrian government forces and rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad had both committed serious human rights abuses despite an attempted ceasefire in the conflict and opposition activists reported fighting in several regions on Thursday.

…The rebels, who are increasingly armed and well-organized, have executed or tortured captured soldiers and government supporters, it said. They have also abducted civilians in an apparent bid to secure prison exchanges or ransoms.

It doesn’t matter how many bad ideas you pile on top of other bad ideas, the result will never be a good idea.

Remember, it’s not just our grubby fingers at work, but, the House of Saud/GCC’s too… Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination…

Meanwhile, the UN’s Ban Ki Moon spewed this nonsense today on CNN…

‘We have no Plan B’ to stop the violence

…With the carnage in Syria that has left thousands dead now entering its fifteenth month, the United Nations Secretary General says there is no clear path beyond the current mission being led by Kofi Annan.

“At this time, we don’t have any plan B,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview for ‘Amanpour’ on CNN International. “The joint special envoy Kofi Annan has proposed six peace proposals, among which the complete cessation of violence is number one. Unfortunately, this has not been implemented while with the deployment of monitoring missions, we have seen some dampening effect.”

Many regard the Annan mission in Syria to be a failure already.

There will be discussions in the Security Council next week about the situation in Syria Mr. Ban said, and he will make a report about the situation. But the lack of cooperation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is making the situation very difficult…

God Bless the Syrian People, from all our misguided ministrations…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

‘Arab countries to arm Syria rebels’, and, ‘Israel Estimates ‘Only’ 300 Deaths in 3-Week War’

9:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Expanding on the above good Doctor’s reporting…

Arab countries to arm Syria rebels as fighting continues…

Arab countries have pledged to arm Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, while 40 people were killed in violence around Syria, activists said… {snip}

The opposition said some countries had agreed to arm the rebels.

‘The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon,’ Sheikh Anas Airout, a member of the Syrian National Council, told dpa.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Libya are the key financial backers of the plan to arm the rebels, an opposition source who requested anonymity told dpa.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States have pledged millions of dollars at a Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul at the weekend to pay salaries for rebels fighting to topple al-Assad and provide communications equipment.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged against weapons being funneled to Syrian rebels, warning about the risk of regional proliferation…

Syria is another f*cking GCC/UN/EU/US/Nato R2P ‘humanitarian’ disaster in the making, just like Libya…!

Expanding on this rubbish: ‘The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon,’… …Stratfor Emails: Pentagon-Hired Mercenaries Intervening in Syria Since December, apparently Blackwater Xe Academi is on the job already…!

Also, from the previous article…

Al-Assad is maneuvering we all know that, he will never implement any peaceful plan to end the crisis in Syria, he only knows the language of killing,’ said Walid al-Buni, a member of the Syrian National Council.

In Washington, the US State Department said it would establish a so-called Syria Accountability Clearinghouse to help the Syrian people and international partners document human rights abuses in the country.

The information will be used to ‘help develop trial-ready dossiers against individuals responsible for violations of international or domestic criminal law,‘ the State Department said. It will also collect and analyze information to be used in later prosecutions, memorials and justice and reconciliation efforts.

It’s interesting that many Human Rights orgs operating in Libya now, claim that Nato is completely ignoring and/or squashing all their documented cases of overt HR violations caused by Nato’s Airstrikes and other covert activities in Libya…!

Now, from Iraq’s PM Maliki… Syrian regime will not fall, says Iraq PM…

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will not fall and attempts to overthrow it by force will aggravate the crisis in the region, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday.

“It has been one year and the regime did not fall, and it will not fall, and why should it fall?” Mr Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad.

“We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the regime, because this will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said…

Maliki knows perfectly well that the Iraqi Sunnis and the Kurds will completely ignore his pleas not to arm the Syrian ‘rebels’…!

Shifting gears a bit…

Some current responses from Iranian officials…

Iran says will not deviate from N-path…

Officer: Iran could hit US if it came under attack…

Now, getting to Israel…

I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, the farcical amount of casualties, or, the fantasy that it’ll only last three weeks…! Just like Cast Lead, maybe…? Anyhoots… Israel Estimates ‘Only’ 300 Deaths in 3-Week War…

Israel’s defense system estimates that if a war breaks out during 2012, 300 people will be killed in a three week period.

Now, despite the fact that Obummer has just approved the latest round of sanctions, this past Friday, and, they don’t officially go into effect until June 28th…! Bibi still has the chutzpah to say… Global sanctions on Iran not working…

…”The sanctions are painful, hard.. but will this bring about a halt or a retreat in the Iranian nuclear programme? Until now, it has not happened,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem.

He said the Iranian regime is struggling financially but has strengthened its political grip following the recent parliamentary elections.

The regime strengthened its grip in the recent elections, despite the sanctions,” he said of the parliamentary elections which took place in Iran in early March.

“It has strengthened its political grip, it is struggling financially and it still hasn’t turned back by even one millimetre from its nuclear programme.”

Will these difficulties cause the Iranian regime to stop its nuclear programme? Only time will tell. I can’t tell you if it will happen. I know there is hardship but there still hasn’t been a change.“…

So naturally, bombing Iran is the only recourse to loosening up that ‘political grip’ right, Bibi…? I’m positive they’ll greet those bombs with rose petals too…!

Some more of Bibi’s chutzpah… Netanyahu wants deal to prevent ‘binational state’…

…”I want to solve the conflict with the Palestinians because I don’t want a binational state,” Netanyahu told a rare news conference. “For as long as it depends on me, we will ensure the Jewish and democratic character of Israel.” {snip}

…Since then peace talks have never taken off in earnest, and the current stumbling block is a Palestinian demand that all construction of Jewish settlements on occupied land be halted. About a half million Israelis now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Israel counters that this was never a condition for talks before.

The Palestinians – and most of the international community – view the settlements as illegal or illegitimate. Many Israelis oppose them too – some driven by the sense that they are not in Israel’s interest because they make a partition more difficult.

Israel did remove 8,000 settlers from Gaza when it pulled out, but the scale of the challenge in the West Bank is far bigger – leading Israeli negotiators over the years to seek border adjustments that would incorporate many of the settlers into Israel.

But under most envisioned scenarios, tens of thousands would still have to be moved to enable a partition – or at least one that did not leave Israelis inside the Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has further alienated the Palestinians by making clear that in any future deal he would seek to retain significant chunks of the West Bank because of their strategic value, since Israel in its pre-1967 borders is at its narrowest point only 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide.

The existence of a Jewish state is not just a matter of separation” from the Palestinians, he said Tuesday. “It’s a matter of security, preserving our basic national interests – and this requires negotiations.

It is the Palestinians and not us who chose not to hold negotiations over three years,” he said. “I hope they change their minds in the coming months. We are ready and prepared to hold negotiations.

What Democracy…? Negotiate for what then Bibi…?

Btw, about that Palestinian ‘State’… ICC won’t investigate Gaza war because Palestine is ‘not a state’…

Talk about your Catch 22…!

*gah*