You are browsing the archive for Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

by CTuttle

Neocon Coup or What…?

6:08 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Col. Pat Lang wrote yesterday…

“McCain to hold up Dempsey for renewal… “

Why do the people of Arizona keep electing McCain? His behavior grows increasingly bizarre. He has descended into a search for self-importance expressed through an evident desire to see unending war as the future of America. Perhaps members of congress should be periodically examined for evidence of mental illness.

Senator McCain seems to think that he can run the foreign policy of the United States from his seat in the senate. McCain does not seem to remember that he was defeated by Obama and therefore is not in charge of foreign policy nor does he command the armed forces. Ah! I may be wrong. Perhaps that is all he remembers…

…Obama would do well to defend Dempsey and to stand by him. If he does not, then he will see power slip away from him even more rapidly than it has thus far. pl

From Thursday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, McInsane’s hombre, Lindsey Graham (R-AIPAC)…

Yesterday, WH Spokesman, Jay Carney opined…

Assad will never rule all of Syria again: White House

Bashar al-Assad will never rule all of Syria again, the White House has said, asserting that his iron-clad rule was now over.

“Basically the dictator of Syria and the ruler, the iron-clad ruler of Syria, is over. And while there are shifts in momentum on the battlefield, Bashar al-Assad, in our view, will never rule all of Syria again,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

Carney said the US was providing assistance to the opposition and humanitarian relief to the Syrian people who have been miserably affected by repressive regime of Assad.

The US is ramping up its assistance, he added.

“Our goal is to strengthen the cohesion of the opposition and the effectiveness of the Supreme Military Council in their efforts to defend themselves against a repressive regime that has shown no boundaries in its willingness to kill civilians,” he said.

“We are daily contact with the Supreme Military Council to discuss what we can do to help support their needs, and that effort continues,” the official said.

Noting that the US was constantly assessing the situation in Syria, he said there was no question the situation on the ground was serious and has been for some time.

“We are focusing our efforts to help bring about the day when a transition can take place that will help Syria turn the corner towards a cessation of violence and reconciliation and the possibility of a government that respects the rights of all of Syria’s people,” Carney said.

Au contraire, mon frere…! From Bloomberg today…

U.S. Military Intelligence Warned No Quick Fall for Assad

The U.S. military intelligence agency warned the Obama administration early in the Syrian uprising that dictator Bashar al-Assad would be able to hold onto power for years even in the face of widespread opposition, the deputy head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said.

The DIA predicted Assad would remain in power until at least the start of 2013, a classified assessment more pessimistic than the early public statements by administration officials.

David Shedd, No. 2 in the Defense Intelligence Agency, said today that the Syrian civil war is now likely to continue for years, whatever Assad’s fate. The country faces the prospect of “unfathomable violence” and growing power there by Islamic radicals, including those allied with al-Qaeda, he said.

“My concern is that it can go on for a long time, as in many, many months to multiple years,” he said, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado. “And the civilian casualties, the enormous flow of refugees and the dislocation and so forth and the human suffering associated with it will only increase in time.’ {…}

Shedd described what has become an open-ended sectarian conflict between Syrian Sunnis and Shiites, fueled by outside players such as Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and al-Qaeda. Sunni Persian Gulf nations, the U.S., U.K. and France are providing aid to the opposition. Russia supports the Syrian government.

There are 1,200 opposition factions in Syria, which highlights what has been the administration’s concern about being able to sort out secular moderates from radical Islamists for aid, Shedd said. The radicals, such as the al-Nusra Front, are the most effective opposition fighters, he said.

“It’s very clear that over the last two years they have grown in size, they’ve grown in capability and ruthlessly have grown in effectiveness,” he said of the radical Sunni Islamist elements of the opposition. “Their ability to take the fight to the regime and Hezbollah in a very direct way has been, among those opposition groups, the most effective one.”

Wtf, over…? This is the very same crap I’ve been pointing out since the outset…!

When all else fails, send in the 82nd Airborne…! *gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, al Qaeda, Iran, and Syria

9:17 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Well, it’s official folks…

Rand Paul: My colleagues just voted to arm the allies of al Qaeda

… Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, which voted overwhelmingly to arm elements of the Syrian opposition in a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “This is an important moment,” Paul said, addressing his Senate colleagues. “You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.”

The legislation, which would authorize the shipment of arms and military training to rebels “that have gone through a thorough vetting process,” passed in a bipartisan 15-3 vote. Paul offered an amendment that would strike the bill’s weapons provision, but it was rejected along with another Paul amendment ruling out the authorization of the use of military force in Syria. (Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy was the only senator to join Paul in support of the weapons amendment.)

The dispute centers on the issue of whether the United States could properly vet Syrian rebels so that weapons and body armor would not fall into the hands of extremist groups, such as the al Qaeda-aligned al-Nusra Front. The Pentagon’s top brass has vacillated about whether it’s logistically possible to keep track of weapons as they enter a conflict involving a complex mix of opposition groups, as the new bill would require…

As Antiwar’s John Glaser noted…

For more than a year, the CIA has been facilitating the delivery of arms from countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Syrian rebel groups, although the Obama administration has stopped short of a decision to directly arm the rebels. This bill is aimed at pushing the president in that direction.

“The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda,” The New York Times almost a year ago. And in the past year, that reality has metastasized, with Jabhat al-Nusra – categorized by the State Department as an official terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda – developing into the rebels’ main fighting force.

Rand Paul was evidently skeptical of claims that rebels receiving arms will be vetted to ensure extremists don’t receive them. And with good reason: the process is made up of untrustworthy, third-party sources and intelligence officials told the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as far back as a year ago that the truth is that the U.S. doesn’t know who is getting the money and weapons

Now, about those possible Peace Talks, in Geneva, once again…

Meanwhile, Syria submits five names for possible peace talks…

However, that was not the end of the Senate’s foreign f*ckery today…

US: We’ll back Israel if it defends itself against Iranian nuke threat

The US Senate decided unanimously to support Israel should it pursue military actions to defend itself against the Iranian nuclear threat. The decision’s sponsors are the Foreign Affair Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D) and senior Senator Lindsay Graham (R).

According to the resolution, the US will furnish Israel with diplomatic, military and economic support to defend its territory, citizens and existence. The resolution also determines that the US policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and take the necessary steps to pursue this policy.

Who’s defending against whom…?

*gah*

Here’s a bonus clip with RT’s Abby Martin interviewing Dr. Noam Chomsky that was published yesterday…