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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Bandar Bush, Code Pink, and Friends of Syria

7:10 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I’ve been absent too long, pups! My apologies…!

There has been a slew of foreign f*ckery afoot and a whole bunch of it leads up to the House of Saud’s stoop…

Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran

* Riyadh signals anger over U.S. policy in Middle East

* Source says shift could affect arms, oil trade

* Prince Bandar set to end cooperation over Syria war

* In Washington, Saudi prince assails Obama’s Mideast moves

…Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

“The shift away from the U.S. is a major one,” the source close to Saudi policy said. “Saudi doesn’t want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.” {…}

The growing breach between the United States and Saudi Arabia was also on display in Washington, where another senior Saudi prince criticized Obama’s Middle East policies, accusing him of “dithering” on Syria and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

In unusually blunt public remarks, Prince Turki al-Faisal called Obama’s policies in Syria “lamentable” and ridiculed a U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Assad’s chemical weapons. He suggested it was a ruse to let Obama avoid military action in Syria.

“The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious. And designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down (from military strikes), but also to help Assad to butcher his people,” said Prince Turki, a member of the Saudi royal family and former director of Saudi intelligence…

As the ever-intrepid, Pepe Escobar wrote today…

The self-beheading House of Saud

…As much as the House of Saud is completely paranoid regarding the Obama administration’s latest moves, throwing a fit will not change the way the geopolitical winds are blowing. Iran’s geopolitical ascent is inevitable. A Syrian solution is on the horizon. No one wants batshit crazy jihadis roaming free from Syria to Iraq to the wider Middle East.

The Saudi spin about creating “a new security arrangement for the Arab world” is a joke – as depicted by Saudi-financed shills such as this.

The bottom line is that an angry, fearful House of Saud does not have what it takes to confront benign protector Washington. Throwing a fit – as in crying to attract attention – is for geopolitical babies. Without the US – or “the West” – who’s gonna run the Saudi energy industry? PhD-deprived camels? And who’s gonna sell (and maintain) those savory weapons? Who’s going to defend them for smashing the true spirit of the Arab Spring, across the GCC and beyond?

Perennial Foreign Minister Prince Saud is gravely ill. He will be replaced by a recently appointed deputy prime minister.

Guess who?

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the king’s son. Instead of a “principled” stance against “double standards”, the House of Saud move at the UN feels more like nepotism.

Emptywheel delved further into Bandar’s perfidy today…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Madame Shillary is Worried That ‘Extremists’ Are Hijacking The SNC, Sacks SNC

3:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Here’s an example of the ‘spin’ being put on the ‘recent’ discovery of Jihadists amongst the Syrian Rebels… Syria: Rebel Fighters Are Becoming Radicalised…

Sky has seen new evidence that the Syrian uprising is becoming more and more radicalised and being fought by Islamic fundamentalists and extremists.

The Syrian rebels have all but given up on military intervention by the West but after 18 months of grinding battle and a feeling they have been abandoned by the international community, they are making their own bombs and weapons and becoming much more self-sufficient.

There are some weapons and arms being smuggled across the borders from sympathetic Muslim neighbours.

We saw brand new rocket propelled grenade launchers with their rockets still in their plastic wrappers which had been smuggled across the Turkish border and an anti-aircraft gun which the rebels told us had come from Iraq.

But although that means that the rebels have many more weapons than they have had before, it is still small fry in comparison to the heavy weaponry, tanks and artillery employed by the regime.

What is increasingly obvious is the number of Jihad (holy war) flags and Jihad paraphernalia worn and used by the rebel fighters. The black headbands worn by many of the fighters are a symbol of Islamic fundamentalism – used by extremist groups and usually anti-Western.

The common refrain from many of the rebel fighters is that they have been forgotten by the outside world.

A number of commanders told us they were disappointed, angry and frustrated by the lack of help from the international community.

One said: “All we get is words, not actions.”

Y’all should know by now, that I’ve been screaming my head off about the F/UK/US/Arab League promotion of Jihadists in Iraq, Libya, Syria, amongst numerous other places! Afterall,’Divide and Conquer‘ is the primary means to Regime Change…!

Now, one should read all of Madame Shillary’s statement in Zagreb, to get the full impact…

QUESTION: Secretary, if I could ask you about Syria. Mr. Brahimi’s attempt at a ceasefire has evidently failed, and the violence is increasing again. What are your views on what needs to be done now to bring the violence down?

And turning to next week’s opposition conference in Doha, what gives you confidence, if you have any at all, that this could produce the beginnings of a government in waiting where the SNC has failed to do that? And are you sure that your key allies, including Turkey, are ready to swing behind whatever is the outcome of Doha? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well Andy, those are all very important and timely questions. And I want to start by thanking Croatia for their assistance in dealing with the extremely difficult problems presented by both Syria and Iran.

Look, I sincerely regret, but I, unfortunately, was not surprised by the failure of the latest ceasefire attempt. Despite its reported commitment to the UN Special Envoy, Mr. Brahimi, the Assad regime did not suspend its use of advanced weaponry against the Syrian people for even one day. And the shelling in the suburbs of Damascus was as bad last weekend as at any time in the conflict.

So while we urge Special Envoy Brahimi to do whatever he can in Moscow and Beijing to convince them to change course and support stronger UN action, we cannot and will not wait for that. Instead, our efforts, and those of our partners in the EU and the Arab League, are focused on pressuring the regime through increasing and tightening sanctions, meeting the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people who are displaced, assisting those countries that they seek refuge in, and helping the opposition unite behind a shared, effective strategy that can resist the regime’s violence and begin to provide for a political transition that can demonstrate more clearly than has been possible up until now what the future holds for the Syrian people once the Assad regime is gone.

So we are working very hard with many different elements from the opposition – yes, inside Syria as well as outside Syria. Some of you might remember I hosted a meeting in New York during the UN General Assembly. We facilitated the smuggling-out of a few representatives of the Syrian internal opposition in order for them to explain to the countries gathered why they must be at the table. This cannot be an opposition represented by people who have many good attributes but have, in many instances, not been inside Syria for 20, 30, or 40 years. There has to be a representation of those who are on the frontlines, fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom.

And there needs to be an opposition leadership structure that is dedicated to representing and protecting all Syrians. It is not a secret that many inside Syria are worried about what comes next. They have no love lost for the Assad regime, but they worry, rightly so, about the future. And so there needs to be an opposition that can speak to every segment and every geographic part of Syria. And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution. There are disturbing reports of extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over what has been a legitimate revolution against a repressive regime for their own purposes.

So the Arab League-sponsored meetings, starting in Doha next week, will be an important next step. I have been constantly involved with my counterparts, both in the EU and in the Arab League, in particular with the hosts of the meeting next week in Qatar. We have recommended names and organizations that we believe should be included in any leadership structure. We’ve made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition. They can be part of a larger opposition, but that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice that needs to be heard. So our efforts are very focused on that right now. Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) This completes the statements for the press. Thank you.

As The Cable is reporting…

Clinton explains State Department efforts to build new Syrian opposition council

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Wednesday that the U.S. government has been working to establish a new council to represent the Syrian opposition, to be unveiled in Qatar at a major conference next week.

The Cable reported Tuesday that the State Department has been heavily involved in setting the stage for the Nov. 7 rollout of a new opposition leadership council, which will subsume the Syrian National Council (SNC), a group of external opposition leaders that the administration has decided is too consumed by infighting and ineffectiveness to represent the Syrian opposition.

U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford will travel to Qatar for the conference and has been working to craft the new council in a way that better represents a wider array of both internal and external opposition groups. U.S. officials and opposition leaders are calling the initiative the “Riad Seif plan,” named after the former Syrian parliamentarian and dissident who has been active in preparing the new initiative.

“We call it a proto-parliament. One could also think of it as a continental congress,” a senior administration official told The Cable.

Needless to say, it’s going over like a lead balloon…

Syrian opposition figures bristle at new US push to overhaul leadership

Members of Syria’s opposition-in-exile bristled Thursday at the Obama administration’s suggestion that Washington will handpick more representative leaders at a crucial conference in Qatar next week.

The new U.S. push appears aimed at creating a unified leadership that could work more closely with the West. But there are signs of resistance among deeply fractured opposition groups wary of attempts by foreign backers to dictate strategy in the civil war against President Bashar Assad.

“This direct tutelage and these dictates are not acceptable to the Syrian people anymore,” said Zuhair Salem, the London-based spokesman for Syria’s banned Muslim Brotherhood opposition group. The Brotherhood is part of the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Council, which is dominated by exiles…

b at MOA further extrapolated on what a Cluster F*ck we’ve created… U.S. Installs New Political Proxy Opposition…

God help us all…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

NATO To Bypass UN Security Council On Syria

4:32 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Let’s look at how the F/UK/US-GCC prepares to f*ck us and the Syrians, as Russian FM Lavrov had warned on Tuesday…

“Intervention in Syria is a catastrophe,” says Lavrov

…After a meeting in Geneva between representatives of the five member countries of the UN (United Nations) and others bordering Syria, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Patrick Ventrell, said the absence of a resolution does not impede the actions of the United States.

“Three times Russia and China blocked the resolutions on Syria in the UN. We tried to convince them to change their position, but could not,” Ventrell said last June. “We have to continue working under the aegis of the United Nations, but we also have a broader strategy that should be respected. We do not intend to stop doing our job just because there is no resolution,” added Ventrell.

“The United States has expressed its intention to intervene, ignoring the UN Security Council,” countered the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov…

“I believe that the statements from Washington and other capitals that the declaration of Geneva is a dead letter are completely irresponsible. This document represents the most important consensus reached in cooperation with western countries, Russia, China, Turkey and the main Arab countries,” said the Russian minister.

Lavrov added that there is an extremely complex ethnic and religious mix in Syria. “Minorities who gather around Assad expecting help in protecting their rights, are also part of the Syrian people,” he said…

Here’s some of the ‘plans’ that are being bandied about…

First, from the misnomer, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP)(PDF!)…

The Day After Project

…The Day After project brought together a group of Syrians representing a large spectrum of the Syrian opposition—including senior representatives of the Syrian National Council (SNC), members of the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC), and unaffiliated opposition figures from inside Syria and the Diaspora representing all major political trends and components of Syrian society—to participate in an independent transition planning process.

During the period from January to June 2012, this group of approximately 45 Syrian participants, supported by leading international experts in transition planning, convened six times to develop a shared vision of Syria’s democratic future, define goals and principles of a transition, and to prepare a detailed yet flexible transition planning document. Participants met in plenary as well as intensive working group sessions. While each of the six working groups focused on the specific challenges in the respective policy field, all of the groups were guided by a shared commitment to clearly defined goals and principles…

Good luck with that USIP, this kinda puts the kibosh on that little charade… Syria opposition group not up to challenge, says ex-member…

“The groups inside the council did not all behave as one in promoting one national project,” Kodmani said. “Some have given too much attention to their own partisan agendas, some to their personal agendas sometimes. That resulted in a major weakness in connecting closely with the groups on the ground and providing the needed support in all forms.”

Anyways, it seems the Rand Corporation has long since dispensed with the farcical notion of it being any sort of a ‘humanitarian intervention’…

Taking Syria Seriously

…Assad’s overthrow would be a major strategic defeat for Iran, weakening the country’s international standing and dealing a heavy blow to the so-called “axis of resistance” — Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. Conversely, Assad’s survival — or even a protracted civil war — would be seen as a US defeat, which could have serious regional consequences, including increased Iranian intransigence.

In this environment, the US needs a more activist, assertive policy toward Syria aimed at ending the conflict in such a way that bolsters regional stability and facilitates a peaceful democratic transition. This policy should include three crucial elements.

-The US should provide opposition forces with increased intelligence and communication equipment, thereby enabling them to coordinate their attacks more effectively.

-The US should supply arms, ammunition, and logistical support to the opposition, beyond what Saudi Arabia and Qatar currently are providing. Additional weapons — including anti-tank guided missiles, mortars, and sniper rifles — would enable the opposition to launch effective attacks from a distance, and challenge the pro-Assad forces’ air supremacy.

-America and its key allies should help to train the opposition forces to operate these weapons. The training provided by France, Britain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates played a critical role last year in shifting the balance in favor of Libyan opposition forces, and it could have a similar impact in Syria.

To be sure, the US would have to monitor carefully the flow of arms in order to ensure that they end up in the right hands. It should also coordinate its scions with key regional allies, especially Turkey.

Funny how the Grey Lady deemed it necessary to report on this little outfit yesterday, eh…?

Syrian Émigrés Seek Aid in U.S. to Arm Rebels

From a one-room office in an unfinished glass tower three blocks from the White House, an amorphous network of activists is doing what the Obama administration will not: attempting to arm the rebels trying to overthrow Syria’s government…

From the UK’s Telegraph…

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul

An underground network of Syrian opposition activists is receiving training and supplies of vital equipment from a combined American and British effort to forge an effective alternative to the Damascus regime.

Let’s not forget about the French…

UK, France not ruling out military option for Syria
Though UN resolution allowing military no-fly zone unlikely ‘at this time,’ two nations said to be in ‘unity’ on options, including NATO military enforcement…

In a honest analysis, Brandeis Professors Eva Bellin and Peter Krause, lay out what is truly needed if we are indeed acting in a moral Humanitarian fashion…

…The first impulse among many leading activists and scholars was to call
for intervention with force. As some opinion makers in the U.S. argued: What
is the point of having great power if that power is not used to great ends?3 A
consortium of forces in the international community, it is argued, could easily
demolish Assad’s third-rate army, so why not step in and be done with it? But
careful assessments of conditions on the ground have forced most sober analysts
to retreat from this position. The Syrian military, while no match for the full
firepower of the U.S. or NATO, is nevertheless not an insignificant force—and,
more critically, it is enmeshed in densely populated civilian centers. To disarm
it without inflicting huge human casualties would require not simply an air
campaign, as was the case in Libya, but rather, by some estimates, two to three
hundred thousand boots on the ground.4 Such force would be crucial to fully
defeat the regime’s security forces, enforce civil peace, and prevent the subsequent
unleashing of retaliatory massacres by opposition groups. Furthermore, to have
lasting impact, such an intervention would have to be prolonged and would
require extensive investment in state-building, at great cost…

What a clusterf*ck…!

God help the Syrians and us…!

*gah*