Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 353 Comments

With Syria back in the news due to the horrific chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds and threats from the US to engage in military strikes, below are some do’s and don’ts for progressive/radical anti-war organizations/activists in the US as you figure out a proper response.

1. DON’T in any way say or imply both sides are wrong and it’s not clear who we would be supporting if we get involved militarily. This is an insult to every Syrian who has and continues to go out in the streets and protest both the regime and those forces who are looking to use this time of war to assert their own power over others. It is a shame how many progressive groups in the US just jump on the “both sides are bad” wagon so we shouldn’t get involved. There are one million children who are refugees and that is the fault of the regime. It is the regime who is bombing cities with jets; it is the regime that has ruled the country with brutal force for decades. Any statement that doesn’t acknowledge this is again an insult to those who have sacrificed so much.

2. DON’T over conflate Iraq and Syria. Just as ludicrous those who look to Kosovo as an example of military intervention to support it in Syria are, it is quite pathetic when so many progressives and leftists are just obsessed with supposedly false chemical weapons claims. There are 100,000 Syrians dead, majority killed by conventional weapons. So there are a million and one excuses for the US to intervene and faking chemical weapons attacks is not needed. There is also no basis I believe in claiming al Qaeda has access and uses such weapons. Al Qaeda fought the US for a decade in Iraq and not once deployed such weapons. But all of a sudden they’re using them in Syria? And if the rebels had these weapons, the regime would’ve fallen a long time ago.

3. DON’T obsess over al-Qaeda, Islamist extremists, jihadists, etc. Since 9/11 progressives have rightly shunned the use of all these labels when it comes to the US War on Terror, yet we now use them freely when it comes to Syria and actually believe it. The overwhelming majority of Syrians, both those who have taken arms and those who continue to resist through nonviolent means, have nothing to do with the extremist groups and are rising up against all forces who are destroying their country, whether they be regime or supposed “opposition” groups. It is also important to understand that the Free Syria Army is not a central command army with orders given from the top. It is a loosely affiliated group of different battalions and anyone can claim to be part of it.

4. DO point out all the US failures toward Syria and how dropping bombs on the country is not what is needed. I personally don’t believe that US is going to get militarily involved. They promised weapons to the rebels and have yet to deliver. No way is the US getting in because as has been pointed out by Gen. Martin Dempsey and in a NYT opinion piece, it is so much for useful for US “interests” for Syrians to kill each other. I think taking a position of the US should not get involved through a military intervention is fine. DON’T put it as “Hands off Syria” implying this is some kind of American conspiracy. DON’T argue this is about US not having a right to taking sides in a civil war. DON’T make it all about money for home since we do want more humanitarian aid. DO frame it as what will help bring the suffering of Syrians to an end.

5. DO point out US hypocrisy as it judges Russia for sending weapons to the regime. Just last week a story came out that the US is sending $640 million worth of cluster bombs to Saudi. Weapons continue to flow to Egypt, Bahrain, and Israel despite massive human rights violations. DO call for an end to all sales of weapons to all regimes in the region.

6. DON’T let genuine concerns with US imperialism, Israel, Saudi, etc make you look at pictures and videos of dead children and think conspiracy. Bashar is an authoritarian dictator and his record of resistance is a bit sketchy. Just remember he collaborated with the US on things such as CIA renditions. Just because the CIA is training a few fighters in Jordan or some anonymous rebel leader is quoted in some Israeli paper doesn’t mean this isn’t a legitimate Syrian uprising against a brutal regime.

7. DO highlight the continued bravery of the Syrian people who take to the streets and protest against the regime, extremists, and all others looking to destroy their struggle for freedom and dignity. As in with everywhere, coverage of violence trumps coverage of continued nonviolent resistance.

8. DO strongly urge people to donate for humanitarian aid. Between deaths, imprisonments, internal displacement, and refugees, I think 30-40 percent of the Syrian population is in one way or another uprooted.

9. I have no actual solutions to suggest that you encourage people to support. Perhaps pushing for an actual ceasefire might be an option, which would require pressure on Russia to tell Bashar to back down. I know my not having answers about how to resolve anything is a shortcoming, but sometimes the best course of action is to just be in solidarity with folks in their struggle through simply recognizing it.

10. Syrians deserve the same respect for their struggle as all other struggles in the region: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and always Palestine.

353 Responses

  1. Marco
    August 27, 2013, 9:57 am

    Nevermind the fact that this editorial is already out of date. Everyone reading this knows that America is in fact about to launch an illegal war of aggression on Syria, which will be only the latest in a long series of aggressive wars by an out of control empire.

    Forget all that for a moment and this still reads like a catechism. Who are these progressives you’re preaching to anyway? Do they belong to a church? It seems as if this article is dictating the religious laws for an imaginary religion or the party line for a party that doesn’t exist.

    You tell us that we shouldn’t fall into the trap that both sides are wrong. Well, I will tell you that in this case your so-called progressives are wrong just like the war-mongering neo-cons and neo-libs are wrong. The U.S. should stay out of Syria no matter how much it offends progressive sensibilities.

    • Boondoggle
      August 29, 2013, 11:51 am

      “UK’s Cameron shelves imminent Syria strike amid Parliament opposition.”

      Since it’s been 2 days since your prediction of an imminent strike, is it ok to talk about opposing attacks that by your calculations have already occurred?

  2. seafoid
    August 27, 2013, 10:19 am

    link to youtube.com

    “DON’T in any way say or imply both sides are wrong and it’s not clear who we would be supporting if we get involved militarily.”

    Please expand on this.

    link to haaretz.com

    “The legitimacy of a dictatorial regime can also be assessed by the existence of an internal critical mass that is capable of toppling it and establishing in its stead a new regime. In the past few decades, such internal opposition has led to the overthrow of a considerable number of dictatorships. Military intervention reinforces this legitimacy artificially because it does not rest on grassroots political support and grants artificial legitimacy to the forces of the opposition as well. If these forces were to rely solely on broad-based domestic support, it is possible that they could bring about the removal of the regime and establish a new one even without external intervention. The result of such intervention is that the moment it stops, the opposition finds it difficult to set up a stable alternative regime. This failure only increases the bloodshed.

    The developments in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past few years serve as pointed examples of the failure to set up a stable political regime after external intervention – which lacked strong domestic legitimacy in either country – brought about the destruction of the existing power structure. In Libya, too, the collapse of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime with the help of NATO attacks, followed by the failure to establish a stable alternative political leadership that could gain domestic legitimacy, has led to a struggle between the militias that is exacting a high price. According to various assessments, the cost of this struggle is nearing half the number of casualties produced in the civil war that preceded the collapse of Gadhafi’s regime.”

    It looks to me like the well-meaning efforts of the Syrian protestors are drowned out by the money and Jihad injections of Qatar and KSA.

  3. BillM
    August 27, 2013, 10:22 am

    “I personally don’t believe that US is going to get militarily involved…. No way is the US getting in…”

    If your prediction turns out to be ever so slightly wrong, do we still have to follow the rules?

  4. seafoid
    August 27, 2013, 10:24 am

    11. Don’t expect any Muslims in the region bar Lebanon to have either freedom or democracy

  5. seafoid
    August 27, 2013, 10:34 am

    link to poetryinternationalweb.net

    A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford by Derek Mahon

    Let them not forget us, the weak souls among the asphodels
    Seferis, Mythistorema

    for J. G. Farrell

    Even now there are places where a thought might grow –
    Peruvian mines, worked out and abandoned
    To a slow clock of condensation,
    An echo trapped for ever, and a flutter
    Of wildflowers in the lift-shaft,
    Indian compounds where the wind dances
    And a door bangs with diminished confidence,
    Lime crevices behind rippling rainbarrels,
    Dog corners for bone burials;
    And in a disused shed in Co. Wexford,

    Deep in the grounds of a burnt-out hotel,
    Among the bathtubs and the washbasins
    A thousand mushrooms crowd to a keyhole.
    This is the one star in their firmament
    Or frames a star within a star.
    What should they do there but desire?
    So many days beyond the rhododendrons
    With the world waltzing in its bowl of cloud,
    They have learnt patience and silence
    Listening to the rooks querulous in the high wood.

    They have been waiting for us in a foetor
    Of vegetable sweat since civil war days,
    Since the gravel-crunching, interminable departure
    Of the expropriated mycologist.
    He never came back, and light since then
    Is a keyhole rusting gently after rain.
    Spiders have spun, flies dusted to mildew
    And once a day, perhaps, they have heard something –
    A trickle of masonry, a shout from the blue
    Or a lorry changing gear at the end of the lane.

    There have been deaths, the pale flesh flaking
    Into the earth that nourished it;
    And nightmares, born of these and the grim
    Dominion of stale air and rank moisture.
    Those nearest the door grow strong –
    “Elbow room! Elbow room!”
    The rest, dim in a twilight of crumbling
    Utensils and broken flower-pots, groaning
    For their deliverance, have been so long
    Expectant that there is left only the posture.

    A half century, without visitors, in the dark –

    Poor preparation for the cracking lock
    And creak of hinges. Magi, moonmen,
    Powdery prisoners of the old regime,
    Web-throated, stalked like triffids, racked by drought
    And insomnia, only the ghost of a scream
    At the flash-bulb firing squad we wake them with
    Shows there is life yet in their feverish forms.
    Grown beyond nature now, soft food for worms,
    They lift frail heads in gravity and good faith.

    They are begging us, you see, in their wordless way,
    To do something, to speak on their behalf
    Or at least not to close the door again.
    Lost people of Treblinka and Pompeii!
    “Save us, save us”, they seem to say,
    “Let the god not abandon us
    Who have come so far in darkness and in pain.
    We too had our lives to live.
    You with your light meter and relaxed itinerary,
    Let not our naive labours have been in vain

    • paul
      August 29, 2013, 2:36 am

      Lovely and profound Mahon poem. Seamus Heaney’s Tinder offers an image of what Syrians face . The last 3 couplets below.

      Now we squat on cold cinder,
      Red-eyed after the flames’ soft thunder

      And our thoughts settle like ash.
      We face the tundra’s whistling brush

      With new history, flint and iron,
      Cast-offs, scraps, nail, canine.

  6. David Doppler
    August 27, 2013, 10:39 am

    “Syrians deserve the same respect for their struggle as all other struggles in the region: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and always Palestine.”

    Struggles for freedom begin at home. There is quite obviously an “Imperial Elite” in Washington and New York who work tirelessly to involve the US in every dirty little war in the world, to make us out as global policemen, and use the “threats” we face to justify a surveillance state. Some do it for the reasons Irving Kristol spelled out in Commentary thirty years ago – why would Zionists expect the US to protect Israel when/if it needs it, unless we are in fact the world’s policemen, ready to fight those dirty little wars wherever. Some do it because their livelihoods and opportunities for wealth lie in the massive government contracting that goes with it. Some do it because they thirst to exercise Imperial power. Many have been bought and paid for by the others. Some may even want to bankrupt the US, because they are hedge fund managers and therein lies the all-time greatest short opportunity of colossal, historic size. Some on this blog like to refer to Americans as Dick and Jane, and sure there is naivete among us, but part of the genius of America is its capacity for self-correction.

    The pressure to attack Syria looks all too much like that to invade Iraq, unnamed administration sources quoted prominently in the NYTimes creating momentum that does not originate from the top. One imagines Imperial Elites studying Obama’s use of the word “redline” in reference to WMD, and plotting how that line can be crossed. How can we know who launched WMD? Why would Assad use it on innocents? How does it advance his effort?

    Yes, Syria’s government is revolting, and Assad is a bad actor, and his people deserve our humanitarian support. But we cannot continue to try to police other populations, the effect of which will always be to incite deep-seated enmity against us among those populations. Self-determination is just that, our basic value, and the US population has now had enough of being propagandized into thinking we’re the world’s good guys everywhere fighting the Evil-Doers, suckered into inadvertently blowing up wedding parties, to haunt our brave soldiers for the rest of their lives. Ironically for Kristol and his Neocons, his strategy may yet backfire, and the US may abandon Israel just when it finally really needs to be bailed out. Another endless war in Syria in which we inadvertently make millions of new enemies intent on revenge for our mistakes there could be all it takes.

    There’s nothing progressive about Imperial Elites. Self-determination begins at home, and the US first needs to hold these Elites accountable for their many crimes.

    • seafoid
      August 27, 2013, 11:03 am

      Chuck Hagel is standing to US warmongering, as expected, not !

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2013, 8:51 pm

        @seafoid
        What do you mean? He’s sent US navy war ships afloat around Syria proximity.

      • ritzl
        August 27, 2013, 11:27 pm

        Yeah seafoid, disappointing. I stand very much corrected, but, rationalizing, it was either that or give up. :(

        I don’t know what it’s going to take, short of many tens of thousands of dead people on all sides (including many sons and daughters in the US heartland), for the warmongering/zio/militaristic/opportunistic/GWOT self-propagating juggernaut to get derailed. It’s sure not going to be the appointment of one or ten “pragmatic but flexible team-players” to positions of notional authority in government.

        Thanks for the opportunity to re-evalutate.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:16 pm

        I read today Hagel was the only one who stated diplomacy was an option to striking Syria.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 2:43 pm

        Hagel sees the US should be backing Russian call for Syrian peace conference? Good. And Iran should attend that conference.

      • MHughes976
        August 28, 2013, 4:56 pm

        I have a feeling that Cameron, for one, is backing down, at least temporarily, and giving in to demands for giving the UN inspectors in Damascus their chance. This has apparently been forced on him by Ed Miliband, the Opposition Leader, and considerable unrest in his own Conservative ranks. At least I think that’s what the BBC and Financial Times are telling us. Maybe Cameron senses some wobble in Washington.
        Less encouragingly, I’ve just bought Colin Shindler’s (he is Zionist in his sympathies, I think) history of ‘Israel and the European Left’, which reveals that Ralph Miliband, Ed’s Marxist academic father, was of definite – though not very vocal – Zionist sympathies himself. Bad sign. Though I must say it’s quite an informative book, though extraordinarily badly edited. It refers to the leading socialist intellectual Beatrice Webb, who had some anti-Zionist sentiments, but it calls her ‘Beatrice Potter’. I would welcome Mrs. Tiggywinkle and the Flopsy Bunnies to the pro-Palestine cause but I don’t think their heart would be in it.

      • RoHa
        August 28, 2013, 10:21 pm

        “It refers to the leading socialist intellectual Beatrice Webb, who had some anti-Zionist sentiments, but it calls her ‘Beatrice Potter’.”

        That is absolutely hilarious!

        Is Mr Jackson a symbol for the Zionists, and Mrs Tittlemouse the Palestinians? Perhaps not. He did at least get rid of the bees.

        (For those exceptionally uncouth barbarians who are not familiar with Beatrix Potter’s books, Wiki has a useful guide to them.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        But you should have read them when you were five.)

  7. yrn
    August 27, 2013, 10:52 am

    (Reuters) – The Arab League said on Tuesday it holds Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for a chemical attack near Damascus, as speculation mounted that the United States was preparing a military strike.

  8. Justpassingby
    August 27, 2013, 10:57 am

    You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to justify a war against your own country.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2013, 10:59 am

      i’m stunned.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 11:36 am

        Made up your mind Annie ?
        You go with Baath.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 1:43 pm

        At least annie’s got a mind. And a good one at that. And you, oleg, you got a puny pair of jackboots for brains.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 1:56 pm

        Said the staunch defender of military juntas of the arab world
        Just thought that this thread needed your input dear.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 2:05 pm

        lol, i don’t bother w/oleg taxi. hey, did you read Pepe Escobar today.

        VERY IMPORTANT: RUSSIA HAS PROOF THAT THE “REBELS” DID IT.

        Khalil Harb, of Lebanese paper As-Safir, confirmed a few minutes ago to my great friend Claudio Gallo an article published in Arabic two days ago, quoting a Russian source.

        According to the source, Russia’s ambassador in the UN Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence – based on documents and Russian satellite images – of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals, fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian “rebels”, and landing on East Ghouta. Hundreds of “rebels”, as well as civilians – including those children on the cover of Western corporate media papers – were killed. The evidence, says the Russian source, is conclusive. This is what Lavrov himself was hinting at yesterday. And that’s the reason there’s no UN Security Council resolution against Syria, and why Washington does not want the inspectors to find anything.

        i am having a deja vu. wasn’t there another alleged chem attack by assad where obama called off the inspection or something, or back away from the claim? it’s hard keeping track.

        and check out link to defenseone.com (via MOA’s comment section) w/joshua foust, who even quotes neocon kagan war institute’s Elizabeth O’Bagy (whom i also quoted here back in march link to mondoweiss.net iow same ol’ news)

        In a video statement released on Aug. 22, the five front-line commanders from the opposition-backed Supreme Military Council announced they were abandoning the group and choosing instead to work with any group willing to fight Assad. They tendered their resignation while sitting in front of the black flag of Jabhat al Nusra, a key opposition group with growing ties to al Qaeda in Iraq – implying they have rejected U.S. demands not to work with jihadists.

        The council, formed in December 2012, was meant to consolidate the various rebel factions into a unified command structure. It never really worked – the SMC had little legitimacy, and the chains of command to each front were only as good as the individual commanders leading them. Though it had the potential to serve as a check on the radicalization of the opposition movement, that potential now seems further away than ever before.

        “It’s really sad to see,” Elizabeth O’Bagy, a senior research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who just returned from a research trip to Syria, told Defense One. “Islamic movements are taking over the council and people feel they can’t fight back.”

        …..this recent defection of its top leaders, Sowell says, shows that not only does Idriss lack authority over his own commanders, but that the SMC “is a total non-entity” inside Syria.

        so i could always snark back and say “Made up your mind oleg?
        You go with Jabhat al Nusra.” nah, what a lame way to argue.

      • American
        August 27, 2013, 2:21 pm

        I forced myself to watch MSNBC last night cause Steve Clemons was on to give his opinion on Syria. ..he was for intervention, as he said he believed his ‘insider contacts’ that Assad used chemical weapons. This is where I always part company with Clemons—he is way to ‘enamored’ with his insider contacts to question very much—and what does he think ‘insiders’ are gonna tell him anyway when it’s obvious most neo lib insiders are looking for excuse to ‘intervene.
        But you could have knocked me over wth a feather when Rachel Maddow actually disagreeded and said the US should wait for a UN expert finding and not go on any other ‘intellgence” it is fed.
        Made the point that the UN experts are only ones ‘on the ground’ in Syria capable of determing what was used and where it likely came from.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 2:38 pm

        “so i could always snark back and say “Made up your mind oleg?
        You go with Jabhat al Nusra.” nah, what a lame way to argue. ”

        And you would be dead wrong obviously.
        Annie and regarding not bothering with me my dear Californian dictator supporter.Well you amuse while i get you so upset that on occasion you throw such a tantrum that i worry about your well being

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 3:18 pm

        What was the other false flag operation that Pepe Escobar turned over last year or so.? It finally made the MSM after about three months after he uncovered.

        Israeli false flag operations in Iran? Pepe I believe was all over that story

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 27, 2013, 7:35 pm

        “Well you amuse while i get you so upset that on occasion you throw such a tantrum that i worry about your well being”
        I see no tantrums in what Annie is saying. On the other hand you sound more hysterical by the minute.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 27, 2013, 7:39 pm

        “Said the staunch defender of military juntas of the arab world”
        Said the defender of an entity built on the ruins and genocide of another group of people. The defender of the worst project of theft, expansion and colonisation imagined and implemented since the 16th century.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:34 pm

        @ Annie Robbins
        I read today that the Obama administration said it was too late for the UN inspectors, and it told them to get out. Also, that Obama is relying on Israeli intelligence that overhead Assad’s forces talking among themselves, indicating, Israel suggested, that some part of the Assad regime used chemical weapons on his own people. Obama is getting ready to announce his attack on Syria to the American people, as early as tomorrow. He will use the Israeli IT to justify it, and thus, shore up his red line credibility so as to not appear weak. (“By Way Of Deception…–Mossad). Look for an attempt tomorrow to convince us the US is under immediate dire threat from the Syrian regime, coupled with humanitarian justification. The script is getting old, but they’re gonna do it again. Only thing we don’t know is how Assad will react to whatever we “surgically” bomb of his, or him. Doesn’t Russia have some naval warships in Syrian waters? To protect their one port there? I doubt the chemical warfare depot will be hit, as that will spread the crap on the innocent, and they won’t hit the Russian port, and, not likely (despite pressure to do so) hit Assad’s residence and office (as regime change might give Al Quaida types control of Syria). So, looks to me like a couple days of tomahawk missiles at some key military sites by the four US war ships there; they will loose the missiles at $1.5 million each–I think the four ships have about 40 each, so waste away $190 million, while back home more cuts to Head Start, etc. I conclude this is an ill-thought out decision on Obama’s part (pushed by AIPAC) to save his credibility as a strong POTUS, and to give his party credibility as strong on defense for the next congressional elections.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 4:31 pm

        thanks citizen, we’ve got a lot of that info in draft already (with other stuff). phil heading to the city and it probably won’t go up til tomorrow.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 12:22 am

        Citizen,

        We do know what Syria will do if a tomahawk hits its territory. Syria has stated that they have the means to intercept tomahawks in mid air. Syria also said that their first defensive missile will be fired at tel aviv if USA attacked Syrian land.

        Will Syria go through with this counter-threat? Well, what would it lose if under attack? On the contrary, it gains to expand the chaos and destruction, taking it right to the heart of israel.

        Regarding the chemical attack, it would not surprise me one bit if the compound itself was manufactured by israel and delivered to the rebels by Qatar.

      • Boondoggle
        August 29, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Of course, because when the Russians have definitive proof that the US is wrong they shyly drop hints to anonymous sources, who are known for being truthful, objective, and without ulterior motives.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 29, 2013, 1:31 pm

        actually the source of this latest allegation was not anonymous.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Russia’s ambassador in the UN Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence – based on documents and Russian satellite images – of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals, fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian “rebels”, and landing on East Ghouta. Hundreds of “rebels”, as well as civilians – including those children on the cover of Western corporate media papers – were killed.

    • Boondoggle
      August 29, 2013, 11:56 am

      You clearly didn’t read or don’t understand the piece. Maybe Justpassingby is a reference to your relationship with facts.

  9. American
    August 27, 2013, 10:59 am

    DO’s and DONTS for ‘progressives’ from a Syrian-American activist in DC..??
    Er….no thanks.
    The last thing we need is another Hyphen-American lobby or activist ‘instructing’ us on how we are to think about what is happening in their Hyphen.
    We can form our own opinions on what the US should or should not do about Syria.
    You should stick to just asking us to donate money for the Syria refugees, that would be a acceptable support request and not insulting…like this lecture is.

    • Citizen
      August 27, 2013, 9:00 pm

      @ American
      Yes. But it looks like the usual suspects are all about attacking Syria (and then Iran) on the infotainment news media.

  10. piotr
    August 27, 2013, 10:59 am

    “It is the regime who is bombing cities with jets; it is the regime that has ruled the country with brutal force for decades. Any statement that doesn’t acknowledge this is again an insult to those who have sacrificed so much.”

    And rebels incuding itinerant jihadist, supplied with quite heavy weapons, mostly from Turkey, have their documented record of atrocities too, including taking hundreds of hostages, mass killings, car bombs in cities and so on. Attacking rebels is not per se crime, taking hundreds of villagers hostage or exterminating a village is definitely a crime. The worst atrocities are committed by an organization that makes similar stuff in Iraq where they are supplied directly from Saudi Arabia. A fuller picture is necessary to discuss the situation.

    In a nutshell, Gulf countries are supplying the same murderous thugs that USA is fighting in Yemen. Given their documented record, staging a gas attack would not be out of character.

    • OlegR
      August 27, 2013, 1:59 pm

      Staging would be completely in character
      The problem is with capabilities

  11. MHughes976
    August 27, 2013, 11:14 am

    The one thing that the British media seem to be agreed upon is that there will be ‘no Western boots on the ground’. I wonder if there is a plan to partition Syria between Turkey and Jordan, perhaps leaving a little corner for a Russian-dependent enclave?

    • seafoid
      August 27, 2013, 11:38 am

      Jordan is unstable enough. It had a bad experience running an then unwanted cast off of Zionism a while back as well.

  12. Nevada Ned
    August 27, 2013, 11:16 am

    The chemical attacks look like a false flag operation.

    Diana Johnstone, writing in yesterday’s CounterPunch,
    explains how Obama is threatening to give “the Kosovo treatment” to Syria.
    Johnstone is the author of the excellent book Fool’s Crusade, about the US attack on Yugoslavia.

  13. Annie Robbins
    August 27, 2013, 11:30 am

    I personally don’t believe that US is going to get militarily involved. They promised weapons to the rebels and have yet to deliver.

    hmm, there’s this little glaring problem w/Ms Kudaimi’s analysis. the cat is kinda out of the bag , iow not a secret any more. this is from last march:

    link to nytimes.com

    “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A

    And even as the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels, the involvement of the C.I.A. in the arms shipments —…… — has shown that the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.

    From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    …….. Most of the cargo flights have occurred since November, after the presidential election in the United States and as the Turkish and Arab governments grew more frustrated by the rebels’ slow progress against Mr. Assad’s well-equipped military. The flights also became more frequent as the humanitarian crisis inside Syria deepened in the winter and cascades of refugees crossed into neighboring countries.

    The Turkish government has had oversight over much of the program, down to affixing transponders to trucks ferrying the military goods through Turkey so it might monitor shipments as they move by land into Syria, officials said. The scale of shipments was very large, according to officials familiar with the pipeline and to an arms-trafficking investigator who assembled data on the cargo planes involved.

    “A conservative estimate of the payload of these flights would be 3,500 tons of military equipment,” said Hugh Griffiths, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, who monitors illicit arms transfers.

    “The intensity and frequency of these flights,” he added, are “suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation.”

    ……..

    The former American official noted that the size of the shipments and the degree of distributions are voluminous.

    “People hear the amounts flowing in, and it is huge,” he said. “But they burn through a million rounds of ammo in two weeks.”

    DON’T in any way say or imply both sides are wrong

    because when the side we support burns thru “a million rounds of ammo in two weeks” civilians don’t die. hmmmm

    • Boondoggle
      August 29, 2013, 12:17 pm

      @Annie
      The glaring problem appears to be with your analysis. Did you miss the 6 months of news since the story you posted?

      Perhaps you overlooked the Reuters story in July: “Exclusive: Congress Delaying U.S. aid to Syrian Rebels.”

      Or the USA Today story, also in July: “U.S. arms haven’t reached Syrian rebels, analysts say.”

      Or yesterday’s quote in the New York Times:
      “Based on that conclusion, Mr. Obama authorized a limited program of supplying the Syrian rebels with arms, which have yet to arrive.”

      Who knows, maybe your story from the facebook page of a friend of an anonymous Russian source who leaked material to a Lebanese newspaper is more credible than consistent reports from the NYT, Reuters, USA Today, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, and countless others.

      Attempts by the CIA to screen recipients is much different than a U.S. led program to supply weapons, which is what the US said it was going to do and which has not really materialized, as Ramah accurately noted in her piece.

      But why let facts get in the way of strongly voiced opinions?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 29, 2013, 1:51 pm

        hi boon, i’m not on facebook, never have been. in fact i’m pretty busy here and don’t have a lot of time for alternate social media. like the example i used, i get most of my leads (which often include leads for other MW stories, not just my own btw) primarily from msm news links off google sources (unless someone sends me something or i sign up for a jvp listserve, like i did recently for the interfaith group sydney levy and members visiting i/p).

        also, my point in posting info from back in march, was that the news came out on msm a long long time ago. (hint, that was indicated by the ‘cat’s out of the bag a long time ago’ reference, iow, it was not a mistake glaring or otherwise) of course there are more recent examples as well as many examples from the year prior to the msm article. it occurred to many people the US and some of our allies were supporting the opposition in ways that could be very lethal long before march.

        and thanks so much for providing so many contrary headlines, we certainly did learn from our experience in the lead up to iraq how helpful the msm is in propagating and spreading falsehoods.

        i tend to read the news differently than other people, which, rumor has it, is one reason they keep me around here. so, just since you seem interested, let’s take a look at one of your headlines:

        link to usatoday.com

        now it just so happens, i don’t always believe what i read in a story like this, but some of it i do believe. for example when they say ”

        “The program is both underwhelming and is yet to get underway,” said Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

        i do believe Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said that. i just happen to know AEI is a neocon/aipac think tank, and therefor i may not consider all the information altogether trustworthy. plus, he could very well be telling the truth about that program , while staying silent on other programs. (multi tasking/sometimes governments partake)

        here’s the thing boon, the US does engage in covert ops. (lots of countries do that, shocking but true) and the nature of covert ops is, they are secret. now unless you’re going to float the idea governments are always forthcoming about everything they do, then it’s up to us to assume they are not telling us everything, and find out what they may be untruthful or silent about. (you may want to study up on cia history in south america as an example of deadly US covert ops)

        thanks for your advice tho, it’s almost always illuminating finding out how our readers think, even if we disagree.

      • Boondoggle
        August 30, 2013, 3:36 pm

        I’m not disputing the CIA’s involvement or the fact that outsiders are pouring arms into the country as described in the March article, no one is, but that information does not contradict or discredit what Ramah wrote, as you seemed to suggest.

        Seems odd that you quote an msm article to discredit the piece and then completely discount the credibility of the same news source when it contradicts your accusations, seems like cherry picking to me. Don’t get me wrong, I harbor a healthy skepticism of the mainstream media, especially the NYT.

        The rest of your post is just a straw man. No one disputes that Michael Rubin is a neocon with his own agenda, there are lots of other sources. No one disputes that the US engages in covert operations and his given weapons to just about every single group in the Middle East so not sure what this even refers to.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 30, 2013, 11:11 pm

        actually there is a contradiction w/what the author wrote boon. the military and the cia are different parts of the gov. but both are US. the nyt article said “the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels” and that the C.I.A. was involved with the arms shipments…concluding ” the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.”

        the author referenced the US and said ” They promised weapons to the rebels and have yet to deliver.” they, meaning the US. and the cia was delivering weapons to the rebels. ie, covert ops.

        and i did not “completely discount the credibility of the same news source” which did not contradict my assertions because i do believe “the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels.” but privately/covertly, thru the cia, we’ve (the US) facilitated just that. remember my earlier comment about “he could very well be telling the truth about that program“, and then another program (the cia) is a different story.

        it’s all in the wording boon. touche, fun playing.

  14. seanmcbride
    August 27, 2013, 11:33 am

    Ramah,

    Why should Americans — progressive, conservative or otherwise — take sides in Syria’s internal conflicts — especially when there is clear evidence that al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists have heavily infiltrated the Syrian opposition?

    Most Americans have much more pressing issues on their minds — issues that affect them directly where they live.

    As for being given a set of rules for political correctness — that is not an effective approach for reaching the minds and hearts of most Americans. That’s not how most of us roll.

    (To be clear on this: I strongly oppose any American military attack on Syria — and any American funding of the Syrian rebels — some of whom are associated with the 9/11 attacks. Arabs need to work out their own internal problems on their own.)

    • yrn
      August 27, 2013, 2:01 pm

      “Why should Americans — progressive, conservative or otherwise — take sides in Syria’s internal conflicts
      Most Americans have much more pressing issues on their minds — issues that affect them directly where they live.”

      Wow can’t believe my eyes…… so why do you all b****t so much about Israel.
      don’t you have more pressing issues on your mind……

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Wow can’t believe my eyes…… so why do you all b****t so much about Israel.

        Because 1. Israel is occupying A d stealing someone else’s land
        2. The US is paying for it

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2013, 9:07 pm

        @ Shingo
        Yes, exactly. And (3) US UN SC veto is so flagrantly in Israel’s pocket, which make the US a total hypocrite to the world’s eyes. Not good for US waning “soft power.”

  15. HarryLaw
    August 27, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Don’t agree with this posting, Assad has said he wants all Syrians to come together and is willing to have elections and anyone can take part, he wants, like the Russians a negotiated settlement, unfortunately the opposition will not negotiate and seem to be willing to destroy the country in order for them to get their way. It is estimated that Assad has the support of at least 75% of Syrians of all religious persuasions, not surprising when one looks at the head chopping, organ eating alternative.

    • seafoid
      August 27, 2013, 12:30 pm

      I’m sure ordinary Syrians are literally dying to have the Jihadis run the place efficiently after their success in Somalia.

      • seafoid
        August 27, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I would like to see the idf vs the jihadis on hbo.

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2013, 10:48 pm

        Did you notice that the foreign backed “rebels” have a particularly strong grasp on the land all along the Golan heights. I wonder why that is. (sigh)

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 5:19 pm

        Careful what you wish for

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:48 pm

        @ OlegR
        Yeah, we might get another USS Liberty if Israel thinks we will interfere with its securing the Golan Heights for Israel lebensraum.

    • MRW
      August 27, 2013, 1:24 pm

      I’m with you, HarryLaw.

    • Walid
      August 27, 2013, 2:36 pm

      Harry, a negotiated settlement is out of the question because the US, Israel and their Gulf friends aren’t letting it happen. The whole Syria story is simply to disarm Iran’s strongest supporters, Syria and Hizbullah. The ultimate goal is Iran. You mentioned the opposition. There’s no such thing as a Syrian oppostion as mostly all those fighting the regime are from Chechnya, Yemen, Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and the Gulf countries. The ones lining up people against walls to shoot them in cold blood are definitely not Syrians.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 3:17 pm

        Scott Ritter’s amazing book that came out close to ten years ago “Target Iran” is a must read. If Hillary gets in next stop Iran

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 3:25 pm

        @Walid – – I think it most unfortunate that Iran has helped the Iran-haters, by being just a bit too ambiguous about its nuclear programme.
        And very sad for Syria.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 4:18 pm

        too ambitious james? it’s like the slow train to china. you do realize don’t you there’s no evidence of an iranian nuke weapons program. why shouldn’t they have nuclear energy for domestic use? we’ve had it in the states for decades.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 4:43 pm

        “ambiguous” unclear, murky, vague. Although they do repeat that they are within the boundaries of the IAEA’s NPT and not enriching above 20%. And using their uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes only. They do keep repeating these statements. Not that the liberal imperialist like Maddow, Ed Schultz would repeat what Iran repeatedly states.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 4:45 pm

        James Canning is well aware of all of that Annie. He is one of the regulars over at Going to Tehran. He is a wealth of knowledge and is well aware of what you have stated. Think you read “ambiguous” as “ambitious”

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 5:33 pm

        Not just ambiguous, James, AhmadiNejad went out of his way to goad the West about it that played into Israel’s hands. I hope Hasan Rouhani is a bit more astute in dealing with the West but that he’ll stay on his nuclear course. Sad for Syria too, eventhough it’s not going completely down. I don’t think it deserves all the destruction, especially to its rich cultural heritage.

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:26 pm

        @Walid – – Ahmadinejad was inconsistent, and erratic. Personally, I think Iran should have made clear it only enriched uranium to 20% due to idiotic refusal of the US to allow Iran to buy replacement nuclear fuel for the Tehran reactor. Thus, once sufficient stock was to hand, Iran should have stopped enriching to 20. Big mistake, in my view.

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:29 pm

        @Annie – – Too ambiguous. Iranian leaders say time and time again Iran does not want nukes, Iran only wants to power nuclear plants with fuel it produces itself. Etc.
        So, why did Iran enrich more uranium to 20% than was needed to produce fuel for Tehran reactor for, say, next 10 years? Huge PR blunder.

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:30 pm

        Thanks, Kathleen.

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:32 pm

        I think the primary “ambiguity” resulted from Iran’s announcement of intent to treble production of uranium enriched to 20 percent. This was a staggering blunder, in my view.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 2:47 am

        Think you read “ambiguous” as “ambitious”

        whoops! my mistake. sorry james.

      • Eva Smagacz
        August 28, 2013, 4:04 am

        So, why did Iran enrich more uranium to 20% than was needed to produce fuel for Tehran reactor for, say, next 10 years? Huge PR blunder.

        I think this is your answer Blumberg.com June 2013

        “Iran is ready to suspend enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, a key demand of world powers at talks over its disputed nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
        In return, the Persian Gulf nation must be offered “weighty reciprocal steps,” including a gradual lifting of unilateral and United Nations sanctions, Lavrov said in an interview with the Kuwaiti news service Kuna posted today on the Foreign Ministry’s website.”

      • Eva Smagacz
        August 28, 2013, 4:09 am

        James,
        Iran has a right to do this enshrined in the international law, which it respects. It wishes to have this right recognized – as a sovereign nation. It also knows that this uranium is the only lever it has against combined open hostility of Israel-Saudi-American axis. (and see what happened to Iraq and Libia when they gave up)

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 1:25 pm

        @Eva – – I of course support Iran’s right to a domestic nuclear power programme including control of the nuclear fuel cycle.

        Gaddafi knew he could not be allowed to build nukes.

        I think Iran knows it would not be allowed to build nukes. So, why create needless ambiguity?

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 1:29 pm

        @Eva – – Shortly after Iran announced its intent to treble production of 20U, it offered to stop all production of 20U.

        Yes, possibly the reason Iran announced its intent to treble 20U was to gain leverage (or hope to gain leverage).

        And, of course, the US continues its utterly idiotic blocking of Iran’s application to buy nuclear fuel for the Tehran reactor.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:50 pm

        No doubt Israel is pushing Obama hard via AIPAC also to strike Syria–PNAC is alive and well, although now operates under a different name; FPI, if memory serves. Usual suspects.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 3:14 pm

      This is what the Leveretts have been writing about for quite some time. Assad was willing to negotiate a slow, measured transition. But the U.K. U.S. turned down.

      Also remember according to the Leveretts and elsewhere about a year ago democratically elected Egyptian President Morsi offered to put together a team of negotiators (was able to ask some expert on Washington Journal about this offer) including Egypt, Saudi Arabia (I believe) Iran and can not remember the fourth country to sit down and negotiate with Assad. The U.S. refused….and we know where Morsi is now…well we don’t but we know he was forcefully removed in a coup by the Egyptian military. Egypt’s military death squads are sure off the front pages now. The Obama administration and the Egyptian military are sure glad about that shift. No more talk about the slaughter of 800 Egyptian protesters onto the killings with chemical agents allegedly by Assad which does not make sense. Assad would be really stupid to have gone there. I know Colin Powell said on Sunday’s new programs that Assad was a pathological liar but coming from one of the Iraq has WMD’s team members that statement should not hold a lot of water. Blood but not water

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2013, 9:14 pm

        Colin Powell is a joke. Says he was bamboozled to claim Iraqui WMD, and now he’s on TV dissing even a basic voter ID card with image as an attack on black potential voters, as if voter fraud is not a reality, just as GOP tricks to dilute black voters is. He has no nuance. He’s a moron. In Chicago, for example, dead people have voted for decades now.

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2013, 1:48 pm

        all of the interviews with Colonel Wilkerson Powell’s aid at the time clearly states that they were tricked in a twisted way. His interviews at Democracy Now and elsewhere (the documentary Iraq For Sale) etc are worth watching and listening to. But Powell has never ever really been totally honorable in seriously apologizing for such a horrible mistake. Bloody mistake

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:54 pm

        At Kathleen
        And Powell is now doing the same by characterizing the voting reforms as merely all an attempt to curtail minority voting. He should have stood up for a voter ID. I mean, Jeez, you need one to drive a car, why not to vote? The other stuff the GOP has been doing in this area, well, he’s got a point.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 2:25 pm

        The head of the CIA duped Powell. Sadly.

      • just
        August 28, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Powell allowed himself to be “duped”. He should have walked out on the administration.

        He’s supposed to be “smart”. I’ve always thought that he was desperately trying to redeem himself after “blurring” the truth about My Lai.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 6:59 pm

        I think Powell saw his own interests as best served if he did not make too much noise about being duped. Even if that duping helped set up an illegal and idiotic war.

      • RoHa
        August 28, 2013, 7:23 pm

        “In Chicago, for example, dead people have voted for decades now.”

        That’s full democracy! In Australia only the living are allowed (and required) to vote. We should extend our compulsory voting to the dead as well. Why discriminate against them?

      • RudyM
        August 29, 2013, 12:21 am

        Powell remains true to his roots:

        Behind Colin Powell’s Legend — My Lai

        I think the only good thing that can be said about Powell is that he may genuinely care, up to a point, about the lives of U.S. soldiers, which leads him to take more realistic positions on foreign policy. He doesn’t like to rush into military interventions without a clear game plan. But he is also obviously a “good soldier” and a team player who will say what is required of him by those who call the shots.

        I doubt he was fooled by the “bad intelligence” regarding Iraq. I’m always a little surprised his reputation is as good as it is.

      • RudyM
        August 29, 2013, 12:39 am

        A lot more here (grabbed without looking too closely at it): SIR COLIN POWELL: WHY IS HE BEING CALLED
        A ‘SON-OF-A-BUSH’?

        Some of which I had known before, but forgotten. I remember him excommunicating Aristide from the Americas, as if he had the right to do so. (I wish I could find the exact quote I’m thinking of.)

    • Boondoggle
      August 29, 2013, 12:23 pm

      Of course HenryLaw, why didn’t the 100,000 Syrians who have been killed just realize that Bashar wanted peace and democracy all along?

      You do remember that this started when kids were imprisoned and tortured for writing on the wall? Lay off the kool aid.

  16. jon s
    August 27, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Latest reports , including here in Israel, are that a strike on the Syrian regime is imminent.
    The strike will be led by the US and supported by the UK, France, Turkey and the Arab League.

    • Taxi
      August 27, 2013, 1:08 pm

      And who will be cheering from the cheap seats then, jon s?

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 2:17 pm

        Front row seat unfortunately

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 2:44 pm

        Oleg, if more than a couple of insignificant industrial plants are taken out by tomahawks, to which no one would react, you won’t be in the front row seats but in the bull’s eye. Neither Iran nor Hizbullah are going to stand by and watch the Syrian regime being taken out.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 27, 2013, 2:52 pm

        “Front row seat unfortunately”

        Feel free to leave your stolen property in Palestine and return to your homeland in Russia, comrade.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Possible though as long as Assad think he has a prayer he won’t attack
        because that would mean assured end to his regime not to mention disaster for the alawites once the sunnies mop up whatever we have left.
        Hizbollah is already taking a lot off flack in Lebanon for Syrian involvement so they will think long and hard before attacking us. Same for Iran.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 4:26 pm

        It may be Asad’s “assured end”, but it will be israel’s faster end, “my dear”.

        There are millions of eyes on israel tonight. And every night.

        I’ve heard it said by Mr. X that “the best thing that can happen to the Arabs right now is for America to strike Syria”. To which, Mr. Y, replied: “An armed regional intifada against the usual suspects”.

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 5:15 pm

        Oleg, the only flack Hizbullah is getting is from the minority pro-US crowd. All the rest are rather pleased that Hizbullah has paid back to Syria a bit of Lebanon’s dues for its help in the summer of 2006. And you’d be happy to know that Syria isn’t run by the minority Alawites but by the Sunni elite. The Alawites that make up only 10% of the population are not what’s keeping the regime in power and they are among the poorest of the poor. Authentic Sunnis don’t have any problems with them but they are in danger from all the fanatical takfiris on the loose all over Syria that consider them apostate Shias that deserve to be killed.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 5:33 pm

        We shall see Walid .

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 5:36 pm

        Walid,

        The majority of the Syrian Army is sunni too.

        General Fahd Jassem al-Freij, is the current Commander-in-Chief of Syrian Armed Forces, and yes, he is a Sunni, like other commanding officers.

        Even the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun, again, a Sunni (with the Shafi’i Fiqh), is alligned with Assad. His son was killed by the takfiris in Syria for his televised rejection of sunni takfirism, his preaching of the practice of peaceful islam, and his numerous laments about “outsider destruction” of his country.

        Interesting to note here too that Bashar’s own Alawite uncle, Riad al-Assad, was the one who created the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and served as a core commander until his legs were blown off in battle. He is still alive, but by now, thoroughly side-stepped (if you’ll pardon the pun).

      • American
        August 27, 2013, 6:38 pm

        Hizbollah is already taking a lot off flack in Lebanon for Syrian involvement so they will think long and hard before attacking us. Same for Iran”…OlegR…..>>>>>

        I am thinking of writing one of those For Dummies books, think I will title it ”Israel for Israeli Dummies”.
        The first instruction would be that you cant put more than one peg in a hole.
        You cannot put the Israel is so mighty no country would dare attack us peg in a hole, with a Iran will attack us peg and a Syria will attack us peg.
        You can also can not put the no country is crazy enough to attack us peg into the same hole with all our enemies are Mad Mullahs and will attack us even if it destroys them peg.
        There is only one hole that all the pegs will fit into–that is the hole says deposit all the zionist pegs here and push the button for your future to be foretold.
        The hole will then spit out your fortune cookie.
        The cookie wll say that you have ‘lingered too long at the party’ and instruct you to take your children and get out of Israel, cause your zionist are going to get you killed.

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 6:41 pm

        “The majority of the Syrian Army is sunni too.”

        Taxi, most of the senior officers are Alawites. All of Syria’s economy was in the hands of the Sunnis. Same for the country’s education system.

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 8:30 pm

        Great post American.

        It still amuses me how the neocons insist Iran must also be attacked because they are a bunch of crazies who are he’ll vent in attacking Israel, while assuring us there is no risk with such an attack because the Iranians are not crazy enough to fight back.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 2:56 am

        Hizbollah is already taking a lot off flack in Lebanon for Syrian involvement so they will think long and hard before attacking us.

        flack? is that what you call terrorists attacks/car bombings in beirut neighborhoods? i think they got the ‘message’, but who did it come from?

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 3:00 am

        Good one, Annie. Hizbullah believes it’s the work of the takfiris mandated by Israel

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 3:23 am

        i know walid, and the president of lebanon and interior minister said it had is/us fingerprints all over it. that was reported widely in lebanon and israel.

      • yrn
        August 28, 2013, 5:16 am

        Annie you spread information like you are the source.
        Proof
        Again with your low Pathetic accusations.
        Accuse Israel also for the killing of the 100,000 Syrians.
        Fits your Agenda

      • amigo
        August 28, 2013, 6:58 am

        Oleg R “Soviet Union born, Israeli raised , Jew, Humanist, Liberal, Zionist ,Nationalist, , IDF reservist , Cast Lead participant and many other things”

        Tell us about your Humanist side Oleg.You seem to have a policy of ambiguity on that.

        Oh and what the hell is a “Liberal Zionist”.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Annie you spread information like you are the source. Proof

        you want proof Hizbullah believes it’s the work of the takfiris mandated by Israel :

        link to dailystar.com.lb

        Nasrallah signals all-out war on ‘takfiris’

        “According to information and indications, it’s most likely that a takfiri group was behind yesterday’s explosion and their operatives are known. Some of them are Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, unfortunately,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech, addressing thousands of supporters assembled in the main square of the southern town of Aita al-Shaab near the border with Israel.

        Nasrallah said the explosions in the southern suburbs and a series of bomb attacks that targeted Hezbollah’s convoys near the border with Syria and the cities of Hermel and Baalbek would not deter his staunch support for the Assad regime.

        “If you think by killing our sons, women and children … and destroying our cities and neighborhoods, we will retreat from the position we took [on Syria] you are mistaken,” Nasrallah said, adding: “You idiots, read our 30-year experience with Israel.”

        “You are striking in the wrong place. If we had 100 fighters in Syria, now they will be 200. If we had 1,000, they will be 2,000. If we had 5,000 they will be 10,000,” he said, speaking via a video link on a giant screen.

        “If the battle with these takfiri terrorists requires that I and all Hezbollah should go to Syria, we will go for the sake of Syria and its people and for the sake of Lebanon and its people,” Nasrallah added, drawing cheers from the crowd.

        Although he eliminated Israel as a prime suspect in the series of bomb attacks in the country, he said that U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies had “undoubtedly” managed to infiltrate takfiri groups, which he added were now working to serve Israel’s interests.

        you want proof the president of lebanon and interior minister said it had is/us fingerprints all over it. that it was reported widely in lebanon and israel.

        link to jpost.com

        Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel suggested that the attack may have been Israeli retaliation for explosions that wounded four Israeli soldiers who allegedly infiltrated southern Lebanon last week.
        …..

        Israeli leaders on Friday vehemently denied a claim by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman that Israel was behind the attack.
        ………”Israel has no ties to the situation in Lebanon, we want to see a stable and united Lebanon,” President Shimon Peres said during a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

        “I was surprised that Lebanon’s president again accused Israel as responsible for a terrorist attack. I ask why he looks in Israel’s direction when in his territory Hezbollah is accumulating bombs and missiles,” he said.

        here’s another jpost: link to jpost.com

        Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel suggested that the attack may have been Israeli retaliation for explosions that wounded four Israeli soldiers who allegedly infiltrated southern Lebanon last week.

        “The terror attack was planned well. It could be connected to the wounding of the Israeli soldiers in al-Labouneh in southern Lebanon,” Charbel said.

        let me know if jpost isn’t a good enough source for you and you’d like evidence this was reported in lebanon too. because i can assure you it definitely was , with more detail than what’s provided here.( Suleiman’s exact words, which i am almost positive included the US, plus Suleiman “slammed Israel for its repeated threats and breaches of Lebanese airspace” and called on the international community to apply pressure on Israel the sunday before the attack, let me know if you want that link too)

        btw, i have not “Accused Israel also for the killing of the 100,000 Syrians”, but i find it very interesting you have to make up things i allegedly said, it confirms you can’t dig up anything i did say so you resort to lying about my assertions.

        and for the extra clueless amongst you, informing about what people said, whether it be lebanon’s president or nasrallah, is not the same as either agreeing with, or affirming their assertions.

      • Kathleen
        August 28, 2013, 1:52 pm

        The Leveretts have written that Assad has the support of at least 50% of Syrians.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 1:56 pm

        @ OlegR
        Re: “so they will think long and hard before attacking us.”

        Who is “us”?

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 3:08 pm

        “Who is “us”?”

        Self-hating Russians pretending to be middle easterners.

      • yrn
        August 29, 2013, 3:59 am

        You got to be joking
        As you will believe if I give you a resource of the Jewish or Israeli press or a cabinet person in Israel on any bull you write.
        Get some real resource and not the Hizbullah believes or Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
        As you would believe to everything the Israeli press says.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 29, 2013, 2:16 pm

        yrn, let’s review my original words that got you so unhinged:

        the president of lebanon and interior minister said it had is/us fingerprints all over it. that was reported widely in lebanon and israel.

        and now you’re telling me As you will believe if I give you a resource of the Jewish or Israeli press or a cabinet person in Israel on any bull you write…Get some real resource and not the Hizbullah believes or Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.

        ah, yes! i will absolutely believe a resource of the Jewish or Israeli press regarding what the president of lebanon said! and i also googled it and read many other sources claiming this is what he said. you’re jumping the shark yrn. lol, but it’s fun seeing you go at it like this!

      • yrn
        August 29, 2013, 2:22 pm

        ah, yes! i will absolutely believe a resource of the Jewish or Israeli press regarding what the president of lebanon said!

        And you take credit to this s****d answer

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2013, 2:24 pm

      jon, have you heard the latest report out of germany, that US intel on the chem attack came from …our little ally israel? wow, how special/ not.

      • jon s
        August 27, 2013, 2:32 pm

        To be clear: personally, I hope that no such strike takes place.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 2:37 pm

        Thanks Annie. No surprise there. Feeding it to the UN. Wonder if Mossad’s fingerprints will turn up on the chemical weapons. You know like “made in Israel” or Israeli agents using the weapons. We all know Israeli Mossad are not beyond these kinds of measures. Just does not make since that Assad would go there with the threats of that this would be the “red line” You know how that goes if at first you do not succeed to cultivate another illegal and immoral invasion of another country based on false claims try try again.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 2:58 pm

        i don’t know if it’s accurate or true kathleen, jon just mentioned reports out of israel and i did read the other day a few of israel’s bigwigs were in DC (not affiliated w/’peace’ talks) and of course i know we’re continually hearing israel’s opinion re ‘intel’ but i don’t know how reliable this is, at all. it’s just news that is out there. but i would consider it at least, if not more, reliable as i would trust jon’s israel report ” that a strike on the Syrian regime is imminent.”

        i don’t believe that it’s imminent.

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2013, 5:37 pm

        “i don’t believe that it’s imminent.” ~annie

        See, when I was abroad in the summer of 2002 I did not think the US was going to invade Iraq. It had not been something discussed widely in the public. Then I come back to the US to all these reports about the US planning to invade Iraq, based on the false pretenses. Then the invasion happened.

        I didn’t think Libya would get regime-changed either. Qaddafi was the president for what, 45 years, a few generations? Then NATO decides to axe him, and the foreign “rebels” kill him in a bad way. There was an attempt to get the US to invade Iran not long ago, but Iran’s forces looked to big. So Syria seems to be what the dominators consider to be the weakest link.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2013, 9:22 pm

        @ W.Jones
        Looks like that to me too. PNAC carries on, in new incarnations: link to rigorousintuition.ca

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 2:45 pm

        Actually your NSA supposedly have recordings of comms
        of the Assad units responsible for the gas attack.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 3:00 pm

        yep, the operative word being ‘supposedly’.

      • OlegR
        August 27, 2013, 5:01 pm

        From what i understand your guys will make another big smoking gun show,
        before you drop the hatchet, will see.

      • Danaa
        August 27, 2013, 4:25 pm

        Annie, check out also Richard Silverstein’s piece from today. He was cued in to the information coming from the israeli “NSA” as well. Now, they wouldn’t have a dog in the fight, would they? must be ever so neutral!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 4:40 pm

        they wouldn’t have a dog in the fight

        heck no! lol, didn’t you get the memo danaa? the lobby is “silent ” on syria

        hahahahahah, in fact they are screaming from the rooftops how silent they are. let’s play ‘rent an idiot’.

    • W.Jones
      August 27, 2013, 5:31 pm

      A Christian priest from Syria who lives in the US told me that it would be very bad for the Christians in Syria if the rebels won. He was hopeful though that unlike the governments of Iraq or Libya, Assad would hold out, because many Syrians prefer their own government and are against the foreign “rebels”.

  17. American
    August 27, 2013, 12:35 pm

    “….has shown that the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.”>>>>

    Well, that is the thing isnt it? And why we should ‘stay out’.
    Cause in the real world neither Syria or Iran is a ‘threat’ to the US.
    They are ‘perceived’ as or only threats to our ME ‘dominator’ little friends, Saudi and Israel.
    If I wanted to get into conspiracies I ‘d have to ask Ms Kudaimi if she is just blind to the facts or if she is conspiracing with the House of Saud in her failure to mention that factor in Syria.
    Cause no one in any of the world’s news agencies or ideology camp denies that Saud Prince Bandar was in Syria putting together the ‘people’s revolt’ before it began.

    link to online.wsj.com
    A Veteran Saudi Power Player Works To Build Support to Topple Assad

    Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud maneuvers behind the scenes to defeat the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
    Officials inside the Central Intelligence Agency knew that Saudi Arabia was serious about toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud to lead the effort.””
    Prince Bandar—for two decades one of the most influential deal makers in Washington as Saudi ambassador but who had largely disappeared from public view—is now reprising his role as a geopolitical operator. This time it is to advance the Saudi kingdom’s top foreign-policy goal, defeating Syrian President Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
    Prince Bandar has been jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime, according to Arab, American and European officials. “”

    AND, when did the Saudis decide to take into their own hands control of the ME threats to “throne” thru whatever means necessary..as in Barhain, Syria, Egypt? Right here:

    link to nytimes.com

    Man in the News: Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz
    Potential New Saudi Crown Prince Seen as Hard-Line but Pragmatic
    CAIRO — With the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia tumbling and much of the region churning this past February, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the veteran Saudi interior minister who is expected to be elevated to crown prince this week, swept into a private Riyadh home where he had summoned leading editors and columnists to dinner.
    In a belligerent mood, he lectured them about how the Tunisians were basically French, and the Cairenes louche urbanites, whereas Saudis were bedrock Arabs who relished their traditional political system, according to several accounts.
    A question about whether the kingdom would improve its dismal relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was surely coming to prominence in Egypt, ignited a tirade: Prince Nayef lambasted the questioning journalist, excoriating him as a terrorist sympathizer and raging on until 4 a.m. about the many plots targeting the House of Saud.
    It was a classic moment in the long public service of Prince Nayef, who has been interior minister since 1975. He is ostensibly open, Saudi experts say, yet so utterly convinced of his own world view and bent on eradicating any real or perceived threat to the rule of his family…..”

    SO to all the hypen activist –we sympathize with your human concerns , your refugees, your civil war torn countries.
    But DO NOT keep laying off the solution or the ‘mop up’ on the US.
    What you should DO is demand we stay out of everything.
    Because when the US does ‘interfer’ it is 9 times out of 10 on behalf of it’s ME ‘ruling’ allies.

    Your people Ms Kudaimi, ‘got had’, just like the Egyptians have.

    • seanmcbride
      August 27, 2013, 1:04 pm

      American,

      Your people Ms Kudaimi, ‘got had’, just like the Egyptians have.

      Both Taxi and Ramah Kudaimi have been had, in my humble opinion. The neocon game that is being played couldn’t be more obvious — per usual, they are running circles around their opponents — carving up the Middle East and every entity in it like a Thanksgiving turkey. Acquiring control of Obama was a snap through the use of “liberal Zionist” operatives in the Democratic Party.

      • American
        August 27, 2013, 5:04 pm

        ‘Both Taxi and Ramah Kudaimi have been had, in my humble opinion. The neocon game that is being played couldn’t be more obvious — per usual, they are running circles around their opponents ‘…SeanMcBride

        As you know by our most recent knockdown drag out on this….where I disagree is that the neos, zios,etc. are so smart they are running circles around everyone.
        What is happening as usual, in this case, as in many others, is that Israel and Gulf Kingdom Saudi, are confident they have the US and everyone else by the balls.
        This not a some brilliant ‘strategy’ born of ‘out smarting’ us or cunning minipulation on their part that no one ‘catches on to”.
        If we out of the belt way dummies can see it, then rest assured most of DC can see it, they just go along with it rather than having their political balls cut off by whatever lobby or special interest applies to the situtation. the I-Lobby, the Oil Lobby or big donor or whoever.

        Israel counts on being the Jewish State to get its way with the US, Saudi counts on their oil importance and Gulf leadership to get it’s way with everyone.
        Thats all there is to their manuvers except throwing in the occasional false flags and ‘incidents’ if the US or world is dragging it’s feet on going along with them.

        The decision makers who go along with them are more corrupt than stupid. Where you might find a few actual stupids is usually among the simple minded ‘patriotic’ neos and lib humantarian interventonist who are too dumb and ideological to ever understand they arent going to get some ‘greater good’ for the US and human kind by cooperating with the groups that want to have the US do their dirty work.

        But I agree the Syrians and the Egyptians …imo….have both been had by the power plays going on in the ME right now.
        The sad part is even for those in the ME who recongize the minipulation they have little power against it.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2013, 9:46 pm

        Will never forget when the Bush 41’s Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil talked about how Cheney gave him the ax when O’Neil started investigating the Saudi connection linked to funding for the 9/11 attackers. This was in Ron Susskind’s book “The Price of Loyalty”.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Complex situation in Saudi. Al-Qaeda was funded in part by Saudis while also wanting to overthrow the Saudi monarchy.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 6:33 pm

        “Both Taxi and Ramah Kudaimi have been had, in my humble opinion. The neocon game that is being played couldn’t be more obvious — per usual, they are running circles around their opponents.”

        What is missing from your thinking is that you cannot see the other side playing their game back. At all. Ever!

        You cannot see that this American threat against Syria is empire gasping for air, desperate to save face, even at the cost of killing thousands, possibly millions of civilians if this surgical strike is met with infernal mayhem and became a regional war. And should that happen, you can kiss your neocons and israeli heros in the middle east goodbye.

        And if a surgical strike occurs and no immediate response from Syria or its allies is forthcoming, then perhaps you may consider, if you are at all willing to learn about stragetic maneuvering, the possibility that Syria and the Resistor Axis will be choosing a time more suitable for them to ‘respond’. Could be next month, next year – could be next week – could be when you least expect it, sean.

        And please don’t give me your cheapo list of Arab failures. Cuz I’ll remind you here that you’re stuck in a time-warp. Israel is no longer an invincible entity to its neighbors – in the last 7 years, it lost two wars to hizbollah and got freaked out not too long ago, calling for a ceasefire with hamas after 7 days of deadly strikes against Gaza, when hamas rockets started falling on tel aviv. These are facts, sean, so get with the program. This is NOT 1967. And you are not god.

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 7:04 pm

        Taxi, this whole Syria story has been in the works for 2 years now. The ball began rolling with the maestro of the Libya invasion, BHL that wanted the same to happen to Syria. Even Hollande was in on it at the time, as were some prominent Israelis that all met along with the Brothers:

        From July 2011

        Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “SOS Syrie” Conference: Zionists, Muslim Brothers, and Other Leaders of “Change in Syria”

        by Yoshie Furuhashi

        Bernard-Henri Lévy, well known for his devotion to humanitarian military interventions, organized a conference to “stop the massacre” in Syria, “SOS Syrie,” in Paris on the fourth of July. There is no doubt that BHL is eager to replicate his Libyan success in Syria. Given the clear Russian opposition to any military intervention in Syria, however, his goal, at this stage in the game, is to manufacture the Western public’s support for a UN Security Council referral of the Syrian leadership to the International Criminal Court and for yet more economic sanctions against the country.

        The call for the conference, issued through BHL’s journal La Règle du Jeu, was joined by France-Syrie Démocratie and “Change in Syria for Democracy,” the latter being a group that had emerged from the Syrian opposition conference held in Antalya, Turkey on 31 May-2 June 2011. On the “Change in Syria” Web site, posters for SOS Syrie are prominently displayed.

        On the French side, SOS Syrie featured such participants as Bernard Kouchner, André Glucksman, Axel Poniatowski (a member of the Union for a Popular Movement and the president of the foreign affairs commission of the French National Assembly), and Frédéric Encel, “who cut his teeth in the Betar youth organization of Likud.” As if that is not enough, former Knesset member Alex Goldfarb was also included.

        What Syrians would want to join hands with the who’s who of French Zionism and imperialism? Most of the prominent Syrian invitees named in the conference advertisements are the leaders of the aforementioned organizations that backed BHL’s call. According to As-Safir’s Paris correspondent Mohammad Ballout, among the invitees were many of the Executive Council of “Change in Syria”: Amr Al-Azm, Ahed al-Hendi, Abdel Ilah Milhem (a leader of the Anza tribe), Ammar al-Qurabi (chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria), Sondos Sulaiman (of Al Hadatha Party). Lama Atassi, the president of France-Syrie Démocratie as well as a participant in the Antalya conference, took credit for linking up the Antalya opposition with BHL in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur.

        What happened at the conference itself, where “the obscure faces of the Antalya opposition and of the Muslim Brotherhood” were seen among about 200 like-minded friends of BHL who filled the very much bobo Saint-Germain-des-Prés cinema?

        According to La Règle du Jeu itself, Goldfarb, of all people, acted as “spokesman, in Paris, of Change in Syria for Democracy.”

        There was also Ashraf al-Moqdad, a member of the “National Salvation Front in Syria” led by Abdul Halim Khaddam. Moqdad, says As-Safir, bragged that, once “democracy” comes to Syria, “Hezbollah, ‘Iranian agents,’ and Palestinians” will be made to “pay the price.” The As-Safir reporter says Moqdad went on to threaten him as well.

        Radwan Badini and Muhammad Karkouti, both members of the “Change in Syria” Executive Council, also spoke, as did Atassi. A post-conference report in BHL’s journal claims that Qurabi was there, too, but time ran out and he couldn’t give his speech. (It curiously has nothing to say about the rest of the initial invitees.)

        Perhaps the most intriguing participant in SOS Syrie was Mulham al-Droubi, who is in charge of international relations of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood as well as a member of the “Change in Syria” Executive Council. As the Muslim Brotherhood came out in favor of “normalization” with Israel without an end to the Israeli occupation and backed the monarchy in Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Arab states, the United States and the European Union have made their support for the Muslim Brotherhood public, to the delight of the Brothers. Droubi’s presence there is yet another sign of the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

        Unlike in the case of Libya, though, the path of the Syrian exiles who team up with BHL and his ilk may be a lonely one. As-Safir reports that Farouk Mardam-Bey, Burhan Ghalioun, and Subhi Hadidi issued a joint statement against BHL and his collaborators, telling them to “spare the Syrian people the solidarity that they don’t want.” Haytham Manna, spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights, is quoted by As-Safir as condemning SOS Syrie thus: “It’s a conspiracy against young people, who have upheld not only the cause of freedom but also that of the liberation of Palestine, waving the flags of Palestine and Syria at the same time.” The conference itself couldn’t get going without first escorting out one Arab man and one Arab woman who stood up and denounced it, and outside the cinema there was a loud protest of pro-government Syrians heckling the conference-goers, calling them “fascists, Zionists, terrorists.”

        The currents of the Syrian opposition represented at SOS Syrie — and others like them (see, for instance, the transcript of a Syrian opposition conference “Envisioning Syria’s Political Future — Obstacles and Options,” especially “National Initiative for Change” Communications Director Ausama Monajed’s demand for an ICC referral and more economic sanctions) — won’t be a threat to Syria and its legitimate homegrown opposition . . . if leftists in the West and Turkey see to it that there will be no further Western or Turkish intervention in the country. However, SOS Racisme President Dominique Sopo spoke at the conference, and Martine Aubry, Bertrand Delanoë, François Hollande, and so on sent messages of support to it. Such are among the ominous signs that the center left in the West is ready to step onto yet another slippery slope.

        link to mrzine.monthlyreview.org

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:18 pm

        @Walid – – I too see Bernard-Henri Levy as having played a key role in bringing about Western military intervention in Libya. He has been playing the same game with Syria. No doubt about it.

      • seanmcbride
        August 27, 2013, 9:01 pm

        Taxi,

        What is missing from your thinking is that you cannot see the other side playing their game back. At all. Ever!

        As I try to objectively survey Arab history from, say, January 1967 through August 27, 2013, I see Israel inflicting one humiliating political or military defeat on the Arab world after another, while continuing to expand its borders, to crush the Palestinian movement, to take down one Arab leader after another, to consolidate its control over the US Congress, White House, Defense Department and mainstream media, etc.

        I say this not with a racist attitude or intent towards Arabs, but in the spirit of trying to figure out what is really going on in the Israeli/Arab conflict — what are the leading strategic trends and vectors?

        I think some Arabs are in denial about these matters — they are trying to buck up their spirits by lying to themselves about the magnitude of the retreat they have been forced to make since the founding of Israel. It’s been all downhill for them. They seem to be unable to get a handle on the situation. To the extent that some of them actually believe that they are going bring down Israel any day now, they are living in fantasyland.

        I really don’t know how to sugarcoat these observations — sorry to be so blunt.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 3:30 am

        I try to objectively survey Arab history from, say, January 1967 through August 27, 2013, I see Israel inflicting one humiliating political or military defeat on the Arab world after another

        so, what about summer 2006? i hardly think hezbollah was humiliated by israel, quite the contrary actually.

        I think some Arabs are in denial about these matters — they are trying to buck up their spirits by lying to themselves about the magnitude of the retreat they have been forced to make since the founding of Israel. It’s been all downhill for them. They seem to be unable to get a handle on the situation. To the extent that some of them actually believe that they are going bring down Israel any day now, they are living in fantasyland.

        to be clear sean, is this your hypothesis and/or do you have any source documents to verify this “denial…buck up their spirits by lying to themselves….unable to get a handle on the situation”‘ theory? and better yet are there any specific leaders or people in the arab world you are attributing this ‘fantasyland’ ?

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 3:43 am

        You see in Yoshie Furuhashy’s final lines in the article that he mentions that
        François Hollande was part of the BHL gang back in 2011 almost a year before most had heard of him. This morning as President of France, he appeared happy to be announcing that France would join the US and the UK in attacking Syria. This is looking more and more like a repeat of the assault on Libya.

      • Shingo
        August 28, 2013, 3:57 am

        so, what about summer 2006?

        Or 2000, or 1973, which was a humiliation for Israel, who needed Nixon to save their butts.

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 4:05 am

        You’re doing it again, sean:

        Neglecting to include in your “objective observations”, the turning of the tables since 2000.

        Israel’s never been in a more dangerous security situation than the one it’s in presently. It’s neighbors have finally acquired weapons that can inflict death and destruction on any part of israel.

        It’s your own “fantasy” to think of israel as invincible. I still say you’re stuck in 1967 because you’re so enamored by the concept of a ‘winner’, like you clearly stated in another thread some 10 days ago.

        Only a few days ago, all panic let loose in Northern israel when 2 rockets were intercepted and one fell flaccid on some pavement.

        All israel’s neighbors have to do is hit any major infrastructural compound, like airport/electricity plant/water plant, and a chunk of israelis would start packing their bags for good. All hizbollah has to do is send a small fleet of drones over israel before another chunk of israelis would start packing their bags for good – and these drones would not even have to hit their mark.

        The israelis are physiologically weak.

        The israelis might have the bigger gun, but they have no physiological resolve or courage to face their enemy mano to mano. Not forgetting here that their neighbors’ lesser guns can reach and kill israelis indiscriminately too. This was not the case previous to year 2006.

        To bring the war into israel proper is easily done now, should a regional war break out, and israel is not prepared, will never be prepared, to take the hits on it’s territories.

        You really need to revisit your conclusion as it’s clear you’re missing a relevant slice of recently established facts, ie: israel’s loss of deterrence capabilities, undeniable and clear, since the year 2006.

        There is now a balance of terror between say hizbollah and israel, which even israel admits to – yet you, sean, remain in denial of.

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 4:08 am

        Sean, most of the Arabs realize that Israel isn’t going anywhere as most of their leaders have already thrown in the towel. The only force between it and a full victory is Hizbullah that has a fully trained army that is probably greater in size than the combined armies of both Israel and Lebanon, which is substantially more than the 5,000-man size it was when it held back Israel in 2006. Since everything the US and Israel have thrown at it has failed, they are now playing the takfiri card and that too will fail. It was when Hizbullah joined the battle in Syria at Qusayr that the regime was able to take back control of some areas. For the next big battle, Nasrallah has promised his people that they will be going to TA.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 9:53 am

        Taxi,

        It’s your own “fantasy” to think of israel as invincible. I still say you’re stuck in 1967 because you’re so enamored by the concept of a ‘winner’, like you clearly stated in another thread some 10 days ago.

        I didn’t say I am enamored by the concept of a winner — I said that most Americans, and American culture in general, enthusiastically embrace winners and shun losers. It’s a brutal and and appalling attitude, but there you have it — I’ve read too much American history and literature not to know that this is true.

        And I’m not stuck in 1967. What most struck me about the historical vector of Israel crushing its opponents was its ability to push the United States into taking down Saddam and shattering Iraq — one of Israel’s most powerful foes. That and seeing Arafat, Saddam and Gaddafi swept off the board just as handy as you please — bam, bam, bam. And now the United States is on the verge of attacking Syria — with Iran next on the Israeli/neocon target list.

        The israelis are physiologically weak.

        Not sure what you mean by “physiologically” — psychologically? physically?

        In any case, this is precisely the kind of brave talk that has encouraged many Arabs to underestimate the strength and resourcefulness of the Israelis and their global lobby — and which has led Arabs into one humilitating setback and loss after another.

        The next time Israel and Hezbollah engage in a direct and full-out military confrontation, the results will probably be quite different than what we witnessed in 2006.

        There is now a balance of terror between say hizbollah and israel, which even israel admits to – yet you, sean, remain in denial of.

        What you remain in denial of is that Israel has the United States and Europe behind its back in its war with Hezbollah — and those combined forces, with their immense arsenal of the world’s most sophisticatd WMDs, could eliminate Hezbollah with ease.

        The best advice one could offer to the Arab and Muslim worlds at this point with regard to Israel? Back off. Back off immediately and totally — and perhaps the worst won’t occur. Of course I know they will reject this advice — events are going to unfold in by now predictable ways.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 10:07 am

        Annie,

        to be clear sean, is this your hypothesis and/or do you have any source documents to verify this “denial…buck up their spirits by lying to themselves….unable to get a handle on the situation”‘ theory? and better yet are there any specific leaders or people in the arab world you are attributing this ‘fantasyland’ ?

        I recall seeing hundreds of brave (and often bloodcurdling) promises by Arab leaders over the years to crush Israel, but I haven’t collected and cataloged the statements. (I may get around to looking them up.)

        The most recent and most memorable example: Saddam Hussein promising to unleash the forces of hell against the West before he disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving Iraq a shattered nation — certainly no longer in a position to credibly threaten Israel.

        The Arab world is in a much weaker position now than it has ever been — and this situation is largely the product of having gone up against Israel repeatedly and lost. Arab nations have consistently underestimated the strength of Israel and paid a heavy price for misreading the world.

        American opponents of Israeli policies over the years have made the same error in judgment — they have been consistently crushed by the vastly superior power of the Israel lobby — outplayed with ease.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 10:19 am

        Shingo,

        “so, what about summer 2006?”

        Or 2000, or 1973, which was a humiliation for Israel, who needed Nixon to save their butts.

        But this is the main point: Israel had already acquired enough influence over the American government by 1973 to overcome its initial setbacks in the 1973 war. And the power of the Israel lobby in the United States in 2013 is much greater than it was forty years earlier.

        With regard to 2006: Israel is probably looking forward to its next all-out and no-holds-barred confrontation with Hezbollah — it is predictable that it intends to use all the power at its disposal to deal with that issue decisively and permanently. If I were Hezbollah, I would get out of this game immediately and move on to other interests. But of course that is not going to happen.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 10:37 am

        “”As I try to objectively survey Arab history from, say, January 1967 through August 27, 2013, I see Israel inflicting one humiliating political or military defeat on the Arab world after another, “…Sean

        No, what you see is the *US backing allowing Israel* to get away with their aggressions. What military defeat has Isr inflicted since ‘73? And—they were on the tip of losing that war—if not for the US rushing them a mountain of weapons and planes.

        “”I say this not with a racist attitude or intent towards Arabs, but in the spirit of trying to figure out what is really going on in the Israeli/Arab conflict — what are the leading strategic trends and vectors?””…Sean

        You haven’t figured it out yet? You don’t know what the leading trends and vectors are? You don’t understand the power plays ? You cant figure out the motivations of the actors?

        “I think some Arabs are in denial about these matters — they are trying to buck up their spirits by lying to themselves about the magnitude of the retreat they have been forced to make since the founding of Israel. It’s been all downhill for them. They seem to be unable to get a handle on the situation. To the extent that some of them actually believe that they are going bring down Israel any day now, they are living in fantasyland.”…Sean

        I am sure some Arabs have a fantasy……but not as wild a one as Israel has of being one of, if not the eventual Ruling Authority of the ME. But I believe you when you say you don’t have a ‘handle on it all” because you are sincerely screwed up and obsessed with *your formula* that smartness and innate superiority *of a group* explains *all* winners and losers, and that in turn explains e.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e t.h.i.n.g in the universe. You believe that Jews, and therefore Israel, outsmarts everyone because of their superior intelligence and everyone else is slow and stupid.
        I cannot tell you how stupid that simplistic *formula* actually is.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 12:20 pm

        most Americans, and American culture in general, enthusiastically embrace winners and shun losers.

        how could i forget you were using the american public’s alleged opinion to support your arguments. you should check out this link:

        link to google.com

        What you remain in denial of is that Israel has the United States and Europe behind its back in its war with Hezbollah — and those combined forces, with their immense arsenal of the world’s most sophisticatd WMDs, could eliminate Hezbollah with ease.

        so, if someone doesn’t agree with you they are in denial? that’s not an unusual rhetorical tool. i’m still not clear how it is experts agree hezbollah won that war. could you provide an example of how United States and Europe are more behind israel’s back now than they were in 06?

        and what about hezbollah busting up that israeli 200 ring spy operation? in the last couple years. how does that fit into this picture of israel’s success?

        and i can’t understand how it is hezbollah is even allowed to exist at all if combined forces you mention, with their immense arsenal of the world’s most sophisticatd WMDs, could eliminate Hezbollah with ease. why haven’t they? or are they allowed to exist because they are part of israel’s success or benevolence?

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 12:20 pm

        Taxi,

        We are discussing this story here:

        link to friendfeed.com

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 12:47 pm

        ” Back off. Back off immediately and totally ”

        Utter cowardice.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 12:59 pm

        Annie,

        and i can’t understand how it is hezbollah is even allowed to exist at all if combined forces you mention, with their immense arsenal of the world’s most sophisticatd WMDs, could eliminate Hezbollah with ease. why haven’t they? or are they allowed to exist because they are part of israel’s success or benevolence?

        Again, Israel is playing chess, not checkers — carefully adjusting and micro-adjusting political realities over the long-term, amassing forces and developing complex combinations of pieces, until the time is ripe to pull the trigger. Israel possesses formidable patience.

        Consider how much planning and effort was exerted by neoconservatives over decades to maneuver the United States into the Iraq War — and it paid off (for Israel, not for Americans).

        Can’t you see the end game that Israel has in mind?

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 1:30 pm

        Annie,

        Good pointer to a major theme in American culture: rooting for the underdog.

        But Americans are a complex people: they simultaneously worship at the altar of success, wealth, power and winning while shedding tears after the fact for the underdogs they have crushed (like Native Americans).

        Consider James Cameron’s Avatar — it promotes anti-imperial themes from one of the key centers of American imperialism (Hollywood). Americans are able simultaneously to acquire and enjoy the cargo from imperial adventures while patting themselves on the back for their sympathy for underdogs as expressed in fictional works.

        Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Scary stuff when you examine it closely.

        Check out the magazines and tabloids on your next trip to the supermarket — analyze the value system that has been enshrined at the heart of American culture.

        If you’re on the downslide — a former gorgeous actress who has accumulated too much cellulite — you are an object of ridicule.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 2:16 pm

        Well, whether or not the Israelis have won all along, or suffered a few set backs comparatively lately with the USA harnessed to its wagon, looks to me like PNAC aka FPI remains the moving force, and Obama’s boxed in, with his cheap red line rhetoric; he will try a “surgical strike, ” hoping to satisfy AIPAC, and cement a lucrative post POTUS speaking and writing career and create a good Democratic Party defense record for the next Congressional elections–again, he will strike Syria, probably tomorrow or over the weekend at latest.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 5:09 pm

        Can’t you see the end game that Israel has in mind?

        are you sure you don’t you mean “you’re such an idiot you can’t you see things my way the end game that Israel has in mind”

        ha! just kidding. actually it’s fairly glaring what israel’s end game is sean, but that’s not what we were discussing. i believe you were expounding about how israel could “eliminate Hezbollah with ease”. anyway, thanks for elaborating:

        Israel …. carefully adjusting and micro-adjusting political realities…. amassing forces and developing complex combinations of pieces, until the time is ripe to pull the trigger. Israel possesses formidable patience.

        oh my, sounds all obi-wan. almost hollywood actually.

      • Chu
        August 28, 2013, 5:32 pm

        american: ‘You believe that Jews, and therefore Israel, outsmarts everyone because of their superior intelligence and everyone else is slow and stupid.’

        – I dont understand this attitude either. There’s a better way
        to express oneself

      • Chu
        August 28, 2013, 5:43 pm

        than boasting about the other teams spectacular achievements. They are eating your lunch. How’s that folks.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 7:22 pm

        Hezbollah would prefer not to fight Israel. If Israel stays out of Lebanon.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 8:38 pm

        American,

        No, what you see is the *US backing allowing Israel* to get away with their aggressions. What military defeat has Isr inflicted since ‘73? And—they were on the tip of losing that war—if not for the US rushing them a mountain of weapons and planes.

        No — what YOU don’t see is that Israel and the Israel lobby were skillfully able to command enough political influence and support within the highest levels of the American government to survive that war and to come out ahead overall — they were able to roll right over people who share your views on Mideast politics — road kill.

        Why do you think that this has almost always been the case? What accounts for the successes of Israel and the Israel lobby and the failures of their opponents?

        If you really want to turn things around, you need to come up with some answers that are grounded in reality.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 8:49 pm

        Annie,

        What do you envision as Israel’s endgame and how do you think it intends to achieve checkmate?

        Would you characterize the Israeli government and the Israel lobby as having been quite successful (from a Machiavellian standpoint) for the life of Israel so far? How successful have been Israel’s enemies and opponents in the Mideast, in America and around the world?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 11:41 pm

        But Americans are a complex people: they simultaneously worship at the altar of success, wealth, power and winning while shedding tears after the fact for the underdogs they have crushed (like Native Americans).

        ‘rooting’ for the underdog is not the same as shedding tears after someone, or their team, has been crushed. (rooting takes place before the game has been won) it’s about rooting for the team that’s on the outs, hoping they will win. you didn’t open any of the links did you sean?

        here’s the first one:

        Why Do We Root for the Underdog?
        By Psych Central News Editor
        Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on December 24, 2007

        Why do people root for the underdog and find underdogs appealing?

        Researchers propose that those who are viewed as disadvantaged arouse people’s sense of fairness and justice — important principles to most people.

        The researchers also found that people tend to believe that underdogs put forth more effort than top-dogs, but that favorable evaluation disappeared when the underdog status no longer applies, such as when people are expected to lose but have a lot of available resources.

        In a series of studies, researchers Joseph A. Vandello, Nadav P. Goldschmied, and David A. R. Richards of the University of South Florida tested the scope of people’s support for those who are expected to lose. The researchers were seeking to understand why people are drawn to the Rocky Balboas and the Davids (versus Goliaths) of the world.

        Using both sports and political examples, the researchers asked study participants to react to various scenarios presenting different competitors with an advantage or disadvantage. For instance, in one study using the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the participants were given the same essay about the history of the area, but with different maps to reference — one showing Palestine as smaller than Israel (and thus, the underdog) and the other showing Israel as smaller.

        No matter what scenario the participants were presented with, they consistently favored the underdog to win.

        link to psychcentral.com

        this is the exact opposite of your hypothesis sean, just thought i’d mention.

        under the circumstances not too surprising why israeli hasbara frequently presents itself as the little victim in a sea of aggressors. only thing, people are not buying it so much anymore. note from the study..but that favorable evaluation disappeared when the underdog status no longer applies

        and here’s the second link:

        Researchers have found plenty of support for what seems like an obvious notion: In sports, we’re drawn to a winner. Other factors—like where you live and who your friends are—can influence your choice of a favorite team. (Why else would you root for the Chicago Cubs?) But “team success is kind of like the icing on the cake,” says Daniel Wann, a Murray State psychologist who studies the causes and consequences of being a fan.

        Which brings us to that peculiar situation, so common in college basketball, where too much icing ruins the cake. In 1991, a pair of researchers at Bowling Green State University, Jimmy Frazier and Eldon Snyder, published a paper on what they called “the underdog concept in sport.” Frazier and Snyder posed a simple hypothetical scenario to more than 100 college students: Two teams, A and B, were meeting in a best-of-seven playoff series for some unidentified sport, and Team A was “highly favored” to win. Which team would the students root for?

        Eighty-one percent chose the underdog.

        Then the students were asked to imagine that Team B had somehow managed to win the first three games of the series. Would the subjects root for the sweep or switch allegiance to the favorite? Half of those who first picked the underdog now said they’d support Team A. It was the same, cockamamie approach I’d taken to Butler and Michigan State: Root, root, root for the losing team—no matter what.

        again, the opposite of your personal theory about what most americans think and how they act.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 29, 2013, 12:13 am

        If you really want to turn things around, you need to come up with some answers that are grounded in reality.

        sean, there is a difference between your perceptions and reality. israel is fighting a pr battle and loosing. whatever success they have had thus far has relied heavily on hoodwinking the american public. their star has drastically faded in direct proportion to the growth of the internet. they are one of the least liked nations on earth and you can fool some of the people all the time but not all the people all the time.

        our support for israel has cost americans heavily. the lobby has to be strong to silence the opposition. the government can’t go on like this because the masses will not be silent when we keep shoveling money out for israel’s wars. its draining us and contrary to your worship of israel’s alleged prowess, i am not so enamored, nor do i believe the american public is enamored.

        in the last decade israel’s opponents have turned the tide in public opinion. israel continues to refuse to change its policies which are unsustainable.

        i think what we’re looking at is a recipe for disaster. disaster. where you see “formidable patience.” i see overstepping all boundary and greed.

        where you see “developing complex combinations of pieces”, i see a bull in the china shop where none of those pieces lead to peace. you like to think israel is playing chess, i don’t see it that way. because they are naked in front of the world, and their body is clearly unhealthy.

        that’s it for me on this discussion sean. why don’t you prepare us a list of all israel’s successes, more icing on the cake so to speak, since you think that’s what americans worship.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 12:43 am

        Sean,

        ” If I were Hezbollah, I would get out of this game immediately and move on to other interests.”

        You are the most cowardly blogger I’ve ever read. Also, the most ignorant of the Levant and the character and abilities of its players.

        Hizbollah is coming to tel aviv and “beyond and beyond and beyond”. And it can. Go read up on their military strength, their arsenal and their manifesto, before you keep embarrassing yourself with more of ‘let’s all run away from mighty israel’.

        link to atimes.com
        link to atimes.com
        link to atimes.com

      • MRW
        August 29, 2013, 2:03 am

        annie, OT. Maybe you would want to highlight this.
        link to huffingtonpost.ca

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 2:07 am

        Why do you think that this has almost always been the case? What accounts for the successes of Israel and the Israel lobby and the failures of their opponents?

        But it hasn’t always been the case. It was only since 1967 that Israel were able to do so.

        As Annie has pointed out, Israel is losing and losing badly. The last real war it won was ’67. It has suffered humiliation at the hands if Hezbollah and Egypt since then.

        In terms of Iran, Israel has been forced to impotently simply beating it’s chest because it does not have the a ability to attack Iran, so all they can do is rely on the US to do it for them.

        On the PR side, brand Israel has been a miserable failure. The only country that Israel enjoys approval is the US, where they have invested all their eggs.

        It is Israel that needs to turn things around, if it wants to remain viable for another decade.

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 2:32 am

        Another thing Sean,

        Running around sticking your fingers in all the leaks in the Dyke and spending huge sums of money bribing and blackmailing those in power is not being skillful, it’s being reactive.

        Trying to crush dissent and criticism in the media and university campuses are the signs of a losing battle, because the best outcome you can hope for is to prolong defeat.

      • MRW
        August 29, 2013, 4:17 am

        seanmcbride,

        But this is the main point: Israel had already acquired enough influence over the American government by 1973 to overcome its initial setbacks in the 1973 war.

        No. That is not what happened. Golda Meir threatened the national security of the US and WWIII by saying she would nuke Russia unless the US gave them planes and weapons. She had unleashed 13 nukes, had two pointed at Cairo and Damascus and said the rest were going to point at Russia. Israel threatened us with nukes, sean.

        Soviet SAMS over Syria had destroyed most of Israel’s air force. They lost 76 planes by Saturday evening, October 13, 1973. This was the toughest month so far of the Watergate scandal. Kissinger and Nixon were busy with that, and they weren’t concerned with Israel’s little war because Kissinger had urged Sadat to start it a year before while he was on the National Security Council to give Sadat a win so that his people would agree to a treaty with Israel. Kissinger had only been Sec State since September 23, 1973. Three weeks. But Meir didn’t know it was planned. So she pulled out the threat of WWIII. We went to Defcon 5 before it ended on October 25, 1973.

        I wrote all about it here with the details. Why do you think Carter made a peace deal between Israel and Egypt his first order of business? Because he’s a Christian?
        link to mondoweiss.net

        Here’s the NYT notice about the planes.

        ISRAELI LOSSES 1973
        U. S. Reported Ready to Replace Some Jet Fighters Lost by Israel; Losses Put at Over 70
        Special to The New York Times;
        October 14, 1973,
        Section GN, Page 1
        Body text says 70-80 planes.

      • MRW
        August 29, 2013, 4:29 am

        Here are some more consequences of the US providing planes on October 14, 1973 because the US was more afraid of what Russia would start. It was moving down the Bosporus.:

        The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) implements what it calls “oil diplomacy” on this day [October 17] in 1973: It prohibits any nation that had supported Israel in its “Yom Kippur War” with Egypt, Syria and Jordan from buying any of the oil it sells. The ensuing energy crisis marked the end of the era of cheap gasoline and caused the share value of the New York Stock Exchange to drop by $97 billion. This, in turn, ushered in one of the worst recessions the United States had ever seen.

        In the middle of 1973, even before the OPEC embargo, an American oil crisis was on the horizon: Domestic reserves were low (about 52 billion barrels, a 10-year supply); the United States was importing about 27 percent of the crude petroleum it needed every year; and gasoline prices were rising. The 1973 war with Israel made things even worse. OPEC announced that it would punish Israel’s allies by implementing production cuts of 5 percent a month until that nation withdrew from the occupied territories and restored the rights of the Palestinians. It also declared that the true “enemies” of the Arab cause (in practice, this turned out to mean the United States and the Netherlands) would be subject to an indefinite “total embargo.” Traditionally, per-barrel prices had been set by the oil companies themselves, but in December, OPEC announced that from then on, its members would set their own prices on the petroleum they exported. As a result, the price of a barrel of oil went up to $11.65, 130 percent higher than it had been in October and 387 percent higher than it had been the year before.

        link to history.com

      • seanmcbride
        August 29, 2013, 9:33 am

        Annie,

        You’re lecturing me about the Israel lobby as if I haven’t been one of the most knowledgeable critics of the lobby on Mondoweiss and were instead somehow a fan of the lobby.

        You need to learn how to distinguish between efforts to objectively analyze a situation and personal support for any players in a situation. I don’t support the lobby — but I would like to understand why it continues to be so successful.

        I’ve been told by some people here that Israel and the Israel lobby are in a state of decline and heading for collapse — on the basis of no facts whatever but their personal sentiments on the matter and their hostility to Israel. But the truth is that Israel and the Israel lobby have never been more powerful and successful.

        During the last election, nearly every major political candidate expressed profuse devotion to and adoration of the state of Israel — in order to please the Israel lobby.

        What do you think is going to turn this situation around?

      • seanmcbride
        August 29, 2013, 9:44 am

        Annie,

        Rockie Balboa, cited here as an underdog, makes my case perfectly: Americans love underdogs who achieve great success through conflict and struggle and realize the American dream. That is what the Rocky films were all about, as has been the biography of Sylvester Stallone and his Hollywood confreres (like Arnold Schwarzenegger).

        They rose from humble circumstances (as underdogs) to great wealth and fame — they achieved the American dream. Rocky was a winner, not a loser. It’s the Horatio Alger story, coded into the DNA of American culture.

        Americans don’t view Saudi princes or Muslim sheikhs as underdogs. And those who own and control the American mainstream media have successfully characterized most Palestinians (who are in fact underdogs) as terrorists. Most Americans don’t read Mondoweiss and have never heard of it. They barely pay attention to Mideast politics at all — just to a few glancing images of violence now and then on cable TV that are framed as neocon/neolib propaganda.

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 9:49 am

        The next time Israel and Hezbollah engage in a direct and full-out military confrontation, the results will probably be quite different than what we witnessed in 2006.

        No they won’t. There is a saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail to you. Israel and the US suffer from having such a powerful military, they are unable to adapt. Israel are one trick ponies militarily. They are not the ingenious military strategists they were when they had more modest means at their disposal.

        And Taxi is right, Israelis are physiologically weak. The 2006 war with Hezbollah demonstrated that too a large extent. Not only did many of their reservists go AWOL, but as the IAF became increasingly frustrated with it’s inability to to thwart Hezbollah’s ability to continue firing rockets day in day out at Israel, they dimply responded by bombing more irrationally. They even ran out of bombs after only two weeks and had to SOS Washington for new supplies.

        Not only that, but the entire population of Israel went into a collective depression after the war, because the enigma of the IDF’s invincibility had been shattered. It was so bad that Israeli leaders even claimed that Cast Lead had restored their deterrence capability.

        Just think about that for a minute. Israel were sent home with their tales between their legs by Hezbollah, so in order to restore their bad ass image, they restored to a Turkey shoot in Gaza. How pathetic must the Israeli psyche be to fall for that charade? It would be like street gang getting rolled by a rival street gang and resorting to mugging some old ladies to regain their street cred.

        And let’s remember that leading up to the 2006 war, Israel’s leaders were vowing to destroy Hezbollah, them lowered it’s expectations to limiting Hezbollah’s ability to fire rockets and they failed in that regard too. And this was after Israel had been humiliated in 2000.

        To make matter worse, the elite Hezbollah units were never called to action. They have such contempt for the IDF that they didn’t bother getting out of bed.

        So the claim that next time they will really mean it doesn’t hold water. There’s a saying that when you fight against weak enemies you become weak and the IDF has become weak simply bashing he Palestinians.

        What you remain in denial of is that Israel has the United States and Europe behind its back in its war with Hezbollah

        They had Israel’s back in 2006 and that didn’t save Israel being humiliated. And no, they cannot eliminate Hezbollah with ease unless you are referring to nukes. The US was brought to it’s knees.

        I’ve heard all this this SHITE before: whenever the U.S./Israel comes up against a determined foe it can’t handle, like the Vietcong or (to a lesser degree) Afghani extremists, no credit is given to them. It’s always, rather, that WE were never ‘allowed’ to win. Imagine that: the “greatest military” in history – socalled – cannot quell resistence fighters armed with Kalashnikovs and IEDs. So what do you want, sport? Tactical nukes? Mustard gas? Agent Orange?

        It is you that is missing the crucial point: its not altogether clear whether America or Israel CAN defeat a determined and well organized opponent. Given its history and geography, Afghanistan seems to fit the mold of the ‘unwinnable’ war better. But you are immune to this thinking because you assume, without foundation, that there is lurking within the U.S. and Israeli military some sleeping giant that merely needs to be awakened.

        Why do you think that more than 10 years on, the US/NATO is still staring defeat in the face in Afghanistan?

      • American
        August 29, 2013, 10:51 am

        ‘No — what YOU don’t see is that Israel and the Israel lobby were skillfully able to command enough political influence and support within the highest levels of the American government to survive that war and to come out ahead overall — they were able to roll right over people who share your views on Mideast politics — road kill.”….Sean

        As I said your theory on “skills” and winners and losers is some ideology or ‘worship’ you have in your personal life for what you consider ‘success’. And no matter how many times we have all explained to you there was no partcular ‘skill’ in the Zio domination in the US or in what Israel does you cling to your perverted worship of and ideas about ‘successes’ that involve nothing more than the same old tactics that have been used in intrigues since ancient Rome.
        The Zio and Israel success has been based ‘on the use’ of Holocaust as a reason for Israel. All the tactics they use –from Truman till today ,political money, media, etc—are not new or brilliant. These are the tactics unprincpled interest groups committed to a certain cause have used since man walked upright.
        None of this was any more skillful or brillant than me realizing that a hammer is the best tool for nailing….their hammer was the holocaust, the tool they used to hammer in all the nails like money for decision makers in any sector, whereby those decison makers could use the holocaust to ‘justfy’ their cooperation wth the Lobby, Israel and so on.
        Without the Holocuast Israel would never have gotten off the ground.
        No politicans and no country could have gotten away with pouring trillions of their country’s dollars into establishing a country for a very small minorty religion or ethnic just cause they were expelled from this or that country a thousand or a hundred years ago or because the neighborhood boys called them names or because they were discriminated aganist by colleges or country clubs.
        Would never have happened.
        Israel and the Lobby owe their success to the Nazis.

      • seanmcbride
        August 29, 2013, 11:53 am

        Annie,

        Why I think the Israel lobby continues to dominate its opposition:

        1. wealthier (more financial capital, more billionaires, more hectomillionaires)

        2. better educated (more intellectual capital, more Ivy League PhDs)

        3. better organized (controlling a rich network of hundreds of lobbying organizations, policy centers and media outlets)

        4. more highly motivated (more determined, more disciplined)

        5. more proactive (better strategic planning combined with the aggressive execution of strategic plans)

        6. more ruthless (including the use of covert and black ops against political opponents)

        7. more integrated into American and Western culture than Arabs and Muslims (Jewish Zionists in fact largely dominate American culture in the year 2013)

        Will the tide turn in the future? Maybe. Or perhaps the West will become even more violently polarized against Israel’s frontline enemies. The Israel lobby will do everything in its power to provoke and engineer that polarization.

      • piotr
        August 29, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Habaratim are hysterical because this is their genre. I would not mistake it for real weakness, or real danger, and the statements “Israel has never been in a more dangerous sitation” are perhaps issued regularly from the beginning of the state.

        In my opinion, the security situation is excellent, and GoI and IDF can devote their attention to expanding settlements, humiliating Palestinians, demonizing NGOs and other leftist “traitors” and so on. This is where their true energies go.

      • James Canning
        August 29, 2013, 12:59 pm

        @piotr – – I agree. Israel is as secure now as it ever has been.

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 4:31 pm

        You forgot point 8 – more desperate.

        So while the lobby continues to come out in the open and flex it’s muscle, it died so because it is being forced to do so. As Steve Rosen said, a lobby is like a night flower – it blooms in the dark and dies in the sunlight.

        So she the lobby is achieving Pyrrhic victories, it is also paving the way for it’s own demise. It’s alienated the public in every country but the US, and the cracks are already starting to appear there too.

      • seanmcbride
        August 30, 2013, 11:37 am

        American,

        Israel and the Lobby owe their success to the Nazis.

        This is largely true. But it required an army of PhDs and the creation or purchase of a rich network of dozens (or hundreds) of policy centers and propaganda outlets to exploit the opportunity.

        Why haven’t their opponents been able to beat them at their own game? The Israel lobby has acquired total control of the US Congress and both the Republican and Democratic Parties, and near total control of the White House, the Defense Department, the State Department, the national security and intelligence communities and the mainstream media. The lobby even seems to pull the strings of the NYPD.

        How has this happened? Why was the conquest so easy to achieve?

        Why have neoconservatives and neoliberals been able to kick the asses of conservatives and liberals — roll right over them?

        My answer: superior financial capital, superior intellectual capital, superior organization and superior motivation and discipline.

        Why is it that most Republican leaders read scripts verbatim that have been written for them by neocon think tanks under the control of Israel and the Israel lobby? It’s because they can’t think for themselves — they are pathetic. They no longer control their own destinies or the destiny of America. That is why we got sucked into the Iraq War.

      • Shingo
        August 30, 2013, 6:00 pm

        Americans love underdogs who achieve great success through conflict and struggle and realize the American dream.

        It just so happens that it is BS, because the American dream is BS. The American dream is based on the false belief that anyone can achieve it, when in fact, only a small number ever can.

        Rocky was a winner, not a loser.

        He also won though honest means. He didn’t bribe anyone, pay anyone off – especially the judges or referee, lie, cheat, steal, or rig the fights to make sure he would always come out the winner.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 30, 2013, 11:39 pm

        sean,

        you need to come up with some answers that are grounded in reality….You need to learn how to distinguish between efforts to objectively….You’re lecturing me.

        you’re the lecturer sean. like i said before “that’s it for me on this discussion”.

      • seanmcbride
        August 30, 2013, 11:47 pm

        Taxi,

        Hizbollah is coming to tel aviv and “beyond and beyond and beyond”.

        What are you predicting — that Hezbollah is going to destroy Israel? How do you see that scenario unfolding?

      • Shingo
        August 31, 2013, 1:28 am

        Losses Put at Over 70

        That’s why Israel loves to ignore that and keep pushing the trope that they didn’t lose a single plane in any air to air dogfights with the Syrians.

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 2:09 am

        piotr,

        Zionists may feel safe and empowered in the USA, but the security situation for israel has never been worse. Yes, they have the Palestinians under the boot and so therefore the Palestinians now pose no “existential” threat as such. But the fact that hizbollah has become a military force to reckon with, a force the israelis have not been able to quash since 1982, a force that keeps growing both in numbers and weapons everyday, is constantly giving israeli military strategists endless sleepless nights. Not to mention Iran’s vocal anti-israel foreign policy – not forgetting its military capability to reach tel aviv. These two forces, Iran and Hizbollah, have checked israel’s “security”. They are both capable of militarily reaching inside israel, and they’re both capable of bringing down any israeli jet fighter in the skies. Moreover, there are no signs that either hizbollah or Iran are weakening either their anti-israel resolve, or that their massive arsenal pointing directly at tel aviv.

        This was not the case till year 2000, confirmed in 2006 when a mere 3000 hizbollah fighters took on 35,000 idf soldiers and won.

        In practical terms, isreal’s security has never been weaker. But it’s not something they are rushing to advertise to either their public, or the world.

      • James Canning
        August 31, 2013, 6:11 pm

        Ergo, 1973 Arab-Israel war was vastly expensive to the American public.

    • Danaa
      August 28, 2013, 2:05 pm

      I think that as much as I hate to admit it the israeli plan for breaking up the Middle east and bring US and Europe to heel is working. It is completely unbelievable the way the iraq playbook isd being reread – by the same people !! – to create an aura of inevitability regarding the coming strike on Syria. However, I also think it’s too simple to ascribe things to “Americans love a winner”. Where I live no one “admires” israel, but people do have apprehensions, about its ruthlessness and what that can bring upon the country – and the world. i believe that this “inevitability” created by press reports and the media shills produces not a gang-ho attitude among the majority of the American populance but a sense of resignation and of powerlessness. And strangely enough, that’s true for both progressives and conservatives.

      Israel has learned long ago to manipulate perception, not just among its own people, but in the US – largely through its bought-and-paid-for journalistic and political class. And it has set upon that kind of manipulation ages ago. And unfortunately, it works – not because anyone is converted to their cause (which at its very bottom is what i learnt in school: “a good Arab is a dead Arab), but because israel is so relentless in its subversion that eventually it prevails because others have let up on the resistance.

      On Syria, they have been biding their time for the past half a year seething and fulminating at assad’s victories and the weakening of the western “resolve” to the “Assad must go” mantra. I have been watching press reports coming out of israel and spokespeople and starting about a month and half ago, they have been getting extremely shrill and almost desperate about the need to turn the tide. I’ve had no doubt that israel was very busy pointing out and cajoling its bought regimes of US< UK and France about what a disaster it would be were the west to lose. I seemed to be alone, raising the alarm on this – wherever i put up a comment – even at MoA. For Assad to prevail would be an enormous victory for Russia and major defeat for the US – that's how "they' would and have been framing the issue. In fact, the israelis would likely have even resorted to the line "the world loves a winner' to convince American movers. On top of that America is still looking for a way to get back at the russians for the Snowden affair, and what better way than to have a little bombing escapade at the expense of Syria?

      What happened that "broke the camel's back" was Dempsey's report that all but threw in the towel on ousting Assad. That's when israel and neocons went into high gear and engineered this CW incident. The shills were ready, the presses pressed and BHL ready to unveil with all shining armor on unsuspecting Europeans. How to deal with Russia was the only question. So they sent that horrid creature bandar to Putin, probably to point out, ever so subtly what a shame it'd be were Sochii to be attacked by terrorists. And, of course, to carry a carrot or two, should russia agree to 'step aside" while "the deed' is done. Accounts have it that Putin sent him packing, but do we know for sure/ perhaps there was an agreement to let Usrael have a "little' bombing run fun as a way to "save face' and remove the israeli threat to unseat obama through weakness (and reward him by bringing in some 'publicans to help raise the debt ceiling).

      I don't know what the Russian calculation was or where Hezbollah is in all this. I am sure Nasrallah et al know they are they and Iran are the real target here, and I am even more certain that Hezbollah knows israel will not stop, because it is, well, Israel. Nasrallah lives in very few illusions, but also knows that though it may have a strong militia force and military capability it is still in a very small country, which can be broken up into pieceswilly-nilly, should the PTBs so decide. Clearly, the saudi Arabian over-fed monarchs have been trying to unleash the Jihadi weapons with a little bombing here and there. I believe hezbollah knew it was coming and has been taking steps to counter that in its own strongholds. Of course, next the Jihadi agents will be unfurled on softer targets in lebanon. we'll see.

      I think that when sean mention the 'love' for winners, he means the same kind of love the world had for Attila the Hun. It isn't love but trepidation. as for respect, well, it's the respect one might have for a Stalin (who, after all, was also a "winner"). It was Attila, and after him Ginghis Khan who mastered the art of creating a sense of "inevitability" in executing the conquest of such huge areas with relatively so few warriors who could be wielded. People and populations who just want to go about their business are at a huge disadvantage holding out against those who set upon executing a plan of conquest, no matter how strong or weak their moral case is. It is, unfortunately, the so-called powers of the West who are the real losers here. When a US president and congress and press can be blown away with a feather, that IS a sign of weakness. not necessarily because anyone believes israel is right or admires them so much, but because they are stuck in defensive postures and it is obvious that Israel is moving the pieces one by one. I have no doubt Nasralla, the Russian bear and the Iranian power brokers understand all that. But the PR front is not an easy battle on which to fight for any of them.

      The situation America is being driven to is not something to the liking of many – including the military that is largely against it though it knows it'll have to execute if ordered, and including many in the defense establishment. That this is so may best be seen through the amazing spectacle of Hannity and Glenn Beck – and indeed much of Fox news becoming out AGAINST Syrian intervention. partly no doubt to resist anything Obama does but partly because they have seen the face of Attila and don't like to see America being brought down to heel in the face of the zionist plan onslaught.

      My advise is to go back and study history – but who would I give this advise to anyways? those who know they are to be the victims (the Syrians) already know all too well what's afoot. Those who don't know are not interested in knowing.

      • ritzl
        August 29, 2013, 12:52 am

        One of your better ones, Danaa. ;) Good Theory of Everything – Syria (TOES?).

      • Ellen
        August 29, 2013, 12:40 pm

        Danna: because they have seen the face of Attila and don’t like to see America being brought down to heel in the face of the zionist plan onslaught.

        I think you give this cast of media shills and carnival barkers too much credit. I think they are instinctively just shooting down anything — anything at all, Obama might propose.

        This time, they could be getting their script confused: They carried water for JINSA and AIPAC and the Ziodreams very far. Obama says he is ready to attack Syria (a proxy for Iran) and this is exactly what Israel has been begging for the US to do.

        Just wait, the clowns will get back on message soon, even if it is in synch with Obama. They are not deep thinkers, do not look ahead, and only take orders.

      • Danaa
        August 29, 2013, 1:59 pm

        Ellen, far be it from me to raise either Hannity or Beck to sainthood or such. But I think something a bit more complicated is going on with regard to conservatives and Syria. for one, it is BECAUSE they usually parrot the zionist line – and run with that crowd – that I think they may have seen some things that has given them a bit of a pause. For some time now individual commentators on Fox – like laura Ingraham , usually a trusted zio-troll – have been urging serious caution with regard to who the “rebels’ are in Syria. Among other aspects, the behavior of the jihadists (Al Nusra and friends aka “rebels”) has been raising more than a few eye brows among conservative people, and not just in the US. many reports have come out of persecution and pogroms against Christians in syria who know very well they are not for long there, should islamists come to power. There were many cases of beheadings of priests and other executions.

        We, who are not conservatives, usually pay little attention to the political and ideological goings on in the various conservative and Christian groups, whether in the US or elsewhere. We tend to simply dismiss them as useful idiots and canon fodder for the zio planners. And much of the time, their leaders are just that. But behind the leaders there are many true believers too, who have not been subjected to those machinations, and can be riled along directions not exactly resonant with dictates from above. I also did note that most of the Christians in Syria are not copts. Some/most are closer in spirit to greek orthodox and/or other ancient streams of Christianity. The come to Jesus moment that happened to Paul was on the road to Damascus which therefore carries a special place for most serious Christians – catholics and protestants alike. The word that’s come out of Syria was that Christianity and Christian communities had special protections from Assad and the ba’atists. As a result they are and will be viewed by the “rebel” camp (including those few actual sunni Syrians who are fighting assad – a small group by now) as potential enemies. So, they are leaving in droves propelled by fears of massacres by the islamists.

        So when I mention the “face of attila”, I mean the side which will sacrifice Christians at a drop of a hat to achieve their aims. perhaps to those who meet and speak with neocons daily, it has become momentarily all too obvious that to the average israeli-supporting ziocon, Christians are really just another canon fodder, no more.We tend to assume that grand pontificators such as glenn Beck – or Hannity – are cynics to the core who’ll sell their souls to the highest bidder. But perhaps there is enough of a smidgen of regard for their own co-religionists to give them a pause? even if they are Syrians and therefore “Arabs”? perhaps they and their sensibilities have been insulted/discounted by the zio handlers one time too many/ (I can just envision those insults…).

        In addition I think that the republicans do have to pay attention to the libertarians in their midst. fact is, most Tea party followers still admire Ron Paul. And Ron has come out extremely forcefully against intervention in Syria, be it a bombing fun run or worse.rand paul is firmly against it as well.

        That doesn’t mean that whatever resistance is offered by republican leaners is not primarily there to oppose any policy or action by Obama. Also, I agree that once the bombing starts most of these conservatives may well jump on board. But we really should leave a door or two open here and pay attention to what’s going on in their own ranks as well. there may be a few surprising turns.

      • Walid
        August 31, 2013, 4:35 am

        “I believe hezbollah knew it was coming and has been taking steps to counter that in its own strongholds. Of course, next the Jihadi agents will be unfurled on softer targets in lebanon. ”

        Danaa, They were told outright by the tafkiri rebels that as soon as they’d finish mopping up the border area, they’d cross into Lebanon to take them on, so Hizbullah beat them to the punch by going over to Syria and defeating the rebels in a major battle at Qusayr, which turned the war around for the Syrian regime. Hizbullah initially crossed into Syria for 2 reasons: to defend the 40,000 Lebanese Shia that had taken up residence in Syria close to the Lebanese border that were being attaked by the takfiris and to put a stop to their attempt to take over and destroy the Saidah Zeinab (granddaughter of the prophet Muhammad) Shia shrine in Damascus as they had destroyed many historic Islamic shrines in Saudi Arabia and other countries (remember the Buddhas of Bamiyan and the Taliban?).

        The improvement of the Syrian regime’s fortunes thanks to Hizbullah’s involvement brought on the bombings in Lebanon that killed 100 and injured 1000 and story of the chemical attacks.

  18. Annie Robbins
    August 27, 2013, 12:37 pm

    it occurs to me perhaps Ms Kudaimi is under the impression since we don’t discuss syria very much on this site, most people have not been following the events, or participating in other forums. or that we somehow are confused as to how to think about syria, that we need some kind of direction ..a list perhaps to assist us in navigating this complicated situation. as if, we were strangers in a strange land and don’t know what or how to support our government intervening…or not intervening. or that we have been burying our heads these last few years because it is just so horrific.

    and that simplistic statements like ‘it couldn’t have been AQ because they have no history of using chem weapons’…as if…(as if it couldn’t have been any other player) and we’re going to nod our heads and say..”why of course”, regardless of little factoids like americans have already being duped into war by false allegations of ‘the regime has WMD’s’ and we have our own history of using chem weapons ( CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran)… or plain ol common sense.

    • Justpassingby
      August 27, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Great post Annie.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 2:43 pm

      Thanks Annie. Read that Cia article yesterday. And the information about the U.S. knowing that Saddam was using chemical weapons in Iran and on the Kurds all the while standing by was out years ago. Now these files give extra verification. And in the case of Iran giving Saddam satellite information etc.

      And Kerry etc have the cajones to point the finger. Sounds like a false flag operation with Israel’s name all over it.

      • Citizen
        August 28, 2013, 2:21 pm

        @ Kathleen
        Maybe a chemical unit of Assad did it without full authorization–that seems to be the gist of what Mossad recorded and gave to Obama–it’s enough to give Obama his justification to strike Assad’s forces. In other words, at best, it’s a semi-false flag operation.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 7:05 pm

        A rogue operation?

    • Boondoggle
      August 29, 2013, 12:46 pm

      @ Annie
      It occurs to me that since you have probably never been to Syria, you probably don’t speak Arabic, you probably don’t regularly communicate with people in Syria, and you probably don’t understand Syria’s cultural heritage that maybe you should seek some clarity on how to think about Syria.

      And that goes for every other commenter who thinks that amalgamating Bashar Assad’s propaganda, half witted conspiracy theories, and some Latin phrase (i.e. cui bono) constitutes analysis.

      • Walid
        August 29, 2013, 2:31 pm

        “@ Annie
        It occurs to me that since you have probably never been to Syria, you probably don’t speak Arabic, you probably don’t regularly communicate with people in Syria, and you probably don’t understand Syria’s cultural heritage that maybe you should seek some clarity on how to think about Syria. ”

        I do and on all counts and so far, I’m finding Annie thoroughly knowlegeable on Lebanese and Syrian stuff except maybe for the language. Her thinking on Syria is crystal-clear.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 29, 2013, 3:07 pm

        thank you walid, that’s sweet of you. perhaps boon isn’t aware lots of syrians speak english. but what to make of this?

        And that goes for every other commenter who thinks that amalgamating Bashar Assad’s propaganda, half witted conspiracy theories, and some Latin phrase (i.e. cui bono) constitutes analysis.

        ????? there’s that hint of ‘apologists’ the author referenced on her twitter feed again. hmm, i dare say perhaps he thinks questioning who carried out that attack is “amalgamating Bashar Assad’s propaganda”. i hate to break it to him but lots of people think letting inspectors do their job and coming up w/conclusive evidence could be valuable in assessing the situation. (as opposed to just ‘no one else has the capability’ type logic.) it’s hard to know what to make of people who just assume because one has a general distaste for supporting jhiadists one ‘supports’ assad.

        and i cut my chops on blogging during the iraq war before i could even find palestine on a map. if i had a dollar for every iraqi blogger who hated saddam and said society was much worse now….

        and since when shouldn’t an american such as myself not have opinions about what my country’s foreign policy is? this reminds me of something romney said link to mondoweiss.net

        btw, there’s a rather popular twitter feed of a syrian revolutionary who frequently uses really vulgar language whose tweets i’ve intercepted screaming at people, if you’re not syrian STFU! lol. a tad unhinged. and yesterday someone retweeted something to me from her ‘moral compass’ suggesting suicide while lecturing me about being respectful. wonders never cease. it’s hard to figure some people out. oh well.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 3:12 pm

        I too am in a position to second Walid’s assessment of annie on Syria.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 3:23 pm

        I think the israelis are really freaking out. Waaaaaaaaaaay too much cuz reality’s finally hitting them: they’re gonna lose the next war and they’re gonna lose everything in it – whether the war starts tomorrow, next month, or next year.

        What next for the skunky warmongers?

        Watch out for the backpedal Olympics.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Obama’s limited strike could be a dastardly plan to assassinate Bashar, targeting several possible locations where he may be at – all based on israeli and jordanian intelligence, of course (sarcasm).

        But what would happen the morning after?

        Hizbollah?

        Iran?

        Big old huffing and puffing Russia?

      • Boondoggle
        August 30, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Your initial comment about Ramah’s piece was stunningly condescending and dismissive of someone who knows far more about Syria than yourself.

        At this point, describing your recent writing about Syria as parachute journalism would be generous.

        The characterization of ‘jihadists’ vs assad is a case in point. Simply calling everyone who has taken up arms against Assad a jihadist seems intellectually lazy and without a basis in reality.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 31, 2013, 12:00 am

        The characterization of ‘jihadists’ vs assad is a case in point. Simply calling everyone who has taken up arms against Assad a jihadist seems intellectually lazy and without a basis in reality.

        yes, i completely agree that would be intellectually lazy and without a basis in reality, which is why i don’t do it and exactly why, unlike the author, i do not ascribe to the ‘both sides’ lingo.(and i especially don’t go on twitter and pre empt my critics not supporting my pov is an “apologist”) in fact i made that exact point downthread right here 8/28 and sourced it by linking and blockquoting one of the authors own (excellent) embeds. then i asked how can we support the noble revolution of the syrian people in the middle of this battle between assad and these militias which are backed by massive foreign influx of weapons, that’s destroying the country?

        and i was not snarking when i referenced the noble revolution either, at all which was very clear in my text. so i don’t see ‘two sides’ in this conflict, and never have.

        but then you’d probably know that had you been following the conversation, which doesn’t seem to be your primary intent here.

      • Walid
        August 31, 2013, 4:51 am

        “The characterization of ‘jihadists’ vs assad is a case in point. Simply calling everyone who has taken up arms against Assad a jihadist seems intellectually lazy and without a basis in reality.”

        Boondoggle, actually, those that are still taking up arms against Assad are takfiri jihadists. This isn’t to say that all opposition in Syria is made up of takfiri jihadists as there was a substanial portion of the Syrian population that was not happy with the way the regime was running things. The rebellion started with opponents of the regime that had valid reasons to be against it and the movement grew to become one comprised of dozens of separate rebel groups, each backed by a foreign country. Over the 2 years of the rebellion, the honest Syrian opposition faded out of view and the movement was taken over by the takfiri jihadists to the point where now mostly all fighters against the regime are foreign fighters coming from about 12 different countries. The original Syrian opposition no longer has any voice with either the regime or with the West/Gulf countries that are backing the takfiris.

      • Shingo
        August 31, 2013, 5:06 am

        Your initial comment about Ramah’s piece was stunningly condescending and dismissive of someone who knows far more about Syria than yourself.

        Not really. There are plenty of voices who have been to Syria and have family there, who do speak Arabic, who fully concur with Annie’s analysis.

        The characterization of ‘jihadists’ vs assad is a case in point. Simply calling everyone who has taken up arms against Assad a jihadist seems intellectually lazy and without a basis in reality.

        Wrong. You are conflating the original demonstrators against Assad who were inspired by the Arab Spring with the local and foreign jihadists that hijacked the movement. The first foreign fighters were practically airlifted out of Libya by the Saudis into Syria.

        And to deny that the main and most effective fighters are the Al Nusra front. The fact that the nut job that filmed himself eating human organs of a dead soldier is considered a moderate tells us what kind of lunatics Syria is dealing with. Even critics of Assad are siding with him over the beheaders and suicide bombers.

  19. JustJessetr
    August 27, 2013, 12:48 pm

    #11. Continue supporting the implied statement that Israel is not the only, nor even the worst, aggressor in the region and that Israel is not the cause of all it’s neighbor’s problems. Rather they cause enough of their own (dictatorships, political-Islamofascism, religious hatred, chemical weapons) to deal with.

  20. HarryLaw
    August 27, 2013, 1:16 pm

    The US,France and UK all agree that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack, they offer no proof nor do they want to wait for the UN inspectors to report. The Al Nusra front have been accused by the UN of using chemical weapons in Syria recently but to accuse them would be to halt the war plans of the West, make no mistake regime change by hook or by crook is the objective, the Syrian people will have no say. Once again politicians in the west are using lies to justify the latest criminal aggression.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 2:46 pm

      And only 9% of the American public support such an action…but that does not matter. Hell this time around they are not even going to waste their time pretending to verify or not verify the intelligence. Seriously if Hillary gets in the next election…the next step is Iran. Syria has been on the neo cons and Israel’s hit list for a long time

  21. MRW
    August 27, 2013, 1:27 pm

    FYI. Comment from moonofalabama.org:

    FYi from Pepe Escobar
    VERY IMPORTANT: RUSSIA HAS PROOF THAT THE “REBELS” DID IT.

    Khalil Harb, of Lebanese paper As-Safir, confirmed a few minutes ago to my great friend Claudio Gallo an article published in Arabic two days ago, quoting a Russian source.

    According to the source, Russia’s ambassador in the UN Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence – based on documents and Russian satellite images – of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals, fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian “rebels”, and landing on East Ghouta. Hundreds of “rebels”, as well as civilians – including those children on the cover of Western corporate media papers – were killed. The evidence, says the Russian source, is conclusive. This is what Lavrov himself was hinting at yesterday. And that’s the reason there’s no UN Security Council resolution against Syria, and why Washington does not want the inspectors to find anything. link to facebook.com

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2013, 2:21 pm

      hey mrw! didn’t see this before i posted the same upthread. and isn’t moa an awesome source for syria info.

      • MRW
        August 27, 2013, 2:52 pm

        Yeah, annie. I wonder if people understand the power of the statement “Russian satellite images.” Russia has ‘stationary’ satellites, listening posts, materiel storage, you name it, all over the region because of its base on Syria’s coast. US military officials have acknowledged that Russia’s satellites are so powerful they can read the writing on a post-it left on a toilet seat. Hyperbole or not, correct or not, the point is that Russia has a pulse on anything that happens in that region even before we do. So when they say “Russian satellite images” it’s not Instagram.

      • MRW
        August 27, 2013, 3:40 pm

        annie, did you see Pepe Escobar’s piece in Asia Times today?
        link to atimes.com

        I love these paragraphs, typical Escobar, buried in the middle. (R2P=Responsibility to Protect; R2A=Responsibility to Attack)

        Former president Bill Clinton resurfaced with perfect timing to compare Obama’s options in Syria to Reagan’s jihad in Afghanistan. Bubba was right in terms of positioning Bandar’s role. But he must have inhaled something if he was thinking in terms of consequences – which include everything from the Taliban to that mythical entity, ”al-Qaeda”. Well, at least al-Qaeda is already active in Syria; they don’t need to invent it.

        As for that bunch of amateurs surrounding Obama – including R2P groupies such as Susan Rice and new Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, all of them liberal hawks – they are all suckers for Kosovo. Kosovo – with a Libya add-on – is being spun as the ideal model for Syria; R2P via (illegal) air strikes. Right on cue, the New York Times is already frantically parroting the idea.

        Facts are, of course, absent from the narrative – including the blowing up of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade (a remix in Syria with the Russian embassy?) and getting to the brink of a war with Russia.

        Syria has nothing to do with the Balkans. This is a civil war. Arguably the bulk of the Syrian urban population, not the country bumpkins, support Damascus – based on despicable ”rebel” behavior in places they control; and the absolute majority wants a political solution, as in the now near-totally torpedoed Geneva II conference.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 4:22 pm

        thanks mrw, i adore him, he had the best analysis on iraq too.

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 7:41 pm

        Perhaps we should remember that the Soviet Union was promoting secular government in Afghanstan, elevation of the status of women, economic development. Etc. And that taking control of the Persian Gulf was not the reason for the invasion in 1979.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 3:05 pm

      Thanks. Great article at the Guardian sorry unable to link from this computer. Not mine

      Iran warns west against military intervention in Syria/Guardian

      “The U.S. and U.K. have both signaled that they are prepared to act without a U.N. mandate”

      “Under the terms of its mandate negotiated in the security council the U.N. inspection team under Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom can determine whether chemical agents have been used but who has used them”

  22. Danaa
    August 27, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Regarding the Do’s and Don’ts we are being preached to:

    I assume we CAN discuss the fact that this Chemical attack is one of the most transparent false Flag operations ever. meant to get the US involved in a few bombing raids, all just because the jihadists and takfiris sent is and paid for by saudi Arabia and Qatar don’t get run out of the country in short order, having wrought nothing but destruction 9which was the goal all along).

    I have been following the news from Syria for quite some time and it seems to me quite obvious that whatever authentic Syrian “rebels’ there were once, they have practically disappeared from among the ranks of the “fighters” (who are really for the most part terrorists and should be treated as such). And for good reason – many Syrians who perhaps had some sympathy originally for a reformist movement have gotten to see who these jihadis really were and just what’s in store for them should they be alloed to run wild, bringing nothing but horrible barbarism in their wake. That is one reason the Syrian army found it easy to route terrorists from some of the towns they took over. Inside Syria, the support for the fake-free Syrian army has all but collapsed. What support there ever was for an armed mayhem we don’t know, but one doubts the Syrian people were all that eager to have their towns decimated by foreign run terror wielding fanatic killers sent in from the worst watering holes of the ME.

    What there is are the paid shills for the gulf dictatorships, the ‘exiles”, now in cahoots with the repressive israeli interests, and their neocon enablers. just look at the list of who are ranting for a little bombing and we can get the idea.

    This piece of writing is exactly the kind of shilling we were treated to before the murderous campaign to destroy iraq and kill its people, and by pretty much the same group of authors. now here is Ramah (I assume it’s a she) urging the destruction of Syria, something that can only benefit the paymasters who want to rearrange the ME, a la PNAC. ramah I’d note has brought in not a shred of proof that this chemical attack was perpetrated by the Syrian government, or provided the slightest explanation in what universe that would make sense, given that the army was doing just a fine job with the standard armaments.

    As for Assad, he was hardly the worst brutal dictator in the ME. The monarchs of the gulf are infinitely worse – just ask the women or the minorities or the gurst workers who are treated as slaves. And what the israeli regime is doing to the palestinians living under brutal occupation force takes the cake evilness. Given that the warmongers Ramah supports, and whose behalf she wrote this drive,l cared so little for Syrian people that they engineered this attack, killing a whole bunch of p0eople, just to draw in the US just because her side was losing, it is beyond laughable that this piece of propaganda purports to lecture to “progressives”.

    Some of us think that the Syrian army has been fighting rather bravely against the forces of barbarism and darkness unleashed upon their country. Syria under assad, while hardly a paradise for everyone, but it was secular and reasonably tolerant of the rights of the many minorities – and majorities who lived there. yes, reforms were needed and perhaps would have come, but the kind of pressure needed to make that happen was something other than complete destruction of the country. Given the forces we see who are trying to tear the country apart, equipped, supported and paid for by some of the most reactionary regimes on earth, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it was not a walk in the part to keep the country together. Actually, with what we saw transpiring in the past two years, we are getting perhaps a bit of a lesson on why it was difficult in places like Syria and Iraq to have blooming democracies, in the first place.

    it is really hard to watch thes Syrian Chalabist-style exiles, chomping at the bits to see their own original country people killed, murdered and destroyed in the name of the paymasters (check out the man behind the curtain!), and the less is said the better. what I, as a progressive, do see, is evil personified, just as the horrid murderous attack on Iraq was. Something for which Iraqis are still paying a terrible price, so terrible that we comfortable progressives cannot even fathom.

    If some bombing needs doing however, could i suggest Saudi Arabia, for example? surely most ordinary saudis would welcome such sweet intervention on their behalf? i am sure I could come up with a 10-point drivel too to justify why progressives should rejoice at the sight of rivers of blood let out in their name.

    • Keith
      August 27, 2013, 2:30 pm

      DANAA- I also think that the poison gas attack was probably a false flag. Yet, even if it wasn’t, it is no excuse for a military attack. Attacking Syria for any reason other than self-defense against an imminent attack is illegal. Humanitarian intervention was rejected for the rather obvious reason that it is a much too convenient pretext for an attack. How many interventions have been strictly for humanitarian reasons? None that I know of. The Cuban intervention in Angola to defend against the South Africa invasion may come close. How many “humanitarian” interventions have actually saved lives? Putting aside Cuba in Angola, none that I know of. Is there anyone who still argues that Libya has benefited from our bombing? As for the gas, where was it manufactured? If not for Western arms and interventions, the world would be a lot safer place.

      • Danaa
        August 27, 2013, 4:00 pm

        Keith, glad we agree on this one. However, here is a question for you: I know you are believer in the Empire-as-prime-mover (not sure I got the right name for it). How can one possibly see the Empire benefitting from, say, a little bombing run on Syria? while for israel it’s all thumbs-up, for the US and its imperial interests it’s mostly thumbs down. Even as we sit here debating this, Obama and the military commanders are mounting a major resistance to this course of action. one that can’t possibly be good for Obama, the democrats, America or the West in general. If you and I and another few millions out there know in our guts this was a False Flag (and an incompetent one, at that!) surely, our intelligence is pointing out the caveats to the Obama cabinet as well.

        So obviously, there is enormous pressure on Obama to act, and that pressure is coming mainly from one direction – israel, now tied at the hip to SA. If Obama, counter to military advise – and no doubt hagel’s and other realists, still must go and “do the deed” surely we’ll have our final proof that Zion (false Zion in my book) trumps empire.

        I have the worst sinking feeling about all this. just think – if Obama does do-the-deed, and he and Kerey do know that there are serious doubts Assad had anything to do with this CW incident, that means the only thing left will be how to cover it up. especially if the Russians are not co-operating in the cover-up. But for them to embark on such a whitewash, even as israel gloats (villa-in-the-jungle, now that they turned other villas into jungles etc) – and in the face of the likely negative consequences – means that all is really lost. Including some serious potential losses for the neo-liberal “cause” of the ruling plutocrat classes And along the way some of your previous arguments as well? you gonna change sides then?

      • Keith
        August 27, 2013, 5:20 pm

        DANAA- “…for the US and its imperial interests it’s mostly thumbs down.”

        I disagree. The empire is in the process of trying to achieve absolute hegemony over the Middle East. If you are not with us, you are against us. Assad is not with us, and has to go. Additionally, Syria stands in the way of NATO expansion and total control of the Meditteranian.

        “Syria is absolutely essential for NATO’s long-term prospects. The port city of Tartus, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, hosts the only Russian military base in the East Mediterranean. NATO doesn’t want the Russians to have that base, seen as an impediment to NATO’s expansion across the Mediterranean.” (Pepe Escobar interview)
        link to counterpunch.org

        “If the West succeeds if effecting the overthrow of the Syrian government, Syria and Lebanon will be targeted for membership in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. (As will Palestine if and when it is recognized by the United Nations.) With the new administration in Cyprus confirming its intention to immediately join the Partnership for Peace, every nation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin will be a NATO member and partner. The integration of Cyprus will also complete the process of recruiting every European nation (excluding mini-states Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) into the NATO orbit.” (Rick Rozoff)
        link to dandelionsalad.wordpress.com

        “Syria is, from this viewpoint, a crucial staging post for Western imperialist plans to roll over the oil-rich Middle East in order to install regimes that are pliant with Western geopolitical interests. These interests include untrammeled access to the world’s main oil and gas reserves, eventual regime change in the regional powerhouse of Iran, and the denial of vital resources and markets to the West’s global rivals of Russia and China.”
        link to dandelionsalad.wordpress.com

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 7:11 pm

        Keith,
        “The empire is in the process of trying to achieve absolute hegemony over the Middle East”.

        “Trying” is key word here. But been failing, especially with the Russia and China block making their support of Syria and Iran very clear in the past year.

        “Additionally, Syria stands in the way of NATO expansion and total control of the Meditteranian. ”

        And Syria is Russia’s only gateway to the west.

        See what I mean?

        Can USA afford (even in dollar terms) to go to war with both Russia and China, while simultaneously aiding israel against hizbollah and Iran attacks? You don’t think that a Nato strike against Russia or Chia or Iran or Lebanon, to help israel and the USA, will mean deep world war three and the instant and total collapse of global economy? Possible breakouts of class warfare internally in many nations?

        The world is still waiting for America to admit to loss of its place as ‘only’ superpower in the world. It will now have to share the mideast with the Big Bear and the Red Dragon, no other way around it – except for a gamble on world war 3.

        The sooner it accept this sharing, the better for the world (and the worse for israel, of course).

      • Keith
        August 27, 2013, 11:44 pm

        TAXI- “Trying” is key word here. But been failing, especially with the Russia and China block making their support of Syria and Iran very clear in the past year.”

        I don’t see failure. Russia has limited force projection capabilities, China virtually none. The US, NATO, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc, have overwhelming force at their disposal. Neither Russia or China are in a position to do much of anything except, perhaps, Russia engage in nuclear brinkmanship, but I doubt it. Not over Syria which, at the least, will be effectively destroyed as Viet Nam was. This is high stakes full spectrum dominance.

        “Can USA afford (even in dollar terms) to go to war with both Russia and China….”

        The empire isn’t going to war with either Russia or China, it is pre-empting the possibility of a future challenge to imperial hegemony. Notice that I now usually refer to the “empire” rather than the US. The empire has morphed from a nationalistic US empire into a transnational corporate empire managed primarily from the US, which serves the needs of global capital, including Chinese and Russian capital. It takes a while to appreciate the significance of the change. Additionally, China continues to buy US Treasuries, hence, to finance US militarism. And while both China and Japan are trying to reduce their Treasury holdings, a collapse of the global financial system would be a disaster for them, along with everyone else. It is a huge house of cards likely to eventually bury us all.

        “It will now have to share the mideast with the Big Bear and the Red Dragon, no other way around it – except for a gamble on world war 3.”

        It has no intention of “sharing” the Middle East. The masters of the universe are sociopaths who will risk World War III before they will relinquish power.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 12:17 am

        @ Keith

        About this:

        ““Syria is, from this viewpoint, a crucial staging post for Western imperialist plans to roll over the oil-rich Middle East in order to install regimes that are pliant with Western geopolitical interests. These interests include untrammeled access to the world’s main oil and gas reserves, eventual regime change in the regional powerhouse of Iran, and the denial of vital resources and markets to the West’s global rivals of Russia and China.”
        link to dandelionsalad.wordpress.com”

        Er….the columnist for Press TV who wrote the above obviously doesnt do analysis and has no knowledge of Russia. I am trying not to laugh at these folks who just seem to make up theories that suit their Great Satan obsession…but I find this kind of factless reasoning hysterical.

        Here are THE FACTS.
        So you take these facts show me how much Russia gives a shit about access to ME oil and how the US denying Russia access to ME oil is gonna marginlize them. UNLESS of course your friends next theory is that NATO and the US are going to invade Russia to control it’s oil also. IF the ME goes up in fricking flames Russia’s oil is worth more. IF the West wants to cut Russia out of it’s markets China and SA will be glad to take up the slack. IF they want to squeeze China with whom Russia has a pact Russia can redirect more of oil ‘from Europe’ to China. Whatever Russia would lose in transport or production contracts in the ME they will just make up for in home producton and raising prices. AND then they will take that profit and re tool their aging nuclear plants at home and then be even more self sufficent with even more energy resources for export while the US and EU spend their selves senseless playing Russian roulette in the ME
        You wanna know my theory? My theory is Putin is laughing his ass off watching the US lurch from one pile of shit to another while Russia and China are at the UNSC playing the good guys to the world talking about International law and diplomacy.
        My other theory is Putin didnt take Sauds offer of giving Russia more of the gas and oil busness in Europe because—Russia doesnt need it. If Russia did need it Putin would have taken it.

        link to eia.gov

        Country Analysis Brief Overview
        Russia holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, and the ninth-largest crude oil reserves.
        Russia was the largest producer of crude oil in 2011. During the year, crude oil production averaged about 9.8 million bbl/d.
        Russia holds the largest natural gas reserves in the world, and is the largest producer and exporter of dry natural gas.
        Russia is one of the top producers and consumers of electric power in the world, with more than 220 million kilowatts of installed generation capacity.
        Despite its sizeable reserves, production of coal in Russia is relatively low

        link to eia.gov
        Analysis
        Russia is a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas and its economy largely depends on energy exports. Russia’s economic growth continues to be driven by energy exports given its high oil and gas production and the elevated prices for those commodities. Internally, Russia gets over half of its domestic energy needs from natural gas.
        Russia was the world’s second-largest producer of oil (after Saudi Arabia) and the second-largest producer of natural gas in 2011 (second to the United States). However, preliminary data through June 2012 indicate that Russia had surpassed Saudi Arabia as the top crude oil producer in four out of the six months
        Russia was the second-largest producer of total petroleum liquids in 2011, second only to Saudi Arabia. During the year, production averaged more than 10 million bbl/d.
        Russia’s proven oil reserves were 60 billion barrels as of January 2012, according to the Oil and Gas Journal. Most of Russia’s resources are located in Western Siberia, between the Ural Mountains and the Central Siberian Plateau and in the Volga-Urals region, extending into the Caspian Sea. Eastern Siberia holds some reserves, but the region has had little exploration.
        In 2011 Russia produced an estimated 10.2 million bbl/d of total liquids (of which 9.8 million bbl/d was crude oil), and consumed roughly 3.1 million bbl/d. Russia exported around 7 million bbl/d in 2011 including roughly 4.9 million bbl/d of crude oil and the remainder in products. Russia’s pipeline oil exports fall under the jurisdiction of the state-owned pipeline monopoly, Transneft. Monthly data thus far in 2012 show that Russia’s total liquids production has consistently remained above 10.0 million bbl/d.

      • seanmcbride
        August 28, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Keith,

        Sometimes your “Marxist” :) analysis makes a great deal of sense — this is right on the money:

        The empire isn’t going to war with either Russia or China, it is pre-empting the possibility of a future challenge to imperial hegemony. Notice that I now usually refer to the “empire” rather than the US. The empire has morphed from a nationalistic US empire into a transnational corporate empire managed primarily from the US, which serves the needs of global capital, including Chinese and Russian capital. It takes a while to appreciate the significance of the change. Additionally, China continues to buy US Treasuries, hence, to finance US militarism. And while both China and Japan are trying to reduce their Treasury holdings, a collapse of the global financial system would be a disaster for them, along with everyone else. It is a huge house of cards likely to eventually bury us all.

        And this is the keeper:

        The empire has morphed from a nationalistic US empire into a transnational corporate empire managed primarily from the US, which serves the needs of global capital, including Chinese and Russian capital.

        In truth, these developments transcend the factors of Israel and the Israel lobby.

        And this:

        It has no intention of “sharing” the Middle East. The masters of the universe are sociopaths who will risk World War III before they will relinquish power.

        Truth.

      • MRW
        August 28, 2013, 4:24 pm

        American, couldn’t agree more.

        You wanna know my theory? My theory is Putin is laughing his ass off watching the US lurch from one pile of shit to another while Russia and China are at the UNSC playing the good guys to the world talking about International law and diplomacy.

        My other theory is Putin didnt take Sauds offer of giving Russia more of the gas and oil busness in Europe because—Russia doesnt need it. If Russia did need it Putin would have taken it.

        Not only that, Russia understands abiotic oil–oil is fucking renewable**–which Clinton’s oil czar sneered at in 1994 when the Russians, desperate after the breakup, wanted to share how it was done and get some money for joint operations, according to Dr. J.F. Kenney. But no, the Americans knew better, so they backhanded the Russians off the table.

        So the Russian and Ukrainian geologists did it on their own and brought in the Dnieper-Donets Basin oil field in the most geologically barren area of their two countries. The find was the size of the North slope of Alaska. Huge. We’re still running around thinking oil is a “fossil” fuel when any damn scientist will tell you that no biologic molecule can exist at a temperature higher that the critical temperature of salt water (somewhere around 384 C). The critical temperature of salt water is reached at a depth of 3 to 5 km [1.86 to 3.12 miles], depending on whether you’re in a continental or marine environment. So the notion that carbon material at the depths of the mantle is of biologic origin has absolutely no meaning. [Deepwater Horizon was drilled to a depth of 35,055 ft, or 6.64 miles, in the Gulf off of Houston, so the oil there was definitely not of biologic origin. Can’t be. Scientifically impossible no matter how Bill McKibben characterizes it.]

        The Russians figured this out starting in 1946 when Stalin did the equivalent of an intellectual Marshall Plan for five or six years by having his PhDs (of which there were many many more than America had, 2,000 in one institution alone) scour western scientific literature to see what the West overlooked. How oil is produced is one of them, and it aint from little dinosaurs rotting under Saudi or Alberta sand.

        As Dr. Kenney said “alone to have produced the amount of oil to date that [the] Ghawar field (Saudi Arabia) has produced would have required a cube of fossilized dinosaur detritus, assuming 100% conversion efficiency, measuring 19 miles deep, wide and high.”

        This is how Russia nabbed its place as a top oil producer. And yes, it can laugh at Bandar Bush, because Bandar Bush does not know about this technology. [Russia has over 4,000 scientific papers describing this, none of which have been translated; Dr. JF Kenney is the only one publishing.] This is the reason why Putin put Khordokovsky’s ass in jail in 2003 when he found out that Khordokovsky was going to sell this tech via the sale of Yukos Oil to Exxon after a talk with Cheney…and the west. Russia has not forgot Jeffrey Sachs and his US-created economic disaster that wrought the wrenching suicides of its elderly in the 90s.

        So, you’re right, American. Russia is laughing its way to the bank.

        ** Russia made oil in the lab with CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate, a substance in the earth’s mantle) and solid iron oxide, wet with triple-distilled water brought up to the pressure of the earth’s mantle. (I forgot how many K.) They did the experiment specifically with CaCO3 because isotope tests showed CaCO3 was observed in carbonitite formations in the mantle, and the carbonitite formations are specific to the mantle, and therefore too deep for it to be of biologic origins.

      • Keith
        August 28, 2013, 5:08 pm

        AMERICAN- “Er….the columnist for Press TV who wrote the above obviously doesnt do analysis and has no knowledge of Russia.”

        Actually, Finian Cunningham knows quite a lot, and is in general agreement with most strategic analysts. Let me re-quote one part, then comment.

        “…the denial of vital resources and markets to the West’s global rivals of Russia and China.”

        That is, the control of resources needed by China, and the control of markets depended upon by Russia. I’m not going to bother trying to analyze your Russian oil/gas reserve information in regards to quality of oil/gas, or whether these reserves have been developed, along with the transportation infrastructure. The empire is trying to develop the Caspian Sea basin, and provide other alternatives to be able to supply Europe and make it less dependent on Russia for strategic reasons. Also, the US wants to scuttle, if possible, many of the pipelines planned by Russia, Iran and China. Should Russia, China and Iran complete their energy infrastructure plans, it would probably destroy imperial hegemony ambitions. Right now, China is dependent on the West, not Russia, for its energy, and Russia is dependent upon the European market, not China. And if Iran is controlled by empire, then Russia and China will be severely weakened. Pepe Escobar has written quite a lot about pipelineistan:

        “Use either name, or anything else you want, and what you’re really talking about is what’s happening on the immense energy battlefield that extends from Iran to the Pacific Ocean. It’s there that the Liquid War for the control of Eurasia takes place.
        link to alternet.org

      • Keith
        August 28, 2013, 5:21 pm

        MRW- “Not only that, Russia understands abiotic oil–oil is fucking renewable”

        Oil no, bullshit yes! Curious that the Russians don’t just sell the Chinese the process rather than trying to build all of those pipelines.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 5:27 pm

        @ MRW

        Fasinating, thanks!……I wasnt aware of those details before.
        Have to keep saying –biggest mistake US ever made was not forming an alliance with Russia after WWII ..huge fail in every aspect imo.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 6:54 pm

        China currently is dependent upon Gulf countries for oil. Part of “the West”?

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 7:21 pm

        @ Keith

        I actually dont disagree with everything you say…..but I think you go “too big and wide” with the policies ‘are all coordinated by an Empire in which all Empires are involved in one grand goal.
        I suggest you consder this fact in your theory—-No empires have been or are currently being denied or having their access to ME oil impeded. None of them, not a single one.
        The ONLY things that have impeded the smooth flow of all ME oil to any customer since the Arab Oil Embargo over Isr in the 70’s has been such incdents Saddam and Kuwait, the US ‘interventions’ like Iraq and sanctions on the oil producing country of Iran. Even wth the sanctons on Iran the big empires are still getting their oil—-some lesser countries are getting less and some countries got waviers so they could stll get oil from Iran. cuase they’d be out of bzness if they couldnt.
        Sooooo let me ask ….Who is impeding Who and not giving the Empire their untrampled access to Oil?
        The second fallacy is that France should care about where their oil comes from more than the price so they are gonna cut Russia out and then Saud & others will have one less competitor.
        Third Russia Does Not control the European market, it is a supplier just like the UAE and all the oiles.
        Fourth, you are saying this ‘West Empire’ is afraid Russia is out to dominate them by selling them oil and makng a profit. And China is out to dominate them by exporting their stuff to the world and making too much money so their energy supply has be cut off so they cant do that.
        Iow, the strategic Empire plan is becuase everyone is afraid of Russia and China —and by taking over all these oil areas they will able screw R&C by telling the actual oil country owner to NOT dare SELL anything to China —while commanding all the European countries to NOT dare BUY anything from Russia.
        And this is what all the ME and world oil intrigue, war, near wars, threats of wars, is all about—the West is afraid of Russia cause it has oil and afraid of China cause it exports huge amounts of goods to the world and drinks up too much oil in doing that?
        So…er….what is the Western Empire gonna do about the other oil producers and the other 50% of the world that buys oil and sells oil and imports from China?
        They have full spectrum world domination plan for that?

      • MRW
        August 28, 2013, 10:53 pm

        Keith,

        Curious that the Russians don’t just sell the Chinese the process rather than trying to build all of those pipelines.

        Why would any leader do that (sell the process) when its state control or outright ownership of the oil and gas industry is the central structure of its economy? This is the Putin Doctrine, initiated in the late 1990s.

        China’s stated goal/doctrine (1980) was to take America’s manufacturing prowess away. Exporter to the world. It was not interested in being an oil exporter. It invests with Russia in Siberian fields, ditto Africa and Alberta.

      • MRW
        August 28, 2013, 10:55 pm

        China currently is dependent upon Gulf countries for oil. Part of “the West”?

        And Russia, Africa, Canada, Indonesia, Iran, and Latin America.

      • ritzl
        August 29, 2013, 12:37 am

        Great thread American, MRW, and Keith. Abiotic oil, wow! I always wondered how many “dinos” it took to fuel the US for a day. Something was always missing there.

        American, don’t forget (figure of speech) that China is still our #1 debt holder and still(?) our #1 bond buyer/deficit enabler. We have $T annual deficits. We’re in an era of L-shaped employment recessions. We’re not coming out of this. But even in the interim, we’re not going to tell China to NOT do anything lest our slow crumble become a precipitous collapse. One little US sovereign debt interest rate shock and keflooie (which might not be a bad thing because it would [probably] mean no wars for a while).

        So with all that you all have said here about oil and its obvious, profound, highly-fragile (and therefore easily disturbable) global economic/political interconnectivity and portent, it’s hard to see the benefit for anyone of this ongoing “dragon-tickling” that we do in the ME. Seems that the big-money, risk-averse, expanding-opportunity solution would be to solve these conflicts, not enflame them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least from our PoV and/or actions.

        Introducing Israel and disaster capitalism (commodity speculators?) into the equation as perennial and exclusively parochial “dragon ticklers” explains the difference between a fundamental-based reality and our current contrived reality.

        Bad mix. Huge resources. Seemingly overwhelming synergy.

        And then it’s reasonable to ask whether Israel now combines both with its new (even the legitimate claims) natural gas finds. Does Israel-engineered ME instability for political purposes also turn its $1T gas resource value into a $3T value? Could AIPAC be used for those purposes as well?

        Just my 2. FWIW.

      • MRW
        August 29, 2013, 12:49 am

        Oil no, bullshit yes!

        Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
        The evolution of multicomponent systems at high pressures: VI. The thermodynamic stability of the hydrogen–carbon system: The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum
        J. F. Kenney†‡§, Vladimir A. Kutcherov¶, Nikolai A. Bendeliani∥, and Vladimir A. Alekseev∥
        link to pnas.org

        Read the abstract.

      • Sibiriak
        August 29, 2013, 1:43 am

        Keith: I agree with the general framework of your analysis.

        However, could you please reconcile these two statements which seem somewhat contradictory:

        a transnational corporate empire managed primarily from the US, which serves the needs of global capital, INCLUDING CHINESE AND RUSSIAN CAPITAL. [...] Additionally, China continues to buy US Treasuries, hence, to finance US militarism.

        (emphasis added)

        —-

        the US wants to scuttle, if possible, many of the pipelines planned by Russia, Iran and China. Should Russia, China and Iran complete their energy infrastructure plans, it would probably destroy imperial hegemony ambitions

        Basically, I think you need to more precisely theorize the extent to which the inter-national capitalist-militarist system has evolved into a transnational system. Since practically the beginning of capitalism, nationalism and transnationalism have been in dialectical tension, so the question is: what is the precise current status of that systemic dialectic?

      • Walid
        August 29, 2013, 4:55 am

        “Russia made oil in the lab ”

        Great info, MRW, thanks.

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 10:04 am

        Russia made oil in the lab with CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate, a substance in the earth’s mantle) and solid iron oxide, wet with triple-distilled water brought up to the pressure of the earth’s mantle. (I forgot how many K.) They did the experiment specifically with CaCO3 because isotope tests showed CaCO3 was observed in carbonitite formations in the mantle, and the carbonitite formations are specific to the mantle, and therefore too deep for it to be of biologic origins.

        Amazing post MRW.

        As a former Chemical engineer, I would be fascinated to read the chemical processes involved.

      • Keith
        August 29, 2013, 8:20 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “However, could you please reconcile these two statements which seem somewhat contradictory.”

        Basically, what is happening is that the nation states continue to compete for relative position and advantage WITHIN the framework of empire. Just as two capitalist corporations compete within the framework of capitalism, neither trying to weaken the system, so too, China doesn’t want to bring down the empire, rather, it wants to improve its relative standing within the imperial system which serves the new capitalist elites so well.

        “Since practically the beginning of capitalism, nationalism and transnationalism have been in dialectical tension, so the question is: what is the precise current status of that systemic dialectic?”

        For starters, I am not a Marxist and am uncomfortable with Marxist terms such as “dialectical tension.” Putting that aside, as I understand your meaning, the rise of transnational empire corresponds closely with the rise of transnational corporations, which in turn, corresponds with the development of high speed computers and telecommunications. This, along with the elimination of barriers to capital flow, along with the creation of economic interdependencies, permit’s a network of global financial control not possible 40 to 50 years ago. The major corporations are all transnational in scope and nature, and the global political economy and empire have adjusted accordingly.

      • seanmcbride
        August 29, 2013, 9:40 pm

        Keith,

        For starters, I am not a Marxist and am uncomfortable with Marxist terms such as “dialectical tension.” Putting that aside, as I understand your meaning, the rise of transnational empire corresponds closely with the rise of transnational corporations, which in turn, corresponds with the development of high speed computers and telecommunications. This, along with the elimination of barriers to capital flow, along with the creation of economic interdependencies, permit’s a network of global financial control not possible 40 to 50 years ago. The major corporations are all transnational in scope and nature, and the global political economy and empire have adjusted accordingly.

        All true — and these developments are in fact of much greater significance on the contemporary global stage than Israel and the Israel lobby.

        But I would still argue that Israel and the Israel lobby have succeeded in pushing American foreign policy in directions that are sometimes in conflict with the best interests of most American corporations and most Americans.

        We have two separate issues here that need to be disentangled.

      • Keith
        August 31, 2013, 11:33 am

        SEAN MCBRIDE- “We have two separate issues here that need to be disentangled.”

        I would suggest that at this stage of the game that may not be possible. For example, the neocons obviously have a strong pro-Israel bias, however, they are also spokesmen/lobbyists for the military industrial complex. Israel has become an integral part of empire. AIPAC speaks for both. We have become hyper-militarized. The global political economy is undergoing rapid fundamental change away from productive capitalism towards financial capitalism. The US needs to destroy the competition for imperial control in order to lock in its dominant position as manager of empire. Isolating Russia and (particularly) China is critical. Iran stands in the way, Syria as well. Obama is an extraordinarily effective imperial President who can do things few others could. Blacks and liberals have effectively been neutralized. The game plan appears to be war abroad and structural adjustment at home, most to be completed by the time Obama leaves office.

      • James Canning
        August 31, 2013, 5:52 pm

        Foolish American policies in ME generally have much more to do with Israel and the I lobby, than they do with “corporations”.

      • American
        August 27, 2013, 7:09 pm

        Add my old favorite common sense ….cause I agree.
        Now why would Assad who :
        1- has been winning the war against the rebels who have only been kept going by outside arms….
        2- knows he can win as long he can keep outside military powers out of it…
        3- and knows the use of chemical weapons is the one thing the US has said is a red line
        4- be stupid enough to blow it in the final stretch by using chemicals guarenteed to bring outside military attacks?
        IT MAKES NO SENSE…does it?

        Assad says chemical weapons claims ‘insult to common sense’
        link to thenews.com.pk

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 7:25 pm

        That’s the first thing that people in Lebanon were saying, American.

        “Why would Asad use chemical weapons when he was already doing a good job using conventional weapons?” Doesn’t make sense!

        And also, why would Asad agree to UN inspectors coming to study the site of the previous chemical attack, only to use a chemical weapon on civilians the very following day?

        Nothing about this whole shebang follows communal common sense.

      • RoHa
        August 27, 2013, 9:52 pm

        A couple more, American.

        5- Accuse the rebels of using gas, and bring in UN inspectors to prove it
        6- and be stupid enough to carry out a major gas attack just as those inspectors are getting off the plane?

        Being damned silly is not a minority sport, but it is hard to imagine the Syrians are such advanced players.

      • Danaa
        August 28, 2013, 2:19 pm

        American, you are, of course right about Russia’s resources and ability to withstand pressure, Also about everyone who is anyone knowing that this CW business was a ruse for intervention.

        Unfortunately, Israel could not just let things be and let Assad win. So it went all out with the prepared pretext, busily trying to rope in the American, UK and french ruling establishment.

        I understand all too well that whether or not an attack will happen is entirely up to Russia. Is it willing to play some real risky cards? the israeli calculation is that it won’t. There might be serious attempts going on to convince the russians that the Sochi games depend on them stepping aside, and in return they promise a “limited” fun bombing. The Russians, not being stupid, also know that promises aside, nothing can be assured to be “limited” once it starts. Surely they are checking into their card deck to see what else is there to use.

        Personally, I think they should take the dead man gambit and move the rook. But I am just a chess player and don’t have real people hollering in my ear about the end of the world.

      • Danaa
        August 28, 2013, 2:24 pm

        taxi, you are right about things not making sense of course. But try to look at things from israel’s viewpoint and accept that it absolutely determined to wreak havoc. watch them move their peons in the US. It’s hard to watch that, i know, because it’s all about lies and subterfuge and pulling wool over people’s eyes. But they sure are trying.

        Whatever keith is saying, it ain’t the forces of Empire doing this dance of the bombs. There IS a man behind the curtain, who is really easy to see, since someone didn’t even bother to make sure the curtain is not too transparent.

      • Keith
        August 28, 2013, 5:41 pm

        DANAA- “Whatever keith is saying, it ain’t the forces of Empire doing this dance of the bombs.”

        Suggest you read “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives,” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, to see how an imperial geostrategist thinks. The relationship of The Lobby to empire and Israel is more complicated than you seem to think. And while you think that the tail wags the dog, even you would admit that the tail needs the dog. Israel without empire would be a whole different ball game, which is why most Zionists are de facto imperialists.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 5:47 pm

        @ Danaa

        I don’t think Russia is going to get into military confrontation over Syria…not yet anyway. I am certainly no expert on Russia but I‘ve followed it with interest since the USSR fell and Putin particularly and visited Russia years ago and was impressed. . One of the things Russia did under Putin should clue us to Russian policy and nationalism—he paid off ALL the international debt caused by the fall of the USSR…a huge feat. I do not believe he will do anything to “weaken” or ‘burden’ Russia like engage in costly military conflicts where the payoff or salvage wouldn’t match the cost. What Russia “might’ lose in Syria with Assad gone is a deal on a Russian built pipeline, their port there and some weapons sales. These are assets for Russia but not necessities. And no one actually knows what government Syria would have after a Assad fall..we just know there would lots of interest ‘trying to take over’. So I think Putin is going to ‘wait’ to see what happens in the end.
        The other thing I think is that for Russia, other than economic ties to Syria, Russia isn’t so much in having a political hand in the ME itself, as it is about any Islamic movements or turmoil that will affect Russia within it’s own ‘sphere”, like possible anti-Russian Islamist movements in the Caucasus. Managing Russia is like trying to manage a ‘continent’—the ‘State of Russia Government’ governs the largest land mass country in the world.
        I do think part of Putin and Russia is about the Russian ego.I think Putin wants Russia to be the ‘acknowledged’ world power it once was, but he’s ‘patient’ about it. The fact is it is already back to big military power but it isn’t spread around and employed except where absolutely necessary….so it’s not ‘acknowledged’ as a super power the way the US is because it is staying out of the games. I think Russian money Putin would spend would put into updating Russia’s nuclear plants instead of war spending as that would give Russia even more energy exports for profit.
        I also think Putin (and China are doing a low cost de legitimizing campaign against the US—they are the ones out there calling for law, fairness, diplomacy—“”hey Iceland, Ecuador, Argentina, SAf,SA, etc,etc etc—-who you want to do partner with economically, us fair, law abiding countries or the US ‘Hammer’? China has already done this successfully already.
        As said am no ‘expert’, but this is what looks like is Russian policy and plan based on what I have observed about Putin’s Russia

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 12:11 am

        Danaa,

        Syria is crucial to Russia’s global defense system. Without access to Syria’s gateway, and with USA missile installations now firmly in Poland, Russia is boxed in by USA and Nato allies. One cannot underestimate the worth of Syria to Russia. Will it go to war with USA over a limited strike on Syria? No. But it will NOT accept the smashing up of the Syrian army, the unseating of Bashar, a destructive invasion of Syria, or any other long-armed American/israeli/saudi ambitions there.

        @keith. Tis true that China has little influence on the middle east (though it does dominate Africa, which in returns rubs off on the Arab world), but you’re mistaken regarding Russia. Russia has a long history of friendships in the middle east: its notable friends are Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, not to mention, Iran. And Russia has much benefited from the deflated popularity of USA in the mideast since the attacks on Afghanistan – Russia’s popularity remains on the rise, while America’s reputation sinks lower and lower across the middle east.

        And you are mistaken too regarding Russia and USA “sharing” the mideast. They did it before, and America will have to do it again, with much reluctance, maybe even with violent reluctance – but share with Russia it will be forced to, by reason of the declining value of the dollar against the sanguine strength of the Roubel – by reason of the decline of the American sphere of influence over strategic Arab countries.

        Things are not what they used to be for America since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. Or, what I prefer to call the ‘Arab Spring Cleaning’.

      • Sibiriak
        August 29, 2013, 4:22 am

        American says:

        Now why would Assad who :
        1- has been winning the war against the rebels who have only been kept going by outside arms….[Etc.]

        Counter-argument. Juan Cole:

        Some have asked why the regime would risk using poison gas when it has been making gains against the rebels. But the regime’s advances are minor and tenuous. It only took the small town of Qusayr with Hizbullah help! And ‘advances’ in Homs were just scorched earth destruction of neighborhoods. They were offset by loss of a major air base near Aleppo, key for resupply of troops up there because roads north are insecure. The regime can only advance here or there, but doesn’t have manpower to take back substantial territory.

        My guess is that rebels in Rif Dimashq in outskirts of the capital were making inroads toward Damascus itself. Defensive troops are off tied down in Homs. Since the capital is the real prize and end game, the regime decided to let them know it wouldn’t be allowed.

        It is the typical behavior of a weak regime facing superior demographic forces (the Alawites are far outnumbered by Sunnis) to deploy unconventional weaponry. Although there was a risk in using the gas, the regime may have felt threatened enough to take the risk, confident that it could muddy the waters afterwards with charges that it was actually the rebels who were behind it.

        I don’t find the ‘false flag’ narrative about the gas attack put forward by the Russians plausible. Rebel forces are not disciplined enough to be sure of being able to plot and carry out a mass murder of the families that have been sheltering them in East and West Ghouta and to keep it secret. How could they have been sure no one among them would get cold feet and blow the whistle?

        Killing hundreds of women and children from your own clans would be objectionable to at least some in any group of fighters. The fighters in Rif Dimashq are not the hardened Jabhat al-Nusra types. Besides, capturing and deploying rocket systems tipped with poison gas is not so easy; even just operating them takes training.

        It is not clear what an American intervention would achieve. It is likely that Washington will conduct a limited punitive operation, perhaps hitting regime buildings with Tomahawk missiles. The latter would avoid the regime’s sophisticated anti-aircraft systems, which might be able to fell an F-18 fighter jet.

        It should be obvious, however, that any such strike would be a form of retaliation for President al-Assad’s flouting of international law. It would not actually protect Syrians from their government, and it would be unlikely to alter the course of the civil war.

        link to juancole.com

        Rebuttal:

        steerpike: If the Assad regime is close to losing the capital it is hard to see how even a few hundred rebel fighters killed in a gas attack would alter the momentum of the battle. It would have to be true desperation as any NATO bombing would prevent troop reinforcements and allow each regime area to be isolated and overrun.

        On the other hand if the war is stalemated and largely off Western television over the last few months, a gas attack blamed on the regime which pulls in NATO is just what the rebels need.

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 10:05 am

        “Why would Asad use chemical weapons when he was already doing a good job using conventional weapons?” Doesn’t make sense!

        And why would Asad use chemical weapons when the UN inspectors had only just arrived in Syria?

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Shingo,

        It’s part and parcel and breaking apart the resistor Arab countries. Any old toe-rag excuse will do. But maybe not this time.

        (And let me take this opportunity here to quickly thank you for the time and energy that you put into our Egypt debate. I think your immense input made for a variant and vibrant bouquet).

      • Shingo
        August 29, 2013, 9:53 pm

        Ditto Taxi,

        And I hope you understand that my passion about the debate stems from my concern for Egypt and the hope that it is allowed to govern independently and with the best interests of Egyptian served.

    • Danaa
      August 27, 2013, 2:33 pm

      My sincere apologies for the typos and grammatical errors. Whipped this out in a hurry and failed to edit. the sentiment I hope, still comes through.

    • Shingo
      August 27, 2013, 8:16 pm

      This piece of writing is exactly the kind of shilling we were treated to before the murderous campaign to destroy iraq and kill its people

      Same with Lybia.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 1:37 pm

        @Shingo – – Dick Cheney thought an opportunity was presented by “9/11″ to hijack Iraq. Not to “destroy” Iraq. Catastrophic civil war resulted from idiotic decision to disband Iraq army etc.

        Intent of US military intervention in Libya was not to “destroy” Libya.
        That said, I opposed invasion of Iraq and western military intervention in Libya.

  23. Daniel Rich
    August 27, 2013, 1:56 pm

    @ Ramah Kudami,

    Q: Just as ludicrous those who look to Kosovo as an example of military intervention to support it in Syria are, it is quite pathetic when so many progressives and leftists are just obsessed with supposedly false chemical weapons claims.

    R: Madam, I feel the need to object. I hope you forgive me for having that urge.

    • The IDF commits many crimes, but they are not the only army doing such horrendous things

    • Many Israelis might be racist/s, but not all of them are so.

    As such, as a simple human being, one has no choice but to tread amongst the modicums of information thrown at us mere mortals, with the inquisitiveness of a child, whilst armed with the knowledge of a mature/d adult.

    Justifying the Unjustifiable – US Uses Past Crimes to Legalize Future Ones

    Kosovo War BS – by Professor Ian Brownlie CBE, QC.

    Targeting groups is easy, debating individuals [and winning arguments] is quite a challenge.

    May peace be upon you.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 2:29 pm

      Object away. liberal imperialism alive and well in Ramah’s piece. She may get picked up by the MSNBC liberal imperialist like Maddow, Ed, Sharpton etc. Chris Matthews against using the military in this situation. He was against the invasion of Iraq although did not go out of his way to educate the public before the invasion by having El Baradei, Scott Ritter, Bryzinski, others questioning the validity of the neo cons horrendous intelligence. Kept having people like Bill Kristol, Gaffney, David Frum on and sticking it to them a little but not a lot

  24. doug
    August 27, 2013, 1:58 pm

    My estimate is that the Syria cake has been baked for a while. The forces at work here are diverse. I don’t believe Obama is the lead here but the US will contribute the bulk of the effort. The Arab League, Turkey, UK, France, the US and Israel.

    The decision has been made to sever Syria from Iran’s influence. If Iran can be nudged to get involved, so much the better. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Prepare for lots more WMD talk and scaremongering re Iran.

    Sad. I hope it doesn’t play out as badly as I think it could.

    Countries, before they initiate war, analyze the risk/benefits. This is not nor is it ever public in any country. After the decision is made the public sales pitches begin in earnest. The chem attacks provide marketing material.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 2:24 pm

      All the plans are at the Project for A New American Century website. Spend some time there reading all of the documents and letters. If Hillary gets in next stop Iran

    • seafoid
      August 27, 2013, 4:13 pm

      Taking the alawis out sounds great but a sunni vs shia 30 years war could be the result. I hope under and unemployed americans appreciate why this is more important than their economic interests. If they do attack syria will the shia take over bahrain ?

  25. Justpassingby
    August 27, 2013, 2:00 pm

    You are the last one to critize others, we all remember your support for the US/Salafi/Israel backed military coup in Egypt.

    • Taxi
      August 27, 2013, 2:57 pm

      “US/Salafirst/israel backed military coup in Egypt”. So many wrongs in this sentence, it ain’t funny. Never mind your ‘I heart Morsi and hate Egyptian people’, song and dance.

      Go Justpassout why don’t ya! Else tell me, how exactly are you gonna stop me “criticizing”? Let’s see it.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2013, 3:29 pm

      ok that’s it, i’ve been deleting OT syria comments all week and i’m not moderating any more OT egypt comments in here. we have enough to argue about.

  26. Kathleen
    August 27, 2013, 2:21 pm

    Ramah you clearly know more about Syria than I do. But from what I have read at former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit Micheal Scheuer’s website and other experts the Obama administration has no idea who the Syrian Rebels are. Scheuer and others who I am sure know more than you do about this situation have said that Al Qeada is more than likely involved with the rebels. Scheuer has strongly indicated that the U.S. support for the rebels and arming them via back doors is very much a part of why 100,ooo Syrians are dead. There have been numerous articles in the New York Bloody Times and elsewhere that the U.S. has indeed been arming the rebels etc

    “conflate Iraq” give me a break. If you do not find it not only absurd but criminal that former Senator now Secretary of State Kerry who voted for the Iraq war and has Iraqi blood all over him as well as American soldiers blood lecturing about not killing innocent people is ludicrous and in my book criminal.

    Go spend some time at the Project for A New American Century’s website where neocons basically laid out there plans for rearranging the middle east. The same bloody individuals who brought us Iraq have been and continue to push for an overt intervention in Syria. Does not matter that only 9% of Americans support such an action. Hell did not matter to our Reps that 90% of Americans supported deeper gun background checks (and that is another story)

    I am not a liberal or progressive imperialist as many so called liberal’s like Rachel Maddow are.

    It is just not logical that Assad would use chemical weapons when Obama and others have declared that this is the “red line” Just does not make any sense. This is not beyond imagination that this could be an Israeli Mossad action. The neocons and Israel have wanted to take down Syria for a very long time…they want Israel to have the Golan Heights free and clear.

    The U.S. should not put any kind of boots on the ground or militarily intervene any more than they all ready are. Best places to go to read about the Syria situation….Informed Comment, Anti-war.Com and Foreign Policy also Scheuer’s website Non Intervention

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2013, 2:22 pm

      Going to Tehran and Al Jazeera also

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2013, 11:01 pm

        Kathleen,

        Very insightful comments.

        The only thing I disagree with is your comment about “deeper background checks”

        It seems like there are strange attempts by elements in the government to gradually disarm the population. You may find this statement by Eric Holder amusing:
        link to youtube.com

        Regards.

  27. Kathleen
    August 27, 2013, 2:32 pm

    Go read” Securing the Realm A Clean Break” written up by David and Liv Wurmser, Richard Perle and I believe Douglas Feith. Syria has been on Israel’s hit list for a long time. Golan Heights

    • W.Jones
      August 27, 2013, 5:27 pm

      1996. 17 years is a long enough time to get the wheels working on invading Syria, Libya, and Iraq – something Americans would not have accepted in 1996.

  28. Keith
    August 27, 2013, 2:33 pm

    “Ramah Kudaimi is a Syrian-American activist in DC.”

    Based upon her rather obvious and shameless propaganda piece, she is clearly what Marc Ellis would probably refer to as an empire Syrian. It is well to keep in mind the extent to which empires have always depended upon satraps, compradors, and quislings to maintain control.

  29. wiserman
    August 27, 2013, 2:34 pm

    DO tell them that Syria , like Libya and Iraq before it, is scheduled for destruction by this Israeli plan, once again using Zionist control of Washington to get the job done with US taxes and power:

    link to cosmos.ucc.ie

    Also see: link to america-hijacked.com

    • W.Jones
      August 27, 2013, 4:36 pm

      It’s in the 1996 Document “Clean Break”, which said that the process of breaking down Middle Eastern countries was to begin in the early 2000’s.

  30. Castellio
    August 27, 2013, 2:48 pm

    And to get the most recent and detailed version of how a war is caused and for what reasons, please read: link to counterpunch.org

  31. Annie Robbins
    August 27, 2013, 2:49 pm

    in all fairness taxi i think ms Kudaimi possibly suffers from a rather romantic notion of the opposition in syria. iow i think she may just have a blind spot and not realize who’ s holding up the show over there. for example link to twitter.com

    Ramah Kudaimi ‏@ramahkudaimi 1h

    i have a rule of not engaging apologists, whether they be for the regime in israel or syria

    note how she doesn’t realize she’s inadvertently supporting nusra, unless she’s just in complete denial. (see link upthread “not only does Idriss lack authority over his own commanders, but that the SMC “is a total non-entity” inside Syria.”) so it sounds like she has no problem accusing non interventionalists of being assad “apologists” but she likely doesn’t include herself as being an apologist of nusra. and she’s ignoring all the syrians who are in the syrian army, as if they have no agency and don’t chose to fight for syrian army, not to be confused w/the ‘free syrian army’ made up of so many foreigners.

    anyway, i don’t think she’s intending to align herself w/israel, not based on her past postings here link to mondoweiss.net

    • Walid
      August 27, 2013, 3:23 pm

      Annie, there is a valid opposition in Syria as it hasn’t always been clear sailing under the current regime as those in opposition were kept in their place. Ramah could be part of this legitimate opposition. It’s regrettable that some in the Syrian opposition associated with the foreign terrorists that were brought in to help take out the regime. I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

      We can’t lose sight of the fact that had the regime made meaningful changes in the new constitution 18 months ago, the situation would not have deteriorated to this point.

      • Taxi
        August 27, 2013, 4:01 pm

        Walid,

        Qif Nabki on Syria:
        link to qifanabki.com

        (Qifa Nabki = How we weep)

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 27, 2013, 8:05 pm

        “(Qifa Nabki = How we weep)”
        Allow me Taxi but this is not so. It’s not Kayfa Nabki (How we weep) But the opening two words (قفا نبك) of a famous poem by the Jahilit (pre-Islamic) Imru’ al-Qais (إمرؤ القيس) in which he addresses his two* companions to stop and and weep at the memory of the beloved and her home now gone:
        قفا نبك من ذِكرى حبيب ومنزل بسِقطِ اللِّوى بينَ الدَّخول فحَوْملِ
        Sorry for the nit picking.

      • Inanna
        August 27, 2013, 11:07 pm

        @ Taxi: I always wondered if Elias Muhanna’s name for his site came from this line of poetry:

        Qifa nabki min thikra manzilin wa habibin?

        Seems to me lots of people in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen know how that feels.

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 2:13 am

        Inanna,

        You’re absolutely correct: Muhanna’s site’s name was taken from the line of poetry you quote above – I think the poem’s been turned into a song too – but it’s a famous line, for sure.

        Qifa Nabki is probably the smartest blog on the middle east out there. Elias Muhanna is a more thoughtful and measured analyst than Angry Arab. Smart commentators on Qifa Nabki too.

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 2:25 am

        “Qifa nabki min thikra manzilin wa habibin? .”

        The poem from pre-Islamic times by Imru al-Qays relates how he arrived too late at his love’s oasis only to find that she and the tribe had moved on to another pasturage.

        Here’s a bit more of it; after verse 22, it starts getting spicy:

        The “Mu’allaqa” of Imru al-Qays

        ١ قفا نبك من ذكرى حبيب و منزل بسقط اللوى بين الدخول فحومل
        1. Stop here, you two!
        Let us weep for the memory of a beloved and a campsite,
        Where the sands spin to an end, between al-Dakhūl and Hawmal,

        ٢ فتوضح قالمقراة لم يعف رسمها لما نسجتها من جنوب وشمال
        2. And Tūdih and al-Miqrāt, whose traces have not been erased,
        By the southern and northern winds which whipped across them.

        ٣ ترى بعر الارام في عرصاتها وقيعانها كانه حب فلفل
        3. You see the fesces of white gazelle in the desolate spaces,
        And the sunken tracts, (sprinkled) like peppercorns.

        ٤ كاني غداة البين يوم تحملوا لدى سمرات الحيّ ناقف حنظل
        4. As if I, on the morning of departure, when they loaded (their camels,)
        Near the tribe’s acacia trees, was splitting colocynth.

        ٥ وقوقا بها صحبي عليّ مطيهم يقولون لا تهلك اسى وتجمل
        5. My companions stopped there their mounts for me,
        Saying: “Don’t waste yourself grieving . . . control ourself!”

        ٦ وان شفائي عبرة مهراقة فهل عند رسم دارس من معول
        6. Surely my cure will be tears poured out;
        So at an effaced trace is there a place for weeping?

        ٧ كدابك من ام الحويرث قبلها وجارتها ام الرباب بماسل
        7. As was your habit before her, with Umm al-Huwayrith,
        And her neighbor, Umm al-Rabāb, at al-Ma’sal.

        ٨ اذاقامتا تضوح المسك منها نسيم الصبا جاءت بريا القرنفل
        8. When the two of them arose, musk emanated from them,
        A gentle breeze diffusing the sweet scent of cloves.

        ٩ ففاضت دموع العين مني صبابة على النحر حتى بل دمعي محملي
        9. Then tears flooded my eyes from a delicate longing,
        (Cascading) down my throat until they soaked my sword’s sheath.

        ١٠ الا رب يوم لك منهن صالح و لا سيما يوم بدارة جلجل
        10. Aahh… Did you not spend many an excellent day with them?
        Especially that day at the Juljuli estate.

        ١١ و يوم عقرت للعذرى مطيتي فيا عجبا من كورها المتحمل
        11. Or the day I butchered my mount for the virgins,
        What a sight were its saddle and load!

        ١٢ يظل العذرى يرتمين بلحمها وشحم كهداب الدمقس المفتل
        12. So they spent the night tossing its meat around,
        And fat like the fringe of a tightly-twisted, raw-silk robe.

        ١٣ و يوم دخلت الخدر خدر عنيزة فقالت لك الويلات إنك مرجلي
        13. Or the one day I entered the howdah, the howdah of ‘Unayza,
        And she said: “Shame on you! You’ll force me to walk!”

        ١٤ تقول وقد مال الغبيط بنا معا عقرت بعيري يا آمر القيس فانزل
        14. She was saying, as the camel saddle swayed under us together,
        “Oh Imrū al-Qays! You’ve butchered my camel, get down!”

        ١٥ فقلت لها سيري وأرخي زمامه ولا تبعديني من جناك المعلل
        15. So I said to her: “Strip me and loose its reins,
        Don’t drive me away from your twice to be tasted fruit.

        ١٦ فمثلك حبلى قد طرقت ومرضعا فألهيتها عن ذي تمائم مغيل
        16. I’ve had sex with pregnant women, like you, while nursing,
        I distracted her from an amuleted, one-year old boy.

        ١٧ إذا ما بكى من خلفها آنحرفت له بشق و تحتي شقها لم يحول
        17. When he cried behind her, she turned to him,
        With half her body, while the half under me didn’t turn.”

        ١٨ و يوما على ظهر الكثيب تعذرت على و آلت حلفة لم تحلل
        18. Or the day on the back of a sand dune, she drew back from me,
        And swore an oath which was never broken.

        ١٩ أفاطمة مهلا بعض هذا التدلل وإن كنت قد أزمعت صرمي فأجملي
        19. Oh Fatima! Be slow to act so boldly!
        And if you’re determined to cut me off, do it skillfully!

        ٢٠ وإن كنت قد ساءتك مني خليقة فسلي ثيابي من ثيابك تنسل
        20. If it is some characteristic of mine which has upset you,
        Then draw my clothes from yours (and) they’ll slip away.

        ٢١ أغرك مني أن حبك قاتلي و أنك مهما تأمري القلب يفعل
        21. Don’t you know that love of you is killing me?
        And whatever you command (my) heart (to do), it does?

        ٢٢ و ما ذرفت عيناك إلا لتضربي بسهميك في أعشار قلب مقتل
        22. Your eyes only shed tears to strike,
        With your two shafts, the pieces of my slaughtered heart.

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Thanks for the correction, thankgodimatheist.

        I confused Qifa (stand) and Keefa (how). My Arabic ‘fos-ha’ is comci-comca :-)

        So, Qifa Nabki would translate: Stand and Weep.

        Close enough?

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 2:37 pm

        Taxi, google the rest of the poem to see what comes after verse 22; you’d like the other 60.

      • Taxi
        August 28, 2013, 2:51 pm

        Walid,

        Are you referring to the sexy verse?

        I was surprised to find it there. But how appropriate, and how very natural and beautiful – and sad.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

        Exactly Walid. The tragedy is that the gangs of fundamentalists/Jihads and other AlQaida affiliates quickly occupied center stage and overshadowed or pushed to the sides those who genuinely wanted change. It scared the hell out of many (among whom are the minorities who have most to lose) who put things in the balance and thought that the risks of a medieval overtake of Syria outweighs the evils of a autocratic Baath party regime.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2013, 12:56 pm

        walid, of course i am aware there is valid opposition in syria. i especially recommend everyone open the author’s #7 link link to jadaliyya.com by Bassam Haddad, which is excellent.

        i was addressing the author’s implications, both with her statement DON’T in any way say or imply both sides are wrong
        (note she frames this as 2 sides, assad being one side, which places all pro opposition as the other side..that is not my framing, it is hers)

        and, in her tweet, anyone not identifying on that ‘side’ (which includes the salifists) is therefore an assad ‘apologist’. but by that same standard, she does not see herself as a salafist apologist. (and i am not accusing her of being one here, that is not my intent). i just think, as i mentioned before, she’s possibly got a blind spot by not realize who’ s holding up the show militarily for the opposition, and rooting for them inadvertently does support those unsavory characters.

        also, from the awesome #7 link she supplies:

        If reasonable people can rightly assert that the Syrian regime is something of the past because of its domestic horrors, why are we not rejecting wholesale the repetition of such patterns today—ultimately of exclusionary/reactionary groups—in the name of liberation? Even if some of the answers are understandable from an analytical/explanatory point of view, they are increasingly unconvincing politically. Time is of the essence. Unless a more “revolutionary” attitude takes hold in Syria—one that is focused on liberation and not confined to revenge—what has been happening in Egypt during the past year in this regard, will prove to be a blissful picnic compared to Syria’s future, with or without this regime.

        how can we support the noble revolution of the syrian people in the middle of this battle between assad and these militias which are backed by massive foreign influx of weapons, that’s destroying the country?

        the only way out as i see it that will not cause more bloodshed is a negotiated diplomatic end. but that opportunity has been CLOSED by the opposition from the get go, by the ‘revolutionaries’ she seeks to represent. it’s a horrible situation but one in which everyone not cheering on the opposition, she defines as ‘apologists’. that’s problematic rhetoric.

        and this by Haddad: reasonable people can rightly assert that the Syrian regime is something of the past

        reasonable people should grok the Syrian regime is not of the past, it’s very present. and moving forward by skipping over this, by insisting he step down (when it’s clear he won’t!), by not negotiating a diplomatic end..is very stubborn, very deadly, and not ‘progressive’ in my book.

    • ToivoS
      August 27, 2013, 3:51 pm

      annie you are so diplomatic. Good for you. It is very puzzling to see how the civil war in Syria and the coup in Egypt has fractured the anti-imperialist progressives into a bewildering constellation of factions. The only thing these factions seem to agree on is criticism of Israel’s colonial project in the WB. I can see why MW is so hesitant to open threads on Egypt, Syria and Libya.

      Perhaps a little patience is required in these debates. But this school marmish list of do’s and don’ts from Kudaimi is a bit much to take.

      Also a little advice to Kudami: if you continue to be a Syrian-America activist who continues to work the DC circuit it will only be a little while before you will find it convenient for your “cause” to tone down criticism of Israel. If you have any political talents (certainly not demonstrated here) you will probably find some lucrative offers to work in one of those well funded Zionist think tanks. It may take a few years, but you are on that road today.

      • Danaa
        August 27, 2013, 4:22 pm

        ToivoS – I agree – and lament that fracturing of the progressive base. But i also happen to think that didn’t just happen. There is something very deliberate in all this. And the the person of Obama as president is part of it.

        Interestingly, I have no problem arguing with Taxi’s take on Egypt, and did so while staying reasonably civil enough as she was in her reply to my points. Egypt is complicated and our disagreements reflect the disagreements between different views in Egypt, I’m sure. But note that on Syria, and the obvious hand of israel in urging and supporting the visiting of a total calamity on that country, people like Taxi and I are on the same page.

        Progressives, by definition, will have different takes on different issues. Those disagreements are there partly because , on a gut level, we may reject a authoritarianism in principle, but on a practical level can still recognize that there are different realities in different places, and people will read them differently. Personally, I am glad that taxi brought up her viewpoint since it precipitated lots of interesting and well-thought out responses, and I got a window into the complex reasons why some would prefer a military coup (it still was a coup, taxi) to potentially increasingly authoritarian Islamic rile. In Egypt, people really choose the lesser evil, and it is on what that is that they differ. much as taxi and I would – me using South America as a model for why the easier answer – the “strong-man military” approach, is not a good one, and her arguing that basically, the alternative would be that much worse.

        But Syria, I’ll note is not so complicated for us to not see the man behind the screen. Yes, there can be a day-after should Assad win, where arguments will rage about how much lee-way to give the people of Syria in electing governments, including the possibility of more islamist leaning ones. But better have that argument then the lament that would follow the complete destruction of the country, which is what’s being planned now. Whatever day-after will arrive then will not be a happy one for Syrians and I just can’t for the life of me see how people like Kudami refuse to see that.

        One conclusion is that her progressivism is either skin-deep or easily swayed. not unlike the Obamabots infesting dailyKos, but on much graver matters – for both Syria and the US.

        PS most real progressives also consider Snowden actions to be heroic and are cheering Greenwald et al on. But some don’t, and those are the ones I consider to be pretend-progressives, ie, progressive as long as convenient.

      • ToivoS
        August 27, 2013, 4:59 pm

        Syria may be a simpler case but there is a strong left wing movement in Europe that supports the Saudi financed insurrection. The Socialist Workers Party (this is descended from the Trotskyists from the last century and is not just a small cult like it is in the US) is most active on behalf Salafi rebels. Juan Cole continues to support the rebels but he does display a little queasiness when the subject of Saudi Arabia comes up.

        With respect to “progressives” in the US that are knee jerk backers of Obama policies there is definitely some of that. However, most of the Democrats that I have encountered who support our ME policies were never in my mind progressives. They are right wing Democrats that have been around for a long time. Do not forget it was a Democratic President who led the nation to war in Vietnam and he was, at least for the first few years, enthusiastically supported by his own party. That wing of the party is alive and well.

      • yrn
        August 31, 2013, 6:13 am

        ToivoS
        It is very puzzling to see how the civil war in Syria and the coup in Egypt has fractured the anti-imperialist progressives into a bewildering constellation of factions. The only thing these factions seem to agree on is criticism of Israel’s colonial project in the WB.

        You Nailed it, and the reasons.
        1. Israel is the only open democratic journalism free country in the area, that lets anyone to get all the information they want, so it’s easy to attack once you have the access to the Anti Israeli Information you wanne get, the Israelis are much more critic regarding their society then anyone here, and it’s all been published for those who want’s to use it to spew as much as they can, the issue is that Israelis do it, in order to fix those issues, while those progressives are using it for their hate spew on Israel, so we know this issue and sites like MW are known and looked as one of those and no one takes them seriously or gives them any attention .
        2. Israel is the only place in the ME that acts according to western standards, you can understand and align too, look at the surrounding country’s, those progressive liberal minds, cannot understand dictators moves and the results, see how they all cheered regarding th “ARAB SPRING” they analysed in their progressive western views, that did not have any connection to what the political culture in this region looks like or how it behaves, and thought that their blocked head progressive mind fits to those dogmas.
        3. there are amny and many here too, who use the criticizing of Israel, because of hate they can direct to hate Israel.

        See suddenly how Israel is accused in the Syrian butchery, as Israel is guilty for the butchering of 100,000 and those millions of refugees.
        Once those block progressives have someone to blame (usually from a culture they know as the us and Israel), their progressive blocked routine is coming out, see suddenly how many comments are about Syria, but not about the butchery or how to save Syria, but criticizing …… no matter who.
        Annie’s writing that because this Progressive site, did not have a clear view on Syria, they did not published anything or discussed it makes the point clear.
        As if they don’t have a mind and a heart to say what they have about 100,000 dead and millions of refugees, if it dose not fit any dogma in their progressive block.

    • aiman
      August 28, 2013, 7:36 am

      Good analysis, Annie.

      Also Kudaimi bashing “the left” on her recent twitter for not jumping on the warhorse is eerily reminiscent of the “principled left” baying for war against Iraq. Read Eusten Manifesto, Hitchens, Michael Gawenda and Pamela Bone.

  32. Keith
    August 27, 2013, 3:18 pm

    An article today at Counterpunch is highly relevant to the Syrian situation:

    “In the 1980s, Prince Bandar was deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in Nicaragua and it his intelligence agency that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February. Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for Syrian rebel factions in pursuit of the eventual toppling of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Reportedly, the Saudi-Zionist discretely coordinated effort, confirmed by Congressional staffers working on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee as well and the US Senate Foreign Relations committee, is being led by Bandar protégé, Adel A. al-Jubeir, the current Saudi ambassador and facilitated by Bahrain ambassador Houda Ezra Ebrahimis Nonoo, who is the first Jewish person, and third woman to be appointed ambassador of Bahrain. Long known, for having myriad contacts at AIPAC HQ, and as an ardent Zionist, Houda Nonoo has attended lobby functions while advising associates that the “Arabs must forget about the so-called Liberation of Palestine. It will never happen.

    The project has set its sights on achieving American involvement in its third and hopefully its forth (the Islamic Republic) war in this region in just over one decade.

    Labeled the ‘surgical strike project”, according to one Congressional staffer, the organizers, as of 8/26/13 are blitzing US Congressional offices with “ fact sheets” making the following arguments in favor of an immediate sustained air assault. They are being supported by the increasingly anguished cries from neo-cons in Congress such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their ilk.

    Sources in Iran and Syria has advised this observers that they expect the US bombing to commence within 72 hours.” (Franklin Lamb)
    link to counterpunch.org

    • Shingo
      August 27, 2013, 8:23 pm

      Bandar is proving to be the Saudi equivalent of Kissinger and Cheney.

      I ambit one to wish death upon anyone, but a stray bullet in his direction might be the most stabilizing event for the region.

      • James Canning
        August 28, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Ironic situation, given that Bandar was one of Aipac’s greatest enemies, when he was Saudi ambassador in Washington.

    • seafoid
      August 28, 2013, 1:36 am

      “Iran will not response other than verbally and has no history of attacking the US or Israel and would not risk the unpredictable consequences of a military response by the Republic Guards or even some of its backed militia in Iraq or Syria. ”

      Very interesting how the Saudis see it. The bots say Iran wants a second Holocaust…they can’t both be right…

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 2:42 am

        seafoid, Iran and Hizbullah will not react to a surgical strike that would only serve to get it out of everybody’s system. But if a “shock and awe” à la Baghdad starts happening, both will let loose with everything they have.

  33. DICKERSON3870
    August 27, 2013, 3:29 pm

    RE: “Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria”

    MY COMMENT: I initially supported the “humanitarian” intervention into Libya, but very soon afterwards I began to very much regret it after seeing the way the U.S. and its allies flagrantly, grotesquely, and shamelessly abused the UN Security Council resolution on Libya (authorizing member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone) in order to instead pursue their own “regime change” agenda.
    Frankly, it was disturbingly reminiscent of Israel’s “intervention” in Lebanon in the summer of 1982.*
    Consequently, as I see it, the U.S. and its NATO allies absolutely cannot be trusted to intervene in Syria in a responsible manner.
    Because the U.S and its NATO allies so badly abused “responsibility to protect” (R2P or RtoP) in regards to Libya (much like they abused the right to “defend” themselves by invading Iraq), I simply cannot support any intervention under any circumstances on their part no matter how seemingly deserving the purported beneficiaries of such intervention might be.

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Lebanese Civil War]:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel launched Operation Peace for Galilee on 6 June 1982, attacking PLO bases in Lebanon. Israeli forces quickly drove 25 miles (40 km) into Lebanon, moving into East Beirut with the tacit support of Maronite leaders and militia. When the Israeli cabinet convened to authorize the invasion, Sharon described it as a plan to advance 40 kilometers into Lebanon, demolish PLO strongholds, and establish an expanded security zone that would put northern Israel out of range of PLO rockets. In fact, Israeli chief of staff Rafael Eitan and Sharon had already ordered the invading forces to head straight for Beirut, in accord with Sharon’s blueprint dating to September 1981. . .
    . . . By 15 June 1982, Israeli units were entrenched outside Beirut. The United States called for PLO withdrawal from Lebanon, and Sharon began to order bombing raids of West Beirut, targeting some 16,000 PLO fedayeen who had retreated into fortified positions. . .
    . . . The fighting in Beirut killed more than 6,700 people of whom the vast majority were civilians. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    P.S. ALSO SEE – “‘Violent chaos’: Libya in deep crisis 2 years since rebels took over”, RT.com (Russia Today), 8/26/13
    LINK – link to rt.com

  34. DICKERSON3870
    August 27, 2013, 3:30 pm

    RE: “Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria”

    REGARDING A HACKED E-MAIL (DATED DECEMBER 24, 2012) INVOLVING A QATARI SCHEME TO STAGE A FALSE FLAG CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK IN SYRIA, SEE:
    “Britamgate: Staging False Flag Attacks in Syria”, Voltaire.org [original source - Oriental Review (Russia)], 2/04/12

    [EXCERPTS] On January 22 a telling leak cropped up in the Internet. British defense contractor’s BRITAM server was hacked and megabytes of classified internal files of the firm were released to the public. . .
    . . . The key finding is a mail dated December 24, 2012 sent by Britam Defence’s Business Development Director David Goulding to Dynamic Director of the firm Phillip Doughty, who is a former SAS officer:
    Phil
    We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
    They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

    Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
    Kind regards
    David

    To clarify the things, CW is a standard abbreviation for Chemical Weapons; ‘g-shell’ is a bomb consisting of an explosive projectile filled with toxic gas.
    Taking into account the memorable Barack Obama’s warning that the ‘use or even transportation of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would represent a “red line” that would precipitate military intervention’, a message he reiterated last month after the election to the second term, the plotted operation, if carried out, would provide an ideal pretext for the foreign intervention into Syria. Israel has voiced the same warnings last week.
    Who would perpetrate the video-recorded delivery of CWs to Homs? The text of mail clearly indicates that they would use Britam’s Ukrainian personnel for forging videos. . .
    . . . Summing up these facts we can conclude that a provocation in Syria is the only option left for the war-mongers. Having exhaustive information on the real situation in Syria and being aware of inability of the corrupted rebel group to make any significant change in Damascus, they have nothing to do but hire a second-rate British PSC for another round of dirty job. We have no doubt that numerous tragic ‘revelations’ of atrocities committed by ‘pro-Assad army’ that were repeatedly hitting YouTube for the last two years, were also ‘ordered’ for enormous fee to the former British ‘berets’. The latest leakage deserves thorough investigation and consideration on the top international political level. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to voltairenet.org

  35. American
    August 27, 2013, 3:37 pm

    One question….is there anyone here on this blog that does not recongize that we are seeing the exact same *crock of shit* that we saw cooked up for Iraq?
    Anyone?

    It’s moving even faster this time, without even the slightest ‘pretense’ about UN approval or trotting out any ‘nameable sources of evidence’, no it’s all ‘evidence’ for their eyes only. Secret dont ya know for ‘ intell security reasons.’

    BWTTGASO

  36. bilal a
    August 27, 2013, 3:52 pm

    GOP ex presidential hopeful and Bsh nemesis P Buchanan asksat TAC, who benefits?

    “The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?

    To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad’s, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.”

    Cui Bono?

    Israel.


    Cohen discovered research by a Dutch journalist that proves that Ness Ziona had an important scientific component devoted to the study of nerve gas toxins. It also specialized in chemical agents that could incapacitate individuals for periods of time. Such weapons were used regularly by the Mossad when it kidnapped and transported individuals from Adolph Eichmann to Mordecai Vanunu to Israelis who spied for the enemy, back to Israel for trial. It was used as recently as 2011, when Mossad agents incapacitated Dirar Abusisi after kidnapping him in Ukraine and shipping him on a plane in a coffin to Israel.
    link to richardsilverstein.com

  37. American
    August 27, 2013, 3:56 pm

    One more question.

    If everyone, partculary Israel who kept pushing the chemical fear to begin with , was so concerned about chemical weapons, we didn’t they take out the chemical storehouses in one those now FOUR premptive airstrikes they have made on Assad weapons depots?
    Why? What were they waiting for except to find a way to get the US involved?

    • JustJessetr
      August 27, 2013, 8:16 pm

      You simply don’t “take out” chemical weapons depots. Blowing them up just spreads that sh*t all over. The proper scientific way to dispose of CW takes a great deal of time and care.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 8:22 pm

        JustJessetr says:
        August 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm
        You simply don’t “take out” chemical weapons depots. Blowing them up just spreads that sh*t all over. The proper scientific way to dispose of CW takes a great deal of time and care.”’

        That what I thought ….just giving example of the ‘hokey’ crap going on about it.

  38. W.Jones
    August 27, 2013, 4:22 pm

    Israeli Officials: We’d Prefer Al-Qaeda-Run Syria to an Assad Victory
    Zach Pontz, The Algemeiner, June 4, 2013

    Israeli officials are voicing their concern over Bashar al-Assad’s recent advances in his country’s civil war, Israeli Army Radio reported. According to Israel Hayom, senior Israeli officials were quoted as saying that “al-Qaeda control over Syria would be preferable to a victory by Assad over the rebels.”

    The fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America, the NEW Algemeiner serves as a valiant media voice addressing the most compelling issues of our time, with vision, integrity and moral clarity.
    link to algemeiner.com

  39. rws450
    August 27, 2013, 4:36 pm

    To the question posted slightly above “Does anyone not recognize …. the crock of shit … ?”
    Apparently the author of this post does not.

    Here are a couple alternative ‘dos':
    1) DO be suspicious of any “resistance” movement which calls for support from NATO forces (the old imperial gang).
    2) Do check reliable sources. Counterpunch has been pretty good. From Lebanon, al-akhbar ( http://english.al-akhbar.com) seems fact based and progressive.

  40. Dan Crowther
    August 27, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Happy to see the collective MW community ripped this article to shreds; so many mistakes, incorrect assumptions, and of course, the extreme authoritarian streak present throughout.

    Kids touch hot stoves BECAUSE they’re told not to – it’s about time “pwogwessives” stopped making “what to do” and “how to do it” lists, especially when they’re as poorly informed as this author.

    • aiman
      August 28, 2013, 7:41 am

      “especially when they’re as poorly informed as this author.’

      Not poorly informed. Fiercely ideological.

    • Walid
      August 28, 2013, 2:24 pm

      You guys are being overly harsh on R. Kudaimi, especially the part that she’s some kind of Zionist plant. Ramah Kudaimi worked as Membership and Outreach Coordinator at US Campaign to End the Occupation, has worked at several grassroots activist organizations including CODEPINK, the Washington Peace Center, and the Arab American Action Network. Doesn’t have to take a blood test to prove that she’s not a Zio. Appears to dislike the regime to the point of siding with any party willing to take it on. How many Americans voted for Bush II?

      • Danaa
        August 28, 2013, 9:12 pm

        If Kudaimi is so keen on taking out Assad at any cost, it is fair to question how high the cost is that she is willing to accept.

        It seems that:

        1. nearly 1 M refugees,
        2. over 120,000 dead (an underestimate surely)
        3. secularism abolished
        4. many cities destroyed including precious, irreplaceable antiquities
        5. christians persecuted and priests beheaded
        6 a reign of terror descedant upon numerous cities occupied by terrorists forces
        7. Incredible misery all around
        8. Destruction of the economy
        9. potential break-up of the country
        10. becoming the playground for israel’s special forces intent on marching into Iran and destroying what they can.

        Are not enough. She actually wants the people 0f her own country bombed to smitherins. That I’m afraid is disgusting beyond measure, and there can be no excuse for that.

        Whatever credentials she ever had with regard to anti-occupation etc are now seriously called into question.

        We shouldn’t be so naive as to think there are no sleeper agents among the left and the anti-zionist crowd. Code Pink probably has quite a few of them, working their way “up the ranks”. As does the End the Occupation group and no doubt JVP etc. In fact, what you are telling me, Walid, convinced me that she has been indeed deployed as a sleeper, woken up like a sleeping beauty when the opportunity came. Something tells me I might know what the magic potion was, too.

        We had these kind of agents when Iraq happened and Libya and kosovo and surely we’ll have them come out of the woodworks when lebanon is the target**.

        I can’t believe Walid, that you, the master of all cynics and a true connoseur (sp?) of proper conspiracies, step in – if gingerly – for the author of this piece of disingenuous inciting dribble, masquerading as tender loving care for Syria. That is the Syria populated by the 10 people left over when all is said and done. All of whom, mind you, seem to be living quite comfortably outside Syria, and are ready to move back as soos as the road is clear and the country suitably decimated..

        Those calling for scorched earth campaigns to achieve their aims, should not be surprised when we look askance at their aims – including the ones not quite in the open. We understand that people like her are, for some reason, consumed with hate for assad. such we have seen for example among the Cuban exiles. Still, for the life of me I can’t see assad as any worse than any number of piggish, ruthless, racist monarchs in the ME, who for some reason think they can be mistaken for butterflies. Assad made mistakes I agree. Which he seemed willing enough to correct, but never given a chance before armed Jihadis were sent in to sow terror among the citizens. Are any of the other tyrants admitting errors or proceeding with even the appearance of reforms? Is abdullah? or what’s his name – that fellow who is ape-ish bandar’s boss or the bozo reactionary who rules over Bahrain as if it was one of his harems? where are Kudaimi’s clarion calls for the ouster of the Saudi Arabian tyrants + endless broods? the Quatari slave masters, the Bahraini “emirs” or the midget king of jordan? Silence of the lambs is what I hear.

        Now if Kudaimi called for unleashing the bombs-of-Empire on Bahrain or Saudi_Arabia, I just might give such calls a second look (a look, not approval! me no like bombs, even on worst designated bad-boys-de-jour).

        Come to think of it, funny that there never seem to be any exile groups of saudi Arabians or Gulf state refugees calling for the ouster of their own kings, queens, princes and sultans by any means possible. Where are those exiles, BTW? anyone seen any lately? heard a peep from them? may be they all are hiding in iceland working for the new Wiki-East?

        __
        ** Walid, if i ever find that you have been one of them sleepers I’ll declare an abrupt end to the game we know as our universe (bye-bye pretty galaxies too…). So there…

  41. Kathleen
    August 27, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Going to be very interesting to hear how the liberal imperialist Maddow, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton a great deal of the time, possibly O’Donnell, Martin Bashir the folks on the Cycle with the exception of Ari Melber will I will bet go with let’s go into Syria. Not Chris Matthews, Ari Melber or Chris Hayes. The rest are all about being liberal and just when it comes to domestic issues but when it comes to U.S. foreign policy Maddow, Schultz etc can be extremely aggressive and neocon like.

    Hope folks listen to that alleged bastion of liberalism at MSNBC tonight at report back here at Mondoweiss what they are hearing on NPR, MSNBC and elsewhere about Syria. To attack or not to attack that is the question. Liberal imperialist will be all about attacking. Chris Matthews shared last night (Monday) he was against. Gave a great rant on his closing remarks “Let Me Finish” last night (monday) Hope folks listen and report back

  42. W.Jones
    August 27, 2013, 5:24 pm

    1. Both sides are wrong and we would be supporting sectarian violence like we did in Iraq.
    2. Iraq and Syria are similar cases. The US invaded Iraq over nonexistant WMDs, now apparently it can invade without even that weak a claim.
    3. Is concern about the rebel fundamentalists being intolerant and persecuting people an “obsession”? What about the videos and photos of the fundamentalists killing many civilians and reports about Christian clergy killed?
    4. The US has failures regarding syria, such as backing the rebel groups, and more bombs is only going to hurt the population.
    5. Yes the US has the hypocisy mentioned.
    6. Yes, there is a conspiracy, going back to the 1996 Clean break document demanding attacks on Syria. BTW, What does it mean the US is training a “few” fighters?
    7. I admit the Syrian people are brave enough for opposing the foreign proxy intervention.
    8. I encourage people to donate to charities that are aware of and oppose the fundamentalists.
    9. I encourage people to support the petition to Obama for the fundamentalist forces to release the Christian bishops they kidnappened.
    10. I am confused what the Syrians’ “struggle” is, if most Syrians want Assad to be their president instead of having some kind of chaos. What about many Syrians’ struggle on behalf of their government?

  43. RoHa
    August 27, 2013, 7:14 pm

    The US lied to us about the Gulf of Tonkin, and Australia followed the US into the Vietnam war. The US lied to us about Iraq, and Australia followed the US into the Iraq war. Australians are dying in America’s war in Afghanistan.

    So now our pollies are saying about Syria, “Not this time, mate”, aren’t they?

    Aren’t they?

  44. just
    August 27, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Leave Syria alone– they have enough troubles and death without the “west” contributing more mayhem and destruction; we do it well and need to stop.

    Israel should shut it, too. They cannot be trusted any more than the “west’ can.

    My hopes are for an end to the slaughter from and in all 4 corners of the earth.

    • aiman
      August 28, 2013, 7:43 am

      Amen.

      ‘Israel should shut it, too. They cannot be trusted any more than the “west’ can.’

      Not to mention Saudi Arabia.

  45. American
    August 27, 2013, 8:12 pm

    Architect of plan for cruise missile strikes against Syria opposes carrying it out
    by News Sources on August 27, 2013

    The Cable reports: The United States appears to be closer than ever to deploying a series of surgical strikes on Syrian targets. But a key architect of that strategy is seriously and publicly questioning the wisdom of carrying it out.

    In the last 48 hours, U.S. officials leaked plans to several media outlets to fire cruise missiles at Syrian military installations as a warning to the Syrian government not to use its chemical weapons stockpiles again. On Sunday, Sen. Bob Corker, who was briefed by administration officials twice over the weekend, said a U.S. “response is imminent” in Syria. “I think we will respond in a surgical way,” he said. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to set the groundwork for a U.S. military incursion.

    Now, a former U.S. Navy planner responsible for outlining an influential and highly-detailed proposal for surgical strikes tells The Cable he has serious misgivings about the plan. He says too much faith is being put into the effectiveness of surgical strikes on Assad’s forces with little discussion of what wider goals such attacks are supposed to achieve.

    “Tactical actions in the absence of strategic objectives is usually pointless and often counterproductive,” Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, said. “I never intended my analysis of a cruise missile strike option to be advocacy even though some people took it as that.”

    “I made it clear that this is a low cost option, but the broader issue is that low cost options don’t do any good unless they are tied to strategic priorities and objectives,” he added. “Any ship officer can launch 30 or 40 Tomahawks. It’s not difficult. The difficulty is explaining to strategic planners how this advances U.S. interests.”

    In July, Harmer authored a widely-circulated study showing how the U.S. could degrade key Syrian military installations on the cheap with virtually no risk to U.S. personnel. “It could be done quickly, easily, with no risk whatsoever to American personnel, and a relatively minor cost,” said Harmer. One of the study’s proposals was cruise missile strikes from what are known as TLAMs (Tomahawk land attack missiles) fired from naval vessels in the Mediterranean.

    The study immediately struck a chord with hawkish lawmakers on the Hill who were frustrated with the options outlined by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey that required a major commitment by U.S. military forces with a pricetag in the billions.
    [Continue reading...]
    link to warincontext.org

    • American
      August 27, 2013, 8:47 pm

      P.S.

      Yea, what he said…”The difficulty is explaining to strategic planners how this advances U.S. interests.”

      So if anyone wants to let off stream over this call congress toll free —
      1- 877- 762 -8762 and ask to be connected to your rep.
      Ask to speak to the foreign relations ‘aide’ who is of course never available, so just ask the staffer bot –who are we attacking Syria for, Israel or Saudi or both?
      The bot will either say they arent privy to the congressman’s position on this, which will be a lie so see if you can find the congressmans statements on Syria before you call —–or —-they will try to give you some song and dance about how it’s the US’s moral obligation to save the people of Syria.
      Then you can say..’ listen honey/buddy—- the US has been letting the
      midget nazis in Israel kill the army-less Palestines and sending them white phosphorous for years to drop on women and children and you are handing me this ‘moral US “claptrap about saving civilians? ….what?.. you think all your constitutents are stupid, we all fell off the turnip truck yesterday?…is that it…. we’re all stupid? Well, this is soooo insulting, (huff, huff) and you tell him/her the next time he holds some campaign rally here I”m gonna make him explain to us why he thinks we’re all stupid!….must be cause we voted for him..only reason I can think of!”
      Have some fun…vent.

      • Taxi
        August 29, 2013, 2:45 pm

        LOL! American fonester strikes again!

    • James Canning
      August 28, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Bravo, Chris Harmer.

  46. pipistro
    August 28, 2013, 3:07 am

    “It is therefore time for the United States to take meaningful and decisive actions to stem the Assad regime’s relentless aggression, and help shape and influence the foundations for the post-Assad Syria that you have said is inevitable.”

    (A quick look on this should be illuminating.)

    link to foreignpolicyi.org

    • seafoid
      August 28, 2013, 3:58 am

      Super link.

      A few house Muslims, the neocons and the bot regulars.

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 4:15 am

        Surprisingly, Wafa Sultan is not one of the illustrious signatories.

    • aiman
      August 28, 2013, 7:49 am

      I only recognised Paul Berman, BHL and Karl Rove on that list, but they should be enough for Hugh’s Three Bad Things: link to rivercottage.net

    • just
      August 28, 2013, 8:11 am

      Yuck– a known cabal. From your link and just before the bit you quoted:

      “Left unanswered, the Assad regime’s mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America’s red lines are only empty threats. It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us– one that will certainly embolden Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable.”

      Thanks pipistro for the link to this thoroughly predictable manifesto that is an incitement to more war and deaths of innocents………more war and death that we should not even be considering, imho.

      We will lose, just as we have over and over and over.

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 8:29 am

        “…It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us– one that will certainly embolden Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable…”

        It’s all about Iran, Iran, Iran. An obsession. These guys must see Iran in their dreams.

      • Walid
        August 28, 2013, 8:36 am

        Another touching letter addressed this week to President Obama by the leader of a pro-US party in Lebanon:

        Dear Mr. President,

        There is a reason why most people on this planet look up to the United States of America. There is a reason why even “opponents” line up, ever hopeful, at every U.S. Embassy in the world, for a chance at their own (American) dream. The United States of America was literally born as a cry for human rights, a shout for freedom, and a pledge to protect and enforce these two founding principles. And indeed the U.S. has delivered, having stood against and defeated every major form of tyranny on this planet. But some tyrants do remain, Mr. President.

        Syria’s regime forces, led by President Bashar Assad are currently engaged in ethnic cleansing, mass rape, systematic torture (including infants) leveling cities on their inhabitants and, last but not least, using highly virulent nerve gas, causing mass civilian casualties – a “red line” you yourself have cautioned against. Dramatically, U.N. inspectors (now dubbed un-inspectors) were within a short driving distance.

        The immediate result is obvious. Just like Darkness is the absence of Light, Evil wins when Good abstains … and innocent lives are lost in Syria’s mass hecatomb, in the most horrific of ways, with the bodies piling up right in front of us, on every TV screen. Another consequence of the U.S. and the Free World’s inaction is the complete and thorough falling apart of every tenet they have stood for, proselytized, enforced and turned into acquired birth right.

        Decades upon decades of cultural, social and political efforts, countless resources spent in preaching human values to developing nations, and then … the teachers fail the test. Miserably. Yet (presidential) time is given to a cat’s predicament. It is already too late for more than 100,000 (increasing daily) dead. You could have done something for them Mr. President, but you did not. The massacre has been ongoing for two-and-a-half years.

        There are many reasons, including legal ones, stopping you from doing what all U.S. presidents have done before you: ending tyranny and mass murder. None of these reasons were valid for them, and none should be valid for you. The very term “reason” says otherwise.

        There are millions of other victims-in-wait in Syria. For them, there is still hope. That hope is that the commander in chief of the United States of America, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” will exercise his “duty to protect.”

        In the name of God, in the name of Good, for the sake of humanity, we urge you. Do something.

        Samir Geagea

        Chairman

        Lebanese Forces Party

        Read more: link to dailystar.com.lb
        (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

      • seafoid
        August 28, 2013, 9:27 am

        There aren’t so many names from the civil war still on the scene. I’m sure if Hobeika were still alive he would have signed that letter.

  47. Taxi
    August 28, 2013, 3:23 am

    Is this what we got ourselves into now, dear Americans? Every president we vote in from here on ‘must’ smash at least one Arab army while in Office, despite our mass rejection for any further involvements in ME wars? What’s the difference between an American president forcing the majority of Americans into a war they reject, and Saddam Hussein forcing a war against Iran on the Iraqi people.

    We need to re-examine our definition of ‘dictator’ and ‘democracy’.

  48. mcohen
    August 28, 2013, 7:01 am

    Mrw

    yes the eye in the sky,no escape from that one hey.they only can see what they are shown.
    evidently there are people who specialize in performing especially for those cameras.
    The call them satacts
    this article including this site is a bit off at the moment
    must be that nsa thing ding

    • Shingo
      August 28, 2013, 11:00 pm

      evidently there are people who specialize in performing especially for those cameras.

      You evidently are new to show business and propaganda films.

  49. Walid
    August 28, 2013, 1:29 pm

    “Yes, they are still around, seafoid, and each is either the head of a major political party and/or is holding an important office in the government that gives them immunity against all forms of prosecutions and each grooming a heir to take over. Hobeika (Sabra-Chatila) was also in the LF.

  50. Taxi
    August 29, 2013, 1:44 am

    Today, Syria has announced that if it gets struck by USA tomahawks, then the first defensive missile will be launched at israel.

    Russia warned today that it will “defend” (notice: not protect, but defend) its Russian residents in Syria.

    Iran too said it would attack israel and other conspirator countries against Syria, should Syria be attacked.

    Well, I’m 68 miles away from Damascus and 36 miles from Quriat Shamona.

    In case the poop hits the fan, I’ll be there right between the two sides.

    No, I’m in no hurry to pack my bags yet. I’ll pass all info I gather to MW folks – if israel doesn’t strike or scramble Lebanon’s internet stations.

    • American
      August 29, 2013, 11:36 pm

      @ Taxi

      I would tell you to stay safe —but doubt you would listen to me….lol
      So at least use your instincts and be smart while you’re running around the countryside.

      • Taxi
        August 30, 2013, 2:59 pm

        @American,

        Thanks buddy.

      • Shingo
        August 30, 2013, 5:53 pm

        Ditto Taxi,

        Stay safe. I still want to see you down under.

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 3:01 am

        Thanks, Shingo. You betcha!

        I heart Australia.

    • eljay
      August 30, 2013, 10:36 pm

      Well, I’m 68 miles away from Damascus and 36 miles from Quriat Shamona.

      In case the poop hits the fan, I’ll be there right between the two sides.

      Be safe.

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 1:33 am

        Thanks, eljay.

        If hizbollah wasn’t in control of security in the south, if hizbollah didn’t have anti-aircraft missiles, which will be used against israeli jet fighters for the first time in the next ‘big one’, I’d be outta here in a shot.

        My plan is NOT to let the israeli terrorists determine my travel plans. I will decide when I leave and when I stay, not the freakazoid zionist bullies.

      • RoHa
        August 31, 2013, 2:01 am

        “if hizbollah didn’t have anti-aircraft missiles, which will be used against israeli jet fighters for the first time in the next ‘big one’, ”

        I hope you’re right about that.

      • jon s
        August 31, 2013, 5:07 am

        Taxi, ever since I wished you a long life, I feel vaguely responsible…so, please stay away from those anti-aircraft missile sites. Not safe.

      • Walid
        August 31, 2013, 6:26 am

        “so, please stay away from those anti-aircraft missile sites. ”

        Logically, those sites wouldn’t be that close to the border.

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 6:50 am

        jon s,

        I feel as safe in south Lebanon as I would in LA or New York.

        Actually, I feel safer in south Lebanon than you do down there in occupied Palestine.

        You really need to take your own advice on this one – but thanks anywayz.

    • Walid
      August 31, 2013, 12:43 am

      “Today, Syria has announced that if it gets struck by USA tomahawks, then the first defensive missile will be launched at israel.”

      Taxi, Syria has been attacked over and over and over again and each time it said it would do something awful to the ones attacking it, but it never has. In the last 40 years of the occupation of its Golan, it hasn’t fired a single shot at the occupier to liberate it; au contraire, it had been buying tens of thousands tons of Golan-grown apples from it for about 5 years under the pretext that the purchase was helping Golan-Syrians growers sell some of their apples.

      If any party does respond in any way to an attack on Syria, it will be Hizbullah and Iran together or none at all. From the ongoing chatter, it’s looking like the US is “begging” just about everyone to allow it to let loose for show, a few shots at Syria without any of Syria’s friends retaliating to allow it to save face. Kerry more or less declared it that the US has now backed itself in a corner to do something. The Russians have been evacuating their people for months, so don’t expect anything out of them.

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 1:14 am

        Walid,

        If the usa attacks in an attempt to unseat Asad, then expect an attack on israel. This is existential for Syria, not a pin-prick by israel here and there.

        @ sean,

        I’m “peddling” the fact that hizbollah intends to “liberate Galilee”, and it can – at the right time. These people don’t make promises they can’t keep. And you’ve yet to be educated on the resistance group that smashed israel idf several times over. Go read up on the Levant.

      • Walid
        August 31, 2013, 10:28 am

        Taxi, lots of speculation in the press that the US will hit a few insignicant locations to save face, which means that nothing would be happening from Hizbullah/ Iran. Supposedly Syria made a Nasrallah-type threat about an airport for an airport and so on but these aren’t being taken seriously because of Syria’s reputation of doing nothing when attacked. Its confusing because the US wants to even the playing field between the regime and the rebels but the only way it can do that is by shutting down Syria’s airports, which would make the hits on them very significant. All this to say that nobody really knowns what will happen except for Obama. Every reaction and what scope of reaction or no reaction will depend on what Obama decides. He has really backed himself into a corner on that one.

        Are your hosts stocked-up on sugar, flour, gasoline and mazoooot?

      • seanmcbride
        August 31, 2013, 11:03 am

        Taxi,

        I’m “peddling” the fact that hizbollah intends to “liberate Galilee”…

        What does that mean exactly?

        You said earlier:

        Hizbollah is coming to tel aviv and “beyond and beyond and beyond”.

        Are you predicting that Hezbollah is going to destroy the state of Israel?

        What scenario precisely are you envisioning?

      • Taxi
        August 31, 2013, 11:51 am

        Walid,

        There may be a way that Obama can save face without assaulting Syria: if he can put aside the (doubtful) intelligence that he’s referred to, and stretch out the time some: taking the legitimate (but slow) UN investigative train to establishing beyond any doubt:
        1- What specific chemical weapon was used.
        2- Who fired it
        3- Who supplied it.

        He has a way out if he lets the UN determine the facts first – which will take some time to accomplish, lessening therefore the pressure on Obama by the warmongers in his camp to act pronto and kill some Syrians to teach Bashar a lesson.

        Mindful here that Putin has ridiculed the USA’s accusation that Bashar used chemical weapons, and his objections get louder with every military maneuver that USA forces make in and around the Mediterranean.

        *Walid, I live in a rented, small farmhouse on the outskirts of a village, in the beautiful south of Lebanon. I’m well stocked up on imperishable foods (flour, pulses, rice, oil, tea, etc) , plus there’s a small orchard of a variety of fruit trees on the grounds, plus I’ve been growing a year-round organic veggie garden, plus I’ve got some 18 adult chickens, one cockerel and 11 chicks (getting daily fresh eggs), so I should be okay. There’s also a natural well at the bottom of the garden. I have several spare gas bottles for cooking. I have plenty of Mazot and 4 rechargeable batteries that service the house, independent of government electricity. I have lots of books to read if the internet gets cut off, and a large DVD library. I also have a battery operated radio, candles. Also, there’s a gardener’s cottage on the property too, and my gardener, who is 32 years old with wife and two children, served in the Syria army and functions as guard too. AND, I had the foresight when I was in LA packing to come here, to buy some very expensive ear plugs, the kind that heavy metal drummers use :-)

        I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the bucolic life here for the past 2 years – glad I got a chance, as a committed urbanite all my life, to experience a completely different lifestyle: natural and with absolute minimum consumerist activities. I’ve kept myself busy here and there by teaching basic English reading (free of charge, of course) to some 5 illiterate, African ladies, who live/work in the village. I’ve also rescued eleven wild dogs, got them all doctored and inoculated, gave them basic canine training, found homes in nearby farms for ten of them and kept one – she’ll be going back to LA with me. My lease for the farm house expires end of September, but I’m about to extend it for another six months. Why not?! It’s both quiet and very politically exciting living around here ;-)

  51. yrn
    August 29, 2013, 4:04 am

    Dear Progressives.
    How are you going to save the Syrian people ?
    What are your thoughts regarding ASAD that already butchered 100,000 of his own people and caused millions of refugees.?
    What are your action plans. ( flotilla and other actions ) ?

    • Shingo
      August 29, 2013, 5:19 pm

      What are your thoughts regarding ASAD that already butchered 100,000 of his own people and caused millions of refugees.?

      My first thought is that you are lying.

      1. Syria is having a civil war, so there is killing being perpetrated by both sides

      2. Close to half the rebels are foreign fighters, not his own people

      3. The rebels, who have been highjacked by foreign jihadists, refuse to talk to Assad.

      • yrn
        August 30, 2013, 4:36 am

        Great Answer, this is what I expected from as typical Mondowiess progressive knowledgeable member.

        Ballistic missiles fired by the Syrian military are hitting populated areas, causing large numbers of civilian deaths, including many children. The most recent attack Human Rights Watch investigated, in Aleppo governorate on July 26, 2013, killed at least 33 civilians, including 17 children.
        the government used at least 131 long range surface-to-surface missiles between December 2012 and early July.
        after government forces attacked a number of towns in Idlib in April 2012, we documented the execution of 35 people
        7,000 people executed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict.
        Human Rights Watch has investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks on populated areas that killed at least 215 people that local residents identified as civilians, including 100 children, between February and July.
        link to hrw.org

        Human Rights Watch has investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks on populated areas that killed at least 215 people that local residents identified as civilians, including 100 children, between February and July.

      • Walid
        August 31, 2013, 1:29 am

        “Human Rights Watch has investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks on populated areas that killed at least 215 people that local residents identified as civilians, including 100 children, between February and July.”

        yrn, how did the HRW complete its 9 investigations with no staff members actually on the ground in Syria? Hope it’s not relying on the phone-videos released by the rebels.

      • Shingo
        August 31, 2013, 1:49 am

        Ballistic missiles fired by the Syrian military are hitting populated areas, causing large numbers of civilian deaths, including many children.

        That still doesn’t prove Assad has killed all the 100,000 casualties thus far. In fact Allepo has been under siege by the rebels and the population is at risk of starvation.

        we documented the execution of 35 people
        7,000 people executed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict.

        HRW does not state that all were executed by government forces only and does not stipulate if they were fighters or not.

        Human Rights Watch has investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks on populated areas that killed at least 215 people that local residents identified as civilians, including 100 children, between February and July.

        That’s 215 killed over 5 months. The war has been gong for 2 years, so extrapolating, that would make roughly 1000 killed by ballistic missile attacks.

        So what happened to the other 99,000?

      • talknic
        August 31, 2013, 9:58 am

        @ yrn In civil wars unfortunately there are civilian casualties. It’s usually called collateral. In Israel’s war against the Palestinians for instance it’s always because the militant factions are hiding amongst civilians. Can you say this is not so in Syria?

        Executions? Common in a civil war or any war. Unfortunately collaborators get short shrift.

        BTW this is also from the HRW report “Opposition groups have also carried out executions. While we were in Aleppo, opposition fighters executed four men whom they suspected of belonging to a pro-government militia, according to videos and interviews with opposition leaders. They executed a fifth man close to where we were staying, claiming that the five men had been members of a pro-government militia. ” You missed it ?

        When we hear over and over from Israeli propagandists that there have been over 100,000 deaths, one needs to remind ones self, not all are by the Assad regime.

        Civil war is ugly, just like belligerent occupation.

      • yrn
        August 31, 2013, 12:22 pm

        talknic
        Well you are the first one here that mentions the issue , that Israel in it’s WARS (many forget that Israel is still in a war conflict with the Palestinians and refer all the issues as the casualties are coming out from no where),
        Palestinian militant factions are hiding amongst civilians, this is no secret and well known and from an Israeli prospective, it’s something we Israelis are not used to, as you can see that Israel is concerned first that no casualties are going to take place in from the Israeli Citizens, you can’t even imagine that Israeli militant factions will be hiding amongst Israeli civilians,
        This is an issue of culture how you look on your own people and your concerns regarding their life.
        So I expect that the same issue happened in Syria too, but as in those dictatorships, you don’t have anyone that can explore or get any Idea you can never know what realy happened there.

        Regarding the buchery in Syria, no doubt that the one who started the buchery and had the real heavy force to do it is ASAD, if you take the UN report, as they are the most neutral here
        ““This massive loss of life could have been avoided if the Syrian Government had chosen to take a different path than one of ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians,” said the High Commissioner.”
        The evidence is conclusive that the al-Assad regime is committing intentional crimes against humanity. Among the crimes the al-Assad regime is committing are: indiscriminant, widespread attacks on civilians, arbitrary detention of thousands in the political opposition, genocidal massacres of whole villages of Sunni Muslims, rape of detainees, widespread torture- including torture and murder of children- and denial of food, medicines and other essential resources to civilians.

        The Alawite government of al-Assad believes it is about to lose all power in a zero-sum, winner take all revolution. Its massacres have become genocidal. Early warning signs and stages of genocide in Syria are:

        Prior unpunished genocidal massacres, such as those perpetrated by Assad’s father in Hama in the 1980’s;
        Rule by a minority sect – the Alawite sect that supports Assad – with an exclusionary ideology
        Systematic human rights atrocities;
        Fear by the ruling elite that any compromise will mean total loss of their power;
        Deliberate targeting of particular groups — Sunni Muslims and army defectors;
        Denial by the Syrian government that it is committing crimes against humanity, blaming “foreign – inspired terrorist gangs” for the armed conflict.”

        No one says that the Butchery is only done by ASAD, but as the one who started the butchery and holds the heavy military force is roll in this tragedy is much higher then the others.

  52. clairseoir
    August 29, 2013, 9:46 pm

    As a progressive, my plans for Syria do not include bombing the hell out of them. It’s a pity this thread hasn’t included a more closely-read critique of the author’s extremely UNprogressive analysis. This includes her ludicrous estimation of rebel force composition, and somewhat slippery implication that if you object to heart-eating Jihadis you are playing into Assad’s hands (my anti-islamist credentials are impeccable, by the way, and honestly acquired, going to back to my support for the Soviet Union’s defence of the Afghan revolution – an admirable endeavour, long ago drowned in blood by the CIA and their Jihadi mercenaries, for which the author would have had, I suspect, scant relish). Her bizarre insistence that the slogan “Hands Off Syria” somehow mischaracterizes the nature of the struggle, and her blasé attitude to the immeasurable suffering an American attack would engender, indicate both a sneaking regard for U.S. imperialism and make her professed concern for the Syrian people somewhat suspect. What particularly sets my teeth on edge, however, is the insufferably prescriptive tone of the piece, and her insistence (expressed on twitter) that people who disagree with her should keep silent, and thus do obeisance to her self-declared monopoly on discourse: having been raised in Chicago and educated in Georgetown may have something to do with this arrogance.

  53. Walid
    August 31, 2013, 1:08 am

    “It’s a pity this thread hasn’t included a more closely-read critique of the author’s extremely UNprogressive analysis. ”

    Clairseoir, if she’s so extremely something not to your taste, what was she doing working for CODEPINK and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation? So she dislikes Assad’s regime to the point of rooting for the head-cutting rebels in the hope of removing it from power, (which I think is a wrong move), but there are millions that think like her. Her piece may have had you gnashing your teeth, but it still kicked off a discussion on Syria of over 300 posts in just a couple of days; at least give her credit for that.

    • Taxi
      August 31, 2013, 1:17 am

      Walid,

      The “author” is an infiltrator. Wearing hijab, speaking good English and going to DC demos, is a good way to get sympathy from certain mideast anti-war groups.

      Anyone can be a codepinker. Just contact your local codepink station and viola! You’re a member.

  54. Djinn
    August 31, 2013, 1:31 am

    I’m confused, 319 comments on an article about a country all the Ziobots keep insisting folks at MW refuse to discuss?

  55. yrn
    August 31, 2013, 4:33 am

    Djinn

    JUST WAITED FOR THIS COMMENT, TO LIGHTEN THE HYPOCRISY AND PATHETIC FACE OF THIS SITE.
    Look back , Hostage the saver of this site, indicated that the last article regarding Syria was publish in this progressive site on 22 of July 2013 and 4 more articles in TWO YEARS.
    There was Nothing or no one that anything say about the Butchering of 100,000 Syrians or the millions of refuges.
    Annie Robins wrote a week ago, that she was frightened to publish issues regarding Syria and many sent here the STFU answers AND SINCE THE SITE DID NOT HAVE A CLEAR POLICY REGARDING SYRIA, IT WAS SHHHHHH.

    So give me abreak, once they find someone to blame the US here we go.
    Non speak about the 100,000 killed,
    You don’t even see how hypocrite and pathetic you are.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 31, 2013, 6:30 am

      not even close, no cigar.

      Annie Robins wrote a week ago, that she was frightened

      no, i said link to mondoweiss.net

      needless to say this can be quite frustrating at times.

      i never said i was frightened. and i also did not say since the site did not have a clear policy regarding israel it was “shhh”.

      you initiated this “shhh” claim: link to mondoweiss.net

      yrn says:
      August 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

      That’s horrible News, even worse then the News coming in from Syria , that shhhh….. not a word here.

      and in my reply/explanation i stated: part of the reason is that we (staff) are not all in the same certainty wrt syria. there have been times i have written about it and we got a TON of negative feedback…………so, it is not a shh, it could just mean there’s not enough certainty.

      but hey, if you’re going to try laying a “HYPOCRISY” trap, don’t forget archives are available to everyone by clicking on a commenters name and using the search engine.

      some may think caps are impressive, but when you lie and misconstrue it may comes back to bite you.

    • Shingo
      August 31, 2013, 7:25 am

      There was Nothing or no one that anything say about the Butchering of 100,000 Syrians or the millions of refuges.

      At least you’ve stopped lying about Assad having killed all 100,000.

    • eljay
      August 31, 2013, 8:30 am

      >> Non speak about the 100,000 killed …

      Alright, let’s get a few things on record:
      1. I condemn any indiscriminate killing of Syrian individuals by government forces. I gather you do, too.

      2. I condemn any indiscriminate killing of Israeli civilians by Palestinians. I gather you do, too.

      3. I condemn any indiscriminate killing of Syrian individuals by opposition forces. Do you?

      4. I condemn any indiscriminate killing of Palestinians by Israeli government forces. Do you?

      5. I condemn the terrorism and ethnic cleansing employed by Jews to create an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine. Do you?

      6. I condemn the supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel’s 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. Do you?

      7. I condemn the supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel’s refusal:
      – to be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes;
      – to honour its obligations under international law; and
      – to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace.
      Do you?

      And, finally: When you have a moment, please share – for my benefit and for the benefit of other visitors to Mondoweiss – your profound insight on what being Jewish means. Thanks.

    • Djinn
      August 31, 2013, 9:25 am

      Take a deep breath yrn and count to ten. That’s what I always tell small ignorant children having a tantrum.

      Once you’ve done that have a think about why you insist on polluting this site given the value you place on it. No-one is forcing to read/post here. You could try, you know, f**king off. No-one will try to stop you.

  56. Sammar
    August 31, 2013, 1:32 pm

    Danaa

    I am new here, but if I may make a few remarks regarding your post. I live in the ME and I travel extensively around the Arab countries.

    There are opposition groups in Saudi Arabia but it seems they are mostly religious fundamentalists who oppose even the slightest attempts by their rulers to bring Saudi Arabia out of the Stone Age where SA still resides as far as human rights and the emancipation of women are concerned.

    The Gulf countries are a different matter. The UAE for example has autocratic rulers that are smarter than their counterparts in many Arab countries. They provide for their population and enable them to have a good living standard. The government there provides jobs, free medical care and free education. Ultimately, all those “revolutions” are less about a quest for “freedom” than a quest for better living conditions for the masses.

    As for Jordan, King Abdullah cannot be compared to dictators like Saddam or Mubarak or Asad. There were serious protests in Jordan for a while, although nowhere on the scale of protests in neighboring countries. As long as they remained civil and did not escalate into violence and destruction of property the government took no measures to suppress them. And they mostly were a reaction to cancellation of government subsidies for oil which raised prices for everything. I can assure you that the majority of Jordanians do not feel “oppressed” but rather complain about unemployment and poverty. Jordan is a poor country without natural resources and even lacks the most important commodity of all – water. Sure, there is corruption in Jordan and better management of available means could improve the overall economic situation, but the current government under PM Ensour has made serious efforts in that regard. Improvement cannot come overnight, and I think the outcome of the uprisings in the countries around Jordan has put a damper on similar ideas in Jordan. People have started to realize that just removing the people at the top in exchange for others who have no qualification and no idea on how to run a country is not the best possible way to improve their living conditions.

    To come back to Syria, Obama has backed himself into a corner and is now damned if he does strike and damned if he doesn’t. I also do not believe that the Asad regime is responsible for chemical attacks on civilians. Asad may be many things, but he is neither stupid nor suicidal. It makes absolutely no sense for Asad to try and involve the US in the conflict. It makes all the sense for the rebels.

    There is quite a bit of chatter on the internet pointing to Bandar of SA providing chemical weapons to the rebels. I don’t think it is any secret that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been fueling the conflict and funneling financial support, foreign mercenaries and weapons to the opposition. And still the regime was gaining ground in the last few months and Obama was dragging his feet in involving the US and their Western allies in the conflict. Thanks to Obama’s promise of involvement should the “red line” be crossed, the use of chemical weapons blamed on the regime presented itself as a solution.

    I would also like to point out that quite a sizeable part of the Syrian population still strongly supports the Asad regime. This was not the case in Iraq or Egypt or Libya.
    This is ultimately a fight for power and control of the country, one side wants to retain power and the other side want to obtain it. It may have started out as an uprising for freedom but it has long been hijacked by groups with their own agenda. Ordinary people have become cannon fodder for both sides.

    I think there is little doubt that chemical weapons have indeed been used. Now we have the US saying that they know “for sure” that it was Asad who used them. And we have Russia calling it “nonsense” and claiming they have proof- satellite images and such- that it was the rebels who used them.
    I can for the life of me not understand why the US and Russia do not present their evidence to the UN to prove their case.

  57. Sammar
    August 31, 2013, 1:41 pm

    Another interesting aspect of the Syrian conflict:

    The whole article can be read here:

    link to theguardian.com

    I am posting a relevant excerpt:

    “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
    Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines

    The RAND document contextualised this disturbing strategy with surprisingly prescient recognition of the increasing vulnerability of the US’s key allies and enemies – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt, Syria, Iran – to a range of converging crises: rapidly rising populations, a ‘youth bulge’, internal economic inequalities, political frustrations, sectarian tensions, and environmentally-linked water shortages, all of which could destabilise these countries from within or exacerbate inter-state conflicts.

    The report noted especially that Syria is among several “downstream countries that are becoming increasingly water scarce as their populations grow”, increasing a risk of conflict. Thus, although the RAND document fell far short of recognising the prospect of an ‘Arab Spring’, it illustrates that three years before the 2011 uprisings, US defence officials were alive to the region’s growing instabilities, and concerned by the potential consequences for stability of Gulf oil.

    These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of his Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

    Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

    The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

    It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

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