"The military wing of the U.S.-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC), an umbrella opposition group fighting against President Bashar Assad, has flatly rejected a proposal by Russia which would see the regime hand over control of its vast chemical weapons stockpiles to international control to avoid U.S. military strikes.
After more than two and a half years of bloodshed in Syria which has left more than 100,000 people dead and millions displaced, the Russian initiative was announced Monday and quickly agreed to by Assad's government." CBS News
Yes. The SNC, some of John McCain's little friends, rejects the possibility of the removal from the country of the weapons that they insist have been used by the Syrian government. Does this strike anyone as odd? pl
Because once the chemical weapons are removed, Assad goes “all in” with a new offensive crushing the SNC once and for all.
Like the Iraqi National Congress, the SNC will flit around in political Hades in Washington or London until the next Village Idiot convinces himself/herself that he/she is the “new” Churchill.
McCain’s little friends will get an ever increasing amount of weapons courtesy of Uncle Sam. If the intelligence is credible on the recent amounts of weapons delivered as being the largest and best coordinated, should make McCain do the happy dance.
Could this be the handy work of Stanley A. McChrystal “Chairman of the Board of Siemens Government Systems, and is on the strategic advisory board of Knowledge International, a licensed arms dealer whose parent company is EAI, a business “very close” to the United Arab Emirates government” (Wikipedia)
NY Times has an op-ed by V. Putin!
Also GUARDIAN has TS memo of understanding between US and Israel given the latter access to raw intel info.
No one had authority IMO to sign this agreement with Israel and could it be treason?
Come come, Israeli experiments have conclusively established the toxic effects on any peace process that having an actual partner for peace entails.
Obama didn’t have the consent of the Senate when he issued his ‘red line’ why would he care what Congress would think about this?
Does Israel get a copy of the whole data stream, raw from the splitters?
Be mindful that it is Israel that developed and has Narus, the gear the NSA uses to parse the raw data.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narus_(company)
If so, then Israel has a political tool for intrique and corruption unequaled in the history of the world. If so, Israel gets everything all of us do, think, and say without our permission, control, or knowledge including our voices, images, and documents. If so, the FISA Court is fully irrelevant. All anyone at NSA who has the authority to ask Israel is to ask about an American, any American, including Congress, the Supreme Court, and companies. If Israel is getting the raw stream, it contains everything and it is a total end run around any rule of law.
Ask your Congressperson to demand the truth. We will only get answers if Congress gets it emails, telephones, and faxes clogged with demands to get this matter straightened out.
As a poster on the thread following the Guardian report on the NSA/Israeli intelligence memo, there was a redacted signature from the Israeli side, but none was to be seen – even redacted – from the NSA side. Things that make you go, hmm. Here’s the link to the original Guardian post, drawn from revelations from Edward Snowden and the journalists working carefully to pick through the materials in a responsible way; i.e., no accusations that they imperiled lives (in contrast to traitor Pollard, who had no such scruples…):
Note the careful oversight regime in this agreement with our lil’ pals. It’s a “Special Relationship”, doncha know. Yep, more special than our rights under the Constitution, apparently.
Next the terrorists will be claiming that Syria had/has a secret nuclear weapons program.
NBC broadcast an interview last night of a young Tunisian transiting Turkey on his way to the Jihad in Syria. Once there, if he survives, he joins the cadre of trained, experienced and radical Sunni Jihadists. Their sworn enemy #1 is the USA. America’s priority should be keeping these young men back at home or in jail if they break the law (like being smuggled into Syria). It is flat out crazy to be supporting them and Al Qaeda. This blew back 12 years ago, it will blow back again.
America’s current policy is insane mixture of greed and hubris; topped by stupidity.
“No one had authority IMO to sign this agreement with Israel and could it be treason?” Sir, I fear it will soon be arranged that having the above mentioned opinion will be considered treason. And congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen will haunt your nights forever more.
File this under “what a fucking surprise”.
Sarcasm aside, yes, I do think it is very odd. If Assad has indeed done what the powers that be claim he has, his opponents should be happy to see those weapons taken from him. I could understand if they expressed disappointment that they aren’t getting more help, but to actually oppose the removal of Assad’s weapons suggests some pretty shady motives on the opposition’s part.
Are we truly going to find out it was some foreign salafist group that was creeping around gassing people?
The last paragraph of Putin’s article is pretty interesting (actually, the whole thing is well crafted), as he is speaking directly to the notion that the US is a special, indispensable country.
400,000 tons of weapons, not supplies or communication equipment, going over the border from Turkey into Syria recently. It is all over the blogs and places worth watching. That’s a chunk hard to ignore. All supervised by US Special Forces trying to make sure they end up in friendly hands, but its an exercise in futility. Radicals rule over there.
Of course the rebels will oppose Assad handing over chemical weapons to UN. Its their only leverage to get the international community involved. But at least they know it will never happen. They know their opponent more than we do. So does the rogue elements in Assad camp, they will always keep their stash whatever Assad does and make sure the rebels know it.
Seems like the rebels are going to need more pictures of dead children in huge numbers for something to happen.
It begins again?
Sir, these quotes are also in the article.
“We ask that the international community not be content with withdrawing chemical weapons, which are a criminal instrument, but to hold the perpetrator accountable and prosecute him at the International Criminal Court,”
“Removing the criminal tools is one matter and holding the criminal accountable is another,”
I could be naive, but I have a difficult time reading this as a rejecting the possibility of removing the weapons from Syria.
You may be closer to the answer after reading this from long time keen observer John Pilger, who concludes quoting Judges at Nuremburg:
“Individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity.”
What is the duty of those in authority, and who shall judge or sanction any breach, in the country described in the AIPAC Dirty Tricks post?
With regards to Israeli spying this ain’t nothing new, only the scale of the criminaly and violation of our rights is. Short video on Amdocs Comverse Infosys operations on U.S. soil.They are active in all anglo-american countries, we’re fucked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H20Naj176M0
Also note the news on the firing of a Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about her having recevied a Ph.D. She had been quoted by Kerry and McCain in Congressional testimony regarding the ‘moderate’ elements in the Syrian rebel forces. Nobody bothered to check her credentials and just took an op-ed she wrote for the Wall St. Journal as gospel.
I have two maybe explanations. First, if the CW is removed, then the US bombing is off. McCain and Graham told their little Syrian friends that they had extracted a promise from Obama to bomb Syrian military sites sufficiently that the rebels would be able to eventually win. As former Congressman Dennis Kucinich described it recently on Fox TV, the U.S. would become, in effect, “the Al Qaeda Air Force.”
Second, maybe all these reports of Syrian rebels possessing their own chemical weapons is really true and they don’t want to turn over their own Saudi-supplied CW.
A public prosecutor completed his indictment as part of the probe into the chemicals seized in the southern province of Hatay on Sept. 12, claiming that jihadist Syrian rebel groups were seeking to buy materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas.
The indictment, which included transcripts of several phone conversations between the suspects involved, said that a 35-year-old Syrian citizen, identified as Hytham Qassap, established a connection with a network in Turkey in order to procure chemical materials for the al-Nusra Front and jihadist Ahrar al-Sham Brigades.
The indictment rejected the legitimacy of the suspects’ claim that they were unaware the chemicals they tried to obtain could be used to produce sarin gas.
Perhaps I should mention that all TS and compartmented information in the Executive Branch and DoD and State and DoJ is automatically NOFORN!
COMSEC also all NOFORN!
I do not know her but they seem a shoddy outfit. pl
Yes, as to both reasons. The only pretext they (U.S., Britain, Saudi A., Qatar, Israel, and France) could think of that might fly was chemical weapons, and Obama and Kerry, et. al., have been pounding the table insisting that this is only about chemical weapons and has nothing to do with helping the [foreign] opposition gain ground and an advantage against the Syrian army. Now they are stuck, as their only justification is gone if the Syrian government’s chem. weapons are neutralized. This also makes it harder for the opposition to pull off another manufactured and false flag poison gas event inside Syria or over the border into Israel, or to use such weapons against the Syrian army, once Syria’s gas stockpile is embargoed.
400,000 tons equal 16000 truckloads of stuff. Are there that many 18 wheelers in service in the area. Would take over 1000 trucks to do this.
I thought they already did. Didn’t Israel bomb some mystery structure in the middle of Syrian desert, claiming that it was a nuclear reactor?
b: At the end of the day, it’s all about arguing-from-authority. See http://warincontext.org/2013/09/12/the-new-truthers-americans-who-deny-syria-used-chemical-weapons/
Money quote: “After all, the VIPS are also contradicting the considered judgment of the British, French and German intelligence — not to mention respected independent analysts like Eliot Higgins. Even the cautious-to-a-fault Human Rights Watch has confirmed the regime’s culpability in August’s sarin gas attack.”
Notice that all this agreement tells you nothing about the facts.
BTW, the attempt to call skeptics “truthers” fatally undermines the argument.
um, try reading that from Assad’s point of view given the declarations against him before you accept the notion of him negotiating such a thing with a country, just as is the FSA, not a member of the ICC, that JUST started actually arming the latter.
Whats’ the french Chacon son gout?
The War In Context writer never saw a war he didn’t like. He was pro-war on Libya and iirc the Afghanistan surge.
A por-interventionist “liberal” who, if you scratch the surface, turns out to be a McCarthy-rist.
Yes, it sounds like a lot of trucks, but spread over a few weeks or more in multiple trips per day per truck, it is plausible and there are a lot of trucks in the area since all commercial distribution of goods are done by trucks. I will do a source check though, and post here. I came across that number both in Turkish press and several obscure blogs I follow.
Reading the quotes, I do not see how the article can be read as SNC not wanting chemical weapons removed.
IMO the issue is not whether the rebels would like the chem weapons removed. The issue is their non-acceptance of such a deal as de-fusing the crisis in which the US was likely to attack the Syrian governmwnt. pl
Quoting Eliot Higgins and HRW !!!
funny Ken Roth scratching Brown Moses back and vice versa.
“Cautious HRW” – may we remind them about all their “errors”. Google is a very good tool for that.
She is a 26 y.o “expert” on Syria, brainwashing the likes of Sen McCain and SOS Kerry about how good the opposition is.
It’s because of her piece in WSJ that Kerry used that got him being called a liar by Putin. AQ is not that “dangerous” amongst the rebels.
Another Judith Miller or may be Shaha Riza, peddling false news for their own goals, in this case her thesis for her PhD.
In Vietnam I thought that one of the problems was that we were playing chess & the NVA were playing Go. In Syria think that the Russians are playing chess & we are playing Pong – much noise & activity & little result.
I was never even a good checker player; but, even I can see the bizarre moves ahead. When we say that we’ll “punish” Syria if they don’t quickly agree to the removal of their chemical weapons, it is in the interest of the rebels and, unfortunately, many of our politicians to prevent Syria from giving up those weapons.
Just transfering the control & security of the weapons to another entity will be extremely difficult in the middle of a messy civil war. The actual destruction of the weapons will take a long, long time. We have spent decades disposing of our stockpiles & are not finished.
It will be interesting to see what conditions Kerry sets as acceptable. That will indicate rather the US is more interested in removing Syria’s chemical weapons capability or regime change.
beaver: HRW and Amnesty International have lost credibility as they have became useful tools of governmental policy. They mean well, but it gets awfully lonely in London and New York when you turn a critical gaze on your home country’s actions. Far better to denounce the Bad Guy Over There.
Or as we say in Texas: Don’t sh*t where you eat.
I second that last point. While we don’t know if the rebels were behind the chemical attack, if they were the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons would also eliminate any cover the rebels have for further provocations.
Sorry to come back to this but I was in a rush this morning but now I did some more digging.
Here we have politicians and monday morning quater back bloggers quoting HRW and how good the NGO is and the same bloggers doubting the judgement of teh VIPS, and then I read this :
“an unemployed finance and admin worker who spent his days taking care of his child at home”, being the “expert” for HRW
or how good an analyst he is wrt Arab Spring, Libya and Syria:
I hope those European Intel agents do not read Reuters or BBC to make their arguments that it was Assad wrt Sarin because of the expert self-promotion:
“Now in July 2013 my blog is a leading authority on arms used in the conflict in Syria, a key resource for anyone following the UK phone hacking scandal, widely quoted in the media, with articles about my work appearing on Reuters, CNN, the BBC, and other international news organisations.”
Like the French would say: Les Dieux nous sont tombés sur la tête!!!!
The “international community” clearly, explicitly, sees Assad as a criminal and a thug, “the rebels” our pets, the conclusion reading the quote is that Assad is implicitly being asked to negotiate his surrender to the IC. I doubt he will agree to negotiate such language into any CW transfer UN resolution. I doubt the rebels believe that he will negotiate that either, so the ultimate conclusion is, having learned from the Israelis, the FSA merely needs to make a demand equivalent to suicide to make Assad say a big FU, a good excuse to then move on to the real agenda of a full on regime-degrading assault.
Do you think the Oslo Accords was about an agreeable peace or bullshit, its the same kind of thing. The PLO accepted, the PA was invented, Arafat consigned to history. Goodbye Palestinian unity, hello Hamas, Hello Abbas, hello 500,000 facts on the ground, goodbye Arafat and Oslo, the neotiator and the agreement.
Of course it will still be about regime change, in pursuit of ‘rolling back’ Iranian influence.
Apparently, nobody in the Obama administration has either the spine or imagination to think up anything original instead. Regime change in Syria is part of the DC consensus, and they go with the flow.
There is disagreement only to the extent how much violence is to be used for that end. As with Madeleine Albright on Iraq, the price is naturally worth it.
So what DC does is to debate the tactics, not question the policy. So, how to bring down Assad?
Do it entirely by proxy (as in ‘arming the rebels’)? Give it a ‘nudge’ (as in ‘limited’ air strikes)? Go all the way (invade)? Invoke R2P doctrine and bomb then? Do it Bush style? Work the CW angle, after all that worked so well on Saddam? Talk the Turks into doing it? Or the Israelis? Some other scheme?
“Or as we say in Texas: Don’t sh*t where you eat.”
Not only in Texas, even in that little sub-Sahara African country where I grew up 🙂
The bit about ICC is from the French govt. They have been trying to put a draft resolution in front of the UNSC since last week but Russia is saying “Nyet” hence the meeting 2 days ago at the Russian Mission and Fabius bragging yesterday that the UN/OPCW report will finger Assad as the culprit.
The hypocrisy of Fabius and the French govt is this one:
and the best part:
“The court in Douai, France, found that at the time the atrocities were committed, genocide and crimes against humanity were not punishable by law in Rwanda, therefore Mr Serubuga could not be tried retroactively for crimes that were not part of the penal code.”
My wife and I sent emails to our Representative (Moran) and Senators (Kane and Warner) respectfully requesting that they not vote in favor of the resolution to use force against Syria. Moran did not reply. Warner sent us a link to his web site. Kane replied with an actual letter. It had the usual thank you for your interest in national issues segment, the praise for the President for his brave stand segment, the I see all of the intelligence to which you are not privy segment, and the I have given this serious consideration segment. He then explains why we have to punish the Syrians for using CW instead of bombs and bullets. We were respectful. He was respectful. However, the last sentence of the last paragraph was a little disturbing:
“I believe that acting now to uphold the prohibition against chemical weapons will make us safer and avoid larger challenges in the future. I recognize the risk this poses, but I believe the risks of inaction are greater. If America leads, we will have partners. But if we do nothing, I am not sure that any nation will stand up against this horrific crime. I find the gassing of innocent men, women, and children intolerable, and believe there must be a consequence. ”
Is he implying that we are in favor of such an act because we oppose the use of our Armed Forces to punish Syria? Our letter to him only stated that we did not think it in our national interest do use the Armed Forces to intervene in a civil war. We said nothing about the morality of gassing innocents. For the record we are against that.
I am not a member of the IC. However, I have worked with various agencies from time-to-time and seen intelligence reports. The ones that I have read dealt in probabilities rather than certainties. I suppose Senators get IC reports offering “slam dunk” conclusions meant for the eyes of gods as they only eat ambrosia and drink mead.
The reporter with whose help McChrystal transitioned from military to mercenary ( Michael Hastings) was murdered a few weeks ago.
It appears that he was doing stories about how America’s longest held POW in the war on terror is maybe not an involuntary POW. Shades of North Korea.
In other news, it is possible to hack into and take control of almost all cars manufactured in the last 3 years. http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/07/disabling-a-cars-brakes-and-speed-by-hacking-its-computers-a-new-how-to/
The more expensive the car; the easier the hack. Any car with OnStar© can be shut off remotely.
I expect the call of “Conspiracy theory” to arrive soonest.
An 18 wheeler can carry approx. 20 tons.
So 400,000 tons of arms requires approx. 20,000 American equivalent semi trailers. I am using modest estimations because weapons are a lot of air and a few pounds of metal in a box. The cubic content would require many more semis.
That is one big ass convoy, even the Syrians should be able to track that.
I suspect an innumerate reporter at work here; or an American diplomat.
Yes they did.
What it was has not been determined.