No need for the IC, the US Government has U-tube and Facebook

Clapper should be frightened.  The State Department says it relies on videos posted on the internet for its intelligence.

John Kerry left his boat today long enough to deliver a virtual declaration of war against Syria.  Obama doesn't even have the balls to do this for himself? 

Before walking from the Foggy Bottom briefing room without taking questions, Kerry informed the world that he and the president were absolutely sure that the Syrian government had used CW en masse against people in the Damascus suburbs.

Evidence?  He said that he had seen the videos and pictures on the internet and that they tore open the wounds of his heart once again.  That was all the evidence that he mentioned except to claim that the US Government has more information that it will make available at some future time.  IMO this is likely to be after the war is well under way, and construction of "decks of face cards" has begun.

Kerry expressed great outrage that a country would deliberately kill large numbers of civilians.  It remains unproven that the Syrian government did that, but perhaps the US and the British should remember such names as Tokyo (100,000 Japanese civilian dead in one night), Hamburg, (God knows how many), etc.

This scenario is so pathetically like the Iraq thing.  The US is now pressuring the UN to withdraw its inspectors from Syria.  We did that in Iraq when the UN couldn't find any WMD. 

Kerry says that doubters should examine their moral compasses.  How pathetic he is.  pl

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64 Responses to No need for the IC, the US Government has U-tube and Facebook

  1. Maureen Lang says:

    From WaPo:
    “A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has finally found something that Americans like even less than Congress: the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria. Only nine percent of respondents said that the Obama administration should intervene militarily in Syria; a RealClearPolitics poll average finds Congress has a 15 percent approval rating, making the country’s most hated political body almost twice as popular…”
    How long before we of the 91% are labeled unpatriotic for not joining in the war dance high kicking chorus line? My moral compass spins at the thought…

  2. Fred says:

    The decorated Swift-windsurfer Kerry must have some special intellegence from Borat. Obviously the NSA under Clapper and Alexander are too busy spying on Americans (and their own lovers) to spy on the FSA or Assad:

  3. CTuttle says:

    The evidence points to the Rebels…
    “According to sources, the Russian delegation presented the documents during a UNSC meeting Friday. During the meeting, the Americans did not file any documents that contradict the Russian documents, given that the US satellites have come to similar conclusions: the opposition had fired the chemical rockets.
    This comes as the Syrian representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari returned quickly from Damascus to New York on to provide the evidences that support the Russian stance.
    Meanwhile, informed sources clarified that the Westerns refrained from accusing the Syrian regime to only ask for an expand to investigations , due to the images the Russians delivered.
    The images showed that the rockets were launched from Duma at 1:35 on Wednesday.
    It was noting that the Western countries did not resort to their references’ terms, but rather to the statements of the Syrian Opposition Coalition to accuse the Syrian regime.
    Based on the Russian information, the two rockets were manufactured domestically to carry chemicals. They were launched from an area controlled by “Liwaa al-Islam”, led by Zahran Alwosh.”

  4. Pat,
    Depressing. I hated the last movie (George and Dick’s Excellent Misadventure), and am really not in the mood for a crappy “direct to DVD” sequel. Though I guess this time around is really part 3 or 4, depending on how you count things (Kosovo probably counts just about as well as Iraq did).
    But at least the government is doing its job of keeping me libertarian.

  5. A. Pols says:

    They had “evidence” at the radio station in Gliewitz back in 1939….

  6. mbrenner says:

    For the sake of widening this discussion, let me pose this question:
    In the event that there were incontrovertible evidence that it was the Assad regime that launched a large-scale chemical attack against civilians, what do we we think should or should not be done by the United states?

  7. Steve Pelletiere says:

    Steve Pelletiere

  8. Cosmoskitten says:

    Can anyone confirm / disprove that the US wants the inspectors out of Syria?
    “The U.N. weapons inspectors arrived at the site after the U.S. delivered a caution to Mr. Ban, telling him it was no longer safe for the inspectors to remain in Syria and that their mission was pointless, said a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Ban “stood firm on principle,” ordering his team to continue their work establishing whether chemical weapons or toxins were responsible for the estimated hundreds of deaths of Syrian civilians.”
    UK also seems to think inspections are pointless:
    “”We have to be realistic now about what the U.N. team can achieve,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters.
    “The fact is that much of the evidence could have been destroyed by that artillery bombardment. Other evidence could have degraded over the last few days and other evidence could have been tampered with,” ”
    If evidence degrades so very fast, what was the purpose of sending in inspectors for alleged attacks that happened months ago?

  9. John Minnerath says:

    My moral compass still spins on good bearings, but it always ends up pointing in a different direction than Kerry and company.

  10. VietnamVet says:

    If only 9% of Americans are for war with Syria, then what, besides Presidential pique, could be the driving force to get rid of the Assad regime?
    1) Israel. Since the Likud takeover, the only chance of survival of a expansionist Jewish State is to play one ethnic group in the Levant against another; i.e. Sunni verses Shiite.
    2) Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. They have to keep their own Shiites cowered.
    3) Trans-National Elite. They will take down anyone who is not bowing to their wealth, power, and ideology.
    All the rest of the players, here and abroad, are hand maidens at service to those listed above.

  11. CTuttle says:

    The Brits are getting all set…
    Witnesses living near the RAF base at Akrotiri (meaning The Cape), a few kilometers from the city of Limassol, said they saw three large planes landing there late on Monday. Two of the planes were AWACS, or Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft and the third one a tanker for mid-air refueling.
    The state broadcaster said similar activity had been observed prior to past military action involving the British base, the most recent being the use of the base by Tornados enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya the fall of 2011.

  12. shepherd says:

    Extremely well put. I think there are only three things that 91% of Americans agree on. We think ice water should come with every restaurant meal; ice cream is the best possible dessert; and we shouldn’t attack Syria. Let me know if I’m leaving anything out.

  13. JohnH says:

    John Kerry…the man who called Vietnam a mistake, but whose only take away was that getting the country to make mistakes is great politics.

  14. zanzibar says:

    Maureen, that train left the station even longer ago when the politicos cared about voter sentiment. And why should they with 95% probability of being re-elected no matter what they do while in office. Unless of course they were flashing their weiner or caught with their office mate in flagrante delicto. The tribals can always be counted on to rally to their chief on the ticket. You know the lesser evil!

  15. eakens says:

    We’re going to destroy the evidence with our own bombing campaign. In my opinion, the press conference today was a formality, they’ve already made the decision to attack. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do something by the weekend.

  16. jonst says:

    watching Hass, on PBS….I could have kicked the TV in….what supreme arrogance, with a mix of well informed ‘cluelessness’.

  17. Paul Warfield says:

    Couldn’t agree more, PL. Also, what about the stunning irony that on the very same day CIA documents were revealed (in Foreign Policy, link below) that prove that the U.S. supported Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against Iran?
    Hypocrisy doesn’t get any more grotesque.

  18. SAC Brat says:

    I’d like to see Martin Dempsey (Is this good for America?) prevail. He seems to be the best man for the moment. Would you expect him to resign in protest if plans to attack move forward? Is there any leverage the administration can apply to him to keep him from embarrassing them?
    What a circus. Would it be simpler to just support Christians in the Middle East?

  19. The beaver says:

    Is this a coincidence or is it a CYA instance just in case, in the future, other ‘collateral damage” subjects don’t come after the Nobel Peace prize winner 🙁
    “In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

  20. russ says:

    I did call RI Senator Reed about the Syrian issue. Fortunately, he is one of the few Senators who actually has military experience and so is probably better able to evaluate the costs of intervention than most of those in the Administration. Naturally, I only spoke to junior staffer. But Reed is pretty good about replying to constituents about their concerns. Nonetheless, all I probably accomplished is making myself feel a little better.

  21. Lamoe2012 says:

    Examine their moral compasses what rot!!!! (I’m going to nice) Is it just me or are we about to have our Guns of August moment? We have a bunch of people in the western political leadership who seem just a inept and short sighted as Kaiser Bill, Nick the Second, Uncle Franz, and the many others who tumbled into the abyss in 1914.
    When you boil this down this is a Sunni Shia proxy war with SA wanting the US and the west to do it’s dirty work. I can’t see Iran sitting quietly by while the Sunni’s take Syria. They louse Syria then the next round of bloodletting is Iraq, they louse Iraq they’re surrounded. The only wild card is Russia, but I don’t see Russia going to the wall for Syria.
    Iran can’t challenge the US directly but they can indirectly, that’s how we can fall into the abyss of 2013.

  22. joe brand says:

    I thought Kerry’s comments were a nothingburger. He said that he knows Syria used chemical weapons because of YouTube, but then said that the U.S. government is going to really really think about this a whole lot and have a lot of discussions.
    I had the sense, especially since the thing started almost an hour after its announced start time, of a group of people scrambling to find some ad hoc noises they could make with their mouths that would relieve them of acting on the president’s “red line” warning. I am tough! Grr! (Please don’t hit me.)
    If they do end up at war, it will be because of the president’s extraordinary ability to get rolled by other, stronger people, not because the administration wants to fight.

  23. Jose says:

    Blue or Red, a Dragon is still a dragon – apologies to GRRM
    A dragon is a tool to attack the White Walkers on command…

  24. CTuttle says:

    More Haas buffoonery…
    Richard Haas, president of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations think tank, rejected the idea – suggested by Russia – that a Western attack on Syria would need U.N. approval.
    “The U.N. Security Council is not the sole or unique custodian about what is legal and what is legitimate, and, as many have pointed out, it was bypassed at the time of Kosovo,” he told reporters in a conference call.
    “To say only the U.N. Security Council can make something legitimate seems to me to be a position that cannot be supported because it would allow in this case a country like Russia to be the arbiter of international law and, more broadly, international relations,” Haas said.
    Legitimacy for a strike on Syria, Haas said, could come from a “coalition of the willing” of individual countries that support retaliation against Assad to demonstrate that the use of weapons of mass destruction will not be tolerated

  25. ess emm says:

    I appreciate your efforts to expose and ridicule this stupid and senseless imperial adventure.
    The demands of empire run counter to the principles of democracy. Obama and his crew are choosing empire.

  26. ISL says:

    To paraphrase the Texan saying, Kerry is all hair. Barf.
    John Glaser asks a really good point:
    So what if the measured attack requires escalation and we win?
    Exactly who occupies the country for the next decade to secure the chemical weapons from being handed to the victors, also known as Al Qaeda, our friends? And given Iraq next door, and only the takfiri rebels having the military experience (courtesy?) I am sure the occupation would be peaceful.
    Meanwhile, placing tons of chemical weapons within Al Qaeda’s reach could never backfire on europe and the us in a million years, now could it? How much lower than 9% does approval need to go before congress would show co–nes and impeach?
    The last was a rhetorical question. Clearly it would require a popularity rating of -20% or a strong case of marital infidelity.

  27. Ursa Maior says:

    many use Kosovo as a precedent for sweeping away the UN and the SC. At that time Putin was only knocking on the door, and China was still run on Deng’s 16 character advice.
    In my opinion today the situation is completely different.
    What do you think how eager the russians and/or the chinese are to show the US or much the rather the WEST that it cannot act unilaterally anymore?

  28. jonst says:

    Diplomatic steps only. Period. It is not our fight. Our intervention will only make things worse.

  29. Ingolf says:

    A few selections from Samantha Power’s Twitter account:
    16th Aug:
    – @jamesdenselow Assad has used CW and scuds against his people. US policy is clear: he has lost all legitimacy and has to go.
    – #UN inspectors had to brave sniper fire in #Syria today. This after Assad stalled for 5 days while destroying evidence & shelling survivors.
    – We’re reviewing response options & consulting w/allies & partners in NY & around the world. Widespread outrage & desire for accountability.
    – She also retweeted this from Susan Rice:
    Only regime has capacity to launch CW with rockets.
    Hmmmm . . . .

  30. confusedponderer says:

    Re: “The U.N. Security Council is not the sole or unique custodian about what is legal and what is legitimate, and, as many have pointed out, it was bypassed at the time of Kosovo”
    Legally that’s complete nonsense. Haas is educated enough to know that.
    Politically it is simply reflecting reality.
    The US have repeatedly broken international law, in Kosovo as much as when they invaded Iraq. They will do so again when they bomb Syria.
    Point is, just like in those precedents, the US got away with breaking international law as a result of their power. Nobody can sanction a veto wielding power at the UN.
    Legitimacy comes for Haas apparently by having some stalwarts like Micronesia and champions of Liberty like Quatar and Saudi Arabia sign on too – to be part of an ad hoc coalition of the willing.
    Probably, the only problem with unilateral harebrained idea for Haas is that, as Bush has amply demonstrated, it comes with the hefty price tag of a fully justified bad reputation.
    Coalitions allow for deflecting some of that blame: It’s not just us! Others have the same harebrained idea! All that even more so when ‘leading (or not) from behind’, which apparently can easily turn into being pulled by the nose.
    Re: Youtube and facebook as evidence – there sure is no shame in D.C. This should be embarassing, but alas, it is just brazen.

  31. confusedponderer says:

    Web newsies announce that Obama is planning a “two day war” against Syria, a full spectrum dominance shock and awe decapitation strike air offensive no doubt.
    Ah yes, and then? Will Liberty prevail when the hated tyrrant is gone?
    The only ‘win’ (in terms of current policy preferences) is, that when the rebels take control, the new tyrrants will now hate Iran, probably just a tad more than they hate Israel. Is that worth it? Is that worth it?
    I also wonder why, after a few decades of experience, the US still haven’t gotten that it apparently is a Middle Eastern habit to try to find some patsy to talk into doing the heavy lifting for them when they can’t tackle an enemy alone.
    The Israelis excell at that, Chalabi was good at it too, and Prince Bandar is at it, also. Nothing was learned from the previous episode, and once again the US are again being irresistibly talked and drawn into the merry ‘let’s kill a tyrant already’ routine.
    Outside intervention simply rids the Middle Eastern players of the ghastly prospect of possibly having to compromise with their opposition. The horror!

  32. The now open undermining of the UN and International Rule of Law by the USA marks a real turning point in rejection of international norms of the use of force.
    This should be an issue for lively debate in the 2016 Presidential election but won’t be if the candidates Hillary and Jeb!
    Reap what you sow?

  33. PS says:

    So I guess that effectively concedes that the rebels do have the ability to launch CW, just not by rocket.

  34. RetiredPatriot says:

    Since day one, the Syrian “civil war” has been a trumped up “Libya” run at the behest of Qataris and Saudis with helpful intrusion by a revanchist Erdogan. The USA has no interest in what is happening there, except to the extent that our “oil masters” tell us, er, tell the politicians that they own. Of all the players, Israel remains strangely silent in the matter (except to the extant that Hib’allah may obtain even better weapons from Assad). It would be supreme irony if Tel Aviv were the only restraint holding back the Tomahawks, no-fly zone and troops already staged in Jordan!

  35. RetiredPatriot says:

    In the end, Dempsey will salute and do his best to achieve a “victorious” outcome. If he doesn’t (and resigns), then Hagel will find another to follow the CINC’s orders.
    Waiting for the military to say “No” and save us from ourselves is a fools errand.

  36. jamzo says:

    iraq political structure in crisis state,
    egyptian political structure in crisis state,
    what are the motives behind putting political structure of another middle east nation state – syria -in crisis?

  37. Chemical Weapons Convention Signatories and States-Parties
    Latest ACA Resources
    Chemical Weapons
    U.S. Says Chemical Weapons Used in Syria
    (July/August 2013)
    Syria Issue Roils CWC Review Conference
    (June 2013)
    Press Contact: Tom Z. Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104
    Updated: August 2013
    The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force on April 29, 1997, and currently has 188 states-parties. Two states have signed but not ratified (Israel and Myanmar). Six states have neither signed nor ratified (Angola, Egypt, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria).

  38. robt willmann says:

    Mr. Pelletiere,
    You seem to be the person who wrote the excellent book, “Iraq and the International Oil System”.
    I think I spoke to you earlier in the 2000’s about coming down and speaking about issues surrounding Iraq, but as it turned out, the auditorium I sought to use and rent came with some tied-in added expenses that made it impractical at that time, so I didn’t arrange the program.
    Glad to see that you are still active!

  39. Judy says:
    Certainly looks like Iraq 2.0. The UN inspectors are charged with determining whether or not chemical weapons were used, not with who might have used them. An order of battle has been proposed…by the Israelis.

  40. Charles I says:

    I wonder if the campaign will be co-ordinated with the “good” rebels?

  41. steve says:

    With all the war-rumbling of the past 24 hours, I should have known better than to turn on a national news program. But I did anyway.
    And like clockwork, I heard a national pundit this morning “explaining” how that 9% figure didn’t really mean what folks think it means.
    He went on further how the media needed to better explain to the public that there’s not going to be a real war, that there would be no real invasion, that there would be no US deaths, etc.
    And he assured the audience that once properly understood, this war would be supported by the public.

  42. Andrew says:

    Oded Yinon, a visionary!

  43. Bobo says:

    Why it is the USA always taking these stances is beyond me but 3,000 men, women and children showed up at the hospitals with the same symptoms within two hours so something happened that is atrocious. If there is proof that it was a CW attack then to hell with who did it, it is the participants that allowed it to get to this point so both sides should pay. Cruise Missles etc to both C&C sites plus Assad and the other guy need to go.Then GHU and we all are Americans on one side that day.

  44. seydlitz89 says:

    Col. Lang-
    Sir, thanks for this post, it is most of all a public service that dissenting, and I would say patriotic, views be heard at this point in time.
    My own perspective on this indicates:
    It seems that the US govt’s argument comes down to that only the Syrian govt has chemical weapons and rockets as a delivery means, so any use of chemical munitions is thus an act of the Assad govt . . .
    The probable goal of this seems to be to get the US govt involved in the war in whatever way possible, as soon as possible, that along with all the “dinghies” which will follow in its wake. The incident only happened six days ago . . .
    This probably has much more to do with Iran than Syria per say and would indicate the commencement of active hostilities between the US and Iran, if only by proxy, contrary to whatever the US govt says now about “limited strikes” . . . in other words this is an open ended commitment with a very high probability of escalation . . .

  45. Charles 1,
    If the WSJ report two days ago is to be believed, it would seem likely that it is being coordinated with the Saudis through Bandar, whom as we know only ever sponsors ‘good’ rebels.
    Outlining what is supposedly the Saudis ‘southern strategy’, for strengthening rebels in towns east and south of Damascus, the WSJ tells us that:
    ‘As part of that, intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm handpicked Syrian rebels, according to current and former U.S. and Middle Eastern officials.’
    (See )
    As to Chechen jihadists active in Syria, if the recent As-Safir report is to be believed, Bandar assured Putin that they are firmly under Saudi control, and that so long as the Russians are prepared to be bribed into abandoning Assad, they will not be permitted to do a kind of Munich 1973 at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
    (See )

  46. Alba Etie says:

    Leader Putin would be very eager. Do not know how to judge the PRC .

  47. turcopolier says:

    Looking forward to the USG’s proof. It is supposed to be available this PM. pl

  48. robt willmann says:

    Here is an interview that Bashar al-Assad did with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, their English translation–
    And in Russian–
    Particularly amusing is al-Assad’s reply (in part) to the question, “Mr. President, Syria’s relations with several states are collapsing consecutively, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Who are your true allies, and who are your enemies?”
    Assad: “… Recently, Saudi Arabia has replaced Qatar in the funding role. To be completely clear and transparent, Saudi Arabia has nothing but funding; those who only have money cannot build a civilisation or nurture it. Saudi Arabia implements its agenda depending on how much money it commands.”

  49. Robb says:

    Question to the community of corespondents: am I naive or cynical in thinking that this feels like a “wag the dog” episode? As a way to change the story from NSA/Snowden or some other looming media story (debt ceiling showdown, immigration, implementation of Obamacare).
    It seems to me that this type of “event” can be stirred up pretty much at will with all the froth, indignation and pundits du jour available at will. So why now? What is driving this?
    I fail to grasp what advantage we as a country gain from this. Do we really want a Saudi backed regime in Syria?
    I can only hope that for once the knee jerk anti-Obama crowd will derail this.

  50. seydlitz89,
    ‘It seems that the US govt’s argument comes down to that only the Syrian govt has chemical weapons and rockets as a delivery means, so any use of chemical munitions is thus an act of the Assad govt .’
    One of the first things we need is a clear idea of what actually are the toxins at issue. It is not clear to me why this cannot be obtained quite rapidly, particularly given the numbers of victims. The second thing we need is a clear account of what chemical weapons and delivery means the Syrians have.
    Only if we have both can we assess 1. whether a chemical attack authorised at the highest levels by the Syrian government is a plausible hypothesis, and 2. whether we are dealing with a case where a hypothesis is plausible because it is true, or one where its apparent plausibility has been exploited to create a ‘false flag’ operation.
    What leaves me utterly dumbfounded is that the experiences of the past decade have not produced a sobering up, but if anything, a greater disintegration into delirium. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Blair and Bush at least thought they had to go through the motions of attempting to produce credible evidence. It however appears that the likes of Cameron and Ambassador Samantha Power see no such need.
    As to Obama, I think the jury is still ought as to whether he is a driving force, or simply a weak man in a weak position, which is being adroitly exploited by rascals like Bandar, aided and abetted by idiots like Cameron and Power.

  51. Fred says:

    Just how long will those Chechen jihadists stay under control and why would Putin ever trust Saudi Arabia?

  52. Charles I says:

    Thanks David. I never even considered the Olympics in any of this aside from the anti-gay law kerfluffle. The Chechens under control – ha ha. Ever since that Jordanian request for a border buffer zone a couple months ago I have thought that a lot must be going on there. The fantastical Qatari led invasion recently mooted here sounded so for the reasons posted. OTH Canada is loathe to commit forces but we always step up if JTF type trainers are needed, and I haven’t seen any news about RCMP police training missions. John Baird and all the rest of his ilk although cautious, have raging hardons for this kind of stuff, and there he is on the ground.
    I’m really curious now whether Control – whoever or whatever that entity may be – would or can go so far as to co-ordinate simultaneous “good rebel” ground attacks on the Syrian C&C and government cruise missile targets.
    And now I’m curious about what all the jihadis in situ think about it all? They can and wait drive the good rebels out of the graves of the Assad government?
    And does anyone in Control know who the Qataris and Saudis will be cutting checks to once all goes according to plan? etc. etc.
    How can this happening again

  53. steve says:

    And Colonel, I look forward to your explication of the report if possible.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    What is your sense of the coming debate in the Parliament?

  55. NF says:

    Indeed. Someone should ask Kerry “How do you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake…?”

  56. Stephanie says:

    The immediate precedent is Sam and Sue’s Excellent Libyan Adventure (a topic on which I disagree, respectfully, with the proprietor of this blog), which is said to provide, along with Kosovo, a “successful model” for Democratic presidents who want to bomb somebody.

  57. different clue says:

    But if a majority of the collective American public is against attacking Syria, wouldn’t that suggest the collective American public has learned something?

  58. different clue says:

    I offer a theory in hopes that it may be worth thinking about.
    America’s own “deep state” and its domestic surveillance agencies want to overthrow the entire Baath Government ( not just Bashar himself) in order to turn Syria into an al Qaedaform state with the al Qaedaform Islamists gaining complete control of the nerve gas stockpiles. Why? To set in motion more years of terrorist attacks and threats and perception of danger in order to foster American public re-acceptance of and obedience to the emerging “Surveillance-enforced dictatorship” which a growing number of Americans are seriously coming to fear and resent.
    I wonder whether the Cameron-Clague government ( or maybe Britain’s own “deep state” if Britain has one) share the same goal?
    I suppose the Erdogan government and the Saudi government just want a Sunni-Islamist government in Syria and they don’t care whether it is or isn’t specifically an al Qaeda government.
    I have no idea why the French government would want to give Syria and its nerve gas stockpiles to
    al Qaeda.
    One can only hope that Russia/Iran/Hezbollah and maybe China too can re-arm and re-support and re-strengthen the Assad-Baath government and armed forces swiftly and strongly enough to prevent the governments of America/Britain/France from delivering Syria to the al Qaedaform Islamists the way those governments appear to want to do . . . for whatever reasons those governments might have

  59. seydlitz89 says:

    Hi David-
    Agree. But I also somehow consider that an actual investigation into what happened would be the last thing they would want.
    I also don’t think BHO and the R2P crowd understand what they’re getting into . . . this has the potential to become very nasty.

  60. Babak Makkinejad,
    At the moment I think it is hard to assess how it will play out. It is clear that there is unease among former senior military figures and diplomats about intervention, and also among some MPs. As far as I am aware, the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has yet to make clear what line he is going to take.
    It is significant that opinion in Britain, while very hostile towards Iran, has become increasingly hostile to Israel. So in this year’s annual poll of global attitudes to different countries conducted for the BBC World Service, 84% had a mainly negative view of Iran, with 5% per cent positive, but 72% had a mainly negative view of Israel, with 14% positive. We are now the most anti-Israeli of the EU countries.
    (See )
    As I noted in a comment on the account by ‘harper’ of how Obama decided that the regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, if indeed SIGINT from Mossad was critical, as far as public opinion in this country is concerned it had better be disclosed asap and it had better be good. How far however the overwhelming public hostility to further involvements in Middle East wars will be reflected in parliament seems to me a very open question.

  61. Fred and Charles I,
    As you know there have been persistent claims about links between a certain Omar al-Bayoumi and Saudi intelligence and Bandar’s wife on the one hand, and figures involved in the attack on the World Trade Center on the other.
    (See )
    Some people have taken this as evidence of Saudi complicity in the attacks – and even indeed of British complicity, given the close involvement of Bandar in the 1985 Anglo-Saudi al Yamamah weapons-for-oil deal.
    However, a more plausible explanation has always seemed to me that somewhere along the line someone made the classic mistake of being over-confident that they knew on whose behalf a double agent or agents were really working.
    Any possible explanation, however, would seem to suggest that anyone who is confident in the ability of the Saudis in general and Bandar in particular to control the fire with which they happily play needs their head examined.

  62. Babak Makkinejad,
    Some signs of growing ‘Tory realist’ opposition among Cameron’s MPs are visible. I am not building a lot on this, yet at least, but there is clearly a good deal of unease.
    (See )
    Much depends upon whether Clapper et al can produce what looks like compelling evidence.
    What I cannot for the life of me see is why there is held to be such a desperate hurry. The tide has clearly shifted against the rebels, but it hardly looks as though these are simply going to collapse in the next few weeks.
    It could be that those advocating prompt action are concerned about giving time to the Government forces to take precautionary measures. But this is not an argument I have seen made.

  63. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    IMO part of the rush is the perceived need for the ship to sail before the UN says something embarassing. pl

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