Saturday, September 07, 2013

Syrian Rebels accused of gas use by the UN. The White House just shat itself.

Thanks to Andrew for the link...

via the Telegraph.
"According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas," del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday.

"We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas," she added.

She stressed that the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, which she is a part of, had far from finished its investigation.

Turkish authorities are carrying out blood tests on Syrians who have fled the fighting at home to determine if they have been victims of chemical weapons, a medical source said Monday.

"Samples have been taken from people wounded in Syria who have been transported to Turkey," the source said on condition of anonymity, adding that the results were not yet known.
Read it all here.

Question?  Why are we getting in the middle of this TRIBAL, SECTARIAN, RELIGIOUS, PROXY WAR again?

You say for the children?  Because its who we are?  In defense of international norms?

I say Bullshit.

We're getting involved in this war because the President might be  nicknamed "no drama" Obama, but for some reason he goes from crisis to crisis.  Many that he causes himself.


  1. I totally agree with the gist of the post, but the del Ponte part is non-news, dating from May. She never provided any evidence and has been shunned by the UN since she made the statement. (Not to say the rebels haven't used such weapons.)

    It's gone beyond "sending a message," as if that were ever sensible. Now the US is reportedly expanding its strike targets in Syria to include Syria Arab Army units and installations, using fixed wing A/C, Russia is moving its naval forces into the area, and Kerry is lining up European support -- Germany just fell in.

    I look for the first activity Tuesday night as Obama speaks. It looks like the balloon is definitely going up. One reason is that there is no way Obama/Kerry can back off their overblown belligerence, unfortunately. Power, the UN ambassador, has said that there's no alternative.

    How did we get here? Obama has never been stopped nor even hindered from his default military attack behavior, starting with his killing spree in Pakistan and then escalating in Libya. Never been stopped, and now comes the big one, I'm afraid. The idiot-stars are aligned. These strikes ordered by simpleton chickenhawks who are ignorant of war (the flip-flopper has no such excuse) will not go unanswered.

  2. Wow I thought this stuff was complicated before! Is there any chance that this could be a politically motivated statement with the intention of throwing a wrench in the works of the coming attack to delay or prevent it? I'm not really accusing them and have nothing to base that idea upon but this mess is just getting crazier by the day. Like I said before, if we wanted to "send a message" it should have been sent like 2 years ago before the stakes got so high internationally....

  3. What I am most worried about is that if we do go to war in Syria and ignore the UN, what message does that send to Russia and China? They can do the same if they have a coalition backing them? Iran said that Israel is going to be the target for retribution. What if they decided to go after nuclear weapons that obviously DO NOT EXIST in Israel and they gather a coalition of allies to do it?

    I'm really worried that Russia and China will get the message that the UN is a worthless organization and that in the future, whenever they want to start a war against a country for their own interests, they will use every excuse and every method we used to get into Syria against us on the international scene and we won't have an answer for them.

    1. Yes. That's why, nearly seventy years ago, some forward-looking hard-working people established the United Nations and wrote its charter, including:

      To maintain international peace and security,

      # All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
      # All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

      The UN Charter is law in the U.S. as in all the other countries who have ratified it. Most of these countries obey the law, with the U.S and its allies being major exceptions on numerous occasions. I'm afraid we're about to see another one.

    2. And the U.N. is grossly corrupt. The U.S. should do 3 things:
      1. Follow the U.S. Constitution.
      2. Follow the Bill of Rights.
      3. Get out of the U.N.

  4. Yeah its starting to look a bit League of Nationsy. Did Russia receive any bad circumstances from their invasion of Georgia? I remember at the time being shocked that they just seemed to be out and out getting away with it. And even if they (or hell, even we) did something that he U.N. could actually strongly be against, what's to stop them from walking out of the chambers and going home and ignoring the U.N. like Japanese did when the League got on their case about attacking China before the last BIG war? With low credibility the U.N. can't accomplish much in potentially major crisis.... don't see how to fix it though......

    1. The UN isn't a world government. Would the world be any better without it? It wouldn't be any worse.

      Would we miss it? I don't think so. All the important decisions are made in Beijing and Washington, and the latter two consult with whom they have to consult without the need for the UN.

      Remember until recently Switzerland wasn't a member. Didn't seem to harm them much as a centre for international organisations.

    2. I guess its still good that there's an official forum for nations to talk to each other but otherwise...

  5. Global strategy not the children.

    Iran is a coming problem that will possibly require military action if we cannot boo them down. That will be a real war with terrorism across the world. If we can take the Assad chem/bio threat off the table or limit it to terrorism it will be a boon to avoiding that confrontation or worse case make the confrontation more containable.

    On top of that. The AQ elements in the Syrian rebellion setting up training camps at somepoint is going to require drone strikes before they deploy those forces overseas. If it was me in the big chair and a main goal would be leave it open ended so once the SAM net is down, I could put in the drones to keep lawn cut, and monitor. After a few days of heavy action taking the SAM net and airfoce a drone cap can handle spot arrivals of new SAM systems, hit what is left of the chem/bio as it pops up, monitor the situation, and hit the AQ elements were they setup training camps.

    My thinking is if not today we will have to tommorrow under worse terms. Say we don't strike and say AQ manages to take one of Assads major chem/bio stockpiles next month what do we do? Do we send in a strike package through a active SAM net, do we send SOF in under a active SAM net, do we attack Assads SAM net then see prior, do we do nothing and hope we can catch the stuff when AQ tries to get it out of country? Sometimes all you have is bad choices and the only best option is to try to take the initiative and set yourself up for the future trying to get ahead of the ball. I think regardless who wins for many years we are looking at having to keep the AQ grass cut just as we are in Yemen, Somalia, NW Pakistan, S Philippines, Afghanistan, Mali, .....

    1. It would sit a lot easier with me and probably at least some other people if they would present it as important to strategy and national interests instead of trying to show it as part of our inconsistent approach to human rights issues. If we only wanted to help the people for the sake of helping them we should have done something over there a long time ago.

    2. 1. Iran is not a real problem to anyone, Iran is a concocted problem. Iran has never threatened nor invaded any country, has no nuclear weapons program, and has many friends in the world, particularly in Asia. Also Iran is head of the Non-Aligned Movement of 125 nations and has their support.

      2. AQ in Syria is supported by the US and US-ally Saudi Arabia. It's similar to the US supporting Pakistan, which supports the Taliban. Why does the US support terrorists, particularly ones that kill Americans?

      3. Syria has chemical weapons because next-door Israel has nukes.

  6. Here's what we do know. Either the Syrian regime of the so-called 'rebels' used chemical weapons, and there's no conclusive evidence which one it was. There's also no doubt in my mind either side was capable (physically AND morally)of doing it. Combine that with the failure of our current regime to make a credible case for doing something because it would be in our national interest and we clearly have a situation where NOT intervening is the best course of action at this time. Let's refocus out attention on the abuses of power by Obama and his administration. Just the ones we already know about can keep us occupied for years:

  7. I abhor worship of all things European, but British news has been the only source of news that seems willing to challenge the conventional wisdom and report the news.

  8. Replies
    1. were you aware that the UN had accused the Syrian Rebels of gas use? i wasn't. that makes it news.

    2. That's the messed up part. I have to go and read British newspapers to find out that Amnesty International couldn't find evidence of the alleged rapes by Gaddafi's regime in Libya, that Al-Queda was linked to Libyan rebels, and now that a UN had accused the Syrian rebels of using gas. There is an apparent, concerted, effort by the U.S. media to keep the public blind.

    3. There are actually a lot of things I learned just now from skimming British articles. Did you know that several Arab nations offered to pay for a US invasion of Syria? This happened on September 5th:

      I had no idea how much the other Arab states did not like Assad. That knowledge changes a few things.

    4. it should change nothing. the Middle East is filled with leaders that have rivalries, sects that hate each other and anti-Christian hatred which seems to unite them.

      the offer to pay for an invasion is pure arrogance. we act in our own interest, not as paid mercenaries for middle eastern countries.

      quite honestly its insulting. explain to the mother of a Soldier or Marine killed not because it was in our nations interest but because we were paid? i'd have a hard time doing, but i get the feeling that current leadership wouldn't have a problem. that should worry everyone.

    5. What I'm still trying to figure out is who exactly would benefit the most from a regime change in Syria? The losers are obviously Russia and Iran. Israel is guaranteed another war if we hit Syria so they lose too. We lose a lot of political capital and have to face another terror threat so I certainly wouldn't count us as winners. The price of oil goes up so oil companies win. Defense contractors would win. Saudi Arabia and these Arab nations would lose a rival so I guess they would kind of benefit from it but not really all that much as far as I can see.

      I still don't see a definitive winner here though. It's really bugging me.

    6. AR -- Obama as the proponent of the domestic factions you list is the winner politically. That's the first priority (for him and his neophyte advisors). Then the US ties to the despotic Gulf States (GCC) must be kept intact and immunized against the Arab Spring.

      Syria is also about Iran. Iran has hegemony in the Middle East (particularly after the dumb US move to give them Iraq) and the US wants it. It's the US/GCC/Israel bloc against the rest, including Russia and Iran as you say.

      Continuing to destabilize the area, Middle East and North Africa, MENA, is also good for the US. More arms sales and no powerful opposition. Let the people suffer. Who cares, except when their alleged suffering can be used to start a new war "on humanitarian grounds." Egypt has rebounded nicely, back to a brutal military dictatorship. That's a good model.

    7. This really fucking pisses me off:

      Did you know that Senators that are authorizing the attack on Syria are getting large amounts of campaign financing? They are getting paid off. This is bullshit!

    8. AR - Yup. It's an old story. One such--
      As chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005, Senator Diane Feinstein supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars a year for specific military construction projects. Two defense contractors whose interests were largely controlled by her husband, financier Richard C. Blum, benefited from decisions made by Feinstein as leader of this powerful subcommittee.

      "War is a racket. . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." -- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC, two CMHs, 1939

    9. Looks like France is experiencing some internal conflict over Syria as well:

      Two-thirds of French oppose the idea of supporting strikes against Syria and many want their president to put the decision up to a vote by the French Parliament, which odds are he would lose. They dismissed their president as a Lackey of the US. There is a French equivalent of the Jon Stewart show and they mocked him with a cartoon of him holding Obama's coat while he debated the Syria crisis with Putin. It's at about 3:07 here:

  9. Syrian government forces have been beating the foreign-supported anti-government forces, and so something had to be done to help the despotic Gulf States (mostly Saudi Arabia) prevail.

    Saudi Arabia now is the primary financial supporter of the anti-Syria forces, and the Saudi kingdom now has its man Jarba as the head of the US-fabricated Syria National Coalition, the new puppet government-in-waiting. All is well for a US attack on Syria based on a concocted government chemical weapons attack.

    news report: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking Sunday from Paris, where he met with Arab League ministers, said Saudi Arabia has approved international military intervention in Syria. //

    Goody. Of course Saudi Arabia with all its US-purchased military gear won't actually participate in this illegal "international military" adventure, because its military has been proven to be unreliable. And besides, why should they, if the US military will do the heavy lifting and suffer any retaliation?


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