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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Flying by the seat of his pants, Obama’s lack of clarity and diplomatic rope-a-dope keeps the US out of a unilateral war in Syria. It is now a UN problem and unless Assad is insane, he will comply.




US and Russia agree deal over Syria's chemical weapons

The US and Russia have agreed a deal and timeline for securing the handover of Syria's chemical weapons.

By Barney Henderson, and agencies
1:18PM BST 14 Sep 2013



John Kerry, the US secretary of state, and Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said that if the Assad regime fails to hand over its chemcial weapons, they will seek a Security Council resolution that could authorise future military action.

The deal reached includes a timetable and how Syria must comply. Mr Kerry said arms inspectors must be on the ground in Syria by November and the weapons must all be handed over by mid-2014.

At a news conference in Geneva, Mr Kerry said the pair and their teams of experts had reached "a shared assessment" of the existing stockpile and that Syria must destroy all of its weapons.

"Providing this framework is fully implemented it can end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but also their neighbours," Mr Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference with Mr Lavrov.

"Because of the threat of proliferation this framework can provide greater protection and security to the world," he said.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its commitments... There can be no room for games. Or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime," he added.

"The inspectors must be on the ground no later than November... And the goal is to establish the removal by halfway through next year."

Mr Lavrov said: "The aim has been achieved that was set in a conversation between our presidents on September 5 on the sidelines of the G20... about putting under international control Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons."

Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov said that if Syria does not comply with the agreement, which must be finalised by the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, it would face consequences under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the part that covers sanctions and military action.

"In the case of those demands not being fulfilled, or in the case of anyone using chemical weapons, the Security Council will take measures according to Chapter Seven of the United Nations charter," Mr Lavrov said.

He referred to the section of the charter that provides for enforcement through sanctions, including the possible use of military force, saying that the Security Council expects Syria to comply fully with the demands of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Nevertheless, he cautioned that the Security Council would not accept reports of chemical weapons violations automatically but that they would be investigated.

"Of course it does not mean that each violation reported to the Security Council will be taken on trust. Each will be investigated. We will try to ensure authenticity," he said.

The US has stated it belives there are 45 sites in Syria linked to the country's chemical weapons programme.

"There are probably 45 sites associated with Syria's chemical weapons programme" and "roughly half have exploitable quantities of chemical weapons materials," an unnamed US official said.

France said the deal was a "significant step forward". The Free Syrian Army rejected the plan. "We cannot accept any part of this initiative," General Selim Idriss told reporters in Istanbul.

He preceded that by saying: "We in the Free Syrian Army are unconcerned by the implementation of any part of the initiative... I and my brothers in arms will continue to fight until the regime falls."

President Barack Obama said on Saturday that he was willing to give diplomacy a chance but warned the military option was still on the table.
"We are not just going to take Russia and Assad's word for it. We need to see concrete actions to demonstrate that Assad is serious about giving up his chemical weapons," Mr Obama said in his weekly address.
"And since this plan emerged only with a credible threat of US military action, we will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the Assad regime."

73 comments:

  1. (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Jerusalem on Sunday for discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Middle East peace talks as well as on Syria, the State Department announced on Friday.

    "The purpose of the visit is to have an in-depth discussion with the prime minister on the final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "They will also focus on developments in Syria."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not bad for our first Sunni Pres. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Look at the 2:00 minute mark.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now, that is entertainment…

    ReplyDelete
  5. When the UN inspectors arrive, it will not be The Syrian Army that will be shooting at them.

    The Saudis must be in thermal shock.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Putin should now use his brain and pardon Pussy Riot and achieve rock star status.

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  7. First, there was No special treatment for non-qualifying AFL-CIO Plans, then Pa. Governor Tom Corbett comes out in favor of Medicaid Expansion under Obamacare, and now, this.

    I understand Obama, and Pootie-Poot have scheduled a shirtless, mud wrestling match for next Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Followed by a shirtless beer summit at the bath house.

      Delete
    2. And, shirtless hoops, followed by a shirtless snack of arugula, and a glass of wine (shirtless, of course,) in the White House living quarters. It's reported that Michelle will not attend - a trip to Obama's homeland of Hawaii for her and the girls having been scheduled.

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    3. Ed Snowden could not be reached for comment.

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    4. Asked if he would be going shirtless in the future, Francois Hollande said, "are you kidding me? Now that Obama's through with me, I Don't have a fucking shirt."

      Delete
    5. The entire Fox News Team has been found dead, having used their shirts to commit suicide by hanging.

      Delete
    6. Goddamn, you're right, Deuce; This Is Entertainment. :)

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    7. The House of Representatives have scheduled the 42nd vote to repeal Obamacare (shirtless this time - Boehner thinks this one will make all the difference.)

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    8. Muammar Khaddafi could not be reached for comment.

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    9. Hosni Mubarak was seen working out at the Cairo Gold's, mumbling something about "I gotta get buffed up."

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  8. One barrel of oil, priced at just over $100 boasts 5,700,000 BTUs or work potential of 1700kWhs. At an average of .60 kWh per work day, to generate this amount of 'labor', an average human would have to work 2833 days, or 11 working years. At the average hourly US wage rate, this is almost $500,000 of labor can be substituted by the latent energy in one barrel of oil that costs us $100.

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  9. .


    The Free Syrian Army will come around. They are our allies after all.


    .

    ReplyDelete

  10. Sarah Palin · 3,645,814 like this in Facebook

    September 12 at 12:29pm

    Remember when President Obama promised us, “If you like your current health care plan, you can keep your plan?” That was not true, and his deceptive claim falls in line with all the other lies about Obamacare – like there’d be no health care rationing.

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense can understand that if it is cheaper for a company to cancel employees’ health benefits and pay the $2,000 Obamacare fine instead of providing, say, a $10,000 government mandated employee health care plan, then of course that company will choose to pay the much smaller fine.

    And if companies don’t have to provide government mandated health care for part time employees, then of course that’s an incentive for them to cut back employees’ hours and make their workforce part time.

    This isn’t rocket science. This is Economics 101. And it’s happening right now at companies all over the country.

    We saw this coming, and now even President Obama’s union leader friends have finally 'fessed up to Obamacare lies. These union leaders betrayed their own membership by enthusiastically endorsing Obamacare, and now our good union brothers and sisters are at risk of losing the benefits they’ve worked for and counted on their whole lives. Union bosses, you owe your membership an apology, retraction, and resignation.

    Union leaders are now scrambling and trying to get special carve-outs exclusively for union members. I sympathize with union members – especially when they’re led by thugs. I always do. But this is the wrong way to go about fixing the enormous train wreck that is Obamacare. More cronyism, select exemptions, and special subsidies make the problem worse.

    We need to repeal the whole darn thing, and that starts with defunding it.

    Union brothers and sisters, don’t let your incompetent leadership hoodwink you again. Demand a full repeal, an immediate defunding, and some resignations.

    - Sarah Palin

    ReplyDelete
  11. .

    Definition of agreement (n)

    Bing Dictionary

    a·gree·ment

    [ ə grmənt ]


    1.formal contract: a contract or arrangement, either written or verbal and sometimes enforceable by law
    2.situation or act of consent: the state of having come to the same opinion or having made the same decision as somebody else, or an expression of this state
    3.consensus of opinion: a situation in which everyone accepts the same terms or has the same opinion


    Shirtless? I would say fully nude.

    It is interesting the look at both sides' public interpretation of this 'agreement', what is said and what is left out, and this shortly after it is signed.

    It wouldn't be allowed in a commercial agreement but in politics... Well, good enough for government work.

    Spin. Spin, Spin.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is "economics 101?"

    Didn't Sarah-baby make a "D" in Economics 101?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the "University? of Idaho," no less.

      Delete
    2. What Sarah is missing (surprise, surprise) is that employers are offering health insurance, sans threat of a fine, now, for a reason - in the case she gives, an opportunity to give the employee a non-taxable $10,000.00.

      To replace the insurance policy with cash would cost the employer approx. $13,000.00, or more.

      There's a reason people make fun of her, and her followers.

      However, if she runs "topless," I'm in.

      Delete
    3. If she runs topless, in a leather skirt, and high heels I'm . . . . . .

      uh, I'll be back in a minute. :)

      Delete

  13. This is Community Organizing on a Global scale !

    Hurray for Global Organizing !

    ReplyDelete
  14. …or is it Global Disorganizing?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Did Obama just finesse the Chinese by making a huge international deal with Russia with no substantial Chinese input?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) I think the Chinese could care less about that nonsense. They just want to make money.

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    2. If you'll think about it, Russia is somewhat to China as Canada is to the United States, with that oil pipeline running directly from the Eastern Russia oil fields directly into Sinoland.

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  16. Did Putin establish an entente cordiale with the United States?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sumpin has been going on there, for awhile.

      Remember that strange statement he made about Ed Snowden not being allowed to further hurt Russia's friend, the USA.

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    2. Good point but Obama did a hissy fit when he met Putin. I still think Chancy Gardener is still the best explanation.

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    3. Oh, hell, you'll get no argument, here. This is one of those rare occasions when even I understand that this game is being played WAAaaaay over my head

      (maybe.) :)

      Delete
  17. Or did the public in the great democracies just tell the ruling class to cut the bullshit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or did they say, "okay, this really is A Bridge Too Far. Al Queda's Air Force?

      Delete
    2. It Is interesting that the two memorable lines from this whole affair came from Sarah Palin, and Ted Cruz.

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    3. That alone should tell you that your policy has some big probs.

      Delete
  18. I would not want to be short the market come Monday morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, and I wouldn't want to be long, either. :)

      This sucker's going to crash; we just don't know "when."

      or not.

      Delete
  19. Don’t sweat the chicken shit

    They always crash

    We never no when

    Everything is chicken shit

    ReplyDelete
  20. Who’s your daddy?

    Now Putin is going to Iran to work his magic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C'mon, Big Vlad!

      Show that muzzie in the White House who's runnin' this show. :)

      Delete
    2. He cain't beat ya if you surrender, first. :)

      Delete
  21. .

    In Palin's comments posted above she makes a couple points that merely repeat those being made by the unions. However, as we approach implementation, the words of one of its biggest proponents ring true, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it..."

    Every aspect of it's conception and implementation or lack thereof is a clusterfuck. While some unions are asking for Obamacare to be shelved others are willing to go along with Obamacare as long as they also get subsidies. Why not, everyone else is?

    Obama seems to think the law is more a set of guidelines than set rules. Congress has a problem with the law? No problem, give them a subsidy. Employers have a problem? No problem, delay their implementation. Big backers of Obamacare like AARP have a problem with it? No problem, give them a waiver (this by the way will end up screwing every person on Medicare that has Gap Coverage). The average Joe needs a waiver? Whoops, big problem.

    As written, Obamacare is one more sop to the rich and influential. Everyone else, suck it up.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      .

      Those who view Obamacare as providing universal coverage need to explain the estimated 31 million who will be uninsured after its implementation.

      With the growing number of long-term unemployed you have to ask what they will do for insurance in those states where they don't qualify for Medicaid.

      .

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    2. Most of that 31 Million are either illegal aliens (you want to cover them?) or those from states that did not see fit to take the free money to expand Medicaid.

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    3. Of course, those states will eventually take the money.

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    4. Which will just leave the Illegal Aliens (who we will continue to treat, albeit inefficiently, in the Emergency Room.)

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    5. .

      Once again you mouth the administration talking points.

      After full implementation (hard to tell when that will happen given Obama's revisions to the law to selected groups) illegals will make up about 25% of the uninsured and they will be clustered primarily in 8 states according to the Urban Institute.

      Which will just leave the Illegal Aliens (who we will continue to treat, albeit inefficiently, in the Emergency Room.)

      Actually, under Obamacare reimbursement for uncompensated care has been slashed as is funding for low-cost or free clinics. In many of the clinics, people only get in through a lottery system now. In the ER, states will have to pick up the costs or the hospitals will likely cut back on beds and services just to survive.

      As for Medicaid, we'll see how Florida, Texas, and New jersey do. Y'all let us know how its going in Mississippi.

      The law itself is complicated but it is not flexible which is likely to lead to problems for many. Many people have to keep track of their income just so they don't make too much. I think the cut-off on subsidies is around $44,021. If you make $44,022 you lose out on $7k-$8K in subsidies.

      As for businesses cutting back on employment and hours to avoid Obamacare penalties, I have seen it myself. Or you can read it in the MSM.

      There are plenty of examples like this scattered throughout the law.

      As a sop to big Medigap providers like the AARP the provision under Obamacare was dropped for them that required health care providers to justify any cost increases. I expect this will hit many if not all Medicare recipients with this coverage soon as new rules are posted.

      This whole plan is a political scam. It would be interesting to know how many Obamacare waivers Pelosi's district has now.

      .

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    6. Jesus H. Christ, Quirk, you accuse other people of "non-critical" thinking, and of spouting "talking points," and then you proceed to babble nonsense. Do you really think it's set up in such a way that the difference between "$7k-$8k in subsidies" can be One Dollar?

      You're getting worse than Doug.

      Delete
    7. .

      Do you really think it's set up in such a way that the difference between "$7k-$8k in subsidies" can be One Dollar?


      Gee, Rufus, it does sound pretty perverse.

      Pretty stupid really. How could anyone be so stupid as to design a system like that?

      The size of subsidies is adjusted with income level and family size moving up. However, when you hit the max and take that step over...

      http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/080913-667074-obamacare-subsidy-cliff-will-affect-millions-.htm

      This is one of a number of articles I've seen saying the same thing. I couldn't locate the one I saw within the last week that gave the figures I reported above but the article above lists other calculators and studies.


      The Obamacare Cliff

      http://www.obamacarecliff.com/


      I've yet to see anyone deny this. If you've got other data, I am always willing to be educated.

      But I have to admit one thing. It is not likely to actually effect anyone unless they are really, really, really stupid or just plain honest. The reason? HHS is just going to 'take everyone's word' that they qualify for the subsidies without reference to IRS data for at least the next year due to 'operational barriers'.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324507404578591671926459776.html


      As I said it's a clusterfuck.

      As for old Dougo? An odd duck, but I've always found him to be a pretty smart guy.

      .

      Delete
  22. Why Putin Is Pushing Authoritarianism in Syria


    He is not only defending Assad, he’s also preserving his own power.

    DAVID ROHDESEP 13 2013, 9:57 AM ET

    Dictators have never looked so good.

    Vladimir Putin is saving the United States from another Mideast military intervention. Bashar al-Assad promises to ‘thin the herd’ of jihadists and hold Syria together. And Egypt’s new strongman, General Abdal Fattah el Sisi, says he is sorting out the Muslim Brotherhood. With each passing month in the Middle East, it seems, authoritarianism grows more attractive.

    Leaders described as “repressive” sound eminently reasonable. They promise to bring order to chaos without dirtying American hands. Putin’s op-ed article in the New York Times on Wednesday was the latest example.

    Written with the help of the American public relations firm Ketchum, the piece provoked a dizzying array of reactions. Here’s one fact check by Max Fisher of the Washington Post. Here’s a take down from Human Rights Watch. And the New Yorker posted this hilarious Andy Borowitz mock Modern Love column by the macho former KGB officer.

    The views Putin expresses are seductive. Some of his criticisms of American power are legitimate. American unilateralism — from Iraq to drone strikes to National Security Agency surveillance — undermines President Barack Obama’s credibility on striking Syria.

    But in the end Putin’s opinion piece matches his Russia. It is appealing on the surface but hollow at its core. Throughout, Putin lies by omission. In other spots, he lies flat-out. Here are two examples that would make Orwell proud.

    Putin presents himself as the pacifist and Obama as the militarist. He argues that American cruise missile strikes will “result in more innocent victims” and that the U.S. increasingly relies “solely on brute force.” He makes no mention of the vast amount of weaponry Russia has shipped to Assad over the last two years. Or the 2008 military incursion Russia carried out into Georgia without the approval of the UN Security Council.

    The Russian president then portrays the entire Syrian opposition as jihadists. He says there are “few champions of democracy in Syria” and ”more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes fighting the government.”

    No mention is made of Assad’s decision to fire on unarmed demonstrators when the uprising against him began. Nor does Putin say that government forces committed eight of the nine mass killings recently investigated by the United Nations. Finally, citing no evidence, he claims that “there is every reason to believe” that the rebels carried out the August 21st chemical attack outside Damascus.

    The issue, though, is not a tendentious op-ed. It is the state of Putin’s Russia. While he declares himself a defender of “international law” in Syria, Putin’s government systematically violates international law at home – from jailing political opponents, to imprisoning independent journalists to advocating laws that legalize homophobia.

    I briefly visited Moscow in May, while covering Secretary of State John Kerry’s first trip to Russia. Western diplomats and Russian analysts painted a bleak portrait of Russia’s future. In a globalized economy where innovation, foreign investment and transparency are key to growth, Putin is suffocating all three.
    {…}

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  23. {…}

    Putin’s relentless centralization of economic and political power has created a one-dimensional economy dependent on oil revenues. The random court cases brought against Putin rivals have prompted Russian and foreign investors to flee. They pulled $1.2 billion from Russia-focused equity funds this spring, Reuters reported, citing Putin’s failure to enact long-promised economic reforms.

    In Egypt, there are clear parallels. Gen. Sisi is promising stability, playing on nationalist sentiment and crushing all potential rivals, from Islamists to liberals to journalists. Ursula Lindsey reported in the New York Times Thursday that an ultra-nationalist “cult of Sisi” is emerging in the country.

    “Of course, this obfuscates some uncomfortable facts,” Lindsey wrote. “Having shaped the country’s economy and politics for the last 60 years, [the Egyptian military] is one of the institutions most responsible for Egypt’s corruption and decline.”

    Signs are emerging that the brutal crackdown Sisi launched two months ago that killed 1,300 Muslim Brotherhood members may backfire. Last week, the country’s pro-military interior minister narrowly survived a bomb attack. If elements of the group have radicalized, a full-scale insurgency could emerge in Egypt.

    Yes, Obama has waffled on both Egypt and Syria. He has repeatedly contradicted himself on national security. And the concept of “American exceptionalism” is clearly repugnant to other nations.

    But Putin’s defense of Assad – one of the most cynical exercises in statecraft in decades — does not make him a visionary. Nor does it make Russian-style authoritarianism a model for the Middle East.

    There is nothing complicated or altruistic about Putin’s strategy in Syria. He is defending Assad in order to preserve his key ally in the Middle East and his own rule in Russia. Putin sees Syria as the latest in a long line of American interventions that has toppled rulers. Dismissing protests against himself and other autocrats as CIA plots, he probably fears he may be next.

    As 100,000 people have died, Putin has used obstruction at the United Nations — not deft diplomacy — to elevate his standing in the world. He has spread false conspiracy theories and glossed over Syrian government war crimes to again make Russia a player on the global stage.

    Difficult questions need to be asked about U.S. interests in the Middle East. Fostering thriving, stable democracies should be our objective. But quickly achieving that ideal is not possible. In each nation, different approaches are needed.

    The Arab Spring has shown that rushed transitions to democracy can devolve into chaos, where jihadists can thrive. But we should not be fooled into thinking that authoritarianism is a long-term answer to the complex dynamics roiling the Middle East. It creates stability in the short-term — and stagnation and decay over time.

    The path to democracy in the region is long, complicated and deeply unnerving. But it should remain our ultimate goal.

    - Deuce iphone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What??

      Who are you, and what have you done with Deuce?

      Delete
  24. I leave the room for a couple of hours and the kids have to play.

    ReplyDelete
  25. In their last election cycles John McCain and Lindsey Graham received from AIPAC members, based on AIPAC endorsement..........
    McCain...........$750,368
    Graham............$84,515
    (Plus Gulfstream charters, vacations, other gifts and any under-the-table “contributions")

    AIPAC has been pushing HARD for an immediate attack on Syria. Netanyahu has had his longest EVER period of sitting quietly - waiting for AIPAC to do Israel's dirty work through the US military and the American taxpayer's almost empty pockets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much did the unspoken about arab-lobbying group give?

      Delete
    2. How much did Obama raise from Hamas ILLEGALLY before he was even elected?

      Delete
  26. Elections have consequences. Under President McCain we'd be at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran AND Syria right now, working off that 750 thousand dollar AIPAC nut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the queen had balls she'd be king.

      so your what if?

      total horseshit.

      Delete
    2. Take that Teresita.

      If you had balls you'd be Teresito.

      Delete
    3. Which would be a great name for a lunch meat, Teresitos.

      (I'm in a great mood cause I got a call from my niece. She is well, but plumb tuckered)

      Delete
    4. She is still trying to work on Quirk's brain.

      She says "It a really hard job, Bob."

      Delete
    5. .

      Ah, another call from your 'niece', Bollyann.

      What's up? She out of cab fare again?

      .

      Delete
  27. So Obama with his anti-American oil stance, coupled with quantitative easing has pushed OIL to about 108 dollars a barrel.

    Under Bush 1, during the last global recession oil was 17-22 a barrel.

    This gives America's arab enemies a reaping of almost a trillion dollars a year. About a rise of 750 BILLION dollars.

    And some folks here are worried about 750k by the Jews.

    Suckers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Rufus IISat Sep 14, 06:19:00 PM EDT
    Jesus H. Christ, Quirk, you accuse other people of "non-critical" thinking, and of spouting "talking points," and then you proceed to babble nonsense. Do you really think it's set up in such a way that the difference between "$7k-$8k in subsidies" can be One Dollar?

    You're getting worse than Doug.


    MY NIECE IS WORKING ON IT BUT IT SEEMS TO BE TOUGH GOING.

    SHE SAYS:

    FUCK IT BOB ITS LIKE TRYING TO GO ON A WALK WITH CHRIST ON A CRUTCH.

    (whatever that means, she's Hindu)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .


      That you are now quoting Rufus has shown the depths you have descended to.


      .

      Delete
  29. HER OPINION IS FROM THE MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE OF BRAIN RESEARCH -- SHE TOLD ME NOT TO REPEAT THIS ---IS THAT QUIRK IS "JUST BONKERS".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      If that is what she really said, I would suggest that rather than 'working at' she is likely being 'worked on at' the Max Plank Institute of Brain Research, a subject rather than a researcher.

      .

      Delete