“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Iraqi Fighters in Syria:

Syria nerve gas claims undermined by eyewitness accounts

Description of attack in which six rebels died adds to uncertainty about claims that sarin has been used in the conflict

The Observer, Saturday 27 April 2013 18.01 EDT

New questions have emerged over the source of the soil and other samples from Syria which, it is claimed, have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, amid apparent inconsistencies between eyewitness accounts describing one of the attacks and textbook descriptions of the weapon.
As questions from arms control experts grow over evidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a limited scale on several occasions, one incident in particular has come under scrutiny.
While the French, UK and US governments have tried to avoid saying where the positive sarin samples came from, comments by officials have narrowed down the locations to Aleppo and Homs.
Last week the Obama administration suggested that Syrian government forces may have used the lethal nerve gas in two attacks. Opposition fighters have accused regime forces of firing chemical agents on at least four occasions since December, killing 31 people in the worst of the attacks.
A letter from the British government to the UN demanding an investigation said that it had seen "limited but persuasive evidence" of chemical attacks, citing incidents on 19 and 23 March in Aleppo and Damascus and an attack in Homs in December, suggesting strongly that samples were taken at these locations.
A US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Los Angeles Times, appeared to confirm that one of the samples studied by the US was collected in December – suggesting that it too originated in Homs.
According the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, "sarin is a nerve agent that is one of the most toxic of the known chemical warfare agents. It is a clear colourless liquid … generally odourless and tasteless".
But eyewitness accounts of that attack, in which six rebels died and which were reported at the time by the Associated Press described "white smoke" pouring from shells that "smell[ed] … like hydrochloric acid".
The suggestion that one of the sarin-positive samples may have originated in Homs has added to the growing confusion surrounding the claims made with different degrees of caution by the Israeli, French, UK and US governments in recent days.
According to the US and UK governments, "miniscule" samples recovered by opposition sources and passed on to western intelligence agencies have shown traces of sarin. No other agents have been mentioned.
While the contradictions between the eyewitness accounts and traces of sarin in the samples may well be attributable to the confusion of battle, it underlines the uncertainties around the claims, which have included questions about whether some of the videotaped symptoms are consistent with sarin exposure.
Reflecting just how little is known about the circumstances in which people may have been exposed to chemical agents in Syria, President Barack Obama has said: "Knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used. We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately." Obama warned in December that the Assad regime would face "consequences" if it were disclosed that chemical weapons had been used.


  1. April 27, 2013

    A top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin says claims that chemical weapons have been used in Syria should not become a pretext for foreign military intervention in the country.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin's Middle East envoy, was speaking in Beirut.

    Also on April 27, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi called Western suspicions that Damascus has used chemical weapons “a bald-faced lie.”

    The remarks come a day after U.S. President Barack Obama warned Damascus that any use of chemical weapons would be a "game changer" in how Washington views the Syria crisis.

    On April 25, U.S. officials said for the first time there was evidence the Syrian regime had likely used chemical weapons in small quantities but that more investigation was necessary to confirm the suspicions.

    Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

    1. .

      The first thing that came to mind months ago when Obama mentioned chemical weapopns in Syria was 'false flag', here is the excuse.


  2. Foreigners make up core of armed opposition in Syria - information minister

    15:50 April 27, 2013 Interfax

    Foreigners make up the core of the armed opposition in Syria, says Syrian Information Minister Umran Ahid al-Za'bi.

    Meeting with Russian Federation Council Deputy Chairman Ilyas Umakhanov, al-Za'bi said the armed opposition fighting in Syria includes mostly mercenaries who came to the country not only from the neighboring states but also from the United Kingdom, Australia, France and some other countries far away from Syria.
    "Based on information that we have, gunmen from 29 countries are fighting on Syrian territory. There are over 5,000 of such militants on the opposition side from Yemen alone. And these foreign armed forces make up the core of the opposition armed units," he said.
    The influx of foreign insurgents to Syria is growing consistently, al-Za'bi said. "This foreign interference factor represented by these militants is the principal obstacle in settling the conflict and stabilizing the situation in the country," he said.

    1. .

      Sounds like the Spanish Civil War in the thirties, government versus rebels, fascists versus commies, Falange versus anarchists, In Syria, it's government against rebels, Sunni against Shia, and Fascist against Islamist. The only known known is that whatever happens, the life of the average Joe there will be just as bad and probably much worse than it was before the civil war started.


  3. Kerry warns NATO on potential use of chemical weapons in Syria

    By Elise Labott

    Brussels, Belgium (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged NATO members on Tuesday to prepare for the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, while Russia's foreign minister accused the West of politicizing the search for such weapons, comparing it to the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    Though NATO has flatly ruled out military intervention, Kerry told foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, that "moving forward, we should consider NATO's role as it relates to the Syrian crisis."

    In his first address to NATO since taking office in February, Kerry noted that ongoing contingency planning for Syria was "an appropriate undertaking for the alliance."

    1. “If Sunni extremists win in Syria, the next battle will take place in Lebanon”

      Kassem Zein is a computer engineer in Baflay, a village in southern Lebanon. His cousin, a Hezbollah fighter, was killed in Damascus.

      At the beginning, within every family in Baflay and in southern Lebanon in general [where the population is mainly Shiite and Hezbollah is omnipresent], there were different views about the situation in Syria. Some felt it was not the Lebanese people’s duty to go fight in Syria in support of Bashar Al-Assad [editor’s note: Al-Assad is himself Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam].

      But people slowly began to realise that this wasn’t the fundamental question at hand. Our young people are not fighting for Assad. Their fight is deeply related to the continuation of our history, the history of Shiite Islam. We have always been obliged to fight for our beliefs and our sacred sites.

      The combatants are not mercenaries – they are fighting to defend their ideological and political beliefs, because if Sunni extremists win in Syria, the next battle will take place in Lebanon. Their goal is to prevent this from happening.

    2. “The men get preliminary training in their home countries, then finish their training in Syria, where they learn urban warfare”

      Aabass Rida, 20, is a Shiite fighter from the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas brigade. He is Iraqi.

      I was already living in Damascus before the conflict began; I came here to work in construction. When the fighting reached Damascus, certain rebel groups threatened to destroy the Sayyidah Zaynab mausoleum, and I felt it was my duty to defend this holy site.

      Our foreign fighters come to Syria with only one goal: to protect holy sites from Sunni extremists who consider us Shiites to be renegades. There is a rotation of 1,000 fighters every month. The men get preliminary training in their home countries, then finish their training in Syria, where they learn urban warfare. Each man receives a sum of money at the beginning and again just before they return to their home countries. We’re not here to protect the Syrian regime; our operational zone is strictly limited to the Sayyidah Zaynab area.

    3. It seems obvious that the Middle East is set-up like a row of dominoes.

      The Sunni are on the march, with US assistance.
      We are now "balancing" the advances we handed the Shia and Iran, in Iraq.

      The US, surfin' that Islamic wave.

    4. .

      The rat enters the way-back machine and resurrects the domino theory only this time it is the U.S. pushing the first domino.

      Brilliant insight.

      The brilliant and cunning Barach Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, the NSC (forget who is even on it these days) with generals the caliber of Petreus, have devised a clever Machiavellian plot to recover from the clusterfucks we have previously visited on the ME, a strategy culled from The Art of War.

      Sun Tzu would be proud.

      Yes, it all makes sense now.


    5. Well, Q, I did not ressurect the theory. I saw that Mr Assad mention it a couple of weeks ago.
      Then above ...

      ... they are fighting to defend their ideological and political beliefs, because if Sunni extremists win in Syria, the next battle will take place in Lebanon. ...

      Fits into the "Arab Summer" meme.

      If Springtime in the Arc is not enough ...

      Could be a long hot Summer.

    6. .

      I am not arguing the course of events in the ME, rat.

      I only argue with the ludicrous assertion that there is a guileful, U.S. dark imminence manipulating the course of the events there, that the U.S. is willfully manipulating the chess pieces in accordance with a grand master plan which has the ultimate aim of restoring 'balance', balance as defined by the wizards in OZ..

      It's like asserting that when things end up 'ok' in the end in British comedies, it's because of Mr. Bean's intelligence and foresight.




    7. Not Bean's intelligence, but his "stick to it tiveness".

      Set a course, the stay it.

      Things will work out ...

      We've got the deepest pockets.


  4. Does Obama have the sense to keep us out of this mess?

    1. Yes, to the Max!

      About an hour ago, I realized that the Pubs were just absolutely out to lunch, and that they were touting policies for disaster, and that I was a racist, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Sharia POS, and I had much to learn from Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mom, Zubeidat, even tho they are Caucasians.

      I have taken my entire nestegg, which to many resembles a yolk, and invested it in Pressure Cooker Futures, which I will cash in to use for the campaign to give our first Muslim, Nigerian, Socialist, bomber professor supporting, Amerika hating POTUS a third term, or turd, depending on your POV.

      Thank you very much,

      Douglas II

      Bomber had a Jihadi Mommy

      Jihad was handed down from mother to son in the Tsarnaev family, newly disclosed wiretaps show.

      Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev talked over Muslim extremist ideas with his mother, Zubeidat, in a conversation recorded by the FSB, the Russian internal security service.

      In the early 2011 conversation, Tamerlan and his mother vaguely discussed jihad, American officials told the AP.

      During their chat, Zubeidat discussed with her son the possibility he could go to Palestine, according to information about the conversation the Russians didn’t share with the US until after the Boston bombings.


      Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was heard on Russian wiretaps discussing radical Islamic ideas with her son, Tamerlan.

      Tamerlan was cool to the Palestine idea, because he didn’t speak the language, the officials said.

      Soon after the mother-son jihad chat, the Russians asked the FBI to bring Tamerlan in for an interview, because they feared he had taken on religious extremist views.

      US officials said the information the Russians shared then was vague. Nothing came of the questioning, and the FBI closed the case in June 2011.

      There’s other evidence that Zubeidat swayed her son’s religious views.

    2. :):):):):)

      Very good Doug.

      Pressure Cooker Futures

      heh heh heh

    3. Zubeidat said her boy was a lovely boy, just a lovely, lovely boy.

      We must believe her, mothers know their sons.

      He was framed. That stuff on the sidewalk was red paint, she is certain.

    4. This was no different than the phoney 9-11 scenario in which "planes" brought down that entire complex.

      Ratshit, with his knowledge of explosives, has explained, in detail, "how things really came down."

      This is that kind of Ratcrap all over again.

      When will we learn???

    5. There were no planes. Did you see any plane parts by the Pentagon?

      At the Twin Towers, those were holographic projected images of planes. The explosions were from explosives planted in the buildings by the Israelis and that is why all the Jews had left the buildings.

      That plane that came down in Pennsylvania had been hit by lightning.

      It all makes sense now.

      They are still lying about it. Did you notice they claimed to have found some plane parts between two building near the Towers just recently. After all this time, just how likely is that?

      Not very likely, I daresay.

    6. You fellas are losin' it.

      Now you doubt that planes struck the Twin Towers.
      Totally insane, to write that.

      Explain, again, how Building Seven failed.

      No real structural engineer successfully can.

    7. But you two have ...


      That's great.

  5. Plus, I support the campaign to prosecute the legand of FDR for intervening in the Japanese atrocities in China and throughout SE Asia, thereby precipitating our entry into WWII.


    Ratshit II


    Now, can I have my membership card to this Assclown Club of the Internets?

    1. You may wish to prosecute FDR for attacking Japan in China.

      I am just happy you acknowledge that for US, WWII was not a "Defensive" War.
      But one the US had instigated, with covert Special Air Operations, commonly referred to as the "flying Tigers.

    2. That you are beginning to shift your position on US historical propaganda, just ...


    3. .

      But one the US had instigated, with covert Special Air Operations, commonly referred to as the "flying Tigers.

      Over the past few days, you have repeated this reference to the Flying Tigers leaving the impression you consider them the precipitating factor in forcing Japan to war with the U.S.

      I had always thought it was the fact that since WWI we and the Brits had been trying to stick it to Japan, that when Japan started their imperialistic march through Asia, we risisted them in rather significant ways. In 1941 after Japan entered Indochina, we imposed an embargo on the sale of all metal and scrap metal going to Japan, in the same month the Flying Tigers were 'sent' to China the U.S. froze all Japanese assets, in a subsequent sanctions regime drawn up by Dean Atchison we cut off their oil leaving only one place for them to get it, the Dutch East Indies. Knowing that if they attacked the Indies, it would mean war with us, well...

      Also interesting was the fact that what was termed the 'peace party' in Japan which was in power prior to Tojo coming in offered to meet with FDR to discuss Japan's withdrawal from Indochina and China in exchange for the oil embargo being dropped but FDR refused.

      Yet, now we hear that it was the Flying Tigers, who spent at most three months in China prior to Pearl Harbor, that precipitated the war, not by attacking Japan but by attacking Japanese assets in China.



    4. The US had signed off on Japanese Imperialism in China.

      At the Treaty of Portsmouth, in 1905 Teddy Roosevelt negotiated and ratified its permanence.

      This just one of the steps in the march to war.

      Which started with the US military threat of naval bombardment, "Opening" Japan to trade, in 1852.
      Followed by Japan's war with Russia and Teddy's role in negotiating the settlement. A settlement which ceded China to Japan.

      By the late 1930's the FDR administration was trying to involve the US n the global conflict that England found itself in. By 1940 he had US Army airmen in the fight, in China. Supporting the Brits without Congressional Authorization.


      The point, Q, is that the US was not fighting a "Defensive" war when it utilized nuclear weapons against Japan. No, it was culminating a 90 year saga of military aggression against them.
      One that began in 1852. At least from the Japanese point of view.

      The Japanese knowing full well the US had no pretense of moral superiority when it used it's gun boats to extort policies the US wanted from Japan. Then again when we flew against them in the lands we had approved their occupation of.

      History did not start on 7DEC41.

    5. If the echoes of the past are not heard reverberating in the present, it is only because you are deaf.

    6. Using the modern standard, US policies developed under Bush/Cheney and the Israeli history of preemption in the face of any aggravation, the Japanese were totally justified in attacking the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and the invasion of and defeat of the US military in the Philippines.

      By 1941 there was an 89 year history of US aggression and military actions aimed towards Japan.
      They HAD to act.

    7. The Jananese Plan" to destroy the US Pacific fleet in the habor. Eliminate US offeensive capability and then ...

      ... negotiate a peace settlement.

      There were to many targeting points and the Japanese missed the aircraft carriers. Failing to eliminate US capabilities and rousing an apathetic population to action in the US.

      Preemption failed the Japanese.
      Even if it they believed it was justified.

    8. .

      The point, Q, is that the US was not fighting a "Defensive" war when it utilized nuclear weapons against Japan. No, it was culminating a 90 year saga of military aggression against them.

      If that was your point, you should have made it clearly. Instead, for the past week or so the only proof you have offered to prove the U.S. was not fighting a defensive war was the Flying Tigers. I am not aware of any U.S. airmen fighting in China in 1940. I thought it was in mid-1941 just a couple of months before Pearl Harbor making it unlikely they were the precipitating event starting the war. I laid out above some of the economic (rather than military) pressures that the U.S. was imposing on China and those factors provided much more emphasis to the march towards war.

      My point was there were too many more important contributing factors leading to the war than a squadron of fighters regardles of their eventual successes.


    9. I had gone through the entire calendar of events a few days ago, Q.

      I can understand, though, that you may have missed it.
      I sometimes miss some of your missives.

    10. .

      Which started with the US military threat of naval bombardment, "Opening" Japan to trade, in 1852.
      Followed by Japan's war with Russia and Teddy's role in negotiating the settlement. A settlement which ceded China to Japan.

      I was aware of Japan being handed Korea at that time but I would be interested in what treaty ceded China to Japan.


    11. I brought it up, as some anonymous boobie had claimed US exceptionalism, in using nuclear weapons, because the US had done so in a "Defensive" war.

      WWII was many thing, but a defensive war against Japan, on the part of the US, not one of them.

    12. The same one that ceded Korea, the Treaty of Portsmouth, circa 1905.

      US President Roosevelt presiding.

      As per Wiki.

    13. Economic sanctions, blockades and such can be considered acts of war.

      The Japanese thought so.
      We could ask the Iranians how they feel about it.

      Nah ...
      We already know.

    14. .

      I looked up the treaty in Wiki but couldn't find where it ceded China to Japan. If anything it appeared China gained from the treaty,

      In accordance with the treaty, both Japan and Russia agreed to evacuate Manchuria and return its sovereignty to China, but Japan leased the Liaodong Peninsula (containing Port Arthur and Talien), and the Russian rail system in southern Manchuria with access to strategic resources. Japan also received the southern half of the Island of Sakhalin from Russia.


    15. .

      Likewise, I won't nit-pick over whether the WWII could be described as a 'defensive war', since if one looks at the semantics of it you could argue the issue either way depending on your point of view and the length of that view. However, to imply that Japan was an innocent victim of U.S. aggression is absurd.

      In 1937, Japan invaded Manchuria and China, a U.S. ally. Acts like the Rape of Nanking and the assault on the U.S.S. Panay did nothing to improve U.S./Japanese relations. However, we mainly just worked through diplomatic channels rather than military ones until 1940 when Japan issued a mandate declaring they would be driving all Western imperialists out of Asia, "Asia for the Asian". They then started signing specific treaties to facilitate their plans, like the Tripartite Treaty in 1940 allying Japan with Germany and Italy, then in mid-1941 Japan signed a Nuetrality Pact with the Soviet Union iluminating their plans to move into SE Asia, and at about the same time they signed an agreement with Vichy France that allowed them to move troops into Indochina. It was only after these agressive acts by Japan that the U.S. and its allies started the embargoes of oil and materials to Japan in 1941.

      Japan was hardly an innocent being attacked by the big bad U.S.A. They were merely another player in a world of imperialism who in the end got their hands slapped.


    16. I would never say that the Japanese were innocents abroad, Q.

      There is a discrepancy 'tween Wiki and the US State Department, from whom this data point is provided. Myapologies for sending you to a less than reliable source, as it relates to the content of the Treaty. I assume that the State Dept is correct.

      ... in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and were brokered in part by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The final agreement was signed in September of 1905, and it affirmed the Japanese presence in south Manchuria and Korea and ceded the southern half of the island of Sakhalin to Japan.

      Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State

    17. I would not even claim that FDR was "wrong" in deploying those Flying Tigers, only that the US was no innocent abroad, either.

      That by the modern standard, that employed by the US and Israel, the Japanese were within their "rights".

      And that in the scheme of things, dating to 1852, the US had been the aggressor in their bi-lateral relationship.

    18. ... and, as I've said a couple of times, that storyline being the Japanese perspective of the history.

      They claim they were forced to fight, by US.

      Which echoes loud through the current international environment.

  6. I risk my newly granted membership, but I humbly as permission to refer to Zubeidat Tsarnaeva as a worthless, disgusting, ugly, C... POS.

    Thanks again.

  7. I hope all the assclown members are aware that the entire Tsarnaeva clan was supported by taxpayer funded welfare checks.

    Jihad on Welfare! ease the conscience of our once-racist, guilt ridden, man from Mississip.

  8. I've never been a Conan Obrien Fan, but I find this hilarious.

    He was also derided for not coming down hard enough on Obama.

    I thought Obama's act was pretty funny.

    Too bad he is POTUS, and not a standup comedian.

  9. In other news, the Swedes are now subjected to the Call to Prayer,

    This article has some info about the Call to Prayer if you have ever wondered what exactly is in it.

    Stockholm, and eventually any Swedish city or municipality where a mosque can be found, will soon enjoy more of the same five times a day for the entire week. As senior analyst Soeren Kern writes, "the decision is especially significant because it will set a precedent for all of the 200 other mosques in Sweden." Sharia law has just been imposed on the citizens of Stockholm. Good luck Sweden, you are not alone.

    April 28, 2013
    Sounding the Sharia in Sweden
    Cynthia Yacowar-Sweeney

    Obama says the Call to Prayer is the most beautiful sound on earth, and if the political winds change, he will side with the muslems. That is because he is a muslim. It is why he has folks from CAIR hanging around the White House all the time.

    I am struggling to decide which country is the dumber, Sweden, or the USA.

    1. If you are unhappy with Sweden, move.

      Oh, that's right, your folks already did.

      Why in the world would someone, a 2nd or 3rd generation refugee, hold such romantic fantasies for a place that their ancestors left behind, never returned to and abandoned their citizenship in.

    2. Struggling to understand why your forebears chose the US?

      How bizarre.

    3. This is a truly lame attempt at a criticism, General Bunk. You can do better than this. It is not worthy of you.

    4. Not a criticism, but a comment upon your truly bizarre behavior of late.

  10. Our always helpful, most strategic, irreplaceable, eternal ally ever, that never misses an opportunity to get us into another Islamic war chimes in:

    Israel minister: US should intervene in Syrian war

    JERUSALEM -- An Israeli Cabinet minister has called on the U.S to intervene in the Syrian civil war after intelligence reports of chemical weapons use there.

    The U.S has warned such weapons cross a red line and last week said the weapons were probably used. Israel says they were used.

    Environment Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday action should have been taken long ago due to the high civilian death toll. "We expect whoever defines red lines will also do what is needed, first and foremost the U.S. and of course the entire international community," he said. His remarks do not reflect Israeli policy.

    The White House says it is still trying to pin down definitive proof of the use of chemical weapons.

    Read more here:

    1. The Israeli are "right there", on the border.

      If intervention is required, by the Israeli Standard, they best get crackin'.

      They can spend US treasure, Europeon blood.

      They already have our treasure ...

      All they have to do, decide to spill their own blood.
      Then their modern military machine can roll.

    2. I expect whoever defines red lines will do what is needed, first and foremost the Israeli..

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Western intelligence officials therefore fear that an extensive, detailed report of findings would reveal their hand to the Assad government, possibly compromising agents or allies on the ground who were able to acquire evidence quickly.

    Speaking to the Jerusalem Post , Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren said intelligence work on Syria’s chemical weapons between Israel and the US – and in coordination with other Middle Eastern powers – is “intimate,” but that Israel’s strategic “red line” is different than the one oft-repeated by the American president since last August.

    “Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu has stated that Israel’s red line is any attempt by Syria to transfer chemical or other game-changing weapons to Hezbollah,” Oren said. “That is our red line, and we stand by it.

    “We are not pressuring, urging or even suggesting that the United States should take military action in Syria,” the ambassador continued. “All we have stated is that if a decision were to be made to provide weapons to rebels, those who receive them should be closely vetted.”

    Two days before the White House acknowledgment, and two days after meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon openly cited instances of chemical weapons use in Syria.

    Hagel told journalists the announcement caught him by surprise and that the US was still searching for hard proof in “real intelligence.”

    “If the Israelis are going to force the president’s hand, they don’t want to waste it on this,” said Daniel Byman, director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. “But certainly, the Israelis put this back on the agenda.

    “It’s rare that you get the perfect intelligence,” Byman added, “or the smoking gun that you need, as we saw painfully in Iraq.”

    Facing pressure from both sides of the aisle in Congress to match his words with deeds, US President Barack Obama reiterated his stance on Friday after meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan: Chemical weapons were a “game changer,” and the US would have to respond – in one way or another.

    Foreign affairs experts, ranking congressmen and Senate Intelligence Committee members have all agreed: strategically, the administration has given itself little choice.

    “It’s not reasonable to seek perfect certainty – that becomes an excuse for inaction.

    And that worries me not about Syria, but about Iran,” Abrams said. “If we do nothing, the Iranians are going to draw the conclusion that this language means nothing.”

    1. .

      “It’s not reasonable to seek perfect certainty – that becomes an excuse for inaction.

      Gosh, we gotta do something, he said as he crossed his legs to prevent pissing his pants.



  12. Israeli Leaders Push US into another Pro-Israel War in Syria
    Yusuf Fernandez, Lebanon

    Tel Aviv is trying to pave the way for a US-led foreign intervention in Syria by accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons. This is the same excuse, the weapons of mass destruction, that pro-Israeli neocon circles used in 2003 to launch the Iraq war. Later, this claim proved to be a lie as many experts from all over the world had warned in advance. For its part, Syria denied that it had used chemical weapons. Syrian Information Minister was quoted as saying on 24 April that his country would not use this kind of weapons even in the event of war with its worst enemy, Israel.

    On 15 April, head of Israel´s Military Intelligence and Former Head of the Institute for National Security, General Amos Yadlin, called for taking steps to break the axis of resistance -which consists of Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria- by weakening Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and ending his rule as soon as possible. The Channel 2 of the Israeli TV further quoted Yadlin as saying that “whoever that is not aware that the fall of Assad is a positive development for Israel, would be incapable of reading the situation correctly.”

    Yadlin added, in a statement at the conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INNS) in Tel Aviv, that he did not rule out a confrontation between Israel and Syria. However, he warned that it would be a tough war, because a war with the Syrian Army meant that Scud missiles, and maybe more advanced missiles, would hit Tel Aviv.”

    For his part, Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of the research and analysis division of Israeli military intelligence, said on April 24 that Syrian troops had probably used Sarin, a lethal nerve agent, against foreign-backed militants on several occasions in the past few months. Brun gave no indication that he had a solid evidence, such as soil samples, typically used to verify chemical weapons use.

    Significantly, he made the remarks as US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was ending a three-day visit to Israel focused on the Syrian crisis and Iran´s nuclear energy program. During his travel, Hagel rewarded Israel with a new whopping arms deal.

    The US has described any use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line”, which would probably lead to a military action. However, the US and its Western allies remained silent when the sole real example of use of chemical weapons, which took place in the Khan al Assal village, in the Aleppo province, happened. This is hardly surprising because since the beginning of its efforts to promote a civil war in Syria, Washington has relied heavily on the extremist forces that used the chemical weapons, particularly the Al Nusra front, which has just declared its oficial allegiance to Al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia. Turkey and Qatar have sent weapons to these groups, while Washington has been engaged in a covert operation to help radical militants from Libya and other nations go to Syria in order to fight against the Syrian government.

    Even worse, the UN, under US pressure, refused to investigate the Khan al-Assal incident and put it at the same level as unfounded allegations by armed groups that Syrian troops had used chemical weapons. Of course, no real evidence was supplied to back such claims either.

    Russian Foreign Secretary, Sergei Lavrov, denounced that the US and its European allies had blocked an investigation into claims of chemical weapons use. “Instead of sending a group of experts to a concrete location near Aleppo, as it was promised,” Lavrov said, “they started demanding the Syrian authority give access to all facilities on Syrian territory. They started to require allowing them to interrogate all citizens on the territory of Syria. It is an attempt to politicize the issue and attempt to give the same requirements to Syria as were given to Iraq long ago, where nuclear weapons were looked for.”

    1. It's odd. I remember distinctly, though I can't recall his name, listening to an Israeli general warning us not to go into Iraq - you may long for Saddam someday.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Israel pressure on the Obama Administration

    Shortly after Brun made his remarks, the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cast doubt on an Israeli general's conclusion that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons some months ago. “Any US response to Syria will be based on American intelligence findings. Suspicions are one thing”, Hagel told reporters. “Evidence is another.”

    For his part, In Brussels, Secretary of State John Kerry, pathetically declared that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “not in a position to confirm” Brun´s assessment, as if a confirmation by one of the worst enemies of Syria against that country was a kind of infallible word determining the truth.

    US media reports claim that the allegations by the Obama government of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria had led hawkish congressmen to put further pressure on the Administration to act on his previous threat that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “game changer”. Some Zionist Republicans, who are arms industry lobbyists as well, have been pressing the Obama administration to send arms to militant groups fighting in Syria or even launch a military invasion of the Arab country in an outright attempt to topple the government of President al-Assad.

    Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican Senator and former presidential candidate, demanded that Obama take action to enforce his “red line” by setting up a “safe area” on Syrian territory and a “no-fly zone”. Such steps would require American airstrikes and the involvement of US troops on the ground. Another Senator, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat for California and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that a military “action must be taken to prevent larger scale use” of chemical weapons.
    The Washington Post quoted a phrase in a White House letter sent to Congress -“no option is off the table”- and showed concerns that another US military action in Syria “would open up a new front in the Islamic world.” The newspaper, however, also claimed that the an American military invasion against Syria “could also serve notice to Iran that Obama means what he says when he draws red lines.”

    Unsurprisingly, the “national coalition”, set up by the American government and made up by some unrepresentative figures of the Muslim Brotherhood and other exiles, rapidly called for the US and other Western countries to act “urgently and decisively” to prove that the US President´s red line was not only “empty words.” This opposition group, considered as the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” by Washington and its allies, does not hesitate to press for a war even though it means a devastation for their country.

    It is noteworthy to point out that US actions against Syria started some weeks ago. At that time, some media reported that Washington had already sent 200 American soldiers to Jordan’s border with Syria to train anti-Syrian militants and, in Hagel’s words, “improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios.” Senior US officials told Los Angeles Times that these scenarios included the deployment of 20,000 US troops to invade Syria with the excuse of controlling its chemical weapons stockpile.

    During the last meeting of the so-called “Friends of Syria” group, now reduced to 11 members, Kerry also announced the US would double its “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian terrorists to 250 million dollars. According to Reuters, a US official said that this aid “could include for the first time battlefield support equipment such as body armor and night-vision goggles.” “US officials have said in the past that the equipment could include armored vehicles and advanced communications equipment, but Kerry gave no specifics,” added Reuters.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. If two pipe bombs in Boston can be classified as WMD, the term is meaningless.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Except that they are classified as WMD.

      So while the pipe bombs are not militarily significant, they provide US a way to gauge the political reality of WMDs.

      Anything can be a WMD, even a pipe bomb or a M16A1 Claymore.
      All that has to happen, a few dead and a hundred wounded, and we've got employment of a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

      Words so abused by the powers that be that terms become meaningless rhetoric.

  14. Another ruinous pro-Israel war?

    Today, just as it happened a decade ago in Iraq, untrue claims of the employment of Syrian chemical weapons against foreign-backed militants are used as an excuse to launch an aggressive war to benefit Israeli and US geo-strategic interests in the Middle East.

    Some wonder why the US and Israel are trying to use the pretext of chemical weapons just now. The real reason is probably the changes in the battlefield in Syria. Actually, the Western-backed militants, including those having links with Al Qaeda-, have suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of the Syrian army, including the loss of the strategic towns of Al Qusayr, near the Lebanon border, and Otaiba, east of Damascus, both of which had served as important corridors for the passage of militants and weapons supplied by Western countries and Gulf monarchies. These Western and Gulf governments now fear that, without a direct Western military aggression, terrorists will be crushed and completely defeated in Syria.

    Zionist circles in the US link a possible attack on Syria with another war against Iran with the excuse of curbing its nuclear program. The real goal of this anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian campaign is to help Israel achieve hegemony in the Middle East and impose US control over the strategic and oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. These criminal policies threaten a wider conflagration involving the entire region, and are ultimately aimed at weakening or destroying China or Russia, US main rivals in the world, which are promoting a multipolar world.

    It is not only the people of Syria who would suffer the consequences of such an awful war. The American people would also pay a high price not only in terms of the lives of its soldiers sent to fight for Israel and US imperialism but also of the inevitable escalation of restrictive economic and social policies and attacks on living standards that would be implemented in order to finance this new and also ruinous pro-Israel war.

    Al-Manar is not responsible for the content of the article. All opinions expressed are those of the writer's not Al-Manar’s or its staff.

    1. The Islamoids CANNOT fight, not if the Syrian Army can beat 'em.

      Where in modern times has an Islamic military beaten a secular, Christian, Jewish or Hindu military?

    2. If even the Alawi are beating the Islamoid back, well ...
      ... talk about a "Paper Tiger".

    3. Where in modern times has an Islamic military beaten a secular, Christian, Jewish or Hindu military?

      Afghanistan, General Bunk, Military Expert, Afghanistan.

      The Russians withdrew. They lost.

      We are losing too.

      You need coffee. And remedial military history classes.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. No, in Afghanistan the Russians were winning, until the Israeli and US became involved.
      The Islamoids in Islamabad were beat.

      Better watch or read
      "Charlie Wilson's War".

    6. For the US, defeating the Islamoids was easy, managing their country, not worth the costs based upon the benefits.

    7. The Islamoids cannot build weapons.
      Not even a battle rifle, let alone a main battle tank.

      That the AK family of weapons is used as a symbol by the Islamoids, just another symbol that exposes their own admission of industrial ineptitude and military incompetence.

    8. We helped towards the end, but they are winning now too. They won before with a little foolish help from us before, now they are winning again, with our opposition. And have watched Charlie's War.

      You asked, General Bunk -

      Where in modern times has an Islamic military beaten a secular, Christian, Jewish or Hindu military?

      And the answer is Afghanistan. Two times. So they got a little help the first time. They are not getting much help this time, save from Pakistan perhaps.

      And Obama said Afghanistan was the critical war, the one in which we must prevail.

    9. We have prevailed, in that war.
      Osama is dead.

      The 14SEP01 Authorization nearing its' completion, be happy.

      Mission Accomplished!

    10. You refuse to accept that the mission is completed.

      Not all of US share your prejudice against US military achievements.

      You attempt to include political goals with the application of military power, a perpetual failing of the neo-con movement. Political settlements are not dependent upon or necessarily reflective of military accomplishments.

      Any US failings in Afghanistan were not military, but political.
      Don't conflate the two.

  15. It is impossible to ignore all the signs of the effort to draw the US into the worst possible war coming in the Middle East.

    It is coming from our own permanent war party and the supporters and individual players in Europe and the Middle East.

    None of it has anything to do with US security, except the blow-back and wealth destruction that will come to ordinary US citizens. It will cost us our money, our freedom, some of our lives and there is not one Muslim or Israeli life that is worth the price.

  16. The Federal Helium Program — left over from the age of zeppelins and an infamous symbol of Washington’s inability to cut what it no longer needs — will be terminated.

    Unless it isn’t.

    On Friday, in fact, the House voted 394 to 1 to keep it alive.

    “Many people don’t believe that the federal government should be in the helium business. And I would agree,” Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) said on the House floor Thursday.

    But at that very moment, Hastings was urging his colleagues to keep the government in the helium business a little while longer.

    The Federals just HAD to act.
    As one Congressman said ...

    "Imagine a world without balloons ..."

  17. WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he believes the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had some training in carrying out their attack.

    Rep. Michael McCaul is citing the type of device used in the attack — shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs — and the weapons' sophistication as signs of training.

    There are entire Universities, with complete curriculum, that operate on line.

    Training is Everything
    Everything is Training

    193d Inf Bde, Canal Zone

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  19. The Permanent War Party ponders its next self-inflicted disaster

    By Michael O'Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News

    A bipartisan slate of political leaders pondered what role the United States should play in Syria following indications that its besieged leader used chemical weapons in that country's civil war.

    Following the Obama administration's declaration this week that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against rebels looking to unseat him, lawmakers pondered how to best respond. President Barack Obama had previously called the use of such weapons a "red line" that would prompt a response from the United States.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged the president to begin identifying a strategy to secure Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons should the government fall.

    “Be prepared with an international force to go in and secure these stocks of chemical, and perhaps biological, weapons," McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    But, mindful of Americans’ war-weariness following nearly a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, McCain cautioned against sending U.S. troops to Syria, warning that it could prompt resentment from Syrians. ( Fucking genius and all, who would have ever thought the Syrians would be resentful if we bombed and killed a few more thousand. It’s enough to take your OOrah) away

    1. .

      McCain translated: Send in the French and the Brits, the Turks and Canadians, the Federation and the Romulans, just not U.S. troops.

      He continues his role as 'Moe' of the Three Stooges but on the big stage.


  20. Would it never occur to them to mind our own business, which on its own can stand a little tidying up?

  21. Do any of them have the courage to stand up to the bullies and cowards that want someone else to fight their needless wars, to do their killing for them?

    1. Do you think, perhaps, they might have a different agenda ~ one that isn't really in the best interest of a sovereign people?

    2. The thought did cross my mind.

  22. How're you going to sell F-16's, and Ospreys if you don't have a War to fight?

  23. April 28, 2013
    This is why Obama won't intervene in Syria
    Rick Moran

    1. Just listened to the Israeli Ambassador being interviewed on Fox. Didn't sound to me like he was urging the US to intervene in Syria. He said specifically that Israel was not making any recommendations about Syria. He said that for the Israelis, the red line is if chemical weapons should get into Lebanon. He said that if the US does arm some Syrians they best really vet to whom they are giving the weapons. Look at Libya, he said. .

      He said the recent intelligence reports are all coming from the same sets of evidence. That is why they are all pretty much the same in Israel, the US, Britain and France.

    2. Garbage in, garbage out.

      Everyone using the same dump.

    3. On the other hand, Rick Moran may be underestimating the pull of all things sunni and MB on Obama.

    4. Garbage in, garbage out.

      Everyone using the same dump.

      You have no more knowledge of or information about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria than anyone else here, General B.

      No one here knows anything about it. Maybe the rebs got some stuff and used it on themselves.

      You just like to make out like you know something when you do not.

      You have no idea whether the reports are garbage, or edible food.

      The Israeli Ambassador said the reports were just an intelligence estimate of probability, far from certainty.

    5. He said the recent intelligence reports are all coming from the same sets of evidence. That is why they are all pretty much the same in Israel, the US, Britain and France.

      That's the same dump

      ... the reports were just an intelligence estimate of probability, far from certainty.

      That's the garbage

      That's Garbage In, Garbage Out.

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  25. Obama and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt are "die-hard defenders of the Brotherhood-Salafist Islamist project"

    The Salafists are even more strongly committed to imposing Sharia than is the Muslim Brotherhood. And now Salafist leaders have been invited to the U.S. by two mosques led by Salafists in the U.S. And there is talk in Egypt that Obama may back these hardline Islamic supremacists. "Finally, Salafists to visit the US: On their first visit to Washington, how will Egypt's Salafists present themselves, especially on issues like democracy, women and Copts?," by Mohamed El-Menshawy

    Also of interest -

    "Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of"

    If Obama intervenes, he will be aiding the jihadis and enabling the creation of yet another Sharia state that will be unshakably hostile to the U.S. Of course, that doesn't mean he won't intervene.

    Poor ol' Rufus really got scammed, didn't he?

    He voted for an Abrahamic religious freak who promised to make everything better.

    Po', po' 'ol Ruf. He really don got taken to the cleaners.

  26. "Abrahamic" is po' 'ol Ruf's word for anything over that way to the east.

    1. Abrahamic includes your goofy-assed "Christian" religion, btw.

    2. Too bad the meteor that hit the Caribbean didn’t come down in the Middle East and knocked them all to their heavenly kingdom so they could have become vassals and slaves for eternity.

    3. "Abrahamic" is po' 'ol Ruf's word for anything over that way to the east.

      Got it Ruf.

      And when did I ever say I was a church going Christian?

      I like the Bible, all of it, and have developed my own way, certainly not by myself, but with help from reading, of thinking about it.

      I don't think, for instance, that anyone else, not even 'God's son', can die for and absolve one of one's errors. One must try to 'save' oneself in that sense.

      There is great beauty in the Bible, and you are missing something by not really studying it some.

  27. "Airstrikes aren't reliable because they can just release all the chemical agents into the air," she said. "Alternatively, they only do half the job and then render a secure site open to looters."

    Nor, she added, would quick-fire raids by small teams of special forces be an alternative. "You would have to first secure the sites and then do a careful analysis of what was there, followed by controlled explosions. It is, frankly, a labour intensive job, and that is why the Pentagon assessed it as requiring 75,000 men.

    "Besides, there may be any number of caches hidden all over the place, and even if you could look for them properly - which is difficult with a civil war going on - you would run the risk of some being left behind."

    Syria: Al-Qaeda's battle for control of Assad's chemical weapons plant
    A battle near a factory believed to be one of the Syrian regime's main chemical weapons plants shows just how close such weapons could be to falling into al-Qaeda's hands, writes Colin Freeman.

    Obama has a real problem. Most here think there is a simple solution, stay out.

    How many like the idea of sarin gas, mustard gas and VX in the hands of al-Qaeda?

    Show of hands please.


    1. A lot of the fault rests with the Russians. It was they who helped set up the gas making plants in Syria long ago.

    2. .

      How many like the idea of sarin gas, mustard gas and VX in the hands of al-Qaeda?

      I doubt you'll get many hands raised. And now, please, your plan for preventing it?


  28. Perhaps our leaders are repeating these lies because they want to present a unified US-Israel front to the world. But the effect is just the opposite.

    What their statements really demonstrate is that Israel has been brought to its knees by its superpower patron that has implemented a policy that has enabled Iran to become a nuclear power.

    Indeed, the US has allowed Iran to cross the nuclear threshold while requiring Israel to pretend the course the US has followed is a responsible one.

    The announcement that the US has agreed to sell Israel advanced weapons specifically geared towards attacking Iran should also be seen in this light. Israel reportedly spent a year negotiating this deal. But immediately after its details were published, the US started backing away from its supposed commitment to supply them. The US will not provide Israel with bunker-buster bombs.

    It will not provide Israel with the bombers necessary to use the bombs Israel isn't getting. And anyway, by the time Israel gets the items the US is selling - like mid-air refuelers - it will be too late.

    Quirk was onto this. The refuelers are being provided too late.

    Meanwhile we provide jets and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    April 28, 2013
    Obama Does Not Have Israel's Back
    By Caroline Glick

    1. It cannot be said often enough: The administration's focus on the Palestinian conflict with Israel in the midst of the violent disintegration of the Arab state system and the rise of jihadist forces throughout the region, coupled with Iran's steady emergence as a regional power, is only understandable in the framework of a psychiatric - rather than policy - analysis.

      For the past five years, perhaps Netanyahu's greatest achievement in office has been his adroit avoidance of confrontations with Obama. With no one other than the US willing to stand with Israel in public, it is an important national interest for Jerusalem not to have any confrontations with Washington if they can possibly be avoided.........

      No, Israel doesn't want a confrontation with Washington. But we don't have any choice anymore.

      The time has come to take matters into our own hands on Syria and Iran. In Syria, either Israel takes care of the chemical weapons, or if we can't, Netanyahu must go before the cameras and tell the world everything we know about Syria's chemical weapons and pointedly demand world - that is US - action to secure them.

      As for Iran, either Israel must launch an attack without delay, or if we can't, then Netanyahu has to publicly state that the time for diplomacy is over. Either Iran is attacked or it gets the bomb.

      from above article

    2. What a pathetic joke. If Israel thinks they can do better with Syria and Iran than they did with Lebanon, roll on.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. You mean until they ran out of ammo...

      And Uncle Obama wouldn't send more?
      Or was it Uncle George W.?

      So many invasions, so little to show for them.

  29. WASHINGTON -- Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army's hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.

    Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.

    But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, "No thanks."

    It's the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt.

    Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there's a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

    "If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way," Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.

    Why are the tank dollars still flowing? Politics.

    Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts where the tank's many suppliers are located.

    If there's a home of the Abrams, it's politically important Ohio. The nation's only tank plant is in Lima. So it's no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are . . . . . .

    Manufacturer? General Dynamics, of course.

    Fucking us like pet sheep

  30. Good cop, bad cop, or is Netanyahu being statesmanlike?

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his ministers to cease making public comments on the civil conflict in Syria, especially reports regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces, Israeli media said.

    Netanyahu’s instruction follows comments made by deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin on Army radio Friday, in which the official appeared to call on the international community to intervene in Syria in order to contain and neutralize the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

    “It is clear that if the United States wants to and the international community wants to, they could act militarily, among other things, to take control of the chemical weapons, and then all the fears … will not be relevant,” The Times of Israel cites Elkin as saying.

    Army Radio reported Sunday that Netanyahu wanted to clarify that Elkin’s statements did not reflect an attempt on Israel’s part to spur the United States to intervene militarily in Syria.

    However, the military radio political commentator also expressed fears within Israel regarding recent “US hesitancy over the Syrian issue.”

    "If (US President) Barack Obama does not respect the red lines that he set out himself and does not intervene when Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons against civilians, it is showing weaknesses that could cost it dearly later in Syria, but also in the Iranian nuclear question," AFP cites the commentator as saying.

    The commentator’s charge echoes statements made by Elkin, who warned that a lack of resoluteness in Washington would bolster the Islamic Republic’s alleged efforts to covertly enrich weapons-grade uranium.

  31. Olmert: Netanyahu Exaggerates Iran’s Potential Nuclear Threat

    Today 12:52 PM

    Jpost conference NYC 2013: Skeptical of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s timeline for action against Iran before the Islamic Republic acquires a nuclear weapons capability, his predecessor chided the current Israeli leader for repeatedly pitting himself against the American president.

    “We don’t need to embarrass the president with public statements, even if we don’t agree with him,” Olmert charged at The Jerusalem Post conference on Sunday. “President Obama does not want to be someone whose legacy is a nuclear Iran.”

    Noting the seriousness of which he approached the issue when he was in power, Olmert warned against inflating the threat, and said he believed that “quiet” cooperation with the Americans was the best strategy going forward.

    “I think that we have exaggerated, for a long time, the potential threat of Iran possessing nuclear power,” he added. “They don’t have it not only because of their failures. Perhaps someone helped them to fail.”

    1. “They don’t have it not only because of their failures. Perhaps someone helped them to fail.”


  32. Israel, Turkey and the Iranian factor:

    Israel seeks to use a Turkish airbase for military drills in the midst of a possible attack on Tehran’s nuclear sites, Israel’s The Jerusalem Post revealed in a report published 21 April.

    The report, denied by Turkey, pointed out that Israeli officials will offer to sell Turkey “advanced missile and surveillance technology” in exchange for reviving the 1996 agreement between them that allowed Israel to train in Turkish airspace and use the Akinci airbase.

    “Among the advanced systems [National Security Adviser Yaakov] Amidror will offer the Turks are the Arrow anti-ballistic missiles defence system, a visual intelligence system developed by Israeli defence company Elop that can create a precise image at a range of 60 miles during day or night and under any weather condition, and an advanced electronic warfare system made by Elta," the report noted.

    “I doubt that it is true,” Aaron Stein, manager of the non-proliferation programme at the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, said.

    Stein believes that Ankara, despite its tense ties with the Islamic Republic, is opposed to outside military intervention in Iran due to concerns on its own national security. It aims to maintain diplomacy as the main tool in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.

    NATO deployed Patriot missiles in January to “protect against spillover” from the civil war in neighbouring Syria. But Syria's allies, mainly Iran and Russia, opposed the deployment, fearing that it could spark regional conflict.

    Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation and disarmament programme at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said that Turkey's relations with Iran have steadily worsened, mostly because of differences over Syria.

    “Disagreements also were raised because of other issues, such as Turkey's introduction of anti-missile radar, Iran's hard line in nuclear negotiations, and issues concerning Iraq. Israel and Turkey are thus increasingly on the same side vis-à-vis Iran,” Fitzpatrick argued.

    However, Borzou Daragahi, The Financial Times’ Middle East correspondent, claimed that Turkey would not welcome participating in any Israeli or US war against Iran, which Ankara is “very suspicious” of, in part due to its “regional ambitions.”

    “Despite its mistrust of the Iranian regime, Turkey is also wary of any more instability on its borders. It has already suffered the consequences of wars in Iraq, Syria and the Caucasus," Daragahi asserted.

    Gaza involved?

    With no clear or declared cause, US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Erdogan to delay a visit to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip scheduled for next month.

    According to AFP, Kerry told reporters in Istanbul that it would be better to delay. "We thought the timing is really critical," Kerry added, without further elaboration.

    Erdogan, arguably a supporter of the Palestinian cause, announced last week that he would visit the Palestinian Strip after his visit to Washington 16 May to assist the process of ending the Israeli embargo.

  33. Did the USA force the Japanese into the Phillipines to gain access to their petroleum assets?

    Did the United Nations establish Israel because Jews had been so well treated in Europe, and were then welcomed w/open arms throughout the ME?

    So many questions, Deconstructivism is SO Very Hard to do.

    Wo, wo, bop bop.

    1. No, doug, the US occupied the Philippines at the time. That's where our Army in the Pacific was stationed.

      It seemed, to the Japanese, that if they quickly defeated the US on land and sea, they'd be provided "good" terms in a negotiated settlement. As they had with the Russians, 35 years earlier.

      They misjudged the US reaction.

    2. As to why the UN established the State of Israel, it was to solve what the Europeons called their "Jewish Problem".

      It also provided the English and French with what they thought would be an unsinkable aircraft carrier on the Med. This is evidenced by the reality they used Israel in just that manner, to attack Egypt, in 1956.

      Typical of mid 20th century Europeon colonialism.

  34. Recent Russian immigrants make up 20% of the Israeli population and…

    Saturday 27 April 2013
    Last Update 27 April 2013 1:22 am

    When the huge immigration wave from the Soviet Union arrived in 1990, we were glad.

    First of all, because we believe that all immigration is a good thing for the country. This, I believe, is generally the case.

    Second, because we were convinced that this specific group of immigrants would push our country in the right direction.

    These people, we told ourselves, have been educated for 70 years in an internationalist spirit. They have just overthrown a cruel dictatorial system, so they must be avid democrats. Many of them are not Jews, but only relatives (sometimes remote) of Jews. So here we have hundreds of thousands of secular, internationalist and non-nationalist new citizens, just what we need. They would add a positive element to the demographic cocktail that is Israel.

    Moreover, since the pre-state Jewish community in the country (the so-called “yishuv”) was largely shaped by immigrants from Czarist and early revolutionary Russia, the new immigrants would surely mingle easily with the general population.
    Or so we thought.

    The present situation is the very opposite.
    The immigrants from the former Soviet Union — all bundled together as “the Russians” in common parlance — have not mingled at all. They are a separate community, living in a self-made ghetto.

    They continue to speak Russian. They read their own Russian newspapers, all of them rabidly nationalist and racist. They vote for their own party, led by the Moldavian-born Evet (now Avigdor) Lieberman. They have practically no contact with other Israelis.

    In their first two years in the country, they mainly voted for Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor party, but not because he promised peace, but because he was a general and was presented to them as an outstanding military man. From then on they have consistently voted for the extreme Right.
    The very large majority of them hate Arabs, reject peace, support the settlers and vote for right-wing governments.

    Since they now constitute almost 20 percent of the Israeli population, this is a major component of Israel’s move to the right.


  35. Why for heaven’s sake?
    There are several theories, probably all of them right.
    One I heard from a high-ranking Russian official: “During the Soviet era, the Jews were just Soviet citizens like everybody else. When the Union broke up, everybody retreated into his own nation. The Jews were left in a void. So they went to Israel and became more Israeli than all the other Israelis. Even the non-Jews among them became Israeli super-patriots.”
    Another theory goes like this: “When communism collapsed in Russia, there was nothing but nationalism (or religion) to take its place. The population was imbued with totalitarian attitudes, a disdain for democracy and liberalism, a longing for strong leaders. There was also the widespread racism of the “white” population of the Northern Soviet Union toward the “dark” peoples of the South. When the Russian Jews (and non-Jews) came to Israel, they brought these attitudes with them. They just substituted the Arabs for the despised Armenians, Chechens and all the others. These attitudes are nourished daily by the Russian newspapers and TV stations in Israel.”
    I noticed these attitudes when I visited the Soviet Union for the first time in 1990, during the era of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost. I could not visit it before, because my name was regularly struck from every one of the lists of people invited to see the glories of the Soviet fatherland. I don’t know why. (Curiously enough, I was also struck from the lists of dignitaries invited to the US embassy parties on July 4, and some years I had great difficulties in obtaining an American visa. Perhaps because I demonstrated against the Vietnam War. I must be one of the few people in the world who can pride themselves on having been simultaneously on the black list of both the CIA and the KGB.)


  36. I went to Russia to write a book about the end of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe (it was published in Hebrew under the title “Lenin Does Not Live Here Anymore”.) Rachel and I liked Moscow very much, but it took only a few days for us to be amazed at the rampant racism we saw everywhere around us. Dark-skinned citizens were treated with undisguised contempt. When we went to the market and joked with the vendors, all people from the South with whom we established immediate rapport, our young, nice, serious-faced Russian translator distanced himself quite openly.
    My friends and I have been meeting every Friday for some 50 years. When the Russians started to arrive, our “table” was in Tel Aviv’s Café Kassit, the mythological meeting place of writers, artists and such.
    One day we noticed that a group of young Russian immigrants had established a “table” of their own. Full of sympathy — as well as curiosity — we joined them from time to time.
    At the beginning it worked. Some friendships were struck up. But then something curious happened. They distanced themselves from us, making it clear that for them we were only some uncultured Middle Eastern barbarians, unworthy of association with people brought up on Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Soon enough they disappeared from our view.


  37. I was reminded of this last Friday when an unusually heated discussion broke out at our table. We had a guest, a young “Russian” female scientist, who accused the Left of indifference and a patronizing attitude towards the Russian community which had caused it to turn to the right. A leading female peace activist reacted furiously, arguing that the Russians had already come to the country with a near-fascist attitude.
    I agreed with both of them.
    Israel’s attitude towards new immigrants has always been a bit on the strange side.
    Leaders like David Ben-Gurion treated Zionist immigration as if it was merely a transportation problem. They went to extraordinary lengths to bring Jews from all over the world to Israel, but once they were here, they were left to fend for themselves. Sure, material assistance was given, housing was provided, but next to nothing was done to integrate them into society.
    This was true of the mass immigration of German Jews in the 1930s, the Oriental Jews in the 1950s, and the Russians in the 1990s. When the Russian Jews showed a marked preference for the USA, our government pressured the American administration to shut the gates in their face, so they were practically forced to come here. When they did come, they were left to congregate in ghettos, instead of being induced to spread and settle among us.
    The Israeli Left was no exception. When some feeble efforts to draw them to the peace camp were unsuccessful, they were left well alone. The organization to which I belong, Gush Shalom, once distributed 100,000 copies of our flagship publication (“Truth against Truth,” the history of the conflict) in Russian, but when we received only one sole answer, we were discouraged. Obviously, the Russians did not give a damn for the history of this country, about which they do not have the slightest idea.
    To understand the importance of this problem one must visualize the composition of Israeli society as it is (I have written about this in the past). It consists of five main sectors, of almost equal size, as follows:
    a. Jews of European origin, called Ashkenazim, to which most of the cultural, economic, political and military elite belongs. The Left is almost completely concentrated here.
    b. Jews of Oriental origin, often called (mistakenly) Sephardim, from Arab and other Muslim countries. They are the base of Likud.
    c. Religious Jews, which include the ultra-Orthodox Haredim, both Ashkenazi and Oriental, as well as the National-Religious Zionists, which include the leadership of the settlers.
    d. Arab-Palestinian citizens, mostly located in three large geographical blocs.
    e. The “Russians”
    Some of these sectors overlap to some minor extent, but the picture is clear. The Arabs and many of the Ashkenazim belong to the peace camp, all the others are solidly right-wing.
    Because of this, it is absolutely imperative to win over at least sections of the Oriental Jews, the religious and — yes — the “Russians,” to create a majority for peace. To my mind, that is the most important task of the peace camp at this moment.
    At the end of the furious debate at our table, I tried to calm down the two sides:
    “No need to fight about sharing the blame. There is quite enough for everybody.”

  38. (I do wish the US had setup a homeland for the Joos on American soil in a desert, where we would have directly benefited from their industriousness, and the largely mythical "problem" of Muslim Anti-Semitism would have been a distant fly in the ointment.
    Such was not to be.)

    ...but we still have the truth on the ground of the Muslims eliminating all those of other faiths throughout the ME.

    1. My dad was for that. He mentioned it once in a conversation with an Israeli man on an airplane when we were traveling one time. The Israeli man said he felt that was not a viable solution. So much culture and history for them in Israel, and they wouldn't want to be under American governance in any way.

      Think how much better Phoenix, for instance, would be with a Jewish population, though. Or Detroit, or Philadelphia.

    2. We have two such ethnic enclaves.

      Miami and Las Vegas.

      Both are doing reasonably well, considering the current state of the global economy.

  39. How did the US get so twisted that Russian immigrants to Israel are so heavily involved and influential with US policy when it comes to issues of peace and war in the Middle East?

    1. How did we get so twisted we have CAIR folk lounging about the White House?

      Allegations of terrorist ties

      Critics of CAIR, including six members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate,[55][84][85] have alleged ties between the CAIR founders and Hamas. The founders, Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, had earlier been officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), described by a former FBI analyst and US Treasury Department intelligence official as "intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership."[86] Both Ahmad and Awad participated in a meeting held in Philadelphia on October 3, 1993, that involved senior leaders of Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation (which was designated in 1995 by Executive Order, and later convicted in court, as an organization that had raised millions of dollars for Hamas), and the IAP.[87][88][89] Based on electronic surveillance of the meeting, the FBI reported that "the participants went to great length and spent much effort hiding their association with the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas]."[90] Participants at the meeting discussed forming a "political organization and public relations" body, "whose Islamic hue is not very conspicuous."[91]

      Critics also point to a July 1994 meeting identifying CAIR as one of the four U.S. organizations comprising the working organizations of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization and supporter of Hamas.[92][93] CAIR has responded by noting that Hamas was only designated a terrorist organization in January 1995 and did not commit its first wave of suicide bombings until late 1994, after Awad made the comment.[94][95]

      The Anti-Defamation League states that CAIR's work as a civil rights organization is tainted by past links to Hamas, sometime failure to condemn terrorist organizations by name, and the presence of anti-Semites at some of its rallies.[96] Steven Emerson has accused CAIR of having a long record of propagating antisemitic propaganda.[97][98] Journalist Jake Tapper criticizes CAIR for refusing to condemn specifically Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremism, but rather making only vague and generic criticisms.[99][page needed]

      A Red Carpet for Radicals at the White House

      by Steve Emerson and John Rossomando
      IPT News
      October 21, 2012

      A year-long investigation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has found that scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, meeting with top administration officials.

    2. Russian immigrants to Israel are so heavily involved and influential with US policy

      Pure paranoid horseshit.

      Obama left Netanyahu waiting waiting waiting in the White House for the arrival of The One.

      On foreign policy and the mid-east, Obama and not Congress is calling the shots.

    3. Everyone should watch the interview with the Israeli Ambassador on Fox News Sunday that aired today.

    4. The power and influence wielded by the Crown Family ...

      Jul 27, 2011 – Obama flew into Aspen in the early afternoon after a similar fundraiser in Utah. The Crowns are longtime Barack Obama supporters.

      Feb 18, 2012 – First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon and is ... at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co.

      Feb 15, 2013 – First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are spending ... at the home of Aspen Ski Company owners Jim and Paula Crown, ...

      James Schine Crown (born June 25, 1953) is an American businessman. He is president of Henry Crown and Company, a private investment company. He is a director of JPMorgan Chase & Co., General Dynamics and Sara Lee as well as being the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Chicago

      Lester Crown was once the CEO of General Dynamics, in fact he still owns a lot of it.
      He is also Mr Obama's publisher, providing Mr Obama a $3 million dollar advance before a single word had be written.

      Son of financier Henry Crown, who founded sand, stone and gravel company Material Service with 2 brothers 1919.

      Expanded firm into world's largest building materials distributor, merged with General Dynamics 1959; still has large stake in the firm.

      Lester inherited fortune after father's death in 1990. Diversified into hotels, sports, technology. Family co-owns Rockefeller Center with Tishman Speyer. Also owns stakes in Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees. Controls Aspen Skiing Company, which owns Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.

  40. "Japan was not a nation blessed with many natural resources as was the U.S., and other enemies of that nation. In order to secure those additional raw materials, such as rubber, tin, and petroleum, among others, the war leaders decided that conquest of other nations was a solution, and began by attacking China, which in actuality was the (early) start of the war.
    At the time, China was a virtual colony for many European nations, including England, France, Netherlands, and the US as well as Japan. Other colonies in Asia included Vietnam for France, Philippines for US, Indonesia for Netherlands, and so on. As the great powers competed for regional interests, Japan was quickly gaining ground from obtaining German concessions after participating on the allied side in WWI. The United States did not view Japan's intrusion into China as favorable to its own interests in the area, and thus economic frictions between US and Japan arose.

    What might have happened if Japan had employed the novel technique used by Japan, the US, and hundreds of other countries today, ie paying for the oil instead of conquering other countries for it?

    1. But they were 'Imperial Japan' in those days, Doug. They just took stuff.

      Some people say that we ourselves are an 'American Empire' today. But I don't believe it. If we are, we are not very good at taking stuff.

    2. .

      History is always a little more complicated than that, boys.

      Also, as George would say, thinkin is hard.


    3. If were not expert at "Empire" well, 3% of the global population would not have 25% of the global economy.

      We are the very best at "Taking Stuff".
      So good at it you don't even realize we do it.

      Those folk whose stuff we've taken, they know it.
      They laugh when some of US speak of our pretense of moral superiority.

    4. We take Toyota out of Japan and put their factories in Kentucky.

      You think that advantages Japan.
      You're an idiot.

    5. It is, Quirk, it is more complicated than that. but when replying to childish assertions one finds oneself sometimes replying in something of the same way. It is the level of the discussions here most days. See General Bunk directly above, where he says 'we' have taken Toyota out of Japan and have put their factories in Lexington.

      Here is a list of Toyota factories and plants around the world -

      Places where cars and parts are made (including planned sites)

      (1) United Kingdom
      (2) Portugal
      (3) France
      (4) The Czech Republic
      (5) Poland (two sites)
      (6) Russia
      (7) Turkey
      (8) Pakistan
      (9) India (two sites)
      (10) Bangladesh
      (11) Kenya
      (12) South Africa
      (13) Thailand (two sites)
      (14) Malaysia (two sites)
      (15) Indonesia (three sites)
      (16) Vietnam
      (17) The Philippines (two sites)
      (18) Taiwan
      (19) China (nine sites)
      (20) Australia
      (21) Canada (two sites)
      (22) United States (ten sites)
      (23) Mexico
      (24) Venezuela
      (25) Brazil
      (26) Argentina

      This is from the Toyota Children's Web Site, for General Bunk's benefit.

      The site is here -

      Toyota Children's Web Site

      The reason we still produce so much is we industrialized early, had the advantage of a large county and a good internal transportation system, and our education system used to help as well, along with a vanishing work ethic.

    6. If a foreign factory in our country is a sign of Empire, how many American factories have moved to foreign countries? I can hardly an American brand that isn't made in China or somewhere at Wal-Mart these days. Except in the food department.

    7. Exactly, anon.

      Global Empire and International Corporations.

      The country of Japan does not own Toyota.

    8. Toyota - Ownership Breakdown

      Foreign corporate entities and others - Share ownership ratio (%) = 26.34%
      ... includes shares held as American Depositary Receipts (ADR) by one shareholder with 812,890 units.

      The US Global Corporate Empire's share, runs 25%, Toyota is running right on target @ 26.34%


    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. Not a lot of Japanese names on that list.


      Top Institutional Holders

      Fisher Investments, Inc.
      Thornburg Investment Management Inc.
      Dimensional Fund Advisors LP
      Brandes Investment Partners L.P.
      Manning & Napier Advisors Inc
      Harris Associates L.P.
      Franklin Resources, Inc
      Macquarie Group Limited
      Tradewinds Global Investors, LLC
      Managed Account Advisors, LLC

      Top Mutual Fund Holders

      DFA International Value Series
      American Beacon Large Cap Value Fd
      Franklin Templeton VIP-Foreign Securities Fund
      Fidelity Select Portfolios - Automotive
      Natixis Fds Tr I-CGM Advisor Targeted Equity Fd
      DFA International Core Equity Portfolio
      DFA Tax Managed International Value Portfolio
      Fidelity Leveraged Company Stock Fund
      DFA Large Cap International Portfolio
      Manning & Napier Pro Blend Extended Term Series Fund

    13. All the following countries are Empires - they have all "take(n) Toyota out of Japan and put their factories in...(their own countries)" -

      (1) United Kingdom
      (2) Portugal
      (3) France
      (4) The Czech Republic
      (5) Poland (two sites)
      (6) Russia
      (7) Turkey
      (8) Pakistan
      (9) India (two sites)
      (10) Bangladesh
      (11) Kenya
      (12) South Africa
      (13) Thailand (two sites)
      (14) Malaysia (two sites)
      (15) Indonesia (three sites)
      (16) Vietnam
      (17) The Philippines (two sites)
      (18) Taiwan
      (19) China (nine sites)
      (20) Australia
      (21) Canada (two sites)
      (22) United States (ten sites)
      (23) Mexico
      (24) Venezuela
      (25) Brazil

      Poor Japan dances to so many tunes.


    14. Now you are changing your tune there a bit, General.

      Toyota does indeed have a diverse shareholder mix. They are good at making money, people tend to invest in those corporations that do best what they are supposed to do for the shareholders - which is make money. Perhaps you should invest some in Toyota too.

      The head guy at Lexington was an American black. Big guy, who looked and sounded confident and competent, like a younger Herman Cain when he happened by our group, and stopped to chat for a moment.

    15. Global Empire and International Corporations.

      Always some boogey man, always some conspiracy afoot, always some group in control, always some Lester running things behind the scenes, always some Global Empire and International Corporations hitting on General Bunk.

      Yes, we have all heard of international corporations, believe it or not. I actually have relatives and friends that have invested in them, though not much. Not having stocks or believing in them myself I don't follow them all that closely. I am more interested in alfalfa. But by golly, I have heard of them!

    16. The reason we still produce so much is we industrialized early, had the advantage of a large county and a good internal transportation system, and our education system used to help as well, along with a now vanishing work ethic.

      We have also practiced free enterprise of a sort, and mostly kept away from state control of the means of production.

      Many countries have tried other ways, mostly not working out so well. Hence, many countries have drifted away from their old ideologies, though in some places the old words and slogans are still mouthed, and having learned from bitter experience, are doing better now.

      But General Bunk sees nothing but unfairness everywhere. We may be a small population worldwide, but we still produce one hell of a lot.

    17. Unfairness, no, I see reality.

  41. Rep. Trey Gowdy, appearing on Fox News on Saturday afternoon, promised that “explosive” congressional hearings over the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, are “coming quickly.”

    “There are more Benghazi hearings coming; I think they’re going to be explosive,” Mr. Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox’s Uma Pemmaraju.

    SPECIAL COVERAGE: Benghazi Attack Under Microscope

    Mr. Gowdy wasn’t able to give out too many details, but he hinted that the public for the first time might hear from witnesses to the terror attack that left four Americans dead.

    “I am bound by certain measures of confidentiality, but I would tell you that you are getting very warm,” Mr. Gowdy said when asked by Ms. Pemmaraju whether witnesses could be coming forward. “[The hearings] are coming sooner rather than later.”

    He said several questions need to be answered, such as why there was a failure of security, “what happened during the siege itself and why aid was not sent,” and whether the testimony by Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was “grossly negligent or whether it was intentionally misleading.”

    Mr. Gowdy added that in a trial, “direct evidence, direct testimony by eyewitnesses is always the most compelling.”

    “Trust me when I tell you you will want to follow the hearings that are coming up,” he reiterated.

    Read more:


    Just keeping the subject in view, as I was asked to do.

    I like Mr. Gowdy's passing reference to a possible trial --

    Mr. Gowdy added that in a trial, “direct evidence, direct testimony by eyewitnesses is always the most compelling.”

    Wouldn't it be a gas to watch a Benghazi trial with Rufus, who said the subject would blow away in a month, and people would forget, and who cares about a dead Ambassador a few others anyway?

    Besides, 'how can it possibly matter now'? (Hillary)

  42. Wonderful new video by Sunny!!!

    She doesn't fay a word!!!!

    Deadly serious. Just kidding.

    My new video pokes fun at American Journalists.

    I Love Sunny.

    1. She doesn't say a word, nor fay a word either!

  43. The Snows of Rainier

    (a mountain in Washington State)

  44. Replies
    1. You're welcome.

      American Thinker is the place for great finds, Sam.

    2. Since the article tends to back Rufus up in his criticism of global warming, (it's called 'the weather') even he might appreciate it even though it is from one of his most hated sites.


  45. China's aviation regulator will likely grant approval next month for Boeing Co.'s 787 aircraft to begin commercial service with the nation's airlines, according to the chairman of China's fourth-biggest carrier, Hainan Airlines Co.

    Chinese airlines have ordered a total of 35 Boeing 787s...

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