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05 December 2012


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Two sources that might be worthwhile to follow are these
http://syrianperspective.blogspot.ca/ a Syrian lawyer living in the US who is in touch with friends and relatives. Clearly pro-government.
A US guy try to analyze the battle situation.



The kids liked the rabbit. That was an interesting class. MI captains and a few majors, they had nearly all fought for at least a year. Their attitude was simple, "What will they do? Send us back to the war? We are going anyway. They are short of experienced intelligence officers." They were also unforgiving about poor quality instruction. One of them had a carved teak statue made in Thailand of a naked man bent over with his head stuffed up his own anus. Our classroom access badges had a purple stripe on them to indicate the level of our security clearance (TS/SCI). Some wag painted a purple stripe on this sculpture. One day on a Friday after a particularly bad class, one of the majors walked up onto the stage and handed the instructor the statue, telling him that he could keep that until we voted on someone to replace him. That chemical colonel was lucky enough to have custody of the thing for a week. I thought he would weep with rage and offended ponposity. Yup. Playful killers. pl

Former 11B

I sort of regretted the German reference after the comment went to moderation. I really meant it to be shorthand for the taint that the German WW 2 activities in the death camps might have caused. But it goes back even further I reckon as the most horrible thing in a gallery of horrors that was WW1.

When I was IN Germany in the early 80s we had a lot of contact with NBC personnel and did some classwork and drills with them. As a grunt I would assume any of the specialty people knew their jobs and assimilate accordingly. If they told me VX killed you dead I believe it. No need to kill a Rabbit to make me believe, so the motivation to do that was something else.

As one more factoid I am completely German by ancestry.

Babak Makkinejad

I recall very distinctly he making those remarks; I think it was either on PBS or in one of Sunday morning shows in US.

He seemed quite animated and serious: "If the President attacks Iran he should be impeached."

I think US policy in Syria is to maintain this level of conflict indefinitely - or at least as long as possible - to keep Syrians and Iranians busy.

If one considers a future with Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, in Turkey, and in Egypt, one wonders how long would such US allies as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait would last.


I was in my company's NBC deon/recon group. One of the oddest experiences in military service was one particular NBC drill one early spring morning, in the morning fog, where we walked around on base doing a measurement drill in NBC suits, with the Geiger counter crackling at us with the data it was fed by our instructor.

Walking on the moon must feel a little like that.


Some scientists work in the impartial ways of Daedalus, whether it is a labyrinth to hold the Minotaur or wings to escape the labyrinth – they’ll make it purely for the pursuit of the knowledge. Morals? Well that’s something else entirely to some.


Explaining the effects of VX by killing something in front of combat veterans? That's just insulting - they understand kiling in combat better than any scientist ever will.

Clifford Kiracofe

I noticed this at SWP:


English summary at:

I take it that there are some sharp divisions in the German foreign policy establishment over Syria policy. As I understand it, under the German constitutional system, parliament would have to approve the transfer of Patriots and German troops to Turkey.

Can you give us an idea of the debate in Germany on all this? Dissent in Germany from SDP and other quarters is being suppressed in US news coverage of Germany and this question.

This is the same approach the heavily managed US newsmedia uses to black out dissent and debate in the UK from appearing here.

The US foreign policy establishment consensus is that for NATO action only the opinions of the big powers count. Smallers powers might be resistant to war.

The "Friends of Syria" mechanism is a coalition of the willing and lies outside the UN. The US foreign policy consensus is that the UNSC is unnecessary to approve the use of force. This is a position which goes outside international law as far as I know but that does deter Hillary (a lawyer) and Obama (a lawyer).

Clifford Kiracofe

"The USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast yesterday in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention.

While the Obama administration has not announced any sort of American-led military intervention in the war-torn country, the US is now ready to launch such action “within days” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to use chemical weapons against the opposition, the Times reports.

Some have suggested that the Assad regime may use chemical weapons against the opposition fighters in the coming days or weeks.

The arrival of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the 11 US Navy aircraft carriers that has the capacity to hold thousands of men, is now stationed at the coast of Syria, DEBKAfile reports. The aircraft carrier joined the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which holds about 2,500 Marines.

“We have (US) special operations forces at the right posture, they don’t have to be sent,” an unnamed US official told The Australian, which suggested that US military troops are already near Syria and ready to intervene in the conflict, if necessary."

If the US decides to intervene militarily in Syria, it now has at its disposal 10,000 fighting men, 17 warships, 70 fighter-bombers, 10 destroyers and frigates and a guided military cruises. Some of the vessels are also equipped with Aegis missile interceptors to shoot down any missiles Syria might have at hand, according to DEBKAfile.

“The muscle is already there to be flexed,” a US official told the London Times about the US military’s presence outside of Syria. “It’s premature to say what could happen if a decision is made to intervene. That hasn’t taken shape, we’ve not reached that kind of decision. There are a lot of options, but it [military action] could be launched rapidly, within days.”


Bill H

I loved the rabbit, and the guy who took it. That and the statue reminded me of when I finally went to nuclear power school. The classes by then were mostly kids straight out of B schools and submarine school, and I was an EM1, qualified in the boats and with five years sea duty. Most of the instructors were officers toward whom I was properly respectful, but one was a TM1 (torpedoman), more time in grade than me, but of the same rank. Electricians and torpedomen are naturally subject to some degree of friction in the boats, but he and I particularly did not get along.

The Moar You Know

The kind of person who would want the job of president is inherently the kind of person who should never be allowed near it.


Why? It is a delicious piece of irony that he gets it..it's like a prop, in a comedy. Like W.C. Field's hats or Borat's uniforms. It's a perfect metaphor for the times. No, by all means, keep it. Hell, I hope he display's all lit up, on top of the Christmas Tree...if they still call it a Christmas Tree anymore.


The question is no longer--if it ever was--about what to do with Assad and family. He is gone..one way or another. The question is what to do about the sect he comes from. And from other sects that think--factually or not-- they have the govt's protection from the 'other side' in the battle.

Charles I

Last night in bed I heard claims on the CTV news network that "pentagon sources" had , er, leaked, that binary agents were observed being loaded into bombs - cut to stock fuzzy footage of jet dropping bomb - in the last step prior to deployment and actual use. I haven't googled this yet but it seems ominous enough to me.

Prior to that sometime in the last 24 hours outta the tv I heard Sec Clinton stating that the red line now subsumed "loss" as well as "use".

This is ramping up with inertia that indicates considerable sequential impetus on an established trajectory ending in Iran, never mind Syria.

Nato, or parts of it, sort of Citizens United of liberty within Nato and the U.N. expanded to Iran's border.

Quite a feat.

Charles I

Defiance of authority and a rabbit tale I'll never forget it, the doll too I seem to recall.


Charles I

"Defiance of authority and a rabbit tale I'll never forget it, the doll too I seem to recall." It is important to remember that we all were certain to return to the war with all that entailed. we accepted that but not the chicken shit in this school. Another little trick we had for rewarding people on the stage whom we did not like was that of passing a classified trash brown paper bag around the room. We all had desks. Ash trays, trash cans, lunch bits (apple cores, etc.) would be emptied into it and then someone would staple the end shut and toss it up on the stage. pl

Medicine Man

For what its worth, I took your comment to be an allusion to the "Good German"-type, which is more a matter of character than nationality.

Charles I

less chickenshit, you made the world a better place.


It's just an empty threat. They won't intervene once things get even messier with chemical weapons.



I very much doubt Syria's intention to do any such thing. This all smells of managed news and manipulation of public opinion. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

A shame that yellow journalism is so vigorous and well in the United States.

Joseph Gobbles would have been proud, no doubt.


If Syria's scud's were that important I'm sure we could buy the whole lot at a deep discount. That sure wouldn't help the regime changers any.

Charles I

Important to who?

WAPO's Bold Headline link reads:

"Syrian forces fire missiles at rebels, potentially escalating the civil war"

leading to a differently titled article



Well they are very important for the propaganda war Obama is waging against Americans.

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