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25 March 2013

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Babak Makkinejad

Harper:

Obama has not given anything away - all that you described in regards to Palestinians were chimera and make-believe. You cannot give away that which is devoid of any substance.

Israelis, just like the period between 1967-1973, have never had it this good.

US and EU have declared Israel's enemies to be their enemies as well, there is no strategic support from a super power for their enemies, and local Muslims - Turks and Arabs - are advancing their cause.

Matthew

Obama's trip was a national disgrace. It was also stupid. Who tells a foreign country they will have our support regardless of their behavior?

Obama's now an object of distrust for Palestinians and an object of contempt for Israelis.

mbrenner

You are absolutely right - obviously. That is, obvious to everyone in the world except those in the Washington ambit, those in thrall to the US and readers of the MSM. All we were told by Landler in the NYT and his counterparts was that he had given a brave,moving "tough love" speech and personally had pulled off the diplomatic coup of the past 100 years by mediating between Netanyahu and Erdogan.

For many years I spent a few weeks every summer reading the Tunisian press (French version). Even before Ben Ali tigtened the screws several notches, it was a kept press. If one day I were an authoritarian ruler who had to choose between a Tunisian style press and the current American MSM, I'd choose the latter. Simple reason: it has far greater impact since it is presumed to be objective and honest.

turcopolier

mbrenner

Harper is not analysing. He/she/it actually knows. pl

Alba Etie

And the Arab League just announced that it has given its Syrian Seat to the Opposition . What next the Arab League calls for a 'no fly zone ' over Syria just like in Iraq ? But unlike the Libyan no fly zone - this could be the run up to a direct conflict with Iran yes ? This could get real ugly real quick . Wonder where the Russian naval forces are now ?

DH

"Which agree with my prediction that the US. NATO, Turkey and Israel are ginning up an attack on Syria."

Yes, well played. Is there any hope of this being an offer that Assad cannot refuse, encouraging Iran to watch her P's and Q's, and in general to carry a big stick?

Any news on Russia/China reaction? I'm guessing they'll not interfere while an enemy destroys himself.

The beaver

Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib is urging the US and Nato to protect rebel-held areas in northern Syria.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9954143/Syria-opposition-demands-protection-from-US-missile-shield.html

Homs has returned back to the control of Assad.

So why are the opposition concentrating on the North - Syrian Kurds strong hold ?

DH

Something to do with the Kurds?

"Meanwhile, a separate dynamic is seen in the Al-Hasakeh governorate, where the Kurdish Popular Protection Units – who have agreed a truce with the Free Syrian Army – clash with the, mostly foreign-recruited militia of the Al-Nusra Front, highlighting the evolving complexities of the conflict."

(Great map when scroll down.)

http://geo.acaps.org/docs/469

DH

"As the Syrian crisis rages on with no resolution in sight, a united Syrian opposition that includes Kurds, fighting with Arabs on the same front could finally tip the balance against Assad. Turkey can be the glue that keeps Arabs and Kurds unified if it can finally find a long-lasting solution to its decades-old Kurdish problem. Only then can Turkey reclaim its hard-fought image as a regional superpower on the Arab street and pursue a confident Syria policy without subcontracting it to Barzani. So far, Turkey has refused to meet with the PYD due to its links to the PKK. Now that Turkey can talk to Ocalan [jailed PKK leader who implored PKK in southern Turkey to lay down their arms and return to Syria] openly, maybe Foreign Minister Davutoglu could talk to the PYD leader Saleh Muslim. That would tip the balance in Syria."

http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/22/the_pkk_cease_fire_and_syrias_kurds

The beaver

The latest news I have - Syrian Kurds want to have their autonomy and have nothing to do with the official opposition ( I have mentioned that in another thread either yesterday or 2 days ago)after the FSA denied the PM a.i. position to Ghassan Hitto.

DH

Thanks. Do you have a notion in mind why Khatib would ask for an already secured area to be protected? I would also guess to consolidate their gained ground. Man, what a mess.

DH

Reuters 3/26/13

""We are still waiting for a decision from NATO to protect people's lives, not to fight but to protect lives," he added, addressing a body that barred Assad's government in late 2011.

Responding to Alkhatib's remarks, an official of the Western military alliance at its headquarters in Brussels said: "NATO has no intention to intervene militarily in Syria.""

Well, there you have it.

The beaver

I guess his "sponsor" Qatar does not want to have a fragmented Syria à la Iraq - Iraqi Kurds are autonomous and do whatever they want .

Why has Ocalan asked his PKK members to make peace with Erdogan, thus leaving their "brothers in arms" Syrian Kurds on the limb?

I can't put my finger on all those manoeuvrings.

elkern

Lebanon's PM resigned on Friday?!

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Lebanon_crisis_swells_over_security_chief_999.html

- from SpaceDaily website, which may well be of interest to others here, for other (more fun) reasons. They a few too many puff pieces about how great Iron Dome is for my taste, but I'm mostly there for the cosmology.

DH

"I can't put my finger on all those manoeuvrings."

Glad it's not just me.

Clifford Kiracofe

Elliott Abrams at the Council on Foreign Relations says we should listen to Fred Hof, a useful idiot for the Zionist cause:

"The continuing, and worsening, crisis in Syria leaves some analysts confused and their writing not very useful. The best guide to what is happening, and what the United States should do, is the writing of Fred Hof of the Atlantic Council. Hof was until last year a key figure in the making of American policy toward Syria, though we can see from his analyses that all too often his excellent advice was rejected by the Obama Administration..."
http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2013/03/26/what-to-do-about-syria/

The beaver

Who signed the AIPAC letter to Obama before his trip?
http://mjayrosenberg.com/2013/03/19/did-your-favorite-progressive-senator-sign-aipac-letter-to-obama-telling-him-to-stand-up-for-occupation-here-is-the-list/

I guess that's why it is "DROP DEAD" Palestine and more money for Iron Dome .

Neil Richardson

RSH:

"And what's worse - though unrelated to Syria - the US just signed a defense treaty with South Korea so that the US will respond to even MODERATE provocations by the North! Thus the next minor artillery exchange between NK and SK could result in a major war! Insanity!"

I think we should wait a bit before wondering whether this was an equivalent of Kaiser Wilhelm II giving Austria the carte blanche in 1914. It's not a treaty but a contingency plan. These tend to be updated and modified often with or without public knowledge. Clarifications tend to take place during the annual Security Consultative Meeting or sometimes principals meetings. Right now both sides are "signalling." That's why the USAF sent a B-52 (so that the KPAF could detect the signature whereas they might not have in the case of a B-2). It's just as possible that the USFK has decided to share tactical data laterally instead of going through the vertical chain. Way back when the 2ID actually had a small sector north of Imjin along the MDL, there were ROE that accounted for a lot of contingencies including the use of QRF which included a battery.


At the moment I'm not sure if the ROK marines could respond in-kind on Baengnyeongdo as the KPA has shifted the Koksans which would outrange K-9s. Since they'd been working on this since Yeunpyeungdo, I'd suspect there is a huge range of targeting options available at this point. The problem that ROK planners face is how to calibrate responses at the tactical level, and that has to be done prior to an actual provocation or they'll just repeat Yeunpyeungdo.

DH

I knew better than to be ironic on the internet...I was joshing you. Still, I wonder what the chances are this is a build-up aimed at a 'peaceful' transfer of power, i.e., Assad blinks.

BTW, remember at the beginning of the year the predicitions made here about 'by when' we'd attack Syria? The Ides of March have passed. (I think that might have been WRC :)

DH

Gotta love this line, re Hof's slippery slope analogy:

"If hand rails are to work, they must be of American design and construction."

DH

Give the man some credit; he did call Abbas Abu Mazen.

turcopolier

DH

Hof is a lot less clever than he thinks. pl

The beaver

yeah, I wonder who amongst those lucky Arabs who spent 5 minutes with him before his trip gave that advice about Abu Mazen to his advisers :-)

The beaver

After Lebanon, Iraq:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrian-conflicts-impact-is-felt-across-border-in-iraq/2013/03/27/d7bf14f8-964a-11e2-9e23-09dce87f75a1_story.html

The borders are 'open" so the danger is there.
Next venues : Jordan and the Golan Heights???

Babak Makkinejad

All:

I gather that US has very little influence on Israel as well as Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Obama has - like the clever politician that he is - taken Israel's side and thrown Palestinians under the proverbial bus.

That might be unfortunate for the Palestinians but expedient for him as well as for the United States.

After all, it was Arabs who lost Palestine on the field of battle and they ought not expect the United States to come and get their chestnuts out of the fire for them.

Am I missing something here?

DH

No, you are correct.

They are in the throes of intertwining neuroses.

I posted this article before, but in case you missed it, I'll repost. The part that really tickled me was the Palestinians tunneling to Egypt with such gusto. Then at one point when things got dicey with Egypt (post Mubarak), Israel lightened up on them.

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/oct/26/gaza-isolation-way-out/

Also, from FP's morning brief today:

"At the Arab League summit, Qatar's emir proposed a $1 billion fund to help Palestinians in East Jerusalem and to preserve Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state."


DH

Needs to tighten up his writing also.

Clifford Kiracofe

How the Neocons love their goy toys....

DH

UN observers in the Golan report boundary-violating fighting between rebels and Syrian Army:

http://un-report.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/security-council-final-draft-statement.html?spref=tw

Cal

Obama disgust me. People can look for the pony under all the shit he shoveled in Israel all they please, but the fact is he just encouraged the Zionist psychopaths and all the mythical delusions the Israeli society holds about themselves. Yes indeed, Obama increasing the US aid pledge to Israel to 4 billion and extending it till 2027 is also just the way to make them change their ways.

The reality is, the facts are....

The US-Isr problem will Never End unless the Israel Lobby and all it's organs within the US are destroyed, period.

I/P will never end in a State for or even existence for Palestines unless a Big Power 'forces' a solution...and that ain't gonna be by the US because of 'the Lobby'.

elkern

There are VERY few people in this world who I actively hate. Elliot Abrams is one of them.

confusedponderer

According to Uri Avneri:

"The text of the apology was already formulated more than two years ago. The Israeli army begged the government to accept it. But our then Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, put all his considerable weight on the scales and vetoed the move. We are a proud nation with a proud army, consisting of proud soldiers.

Israelis don’t apologize. Ever.

Fearing Lieberman, Binyamin Netanyahu had to be very circumspect.

Lieberman is now a minister-on-hold. He cannot regain his ministerial office until after – and if – he is acquitted of the bribery charges for which he has been indicted. But he is still the chief of a party on which Netanyahu has to depend for parliamentary support.

So an elaborate maneuver had to be enacted. The apology was agreed upon with the Turks long ago. President Obama’s visit to Israel was to be the occasion, giving the president the aura of a successful mediator. But the deal was to be announced only during the very last minutes of the visit.

Why? Simply to allow Netanyahu to pretend that it was all done on the spur of the moment, in a telephone conversation initiated by Obama. This being so, he could not possibly have consulted with his cabinet and with Lieberman, could he?"

That sounds quite plausible to me.

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