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27 August 2013


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FB Ali

I find this 'information' quite credible. It strikes me as the likely course of events, both past and to come.

It also raises the question whether the US has been 'played' by the Israelis. Once they decided that Assad has to go, they needed him to go quickly, since the longer the war lasts the greater the chances of the jihadis being the replacement. The quickest way to end the regime is to bring the US into the war. Obama's "red line" provided an easy way to do that.

Of course, it is one thing to intend a limited engagement, and quite another to stick to that intention. Events have a way of taking charge.

Ishmael Zechariah

Not being a native speaker of English I have the following questions:
1-It seems like the attack is going to be "somewhat limited" but not "too limited". Such a farce will achieve exactly what?
2-I cannot decipher "Israel wants the United States to take care of the Syria crisis fast" statement. What is the optimal "fast" resolution to such a crisis?
3-What if Assad holds the zionists responsible for this attack and unloads his arsenal on them in retaliation for this operation? Is everyone sure that he will have enough left over to make it worthwhile for him to desist?

The opposition Turkish press is not very vocal on this issue at all and the Turkish population-those who oppose the erdogan regime- are dead set against any involvement.

Ishmael Zechariah.

The Twisted Genius

So, this whole sordid Broadway show is all about us dancing to the Israeli fiddler... once again.

A. Pols

And so it goes, once more down the Rabbit Hole. The impulse to "do something" once again drives our govt. to do the wrong thing,which can only result in a worse outcome for most Syrians and a worse outcome for us. More money spent that we don't have, and another country run by Islamist crazies. The recent Russian comment about "A Monkey playing with a hand grenade" seems apt, and also funny is some American reaction to the comment as being racist....


"For Obama and his inner circles of advisors (Rice, Jarrett, Axelrod, Power, Michelle Obama)"
I really feel better now, knowing such a collection of seasoned and smart foreign policy experts are on the job.
Don't you feel better already?
People get the government they deserve.


All makes sense except for the Israeli calculation. If they are worried by the growing presence of al-Qaeda and other salafist elements, then how does a weakening of assadimrpove the situation? As to Hezbaullah, they are on the other side which would be weakened. But they will not disappearnor can we foresee a new government strong enough to assert its sovereign over the entire country. Unless the Israelis anticipate asecond phase of intervention whereby outside parties will impose and oversee terms of resolution that neutralizes both the salafists and Hezbullah. Are they voluntering?

Medicine Man

What is the possibility that the central piece of intelligence supporting this intervention is a fabrication? There is only one source, Israel, and they have their own national interests to advance. Isn't it common practice to test unverified information against multiple sources? Is the administration going to consult the US IC to confirm this?

joe brand

The Obama administration has delayed, cancelled, and waived pieces of the Affordable Care Act, which Congress passed and the president signed. Now, having used military force in Libya without congressional approval, the president intends to use military force in Syria, again without congressional authorization. Can we just stop pretending that we have three co-equal branches of government, and grant the emperor his laurels?


First, Obama would not go to Congress for authorization under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution or the War Powers Resolution. Select leaders of Congress would be informed, but no Congressional consent would be sought.

If we had a Congress with a spine, this deliberate violation of Congress's authority to declare war should be grounds for impeachment. There isn't the fig leaf of an authorization of military force, or this somehow being a defensive maneuver.



I had heard about the unit 8200 intercepts but had seen it was attributed to Debka so decided not to regurgitate them on this site. The Independent had earlier been used as a willing vehicle to try to smear Snowden et al by outing the presence of a UK ELINT station in the ME. Perhaps that station was off-line because i don't get how the 'coalition' would need to rely on Israeli intercepts to engage in such a far-reaching and unforseen in consequence action such as undertaking military action in Syria. Not having served in the military, how does such an order percolate down the chain of command (if there is one) ? Were euphenisms interpreted as being orders that led to deploying CW ? Why can't the world see the intercepts (since we all know we're being spied on already) ? There is a significant credibility question here, quite apart from those encouraging DC to act to preserve some hitherto undefined (in geopolitical terms) appearance of muscular global authority.
Also, how does this tally with Prince Bandar's highly pregnant phrase that an 'escalation' on the Syria front was imminent, as quoted when he visited Putin in early August ?
I would v much like your thoughts (hope they make sense).


No Congressional consent, no funding, no legal justification to attack. Yes, I'm sure we will start bombing on Saturday night.

80% of America would confuse Ghouta with cheese. Right, Miley?

David Habakkuk

If David Cameron is taking the U.K. to war on the basis of SIGINT from Mossad, it had better be published asap, and it had better be good. When MailOnline recycled Israeli claims that Bashir Assad’s brother was behind the attacks, the top-rated comment – with 592 endorsements – said that the Israeli source ‘took away what little credibility this article had.’ The fourth best, with 402 endorsements, read ‘confirmation that the Israeli government is the source of this information, immediately tells us it can be discounted as untrue!’

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2403312/Ruthless-brother-President-Assad-accused-chemical-weapons-attack-killed-1-200-Syrians.html#comments )

If indeed it is accurate that Obama is trying to steer a path between a symbolic response which will leave him politically vulnerable, and avoiding risks of major escalation or ‘a clear intervention to give the rebels a decisive edge’, how difficult is this likely to be?

One would have thought that the Syrian commanders, with advice both from the Iranians, Hezbollah, and the Russians, all of whom have relevant expertise, would have been planning for this kind of scenario for some considerable time. How far is possible, with a combination of ‘maskirovka’ and other measures, to limit the effect of Western airstrikes?

There may well be very good grounds for believing that the Syrians are not likely to be as successful as the Serbs turned out to be. If however initial American attacks have limited effect, one would have thought that the pressures to escalate could be strong.


It is telling that the two gentlemen with combat experience were seemingly opposed to military action.
The proof of culpability of the Syrian Government has still not been made public.
The media circus is in full hysteria mode, they're not even interested in seeing "proof".
The kids are in control, and are going to punish this big bully in Syria for not playing ball. So everyone can see that they've got hair on their chest.


Hmm, how many of the choosen targets will be something Israel wishes to see destroyed and how many targets will suit the FSA?


The 'status quo" is ALWAYS unacceptable to the Israelis and the Lobby. One might say that THAT dynamic, the unacceptability of the status quo IS the status quo.


You may want to check this report of Focus - a major German news magazine - apperaring 24.08.2013. Quote:

Nach Erkenntnissen israelischer Geheimdienstkreise ist der syrische Präsident Bashar al-Assad für den Giftgasanschlag bei Damaskus verantwortlich. Eine Einheit des Militärnachrichtendienstes Amam, die auf Funkspionage spezialisierte „Unit 8200“, kontrollierte zur Zeit des Gasangriffs die Kommunikation der syrischen Armee. Ein früherer Mossad-Offizier sagte FOCUS, die Auswertung habe eindeutig ergeben, dass der Beschuss mit Giftgas-Raketen von syrischen Regierungstruppen erfolgt sei.



Alba Etie

Are any Senior Leadership resignations expected in protest of these planned 'limited strikes "in Syria ? General Martin J Dempsey has been outspoken in his opposition to military action in Syria - might he resign ? Is there any chance at all that the 'limited strikes " will not occur . And as related matter is the entity known as the Electronic Syrian Army ( ?) - that has recently hacked the AP Twitter account that put out a false statement that " there was explosions at the White House -and the President was injured "that caused a near market panic cause for concern - when Assad pushes back after the strikes ? I think this same group took over the NYTimes website yesterday .


So many problems with this course of events. Among them this: Obama would not go to Congress for authorization under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution or the War Powers Resolution. Select leaders of Congress would be informed, but no Congressional consent would be sought. In a Congress this controlled by Israeli PAC money, there's no doubt he'd get any and all authorization he asked for. To not ask only furthers the objective of solidifying the imperial presidency.

And, given Harper's comments, I retract my earlier observation that Israel would serve as a brake on the rolling train. If true, they (once again) seem to be firmly in the engineer's seat. Perhaps this is their new way of forcing their over-sized client to attack their real target Iran?


William R. Cumming

Thanks Harper and your info looking increasingly accurate!


How does launching a few cruise missiles '...take care of the Syria crisis fast' and why do the Israelis think the US has the capability to do this with a few missile strikes?

Also, the administration says their 'proof' that Assad carried out the attacks is he is the only actor with the capability since he has his own missiles yet now we hear that the Israelis have determined that the AQ types also have missiles and have launched them into Israel.

Something smells fishy.


I am certain that the Israelis are hoping that once the US is dragged so directly into the Syria imbroglio, Washington will be compelled to "finish the job." This will mean not only ousting the Assad regime, but also taking prolonged counterinsurgency action against the jihadists, to "fix" the final outcome. General Dempsey and now General Anthony Zinni (in this morning's Washington Post) warned that if the US is drawn into the maelstrom, we will still be stuck when Obama leaves office, whether by near-term impeachment or by simply running out his second term. The parallels to Kosovo are obviously striking. We were supposed to be conducting a limited punitive strike but wound up with an 80 day bombing campaign. Tony Blair at the time of the NATO 50th anniversary summit was pressing for the US to send ground troops in to expedite the mission's completion. Clinton objected so it was all done through the KLA and other surrogate forces.

The beaver

Alba Etie

correct ; NYT was hacked by ESA yesterday


Thank you very much. To see where this comes. Richard Haass, CFR president said after Syria had to prepare for Iran.
Syria Did not Yakhnot Iskander missiles to shoot down ships and U.S.?
Now Russia says it wants to ensure their sites. Do not you trust USA?



Interesting. Apparently 5 days is too long to render evidence of the attack as being credible from the UN inspector's perspective, but on our end, evidence "may be" released "as soon as Thursday". WTH are they waiting for?

Sounds like the evidence is coming from the DEA!!


Why has this post been so redacted fron its original?

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