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31 August 2013

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Petrous

It is all pretty clear. You best described the current "You Tube" based foreign policy by posting that link to the "French" boy friend a couple of hours ago. What forces, or interests, move the current and previous administration to make such rash and EXPENSIVE decisions based on laughable intel? One wonders.

The beaver

Colonel

The terrorists of 9/11 were nearly 100% citizens of KSA and nothing happened to that country.
Instead special permissions were agreed by the two countries to "smuggle" two plane loads of Saudis out of the US when the airspace was closed.

Medicine Man

Whereupon I echo TTG's observation: Someone needs to separate the Saudis from their vast wealth.

David Habakkuk

MM,

A policy of 'rollback', followed by 'liberation' -- pursued cautiously, of course?

It could perhaps be usefully combined with the unmasking of the Saudi 'fifth columns', and 'agents of influence', both in the U.S. and the U.K.

Of course, after due consideration, it might be considered that such a policy was reckless. Strategies aimed at 'regime change' have to be thought through carefully, because when people are backed into a corner their reactions are liable to be unpredictable.

But these are matters on which, at the least there should be an open public debate, in your country as in mine.

MRW

Colonel, watch the vid. :-)
http://www.markfiore.com/mark-fiore-blog/cartoons/fireagra-for-foreign-policy-impotence.html

Babak Makkinejad

All:

From the BBC Persian Service (in Persian)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2013/08/130831_l12_iran_syria_war_zarif_un_usa.shtml

The Iranian Foreign Minister, in an interview with the magazine "Asman", states that 9 months earlier the Iranian Government had informed the US Government that hand-made sarin-based chemical weapons were being sent to Syria.

The formal note was conveyed through the United States Interest Section in the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.

The complete Persian text is here:

http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/fa/page/1920689/%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%86+%DA%AF%D9%81%D8%AA%DA%AF%D9%88%DB%8C+%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF+%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AF+%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81+%D8%A8%D8%A7+%D9%87%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%87+%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87+%D8%A2%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86.html

Jonathan

I wondered about the provenance of the information. A quick search does not call into question the author's credibility. Here is what I found:
.
The author of this piece is Dale Gavlak, a correspondent for Mint Press news where she is described as follows:
.
Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News. Gavlak has been stationed in Amman, Jordan for over two decades. An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak currently covers the Levant region of the Middle East, contributing to the AP, National Public Radio, BBC and Mint Press News, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.
.
other articles by her are listed at
http://www.mintpressnews.com/author/dale-gavlak/

Alba Etie

David Habakkuk ,
How surprising was it that Prime Minister Cameron lost the Syrian intervention vote in your Parliament ? I believe Cameron loosing that vote was one of the reasons President Obama decided to go to our Congress for authorization to strike Syria . On the whole this may very well be a good day for our national comity . At least we will have a robust debate and all of our Political Leaders will be on record regarding the Syrian Misadventure and more broadly the War Powers Act .

JohnH

It would appear that Obama and the witches and warlocks in charge of foreign policy knew this all along. Otherwise, why the fierce urgency of bombing now, before the facts come out? Why deny the weapons inspectors the authority to provide information about who done it? The dots just don't connect unless something else is going on.

Last week there were reports of rebels trained by the US in Jordan moving on Damascus. Forcing the Syrians to prepare for a US attack could provide the rebels the opening in Syrian defenses that the rebels need.

Fred

Yes. If Obama won't release to the public the name of the Syrian army unit that allegedly made this CW attack, the name of its commander, the name of the official giving the order for the attack I hope a public hearing in Congress will demand them. Should there be a link to the Saudi intelligence agency then I sure hope the Congress gets the facts of who those individual (SA officials) were. Then they can get the names of all those on those Saudis on the two planes you refer to and see who is connected to whom.

Fred

Yes. If Obama won't release to the public the name of the Syrian army unit that allegedly made this CW attack, the name of its commander, the name of the official giving the order for the attack I hope a public hearing in Congress will demand them. Should there be a link to the Saudi intelligence agency then I sure hope the Congress gets the facts of who those individual (SA officials) were. Then they can get the names of all those on those Saudis on the two planes you refer to and see who is connected to whom.

The Twisted Genius

MM and DH,

I would not encourage bankrupting the royal family. (Don't worry, DH. I'm only talking about the Saudi royal family.) I'd just like to see them loose enough to put a serious kink in their discretionary spending. They will still need a good sum of money to keep their masses quiet. I would not seek regime change, revolution or any other unpredictable craziness. Just take a bite out of their wallets and keep quiet about it. Maybe even offer them condolences at their loss.

Fred

As Obama said "This attack is an assault on human dignity." If it turns out to be SA then extricating ourselves from the mess is essential. The question then is what assets of the SA government is he going to attack, or will he just paper this over with speeches?

Alba Etie

But maybe add to your suggested mix a few targeted drone strikes; - with no one taken responsibility ...but offer them condolences about their losses,,,

Karim

TTG,
While I despise the Saudi royals more than you do, "just taking a bite out of their wallets" sounds a little colonial! Which brings me to a question: everybody I know in the Middle East believes that Saudi Arabia has existed since its inception purely by the good graces of the USA. Without that constant protection Egypt, Iraq – hell, maybe even Jordan! – could have just walked in. Perhaps we are congenitally predisposed to conspiracy theories, but no Arab I know believes that SA would act (e.g. in its relations with jihadis) without the CIA knowing of and condoning its actions.
Perkins, in Confessions of an Economic Hitman, asserts that after the one time SA went against the USA (oil embargo) it was faced with two options: be wiped out, or tie itself completely into the Western financial system in exchange for infrastructure development. Is it possible that it has tied itself in so deeply that it is now able to buy its independence, to the extent of financing the very people the USA is fighting? Or is this all just a sick, staged game to make Lockheed et al. even richer? While these two extremes are obviously a gross simplification, I would welcome the views of the people here on where they think the relation stands on this continuum.

kao_hsien_chih

I suppose it'll then be transformed into gas for peace, humanity, and democracy.

turcopolier

Karim
IMO you should try to escape the fetters of neo-anticolonialism, It rots the brain like political science. Most international politics is about ambition for power not money. pl

Karim

PL,
I am trying to escape those fetters! Unfortunately, I studied political science...
In fact I ended up studying political science because I never understood power - neither why people want it, nor why people respect it - and I thought PolSci might enlighten me. (As you probably guessed, it hasn't.)

Tony

If this indeed turns out to be true, I wonder how the Obama administration would handle it. Then again, can they handle the truth??

John Ruiz

Have you folks clicked on the links to the underlying article(s), and seen the disclaimers? This seems like unvetted freelance work.

Jane

FYI:

"Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, whom the report was written in collaboration with, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents.

Gavlak is a MintPress News Middle East correspondent who has been freelancing for the AP as a Amman, Jordan correspondent for nearly a decade. This exclusive report is not an Associated Press article, rather it is exclusive to MintPress News."

http://original.antiwar.com/Dale-Gavlak/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/

turcopolier

Ruiz

Yes. Yes. One begins in doubt and dances in chains toward an answer. Do you know Bandar? I do, or did. pl

WP

Col.
How can we ordinary citizens figure out who is to be believed in this mess as to who is doing the gas? Do you have any reliable facts to help us?

John Ruiz

Whether I know Bandar or not has nothing to do with the value I place on a report. I place a higher value on Associated Press reports than on reports from MintPress for reasons that should be understood. This post is not based on an "admissions to AP" and it is misleading to include that in the post.

Stephanie

It was also more than a little misleading to put the AP's name in the subhead and the lede. This doesn't automatically discredit the story, of course, but potentially a red flag.

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