« VIPS Warning to POTUS on Syria intelligence | Main | Syria and Egypt - 9 September, 2013 »

08 September 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Kerry based his claim of little al-Qaeda relevance on an OpEd in the WSJ. That OpEd was written by an adviser to the Syrian opposition who is paid by the U.S. government.


There is more shady stuff about the Syrian opposition lobby in Washington




Seems the Syrian Army have taken Malloula back but the rebels continue to occupy the higher ground surrounding it

Babak Makkinejad

"The present Syrian government is the protector of religious minorities."

and by implication, so is the Islamic Republic of Iran.


I wrote a letter to the editor about Maaloula last week:

This week I read with sadness of events in Maaloula, Syria.

When I visited Maaloula three years ago, it was one of only three places in Syria where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was still spoken. What I found was an isolated small town nestled in a narrow valley barely one hundred yards wide. A few thousand people, Muslim and Christian, lived side by side there.

Maaloula is home to some of the oldest Christian churches and shrines in Syria. One of the shrines is a monastery containing the body of St. Takla, a pupil of St. Paul. Legend has it that she and her band of Christians were able to escape pursuit by Roman legions, when a gap magically appeared in the cliff that forms a wall on the west side of the town.

This week the community was again under siege, this time by Saudi supported rebels, who have conducted massacres in other towns, where residents do not share their beliefs. To my knowledge the US has not condemned these massacres.

While I hold Maaloula in my thoughts, I hope and pray that my government will promote peace and reconciliation, not instigate military action which will only lead to more bloodshed and chaos.

William R. Cumming

While I consider myself a believer in Christ I am not a religious person. But given USA history should we as a Nation be granting open asylum to Christians from the MENA?


Maaloula and it's Christian citizens will need lots of prayers. Maalooula sits on a road connecting the hiways from Aleppo to Lebanon & Aleppo to Damascus. Retaking it will pose an interesting dilemma for the Syrian Army. It is probably difficult for them to mass forces in the face of pending US action. If they do attempt to retake the town any use of supporting arms will result in a propaganda victory to the el Nursa forces. It'll be a rehash of, "We had to destroy the village to save it."

The CNN clip referenced was interesting. The shots of the Christian refugees in Lebanon were of women, children & old men. I saw no military aged males.

I pray that the US does not become Al Queda's Air Force & Navy.


This was an extremely smooth propaganda operation on display this Sun morning. And it will be on display in full blown intensity the next two days. Mesmerizing in its deception and cheap, dirty shirt lawyer, opening statement type rhetoric. All across the board. Only C-Span, with old school, Ambassador Djerejian, bucked the pernicious trend.

The way they kept saying, over and over again, the Congress will get shown the video of the immediate aftermath of some type of chemical attack, and this--almost alone--would make them change their votes. And no one, not one person, said, or hinted out, 'well, what--tragic and gruesome as it obviously is-- has this got to do with who did this or what should be the US response to it. It is a cheap--albeit effective--appeal to emotion and nothing else'. Nobody said that...I have this image of Congress types subjected to repeated viewings of the images...not let out till they change their votes. And they will change their votes. I believe Obama will get it his vote. I fervently hope it will taste as bad as I suspect it will. It will be ill gotten gain to steam roll the American people one more time.

Yes, if you believe in such things, say prayers for the town of Maaloula...but save a few for our Republic...and for the lost of critical thinking in it. We're run by a bunch of David Axelrod and Karl Rove types, commanding armies of nerds. Who give an F about little other than who lets them play with the shiniest tech toys.

The Twisted Genius

This seriously imperfect Catholic did his best to add his prayers throughout the day to join Pope Francis in his vigil for peace yesterday.



jonst et al

One of the most worrisome sights was that of Zakariyah's panel. This included Wesley Clark, Wolfowicz, Nicholas Burns and James Steinberg. They wanted decisive action to weaken Assad and bring on a rebel victory. clark said that IHO a naval exclusion zone would have to be declared by the US and the Russians warned out of it. Madness. pl

Maureen Lang

I didn't see this particular panel, but hell's bells...Wolfowitz? Must the talking heads drag from their holes ALL the Bushites to give Obama/Kerry an "attaboy, go for it?"


You'd think so wouldn't you, at least that would take precedent over Chechen and Somali Muslims? But that would be in a country that isn't schizophrenic.

Remember, the US is deferring deportations for aggravated felons and rapists, but they're damned focused on deporting a German family who is claiming asylum.


If Zakariya has to rely on people like Wolfowicz to make his case, then it is lost cause. I suppose he will have Tommy Franks on next to describe how to make a successful mission.


This is really just par for the course since Serbia. Muslims and Christians killing each other, and who do we bomb? The Christians.

Hussein was surprisingly tolerant of Christians and their communities, and now look at where they are? All those ancient communities, scattered to the winds.

I don't think I need to point out how Egypt is going, and that pretend Catholic Kerry simply does not care about what the fallout will be. As I said before, I'm sure its just a coincidence that the architechs of all this Middle East madness in the US happen to be jews or heavily influenced by the jews.


Col, that mock exercise with Burns Wolfowicz, Clark, and Steinberg sent me into depression. Sorry to be so concerned with my feelings...but watching that, after the earlier shows, just sunk me. What I would have given to see ONE PERSON, ONE...that signed your petition on TV this AM. But no....no one from your group...and no one like the people that signed the petition. I mean I just don't know what to say anymore....

Madness is right. Madness.



Nicholas Burns is a Knight of Malta. He is another "pretend Catholic" who is about to wage aggressive war. pl



The unanimity of the media in backing the war forces is impressive across the networks. they would never ask any of us. That would interfere with propagation of the narrative. Wolfowitz! My God! This is the man who admitted that the bushies lied the US int owar with Iraq. frank Sesno on his show today referred to anyone who did not accept the government's version of events as a "conspiracy theorist." 1984 is here. pl



Matthew 6:24 I believe - "You cannot serve G-d and mammon."

If the Church brought back excommunication I would be pretty happy. It makes a mockery out of everything these orders and honors have stood for throughout history when they're treated as lines on a resume and not a sacred duty.

The beaver

Did McDonough announce that the Congress vote is really a vote on Iran?

I didn't watch the talking heads this morning .


So, I guess Clark badly wants that World War III that he was denied in former Yugoslavia after all. These are madmen!


I'm probably taking the analogy to too much of extreme, but Adolf Hitler was, at least nominally, a Catholic.

In fact, one little known episode before World War II, before Anschluss took place and when Mussolini was still thinking about resisting Hitler (that was before Britain and France sold him out over Austria, which, unfortunately for Mussolini, happened to coincide over his misguided adventure in Ethiopia, and basically left Mussolini no choice but to cast his lot with Hitler instead.), is that Mussolini urged the Pope to excommunicate Hitler to at least show moral disapproval of his actions. Doubtful if that would have changed much, but I still wonder about that sometimes.


Did any of you hear the NPR Morning Edition report by Renee Montagne where she interviewed Elizabeth O'Baggy of the Institute for the Study of War. Ms. O'Baggy's opinion is that the moderate rebels are the real fighting force in FSA and that USA should help them militarilty. I went down and read the comments section to get the real story, which I got.....and confirmed by a visit to the ISW website and poked around until I got to the "supporters" section of the website and here are the ISW's supporters: General Dynamics, Northrup Grummon, Palantir, Raytheon, CACI, Dyncorp, Critical Solutions. Every one a defense contractor.

So NPR has fallen and joined the propaganda machine. I am well on my way to dropping out of this society and becoming a farmer, out of dejection. I feel overwhelmed by the force of dishonesty and greed in this society.


As much as I learn about the Mideast here I seem to see called into question what I thought I knew about the US.
O.k., let me try to ask a question. First, I don't think the narcissism of important actors is relevant here. Sure, one can contrast them against an Eisenhower-type personality, but a historical figure like Churchill clearly was a narcissist, too. Second, the issue of messianism. That's certainly a pervasive element in the culture. I wonder, though, why Reuters could run a story about the divide in Congress on Syria being one between young and old lawmakers on both sides of the political fence. Messianism doesn't require experience, but acquiescence to the warmongering crowd's political recipes apparently does (for some rather unsavory values of "experience", that is). There are attitudes in evidence here that are acquired and transmitted in the process of adapting to and being co-opted into a pre-existing policy-making and media establishment.
Ultimately, that leaves the "dumbing-down of the culture" as an explanation. Which has a ring of finality to it rather than seeming like a problem for which there is a solution that could - assuming determination and thoroughness - be implemented.
Guess I talked myself out of having a question.


What you do not understand is the unwillingness of most Americans to admit what they are. pl



I think it a bit much to claim that Hitler was a Catholic just because he had been baptised. pl

David Habakkuk


Propaganda can cease to work. Conventional wisdoms collapse, and can do very suddenly. Sometimes the erosion of their foundations is a process which goes on over a very protracted period, and most people continue to assume that they are impregnable until, all of a sudden, it becomes clear that not very many people believe in them any more.

The collapse can be triggered by events which may in part be fortuitous, and also by a message being vigorously articulated by committed leaders, which earlier had seemed off-the-wall to many, but then quite rapidly comes to seem to match the mood of the moment.

The ideological disintegration of the Soviet system – which passed largely unnoticed or was totally misinterpreted in most Western intelligence analysis – is one case in point.

The very rapid collapse of the power of the British trade union movement is another. A groundswell of frustration with the stranglehold the unions had on British society, even among some traditional Labour loyalists (such as myself) had been developing for a very long time – since the mid to late Sixties, in fact.

At the end of the Seventies and beginning of the Eighties, the coming together of the near-anarchy created by the unions in the so-called ‘Winter of Discontent’, Thatcher’s populism, and her – largely accidental – victory in the Falklands War precipitated a total collapse in the political position of the union movement.

It seems increasingly likely that the attempt by Cameron and Hague to use sentimental propaganda to inveigle us into following your country’s leaders into a third fatuous war in the Islamic world has precipitated a similar catalytic moment.

Elements of this I find profoundly reassuring, other elements alarming. But if any British politician attempted to talk the nonsense that Kerry has been talking about the ‘moderation’ of the Syrian opposition they would encounter a monumental ‘raspberry’ from the people they have traditionally counted on to be their most loyal supporters. Likewise, it is not clear to me that even the most conformist of BBC television producers would select a discussion panel featuring Clark, Wolfowitz, Burns and Steinberg with no opposing voices. Cowardly opportunists do sometimes develop ‘antennae’ about the way that public opinion is changing.

Is the situation really so different in your country, from how I think it is in mine?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad