السبت، أغسطس 24، 2013

Al-Qaeda in Iraq checkpoints on Baghdad-Amman highway

This is how Al-Qaeda (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) operates with impunity on the international highway between Baghdad and Amman in the Anbar province. The victims, Syrian truck drivers, were summarily executed after failing to answer how many times a Muslim is supposed to kneel during dawn prayers.

 Where are your drones, Mr. Obama? Oh, sorry I forgot you're too busy spying on your own citizens and jailing whistleblowers now to even bother about 'terrorists' anymore. Hell, I'm willing to bet these guys might even be some of the groups you're arming and funding through Syrian 'rebels'

 

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Marcus يقول...

Completely insane. Not only the deed but also that they film it as it it was something to take pride in.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

You're absolutely right, Zeyad. Drone strikes would be appropriate for people who behave like that.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Zeyad,

It appears that Caesar did a couple of posts back in May about the situation in Iraq, if you weren't already aware of it.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      يقول...

 
      "Where are your drones, Mr. Obama?"

Let's get real here, Zeyad.  Neither the Maliki government nor the general Iraqi population are gonna sit still for American drone attacks on Iraqi highways.  Doesn't matter who's the target.
And those guys don't seem to be interested in attacking western targets (and specifically, American targets) any time soon, being currently otherwise engaged; so there's nothing in it for us.
No reason for us to be taking crap from people over drone attacks inside Iraq (including the crap we'd almost certainly be getting from one expatriate Iraqi blogger now residing in Texas).

Petes يقول...

The comments on the video seem to be generally supportive of the vile actions portrayed.

Petes يقول...

Another 50 or so people killed by bombs in Baghdad and Baquba. Among the wave of bombs, one was in a coffee shop in Baghdad, another at a wedding in Baquba. Meanwhile five soldiers shot to death at a fake checkpoint near Mosul. Iraq is close to meltdown. Al-Qaeda in Anbar seems to be only a small part of the problem. Drones wouldn't help even if they were on offer.

Petes يقول...

Chances are, American foreign policy on Iraq is the same as on Syria -- hoping that both sides lose.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Chances are, American foreign policy on Iraq is
      the same as on Syria -- hoping that both sides lose.
"

Not so much.  We still hold out the hope that the Iraqi will learn political compromise and accommodation.  In Syria, where the Alawite minority controls the old government apparatus and is holding on for dear life, that just doesn't appear to be in the cards at all.

Bridget يقول...

Z, our new Secretary of State has a botoxed face. Our "foreign policy" is to be taken as seriously as a man with a botoxed face.

Ivy يقول...



"Oh, sorry I forgot you're too busy spying on your own citizens and jailing whistleblowers now to even bother about 'terrorists' anymore".

This will anger Lynette.

" I'm willing to bet these guys might even be some of the groups you're arming and funding through Syrian 'rebels'".

I`m willing to bet they are doing it directly .

Marcus يقول...

Attack on Syria within two weeks?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-un-weapons-inspectors-attacked-as-they-try-to-enter-poison-gas-attack-site-8784435.html

"Western countries, including Britain, are planning to take unilateral military action against the Assad regime within two weeks in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria."

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Oh, sorry I forgot you're too busy spying on your
      own citizens and jailing whistleblowers…
"

I was gonna ignore that part on account of it just bein’ silly, but…  Perhaps surprisingly, they seem to have done very little, if any, actual spying on citizens.  Oh, they've sure ‘nuff hoovered up vast amounts of data, a lot of which they admit they should not have acquired, but they don't seem to have gone through it, just stored it in digital.
We do need to get a handle on that though, gotta be more accountability here.  Just ‘cause the Obama administration apparently hasn't abused their access to the data (so far anyway; nor the previous Bush administration, for that matter) doesn't mean we can trust that this will not change with subsequent administrations.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "Attack on Syria within two weeks?"

Bet agin it.  Limited air strikes maybe, planes, missiles, or drones; but no follow-through.

Marcus يقول...

"planes, missiles, or drones; but no follow-through."

That'd still be an attack. And it could escalate from there.

I just don't buy this whole storyline that al-Assad must be punished for a supposed chemical attack but there is NO plan to use that attack to sway the conflict in Syria.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "That'd still be an attack."

And I'm still bettin’ agin it.

Petes يقول...

"Not so much. We still hold out the hope that the Iraqi will learn political compromise and accommodation. In Syria, where the Alawite minority controls the old government apparatus and is holding on for dear life, that just doesn't appear to be in the cards at all.

In both cases the current governments are Iran-friendly and possible staging points for projection of Iranian power. Why would the US want that (even though they helped create the situation in Iraq)?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Non sequitur; a recitation of what you perceive to be similarities between Syria and Iraq does not dispel the differences.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

Maintaining a stalemate should be America’s objective. From your article.

You know I'm going to argue against this, don't you?

Besides the obvious humanitarian crisis this fosters, this would just create a similar mess to the stalemate between Israel & the Palestinians. It will fester and infect the rest of the region for as long as it goes on. I say take out Assad's chemical weapons and larger military hardware and find some moderate Syrian faction and back them to the hilt.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Ivy,

Zeyad: "Oh, sorry I forgot you're too busy spying on your own citizens and jailing whistleblowers now to even bother about 'terrorists' anymore".

Ivy: This will anger Lynette.


I am not the thought police. Zeyad is an adult and can think what he likes.

Zeyad: " I'm willing to bet these guys might even be some of the groups you're arming and funding through Syrian 'rebels'".

Ivy: I`m willing to bet they are doing it directly .


You'd be terrible at poker, Ivy.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee: Perhaps surprisingly, they seem to have done very little, if any, actual spying on citizens.

Maybe not so surprising.

See #2.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I say…find some moderate Syrian faction and
      back them to the hilt.
"

I believe the Obama administration has been looking for almost two years now (through the intelligence services who're doing the gruntwork) for a ‘moderate faction’ that might stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning if it had our backing.  So far that search hasn't produced a viable candidate.  Doesn't look like it's going to.

Marcus يقول...

^
I'd agree to that last post by Lee. A moderate rebel faction to support is unlikely to be found.

Lee: "And I'm still bettin’ agin it [an attack on Syria shortly]."

I'm betting on it, within the next 2 weeks. The only thing I can see now that would be enough to starve off an attack is Obama himself reallly putting his foot down and going against it. He hasn't got guts enough even if he's reluctant to attack is my guess, if he even is that reluctant to begin with.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "[an attack on Syria shortly]."

No; not ‘shortly’; within two weeks (13 days as of now)

Marcus يقول...

OK, we'll see.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I believe the Obama administration has been looking for almost two years now (through the intelligence services who're doing the gruntwork) for a ‘moderate faction’ that might stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning if it had our backing.

I suppose the problem here is that the truly moderate people don't want to have anything to do with this street fight now. They are the ones fleeing. *sigh* It does make our choices very limited. Ending the conflict itself with some kind of positive resolution would take some very talented slight of hand, which is sadly lacking in the world today.

But there is still the matter of the use of chemical weapons. That really can't be let slide. That would only encourage their use again.

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "I say take out Assad's chemical weapons and larger military hardware and find some moderate Syrian faction and back them to the hilt."

If only life were that simple. When you say "take out" his weapons, you mean bombing by US/NATO in Syria and/or cruise missiles launched from the Med? Most military people would say you can't just lob a few bombs and run away ... you have to have a plan to prosecute things to the end. As for finding a moderate Syrian group, I would have said the time for that is long since past. Do you mean something like the Awakening/Sons of Iraq who are still being paid for not being naughty in Anbar province. One wonders what they're doing about the AQ head choppers on the highway to Amman ... unless they're the same people :-/

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette] "Ending the conflict itself with some kind of positive resolution ..."

Let's stop right there, though ... what would that mean?

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette: "But there is still the matter of the use of chemical weapons. That really can't be let slide. That would only encourage their use again."

Then it would be kinda important to know a few things. First of all:

1. what sort of chemicals were used?
2. who used them?

Wouldn't you say?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
The importance of Question # 1 is not immediately apparent to me.
Whatever it was, it was lethal.  This was not crowd control.  Is that not enough to know?

Marcus يقول...

No. I've read at least one report claiming several corpses looked asphystiated. It was mentioned that shoving people into containers and suffocating them with a massive dose of ordinary tear-gas could produce similar results. That' be a crime, but not a WMD-crime. We need to know if WMD's were used, not merely that people died.

I would have Think ya'll president that has already, it seems, asked about the legal situation here simply must be interested in wether WMD's were used or not.

Further answering #1 could give good intel about that #2 no-one wants to talk about. If you're going to bomb because of a crime it would be handy to know who the criminal is, no?

Marcus يقول...

Hmm, "asphystiated". Didn't look right when I looked that over. It should read asphyxiated.

Marcus يقول...

Lots of other small errors I now see. Well, I'm sure you get the meaning.

Marcus يقول...

I found this to be a good article:

http://m.nationalreview.com/article/356945/wmd-excuse-again-alan-reynolds

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes When you say "take out" his weapons, you mean bombing by US/NATO in Syria and/or cruise missiles launched from the Med?

I can't really say as to the method, although they have moved ships closer to the region. I understand that taking out chemical weapons is not as easy as it sounds, though. There is the problem of dispersal of the chemicals themselves. You could cause more damage to surrounding areas than intended.

Most military people would say you can't just lob a few bombs and run away ... you have to have a plan to prosecute things to the end.

Well, it has been tried in the past. But it does seem to be only a single move in a far larger "chess match".

Do you mean something like the Awakening/Sons of Iraq who are still being paid for not being naughty in Anbar province.

Are they still being paid?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

[Lynnette] "Ending the conflict itself with some kind of positive resolution ..."

[Petes[ "Let's stop right there, though ... what would that mean?"


I suppose that means different things to different people. For me it would mean an end to the killing of civilians by the various factions and an opportunity for Syrians to re-build their country and their lives in such a way as to give everyone there a chance at a better life. Yes, I know, a very tall order, that.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

...answering #1 could give good intel about that #2 no-one wants to talk about.

I should think the doctors treating the patients would have a good idea of what was used. If not, outside agencies should be able to test samples of blood and whatnot to determine that. As to who was responsible, not only what was used, but how it was delivered would be a clue. I have read accounts that suggest that it is the Syrian government who had that capability.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Here is a rather interesting overview of the Syrian conflict.

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette:

"I should think the doctors treating the patients would have a good idea of what was used."

Unless those "doctors" are with the rebels too. There're several MSF outlets in Syria but they are all MSF in name only and staffed entirely by locals. Yet many news outlets somehow fail to pass that on to readers and we are led to Believe there are in fact western Medical professionals on the front lines, which there are not.

"If not, outside agencies should be able to test samples of blood and whatnot to determine that."

That's one of the things of the agenda of the UN personell going in there, but your officials deemed that "too late".

I wonder why they wanted the UN in to investigate months old "atrocities" but once they got there and a new "atrocity" happened then the 3 Days it took the Syrian government to let them in was "too long".

Last week months old incidents were interesting, today 3 days old incidents are obsolete. Why?

"As to who was responsible, not only what was used, but how it was delivered would be a clue."

That would be good to know is my Point.

"I have read accounts that suggest that it is the Syrian government who had that capability."

Of course they have that capability. Doesn't mean they did it.

Think like this Lynnette: qui bono?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I've read at least one report claiming several
      corpses looked asphystiated. It was mentioned that
      shoving people into containers and suffocating them
      with a massive dose of ordinary tear-gas could
      produce similar results.
"

Info I've been given is that a lot of those people died in their beds (well, in their houses at least).  If we've got that right, then babblin’ on ‘bout what ‘could produce similar results’ is merely a distraction.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Forgot to address this:

      "Last week months old incidents were interesting,
        today 3 days old incidents are obsolete. Why?
"

Because there's still significant question about whether or not the old incidents really were chem-weapons attacks.  Or, at least, there were enough perhaps politically inspired questions to warrant sending in a U.N. team to investigate.
This one's clearly c-w.  Relevant question is ‘who?’  That evidence can easy ‘nuff be either hidden or faked in three days

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "…how it was delivered would be a clue."

I've seen tape of a cylindrical container, could have been the remains of either missile or artillery shell from the size of it.  Voice over on the tape said missile.  Maybe he knew; maybe he didn't.

Marcus يقول...

Lee C saw a broken cylider on Youtube. Kerry says al-Assad gassed his own people with UN inspectors half a block away, even though that would give him no real military advantages in the war he's currently winning and that would mean he would be passing the "red line" where he would face an overwhelming outside force.

Yeah - that's the way it went down.

al-Assad is THAT stupid.

(come to Think of if he probably meant to gass the UN inspectors to death but just missed by a few miles because he's such a moron. Right?)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...


Are you seriously interested in defending the argument that it was the rebels that gassed that neighborhood?  Or are you seriously interested in defending the argument that it wasn't a gas attack at all?  Do you really want to go there?

Or you just drunk and stupid this evening?

Marcus يقول...

cui bono?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "cui bono?"

Iran, for one.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
And, after you've mulled that one over…

The Assad regime has done multiple small chem-weapons strikes, all of marginal utility.  What's the point in that if they're not willing to incrementally increase the lethality of their strikes? 
Why not ratchet things up a bit?  They've gotten away with it so far. 

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Post Script:

Your post of 3:06 PM suggests you're going for the ‘rebels did it’ argument.  No point in asking ‘who benefits’ if you're going to deny it was a chem-weapons strike in the first place.  So, I'm going forward on the assumption that you're preparing to argue that it was the rebels gassed their own civilian territories.  And the ‘not a chem-weapons’ strike argument is going by the wayside.

Marcus يقول...

I not arguing I know who did what, because I don't. I do believe it's most likely an attempt at a false flag operation.

Lee: "The Assad regime has done multiple small chem-weapons strikes, all of marginal utility."

So says you. I call bullshit. Last time the UN reported only that the "rebels" had gassed people with Sarin gas and tried to blame it on the regime, but that there were no indications the regime had used such weapons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3f1jICMqys

Marcus يقول...

"because I don't" should be "because I don't know"

Marcus يقول...

British Labour leader throws a spanner into the the works of the most eager warmongers:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2405319/Number-10s-fury-f----Miliband-Labour-leader-withdrawing-support-Camerons-airstrike-Syria-Parliament-recalled-today.html

Might mean I lose that bet with Lee about an attack within two weeks.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "So says you. I call bullshit."

Bullshit back.  ‘Fraid I'm gonna havta call you on that one.
What you're referencing isn't a UN report at all, but rather a very public ‘leak’ by one Carla Del Ponte (whoever the hell she is) alleging ‘concrete suspicions’ whatever the hell those are supposed to be.
When you get a link to a real UN report that actually supports your position you be sure and let me know

Marcus يقول...

She's a commissioner for the UN's "The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188


   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "She's a commissioner…"

That much was kinda obvious, and tells us damn little.
Your attempt to inflate your ‘evidence’ tell us rather more I think.

Marcus يقول...

You probably don't believe that though. You probably don't believe in the case where Turkish security forces found al-Nusra terrorists with Sarin gas headed for Syria either:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkish-police-find-chemical-weapons-in-the-possession-of-al-nusra-terrorists-heading-for-syria/5336917

"According to a report in Turkey’s state media agency Zaman, agents from the Turkish General Directorate of Security (Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü) ceased 2 kg of sarin gas in the city of Adana in the early hours of yesterday morning. The chemical weapons were in the possession of Al Nusra terrorists believed to have been heading for Syria."

(I don't stand by the rest of that article just this one fact that al-Nusra were caught with Sarin in Turkey, so no need to bash me with anything else written there. The thing is the original source is in Turkish)

Now, Turkey has been pretty much opposed to al-Assad's regime since the beginning of this conflict. But you wouldn't believe them either, would you?

Myself I have no real problems envisioning Al-Qaeda linked terrorists gassing a couple of hundred civvies to move Obama over that "red line" of his if they could.

I find that scenario way more likely than Assad granting access to UN inspectors and then gassing civvies 10 minutes away from their destination just as they have arrived.

Not that I have any proof, it's just my own reasoning about what would make the most sense. Probably one of those CRAZY conspiracy theories of mine, right?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I was particularly impressed with the part where you claim to believe just the part you want to believe and disavow the rest. 

Marcus يقول...

The "part I want to believe"? Do you challenge that that has happened in Turkey then?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Sarin is rather difficult to produce.  If al-Qaeda were capable of producing and transporting Sarin we'd all be a lot more nervous than we are.  Not bloody likely that al-Qaeda affiliates would be smuggling Sarin into Syria, where stockpiles already exist, stockpiles which might be raided easier than trying to produce and smuggle in sarin.

And, if this had really happened, I'd expect more credible, mainstream media would have picked up on it by now.  Your sudden attraction here for fringe publications and ‘concrete suspicions’ is quite telling I think.

Marcus يقول...

It came from Turkeys state media Lee.

http://www.zaman.com.tr/gundem_adanada-el-kaide-operasyonu-12-gozalti_2094730.html

You can put that into Google Translate for yourself if you wish.

12 Al Nusra fighters arrested in Turkey by turkish security services in possession of 2kg of Sarin gas, reported by turkish state media.

Who are you calling liers? The turkish security services or the turkish state madia? On what grounds would they lie about this in your opinion?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

  
How long have you believed that being a ‘state run’ media necessarily implied accuracy or even basic journalistic competence?

Marcus يقول...

I know state owned media lie like the rest of 'em. No doubt about that. But YOU were the one saying I had only "fringe publications" hence I pointed out it was in fact from turkish state media. You may deem it unreliable, but you can hardly call it a "fringe publication" can you?

In this case I find them believable. It's evident that an arrest took place. It's clear that turkish security forces make the claim that the arrested ones were Al Nusra terrorists, and it's clear that the turkish security forces claim they had chem-weapons and that they were believed to be headed to Syria. Is any of that in doubt too you?

Marcus يقول...

(for those of us who've been around it's quite evident how Lee, when faced with questions he'd rather not answer, comes back with short hand comments trying to run off on a tangent. LOL! Ya'll can see that and are familiar with that, aren't you?)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Ummm...so what exactly were those Syrian truck drivers carrying or going to be carrying?

Marcus يقول...

Just in: Russia has called an emergency meeting about Syria in the UNSC.

I wonder what their planned agenda is. Could be interesting. The 5 permanent members are to meet in about 45 minutes from now it seems.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus: Kerry says al-Assad gassed his own people with UN inspectors half a block away, even though that would give him no real military advantages in the war he's currently winning...

But is he? Winning, that is?

Lynnette: As to who was responsible, not only what was used, but how it was delivered would be a clue."

Marcus: That would be good to know is my Point.


Why do you think it isn't known?

"According to a report in Turkey’s state media agency Zaman, agents from the Turkish General Directorate of Security (Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü) ceased 2 kg of sarin gas in the city of Adana in the early hours of yesterday morning. The chemical weapons were in the possession of Al Nusra terrorists believed to have been heading for Syria."

Believed to be headed to Syria. If this account is accurate I should think this can be checked out. And if Turkey were to have doubts as to who was using Sarin they will not support an attack on Syria. Right?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I wonder what their planned agenda is.

Assad is ready to step down and his regime is offering a deal, which the Russians are going to put on the table at the UN.

You heard it here first.

:)

Marcus يقول...

Maybe, just maybe we'll have to call you clairvoyant in the near future Lynnette. ;-)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "…but you can hardly call it a ‘fringe publication’
      can you?
"

Which ‘it’ are we talking about here?  Global Research, Zaman, or the as yet unidentified ‘state media’?

Marcus يقول...

tangent. LOL!

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
 
W-T-F ‘tangent’?  It's your damn question!

      "You may deem it unreliable, but you can hardly
      call it a ‘fringe publication’ can you?
"
      Marcus @ 12:39 PM

Marcus يقول...

Kim Jong Un knows how to break up with girlfriends - the permanent way:

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/08/29/2013082901412.html

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
It appears that Marcus has determined that further inquiry into his alleged media sources including the imaginary ‘Turkish state media’ will likely not turn out well for him.

He is correct.

Marcus يقول...

I've drawn on ya cowboy, better draw back or is yer holster empty?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I don't think declaring your own question to be a ‘tangent’ constitutes gettin’ the drop on me.
That's more like shootin’ yourself in the foot.

Marcus يقول...

Careful there 'ol man, or I'll draw my second gun out while yer still pissin' yer pants tryin' to unleather yer first one.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
That's all ya got is some false bravado?  So, we're done then?
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Note to Lynnette,

Zaman is not Turkish state media, it's private, owned by the Feza corporation.  They own about a dozen rags in about a dozen countries.
Marcus didn't really read the Zaman article anyway.  There was no ‘state media’ publication involved in the tale.  They just made that up at the GlobalResearch website, and Marcus sucked it down, hook, line, and sinker.

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Are they [the Awakening/sons of Iraq] still being paid?"

Not only still being paid ... they got a pay rise recently :)

[Marcus]: "it's quite evident how Lee, when faced with questions he'd rather not answer, comes back with short hand comments trying to run off on a tangent. LOL! Ya'll can see that and are familiar with that, aren't you?"

Lee's sojourn in the wilderness has improved neither his debating skills nor his manners. I don't know why you bother.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Lee's sojourn in the wilderness has improved
      neither his debating skills nor his manners.
"

I do, however, have the advantage of being right.

Petes يقول...

While the West is tomahawking Assad's military, should they lob a few at the rebels too? You know, for the litany of crimes against humanity they've committed?

Is the West really claiming to be a fair cop, arbitrating between these odious factions?

Marcus يقول...

Aaaww 'lil boy put his beebie gun back in his pocket. We all saw that.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee: Note to Lynnette,

Zaman is not Turkish state media, it's private, owned by the Feza corporation.


Thank you. :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
On the off-hand that you think gettin’ in the last word is somehow gonna make up for how poorly you did further up the thread, I'm gonna make you work for that last word.
Just ‘cause it'll be fun to make ya work for it.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

[Lynnette]: "Are they [the Awakening/sons of Iraq] still being paid?"

Not only still being paid ... they got a pay rise recently :)


Interesting. With sequestration I didn't think we would be continuing that program.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

While the West is tomahawking Assad's military, should they lob a few at the rebels too? You know, for the litany of crimes against humanity they've committed?

*sigh*

I understand your point, Pete, but is it right to just stand by and do nothing?

Is the West really claiming to be a fair cop, arbitrating between these odious factions?

I don't think it a question of arbitration. Although, depending on the results of an attack, should it actually happen, that may be the end result. In which case, we will have to deal with those consquences.


Petes يقول...

I missed this:

[Lynnette]: "Ummm...so what exactly were those Syrian truck drivers carrying or going to be carrying?"

Syrians trucking between Baghdad and Amman? Probably the same thing most truckers carry between major cities... ordinary goods for sale.

[Lynnette]: "I understand your point, Pete, but is it right to just stand by and do nothing?"

It depends on the aim. I agree with deterring the use of chemical weapons. I still can't understand why it's suddenly instantly important when Assad allegedly does it, and not when there were suspicions over the rebels doing it. Also, an attack on one side is tacit support for the other. I find it hard to agree with supporting either side in this conflict. (I read both your and Marcus's articles by the way ... much food for thought). One piece of breaking news ... the UK won't be joining the US in any action. The Commons just now voted against it by a narrow margin of thirteen.

Bridget يقول...

" One piece of breaking news ... the UK won't be joining the US in any action. The Commons just now voted against it by a narrow margin of thirteen"

We certainly won't be leading from behind on this one...more like out in front all by ourselves. And with no clothes on to boot.

I'm still trying to figure out how come the President had no authority to strike in Libya, until the UN said it was ok, but now the President can order it on his own say so.

What was that little island in the Pacific that took those troublesome Uighurs off our hands? Maybe we can get a green light from them. I'd feel so much better.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "What was that little island in the Pacific…"

Palau.

Petes يقول...

[Bridget]: "I'm still trying to figure out how come the President had no authority to strike in Libya, until the UN said it was ok, but now the President can order it on his own say so."

Perhaps through some clever semantics:

There are moral reasons for disregarding the law, and I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to do just that on Monday, when he said of the use of chemical weapons, “This international norm cannot be violated without consequences.” His use of the word “norm,” instead of “law,” is telling.

(NY times: "Bomb Syria, Even if it is illegal")

Petes يقول...

(We can lend you some used car salesmen for additional spin)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I believe the Obama administration should
      intervene in Syria.
"

To what end?

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "On the off-hand that you think gettin’ in the last word is somehow gonna make up for how poorly you did further up the thread"

I'm quite pleased with those comments actually. I thought I did well.

I hear this guy Galloway is a pretty hardcore socialist, which would probably put me at odds with him on many issues, but I liked this speach in parliament:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgxzpQrqSkg





Marcus يقول...

Check out 2:00 to 4:40 at least.

Marcus يقول...

And some humour touching on this sad story:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2cc_1377838431

I love the black guy in the hat. So funny.

Marcus يقول...

Turns out Lee's right about one thing. Zaman does not appear to be a state media like the Globalresearh article suggested.

But then Lee had already said "How long have you believed that being a ‘state run’ media necessarily implied accuracy or even basic journalistic competence?"

And I take that to mean he actually doesn't give two hoots whether it is a state media or not.

It's the, or one of the, leading daily newspapers in Turkey with a circulation of 890.000 and it's being printed in 11 countries and distributed in 35. So we can disregard Lee's notion of it being a "fringe publication" at least.

Then to the story - did 12 al Nusra fighters get arrested in Turkey with sarin gas? I believe they were. I believe that at the very least there would have been a repudiation from the turkish security forces if this story was false and publicated in a major daily newspaper. So for there to be a conspiracy the turkish security forces would have to be in on it, and I seriously doubt that.

Marcus يقول...

Bridget: "I'm still trying to figure out how come the President had no authority to strike in Libya, until the UN said it was ok, but now the President can order it on his own say so."

They supposedly crossed his red line seems to be the only real explanation I've read about. And apparently drawing a red line and not acting when it's supposedly crossed is worse than acting and getting it wrong.

Marcus يقول...

Putin addresses the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUyPpT0_8Gg

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

      "I take that to mean he actually doesn't give two
      hoots whether it is a state media or not.
"

That's true; but it was fun to run you around that after you'd staked your position on it.

The two weeks is up on 9 September. Congress doesn't come back from Labor Day recess until 9 September.  I'm gonna win that one too.

Marcus يقول...

You probably will. Because of the Brits. Good for you after losing the rest of the debate.

I'm happy too since there is a little less risk of that bombing you seem to pine for.

Petes يقول...

[Marcus]: "They supposedly crossed his red line seems to be the only real explanation I've read about. And apparently drawing a red line and not acting when it's supposedly crossed is worse than acting and getting it wrong."

Probably true Marcus. But maybe Obama is regretting being so categorical. He's just declared that he's going to consult Congress "in order to make the country stronger, even though he doesn't need to". I'm bettin' he harbours a hope that Congress will turn him down.

Marcus يقول...

Bridget: "What was that little island in the Pacific that took those troublesome Uighurs off our hands?"

Those were the ones locked up in Gitmo, right? Here's an idea. Obama promised to close down that facility but has had a tough time deciding what to do with the inmates there. Why doesn't he just ship them into Syria and give them weapons? They'd most likely fit right in with the rest of the terrorists you're arming there and you'd be rid of them. Isn't that what you call a win-win?

Marcus يقول...

Pete: "I'm bettin' he harbours a hope that Congress will turn him down."

Are they though? This is one of the instances where I'm not tuned in enough to US politics to be able to have an opinion on the matter.

I've only seen Kerry, Kerry and some more Kerry wanting to bomb as urgetly as possible. It's like the guy's still fuming over his election loss to baby Bush and wants to come off as a badass warrior in the end. Other than that I confess I have no idea about how congress might decide.

Marcus يقول...

The UN's vice General Secretary Jan Eliasson (a swede) spoke out about how accommodatin the Syrian regime had been to their inspectors team:

(I've Google-translated it but it should be readable):

United States has repeatedly accused the Syrian government for having delayed UN inspections of alleged kemangreppen . But that's not true , says UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson , who calls the UN negotiations with the Syrian government for " one of the fastest we've done ."

U.S. trying to stop UN inspections

The days immediately after the alleged attack with chemical weapons on August 21 called for the United States to the Syrian government would prepare the UN investigation team access to the areas in Ghouta outside Damascus, where the disputed incident took place .
Four days later , on Sunday 25 August, met with UN and Syria an agreement that gave the UN team permission to immediately begin investigations in the areas concerned. But when the United States claimed that it was too late.
- For five days refused the Syrian regime to give UN inspectors , which they claimed would exonerate them access to the site where the attack took place . Instead , they continued to attack the area, fired on it with grenades and destroyed systematically evidence. So do not behave in a government that does not have anything to hide. So is not a regime that is keen to prove to the world that it has not used chemical weapons. The fact is that the regime's decision to grant access too late. It's too late to be credible , said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry , August 26.

Kerry repeated accusation that Syria delayed UN inspectors access to areas associated with him yesterday presented the evidence that the U.S. claims to have for the Syrian government attacked civilians with chemical weapons.

But in an interview in P1 today said UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson that it is not true that Syria would have delayed the process. He describes the contrary, the discussion with the Syrian government as one of the fastest negotiations he had.
- The attack took place on 21 August, it was well the night between Wednesday and Thursday . We negotiated immediately with the Syrian regime . I left myself over the formal request on Thursday. And we sent our Special Representative Angela Kane to Beirut and then move on to Syria. And Saturday night , she met Deputy Foreign Minister and Sunday we had the agreement. So I would argue that it is one of the fastest negotiations we have made to implement the samples , says Eliasson.

According to Jan Eliasson , it is true , nor that it would have been too late to investigate what happened, or that the UN investigation would not be able to bring something of interest. He emphasizes that the UN team are the only ones who took samples in place and that the inspectors themselves have indicated that their visit to the suburbs where the attack allegedly took place has been " very productive ."

Eliasson also suggested that UN studies can provide the basis for an assessment of who is behind the alleged attacks , even if not included in the inspectors tasked with identifying a key operator .
- We'll see what these tests show, if they can show more on the direction of what is behind these attacks , if they were carried out with chemical weapons.

UN inspectors left Syria earlier today. The samples taken will be analyzed by laboratories in Sweden and Finland. UN Secretary General Ban Ki -moon said yesterday that it could take up to two weeks before the final assay results may be reported.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,


I've only seen Kerry, Kerry and some more Kerry wanting to bomb as urgetly as possible.


If this wasn't such a tragic situation it would be rather amusing to watch the flip flop of both the Democratic and Republican sides on this question of US intervention in Syria, even if limited, from their positions on Iraq. It truly seems to show partisan politics at its worst.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

He's just declared that he's going to consult Congress "in order to make the country stronger, even though he doesn't need to". I'm bettin' he harbours a hope that Congress will turn him down.

Obama should never have made the comment about crossing a red line. I never thought that a wise choice of words. Now he will leave it up to Congress to decide, giving him an out if they turn him down. One will have to wonder in the future how good are the words of an American President?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

I still can't understand why it's suddenly instantly important when Assad allegedly does it, and not when there were suspicions over the rebels doing it.

I don't remember ever saying it wasn't important if the rebels had used chemical weapons, especially if those "rebels" had links to AQ.

Marcus يقول...

Pete: "But maybe Obama is regretting being so categorical. He's just declared that he's going to consult Congress "in order to make the country stronger, even though he doesn't need to". I'm bettin' he harbours a hope that Congress will turn him down."

I just saw the Obama talk. Damn that guy can deliver a speach. GWB had some sort of charm I guess but Obama is at a whole other level.

I'm still convinced he's wrong but he does present his case strongly.

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette: "I don't remember ever saying it wasn't important if the rebels had used chemical weapons, especially if those "rebels" had links to AQ."

So what of the al-Nusra terrorists caught with sarin gas in Turkey?

Petes يقول...

[Marcus]: "Damn that guy can deliver a speach."

I have him pegged as a bit of a windbag. Same delivery, same intonation every time. Reminds me of Tony Blair. I wish him well with the decisions he has to make though.

Bridget يقول...

"He's just declared that he's going to consult Congress "in order to make the country stronger, even though he doesn't need to""

That's pretty much the position I took right before the Libya intervention. While I think the Commander in Chief does have the authority to undertake military operations that fall short of war, if he's got half a brain he'll go to Congress first (NOT the UN, which cares nothing about the strategic interests of the US)

In the case of Syria, I can't see that we have enough to gain to justify risking the inevitable blowback, but I'm glad that he is going to make his case. My mind could possibly be changed.

Bridget يقول...

Marcus, I think you've got a kernel of an idea there. Turn them loose somewhere that they're likely to get their asses shot. :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "I'm still trying to figure out how come the President had
      no authority to strike in Libya, until the UN said it
      was ok, but now the President can order it on his
      own say so.


He appears to think that the use of chemical-weapons provides the relevant distinction. 'International norms' perhaps

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "...less risk of that bombing you seem to pine for."

I have no idea where you got that idea.

indyspiral يقول...

Why can't Erdogan and the Syrian dictator just shake hands and be friends? They could just say, "It was all a big misunderstanding" and there would be no war.

Petes يقول...

116 representatives (including 18 Dems) think that not consulting Congress would be unconstitutional.

John Kerry thinks the US has let their side down. (No prizes for guessing which side. Some of the folks on that side express concern that the US isn't doing enough for them).

Marcus's old favourite, the Asia Times pours scorn on Obama's Operation Tomahawk with Cheese and wonders "why not drop Ferraris instead".

A tiny piece of good news amongst all the warmongering ... one father is reunited with the son he thought was killed in the chemical weapons attack.

Petes يقول...

The astonishing prospect of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys going it alone in Syria has receded, as the French say they won't act in isolation.

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette, a Minnesota news outlet has this to say:

"Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution."

http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/

Marcus يقول...

And while we're on the Saudi-Syria line, what about this:

"News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law. Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-’Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women.
Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices–their chastity, their dignity–in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria.
And it is prostitution–for they are promised payment, albeit in the afterlife. The Koran declares that “Allah has purchased of the believers their persons [their bodies] and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111).
On the basis of this fatwa, several young Tunisian Muslim girls traveled to Syria to be “sex-jihadis.” Video interviews of distraught parents bemoaning their daughters’ fates are on the Internet, including one of a father and mother holding a picture of their daughter: “She’s only 16–she’s only 16! They brainwashed her!” pleads the father."

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/markulyseas/markulyseas/4860/sex-jihad-saudi-cleric-fatwa-muslim-girls-and-women-ordered-to-syria-to-sexually-sacrifice-their-bodies-to-rebels/

How does it feel to be in bed, pun intended, with that sort?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Just a quick link to another potential problem before I check the comments. Accidents can be just as much a concern as intentional actions.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

So what of the al-Nusra terrorists caught with sarin gas in Turkey?

Turkey is an ally of ours. I should think we have people following up on that news report. Just because I question it, doesn't mean I wouldn't consider it important.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
It would appear that the newspaper which broke the story, and would have a virtual exclusive on a piece of dynamite news suddenly, and for no explicable reason, dropped the subject entirely, never to speak of it again.
Marcus, unique among us as he is, he sees the grand conspiracy.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

PeteS,

Interesting round up of links you have there. Of them all the one that has the most impact is the last, the one of the reunion of father and son. Because it is really the innocent people caught up in this conflict that are at the heart of this. They are the ones who will be affected the most. Them and all of the innocents in the future. It's a weighty decision to put before our Congress.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

Mint Press News is an online news publication. As far as I can see the only connection to Minnesota is that one of the columnists lives and works here. Otherwise the contributors are located in varying locations. I have no idea how reputable their reporting is.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Another facet to the Syrian conflict.

"Half a million people have fled the Syrian civil war and now live in Turkey."

Petes يقول...


I don't trust this source particularly, but it claims that Russia has restructured certain of Cyprus's debts, while Cyprus has just announced that there will be no strikes on Syria from bases on its territory.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Sounds to me like Cyprus just got something for nothing.

Marcus يقول...

Sweden just granted all Syrians able to get here asylum and the right to permanent residency. Why permanent? No idea.

Again we're the only country in Europe doing this and our authorities point to "international law". I have to wonder when the laws singling Sweden out were written. Anyone who knows?

I envision a few hundred thousand new immigrants from Syria (not necessarily syrians but claiming to be) into a society less and less willing and able to accomodate them with each passing. It's not that the inflows from Somalia, Eritrea and Afghanistan are getting any smaller either. I do fear for the future. This is getting insane.




Bridget يقول...

Marcus, Obama and the Democrats, aided and abetted by some Republicans, wish to do the same for 11 million illegal aliens here. At least they have the excuse that they are pandering for votes. I've got to think that you people have a death wish.

Petes يقول...

Marcus, I wonder how many Syrians are likely to be able to get to Sweden? Most Syrian refugees are lucky if they can get to a neighbouring country with only the shirt on their back. One person in five in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee. Even Iraq has 150,000 Syrian refugees to add to the 2.8 million internally displaced persons in Iraq. The circumstances of Syrian refugees are dire. I can't see them buying airline tickets to Stockholm.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      " At least they have the excuse that they are pandering for votes."

Come now, they have much better excuses than just that.

Bridget يقول...

It does, however, present an opportunity to get rid of our Gitmo guys. We can send them all to Sweden disguised as Syrians! :)

Marcus يقول...

Pete: "The circumstances of Syrian refugees are dire. I can't see them buying airline tickets to Stockholm."

It doesn't work like that for the most part Pete. The entry-points are Greece and Turkey and they are then smuggled by professional gangs by road usually for a hefty fee to be paid later. With the non-existent border controls once you're in the EU and some countries' willingness to let the stream pass on to "die dumme Schweden" it'll be a lot. 8000 already here were given permanent residency this very day. Permanent as in you can bring relatives later on and make full use of one of the most extensive wellfare systems in the world. And that message is sure to travel just as we've seen before.


Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Boehner supports Obama on Syria action

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

The entry-points are Greece and Turkey and they are then smuggled by professional gangs by road usually for a hefty fee to be paid later.

Did you read my link earlier about the other facet to the Syrian crisis? You might find it interesting.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Bridget,

It does, however, present an opportunity to get rid of our Gitmo guys. We can send them all to Sweden disguised as Syrians! :)

My first reaction to this was "lol!", but now on further reflection I think I am starting to feel rather sorry for Marcus and Sweden. They are taking on more than they bargain for. Oh, I'm sure most who come are just people who want to have a life. But there is a certain risk that Swedish lawmakers seem to be missing. That "all" seemed to be a bit of a blanket statement.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

PeteS,

The circumstances of Syrian refugees are dire.

As are the circumstances in Syria itself. The refugees may be the lucky ones.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "Boehner supports Obama on Syria action"

If this weren't life and death for people on the ground in Syria, this would be hilarious; watchin' Republicans wanting so much to hang Obama out on this, and yet they just can't let him be the "hawk", 'cause they got nothin' else to commend themselves on when it'll finally be time to take on Hillary in 2016.  Stuck between a rock and a hard spot they are, or, at least, between Obama and Hillary.

Bridget يقول...

Almost as hilarious as watching Obama eat his own words, his hat, and a big plate do crow.

Lynnette, I do feel very sorry for Marcus. It's difficult to live in an environment in which your leadership and fellow citizens seem hell bent on self destruction.

Bridget يقول...

of crow

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "Almost as hilarious as watching Obama eat his own words..." and etc.

Oh hell don't stop there, let us in on how ya'll figure to spin that one up.  (Surely you're not this brave at the "hoping to come up with a plan for how to spin this" stage?)?

غير معرف يقول...

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Bridget يقول...

I don't know nuthin' 'bout any y'all or any spinning'. Only know what I think, which I've already stated.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
Any chance you think you know which of his recent words he's going to 'eat'?  Or how that's gonna come to pass?  Or you figure it best to wait until something maybe happens, at least happens in FoxNewsWorld, even if only there, and then announce grandly that this was the thing you were too serene and wise and right about (pun intended) to bother mentioning before it came to pass ( at least in FoxNewsWorld, even if only there).

Marcus يقول...

Obama is in Sweden for a quick visit. Our tabloids are treating it like the second coming of Christ.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
Word is that Obama will take questions from the Swedish press regarding the pending military action against Assad.  So, perhaps the 'second coming' treatment will be short-lived

Marcus يقول...

Actually it took just a short while until many Obama-critics raised their voices.

Not about any attack on Syria though. Our MSM has taken a very anti-Assad stance from the get go. They are for the most part still smitten with that Arab spring storyline and therefor see glorious revolutionaries in the rebels and the Devil in Assad.

They're not exactly sure a bombing campaign is the very best option but they are damn sure the west has "betrayed Syria" and "not done enough".

The Obama criticism is more about that he didn't turn out to be quite the president they believed he would be. You know, the hopey-changey Nobel Peace Price winner. And drones. And Gitmo not being closed.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
I thought he got the Nobel Peace Prize for not being Bush. (He thought that too.)   As for Gitmo, when we offered to give back a lot of those prisoners to their European countries of origin, the howling over Gitmo dropped to what most Americans consider bearable levels.  (I'd still like to see Gitmo closed, but a lot of the urgency has been lost now that our European friends have decided they don't really want us to just let those f*ckers go, nor do they want us to give them back to Europe either)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Smart (and accurate) riposte

Point to Obama.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Bridget,

It's difficult to live in an environment in which your leadership and fellow citizens seem hell bent on self destruction.

lol!

Subtle, yet with a bite. I like it. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

They're not exactly sure a bombing campaign is the very best option but they are damn sure the west has "betrayed Syria" and "not done enough".

Hmmm...so do they have an idea of what the west should do?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee,

I thought he got the Nobel Peace Prize for not being Bush. (He thought that too.)

Perhaps someone's not so subtle way of rewarding (apparently) the appropriate behavior of American voters for voting for the anti-Bush? Forgetting for a moment that the American President is the American President and not the European President and as such may not always be on the same page as them?

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette: "Hmmm...so do they have an idea of what the west should do? "

If they do I have yet to hear it. Apart from sweeping statements such as "we need to do more".

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters the use of poison gas was
      'a barbarous act' to which only the United States is capable of responding."
"

Dumb-ass thing to say out loud whilst the President is trying to round up cohorts for a joint response.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...
أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
     "In the Senate, a Democratic source familiar with Majority Leader Harry Reid's thinking told
      CNN that Reid is confident any authorization measure will pass his chamber. The source said it is likely 60 votes
      will be needed to overcome a
[Republican] filibuster, and Reid thinks the votes are there.
      CNN

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
I notice this morning that the Obama administration is finally pushing back against that ‘red line = embarrassment to Obama’ theme, first and best developed on FoxNewsRadio (although it has spread substantially from there).  ‘Bout damn time!  And fairly easy to do.  The idea rests on the assumption (among other assumptions) that:  If Obama didn't demand we do something about the chem-weapons attack, then the rest of the world would perhaps make disapproving noises and then do nothing at all about it(and perhaps not even bother with the disapproving noises).  As true as that may be, the rest of the world doesn't wanna hear that said out loud.  Start tellin’ people truths they don't wanna hear and they'll soon ‘nuff find a way to drop the subject at hand and start talkin’ ‘bout something else.

Marcus يقول...

I never bought that argument. "If we draw a red line and don't act on it it will inspire others to defy us". With hints about Iran and it's nuclear program.

I believe the rest of the word knows full well that the US can and will act when its fundamental interests are at stake. It's not like the Iranians would go: "Oh, look, they're losing their nerve! Now we can build nuclear weapons at last!"

The thing is, does (yeah they do but should they?) the US really have a dog in the intra-Syrian war? And to what end?

Bridget يقول...

Harry Reid is probably praying for a Republican filibuster, thus sparing his members a vote that a lot of them do not want to make. The Republicans would be crazy to comply.

Lynnette, thanks! :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      'The Republicans would be crazy to comply."

There is ample evidence that being primaried from the right wing, teabagger contingent causes madness among Republican senators.  Guess which Republican Senate Minority Leader is getting primaried from the right in his home state of Kentucky this coming election?  (His initials are ‘Mitch McConnell’ in case you might need additional hints.)

Bridget يقول...

So what? For one thing, the right is split on this issue. For another thing, if the right really wanted to vote it down, that will happen in the House. There's no downside to McConnell in failing to deliver a filibuster. As far as I know, he isn't even trying. Rand Paul is the only one beating that drum. If McConnell is smart, he'll convince Paul to leave it alone and let everyone vote their conscience on an issue of this magnitude.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "So what? If McConnell is smart..."

I will repeat it then, there is ample evidence that getting primaried from the right induces a certain situational madness in sitting Republican senators.

Marcus يقول...

Russian intelligence report fingers the anti-Assad forces as culprits in the chem-attack in Damascus:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/05/201268/russia-releases-100-page-report.html#.UimmRTYvWXe

Petes يقول...

[Marcus]: "Obama is in Sweden for a quick visit. Our tabloids are treating it like the second coming of Christ."

No, that's going to happen today in Dublin at the Ireland-Sweden World Cup crunch qualifier :)

Petes يقول...

Hadn't heard anything much about Mock-tada for a long time. It seems he supports the Syrian revolution -- seems a strange position for a God-fearing follower of Ali.

http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/20184

Marcus يقول...

Pete: "No, that's going to happen today in Dublin at the Ireland-Sweden World Cup crunch qualifier :)"

Prediction: 1-2 in favour of Sweden. Zlatan Ibrahimovich scores one and serves Elmander up for the second swedish goal. :)

Bridget يقول...

So what. If McConnell is worried about being primaried from the right, all he has to do is vote no. That certainly won't hurt him in the general election against a Democrat. None of which changes my hunch that Reid is praying for a Republican filibuster and that the Republicans ought not oblige.

Marcus يقول...

Told you so Pete. 1-2. I might have gotten the scorers somewhat wrong. Turns out it was Elmander-Svensson and not Ibrahimovich-Elmander that scored the goals.

Still I predicted the exact result, Sweden is on its way to Rio and Ireland has to stay home when the big boys settle things, just as we're used to. Cheers Pete, I think I'm gonna pop a brewskie.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "...all he has to do is vote no."

Given his position, you really think that's all that will be expected of him?

Petes يقول...

[Marcus]: "Still I predicted the exact result, Sweden is on its way to Rio and Ireland has to stay home when the big boys settle things, just as we're used to. Cheers Pete, I think I'm gonna pop a brewskie."

Great! I hate when our lads qualify. Huge ridiculous frenzy over our bunch of no hopers -- it's much more relaxing when all hope is extinguished at the qualifying stage. Ever since we got to the quarter finals by a fluke in 1990 our soccer fans have been a complete pain in the ass. In fact I blame our bubble economy on their exuberance. Thank God it's all over for another four years. Think I'll have a brewskie too.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

      "For one thing, the right is split on this issue. For another thing,
      if the right really wanted to vote it down, that will happen in the House.
"

Boehnor's not going to bring it to the floor in the House unless it's already passed in the Senate.  The Senate will be the scene of the first contact in the fight.  Boehnor will see to that.
And, upon reflection, I can't agree that ‘the right is split on this issue’.  I think it's rather more fundamental than that.  I think the Reagan coalition is coming unstuck; I think this is likely permanent and likely goes way beyond ‘this issue’.

Marcus يقول...

Pete "Great! I hate when our lads qualify. Huge ridiculous frenzy over our bunch of no hopers -- it's much more relaxing when all hope is extinguished at the qualifying stage."

What a bore. I know Sweden is very unlikely to ever win the World Cup but we do have a silver from 58 (at home) and a bronze from 94 (the US). The way I see it it's exciting to get the group we will be playing in and hope that we can advance from that to the 8'ths finals. After that every win is an unexpected bonus since we're at the bottom of the list of favourites when there are only 16 teams left.

Marcus يقول...

Lee, Bridget, how committed would you say Obama is to attack Syria? I just read an opinion piece from some swedish supposed expert that he'll most likely attack before the matter even is put before Congress. This guy argued that a Senate approval would have missiles flying within days and even without one there would be an attack quite soon.

But didn't Obama specifically state that he wanted Congress approval, and wouldn't that make him pretty much completely dependent on getting that?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...
أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

      "But didn't Obama specifically state that he wanted Congress approval...?"

Yes, he did.

      "... and wouldn't that make him pretty much completely dependent on getting that?"

He says 'no' to that.  He says he has the authority to go without Congress' approval, if he wants to.   I think he'll not shoot if Congress does not give him its approval for taking the shot; I think that, having asked for the authorization, he'll feel honor bound to hold fire if he doesn't get it. (Also, it'll be a hell of a favor for Hillary to hang the next chem-weapons attack around the collective Republican neck; I think he'll grant her that favor.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

I never bought that argument. "If we draw a red line and don't act on it it will inspire others to defy us". With hints about Iran and it's nuclear program.

That was never the issue for me. I don't believe in saying something unless I know I can back it up with action. I really wasn't sure, and am still not, whether the President will do so, especially if Congress votes against action in Syria.

The thing is, does (yeah they do but should they?) the US really have a dog in the intra-Syrian war? And to what end?

I think that decision was made some time ago, when we started helping certain rebel groups.

What we are looking at now is something that goes beyond what is happening in Syria at this time. It is the same decision the world has sidestepped in the past, do we intervene when someone in a conflict uses a method of killing that the world has tried to eliminate from its arsenal. Which is what Obama correctly pointed out in that link I left here earlier. Does the world step up to enforce the "red line" they have tried to draw? Does Congress? Are their words just hot air and blather or do they have weight?

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee, Bridget, how committed would you say Obama is to attack Syria?

That is the question on many people's minds I should think. I am reading that Assad has split his forces and started hiding assets in various locations. What is rather interesting is that that is something that people could have anticipated, one would think.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Petes,

Hadn't heard anything much about Mock-tada for a long time. It seems he supports the Syrian revolution -- seems a strange position for a God-fearing follower of Ali.

Yeah, that does sound a little weird. He seems to be going counter to his patron, Iran, and his Hezbollah friends. Although, I see he is true to form in opposing any strike on Syria by the US. Now that sounds like the Muqtada we all know.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Russian intelligence report fingers the anti-Assad forces as culprits in the chem-attack in Damascus:

lol! Well, of course they do.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee,

I just bought "Under Fire" by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz, the new book out about the attack on Benghazi. After all the discussion here I thought it might be interesting.

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette: "It is the same decision the world has sidestepped in the past, do we intervene when someone in a conflict uses a method of killing that the world has tried to eliminate from its arsenal."

I agree chemical weapons are repulsive. But really, are they that much different from bombs?

I mean, ya'll had the gas chamber as a legal execution method in the USA and even does in 3 states although it's not the primary method. Contrast the gas chamber with locking the codemned into an isolated room and tossing in a hand greanade. Obviously you never considered the latter, right? Why is that if getting blown up is so much more humane than getting gassed?

How can it be that in the "greatest democracy on the planet" gassing people is still a legal death penalty while blowing them up would never ever be considered. Meanwhile gas as a weapon of war is deemed way more horrific than bombs.

Im not trying to defend chem-weapons here, just put things into perspective.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

     
      "I thought it might be interesting."

It might be.  I'm not familiar with that one.  Most books on Benghazi as of yet are right-winger propaganda rushed out to capitalize on the imaginary 'scandal', but I'm not familiar with that one.

Bridget يقول...

hahaha Malia Obama had best be watching her back, because I'm pretty sure her father had to promise his eldest child to Putin at the G-20 in return for saving his ass on Syria.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I reckon there are a lot of Republican politicians in DC who're grateful as hell for ‘Putin…saving his ass’.  For the teabagger faithful out in the hinterlands, probably not so much.  They're probably thoroughly pissed off at the missed opportunity to have strikes at Assad voted down in the House, and the missed chance to ‘embarras’ Obama (as they see it),

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

But really, are they that much different from bombs?

Somebody thought so.

Meanwhile gas as a weapon of war is deemed way more horrific than bombs.

I have never been on the receiving end of either, it was those who were, who apparantly made that judgement after WWI. I will defer to their greater knowledge.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Bridget,

hahaha Malia Obama had best be watching her back, because I'm pretty sure her father had to promise his eldest child to Putin at the G-20 in return for saving his ass on Syria.

Ahhh, you and just about everyone else knows whose ass Putin is trying to save, and it isn't Obama's.

(Note the use of the word "trying" in that comment.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Most books on Benghazi as of yet are right-winger propaganda rushed out to capitalize on the imaginary 'scandal', but I'm not familiar with that one.

I'll let you know.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
The Russians have called off today's scheduled meeting of the UN Security Council.  They had called for that meeting.  It may be that their ability to deliver Assad's agreement is questionable.

      "…you and just about everyone else knows whose
      ass Putin is trying to save…
"

Putin's trying to ‘bring back the good old days’ when the Soviet Union was a major international power.  He grew up to be a ranking member, a Lieutenant Colonel, of the Soviet KGB before he entered politics in the new Russia.  Accordingly:  His view of what makes Russia powerful appears to rely heavily on opposing the United States wherever possible.
We also have a few unreconstructed Cold Warriors still running around, but they're not holding positions of high executive power.

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

      "I'll let you know."

I'll be interested in hearing your opinion.  (I still haven't read the book, but, in the meantime I've had the opportunity to see the authors interviewed briefly on FoxNews.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I was unimpressed with Obama's speech last night, but it appears to have had the desired effect with the target audience.  The percentage of American viewers who believe Obama ‘made the case’ for some type of military action against Assad was 47% now.  (With 50% saying ‘not’.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I was unimpressed with Obama's speech last night, but it appears to have had the desired effect with the target audience.

I was only able to see a part of it, but I was a little disappointed in that he didn't seem to take into account the latest Russian/Assad offer of Assad's turning over his chemical weapons to UN supervison. I think his remarks would have been stronger if he had, but perhaps that is at a delicate stage and he didn't want to upset the apple cart.

What I have heard is that the offer is only good if there is no military action taken against Syria. So Assad would get a pass for the chemical weapons used earlier. It's a tough position for Obama to be in, I'm thinking. Unless there is a backdoor to get to Assad and those responsible. In that case it would seem to give the world community a chance to have some control over his chemical weapons. That is, of course, assuming they will turn them all over and you can get unbribable, honest people in to do the job, which is questionable in itself. Not a bad thing, if it worked, considering the state of Syria right now. Saddam certainly had no problem working around the UN, though.

So, a lot of "if's" there. Makes me glad I'm not President.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

...I've had the opportunity to see the authors interviewed briefly on FoxNews.

I usually don't watch Fox, so I missed that. I would have been interested in seeing how they conducted themselves in the interview. Oh well.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I usually don't watch Fox, so I missed that…"

I don't have cable (and am not interested in TV enough to bother with a satellite connection), so I almost never watch FoxNews.  However, I spent the weekend as the guest of some rock-ribbed Republicans.  (We generally do not discuss politics; in fact, I've come to notice in recent years that stalwart Republican voters are becoming increasingly loath to discuss politics with those who are not already believers.)  I did, however, find the FoxNews programming to be quite fascinating (as long as I kept my mouth shut on the subject).  I had originally thought that the rabid intensity, and outright fantasy, of FoxNews Radio must necessarily be toned down a bit for the wider TV audience.  I was quite mistaken.

Marcus يقول...

Hilarious fundraising video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z-sdO6pwVHQ

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

"We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal. Vladimir Putin

Practicing for his second career as a stand-up comedian perhaps? Or is Russia reconsidering some of its recent legislation?

Marcus يقول...

I take break from the Syria discussion to tell you (or at least Pete) about some new measures that are discussed to bring down those 100/170 year housing-loan periods in Sweden. There are two alternatives discussed:

1. All mortgages are to be paid down to 60% of the initial purchase price within 20 years.

2. Straight payment of the loan over 60 years.

The second proposal is way more dramatic. It might not seem that dramatic for people who live in countries where, say, 30 year mortgages are the norm but here it is.

The opponents also agree that we "have to do something" but want to leave it up to the banks to decide with each customer - in theory because different customers have so different economics. The problle with that IMO is that I trust the banks about as much as a rattle snake in my bed to do the right thing.

Clearly it's a tightrope they're walking here. If they suddenly change the rules too much they will without doubt cause a crash. If they do nothing the bubble might continue to inflate ane the crash will be even worse. They're trying to create a situation where new lending doesn't grow and where the present stock of loans will remain solvent. I have little faith that they'll succeed with that.

But I do think it'll take two-three years or so before the housing market in Sweden crashes. (best bet)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
English lesson for the day:  ‘Rattlesnake’, one word.

Marcus يقول...

^I knew that, really.

Pete, what's your opinion on UKIP and Nigel Farage?

I like a lot that I hear from Farage but I suspect I might get just one side of the story.

Bridget يقول...

 
"I reckon there are a lot of Republican politicians in DC who're grateful as hell for ‘Putin…saving his ass’.  "

My guess is the Democrats are both more numerous and more grateful

For the teabagger faithful out in the hinterlands, probably not so much.  They're probably thoroughly pissed off at the missed opportunity to have strikes at Assad voted down in the House, and the missed chance to ‘embarras’ Obama"

Not to mention setting up fertile future opportunities to do to Obama what he and the Democrats did to Bush

The big winners, however, are the Syrian people who will not be killed to show Syria that it's wrong to kill Syrians. (not my original bon mot....I read it somewhere). I'm betting the Congressional resolution will never again see the light of day, and we have years of fun playing hide and go seek with Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles. Which is not actually that bad of a result. I only wish we'd been much better at putting Putin on the defensive for supporting and enabling the baby killers. Instead, he comes out smelling like a rose.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "My guess is the Democrats are both more numerous
      and more grateful
"

Almost certainly a bad guess.  Let's face it; those Democrats who are now opposing intervention in Syria would almost certainly be opposing intervention if a Republican president were proposing such intervention.  Many, if not most, of the Republicans who're now opposing intervention would be cheerleading (or, at least, quietly acquiescing in) a bombing campaign in Syria if undertaken by a Republican president.  The Democrats would not have to be trying to explain away their vote in the future.

      "Not to mention setting up fertile future opportunities
      to do to Obama what he and the Democrats did to
      Bush
"

That's a little too vague to try to wrestle any meaning out of.  I get the ‘pity, pity, we be victims; we be so mistreated’ part, but there aren't enough specifics here to grapple with.

      "Instead, he comes out smelling like a rose."

He hasn't come out yet.  In fact, he appears to have placed himself right square in the middle of a mess Obama was smart enough to stay clear of (‘til now; and Obama was promising a very limited involvement even now).  The Russians are now talkin’ ‘bout turning this into a full-scale transitional negotiation.  So, let's not get ahead of the story here.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Okay, here's the deal going forward.
If Assad never uses chemical weapons again, then Obama gets to claim that he managed to scare Assad out of pullin’ any more of that crap, and never even had to fire a shot.  May not have been pretty, but it worked.
May not have gotten in that piece of ‘punishment’ that Assad so surely deserved, but he did get their attention on the subject, and scared ‘em away from doin’ that again.  Not bad for not havin’ to even fire a shot.
If Assad gets in a bind and uses chem-weapons again, then it gets all over Putin.

In the meantime FoxNews is all over itself with howls of ‘weakness’, ‘fecklessness’, ‘abdication’ etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad damnum, ad nauseum…  But, they're gonna do that anyway, and, besides, increasingly, nobody pays that much attention to the hyperbole comin’ outta FoxNews except the folks that pay attention only to FoxNews.  (For instance FoxNews is still howlin’ ‘bout Benghazi, and that's pretty much goin’ nowhere, ever.  Notwithstanding that Karl Rove and Brit Hume ‘bout had themselves screaming coronaries on camera this past Sunday when Juan Williams let ‘em in on that piece of truth.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Post Script: 

In fairness to Brit Hume, he caught himself there at the last and chilled back down, leaving the apoplectic ending to Rove.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

I know I'm not Pete, but I found this interesting.

1. All mortgages are to be paid down to 60% of the initial purchase price within 20 years.


This sounds a bit like a pass. That's still a large balance to owe.

2. Straight payment of the loan over 60 years.

Slightly better, but you're right, for me that still sounds like a long time. Is it easy for people to refinance if interest rates go down? That would help lower keep payments and loan balances.

They're trying to create a situation where new lending doesn't grow and where the present stock of loans will remain solvent.

I can see where they would like to slow down the growth of easy credit, but cutting it off too quickly might not be the best bet either. That could be a recipe for recession.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

*sigh*

Ignore that "keep" between "lower" and "payments". I rewrote that sentence at the last minute and forgot to delete that.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

The Russians are now talkin’ ‘bout turning this into a full-scale transitional negotiation.

If Assad were smart he'd cut his losses and get out while he still can.

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