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Putin Steps Into World Leadership Role

Obama Putin G8b

Putin’s article in the September 11 New York Times has the stuck pigs squealing. The squealing stuck pigs are just who you thought they would be--all those whose agendas and profits would be furthered by an attack on Syria by the Obama Stasi regime.

Included among the squealing stuck pigs are Human Rights Watch bloggers who seem to be financed out of the CIA’s back pocket.
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Hillary Mann Leverett: 'Obama Made Two Unforced Errors, in Libya and Syria'

Listen to Ron Paul Institute Academic Advisor Hillary Mann Leverett on the always-terrific Robert Wenzel Show discuss the intricacies of the Middle East. Ms. Mann Leverett is a rare breed of international affairs expert: she knows the region like nobody else, her expertise both inside and outside government is unquestionable; yet she retains a realistic rather than messianic view of what should be the US role in the world. How lucky her American University students are to have such a professor! And we greatly value her friendship as well.
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What's the Evidence Behind the Case for War?

Tomahawk

If the arguments being presented by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for attacking Syria seem increasingly shrill and disjointed that might well be because a legitimate case cannot be made for going to war. The central argument—i.e., that punishing al-Assad will “change his calculus” and dissuade him from using chemical weapons against rebel forces embedded within the civilian population—relies on demonstrating that al-Assad has already done just that, a case that has not been credibly made thus far. Nor would a “shot across the bow” strike be likely to influence the thinking of a regime that theoretically might find itself with its back against the wall, willing to use all resources at hand to defeat a ruthless enemy. Still less does the argument that Washington must act lest the chemical weapons fall into the hands of terrorists and be used against American and other Western targets convince. Such a scenario is much more likely if the rebels, who undeniably include many extremists, are empowered through military action to such an extent that they might eventually triumph. If Washington wishes to prevent possible weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists, it should be doing everything it can to support the Syrian government. Any scenario that involves attacking the very soldiers who are presumably guarding the chemical weapons is a recipe for disaster.

As has often been the case in other situations over the past 12 years, Washington has maneuvered itself into a new crisis because it is failing to see the Syrian situation in all its complexity, preferring simple solutions that do not involve any commitment or long-term strategic planning. One former intelligence colleague has called it “a very poorly defined problem” that will not be solved by lobbing a few Tomahawk cruise missiles towards Damascus. That is the issue precisely—failing to understand what the problem is frustrates any attempt to devise a reasonable solution.


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Obama, Syria, and Interventionism: Ten Questions Worth Pondering

Syria Gun Rebels

1) Question
: Is it justifiable for America to go to war in Syria to get President Obama out of the box he created for himself by talking about a “red line” in the Syrian civil war, a conflict in which no genuine U.S. national interests are at risk?
 
Answer: No. Obama’s inexperience in foreign affairs and his seeming personal arrogance got him -- and America -- into this mess, and so little a man is he that he now refuses to accept responsibility for foolishly drawing the red line, instead blaming it on “the world.” Let him swing.
 
2) Question: Will America’s credibility as a great military power be denigrated if it does not attack Syria?
 
Answer: No. We have already lost most of that credibility because Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and their generals waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they did not intend to win. The wanton waste of American military lives and money by these men, and their willingness to admit defeat to men armed with weapons from the Korean war, have largely destroyed America’s military credibility among allies and foes alike. Compared to failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, a failure to attack Syria is small potatoes.
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The Golan Heights as a Key to Understanding the Problems of Syria

Golan

The newspaper Israel Hayom conducted a public opinion survey according to which Israel was the only country in which a possible U.S. military strike against Syria is supported by the majority of the population. While in America and Europe 90% of the population is against the operation, in Israel 66% of the population supports it. 73% of Israelis believe that a strike against the el-Asad regime will be made, and only 13% are concerned that it will lead to a regional war.

This attitude among Israelis toward the military operations planned against Syria is the result of active state propaganda. Netanyahu's government has cast aside all concerns that if the ruling regime in the neighboring country is overthrown, even fiercer opponents of Israel may come to power, and it is advocating as powerful a strike as possible against Syria. Behind the missile launches held by the Israeli navy in conjunction with the Americans in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea on September 3 stand geopolitical reckonings connected mainly with the future of the Syrian Golan Heights, occupied in 1967; it is no accident that the question of their ownership has remained in the shadow of the discussion on Syria…


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The Wishful Thinking Left: Unwitting Agents of the Imperial Order

Once upon a time, in the early 1970′s, many people, including myself, thought that all the “struggles” of that period were linked: the Cultural Revolution in China, the guerillas in Latin America, the Prague Spring and the East European “dissidents”, May 68, the civil rights movement, the opposition to the Vietnam war, and the nominally socialist anti-colonial movements in Africa and Asia. We also thought that the “fascist” regimes in Spain, Portugal and Greece, by analogy with WWII, could only be overthrown through armed struggle, very likely protracted.


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The Intelligence Community's Revolt Against Obama on Syria

Intelligence Community

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity have issued a memorandum to President Obama directly challenging his administration's claims on Syria's use of chemical weapons:

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?

Precedence: IMMEDIATE

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”

We have been down this road before – with President George W. Bush, to whom we addressed our first VIPS memorandumimmediately after Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 U.N. speech, in which he peddled fraudulent “intelligence” to support attacking Iraq. Then, also, we chose to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was being misled – or, at the least, very poorly advised.

The fraudulent nature of Powell’s speech was a no-brainer. And so, that very afternoon we strongly urged your predecessor to “widen the discussion beyond …  the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.” We offer you the same advice today


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Syria and Lessons Unlearned from The Bombing of Kosovo

Wesley Clark

One theme we repeatedly hear about the Obama administration’s plan to bomb Syria is that the U.S./NATO bombing of Kosovo serves as a model. An examination of the reason for this is instructive.

It is well understood that the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) will not authorize this use of force against Syria, particularly given Russian opposition to such action. And short of using force in self-defense against armed aggression or with authorization from the UNSC for a specific mandate, such as to protect civilians, any resort to force against another country is under international law an act of aggression, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.

Incidentally, Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg not only for waging aggressive war, but for conspiring to. Obama is already a war criminal, such as for his illegal bombing of Libya (and, no, the UNSC emphatically did not authorize the use of force to implement a policy of regime change by supporting the armed rebels whose ranks included al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic extremists); but he could be prosecuted under international law just for his efforts to gain support for bombing Syria, even if this doesn’t come to pass, since this is the crime of conspiracy to commit aggression.
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US/Russia Summit Urgently Needed

US Russia

Now that Russia and China have warned the United States against militarily intervening on behalf of the Syrian rebels, the need for a separate superpower summit between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin is more urgent than ever. 

The dangers of a super-collision over a Middle East crisis are greater than they have been in exactly 40 years since U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered all global U.S. military forces moved to an alert status of DefCon One to deter Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev from sending Soviet forces to intervene in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, or War of Ramadan, between Israel and Egypt and Syria. 

Today, it is the United States, not the Soviet Union or Russia, which is gearing up to potentially plunge directly into a bloody Middle East conflict. On August 26, Russian presidential spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement warning, “Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”
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