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Syria

Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

Last week President Obama admitted that his administration has not worked out a strategy onRp Weekly Button how to deal with the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a dominant force in the Middle East. However, as ISIS continues its march through Syria and Iraq, many in the US administration believe it is, in the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a threat “beyond anything we have ever seen.”
 
Predictably, the neocons attacked the president’s speech. They believe the solution to any problem is more bombs and troops on the ground, so they cannot understand the president’s hesitation.
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Bombs Away Over Syria! Washington Has Gone Stark Raving Mad

Obama Crazy Eyes

America’s spanker-in-chief is at it again—threatening to bomb Syria owing to the uncivilized actions of its inhabitants. And when it comes to Syria, Washington avers that there are punishable malefactors virtually everywhere within its borders.

Exactly one year ago Obama proposed to take Bashar Al Assad to the woodshed because he had allegedly unleashed a vicious chemical attack on his own citizens. That was all pretext, of course, because even the CIA refused to sign-off on the flimsy case for Assad’s culpability at the time—-a reluctance corroborated since then by the considerable evidence that hundreds of Syrian civilians were murdered during a false flag operation staged by the rebels with help from Turkey. The aim of the rebels, of course, was to activate American tomahawk missiles and bombers in behalf of “regime change”, which was also the stated goal of the Obama Administration.

Now the White House is threatening to bomb Syria again, but this time its “regime change” objective has been expanded to include both sides! In 12 short months what had been the allegedly heroic Sunni opposition to the “brutal rule” of the Assad/Alawite minority has transmuted into the “greatest terrorist threat ever”, according to the Secretary of Defense.
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The Murder of James Foley

James Foley Wallpapers1

In response to the Islamic State’s execution of American journalist James Foley, President Obama referred to Foley’s killers as a “cancer.” That, of course, implies that anti-American terrorism is like a disease, one that strikes at nations willy nilly, without rhyme or reason.

Obama’s cancer metaphor for ISIS brings to mind what President Bush said about al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks — that the terrorists were motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values.

Under either formulation — cancer or hatred for America’s freedom and values — the war on terrorism is going to last a very long time, which naturally means an ongoing presence and ever-increasing budgets for the Cold War-era national-security establishment, i.e., the military and the CIA.

But the truth is that anti-American terrorism is not like cancer and it’s not motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values. It is instead a direct result of the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy. Interventionism generates the rage within foreigners that motivates them to respond with acts of anti-American terrorism.
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Peace President Plots War on Syria

O Obama Syria Facebook

The Obama administration is reportedly preparing to begin air strikes on Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government. The pretext is the rapidly expanding US war on ISIS, but in fact this is the long-desired US attack on Syria that was temporarily thwarted, reportedly by popular opposition last year (but more likely by US knowledge that its claims the Assad government was behind the chemical attacks at Ghouta had no basis in reality and would not stand up to even superficial scrutiny).

Though it makes for a compelling story, the idea that popular opposition to Obama's plans to attack Syria last year stopped the bombs seems more wishful thinking than reality. Consider how easy it has been these past two weeks to obliterate any opposition among the American people to the same US attack plan regurgitated almost exactly one year later. 

A series of salacious stories about ISIS slaughtering a Yazidi minority that no one had even heard of mobilized US public opinion in favor of initial US strikes and even ground troops in Iraq. Never mind that the stories were hyped up and mostly false. Never mind that the US and its allies had armed and trained the individuals who now call themselves ISIS (now simply "IS") for a number of years. Another "babies thrown from incubators" story and even self-identified non-interventionists were screaming for bombing runs.
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The Syrian Arab Government and ISIS Have Always Been Enemies

ISIS Enforcer

There is all kinds of nonsense circulating in the mainstream media and in the wilder reaches of the internet galaxy concerning ISIS (IS) and the Syrian government (SAG). There are also an amazing number of stories on the web that claim that "The Caliph Ibrahim" (Baghdadi) is actually an Israeli Jew, born in Israel to Jewish parents. Whoa! That's a great one! It has its origins in Iranian media that is selling the idea that Snowden says so. OK. Let's see the intercepts that Snowden is said to have on that subject.

The US and European foreign policy establishments are trapped in a situation in which they have declared themselves to be the enemies of the Government of Syria, dedicated to its overthrow in a world in which the Government of Syria has survived very well, thank you.

There are a multitude of rebel groups in Syria. The only effective ones are the Islamic ones. This was inevitably going to be the case. The pro-government forces are fighting an existential fight against Sunni Syrian Arabs and jihadi internationals who very much want to put the Alawis, Shia, Christians, Druze and the like either back in their kennels or in their graves. The Free Syrian Army (the fave of the US children's crusade run from the NSC and State Department), has proven itself to be an "army" that does not want to fight. Why should it? These "moderate" seculars and other sane people want to live, not die for the faith, any faith. The serious opposition are the tough guys who DO want to die for the faith. There are many such groups.
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Obama's Skewed Policy Priorities in Middle East

ISIS

The US State Department has maintained that continuity rather than change in the American policy is what should be expected in the aftermath of the killing of photojournalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria early this week. 

The State Department’s media briefings insisted that there has been an “ongoing policy initiative”, an “ongoing effort” on the part of Washington to meet the ISIL threat and “we will continue doing what we’re doing in Iraq.” So, on Wednesday, the US military took an additional 14 air strikes around the Mosul Dam. 

Second, the US reserves the right to take action against Foley’s killer and won’t be “ruling anything in or out” – including military operations inside Syria. That is to say, the “principles that guide” will be the same that guided earlier occasions of a similar kind such as in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. 

Third, the Syrian regime remains a "pariah," no matter its hostility towards the ISIL, insofar as the US cannot forget that Damascus “allowed this group to flourish” and “facilitated their movement to Iraq.” Therefore, the US would rather focus on building “capable partners” in Iraq and among the “moderate opposition” in Syria that can take on the ISIL and will continue to seek the replacement of President Bashar al-Assad.
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Cautious Outrage Over Alleged Foley Execution

Foley

The alleged beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the shadowy ISIS (or Islamic State) has sparked outrage and horror around the globe.

I say “alleged” because we are not sure if the decapitation was real or faked.

After three decades of covering wars in the Mideast, Africa, Latin America, and Afghanistan, my reaction as a journalist was also outrage – but cautious outrage.

We westerners have a charming and quaint belief that killing people from the air by using bombs, rockets, shells, napalm and cluster munitions – or even nuclear weapons – is somehow not really as bad as ramming a bayonet into an enemy, blowing him to pieces with heavy artillery, or slashing his throat the way sheep are killed

Air warfare is clean. Air warfare is the American way of war.


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Hagel and Dempsey: We Must Attack Syria! Get Ready!

Hagel

The Islamist ISIS/ISIL gang is providing the pretext for another major US war in the Middle East. Top US administration officials are turning up the war and atrocity rhetoric to full volume. Something is happening.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel turned up the fear machine Thursday, telling NBC news that ISIS poses an "imminent threat" to the United States. 

Hagel seemed in a panic as he essentially warned that an attack was on the way:
ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology with a sophisticated strategic and tactical military prowess and they're tremendously well-funded. This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready! ... They are an imminent threat to every interest we have.
Not to be outdone, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said that to defeat ISIS, the US would need to invade Syria!
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Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment

Kerry Syria Remarks

Secretary of State John Kerry boasts that as a former prosecutor he knows he has a strong case against the eastern Ukrainian rebels and their backers in Russia in pinning last Thursday’s shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on them, even without the benefit of a formal investigation.

During his five rounds of appearances on Sunday talk shows, Kerry did what a judge might condemn as “prejudicing the case” or “poisoning the jury pool.” In effect, Kerry made a fair “trial” almost impossible, what a bar association might cite in beginning debarment proceedings against prosecutor Kerry.

But what Kerry did was actually much worse. He essentially dictated the outcome of an inquiry that risks pushing the world into a new and dangerous Cold War. With his didactic – all-tell-no-show – presentation of the “evidence,” Kerry made any objective assessment of the actual evidence nearly impossible, certainly for U.S. government investigators and even for many international officials whose jobs often depend on the goodwill of the United States.

If you were, say, a U.S. intelligence analyst sifting through the evidence and finding that some leads went off in a different direction, toward the Ukrainian army, for instance, you might hold back on your conclusions knowing that crossing senior officials who had already pronounced the verdict could be devastating to your career. It would make a lot more sense to just deep-six any contrary evidence.
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Hell No! Taxpayers Shouldn’t Go To Syria

Obama Maliki

Barack Obama has rekindled 1968. Back then the folly of Vietnam had become so self-evident and omnipresent that the most power-obsessed President in US history was driven from office and his bloody escalation of the war on Vietnam was stopped in its tracks by the overwhelming sentiment of the American people.

Obama has now created another such defining moment in his request for $500 million to arm the Syrian “opposition”. Does this clueless man not know we have already done that? Has this social media savvy gasbag not viewed the ISIS YouTube channels where he could see tens of millions worth of American war equipment on parade under the black flag of these terrorists?
Obama Proposes $500 Million to Aid Syrian Rebels

Program to Train and Equip Moderate Opposition Would Expand U.S. Role in Civil War
Has the President not noticed that these “enemies” were trained as “friends” in order to fight across the now non-existent border in Syria? Some of them apparently even got their diplomas at the CIA training camp in Jordan. Did they not became battle-hardened trying to overthrow the Alawite government of Bashir Assad — that is, a second cousin to the Shiite sect that is allegedly on our side in Iraq’s sectarian carnage?
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