Friday, May 31, 2013

Romanticizing terrorists, as long as they don't kill Americans!: "She is a problem solver who wanted to help!"

One of MSM/ cable's toilets, CNN, found the American Jihadists ( who went to kill in a foreign land) fascinating. As long as she kills brown men & women, we could always shed a tear for these "misguided" souls!
"... Her niece tried to be a "problem solver," she said."Nicole was the type of person if she thought that something was wrong somewhere, that she could help repair it," said her aunt."Trouble spots," Carole Mansfield said, "... fascinated her.""That it was to help free the Syrians from the Syrian government and all the problems that they're having over there," she answered..."She was just an American woman who was misguided," Jones said. "... And it really makes me sick to my stomach that people post such horrible things."..."And they lied to her. They misled her and they took her and brought her over there, probably paid for her ticket and everything, and they kept her there.". ...Jones thought her mother could be in Syria, fighting alongside rebels in the country's bloody civil war.Nicole Mansfield had converted to Islam several years ago, her daughter told CNN Friday...."

Istanbul tonight ...

"Syria: Diplomatic Code"

"... He is clearly saying that if the missiles do reach Syria, the Israeli Air Force will attack and destroy them. But he calls it a vital issue for Israeli security, even though the missiles are purely defensive weapons, incapable of attacking Israel. “Security” in what sense?In the sense that Israel sees freedom to launch air attacks on Syria any time it feels the need as a vital element of its security policy. The S-300s would make it more dangerous to bomb Syria, so Yalon sees them as threatening Israel’s “security”. It’s an innovative use of language, to say the least.... 
And President Barack Obama most eloquently said nothing at all.He said nothing about the EU’s initiative, because it’s so confused and contradictory that it’s embarrassing to talk about it.He said nothing about the Israeli threat to attack the Russian anti-aircraft missiles because Israel is a “friend and ally,” and it’s best not to notice when its threats to attack other countries get too brazen.And he said nothing about the Russian S-300s themselves, because he is probably secretly glad that they are being sent to Syria..."

Has the ‘Turkish Spring’ started?

"... Increasingly violent protests have rocked Istanbul for the fifth day. What began May 27 as a peaceful sit-in against the Turkish government’s plan to replace a small park in the centrally-located Taksim neighborhood with a shopping mall has morphed into resistance against Turkey’s growing authoritarianism, highlighted both by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s curtdismissal of protestor concerns, and an AKP parliamentarian’s wisecrack that some young people “are in need of gas.”Today, the Turkish police attacked protestors violently, injuring not only students but also journalists and even members of parliament. Pictures emerging from the protests have shocked Turks. CNN Istanbul correspondent Ivan Watson tweeted, “Like so many other residents of Istanbul, I got tear gassed on my way to the office. imagine NYC cops gassed Times Square on a daily basis [sic].”

John Kerry: "At war with al Qaeda ... Legal & in self defense!"

Secretary Kerry:
"... Now, clearly, Syria's government actions are effective because dozens of highly-trained, skilled al-Qaida commanders, trainers, bomb-makers and operatives have been taken off the battlefield. And the fact is that plots have been disrupted before they were able to be carried out, and they would have targeted international aviation, transit systems, European cities .... And those strikes have saved lives.So Syria's government actions are legal. They were attacked ... Under domestic law and international law, Syria is at war with al-Qaida and  their associated forces. And so this is a just effort and it is a war that is waged proportionately, and in the last resort, it is in self-defense...."

Lebanese parliament 'extends' for itself ... People rejoice with tomatoes!

 'People thanking MPs for the historic stand!'
[Reuters] "... The election is now expected to be held in November 2014. It is the first time a parliament has decided to extend its session since Lebanon's own 1975-1990 civil war.A senior political source who took part in the vote which extended parliament's term told Reuters: "They endorsed it in 10 minutes."

Qatari court jester/ imam: "Alawites are even more 'unbelievers' than Jews!"

The Court Jester/Imam of Qatar, a US ally speaks (spews) of Jews & Alawites! CNN/ arabic

German FM: "Mr. Assad come to the negotiating table!"

Kerry: Russia's plans to send S-300 missiles to Syria's Assad put Israel at risk 

Terrorists from Iranian 'Mujahideen-e-Khalq' join war in Syria!

The MEK, delisted last October in the US (just in time), as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist' BUT STILL a terrorist organization in the EU!
[Le Figaro]"...Deux membres du mouvement d’opposition iranien des Moudjahidines du peuple ont été retrouvés morts il y a un mois dans la région d’Idleb dans l’ouest de la Syrie, rapporte un parlementaire européen en contact avec la rébellion anti Bachar el-Assad. 
Ils combattaient au côté des insurgés qui cherchent à renverser le régime syrien, soutenu par l'Iran. Considérés par la France comme une organisation terroriste, les Moudjahidines du Peuple ont une base en Irak et leur siège dans la banlieue parisienne. Des services de renseignements arabes et occidentaux les utiliseraient contre les intérêts iraniens, ou les alliés de Téhéran, comme le régime de Bachar el-Assad. ..."

Istanbul today

[Reuter] "... Riot police recently clashed with tens of thousands of May Day protesters in Istanbul. There have also been protests against the government's stance on the conflict in neighboring Syria, a recent tightening of restrictions on alcohol sales and warnings against public displays of affection..."

American Jihadists: "She had a heart of gold ...but I think she could have been brain washed"

"... Speelman's mother, Monica Mansfield Speelman, told the Detroit Free Press that her niece was a convert to Islam who married an Arab immigrant several years ago but later divorced him. The family was not happy about Mansfield's conversion to Islam, ... "She had a heart of gold" but was easily influenced by others, Carole Mansfield said. "I think she could have been brain washed."

Russia selling "more than 10" MiG-29 fighter jets to Syria

"... A Russian arms manufacturer says it is signing a contract to deliver at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.Sergei Korotkov, general director of the MiG company that makes the jets, told Russian news agencies Friday that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.
Korotkov did not say how many MiGs Syria were buying, but says it would be "more than 10."..."

Washington Post: "Bashar Assad Won!"

"... So, after all the baloney about "no boots on the ground," "no direct US intervention," we have an honest admission by the neocons and Wilsonians at the Post that what they want is for Obama to order the air forces of the United States into action to destroy the present Syrian government.They now recognize that he is not going to do that, and so they also acknowledge that diplomacy that consists of unlimited travel by the vain is pointless and humiliating. PL"
Via SST this whapping acknowledgment by the WaPo editorial board: "We Was skunked!"
[WaPo] "...Not for the first time, President Obama and his aides appear to have bet that Mr. Putin would turn on Mr. Assad and help force him from power. In doing so, they have fundamentally misread the Russian ruler and his intentions.
As we have written previously, the only hope for an acceptable political settlement in Syria lies in an intervention that would decisively shift the balance of Syria’s war — through arms supplies to the rebels and airstrikes to eliminate the regime’s air power. If Mr. Obama is unwilling to take such steps, he ought also to eschew diplomacy that makes his administration appear foolish as well as weak. ..."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

STATE report: 'Our intervention in Libya made that country a hub for al Qaeda & instability across the Maghreb & beyond'

Chapter 2. Country Reports: 
"... In 2012, Libya was marked by grave insecurity, most apparent in the September 11 terrorist attack that resulted in the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three staff members. The prevalence of loose weapons, the continued ability of extra-governmental militias to act with impunity, the country’s porous borders, and the lack of government capacity to apply the rule of law outside of Tripoli contributed to this insecurity...."

US Embassy/ Cairo: "U.S. citizens should avoid the Pyramids!"

"... “In recent weeks, the U.S. Embassy has become aware of an increasing number of incidents at or near the Giza Pyramids.  The majority of these incidents are attributed to over-aggressive vendors, though the degree of aggressiveness in some cases is closer to criminal conduct.  Other more serious incidents have been reported involving vehicles nearing the Pyramids, with angry groups of individuals surrounding and pounding on the vehicles – and in some cases attempting to open the vehicle’s doors.  While the motive is less clear (possibly related to carriage operators wanting fares), it has severely frightened several visitors.  A common theme from many of these reports is the lack of visible security or police in the vicinity of the Pyramids.  U.S. citizens should elevate their situational awareness when traveling to the Pyramids, avoid any late evening or night travel, utilize a recommended or trusted guide, and closely guard valuables.  Though other tourist locations have not been brought to Embassy attention, these measures are also recommended at all crowded or popular tourist sites.“

After banning Christmas, Saudi Arabia bans Fawkes' masks for 'instilling culture of violence'

Saudis want to bring enlightenment & democracy to Syria. Saudis ban, Christmas & halloween masks ...etc.
"... Earlier this week, al-Medina reported that the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs had issued a statement calling on public figures to instruct Saudi youth not to wear the mask as it "instills a culture of violence and extremism" and "encourages young people to breach security and spread chaos in society." Oddly, the statement singled out Sunni youths as a concern, despite the fact that unrest in Saudi Arabia has been concentrated in Shiite communities in the country's east..."

“We had planned for as many as 1,000 martyrs,”

"... “We have suffered heavy losses,” said Yazed al Hasan, a spokesman for the rebel Farouq Battalions, which have occupied Qusayr since last year. He also acknowledged that government forces had recaptured the military airport north of the city.The Hezbollah fighter, who asked to be referred to only as Ayoub, a pseudonym, because Hezbollah’s leadership hadn’t authorized him to speak to reporters, said his group’s strategists had divided Qusayr “on a grid into 16 squares.”
“We have cleared 13 of them,” he said...."
Read more here:

Aljazeera's cookery: 'You're Chopped!'

The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: Aljazeera cooks the numbers of its on-line poll about HzB
At 9:59AM total number of Voters was: 410481 ... Nine minutes later the number DECREASED to: 306650 (a historical first: Number of voters DECREASING by 103831 voters!)

then Al Jazeera proceeds to more cookery!
'No' voters decreased between 9:38AM 'til about 12:05PM by 64043 votes! (also historical first!)

Turkish police foil Jabhat al-Nusra' Sarin gas bomb attack planned for Adana

So, what's the verdict on Chemical weapons & the Reyhanli & other attacks inside Turkey? Turkey's scapegoats?
"... Seven members of Syria's militant al-Nusra group were detained on Wednesday after police found sarin gas, which was reportedly going to be used in a bomb attack, during a search of the suspects' homes, Turkish media have reported.Newspapers claimed on Thursday that two kilograms of sarin gas, which is usually used for making bombs and was banned by the UN in 1991, had been found in the homes of suspects detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersin. Twelve suspects were caught by the police on Monday. The reports claimed that the al-Nusra members had been planning a bomb attack for Thursday in Adana but that the attack was averted when the police caught the suspects. Along with the sarin gas, the police seized a number of handguns, grenades, bullets and documents during their search. Five of the suspects were released later on Thursday.
In another incident in Adana, the police received intelligence that a bomb-laden vehicle had entered Adana, the bombs being of the same type used in a recent attack in Hatay's Reyhanlı town, the Taraf daily reported on Thursday.
On May 11, one car bomb exploded outside the town hall while another went off outside a post office in Reyhanlı, a main hub for Syrian refugees and opposition activity in Hatay. Fifty-two people were killed and as many as 100 were injured in the bombings. Turkey blamed the Syrian regime for the attacks but Damascus has denied any role in the bombings..."

'Fighters give ultimatum to Syrian opposition group!'

... so, the 'rebels' on the ground warn the 'rebels' in five star hotels, those same 'rebels' who decided to boycott Geneva II ...
"... The Free Syrian Army (FSA) had given a deadline of only 24 hours, which was set to extend as of yesterday afternoon, to decide whether to agree on an expansion that would include representatives of the rebels.
“They [SNC] don’t want to give chairs to revolutionary forces on the ground. We gave them 24 hours to represent the revolutionary forces on the ground,” Louay al-Mokdad, political and media coordinator of the FSA, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday..."

Boycott Geneva talks until Syrian Army surrenders!

The HzB-Iran pretext is rather convenient in light of  weeks of military setbacks and recapture of most lost territory by the Syrian Army.
"... "The National Coalition will not take part in any international conference or any such efforts so long as the militias of Iran and Hezbollah continue their invasion of Syria," Sabra told reporters in Istanbul.?."

Assad: "Syria has received the first shipment of Russian antiaircraft S-300 rockets,”

"... Syria has received the first shipment of Russian antiaircraft S-300 rockets,” Mr. Assad said in the interview, to be broadcast on Al Manar, the television channel of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which in recent weeks has dramatically increased its military intervention in Syria on the side of Mr. Assad’s government. “The rest of the shipment will arrive later today.”.......,Mr. Assad’s statements — and the choice of the Hezbollah channel to deliver them — added to the confrontational atmosphere. His statements were first reported in the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar and confirmed by Ali Rizk, who performed the simultaneous translation of the interview to be broadcast on Iran’s Press TV..."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

'Teehee' said the Syrian government!

Syrian 'revolutionaries' exhausted the US ambassador ... so he quits!

No Youtubes here!
"... He is said by multiple officials to be exhausted, including from his efforts trying to unify the fractious Syrian opposition. The Back Channel was unable to reach Ford Wednesday..."

"Britain destroyed secular politics in Iraq & Libya & brought chaos"

[The Guardian]"... Pouring arms into Syria will no more topple Assad or "drive him to the negotiating table" than did two years of blood-curdling sanctions. Hague knows this perfectly well, as he knows there is no way arms can be sent to "good" rebels and not to bad ones. ...
Britain's military judgment is no more coherent than its political. It thinks it can conquer Syria – which is what toppling Assad would require – by proxy. But sending weapons cannot make a difference, and will merely entice Britain into promising troops, unless it wishes to desert the rebels. Like American backing for the Taliban in the 1990s, the idea that "my enemy's enemy must be my friend" could yet see British special forces fighting alongside al-Qaida in Syria.
War holds a terrible appeal for democratic leaders. Most of Europe's rulers have other matters on their hands, but Britain and France, two nations whose ancient empires carved up the Levant between them, cannot keep out of it. They see national interest and danger where none exists. They cannot relieve Syria's agony, yet hope some vague belligerence might bring relief.
The reality is they hope that belligerence might draw attention from political troubles back home. That is the worst reason for going to war

“A few days separate us from the battle for Aleppo,”

"... The newspaper, citing security sources, said the Syrian army has begun mobilizing troops around Aleppo in preparation to storm the province and regain control of Syria’s largest city.
Al-Akhbar said the Syrian army would launch the offensive to retake Aleppo once they regain full control of Qusair in Homs province. “A few days separate us from the battle for Aleppo,” the daily, quoting a source, reported. Al-Akhbar said if successful, the regime would have managed to regain control of the country’s most significant provinces, the other being Homs...."

Larry King to join 'Russia Today'?

Austrian Defense Minister: 'We could withdraw our UNDOF contingent from the Golan within ... hours!'

ICG: "The Palestinians may decide that their long-run well-being would be better served by instability..."

"... However thick the insulation, it is doubtful it can withstand the test of time or the pressures of mounting frustration. Many conditions for an uprising are objectively in place: political discontent, lack of hope, economic fragility, increased violence and an overwhelming sense that security cooperation serves an Israeli – not Palestinian – interest. At some point – and triggered by an unexpected event – Palestinians may well decide their long-run well-being would be better served by instability, and only by rocking the boat might they come closer to their desired destination...."

Mahmoud Abbas 'confident': "We give up! Now let the Israelis deal with Jihad, & Hamas, & Al Qaeda

"Months before Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at this year’s World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a key Abbas confidant told me the US-led peace process had no future, and neither did the Palestinian Authority.“They pushed as PLO leaders, they pushed us as seculars to give up,” Nasser Laham, the 46-year-old editor-in-chief of Ma’an News Agency, said of the Israeli government. “I confess in front of you: I give up!”
Laham continued: “I like Mahmoud Abbas. I believe in Mahmoud Abbas. I like Salam Fayyad. I like non-violence. I believe in peace. And let me give you this confession: I give up! And now, let [the Israelis] deal with Jihad, and Hamas, and Al Qaeda – congratulations! And I know, in my heart, in my mind, in just a few years, Israel will be evaporated, completely deleted from this country.”

Explosive: 'Raving-madman' McCain met known hostage takers!

Imagine if this involved a civil servant from a 'lesser' country! 
"New TV aired an explosive report.  Its correspondent, Nawal Birri, who has covered the story of the kidnapping of Lebanese pilgrims in Syria, recognized the men standing with Sen. McCain in the picture.  They are none other than the captors themselves.  The families of the hostages, some of whom were kidnapped with them before being released, also recognized the men as the captors.  The picture was taken in `A'zaz, where the hostages are being held."

FSA's Idriss warns Hezbollah

"Salim Idriss, the commander of the Syrian rebel forces, gave Lebanon’s president, the U.N. and Arab League 24 hours to force Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Syria, warning that rebels could target Hezbollah’s fighters wherever they are..."

Syrian rebels warn Syrian exiles

"...The joint statement by four leading rebel groups inside Syria says the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SC) is unable to fulfil its obligations due to "ongoing discord".
A meeting of National Coalition members in Turkey has been marked by sharp divisions and a failure to agree on who should represent them at the June conference in Geneva.
"This negativity," the statement goes on "has led to the blatant interference of international and regional parties without respect to the national will." ..."

Israel warns Russia!

"Israel has said it will act if Russia delivers promised anti-aircraft missiles to its ally Syria, in an apparent allusion to another air raid on the neighbouring country. Moshe Yaalon, Israeli defence minister, issued his warning on Tuesday shortly after a senior official in Moscow said the Russian government reserved the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missiles ..."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Psy-Ops: "Obama Asks Pentagon for Syria No-Fly Zone Plan"

"...The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast...Some Syria experts praised the White House’s decision to plan more options in Syria, but doubted that Obama would actually make the decision to intervene..."

Psy-Ops: 'French Special forces on standby in Jordan for Syria-intervention!'

'Need to get out the UNIFIL french contiongent presto-pronto ... if ...if!' 
"Les Forces spéciales françaises viennent de terminer un entraînement dans le désert jordanien du Wadi Rum en vue d’une éventuelle intervention en Syrie. 
L’exercice annuel était cette fois-ci clairement orienté vers une opération commando en Syrie voisine. « Il y avait beaucoup plus de militaires que les années précédentes », souligne un expert. Deux compagnies de combat et des  militaires du 13ème régiment de dragons parachutistes se sont entraînés pendant une semaine dans le désert. La France dispose en Jordanie d’une petite unité de forces spéciales, qui a été renforcée avec la crise syrienne."

Le Figaro: "Paris gave up on the idea of 'excluding Assad' from Geneva II"

"... La France, qui faisait du départ d'el-Assad un préalable à Genève 2, semble avoir renoncé à cette exigence. Soucieux de compter, Paris souhaite que la Coalition soit «le cœur» de l'opposition présente à la conférence afin d'y négocier un gouvernement de transition. Paris souhaite en particulier que le général Sélim Idriss, qui dirige l'aile militaire de la Coalition, figure parmi les participants de Genève 2. Le général Idriss est le canal par lequel des armes françaises ou britanniques pourraient être ou sont - en faible quantité - livrées aux rebelles de l'Armée syrienne libre. Mais cette proposition d'inclure des militaires dans les délégations est loin de faire l'unanimité. Elle pose le problème de la présence de militaires côté officiel syrien. Autre point de discorde - outre la présence récusée jusqu'à présent du premier ministre Wael al-Halqi -, Damas voudrait y envoyer ses propres opposants, comme Qadri Jamil. Même s'il n'est pas membre du parti Baas au pouvoir, M. Jamil est tout de même vice-premier ministre, et donc trop proche de la direction syrienne pour être qualifié d'indépendant."

Le Figaro: Paris is "pissed" at the Syrian 'revolutionaries!

"... Une déception partagée par un haut diplomate français: «C'est vraiment très ennuyeux de voir que la Coalition n'arrive pas à s'unir.» Allusion au refus des Frères musulmans soutenus par le Qatar d'élargir la Coalition à une vingtaine de nouveaux membres, comme le souhaitent l'Arabie saoudite mais aussi la France et les États-Unis.Paris affiche désormais de réels signes d'agacement, comme le montre une vidéo diffusée sur YouTube dans laquelle on voit l'ambassadeur Éric Chevallier, très actif à Istanbul, se faire copieusement tancer par ses ingrats amis de la Coalition, ceux-là mêmes que la France a pourtant portés sur les fonts baptismaux tout en militant pour leur reconnaissance internationale. «Mais on n'arrive pas à faire fléchir les Qatariens», confie un autre diplomate français. Résultat: les préparatifs de Genève 2 piétinent. Or Américains et Russes aimeraient que le rendez-vous ait lieu avant le sommet du G8, prévu les 17 et 18 juin, en Irlande du Nord.
Gouvernement de transition
La France, qui faisait du départ d'el-Assad un préalable à Genève 2, semble avoir renoncé à cette exigence. Soucieux de compter, Paris souhaite que la Coalition soit «le cœur» de l'opposition présente à la conférence afin d'y négocier un gouvernement de transition. Paris souhaite en particulier que le général Sélim Idriss, qui dirige l'aile militaire de la Coalition, figure parmi les participants de Genève 2. Le général Idriss est le canal par lequel des armes françaises ou britanniques pourraient être ou sont - en faible quantité - livrées aux rebelles de l'Armée syrienne libre. Mais cette proposition d'inclure des militaires dans les délégations est loin de faire l'unanimité. Elle pose le problème de la présence de militaires côté officiel syrien. Autre point de discorde - outre la présence récusée jusqu'à présent du premier ministre Wael al-Halqi -, Damas voudrait y envoyer ses propres opposants, comme Qadri Jamil. Même s'il n'est pas membre du parti Baas au pouvoir, M. Jamil est tout de même vice-premier ministre, et donc trop proche de la direction syrienne pour être qualifié d'indépendant."

Doha wants Riyadh to fail in Syria!

"... One member of the coalition told me Mr Al Sabbagh has been pushed by Doha to block any changes to "give the impression that the new sponsors of the Syrian dossier have failed". By new sponsors, he meant Saudi Arabia, which has assumed responsibilities of sponsoring the Syrian opposition, pushing Qatar aside...."

"Without an opposition overhaul there will not be a Geneva ..."

"... "Effectively, without an opposition overhaul there will not be a Geneva (conference)," a frustrated regional official in Istanbul said."  Reuters

Lebanese soldiers killed by Syrian Jihadists

"... The shooting took place before dawn near Arsal, in an area used by Syrian rebels and their Lebanese backers to smuggle arms and fighters into Syria.In February, four Lebanese soldiers and two fighters were killed in a gun battle near Arsal...."

Russia to send air-defence system to Syria

"..."We think this delivery is a stabilising factor and that such steps in many ways restrain some hotheads from exploring scenarios in which this conflict could be given an international character with participation of outside forces," Ryabkov said. ..."

EU Minister: "We thought these were democratic protests that would topple Assad very quickly. In fact, Mr Assad has substantial internal support.”

"... To start with, there actually is no single “western” view on Syria. As the bitter debate on whether to lift the EU arms embargo reveals, European countries are deeply divided. France and Britain want to be able to supply weapons to the rebels. Germany remains very sceptical....
Ingram Pinn illustration
©There are also divisions within countries. In the US, John Kerry, the new secretary of state, is an activist who wants to arm the rebels. President Barack Obama remains opposed. On both sides of the Atlantic, the intelligence and security establishments tend to take a more cautious line than the politicians and diplomats.In recent months, and despite the mounting death toll, the debate has swung in the direction of the non-interventionists. That is partly because the view of the nature of the conflict has subtly changed. As one EU minister puts it: “We thought we were dealing with democratic protests that would topple Bashar al-Assad very quickly. In fact, it’s a civil war, and Mr Assad has substantial internal support.” What is more, while there is genuine horror at the actions of the Syrian regime, there is also deep wariness of the strength of jihadists in the opposition. “The longer this thing goes on,” says one senior British official, “the harder it is to pick sides.”...  
Yet faith in the west’s ability to pick democratic winners among rebel forces has been weakened by the continuing deterioration of the situation in Libya. Although Libya has been chalked up as a successful western intervention, the aftermath has not been pretty. Large parts of the country are lawless. And in the cities, says one western official, “the jihadists are holding a gun to the head of the democrats”. The pro-interventionists counter that a failure to mount a humanitarian intervention in Syria would stoke the anti-western sentiment that fuels terrorism. But counter-terrorism officials are more cynical, arguing that any western intervention in Syria, whatever the motive, is liable to encourage terrorist “blowback” into our own societies. This growing fear of the rise of violent Islamism across the Middle East means the divisions between the Russian and US positions are now less stark. The high point of western indignation probably came in February 2012, when Hillary Clinton, then US secretary of state, called Russia’s position on Syria “despicable”. Even now, US and EU officials find plenty to dislike about Moscow’s support for the Assad regime, ascribing it to paranoia about western intentions or to the Kremlin’s desire to keep a naval base in the region. Yet behind the scenes, there is also recognition that Russian warnings about jihadism have merit. “The Russians kept telling us we were naive,” says one western minister, “and maybe we were.” It was Russia’s failure to veto a UN resolution on Libya that opened the door to western military intervention against Colonel Muammer Gaddafi. The Russians have now made clear that they will block any similar resolutions over Syria. But, given growing western doubts about intervention, that Russian roadblock at the UN may actually suit the US and the EU.
There is a third reason for western inaction on Syria: Iran. Anxiety about its progress towards a nuclear bomb is rising once again...."

Monday, May 27, 2013

(Once again) Order of the Day: 'Embroil Hezbollah in sectarian warfare!'

"It is difficult to foresee the trajectory of events after Nasrallah’s call to arms alongside the Syrian regime, but early signs suggest that the coming period will be one of heightened tensions among Lebanon’s political forces, particularly as the dream of toppling Assad is slowly fading away.
This could lead Hezbollah’s Lebanese opponents to exploit mounting sectarian tensions, particularly in Sidon and Tripoli, in order to turn up the pressure on the Resistance and its popular base...."

The Syrian (haha) Revolutionaries to the French ambassador: "You have no right to badmouth the Syrian revolution!"

... after the VERY successful  1756474323 attempt to unify & make something of the 'exiled' Syrian revolutionaries! 
Watch & listen to the French Ambassador telling the fattened & well lubricated revolutionaries, and in not so many words, that the are equal to zilch! (Get McCain a freekin' hearing aid!)
'You'll cut the weabons & the ... this do so ... we are beabolle ... What is this 'Vous', ... usually he tells me 'tu' ... where are the weapons ... the weabons'

Aleppo 'Police Women Squad'

Davutoglu the King of Burlesque!

"... Davutoglu said, “Bashar Assad’s problem is that his mother is alive,” and added: “His mother, who is now in Dubai, constantly preaches to him about his father and how he had handled Hama. She is like a ghost who says, ‘If I were you, I would done it like at Hama and crushed it.’ He [Bashar Assad] talks reasonably with us and then changes his mind after the regular weekly family meeting. The first circle of the regime is the Assad and Mahluf families [from the maternal side]. The second circle is the Nusayri ring made of commanders of intelligence, the army and the air force. The third is the Baath party. We always advised him to cooperate with the outmost circle and offset the internal ones. But he couldn’t do it.”..."

Britain's position on 'EU weapons to insurgents' is shot down ...again!

"...Britain is the most outspoken proponent of relaxing the arms embargo but faces opposition from some members that feel more weapons would only increase the killings and tarnish the EU's reputation as a peace broker.German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it was not clear if the EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, would reach an agreement on the issue.
"The positions are far apart," he said on Monday.... Any decision would require unanimity among the 27 member states, but failing to come up with a decision would leave options for individual member states open.
"If there is no compromise, then there is no sanctions regime," Spindelegger said. "In my view that would be fatal, also for those who now absolutely want to deliver weapons." ..."

Over 200 French citizens link with al Qaeda/ al Nusra in Syria ... before they return to France!

"...(Reuters) - Between 180 and 200 French citizens have traveled to Syria in the past year to join a two-year-old rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, le Monde reported on Saturday, citing figures from France's internal DCRI and external DGSE security services.That number, which is higher than a previous estimate of about 50, includes fighters who took up arms with rebel groups like the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. ..."

Iran to host over 40 states in Syria forum

Iran to host over 40 states in Syria forum

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Inside the Assi River Basin Villages

"... The fighters of the Popular Committees in the Assi river basin are hardly the seasoned and well-trained fighters of Hezbollah, as the media portray them. Many are farmers and ordinary residents who have only recently taken up arms to protect their villages.Hussein (borrowed name), a 22-year-old, is but one example. During the day, he works on his family’s farm tending to a modest herd of goats and sheep. After sunset, he goes home to pick up his Kalashnikov and put on a military vest.
Hussein is a typical member of the Popular Committees. He and 18-year-old Amjad (borrowed name) are tasked with nighttime guard duty, spending their evenings in a foxhole overlooking a field that separates them from the Syrian opposition fighters.
In the villages around Aqrabieh, the Popular Committees have started to merge with the newly formed National Defense Forces (NDF). The idea behind the NDF is to unite the various Popular Committees – which tend to be of one color in terms of religion or sect, depending on the village – into a single mixed formation in order to prevent sectarian divisions from becoming institutionalized in the area.
The NDF are organized along the same lines as the Syrian army, divided into groups of 30 that are then dispersed throughout the basin’s villages...."

Syrian Kurds kill 11 insurgents in clashes

"KURDISH militants are battling rebels in northern Syria near the border with Turkey a day after deadly clashes killed 11 insurgents.
The latest fighting comes with Syrian Kurds, long oppressed under President Bashar al-Assad's regime, saying they wanted to take part in peace talks the US and Russia hope to convene in Geneva next month.
Sunday's fighting in Ras al-Ein village near the border with Turkey pitted militants of the People's Protection Committees (YPG) - the armed group of the main Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) - against rebels battling to overthrow Assad... 
A YPG militant told AFP the fighting erupted when the pro-Muslim Brotherhood armed group, Liwa al-Tawhid, "stormed our village and demanded they take over one of our checkpoints".
"They accused YPG fighters of allowing resident of Nabel (a majority Shi'ite village) safe passage across the checkpoints," the Kurdish militant said."

... and towards Israel

 'FSA's second in command, Ammar al Wawi'
(Reuters) - "A rocket was fired from south Lebanon towards Israel on Sunday, Lebanese security sources said, ... Earlier on Sunday, two rockets were fired into a Shi'ite district of southern Beirut ..."

Free Syrian Army fires rockets & threatens Beirut airport

"... Un responsable de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), Ammar el-Wawi, a commenté les tirs de roquettes dimanche sur la banlieue-sud de Beyrouth, estimant que "le Liban n'est pas à l'abri de ce qui se passe en Syrie"... "Il y aura des répercussions sur Beyrouth, sur Tripoli et sur l’aéroport (international de Beyrouth)", a-t-il poursuivi."...

al Qaida/ Nusra Front still key in Syria fighting

"... Jabhat al Nusra, the al Qaida-allied Syrian rebel group that’s also known as the Nusra Front, remains integral to efforts to topple the government of President Bashar Assad despite reported rifts within the group over its terrorist ties and claims by other rebels that Nusra’s assassinated rebel leaders in eastern Syria to consolidate its hold on oil fields and other strategic infrastructure there..."

Read more here:

Israel 'discovers' that President Assad still commands a large supporting base & an Army that 'outperforms expectations'

"... Israel has reversed its assessment about the staying power of Syrian President Bashar Assad and now thinks he’ll remain in control of at least part of his country for some time to come – a conclusion that makes it likely, a growing number of officials think, that an escalation of violence between the two countries may be inevitable.Israeli defense officials said that not only was the Syrian army outperforming expectations against rebel forces but also that previous forecasts of Assad’s fall depended on the belief that vast numbers of his supporters would defect, a prediction that hasn’t come to pass.
Adding to the assessment that Assad won’t fall quickly is the Israeli failure to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay the sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Syria. The advanced weapons system will significantly boost Syria’s ability to stave off intervention in its civil war, and "change the balance of power" in the region, Israeli officials said.
"The model that Israel had been using, the predictions we had been making, were based on far more defections from the Assad regime, and more fighting prowess and organization from the rebels,” said one Israeli military official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of Israel’s strict military censorship laws. “We have had to re-evaluate our models in the last few months, and we now see indications for very different scenarios in Syria."..."

Read more here:

Tehran hosts 'Friends of Syria' conference

... with Russia, China and 40 countries attending.

FSA threatens to close Beirut airport with further missiles!

Un responsable de l'ASL qualifie de "mise en garde" les tirs de roquettes sur la banlieue-sud | Dernières Infos | L'Orient-Le Jour

FSA: 'We fired 2 rockets on Beirut' southern suburb!'

CNN... minutes later another FSA spokesman told LBCI that this was innacurate, and that he was going to contact the first spokesman to 'reprimand him'.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Remember when the Syrian 'opposition' said that it was Syrian Air Force Intelligence that kidnapped the two bishops?

We remember! 
"...ISTANBUL: Two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria last month are "in good health," though there is no news on their whereabouts, an opposition official told reporters Saturday in Istanbul.
"Two or three days ago, a doctor visited the two bishops. They are in good health," said Abdul Ahad Steipho, member of the main opposition's National Coalition and of its committee established to follow up on the kidnappings. ..."

'Fabulous Fabius': 'Our weapons & Spec-Ops in Syria trump any Iranian involvement!'

French leadership moves from bad to worse, and perhaps this is good!
"... But Fabius said Iran's presence in Syria through its officers who were "directing operations" and through its Hezbollah proxy demonstrated that it had no place at the negotiating table.
"Yes the Russians want Iran to take part in Geneva, but we're opposed because Iran is not after a political solution and on the contrary has thrown itself directly into that battle." Iran has denied it has forces in Syria supporting Assad's army, saying the accusations were invented by the "true enemies of Syria"..."

Syrian 'opposition' unrepresentative & totally dissociated from reality

"... The failure of the Syrian National Coalition to alter its Islamist-dominated membership as demanded by its international backers and replace a leadership undermined by power struggles, appears to be playing into the hands of President Bashar al-Assad.By Saturday night, the factions locked themeselves up in a room, trying to find a way to work together.
And while they continued their discussions behind closed doors, fighting continues inside Syria in Qusayr, ...."

Syrian 'opposition': 'We will negotiate only when we receive more weapons & Assad is removed!'

'Syrian Army in al Qusayr' 
"... Leaders of the fractured Syrian opposition, meanwhile, have given no such pledge to the United States, as they gather in Istanbul to determine a leader following the resignation of cleric Moaz Alkhatib in March. In recent days, the Syrian National Coalition has said it would not attend the conference in Geneva unless the premise of the talks was the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assadfrom power. In addition, Gen. Salim Idris, the commander of the rebel's Supreme Military Council, which typically supports the SNC, said he won't attend unless the U.S. and its allies give him more advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry before the conference, a demand that is unlikely to be met......
Each day of silence increases the pressure on Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the opposition to the table for an event U.S. officials previewed as "the most serious effort in the last two years to get the Syrian government to sit down and negotiate with the Syrian opposition." (The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on the preconditions the opposition set ahead of the talks.)..."

Shia'-Sunni & now Sunni-Sunni battles as 'useful to policy goals'

"... Similarly, Arab leaders (and Washington) often found labeling their rivals as "Shiite" a valuable way to undermine the popular appeal of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah "Resistance Axis." This isn't to say that some leaders don't genuinely dislike Shiites -- Saudi King Abdullah famously distrusted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as an Iranian agent -- but their personal beliefs aren't really necessary to explain their behavior.
For this reason, a "Sunni" conquest of Syria is unlikely to turn the country into a reliable ally of other Sunni regimes in the region unless such alliances happen to serve the self-interest of the new leaders. The traditional rivalry between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has reasserted itself in Syria -- competition between their networks of rebel groups has been one of the major factors hindering the unification of the Syrian opposition. Should a Sunni coalition of some sort take power in Syria, it will likely be the object of similarly fierce battles for influence among ambitious external players.
Remember, we've been here before -- and recently. Today's sectarianism looks very much like that of the mid-2000s, when Iran and Hezbollah seemed ascendant, Vali Nasr warned of the "rise of the Shia," Jordan's King Abdullah fretted about a Shiite Crescent, and the sectarian cast of the execution of Saddam Hussein infuriated even those Sunnis who felt no love for the fallen dictator. Particularly during George W. Bush's administration, Washington appeared to view such sectarianism as useful to policy goals such as containing Iran, undermining Hezbollah, and cementing its alliance of "moderate" Sunni dictatorships...."

'Palestine' sits with Gods!

In Lebanon, Salafists are on the move

"...The noteworthy element is the growing role of Salafists in the Tripoli fighting, which is part of a remarkable expansion of Salafist groups’ public action in political and military spheres across the Middle East in recent years. Credible reports from Tripoli repeatedly chronicle the increased military role of Salafists in the city, directly reflecting the heightened clashes mirroring the fighting between pro- and anti-Syrian government forces in Syria....Several new elements have transformed this chronic local tension spot into something much more ominous: the direct linkages between the clashes in Syria and in Tripoli, the movement of growing numbers of Salafist fighters into north Lebanon and other parts of the country in recent years, the movement of fighters from north Lebanon into Syria to support anti-Assad rebels, and the Lebanese Salafists’ self-imposed role of countering the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon and in the fighting in Syria – especially in Qusair this month.Several new elements have transformed this chronic local tension spot into something much more ominous: the direct linkages between the clashes in Syria and in Tripoli, the movement of growing numbers of Salafist fighters into north Lebanon and other parts of the country in recent years, the movement of fighters from north Lebanon into Syria to support anti-Assad rebels, and the Lebanese Salafists’ self-imposed role of countering the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon and in the fighting in Syria – especially in Qusair this month.This is not a sudden or unexpected development. Salafists have operated in small numbers in isolated parts of urban or rural Lebanon for some years, often expanding in direct proportion to adjacent conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Pockets of militants battled the Lebanese Army and security forces in the north a few years ago, mainly in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp. More recently, Lebanese security officials have been quoted in the press as expressing concern about the growing numbers of Salafists moving into Lebanon, anchoring themselves in Salafist-dominated urban neighborhoods such as Bab al-Tabbaneh or in some Palestinian refugee camps outside the control of the Lebanese state, such as Ain al-Hilweh in the south..."
So the troubling acceleration of fighting in Tripoli represents much more than a challenge for the Lebanese people. It reminds us that the expanding militancy of Salafist Islamists is a growing regional phenomenon that once again – as with Islamism everywhere – highlights important grievances that cause people to worry and then to act, but does not suggest any practical solutions to those grievances and vulnerabilities that continue to spread across our increasingly fractured and frail region."