On the Precipice in Syria?

Syria has crossed Obama’s ‘red line’ in using chemical weapons, and the U.S. government is headed across the Rubicon of deeper military involvement.

There seems little doubt from the accumulating evidence, collected primarily by French and British investigators, that some chemical weapons have been used in Syria’s increasingly savage civil war. Syrian government forces control these weapons and are probably responsible for using them, but hard evidence is still lacking. A background analysis in Monday’s New York Times examines the continuing cloud of uncertainty about who used these weapons.

Thursday’s White House statement bases its conclusions primarily on “reporting.” It states that only “small-scale” use has occurred and acknowledges the absence of forensic evidence. Especially significant is this statement: the evidence “does not tell us how or where individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination.” That’s an extraordinary admission of the lack of firm evidence. Hardly the basis for becoming militarily involved.

The White House statement says that the U.S. will expand assistance to the Supreme Military Council, but it does not mention sending weapons. Administration spokespersons have said the administration will begin supplying small arms and ammunition, but no timetable has been given. The delivery of heavier weapons would require the presence of U.S. military personnel and contractors, which the White House remains reluctant to consider.

The White House says it will present its evidence to the international community. That’s the right step to take. The administration should bring whatever evidence it has to the Security Council and gain international support for taking appropriate action against those responsible.

The arguments against arming the rebels remain strong, as I write in my recent op ed in the Christian Science Monitor. Sending more weapons will intensify the war and increase the risk of the U.S. being dragged into another Middle East war. The administration should focus on pursuing a ceasefire and negotiated peace settlement. Rather than delivering weapons the United States should send more urgently needed humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people.

59 thoughts on “On the Precipice in Syria?

  1. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/al-qaedas-arms-supplier/

    The way the White House and US media tell the story, the Syrian government crossed a redline by using chemical weapons, triggering a US decision to arm the Syrian rebellion, dominated by the Al Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front. The way it almost certainly happened is that rebel setbacks triggered a decision to arm the rebels, and that laughably weak evidence of Syrian forces using chemical weapons was used to justify it.

  2. We have been down this road before at a cost of many thousands of innocents lives including children, remember Iraq? The US President Bush and then Prime Minister Tony Blair said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, including chemicals, indeed in Parliament Blair stated that Iraq is able to attack us in 45 minutes……

    An excuse to go to war on Iraq. To their shame the majority of MPs voted for that lie and they have not said sorry to this day.

    Another lie was the excuse to go to war on Afghanistan re 9/11. It was Saudi who flew the planes into the twin towers……so why didn’t the US and UK attack Saudi Arabia…….OIL…….

  3. Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs: “…Britain had been preparing gunmen to invade Syria two years before the crisis there flared up in 2011…”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-french-minister-of-foreign-affairs-britain-had-been-preparing-gunmen-to-invade-syria-two-years-before-the-crisis-there-flared-up-in-2011/5339218?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=former-french-minister-of-foreign-affairs-britain-had-been-preparing-gunmen-to-invade-syria-two-years-before-the-crisis-there-flared-up-in-2011

    Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 13:06:30 +0100

    The former French Minister of Foreign Affairs has publicly made a statement that the British Government intended to overthrow the Syrian government for political reasons, long before there was civil unrest (fomented by the British) in Syria.

    “…Britain had been preparing gunmen to invade Syria two years before the crisis there flared up in 2011…”

  4. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/thugs-of-the-near-and-middle-east/

    Thugs of the Near and Middle East

    He has cracked down harshly on protestors who object to his autocratic style. He calls his opponents terrorists and says there’s a foreign plot to topple his government. He says the opposition is infiltrated with foreigners from all parts of the world.

    Assad?

    No. This is Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to The New York Times. [1]

    The Times fails to mention that Erdogan has killed his own people, both Kurds, whose struggle for autonomy the Turkish state has waged war to annihilate, and demonstrators, who have protested without arms against the Turkish prime minister’s autocratic ways.

  5. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-is-becoming-obamas-iraq/5339675

    Syria Is Becoming Obama’s Iraq

    In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal. Obama has officially started down a path that inevitably leads to full-scale war. At this point the Obama administration thinks it has already invested too much military, financial, and diplomatic capital into the Syrian conflict to turn back, and each step forward brings the U.S. closer to a direct military intervention.

    click link for full article…

  6. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/22/left-j22.html

    German Marx 21 group advocates military intervention in Syria

    Like the entire Syrian opposition, the LCCs are directly financed by the US government and function politically as its representative. The LCCs receive money and training from, among others, the so-called Office for Syrian Revolution Support, established by the foreign ministers of the US and Britain, and headquartered in Istanbul.

  7. http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-weapons-un-105/

    UN: Impossible to determine Syria chemical attack perpetrator even with US evidence

    President Barack Obama said on Friday that the US will leave about 700 combat-equipped troops in Jordan after a training exercise there, which would increase the number of US troops stationed there to almost 1,000. The US announced earlier that it will leave Patriot missiles and warplanes in the country.

    connect the dots…

  8. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-imperial-agenda-in-syria-grtv-feature-interview-with-michel-chossudovsky/5339999?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-imperial-agenda-in-syria-grtv-feature-interview-with-michel-chossudovsky

    The Imperial Agenda in Syria. GRTV Feature Interview with Michel Chossudovsky

    The aggressor nations in the war on Syria are now talking about “humanitarian aid” to support the Al Qaeda rebels they themselves sent into the country.

    But, as Michel Chossudovsky argues, the imperial powers need to be held accountable for their part in fomenting the conflict in the country, and should be made to pay war reparations.

  9. http://rt.com/news/libya-syria-weapons-rebels-117/

    Colonel Gaddafi’s Legacy? Unregulated Libyan weapons ‘flood’ Syria

    According to the paper, Qatari C-17 cargo planes – capable of carrying a payload of more than 70 tons – have landed at least three times in Libya this year, each time to pick up a shipment of weapons that were then taken the Turkish-Syrian border, and passed onto the rebels.

    surprised?

  10. http://www.voltairenet.org/article179093.html

    Arms deliveries to ’Syrian rebels’ equally liable for crimes committed

    The delivery of weapons to Syrian rebels is in breach of UN resolutions. This enables the victims’ families to sue individually before the International Criminal Tribunal those leaders who should decide to do so, and allows Syria to file a suit against their states with the International Court of Justice.

  11. Readers may find this brief video insightful. Syria, Obama and how it was discussed was discussed by an Irish TD.

  12. http://williambowles.info/2013/06/27/video-al-qaeda-is-led-by-cia-ex-member-nabil-naim/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+williambowles%2FKJFu+%28WilliamBowles.info+Investigating+the+new+imperialism%29

    Video: Al-Qaeda is Led By CIA – Ex-Member Nabil Naim

    click on the link for the article and video

    Former Al-Qaeda member Sheikh Naiim has released video testimony in which he asserts that the leader of Jabhat Al-Nusra, the primary fighting force in Syria attempting to topple President Bashar Al-Assad, is a CIA operative

  13. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-the-western-faces-behind-the-terror/5340493

    Syria: The “Western Faces” Behind The Terror

    Syria will not be the last conflict. This has been a brief and incomplete overview of what drives our nation, and where we are headed, the handlers and the willing instruments (in the words of Clare Daly, pimps and prostitutes).

    We continue to sink our head in sand and hope for a hero – for ‘something to happen’. There is only one hope for the future, and the only one power that can alter this destructive path: “We, The People”

  14. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10145779/US-to-send-arms-to-Syria-within-a-month.html

    US to send arms to Syria within a month

    refer to idiot’s guide above…

    A CIA vetting procedure for those groups that are given weapons is the lynchpin of the US approach. Officials said it was vital to bolster moderate groups so that they can blunt the appeal of the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda linked group that has grown to dominate the battle against the Damascus regime

  15. http://www.alternet.org/world/obama-doctrine-covert-war-spectacularly-backfired-syria?akid=10639.34335.HHvfyP&rd=1&src=newsletter861975&t=4

    Syria: Where the Obama Doctrine of Covert War Spectacularly Backfired

    The U.S. policy of arming proxies in Syria is a formula for unlimited escalation and mass destruction.

    The only moral way forward in Syria now is for Secretary Kerry to marshall whatever authority and influence his office has left to bring America’s proxies in Syria to the table, to sign a cease-fire and plan a peaceful political transition led by legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, not by foreign puppets or proxies. This could include members of the National Coordinating Body for Democratic Change, who launched peaceful protests in Syria in 2011 and who have remained committed to non-violence, non-sectarianism and non-intervention as their revolution has been hijacked and their country destroyed.

  16. http://rt.com/news/syria-beheadings-video-assad-401/

    New video of ‘Islamist’ public beheadings of ‘Assad loyalists’ surfaces in Syria (GRAPHIC CONTENT)

    A video purportedly showing an extrajudicial public beheading of two Bashar Assad loyalists has been uploaded onto the internet. Its authenticity has been verified by pro and anti-Assad sources, though it remains unclear who is behind the execution.

    In the nine-minute clip, a group of several hundred people, including men, women and children stands around a hill, when the sentenced men, bound with ropes and wearing bags on their heads are led out. As the crowd closes in with shouts of Allah Akbar (“Glory to God!”) the two, who are wearing civilian clothes, are laid on the floor, and a bearded ‘executioner’ methodically saws through the throat of first one, then the other with a knife. The heads of the dead men are then placed on top of their bodies as the crowd continues to bay.

  17. http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/jun/24/stumbling-into-syria/

    Stumbling Into Syria

    When historians look back on the American path to war in Syria, two comments by President Obama will stand out. The first was his statement—repeated as a sort of sideline cheer for the Arab Spring—that “Assad must go.” This was a diplomatic error that could not be walked back: it compelled the US to make Assad’s removal not just a desired effect but a precondition for any negotiated settlement of the conflict.

    ** read the comments following the article…

  18. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/the-myth-of-the-secular-pro-democracy-syrian-rebel/

    The Myth of the Secular, Pro-Democracy Syrian Rebel

    Asked to justify his support for what his interlocutor called “Islamo-fascists,” a leftist sympathetic to the Syrian rebellion replied, “I’m not supporting radical Islamists. I support the Free Syrian Army’s fight for democracy.” With al-Qaeda aligned jihadists beheading some of their enemies and eating the organs of others, that’s the best case supporters of the Syrian rebellion can make these days. Unlike the radical Islamists, who dominate the rebellion and want to build a theocracy atop the hoped-for ruins of Syria’s secular Arab nationalist regime, the uprising’s Western leftist supporters are against dictatorship and for democracy. That’s why, they say, they’re backing the FSA.

    But much as they believe they’re on the side on the angels, they’re not. The idea that the FSA is the secular, democratic front of a popular uprising ignores a number of problems, from a misunderstanding of what the FSA is, to blindness to the democratic reforms already carried out in Syria, to an unwarranted fondness for a political arrangement that would open the doors to US domination of Syria.

  19. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/29/311339/ksa-qatar-orchestrated-syria-crisis/

    Brzezinski: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, their western allies orchestrated Syria crisis

    The former US national security adviser says the ongoing crisis in Syria has been orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their western allies.

    “In late 2011 there are outbreaks in Syria produced by a drought and abetted by two well-known autocracies in the Middle East: Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview with The National Interest on June 24.

    He added that US President Barack Obama also supported the unrest in Syria and suddenly announced that President Bashar al-Assad “has to go — without, apparently, any real preparation for making that happen.”

  20. ‘US provokes war with Syria’ Iran is next.

    Published on Jan 29, 2013
    The USA and it’s allies in the middle east plus Turkey have been funding Al-Qeada FSA/Fake Syrian Army terrorists!

  21. http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/syria-israel-is-losing-the-battle.html

    SYRIA – ISRAEL IS LOSING THE BATTLE

    In the last week we have been following British and French’s desperate attempts to push for a military intervention in Syria. It is far from being a secret that both British and French government are dominated by the Jewish Lobby. In Britain it is the ultra Zionist CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) – apparently 80% of Britain’s conservative MPs are members of the pro Israeli Lobby. In France the situation is even more devastating, the entire political system is hijacked by the forceful CRIF.

  22. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/29/311392/us-interest-in-syria-peace-a-false-talk/

    US talk of peace for Syria delay tactic for greater war: Scott Rickard

    Press TV has conducted an interview with Scott Rickard, former American intelligence linguist from Orlando, about the issue of John Kerry and FSA planning to increase arms supply to al-Qaeda associated militants in Syria while the US at the same time has agreed to peace talks on Syria.

    Text and video

  23. http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/311225.html

    CIA readies Syria rebels for August attack: Report

    The US intelligence agency is stockpiling weapons shipped by the U.S. as well as European and Middle Eastern allies in Jordan to prepare the militants for a concerted onslaught against the Syrian government in August, a report says.

    The CIA will continue mobilizing arms, including anti-tank missiles, in Jordan for three weeks to lay the ground for the assault, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    The agency will spend another two weeks on choosing among the militants and training them, the report adds.

  24. http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/06/libya-syria-lies-perfidies-and-tony-blair/

    Libya, Syria, Lies, Perfidies and Tony Blair by Felicity Arbuthnot

    Having learned nothing from the catastrophes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, it seems President Obama, the equally clueless UK Prime Minister Cameron and his culturally challenged Foreign Secretary William Hague are cheerleading another bloodbath in formerly peaceful, secular, outward looking Syria.

    Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger’s Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.

  25. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/06/al_nusrah_front_clai_14.php

    Al Nusrah Front claims joint operations, including a suicide assault, with Syrian rebel groups

    The CIA has begun moving light weapons and possibly anti-tank missiles from Jordan to Syria, where they are to be given to ‘elaborately’ vetted opposition elements. The CIA is considering using special operations teams from the US, Jordan, and the UAE to train rebels. US officials say the effort will aim to produce trained moderate fighters faster than the growth of the Al Nusrah Front, which has added “thousands” of fighters this past year. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have offered to identify ‘trusted’ rebel fighters to be given shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/06/al_nusrah_front_clai_14.php#ixzz2XiNdqoAA

    ** two very honest brokers, the CIA and Saudi Arabia – and the moon is made of swiss-cheese…

  26. http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-is-running-the-worlds-largest-terrorist-operation/5339835

    slightly off target…

    America Is Running the World’s Largest Terrorist Operation
    Experts on the Left and the Right Agree

    Chomsky: “Obama Is Running The Biggest Terrorist Operation That Exists”

    Leading liberal Noam Chomsky said yesterday:

    The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history: the drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it […] All of these operations, they are terror operations

  27. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/us-promises-smooth-transfer-of-quagmire-from-afghanistan-to-syria.html

    U.S. PROMISES SMOOTH TRANSFER OF QUAGMIRE FROM AFGHANISTAN TO SYRIA

    —Supporters of the United States’ twelve-year quagmire in Afghanistan cheered the news today that the U.S. would strive to achieve a seamless transfer of that quagmire to Syria, effective immediately.

    Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to reassure those who were concerned that the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan signalled a wavering of the nation’s commitment to being mired in open-ended military muddles.

    “I can tell you, right here and right now, that the U.S. is every bit as determined to engage in an ill-defined, ill-advised and seemingly interminable mission in Syria as we were in Afghanistan,” Gen. Dempsey said. “All that’s changing is the Zip Code.”

  28. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10153629/Syria-3500-tons-of-weapons-already-sent-to-rebels-says-Lord-Ashdown.html

    Syria: 3,500 tons of weapons already sent to rebels, says Lord Ashdown

    Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, spoke out against arming Syria’s rebels and called for pressure to be put on Qatar and Saudi Arabia to cut off funding for arms.

    “I know where those weapons are coming from. They are the weapons left over from the Bosnian war. They are being shipped out in large measure through Croatian ports and airports and I can tell you they are making vast sums for corrupt forces in the Balkans.”

  29. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23190533

    Face-to-face with Abu Sakkar, Syria’s ‘heart-eating cannibal’

    It sounded like the most far-fetched propaganda claim – a Syrian rebel commander who cut out the heart of a fallen enemy soldier, and ate it before a cheering crowd of his men.

    The story turned out to be true in its most important aspect – a ritual demonstration of cannibalism – though when I met the commander, Abu Sakkar, in Syria last week, he seemed hazy on the details

  30. http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2013/07/europes-young-jihadis-fighting-syria/#.Udh-QPnVCSo

    ‘Europe’s Young Jihadis, Fighting in Syria’

    Young, rapidly radicalizing Muslims in Europe are flocking to Syria to take up arms with extremist Islamist groups, and French security officials say there are more European jihadis now fighting in Syria than fought in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

    The very same thugs the U$A has hedged it’s bet on, Some right spark in DC must have a corn-cob up his posterior…

  31. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23232189

    Syria opposition government head Ghassan Hitto resigns

    The Syrian opposition figure tasked with forming an interim government to administer rebel-held areas has resigned, citing an inability to do so.

    In a statement, Ghassan Hitto said he would “continue working for the interests of the revolution”.

    Although a large number of low-ranking officials have publicly left the party since the start of the uprising in March 2011, its main leadership bodies have remain steadfastly loyal to Mr Assad.

  32. http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2013/07/06/qatar-charity-wiring-5bln-to-syria-rebels/

    Qatar Charity Wiring $5bln to Syria Rebels

    Qatar has undertaken to pay another USD5 billion to the rebels in Syria, sources revealed on Saturday.
    “Following the Friends of Syria meeting in Doha, Qatar has undertaken to pay a sum of USD5 billion to Syrian rebel groups,” a diplomat present at the recent Doha meeting told FNA.
    “All this money is now being paid to the rebels in Syria through the Qatar Charity (QC) foundation,” added the source.
    “The rebels are due to spend USD3 billion of the financial aid under the direct supervision of the Qatari government,” he explained, and added, “And the remaining USD2 billion will be spent under the supervision of Turkey’s IHH.”

  33. http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-attack-rebels-848/

    Russian inquiry to UN: Rebels, not Army, behind Syria Aleppo sarin attack
    Samples taken at the site where the chemical weapons were allegedly used indicate that it was rebels – not the Syrian army – behind the attack, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin has said.

    Russia has handed over the analyzed samples to the UN, he added.

    “I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon),” Churkin said on Tuesday.

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