In defence of Obama's cautious Syrian policy

Introduction: The headline article discusses possible US-intervention into Syria, *dishonestly* not recognising that the US has been active in all of fomenting, subverting, importing mercenaries and arming 'rebels' from the inception of the 'covert invasion/regime-change' operation currently being run against Syria.
  • aletheia :

    26 Jun 2013 5:43:13pm
    Q: How do they get away with it?

    A: They *think* they have the right - which, of course, is totally wrong.

    UK started the 'oil-rush' before WW1 when they switched their warships off coal.

    US thuggery really got underway latest 6 August and 9 August 1945.

    frus1945v08: "Oil resources constitute a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history."

    PPS23_by_George_Kennan: "... we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts."

    The US is big on planning, and the Pentagon on war-gaming.

    The only reason they have not so far smashed Iran is because the gaming does not show a clear US-win. Ditto for Syria; but it is delusional not to acknowledge that the smashing of Syria is driven by the US, themselves hagridden.

    The US could stop the carnage in a heartbeat, merely by saying "stop."

    We are deliberately forced to live in a lie-cloud (what I call the pushed-propaganda paradigm), proof;

    Bernays: "manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses ... Those who [manipulate] ... constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

    Arguing within the pushed-propaganda paradigm is fraught, proof = the headline article.
    • Mitor the Bold :

      26 Jun 2013 7:46:09pm
      So, it's a global conspiracy - that explains everything. Surely they could beat Iran by simply shape-shifting into lizards?
    • Azrael the Cat :

      26 Jun 2013 8:09:05pm
      Not quite re: Syria and Iran.

      The infamous Iran wargaming was where a retired US general commanding the Iran side of the wargame and utterly schooled his younger more 'modern' successors by inflicting monumental casualties on the US force. The backbone of the US force was a massive bluewater naval armada, including 2 carriers. The retired general had basically Iran's weapons - a good number of Chinese-supplied A+++ quality silkworm anti-ship missiles, but not enough ships to make much use of them, a series of Russian A+++ anti-aircraft defense systems that makes a straight air invasion rather scary (hence the US combination of carriers flanked by ships bearing missiles to take out the Russian SAMs, and frigates+gunboats to play defence), B+ encryption (good, but the US would crack it immediately) and enormous numbers of speedboats that lacked any serious ordinance (i.e. the occasional light machinegun on some, but nothing that's going to sink a carrier). The Iran side did have a HUGE number of Russian and Chinese missiles (SAMs, anti-ship and offensive ground-to-ground) but the US had the best missile detection+defence systems and didn't see that as a threat.

      The very first thing the retired general did was go full radio silence, taking out the US encryption advantage immediately. Instead he used WWI style messengers and freaken carrier pigeons to coordinate his side. The first thing the US side saw was about 400 missiles fired at them simultaneously, which quickly proved that the very best anti-missile tech gets overwhelmed when your enemy is willing to fire half its arsenal at once, sinking 1/3 of the fleet. Then they saw hundreds of those 'barely armed' speedboats, except that now some were armed with the aforementioned silkworm missiles - only a tiny proportion mind you (Iran has MANY more speedboats than silkworms) - but with so many it was impossible to find out WHICH boats posed a threat. There goes another 1/3 of the fleet, including one of the carriers (the other carrier survived but was limping badly).

      From there the US would still have managed to get a clear win, but at the cost of their most expensive loss since Pearl Harbour, and would have been financially and militarily devastating. I.e. clear win, but too costly.

      Syria is also an easy clear win. But the cold war 'spheres of influence' still operate, and Syria belongs to Russia, just like China gets lumped with having to keep North Korea from going full war. Syria has little strategic value to the US - not much oil, and Israel and Saudi Arabia make for much more secure middle eastern launch points. But the Russians love it - it has their main mediterranean naval base, and they've got military bases spread throughout, to remind Assad who's in charge. Hence no US invasion of Syria.
      • aletheia :

        26 Jun 2013 8:58:46pm
        Azrael the Cat: "I.e. clear win, but too costly."

        Me; Q: When is a win not a win? A: When it's a loss.

        In case you, or Peter of Melbourne (and any/all other such ilk), wish to argue 'legality,' aggressive armed forces crossing a border in-bound is precisely the definition of the "supreme international crime," and all perpetrators should be tried then *when* found guilty (not 'if;' I assume an honest judicial process), then appropriately punished, à la Nuremberg.

        Such an action took place on and around 19Mar'03, again on 19Mar'11, currently covertly against Syria and going back a bit, another took place from "autumn 1947 to spring 1948." None of the 'target' countries has ever recovered, and one continues to by squatted upon by the alien invaders. 'Legality' is a squirmy process, since laws are 'man made,' and nothing (presumably, apart from good sense, humanity, etc.) could stop some jurisdiction passing a law enabling war. In fact, that's what the US Congress would be doing, if it called on the US president to defend against some attack (clearly not an issue here). Going back to Nuremberg, to attack is a "supreme international crime."

        US, F+UK/NATO+Zs are all at it; that's where our world is; the UN looks on.
        • crow :

          27 Jun 2013 10:05:31am
          "When is a win not a win? A: When it's a loss."

          as Phyyrhus said to a supporter congratulating him on his victory "One more such victory would utterly undo me'

          He may have totally beaten the Romans, but it cost him such a great part of his forces and commanders that there was little left for any further battle, whereas the Romans quickly recruited another army - one that was now angry for revenge.

          the US for instance may have 'won' in Iraq, but its cost them such an enormous amount of money and casualties that they are now hesistant to start another similar war, whereas they have also vastly increased the amount of their opponents
  • Moi :

    26 Jun 2013 5:09:01pm
    I wish someone would tell the full story with as little spin as possible. A brief synopsis as I understand it:

    Assad, an ex London eye doctor, enjoys 70% domestic support. The rebels to date are more or less criminals who've been systematically looting captured territory. The al-Nusra terrorists who are doing the bulk of the fighting are more popular than other rebels because they don't steal.

    Syria engaged in steadily imporving diplomatic relations until the US started its destabilisation efforts around 2008. The reason is energy and their determination to find alternate routes into Europe that don't involve either Russia or Iran.

    There is a massive gas field shared by both Qatar and Iran. There are 2 proposed pipelines for this gas. One is Qatar/Jordan/Syria/Turkey/Europe and what do you know, Qatar is funding the terrorists and the arms are passing through Jordan and Turkey. The second pipeline is Iran/Syria/Lebanon/Europe and Iran is backing the Syrian government. The first is favourd by the US, the second by Russia.

    The US chemical weapons claim is beyond pathetic. Al-Nusra terrorists were caught with 2kg of Sarin in Turkey just a couple of days before Iraqi Sunni terrorists were caught near the Syrian border trying to make the stuff. This was in turn a week or so before the US made its claim.

    Google any of the above - you'll get more honesty than reading the ABC.
    • aletheia :

      26 Jun 2013 7:27:05pm
      Yes to Moi: Your summary is close; I would argue we don't know enough about any of the 'rebels' since many are imports and most MSM/PFBC reporting is outright lies. Assad was trying to fit to the West, and had implemented some (erring ideology) neoliberalisation - which, sadly for him, upset some of his people.

      Yes to Peter Schmidt: Guardian snip, Wesley Clark's warning, Hersh's "Redirection" report: "... has brought the U.S. closer to an open confrontation with Iran and propelled it into the sectarian conflict ..."

      Yes to Fred: "Obama is now every bit as culpable as the Saudis and Qataris."

      All parts of the ME with oil, now gas, are in the murderers-for-spoil sights, as is the pre-UNGA181 soil. Proof;

      Ben-Gurion(1936-39): “We must see the situation for what it is. ... But in the political field we are the attackers and the Arabs are those defending themselves. They are living in the country and own the land, ..."

      Just about says it all. The A/Ms own the lot, and rather than negotiate for it or what's under it, certain countries or country-less agencies are trying to take it without going through the free&fair-exchange mechanism usually known as "buying."
      • Shane 2 :

        27 Jun 2013 7:51:30am
        White Australian(1836-39): “We must see the situation for what it is. ... But in the political field we are the attackers and the Aboriginal People are those defending themselves. They are living in the country and own the land, ..."
        • Dove :

          27 Jun 2013 12:41:04pm
          It's a fair comparison, but I'm not sure about your dates.

Max :

26 Jun 2013 1:38:45pm
If you look at how the US and NATO handled Libya - they broke the law - they (nato) declared war on libya and armed the rebels who are mostly al queda, when libya posed no imminent threat to the US or any other nation in the world. Now they are doing the exact same thing, who the hell does Obama think he is?? He should of been impeached by attacking Libya, he along with NATO are now arming al queda forces in Syria to help bring down Assad, what threat has he posed to the US or any other country?? What right does America or NATO have - absolutely zero, and if Assad goes - it will be free reign for al queda just like what is going on now in Libya. Its funny how no one ever talks about Libya anymore. What a shame, and thank Goodness for real leaders like Putin who stick their nose right in America's face
  • Peter of Melbourne :

    26 Jun 2013 2:18:56pm
    Exactly what law was broken? C'mon be precise rather than ambiguous. Was it a law which the United States is bound to by its Constitution as that is the heart of all US law. What about NATO, exactly which NATO "law" was broken? Hell I dont see how NATO can break a law if they are not a nation. International agreements are only that. A country needs to eanble those agreements into local law for them to become legal. There are currently no illegal wars which the US and its allies are involved in, nor have there been any illegal wars in the past that the US or its allies have been involved in.

    You may be confusing illegal with immoral... however the only immoral act I have seen from the US and its allies in the recent past is in allowing their citizens, the military, to be used as target practice by terrorists when they have the might to send these troublemakers back to the stoneage for the next century.

    Was the invasion of Kuwait illegal? or was it an act of war? do you understand the that war has no laws, it only has the victors and vanquished (recent screw ups by Western forces in not vanquishing all oppostion the exception)
    • Max :

      26 Jun 2013 3:04:51pm
      Joe biden who has taught constitutional law and is an experty on foreign relations stated unequivically that declaring war on a country that poses no imminent threat is against the constitution of the united states, he also went on to say and I quote "I dont say it lightly, but any president who declares war against a country that opposes no imminent threat should be impeached" That was from Joe Biden - a guy who is a lot smarter than myself or you fr that matter, do your own research, look at the interviews on youtube and read various articles on the web, then come back with your question. Without congressional approvement it is against the law, it is unconstitutional and Obama should of been impeached, even listen to his press conferences on the matter, please do your own research before asserting someone doesnt know what they are talking about
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        26 Jun 2013 6:20:54pm
        I am not the one making the claim that war is "illegal". If you think you have proof then provide links to it, I dont give a damn about what someone says or thinks in this case, I want hard evidence that war is illegal.
    • Eric the Echidna :

      26 Jun 2013 3:30:11pm
      Peter of Melbourne, did you not see the post I addressed to you on 18 June containing an extract from The Nuremberg Principles? Have you not heard of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals?
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        26 Jun 2013 6:14:31pm
        They are not part of "our" local laws! That is when an act is made illegal - when the act is contrary to a country's local laws... I dont understand why you and your ilk have such difficulties understanding such a simple principle. International agreements are only that ... agreements, they are not bound by law until enshrined in a local constitution (or similar)

        Wishing it was different like you want to, does not make it so. Otherwise the world would be full of fairies (the magical kind, not the debased type we actually do have) and flying pink unicorns (that would be a sight to see, my kids would love it)
      • aletheia :

        26 Jun 2013 10:32:43pm
        Peter of Melbourne: «They are not part of "our" local laws! That is when an act is made illegal ...»

        Me: Try not be so stu... err, silly.

        «Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan
        Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in Washington
        The Guardian, Thursday 16 September 2004 02.28 BST

        The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.
        Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: "Yes, if you wish."»

        Me: IF anyone, THEN Annan. Agree with kenj; we should *not* be subjected to the same *erroneous* sillinesses, over and over ... /ad nauseam/.

        Yes, "innocent until proven guilty," and yes, there isn't even a court-case - but that's because of corruption in the justice-system, not because of obvious to the point of in-your-face guilt.

        People defend criminals for $s (or other pecuniary interests, like mercenaries, say) OR defender/apologists make themselves accessories = share guilt.
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        26 Jun 2013 6:26:40pm
        in case my other post is not published. The Nuremberg Principles are not enshrined in Australian Law, they are in International Law which is only an agreement until enshrined in local laws.
      • Eric the Echidna :

        26 Jun 2013 6:57:19pm
        Peter of Melbourne,have you read the UN Charter? Especially Article 2.
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        27 Jun 2013 9:18:06am

        We are not governed by the UN world government. Get that through your head! Australia is a sovereign nation and the UN is a collective organisation (even so called International law means nothing unless it is on the books of a country) The UN does not govern nor does it have the capacity to govern any country on this planet, it is an organisation designed to reach agreements not implement laws.

        Once again, show me proof that wars are illegal in the countries you all keep spouting about. Point me to specific laws on their books, if you cant then just grow up and accept the world for what it is and not some little fantasy you have.

        I will make it even easier since we are Australians, show me where in Australian law is illegal to wage/declare war! That shouldnt be too hard, then we will all agree that war is illegal.
      • Eric the Echidna :

        27 Jun 2013 9:52:29am
        Peter of Melbourne, I refer you to comments you masde on 18 June:

        "In western society losers may be convicted of so called "crimes against humanity" for committing heinous acts however I have never heard of criminal convictions for waging "illegal war"."

        At the Nuremberg War crimes tribunal for the Nazi leadership the indictments were:

        " 1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace.

        2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crime against peace.

        3) War Crimes

        4) Crimes against humanity."

        Some of the accused were found guilty of 1) and 2).

        Were you truly not aware of this famous trial?

        I now refer you to the UN Charter, Article 2, which includes:

        "1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

        2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

        3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

        4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

        I suggest you do a lot of earnest research before commenting further on internationsal law.
    • Peter Schmidt :

      26 Jun 2013 3:37:41pm
      Maybe covertly supplying deadly weapons from Croatia since the start of the conflict (3,500 tonnes so far) or using the CIA to train terrorists in Jordan and send them over to Syria.
      Read this if you want to know more:
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        26 Jun 2013 6:15:36pm
        Not illegal, just covert actions undertaken within the legal framework of countries all around the world. Try again.
      • aletheia :

        26 Jun 2013 11:09:14pm
        Peter of Melbourne: "Exactly what law was broken? C'mon be precise rather than ambiguous."

        Me: Hmmm. Q: How many ways?

        A: One is enough. See last para; meanwhile:

        Peter (or ilk) may care to explain the 'legality' of a group of out-of-towners turning up out of other-where and breaking/entering a block of flats, threatening then killing residents who don’t immediately flee, then setting out to live there, THEN declaring themselves independent (of the law, morals and everything good) and claiming ownership of the block. Short name: The burglary/home invasion with actual murdering violence analogy.

        The violated law is "Don't touch things not yours," and it is often taught in kindergartens. Failure to learn/honour such laws is called 'failed socialisation,' giving rise to 'sociopathy.' IMHO not close enough; I prefer the term 'psychopathy' for murderers-for-spoil, from 'executives' through generals down to all 'grunts' firing the guns. Then see accessory mechanism vis-à-vis accomplices, apologists and even idle bystanders.

        "Not illegal, just covert actions" - secrecy is a mortal enemy of (proper) democracy. But not only; these covert actions are leading directly to mass-murder and mayhem. Good one, world 'leaders!' Good one, idle bystanders; thumbs up (or down) = Syrians die.
      • Peter of Melbourne :

        27 Jun 2013 9:19:53am
        so no proof of law just conjecture... sorry wouldnt stand up in a legal environment. War is not illegal.
      • Eric the Echidna :

        27 Jun 2013 10:07:17am
        Peter of Melbourne: "War is not illegal."

        In an earlier poincluded the following extract:

        "The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. ..."

        Do you think you have greater knowledge of international law than a secretary-general of the UN. If so, why?
PS [added] IMHO, one of the problems with the AusBC/unleashed/ forum is too early a close to comments, which encourages hasty drafting. Also, there was insufficient time for me to point out that the general 'foreign treaty' process incorporates treaty provisions into 'domestic' law, so there's no need to specifically do so. Exceptions exist, like in the US, whereby 'ratification' may be used as a weasel-way of avoiding responsibilities. Another problem is not unique, but one of people trying to push lies, often repeatedly, even after such lies have long been comprehensively refuted. Then, as in the headline article, arguments are made within the general MSM/PFBC lie-cloud, what I call the pushed-propaganda paradigm, as noted in my comments. One (r-whinger, pro-war) commenter argues that wars are not illegal, whereby I would add 'not necessarily, but almost exclusively.' Seems simple enough; IF wars were (somehow?) acceptable THEN the perpetrators and apologists would not need to deploy lying 'excuses.' We the (Western) people are powerless; in democracies rigged to be almost all show and no go, we are ruled by tyrants (proof elsewhere 'in here' and add 'psychopathic'). A commenter claims that wars "are fought for objectives," to which I could agree; namely where the objective is to take some resource (oil, soil) without the owners' permission or proper recompense = murdering for spoil. That the 'world leadership' allows such a travesty shows corruption + cowardice = criminality.

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