Should President Obama (alongside Lindsay Graham and John McCain) be wearing an orange jumpsuit?
Welcome to the beautiful and surreal reality of life under American corporatism, under a Congress that churns out thousands and thousands of pages of (often contradictory) legislation a year.
If providing material assistance to al-Qaeda is illegal under the National Defence Authorization Act (2012), and Obama and Congress are sending $25 million of aid to al-Qaeda-affiliated Syrian opposition, aren’t Congress and President Obama violating their own law? Should Obama (or at least the Justice Department) not be using “all necessary and appropriate force” including “the power to indefinitely detain” to prevent Obama and Congress from assisting al-Qaeda? Did anyone in Congress or the Obama administration even bother to read the law that they were signing? Do Federal laws no longer apply to lawmakers?
The only question left from this abrupt and absurd turnaround — from funding bin Laden’s mujahideen thirty years ago, to ten years ago declaring war on al-Qaeda, to today sending them material assistance — would appear to be whether or not Obama will pull a 1984 and claim that “we have always been at war with Eurasia“.
There have been various rumors floating around over the past 2 weeks that Russia would do everything in its power to establish its foothold in Syria once and for all, with the local regime closer to the edge with every passing day. There have also been rumors, however silly, that Russia is willing to give up its naval basis in the Syrian port city of Tartus, since denied. Today, we finally get the full story, courtesy of the BBC, which is that that “three large Russian landing ships carrying hundreds of marines will soon visit the port of Tartus in war-torn Syria, the Russian military says.” And who can blame them: this is only logical following the surge buildup of US naval assets in the region as we reported last week and the recently ‘leaked’ ‘secret‘ data that Obama was actively supporting Syrian rebels. End result: WTI soaring, and well over $90 at last check.
The ships, each with up to 120 marines on board, will spend a few days in the port, the general staff source said. They will take on fresh supplies of food and water. Russia has a small naval maintenance facility at Tartus.
It is not clear whether some marines will stay in Tartus. Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.
The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.
“NATO brought in thousands and thousands of fighters from Libya in particular but also from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, a whole swat of countries and they’ve essentially gone to the bottom of the barrel of the al-Qaeda sort of patsy milieu in these countries and they’ve thrown them across the borders….the idea was that this was going to bring about an overwhelming assault on the Syrian state and the outcome of last week is that this did not occur that the five-pronged defensive has so far not succeeded and I think that is a real characteristic moment that NATO threw everything they had and somehow this has failed. The Syrian state did not collapse. Decay and confusion do not reign. The death squads are being mopped up in Damascus and will be mopped up in Aleppo.” – Webster Tarpley
NATO has failed in trying to topple the Syrian government despite going “to the bottom of the barrel” of the al-Qaeda militants at its disposal and exerting every effort it possibly could, says an analyst.
The comment comes as Syrian Security forces have foiled repeated attempts by armed groups to infiltrate into Syrian territory from neighboring countries.
BEIRUT—Three top military and security leaders in the Syrian regime, including President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law and his defense minister, were killed in a bombing in Damascus on Wednesday, in the biggest blow to the country’s rulers since the start of the uprising 17 months ago.
Russia rejects in the strongest possible terms allegations that it supports President Assad in the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing must ‘pay a price’ for backing Assad.
“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the west is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.
A delegation from Syrian opposition is reportedly in talks with US officials over the targets they want to attack to weaken the Syrian government and the arms they want America to provide to do it. A “Libya lite” operation in Syria may be imminent.
The unnamed US official reportedly said that “the intervention will happen. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.”
The delegation from the Syrian Free Army is meeting with US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and the State Department’s expert on Syria, Fred Hof, according to a report by debkafile, an Israeli news website, which is considered to have strong ties with the intelligence community.
Syria has released new cash into circulation to finance its fiscal deficit, flirting with inflation after violence and sanctions wiped out revenues and led to a severe economic contraction, bankers in Damascus say.
Four Damascus-based bankers told Reuters that new banknotes printed in Russia were circulating in trial amounts in the capital and Aleppo, the first such step since a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011.
Member States of NATO and the GCC are preparing a coup d’état and a sectarian genocide in Syria. If you want to prevent these crimes, you should act now: circulate this article on the Internet and alert your elected officials.
In a few days, perhaps as early as Friday, June 15, at noon, the Syrians wanting to watch their national TV stations will see them replaced on their screens by TV programs created by the CIA. Studio-shot images will show massacres that are blamed on the Syrian Government, people demonstrating, ministers and generals resigning from their posts, President Al-Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.
– Iranian Envoy: Syrian Terrorists Killing People with US, Israeli Weapons (FARS, Mar 5, 2012):
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian diplomat blasted the western countries, specially the US, for their double-standard attitude towards terrorism, and said the Syrian people and security forces are being killed by the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists who are armed with the US and Israeli weapons.
“The West does not speak about the ties between the terrorist groups in Syria and the al-Qaeda which slaughters the people with US and Israeli weapons in that country,” Iranian Ambassador to Uruguay Hojjatollah Soltani said on Monday.
He also said that the western countries are making an instrumental use of the scene of massacres in Syria, which have been created by the al-Qaeda terrorists, to portray President Bashar Assad as a killer and pressure his government.
The official from the State Department told The Daily Telegraph that while the White House wants to exhaust all its diplomatic options, the debate in Washington has shifted away from diplomacy and towards more robust action since Russia and China blocked a United Nations resolution condemning Syria.
The Pentagon’s Central Command has begun a preliminary internal review of US military capabilities in the region, which one senior official called a “scoping exercise” that would provide options for the president if and when they were requested.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday and pulled all American diplomats out of violence-wracked Syria as the U.S. stepped up pressure on President Bashar Assad to leave power.
Robert Ford, the American ambassador, and 17 other U.S. officials left Syria and were expected to travel back to the United States. Ford informed Syrian authorities of the decision to leave earlier in the day, State Department officials said. Two diplomats left by air and the others went overland to Jordan.
The West and Russia had a major showdown Saturday Feb. 5 over the Arab League resolution calling on Bashar Assad to step down and allow the formation of a national unity government. US President Barack Obama demanded a UN stand against the Syrian president’s “relentless brutality” and a vote before the end of the day. It was put to the vote and defeated by Russian and China vetoes.
Moscow sources charged that the motion had been intended to pave the way for war in Iran and a bid to overthrow the Tehran regime. debkafile’s military sources report that the Russians backed their hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units in Black Sea bases on the ready to set out for Syria and defend Damascus. A Cold War dimension has been injected into the Syrian crisis, which is fast descending into a sectarian war between Syria’s ruling Alawites (Shiites) and the majority Sunnis. The regional dimension is provided by pitting Iran and Syria against Turkey and the Gulf Arabs.
DAMASCUS – Agence France-Presse — A large Russian naval flotilla led by an aircraft carrier has docked in the Syrian port of Tartus in what Damascus state media hailed on Sunday as a show of solidarity by close ally Moscow.
The six-day port call by the carrier group in the Mediterranean port where Russia has a recently expanded naval base is intended to boost ties at a time when President Bashar al-Assad’s government is under mounting Western and Arab pressure over its bloody crackdown on dissent, the Syrian press said.
“The port call is aimed at bringing the two countries closer together and strengthening their ties of friendship,” the official SANA news agency quoted a Russian naval officer it named as Yakushin Vladimir Anatolievich as saying.
“The commanders of the Russian naval vessels docked in Tartus took turns to express their solidarity with the Syrian people,” the news agency added.
Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles reportedly delivered as part of $300 million deal Russia has delivered supersonic cruise missiles to Syria despite the violence shaking the Arab country and Israel’s furious condemnation of the deal, a news report said on Thursday.
“The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria,” a military source told the Interfax news agency without disclosing when the shipment was made.
Russia signed a contract reportedly worth at least $300 million (222 million euros) in 2007 to supply its traditional Arab world ally with a large shipment of the cruise missiles.
Reports said Russia intended to deliver 72 of the missiles to Syria in all.
The Libyan government apparently wants to share its successful experience of overthrowing the Gaddafi regime with like-minded Syrians. It has sent 600 of its troops to support local militants against the Assad regime, according to media reports.
The fighters have joined the Free Syria Army, the militant group carrying out attacks on government forces in Syria, reports the Egyptian news website Al-Ray Al-Arabi citing its sources. The report says the troops entered Syria through Turkish territory.
The alleged incursion happened with the consent of the chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil. The NTC allegedly welcomed volunteers to join the surge.
Last Friday British media reported a secret meeting between NTC envoys and Syrian rebels had been held in Istanbul. The Libyan governing body reportedly pledged to supply arms, money and fighters to the Syrians.
Bashar Assad’s government has repeatedly accused foreign forces of smuggling armed groups and weapons into Syria and thus fueling the ongoing violence.
Syrian official says Damascus agrees ‘in principle’ to allow entrance of Arab League observer mission; 22-member body proposed sending hundreds of observers to the to help end the bloodshed.
Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest.
Turkey was on the brink of open confrontation over its border with Syria on Tuesday night, announcing its first economic sanctions against Damascus and saying President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was “on a knife-edge”.
The Turkish government, which has turned from Assad ally into his fiercest critic in a few short months, said it was suspending joint oil exploration and considering stopping electricity supplies to its neighbour.
For the first time, a senior official openly discussed the possibility of imposing a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border to give sanctuary for refugees. That would imply direct military action.
An insurgent army which claims to be up to 15,000 strong is being coordinated from Turkey to take on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, which risks plunging the region into open warfare.
The national “Syrian Free Army” aims to be the “military wing of the Syrian people’s opposition to the regime”, its leader told The Daily Telegraph from a heavily guarded camp in eastern Turkey.
Confirmation of an armed force operating with the covert approval of the Turkish authorities follows evidence that attacks inside Syria are causing high levels of casualties in the security forces. It also shows the anger of Recep Tayipp Erdogan, the Turkish premier, with Mr Assad, a former ally whose failed promises of reform have caused a deep rift.
“We are the future army of the new Syria. We are not in league with any particular sect, religion or political party. We believe in protecting all elements of Syrian society,” the Army’s leader, Col Riad al-Assad, said.
To Syria now, where the UN is pulling out its staff amid growing concern about the violent crackdown by government forces against demonstrators. It comes as activists say over 30 people have been killed since troops seized control of the northern port city of Latakia.
But, director of the Center for Research on Globalization – Michel Chossudovsky – says the hype around the Syrian crisis is being orchestrated from abroad.
WASHINGTON — The United States and several of its major allies on Thursday called on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to give up power. The carefully choreographed announcements came after months of popular protests and increasingly deadly reprisals that the United Nations commissioner for human rights said amounted to crimes against humanity by the Syrian authorities.
President Obama, who had faced criticism for not acting more assertively, ordered the freezing of all Syrian assets within American jurisdiction, banned imports of Syrian oil and barred American citizens from having any business dealings with the Syrian government, which the administration once courted in the hopes of improving relations.
He called on other countries to impose their own sanctions, focusing on Syria’s oil and gas industry, and European leaders suggested those were now under consideration.
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