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In the last few days we’ve started to see hints that Syrian End-Game is expected to involve a launch of some of Syria’s giant, and very real, stockpile of chemical and biological weapons (CBW). The strategy of regime change in Damascus pursued by the US and its regional allies may assure that outcome.

As the prospect of annihilation nears, the Generals in Damascus -- almost all of whom are of the ruling Alawite religious minority -- may see little chance to preserve themselves from the Sunni onslaught other than to threaten exercise of their last-ditch option of launching a missile-launched CBW attack on surrounding countries that have been running the armed opposition.

- MORE -
 

Yesterday, the NYT reported that the United States has detected what is described as movement of some of Syria’s CBW stocks, and has warned that attempted use would cross a “red line” triggering direct US military intervention.  http://www.nytimes.com/...   It is not yet clear whether this movement is merely precautionary measures by the Syrian armed forces to avoid these weapons falling into the hands of opposition forces.

Meanwhile, Israel has indicated to Jordan that it may carry out a preemptive attack on Syria’s missile launchers and CBW stockpiles in the event it determines that Syria is readying a launch.  http://www.theatlantic.com/...  

Two weeks ago, Turkey formally requested NATO Patriot anti-missile batteries on the border with Syria. http://www.bbc.co.uk/...    

All this indicates that the regime change operations in Syria have reached an incredibly dangerous stage, and Pentagon, CIA and State Dept. officials never adequately planned for the worst-case violent end-phase in Syria, always reassuring the policymakers that they could pull off a nice, easy coup d'grace, a la Libya.

The CIA SAD and JSOC, along with the Israelis, are now publicly preparing a preemptive strike including special forces on the ground to take the launchers. For a close-up, on-the-ground view of the aftermath of a special forces attack on a Scud launcher in Libya last year that left the missiles and trucks largely intact, but nothing left of the crew other than neatly-lined up piles of entrails, see http://www.youtube.com/....  

Such preemptive air or ground attacks, however, would set off scenario: 1) and then 2):

1)    The Syrian leadership finds itself boxed into a “Use-'Em-or-Lose-'Em” Dilemma with regards to its missile forces and CBW stockpiles, and
2)    As Israel, the US and possibly other countries begin decapitating air strikes and commando attacks on mobile missile transporters, the regime initiates a Deadman Trigger Scenario, that assures launch of at least some of its surviving warheads.

What makes the above scenarios frighteningly plausible is as follows.  

The core problem with Syrian regime change is that even if Assad is removed, the rest of the Damascus government and high command are almost all members of the same Alawite sect and Ba'ath Party members, and the Sunni militias we and the Gulf Arabs back are hell-bent on killing them.  So, even with Assad gone, his successors would also have no option other than to fight to the last or be exterminated, along with their families, by the Syrian Sunnis and foreign al-Qaeda fighters.   Whoever planned and oversaw this operation -- Petraeus is one, there are many notable others -- ignored Kissinger’s prime directive of strategic engagement: always leave your opponent a mutually acceptable way out.

The fact that we have entered this stage in the game shows that initial expectations for regime change program in Syria were incredibly unrealistic.  For those who have approved this policy, Syria is fast becoming an epoch, historical disaster.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A proxy war from beginning to end. (4+ / 0-)

    Pathetic and corrupt. Just like Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

    The blowback will be a never-ending ill wind that haunts the gamers with seemingly-unrelated adversity.


    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:00:35 AM PST

    •  Not the end-game. That's where we step in it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack, joanneleon, Pluto, KenBee

      The same rules of regime change don't apply to countries that have a coherent command structure and a plausible deterrent.  Note Iran.

      That's why Syria has held out, and why there  has been (and can be) no easy roll-back there.

      This strategy was lunacy.

    •  The NYT article is pure bullshit Orwell (3+ / 0-)

      Where are they "moving" the stockpiles?

      To the Gulf of Tonkin, no doubt.

      This crap should make Americans physically sick, since they've had it shoved down their throats many times before by the morally bankrupt neocons that control our State Department and Pentagon:

      Several months ago, the United States military quietly sent a task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to help the armed forces there to, among other things, prepare for the possibility that Syria would lose control of its chemical weapons. Turkey has asked NATO for two batteries of the Patriot antimissile system, in part as protection against Syrian missiles that might come into Turkish territory. In making their case, the Turks have raised the possibilities that chemical weapons could be used in the warheads.

      This is not the first time activity at stockpile sites has been detected. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said on Sept. 28 that there had been “some movement” of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles to put them in more secure locations. “While there’s been some limited movement, again, the major sites still remain in place, still remain secure,” he said at the time.

      But the new activity appears to be of a different nature, and officials are no longer willing to say that all the sites remain secure. “We’re worried about what the military is doing,” one official said, “but we’re also worried about some of the opposition groups,” including some linked to Hezbollah, which has set up camps near some of the chemical weapons depots.

      Since the crisis began in Syria and concern has been focused on the country’s vast stockpile, the United States and its allies have increased electronic eavesdropping and other surveillance activities of the sites. A senior defense official said that no United States troops had been put on heightened alert in response to the activity, although the Pentagon was prepared to do so, if necessary.

      Unfunking believable. I fear Americans are going to get exactly what they deserve, yet again.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:13:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How would you have directed actions? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        I'm not being flippant - I seriously would like to know a different way that would lead to a better outcome (and I'm trying hard not to even describe what that outcome would be).

        •  Until 03/11, Kerry was pursuing backchannels (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, joanneleon, KenBee

          negotiations in an effort to gently nudge Syria out of the Iranian orbit.  There was some real progress made.

          Then the opposition in exile declared an insurrection.  Within weeks there was shooting going both ways, tanks in the streets, and the rest is history.

          Yes, we and the British and French had something to do with facilitating the uprising, and our involvement quickly switched to coordinating armed opposition.  We did not opposed the Saudi and GCC funded introduction of armed Jihadis, the most effective and best armed  of them from Libya.  Our ambivalent policies with regard to the flow of MANPADs and al Qaeda from Eastern Libya to Syria led to the Benghazi attack.

          That brings us to today, which is basically a bloody stalemate on the ground with a disparate, infighting opposition sporting surface to air missiles and a bunch of other sophisticated weaponry that, if history is any guide, will eventually be turned on us.

        •  In that it is a proxy war (0+ / 0-)

          ...you have to understand that it's another destabilization effort that began over a year ago between the paramilitary CIA, the Saudis, Turkey, the NATO Holy War group, al Qaeda in North Africa, and Qatar. Very similar to the catastrophic events in Libya (if you are up to speed with intelligence circles).

          To keep it simple, you can research through Asia Times. They have the most and best journalists on the ground, particularly Pepe Escobar -- although there are many just as fine who publish on this topic. Here's a piece by one of India's Ambassadors to the region to get you started. It was published back toward the beginning of the clusterfuck.


          A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

          by Pluto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:40:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So the Syrian Revolution is a U.S. (3+ / 0-)

    regime-change operation.

    The Libyans too were dismissed as incapable of autonomous action, by both Liberals and Conservatives. It doesn't speak well of us.

    •  Pure tin-foil-hat territory. (6+ / 0-)

      Seriously, that's just loony.

      The U.S. has never had any significant influence inside Syria. Ever. The Syrian melt-down has been decades in the making, but it's the almost inevitable result of growing access to outside information among long-oppressed ethnic groups inside a minority-dominated military dictatorship.

      •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis

        for breathing some fresh air into the tin foil fluttering around here.

        •  I recall the same sort of responses when I posted (7+ / 0-)

          a couple months ago that the attack in Benghazi had little or nothing to do with bad cinema and everything to do with the CIA station, and the movement of MANPADs and Jihadis to Syria.

          Pure tin-foil-hat.  Right. ;-)

          How's your record at analyzing these things?

          •  That reality is a hard one for cossetted (4+ / 0-)

            ...Americans to swallow. Even though, by day three, NBC had broken the entire story, including the fact that there was NO protest outside the CIA compound relatively deserted consulate in Benghazi.

            La-la-la-la-la -- like it never happened.


            A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

            by Pluto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:16:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  can you explain why they attacked? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leveymg

            I'm working from the underlying assumption that Ansar al-Sharia is sympathetic to the Syrian rebels.  If the CIA was supplying FSR, why would the Libyans want to stop that?

            Is my assumption faulty?  or what was the goal of the attack?

            "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

            by jlynne on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:18:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps the best way to answer that is to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, KenBee, jlynne

              go back to the work I've already done, and string together excerpts into a narrative.  All links are above at 12:36:39.  I will also insert some some more recent news reports that I think bears out my original observations in italics.

              In the interest of keeping these reasonably brief, and because I will have to come back to finish this, I will do each of the five posts in separate comments, and add another comment for each post.

              Here's the first:

              1) Coordinated-Attack-on-Ambassador-and-US-Troops-Points-to-Safe-Haven-in-Libya-for-al-Qaeda (9/13)

              The attack which took the lives of the American Ambassador in Libya was far larger and better organized than first revealed, according to emerging reports, and points to the fact that Al Qaeda forces that have been training in Libya for operations against Syria have been given a safe zone free of US drone attacks.
              Meanwhile, a CNN article points out that the US has not been mounting antiterrorism operations, such as drone strikes, in area of Libya known to be a staging ground for Al Qaeda-linked groups. Libya is the source of many of the Jihadist foreign fighters operating to topple the regime in Syria, which is dominated by Shi’ia Muslims.

              The US has created safe areas in several countries where Jihadis have free range of operation, and apparently, aren't attacked by armed drones. These are the same countries where we have participated in regime change operations.

              This, of course, has created a dilemma, and presents the same problem US intelligence faced in its operations with Saudi-backed militant groups, including al-Qaeda, in Bosnia and Kosovo. Given, if we were to take out al-Qaeda and linked groups inside Libya, we would be destroying the very same Saudi-GCC financed militias that we now help in our effort to overthrow the Syrian regime:

              DIA sending hundreds more spies overseas
              By Greg Miller, Published: December 1
              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
              “The CIA doesn’t want to be looking for surface-to-air missiles in Libya” when it’s also under pressure to assess the opposition in Syria, said a former high-ranking U.S. military intelligence officer who worked closely with both spy services.
              •  2. Blowback-in-Benghazi-Attack-Linked-to-Regime-Ch (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jlynne
                Some background: The Ambassador arrived clandestinely in Benghazi in April 2011 on a Greek freighter and took up residence in that city to coordinate the US role in the anti-Ghadafi uprising centered in that city. It was his presence there, to a major degree, that ultimately convinced President Obama to okay US involvement in the NATO airstrikes that destroyed the armored column approaching that city, a key event in the toppling of that regime.

                A statement of condolence issued by the Libyan Ambassador to the United States, states Stevens "served as the principal liaison of the U.S. to the opposition in Libya and he helped coordinate the U.S. response" to events on the ground, including efforts to rebuild and integrate radical Islamists into the government. http://news.blogs.cnn.com/....

                The assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi appears to have been well-coordinated involving experienced fighters. Initial accounts point to an al-Qaeda affiliated group that has carried out other armed attacks on western targets in the area
                "But putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video," U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said Sept. 16 on NBC's Meet the Press. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/...
                In a statement released shortly after a meeting with three Republican senators who have criticized her comments, Rice said she did not mean to mislead the public with her initial comments on cable television about the attack.

                "In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi," Rice said. (Nov. 27)http://thehill.com/...

      •  the USD has Serous influence (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, leveymg, Pluto, protectspice

        ... in Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, you name it.

        Notice something?  Those are the states that

        • bankroll the Syrian opposition guerilla
        • supply the guerilla with large amounts of arms
        • in the case of Turkey serve as the Syrian guerilla's staging area, resting place and secure refuge

        And they do it that openly and to such an extent that they are essentially combatant states in the conflict.

        The US could have prevented all this.

        ______
        "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

        by cris0000 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:51:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is no syrian revolution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cris0000

      It is a civil war between jihadist rebels and the Assad regime.   They are both equally bad.

  •  The Generals will save their own skin (3+ / 0-)

    They'll cut deals and take asylum elsewhere...some to Iran, Russia, Sudan...others to the West & Gulf Arab states like Libya's Moussa Koussa did.  To use those weapons would make them the most hunted human beings on the planet.  Pariahs that no nation-state would give safe haven to.

    Its looking like longtime government spokesman Jihad Makdissi just took the latter option.  Defecting with his family to the West via Beirut.

    The real threat IMO is the possibility of a rapid collapse of the regime compromising security at those sites.  A firesale akin to the looting of plastic explosives stores in Iraq following the invasion.  Hezbollah, Iran, Al Qaeda, militias of every type gobbling up all the munitions they can.

    This would almost assuredly result in outside intervention.  NATO spec ops & air power plus Arab/Turkish ground forces to secure the sites.

    What we want more than anything is to see the government remain in place, but Assad and his inner circle booted in favor of a transitional government.

    My reading of the situation on the ground is that militarily Assad is fairly intact (his elite 4th Armored Division and Republican Guard have seen little action, no evidence of Mig-29s joining the bombardment of Aleppo)...but the constant strain of counterinsurgency and crushing dissent is wearing down the morale of those surrounding Assad.  

    This isn't like Libya, which was by and large a conventional war with clear frontlines...won by seizing and holding territory.  This is a dual-pronged peaceful political movement and armed guerrilla war.

    Few guerrilla wars end with the outright victory by the insurgent.  Ditto successful peaceful civil rights movements.  Eventually they grow to the point the government is willing to make deals for reconciliation and peace.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:07:41 AM PST

    •  The Syrian officer corps is deep with Generals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack, joanneleon, KenBee

      It's unlikely that defections will result in the best-case outcome you describe -- which is horrible and unacceptable, particularly given the potential for loss of control over these weapons, if the regime and Army collapses.  The flow of defections slowed to a trickle in the late Spring, anyway, and there's a reason for that.

      The Syrian Ba'ath and Shi'ia Generals are in it for long-haul, because of the genocidal nature of religious war in Syria, as the 1976-83 "Long War of Terror" (the last Sunni uprising) showed.

      •  Transitional gov't is "horrible & unacceptable?" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis

        I'm saying its unlikely that the growing FSA insurgency and broader peaceful opposition movement will result in the complete collapse of government institutions.  This is rarely the case in such conflicts, though we must obviously guard against that possibility.  Assad leaving the country (either volunteering or via coup) and successors beginning peace, reconciliation and reform process with opposition is both the preferred and IMO likely end-result.  

        By the way...the 'entrails' in that Libya abandoned Scud D video you posted were clearly the leftovers from the Gaddafi goons' dinner.  Navy SEALs aren't usually in the habit of cutting intact stomachs out of people and leaving them neatly lined up amidst empty water bottles.  Drag marks and blood spatter would have been suspicious....a buffet line of goat stomachs in the shade of the vehicle (where soldiers prefer to eat) ain't.

        Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

        by TarantinoDork on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A bit large for goat (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee

          Nobody makes dinner and then leaves the guts in four neat, evenly-spaced piles under a graffiti covered Scud-B.  That was impromptu theater by the intrepid wanderer who took that footage.

          Who said anything about USN Seals doing the job? But, whoever did that managed to 1) kill the driver through the windshield; flipped up the cab and disabled the truck without wrecking it; 3) kicked the nose cone out of shape; 4) left a calling card next to the spare missile.  

          At some point, I'll try to translate the grafitti.  Anyone want first crack at that?

    •  This isn't about some generals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leveymg, Pluto

      the fear is that there will essentially be a genocide inflicted upon the Alawite minority.

      If they believe that (and I think it's a serious possibility) then there will be no weapon out of debate.

      ______
      "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

      by cris0000 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:55:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fear of genocide is a strong part of the Alawite (0+ / 0-)

        character, and is a widely held belief, even among the regime insiders and other elites in Damascus.

        The CIA and rest of the USG should be well aware that fear is inherent in their mind-set and would effect the strategic calculations of the regime in just this sort of crisis. The psychological predisposition of the Alawite leadership is to preempt the perceived aggression of others.  The implications of this for a sponsorship of a Sunni armed uprising and any resulting showdown with hostile outside powers involving WMD should be sobering.

        How do I know that?  The CIA Open Source publication, the Master Narratives Country Report on Syria says as much (pp. 33-34):  http://publicintelligence.net/...

        ANALYSIS: Rooted in centuries of sectarian violence and persecution, this master narrative reflects deeply entrenched fears among Alawites that their people are on the brink of annihi- lation at the hands of an aggressive Sunni majority. These fears are reinforced by this master narrative’s stark opposition to the “Alawite Infidels” master narrative, a tension that has his- torically translated into outbursts of sectarian strife [see: “Alawite Infidels”]. Despite its overt support for the secular “Stabilizing Ba’ath” master narrative, the Al-Asad regime also uses this master narrative to rally Alawites through references to historical persecution [see: “Stabiliz- ing Ba’ath”]. Fleeing persecution from Sunnis, Alawites were relegated to mountainous rural areas and occupied the lowest socioeconomic strata of Syrian society for centuries.3 As they have for centuries, many Syrian Sunnis continue to characterize Alawites as heretics. Alawites’ situation improved under the French Mandate as many Alawites received an education and a steady income for the first time through their service in the French-Syrian army, the Troupes Speciales du Levant.4 Hafez Al-Asad’s rise to power in 1970 further improved many Alawites’ socioeconomic standing. Despite this increased prosperity, centuries of poverty and disen- franchisement have instilled an Alawite worldview in which they are perpetually persecuted and threated by Sunnis. Subscribers point to the many Alawites who were assassinated during the civil war between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1970s and early 1980s
        as evidence of this persecution.5 Subscribers view the 1982 siege of Hama—during which the Syrian military killed 10,000 to 40,000 people, including many civilians—as a critical moment ensuring Alawite survival, and evidence of the need to respond to perceived Sunni aggression with uncompromising violence.6,7 As a result, subscribers to this narrative often advocate pre- emptive violence against Sunnis, as this master narrative justifies these acts as essential for Ala- wite survival.8,9 However, these pre-emptive acts of violence incite Sunni grievances articulated in the “Alawite Infidels” narrative, thus creating a cycle of sectarian reprisal between Alawites and Sunnis.
  •  Assad & Syria ain't seen nuthin yet. Just wait. (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    cris0000

    We did leave them a way out - but Assad declined to leave and turn over control to others.  In the event the regime launches its chemical or biological weapons, wouldn't US and allied forces in the region basically carpet bomb or otherwise utterly destroy the headquarters, offices and homes of every potential Assad family member, Assad regime member and Alawite sect power center?  

    Assad and his regime need to consider the following:  the civilized world may want to make an example - for Iran and North Korea and others - of what VERY, VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN to countries, regimes and persons who use chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.  They could bring mass destruction on themselves.  I doubt too many in the rest of the world would object - and the lesson would be directed at the regimes in Iran and North Korea.

  •  You don't really know much about U.S. military, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, TarantinoDork, mookins

    or the CIA, do you?

    You assert that "Pentagon, CIA and State Dept. officials never adequately planned for the worst-case violent end-phase in Syria, always reassuring the policymakers that they could pull off a nice, easy coup d'grace, a la Libya".

    Evidence for this outrageous assertion please?

    The U.S. military and CIA are always, constantly, gaming out and planning for endless scenarios of instability and conflict around the world. Does that mean the U.S. military can dictate outcomes or predict with perfect accuracy? Of course not. Don't be absurd.

    Libya was a remarkably skillful and (relatively) bloodless U.S. intervention that will be studied for generations as an example of adroit response to circumstance and opportunity. Syria by contrast is an ongoing bloodbath that will get a lot worse before it gets any better. And not a bit of that is the fault of the U.S. for "lack of planning". Rather, it's the horrific end game of the collapse of a brutal dictatorship, one that was propped up virtually to the bitter end by its Russian sponsors.

    •  Okay, be insulting ad hominem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, joanneleon

      You're saying that the initial assessments said it was likely we would reach this point in the intervention in Syria?  The assertion is self-evident, and the outcomes show little or no skill or realistic planning.  Botched but not accidental.

      Not very skilful, the Syria job.  Blame the Russians.  Right.

      Relatively bloodless?  Tell that to the 10,000 or so Libyans who died.  But, when did the local body count ever mean anything.  Adroit response - now, that would be a great trade name for a DoD consulting firm.

      •  ad hominem what? (0+ / 0-)

        Nice try. Meanwhile, you still don't know wtf you're talking about.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:55:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How have you demonstrated expertise or even the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon, KenBee

          ability to intuitively forecast this sort of disaster.

          At least I had the Libyan-Syrian regime change and MANPAD pipeline right, first, within a day.  See my last half dozen or so diaries.  

          Show me your analyses.  What do you have to point to on this subject?

      •  Exactly how has the U.S. intervened? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins

        The current bloodbath in Syria has exactly zero to do with any U.S. action. Zero, silch, nada. The U.S. didn't start it, aid it, encourage it, or anything else. It's totally home grown. It's the end result of decades of simmering ethnic tensions inside a military dictatorship. You could look up the previous iteration, during which Assad's father destroyed an entire city and most of its inhabitants to crush a threat to his rule.

        Continued insistence that the U.S. is the evil hidden hand behind the current Syrian civil war speaks for itself, and disqualifies your ideas from serious consideration.

        •  We didn't do it alone, but here's the chron (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cris0000, KenBee, protectspice

          For at least five years prior to Feb 2011, the US supported, trained and equipped Syrian opposition groups in exile.  Not too surprising, but its documented in the purloined State Dept. cables http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

          The "revolution" by most accounts had its start on Feb. 2.   There were no significant demonstrations in Syria until a protest in Damascus involving a couple hundred people on February 15.  That first mass protest followed the internet Call for Days of Rage issued from London and Paris a few days earlier.

          Same chain of events happened, virtually simultaneously in Benghazi. The pattern in both countries, focused on these two cities, was broadly as follows:

          Week One: The Twitter Factor - exile groups promote “Days of Rage.” Largely ignored.
          Week Two: Demonstrations grow, calls for overthrow of regime. A few serious casualties.
          Week Three: Militants shoot at police and demonstrators during riots, Police/Army overrreact, massacres.
          Week Four, and thereafter: Mob Anger, Storming of Gov't buildings, arsenals looted, troops attacked, foreign fighters and al Qaeda carry out bombings, civil war.
          Coverage of events by “liberal” western media fixates on Week Three: PR for Islamic Revolution and "humanitarian intervention."

          Daraa, a city near the Jordanian border in Southern Syria, was the site of the first armed clashes and massacres in early April.

          Bloodshed in Syria developed within the context of armed uprising that followed the events in Daraa of April 8.  The violence that day led to the arrival two weeks later of large number of government troops.   Violence in Daraa is key to understanding how the insurrection was sparked and why the use of force by the regime escalated.

          There were three key actions that sparked the crackdown in Daraa: 1) snipers, 2) the burning of the Ba'ath Party Headquarters by a large, armed mob, and 3) the killing of 19 policemen and security personnel. http://en.wikipedia.org/....

          8 April – "Friday of Resistance"
          External videos
          Unknown Gunmen Filmed at Syria Demo
          (YouTube: Associated Press.)
          8 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
          Protests in Duma near Damascus

          On the third Friday called "Friday of Resistance", thousands of protesters took to streets in Daraa, Latakia, Tartus, Edlib, Baniyas, Qamishli, Homs and the Damascus suburb of Harasta, in the largest protest yet.

          27 anti-government protesters were killed in Daraa and many other were wounded when security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters. The clashes started when thousands of prayers staged rallies following the Friday prayers. In a telephone call one of the activists told the news agencies that demonstrators, starting from three mosques, have marched to the city's main court where they were confronted by security forces dressed in civilian clothing. A witness told Reuters he saw "snipers on roofs." It was also reported that another resident has seen "pools of blood and three bodies" in the Mahatta area of Daraa. The protesters have also smashed a stone statue of Basil al-Assad, the brother of the current President of the country, and set fire to a Ba'ath Party outpost. The state-run Syrian Television reported that 19 police officers and members of the security forces have been killed in Daraa.

          You may view the original AP Raw Feed from Daraa on April 8 which shows the mob and the snipers, here:

          http://www.youtube.com/.... - (URL for:

          Raw Video: Deadly Day of Protests in Syria - YouTube
          ► 1:13► 1:13

          www.youtube.com Apr 8, 2011 - 1 min - Uploaded by AssociatedPress
          State-run Syrian TV says 19 police officers and security forces have been killed in southern city of Daraa. (April 8)

             

        •  you are deluding yourself. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          the US could have stopped that in a minute in its early stages.

          Without (US sanctioned) Turkey, and Gulf support this rebellion would have run out of steam months ago.

          ______
          "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

          by cris0000 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:59:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  you lost me here: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins
    All this indicates that the regime change operations in Syria have reached an incredibly dangerous stage, and Pentagon, CIA and State Dept. officials never adequately planned for the worst-case violent end-phase in Syria, always reassuring the policymakers that they could pull off a nice, easy coup d'grace, a la Libya.
    But of course! Those dastardly spooks!

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:49:24 AM PST

  •  Oh, the same movie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, Pluto

    like the WMDs in Iraq to justify an attack on Syria.   I ve seen that movie before and I simply dont believe it.  Hopefully, the Obama administration will not repeat in Syria what Bush did in Iraq.   We dont need another war.  

  •  Thanks for the insight, leveymg (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, Pluto, KenBee

    I take it that leaving them the fuck alone was never a viable option?  Sarcasm.  Gallows humor.  And not very good, at that, because this kind of thing sickens me.  


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:33:16 PM PST

  •  I'll mention again the Guradian/UK article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg

    or coverage in the three to six weeks prior to the election that was giving very specific details/claims of the hiring of the 5000 mercenaries and the efforts of the cia handlers in Turkey to try to control, filter, whatever that efforts.

    If I wasn't so incompetant and distracted I would look for it.

    As I said before I am amazed McCain and his little Pocket Pal didn't sqweek about it as they could have said Onbama and Al queda in the same sentence...in spite of the Bush buybling given i9n reponse.

    Their whooping about Benghazi looks to be more about shit stirring so whenever Syria does whatever it's going to do, and Iran etc they can keep up the sqweeking and keep claiming it's all Obama's fault....treasonous or Patriotic Concern?

    The MSM eats it up too....

    what's the subtext of the pushback you are getting here, is this somehow I/P or Obama sux/rox, or the Interventionists?

    Do we need a new Abe Lincoln Brigade2012?

    Another dkos Chinatown puzzle.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:41:55 PM PST

  •  More Anonymous Americal "Officials" and their lies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, Claudius Bombarnac

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/...

    but I guess we have to have some sort of figleaf...a la Libya where Quaddafi was "ABOUT TO" commit genocide.

    Same playbook because that's all we weild. DEATH FROM ABOVE.

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