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I know this doesn't fit into the popular narrative here that President Obama and John Kerry are lying to the American people about the Assad regime ordering the sarin gas attack on August 21, but the German wire service has released new information presented by the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst -BND) that backs the president.

BND Chief Gerhard Schindler presented the BND findings to a closed group of Bundestag officials and said that the evidence corroborates the assertions made up to now by the Americans.  In addition, Schindler presented a bit of new evidence:

(my translation) It turns out that the BND intercepted a communication between a senior representative of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and the Iranian Embassy. In this communication, the official of Hezbollah, which is traditionally on the side of Assad and militarily supported him, said that Assad had given to go ahead  to use poison gas. The official said Assad had "lost his nerve," and by issuing the command for the use of poison gas he had made ​​a huge mistake.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that Germany will not participate in any attack on Damascus.  However, in her televised debate yesterday with Peer Steinbrueck (of the Social Democrats - SPD) she condemned the use of chemical weapons and stated that she would hold direct talks with Vladimir Putin (Germany has very close ties to Russia) to push for a UN resolution against the Syrian regime.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (150+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, ZedMont, doroma, Catte Nappe, EricS, sandav, Sky Net, Gary Norton, Drocedus, Matt Z, steve2012, delphine, FG, David54, rmonroe, Gooserock, CwV, Sylv, GAS, kerflooey, nickrud, BlueMississippi, FloridaSNMOM, sturunner, AnnetteK, OleHippieChick, mnguitar, Mogolori, ExpatGirl, slowbutsure, TheMagicJew, Egalitare, myboo, sviscusi, wilderness voice, cryonaut, SoCalSal, Tunk, NYFM, johnny wurster, collardgreens, 1BQ, Tony Situ, joe from Lowell, Christin, MartyM, LynChi, eeff, KayCeSF, mahakali overdrive, majcmb1, Bob Love, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, aaraujo, PeterHug, Wee Mama, Brian82, Lawrence, Rosaura, glynis, madmsf, S F Hippie, NJpeach, thomask, millwood, quaoar, oldliberal, Bonsai66, boran2, grollen, ronnied, Just Bob, Onomastic, whizdom, puakev, hester, TomP, Pinko Elephant, Joieau, Mary Mike, Trix, Brecht, psnyder, revsue, Gurnt, reginahny, Richard Villiers, mookins, smokem2271, ModerateJosh, JDWolverton, NYC Sophia, quill, WearyIdealist, MRA NY, Nebraskablue, cotterperson, mconvente, annan, notrouble, Remediator, pollbuster, cocinero, unclejohn, Flint, raptavio, deepeco, virginwoolf, Lefty Coaster, filby, DEMonrat ankle biter, alasmoses, Involuntary Exile, erratic, mystique mist, cc, killjoy, Huginn and Muninn, Debby, subtropolis, begone, chantedor, rexxnyc, tytalus, luckylizard, walkshills, tb92, outragedinSF, BvueDem, Liberal Thinking, cville townie, WakeUpNeo, nirbama, mofembot, golem, Wary, Tchrldy, Byron from Denver, AreDeutz, BarackStarObama, stevenwag, eagleray, leftynyc, Creosote, kefauver, bill warnick, petulans, suka, caryltoo, blue91

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:48:43 PM PDT

  •  So still no proof and they're basing their opinion (28+ / 0-)

    on assumptions and plausibility.  There is also counter evidence that the opposition forces did it.  Convicting someone of murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Going to war should have at least that standard particularly with the past history of lies we've been told.  Certainly don't see that yet. Keeping it secret just isn't going to cut it.  

  •  It is not the accusation that I seriously (65+ / 0-)

    question. This is a messy vicious civil war and all parties have committed multiple atrocities.  What I am unconvinced of is that the proposed plan to fire some missiles from off shore is going to do anything to improve the situation.  

  •  I don't so (19+ / 0-)

    Much doubt whether it was the regime.

    I do very much believe that we should NOT attack Syria.  Assad is willing to napalm a fricken school.  Even if we took out all the nerve gas factories and arsenal, there are still many ways Assad can kill scores of innocent people.

    It doesn't matter whether the President and SOS are cynical or earnest.  It's a bad idea.

    •  If the U.S. takes decisive action... (6+ / 0-)

      And renders the Syrian Air Force inoperable and destroys Assad's artillery and missile batteries, that will severely limit Assad's ability to kill indiscriminately. I don't know that I want to take sides between Assad and al-Qaeda -- all we can do there is keep supporting the Syrian nationalists among the opposition and hope they can gain the upper hand -- but Assad has given us every reason to take away his favorite toys.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:31:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that is the plan, then it is not a minor strike (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Sandino

        that can't change the balance of the civil war.



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:17:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends on your definition of "minor" (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldliberal, Just Bob, Gurnt, mconvente, jncca

          It's well within the United States' military capability to destroy all Syrian airfields, neutralize Syrian air defenses, destroy known command-and-control centers, and hit known artillery and rocket positions within the space of just a few days. We have five destroyers in position and a carrier group moving into the Red Sea, from which fighter-bombers could transit only friendly airspace to strike targets inside Syria.

          It will take longer to do a very thorough job, but I think a few days of intense bombardment of major military sites and positions would send a clear enough message and do enough damage to Assad's military arsenal. It wouldn't have to be a protracted campaign.

          Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:29:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I doubt that much would be needed. (4+ / 0-)

            I do hope the contingency planners are working overtime for what comes next and that at least one of the scenarios involves massive humanitarian relief.

            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

            by Just Bob on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:57:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Massive humanitarian relief is a must (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence, Just Bob, Wee Mama

              I hope we can work with both our allies -- including those who are not expected to participate in a Syrian adventure -- and our other global partners to make sure relief is available for victims of the civil war in Syria. If Russia could be persuaded to open its port at Tartus to humanitarian aid convoys and provide its assurances that the aid will be distributed throughout the country, that would be a promising step.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:33:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I dunno. (7+ / 0-)

          If you read the Spiegel article linked in mimi's comment above(2nd comment in diary), it would seem like the Assad Regime is in serious trouble and even the immediate threats of airstrikes causes them major problems.  Seeing that the Alawites constitute only about 10% of the Syrian population, I'm not surprised that they are in trouble.

          That would make sense, as using chemical weapons is a pretty desperate measure.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:34:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  SaoM, do you look forward to the (0+ / 0-)

        Heaven-on-Earth that will be enacted in Syria by Saudi-backed el Qaeda rebels?  Care to go live there yourself?  I'm sure you'll be welcomed as an American liberator.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:24:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  WTF are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jncca

          Just because Assad, a horrible and bloodthirsty despot, is fighting al Qaeda, a horrible and bloodthirsty rabble, doesn't justify either his use of chemical weapons on civilians or our hand-wringing inaction in the face of same.

          Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 07:40:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is There Any Consensus On What Would Evolve (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, chuckvw, whizdom, native, claude

    beginning tomorrow if Assad got out of the picture tonight?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:37:55 PM PDT

    •  an ethno-religious bloodbath. (8+ / 0-)

      Which, I think, is why Obama has already stated he doesn't want this strike to 'regime changing.'

      I wouldn't be surprised overmuch if the Administration has a dark hope that Assad prevails.

      47 is the new 51!

      by nickrud on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:46:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sunnis and Shi'a killing each other (9+ / 0-)

      and factions within each killing each other, with everyone agreed the Christians must die. And the Saudi-financed radical islamist faction gains strength, with more jihadis entering the fray. Nobody's making more Syrians but Syrians, but jihadis come from the world over.

      (Plus side: jihadis are reducing their numbers in chaos-torn Libya, our previous success, and heading over to Syria with their newly-acquired weapons.)

      So, genocide of minority religions, factions, and ethnics on an even greater scale, and the likely enhancement, certainly the entrenchment, of our mortal enemies. Which our dear friends and loyal allies, the Gulf States are financing.

      In short, we'll need to invade at some point. Assuming just raining death from the skies, whatever the collateral damage, doesn't work.

      Or hand it over to al qaeda and count it a win. Hey, the friends of our friends are... hmmm, well, our enemies. (Dang, anyone see that secret section of the 9/11 Commission Report on Saudi Arabia, yet?)

      Look, dammit, who cares about ramifications? We're talking about a major chance to restock our death-dealing inventories here!


      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:16:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the classic words of Marx (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, corvo, gerrilea
      The last man who ran this place
      He didn't know what to do with it
      If you think this country's bad off now
      Just wait til I get through with it
      But then again Marx was an optomist.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:34:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A nasty fight (0+ / 0-)

      and partition of the country into Kurdish, majority Sunni, and a Lebanon-esque Alawite/Christian enclave west of the Orontes River.

      The Kurdish region already exists, as does a fortified military line on the west bank of the Orontes protecting Alawites.

      The largest difference is that the majority Sunni region would actually be ruled by Sunnis.  A lot of the 1.5 million Syrian Christians east of the river would probably flee west of the Orontes, as would all the Alawites.  But the Christians anyway are mostly an urban population and the cities are all pretty badly shot up at this point.  Not much left to lose there.  The Assad family would in some form run the Alawite and Christian enclave.  Maybe they'll fuse with the Shi'ite and Maronite forces and leaders in Lebanon to form a kind of North or Greater Lebanon.

      The very weak current established order in Lebanon would probably collapse.  Hezbollah would briefly be the strongest power but would lose its alliances and supply routes and control of non-Shi'ite areas soon after.  

      Basically, the map of Syria and Lebanon would quickly look a lot like the map of ethnic areas within them.  The militias and military leaders would start to federate pretty quickly, though.  Some sort of basic democratic government very largely Sunni and perhaps Druze would be set up in Damascus.  And another probably be formed in Beirut.

  •  This provides a tiny ray: (19+ / 0-)
    ...Angela Merkel has stated that Germany will not participate in any attack on Damascus....condemned the use of chemical weapons and stated that she would hold direct talks with Vladimir Putin...
    Someone needs to get to Putin, he's the key to this mess. Here's hoping that Angela can work her charm on the man (Hey, she got W all hot!).

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:39:01 PM PDT

  •  So some guy in Hezbollah says he heard that (11+ / 0-)

    Assad had decided to use poison gas, so now bombing Syria is a good idea?

    Dropping bombs on random people in Syria is a bad idea, and nobody has even tried to pretend that our actions there will improve the situation.   This is true whether it is Assad, the rebels, or some rogue element behind the attacks.  

    However, the desperate clutching at proof is betting beyond pathetic.   SHOCKING PROOF!  Guy overheard in bar saying he thought Assad was behind the gas attacks, 9/11, and the Kennedy assassination.   It is German newspapers, so it must be true!   (Shades of yellowcake.)

    •  Assume "random people." (6+ / 0-)

      I hear they're just going to throw darts at a board to pick GPS coordinates.

      The desperate clutching here is all on the side of the doves. See "false flag rebel chemical attack" and "Assad was winning."

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:42:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the thing about that "random people" (7+ / 0-)

        statement:

        Yes, the USA will "target" these cruise missiles as best as possible.  But cruise missiles are relatively slow. They will arrive as much as 1 to 2 hours after being fired.  

        One reason Clinton's shots at OBL failed in Afghanistan years ago was that the missiles took two hours to arrive and OBL had simply left before impact, unknowing an attack was underway.

        So, regardless of how well we target, we have no control of what taxi driver or school bus or group of children or WTF-ever is actually under the missile at the moment of impact.

        Also, the US military readily admits that the low flying cruise missiels are not entirely altitude-stable, meaning that they can impact before or after they are supposed to, having flown somewhat low or high, respectively, in the first place.

        So... random.  Sure, we target them. But that's it. After that, the people killed are killed by random chance.

        Great way to get retribution on a guy for killing indiscriminately with gas: killing randomly with missiles.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:08:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "I know this doesn't fit into the popular ... (64+ / 0-)

    ..narrative here..."

    Most of the people here who have raised objections to military intervention in Syria are NOT saying that Obama and Kerry are lying about the Assad regime carrying out the chemical attack.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:50:02 PM PDT

  •  Looks like the Germans could be the new (6+ / 0-)

    Italians.  Yay!

    Just saying, they have a gravitas that our former forgers didn't.  Double Yay!!

  •  What I think is new and significant (14+ / 0-)

    if it bears out would be Assad's personal involvement and approval which has not been seen anywhere else.

    It certainly would strengthen the argument for regime change through international means.

  •  if Hezbollah is a credible war crime data source (11+ / 0-)

    let's get everything they have to say about Israel and the U.S. of A. out in the open and on the table too.

    Otherwise, at best, it's cherry picking.

  •  Even if true, Tomahawk missiles not the answer. (9+ / 0-)

    America's knee-jerk default response to any foreign policy challenge has unfortunately devolved over the past 20 years to a salvo of Tomahawk cruise missiles. And once the rubble comes to rest, nothing else has changed, except a few hundred more Islamic families are burying their dead and cursing America.

    There is no military solution to this calamity, short of invading with 100,000 U.S. troops. Nothing less than that will change the current bloody stalemate, and the main Syrian opposition is dominated by Jihadis & Islamists who loathe America only slightly more than they loathe Assad.

    Humanitarian aid? Great idea. Stop supporting Israel's occupation of Golan and West Bank? Hey, more Muslims might actually stop hating us. A wave of cruise missiles? Um, no. Not going to accomplish anything useful.

    •  Completely agree with your comment, but it (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ralphdog, Choco8, corvo, caul, gerrilea, claude

      would likely take somewhere on the order of at least 200,000 to 300,000 US troops to pacify a region which is rife with civil war and hundreds of rebel factions having few targetable centers of control.

      Some have even suggested as many as a half million troops, which is just an impossible number, of course.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quite correct. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Choco8, caul, gerrilea, claude

        In fact, the history of the 20th century suggests no real-world number of troops would ever suffice. Even the Soviet Union, employing genocidal violence and the Gulag, was unable in the long run to suppress resurgent nationalism and the desire for sectarian self-determination.

      •  oh, it's possible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, gerrilea

        if we get rid of our social safety net altogether.

        Hop to it, Democrats!

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:44:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So, the only question to be asked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, caul, claude

    before conducting an attack on Syria is, "Did Assad use chemical weapons on his own people?" Surely, a discussion of the proper course of action in a horribly complex and totally confused situation with no stand out solution to deciding what is the right thing to do can't be reduced to this. Anyone advocating for the use of military force on any level under this method is looking for an excuse to act. Their mind is made up.

    The charge that the narrative on DKos is that of the President and SOS lying to the American people?  Poppycock (I'm being too kind). You know it, I know it. I suspect the range of opinions about why the administration says what they've said publicly is as broad as the the uncertainty on this site, the nation, and the world of what is right to do, if anything at all, in Syria. You cannot reduce the "narrative" on this site to a bipolar, "you're with us or against us." I seem to recall how well that turned out last time. cough dubya cough

    Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    by VTCC73 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:18:08 PM PDT

    •  Chris Hayes put the syllogism of the diarist's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, VTCC73

      pov correctly:

      Evidence shows Assad gassed his people so something must be done.

      This is something.

      Therefore, it must be done.

      "There's something wrong with a system where a handful of people have more than they'd ever need and the mass of the people have less than they always need." -- Rev. Joseph Lowery

      by caul on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the lie isn't about use of chemical weapons. (11+ / 0-)

    the lie, the real lie, is about the reason for intervention: politicians say its humanitarian concerns.

    and that simply is a lie. there is no military action in this new century that lends one iota of credence that America or any other western nation acts in the in the interests of humans or any other earthlings.

    in fact, i'd say it's the same shit, different president.

    if this were BushCo we'd be foaming at the mouth. it is a replay and we are too stupid to say NO... walk away from these serial killers.

    what the heavens is wrong with us?

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:22:42 PM PDT

  •  Angela Merkel is a smart leader. Talking to Putin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul

    directly seems a good start to defusing an untenable situation. BTW, it seems to me we have an intelligent, deliberative leader as well, willing to swallow his pride and go to the Congress, the right, constitutional thing to do.
    I'm hoping that Congress says no, and that Obama lets their decision stand. This whole Syrian crisis is scaring me to death.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:36:43 PM PDT

  •  "Kerry and Obama lying"? That's not what I hear (14+ / 0-)

    I realize that we all have a tendency to oversimplify. But I don't get the sense that "the popular narrative here that President Obama and John Kerry are lying to the American people"

    What I hear loud and clear is that:
    1. It doesn't make sense for Assad to have used poison gas.
    2. Obama and Kerry have not used any actual evidence to make their case. Bob Parry, who has been around the block a few times, has called it what they have presented dodgy dossier.
    3. Misuse of intercepts were part of the run-up to Iraq and, indeed, have been used repeatedly for propaganda purposes.
    4. No vital American interests are involved in Syria, except maybe that the whole mess not fall apart.
    5. It's unclear what good striking Syria would do.

    I think it's good when people are skeptical and demand that their leaders involve them meaningfully in making the decision to go to war.

    As for the intercept you present, it's unclear to me what Hezbollah would know about the attack in Ghouta. They were presumably not on the scene and also wouldn't have had any inside knowledge about Syrian army dealings. If you have contrary evidence, please present it, but red flags go up when I hear this sort of thing.

    •  I have heard (11+ / 0-)

      plenty of commenters accuse the president of lying or wanting to fabricate a pretense for war to "get Syria's oil".

      Hezbollah is a strategic partner in Assad's military operations, so it would not be a stretch that a senior member of its military would have inside knowledge of the attack.

      The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

      by DowneastDem on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:00:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you have heard it, then present the specifics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        If you can't fairly present the other fellow's case and then show him why he's wrong, then it's not very likely you'll persuade anyone except those who are already persuaded.

        You say that you have heard plenty of commenters say the president is lying. There have been many diaries from which you could select an example of what you are claiming and refute the argument that led the diarist to his/her conclusion.

        Better diaries, please.

        •  Not the commenter, but here's some. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edwardssl, Pale Jenova, Just Bob, mattc129

          from the head cheerleader of this line himself, the one and only Ray Pensador.

          The Real Story Behind US Threats To Attack Syria: It's About OIL And Geopolitics  That one has OIL right in the freaking title...

          Syria: Déjà Vu All Over Again  This one says we're "being lied to" right in the second freaking sentence...

          And those two are only within the past week.  Keep on going back in his diary list for countless more.

          "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

          by mconvente on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:29:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But those diaries don't accuse, are well-sourced (0+ / 0-)

            Think what you may of Ray, he hasn't accused Obama or Kerry of anything in the two diaries you reference. Downeast Dem has specifically alleged attacks on Obama and Kerry. So, so far, the score is Ray 1, Downeast Dem 0.  

            Furthermore, the diaries you link are coherently written and sourced to mainstream articles for the most part.

            I don't happen to agree with Ray. I think he's oversimplifying and misinterpreting. But he's produced something that can be debated. Downeast Dems's diary presents a piece of evidence. If he'd left it at that, I might have recommended it. But since he chose to turn it into a soapbox for making claims about the majority of Kossacks that have so far not been substantiated by either him or by you, I can't.

            DK does not need more flaming. It needs better-written diaries.  

      •  The irony in the oil claim is that there isn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tortmaster

        that much oil in Syria.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:28:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When there seems to be no logical reason for ... (7+ / 0-)

      Assad to have done this (key word:  logical), regardless of how much evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, there is that he did do it, I suspect it gets down to this:

      Assad is not a smart man nor is he noted for being emotionally stable.  He's surrounded by bloodthirsty, overly ambitious relatives who are no smarter nor more mentally stable and who would love to gain a reputation as "strong men" who flouted America.

      Imagine Assad begins to truly suspect that he's losing.  Imagine Assad begins to have nightmares of what his life will be like if he does lose and, especially, of what the rebels would do to him if they got their hands on him.  He very likely knows what happened to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi :

      Muammar Gaddafi, Capture and Death
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Then imagine that his relatives sense this moment of weakness and seize the opportunity to tip him over the edge in to a really, really bad decision.

      There is a long history of dictators making very bad, utterly illogical and unbelievably cruel decisions, decisions that would make most sane people shake their head in disbelief.  Some of those illogical decisions have led to the dictator's downfall.  This may well have been such an instance.

      It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

      by Eyesbright on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:50:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. (5+ / 0-)

        Gaddafi went on Libyan television and announced that he would cleanse Libya, ie. kill everyone who was against him, virtually right before the U.N. discussion on whether to intervene in Libya or not.

        Talk about a really dumb decision...

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:10:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a very hard time imagining that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, caul

        You said,

        Imagine Assad begins to truly suspect that he's losing.  Imagine Assad begins to have nightmares of what his life will be like if he does lose and, especially, of what the rebels would do to him if they got their hands on him.
        Since I listen to correspondents who are actually on the ground in Syria and tell me that Assad's forces are winning, it's very hard to imagine that they are not.

        As for Assad's intelligence, I rather suspect it is greater than that of many Kossacks.  

      •  Practially all human decision are emotion based (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        on a per capita basis.

        You'll rarely, if ever, lose a bet betting on an emotional motivation for ANY behavior.

        Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

        by Gurnt on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:48:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What we think, what we know and what we believe... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, ExpatGirl, mconvente

      1." It doesn't  make sense"  

      IMHO, it does make perfect sense.  I recently saw a map of Syria which depicted the areas held by Assad, by the non-AlQueda opposition, and the areas held by the AlQueda allied opfor.

      Assad, allegedly, holds all but three areas: The north and the northeast. The third area was a small enclave in Damascus by the name of Ghouta.

      Eliminating a pocket of enemies in his very backyard seems logical, even prudent, to me.

      2. I wonder, what would "actual evidence" look like?

      A group photo of an Assad artillery battery launching missiles bearing marking denoting chems on board?  No,...what were the targets?

      Perhaps photos of hundreds of dead people and the accounts of survivors and the testimony of on-site medical people?  those have also been discounted by saying "the rebels did it"

      It seems that only a confession form Assad will do. No bloody likely. BTW, Rafsenjanni (sp?) said over the weekend that Assad did it.  He is no friend of the US.  Credible or no?

      Most crimes, and this is a crime, are not solved because the perp was caught in the act by a cell vid.  Evidence is usually circumstantial.  That is, the proximity of the evidence points in one direction or another.  All is not blahblahCSI.

      3. I believe we need to sort out what the debate is...
      First, under what circumstances would the use of chem EVER cause us to intervene? If the answer is "never", then say it.
      Second, if we would intervene, under what circumstances?  Only if our national financial interests are threatened?
      Third, is support of Congress an immutable prerequisite? If so, the War Powers Act requires amendment.

      “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

      by frenchy339 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:10:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As much answer as you deserve (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, caul, gerrilea, claude

        You ask,

        "2. I wonder, what would "actual evidence" look like?"
        It would look like letting the UN inspectors do their job and report before pressing forward.

        It would look like the American press reporting and investigating alternative reports that have come forward, including reports that the sarin was released either accidentally or deliberately by the rebels.

        It would look like releasing the full text of the intercepts, in Arabic and English, so that their meaning can't be massaged as it was in Iraq.

        It would look like being forthcoming, releasing all intercepts immediately, instead of reports dribbling out claiming intercepts from the US, from Israel, and from Germany.

        It would look like consulting Congress and the American people rather than planning to go to war only to have to back off when the US's closest ally refuses to go along for the first time since WW II. Showing a little respect for Art. 1 sec. 8, clause 11 would go a long way.

        You know, most people at DK are both intelligent and reasonable. If you don't insult their intelligence by throwing out straw men, you might be able to persuade them.

  •  I never said that Kerry and Obama are lying... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chloris creator, 3goldens, caul, gerrilea

    ...about the intelligence pointing to Assad.

    I just think that going to war in Syria is a crap shoot and a bad idea.

    Has anyone around here said they are lying?  I haven't read anything like that.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:08:25 PM PDT

  •  The first line in this diary is despicable. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens
  •  Hey, the BND stole my theory!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus
    If it really is the case that the regime is the one responsible for the use of chemical weapons, then the most likely theory to me is that they got the mix of the batch wrong this time around and caused more deaths than they had planned to.
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:18:18 PM PDT

  •  And? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, caul

    Does this mean Merkel is going to convince EU nations and NATO military action is needed to take out Assad?

    Doubtful.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:20:59 PM PDT

  •  Why not? And what should the U.S.? (7+ / 0-)
    German chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that Germany will not participate in any attack on Damascus.
    •  There's an election coming up at the end of the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, SaoMagnifico, killjoy

      month.

      And there's a strong strand of hypocritical isolationism in Germany, ie. Germany likes to be able to sell its products everywhere but is pretty reluctant to get involved in tough situations, ie. is happy to let its allies handle those.

      Ironically, the leftist/progressive Red-Green coalition was the exception to that rule because it believed in liberal, humanitarian interventions.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish the U.S. felt like this... for a little (7+ / 0-)

        while until we get our own house in order.

        Germany likes to be able to sell its products everywhere but is pretty reluctant to get involved in tough situations, ie. is happy to let its allies handle those.
      •  Well, it's also complicated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        by Germany not wanting to involve itself in any sort of warfare in the vicinity of Israel or get into arguments with Israel about the things Israel does under claim of necessity for its survival.

        Germany did provide intel and instrumentation and weaponry from its portion of NATO arsenals for the Libyan air war.  As it did for the initial phase of the Iraq war.  (In part because has such intel is close at hand- German business has been selling infrastructure and support for weapons systems and such all over the Arab world- e.g. building Gaddafi's Tripoli bunkers.)

        Basically Germany positions itself as a critic in the run-up, but once the chips have fallen it tends to help out what it regards as legitimate elements of the American effort via back doors.  And no one in German government talks.  

  •  Ok Wonderful. Still NOT Obama's Job to punish (5+ / 0-)

    anyone for war crimes. It is the job of an International War Crimes tribunal -- Period.

    Thanks for the news tho.


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

    by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:41:52 PM PDT

    •  See, (0+ / 0-)

      but the ICC can't force anyone to appear before them, nor can they force anyone to serve out their sentence.  The only way for them to enforce anything is if the Syrians give Assad up, which is unlikely to happen.

      So what you're essentially advocating for is a purely symbolic gesture, while he gasses more people.

      •  Yeah, people seem to not understand that (0+ / 0-)

        international law is nearly worthless.  There is no grand enforcement mechanism, there is no World FBI.  International law, in its nascent state, can pick up the pieces and, were Assad right now to be sitting in a jail cell in The Hague, he could be tried in an orderly fashion.

        But all a war crimes trial can do is to punish someone after it's over, not stop an ongoing crime.  We are simply not yet evolved enough to develop that kind of worldwide enforcement mechanism, and given the teabaggers' paranoia about world governments and the UN etc., not to mention the fact that states like Russia and China benefit greatly from the ability to violate human rights with impunity, I see no hope in such a system being developed in my lifetime.

        At the end of the day, it's up to the countries to have the resources and force projection to decide whether or not they want to stop human rights abusers.

        Yes, we've been wrong in the past - Iraq and Vietnam will always haunt us.  But I hate the idea of another Rwanda or Darfur, where you have a bunch of people killing each other and terrorizing - and massacring - civilians, and we did nothing despite the ability to intervene.

        Yes, there are bad people on both sides of the Syrian war.  No shit.  Life ain't easy.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:51:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have Another Congo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CitizenOfEarth

          Meanwhile in the Congo another day passes with another militia hideously massacring the locals.

          Darfur, too.

          You're insisting we bomb there after we've done Syria, right?

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:03:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We should've sent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            auron renouille

            troops into Sudan to stop the genocide, instead of into Iraq to get rid of Hussein.

            •  Your Service (0+ / 0-)

              How come you never enlisted in any military organization to stop genocide?

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:32:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, in all fairness, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                auron renouille

                I was too young at the time.

                Having said that, you're basically saying, what, that we shouldn't use military force to stop genocide because Americans might die?

                What about the people getting killed in the genocide though?  American lives are worth more than the lives of, in the context of my previous comment, African people?

                •  Today? (0+ / 0-)

                  You were too young to enlist in a military organization today that could stop the genocide in Syria? How about in the Congo? Or in North Korea.

                  American lives might not be worth more than other lives. But the difference is that I am responsible for protecting American lives before protecting other lives.

                  The fact is that in any given year there is a genocide going on somewhere. You are making easy calls to send other Americans in with their lives. I am making a hard call not to.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:38:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, I'm sure (0+ / 0-)

                    the Syrian civilians being gassed appreciate the hard choice you're making not to do anything to save them.

                    •  So? (0+ / 0-)

                      There are literally millions of people in the world whose lives would be saved from misery or death in the next year if the US spent $billions helping them, even militarily. In fact that is not my problem. It has not been my problem for my entire life.

                      You're the one demanding military action, but are too much the coward to put your own neck on the line.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:12:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  And no, for Sudan I was too young. (0+ / 0-)

                    Which was the situation where I said we should've put boots on the ground.

                    I don't believe I've advocated for doing so with Syria.

                    North Korea's a bit different because they have nuclear weapons.

                    And I would argue that for us to survive as a species we need to realize that we're all in this together.  If they can't protect themselves, well, SOMEONE has to.

                    I don't understand how you can feel that thousands of people being killed by their own leader is acceptable in any situation.

                    •  Bad Excuses (0+ / 0-)

                      Sudan is still a teeming hellhole that could use some military intervention for some justice.

                      But you're busy washing your hair. And preferring Syria.

                      The world is a bad place, where thousands are being killed by their own leaders in hundreds of countries every day. It's hard enough keeping the USA from being that way, without overextending beyond our current overextensions in other countries. Indeed, the US government has killed thousands of our people this year and for many years through the economic crash, the failed healthcare reforms, and many other failures.

                      I accept what I am forced by reality to accept. If we invade, you will be forced by reality to accept it too, but even worse for getting what you want.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:15:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  War Crimes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CitizenOfEarth

        What you just described is exactly where the US should be using its power and leadership to make a difference: making international war crimes trials have sharper teeth.

        Instead you're advocating for is a purely symbolic gesture, bombing Assad while he mass murders more people but without more gas.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:01:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, (0+ / 0-)

          the ICC should have more teeth.  But that won't happen, because there are too many involved who don't want it to.

          And the US will never allow it to happen because it means that, for example, Kissinger may have to actually go on trial.  Or Rumsfeld.

          And the fact that the way war crimes trials work can theoretically improve doesn't change the fact that the ICC is currently useless to stop genocides or mass murders while they're happening, and therefore, the ICC is not currently a viable option here.

          •  Bombing Is Worse (0+ / 0-)

            It's good that you're recognizing the actual practical limits of applying US power, in the ICC.

            You should be as pragmatic about the actual limits of US power in bombing. It's not going to do anything useful, except to some weapons makers, perhaps a lot of jihadists, and perhaps a pack of mendacious US politicians.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:25:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Which is why I've repeatedly said here (0+ / 0-)

              that I feel we should exhaust all other, nonviolent options first.

              I simply don't think we should take bombing off the table as a last resort.

              •  Me Too (0+ / 0-)

                I'm leaving bombing Syria as a last resort, after waiting for Syria's civil war to be won, most probably by Assad. And then using war crimes / against humanity to topple Assad without giving the jihadists the vacuum (and the weapons), or if the rebels improbably win then using the military to stop them taking control (of the weapons). And in the meantime it takes that strategy to play out, to exhaust any other viable option before bombing.

                Yes, I am willing to let Syrians kill each other, possibly in large amounts, before using American soldiers to finisht the task. It will kill about the same number of Syrians in either case, but far fewer Americans, with far less risk of blowback.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:43:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome. I look forward to reading about Germany (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, gerrilea, DocGonzo, toby esterhase

    attacking Syria to enforce international law.

  •  The UN and the League of Nations (3+ / 0-)

    There is a sentiment expressed alongside opposition to the Obama policy in Syria that implies the US should never act without UN approval.  This misunderstands what the UN is.

    We should always try to act with as much international support as possible.  But there is no "international community" calling balls and strikes.  The UN is its member states.  And some of those member states are solid allies of Bashar al Assad.  You will never get a UN mandate for force out of them.  If they don't care about gassing civilians, do you think they will be moved by other niceties?

    We should not repeat the mistake of the old League of Nations, which became an excuse for inaction due to failure to get Germany and Italy onboard.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:53:33 PM PDT

  •  There's no proof that the anti-response people... (3+ / 0-)

    ...will accept, short of a confession by the Syrian whole chain of command.  The whole discussion is a little weird, courtesy of both sides, because prior to the gas attack there was a fairly robust discussion about the possibility of a US attack on Assad.  Since there is no shortage of through-the-looking-glass thinking here, it's worth noting that the gas attack has re-set the whole discussion to what we're seeing now, which places us objectively further away from attacking Assad than we were a month ago.  Hmmmm.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:54:24 PM PDT

    •  It seems to me (2+ / 0-)

      that Iraq has made many people here have a kneejerk reaction causing them to call bullshit whenever it's suggested that a brutal dictator is being, well, a brutal dictator.  These people automatically assume the government must be lying about it, even though, in the case of Assad, his abysmal human rights record has been known pretty much since he took power.

    •  The Anti-Response People (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      toby esterhase, claude

      Most people against attacking Syria are not doing so on the basis of doubt about who gassed whom, though there is some doubt.

      Most of those people are against it because they say attacking Syria isn't going to solve anything. And that it's going to cause the US a lot of problems in another war of choice that won't solve anything. In other words "it's not worth it". Not because of the doubt of the gassing, but because of the far more important doubt of the response.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:05:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can I make a suggestion? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, DocGonzo, toby esterhase

    Change this:

    I know this doesn't fit into the popular narrative here that President Obama and John Kerry are lying to the American people about the Assad regime ordering the sarin gas attack on August 21, but the German wire service has released new information presented by the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst -BND) that backs the president.
    To this:
    The German wire service has released new information presented by the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst -BND) about the Assad regime ordering the sarin gas attack on August 21.
    Your lede is offensive. I don't know of any "popular narrative" here that Obama and Kerry are lying, just reasonable doubt about events based on conflicting reports and a lack of published information.

    Is your purpose here to inform or inflame?

    •  Maybe the sane people aren't making (11+ / 0-)

      those accusations, but they're being made, and rec'd.  I've read them, including suggestions that Obama is a warmonger despite indications to the contrary, that Syria is a distraction from NSA stories, that Democrats are as sold-out to the MIC as Republicans are, and that it's WAR, when there's no indication that war is being proposed.  Limited strikes?  Yes.  What would that achieve?  No one knows.  Is Syria a crisis?  Seems like it.  Do we stay uninvolved because they're just foreigners in a mess?  I don't know.  We stayed out of Rwanda and some think that's a moral high crime.  

      The reason Obama has stayed out this long is that there are too many crazies on both sides.  No one can see a win here.  I'm completely torn by this one, especially listening to Syrians plead for help.  No good answers, but I am grateful we have a President who isn't a warmonger or blind to the complexities here.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, gerrilea, DocGonzo

    Assad has done far worse to his people. Far, far worse.

    What matters is that dropping a few bombs on Syria won't change any of it.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:03:34 PM PDT

  •  Merkel would get my vote (0+ / 0-)

    My opposition to the Obama-Kerry attack plans are partly because facts are often slippery at times like this, and more strongly because a military attack seems very unlikely to accomplish anything useful. (Intercepted telephone calls -- probably in Arabic? -- translated by who knows who into German or English, then into English 00 have lots of room for misinterpretation; and on top of that we're relying on Kerry or whoever's word for even what the translation was.) Merkel's plan for diplomatic pressure on Syria and its Russian (and other) allies seems entirely useful and appropriate, and I wish her well in that. Even US military leaders are saying that this needs a diplomatic solution, not a military one.

  •  "Popular narrative"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, caul

    Horseshit.  It's just different opinions.  Get over it.

  •  Three concerns (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, caul, mimi, gerrilea

    1)  The Germans have their own inconvenient little NSA-type problem right now because of the Snowden/Greenwald leaks, so I'd take anything coming out of their intelligence apparatus with a grain of salt.

    2)  This seems to contradict the "intelligence" we were told about just last week, wherein communications were supposedly intercepted indicating that Syrian HQ was in a panic demanding to know why the unit commander on the ground had deployed those chemical weapons.

    3)  Viewed through the prism of OTHER reports, that the US knew three days in advance that this might happen, I'm not so sure this new intelligence helps Obama's case at all.

  •  A conversation between Hezbollah and Iran (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, caul, gerrilea

    proves that Syria ordered this?  Nothing but weak hearsay.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:15:52 PM PDT

  •  Today must be German day (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, caul, gerrilea, toby esterhase

    Between this story and Kerry playing the Munich card, it's Deutchslandfest.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:21:42 PM PDT

    •  Hey, it's almost Oktoberfest! --nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:32:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spiegel.de readers are skeptical at best (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, mimi, gerrilea

    http://www.spiegel.de/...

    if the comments are any indication.

  •  Honest question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaoMagnifico, claude

    Having now probably over-engaged in this debate, it occurs to me that I was overseas for the run up to Bush's War and thus not subject to American propaganda.

    Like everyone else outside America, I couldn't believe that anyone with any sense would buy the load of shite Bush was selling - but I wasn't here to experience the PR campaign first hand.

    I know there was tremendous manipulation (again, people oversees who weren't living through it and had access to propaganda free media could see it quite clearly - the lectures I enured from friends and random strangers who chose to unload on me because I was one of the few Americans they ever came across were exhausting). I know that wounds of 9/11 were still very fresh. I know that I was stunned to see people cheering the night the war did start (I was actually in America for that).

    So my question is, did the majority of America truly believe the Bush War Machine? If yes, I think I might understand some of the comments I'm seeing on these threads a little better.

    •  Yes. In 2003, Americans were still traumatized by (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, Mark Mywurtz, gerrilea

      the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

      There were multiple levels of disinformation to implicate Saddam Hussein in 9/11, or the "next" 9/11. Among "low-information" voters, there were many who swallowed it hook, line and sinker... and many more other who were unwilling to express their doubts.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:04:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A reasonable policy debate can take place (6+ / 0-)

    over whether the U.S. should intervene militarily as a result of the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against civilians ... but there's no reasoning with the tin foil hat crowd that believes it is all a lie concocted by Obama and Kerry  

    •  We haven't been given any proof that the (0+ / 0-)

      Assad regime used chemical weapons on anyone.   We know people died from a chemical attack, we don't know who did it.

      I'm against any and all wars, "military strikes" and any actions that will kill more people, period.

      Let's wait and see what the UN comes up with, shall we?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:23:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Mywurtz

        Who else would or could have fired Iranian rockets, which only the regime is known to possess, filled with sarin gas, which only the regime is known to possess, from areas controlled by the government, from which only the regime is known to operate, toward areas that are contested or under opposition control?

        If it was a false flag attack, it was seriously dumb, considering the West clearly does not want to intervene and may only be dragged into this mess kicking and screaming. And while we're doing our Hamlet act, I'm sure the effect on morale of those opposition fighters is just great.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:01:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who else? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          Back in December, there was this from the NYT...an article about how Al Quada was backing the uprising:

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          And then an article from Britain about the US planning a chem attack and blaming Assad (page is now gone but it's in the internet archive):

          http://web.archive.org/...

          WTF is the enemy here?

          So yes, I DOUBT. I will damn well remain skeptical of EVERYTHING about this. If we can't figure out the truth then we should be against starting another war.

        •  Who said anything about a false flag? (0+ / 0-)

          I surely didn't.  

          What has been reported by alleged eyewitnesses is that a PLANE was buzzing around, acting like it was looking for something then "bam" not "boom" and then people started to die within a few minutes.

          How does this now become "Iranian Rockets"???

          This is one of the problems:

          I'm sure the effect on morale of those opposition fighters is just great.
          Those same "opposition fighters" have beheaded Christians, forced innocents to become suicide bombers, showed video of their chemical weapons abilities and then threatened to use them.

          I could give a flying rats ass what their morale is and neither should you and our government must end any and all support we're giving them, period. It is not our civil war, it's none of our goddamn business.

          When Syria attacks us here in America, then we'll talk.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:53:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't believe Obama is lying (7+ / 0-)

    why the heck would he?

    When did this site become a rabble of conspiracy theorists?

    You may disagree with him that we need to strike... but I do not for a milisecond believe that he is lying.

    •  Pretty much the time (3+ / 0-)

      ...that the "Occupy" demonstrations happened. It's been downhill ever since.

    •  About two days after he took the oath of office, (3+ / 0-)

      give or take.  I love the people here who are claiming that we need to replace Assad as viceroy or something equally idiotic - it's like half the people at this site as just as illiterate as the teabaggers.  Syria ain't the Iran of the pre-Islamic Republic era and, except for a 5-minute post Sept. 11th thaw in relations, their government has always seen America as a convenient target for hatred.  The idea that Assad has ever been "our guy" is totally, completely fanciful.

      I've found myself wondering if this is why we can't ever seem to hold onto power in the US for any length of time - the moment our leaders take office, they become the enemy.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:38:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The GOP has the opposite problem (0+ / 0-)

        They eat their own and recriminate against one another while they're in the minority. And then one of them gets elected president and suddenly he walks on water even if he's a clueless shit who's obviously in way over his head.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:58:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why wouldn't you believe he's lying? (0+ / 0-)

      He's been doing it for weeks on the NSA issues.

  •  Okay, so the Germans "intercepted" someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul

    talking on the phone.  Will they release said audio tapes?

    How do we know that whom they say is speaking on the telephone is said person?

    Really.  

    It's not proof of anything other than someone said someone else said something...that's hearsay, period.

    It's not like these "intelligence" agencies haven't fabricated "facts" before, right?

    The Downing Street Memo's tell us exactly that:

    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    Downing Street memo written by foreign secretary after his visit with CIA's Tenet and other US officials: "There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable…The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy
    The Snowden Revelations tell us that these guys are all working together in ways we could have never imagined:

    NSA and the Germans 'In Bed Together'

    At the same time, a new US Army base being built in Germany that is also to be used by the NSA has been approved by German authorities. Currently, a new Consolidated Intelligence center is being built in Wiesbaden. The bug-proof offices and a high-tech control center are being built for $124 million. As soon as the Wiesbaden facility is completed, a complex currently being used in Darmstadt wil be closed. The facilities are being built exclusively by American citizens who have security clearances. Even the material being used to construct the buildings originates from the United States and is guarded throughout the shipping process to Germany.
    The legitimate question I have here is, where are they getting this "information" from?  The phone-lines themselves or the NSA facilities in Germany?

    Are the phone lines going through the NSA facility or do the Germans have their own "spy-circuits"?

    Can we really know these things without tearing the walls down and following the cable lines ourselves?

    It seems pretty convenient that the one country that says they won't participate, is providing the alleged smoking gun here.

    IF our government has evidence, why aren't they giving it to us?  Why the proxy propaganda?

    Since it's our government that is going to damn millions of people to death, I expect them to give me the proof...not someone else's claims.

    Isn't that a reasonable request? If they've done nothing wrong, they have nothing to hide, right? Just show us your evidence.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:49:13 PM PDT

    •  Fail: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, auron renouille, Gurnt, NYFM

      "IF our government has evidence, why aren't they giving it to us?  Why the proxy propaganda?"

      Presumes that we're employing the Germans as a proxy and that the Germans aren't presenting their own evidence independently.

      Given the strength of Germany as a nation and their close ties to Russia, that's a pretty silly claim too.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:55:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most Syria diaries are full of silly claims. :( (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        killjoy, SaoMagnifico, Mark Mywurtz, NYFM

        I don't even know why I read them.

        I respect a principled stand against military action but reading the comments in these diaries makes me feel that our supporters are at times just as dumb as the teabaggers.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, but your theory is just as valid as mine. (0+ / 0-)

        Since we have NSA sites IN Germany, it would be a bit "redundant" for both nations to be doing the same things, right next to each other.

        The questions still stand.  Where is the information coming from directly?  Yeah, I know "national security" won't allow them to tell us, dang it all.

        Trying to assess the credibility of all these actors in this would be made much easier if we could know how, who, what, where, when and why?

        If the Germans told us 3 days prior and we did nothing, then aren't we to blame for not preventing these crimes against humanity?  

        So far all we have is someone saying someone said something...that's not proof, you know this.

        As I stated upthread, the first casualty of any war is always the truth.  I don't want their assessment, their opinion or their hearsay.  I want the facts.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:19:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, my theory is not just as valid as yours. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico, NYFM

          Your theory is extraordinary and requires evidence.

          Mine's the null hypothesis.

          Trying to say "The claim is not proof!" is shifting the goalpost. The one you already planted was to claim that Germany was actively doing the US government's propaganda bidding.

          You can retract it, or double down on it. But don't try to play the distraction game. That shit don't fly.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:24:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's your opinion, thanks for sharing it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Notreadytobenice, toby esterhase

            And who's being condescending now?

            I will not retract anything I've said, I may modify it at my will.  I'm not moving anything, I chose not to respond to your misdirection that this must be about me.

            The whole point (here's my modification) why are we not hearing this from our own government if they have the same "security services" that the Germans do operating in Germany?  Why are the Germans coming out and tell us this now???  Their "hearsay" doesn't means squat!

            I don't believe the bullshit.  And when a government employs inadmissible "evidence" as proof of guilt, I call it propaganda!  MY only question is who's propaganda is it?

            Are the Germans willing pawns in this charade or did we give them the "evidence", again since we have the spy sites up and running in their country, where'd the "intercepted phonecalls" come from?

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:48:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The answer is simple. (0+ / 0-)

              We have security services in Syria, so does Germany. This does not mean they are redundant and doing the same work and get the same information. The Germans learned something the US didn't. This happens all the time.

              Everything that follows your argument springs from that false premise (to say nothing about the logical leaps you make along the way) and is therefore an invalid argument.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:08:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "We have security services in Syria"? (0+ / 0-)

                This is the first I've heard of it.  Don't you mean we've sent in well trained and armed mercenaries???

                My ability to reason is not for you to decide, haven't we already come to this conclusion?

                Your "logic" is no less valid than mine.  We see the world from different perspectives, of course I may not come to your conclusions.

                There is no false premise here, just a bunch of hearsay and propaganda.  Besides you've moved the goal post from "security services" located in Germany to inside Syria. Without proof of this, you're the one with a false premise.  I provided my evidence already.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:00:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The wonderful thing about logic (0+ / 0-)

                  is that it's true whether you believe it or not.

                  It is objectively true that, whatever our and Germany's respective intelligence resources are (however you wish to quibble about how they're named; I used your nomenclature and you balked oddly enough), and wherever they are physically located (a moot point to the flaw in your logic), that as long as they are not shared resources, they may not yield identical intelligence data.

                  All the bluster in the world cannot refute that.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:15:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The problem is you have no evidence of anything (0+ / 0-)

                    And why do you continually attack me personally?  When did I pee in your Wheaties?  

                    What you claim is "moot", I simply do not agree with.  That's an opinion, not logic. You attempting to pass of your opinion as logical while attacking my position as "illogical" is MOOT.

                    See how this works?

                    I've presented evidence that we have "listening sites" in Germany, ones the Germans themselves aren't allowed into.  We can only surmise (guess) what each country's capabilities are.  

                    "not getting the same intel" doesn't cut it.  Our massive spying programs, as revealed by Snowden, sweep up everything, everywhere.  This means the US had "intercepted" the same "intel" and most assuredly more...but didn't release it or act upon it before these "alleged" attacks occurred and decided to "let" the Germans tell the world?

                    Bullshit.

                    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                    by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:33:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Saying your logic is flawed (0+ / 0-)

                      is not attacking you personally. It's attacking your argument.

                      That you think it is a personal attack is silly and I think you would do well to divorce your identity from your argumentation. (And that statement is as close to a personal attack as I've made to you.)

                      It is also a logical impossibility for our spying programs could "sweep up everything, everywhere" and it is also a logical impossibility that, even if they DID, that they would have the manpower to process all the information they gather in order to evaluate it. Again, you proceed from an objectively false (not opinion, fact) premise.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:48:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You claiming what I say is "impossible" is an (0+ / 0-)

                        opinion, not a fact then equating that as being "illogical" is illogical in and of itself.

                        Nothing is impossible, improbable, maybe.  When you frame your argument on extremes, it's less valid than my personal opinions.

                        We don't need to get into the minuta of Snowden's revelations whether or not our government can process said information, they are doing so.  You'd have me "logically" believe they treat all communications/information gathered equally no matter the source.  Balderdash!  

                        You then add to the false logic that it would take some impossible (and undefined) number of manhours.  We have these things called computers for a reason.  We also have these things called "key word searches", that's been known for over 30 yrs. Simple programing: Assad; Chemical Weapons; Says/said.  Hell we don't have to even include the term "Chemical Weapons".  Anything Assad is attributed to saying we wouldn't be "monitoring"??? AGAIN, BALDERDASH!

                        So, again, yes I can logically conclude that our government had the same information Germany now claims to have. Bringing me back to the same conclusions: Who's propaganda is it?

                        This logical conclusion is reinforced with "Curveball's" revelations.  The Germans manufactured "intelligence" before to suit the political agenda of the American Government.

                        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                        by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:46:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, thanks (0+ / 0-)

                          for dropping the "personal attacks" stuff. Now then.

                          To be able to pull all information everywhere is what we call omniscience. It would literally require cameras and microphones everywhere conceivable, or equivalent technology, and also taps on every line everywhere, etc. It's an absurdity to think that could possibly happen (is there a camera in your bedroom?), and one year's worth of such data would overwhelm all the physical storage devices ever manufactured.

                          And the amount of processing power required to handle all such data (the voice to text alone, for example) would overwhelm any apparatus known to man -- even Google's servers would collapse under the weight if they were fully devoted to the task.

                          It is an absurdity to think that Germany can keep no secrets from the US.

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:42:48 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You're welcome. (0+ / 0-)

                            Collecting all information everywhere is limited by "electronic communications".   There is a quantitative difference that you're missing in your analysis.  You hide this error by stating it there has to be cameras in my bedroom and or a "tap on every line everywhere."  

                            Well, we do know that every line everywhere is being tapped, especially all lines going into the Middle East.  See or Google the tapping of the underwater cables stories recently.  See where cutting those cables shut down all electronic communication in Iran at one time.  What you claim as impossible is very possible and has already been established as fact.

                            http://www.wired.com/...

                            Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration
                            Compounding your errors you now claim it would take "processing power required to handle all such data (the voice to text alone, for example) would overwhelm any apparatus known to man."  

                            This is demonstrably false:

                            http://www.forbes.com/...

                            Since 2001, the NSA has intercepted and stored between 15 and 20 trillion messages, according to the estimate of ex-NSA scientist Bill Binney. It now aims to store yottabytes of data. A yottabyte is a million billions of gigabytes. According to one storage firm’s estimate in 2009, a yottabyte would cover the entire states of Rhode Island and Delaware with data centers.

                            -cut-

                            The NSA project now aims to break the “exaflop barrier” by building a supercomputer a hundred times faster than the fastest existing today, the Japanese “K Computer.” That code-breaking system is projected to use 200 megawatts of power, about as much as would power 200,000 homes.

                            Clearly they are/have created systems capable of doing what you label, "impossible".

                            Again, leaving us back where we started.  Who's "intel" are the Germans releasing here?

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:41:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We know that (0+ / 0-)

                            all lines going to the Middle East, from the US, are at least capable of being tapped by American governmental interests.

                            Lines between the Middle East and Germany? Not so.

                            Again, you're taking facts not in evidence as a premise.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:44:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My premise does not need to have facts brought (0+ / 0-)

                            into evidence until requested.  Because my argument wasn't whether it was possible to collect all electronic communications everywhere", it was a given, it is being done.  My premise didn't need facts whether or not the information could be "analyzed", it also is being done.

                            Both facts have now been "entered into evidence" for you with legitimate sources.

                            The strawman and diversionary tactics employed here do not change but reinforce my premise, whether or not you believe it to be logical is immaterial.

                            The articles linked were discussing conversations and opinions presented in 2009, today is 2013, four years later, bringing us closer to Moore's law theories.  Besides, your premise has not been even established as legitimate.  We don't need to analyze all communications to get to the German's claimed "intel".  A point you seem to ignore.  

                            I've already established how simple a "key word search" is to set up.  With less than 22 million total inhabitants in Syria, we're not even close to our theoretical limits.  (That's assuming every man, woman and child has a phone and is making calls everyday)

                            Hell, New York has 19 million and the NSA has no problems monitoring all our communications here.  They don't have any problems monitoring the 300 million of us in the entire United States, but you'd present this strawman that it's impossible to monitor all communications in the Middle East or even more specifically all communications going into and out of Syria? Or that the United States "isn't getting the same intel" as Germany, pluease.  I can state unequivocally that we have more intel than the Germans.

                            And, yet one last time, this brings us back to my original premise.  Why are we hearing it from Germany and who's intel is it?

                             

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:02:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Addendum: (0+ / 0-)

                            Your own links show the technological limitations of what the NSA is capable of doing.

                            A yottabyte would cover RI and Delaware. Described differently, every hard drive, data tape and floppy disk ever constructed would not store one yottabyte of data.

                            And the exaflop computer? Same problem. Two orders of magnitude more powerful than anything in existence (by Moore's Law, that won't be possible for another decade), with power requirements that are truly ludicrous.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:47:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We already know that the NSA has multiple (0+ / 0-)

                            "programs" that can and do sift through all the data they collect.

                            Thomas Drake's prosecution made the program "ThinThread"  common knowledge.

                            ThinThread – a data collection program that could efficiently and cost-effectively analyze massive amounts of data. ThinThread could provide pivotal intelligence for government agencies charged with identifying terrorism threats and networks.
                            What the latest "data programs" are is anyone guess, but to act like they can't do it is a strawman.

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:17:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, it's not. (0+ / 0-)

                            Computers are my career, and have been for most of the last twenty years. I know the technology and the limitations of their capabilities, and the logistical hurdles.

                            EVEN that all aside, you're even now admitting "it's anyone's guess". Which shows you have, at best, by your own admission, a speculative rather than factual basis for your claims.

                            And with that, I'm done.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:39:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  :) "Anyone's guess" on the name of the NSA's (0+ / 0-)

                            latest data-mining program's name.

                            Nice strawman...And "argument from authority"...

                            ROFL.

                            Where did I ever claim that my premise wasn't "speculative"??? Speculation based on facts.  Wait, I said it was my OPINION, founded on facts.

                            Have a great night.

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:54:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  All that's going on here is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, gerrilea, DocGonzo, toby esterhase

    that Assad has become an unreliable satrap, and the American Empire needs to replace him with someone that it can rely on.

    Here is an empire that, without so much as flinching, murdered several million Indochinese to name only one of its major crimes against humanity. And, it's crying in its beer about a few hundred (?) sadistically murdered nobodies?

    Enough with the proofs that Syria has WMDs. Enough with the "Munich moment" hysteria.

    If the emperor needs to replace his satrap, he should do it. Nobody in good faith is fooled that there is anything else at stake.

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:53:50 PM PDT

  •  What we know for certain from this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, Notreadytobenice

    Hezbollah can engage in speculation too.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:05:11 PM PDT

    •  The speculation is btw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice

      If Assad did this, that means he's snapped.

      I don't think that Assad would text his allies and say "Guess what I just did?"  The information that there was a gas attack and the allegation that the Syrian army was responsible must have come from somewhere other than the Syrian government.  Hezbollah might have been responding to Western press reports, but we don't know what other information they were responding to.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:09:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't believe the Americans, I don't believe the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quince

    Brits, I don't believe the Germans.

    What have they done to ever earn your trust when it comes to these wars and bombing runs?

    Has Germany been clean on such stuff before? No.

    For instance, Operation Plotvica or Operation Horseshoe.

    I would call your attention to this report in the British Parliament:

    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/...

    Here's an excerpt in question:

    93.  These plans undoubtedly contributed to anti-Albanian sentiment amongst the Serbian population, and to the idea that one way of dealing with the Kosovo Albanian 'problem' was to displace large number of Albanians. The plans also gave rise to the use of the term "horseshoe" in this context. It has also been alleged that Milosevic was following a long organised plan of ethnic cleansing during the military campaign in Kosovo. On 9 April 1999, the German Ministry of Defence published a document which was alleged to describe a Serbian plan known as Operation Horseshoe.[217] This document does not in fact refer specifically to "cantonisation," but only to the "destruction and neutralisation of the UCK [KLA]." The German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, was also quoted as saying that the Serbs had set in motion a plan called Operation Horseshoe, which aimed at expelling Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population.[218] The Foreign Secretary told us that "it has been reported in the press (and I can confirm it is true) that there was a plan developed in Belgrade known as Operation Horseshoe which was for the cleansing of Kosovo of its Kosovo population. That plan has been around for some time."[219] During the campaign and since, it has become established currency in the media that German intelligence had discovered this alleged plan, and that NATO's leaders should have been aware of the plan earlier.[220] Some of NATO's leaders (in particular in Germany) used the existence of the plan to illustrate Milosevic's character, and to prove that the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo was not triggered by the NATO bombing, thereby justifying the NATO campaign. A retired German brigadier-general has since alleged that the German Defence Ministry turned a vague report from Bulgarian intelligence into a "plan," coining the term "Horseshoe." Ironically the originator of the report confused the Croatian word for a horseshoe with the Serbian word. The brigadier-general also argues that German politicians subsequently misquoted the original Bulgarian report by arguing that the report demonstrated that the goal of the Serbian military was to expel the entire Kosovo Albanian population, rather than destroying the KLA.[221]

    94.  Regardless of whether Operation Horseshoe really existed, and what it consisted of, the evidence of the OSCE's report, Kosovo/Kosova As Seen, As Told,[222]—based on the observations of the OSCE observer team in Kosovo and then upon extensive interviews conducted with refugees after the bombing had started—is that the Serb military campaign did not appear to be oriented towards "cantonisation.". A number of factors point to this conclusion.

    These words were actually spoken in Parliament. "Regardless of whether this document was a piece of propaganda, our observations and interviews show that the basic thrust of the propaganda was correct!"

    This strikes me as the sort of pre-ordained propaganda that we saw with Iraq and the Nigerian Uranium caper. A fake paper meant to propagandize. The culprits blew it by getting the name of the actual operation wrong. They used a Croatian word for Horseshoe instead of the Serbian word.

    "Regardless of whether the evidence shows what the originators claim it does, based on our observations of Assad and on interviews with the rebels, Assad is capable of such horrible war crimes...."

    I don't trust the Germans, the Brits and especially the Americans when it comes to this stuff.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:25:54 PM PDT

  •  not saying they are lying (0+ / 0-)

    only that the sort of action they are contemplating could turn into a quagmire.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:50:31 PM PDT

  •  BBC sayz that former Iran Prez Rafsanjani... (0+ / 0-)

    blames Assad regime for the poison gas. Nothing on BBC website; found this on Times of Israel when I googled:

    Breaking with official Tehran, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani appeared to accuse the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons on its own people Sunday, though the comment was later pulled.
  •  I dont think (0+ / 0-)

    a lot of people thought Obama/Kerry were lying. Just that they need to prevent the evidence to congress instead of rushing into war.

    Both pieces of 'proof' so far seem to come from intercepted audio cables. none specifically ordering the attack, and one from Isreal who had a history of 'faking' intercepted cables.

    "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

    by LieparDestin on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:16:13 AM PDT

  •  Here's why the big rush (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/...

    They've got to destroy the supplies before anyone can verify that the Brits are the ones who gave them the components to make sarin.

  •  I assume he probably did, (0+ / 0-)

    just as I assumed that Saddam probably had some chemical weapons squirreled away somewhere.

    But just as I didn't find that a compelling reason to involve us in a war in the Middle East then, I don't find it a a compelling reason now.

    "But... but... chemical weapons! ... Dead babies!"

    Yup, all of that is bad stuff.  But chemical weapons are not nuclear weapons, and throwing around bullshit catchall terms like "weapons of mass destruction" as if they are pollute the discussion.

    This doesn't affect us directly.  It's a sovereign country immersed in a civil war in which there are no good guys to be found anywhere, only bad and worse guys shooting at each other and killing civilians caught in the middle.  It's been this way in the Middle East for a LOOooooOOong time.  Do you remember Lebanon?  Fuck that, do you remember post-"shockandawe" Iraq?

    All we're doing here is making some symbolic bullshit gesture, like Ronald Reagan shelling the suburbs of Beirut after the Marine Barracks bombing because his brain-dead humanitarian mission turned into a bloodbath and he had to save face.  Nothing says "humanitarian," I guess, than blowing the shit out of people in other countries.

    So the chemical weapons are really irrelevant to me in all this.  It's irrelevant to both sides in the US, too, really.  Most of us that oppose this action, if confronted with proof, probably wouldn't change our minds, just our arguments.  And the people in the Whitehouse who really want to bomb Syria wouldn't, I suspect, change their minds if confronted with proof that Assad wasn't in the loop on this.  They're going through the motions now because they fear humiliation.

  •  This IS like Iraq (0+ / 0-)

    How come many of us KNEW there wasn't going to be any WMDs in Iraq? Answer: Because we read vast quantities of news and we read OLD news and then connected the dots. So, you guys ready?

    http://web.archive.org/...

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/...

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/...

    We should remains skeptical OF EVERYTHING and insist on slowing things down not rushing to judgement.

  •  An astounding failure to grasp the concept of (0+ / 0-)

    "unintended consequences" is being clearly demonstrated by the "do SOMETHING!!!"  advocates here.

    The Irony, it burns.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:09:36 AM PDT

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