Paul Craig Roberts
September 6, 2013
Does the American public have the strength of character to face the fact that the US government stands before the entire world revealed as a collection of war criminals who lie every time that they open their mouth? Will Congress and the American public buy the White House lie that they must support war criminals and liars or “America will lose face”?
The Obama regime’s lies are so transparent and blatant that the cautious, diplomatic President Putin of Russia lost his patience and stated the fact that we all already know: John Kerry is a liar. Putin said: “This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them [the Americans], and we assume they are decent people, but he [Kerry] is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad.”
When Secretary of State Colin Powell was sent by the criminal Bush regime to lie to the UN, Powell and his chief of staff claim that Powell did not know he was lying. It did not occur to the Secretary of State that the White House would send him to the UN to start a war that killed, maimed, and dispossessed millions of Iraqis on the basis of total lies.
The despicable John Kerry knows that he is lying. Here is the American Secretary of State, and Obama, the puppet president, knowingly lying to the world. There is not a shred of integrity in the US government. No respect for truth, justice, morality or human life. Here are two people so evil that they want to repeat in Syria what the Bush war criminals did in Iraq.
How can the American people and their representatives in Congress tolerate these extraordinary criminals? Why are not Obama and John Kerry impeached? The Obama regime has every quality of Nazi Germany and Stasi Communist Germany, only that the Obama regime is worse. The Obama regime spies on the entire world and lies about it. The Obama regime is fully engaged in killing people in seven countries, a murderous rampage that not even Hitler attempted.
Whether the criminal Obama regime can purchase the collaboration of Congress and the European puppet states in a transparent war crime will soon be decided. The decision will determine the fate of the world.
As for facts, the report released to the UN by the Russian government concludes that the weapons used in chemical attacks in Syria are similar to the weapons in the hands of al-Nusra and are different from the weapons known to be possessed by Syria.
The Obama regime has released no evidence to the UN. This is because the criminal regime has no evidence, only made up fairy tales.
If the Obama regime had any evidence, the evidence would have been released to British Prime Minister David Cameron to enable him to carry the vote of Parliament. In the absence of evidence, Cameron had to admit to Parliament that he had no evidence, only a belief that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons. Parliament told Washington’s puppet that the British people were not going to war on the basis of the Prime Minister’s unsubstantiated belief.
Are the American people and the rest of the world just going to stand there, sucking their thumbs, while a new Nazi State rises in Washington?
Congress must vote down the war and make it clear to Obama that if he defies the constitutional power of Congress he will be impeached.
If the US Congress is too corrupt or incompetent to do its duty, the rest of the world must join the UN General Secretary and the President of Russia and declare that unilateral military aggression by the US government is a war crime, and that the war criminal US government will be isolated in the international community. Any of its members caught traveling abroad will be arrested and turned over to the Hague for trial.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
September 6, 2013
Jean Pascal Zanders is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s top chemical weapons experts, having been quoted in the last two weeks about Syrian chemical weapons by McClatchy, Time, theLos Angeles Times, Post-Gazette, Huffington Post, Der Spiegel, Agence France-Presse, Global Post, theTelegraph, and many other publications.
We interviewed Zanders by phone.
Q: You were quoted in the Huffington Post on August 30th as saying that the Youtube videos cited by the American government were not conclusive, as you couldn’t tell where or when the videos were taken … or even whether they were from the same incident or different incidents.
Do you still hold that view, or have you seen other videos that change your mind?
Zanders: No, I have not changed my mind. The general observation still stands, and it will stand until we have the actual report from the U.N. investigation.
I do not deny that a chemical with toxic chemicals has taken place. But I am just as concerned about how people are interpreting things in terms of a particular goal … which in this case is military intervention.
Living in a democracy we have the rule of of law, and we collect and analyze a variety of evidence collected at certain scenes before passing any kind of final judgment.
One of the concerns I have is if we look over the periods starting in March 19th with the major allegation of chemcial weapons use near Aleppo, Syria, everything is being reinterpreted as sarin.
When I look at video images that have been going around, what I see is a large number of people suffering from aspyhixia, but only a minority (if the photos are representative of the total picture) display symptoms that would correspond to exposures to neurotoxicants.
John Kerry used the term “signatures of sarin”. But signatures of sarin are things one can have from other organophosphorus compounds.
Q: You’re talking about the fact that pesticides or other nerve agents can give “false positives” for sarin? [Background]
Zanders: Yes, but not just that.
Somebody could have been – and this is purely hypothetical – exposed to an organophosphorus compound neurotoxicant which is produced in large volumes in industry. For example, for agricultural purposes.
On the low end of the spectrum, we have insecticide sprays which we can buy in the supermarkets. On the middle of the spectrum, we have organophosphorus compounds which are intermediaries of other products, or that are used in agriculture for pest and rodent control. I know specifically that the use of such compounds for pest and rodent control is common in the Middle East.
So, if someone were exposed to that in the right volume, there would be clear signatures of neurotoxicant exposure.
So it’s not just a question of false signatures in the sense of chemical tests giving a false positive, but also physiological symptoms that someone might show due to exposure to these commonly-used chemicals.
[The area where the chemical incident occurred was in a heavily-contested battle zone and had been heavily bombed. So that could have released industrial or agricultural chemicals.]
Q: Do you have any knowledge about whether the chain of custody of alleged U.S. tests which Kerry talked about are proper?
Zanders: No, and that’s part of my criticism that Western governments have overstated their case.
We do not know where the samples come from. And we do not know how representative they are for a certain area.
Certain samples could have been selectively given to Western sources for analysis. Assume that you do not know where a sample comes from … your whole chain of custody is compromised.
That’s why UN inspectors can only use samples they have collected themselves.
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago saying that Prince Bandar got one alleged victim of chemical warfare out of the country, sent him to the UK, and that person is the basis of which the British made their claims about Syrian chemical weapons use. [Article.]
That goes to a single person. This is quite remarkable, if true.
Q: What other indications weaken the American, British and French argument that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack?
Zanders: The extreme focus on sarin – as if only government forces would be able to have sarin – doesn’t make sense. If the UN team were to come up with evidence that toxic chemicals other than sarin were used, does that prove that it was not the Syrian government which is responsible?
I personally don’t think that we have all the facts in right now to be absolutely certain. And I think this is reflected in the U.S. document with the terminology “high confidence” and David Cameron saying it’s his “judgment” or the government’s “judgment”, which reflects an interpretation of the facts.
In the U.S. document, there is not a single reference to physiological samples.
Postscript: Zanders says we must wait for the results from the U.N. weapons inspection before reaching any conclusions about who is responsible for the August 21st tragedy. [Background.]
Washington Free Beacon
September 6, 2013
ABC’s Jonathan Karl reported President Obama’s plan for a Syrian strike could be “significantly larger” than most anticipated Thursday on “World News Tonight.”
Karl quoted an unnamed national security official who claimed the attack could do more damage to Assad in 48 hours than the Syrian rebels have done in two years:
JONATHAN KARL: […] ABC News has learned the president’s national security team is preparing for a significantly larger military attack than most had anticipated. The air campaign which is expected to last at least two days will potentially include an aerial bombardment of missiles and long range bombs fired from B-2 and B-52 bombers flying from the United States. That in addition to a relentless assault of Tomahawk missiles fired from those four Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. Those ships are loaded with nearly 200 missiles, plans call for firing the vast majority of them. As one senior national security official told ABC News, this military strike could do more damage to Assad’s forces in 48 hours than the Syrian rebels have done in nearly two years of civil war. That’s more than President Obama seemed to be suggesting just days ago.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: What we are envisioning is something limited […] We send a shot across the bow saying stop doing this.
Pictured: John McCain caught playing POKER on his iPhone during crucial Senate hearing on whether to take military action in Syria
By DAVID MARTOSKO
PUBLISHED: 23:49 GMT, 3 September 2013
Call him Arizona Slim. Or just the Maverick.
While America’s most senior foreign policy and military officials made President Obama’s case for using military force against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was busy playing poker on his iPhone.
A Washington Post photographer snapped an over-the-shoulder picture of McCain casually betting play money on his electronic cards, while Syria’s fate was the subject of passionate statements and often carefully manicured rhetoric.
Scroll down for video
Upping the ante: An eagle-eyed photographer captured a picture of Senator McCain playing poker on his phone during the critical hearing on Tuesday
Did I just fold the nuts? McCain did what millions of us do during boring meetings at work, but his meeting concerned something more weighty than the latest sales forecast for widgets
Call, raise, or fold? McCain shuffled his chips while the Secretaries of State and Defense discussed the destruction of a Middle Eastern regime
Minutes after the Post published the photo online, McCain cracked a joke in the hope of limiting what is bound to be an embarrassing news cycle.
‘Scandal!’ read his sardonic tweet. ‘Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!’
As the news broke, McCain was waiting to appear on CNN to discuss the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
‘Occasionally I get a little bored,’ he admitted on the air, ‘and so I resorted.’
CNN associate producer Ashley Killough tweeted afterward that McCain ‘said he lost "thousands" of fake dollars’ during the marathon Capitol Hill session.
Funny or die: The senior senator from Arizona chuckled through his keyboard, but not everyone will think it’s so hilarious
McCain was set to go on the air as the story broke about his funny-money poker habit
McCain may have been distracted by the presentations from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. He had, after all, already made up his mind to side with the president and his request for authorization to bomb Syria.
‘If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this, after the president of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic,’ McCain said after her emerged from a closed-door meeting with Obama on Tuesday morning, ‘in that the credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded.’
‘And there would be not only implications for this president, but for future presidencies as well.’
The next time McCain meets with he president, the two might have more to discuss than just foreign policy: Obama played a game of spades – with physical cards, not a hand-held phone – while Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Check your iPhone at the door: McCain was paying full attention earlier in the day, as he got a presidential briefing on Syria along with National Security Advisor Susan Rice (L) and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)
For the benefit of poker fanatics, the Post’s photoshowed McCain calling a $200 bet while holding a little more than $16,000 in fake chips. His username? ‘J’s iPhone.’
The poker interlude isn’t the only memorable moment for the Senator from Arizona today, as he also came down hard on his Republican journalist counterparts on Fox News.
As part of his public appearances where he has been promoting an American military action in Syria, he was interviewed on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning.
Host Brian Kilmeade showed a clip of rebel fighters in Syria shouting out ‘Allahu Akbar’ after a missile hits a government target.
On the offensive: Senator John McCain scolded Fox News host Brian Kilmeade (right) for saying that he wouldn’t support the Syrian rebels because they say ‘Allahu akbar’ after hitting government targets
‘I have a problem helping those people out if they shout that out after a hit,’ Kilmeade said.
‘Would you have a problem with an American Christian saying "Thank God! Thank God!"? That’s what they’re saying. Come on!
‘Of course they are Muslims but they are moderates. I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and I’ve been with them. For someone to say "Allahu Akbar" is about as offensive as someone saying "Thank God."’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2410616/Sen-John-McCain-playing-POKER-crucial-Senate-hearing-military-action-Syria.html#ixzz2e8rEeAKY
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Woman whose cousin was killed by US-backed rebels pleads with Senator
Paul Joseph Watson
September 6, 2013
Senator John McCain was confronted on several occasions by Americans opposed to an attack on Syria during an angry town hall meeting that underscored polls which show massive resistance to military intervention.
Fresh off the back of public criticism for being photographed playing poker on his phone during a crucial Senate hearing on Syria, McCain was told in no uncertain terms during a town hall meeting in Arizona that his advocacy for using US military might to topple Bashar Al-Assad was not shared by his constituents.
“We didn’t send you to make war for us. We sent you to stop the war,” one man said as the audience applauded.
“Why are you not listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It’s not our fight,” added another man, complaining that lawmakers were not representing the will of voters.
During the event another man stood next to McCain before revealing a sign which read, “”Don’t Bomb Syria!!!”
The most passionate confrontation undoubtedly involved a woman whose 18-year-old cousin was killed ten days ago in Syria by US-backed rebels.
“They’re not Syrian, they’re coming to Syria from all over the world to fight….we cannot afford to turn Syria into another Iraq or Afghanistan,” she said.
“You can do it by diplomacy, not bombs, Sen. McCain. We cannot afford to shed more Syrian blood,” added the woman.
“I beg you – my family is there, there’s so many good Syrians, the majority of the Syrian people want to save their country and you also need to listen to the majority of the American people who do not want you to go there….enough is enough….we don’t want Al-Qaeda to take over,” she said as the crowd cheered. She went on to highlight the attacks on Christians in Syria, saying she could trace her family back to the bible.
“We refused to be forced to leave and flee and be considered collateral damage,” the woman concluded.
McCain responded by asserting he knew the rebels in Syria and that they were moderates. However, the rebels McCain met with in Syria earlier this year were “a known affiliate of the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims,” according to reports.
The deputy leader of the so-called “moderate” FSA also recently made it clear that, “the mujahideen rebels’ supreme council will disband unless the West drops its demands to steer clear of violent jihadists,” reported National Review.
Perhaps the most well known if not the most brutal atrocity committed by US-backed rebels, where an opposition militant is seen cutting out and eating the heart of a Syrian soldier, was committed by FSA commander Abu Sakkar, hardly the action of a “moderate”.
Public fury with McCain’s advocacy of an attack on Syria is unsurprising given polls which show a clear majority of Americans oppose military intervention. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that just 9 per cent thought the US should intervene in Syria’s civil war, with 60 per cent opposed.
Watch the full video of a woman whose cousin was killed by US-backed rebels in Syria confronting McCain below.
Now watch Marine Infantry Combat Veteran Bryan Bates outline his opposition to an attack on Syria before walking out on McCain.
John McCain ‘s Completely INSANE
Claims Iran and Hezbollah coordinating attacks
September 6, 2013
USS Nimitz. Photo: fas.org
The United States is prepared to do battle with Iran and Hezbollah when it takes out Syria in response to its alleged weapons of mass destruction, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Late Thursday, the newspaper reported the U.S. government “intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria,” one of “an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.”
The intercepted message purportedly came from Qasem Soleimani, the head of Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force, and was delivered to Shiite militia groups in Iraq, according to U.S. Officials. “In it, Mr. Soleimani said Shiite groups must be prepared to respond with force after a U.S. strike on Syria. Iranian officials didn’t respond to requests for comment,” the Journal reports.
The U.S. predicts Iran will mobilize its fleet of fast boats in the Persian Gulf where U.S. warships are stationed.
In early 2012, the U.S. military claimed it was harassed by Iranian boats. At the time, Israeli intelligence officer Avi Perry predicted a “surprise” Pearl Harbor-style Iranian attack on an American warship in the Persian Gulf as a pretext for the U.S. to launch an all-out attack on Iran. No such attack occurred.
Amid escalating tension, in July, 2012, a security team aboard the oil supply ship U.S.N.S. Rappahannockfired on a boat in the Persian Gulf, killing one and injuring three others.
In addition to predicting attacks in the Persian Gulf, the newspaper reported the government’s belief Hezbollah will attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in response to a Syrian attack.
The Pentagon has deployed a number of warships in the region, a move that has heightened fears that an attack on Syria will rapidly escalate into a larger war.
Deployments include a strike group attached to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and three destroyers positioned in the Red Sea. An amphibious ship, the USS San Antonio, is currently stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The U.S. military has also activated Marines and “other assets” to be used during the strike, ostensibly to evacuate embassies and diplomatic compounds in the region. The State Department made preparations last week for the possibility of retaliation against U.S. embassies and other interests in the Middle East and North Africa, the Journal reports.
In addition, the State Department issued an alert on Thursday warning against nonessential travel to Iraq and cited terrorist activity “at levels unseen since 2008.”
US President Barack Obama pictured with former US President George W. Bush
© AFP 2013/ Jewel Samad
MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – Launching an attack on Syria would make US President, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barack Obama “a war president” a senior Russian lawmaker wrote on Twitter Friday.
“They said Obama does not want to go to war in Syria. This myth was demolished by Obama himself. He has eventually turned into a “war president,” a second [George W.] Bush,” said Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, and who has earned himself a reputation as a prolific Tweeter.
Obama recently asked the US Congress to support a limited military intervention in Syria because of the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, which the US claims killed over a thousand civilians in one attack last month.
The Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee approved a motion backing a military strike Wednesday, with a final vote expected next week after Congress reconvenes Monday.
In another comment on Twitter last week, Pushkov said President Obama should be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize if the United States carries out a military strike on Syria.
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” according to a statement on the prize’s website.
Church Leaders: Syrian Christians Need Help, Not Military Intervention
September 6, 2013 – 1:39 AM
By Patrick Goodenough
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A destroyed church in the Syrian city of Homs (Photo: Barnabas Fund)
(CNSNews.com) – Ahead of a day of prayer and fasting for Syria on Saturday, called for by Pope Francis, a Christian charity working in the country said church leaders there are appealing for help, not military intervention.
“As U.S. President Barack Obama rallies support for a military strike on Syria, Christian leaders from the country have called on Western nations to focus their efforts instead on providing aid to help meet the ‘dire need’ of the suffering people,” said Barnabas Fund.
In a letter Thursday to G20 leaders meeting in Russia, Pope Francis urged them to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” in Syria.
“Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community,” he wrote.
“Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders.”
Asked for the White House response to the pope’s appeal, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters in St. Petersburg he had not seen the letter, but “clearly, we always welcome the views of the Catholic Church, which has a longstanding commitment to the promotion of peace.”
The pope has called for “a special day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria” on Saturday, inviting “men and women of goodwill” of whatever faith to join wherever and however they may, and for Catholics in Rome to take part in an evening prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square.
Also Thursday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent letters to every member of Congress, urging them not to support military action in Syria.
The letter from USCCB president Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and the chairman of its committee on international justice and peace, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, said Pope Francis and bishops in the Middle East “have made it clear that a military attack will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation, and will have unintended negative consequences.”
“Their concerns strongly resonate in American public opinion that questions the wisdom of intervention and in the lack of international consensus.”
A religious mosiac, its protective glass broken, is seen in a church damaged by mortar fire in a Christian village in Idlib province, captured by rebels in January 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
‘What guarantees can you give Christians?’
Barnabas Fund, an international organization supporting Christians in Muslim-majority countries, quoted one of its partners in Syria, Aleppo Baptist leader Jany Haddad, as saying, “We urge Western authorities to take the measures necessary to protect our Christian civilians in the country. We ask them to shift their thoughts towards increasing financial support to our Christian societies and communities because of their dire need at this time.”
“On behalf of Syrian Christians and other minority communities, we entreat Western governments to alleviate the suffering of our people by providing urgent humanitarian aid, as our communities are in dire need,” said Rosangela Jarjour, the Homs-based general-secretary of the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches.
“The majority have been displaced from their homes with hardly anything to subsist on; most are jobless, homeless, and in danger of abduction and assaults by radical militants,” she said.
Barnabas Fund international director Patrick Sookhdeo said “the plight of Syria’s Christians has been tragically overlooked by Western governments. I pray that they will heed the cries of these Christian leaders from the country as they consider what action to take.”
Since the Syrian civil war began Barnabas Fund says it has provided practical aid to an estimated 139,000 Syrian Christians, many of whom are internally displaced, “having had to flee their homes as a result of targeted violence against them by Islamist rebels.”
“Christians are being singled out for violent attack, kidnap, torture, sexual assault and murder; their homes have been taken over in violent raids. Christian leaders have been particularly targeted, and numerous church buildings have been deliberately destroyed.”
The organization’s honorary U.S. director, Anglican Bishop Julian Dobbs, has written to Obama, urging him to consider the consequences for Christians as he mulls military action against the Assad regime in response to an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack.
“Military action that results in the demise of President Assad’s forces would almost certainly allow a strengthened al-Qaeda presence in Syria that would result in significant and increased persecution of Syrian Christians,” he wrote.
Citing “the destruction of the Iraqi Christian community” in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war there, Dobbs asked Obama, “What guarantees of security and religious freedom can you and your administration give to the already suffering Christian community in Syria if a military intervention is initiated by the United States?”
Dobbs concluded by noting that Muslim extremists view minority Christians as allies of the West on account of their faith, and that Christians will therefore be “at greater risk than other minorities in the aftermath of a U.S. strike on their country.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (AP Photo, File)
‘Open season on Christians’
The titular leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans (Episcopalians), Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who earlier urged caution as the British government weighed arming Syrian rebels, is also leery about military intervention.
During a recent speech in the House of Lords in London, he said a senior Christian leader in the region had told him that “intervention from abroad will declare open season on the Christian communities.”
“They will surely suffer terribly (as they already are) if action goes ahead,” Welby continued. “And that consequence has to be weighed against the consequences of inaction.”
“If we take action that diminishes the chance of peace and reconciliation, when inevitably a political solution has to be found, whether it’s near term or in the long term future, then we will have contributed to more killing and this war will be deeply unjust,” he said.
Barnabas Fund director Sookhdeo, an expert on radical Islam who is also director of the non-profit Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, said in a new analysis on the Syrian civil war that because of the positions being taken by various parties “the Christians find themselves increasingly being supported by China and Russia whereas their historic supporters in terms of religious liberty and human rights are turning out to be the ones who are supporting the radical Islamists and denying their fundamental freedoms.”
“The West, in supporting the rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, may well find that they are closely supporting radical Islamists allied to al-Qaeda, which could not only prove to be the death knell of a moderate, tolerant, multi-religious Syria in the aftermath of Assad but also result in a radical Islamist government riven with sectarianism and extremism that may ultimately destroy the Church,” he argued.
“So as Barack Obama this week tries to rally support for his plans to conduct a military strike on Syria, he and other Western leaders need to consider the wider background to this conflict. I am greatly concerned that any military intervention will only further escalate hostilities in an already highly charged environment.”
– See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/church-leaders-syrian-christians-need-help-not-military-intervention#sthash.M0xZeq6h.dpuf
Not even Obama’s aides know what he’s planning
Sept 6, 2013
The White House and the President have obviously not managed to get their story straight with each other on Syria, as aides today ruled out a military strike without Congressional approval, while Obama himself refused to do the same.
White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters on Friday that if Congress rejects President Obama’s request to authorize a military strike against Syria, it is “neither his desire nor his intention” to carry out the attack regardless.
However, at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Obama was less clear when asked whether he would take military action without Congressional approval.
“I put this before Congress for a reason,” Obama told reporters. “I believe action is more effective and stronger if we are united. I’m not engaging in parlor games with respect to how Congress responds to their constituents’ concerns.”
Obama added that he would have already taken action without consulting Congress had there been a direct threat to the United States or its allies.
Secretary of State John Kerry has clearly suggested that the President WILL go ahead with military action regardless of the outcome of the Congressional vote, a move that could prompt a constitutional crisis.
The comments come at the same time as reports indicating that the chances of the House approving for military action in Syria are so bad that congressional aides are doubting whether a vote will even take place.
“I just don’t believe that if defeat is certain, the House leadership will want to see a president utterly humiliated on the House floor in a public vote,” one top aide to the Republican leadership told National Review. “The weakness it would demonstrate wouldn’t be good for the country.” the aide said.
The Senate narrowly passed a modified version of Obama’s resolution on Wednesday, and the full Senate is likely to begin voting next Wednesday. Both chambers must approve the measure for it to pass.
Meanwhile Obama has announced that he will make a plea to the American people for military action in a White House address on Tuesday.
Lawmakers know better than 99% of the voters, Obama implied.
September 6, 2013
In a speech today at the G20 Summit in Russia, President Barack Obama stated that members of Congress should listen to their voters but ultimately should act on their own, against their constituency, in order to make a decision that is “right for America.”
Video Blocked by Youtube WHY???
Segment begins at the 27:45 minute mark.
Obama made this revealing statement after a journalist asked, “One of your closest allies in the House said yesterday, ‘When you’ve got 97 percent of your constituents saying no, it’s kind of hard to say yes.’ Why should members of Congress go against the will of their constituents and support your decision on this?”
“Now, with respect to Congress and how they should respond to constituency concerns, you know, I do consider it part of my job to help make the case and to explain to the American people exactly why I think this is the right thing to do,” Obama said. “It’s conceivable that at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do and then each member of Congress is gonna have to decide, if I think it’s the right thing to do for America’s national security and the world’s national security, then how do I vote?”
“And you know what? That’s — that’s what you’re supposed to do as a member of Congress. Ultimately, you listen to your constituents, but you’ve also got to make some decisions about what you believe is right for America.”
In short, Obama will try to influence Americans into supporting his war, but failing that, Congress is supposed to just ignore the vast majority of voters against the war and approve military action in Syria.
As Obama implied, members of Congress should represent themselves rather than the voters who placed them in office, especially when Obama’s aims run contrary to the demands of the American people.
This is right in line with a senior State Department official’s earlier statement that “the president’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.”
As we reported yesterday, Congress members across the nation are being overwhelmed by unprecedented opposition towards a war in Syria.
“I’m told the phone calls are 9 out of 10 against a strike in Syria, from my constituents in Kentucky,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Az.) told the National Review that out of the 500 voters who called his office recently, 498 of them adamantly wanted to stay out of Syria.
Anti-war sentiments are prevailing in both major parties.
“I can tell you 99 percent of the calls coming to my office are against it,” Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said to MSNBC.
It is interesting to note that in 2012, 76% of his district voted for Obama.
Other representatives have tweeted similar statements:
As we have exhaustively documented in the past, American troops may find themselves fighting alongside al-Qaeda if they are deployed to Syria.
“We should be focused on defending the United States of America,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said recently. “That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”
For 12 years strong, US running “counterinsurgency air force” for allies
September 6, 2013
While the world’s focus is centered on the G-20 Summit and Obama attempting to make his case to justify a war with Syria, the US military is still covertly fighting a 12-year old war in the Middle East and now parts of Africa.
According to the BBC, an estimated six more militants were killed overnight in Pakistan after two missiles were fired at a house in North Waziristan, near Afghanistan. While the strike managed to take out a senior commander of the Taliban-linked Haqqani militant network, reports also confirm an undisclosed number of civilian casualties.
Photo: Official US Navy Page via Flickr.
The strike is the second this week in Pakistan, adding to the list of 322 drone strikes authorized by Obama.Statistics from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal an estimated 2,513-3,595 were killed, including 407-926 civilians and 168-200 children from 2004-13.
Since the war began, following the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the US has been utilizing the covert drone program in eight different countries.
These countries include:
Syria may be added to the list next.
From 2002-13, nearly 60 drone strikes have been confirmed, killing an estimated 268-393 people, including 21-58 civilians and five children. Remember, these are the number of confirmed strikes and deaths, the death toll is projected to be much higher.
In Somalia, approximately ten drone strikes have been confirmed, killing an estimated 30 people. Covert operations have killed an estimated 7-14 people, including 7-42 civilians and 1-3 children.
Reviewing these numbers illustrates the US’s attitude towards murder and assassination. It highlights the absolute hypocrisy of the US wanting to initiate another war in another country on the basis of avenging the deaths of a few hundred Syrians killed via a chemical weapons attack.
Reports have continually pointed towards the Syrian rebels as the culprits for the chemical weapons attack in Syria on Aug. 21, but even if Assad had done this to his own people, how can the US justify punishing a leader who murders civilians when the US is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Middle Eastern men, women and children?
The US covert drone program has managed to stay incredibly secretive, and only recently has the Obama administration come under criticism for the program, with the public and US officials calling more transparency and oversight.
Experts argue the reason the program has been kept secret is because it would be in violation of an executive order signed in 1976 by President Gerald R. Ford which banned “American intelligence forces from engaging in assassination,” reported the New Yorker.
Critics say the program has progressed beyond it’s original intention. The use of the unmanned drone program was initially intended to target an individual based on a specific set of intelligence based on his or her identity, and who posed an imminent threat to the US. Now suspects are targeted based on suspicious behavior or a series of actions that might be suspicious. Sometimes the identify of that individual is unknown.
While the drone program came to prominence under Bush, Obama has drastically expanded it. A US military attack on Syria would earn Obama the title of “war president,” according to a senior Russian lawmaker. It would make him a “second George W. Bush,” said a member of the Russian Parliament.
Obama’s drone program shows no evidence of slowing down, with strikes expanding into parts of Africa to reportedly target the al-Qaeda affiliated group al Shabaab. According to the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, US operations in Somalia remain “largely a mystery” with only two confirmed strikes in 2012.
“In Yemen and Somalia, there is debate about whether the militants targeted by the U.S. are in fact plotting against the U.S. or instead fighting against their own country,” reported ProPublica. Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the US is running “a counterinsurgency air force” for allied countries.
The US government is responsible for a massive death toll post 9/11, and instead of decelerating the wars, the Obama administrations intends to exacerbate more money and more military aid in an attempt to send Syrian leader al-Assad a message. An act that could push the planet into WW3.