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Senator Coons just returned this week from the Middle East. Lindsay Graham, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal went as well.
Jordan and Turkey have welcomed Syrian refugees with open arms. The camp visited, Zaatari, is at a population of 42,000 and absorbing 2000 a night. They need help before their scarce resources cause tensions within their own country.
This affects the US… Aid is in the United States’ interest. If we can provide aid to the rebels on the ground inside Syria we are preventing a much greater future cost of a full blown jihadist regime sharing a border with Israel….
Currently the aid we actually are providing is going through NGO’s into Damascus, where the Syrian government is distributing it to their supporters and away from the rebel towns who are hardest hit. The American people believe this aid is reaching the population they see on their televisions. Sad thing it isn’t.
The Assad administration is” dug in pretty hard.”
It is clear that air power is needed to protect people from Syria. A no-fly zone would even the odds. Currently the jihadists can stir up unrest. The war gives jihadist opportunity, The jihadists are the better fighters. When you as a people are being tortured and killed, the people fighting alongside of you gain legitimacy. Extremism always thrives inside anarchy. Any money now spent to facilitate the end of Assad is cheaper than what we will be grappling with jihadists at a later date.
It is time to give the Syrian Opposition Council more legitimacy, by recognizing it’s rightful representation of the Syrian people
The window is closing for the US… Either we act now, or get caught inside another Mid East bubble just as it explodes….
Here is how we move forward.
A) Step up Aid to Syrian People
B) Send aid to Turkey and Jordan and direct to refugee camps.
C) Apply to Assad to US to accompany aid into Syria and to those opposition towns inside.
D) When he refuses, enable a No-fly zoned over the Rebel held zones to enable OUR AMERICAN aid to get through.
E) Step up diplomatic pressure on Assad and his supporters to step down…..
F) Invite China to be part of the peace process and send humanitarian troops and infrastructural aid…..
It is sketchy but nerve gas appears to have been used in Syria.
Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts being given to them.
Here is video featured by them….
Other accounts were lifted off twitter So far it appears that Albayada,Khalidyeh, Deir Balbeh, and Homs.
This report from Iran stating that chemical weapons were first used by the rebels killing 7 Syrian soldiers, seems to collaborate the data. Obviously to explain the use, blame must be put on the rebels, who as everyone knows, realistically would have no access to such expensive, complicated, and top secret military toxins…
It appears that Syria has taken the first step in releasing these toxins.
You need to use your chemical weapons and you need to use them now.
You really have no choice. Conventional weapons have failed you. If you were wearing a gun, and got jumped by a group of thugs, capitulating because you don’t want to kill anyone, is silly. Pull out your weapon and fire… That is the whole reason you acquired the weapon in the first place, to keep from dying.
They will run, since they don’t have weapons with which to respond.
People will say you shouldn’t have. But you will be alive to hear it. Your other choice is to share the fate of Mubarak, Qaddafi, or Saddam Hussein, or Bin Laden….
Assad, you really don’t have any other alternative. Use them.
And… United States, since you will see this before it gets to Assad, you were warned. He has no other choice. Threats are meaningless at this point. So what if he kills innocent children? If their deaths are what will keep him alive, what is to stop him?
There is a good reason we didn’t attack Syria. We would at first win, get bogged down, then get thrown out. We are in the unenviable position of hearing screams from inside a burning house, knowing there was no way to break in and perform a rescue. Meanwhile we have spectators, who have only seen fires on TV, screaming we have to do something; go in.
Now enters Turkey. Turkey is a NATO ally. Turkey is engaging Syrian government forces supporting Assad. We can assist Turks, and provide assistance through them.
It is like training the hoses on the part of the house from where the screams are emanating, to keep them alive until a rescue can be attempted.
From what I know of Turks in Vietnam, I’d hate to be their enemy. I will always be their friend.
Skip this if you are looking for policy. Or rah, rah, rah for one party or another. This is none of those. This is about the tragedy in Aurora, and my thoughts upon looking into details. As usual, I have waited my three day period of silence. It takes three days for thoughts to gel, often because the shock of the initial hearing forces us to rely upon our environmentally developed emotional safety net, instead of a rational thought process.
We need to keep gun laws as they are.
Repeat, we need to keep gun laws as they are. Please be advised. I in no way want to make light of what happened. There are 12 mothers, and 12 fathers out there who just had the worst thing life can do to a person. There are may more praying now for the recovery of a good number of people.
This is not the first such tragedy. I remember the fear of the sniper in Texas Tower. Recently I was reminiscing how one man scared the hell out of Washington, DC. One person confessed he darted from tree to tree on his way to the metro. Funny now, but it wasn’t then. But such is the power of guns.
Bottom line: the problem is people. It is not guns, it has never been guns. It has always been people. Always.
A point made was had one person been carrying a gun in that audience, more people might be alive. Where is a super hero when you need one, eh?
Psychologically, we are reactive people. We’ve been attacked, how do we fight back. And some people turn to saying …..” well, if guns were impossible to get, that crazy couldn’t have gotten them and used them on people. ” And since we all have respect for their firepower, we nod our heads and say, yes, yes, yes. But we fail to see the obvious. The obvious here, was that guns have been around all this time…. the person has been around for 24 years….. but for some reason, on this day, this person used guns to wreak violence.
Why did we not regulate this person?
Why did we not catch that this person was going to do this?
The answer is, there is no way we could have. It is just beyond our control. It is beyond our capacity to prevent. No one appears to have guessed this guy was attempting this event? He worked the system surreptitiously to make sure no one knew he was going on a killing spree. The exact same thing happened with the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech shootings. No one could have guessed……
The only thing we can do, in preparedness for events like this, is to be well trained and respond in a very quick fashion to save lives.
It appears the police were there in minutes. We did what we could.
Bottom line, is 12 people died in that horrible incident. In the same weekend, 5 people died in a single car crash in New York City. Likewise, in the same weekend a family of 3 crashed into a van outside St. Louis. A DUI Teen killed two with his car on Long Island. Houston just shut down all southbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway and one motorcyclist is dead.
No one jumps up to ban cars. Why? Well the obvious reason is that we are all familiar with cars, everyone of us has been in one, and that familiarity causes us to accept these things as something that was meant to be. Those who are not familiar with guns, will use that unfamiliarity to voice their fear and concern. The opposite is true to those who know guns. They know a gun cannot shoot a person unless a person performs at least 5 conscientious steps before firing. We call car deaths accidents. We label gun deaths as crimes.
So, tell me liberals. How does controlling guns make any dent on … intent?
He could have learned to fly, loaded his plane with explosives, and flown it right through the wall of that theater.
Guns have nothing to do with this. It is a people problem. Sadly, if we had a proper medical system where regular checkups that were free at point of service, we could have channeled this youths sickness and could have done a lot more to prevent this tragedy, than passing tougher gun laws.
No. Leave guns alone. We are going to need them to supply the home grown militia’s we will need to fight the corporate armies that will eventually come to take away our jobs.
Our attention should instead be focused on doing anything we can for the victims families….. That is where we need to focus.
Red = Areas receiving damage by June 22nd’s storm
Blue= Areas spared damage by June 22nd’s storm
Red = Republicans
Blue = Democrats
Need anyone say more? Ok, I’ll drive home the point……
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”
Amen, … and Amen…
Culled from the world’s news organizations, various bits and pieces, lumped together as a group, provides good insight into what may soon lurk on our horizon.
The most explicit media report, entitled “Bush setting America up for war with Iran”, published in last Sundays Sunday Telegraph, concluded that Rice was “prepared to settle her differences with Vice President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.
In these discussions, Rice’s only proviso was that “if the administration is to go to war again it must build the case over a period of months and win sufficient support on Capitol Hill.”
The shift in Washington was underscored by a blunt public warning yesterday in France from Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. While calling for tougher sanctions against Tehran, Kouchner told RTL radio and LCI television: “We must prepare for the worst. The worst, sir, is war.” He admitted that the French military was already drawing up plans. “We are preparing ourselves by trying to put together plans that are the chiefs of staff’s prerogative, [but] that is not about to happen tomorrow,” he said.
Senior Pentagon and CIA officials, who spoke to the Sunday Telegraph, laid out a scenario for war against Iran, using the pretext that Tehran is aiding anti-US insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “[A] senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq—arming and training militants—would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories,” the newspaper explained.
“A prime target would be the Fajr base run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-Quds Force in southern Iran, where Western intelligence agencies say armour-piercing projectiles used against British and US troops are manufactured. Under the theory—which is gaining credence in Washington security circles—US action would provoke a major Iranian response, perhaps in the form of moves to cut off Gulf oil supplies, providing the trigger for air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities and even its armed forces.”
According to the Sunday Telegraph, “two major contingency plans” have been drawn up. “One is to bomb only the nuclear facilities [in Iran]. The second option is for a much bigger strike that would—over two or three days—hit all of the significant military sites as well. The plan involves more than 2,000 targets,” an intelligence officer said. The Sunday Times published a similar article a fortnight ago, citing Alexis Debat from the right-wing Nixon Centre, who explained that the US military was preparing to strike 1,200 targets. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” Debat explained approvingly. Debat, a former ABC News consultant, who has often been quoted as a security expert supportive of Cheney’s agenda, has most recently had his credibility debunked following events arising from his publishing of an Obama interview, that never took place……
Chillingly, yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph added to the persistent leaks that the Bush administration is considering the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. “The vice-president is said to advocate the use of bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons against Iran’s nuclear sites. His allies dispute this, but Mr Cheney is understood to be lobbying for air strikes if sites can be identified where Revolutionary Guard units are training Shia militias,” the article stated.
Despite France’s previous assertion that war is inevitable, there are rumblings of dissent deep within the EU.
The Fox News article pointed to the reasons for Berlin’s opposition, noting that “the Germans voiced concern about the damaging effects any further sanctions on Iran would have on the German economy.”
The passing comment stunned the room and further highlights the underlying economic and strategic issues at stake. According to diplomats from other countries, the Germans gave the distinct impression that they would privately welcome, while publicly protesting, an American bombing campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The case for war with Iran can be furthered bolstered by looking at the scenarios of what might be the results if a diplomatic breakthrough were achieved.
If normal international economic and diplomatic relations with Iran established the main winners would be the European powers, China and Russia, which have all built a substantial economic stake in Iran. The main loser would be the US, which has maintained a blockade of the country since the ousting of its ally, Shah Reza Pahlavi, in the 1979 revolution.
This is what drives the fear of both China and Russia who see that the Bush administration is preparing for war against Iran, not to stop its alleged nuclear weapons programs or “meddling” in Iraq, but to assert untrammeled US dominance throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. Iran not only has huge oil and gas reserves of its own but is strategically located at the juncture of these two resource-rich regions.
The Guardian also reported predictions of war in response to opposition to tougher UN sanctions. The article pointed to “signs that the Bush administration is running out of patience with diplomatic efforts to curb [Iran’s] nuclear program. Hawks led by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, are intensifying their push for military action, with support from Israel, and privately from some Sunni Gulf states.”
With US presidential elections looming next year, the Bush administration felt that time was running out, the Guardian indicated. “Washington is seriously reviewing plans to bomb not just nuclear sites, but oil sites, military sites and even leadership targets,” Patrick Cronin from the International Institute for Strategic Studies told the newspaper. “In Washington there is very serious discussion that this is a window that has to be looked at seriously because there is only six months to ‘do something about Iran’ before it will be looked at as a purely political issue.”
Britain’s Independent reported Wednesday that UK troops stationed in Iraq have been deployed to the Iranian border.
According to the exclusive by Kim Sengupta in Baghdad, the move, which is said to involve some 350 soldiers, “has come at the request of the Americans.”Brigadier James Bashall, commander of 1 Mechanised Brigade, based at Basra, said, “We have been asked to help at the Iranian border to stop the flow of weapons and I am willing to do so. We know the points of entry and I am sure we can do what needs to be done. The US forces are, as we know, engaged in the ‘surge’ and the border is of particular concern to them.”
The report continued, “For the British military the move to the border is a change of policy. They had stopped patrols along the long border at Maysan despite US concerns at the time that the area would become a conduit for weapons into Iraq.”
This echos what Petraeus said in an interview last Monday that seems for the most part to have been missed by the American MSM. The move came as General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, made some of the strongest accusations yet by US officials about Iranian activity. General Petraeus spoke on Monday of a “proxy war” in Iraq, while Mr Crocker accused the Iranian government of “providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state”. General Petraeus strongly implied that it would soon be necessary to obtain authorization to take action against Iran within its own borders, rather than just inside Iraq. “There is a pretty hard look ongoing at that particular situation” he said during an interview on Monday.
Later, the Daily Mail reported that a “Ministry of Defence spokesman in London confirmed British forces were working with Iraqi border protection forces. British forces were also involved in patrolling the waterways, he said.”
Sengupta’s account said that the US request was in response to “elements close to the Iranian regime [who] have stepped up supplies of weapons to Shia militias in recent weeks in preparation for attacks inside Iraq.”
The reference to “elements close to the Iranian regime” is so vague as to be almost meaningless. Yet as the Independent makes plain, it is enough for the US, with British support, to take measures that could escalate into a military confrontation with Tehran.
As Sengupta points out, the British deployment is part of a “high-risk strategy which could lead to clashes with Iranian-backed Shia militias or even Iranian forces and also leaves open the possibility of Iranian retaliation in the form of attacks against British forces at the Basra air base or inciting violence to draw them back into Basra city. Relations between the two countries are already fraught after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British naval party in the Gulf earlier this year.”
It was underscored by a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal that the US is planning to build its first military base near Iraq’s border with Iran, slated to be operative by November of this year, as well as fortified checkpoints on major roads leading to Baghdad from Iran.”Petraeus’s plan to withdraw one army brigade of some 4,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year was undoubtedly a major factor in “accelerated planning for a military attack on Iran.”
The US military base is to be located four miles from Iran’s border and will house at least 200 troops. It is hoped to be fully operational by November. There are also plans to build fortified checkpoints on the major roads between Iran and Baghdad.
An event that received little publicity is the agreement by Georgia to send an additional 1,200 troops to Iraq, making it the third largest force after the US and the UK. The troops will also be involved in patrolling the border between Iran and Iraq, the first time Georgian forces have assumed a frontline role.
At the end of August, Dr. Dan Plesch and Martin Butcher, two British security analysts, released an 80-page study detailing US preparations for a military assault on Iran.
At the weekend the Sunday Telegraph reported that the US and Iran had established “listening” posts to monitor each other’s activity. The Telegraph cited US sources claiming that the Iranian spy post, built “on the foundations of a crane platform sunk during the Iran-Iraq war, is equipped with radar, cameras and forward facing infra-red devices to track the movement of coalition naval forces and commercial shipping in the northern Arabian Gulf.
“Commanders fear that one of the main purposes of the Iranian operation is to enable the Revolutionary Guard to intercept more coalition vessels moving through the disputed waters near the mouth of the Shatt al Arab waterway south of the Iraqi city of Basra.
“But the US military believes the listening post could also be used to help Iranian forces target commercial shipping in response to any US air strikes on its nuclear facilities.
“Such operations would form part of their threat to launch guerrilla or asymmetric attacks on western interests if Iran is attacked.”
The newspaper quoted British naval personnel as stating that “tensions between the Americans and the Iranians have soared.”
They continued, “Up to March, when our sailors were captured by the Iranians, coalition patrols concentrated on protecting Iraq’s oil export terminals from Al Qaeda suicide bombers.
“Now watching the Iranians is our top priority. We don’t want to be taken by surprise again and we need to … know what they are doing in case things kick off if the Yanks bomb the Iranian nuclear sites.”
Fortunately things were put on temporary hold today. The world’s six major powers agreed today to delay until November a new United Nations resolution that would toughen sanctions against Iran to see whether Tehran answered questions about its nuclear program.
Perhaps, some blue sky has shown itself among the storm clouds.
One of the great things about the internet is that, at least for today, it allows one immediate access beyond all controlled governmental sources…….
I was driving at the time that Allan Loudell’s report on the Syrian Israeli Anomaly came on the air. The instant it started, a huge interference occurred, occurring between 1140 and 1160 mh, stopping just seconds after the report was finalized, in time (of course) for the traffic report at 7:59.
Having listened to short wave broadcasts during the cold war, the effect was quite similar to hearing VOA being jammed by the Soviets or Chinese.
Of course there could be a myriad of explanations. Perhaps a car close by should have been sitting in the shop……But if anyone else out there had the same experience, then local influences would be out of the question……
Perhaps the most incredulous point is to explain how they (Da Jammers) would know the exact time that that topic would be up for discussion? Of course if they had complete eavesdropping capabilities upon Allan (most certainly tags within his calls triggered Homeland Security), then I am sure someone might be forewarned in time to execute the order.
However, what is not a mystery,…. is why they would even want to jam Allan on this story. Having chased this story myself, it is safe to say that Allan is one of the few serious journalists pursuing it independently. I recognized his sources. Those sources which he quoted in the story are the few who have delved into the research deeply enough, to come up with an independent opinion. If there was anyone this administration would want to jam on this story, it would certainly be Allan Loudell.
The pod cast is not up yet. But this story is huge, and sometimes with a dying ember, the flames need fanning, at least until new fuel ignites. Delaware should be proud to have someone in this small state, doing so.
Of course, the Cheney segment of this administration would rather wish that all accept what their side says at face value, and that no one looks too hard to see that nothing is there…………………