• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 7 september 2013

Obama's Crimes 33

Een kink in de kabel, de propaganda moet beter verkocht worden:


The Bankrupt Empire

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Corporate and Financial Debt Soar to Pre-crisis Levels

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There's an excellent article in Thursday's Wall Street Journal that details the ruinous impact of the Fed's monetary policy. While the real economy has seen no benefit from the Central Bank's zero rates and quantitative easing (QE), corporations and financial institutions have gone on a borrowing binge that has boosted their leverage to pre-crisis levels.
Keep in mind, that it was the bursting of the gigantic credit bubble in subprime mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that imploded the global financial system triggering the deepest slump since the Great Depression, so you might think the Fed would want to avoid a similar mishap in the future. Au contraire! As the WSJ article confirms, the Fed's lamebrain monetary policy
has returned us to Square 1, the same place we were five years ago when the roof caved in and the whole bloody financial system came crashing down in a heap. Here's an excerpt from the article titled "Financial Crisis Anniversary: For Corporations and Investors, Debt Makes a Comeback":

"'Five years after excessive debt propelled a housing-market collapse into a financial crisis and recession, similar bets are being placed across the U.S"... Leverage is getting back to where it was precrisis,' said Christina Padgett, head of leveraged finance research at Moody's Investors Service.
"Total corporate-bond debt has grown to nearly $6 trillion, up 59% since 2007, the year before the financial crisis. ... Leverage by companies rated investment grade has risen 20% since 2010 ... about 6% higher than in 2008, according to J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.48% & Co.
"Small investors are increasingly partners in the corporate-borrowing surge. In 2008, mutual funds held, on average, 17% of the bonds and 3% of the loans made to junk-grade companies, according to Bank of America. Today, they own about 26% of the bonds and 19% of the loans.

So everyone's piling into the debt markets in response to the Fed's uber-accommodative policy, right? So while the Fed's QE and zirp (zero interest rate policy) have had zilch effect on unemployment, the output gap, wages and income, consumer spending, aggregate demand, corporate investment or even inflation (which is still bobbing below the Fed's 2 percent target); they have fueled a borrowing spree that's pushed NYSE margin debt and stock prices to record highs, while junk bond yields have dropped to all-time lows. In other words, Helicopter Ben has inflated another ginormous stock and bond bubble that will eventually explode in a spectacular fireworks display leaving the financial system and the economy in tatters.
Hooray, for Bernanke, Ponzi-charlatan extraordinaire! Maestro must be green with envy. Here's more from the article:
"'Many companies are repeating some of the mistakes of the past,' by taking on too much debt, said Edward Altman, a New York University business school professor and the creator of a well-known tool for measuring corporate health, called the Z-score.
"Mr. Altman said his latest forecast, which measures the probability of corporate defaults, showed overall corporate health was 'no better than it was in 2007 and by some measures worse.'" (WSJ)
Altman is obviously a party pooper. What does he know about self-balancing equilibrium of the free market? If debt is all that bad, then why are so many corporations and big banks loading up on more leverage all the time? Huh?
Could it be because zero-priced capital and $85 billion in monthly liquidity injections distort the pricing mechanism, drives down interest rates and sends investors scrambling for yield wherever they can find it? Could it be that Bernanke's dogwhistle policies force risk-adverse fixed-income investors and penny-pinching retirees into volatile equities and other unsavory bets so they can make sufficient return on their life savings to keep the wolves away from the door?
Sure, it is. You see, Bernanke takes a two-pronged approach to the Fed's "price stability" mandate. On the one hand, he keeps dumping enough Vodka into the punchbowl to keep everyone at the party permanently blottoed, and with the other, he puts a gun to the head of every cautious saver in the country who would prefer to keep his money in a deposit account, but is coerced by Bernanke's zero rates to dive back into the equities sharktank where he'll be stripped-to-the-bone by the Wall Street piranhas. Isn't that the Fed's policy in a nutshell? Here's more from the article:
"Student loans, up 71% over the past five years, are approaching $1.2 trillion; in March last year, a third of the riskiest loans were more than 90 days past due, up from 24% in 2007, according to TransUnion LLC." (WSJ)
Sure, let's feed-off our young so we can keep Bernanke's Three-Card Monte game going a bit longer. What difference does it make?
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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.
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Zionist Terror 150

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On Syria, AIPAC, The 800 Pound Gorilla, Risks Looking Like A Chimp! | MJ Rosenberg

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by presstv

AIPAC's last big battle was in 1991 when it tried to get extra aid to support Soviet Jewish refugees in Israel. President George H. W. Bush said the extra aid (in the form of loan guarantees) would only be provided if Israel froze West Bank settlement construction. Prime Minister Shamir said no and Bush said: no extra aid for you.
AIPAC descended on the Hill as they now are over Syria, leading Bush to publicly say "I am one lonely little guy" up against "some powerful political forces" made up of "a thousand lobbyists on the Hill."

That battle did not end well for AIPAC although it did for Israel. It led the Israeli electorate to dump the rightist prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, in favor of Yitzhak Rabin. Israel did not get the extra aid until Bush could provide it to a prime minister who pledged to freeze settlements and to negotiate with the Palestinians.
In that case, unlike this one, there was no Congressional vote. AIPAC was not able to test the formula pronounced by its top strategist, Steve Rosen (later indicted under the Espionage Act) who famously told the New Yorker:
You see this napkin? In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.
The Syria vote will be the test.
AIPAC and its cutouts are the only lobbying forces supporting the administration's plans for war and Congress will make the decision. It should be a good moment for AIPAC to make its case. Members of Congress  are now in intense fund raising mode for the 2014 primaries and general election. When AIPAC visits in the next week or two, it will make the case for war with that looming overhead.
I called a friend on Capitol Hill to refresh my memory about what the AIPAC push is going to look like:
First come the phone calls from constituents who are AIPAC members. They know the Congressman and are nice and friendly and just tell him, or whichever staffer the constituent knows, just how important this vote is to him and his friends back in the district.
Then the donors call. The folks who have hosted fundraisers. They are usually not only from the district but from New York or LA or Chicago. They repeat the message: this vote is very important.
Contrary to what you might expect, they do not mention campaign money. They don't have to. Because these callers are people who only know the Congressman through their checks, the threat not to write any more of them is implicit. Like the constituents, the donors are using AIPAC talking points which are simple and forceful. You can argue with them but they keep going back to the script. Did I mention the rabbis? We only have a few in our district but we get calls from all of them and from other rabbis from around the state.
Then there are the AIPAC lobbyists, the professional staffers. They come in, with or without appointments. If the Congressman is in, they expect to see him immediately. If not, they will see a staffer. If they don't like what they hear, they will keep coming back. They are very aggressive, no other lobby comes close, They expect to see the Member, not mere staff.
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http://mjayrosenberg.com

M.J. Rosenberg is Special Correspondent for The Washington Spectator. Previously he served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and (more...)


Syria 234


In tegenstelling tot de bewering van NRC's-opiniemaker Hubert Smeets dat 'Obama in Sint-Petersburg een kleine publicitaire slag' zou kunnen 'slaan, is de werkelijkheid deze:


Obama Increasingly Isolated on Syria Military Action

Saturday, 07 September 2013 10:21By Jim LobeInter Press Service | News Analysis
Obama Syria.(Photo: Pete Souza / White House)Washington, DC - With a week of intense lobbying behind him, U.S. President Barack Obama looks increasingly beleaguered – both at home and abroad – in his effort to rally support for a military strike against Syria to punish its government for its alleged Aug. 21 chemical-weapons attack outside Damascus.
At home, most political observers say Obama faces a particularly difficult task in bringing a majority of the Republican-led House of Representatives, which begins debating his proposed Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) next week on return from its August recess, over to his side.
“The lack of consensus within G20 is confirmation of what we already knew, which is that there is limited support for military action in Syria within the international community." -- Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations 
Congressional offices, even those whose bosses favour Obama’s position, are reporting overwhelming opposition in telephone calls and emails from their constituents, while public meetings held by lawmakers in their home districts have been dominated by anti-intervention forces from both the right and the left.
And polls released over the past week suggest that the administration has made little headway in moving public opinion its way.
A new Gallup poll taken at mid-week and released Friday found that support for U.S. military action “to reduce Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons” – 36 percent – was the lowest on the eve of any military intervention Washington has undertaken in the last 20 years. Fifty-one percent of respondents opposed a strike.
In a reflection of White House concern over opposition to military action, Obama himself announced Friday that he will address the nation about his intentions Tuesday. At a press conference at the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, he acknowledged that getting both house of Congress to approve an authorisation was “going to be a heavy lift”.
He spoke just after his deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken, told National Public Radio (NPR) that, even though Obama retained the constitutional authority to strike Syria without Congressional authorisation, “it’s neither his desire nor intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him.”
Meanwhile, on the international front, Obama also appeared to be faring poorly in his bid to gain support for military action.
In St. Petersburg, The White House released a “joint statement” signed by the leaders of only 10 members, including the U.S., of the G20 plus Spain voicing “support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons” and calling for “those who perpetrated these crimes (to be) held accountable.” The statement stopped short, however, of endorsing military action.
The signatories included the leaders of Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, as well as the U.S. Absent from the list, however, were all members of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – as well as Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, and Germany.
The European Union (EU), a G20 member in its own right, also did not sign due to a lack of consensus among its membership.
Independent observers described the statement as a serious setback not only to Washington’s efforts to rally international support.
“It seems to have been a remarkable investment of American diplomatic energy not to have achieved the support of even a majority of the G20, and they tried to give the appearance of half plus one through sleight of hand,” noted Daniel Levy, the director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), who pointed to larger problems caused by the way the administration has acted over the Syria issue.
“Look at the institutions they’ve weakened in this process: the U.N. Security Council itself; the European Union by implicitly underlining its failure to gain consensus; the Arab League where the three most populous Arab states – Egypt, Iraq and Algeria – have all come out against military action; and even the G20 – all in order to achieve a statement that is far from an unequivocal endorsement of American military action,” he told IPS.
Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), also suggested that the administration’s latest diplomatic move underscored its weakness on the issue.
“The lack of consensus within G20 is confirmation of what we already knew, which is that there is limited support for military action in Syria within the international community,” he said.
Back at home, advocates of military action, the most vocal of whom are pro-Israel activists and organisations worried that Congress’ failure to back up Obama’s threats against Syria will embolden Iran and its regional allies, are increasingly making the argument that both the president’s and Washington’s international credibility is at stake.
“This is not longer just about the conflict in Syria or even the Middle East,” wrote former Sens. Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl, co-chairmen of the American Internationalism Project of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a neo-conservative think tank that played a leading role in championing the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“It is about American credibility. Are we a country that our friends can trust and our enemies fear? Or are we perceived as a divided and dysfunctional superpower in retreat, whose words and warnings are no longer meaningful?” they asked in an op-ed entitled “Inaction on Syria Threatens U.S. Security” published by the Wall Street Journal Friday.
Failure to authorise a strike will be a “green light” for Iran to “speed toward nuclear weapons” and “confirm the worst fears of our ally, Israel, and moderate Arab states like Jordan that the U.S. cannot be relied upon to stand by its commitments. This will dramatically raise the risks of a regional war that could upend the global economy,” they stressed.
But others have argued that the credibility argument is overdrawn in this case.
“We heard this argument many, many times before, and always when the objective case for war was weak,” according to Stephen Walt, a prominent international relations expert at Harvard University. “To refrain from using force when vital interests are not at stake and when bombing could make things worse is not weakness; it is good sense.
“The United States has fought five wars since the Cold War ended and is using drones and special forces in several countries already,” he told IPS. “Nobody is going to question U.S. credibility when its interests are genuinely engaged and it has a clear objective in mind.”
Some liberal interventionists, notably Secretary of State John Kerry in his various public remarks, have also stressed the credibility argument, arguing that Washington’s failure to act could have profound implications for world order.
“For better or worse…” William Galston of the Brookings Institution argued in the Journal earlier this week, “the United States is the guarantor of the global order, which we took the lead in creating.
“Mr. Obama will need to convey this idea to the American people …from the Oval office,” he wrote.  “He must be prepared to go all-in to win what is shaping up as a tough fight on Capitol Hill. One thing is clear: A loss would shatter his presidency, and a lot more.”
But Kupchan said Obama’s failure to line up support from more G20 leaders suggested that the U.S.-created global order was no longer sustainable in any case.
“It’s clear confirmation of the degree to which there is a fundamental difference in geopolitical perspective between developed and emerging powers,” he told IPS.
“That the BRICS countries voted as a bloc is a sign of how difficult it’s going to be to fashion international consensus as global power continues to diffuse.”
Visit IPS news for fresh perspectives on development and globalization.

JIM LOBE

Jim Lobe's blog on U.S. foreign policy can be read at http://www.lobelog.com.

Syria 233


Syria 232

Ik  hoorde via de NOS dat Europese ministers van buitenlandse zaken overtuigd zijn van de Amerikaanse bewijzen dat Assad de schuldige is. http://nos.nl/artikel/548774-eu-alles-wijst-op-schuld-syrie.html De eerste vraag die bij mij opkwam: hoe moeten deze politici weten dat die bewijzen authentiek zijn? Moeten ze niet eerst hun eigen inlichtingendiensten raadplegen om te onderzoeken of de bewijzen kloppen? Zeker als die afkomstig zijn van een land dat eerder loog over de massavernietigingswapens van Saddam? Waarom stelt de NOS die vraag niet? Geloven de gesubsidieerde journalisten de politici blind?


Een groep ex-functionarissen van het Amerikaanse inlichtingenwezen, de FBI en het leger waarschuwt in een open brief voor de intel over Syrië:

" We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as 'plausible denial.' ”

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/09/06/obama-warned-on-syrian-intel/

Mvg


Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

September 6, 2013
Exclusive: Despite the Obama administration’s supposedly “high confidence” regarding Syrian government guilt over the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, a dozen former U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling President Obama that they are picking up information that undercuts the Official Story.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?
Precedence: IMMEDIATE

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”
We have been down this road before – with President George W. Bush, to whom we addressed our first VIPS memorandumimmediately after Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 U.N. speech, in which he peddled fraudulent “intelligence” to support attacking Iraq. Then, also, we chose to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was being misled – or, at the least, very poorly advised.

Secretary of State John Kerry departs for a Sept. 6 trip to Europe where he plans to meet with officials to discuss the Syrian crisis and other issues. (State Department photo)
The fraudulent nature of Powell’s speech was a no-brainer. And so, that very afternoon we strongly urged your predecessor to “widen the discussion beyond …  the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.” We offer you the same advice today.
Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you.
We have observed John Brennan closely over recent years and, sadly, we find what our former colleagues are now telling us easy to believe. Sadder still, this goes in spades for those of us who have worked with him personally; we give him zero credence. And that goes, as well, for his titular boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has admitted he gave “clearly erroneous” sworn testimony to Congress denying NSA eavesdropping on Americans.

Intelligence Summary or Political Ploy?

That Secretary of State John Kerry would invoke Clapper’s name this week in Congressional testimony, in an apparent attempt to enhance the credibility of the four-page “Government Assessment” strikes us as odd. The more so, since it was, for some unexplained reason, not Clapper but the White House that released the “assessment.”
This is not a fine point. We know how these things are done. Although the “Government Assessment” is being sold to the media as an “intelligence summary,” it is a political, not an intelligence document. The drafters, massagers, and fixers avoided presenting essential detail. Moreover, they conceded upfront that, though they pinned “high confidence” on the assessment, it still fell “short of confirmation.”
Déjà Fraud: This brings a flashback to the famous Downing Street Minutes of July 23, 2002, on Iraq, The minutes record the Richard Dearlove, then head of British intelligence, reporting to Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior officials that President Bush had decided to remove Saddam Hussein through military action that would be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.” Dearlove had gotten the word from then-CIA Director George Tenet whom he visited at CIA headquarters on July 20.
The discussion that followed centered on the ephemeral nature of the evidence, prompting Dearlove to explain: “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” We are concerned that this is precisely what has happened with the “intelligence” on Syria.
The Intelligence
There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.
According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.
We are unaware of any reliable evidence that a Syrian military rocket capable of carrying a chemical agent was fired into the area. In fact, we are aware of no reliable physical evidence to support the claim that this was a result of a strike by a Syrian military unit with expertise in chemical weapons.
In addition, we have learned that on August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major, irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and Qatari, Turkish and U.S. intelligence officials took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, now used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors.
Senior opposition commanders who came from Istanbul pre-briefed the regional commanders on an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development,” which, in turn, would lead to a U.S.-led bombing of Syria.
At operations coordinating meetings at Antakya, attended by senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials as well as senior commanders of the Syrian opposition, the Syrians were told that the bombing would start in a few days. Opposition leaders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the U.S. bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Bashar al-Assad government
The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive. And they were. A weapons distribution operation unprecedented in scope began in all opposition camps on August 21-23. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish intelligence under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence officers.

Cui bono?

That the various groups trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have ample incentive to get the U.S. more deeply involved in support of that effort is clear. Until now, it has not been quite as clear that the Netanyahu government in Israel has equally powerful incentive to get Washington more deeply engaged in yet another war in the area. But with outspoken urging coming from Israel and those Americans who lobby for Israeli interests, this priority Israeli objective is becoming crystal clear.
Reporter Judi Rudoren, writing from Jerusalem in an important article in Friday’s New York Times addresses Israeli motivation in an uncommonly candid way. Her article, titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” notes that the Israelis have argued, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome. Rudoren continues:
“For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.
“‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”
We think this is the way Israel’s current leaders look at the situation in Syria, and that deeper U.S. involvement – albeit, initially, by “limited” military strikes – is likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict in Syria. The longer Sunni and Shia are at each other’s throats in Syria and in the wider region, the safer Israel calculates that it is.
That Syria’s main ally is Iran, with whom it has a mutual defense treaty, also plays a role in Israeli calculations. Iran’s leaders are not likely to be able to have much military impact in Syria, and Israel can highlight that as an embarrassment for Tehran.

Iran’s Role

Iran can readily be blamed by association and charged with all manner of provocation, real and imagined. Some have seen Israel’s hand in the provenance of the most damaging charges against Assad regarding chemical weapons and our experience suggests to us that such is supremely possible.
Possible also is a false-flag attack by an interested party resulting in the sinking or damaging, say, of one of the five U.S. destroyers now on patrol just west of Syria. Our mainstream media could be counted on to milk that for all it’s worth, and you would find yourself under still more pressure to widen U.S. military involvement in Syria – and perhaps beyond, against Iran.
Iran has joined those who blame the Syrian rebels for the August 21 chemical incident, and has been quick to warn the U.S. not to get more deeply involved. According to the Iranian English-channel Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif has claimed: “The Syria crisis is a trap set by Zionist pressure groups for [the United States].”
Actually, he may be not far off the mark. But we think your advisers may be chary of entertaining this notion. Thus, we see as our continuing responsibility to try to get word to you so as to ensure that you and other decision makers are given the full picture.

Inevitable Retaliation

We hope your advisers have warned you that retaliation for attacks on Syrian are not a matter of IF, but rather WHERE and WHEN. Retaliation is inevitable. For example, terrorist strikes on U.S. embassies and other installations are likely to make what happened to the U.S. “Mission” in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, look like a minor dust-up by comparison. One of us addressed this key consideration directly a week ago in an article titled “Possible Consequences of a U.S. Military Attack on Syria – Remembering the U.S. Marine Barracks Destruction in Beirut, 1983.”

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Thomas Drake, Senior Executive, NSA (former)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan
Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
W. Patrick Lang, Senior Executive and Defense Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
Todd Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General (ret.)
Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army, Iraq
Coleen Rowley, Division Council & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
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Syria 231


'Ook VS wil VN-rapport over Syrië afwachten'


Net als de Europese landen willen nu ook de Verenigde Staten een VN-rapport over Syrië afwachten, voordat zij de knoop doorhakken over een militair optreden tegen het Syrische regime. De Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, John Kerry, zou dat zaterdag hebben gezegd tegen zijn Europese collega's tijdens beraad over Syrië in de Litouwse hoofdstad Vilnius. Dat is van betrokkenen bij het overleg vernomen.
Dat is van betrokkenen bij het overleg vernomen. Minister Frans Timmermans van Buitenlandse Zaken zei dat hij het Kerry 'niet met zoveel woorden heeft horen zeggen.' Andere ministers daarentegen kwamen met een niet-officiële bevestiging. Kerry zou wel begrip hebben getoond voor de Europese positie.

Syria 230


AdR heeft een nieuwe reactie op uw bericht "Syria 228" achtergelaten: 

Hier staat het toch ietsjes anders... 


De Mainstream Pers 10


Hubert Smeets:  'Obama [kan] in Sint-Petersburg een kleine publicitaire slag slaan.'


Twee dagen geleden beweerde NRC-redacteur buitenland Hubert Smeets dat als India, Brazilie, Zuid-Afrika, Indonesie en Argentinie 'het uit desinteresse laten bij gemor' dat dan 'Obama in Sint-Petersburg een kleine publicitaire slag slaan.'

Een duidelijker voorbeeld van hoe absurd ver de Nederlandse opiniemakers van de werkelijkheid zijn afgedreven is nauwelijks denkbaar. De voorpagina van de International Herald Tribune van vandaag:

Obama emerged with a few supporters but no consensus, as other leaders urged him not to attack without U.N. permission, which is not forthcoming.

Inmiddels is ook bekend dat het hier gaat om

A war the Pentagon doesn’t want...


omdat de Amerikaanse strijdkrachten ondermeer

are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.
Bovendien is duidelijk dat, zoals in IHT, the global edition van The New York Times, van vandaag staat: 
Putin takes center stage on Syria
De bewering van Hubert Smeets illustreert de onnozelheid van de polder mainstream, die werkelijk niet beseft wat er zich voor hun ogen voltrekt. Desondanks bemannen ze alle vitale commandoposten in de commerciele massamedia, en voorkomen daarmee dat het publiek geconfronteerd wordt met veel zinnigere analyses. En juist daarin schuilt een groot gevaar, want zolang het grote publiek met onvolledige, onjuiste, en regelmatig stupide informatie wordt opgezadeld, kunnen de politiek verantwoordelijken ongestoord doorgaan met hun falend beleid. Mijn advies: Hubert, schuif op, en laat anderen aan het woord. Dat is beter voor de samenleving. Jouw 'koude oorlog retoriek' werkt niet meer. De wereld is niet verdeeld in louter goed en slecht. De gezaghebbende Amerikaanse commentator William Pfaff begrijpt dit maar al te goed wanneer hij schrijft:

More War in Syria



William Pfaff



Paris, August 28, 2013 – When Barack Obama foolishly remarked last fall that if the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria made use of chemical weapons in its fight to suppress the insurrection in that country, it would cross a “red line” so far as the American government was concerned. His statement implied that the United States is in charge of international war and peace.

Het is tijd voor je om op te stappen, Hubert! Andere mensen worden het slachtoffer van jouw nonsens. Duidelijker kan ik het niet stellen!



Op 20 maart 2003, de dag dat de desastreuze illegale Amerikaanse inval in Irak begon, die eindigde in honderdduizenden doden, stond in een hoofdredactioneel commentaar van de NRC het volgende advies:

Nu de oorlog is begonnen, moeten president Bush en premier Blair worden gesteund. Die steun kan niet blijven steken in verbale vrijblijvendheid. Dat betekent dus politieke steun - en als het moet ook militaire.

Ik ben het niet vergeten, Hubert!