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View Diary: NSA the gift that keeps on giving (20 comments)

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  •  Me, too (3+ / 0-)
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    Laurence Lewis, LieparDestin, native

    There are several reports from regular Syrians on the ground that the rebels had sarin, stored in tunnels, and accidently set it off on August 21.

    Because there are so many conflicting reports, even the German reports are conflicting, the case for "beyond a reasonable doubt" can't be made.  This is why I think Obama's White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough tried to base the case on "common sense" like that would be a rationale for bombing Damascus.

    Common sense informs most thinking people that it would be BEYOND INSANE for Assad to order the use of CWs.  This is why I think 2/3rds of Americans don't support a missile attack.  

    We are not convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Assad is responsible for August 21 CW disaster.

    We know too much history.  

    The CW attack is the sort of thing AQ would do to inflame the situation because AQ always gains insurgent strength when there is national chaos in a country.  Many have blamed AQ for CW attacks in March with some compelling physical evidence.

    Sadly, some who know history might even wonder if JSOC was involved, through proxy, to discredit the Assad regime bolstering the case for his removal.

    What a freaking mess!

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:33:08 AM PDT

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    •  read obama's speech (3+ / 0-)
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      War on Error, greenbastard, native

      the section attempting to incriminate assad is very brief and vague. given that this is about potential war, that really jumps out. of course, the speech is designed to keep people from focusing on actual proof of culpability.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:36:49 AM PDT

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      •  Link to transcript of Pres Obama's address (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, LieparDestin, native

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        I think the President made a mistake by using "I" instead of "we"

        I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.

        I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan.

        I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo.

        Who edits his addresses?  I would have made the change from "I" to "we" in a heartbeat.

        Assad specific comments:

        The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children.

        Moreover, we know the Assad regime was responsible.

        In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas.

        They distributed gasmasks to their troops.

        Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.

        Shortly after those rockets landed, the gas spread, and hospitals filled with the dying and the wounded.

        We know senior figures in Assad’s military machine reviewed the results of the attack, and the regime increased their shelling of the same neighborhoods in the days that followed. We’ve also studied samples of blood and hair from people at the site that tested positive for sarin.

        This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons, and degrading Assad’s capabilities.
        Is it possible that Assad's forces had intel that the rebels were closing in on the CW site?  And, if so, of course they would get out the gas masks.

        Also, of course there was discussion after the CW event.

        Either way, CWs in a country enmeshed in civil war, with some dirty players posing as rebels, is a disaster waiting to happen.  For the good of Syria and the Middle East it would be good to get rid of Syria's CWs.  But is it true that it is easy to make sarin?  AQ hasn't used sarin outside of Syria, so not a usual tactic, although AQ is accused of doing so in March.

        There needs to be a true cease fire.  I would like to see all Syrians join together to rid the country of the dirty players, then sit down and hash out the way forward without weapons of any kind.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

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        •  notice (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          how all his claims of assad's complicity focus on what was done, not on assad's ordering it- or even being aware it was being done. nothing he said contradicts or even calls into doubt the german report.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:11:30 AM PDT

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          •  I did notice this. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis, native

            I really expected the address to include all the latest reporting, which would have required a quick rewrite, an all nighter before Tuesday night.

            Obama wouldn't have had to give credit to the conflicting news reporting, but he could have stated that there is some doubt about who actually released sarin.

            That said, the Russian/Syrian proposal boxed Assad in, just like the red line comment boxed President Obama in.

            On Monday, Obama had an out and he had an offer on the table to resolve CWs in Syria.

            Perhaps he could have said:

            Yes, sarin was used, over 1,000 men, women, and children died.  No one is disputing that sarin gas, a deadly chemical weapon was used.

            Before this happens again, fearing both a military strike and another CW attack within his country, the Assad regime has agreed to allow the UN to come in and decommission Syria's CWs.

            However, if there is any resistence or delay by any faction of the Assad regime for any reason to do so, then the military action will be taken without warning.

            This would have put 100% responsibility on Assad if a military strike were to take place, imo, and released President Obama/US from any burden of criticism.

            Actually, I think this is the outcome, so great work diplomats.  I hope this works out.

            I just hope the bad actors posing as rebels don't use CWs as a ploy to keep the civil war going.  Chaos is AQs playground.

            But, hey, what do I know.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:27:52 AM PDT

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            •  i disagree strongly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              with failure on assad's part to be casus belli to military action. there are still no good military options or rationales.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:31:38 AM PDT

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              •  I agree with you re casus belli (0+ / 0-)

                however, and sadly, this is the best we can expect at this time, agree?  We can't take away the military option or Assad won't comply.  Carrot stick and all that.

                Where we stand today is an improvement of where we stood a few weeks ago.

                Hopefully, the CW  agreement will precede a cease fire agreement to make it possible for the CW to be removed from use in whatever ways the concensus group agrees.  Then, during the cease fire, the non-Syrian bad players can be removed and the Syrian bad players can be stopped, both of whom we can pray don't have CWs.

                If this could happen, I think the Syrian gov and people can hash out some sort of agreement to end the armed conflict.  They have to be battle weary after 2.5 years.

                Aid can come into Syria to return the refugees.  And you would think NSA, Syrian intel, and others can work together to thwart efforts by any to reignite fighting.

                Thanks for the conversation.

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:56:54 AM PDT

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