Skip to main content

Follow clayclai on Twitter
This is hot off the presses, as they say. The Telegraph is reporting 8:34PM BST 18 Jun 2012:

A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped in its tracks off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the behest of the British government.

The British marine insurer Standard Club said it had withdrawn cover from all the ships owned by Femco, a Russian cargo line, including the MV Alaed.

"We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria," the company said in a statement. "We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage."

British security officials confirmed they had told Standard Club that providing insurance to the shipment was likely to be a breach of European Union sanctions against the Syrian regime.

They said they were continuing to monitor the ship, which has been the subject of a fierce international row since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week revealed it was adding to the arsenal of weaponry available for Mr Assad to use against rebellious Syrian towns.

"We have various ways of keeping track of this ship and that is what we are doing," a source told The Daily Telegraph.

The MV Alaed picked up its cargo of Mi25 helicopters – known as "flying tanks" – from the Russian port of Kaliningrad, where they had been sent to the state-owned manufacturer Mil's "Factory 150" for servicing and repairs.

They were originally sold to the Syrian government by Moscow, its major arms supplier, at the end of the Soviet era.

The ship headed south through the North Sea towards the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean and, most likely, the Syrian port of Tartous, also home to a Russian naval base.

But under sanctions announced last year, the EU has banned not only exporting arms to Syria but also providing related services such as insurance.

As first revealed by The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend, the US notified the UK government that the insurance was British last week.

As it neared the Dutch coast, the authorities there also hailed the ship, the security sources said, and it made an abrupt turn, heading towards Scotland. It was last night now off the coast of the Hebrides but with no insurance covering the ship security sources say it may now have to return to port.

In their attempts to bombard rebel towns into submission, Assad regime forces have increasingly brought up helicopters, strafing the towns of Haffa and Rastan last week.

Russia Today, the Russian Federation TV channel and Internet site [TV-Novosti] is now confirming what I first reported here two days ago, namely that Russian troops are headed for Syria. 18 June, 2012, 15:45 they published:

It is being reported that large Russian amphibious naval ships are steaming toward the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russian civilians and naval infrastructure are under threat from ongoing civil disorder.

­"The crews of the Nikolay Filchenkov, Ceasar Kunikov and SB-15 tugboat – together with the marine units they carry – are capable of protecting security of Russian citizens and evacuating a part of the property of the logistics base," a source at the Russian Navy General Staff told Interfax-AVN on Monday.

But according to an officer stationed with the Black Sea Fleet, the Nikolay Filchenkov and Ceasar Kunikov are still sitting in dock in Sevastopol. Moreover, the crew is said to be on “regular service duty” and are under no emergency orders. He pointed out, however, that Russian naval ships must be prepared to dispatch anywhere in the world in 12 hours notice.

As of this hour Russia Today TV is reporting that they have sailed.

Accord to the Black Sea Fleet Information Resource the Nikolay Filchenkov is a large landing ship with a cargo of 300 troops and 1,700 tons including about 20 tanks and various trucks or 40 AFV's. It carries 2 dual 25mmn anti-aircraft guns and one dual 57mm/70 DP. It carries 3 SA-N-5 Grail rocket launchers and 122 mm UMS-73 Grad-M bombardment rocket launchers.

From the same source, the Ceasar Kunikov is also a large landing ship capable of beaching. It has a cargo capacity of 482 tons and normally carries 150 marines in addition to a crew of from 87 to 98. For guns it carries 2 dual 57mm AK-725 DP, and for missiles 4 x 8 Strela (SS-N-3) and 2 122 mm UMS-73 Grad-M bombardment RL.

So if these ships carry only their normal complement of troops that means 450 Russian combat troops, together with Russian armor and heavy weapons are headed to the civil war in Syria. This is in addition to {this is were I found the lead} the Russian cargo ship MV Alaed which is already reportedly in-route with refurbished Russian made Mi25 attack helicopters and missiles. The same Russia Today article confirms, in a backhanded manner, that the helicopters are on their way back to Syria:

Russia quickly extinguished the inflammatory comments, saying it was merely sending to Syria “old, refurbished helicopters” that it had been repaired and were being returned to Damascus as specified under contractual agreement.
It also said:
The Russian Black Sea Fleet's Iman tanker, with an anti-terrorist squad aboard, completed a mission off the coast of Syria in May; that same month, plans for the Moscow missile-carrying cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet to patrol the Syrian coastline was canceled in May.
I found this interesting because Claudius Bombarnac, in two comments to my earlier diary on this question supplied this link of a picture of an old tanker, the Iman with comments like:
It is interesting that the ship bringing in the dreaded "armed Russian troops" is the Iman - a small fuel tanker.
and
How many "elite units of Russian marines and special forces" can you bring in on this ship? One?
Now I wonder how he knew then to name the Iman and why he failed to mention the anti-terrorist squad on-board.

Here are my related diaries:  
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I am not in the least (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, ursoklevar, JoanMar

    questioning your diary -- but is the Telegraph a bit of a tabloid and RT deemed more than a bit unreliable or am I thinking of another Russian source (tabloid)?

    If this info is true -- what the hell is a Russian ship doing shipping arms via the waters off the coast of Scotland?  Sure, I don't understand international arms deals but isn't that a bit circuitous?

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:07:37 PM PDT

    •  This is how they get their justification for the (6+ / 0-)

      little ones that could become very big.  

      "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:22:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Syria (10+ / 0-)

        has all the makings of a proxy war.

        Who knew we'd be mixing it up with the Russians again after only twenty years of peace between us.  Feels like deja vu.  I guess the military industrial complex never had it so good as when they had us all suspicious and scared of the Russians.  Heck, in movies they still give the villain a Russian accent sometimes.

        And I was finally deprogramming myself from all that brainwashing...


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:28:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It already is a proxy war and not the civil war (11+ / 0-)

          the media is now trying to paint it as.  The majority of the so called rebels are outsiders like Al Qaeda from Iraq and mujahadeen hired and armed by Saudia Arabia and Qatar, and of course orchestrated by the U.S. and some of NATO.  It's a country destabilization/regime change campaign with the ultimate sights on Iran and Russia.  It's big trouble and no one has the interests of the Syrian people in mind, just their own interests.

          "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:32:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Definitely Iran (3+ / 0-)

            but Russia too?


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:39:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Defintely. Syria goes down and Russia's (5+ / 0-)

              influence goes way down.  I think that's largely why this is playing out in the media the way it is, the thing with the Russian attack helicopters.  Clinton came out strong, then the State department had to backtrack, but the bottom line is the next step if they want to take it is a No Fly Zone, which means a bombing attack of which the Pentagon said it is ready for.  But Russia has been the main obstacle in the U.N for any outside interference in Syria and they won't get another no fly zone approved in the UN like they did with Libya.  There's been much talk about bypassing the UN so this gives them two birds with one stone.  It paints Russia as helping an evil dictator while providing some justification for not only a no fly zone but a bypassing of the UN because of Russia.  
              Conjecture.

              "He said something like “the Arabs are helping with funds” and “we still have meetings to coordinate our efforts”; and he added something that confirmed the state of enmity with Russia now prevalent among the Syrians. He said: “We will declare Russia an enemy of the Arab people if it continues its support to Assad.” That means that Russia would likely lose all its assets in the Middle East, after the fall of Assad."

              http://gulftoday.ae/...

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:53:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  BigAlinWashSt , are the Russians sending attack (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JVolvo

                helicopters to Syria? Yes or No.

                Is Assad shelling Homs, Hama, Idlib and many other Syrian cities?

                People are dying because Assad want to stay in power and they want him out. I don't see any recognition of that in your narrative.

                Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:44:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is the very reason why (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo

                  he is so upset about this -- the welfare of the Syrian people seems to be the last thing any of the proxies care about while Syrian civilians are slaughtered.


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:51:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well, that's often the case unfortunately-- (0+ / 0-)

                    but his take on it is strongly in the CT realm--as is his take on nearly every aspect of the Arab Spring.  I've seen this 'orchestrated by the US' nonsense before.  Supported by the US?  Sure.  Some low-level economic and sometimes military assistance?  Sure. Orchestrated?  Not in the least.

                    People who really know what's going on are people like angrymarmot, Lawrence (I think that's his name), frankcornish, etc. etc.  They'll tell you what's going on far more than the Chomsky types around here...

            •  War is a racket joanneleon. That's what this all (4+ / 0-)

              is about.  I've been trying to say and that's what I meant this morning about not feeding the beast.  

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:07:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Great real BigAlinWashSt (8+ / 0-)

            You say:

            The majority of the so called rebels are outsiders like Al Qaeda from Iraq and mujahadeen hired and armed by Saudia Arabia and Qatar, and of course orchestrated by the U.S. and some of NATO.
            Just how many of such fighters do you really think are in Syria now? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? Those numbers just are not practical, not that even those numbers could create such turmoil in Syria against a united national army of  five hundred thousand fighters.

            Keep in mind just how poorly the US has faired with much larger numbers of very well supplied and supported troops in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

            The majority of the so called rebels, as you call them, are clearly deserters from Assad's army, they are joined by many young Syrian civilians taking up arms for the first time, and there is also a sprinkling of Libya thuwar that have come over in the spirit of Che. Meaning, the time of armed struggle is over in Libya but they aren't quite ready to move on to civil administration, so as Che went south in search of the fight, they went north. They bring to the Syrians critical skills, hard won lessons on just how to organize such a military struggle in the 21st century. Qatar is providing advanced weapons and training and the Kingdom is providing $$$ as aways.

            All of this may be getting a wink and a nod from Obama but that is a long way from "of course orchestrated by the U.S. and some of NATO." That is how matters really stand. The balance of power is changing is Syria because Assad's army is shrinking while the FSA is growing. Want to guess why?

            And that is why Assad has to rely on attack helos more and Russia is sending its own fighting force.

            You complain "no one has the interests of the Syrian people in mind."  Speak for yourself because you clearly don't. They have a regime that is murdering unarmed people all over the country and doing it with helicopter gunships, artillery, tanks, rockets, snipers and knives and you are opposed to regime change. You want to see the murderous Assad stay in power. And not only that, you care about it so much that you are willing to spend countless hours peddling his trash on my blog and many others.

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:24:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit Clay, keep up your NATO propaganda. (5+ / 2-)

              You still haven't addressed the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung story.  What about that and your precious Free Syrian Army funded by the humanitarian Saudi Arabia and Qatar?  
              Fucking bullshit apologist for war propaganda.

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:41:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Makes one wish for the good old days (4+ / 0-)

                when progressives condemned PNAC and the Cheney-Rumsfeld plan for wars of choice and regime change throughout North Africa, the Mideast, and Central Asia.

                Do you happen to recall what number Syria was on the list?

                •  No shit, how many times does that have to be (4+ / 0-)

                  pointed out?   Let's check, well looks like number two when he told us this time.  Might have been different the other umpteen times he told us.

                  "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:09:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And of course the Syria people have no part in (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JVolvo

                    this.

                    So in September 2001 Westley Clark hears we are going to take out 7 countries in 5 years. So a plan to take out Libya and Syria, among others, by 2007. Only nothing in particular happened in Libya and Syria by 2007. And this is all we are suppose to need to explain the Arab Spring of 2011? Because Westley Clark saw a memo in 2001 "laying it all out".

                    Did that memo predict or plan the self-emulation of a Tunisian street vendor on 12/17/11 to kick things off?

                    No need to explain the mass struggles of 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen & Jordan. To look to their formations, leadership, cross fertilization, the role of the Internet and technology. No need to understand the role of the various classes or that of the police and the army in each of the Arab states.

                    None of that hard work is necessary, nor is either admiration or compassion for the courage and suffering of the Arab masses, we just need to play this YouTube video umpteen times so Westley Clark can assure us that this is simply the playing out of some post 9/11 conspiracy.

                    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                    by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:04:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Seven countries: (0+ / 0-)

                    Iraq
                    Syria
                    Lebanon
                    Libya
                    Somalia
                    Sudan
                    Iran

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:42:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And of course the three biggest cheerleaders (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joanneleon, truong son traveler

                  for military intervention in Syria now in the U.S. are McCain, Leiberman, and Graham, the neocons themselves.

                  "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:11:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Syria was high on the list (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  truong son traveler

                  and this war in Syria is quickly spilling into Lebanon -- also on the list.  


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:56:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry (2+ / 0-)

                how often have you been to Syria, again?

                I can't believe there are people pretending that Assad is a swell guy.  

                I think there's propaganda here all right, but it ain't Clay peddling it.

                Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                by Mindful Nature on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:04:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Have another war then man. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  truong son traveler

                  "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:09:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here (2+ / 0-)

                    Just because we can oppose giving weapons to a bloodthirsty dictator doesn't mean that there's another war in the offing.  

                    In fact, people are still worked up about Libya, but how many Americans were involved there?  How many died again?

                    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                    by Mindful Nature on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:14:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So interventions by the US are OK as long as (4+ / 0-)

                      no Americans are killed?

                      The US has a very long and dirty history of giving weapons to bloodthirsty dictators. They also have a long history of using bloodthirsty dictators to do their dirty work. Assad was one of them just a few years ago as was Saddam Husein. The real losers in America's misadventures around the world have been ordinary people.

                      A CENTURY OF U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTIONS

                      COMMON THEMES

                      Some common themes can be seen in many of these U.S. military interventions.

                      First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian "collateral damage." War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as "accidental" or "unavoidable."

                      Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of "freedom" and "democracy," nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, the U.S. was not defending "freedom" but an ideological agenda (such as defending capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship--such as in Grenada or Panama--they did so in a way that prevented the country's people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.

                      Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as "terrorism," "atrocities against civilians," or "ethnic cleansing," but minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to "end" a state that trains or harbors terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington's double standard maintains that an U.S. ally's action by definition "defensive," but that an enemy's retaliation is by definition "offensive."

                      Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly divides the country or region into "friends" and "foes," and takes one side against another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.

                      Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.

                      Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries' internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

                      •  My point was (0+ / 0-)

                        That the US intervention doesn't really match the description of the US going to war.  More accurate is that we supported one of two groups who were already at war.  

                        This is to say that there are a whole host of options besides going to war and supporting taking action is not the same as advocating for war.  Advocating doing nothing however is de facto supporting a ruthless dictatorship

                        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                        by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:30:46 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The US is not at "war" with Afghanistan either. (0+ / 0-)

                          That was an "intervention" to take out Al Qaeda, then to take out the Taliban, then to take out the insurgents, then to take out the Haqqani Network, then ???? - Pakistan?

                          Advocating doing nothing however is de facto supporting a ruthless dictatorship
                          I agree. But, to just sanction the government and not the rebel factions is to also take sides in the conflict. There has been a free flow of money, arms and fighters into the country almost from the very beginning with absolutely no attempt to stop it.

                          There is ruthlessness on BOTH sides. You've seen it with American forces against Iraqi's. This is no different.

                          Watch the suggested links at the end. Beware, they are disturbing.

                          http://www.youtube.com/...

                          •  No we are at war in Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

                            Obviously.   That is an entirely different level of involvement.  And arguably a level that did not need to happen.  Of course if all you see are do nothing or invade as the only two options as some people here do, then invasion gets more likely

                            As far as the civil war in Syria and arming or allowing the rebels to be armed that is a difficult question for sure.  No doubt there are a lot of terrible things going on, and more are likely given the social fabric and diversity in Syria.  Still, there is the issue of whether one allows Assad to massacre whole towns again, just as his father did.  If supporting the rebels prevents that, that may be the best option now that peaceful dialogue seems to be off the table.  We KNOW that a victory be Assad will be a bloodbath.  Given how poorly armed the teels are this seems likely to happen.  The Free Syrian Army?  That seems less likely or at least a better bet if not a certainty.  

                            I expect the rebellion will fail and over 100,000 will be slaughtered to make a point

                            But Russia should not be allowed to ship weapons to Assad. That much is easy

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:24:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The US is at war IN Afghanistan against an (0+ / 0-)

                            ill-defined "enemy" just as it is in a dozen other countries.

                            But Russia should not be allowed to ship weapons to Assad. That much is easy
                            There is nothing illegal about Russia sending weapons to Syria - especially those that were agreed on before hostilities began - just as there is nothing illegal about the US sending weapons to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

                            BTW, I don't agree that ANY weapons should be sent into Syria for either party. Both sides should have sanctions applied.

                          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                            I think we've established that you seem to see absolutely no legal or moral principle against a government that massacres its own civilians.  

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:50:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A government that massacres it's own people (0+ / 0-)

                            is no different to me than one that massacres another's.

                            Is there a moral difference between what Bush did to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people and what Assad is doing? Both have used extreme violence in response to outside threats. Both have had horrendous, bloody massacres done in their name.

                          •  As the saying goes (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't think most people should be trusted with anything more dangerous than a string.  As for Bush, I'd keep the string away from him.

                            But yes, by all means, bring Bush into the dock for trial!

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:12:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  80% of Americans gave Bush a mandate to (0+ / 0-)

                            go to war against Iraq. Were you one of these people who were marching lockstep to the sounds of the war-drums emanating from the Pentagon controlled MSM?

                            BTW, if Americans had bothered to look up from their navels, they would have realized that most of the world was against them and knew it was all based on lies.

                          •  And that video doesn't show much (0+ / 0-)

                            Especially since there are a few odd pieces, not least complaints about media coverage not being sympathetic to the regime.  After all the regime are the ones trying very hard to keep journalists and observers out.  What does that tell you?  Yes there are conflicting reports but only one side has a decades long history of massacres

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:54:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you go to the following link? (0+ / 0-)

                            http://www.youtube.com/...

                            Syria is embroiled in one of the worst types of violence imaginable - sectarian. There are many foreign nations stoking these flames.

                            The real losers will be the Syrian people.

                            there are conflicting reports but only one side has a decades long history of massacres
                            You are forgetting the militant Islamic fundamentalists that were involved in and party to that "long history of massacres". Can you recognize the similarities to today's conflict?
                            Terrorism in Syria - History

                            These assassinations led up to the 16 June 1979 slaughter of cadets at the Aleppo Artillery School. On that day a member of school staff, Captain Ibrahim Yusuf, assembled the cadets in the dining-hall and then let in the gunmen who opened fire on the cadets. According to the official report 32 young men were killed. Unofficial sources say the "death toll was as high as 83."[6] This attack was the work of Tali'a muqatila, or Fighting Vanguard, a Sunni Islamist guerrilla group and spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood. `Adnan `Uqla, who later became the group's leader, helped plan the massacre.[7]

                            The cadet massacre "marked the start of full-scale urban warfare" against Alawis, cadre of the ruling Ba'ath party, party offices, "police posts, military vehicles, barracks, factories and any other target the guerrillas could attack." In the city of Aleppo between 1979 and 1981 terrorists killed over 300 people, mainly Ba'thists and Alawis, but also a dozen Islamic clergy who had denounced the murders.

                          •  Where did this YouTube channel come from? (0+ / 0-)

                            1TimeToFightBack is a rather unique YouTube channel. It doesn't say anything about itself, no home page, no link, contact info etc. No comments. 20 Videos, all pro-Assad bullshit, none more than a week old.

                            What else can you tell me about this channel or the source of the slickly produced videos you are recommending?

                            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                            by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:04:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They are no different than the ones the rebels (0+ / 0-)

                            have put up.

                            BTW, there are hundreds from BOTH sides. Most are in Arabic.

                          •  "Slickly produced videos" - that's a stretch (0+ / 0-)

                            Whoever took those videos will be hunted down and killed. You want to give names and addresses?

                          •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Claudius Bombarnac

                            ...

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:47:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Libya toll: US lost 0, NATO killed 72 innocent, (1+ / 0-)

                      the war cost 30,000. Mostly civilians killed by Qaddafi.

                      Did I mention, he can't do that anymore?

                      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:42:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What? (3+ / 0-)

                        The war cost 30,000?  WTF?

                        And they're still fighting. The country is a bloody mess.

                        And renegotiating their oil contracts too.  How nice for us and our allies.


                        "Justice is a commodity"

                        by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:09:20 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  As I said earlier (1+ / 0-)

                          there was a tmie when people thought opposing dictators was a good thing.  Now apparently that era is long gone.

                          My point was that our involvment in Libya hardly qualifies as a war on our part.  We helped one side in a war that was already ongoing.  In this case it was the side trying to overthrow the government.

                          Strange that the Arab Spring would be so unpopular here.

                          Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                          by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:09:49 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What about the dictators of Saudi Arabia, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Funkygal

                            Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Egyptian military? The only dictators the US opposes are those that do not conform to Washington's wishes.

                          •  that is no argument at all (0+ / 0-)

                            Let me gets this straight.  If we don't act to overthrow the Saudis or push for liberalization (which has been happening) then we should ignore all dictators worldwide?

                            No, where there is a chance to do something against one, the chance must be taken and when the chance comes for the others, we should take that too.  We should definitely have supported the uprisings in Bahrain as well

                            We also ought to pull all aid to the Egyptian military as well unless they give way to elected leaders, even of they are the MB.  

                            In Saudi and UAE we should be using our leverage to push for democratization and liberalization.  

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:16:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Nobody is saying that Assad is a swell guy (4+ / 0-)

                  What a load of bullshit.

                  This is the same thing that happen with the Libyan war cheerleaders. Anyone who objected to intervention was called a Gaddafi supporter, which was total bullshit.

                  And it's the same people all over again, wanting intervention in Syria.   As if having a number of Gulf States and god knows who else already involved isn't enough.

                  And instead of acknowledging that overthrowing the Syrian government has been a neocon goal for more than a decade now -- we're supposed to pretend that is not a factor.

                  This black and white thinking and refusing to ignore realities is really ridiculous.  Just really ridiculous.  Painting it all as a noble fight of a people resisting their oppressive government.  Well after these other interests set the wheels in motion for that overthrow, of f'ing course it plays out this way.  Gah. It's as if the warmongers here have no idea of the history of how the US and some of our allies have destabilized countries for decades now.  Like it never happened.  No, we're just helping people overthrow their terrible dictator.  Oh, except for those dictators that we support as long as they do what we want them to do.


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:07:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The issue here is whether weapons (1+ / 0-)

                    should be shipped to Assad.  Some of us say no, and some seem to say it's just fine.  There's no discussion of sending in our troops, except Russian ones.

                    And frankly, so far arguing that one should be sanguine about what Russia is up to or pulling conspiracy theories out of thin air does not support a notion that you have any particular understanding of either history or the region.

                    OH, and please stop complaining about the dictators the US has supported, since if you are in for a penny you are in for a pound on that.  No fair saying that the only the ones the US opposes are good guys.

                    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                    by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:13:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Assad doesn't need weapons. He has warehouses full (0+ / 0-)

                      just as Gadaffi had. All the hoopla about Russia sending in weapons and attack helicopters is propaganda. Syria has several hundred helicopters they could bring into the fray.

                      There has been tons of arms shipped into Syria in support of the anti-Assad fighters as well as thousands of Islamic fighters.

                      There's no discussion of sending in our troops, except Russian ones.
                      Russia has thousands of citizens working in Syria - many of them in non-military capacities. There are tens of thousands of Russians married to Syrians. The Russian involvement in Syria is no different than the hundreds of American bases around the world. Think of the many times that the US has sent in expeditionary protection forces to their bases as a precaution in times of civil unrest. They even sent in the military to help evacuate US citizens from Libya.

                      "THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!"  

                      "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

                      Remember this pile of propaganda crap that led to the CIA supplying arms to the "Freedom fighters" that was spread by the US MSM?

                      MiG Aircraft May Be En Route To Nicaragua
                      Published: Wednesday, November 07, 1984

                        WASHINGTON--A Soviet freighters route to Nicaragua may be carrying advanced MiG-21 jet fighters, according to U.S. intelligence officials quoted by CBS news.

                      Although there is no hard proof, satellite photographs show that when the ship was loaded a dozen crates similar to those used to transport MiG-21's disappeared from a Black Sea pier, CBS said.

                      The Nicaraguan embassy denied the reports. But White House Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speaks said the U.S. has not ruled "anything out," including a possible blockade of Nicaragua. Other U.S. reports suggested that the Soviet Union is also sending over attack and transport helicopters.

                      •  any evidence? (0+ / 0-)

                        Because it seems pretty clearly established that Russia has been sending helicopters.   That's not a fabrication unless your conspiracy theory is pretty broad reaching.  That shouldn't be happening.  Russia shouldn't be propping up the regime either.  Not sure why that is so hard to see

                        Have you forgotten how Putin first rose to prominence?

                        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                        by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:08:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Russia has been returning refurbished helicopters (0+ / 0-)
                          Russian helicopters en route to Syria are refurbished, not new

                          The Russian helicopters Hillary Clinton expressed concern about on Tuesday were undergoing routine maintenance.

                          The Russian attack helicopters en route to Syria that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US was "concerned" about on Tuesday are not new, but rather, were just undergoing routine maintenance, the New York Times reported Thursday.

                          Though Clinton's remarks were widely interpreted to mean that Moscow was selling Syria new helicopters, an official told ABC News on the condition of anonymity that Russia was sending refurbished, already-purchased helicopters back to Syria.

                          "Such repairs/overhauls/modernization is common practice, and that is very likely the explanation," Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks global arm sales, told ABC News.

                          That shouldn't be happening.  Russia shouldn't be propping up the regime either.  Not sure why that is so hard to see
                          Russia is an ally of Syria since the 50's. Both are sovereign countries. There is nothing illegal about Russia supplying weapons to Syria.

                          What shouldn't be happening is the supplying of tons of armaments and foreign fighters into Syria illegally (by international law).

                          How do you supply evidence that something is NOT happening? BTW, this is one of the methods of propaganda.

                          •  uh, yes (0+ / 0-)

                            Russia *was * sending helicopters (back) to Syria while Syria is massacreing civilians.  You're o.k. with that, but heaven forfend the people trying to deal with a government that would rather shell people than talk is illegal.  even that's rather dubious, actually.

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:45:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The helicopter story is just propaganda. (0+ / 0-)
                            the people trying to deal with a government that would rather shell people than talk is illegal.
                            Just as was the case in Libya, the armed rebels refuse to talk until the leader is gone. The US government has also done the same unlike Russia and China.
                             
                            No political reform in Syria while ‘terrorist groups’ spreading chaos, Assad tells UN envoy

                            DISSIDENTS SCEPTICAL

                            Annan, who later met Hassan Abdulazim, a veteran opponent of Assad, has called for a political solution, but many opposition leaders say the time for dialogue is long gone.

                            “Violence should stop and detainees should be released in order to negotiate a transitional period,” Abdulazim said after the meeting. “In the light of violence, killings, arrests and threats there will not be any solution for the crisis.”

                            The exiled opposition Syrian National Council, in a statement on its website, ruled out talks while Assad remains in power.

                            “Negotiations can never take place between the victim and torturer: Assad and his entourage must step down as a condition before starting any serious negotiations,” it said.

                          •  hard to blame them (0+ / 0-)

                            but let's not pretend that Assad has ever been willing to change.  After all, peaceful protests went on for rather a long time without any meaningful response from Assad until he send in the army to start shooting people.  After that, it kind of seems like the people had their response from the regime.

                            I'm sure that if Assad had been willing to abide by a ceasefire and acutally talk and give up meaningful power, things might have different. however, there has been absolutely no indiciation whatsoever.  NONE that Assad has ever had any interest than in a brutal crackdown.  Unlucky for him that the other side managed to arm itself, really.

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:28:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The protestors were armed from the very beginning (0+ / 0-)

                            It was never completely peaceful. Several Al Jazeera reporters tried to report this at the time but were prevented. They have since resigned.

                            Assad made some moves towards reform but was completely rejected before it was even given a chance.

                            Here's a discussion on the Syrian situation and some of the factors involved, especially why it seems to be intractable.

                            It starts at about 22:00.

                          •  oh please (0+ / 0-)

                            yes, that poor old innocent dictatorship running one of the most closed societies in the world is so put upon by those mean old protestors.

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:15:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Assad was not an innocent dictator. He was (0+ / 0-)

                            an authoritarian dictator just as are those in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, UAE and Qatar.

                            But, Syria had a secular government unlike the above which are all sectarian. BTW, the most closed (and fundamentalist) society, by far, is Saudi Arabia. Don't forget that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia as was Bin Laden. This doesn't mean that the Saudi government was complicit. It just means that Saudi Arabia has generated the most radical Islamist's and is quite capable of continuing to do so.

                            http://www.thedohadebates.com/...
                            Monday, January 02 2012

                            Although the majority of Arabs believe Syria’s President Basher al-Assad should resign in the wake of the regime’s brutal treatment of protesters, fewer Syrians are supportive of an immediate leadership change.

                            According to the latest opinion poll commissioned by The Doha Debates, Syrians are more supportive of their president with 55% not wanting him to resign.  One of the main reasons given by those wanting the president to stay in power was fear for the future of the country.

                            The Syrian saga
                            May 10th 2012

                            The Syrian situation is extremely complex this being the result of its history, its diverse ethnic groups, its long-lasting repressive regime, and compounded by a decade-long desire of the USA and other Western countries for regime change in that country. And because of the latter factor, much of the mainstream media for the past year or more have misrepresented the turmoil and conflict in Syria, almost in the way it was done in preparation for the war on Iraq. The attack on Iraq was an unprovoked illegal war based on lies, but it had public support because of deliberate false media reports. Similarly, the Syrian situation is currently misunderstood by most Western observers, so much so that many would approve of military intervention by NATO, with or without UN approval.

                            However you may wish for things to be black or white, good or evil, the world simply does not work that way.
                          •  Take your own advice. (0+ / 0-)

                            Having been too all these countries and lived in Saudi, it is clear that Saudi is the most oppressive but Syria the most ruthless.  And yes you can stop pretneding that anything the US support must be evil.  The world isn't black and white that way. However I will say you have some insanely distorted view of the middle east if you think that the Assad regime was somehow the white knight in all this.   No way that regime has any real legitimacy.  I am kind of shocked that there are those here who defend it in the face of a clear record of human rights violations on a massive scale not even matches by Saudi

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:55:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have never said Assad is a good leader. (0+ / 0-)

                            What is eventually going to happen is beyond the control of either of us. But, if you think that a foreign military solution is the answer, you are sadly mistaken. The law of unintended consequences will surely rear it's ugly head in the future.

                          •  It would be an improvement over (0+ / 0-)

                            The blood bath we are about to see.  However no intervention is going to come.  Those pieces you cite are quite the creative spin of CT there.   I liked the idea of everything being orchestrated by a shadowy amalgamation of the CIA, "Al Qaeda mercenaries" and "Lebanese fascists".

                            That last one is very telling.  Using that term rather than the more common Phalangist gives a very telling indication of who is doing the talking here

                            In any event, these sources sound like the standard approach of failing dictators to blame "foreign elements" for all their problems because of course the people inevitably adore the dear leader.  I am going to presume your are old enough to have seen that ploy played by everyone from Duvallier to Mugabe to Ghaddafi.   Surely you have to be a little skeptical.  I also find it telling that your polling source show massive opposition to the Assad regime everywhere but Syria.  And why do you think that is?  You aren't going to seriously suggest this is because the Syrians piasedbthat all of Saddam Hussein's Al Qaeda mercenaries are now in Syria stirring put trouble.  

                            Boy, this is good stuff!

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 05:25:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Based on total world populations, more people (0+ / 0-)

                            support Russia and China's stand on Syria than the NATO countries who are pushing for armed intervention which will kill thousands.

                            BRICS Summit: Syria appreciates leaders' stand on sovereignty, independence of states
                            Mar 30, 2012

                            DAMASCUS: Syria has appreciated the BRICS leaders' stand at their New Delhi Summit on Thursday respecting the sovereignty and independence of states.

                            President Bashar al-Assad Thursday expressed Syria's appreciation of the BRICS leaders' position that the crisis in the country could only be resolved by "a Syrian-led inclusive political process", the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
                            ...
                            Syria also looked forward to more cooperation for creating a multi-polar world built on the values of democracy, Assad said in a letter sent to leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

                            The BRICS New Delhi Declaration saw the leaders voicing deep concern at the situation in Syria and supporting "a Syrian-led inclusive political process", an explanation India had used to justify its vote on the UN's Syria resolution, and welcomed the joint efforts of the UN and the Arab League to resolve the crisis.

                            "Global interests would best be served by dealing with the crisis through peaceful means that encourage broad national dialogues that reflect the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society and respect Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty," the declaration said.

                            Arguing with you reminds me of arguments I had with Americans in the run-up to the Iraq War. They were certain they knew the truth. 80% were all hyped up to go and "kick some ass". Three years later, most realized they were duped. Some still believe Saddam was responsible for 9/11.
                          •  Oh right (0+ / 0-)

                            The Chinese government and the Russian Governments represent their respective populations.  They are glorious workers paradises.

                            Neither China not Russia have any credibility here.  Ask the Uighurs, Chechens, or Tibetans about that.  

                            But fine you win.  We should shove weapons at Assad so he can slaughter those bad CIA agents and Lebanese fascists and restore his wildly popular dictatorship (as shown by his 55% support in the elections he hasn't had)

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 06:19:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Russian and Chinese governments (0+ / 0-)

                            represent the views of their citizens about as much as the US and UK when it comes to foreign policy.

                            Is the US a "glorious worker's paradise"? I don't think so.

                            We should shove weapons at Assad
                            No. Assad should never have the weapons he has and neither should the rebels. But, America must stop engaging in behavior that it doesn't want other nations to engage in. It is part of the problem - not the solution.

                            The US is the world's largest arms supplier. It sells more than the rest of the world combined. It is the largest supplier in the ME (70 Apache attack helicopters and 84 F-16 war planes just recently sold to Saudi Arabia).

                            The US spends 15 BILLION tax payer dollars in foreign military aid that goes directly to purchase weapons. The US also sells over $103 billion in arms around the world. In fact, arms sales are the largest manufacturing export the US has.

                            America's hottest export: Weapons

                            Weapons proliferation watchdogs expected the volume of exports to decline when Obama became President; instead the reverse has happened. Thompson pins the surge in large part on the recession. Production lines for Boeing's F-15, Harpoon missile, and Apache helicopter are sustained by exports, which support thousands of high-paying, highly skilled manufacturing jobs.

                            But Thompson also believes that the President has other motives for supporting foreign arms sales. "It's about U.S. alliances, it's about maintaining jobs, and it's about America's broader role in the world -- and what you have to do to maintain that role."
                            ...
                            Take Jimmy Carter, who addressed the issue in a 1976 campaign speech: "Sometimes we try to justify this unsavory business on the cynical ground that by rationing out the means of violence we can somehow control the world's violence. The fact is that we cannot have it both ways. Can we be both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war?"

                            Two years later Carter sold 200 fighter jets to the Mideast.

                          •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

                            You have now blown any credibility you may have had. I suggest that until you have lived in a dictatorship and studied how they work you have no clue here.   Under Chinese policy, half of congress and their voters would be in prison or have a bullet applied to the back of the head for criticizing the government as much as they do.   In Syria you can bank on a period of torture as well.  Your false equivalence is entirely  false and ignorant of the realities of the world.  educate yourself a little.   Live abroad (and not in the EU).  Then come back

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 07:13:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How much real control does the American public (0+ / 0-)

                            have over foreign policy? Does American foreign policy reflect the wishes of the people

                            lived in a dictatorship and studied how they work you have no clue here
                            I didn't say the Chinese workers had it good. All I said is American working conditions are also not "glorious". That's why you've got OWS. At the rate the US is going, it will only stop when it becomes comparable to China.

                            You are reading too much into my comments.

                          •  And what on earth (0+ / 0-)

                            How could any poll taken in a country at civil war with a dictator with a history of torture and leveling entire cities for opposing the regime be taken as anything other than completely meaningless?  Yes Assad has some significant internal support, but this doesn't detract from the fact that Russia has no business sending him weapons

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 05:07:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The US has supplied the Egyptian military (0+ / 0-)

                            1.3 billion dollars worth of weapons just a month ago. What business do they have doing that?

                            There is nothing illegal about the dealings between Syria and Russia.

                            The poll was taken while the Arab League had a fact finding mission last winter. Things weren't as bad as they are now.

                            If you can't trust reports from The Doha Debates (Qatar foundation) then talking to you is meaningless.

                            BTW, here's a link to the report that was commissioned to find out what was happening in Syria up to January. You may want to read it in full to understand why the MSM did not report on it.

                            Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012

                            League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria

                            A. Monitoring and observation of the cessation of all violence by all sides in cities and residential
                            areas
                            25. On being assigned to their zones and starting work, the observers witnessed acts of violence
                            perpetrated by Government forces and an exchange of gunfire with armed elements in Homs and Hama. As a
                            result of the Mission’s insistence on a complete end to violence and the withdrawal of Army vehicles and
                            equipment, this problem has receded. The most recent reports of the Mission point to a considerable calming of
                            the situation and restraint on the part of those forces.
                            26. In Homs and Dera‘a, the Mission observed armed groups committing acts of violence against
                            Government forces, resulting in death and injury among their ranks. In certain situations, Government forces
                            responded to attacks against their personnel with force. The observers noted that some of the armed groups
                            were using flares and armour-piercing projectiles.
                            27. In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against
                            Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the
                            bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the
                            bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two
                            police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed.
                            28. The Mission noted that many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in
                            several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded.
                            29. The Mission also noted that, according to its teams in the field, the media exaggerated the nature of the
                            incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns.

                          •  Oh good lord (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes.  I don't buy into every conspiracy theory to waft around and yes I know about the technical aspects of polling.  So yes, as part of the reality based community I am not worth talking to

                            And I notice you don't cover the atrocities commutes by the Assad regime.  Those we done by Al Qaeda right?

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 06:16:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And it isn't propaganda (0+ / 0-)

                            it happens to be true.

                            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                            by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:29:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is propaganda in the way it is being reported. (0+ / 0-)

                            Propaganda is a manipulation of psychological symbols. Just need to look at how the headlines (and this diary) spun the story.

                      •  The other giant difference (0+ / 0-)

                        The US was clearly opposed to Gaddafi so there was no realistic notion that the US would be propping him up.  Russia meanwhile is running cover for Assad

                        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                        by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Evidently, at least 6000 have been recruited by (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              truong son traveler

              the CIA to commit terrorist acts, like at Houla perhaps, according to Deputy Chairman of Turkey's Labour Party Bulent Esinoglu

              Source: http://www.defence.pk/...

              That's what your defending.

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:29:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is so wrong (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                The article you cite doesn't say very much, like for example, how it knows what it is telling us but it can't even keep its simple story straight, dated June 15, 2012, it says:

                In an article published on Friday, Esinoglu said that it's not normal for Turks to fight in Syria and murder innocents on behalf of the United States, affirming that the US company Black Water is paying generous sums for its agents to commit murder and vandalism in Syria.
                Well, I'm hear to tell you that anybody that accepts a paycheck from Blackwater is a fool because they changed their name some time ago.

                Now, you may claim that that is a slight oversight on the part of Esinoglu but then so might be the claim of 6,000. Besides, they stopped being Blackwater in 2009 and if they were doing any of these things they would be doing them under the current name of Academi.

                This kinda reminds me of the shooty forged documents that were suppose to prove Iraq was buying yellow cake from Niger. They didn't even use the real company stationary and it was signed by officers that weren't when they were dated.

                Why are you peddling this trash?

                Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:25:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You didn't do any research on the Hmong and the (0+ / 0-)

                  CIA for Vietnam Clay?  It's too much for you to believe?  I do not want the U.S./NATO to conduct a bombing campaign on Syria.  Do you?   That's the question here Clay, what do you want to happen.  You don't seem to want to answer that.    

                  "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:34:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They recruited the Hmong with a lot of USSF (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    volleyboy1, bevenro

                    and other US soldiers i country at the time. And I mean a lot. There is no parallel here.

                    The US is not at the center of these affairs, they have little to do with it your grandiose fantasies  aside.

                    I want to see Assad put down so that his slaughter will end/

                    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                    by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:48:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The US is smack in the center of the Syrian (4+ / 0-)

                      conflict. The US has been both covertly and overtly involved since the Bush years and Obama has not changed the dynamic despite his lofty words several years ago.

                      How do you want Assad put down? What happens in the region after? Do you really believe the "slaughter" is one-sided? Do you understand how violent and ugly sectarian violence can be? Exactly who are the rebels?

                      What I find remarkable is the ease at which the MSM can get Americans primed to go to war. They haven't learned a damn thing thing since Vietnam. When you have a big hammer, everything looks like a nail.

                      •  Yes the slaughter is one-sided (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        volleyboy1, JNEREBEL

                        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                        by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 06:40:46 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You need to look deeper than the MSM (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BigAlinWashSt
                          ASIA/SYRIA - Christian killed in Qusayr, where two priests confirm the ultimatum to Christians

                          Qusayr (Agenzia Fides) - The Christian Maurice Bitar was killed in Qusayr, near the town of Homs where the Christian population - about a thousand people out of 10 thousand who lived there before the beginning of the violence - has been forced to flee after the 'ultimatum launched by an armed faction in the opposition forces led by General Abdel Salam Harba (see Fides 09/06/2012). As anticipated by Fides, some Christians, after the warning, however, chose to remain in Qusayr, exposing themselves to considerable risks. Maurice Bitar was killed by a sniper, with three other men while he was out of the house to buy bread for his family. The Christian inhabitants of Qusayr, local sources of Fides report, suffer harassment such as no vehicular access on streets and the obligation to "give way" if they meet a Muslim, "as in the days of the Ottoman caliphate," notes the source of Fides .

                          NCF daily Report on Syria – Refugees / Casualties – Report dated 18 June 2012 (evening)
                          ...
                          On the other hand NCF sources in the Syrian Christian community suggest that 90% of the Christian population of Homs has already fled (many to the capital) to escape rebel persecution. Christians from nearby cities have also been persecuted. The crisis is becoming sectarian in nature and atrocities are now being committed by all sides. Though the Syrian government has now allowed some humanitarian aid into the country, nothing compares to the magnitude of the crisis. Organisations like the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and International Red Cross Committee are working together with other informal civil society groups but their work does not reach all areas where people relocate.
                          ...
                          Casualties Rebel Casualties:The numbers of reported rebel casualties tend to be lower than the reported pro government casualties. This could be due to the confusion between civilian casualties and rebel casualties, the poor media coverage or the rebels’ successful military tactics, which involve guerrilla tactics, avoiding direct confrontation with Syrian forces. The attacks mainly involve suicide bombings and small assaults designed to hinder the larger and less flexible Syrian army. All statistics have been taken from the London based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
                      •  The center of the Syrian government's massacre (0+ / 0-)

                        of innocent men, women, and children is the Syrian government and allies that are executing those innocents everyday in the streets, businesses, mosques and homes as no place and no one is safe from their terror.

                        To suggest anyone else has culpability that rises to a fraction of the Syrian government's is to show one's own bias rather than illuminate any reasonable or articulate argument.

                        Disgusting is too light a word for this type of behavior.

                        •  You are only seeing one side of the situation (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BigAlinWashSt
                          ASIA/SYRIA - "The desolation of Homs and the war of information ": the words of a greek-catholic Archimandrite

                          Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - "Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth. After a year of conflict, the reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media": says a testimony sent to Fides Agency by the French priest Philip Tournyol Clos, a greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite, who recently visited Syria, by traveling to different cities, like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.
                          In Homs, called the "martyred city", "opposition forces have occupied two areas, Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh, where there are all the churches and bishoprics," the Archimandrite told Fides. "The picture for us – he continues - is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels. Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything. The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside. A priest was killed and another was wounded by three bullets. Still a couple live there, but the five bishops have had to take refuge in Damascus and Lebanon. "The Christian leader continues: "In the capital car bombs and assassinations on behalf of Islamist suicide bombers, drawn by the desire of heaven, that cradle the dream of the end of the Alawite regime are feared. Currently the country, through the bloody work of adventurers who are not Syrian is trying to be destabilized.

                          •  I see clearly the people Assad is killing everyday (0+ / 0-)

                            and I cannot understand those who refuse to open their eyes.

                          •  There is bloodshed and atrocities from BOTH (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BigAlinWashSt

                            sides in this conflict and it is escalating daily to the detriment of the ordinary people who are caught in between the warring factions.

                            Shipping tons of arms and thousands of foreign fighters into the country was not the solution to end the conflict.

                            Don't you find it ironic that the countries supplying the most arms and men to fight in this "protest for democracy and freedom" come from the most autocratic dictator controlled countries in the region - Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE? How have THESE countries treated those who protested for democracy and freedom last year?

                            You need to stand back and try and see the whole picture otherwise this will just be another Iraq as Iran gets dragged into the mix.

                          •  I see artillery shells landing in people's homes. (0+ / 0-)

                            What else do I need to see to know that the government is killing its own people?

                            I find it so terribly disturbing there are people cannot find it within themselves to see the same.

                            One day they will and will rue this day forever in their memory.

                  •  This is a waste of time (4+ / 0-)

                    BigAl. The excuses here are the lamest excuses I have ever seen.  

                    Let this guy believe what he wants to believe.  He's willing to discount what some authorities in Turkey are saying just because the guy used an old version of the name of Blackwater/Xe/Academie, a company so horrible that they have to keep changing their name because they are so evil and despised throughout the world.  Corporate mercenaries.  

                    He's not going to change his mind.

                    This is the same thing we saw with a number of people here on dkos before the Libya war.  They want to accept the simplified version of all of this and be on the side of the freedom fighters, pretending that is what this is all about.


                    "Justice is a commodity"

                    by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:16:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Is this the basis of your story about 6000? (0+ / 0-)
                CIA recruits 6000 “Black Water” mercenaries to commit massacres in Syria

                The Vice-President of the Turkish Labor Party, Bulent Aslanoglu, confirmed that about six thousand people from different Arab, Afghan and Turkish nationalities, have been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to commit terrorist acts in Syria.

                European Phoenix — Aslanoghlu said in an article published by Turkish TV (Olossal) that the participation of some of the Turks fighting and dying in Syria on behalf of the United States, and committing crimes against innocent people is unusual behavior by the Turks pointing out that Blackwater U.S.is paying huge sums for its elements to fight in Syria.

                He pointed that the Zionists are the ones controlling the U.S. capital, which means that the fight between Syria and Turkey is considered a war in the name of “Zionists and rich Jews.” The Turkish army will carry the same tasks of Blackwater, refusing to change into an army that fights for MONEY but one that preserves its character as an army that fights for freedom and the people.

                Are you really trying to peddle this trash in defense of Assad?

                Have you no shame?

                Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:42:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  What evidence do you have to support (2+ / 0-)

            these unlikely assertions?

            Are you actually claiming that the United States is working with Al Queda and the mujahedeen to destabilize Syria? Sounds pretty far-fetched. Oh, and what possible purpose would justify such a ridiculous scenario.?

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:21:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why does it sound far fetched? Let's start with (3+ / 0-)

              General Clark's assertion about the 7 countries.  What do you think of that in regards to what's happening?   Then let's talk about past U.S. actions regarding regime changes and country destabilizations and why Syria is different.

              "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:37:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then we'll go into why the PNAC neocons, now (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon, Funkygal

                represented by McCain, Leiberman and Graham in the Senate and FPI and AEI among others in the thinktanks, are the biggest cheerleaders for regime change and destabilization of Syria through military force.  

                "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:39:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  General Clark is an idiot who is (0+ / 0-)

                co-starring in a game shoe with Todd Palin. I don't see him as a font of wisdom.

                Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                by OIL GUY on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:01:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So, you're unhappy about Kosovo/Serbia? (0+ / 0-)

                  Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.

                  He also was one of the very few military to publicly state that there were no WMD's in Iraq and the war was wrong when everyone else was goose stepping to the pounding war drums emanating from the American government controlled media.

            •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

              I thought Hussein was the guy working with Al Qaeda.

              Here's Godwin II:  If someone rolls out the Al Qaeda boogey man to prop up their fave guy, you know their bullshitting you.

              Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

              by Mindful Nature on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:07:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Prop up (3+ / 0-)

                what fave guy?

                That's ridiculous to accuse people who oppose intervention, and who are trying to point out some of the complexity of what is happening here of being supporters of Assad.  It's just ridiculous and either malicious or stupid.


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:24:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  However it is not absurd (2+ / 0-)

                  to question the judgement of those who do not see what the problem is with sending attack helicopters to a regime that has massacred its citizens.

                  Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

                  by Mindful Nature on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:07:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those attack helicopters were part of previous (0+ / 0-)

                    deal to refurbish them from several years ago. The ship has now turned turned back. BTW, Assad has hundreds he could use.

                    massacred its citizens
                    There's been "massacres" from both sides.

                    When insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan fought from their villages, deaths of civilians from US bombs and rockets were called "collateral damage" and the fighters were accused of being "terrorists hiding behind women and children".

                    When rebels in Libya or Syria are on the attack, they are called "freedom" fighters. When they retreat, they become "civilians".

                    This is as old as warfare itself. It's called demonizing the enemy.

                •  he's not just 'opposing intervention' (0+ / 0-)

                  he's suggesting a U.S./Al Qaeda puppeteering of the Syrian uprising.  That's pretty insulting to the thousands of Syrian civilians involved in their own uprising.

                •  moreover, everything he posts on the (0+ / 0-)

                  Arab Spring shows little or no knowledge about what's actually going on there.  That's why he always gets ignored or yelled at by the dkosers who DO closely study the area.

                  •  Specifically, do you think the Frankfurter (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Claudius Bombarnac

                    Allegemeine Zeitung reporting on Houla is CT?  Do you think the fact that Al Qaeda is in Syria from Iraq is CT (even tho Clinton admitted it)?  Do you think the story from the Channel 4 UK reporter about being setup to be killed by the FSA is CT?  
                    Or other things.

                    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:28:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  few doubt that Al Qaeda (whatever that even (0+ / 0-)

                      means) has played some part in the Arab Spring uprisings, much like any other group with interests in mind.  Usually pretty small, but they're present.  And revolutions/uprisings are brutal and hardly monolithic.  That German report is certainly not confirmed--and even if it does get confirmed--well--horrible things happen in revolutions by all sides.  Things like the rape of Nanjing, Abu Ghraib, My Lai.  I think it's very likely that the vast majority of violence to date has been perpetrated by those who are capable and  have the resources for it...I mean..it's not like Assad's father didn't wipe out 10,000 in Hama in a single day.

                      And Bashir is turning out to be similar.

                      Are all the revolutionaries peace-loving citizens?  Hell no.  That's no tthe way these things work.

                      •  Not to mention the hundreds of thousands (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BigAlinWashSt

                        that got wiped out in Iraq based on a pack of lies by the Cheney/Bush cabal.

                        I think that Assad has lost control of the Shabiya. Even the militias are not under cohesive control by any one agency. Things have escalated to the point where it is sect against sect, village against village, town against town.

                        •  well if you're going to cite Iraq...you can also (0+ / 0-)

                          cite the thousands wiped out under the Clinton-era  no-fly-zone and sanctions.  None of these things are pretty, and none are ever strictly humanitarian.

                          Ultimately, though--the general point that I and several others of us here have been trying to make is that, while revolutions can (and often do) get co-opted by less-then-above-board parties, the revolutions themselves were generally peaceful popular uprisings--at least for a period.  Although I agree with you that things have spiraled rapidly downwards and that I very much doubt that Assad is giving the go-ahead to every militia action going on--he bears an enormous amount (the vast majority) of responsibility for what has transpired under his watch.

            •  Hmm (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BigAlinWashSt, Funkygal, allenjo

              I seem to recall that we worked with al qaeda, UBL himself was involved, and with the Mujahedeen to drive the Soviet Army out of Afghanistan.

              Not far fetched at all.

              AQ are Sunni. Our big target, the grand prize Iran, is primarily Shiite. Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni also, and from there came 15 of the 9/11 hijackers and money for the muj and for the Taliban religious schools.

              We'll use 'em until we have no further need and then perhaps turn on them as we have done to others such as Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party who had served us by invading Iran and carrying on a long war with them.

              Saddam also was instrumental in one of our earlier, most people are not even aware of them, regime changes in Iraq during the 1960's.

              We feared the Iraqi leadership might be going to nationalize their oil. Another mission accomplished by the CIA put a halt to that.

              Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

              by truong son traveler on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:57:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

          if you kept track of how Russia has comported itslef since the demise of the Soviet Union, you'd realize that Russia doesn't have any qualms about being a bad actor.  Not that surprised to see Putin be chummy with Assad.  Birds of a feather and all that.

          Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

          by Mindful Nature on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:03:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Took the words right out of my keyboard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      "This is War" would have been my comment.

      How do the morons who start these wars think the story will end? Nuclear powers? And they're going to leave us alone because we're more reasonable?

    •  My gut says (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      that there is some Kabuki going on here - not too worried about this one.

  •  This news is not good. Putin is too (7+ / 0-)

    unpredictable and the last thing we need now is another global confrontation.

  •  "Allegedly" carrying attack helicopters. (3+ / 0-)

    There's no proof of this yet, and reports from the war propaganda MSM should certainly be taken with a grain of salt.   Attack helicopters and Russia involvement equals no fly zone and bypassing of the U.N.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:20:35 PM PDT

    •  The U.N. took themselves off the board, did they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      not?

    •  Give it a rest BigAlinWashSt (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      bevenro
      Hidden by:
      joanneleon

      From the official Russian government mouth piece I cited above:

      Russia quickly extinguished the inflammatory comments, saying it was merely sending to Syria “old, refurbished helicopters” that it had been repaired and were being returned to Damascus as specified under contractual agreement
      So you see my diary of 6/13/2013 BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters was absolutely correct.

      Don't you feel like you have blood on your hands with your defense of Assad?

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:34:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is not proof that they were on the ship (3+ / 2-)

        in question and the article clearly spells that out.

        "But according to an officer stationed with the Black Sea Fleet, the Nikolay Filchenkov and Ceasar Kunikov are still sitting in dock in Sevastopol. Moreover, the crew is said to be on “regular service duty” and are under no emergency orders. He pointed out, however, that Russian naval ships must be prepared to dispatch anywhere in the world in 12 hours notice. "

        What the fuck is your goal their Clay, another war and bombing of a country by western imperialists?  Why are you so incessant on this?  If it's really for the Syrian people, call off the Saudi Arabian dogs, or the Qatari dogs, call off all those fucking with the country.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:50:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm starting to get the idea that you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Trotskyrepublican, Lawrence

          think Assad and the Russians are the 'good guys' who are standing up to the mean imperialists at NATO. Do you really believe this nonsense? Do you deny the existence of an actual Syrian opposition movement? Are all of the rebels and demonstrators, who Assad has been murdering murdering, just outside agitators?

          I really don't understand where you are coming from, but it bears no relationship to the world as I experience it. I think that what you are arguing is on the border of conspiracy theory. If you have any evidence in support of your claims, I would love to hear it.

          Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

          by OIL GUY on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:36:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where are you getting you info? I've been (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler, Funkygal

            researching many different sites, links, sources for quite some time on what's happening in Syria.  Partly because I was disgusted by what happened in Libya.  
            I'm antiwar, that what I focus on.
            To provide you with links would take me all night.   You know the MSM is an outlet for Pentagon and other govt war propaganda, as was used for Iraq especially.  If you feel your information is correct and solid, then go ahead and join the propaganda diarist in labeling me a evil dictator lover, like all past wars.  
            I really don't give a shit anymore.  Have your wars.

            "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:49:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're not really anti-war, you're anti-West. (2+ / 0-)

              And you post comments comments that are borderline CT.  Sorry dude, but not all ills in the world are due to some great, bug western conspiracy.

              Partly because I was disgusted by what happened in Libya.  
              I'm antiwar, that what I focus on.
              Over 90% of Libyans think that the revolution was the right thing to do, yet you are "disgusted" by it.  Go figure....

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

              by Lawrence on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:24:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Definitely (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, Lawrence, Roger Fox, JNEREBEL

            we've got somebody go CT here.  

            I'm still trying to figure out how the Al Qaeda and Dick Cheney have nefariously hooked up to concoct a war to drive up McDonnel Douglas's stock price or somethign.

            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:10:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Uprated to counter nonsense HR. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          I completely disagree with you, and place the blame for all instability on Assad's murderous ways and his unwillingness to allow independent Press into Syria. If he hadn't spent the first months of the peaceful uprising murdering demonstrators and destroying 'problematic' villages, there'd be no opportunity for the Saudis, Russia and the rest to get their dirty hands on the Syrian people.

          That said, you have every right to your own understanding of the events in Syria. We have no reliable information from Syria (because Mr Assad tortures and kills citizen journalists, and bars foreign journalists), so there's really no refuting any assumptions about what's happening there.

          •  Obviously, it's time for me to leave. The (3+ / 0-)

            lack of understanding of U.S. history, recent and not recent, when it comes to regime changes and country destabilizations, and the continued reliance and believing of MSM reporting regarding what's happening in Syria, is too much.  If you disagree, I just ask that you are sure you have all the information needed.  There is alot out there.  I'll have to force myself here.  
            But appreciate the gesture.

            "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:28:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I feel like I have yet to get a solid... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, Clay Claiborne

              explanation from you about why I shouldn't think of this as a massacre turned civil war.

              Of course hegemonic powers have their designs on Syria. And of course our hypocrisy on the issue knows no bounds, as we ship arms to Bahrain, which just completed its conviction of 9 doctors for the crime of treating civilians.

              But how does that negate the violence Assad unleashed on protests? Is your contention that there was never peaceful protesting in the streets of Syria? That the regime was firing on rebels, not protestors?

              I'm not interested in cheer leading anyone's designs on intervention - or supporting any current covert intervention. But I'd really like to get at least a basic understanding of what you think unfolded in the early days of this - whatever you want to call it.

              •  Have you heard of the Frankfurter Allegemine (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler, Funkygal

                Zeitung article regarding the Houle Massacre?  Do you now that Clinton admitted Al Qaeda was in Syria fighting with the opposition?  Do you know the FSA set up reporters to be killed for their PR campaign?  
                The pushback is immendous on this, everything that is said contrary to the MSM/Pentagon/NATO line is now labeled as CT and/or evil dictator lover BS.  

                I'm tired man, sorry.  I've tried to warn people about this but it's useless.

                "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:12:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Either stick around or don't, Al. (0+ / 0-)

                  I maintain that your voice is badly needed, but you're more than welcome to leave in frustration. I've contemplated TTFNing til November more than once. It's not a crazy thought.

                  I didn't know anything about any of those things. I'll be spending tomorrow's lunch break reading up on your comment. Thank you.

                •  I replied to this in an email (0+ / 0-)

                  He sent me an article that said:

                  And while we're being fed a steady stream of stories by the mainstream American media about massacres supposedly directed by the Assad government (not that I have any illusions about Assad), other sources, including a reporter from the Guardian, are giving us opposite information. Alex Thomson says that Syrian rebels, not government forces, tried to get him killed, because, as the rebels put it, "Dead journos are bad for Damascus."
                  This is what I said:
                  I found it hard to believe the rebels actually said that,which is why I wasted the time to actually read the Guardian article. They didn't.

                  The quote from the article you cite is "I'm quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus."

                  So he said that not the rebels, as you claim. Furthermore we have only his word that the people in the black car really were FSA, but what you have done here is fundamentally dishonest. You provide the "proof" that the FSA is bad with a false quote.

                  174 people have been killed by Assad in just the past two days. Russian is sending him more attack helicopters, and you are peddling crap like this.

                  I've also heard Russia Today mangle the quote the same way and attribute to the rebels rather than journalist.

                  BigAlinWashSt, the reason I accuse you of being pro-Assad is because you are apparently a willing promoter of the shit Assad is shoveling, i.e. you are repeating lies. Maybe you just believe and repeat anything on RT, still that makes you objectively pro-Assad because they certainly are.

                  Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                  by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:02:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  What independent press are you speaking of? (2+ / 0-)

      •  uprated. nothing to hide here. nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  people don't realize that only the US can do this (4+ / 0-)

      It's like when the US warns Iran or other Countries  in the region against 'outside interference' in our affairs.
      http://warisacrime.org/...

      WASHINGTON, Jun 15 2012 (IPS) - The United States is set to far surpass previous records for defence sales this year, according to U.S. officials.

      “Despite the global economic strain, demand for U.S. defence products and services is stronger than ever,” Andrew J. Shapiro, an assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department, said on Thursday.

      He confirmed that the U.S., long the world’s largest weapons exporter, has already seen more than 50 billion dollars in government-to-government military sales this fiscal year.

      “This represents at least a 20-billion-dollar increase over fiscal year 2011, and we still have more than a quarter of the fiscal year left,” Shapiro said, speaking with reporters. The current fiscal year will end in September.

      “To put this in context, fiscal year 2011 was a record-setting year at just over 30 billion. This fiscal year will be at least 70 percent greater.”

      Observers noted the administration’s evident pride at the high numbers.

      “An Obama arms bazaar is going on
      – this is further evidence of that,” Jeff Abramson, director of Control Arms, an international civil-society alliance based in Washington, told IPS.

      (emphasis mine)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I smell Putin, and the other war industry complex. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10

    It stinks.

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:41:26 PM PDT

  •  RT news? (0+ / 0-)

    The mouthpiece of Putin?

    jeezus

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:58:14 PM PDT

  •  Gettin' real. (0+ / 0-)

    Stopping Russian ships on the high seas, while perhaps justified by the sanctions, is a blatant act of war.  It is good that the helicopters may not make it to Assad, but its also a huge chance on the part of the Brits.  Are they really willing to risk war with Russia?  And where would we stand in such a conflict?  Since Britain is our NATO ally, I think it's crystal clear where we would stand, and hopefully Putin remembers that.

  •  It would be a real bummer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29

    if some of these Russian ships happen to hit mines and sink slowly.

  •  This could be huge (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the heads up.

    It's not on Google News yet.

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

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:17:30 PM PDT

  •  First, I want to say I think Assad is nuts anth (0+ / 0-)

    First. Assad is nuts. No chance this idiot retains power (thank God) and what he has done to his own people is horrendous.
    Second. Read several weeks ago that Germany secretly GAVE Israel several subs that were armed with missles. One of the German papers broke the story n Merkel said only suns given, no arms.
    Third. The hypocrisy is standard operating procedure for the West.

    I am not anti-Israel. I am just not pro any country giving or selling arms to any mid-east country. The British/US want to make sure no arms get to Iran. Russia will make them pay for this down the line and where Russia goes so does their friend, China.

    •  China has not enjoyed particularly friendly (0+ / 0-)

      relations with the Soviet Union in forty years. They pursue their own foreign policy objectives. The Chinese have no interest in Iran, except as a source of oil.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:40:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  China and Russia have never been tighter... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, semiot
        China, Russia agree to enhance strategic partnership

        "The two sides will continue their commitment to enhancing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination characterized by equality and trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-lasting friendship," said the statement.

        In the document, China and Russia pledged to respect each other's interests as well as rights of choosing their own social systems and development paths.

        The two sides will firmly adhere to the principles of non-interference in each other's internal affairs, mutual support for each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and other issues of core interests, win-win reciprocity and non-confrontation, according to the statement.
        ...
        They are to make joint efforts to hit their target of bilateral trade reaching 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and 200 billion dollars in 2020. In 2011, bilateral trade volume reached 80 billion U.S. dollars, a record high showing a 42.7-percent year-on-year rise.

        According to the statement, China and Russia will boost their cooperation in investment, energy resources, high technology, the aviation and space industry, trans-border infrastructures and other areas.

        They will also focus on strategic and large-scale projects and expand cooperation at local levels and enterprise-to-enterprise exchanges.

        The two sides will also further enhance bilateral military ties and boost cooperation on security and law enforcement as well as advance cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

        Russia growing closer to China as it rebalances foreign policy

        RUSSIA IS forging closer ties with China as it rejects foreign intervention in Syria, opposes US domination of international affairs and rebalances its foreign policy in favour of Asia and former Soviet states.
        ...

  •  Oh no they din't! So it was the Dutch (0+ / 0-)

    who initially hailed the Russians and forced them back, correct?

  •  During Obama and Putin's sitdown, Obama (0+ / 0-)

    was getting mad texts.

    Putin was all like, damnit!

    Obamawin

  •  looks like the wanted to be stopped. They didn't (0+ / 0-)

    have to take that route. Just fronting for Assad. Assad days are numbered.

    •  It is really the only logical route (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico

      between Kallingrad (in the far northwest of Russia) and Syria. Kallingrad is where the helicopters were rebuilt.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:42:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know what you're trying to say, but (0+ / 0-)

        Kaliningrad is further south than most of Russia.  It's sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the 54th parallel, which is further south than Moscow, even.

        But I agree with the rest, re: most efficient route.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:09:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Syria now full blown civil war - rebels well armed (3+ / 0-)
    On the offensive, rebels push Syrian military out of cities around Homs

    The site of the worst violence in the country since a peaceful uprising against Assad became an armed rebellion last year, Homs has been preparing for more fighting as Syrian troops massed around rebel-held neighborhoods there over the weekend. But the troop buildup belied the fact that more of the countryside around Homs – which includes Talbiseh – had fallen out of the government’s control.
    ...
    In both Rastan and Talbiseh, destroyed Syrian tanks and armored personnel carriers remained on the streets – including one near Talbiseh that remained in the median of the highway.

    “We captured two armored personnel carriers and used them before the government destroyed them with helicopters,” Najjar said, adding that the cannons and heavy machine guns salvaged from some of the destroyed APCs would be mounted on rebel pickup trucks.

    Tlass, who is based in Rastan, said the group had seized tanks from the Syrian military, and on Saturday, Farouq fighters in Qusayr sent footage to the Al Jazeera television network that showed them in possession of a tank and captured anti-aircraft weaponry. Najjar said that Farouq’s fighters in Talbiseh had managed to capture large amounts of ammunition in the offensive there, and were in possession of anti-tank rockets bought from weapons smugglers and captured from the military.

    •  McCain says not a civil war (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, semiot

      Since when does a civil war entail opposing forces having matched capabilities? A civil war is when citizens of a country kill one another which is now occurring.

      BTW, it looks like McCain may be foretelling the future.

      McCain calls for U.S. military leadership on Syria

      "The Syrian opposition needs to know that the United States stands with them and that we are willing to take risks to support them when they need it the most," the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. "Inaction denies us the opportunity to have influence with forces in Syria who will one day inherit the country, ceding that to foreign states that may not always share our values."
      ...
      McCain rejected characterizations of the current state of affairs inside Syria as a civil war. "It's not a civil war because all the military strength is on one side, and not the other," he said. "At least we ought to give them a chance to have a fair fight."

      The MOST AUTOCRATIC countries in the Middle East with some of the worst human rights violations have been a very large part in instigating and perpetrating this mess which has been framed as peaceful citizens demonstrating for DEMOCRACY.

      Try to wrap your heads around that one...

  •  Interesting.... (0+ / 0-)

    .... and clever.

    And it demonstrates how sanctions can be effective when done intelligently.

    Tipped and recced.

    Wish I could tip twice to counter HR abuse by BigAl.

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

    by Lawrence on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:18:23 AM PDT

  •  Good job Hillary and UK. (0+ / 0-)

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

    by TarantinoDork on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:16:34 AM PDT

  •  Claiborn still trying to twist the facts to suit (2+ / 0-)

    his narrative. The Iman is a military logistics vessel and therefore will carry a military anti-terrorist contingent - just as American logistic ships do.

    Now I wonder how he knew then to name the Iman and why he failed to mention the anti-terrorist squad on-board.
    I'm calling you on your bullshit, Claiborn:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    Sun Jun 17, 2012
    You may be interested in knowing why there (0+ / 0-)

    are Russian marines on board. They are for protection of the civilian crew as well as providing security for other vessels against pirates under "Atalanta".

    Notice how the western MSM (and this diarist who fell for it) has twisted the facts for the purposes of propagandizing.

    According to your own link, the Iman has completed it's mission in May. It also appears that Russia has cancelled a planned missile-carrying cruiser patrol so as to not exacerbate the situation.
    The Russian Black Sea Fleet's Iman tanker, with an anti-terrorist squad aboard, completed a mission off the coast of Syria in May; that same month, plans for the Moscow missile-carrying cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet to patrol the Syrian coastline was canceled in May.
  •  I smell disinformation and propaganda (4+ / 0-)

    this from the BBC quite recently - 19 June 14:56 GMT

    The UK has made moves to stop a cargo vessel allegedly carrying refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters from completing its journey to Syria.

    The MV Alaed had its insurance withdrawn by The Standard Club in London while it was about 50 miles (80.4km) off Scotland's north coast.

    The Russian embassy in London has not yet commented.

    The UK and US have raised concerns with Russia about shipments of weapons to Syria, which is subject to a European Union arms embargo.

    This was in the news days ago. From 13 June there is this from Moon of Alabama.
    Hillary Clinton is making pointless propaganda:

        A shipment of attack helicopters is "on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, heightening pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's staunchest international backer.

    Russia denies this and even the Pentagon disagrees with Clinton:

        Pentagon sources suggested that Mrs. Clinton, in her remarks at a Brookings Institution event, was referring to a Russian-made attack helicopter that Syria already owns but has not yet deployed to crack down on opposition forces. While these helicopters, known as Mi-24s, are flown by Syrian pilots, Russia supplies spare parts and provides maintenance for them.

    The Syrian army already has some 70 attack helicopters but has so far hardly used them.

    Wait and see if this is confirmed or not. If the story disappears in a few days without any kind of confirmation we'll know it was bullshit misinformation from the usual suspects aimed at the the fool me once, fool me twice, fool me every time gang.

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:43:47 AM PDT

  •  Interesting photos: Putin, Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt
    Consider this: Transparent diplomacy
    Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
    ...
    The photograph above needs little diplomatic interpretation. The body language says it all: Obama looks like he’s just tasted something sour, while Putin appears to be wishing he were somewhere else.

    At least the two leaders did manage to break the tension, as captured in the photograph below when Putin makes a remark that cracks up Obama. Perhaps there is a chance for a better world after all.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site