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If you have been reading my diary here in the last two weeks, you know that I have been closely following events in Syria with special attention lately to what appears to be building Russian support for Assad. First came the reports of refurbished Mi25 attack helicopters heading back to Assad. As I reported this morning, Moscow says a ship with 3 of the choppers on board is already on its way after another Russia cargo ship with choppers for Assad was turned around. Then came the on again, off again, reports of Russian warships and combat troops head for Syria. I have seen in these moves, desperate attempts by Russia to prop up the Assad regime, possibly even to take on a more direct military role.

Now, June 22, 2012, from the horse's month, namely the Moscow Times we have another explanation for the reported preparation of warships and troops for Syria:

Russia Gearing Up to Evacuate Citizens From Syria, Report Says

Russia's military is preparing to evacuate Russian nationals from Syria, including servicemen from the country's naval base at Tartus, media reports said Thursday.

While authorities have not yet issued any concrete orders, plans are being laid in case tensions escalate or outside powers intervene, two sources in the security services told the Vedomosti daily.

The Defense Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry and other government agencies are involved in the plans, the sources said.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has spoken of the necessity of helping Russian-passport holders abroad before, saying in April that Russia should be ready to aid the roughly 100,000 Russian citizens who live in Syria with their families.

Thursday's reports come after Defense Ministry officials on Tuesday evening refuted CNN claims that the Navy was soon to send ships to the port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea, where about 100 Russian soldiers and other support staff are based.

I sincerely hope that what the Moscow Times is reporting here is the truth. That is certainly a legitimate reason. Sending a small force to evacuate its citizens from a war zone should be expected from any nation that has the capability.

On the other hand, remembering that truth is the first casualty of war, I hope this is not just another story to cover for what appears to be growing Russian support for the brutal Assad regime.

I want to thank Stephanie Lamy, who played such a significant role in supporting communications during the Libyan Revolution, for sending me this. I have been able to break these stories in such a timely manner because people like her have their ears on the tracks and give me a heads up so I can keep you abreast of these fast moving developments.      

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 6:29PM PST: Now we have this report, which was first spotted as a ticker on Russia Today this evening, and now I have tracked down more details, it begs the question: Was a plan to ease Assad out hatched up at the G20 in Mexico?

Syria's Assad reportedly may be offered clemency by Britain and US if he joins peace talks

The Guardian+ reports that Britain and America are willing to offer the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, safe passage – and even clemency – as part of a diplomatic push to convene a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva on political transition in Syria.

The initiative comes after David Cameron and Barack Obama received encouragement from Russia's President Vladimir Putin in separate bilateral talks at the G20 in Mexico.

Considering this news, the announcement by Moscow that its warships and soldiers were part of an evacuation plan could be seen as one more way to pressure Assad into going along with the Great Powers program?

Is it possible that Obama, Cameron and Putin, are now working together to save Syria - for themselves? After all, they may squabble over which great power has the greatest influence over Syria but I don't think any of them want to see Syria go the way the Libyan Revolution has gone where none of the great powers has military bases or a controlling influence over the country's future.

Here are my related diaries:
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Evacuation does make more sense in anticipation (15+ / 0-)

    of a regime change than a massive arms build-up.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:57:41 PM PDT

    •  Only if one scales the number of nationals to (0+ / 0-)

      the forces employed.

      Additionally, if the Russians were truly concerned, there are not a few Med Navies that would be happy to help (Greeks, Turks, Egyptians, oh boy)

  •  Thank you (13+ / 0-)

    I actually didn't question your veracity, but did ask for other sources re: the heli ship that lost the insurance a few days ago.  I saw them (multiple) the next day and really should have come back into one of your diaries to affirm you.

    Sorry -- I didn't -- and I really have never found you to be a conspiracy person or issue "BREAKING" without good cause.

    Nauseating that Russia has held up this regime but anyone who can escape the slaughter deserves rescue.

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

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:31:40 PM PDT

  •  Thank you! (5+ / 0-)

    Very informative, breaking news -- much appreciated.

  •  CC, good job! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raster44, Liberal Granny

    And possibly the body language discussed beteen Obama and Putin was...silly.

    •  or it demonstrated another Obama win. (5+ / 0-)

      Putin is a very smart guy.  But Obama is smarter and not bound by certain ways of thinking that Putin learned as he was growing up.  

      What probably happened behind the scenes is that Obama laid out in detail what was going to happen through the natural chain of causality, and how there was no good option for Russia to prop up the regime.  Obama's defense/intel people had probably run through every possible scenario and assigned them probabilities, so when he went in to talk with Putin he could lay out the data and make the case.  Which apparently was conclusive, as now we see Russia doing the smart thing and exiting the scene.  

      Thereby avoiding major power involvement in a local civil war, something that should always be avoided if there is any way to do so.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:56:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Western tactic to end violence in Syria based on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raster44, chuckvw

    removal of Assad. But, will this work? Who will fill power vacuum?

    Ousting Assad: Western panacea to Syrian conflict?

    The new Western tactic to creating an end to violence in Syria is, yet again, centered on ousting President Assad. Britain and the US are ready to offer Assad clemency would he join a UN-sponsored conference on a power transfer.

    ­In the follow-up to the G20 summit, the leading world powers have decided to convene in Geneva to discuss Syria's political future. The move seems to be very much in line with the idea of a proper political dialogue, which has been persistently promoted by Russia.
    However, should Assad accept the offer, the question remains: Who will fill the power vacuum if he steps down? There are thousands of tons of weapons on the ground in Syria and more than enough factions in the opposition that would like to seize the throne.

    The Syrian leader must also consider what would happen to the sizable portion of Syrians who still support him. None of them have been offered the same clemency, and may become targets for brutal reprisal attacks during the carving of a Syrian pie.

    Assad still has a lot of legitimacy within Syria, with more than 50 per cent of the population's support, political analyst Roula Talj told RT.

    “What is happening in Syria is getting extremely sectarian,” she said. “Massacres are being carried out against Assad’s forces, as well as Christians and Alawites – or indeed any citizen who is in favor of Assad.”

  •  This diary makes a lot more sense than the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    previous one.

  •  Evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria (5+ / 0-)

    not planned. Note that actual name of spokesperson has been given in this report unlike previous ones which said "sources".

    Foreign Ministry says that the evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria is not planned

    Moscow. June 21. INTERFAX.RU - Russia has no plans to evacuate its nationals from Syria, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

    At the same time, Lukaszewicz said Thursday at a briefing in Moscow, in such stressful situations, as in Syria, has always practiced scenarios for all variants of the situation.

    •  "Russia not sending warships...Trial Balloon?" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      This report in Forbes says:

      Well now at least one Russian source, RIA Novosti, is reporting that neither of the ships that were named in the initial Interfax report, the Nikolai Filchenkov and the Caesar Kuznikov, are heading to Tartus...

      My guess was that the story was either an outright mistake or, more likely, a “trial balloon” from the Ministry of Defense to gauge the reaction not only from other countries but from other parts of the Russian government as well...

      So what was initially trumpeted as a MASSIVE PROVOCATION by the, as best I can tell, a complete non-story. It simply didn’t happen...Maybe it will, months or weeks from now...Or maybe it won’t...Maybe Russia will continue to (mostly) sit on the sidelines and play the sort of diplomatic holding game at which it excels...


  •  Amphibious ship went to the Black Sea Fleet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, for 6 too, chipmo

    in Novorossiisk, and not to Syria, said the Russian Navy.

    SEVASTOPOL, June 21 - RIA Novosti. Large landing ship (LST) "Nicholas Fil'chenkov" Black Sea Fleet (BSF) of Russia went on Thursday with a cargo of military equipment from Sevastopol is not a course to the Mediterranean Sea, and Novorossiisk, RIA Novosti reported one of the officers of the connection Black Sea Fleet amphibious ships.

    Previously, some Western and Russian media reported that the Black Sea Fleet amphibious ships "Kunikov Caesar" and "Nicholas Fil'chenkov" complete the preparations for the long march to the coast of Syria , which was supposed to deliver military supplies and a detachment of marines to guard the Russian base in the port of Tartus.

    "BDK" Nicholas Fil'chenkov "command on the plan with a cargo of military equipment, which must undergo the planned routine maintenance work, was released today from Sevastopol and headed for Novorossiysk," - said the officer.

    According to him, the return of the ship in Sevastopol is expected on June 25.

    He also stressed that the BBC "Caesar Kunikov" in Sevastopol.

  •  this is what i assumed was going on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when you were speculating that russia was sending an invasion force. when assad finally loses control, i expect that it's going to get pretty ugly (doubly so if you're alawite), and russia needs to be able to either a) defend and hold onto its base, and negotiate an extended lease if possible, or b) get its people the fuck out of dodge if they can't reasonably accomplish a).

  •  Good job, Clay. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm fuming right now over your update.  "Clemency"?  Such as, let Assad go free after torturing and killing thousands of Syrians, including children?  NO.

    If this is the deal that Obama made, then he has once again betrayed us.  We did not work so hard to elect him only to have him first excuse the war crimes of Bush/Cheney, and then basically pardon Bashar al-Assad.  The only deal Assad deserves is a chance at a trial at the ICC rather than a hangman's noose in Damascus.

    •  The more Obama uses drones, the less interested (0+ / 0-)

      he will be in any ICC prosecution. One day they may run out of Africa dictator to prosecute and start working their way up the food chain of war criminals.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 09:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you seen this report? (0+ / 0-)
        Libyan official: U.S. drones seeking jihadists in Libya
        June 7th, 2012

        A senior Libyan official told CNN that the U.S. is flying surveillance missions with drones over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya because of concerns over rising activity by al Qaeda and like-minded groups in the region but said that to the best of his knowledge, they had not been used to fire missiles at militant training camps in the area.
        The official said that one militant commander operating in Derna, Abdulbasit Azuz, had complained that a drone strike had targeted his training camp in the east of Libya.  Last month, there were reports of explosions outside the Derna area in the vicinity of the camps, according to a different source.

        The CIA's covert drone strike program is rarely publicly acknowledged.  It has been widely reported that drones have been deployed to target militants in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

        The U.S. flew drones for a while after the NATO intervention in Libya to monitor chemical and biological sites, US military officials tell CNN. But the officials would not comment on whether drone flights were ongoing.

        •  Yes, I know Obama's drones are all over Africa, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          including over Libya. I know this because the NTC has been complaining about this. These drones may operated over Libya but they don't operate from Libya.

          Notice how now you accept, uncritically, any claims by NATO forces that Libya is somehow working with them or "co-operating", i.e. that they are getting something from Libya in return for the NATO effort.

          It may not bother you that you are pushing CNN, Stars & Stripes propaganda on Libya without question it but it is one of the reasons I say you anti-interventions have become counter-revolutionary. Stars & Stripes piece is all about the military brass, telling the soldiers, yes we are influential in Libya even though we got no base and no boots on the ground.

          I know you hope badly that those things happen just so you can be right. That's another reason I call you a counter-revolutionary.

          First you wished Qaddafi on the Libyan people and now you hope NATO will take over or that things in Libya will work out badly so you can make a point here.

          You don't care about the Libyan people and you never did.

          But why are we discussing Libya? I thought this diary was about Syria? Well your support for Assad shows that you don't give a damn about the Syrian people either.

          Or do you think these sources you quote as "proof" are generally reliable.

          Now I hate that you made me find this: The Navy is About to Spend $34 Million to Switch Their Drones Over to Linux Don't fuck with my Linux. We built this OS to make love not war.!

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 10:21:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is confirmation bias against the President (0+ / 0-)

      on both sides of the ideology in my humble opinion.

  •  US denies safe passage scheme for Assad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, toys
    US denies safe passage scheme for Assad

    WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday there was no truth to reports it was ready, along with Britain, to offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad safe passage to travel to Geneva to meet opposition leaders.
    White House spokesman Jay Carney said there was no sign that Assad was ready to exit and accept the power transition the United States demands.

    Earlier, the London Times reported that Washington would launch a new push for Syrian peace following signs from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he believed Assad's time in power was receding.

    The paper said the plan could see Assad get assurances he could travel unimpeded to Geneva to meet opposition parties.

    The Guardian also said the United States and Britain were willing to offer safe passage and even clemency for Assad if he joined talks with rebels.

    The leaks appeared to be a unilateral attempt by British officials to up pressure on Assad and to perhaps signal to the Syrian leader that it was not too late for him to step down.

    They also held out the prospect that he could escape prosecution for crimes against humanity, as an incentive for him to leave power.

    But the push did not seem to be coordinated with US officials, and any such initiative would raise the question over whether Assad's crackdown should disqualify him from any immunity.

    The notion that Assad would leave Syria at a time of such turmoil also seemed far-fetched.

  •  Africom Forms Military Relationship With Libya (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, protectspice
    I don't think any of them want to see Syria go the way the Libyan Revolution has gone where none of the great powers has military bases or a controlling influence over the country's future.
    Africom Forms Military Relationship With Libya
    American Forces Press Service
    published: Fri., June 15
    Africom is forming a new military-to-military relationship with the Libyans and is working to strengthen its long-term military-to-military relationship with the Tunisians, Ham said, emphasizing the importance of close partnerships with both nations.

    “I am very satisfied with the progress of the military-to-military relationship that is developing” with the new Tunisian government, he reported. “We need to sustain that.”

    “And similarly, with the Libyans, we are forming a good relationship,” he continued, noting the standup of an Office of Security Cooperation at the embassy there that can help coordinate security assistance, international military education and training and other security cooperation. “So we’re moving in the right direction, but we need to sustain that effort,” he said.
    Africom typically conducts relatively small-scale, non-offensive missions focused on strengthening the defense capabilities of African militaries, he noted. “But there is an expectation that we must be able to do the full range of military activities.”

    •  Qaddafi's Libya had military-to-military relations (0+ / 0-)

      with the Pentagon, I documented that in Arming Qaddafi a year ago. It sounds like they are trying to re-establish those relationships with Revolutionary Libya but they ain't there yet. This Stars & Stripes report says they are "making progress."

      “And similarly, with the Libyans, we are forming a good relationship,” he continued, noting the standup of an Office of Security Cooperation at the embassy there that can help coordinate security assistance, international military education and training and other security cooperation. “So we’re moving in the right direction, but we need to sustain that effort,” he said.
      This "Office of Security Cooperation" in the US embassy sounds like a unilateral move and I certainly hope the new Libya won't cooperate with them on special rendition or any of the other creepy things Qaddafi did for them.

      In January 2009 the Pentagon and Gaddafi's government signed  a "non-binding statement of intent" aimed at developing bilateral military ties. If they had anything like a signed agreement with the new Libya they would be crowing about that rather than talking in vague terms about "forming a good relationship."

      On the other hand, Libya does have a growing al Qaeda problem and there may be some common ground there. We will all see how things develop in Revolutionary Libya in the years to come.

      Not that this diary is about Libya, but what the hell, I know you have an ax to grind.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 09:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The relationship with Africom and Libya is much (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, chipmo, protectspice

        tighter than you realize. I think we will see an Africom base in Libya within two years.

        This "Office of Security Cooperation" in the US embassy sounds like a unilateral move
        Libyan Military Receives Personal Protective Equipment Through Its Partnership with the U.S. Military
        June 17, 2012

        Tripoli – Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood of US Africa Command met on June 17 with Libyan Ministry of Defense officials to turn over nine shipping containers of military items, including uniforms and personal protective equipment. This donation is part of the U.S. Government’s broader partnership with the new Libyan Armed Forces. The gear and uniforms will help protect Libyan soldiers and airmen, and the Libyan Ministry of Defense will distribute the equipment to various military installations across the country. The U.S. Government also is providing Libya with specialized military training at the request of the Ministry of Defense as part of the Ministry’s effort to establish a new Libyan Armed Forces that is professional, capable, and in service of the Libyan people.

        Commander of the U.S. Africa Command Visits Libya

        Tripoli - The Commander of the United States Africa Command, General Carter F. Ham, visited Libya on May 20.
        General Ham’s purpose in visiting Libya was to advance the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Libyan militaries and to exchange views regarding the opportunities for the United States to assist Libya at this historic stage.  General Ham met with Minister of Defense Usama Juwyali and Chief of Staff of the Libyan Military Major General Yusif Mangush during his visit.  The meeting resulted in identifying several partnership activities to provide further assistance through training and equipment.  General Ham visited Tunisia last month to explore similar opportunities for the United States to help post-revolution countries strengthen their national defenses.

        Not that this diary is about Libya, but what the hell, I know you have an ax to grind.
        You brought Libya into the mix yourself by comparing to Syria. No ax to grind. Just the pursuit of truth.
        In January 2009 the Pentagon and Gaddafi's government signed  a "non-binding statement of intent" aimed at developing bilateral military ties.
        There was more than that. There was extensive military funding and training between the US military and Qaddafi's military as well as other agreements made under Obama's watch.
        Libya: Background and U.S. Relations -pdf
        February 18, 2011

        Current U.S. policy concerns, in addition to those linked with the ongoing unrest, include ensuring Libya’s positive contribution to the security and economic prosperity of North Africa and the Sahel, securing commercial opportunities in Libya for U.S. firms, and addressing persistent human rights issues. The Obama Administration is requesting $875,000 in FY2011 foreign assistance funding for Libya programs. This report provides background information on Libya and U.S.-Libyan relations; discusses Libya’s political and economic reform efforts; and reviews current issues of potential congressional interest.

        ( BTW, if I had the time, I would like to do a story on what is happening within Libya's oil industry. Too many PSA's are being renegotiated to the detriment of the Libyan people. Libyan oil is their lifeblood.)
        •  Like I said, you "hope" there will be a NATO (0+ / 0-)

          base in Libya ASAP and not just within two yeas just so you can say "I told you so." As for the donated uniforms, you don't think they should accept anything from NATO, even air support during the war. If they had instead allowed Qaddafi to do to Benghazi & Misrata what Assad is doing to Homs & Idlib, that would have been fine with you.

          Shell pulled out of Libya because they thought the re-negotiated terms were too tough. You should find time to write that diary, it would be your first. You certainly find plenty of time to comment (6k) on other peoples.

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:29:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't "hope" for anything in Libya other than (0+ / 0-)

            the people don't get pillaged by the (neo)liberalization of their government.and economy.

            As for the donated uniforms, you don't think they should accept anything from NATO, even air support during the war.
            NATO is the enforcer of the west's economic policies. BTW, it was under Africom that the US initially moved militarily against Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn, under full command and control of Africom ran from March 19 to March 31 after which command was turned over to NATO.

            Donated uniforms is minor. The new Libyan armed forces will be trained by the US.

            Shell pulled out of Libya because they thought the re-negotiated terms were too tough.
            No. Shell pulled out because the NOC wouldn't renegotiate the tough terms that Gaddafi negotiated..

            Is Shell’s pull-out a stark warning ?

            While many in Libya’s oil industry consider the terms of the EPSA IV contracts to be favorable and transparent they are amongst the toughest in the industry. The infamous EPSA IV agreements are not popular with IOC’s causing a number of them to pull out of the Libyan market in during the latter years of the Gaddafi regime.

            Hopes that the Libyan revolution would lead to more preferable terms of engagement for IOC’s have not been answered by the current interim government who are in favor of maintaining the terms of the EPSA IV agreements. These issues will have to be addressed by the new government which will be formed after the elections currently scheduled for 19th June.

            There are also some other political factors at play with Shell. The Shell company in Libya is a German registered company - Shell Exploration & Production Libya GmbH. There are even more historical problems beyond the above which I won't get into.

            BP was allowed to renegotiate much more favorable terms through a mechanism called force majeure.

            Many other oil companies want to renegotiate the tough terms from the Gadaffi era in order to get more control and a bigger piece of the pie

            Libyan oil industry makes startling recovery
            But during the Qaddafi era, sanctions and political isolation hampered production and stringent contract terms did not motivate exploration by foreign partners.

            I would not call the partnership we had as a full partnership,” Fareed Salem, the vice president of business development for Conoco Phillips in the Middle East and North Africa, said at a conference in Dubai recently. The terms of such partnerships are expected to change by 2015, when the NOC plans to rewrite exploration and production policies.

            “We do sense a new spirit and a new energy of doing things,” says Mr Salem. “This is something that we had envisioned back in 2005 that in reality we were not able to do.” Still, hurdles remain.

  •  I am grateful for your continued posts on the (0+ / 0-)

    situation in Syria. However, I must disagree with your assessment that  the US or Britain had any desire to get bases in Libya. They clearly pursued a strategy that avoided even temporary military installations in Libya. I think it is only reasonable to take them at their word that they intervened to prevent the loss of life.

    I will grant that their policy came to focus on regime chage as the means to this end, but I certainly don't see any imperial ambitions at work in Libya. It was primarily a humanitarian mission in which NATO was very happy to leave at the earlies opportunity.

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

    by OIL GUY on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 10:49:06 PM PDT

  •  Misinformation abounds (4+ / 0-)

    On the ground preparations and training for the assault aimed at regime change in Syria began in May of 2011 in Turkey near the Syrian border. The CIA was involved, I'd guess running the operation.

    Sibel Edmonds laid out the details in an interview with RT in December of last year. She reveals that the establishment media were aware of what was happening but refused to report it.

    If I recall correctly this was brought up here and predictably her report was called out as being CT. RT, as we've seen written here many times, serves "Mr. Putin". Now the truth is apparent. Sybil was correct. Kudos to RT for having her on.

    Thankfully there are still a few real journalists in existence. Here's the video of Sibel's interview on RT.

    Seven countries in five years. Check 'em off. This is no coincidence. This is the plan, the neocon plan, and the grand prize is Iran.

    This was also noted in an article by Pepe Escobar on Asia Times Online from early December of 2011.

    Target Syria – the strategic prize that outstrips Libya. The stage is set. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Libya 2.0 equals Syria? It’s more like Libya 2.0 remix. With the same R2P (”responsibility to protect”) rationale – starring civilians bombed into ”democracy”. But with no UN Security Council resolution (Russia and China will veto it). Instead, Turkey shines, fanning the flames of civil war.

    US Secretary of State Hillary ”we came, we saw, he died” Clinton set the scene on Indonesian TV a few weeks ago, when she prophesied there would be ”a civil war” in Syria, with a well financed and ”well-armed opposition” crammed with army deserters.

    Now it’s up to NATOGCC to make it happen. NATOGCC is of course the now fully accomplished symbiosis between selected North Atlantic Treaty Organization members such as Britain and France and selected petromonarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, aka the Gulf Counter-revolution Club, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    So feel free to bask in the glow of yet another mercenary paradise.

    Here's a link to the article by Escobar.

    Bags of money work wonders. Sit back and enjoy the propaganda. The empire is on a roll. Cheney and his neocon friends are smiling.

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

    by truong son traveler on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:32:52 AM PDT

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