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Patrick Smith at Salon and Seymour Hersch at London Review of Books, take on our carefully managed understanding of what's been going on in Syria.

Smith begins with an indictment of US foreign policy globally:

In less than a year, the Obama administration has mounted four covert coup operations, all variants of the classic Cold War model, all costly of human life, all assuring us the contempt and animosity of many people for years to come.

In chronological order:

* The American-authorized coup in Egypt last July. In the disinformation universe, Washington watched at a distance...

• In the war to depose Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, the linchpin event is the chemical-weapons attack last Aug. 21. We are invited — required, actually — to believe Assad allowed U.N. inspectors in to determine responsibility for previous gas attacks and then launched another attack near Damascus while the inspectors were settled in their hotel rooms.

* The role of the U.S. and its European allies in financing, fomenting and steering the direction of the Ukraine coup requires little discussion at this point. Rather bizarrely in the face of all we have on record, the Obama people continue to insist Ukraine is nothing more than a case of Russian overreach...

* In Venezuela, the foreign minister recently read aloud portions of intercepted cable traffic documenting American subterfuge....

Hersch prefers to focus on US shenanigans and media disinformation specific to Syria:
In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons...

...analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal.

The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’...

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo...

At this stage, Obama’s premise – that only the Syrian army was capable of deploying sarin – was unravelling...

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.

Suggest you read the full Hersch article to get all the details and nuance.  Unfortunately, the take away from both articles is we have no more reason to believe Obama administration representations in matters of war and peace than we had to trust his predecessor . . . . and we certainly cannot count on mainstream media to provide any utile information on world events.
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Comment Preferences

  •  The justifications to make the following claims: (22+ / 0-)

    - Libya was US-led

    - Syria is US-led

    - Ukraine issues are US-led

    All just as specious as 'WMD's are in Iraq' and 'Saddamn was involved in 9-11.'

    You need a LOT more evidence than an account from a struggling anti-US autocrat, and an IMF loan, to back up the direct accusations the authors you're republishing are making.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:37:44 AM PDT

    •  Uh, so you dispute the CIA was involved in (5+ / 1-)

      Libya, Syria and Ukraine?

      For the record, that's your position?

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:20:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody disputes that the CIA was involved (14+ / 0-)

        But it is downright foolish to claim that these conflicts were created or otherwise initiated primarily or even significantly by the US.  Bizarre, wrong, oversimplified.  And it is naive to think that the US has no role or could avoid any role whatsoever once they started.

        The Libyan revolution was not initiated in any way by the US.  There were plenty of reasons for the Libyans to revolt, and the US then played catch-up and finally found itself directly involved when the imminent risk of vast civilian casualties in Misrata and Benghazi pretty much forced the issue.  And, frankly, the Obama Administration handled Libya about as well as anyone could have.  The usual whining is that (a) we started it and (b) it's not perfect now, so that must be our responsibility.  In Libya, neither is true.

        In Ukraine, the EU was probably more responsible than the US in encouraging nationalists... but even so, there was plenty enough anger at Yanukovich and the Russians to spark the Maiden revolt.  Do you honestly think that the Obama Administration wanted to undermine relations with Russia right when they need them to make progress on Iran?  No... the reaction to Ukraine has been just that, a reaction, and an attempt to minimize harm.  

        Syria?  What can I even say about that.  If you don't see nuance there, if you don't understand why many Syrians are fighting the regime while others are supporting it, and if you have no knowledge of past revolts against Hafidh al Assad, Syrian ethnic and sectarian divisions, etc. .. in short, if your knowledge of Syria is driven by Seymour Hirsch (!), then there's really not much to talk about.  

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:55:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where are you getting your information? (4+ / 0-)

          "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:45:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends (8+ / 0-)

            Libya:  I was in Libya at the end of the revolution.  I've worked with several Libyans both here in the US and there, and had long conversations with many of the people directly involved in the revolt.

            Syria...  I work with an organization that works with Syrian refugees in Iraq and Lebanon, and am most familiar with the conflict in eastern Syria.  I've worked intermittently with populations on the Iraq/Syria border areas since 2006.  I will be in Lebanon in two weeks to meet with our partners there.  One close friend was the US liaison for the Syrian National Congress, and several friends in Iraq favor the Assad regime, so I get both sides of the conflict. I've been to Damascus in 2009 and we had a small project there at one point, so I am fairly familiar with Syria.  Of course, Josh Landis' blog is also a good start, as is Juan Cole.

            Ukraine - I don't work in Ukraine, but I follow the news closely.  If you want a more nuanced perspective on Ukraine, read International Crisis Group reports.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's a very low bar to set... (4+ / 0-)

          Now it's initiated. Protests, uprising, sparks all come from a source which may or may not be initiated by the Sate Dept or CIA, etc... and really doesn't matter if it is or isn't. What matters is who backs it once it starts.

          Libya was started over a housing project. Ghadafi responded by giving 20 billion for more housing. Then more protests broke out in places like Benghazi. By that time, the CIA/State was involved. As the protests got more violent, we provided more support for the protesters as they started going after military bases and weapons. We formed things like the National Transitional Council which whole purpose was regime change. They had a seat at the UN in place of Libya. We made the no-fly zone to protect "civilians" but it was really an excuse to bomb Ghadafi forces. Let's not pretend we did not have the major role in Ghadafi's downfall.

          Ukraine, we formed dissent in the form of 65 NGO's providing money for dissident voices to the tune of $5 billion of 20 years or so. Doesn't matter if the one voice to call people to the Maiden for the last protests was on payroll or not. We right away held meetings with opposition leaders, handed out cookies, was on calls saying who we wanted to be in charge after the government fell. The EU also wanted change, backed certain leaders, but somehow their pick wasn't chosen. So if the EU had say in the matter, it sure didn't work out for them though they did get the financial deal they wanted though I'm sure they would rather have had the Russians bail out Ukraine rather than the IMF. Hands clean in Ukraine? I think not.

          Syria went much like Libya. Organic protests. Instead of carrots like Ghadafi, Assad gave them the stick. Once major violence broke out, we verbally backed the protests and started to provide military support in the form of weapons and training. The FSA didn't form out of nowhere. You don't leave the Syrian army unless you know you have backing from another source. We tried to form a no-fly zone but Putin was pissed off at being fooled with Libya and shot that down and her we are.

          Let's not pretend the US doesn't have it's hand all over these conflicts. In, time more and more will be known. I'm glad people like Sy are pulling the lids off the covers. Someone has to get the ball rolling, just like these conflicts except this time it's knowledge of what's going on that the MSM refuses to investigate.

          •  Thanks for - IMHO - your perceptive comment. n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Claudius Bombarnac, Lepanto

            Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

            by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:27:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And not.one.link. Nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            howarddream

            While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:59:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't provide links (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobdevo

              Go look it up yourself. If something I've said was incorrect  then say so. Provide a link if you like and then I might provide one to counter your argument. Perhaps you can start by reading the Wikipedia articles on the above conflicts and go from there. Good luck.

            •  How far back do you want to go re CIA intervention (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobdevo, Lepanto, protectspice

              in Libya? What happened was an almost exact replay of the CIA/Mi16 playbook in Libya from previous attempts to depose Qaddafi.

              A New Successful Covert Operation
               Mar 26, 1996 by rmcgehee

              Reuters news reports yesterday state that unrest in the Jabal Akhdar mountains of Eastern Libya is caused by armed rebels who may have joined escaped prisoners in an uprising against the government.

              This is an operation to overthrow Gaddafi led by Col. Khalifa Haftar, of a contra-style group based in the United States called the Libyan National Army. The army is the military wing of the Salvation Front for the Liberation of Libya.

              It is obvious that the CIA is behind this group and indicates a new "awakening" for the CIA now that it has been cleared and re-energized by all the various official exonerations; and led by the new Director Deutch who pushes for more covert operations. With "Mr. Intervention," Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations advising the government on intervening via mililtary and covert operations toward China and probably also Libya and the rest of the world, we can expect a number of additional successful" CIA covert operations similar to that of Vietnam, Central America and
              Afghanistan.

              Ralph McGehee
              CIABASE

              Information from CIABASE files reveals:

          •  I really do need a citation (7+ / 0-)

            for $5 billion provided to opposition organizations in Ukraine.  That is not credible.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:48:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Listen to it direct from the horse's mouth (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobdevo

              •  OK I listened to that (7+ / 0-)

                The US has spent $5 billion in Ukraine but:

                *  Since 1991 (you left that out)
                *  For all assistance, not just to support pro democracy organizations

                I'd remind you that the US wisely spent a great deal of money in the former Soviet Union including in Ukraine to get them to get rid of nuclear weapons and participate in non-proliferation.  What you don't consider here is that the price was a large aid and economic assistance package.

                An average of $217 million per year, including economic assistance, for one of the largest former Soviet republics, does not strike me as being all that much.  The actual amount spent on civil society organizations will be a tiny fraction of that.  The main US source for funding for civil society organizations focused on democracy building is the National Endowment for Democracy.  A quick google search shows that the actual amounts were mostly small grants of $30,000 or so - not billions.

                http://www.ned.org/...

                “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:25:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't leave anything out. The US has been (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lepanto, protectspice, corvo

                  working at getting all the Warsaw Pact countries under the NATO umbrella since it was disbanded in 1991. Poland and the Ukraine were especially targeted.

                  The main US source for funding for civil society organizations focused on democracy building is the National Endowment for Democracy.  A quick google search shows that the actual amounts were mostly small grants of $30,000 or so - not billions.
                  Read the fine print. The grant descriptions in that link are from the 2013 NED Annual Report. How many millions on that one page for 2013?
                  •  Yes, I did read the fine print (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fcvaguy

                    There are not that many millions on that one page.  The overwhelming majority of grants are very small. My point stands.

                    But I guess I'm rather more confused by your concern that diplomacy supporting Ukraine and Poland (!) membership in the EU is somehow a nefarious plot.  Perhaps you feel that bringing Poland under the NATO umbrella was a bad thing, or something resisted by the Poles?  I am confused by that.  I think that the overwhelming desire of the Poles was to join Europe and avoid Russian domination.  That is a bad thing?  Am I missing something? Are you honestly suggesting that it was a mistake to help Poland join the EU?  

                    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                    by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:04:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Dishonest comment, Claudius. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                I will remember this in reading your future comments.

          •  Interesting perspective (0+ / 0-)

            I prefer perspectives that embrace the Ukrainian point of view and actions that are in the best interest of Ukraine.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:40:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama Admin in the form of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lepanto

          USAID dumped millions and millions into dissident groups to "enhance democracy" . . . just like they enhanced democracy in Chile in 1970.

          And that's just the reported expenditure - not including whatever %age of CIA budget is being spent in Ukraine.

          Our foreign policy is still working off the neocon handbook.

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:26:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent comment, ivorybill. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy
      •  The one country (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo, freakofsociety, Timaeus, fcvaguy

        in which the US is really actively involved in destabilization, is Venezuela.  In that one conflict, yes, I will grant that the US is a major destabilizing force.

        But this makes my point.  People tend to lump together Ukraine, Syria, Libya and who knows where else together with Venezuela and indulge in this paranoid fantasy that the CIA is calling the shots.

        In Venezuela, it's highly likely that the US has a major role in covert or overt support for the political opposition. That said, there are plenty of Venezuelans who are pissed off at the regime, and a deep well of dissatisfaction to draw on.  The US is shoving hard, behind the scenes, in Venezuela in a way they could not in Ukraine, Libya or even Syria.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:00:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have to say that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, freakofsociety, duhban

          The socialist, autocratic regime in Venezuela must be much more entrenched then I understood. I figured it was mostly about Chavez, but if the US is still actively pushing in that country when they have a much weaker head like Maduro, then it must need pushing. Not that I endorse that pushing, I'm just surprised that the US would choose to still make such an effort now the leadership has changed.

          While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:16:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think in Venezuela (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, tarkangi

            that the US should back off a lot more.  In the 1980's, I was completely opposed to the Reagan Administration's Latin America policies, and volunteered/worked for organizations pushing back against funding the Contras, etc.  I thought and continue to think that the Reagan Administration's policies were disastrous. immoral, illegal.

            Now that the Cold War is over, the conflicts in Latin America are more nuanced.  I know several Venezuelans who oppose the Madera government for good reason, and a good friend here has recently moved back to the US from Nicaragua.  She opposes Daniel Ortega for having sold out the revolution and becoming an autocrat.  So I have a lot of issues with the authoritarian tendency in much of the left in Latin America.  Chavez had serious flaws.

            That said, the Chavistas are winning elections, and our policy should be to argue for increased political freedom with transparency and not be picking sides right now. Gotta run, but again... these issues are nuanced.  I do think we are acting way to aggressively in Venezuela and in a way that we may regret.  I don't necessarily feel that way about Libya, Syria or Ukraine.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:27:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We do it because that's what we do . . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snoopydawg, Lepanto, blueoasis

            we fuck with other people's lives.  Especially if they're in Central or South America.  

            We currently have active military/CIA/JSOC ops in over 100+ countries.  Our track record is beyond abominable, and there's no indication we have stopped.

            Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

            by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:29:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Strawman. That's not what you or I wrote (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety, duhban

        and you know it.

        While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:13:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps that people have free will of their own? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, BMScott, Diogenes2008

        Frankly, the arrogance with which some kossacks dismiss the notion of free political will of the entire rest of the world is astonishing.  This point of view seems to be premised in the notion that only the US government is capable of anything and the entire rest of humanity is simply mindless pawns.  

        I mean why on earth would people rise up against corrupt, dictatorial leaders?  Funny how people hear sing the praises of the mighty and independent OWS, yet if people protested against regimes many, many times worse than the US one, suddenly they're all pawns of the CIA.

        Frankly, this mindset is the clearest example of the ugly American I've seen in recent times.

      •  HR - He didn't say what you did. You are not here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, duhban

        to have a constructive dialogue about US policy. You have CT written to divide and bash Democrats.

        The overthrow of Gaddafi was begun by France and the UK.
        The US joined later and it didn't lead.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:39:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mark Lippman that is HR abuse. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        What the fuck could you HR that comment for?

        Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

        by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:26:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um, I've observed that bobdevo is not the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        greatest and most accurate thinker on geopolitical affairs, to say it mildly.

    •  No they're not, period. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg, bobdevo

      You don't believe the U.S. is ever involved in regime changes even though the evidence is all over the place.

      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW, I carefully read the diary and put a lot (0+ / 0-)

      of thought into this uprate.

      As an immigration lawyer, with many clients and prospective clients in that region, I must have my facts correct.

      I've got a lot of respect for Hersch, but I don't believe this diary.

  •  what would you do if u were in charge? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    Just curious ...

  •  If there is any substance to the allegations made (6+ / 0-)

    by Hersch and repeated by Smith, the most worrying thing is that President Obama would seem to have little control over what members of his admin. get up to in matters of foreign policy, and quite possibly even little knowledge of it.

    In a way I'm not surprised, I've always felt that the President had little interest in foreign policy and even less nose for it. I've even suspected that when he decided at the last moment not to go on with the planned bombing of Syria that it was really due to Putin whispering in his ear and opening his eyes to what his admin. had been up to.

    I could well be wrong in this, of course.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:05:08 AM PDT

  •  Is it bad that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    my brain wants to pronounce covert as coh-vair?

    warning: snark probably above

    by NE2 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 06:48:54 AM PDT

  •  There has been A LOT of pushback on Hersh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Mark Lippman

    And from an ideologically diverse bunch of reporters. That being said, I'm still interested in what Hersh is reporting for 2 reasons:

    1)I have an immense amount of respect for his independence and ability to combine reporting w/ investigative work.

    2)I remember how Mclatchy was the sole outlet pointing out the Bush admins deception and, because of them being alone, they were marginalized at the time. So just cause everybody is pointing in one direction doesn't mean they're right.

    Now on the flip side, there is a big difference between Syria and Iraq and that's the posture of each of the admins regarding intervention, We all know the Bush admin was hellbent on invading Iraq even before 9/11, and because of their obsession with getting rid of Saddam, they had a "by any means necessary" approach to making the case for war.

    No matter what you say about the Obama admin, they've stayed out of Suria for 3 years and have taken a lot of criticism from the foreign policy elite in the process. And when the redline was supposedly crossed, they were ambivalent and were almost trying to do something that would simultaneously maintain the Presidents credibility while also not drawing them deeper into the conflict, thus the absurd statements like "pinprick" strike etc...

    So, with all that background, it doesn't mean that the admin didn't cook up intell, they still may have. It means we have to be cautious in jumping to that conclusion.

  •  Baseless accusations based on gut-checks. (11+ / 0-)

    It's like the Bush administration in here:

    We know this is what happened, because this is how the world works.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:14:45 AM PDT

  •  Pretty sad. (10+ / 0-)
    Unfortunately, the take away from both articles is we have no more reason to believe Obama administration representations in matters of war and peace than we had to trust his predecessor
    That's not a "take away", that's a "brought to".  Only someone convinced that the US controls everything, lies about everything, and is pretty much omnipotent to cover up everything would find the conclusion that the chem weapons came from the rebels remotely credible.  

    Notably, nobody, even the secret docs and unnamed sources used, states that the rebels had anything close to operational use of chemical weapons.  

    It's just confirming the worst prejudices, which for some reason means the US and not the regime of Assad, which hasn't exactly shied away from killing civilians.

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:22:48 AM PDT

    •  Well, you've certainly got the MSM (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      talking points down, haven't you.  So the British laboratory that found the sarin to not match Syrian govt samples to be concocted?

      What did your lab say?

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:34:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read Hersh's article? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Lippman, ivorybill, duhban, doroma
        British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal.
        Not only is this statement entirely unsourced, but there's absolutely no analysis of what "did not match" means, or what "known to exist" means, considering that Syria was still denying having sarin and any other chemical weapons.  

        Not one person is saying that this "not matching" is the that there's not-Syrian gas being used, even Hirsh.  Rather, he drops it in as a factoid and expects everyone in the world reading his article to just assume it's important.  Which is probably a good strategy, since it worked on you.

        The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

        by Inland on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Chemical weapons inspectors examined the attack (0+ / 0-)

        sites and delivered a report to the UN on Sept 30.  UN resolution 2118 was approved 15-0 by the Security Council and destruction of the weapons began.
        http://www.un.org/...(2013)

        The weapons inspectors’ report doesn't identify the party responsible for the attack. The team gathered conclusive proof of a sarin gas attack in multiple locations. They  took first hand statements from survivors. They gathered fragments of munitions that were used to deliver the gas.  They also calculated the trajectory of two rockets based on forensic evidence.
        http://www.un.org/...(2013)
        In the section about the munitions recovery it says:

        Limitations: The time necessary to conduct a detailed survey of both locations as well as take samples was very limited. The sites have been well traveled by other individuals both before and during the investigation. Fragments and other possible evidence have clearly been handled/moved prior to the arrival of the investigation team.

        Elsewhere it says:

        Limitations: As with other sites, the locations have been well traveled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the Mission. Time spent on the sites was well used but limited. During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.

        Another section seems to indicate that some evidence they retrieved had been planted.

        The inspectors weren't able to identify conclusively the party responsible for the attack. To say that a British lab tested negative against Syrian govt samples doesn't prove anything. Proof would be a positive match against a sample, preferably with confirmation from additional testing.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:57:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Syrian 'rebels' in possession of advanced US (6+ / 0-)

    weaponry. Here's a video of them firing a BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile. This requires training of operators.

    •  Yeah, can't wait till they win. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi

      I'm sure it will immediately turn into a democratic republic that's a staunch ally of the US.

      /s

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:57:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These would be great to take out a bus full of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        tourists. It will only be a matter of time. :(

        I doubt if they will turn the tables on Assad. But they certainly will allow the carnage to go on for a few more years at least.

        Assad's forces kill rebels. Rebels kill Assad's forces. Rebels kill rebels. It's a triple win for the US. Just have to ensure there is a balance of power in the region and this could go on for a decade or more.

      •  once our "freedom fighters" control Syria (3+ / 0-)

        it will be an even happier place than Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya...

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:11:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill

        some here can't wait until Assad wins.  I wonder if they are excited by the prospect of the massacre of those who opposed the regime.

        •  About a quarter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          Of the initial Anti-Assad forces are now fighting along side the Syrian Army, and the Assad Militias. Regionally, in the anti-Assad enclaves, there are unofficial truces between the Regime Forces and some of the Anti-Assad forces, while everything from minor skirmishes to full on genocidal wars are taking place between the Islamicists and the FSA. In some of the villages, the Islamicists just spend their time killing other Islamicists, who just arn't Islamic enough.

          http://www.moonofalabama.org/...

          It's funny, the Jihadi's currently tearing Syria apart, are the same Sunni groups who defeated the US in Iraq. Now they are neck deep with the Military, Security Services and Governments of Jordan, Bahrain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. If the past plays out into the future, Jordan and Bahrain's days are numbered, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia are in for a world of hurt and pain. Saudi Arabia much less than Turkey.

          Assad with probably win, eventually, barring Western or Turkish direct military involvement, as there is no Syrian Free Army, and the Jihadi's are anathema to any form of functioning Civil Government. It won't be Allewite Baathism, but probably a more inclusive form of a Republic. There will probably be some purges and executions, but Syria has been broken so bad, lost too many people, bled too much, for more blood to be the answer to putting it back together.

    •  Operators of the BGM-71 include... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, duhban

      ...Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon.  

      Maybe they got them from us... maybe they didn't.

      •  It is against international law for any country (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo

        receiving legitimate arms to resell or transfer them without authorization from the original supplier.

        The US would have known about these the moment they entered the conflict zone, possibly even before. Don't forget that training had to have been done.

        If the US didn't know then there should be a congressional hearing.

    •  TOW missile is hardly advance weaponry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban

      The system has been in service for more than forty years, and unless one is trying to stop waves of Soviet armor from pouring through the Fulda Gap it is the functional equivalent of the M40 recoilless rifle that has been in service for sixty years.

      That said, I don't like the Syrian 'rebel's any more than you do and I don't see any good side in that nasty little conflict.  No outcome is going to be particularly good for anyone, even the victors.

      o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

      by tarkangi on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, TOW missile is still pretty advanced, (3+ / 0-)

        The M40 is just a recoiled rifle, is is line of sight aimed, that cannot correct the projectiles path in flight, and leave a large cloud of backblast and dust, marking the firing position for all to see, and cannot be emplaced in closed spaces. It has an effective range of 1350 meters and a variety of available munitions. The sustained rate of fire is 1 round a minute.

        The TOW on the other hand, is a Line of Sight wire guided missile, able to be corrected in flight, or even redirected to another target in flight, by the simple expedient of keeping the sights on the target. It makes hitting a moving target much easier, as you don't have to shoot where you think the target will be. It has an effective range of 4200 meters, the T72 Syria's best tank, has an effective range of 1800 meters. The TOW has a broad range of warheads available, from anti-reactive armour, through  bunker busters to top down attack.
        It is capable of launching 1 missile every 30 seconds, and has in combat, killed two Tanks in one shot, and killing a BDM by firing through the dirt and concrete berm and still killing the vehicle, (and crew). It was according to the Pentagon's DRI, the #1 killer of Iraqi Tanks, IFV's, APC's and other vehicles in the Gulf War, and the Invasion of Iraq.

        It is currently the deadliest MANPAD anti-tank system in the world and is still , the only system that allow infantry to kill Soviet/Russian/Chinese tanks well before the infantry is in range of the tanks guns.

        It is a huge upgrade to the Insurgents weaponry. Given the trail of other arms supplied to the Insurgents, it should be soon making an appearance in Iraq, South Lebanon and Afghanistan, where we will find out how it does against Western Tank designs.

        •  Nice Tutorial (0+ / 0-)

          I see the problem now: we have interpreted the original claim using different senses of the word "advanced."

          o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

          by tarkangi on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:19:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you consider advanced? Hellfires from a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobdevo, protectspice

            drone? How about manpads?

            Saudis and CIA agree to Arm Syrian “Moderates” with Advanced Weapons
            by Joshua Landis

            The news that the “Saudis Agree to Provide Syrian Rebels With Mobile Antiaircraft Missiles,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal (article copied below), will change the battle field in Syria.

            The newly formed “Southern Front” led by Bashar al-Zoubi, will be the main recipient. The WSJ says Zoubi has a direct line to Western and Arab intelligence agencies in a military operations room in Amman. He will be the primary recipient of these new, more lethal weapons. He went to Geneva for the talks with the Assad regime.

            •  Mobile Antiaircraft Missiles would be advanced (0+ / 0-)

              Had you used this example in your original comment, this whole thread would not have existed.

              o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

              by tarkangi on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:52:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The anti-tank missiles are also advanced compared (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobdevo

                to the long time standard RPG dating from WWII. They are not going to use a Stinger against a tank. The Stinger was designed in 1972 and is the same age as the TOW which was first used in Vietnam in 1972.

                Both of these weapons can be called "advanced".

                •  Just because they are old (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Claudius Bombarnac, bobdevo

                  Does not mean that they have not had a continuous cycle of development and improvement.

                  The current TOW is twice as fast, has more than doubles the range, faster reaction times to corrected flight, greater accuracy, greater armour penetration, less weight and is less filling than the Gen 1.

                  Ditto for Stingers.

                  A lot of people don't realize the development and reaction cycle in weapons. Guided munitions accelerated development was driven by the proliferation of Anti-air MANPADS and cheap SAM's. Aircraft could no longer safely fly below 10,000 feet, and at that altitude, could not perform precision strikes.

                  •  I agree. tarkangi's comments are disingenuous. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bobdevo

                    He agrees manpads are "advanced" but denies the latest TOW's the same designation.

                    •  To the contrary (0+ / 0-)

                      It is my opinion that the introduction of effective anti-helicopter missiles would change the dynamics of the battlefield to a much greater extent than would anti-tank missiles, however so effective.

                      But you have now changed the nature of the discussion.  

                      Why did you feel the need to insinuate dishonest motivations on my part, rather than simply accepting that I have a different assessment of the situation than you do?  How on earth could you think that was a constructive contribution to the dialogue?

                      o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                      by tarkangi on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:26:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Both are "advanced weapons" - simple as that (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        corvo
                      •  Other than (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        corvo

                        Catching the US armed and trained SDA moving in open desert, in vehicle convoy early in the US Escalation, Syrian airpower has not been decisive in this Civil War.

                        In fact, lacking precision munitions, it has been for the most part, counterproductive. The Syrian Military has realized that and scaled back the use of airpower. Dumping crude napalm bombs onto suburbs generated jihadi's. Letting the FSA or Jihadi's hold a suburb for a month, generates a Pro-Assad militia.

                        The FSA has no political vision for Syria other than no Assad. The jihadi's vision for Syria is the 11th Century and does not play well in Syria.

                        MANPADs, on the other hand, transport well, sell well, and would be very effective at moving jihad outside of Iraq and Syria, and all the jihadists have had to do to get their hands on FSA weapons and supplies, is take them.

    •  Video found online needs authentication. (0+ / 0-)

      Due diligence about what it claims to be, where and when it was taken, should answer questions about the material.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:10:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone have more info on the Venezuelan bit? (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't been able to find much besides the brief mention in the linked article about that, in the English-speaking press.

    •  There are lots of non-western MSM that carry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, MGross

      information about the US intervention in Venezuela. Unfortunately, we are always several years behind when leaks reveal the truth. The following shows interventions continuing right into the Obama administration

      USAID Subversion in Latin America Not Limited to Cuba

      Written by Dan Beeton  
      Friday, 04 April 2014
      ...
      Declassified U.S. government documents show that USAID’s OTI in Venezuela played a central role in funding and working with groups and individuals following the short-lived 2002 coup d’etat against Hugo Chávez. A key contractor for USAID/OTI in that effort has been Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI).

      More recent State Department cables made public by Wikileaks reveal that USAID/OTI subversion in Venezuela extended into the Obama administration era (until 2010, when funding for OTI in Venezuela appears to have ended), and DAI continued to play an important role. A State Department cable from November 2006 explains the U.S. embassy’s strategy in Venezuela and how USAID/OTI “activities support [the] strategy”:

          (S) In August of 2004, Ambassador outlined the country team's 5 point strategy to guide embassy activities in Venezuela for the period 2004 ) 2006 (specifically, from the referendum to the 2006 presidential elections). The strategy's focus is: 1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez' Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5) Isolating Chavez internationally.
      ...
      Commenting on the failed USAID/OTI ZunZuneo program in Cuba, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) commented that, "That is not what USAID should be doing[.] USAID is flying the American flag and should be recognized around the globe as an honest broker of doing good. If they start participating in covert, subversive activities, the credibility of the United States is diminished."

      But USAID’s track record of engaging in subversive activities is a long one, and U.S. credibility as an “honest broker” was lost many years ago.

  •  Oh great. Just what we need. More bullshit./ (5+ / 0-)

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:24:48 AM PDT

    •  Why is it bullshit? You think your MSM sources (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, snoopydawg, Brecht, Lepanto

      are better than Hersh?

      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:28:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Lippman

        An article that starts with a pile of CT to begin with pretty much removes any credibility from the rest.

        MSM has its flaws, but at this point, I wouldn't believe Hersch if he said the sun rises in the east.

        •  They bash Dems but lack a constructive alternative (0+ / 0-)

          and they expect a big welcome.

          Clueless.

          When asked for the better plan to replace the one we have now, they attack. They got nothing.

          People who complain so bitterly about what is, need to have a credible substitute. When all they have is their bitter complaints, and attacks on people with questions, they lose the benefit of the doubt.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:32:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How about Hersch's The Redirection (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          It appears he was remarkably astute back then.

          The Redirection
          Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
          by Seymour M. Hersh March 5, 2007

          In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

          •  Actually not really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill

            This particular piece is long on vague generalities and short on specifics.  Having lived in the Middle East, I'd say that it glosses over some significant issues. In any event he sure got the notion of a rampant Iran and Syrian regime dead wrong. Interestingly Egypt barely figures here

            So no, I wouldn't say astute.

            •  He was correct about Syria and the Saudis (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              and Iraq. Don't forget that this was written in 2005.

              The Redirection

              Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of its new policy. “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”
              ...
              Last November, Cheney flew to Saudi Arabia for a surprise meeting with King Abdullah and Bandar. The Times reported that the King warned Cheney that Saudi Arabia would back its fellow-Sunnis in Iraq if the United States were to withdraw. A European intelligence official told me that the meeting also focussed on more general Saudi fears about “the rise of the Shiites.” In response, “The Saudis are starting to use their leverage—money.”
              ...
              Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”

              The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.
              ...
              This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”
              ...

          •  In fact (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit

            Recent events show how oversimplified his analysis is. In fact to me it reads a lot like the Bush administration's stupidly simplistic view.  We have nothing like a Sunni Shiite divide in the Middle East. It is way more complex that that.  Looks a Syria.   We have a secular Sunni (Alawite) regime allied with a fundamentalist Shiite regime in Iran and religious Shiite militia that is primarily anti Israeli (Hezbollah). They are poised by a combination is Sunni extremists fundamentalists and secular militias.  The Sunni fundamentalists affiliated with Al Qaeda (eg ISIS) is at odds with the Sunni fundamentalist Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia except for the elements supported by Saudi Arabia.  The Syrian Christians are aligned largely with the secular Sunni regime of Assad (and their fundamentalist Shiite allies in Iran and Hezbollah) in Syria, while Christian groups are mostly oppose to that group in Lebanon for domestic political reasons

            Long story short, it is an oversimplified narrative that basically wants to portray everything in such a way as to show that the US is wrong.  The actual facts are pretty much irrelevant.  Indeed it is precisely this kind of piece that holds no water that leads me to think of Hersch as more of a propagandist than a reporter

            •  The Assade regime is NOT Sunni. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              Assad is Alawite - a branch of Shia Islam. In fact, hardline Sunnis go so far as to consider Alawites to be kuffār.

              Syria’s Alawis and Shi‘ism

              In their mountainous corner of Syria, the Alawis claim to represent the furthest extension of Twelver Shi’ism. The Alawis number perhaps a million persons—about 12 percent of Syria’s population—and are concentrated in the northwestern region around Latakia and Tartus. This religious minority has provided Syria’s rulers for nearly two decades. Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad, in power since 1970, as well as Syria’s leading military and security chiefs, are of Alawi origin.
              ...
              This domination has bred deep resentment among many of Syria’s Sunni Muslims, who constitute 70 percent of the country’s population.
              ...
              Some embittered Sunnis reformulated their loyalties in explicitly Muslim terms and now maintain that the creed of the Alawis falls completely outside the confines of Islam. For them, the rule of an Alawi is the rule of a disbeliever, and it was this conviction that they carried with them in their futile insurrection of February 1982.
              ...
              The Impact of Iran’s Revolution

              In June 1977, Ali Shariati was laid to rest in Damascus, near the mausoleum of Zaynab. Regarded as something of an Iranian Fanon, Shariati offered a radical reinterpretation of Shi’ism, winning a devoted following and the scrutiny of SAVAK. When he died suddenly in London, his admirers charged foul play and arranged to have him buried in Damascus. The choice of Damascus as a place where Shariati’s mourners might safely congregate was not accidental. After 1973, the Syrian authorities provided haven and support for numerous Iranians who were active in the religious opposition to the regime of the Shah. Musa al-Sadr, who officiated at Shariati’s funeral, had much to do with encouraging these ties, since he openly collaborated with the Iranian religious opposition.

              •  Ah yes (0+ / 0-)

                A mistake on my part because I copied Hersch's statements on this very issue ( this astute article of yours says this and I let him talk me out of what I already knew.   With Hersch you always have to double check)

                Long story short though the idea of some monolithic clash is ridiculously oversimplified. Consider for example the tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia.  The fact that Hersch got this fact wrong just deepens my point that Hersch is not to be believed

                •  Where did you get that idea from? (0+ / 0-)

                  From your comments it is obvious you didn't even read Hersch's article.

                  A mistake on my part because I copied Hersch's statements on this very issue ( this astute article of yours says this and I let him talk me out of what I already knew.   With Hersch you always have to double check)
                  Hersch said Syria's Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect and this is a cause for concern. Can it be any clearer?
                  Long story short though the idea of some monolithic clash is ridiculously oversimplified.
                  Hersch has stated that it was very complicated
                  The Redirection:

                  Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of its new policy. “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”

                  Consider for example the tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia.  The fact that Hersch got this fact wrong just deepens my point that Hersch is not to be believed
                  What are you talking about here? There have always been tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia from the Gulf War right up to today. The Saudis used them as a tool in foreign conflicts such as Afghanistan. The takfiri jihadist Al Qaeda will come back to bite them, just as it did to the US in 9/11 and Iraq.

                  You really need to read the article. Your statements are completely wrong.

  •  Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof. (0+ / 0-)

    Instead Sy Hersch gave us a tale about Syria last November that lacked substantiation and attribution.  It's sad. The story quickly sank. What he said about al-Nusra had already been presented at an open hearing in the House. It wasn't news.

    Sy could have checked the Congressional Record. His cloak and dagger tale looked silly. Why didn't his source join the parade of witnesses who did the proper thing. They brought their info to Congress and they testified.

    This goes for all the bullshit stories in the atmosphere today. If you have important information and lives are at stake, bring it to the proper authorities. Drama queens and those who are in danger can do so anonymously.

    The House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Buck McKeon, ended up reporting the 2014 Fiscal Year NDAA to the floor with a call for regime change in Syria and a deadline for the President to submit his plan.

    Before it came to a vote, two representatives, Chris Gibson, a Republican from upstate New York, and John Garamendi, a Democrat from California, submitted an amendment. It said: Remove all the language on Syria. No thank you to regime change. It was put to a vote. The House rejected it. It wanted the hawkish militaristic language and it passed the bill with it June 14 2013.

    The House members went on summer vacation and reappeared after Médecins Sans Frontières reported evidence of chemical weapons. Its staff was getting sick after treating the victims, a sure sign. With their soap boxes and a finger in the air to test for wind direction, House camera hogs said anything, some even contradicted their own recent vote on Syria. It didn't matter because the media decided that the circus was in town.

    Nowadays, copy and paste experts don't have to know anything about how shit works. Come and walk Buck McKeon's district in Southern California with me. We'll find some people who are all ears.

    There are ways to get things done. A surprise announcement came out recently. Buck McKeon won't be running for office again in November. You want to pull down a dangerous, rotting structure? You don't start at the top floor. You find a few key supports around the base and yank them out.

    For extra credit, read the long informative interview Putin gave September 4 2013 when the Syria circus was peaking.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:36:19 AM PDT

    •  Geeze, that's almost exactly what the US (4+ / 0-)

      government said about My Lai - or any other of the stories Hersch breaks.

      In fact, Colin Powell investigated My Lai and his report said no problem.

      I'll take Hersch's record or accuracy . . . .
      you can have that of the US government.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:08:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are not logical arguments and you don't seem (0+ / 0-)

        to even understand that.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:53:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want to be clear. Your diary raises important (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        issues that should be raised.  

        Are you getting anything done?
        Readers can't tell where you're coming from. They're used to attacks coming from the rightwing.

        Why can't you simply say what the best policy is? You left it in doubt.  When you don't have anything constructive to contribute, it makes you look destructive.

        I described how I inform myself, the congressional district where the power sustaining the MIC is located, and grass roots work with citizens there. Brush it off.

        Are you getting anything done?

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:19:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where I'm coming from is obvious. (0+ / 0-)

          The US is supposed to be the good guys.  When we're not - it is the duty of citizens to say so.  The US is the largest terrorist organization in the world at this time.  Period,.

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:34:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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