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Rick Moran

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August 25, 2013 - 6:54 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Fox News this morning  that the military was prepared for “all contingencies” relating to an attack on Syria. And British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging that the UN Security Council issue an ultimatum to President Assad telling him to disarm or suffer the consequences.

We’re a lot closer to war today than we were a week ago.

“President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option — if he decides to employ one of those options,” Hagel said.

Obama had met earlier Saturday with top national security advisers, but will continue to gather facts before deciding on a course of action, the White House said.

Meanwhile Fox News has confirmed that four U.S. Navy Destroyers are being pre-positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, although no immediate instructions beyond deployment have been issued.

A senior State Department official also told Fox News that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Saturday with the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey, as well as the Secretary of the Arab League to discuss the allegation of a chemical weapons attack by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Kerry also spoke to Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallim Thursday to say that the Syrian government should allow an international weapons inspection team to visit the site in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, rather than continue to attack the area, thus blocking access and destroying any potential evidence. Kerry also told Muallim that he had received assurances from the rebel Free Syrian Army that the UN inspectors would receive safe conduct to and from the area.

Syria announced this morning that they would allow the UN inspectors into the area of the gas attack:

Syria has agreed to allow weapons inspectors full access to any site of a purported chemical weapons attack, effective immediately, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad tells CNN’s Fred Pleitgen.

As Western powers try to verify claims that Syria deployed chemical weapons last week in a Damascus suburb, the government is pointing the finger at rebel forces.

They are pointing it back, accusing the government of gassing hundreds of people to death.

United Nations inspectors in Syria, attempting to gather information, say that Syria has not permitted them to visit the site of the attack.

In effect, Prime Minister Cameron is volunteering the US to fight Assad. Great Britain can’t do much and the French, who are also eager to take down Assad, can do even less. America is the only nation that can project adequate military power over long distances.

Gen Sir Nick Houghton, the Chief of the Defence Staff, is to take part in a summit in Jordan tomorrow with his US, French, Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari counterparts.

It follows the strongest indications to date from Washington that direct military intervention by the West was possible in the conflict.

Diplomats talked of a “change in the American posture” following the attack on the suburb of East Ghouta on Wednesday.

Mr Cameron’s officials were drafting the text of a resolution to put before the UN said to be modelled on one that offered Saddam Hussein, the late Iraq leader, “a final opportunity” to disarm in 2002.

The move risks a public row with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, who does not want any action taken against his ally.

But US officials were studying the Kosovo conflict, in which Nato launched weeks of air strikes without UN support and in the teeth of Russian opposition.

So we have Kerry speaking with the foreign ministers of our allies and a military summit taking place in Jordan with basically the same countries. The obvious conclusion is that something is up.

There’s a stink of war in the air, and it looks like we’re going to be backing the Islamists in their effort to dethrone President Assad. Is this our “smart power” on display? Or would it be the dumbest move this administration has made to date?

Syria is warning that American intervention would set the Middle East “ablaze”:

he Syrian government accused rebels of using chemical weapons Saturday and warned the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus over an alleged chemical attack last week, saying such a move would set the Middle East ablaze.

The accusations by the regime of President Bashar Assad against opposition forces came as an international aid group said it has tallied 355 deaths from a purported chemical weapons attack on Wednesday in a suburb of the Syrian capital known as Ghouta.

Syria is intertwined in alliances with Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militant groups. The country also borders its longtime foe and U.S. ally Israel, making the fallout from military action unpredictable.

Polls strongly suggest Americans are dead set against intervening in Syria — even if chemical weapons have been used. And an intervention, it will be, not just the US lobbing a few cruise missiles at Syrian military targets. No fly zones have been discussed previously, but the rebels desperately need close air support to start to win back ground lost in the last few months as President Assad’s forces have made significant progress in reclaiming territory lost to the rebels. Without heavy weapons and armor, the rebels have been slowly retreating. Air power would give them a decisive advantage.

But empowering al-Qaeda by taking out the only viable force on the ground that can stand up to them — the Syrian military and Hezballah fighters — what furies will we be unleashing on the Syrian people and the region?

I hope somebody knows what they’re doing in the White House when the “go/no-go” decision to intervene is made.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
Cui bono? Why on Earth would the Assad Regime risk the one thing that guarantees their defeat, US intervention? It is possible that Syria's leaders believe that Obama is so feckless that no matter what he said, they could use chemical weapons without a US reaction, but I doubt it. Unlike most in the US and European political classes, I suspect the Russians and Syrians are realistic about whose side Obama is really on.

I watches some of those "gas attack" videos and I've seen better acting in Middle School plays. The rebels either used chemicals themselves or they faked it. I think the latter, and you can always find "international" experts to say anything you want them to. The rebels are losing and they want intervention by US air power.

The Soros Junta has been upholding its deal with its Middle Eastern investors by essentially delievering the Western-leaning countries of the Middle East to the Islamists and Iran. When the US aided in deposing our longtime ally Mubarak and turned Egypt over to the MB, the Saudis and Kuwaitis realized that maybe they weren't US allies any more and they were next. They intervened so that the region's most powerful military didn't become allied with Iran. The Russians decided to draw the line and not allow the Islamists to deprive them of both a client and a Mediterranean base. Now, Comrade Obama and the Soros Junta have a real problem: the Saudis and Kuwaitis don't have much in the way of troops, but they have a LOT of oil and money which, I believe, they will use to protect their interests. I think Putin is completely confident that he can play stare-down with the US' President manque. I don't know that that is a good calculation on Putin's part because Obama really isn't his own master and when cornered even weak, feckless creatures are dangerously unpredictable. Whatever else the Soros Junta seeks to accomplish, they've achieved one goal: the US is not longer a power able to act unilaterally. The other thing they've achieved is eliminating all US allies in the Middle East. The Saudis and Kuwaitis just watched us throw every single US allied government in the MENA region under the bus; they'll never trust us again. It is only a matter of time before everyone who helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan is killed. Once again the Democrats have sentenced people foolish enough to aid Americans to the killing fields. The Democrat Party is a pestilence upon the World.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
From FT, letter to the editor...

"Sir,
Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad! Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi. But Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood! Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood! Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US! Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!
Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Russia is in a different place than it was in 1999 when we intervened to support the KLA terrorists. They are much more likely to and more capable of intervening in Syria. GEN Clark was convinced that Milosevic just needed a "little encouragement" to comply with NATO demands so he only ordered the EUCOM J-3 to plan for three days of bombing. When the Serbs didn't meet Clark's exceptions we had to scramble to develop an actual campaign plan. I bet the Obama, Kerry and Cameron are thinking along the same lines as Wes Clark. They will throw a short bombing campaign together and find out that Assad just goes on doing what he does best. This how you can make a big war out of a little one.

I am not an isolationist. There are many ways to engage in the middle east without directly committing US forces to a risky mission. The best outcome is for Assad to gas the MB and AQ fighters while we "help" Erogen by making sure his army can fight in a chemical environment. Then Islamicist Turkey can fight Assad and Iran. Hopefully at the end of the process the Kemelists are back in control of Turkey and the Shia faction of Islam is as badly damaged as the Muslim Brotherhood.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war!" Julius Caesar (Shakespeare)

"Cry 'Uncle!' and let slip the poodles of appeasement!" Barack Obama

Appeasement doesn't work; we'll have war anyway...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You obviously don't know much about poodles. A standard poodle can kick a German Shepherds a$$.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Russia, Iran, and Syria vs NATO, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Has Congress authorized any War?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I hope somebody knows what they’re doing in the White House when the “go/no-go” decision to intervene is made."

There's a vain hope if ever there was one. The outcome of all this will probably depend on which side of the bed Valerie Jarret got up on some fine morning.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
From an AP article today:

"Rosa Brooks, a former Defense Department official who left the administration in 2011, said that while the shrinking U.S. leverage overseas predates the current president, "Obama has sometimes equated 'we have no leverage' with 'there's no point to really doing anything'."

Obama, faced most urgently with escalating crises in Egypt and Syria, has defended his measured approach, saying America's ability to solve the world's problems on its own has been "overstated."

"Sometimes what we've seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations," he said. "We have to think through strategically what's going to be in our long-term national interests."


47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama's new dog didn't shift our attention away from his scandals and usurpations. If he is to avoid eventual impeachment, war is definitely the answer.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Consult the magic 8 ball as it will be as accurate as anything else.

But in lieu of said oracle of truth. Look at the decision tree used by the Puppet in charge.

1. Does the action support Islamism? If yes, proceed.

2. Does the action support Mo Bros over less fanatical Islamists? If yes, proceed.

3. Does the action support the destruction of U.S. economy, power and prestige? Even though it might hurt the Mo Bros or Islamism in the short term? If so, proceed.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging that the UN Security Council issue an ultimatum to President Assad telling him to disarm or suffer the consequences."

This is a classic Obama strategy, suggesting to, or implying, or 'nudging' someone *else* to step up and front an action that Obama wants to happen without his (Obama's) fingerprints being all over it. Then Obama can insist that he didn't make the decision, that he is only going along to support the idea, that when it fails, he had nothing to do with it.

This is classic community organizer tactics, stir things up, pretend to be an innocent bystander, claim credit when it works, deny involvement with it doesn't.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think there is any place in Obama's head that holds the concept of war. War for him is ichy, something from the history books, something only white men and Republicans might want to do.

So, send a message, do something symbolic, stamp his feet, call people names - these are the moves Obama might understand. Enforcing his will against anyone who might fight back or choose to ignore him - time for golf.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cui bono? Why on Earth would the Assad Regime risk the one thing that guarantees their defeat, US intervention? It is possible that Syria's leaders believe that Obama is so feckless that no matter what he said, they could use chemical weapons without a US reaction, but I doubt it. Unlike most in the US and European political classes, I suspect the Russians and Syrians are realistic about whose side Obama is really on.

I watches some of those "gas attack" videos and I've seen better acting in Middle School plays. The rebels either used chemicals themselves or they faked it. I think the latter, and you can always find "international" experts to say anything you want them to. The rebels are losing and they want intervention by US air power.

The Soros Junta has been upholding its deal with its Middle Eastern investors by essentially delievering the Western-leaning countries of the Middle East to the Islamists and Iran. When the US aided in deposing our longtime ally Mubarak and turned Egypt over to the MB, the Saudis and Kuwaitis realized that maybe they weren't US allies any more and they were next. They intervened so that the region's most powerful military didn't become allied with Iran. The Russians decided to draw the line and not allow the Islamists to deprive them of both a client and a Mediterranean base. Now, Comrade Obama and the Soros Junta have a real problem: the Saudis and Kuwaitis don't have much in the way of troops, but they have a LOT of oil and money which, I believe, they will use to protect their interests. I think Putin is completely confident that he can play stare-down with the US' President manque. I don't know that that is a good calculation on Putin's part because Obama really isn't his own master and when cornered even weak, feckless creatures are dangerously unpredictable. Whatever else the Soros Junta seeks to accomplish, they've achieved one goal: the US is not longer a power able to act unilaterally. The other thing they've achieved is eliminating all US allies in the Middle East. The Saudis and Kuwaitis just watched us throw every single US allied government in the MENA region under the bus; they'll never trust us again. It is only a matter of time before everyone who helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan is killed. Once again the Democrats have sentenced people foolish enough to aid Americans to the killing fields. The Democrat Party is a pestilence upon the World.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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