When it comes to diplomacy, Russia is playing chess, Syria is playing checkers and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is playing tiddlywinks. On Monday, Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid having his country bombed into oblivion by turning over "every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week." Of course Kerry just assumed that Assad would never do such a thing, but the Russians immediately pounced on his statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov quickly announced that Russia would encourage Syria to turn over their chemical weapons to international control in exchange for a guarantee that the U.S. will not attack, and subsequently Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem stated that his government was prepared for "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression." Later on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indicated that he is thinking about asking the UN Security Council to support such a deal.
Do you know what they call such a move in chess?
We were originally told that the primary goal of a U.S. military strike on Syria would be to prevent them from using chemical weapons in the future, and then John Kerry said that Assad could avoid a conflict by giving up all of his chemical weapons.
Well, the Russians and the Syrians have called the bluff.
So does this mean that we will have peace?
Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not seem to want that. The State Department has already come out and announced that what John Kerry said was a mistake. They insist that it was a "rhetorical argument" instead of an actual peace proposal.
But why wouldn't the Obama administration grab such a deal? The American public does not want this war and neither does Congress at this point, so this could be a way out for Obama.
Wouldn't getting Assad to give up all of his chemical weapons be a major coup?
And it certainly sounds like Syria wants peace...
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Moscow that his nation "welcomes" a proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks on Monday: put Syria's chemical weapons under international control to avert a U.S. military response over an alleged poison gas attack last month.
"I declare that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes Russia's initiative, on the basis that the Syrian leadership cares about the lives of our citizens and the security in our country," Moallem said. "We are also confident in the wisdom of the Russian government, which is trying to prevent an American aggression against our people."
We already know that a military strike would not get rid of Assad's chemical weapons.
So wouldn't a diplomatic solution that got rid of those weapons be far more preferable?
You would think that would be the case, but the sad truth of the matter is that this was never about Syria's chemical weapons. This conflict is about money, religion, a natural gas pipeline, and looking out for the interests of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The Obama administration is not going to be able to achieve what they really want in Syria without military conflict.
And Obama seems to have developed a real appetite for military action. In fact, Business Insider has pointed out that the attack on Syria will be the eighth military conflict during Obama's presidency...
In 2011, America was more or less kicked out of Iraq. By then, Obama had surged troops in Afghanistan and increased cross-border strikes in Pakistan.
He initiated a bombing and air campaign in Libya that ended in a boots-on-the-ground situation that was likely much bigger than anyone without a clearance knows. That's six.
He then aided in French direct operations in Mali by providing surveillance drones and transport. That's seven.
But of course the Obama administration is promising that the assault on Syria will be very "limited". On Monday, John Kerry even went so far as to claim that the attack would be "unbelievably small."
So precisely how does the launching of hundreds of cruise missiles constitute an "unbelievably small" strike?
I think that John Kerry will end up deeply, deeply regretting that statement. He is an incompetent bumbler that is making the United States look like a total fool. Instead of being our top diplomat, he should be mopping the floors in a Dairy Queen somewhere.
When the U.S. attacks Syria, there is a very good chance that we could be starting World War III.
You see, it won't just be a matter of Syria retaliating against the United States. Assad put it this way during an interview with Charlie Rose...
"You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government."
So what does Assad mean by that? Debka gives us a clue...
The Syrian and Hizballah armies Sunday, Sept. 8, finished supplying rockets to dozens of Palestinian groups, some invented ad hoc, and deploying them on the Syrian and Lebanese borders facing Israel, debkafile's military sources disclose. An array of Katyushas, Grads and Fajr-5s, with ranges of up to 70 kilometers, is now in place. This development prompted the first deployment in the Jerusalem region Sunday night of an Israeli anti-missile Iron Dome battery.
The information reaching Israeli intelligence is that the newly-armed Palestinian groups fully intend targeting the Israeli capital, following the example of Hamas, which aimed missiles from the Gaza Strip at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in November 2012.
In his interview to PBS's Charlie Rose Show airing Monday, Bashar Assad spoke of "people aligned to Syria" carrying out "some kind of retaliation" for an American attack.
It now turns out that he intends using pro-Syrian and amorphous Palestinian groups as his instruments of retaliation, while at the same time disavowing responsibility for their actions.
In the south, likeminded Hamas and Jihad Islami groups in the Gaza Strip may try and join the rocket offensive against Israel. It will be hard for them to stand aside and watch, although Egypt's counterterrorism offensive in Sinai is cutting into their resources.
If thousands of rockets start falling in Israeli cities, and if especially if any of those rockets have unconventional warheads, Israel will respond with absolutely overwhelming force and the number one target will be the city of Damascus.
Then we will have World War III, and the rest of the world will blame the United States and Israel.
Anyone that claims that this upcoming conflict will be good for the U.S. or for Israel is not being very smart.
There is so little that could be gained from a war with Syria and so much that could be lost.
And at this point, the American people are overwhelmingly against attacking Syria.
A brand new CNN poll has found that the American people are opposed to a military strike by a 71 percent to 27 percent margin if Congress does not approve it.
And if the vote was taken right this moment, it would almost certainly fail in the U.S. House of Representatives. If you doubt this, just check out the chart in this BBC article.
And a different survey has found that the American people are against military action in Syria by a 63 percent to 28 percent margin...
Opposition to U.S. airstrikes against Syria is surging, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll finds, despite a White House campaign to convince Americans it is the right course ahead.
By more than 2-1, 63%-28%, those surveyed Wednesday through Sunday say they are against U.S. military action against the Syrian regime for its reported use of chemical weapons against civilians. In the past week, support has declined by a percentage point and opposition has swelled by 15 points, compared with a previous Pew Research poll.
Hopefully Obama is listening.
If the American people were told the actual truth, those numbers would probably be even more lopsided. At least that is what U.S. Representative Justin Amash thinks...
If Americans could read classified docs, they'd be even more against #Syria action. Obama administration's public statements are misleading at best.
So will the American people get to see the "evidence" that the Obama administration has been touting?
Of course not.
In fact, a request by the Associated Press to see the evidence has been denied...
The Associated Press ran a skeptical piece Sunday about the Obama administration's public case for military intervention in Syria in response to a reported Aug. 21 chemical attack.
The AP's Zeina Karam and Kimberly Dozier wrote that "the U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by U.S. intelligence -- no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications -- connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people."
The Obama administration has released videos to make its case, but the AP noted that its requests for additional evidence the government claims to possess have been denied.
Instead, we are being told to "trust" Barack Obama and John Kerry as they lead us toward World War III.
And Obama seems absolutely obsessed with making this conflict happen. According to Politico, an unprecedented media blitz is planned to drum up support for this war...
Obama will tape interviews Monday afternoon with anchors from ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as with PBS, CNN and Fox News, the White House said.
The interviews will be conducted by ABC's Diane Sawyer, CBS's Scott Pelley, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Fox's Chris Wallace, NBC's Brian Williams and PBS's Gwen Ifill.
The interviews will air that night, ahead of Obama's Tuesday speech on Syria.
So what do you think?
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