"A brief, more limited “mopping up” operation in Lebanon"

Via FLC

“…The emergence of a de facto sanctuary in northern Lebanon for the Free Syrian Army poses a particular challenge for the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Instructing the Lebanese army to seal off the border would be bitterly divisive domestically, but failure to act decisively could lead, sooner or later, to direct Syrian intervention.The signs are there. The Lebanese authorities have already received several warnings from Syria demanding an end to the flow of rebels and weapons across their common border. Journalists with access to decision-makers in Damascus relay the message that the Mikati government’s policy of “warding off evil” — i.e. formal neutrality — is no longer tolerable, …….Rifaat Ali Eid is the head of the pro-Syrian Arab Democratic Party and a leading political figure in the small Alawi community in Tripoli, which has come under attack from armed Sunni militants, reportedly backed by fugitive Syrian rebels. He has given the clearest signal yet of the Syrian government’s possible intentions: “If Lebanon enters the unknown,” he predicted in mid-May, “an Arab army will intervene … the UN will request the Syrian army to enter north Lebanon to resolve the situation there, because it is the most knowledgeable and capable Arab army in this regard.”

Eid is a marginal figure in Lebanese politics, but Syria’s intervention in Lebanon in 1976 followed the same sequence: private warnings delivered by former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Lebanese Left; public hints of Syrian intentions issued by Palestinian and Lebanese parties and media affiliated to the Syrian regime; and the claim that Syria was responding to an appeal for protection from Christian leaders. When these warnings failed [to produce the desired outcome], a Syrian armored brigade entered Lebanon and stopped just across the border. It was the forerunner of a major Syrian force deployment, which entered Lebanon two months later.

There are several obstacles to a significant Syrian intervention in Lebanon in 2012….. However, the Syrian regime may regard a brief, more limited “mopping up” operation in the border zone as a dual deterrent. This kind of operation could serve both to underscore to the Lebanese the potential costs of granting sanctuary to Syrian rebels, as well as to demonstrate the regime’s determination and capacity to act, thus discouraging other neighboring countries from allowing similar sanctuaries on their soil. A limited cross-border operation in northern Lebanon would act as a “dress rehearsal” for the wider armed conflict that may develop if the Syrian crisis degenerates into full civil war, or the Friends of Syria gear up for their own military intervention.

There would be other advantages to a cross-border intervention from the Syrian regime’s perspective. The United States would no doubt condemn an incursion into Lebanon, but its stance would be complicated by its own concern, shared by other Western governments, about the possible emergence of al-Qaeda-style jihadism in Tripoli. Its inclination to assist the Lebanese Army might similarly be tempered by a reluctance to get overly involved with a government in which Hezbollah is represented. Russia is likely to regard a limited Syrian operation as a legitimate act of self-defense, despite recent statements by its foreign minister holding the Assad regime primarily responsible for the bloodshed in Syria.

The reactions of Syria’s other neighbors would be no less complex. Turkey would certainly protest a Syrian incursion into Lebanon; but it has repeatedly sent its own military into northern Iraq in pursuit of guerrillas from the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK), and may yet claim the right to act similarly against them in northern Syria, where their presence has increased. Iraq, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Arab League’s council of foreign ministers, has its own problems with Sunni militants and is reported to have exchanged information with Syrian intelligence over the infiltration of jihadists from its territory into Syria. Jordan, whose king was the first Arab leader to call on Assad to step down last year, has tightened controls over the smuggling of arms destined for Syrian rebels across its border, and has seen its trade with Syria actually increase since the economic embargo was declared last November….”

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Outraged Over Atrocities (Unless They’re Ours)

In the war fever being ramped up against Syria, there is broad public indignation over the massacre of more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla last weekend.

Would that the U.S. diplomatic corps and the commercial press were equally outraged over our own military’s atrocities.

While details of the Syrian massacre are unclear and still subject to dispute, Canada, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany, Spain and the United States have expelled Syrian diplomats in protest. The State Department called the rampage “despicable” and complained about a regime that could “connive in or organize” such a thing.

The department was silent on the U.S. killing four years ago of just as many Afghan civilians, including 60 children, in Azizabad. A draft UN Security Council press statement said about the Aug. 22, 2008 bombing that member nations “strongly deplore the fact that this is not the first incident of this kind” and that “the killing and maiming of civilians is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.” The crime wasn’t decried as a “massacre” by our foreign office which finds it easier to denounce indiscriminate attacks when the enemy du jour stands accused.

U.S. envoys weren’t thrown out of capital cities when Afghan villagers said between 70 and 100 civilians, including women and children, were killed May 5, 2009 by a U.S. raid against Bala Baluk. Our Foreign Service officers stayed comfy in their posts later that year when U.S. jets killed 99 Afghans when they bombed a pair of hijacked fuel tankers Sept. 4.

U.S. ambassadors weren’t dismissed from Paris or Rome when our jets attacked a wedding party Nov. 4, 2008 in Kandahar Province, killing up to 90 people and wounding 28. In July that year, the U.S had bombed a wedding party in Nangarhar leaving 47 civilian partiers dead, including the bride. On July 4, that year 22 civilians were blown up when U.S. helicopters rocketed two vehicles in Nuristan.

I suppose it’s not too late for civilized governments around the world to suspend relations with the United States to protest the killing of as many as 170 civilians that died under the U.S-led bombing of Helmand Province at the end of June 2007, or the 21 civilians that were killed in the same area on May 9 that year.

In Oct. 2004, Human Rights Watch estimated that 100,000 Iraqis had been killed since the U.S. bombing and invasion started in 2003. The State Department neglected to condemn this mass destruction of civilians, and the Pentagon responded to the report not with a denial but with an announcement that it did not keep a tally of civilian deaths.

The Security Council might have resolved some mild censure when its own investigators confirmed in October 2001 that U.S. warplanes had destroyed a hospital in Western Afghanistan — a blatant violation of the laws of war, since hospital roofs are clearly identified.

Of course U.S. bombardment of legally protected populations and civilian objects is always “accidental,” like when the Pentagon said its missiles had “mistakenly” killed nine civilians south of Baghdad Feb. 4, 2008. The same apologists regularly declare without irony that the U.S. Air Force is the finest and best equipped in the world.

Some will say the Syrian murders are far worse than “unavoidable wartime errors” because the government there is said to have attacked its own people. They will have to forgive the scoffing coming from descendants of enslaved African Americans, Native North American Indians, interned Japanese Americans, and the civilian victims of our human radiation experiments and nuclear bomb testing.

John LaForge is on the staff of Nukewatch and edits its Quarterly newsletter.

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Israel: Al-Qaeda in Syria May Operate Against Us over Time

“Israel” Warns of Possible Conflict with Syria, Fears Iran, Hizbullah
 

The “Israeli” Northern District Commander Yair Golan said Wednesday that “Israel” is in a constant battle with Iran in various channels.

“Iran is here. We are conducting an indirect war against it every day, as we do against Hamas in Gaza and against Hizbullah in Lebanon.”

“Iran’s negative influence is very significant to our region and its involvement is seen both here and in Syria,” he claimed.

gunmen in SyriaGolan warned that the battle being waged in Syria between opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime and al-Assad loyalists may have an effect on what is happening in “Israel”.

“Al-Qaeda related factors that are active there now and working against the regime may operate against us over time,” he said, according to the Channel 2 report. “The Syrian threat to “Israel” requires attention. It will not happen tomorrow morning, but it can occur within a few months.” 

Golan claimed, “Syria has weapons of mass destruction along with a very heavy arsenal of weapons, including surface-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons. The fact that Syria is a storehouse of weapons which fuels terrorists in the region is very unsettling.”
He noted that, should the need arise for “Israel” to launch a military operation in Syria, “The “IDF” has the power to take over the rocket launching areas that threaten the home front in a relatively short period of time and bring about the defeat of Hizbullah in each such area.”
Meanwhile, a senior “Israeli” military officer said recently that the ongoing conflict in Syria has made it easier for Hizbullah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon.” He added that there is concern that some of al-Assad regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons could end up in the group’s hands.

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In a speech he gave at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, Golan said,

International Bureau of Double Standards—The CNN/Iran File

Another great video from Anthony Lawson:

This video looks at a CNN documentary (April, 2012 with repeats) about the Iran nuclear issue, and examines the role of the mainstream media in keeping the public uninformed about the real problem-nation in the Middle East: Nuclear-armed, Apartheid Israel.

Comments with abusive or insulting language will not be approved, including accusations of Hate Speech and/or anti-Semitism.

The original CNN programme “A Nuclear Iran: The Expert Intel” was download from the location given, below, but I cannot guarantee how long it will remain available:

http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/14/special-presentation-nuclear-iran-th…
Interesting link: Iran finance minister: ‘Rest assured’ record oil prices over nuclear sanctions
http://articles.cnn.com/2012-05-20/middleeast/world_meast_iran-nuclear_1_nucl…

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Russian Communist Party leader: Al-Houla Massacre Part of Western Intelligence Agenda

Local Editor

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov considered the “al-Houla massacre in Syria as part of a foreign intelligence plot,” noting that some Western Politicians and media outlets created a hysteria on the massacre.

Zyuganov, in a statement, strictly condemned what he described as “a blatant provocation” in the al-Houla village, demanding an international investigation in the crime.


He further expressed that sooner or later, this will turn out to be related to Western intelligence, as it proved to be in Yugoslavia, Libya, and Afghanistan.

The Communist Leader also criticized the West for its quick accusation to the Syrian authorities of the massacre, even before the preliminary investigation results were out, especially that the journalists and international observers did not provide any evidence to the presence of heavy weaponry in the village.

Also, another prove to the absence of government heavy arms is that many of the corpses found were slaughtered by knives and had been stabbed. 

Russia Not to Shift on Syria, US to Moscow: You’re Contributing in Civil War

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  

Saudi Auction Sells Suicide Bombers for Syria

Activists have released video footage showing alleged potential suicide bombers being presented at an auction in western Saudi Arabia before being shipped off to Syria.

Suicide bombers' auctionThe video, leaked in early May, shows the auction taking place in a hotel in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Press TV.
It shows a father putting his would-be suicide bomber son up for auction in exchange for the compensation he expects to be offered by the highest bidder.

The father, Abu-Salah, receives 1.5 million Saudi riyals (roughly USD 400,000), for offering his son, Khaled, as “sacrifice.”
Some sources say that among the bidders were high-ranking officials from the ruling Al Saud clan.


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Hazem Chahabi defects … again!

Via FLC

This ‘Honorary Consul’ (lool) guy, the son of Hikmat Chahabi (a Hafez Assad inner-circle-lifetime-member) defected (heart & soul) ages ago when his father was among the first Syrians to drink the Saudi ‘kool-aid’, along with Abdul Halim Khaddam, …etc. However, Chehabi pere was smarter than Khaddam : he did not sever all bridges with Damascus! Obviously now, with this ‘defection’, Chehabi fils is trying to save his hide!

But again, we have to laugh hard at how the LATimes turned this post into a diplomatic post of importance!

Syria’s honorary consul general in California Chehabi was one of Syria’s highest-ranking diplomats in the United States and is the first to defect from Assad…”

Next!

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