Why Hillary is completely wrong on Syria

According to this superb article by Patrick Cockburn, we are to expect new or increased american military intervention in the Middle East, particularly in Syria:

„…a report by the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington that recommends that the destruction of Isis should no longer be the overriding objective of the US in Syria, but that equal priority should be given to taking military action against President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Army.“

This apparently requires „A new pro-US armed opposition would be built up to fight Assad, Isis, al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda clones“.

Now take a closer look:
The Syrian Army (and allies), Isis, Al-Nusra and her Al Qaeda sisters such as Ahrar al Sham and co. have a combined man power of around 200.000 men. The loyalist factions posses both airforce and air defense. All parties together in total field thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, artillery pieces and other short and mid range explosive weapons. Most important than all of this: All of the parties have 5 years of experience in irregular warfare, mastering the use of tunnels and tunnel bombs, DIY weapons, IEDs etc.
And now, a hitherto non-existent new army is going to rise in their midst and fight them all. No matter how much support the US airforce and even any special ground forces were to contribute this adventure is doomed to fail.
If you doubt this, I may refer to Afghanistan:
There the Americans/Nato had a major well-armed and -trained ally (15-20k men of the Northern Alliance), heavy ground presence (tens of thousands of Nato soldiers), an Afghan president representing the ethnic majority of the country (Pushtuns), no relevant sectarian element (broad majority of Afghans are Sunnis; Shia Hazaras very small group that was never in power), an enemy with little history of holding power (Taliban were in power just since 5 years when the Americans attacked in 2011).
15 years later the Afghan army built by Nato is hardly capable to defend against the Taliban without the help of the US airforce. The government has never regained full control of remote areas of the country and of the Pushtun heartland. The Taliban regularly stage attacks in the middle of Kabul inflicting casualties in Afghan and international troops.

Hillary and her „think tanks“ won´t care about all this. Instead she will elaborate that Syria is not Afghanistan, that the situation and the conditions are „totally different“…

 

 

Exposing Human Rights Watchs (HRW) pretension of impartiality

There is valid reason to reject the notion of HRWs impartiality.

Take for instance HRWs repeated allegations against the Syrian government. While it is wrong to ignore human rights violations of ANY war party the real question is why HRW chooses to attack and denounce the Syrian army in a time when the latter is fighting the „Islamic State“ and Al Qaeda (like Syrias Al Nusra Front).
Also, If HRW seriously claims to be concerned regarding Syrian lives it should encourage ANY peace talks that would help ending bloodshed. Instead HRW one-sidedly emphasized on the barrel bombs used by the Syrian army even using a picture of Kobanes destruction by the US airforce to highlight the devastation of rebel-held Aleppo by the Syrian airforce:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/02/human-rights-watch-accuses-syria-of-barrel-bomb-damage-created-by-us-attacks.html

In general, HRW trivializes too much:
The Syrian army is – despite being portrayed otherwise by the international mainstream media – not the only party causing civilian deaths. According to the famous Aleppo blogger Edward Dark who criticizes both the government and the opposition the rebels shelling of Aleppo alone has killed in excess of 2800 civilians:
https://twitter.com/edwardedark/status/580044825426292736?s=09
The blogger even said in the end of February (2015) that „the rebels have killed more civilians than the regime“ in Aleppo:
https://twitter.com/edwardedark/status/571287191575506944

HRW was also quick (and totally wrong) in accusing the Syrian army of having used chemical weapons in the infamous Eastern Ghouta (Damascus) attacks of 2013. HRW, certainly no experts in missile technology and ballistics erroneously claimed that the rockets hitting different locations around Damascus were both fired from the same Syrian army mountain top. This claim was refuted:
http://whoghouta.blogspot.de/2013/11/the-conclusion.html

To understand that HRW IS indeed biased and pursuing an agenda it is good to know who HRWs „Executive Director“ Kenneth Roth is. Ken Roth is at the same time part of the leadership of the „Council on Foreign Relations“ (CFR), an American think tank that – despite using a subtle pattern – has been defending wars and offensive military action under the pretext of defending human rights, fighting terror or the much quoted „responsibility to protect“ (R2P):
http://www.cfr.org/staff/b654
http://www.cfr.org/syria/r2p-crisis-following-un-syria-vote/p27303
http://www.lobelog.com/cfr-liberals-again-pushing-for-another-middle-east-war/

While it is true that HRW occasionally criticizes the US and Israel, this is merely to keep up the appearance of neutrality as such criticism is not intended to have the slightest negative consequences for those countries in particular or any pro western Nato or EU country in general. Noone is willing or able to impose sanctions on Israel or the US, let alone wage any war or „humanitarian intervention“ against those countries. Policies such as „responsibility to protect“ (R2P) have no external expression in case of western or pro-western countries. They will for instance never be applied against Saudi Arabia, no matter how much death and damage Saudi Arabias totally unjustified offensive war against the people of Yemen will cause.

 

About Senator Tom Cotton who wrote the letter to Iran signed by 47 republican Senators

Should one laugh or weep?

„The letter’s alleged author, 37 year old freshman Senator Cotton, had been in office all of 62 days when the document was sent directly to the government in Tehran on March 8 th. He had started circulating the draft for signatures the day after Netanyahu spoke, suggesting that it was already prepared and not a spontaneous act. An Army veteran with combat tours, Cotton is a hardliner chickenhawk though minus the chicken, which makes him a valuable commodity in the exclusive armchair warrior club that some call the Republican Party. But even that fraternity has sometimes found him too extreme. In 2014 he told voters that ISIS was working with Mexican drug cartels to stage attacks in Arkansas and while a Congressmen he sought to imprison the entire families of those suspected of violating Iran sanctions, to include the grandchildren of the convicted.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41276.htm

Would this be in a 3rd world country Americans or Europeans would call it a „banana republic“ or „rogue state“ but the party behind this awkward idea is the US congress.

Netanyahus nonsensical speech to the US Congress

„In a speech to US Congress punctuated by standing ovations, Benjamin Netanyahu depicted Iran as a „threat to the entire world“.“
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31716684

Raising claims and making the wildest accusations is easy, but on what grounds does Netanyahu want to substantiate his claim or even prove it?
Unlike Israel, Iran…
– has not attacked any country for 200 years
– does not occupy foreign territory
– has no nuclear weapons

Yes, it´s true: Iran has no nuclear weapons and there are not even indications that Iran plans to build a bomb. This is not a mere claim by „naive“ people who turn a blind eye on obvious truths but an assertion based on solid facts provided by the best people qualified to judge the situation and make statements: The „National Intelligence Estimate“ (NIE), the creme de la creme of the American intelligence community:

„Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies. “
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html?_r=0

„“This deal doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb,“ Mr Netanyahu said, claiming Iran could have 100 nuclear bombs within five years.“
Well, why should one still trust Netanyahu?
First of all, he has been giving the same warnings for two decades now, even in the time when he was the leader of the opposition to former Premier Minister Rabin in the mid 90s.
„According to various Israeli government predictions over the years, Iran was going to have a bomb by the mid-90s — or 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and finally 2010. More recent Israeli predictions have put that date at 2011 or 2014.“
http://www.salon.com/2010/12/05/israeli_predictions_iranian_nukes/

Also: „Netanyahu in 1992: Iran close to having nuclear bomb
Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979.

Second, Israels own secret service Mossad is contradicting Netanyahu:
„…the Mossad memo…dated October 22, 2012…contradicted the Israeli leader’s U.N. speech on several critical points of fact, including how far away Iran was from bomb-making capacity and whether it even had the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium.“
http://forward.com/articles/215562/benjamin-netanyahu-s-iran-exaggerations-now-clea/?utm_content=DailyNewsletter_TopArea_Position-2_Headline&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Weekly%20%2B%20Daily&utm_campaign=Weekly_Newsletter_Friday%202015-02-27

Third, his most recent lie angered the US state department:
„The state department later complained about Mr Netanyahu’s claim that Mr Kerry had „confirmed last week that Iran might legitimately possess“ 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of any deal and would be „weeks away“ from an „arsenal of nuclear weapons“.

The state department said: „That’s not what Kerry said. He [said]: ‚If you have a civilian power plant that’s producing power legitimately and not a threat to proliferation, you could have as many as 190,000.““
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31722493

Apparently many high ranking members of Israels military and intelligence community do not share Netanyahus paranoic concerns:
„Iran doesn’t pose an “existential threat” to Israel, as stated by Mossad director Tamir Pardo in a December 2011 speech and repeated since then by former IDF chief Dan Halutz and former Mossad director Efraim Halevy.“
In his speech Netanyahu plunges into the history of antiquity to prove a supposed and ongoing Persian hostility towards Jews by referring to the story of Esther:
„We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.“

Netanyahus twisting of the story is brazen beyond imagination:
1. If Persians hated Jews why and how was Esther a „queen“ in the Persian (Achaemenid) empire?
2. Esther, a single Jewish woman was not in a position to save the Jews. It was in fact the Persian emperor Xerxes who had the power to disempower Haman and leave the Jews unharmed.
3. Cyrus, the Great, Xerxes grand father and founder of the Persian dynasty rescued the Jews from the babylonian captivity. The story is even included in the Bible.
4. Above all, from a historical point of view the story seems to be an invention as outlined here: http://www.lobelog.com/purim-when-bad-history-makes-bad-policy/

Netanyahu laments that Americans have been killed through Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Iraq, but:
– The last time lebanese Hezbollah harmed any Americans was in the 1980s and it happened in Lebanon. Hezbollah did not attack the US elsewhere, let alone in America
– Iran has not killed any Americans in the last 30+ years. Even the hostages were all released unharmed in 1981
– Israel has indeed killed Americans
http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/06/07/alan-hart-israels-attack-on-the-uss-liberty-the-full-story/
– Many American soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan but Iran did not attack them there and Iran did not „recommend“ the US to attack those countries. It was Israel, to be more precise it was Netanyahu:
http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-accuses-netanyahu-of-cheerleading-2003-iraq-war/
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/world/middleeast/kerry-reminds-congress-netanyahu-advised-us-to-invade-iraq.html

Netanyahu says that Iran is hardly any different than IS(IS) and tries to portray the Assad government, Hezbollah, the Iraqi Shia militias and the Yemeni Houthis as the equivalents of IS, but as a matter of fact:
– Syrias army, Hezbollah and the Iraqi Shia militias have been fighting IS and Al Qaeda (Syrias Al Nusra Front) for years. They have killed much more radical Islamists in their real and true „war on terror“ than the US has done through airstrikes
– Israel has not attacked any of these Jihadi terrorists, but has shot down Syrian war planes, shelled the Syrian armys bases and given cover to the Islamists in their fight against the Syrian state
– The Houthis are fighting Al Qaeda in Yemen. The same Al Qaeda that the US occasionally bombs there, too. The Houthis have not beheaded, crucified or mass executed hundreds of disarmed prisoners. Nor have they enslaved women and children from minorities

Netanyahu said that Irans religious leader Khamenei has „twittered“ for Israels elimination. While this is true, one must read carefully. Khamenei does NOT say that Jews or the Israeli population must be exterminated, nor that the country must be destroyed physically. What he is calling for is the removal of the Israeli state as the „institution“ governing the geographical territory of pre-1948 Palestine. Khamenei explicitly says:
„the elimination of Israel does not mean the massacre of jewish people“. He even considers Jews inside Israel and abroad as people taking part in a future referendum about the succeeding state:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/irans-supreme-leader-ayatollah-khamenei-outlines-plan-to-eliminate-israel-9850472.html
„Elimination“ surely sounds tough but it´s not different than the often requested Israeli desires for „regime change“ in Iran through military means.

It might be useful to know a couple of things about Jews in Iran. After all, according to Netanyahu Iran wants to exterminate Jews. Look at this:
1. List of Synagogues in Tehran alone: https://twitter.com/GrantBrooke/status/572798502943784960/photo/1
2. Jews in todays Islamic Republic of Iran: http://theotheriran.com/tag/jews/    (Does not look like they are fearing pogroms, what?)
You won´t see Jewish Synagogues vandalized in Iran or Jewish cemeteries desecrated. Unlike Europe, by the way.

Syrias Nusra Front, IS and Israel

Is this a coincidence? Right at a time when there were rumours that Moscow is leading an initiative to bring the Syrian government and the opposition together for talks, as usual the latter downplayed the Russian approach and started the well-known tactics of sabotaging talks by raising demands that no government will accept.
So, what happened that the opposition which few weeks ago had signalled to be more cooperative in the upcoming Moscow talks suddenly backed off?
Very probably the US along with the Persian Gulf based Arab backers of the Syrian opposition and rebels „intervened“ and made clear that there is no room for any talks that could help stop the Syrian war with Bashar al Assad remaining in power.

So, today the BBC reports that the US is going to increase the training of „moderate“ Syrian rebels:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30847689

Officially this training is supposed to enable the rebels to fight the „Islamic State“ (IS), but anyone who has followed the Syrian war knows well that the so called „moderates“ or „vetted“ rebels have more than once either joined IS (or the Nusra Front) or sold/handed over their sophisticated american-built and Saudi/Qatari provided weapons to them. In yet other cases they have closely cooperated with the Nusra to the extent that were it not for the latters devastating suicide bombing attacks against Syrian army installations much of the rebels successes would have not occured.

Just recently 3000 fighters of the supposedly „moderate“ Free Syrian Army (FSA) joined IS:
http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/3000-fsa-fighters-defect-isis-qalamoun-mountains/

The above mentioned BBC article is additionally remarkable with regards to openly admitting that the CIA has been training Syrian rebels under a „covert programme“ in Jordan since March 2013. What kind of popular, domestic „revolution“ is this that needs to be helped by CIA? Since when has the CIA brought anything good for Arabs and Muslims?

Western and Arab sources, which are mostly hostile towards the Syrian government continue to uphold the fairy tale that the so called „Southern front“ rebel groups are a major and succesful element in the Syrian war, which is free of sectarian Salafi radicals. To the disappointment of the supporters of the „moderate rebel“ theory, almost all of the relevant military actions in Syrias south which ended with a rebel victory were spearheaded and masterminded by the Al Nusra Front.
At the same time more reports are emerging that clearly highlight and emphasize the crucial and „game changing“ role Israel has played as the (often not so) hidden „patron saint“ of the islamist radicals:
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/01/syria-opposition-daraa-israel-communication-nusra.html

„Communications increased between rebels and the Israeli army before the eruption of the southern front in Daraa and Quneitra in September, according to Quneitra opposition activist Mohammad Qasim, a pseudonym due to the sensitivity of the subject.“

„The battle to capture Quneitra on Sept. 27 was preceded by coordination and communications between Abu Dardaa, a leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Israeli army to pave the way for the attack. And according to an FSA commander who partly participated in this battle, the Israeli army provided Abu Dardaa with maps of the border area and the Syrian army’s strategic posts in the southern area.“

„During the clashes, the Israelis heavily bombarded many of the regime’s posts, shot down a warplane that was trying to impede the progress of the fighters and targeted other aircraft.“

What kind of „revolution“ for reforms and democracy is this that is fought by Salafi Jihadists from several countries and supported by Israel?

 

 

 

Western air campaign, Kobane and ineffectiveness

2,5 months after the US began to bomb IS in Iraq and almost one month after the US and allies started an aerial bombing campaign against IS in and near Kobane in Syria it is not clear at all whether any real success has been achieved.

In Iraq IS has again managed to put a siege around the Sinjar area and encircle the Yezidi inhabitants. In Kobane IS has lost a couple of hundred fighters but still in inside parts of the city and was even able to take back a „strategic hill“, which the Kurdish defenders just had recaptured 2 weeks ago as an alleged sign of the tide turning (against IS).

Several questions arise:

1. How is it possible that the most modern airforce of the world is not able (or willling?) to dislodge the 1000 (or so) fighters of a militia that has a dozen of old Russian tanks and no air defense?
2. The weapon of choice against small mobile enemy units would be attack helicopters of the types Cobra, Apache and Black Hawk. Why are they not deployed in Kobane?
3. IS has brought reinforcements from Raqqa and the Aleppo countryside in long convoys of pick ups. Why were these not intercepted and attacked?
4. „Moderate“ FSA rebels, e.g. from the „Hazm movement“ have been extensively using american ATGMs (TOW missiles) against armoured vehicles but also against sniper positions and barracks of the Syrian Army. The FSA claims to side with the Kurds and against IS. Why has not a single ATGM been applied against IS vehicles at Kobane?

Another interesting aspect of the war against IS in Kobane is that major parts of the city have been destroyed, mostly by the aerial bombing and NOT by the mortar fire of IS:
Kobane destruction

Readers all remember, when similar pictures are shown from Syria, western and (Gulf) arab press put the blame squarely on the Syrian army and used phrases such as „Assad is killing his people“. The „lesson“ is that while it´s OK for american fighter jets to demolish civilian areas of a SYRIAN city because of IS presence there, the Syrian army has no right to bomb civilian areas that have been taken by islamist militias and turned to launchpads for mortar attacks.

The FSA complains that US airstrikes hit „Al Qaeda“ in Syria

Just read and laugh:
Statement 1: „“Because there is no coordination, [the U.S.-led coalition] hit an al Nusrah base in the Idlib suburbs that is only 200 meters from the Free Syrian Army,” Al Marie said.“
Conclusion: the „terrorist-branded Al Qaeda affiliate“ al Nusrah front has its base in walking distance of the „MODERATE“ FSA.
Statement 2: „“The FSA is passing on solid targeting information about ISIS and Nusrah. We don’t know if they are using it or not,” the opposition official said. „

So, the same FSA that is more than obviously cooperating with al Nusrah is giving targetting information regarding al Nusrah to the Americans???
What is clear is that (1) is true. (2) however is only for the usual idiots in the US administration to believe or at least claim in the public that the FSA is moderate and hostile to al Nusrah.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/30/exclusive-america-s-allies-almost-bombed-in-syrian-airstrikes.html