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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
Number of posts: 8,821

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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

UN inspectors submit Syria chemical weapons report.

Source: Al Jazeera America

U.N. chemical weapons inspectors turned over a long-awaited report on last month’s alleged gas attack in Syria to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday. The incident, in which the U.S. says more than 1,400 people died, nearly escalated into a U.S.-led punitive military strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – with some allies urging for the report to be completed before taking action.

The report’s release comes two days after Russia and the United States agreed on a framework for the removal of Syria's chemical weapons – halting military action if Assad turns over his chemical weapons to the international community for destruction. Ban will brief a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Monday morning and the General Assembly later in the day on the report’s findings. He is to hold a press conference at 12:50 p.m. Ban said Friday that he believed there would be "an overwhelming report" that chemical weapons were used in the attack.

The inspection team, led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, was mandated to report on whether chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack and, if so, which chemical agents were used -- not who was responsible.


Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to brief him on the plan and emerged with a word of warning for Damascus. "The threat of force remains, the threat is real," Kerry said at a joint news conference in Jerusalem with Netanyahu. Following his trip to Israel, Kerry arrived in Paris early Monday to meet with the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Saudi Arabia and brief them as well.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/16/un-inspectors-submitsyriachemicalweaponsreport.html

Without anyone being singled out as the guilty party? Isn't that the essential point in all of this?
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 08:38 AM (2 replies)

Syria: US and Russia revive hopes for 'Geneva 2' peace talks

Source: The Guardian

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, have said they hope that talks on chemical weapons will help revive an international plan for a "Geneva 2" conference to end the war in Syria. Kerry, who described the talks as "constructive", told a news conference in Geneva that he and Lavrov planned to meet in New York later this month and hoped to agree a date for the Geneva 2 conference then.

Russia and the US were working hard to find common ground for a negotiated solution to the crisis, but both needed to do some homework first, Kerry said, without giving any details. "We've both agreed to do that homework and meet again in New York around the time of the UN general assembly, around the 28th[of September], in order to see if it is if possible to find a date for that conference, much of which will depend on the capacity to have success here in the next hours, days, on the subject of the chemical weapons."

Lavrov said Russian and US experts needed to engage with the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to design a roadmap to resolve the issue as soon as practical. He said the work on chemical weapons would go on in parallel with preparatory work for the Geneva peace conference. "We agreed to meet in New York on the margins of the general assembly and see where we are and see what the Syrian parties think about it and do about it, and we hope we would be able to be a bit more specific when we meet with you in New York."

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/13/syria-us-russia-geneva-peace-talks

Sec. Kerry says the effort to end Syria's civil war without a U. S. intervention is on again.
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 07:22 AM (8 replies)

These are the words our President needs to stand by.

Last evening President Obama told NBC Nightly News:

“I am taking this vote in Congress and what the American people are saying very seriously. I recognize how important that debate is. It’s my belief that for me, the President, to act without consensus in a situation where there is no direct imminent threat to the homeland or our interests around the world – that’s not a kind of precedent that I want to set."

Stand by that statement, Mr. President, and our country will stand by you.

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Sep 10, 2013, 01:22 PM (0 replies)

Sanity will finally prevail.

The attack on Syria is off, and it is very likely to stay off. The American people win. War without end loses.

It will be most revealing to see who the individuals are who are not pleased by this turn of events. I'm sure there will be some. Shall we watch and see who they are, hmmmm?
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Sep 9, 2013, 07:53 PM (13 replies)

Will President Obama mention the Russian Initiative Tomorrow night?

How many think President Obama will bring up the Russian Initiative to internationalize control of Syria's chemical weapons in his speech to the nation tomorrow night?
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Sep 9, 2013, 02:09 PM (2 replies)

Assad tells Charlie Rose no evidence he is responsible for Syria chemical attack.

Source: The Guardian

The Syrian president, Bashar Assad, has said there is no evidence he is responsible for the deadly gas attacks the US government claims left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children. In an exclusive interview secured by Charlie Rose of PBS, Assad said: "There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people." Assad refused to confirm or deny that he had chemical weapons but said if he did, they were under "centralized control". The interview will air in its entirety on PBS on Monday night, as president Barack Obama is due to sit down with six television networks for recorded interviews and press his case for a targeted attack on Syria.

Rose said Assad "does accept some of the responsibility" for the attack. He said: "I asked that very question: 'Do you feel any remorse?' He said, 'Of course I do,' but it did not come in a way that was sort of deeply felt inside. It was much more of a calm recitation of anybody who's a leader of a country would feel terrible about what's happened to its citizens." Rose said Assad "suggested that there would be, among people that are aligned with him, some kind of retaliation if a strike was made". Assad, however, "would not even talk about the nature of the response". Rose said: "He had a message to the American people that it had not been a good experience for them to get involved in the Middle East in wars and conflicts … that the results had not been good."


Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House homeland security committee, gave voice to Congressional opposition to strikes on Syria when he told Meet The Press: "The problem is I think lobbing a few Tomahawk missiles will not restore our credibility overseas. It's kind of a face-saving measure for the president after he drew the red line. "Little wars start big wars and we have to remember that. Who are we supporting in this war? We are supporting a rebel faction, a rebel cause, that has now been infiltrated and hijacked by many al-Qaida factions."

McCaul said there was a risk that chemical weapons could end up in the hands of al-Qaida operatives after a US attack. McCaul said, "ironically", that Congress had been debating its next step in Syria on the eve of 9/11. McCaul also said that while images of victims of the gas attacks were "horrific" and Assad was "a brutal dictator", "I don't want to see those images broadcast in the United States with American kids."

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/08/bashar-assad-charlie-rose-chemical-weapons

"Little wars start big wars, and we have to remember that."

I certainly hope that we do remember it.
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Sep 8, 2013, 02:00 PM (49 replies)

As long as he doesn't stoop to using unrestrained hyperbole.

"This is our Munich moment. This is our chance to join together and pursue accountability over appeasement."

That is the latest sales pitch our Secretary of State is employing to convince European nations they should join in our effort to "shift the balance of power on the battlefield" in the Syrian Civil War. He was speaking in Paris, Capital of our only fairly likely ally in any attack on the Assad regime. I refuse to include Turkey in a count of coalition partners, it's unlikely they'll do more than settle some scores with a few Syrian Kurds.

Mr. Kerry also repeated his earlier contention that Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President, has joined Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler as, "The only leaders to have used chemical weapons since the Geneva Protocol against such methods was signed in 1925." He overlooked our extensive use of Agent Orange, White Phosphorus and Napalm, of course that would hardly have advanced his argument. Nor would the fact that we were the source of many of the chemical weapons Saddam used.

Sec. Kerry seems to have run the course for hyperbolic imagery and over-the-top allusions. Unless he goes Biblical on us, there really is not much left for him to draw on, not after trotting out both Munich and Herr Hitler.
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:59 PM (2 replies)

I understand why many on DU support President Obama's call for attacks on Syria.

Many on DU are among President Obama's best supporters. They have stood by him through all the bitterly partisan attacks leveled at him (quite often in the vilest, most racist terms) and they now see our rejection of his call to attack Syria as just another attempt to weaken the President. They are wrong this time.

I hate war; I hate its waste; I hate its violence; I hate its destruction and I hate how it turns my country into a nation of crazed, bloodthirsty maniacs. Once we begin a war, the War-Lovers take over everywhere, and those who want peace are mocked as weaklings and cowards. I do not, however, care what they choose to call those of us who are trying to prevent yet another unnecessary, illegal war of choice. This war is unlikely to achieve its stated goals, and it is one which we have very little chance to win in any meaningful sense. We simply have no choice but to try and stop the damn thing now.

If we can somehow succeed in stopping this war before it begins, we will have done the American people (including those who support attacking Syria on DU) and their descendants a very valuable service, whether they all appreciate it right now or not.
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Sep 7, 2013, 09:17 AM (12 replies)

UN chief issues new warning over Syria strikes amid Obama G-20 push.

Source: Al Jazeera America

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Friday that an "ill-considered" strike on Syria could have "tragic consequences" for the strife-torn country, as President Barack Obama continued lobbying efforts for military action at the G-20 summit.

Speaking at an event on the sidelines of meetings in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ban called on world powers to put aside their differences over the Syrian conflict, and to take concerted action to get desperately needed aid to the population. “This is a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions in recent history,” he said, adding that a missile strike could lead to an “increased threat of further sectarian violence”.

His warning came as Obama continued his push to persuade world leaders to back proposed military action to punish the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. At a dinner for delegates on Thursday evening, the U.S. president insisted that there was very strong evidence that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, according to a senior U.S. official.

Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, told reporters that Obama “once again underscored the very high confidence that we have” that the government of Bashar al-Assad was behind the attack last month in a Damascus suburb. The U.S. has said more than 1,400 people, including at least 400 children, were killed as the result of the deployment of chemical weapons on Aug. 21. Assad has vehemently denied responsibility for the assault. But on Thursday, the U.K. presented fresh evidence that it claims shows that sarin gas was used in the attack. “We are confidence and remain confident that Assad was responsible,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said. Last week, the U.K. parliament voted against authorizing air strikes in Syria.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/6/un-chief-strikesonsyriacouldhavegraveconsequences.html

The UN Secretary General has spoken, but will the one man who matters listen?
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 08:23 AM (2 replies)

How about helping me complete this Syrian Senario?

About a week from now the Congress is nearing approval of our attack on Syria. In anticipation, we slap an arms blockade on the Syrian coast. A Russian ship thought to be carrying advanced arms for Assad approaches our blockade line, intending to dock at Latakia. An American warship orders the Russian ship to turn back. The Russian refuses to change course.

What happens next?
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Sep 5, 2013, 07:53 PM (4 replies)
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