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Syria: Another Western War Crime In The Making — Paul Craig Roberts   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:16:07 |Display all floors

Saudis Threaten Russia With Olympic Terrorist Attacks Unless It Abandons Syria Support

Details of secret talks between Putin, Saudi prince leaked; Intel head admits to controlling Chechen jihadists in Syria

Steve Watson
Aug 27, 2013

Saudi intelligence has issued a tacit threat to have terrorist attacks carried out in Russia at the Winter Olympics in February 2014, should the state continue to support the Assad regime in Syria.

The threat was revealed in leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting three weeks ago between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

It appears that following initial vocal concerns expressed by Gulf state diplomats and senior leaders of the Syrian opposition, the leaked material was provided to the Russian media. More details then emerged in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which is sympathetic to Hezbollah and thus extremely inhospitable toward Saudi Arabia.

The respected middle east news agency Al Monitor carries a translated version of the As-Safir report which suggests that during the talks, Bandar, who heads the primary Saudi intelligence agency, allegedly presented a cornucopia of offers and threats with regards to Syria.

In return for Russia’s cooperation, Bandar is alleged to have promised to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria should Assad be forced from power.

Perhaps the most interesting snippet in the report, has Bandar suggesting that should Russia elect not to reach an agreement over Syria, Chechen terrorist attacks may be carried out on the Russian hosted Winter Olympics next year in Sochi.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year.” Bandar is alleged to have said. What makes the pledge threatening is that he is also quoted as saying “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Bandar also allegedly stated that Chechen terrorists currently in Syria were a tool that could be used at will.

“The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us.” Bandar is quoted as saying. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.” he added.

Bandar also allegedly said that he was speaking with the full backing of the US government.

The London Telegraph also reported on the leaked notes, noting the Saudi prince’s attempt to further sweeten Putin with a secret sweeping oil deal and a pledge to safeguard Russia’s gas contracts should he abandon support for the Assad government.

The deal appears to be in the form of an offer to form a Russian/OPEC alliance on oil production that would significantly affect global markets. While Syria is not a major oil producer, any military action taken against the country could have wider repercussions on oil markets.

Vladimir Putin is said to have responded “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

The Russian president is also said to have commented “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters.” referring to the rebels.

Bandar is said to have responded that there would be “no escape from the military option” if Russia were to decline the Saudi terms for accord.

The leaked transcripts do dovetail with initial reports that sourced anonymous European and Arab diplomats.

It is possible that the leaked transcripts could be embellished by Russian intelligence, for propaganda purposes. However, the detail contained within them makes them appear authentic. Regardless, the report makes for compelling reading, particularly considering Saudi Arabia’s eagerness to take decisive action to overthrow and remove the Syrian government permanently.

Webster Tarpley has also recently detailed the fallout of the Saudi/Russian standoff:

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:17:43 |Display all floors

Russia and Syria Issue Warnings as U.S. Warships Poised to Strike

Madison Ruppert
August 27, 2013

Both the United States and United Kingdom have placed military hardware near Syria in anticipation of a possible upcoming strike which is looking increasingly likely after Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements earlier Monday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a Western military attack on Syria would only result in more problems in the region and lead to more bloodshed, according to The Washington Post.

Lavrov also said that an attack would be the same kind of “catastrophe” as the interventions in Iraq and Libya, while a senior Syrian official said that they will defend itself against any international attack, according to CBS News.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told the Associated Press that airstrikes or other military action would not only trigger “chaos” and would also threaten peace and security worldwide.

Currently, officials in Washington are assessing their various options for an attack which would “probably last no more than two days and involve sea-launched cruise missiles — or, possibly, long-range bombers — striking military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal,” according to The Washington Post.

The factors reportedly involved in the decision are:

1. The findings of a yet-to-be-completed intelligence report evaluating any culpability on the part of the Syrian government in the alleged chemical attack last week

2. Consultation with allied nations and Congress, both of which are ongoing

3. The determination of a justification for the strike under international law

In his statements, Kerry said that the UN investigation of the chemical attack isn’t informing their current statements.

Kerry noted that although the UN investigators continue to gather “additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience and guided by common sense.”

“We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead,” Kerry said.

The Post summed up Kerry’s statement as “part of an escalating administration drumbeat, which is likely to include a public statement by Obama in coming days.”

CBS News speaks of the strike in Syria as a certainty.

“Any final decisions haven’t been made, but senior administration officials talk of Syria now as a place where the U.S. and its allies must exact a military price for heavy use of chemical weapons,” CBS reports.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) expects that a “response” – which most likely means a military strike – is imminent.

“I think a response is imminent. I talked last evening in the situation room and we’re building support with NATO allies,” Corker said on Monday morning.

While Russia is currently one of the greatest obstacles in the way of Western intervention and a significant Syrian ally, Saudi Arabia is attempting to make that change.

If Russia backs away from Assad, Saudi Arabia reportedly offered a secret deal “to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Leaked transcripts of a conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan revealed a quite disturbing conversation.

Bandar allegedly promised to protect Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad government falls and also protect the Sochi Olympics if they agree to a deal.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the Games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly said.

“We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future,” he reportedly said.

If this is accurate, it is a quite amazing, though not all that surprising, statement. It remains to be seen if Russia will back away from Syria in the coming days. For now, they seem to be standing behind Assad.

Putin reportedly told British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier Monday that there is no evidence that Assad’s forces were behind the alleged chemical attack.

If Russia suddenly stops opposing Western intervention in Syria, the last real obstacle would be removed.

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:19:32 |Display all floors

Syria crisis: Russia and China step up warning over strike

27 August 2013 Last updated at 09:52 GMT nts (255)

Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region.

The US and its allies are considering launching strikes on Syria in response to deadly attacks last week.

The US said there was "undeniable" proof of a chemical attack, on Monday.

UN chemical weapons inspectors are due to start a second day of investigations in the suburbs of Damascus.

The UN team came under sniper fire as they tried to visit an area west of the city on Monday.

A spokesman for UK Prime Minister David Cameron says the UK is making contingency plans for military action in Syria.

Mr Cameron has cut short his holiday and returned to London to deal with the Syrian crisis.
Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The administration has deliberately left itself almost no room for manoeuvre - its credibility would now be zero if it failed to take some form of military action”
Mark Mardell
North America editor
Read more from Mark
How Syria conflict affects neighbours

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has called on the international community to show "prudence" over the crisis and observe international law.

"Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," he said in a statement.

Late on Monday, the US said it was postponing a meeting on Syria with Russian diplomats, citing "ongoing consultations" about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Hours later, Russia expressed regret about the decision. The two sides had been due to meet in The Hague on Wednesday to discuss setting up an international conference on finding a political solution to the crisis.

The Russian deputy defence minister, Gennady Gatilov said working out the political parameters for a resolution on Syria would be especially useful, with the threat of force hanging over the country.
Continue reading the main story

UN chemical weapons inspectors spent nearly three hours in the suburb of Muadhamiya in western Damascus on Monday.
Continue reading the main story

On Monday, Mr Cameron spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin who said there was no evidence yet that Syria had used chemical weapons against rebels, Mr Cameron's office said.

The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, said Western powers were rushing to conclusions about who may have used chemical weapons in Syria before UN inspectors had completed their investigation.
UN visit

Both the Syrian government and rebels have blamed each other for last Wednesday's attacks.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said three hospitals it supported in the Damascus area had treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms", of whom 355 had died.
Continue reading the main story
Models for possible intervention
Iraq 1991: US-led global military coalition, anchored in international law; explicit mandate from UN Security Council to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait
Balkans 1990s: US arms supplied to anti-Serb resistance in Croatia and Bosnia in defiance of UN-mandated embargo; later US-led air campaign against Serb paramilitaries. In 1999, US jets provided bulk of 38,000 Nato sorties against Serbia to prevent massacres in Kosovo - legally controversial with UN Security Council resolutions linked to "enforcement measures"
Somalia 1992-93: UN Security Council authorised creation of international force with aim of facilitating humanitarian supplies as Somali state failed. Gradual US military involvement without clear objective culminated in Black Hawk Down disaster in 1993. US troops pulled out
Libya 2011: France and UK sought UN Security Council authorisation for humanitarian operation in Benghazi in 2011. Russia and China abstained but did not veto resolution. Air offensive continued until fall of Gaddafi
Models for possible intervention

US officials said there was "little doubt" that President Bashar al-Assad's government was to blame.

UN inspectors spent nearly three hours in the western district of Muadhamiya on Monday where they visited two hospitals and interviewed survivors, eyewitnesses and doctors.

A UN spokesman said they had collected some samples.

Earlier in the day, the UN convoy came under fire from unidentified snipers and was forced to turn back before resuming its journey.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shooting and asked the UN team in Syria to register a complaint.


In the most forceful US reaction yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday described the recent attacks in the Damascus area as a "moral obscenity".

He said the delay in allowing UN inspectors to the sites was a sign the Syrian government had something to hide.

He said Washington had additional information about the attacks that it would make public in the days ahead.

"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality," Mr Kerry said at a news conference on Monday.

"Make no mistake, President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people."

John Kerry: "There is a clear reason that the world has banned entirely the use of chemical weapons"

Washington has recently bolstered its naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean and military leaders from the US, UK and their allies have convened a meeting in Jordan.

Analysts believe the most likely US action would be sea-launched cruise missiles targeting Syrian military installations.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Monday the West had not produced any proof that President Assad's forces had used chemical weapons.

He was responding to suggestions from some Western countries that military action against the Syrian government could be taken without a UN mandate.

Mr Lavrov said the use of force without Security Council backing would be "a crude violation of international law".

Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC an international military response to the suspected use of chemical weapons would be possible without the backing of the UN.

The UN Security Council is divided, with Russia and China opposing military intervention and the UK and France warning that the UN could be bypassed if there was "great humanitarian need".

In a column in The Times newspaper, former UK PM Tony Blair has written that if the West does not intervene to support freedom and democracy in Egypt and Syria, the Middle East will face catastrophe

The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Assad began more than two years ago. The conflict has produced more than 1.7 million registered refugees.

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Post time 2013-8-28 16:22:14 |Display all floors

Obama: I am King of the World!

David Camereon: I am his EUNUCH!


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Post time 2013-8-28 19:03:53 |Display all floors

Without the resolution, United Kingdom and the United States will proceed on the war path
to Syria ..... and then .....


UN Security Council to get draft resolution on Syria within hours

Latest 28/8/2013
Youssef Badawi / EPA

The head of UN inspectors' team, Professor Ake Sellstrom (fourth from right) and Angela Kane (third from right) watch as experts leave the Four Seasons hotel in Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday.
By Alastair Jamieson, Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, NBC News

A draft resolution authorizing “necessary measures” in Syria will be presented to the U.N. Security Council within hours, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Wednesday.

The move came as the U.S. and its allies lay the diplomatic groundwork for military strikes, which officials in Washington said could begin as early as Thursday night.

"Britain has drafted a resolution condemning the chemical weapons attack by President Bashar Assad and authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians," Cameron said on his official Twitter feed.

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Post time 2013-8-29 17:14:24 |Display all floors

U.S. Will Take Action In Syria Regardless of Support From Allies or U.N.

Madison Ruppert
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In a statement that brings to memory the attack on Iraq, the United States said that it will take action against Syria even if allies and the United Nations do not support the operation.

The attack would be a response to alleged chemical weapons use. Despite the lack of published findings by the UN investigators, Western nations have been calling for a response to the alleged attack and one report claimed that U.S., Israeli and Jordanian commandos are already on the ground in Syria.

Today the Syrian government called for an immediate UN investigation into three new alleged attacks, reportedly carried out by the rebels.

Yet the United States’ rhetoric has become increasingly bellicose today, with the Associated Press reporting that the U.S. will simply ignore the backing – or lack thereof – of the UN and allied nations.

Note: The Washington Post changed the AP story entirely. Here is the original version posted on another site.

On Wednesday, Britain proposed a draft resolution that would authorize a military operation against Syria but that effort was stymied by the continued opposition of Russia.

The Associated Press rightly notes that if the draft resolution was put to a vote, it “would almost certainly be vetoed by Russia and China, which have blocked past attempts to sanction President Bashar Assad’s regime.”

Indeed, Russia and China have presented the most significant obstacle to Western intervention in Syria for quite some time now.

Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman for the State Department, said that the U.S. cannot be delayed in responding to the alleged attack by Russia’s opposition in the United Nations.

Russia maintained that a military strike on Syria without the approval of the UN Security Council would be a “crude violation” of international law, something which doesn’t seem to bother the U.S.

In the United States, “No War With Syria” rallies are scheduled for Saturday, August 31 in cities across the United States.

“The movement in no way support the actions of the Assad regime, but we recognize that US intervention will instigate more violence and suffering in Syria,” organizer Nick Bernabe said in a statement.

“As the U.S. is already hurting from a recession and perpetual wars, becoming involved in Syria will only create further destabilization in the Middle East and strip the people of the United States of desperately needed resources,” he added.

Opposition has also been voiced by former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who said that a strike on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces would mean the U.S. was supporting al-Qaeda.

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Post time 2013-8-29 18:37:40 |Display all floors

China and Russia Walk Out of UN Security Council Meeting: “This Isn’t An Exercise”

Mac Slavo
August 28, 2013ist Post

As Jerome Corsi warned earlier today, “this is one of the most serious moments that we’ve ever faced in world history.”

Events are happening quickly and as it stands, the United States, Britain and other western allies are preparing a missile strike on Syria.

Russia has been the most critical opponent of the possibility of Mid East military action, but now China has also stepped in.

Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region.

BBC via Zero Hedge
And moments ago the Interfax news agency announced that China and Russia have left the negotiating table in response to a proposal for Britain’s David Cameron on pending intervention in Syria.


Russian and Chinese representatives have left the UN Security Council session that discussed the draft resolution on Syria proposed by Great Britain.
We could be days away from the start of a conflict the likes of which the world has never seen before.

The United States and Britain are pushing forward with plans to execute a “brief and limited” strike on Syrian targets, but all signs suggest it will turn into much more than that. In January of 2012 the United States positioned 100,000 soldiers off the coast of Iran, and just last weekend it was reported that hundreds of US soldiers and intelligence assets had moved into Syria ahead of the attack.

In response, Syria has warned it will immediately target Israel with Russian supplied advanced weaponry. Syria’s closest ally in the region, Iran, has echoed the threat and warned that it, too, will turn its military capabilities on Israel.

This is a game changer. Any response by Israel against Arab nations would turn the entire Middle East against the US-led coalition.

According to a report from the LA Times, that’s exactly what Israel intends to do.
“We are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond with great force,” Netanyahu said after huddling for a second consecutive day with key Cabinet members to discuss the possible ramifications of a U.S. strike against Syria.

Armies are mobilizing, and that includes Russian troops, who are reportedly now being deployed in Syria to help Assad defend against “rebel forces,” which adds additional strength to the 160,000 Russian troops mobilized in the region earlier this summer. Furthermore, the Russian Navy deployed nearly its entire Pacific fleet to the Mediterranean in May.

Moreover, after a meeting with Saudi Arabia in which the Saudi head of intelligence directly threatened Vladimir Putin with terrorist attacks during the coming winter Olympic games in Russia if they didn’t let the U.S. move forward with their plans in Syria, President Putin has reportedly responded with the threat of a massive counter-strike against the Saudi Arabian monarchy.

This isn’t an exercise.

The writing is on the wall.

The militaries of the most powerful nations on Earth are preparing to engage.

If President Obama initiates a missile strike on Syria, however limited in scope, it could set the whole world ablaze.

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