Can Obama make the case for military action?

On Monday night, President Obama will make his case to the media for military action in Syria. The President will sit down for interviews with six major news networks, and call on Congress to approve the military strike. His task is complicated by strong opposition from members of Congress, and a vast majority of the American public. And, his case for war is being challenged further by new reports from the German press – reports that conflict much of the so-called evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is behind the chemical weapons attacks.

According to the Guardian Newspaper, press reports in Germany allege that Assad did not order the attacks, and, in fact, blocked requests from his commanders to use chemical weapons against rebel forces. However, the Guardian states that these German intelligence findings actually support the Obama Administration claims “that elements of the Assad regime, and not renegade rebel groups, were responsible for the attack.” These new reports strengthen international suspicions that President Assad is no longer in full control of the Syrian military, but they also make President Obama's case for war even more difficult to prove.

Conflicting intelligence reports call into question the information being presented to Congress, who will start debating a military strike this week. Intelligence reports given to U.S. lawmakers could be inaccurate, or, at the very least, incomplete. And, according to a New York Times op-ed by Congressman Alan Grayson, our lawmakers aren't even permitted to verify the case for war that they're being given. President Obama faces an uphill battle to gain the support of our elected leaders, and our fellow Americans, for military action in Syria. And, with this new information contradicting American intelligence, the President's climb for congressional approval just became a lot steeper.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

All they have to do to push people into believing an attack against the Assad regime...or, at least, to win more converts... is for the anti-Assad forces (US, Al Qaida, Britain, Saudi Arabia) to launch another chemical attack in Syria...or anywhere else.

Americans didn't want to get involved in a European war before Pearl Harbor either and they sure weren't interested in attacking the Middle East just so oil companies could put in a pipeline through Afghanistan. It took some spectacular false flags engineered by the ruling elite to get Americans, like lemmings, to follow the tune of the Pied Piper.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 28 weeks ago

The US has the biggest hammer in world history in its hands. Now every problem looks like a nail to be smashed. How about we think outside the box and accelerate refugee exodus to well-kept facilities with food, water, sanitation and schools. It would cost less than war. It would be a more predictable strategy and might answer the question of how long a government can survive without a civilian population and the economy they (usually) support. Political systems would naturally develop in the refugee centers and could be built upon after the people return to Syria subsequent to the Assad regime's collapse. Could this work? Who knows; it's never been tried. Maybe the strongest armed militias wouldn't become the new government by default, Al Queda included.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 28 weeks ago

Quick answer is no. The real question is can AIPAC make the case for war :P

Regarding the BND intelligence intercepts - I think we are giving these too much credence. I mean, a Hezbollah leader talking to an Iranian is hardly solid proof. Did the BND really pick up this source because it sounds eerily familiar to the so-called intercepts picked up by Israel? Why didn't the Brits intercept this phone call (hilarious, an iPhone conversation about chemical weapons)? Do you remember the infamous intercepts Colin Powell used for his UN bullcrap? They were false. Intelligence community intercepts are a joke without solid evidence.

Here are questions we should be asking, as suggested by a former Congressman...

And this is what Congressmen think of Kerry's bullcrap...

Those in power who seek the truth are being forced to the peripheries, the centre is rotten...

Real solution: convene a peace conference; take away Assad's chemical weapons; kick out the Islamists and setup a democracy. What is the West currently doing? Arming Al Qaeda and pushing Obama to disarm Assad by force. Now there's a clusterf**k.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 28 weeks ago

Here's a timely reminder of using "intelligence intercepts" to launch fake wars...

"Powell played an intercept of a conversation between Iraqi army officers about the UN inspections. However, when he translated what they were saying, he knowingly embellished it, turning it from evidence Iraq was complying with U.N. resolutions to evidence Iraq was violating them."

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 9 years 28 weeks ago

If the head of Assad's regime is no longer in full control of the body, then punishment in the form of a military strike may convince the head, but it will not control the body. In other words a military strike on a nation's military installations may possibly convince Assad and the top leaders but it will not convince any rogue officers who are determined to make their own decisions. In fact a strike could give some unstable people more resolve to do more killing.

Which brings me to the central question, just what will a military strike accomplish? If you can't say with any certainty that a strike will produce a desired outcome, and you can't guarantee that it won't produce a multitude of really bad outcomes, then the obvious conclusion should be that you look for alternatives that don't involve cruise missiles, bombs and deaths.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 9 years 28 weeks ago

The Swedish Foreign Ministry now says that in order to remedy the Syria problem, the West would have to have boots on the ground for 30 years, nation building. Our ambassador there is Dr. Mark Brzezinski. Israel might have to go it alone finally. Sorry, Rothschilds.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

I don't understand this logic. We still are missing the point. Any decision to use any means against a sovereign nation for any reason is a decision that can only be made by the international community. The United States is one vote. (And we really have to do away with this UN veto nonsense too. No country should have an ability to veto any majority consensus of the international community. That is ridiculous.) A majority vote of the UN is the only authority that has any legitimate business directing the interference with the authority of a sovereign state.

Again, the United States, President, Congress, or any other affiliated branch thereof only account for one vote in the international community. We are usurping the authority of the body of nations that we helped to create to avoid making this type of lethal mistake. We are defeating the purpose of which we once stood for; and, committing the same crimes that we once went to war to fight.

The United States of America is no longer a guiding light of liberty that it arguably may have once been. It has metamorphosed into its own worse enemy; and, on the international scene, has become a loose canon that is fully loaded with a lit fuse. This country has become the greatest threat to world peace, human rights, individual freedom, and democracy that the world has ever known. Our leaders are liars who have no respect for human life or law.

It is amazing to me how Thom can write a piece examining an attack from the perspective of how Congress is going to vote, and how they will decide given insufficient evidence when the real argument should be why we think we have a right to usurp the authority of the United Nations and the international community. It is through an international investigation and deliberations that any such decision will be acceptable to all. The international community has no "hidden agenda" to allow it to cherry pick the sources of evidence in order to suit its needs. That is why the United Nations was created in the first place, to prevent foolish petty "hidden agendas" from leading nations to foolish petty wars.

The UN is not perfect; however, it is a far better body of authority to rely on to resolve world problems than the world's biggest gun. That is all the United States is, the worlds biggest gun. We do not have any business using that gun without world approval. Doing so, especially against the consensus of the United Nations simply makes us the world's biggest criminal.

If this country continues to defy the international community by misusing its military might than the international community has every right to take our military might away. Make no mistake about it, if we continue down this self destructive path, that is exactly what will inevitably happen.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 28 weeks ago

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today


The other day, the Twain Report's Editor took a stroll along the scenic waterfront near our heavily-fortified undground bunker in an undisclosed city in Washington State. And while strolling there, he saw a massive private yacht tied to the dock. And being- like all journalists- an incurably snoopy person, he went down onto the dock to get a closer look.

Gleaming like tens of millions of dollars worth of stainless steel, that huge, sleek ship had open portholes (windows) facing the dock. Our editor was just about to lean over the edge of the dock to put his nose against a window and look inside, when he saw a strip of blue tape on one of the windows. And written on that piece of tape were these two words: "Privacy, Please."

Let's do a little comparison here: millions of people do not know where their next meal will come from, millions of people do not have adequate health care or even dependably clean water to drink, and millions of bright young children will never get an education. It is very important to have something to believe in. And some hyper-wealthy guy believes that it is more important for him to own and operate a massive ocean-going ship for his personal amusement, than to help those people.

Now, the Twain Report cannot presume to know what- if anything- occurs in the hearts of hyper-wealthy people, but parking that ship on a public dock and asking for "Privacy," is like Lady Gaga removing all of her clothing, getting on a stark white horse, and riding through New York City, screaming, "Please don't look at me!" (But that is not really a fair comparison, because Lady Gaga would never scream, "Please don't look at me." But you get the idea.)

Anyway, in an attempt to create harmony between the rich and the poor, our editor got some blue tape and put it on all the other windows on the ship, and wrote on the tape, "Hey, look what's in here!" and put a nice "Everyone Welcome!" door mat in front of the gangplank.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 28 weeks ago

The problem is basically one of precedent, in that if we allow anything to happen anywhere in the world without bombing someone, other countries might form the unrealistic expectation that we have become civilized. And if we quit bombing people for long enough, the Americans who own the bomb factories will have to start living off the billions of dollars they have already made and defrauded our government out of. And that just wouldn't be fair to those poor billionaires.

And because retirement funds are very often invested in bomb-making factories, many of our retirees would suffer financially if we quit bombing people. And let's not blame that on people who invest in bomb-making factories, because that would not be fair. Let's blame it on the people who don't want us to bomb people. (And don't get me started on whether it would be fair for the people we bomb, to say, "Hey, you attacked us, now we're going to attack you." Because that wouldn't be fair at all. Here's how it works: it is right, fair, decent, good, kind, and compassionate when we bomb them, but it's just plain wrong when they bomb us back. In fact, I will go so far as to say that God wants us to bomb those people, but God just hates it when they bomb us.)

And what's even worse is, if we quit bombing other countries, people might start thinking that we have quit being rank hypocrites and started being real Christians, and let's face it, virtually no one in our government- whether republican or democrat- wants anyone to think that they are a real Christian. Obama, McCain, and the other hawks in our government would much rather pretend that Jesus wants us to bomb other countries.

And as an aside, a Muslim guy has set up a stand in the farmer's market where I live, and a Christian guy set up a stand right next to him. I asked the Christian guy, "What do you think of Muslims?"

He said, "Well, Muslims are misguided."

I told him, "You should be more tolerant."

Then I went to the Muslim guy, and asked him to describe Islam.

He said, "Islam is the one true religion. Christianity is mistaken about all sorts of things."

I left, thinking, "That intolerant fake Christian and that intolerant fake Muslim deserve each other."

biggob's picture
biggob 9 years 28 weeks ago

The outlook here near Portland seems to be that Obama may be 'baiting' his Congressional opponents to show their true colors to their money/backers and create a showdown for the 2014 and the 2016 elections by weakening the primaries for them. These opponents may be clearly portrayed as a racial/hater by the way they handle themselves now, as the President may not in his heart want any conflict now. (ps-are any of these comments ever read or used on your program?)

SteveS's picture
SteveS 9 years 28 weeks ago

If Obama can make his case to Congress and get it passed, then our congressional representatives are fools! So what's new? He'll never convince me.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 28 weeks ago

How about making the case that WAR AIN'T FREE! Just ask the former members of the Soviet Union, hell, just ask Bush II, or how about whipping out the ole pie charts and let the taxpayers see where half of their federal tax money is going. I know one thing, I don't want anymore of my Social Security retirement fund or tax dollars financing killing for profit. I want my part to be invested in a green energy investment with a return that's not in a body bag.

Outsidelookingin 9 years 28 weeks ago

No matter what happens in Syria, the whole episode illustrates that the world needs to upgrade its methods of dealing with such events and conditions.

This whole situation in Syria, the nightmare the refugees face, and the past failures of international response to humanitarian tragedies such as Rwanda and Darfur point out that the nations must re-think when, how, and who needs to intervene to prevent prolongation of suffering or spread of the threats.

There was a man in the 1800s who presented a simple, but very cogent framework of a peace plan that needs to be developed and implemented now. He describes his Plan, below. The leaders of the world need to take these general principles and use them as the framework for how to achieve world peace. His writings:

“… The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. ... He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.

[Elsewhere in these writings] “Lay not aside the fear of God, O kings of the earth, and beware that ye transgress not the bounds which the Almighty hath fixed. Observe the injunctions laid upon you in His Book, and take good heed not to overstep their limits. Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to anyone, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. Tread ye the path of justice, for this, verily, is the straight path. …..We have learned that you are increasing your outlay every year, and are laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is more than they can bear, and is a grievous injustice. Decide justly between men, and be ye the emblems of justice amongst them. This, if ye judge fairly, is the thing that behoveth you, and beseemeth your station.”

I am not going to give the name of the Author. If I did, you all would dismiss the above without giving it any thought whatsoever. In fact, many of you will dismiss it anyway to perpetuate the errors of humanity since the time the Peace Plan was proposed in the late 1800s.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 28 weeks ago

It seems to me that the picture of the two men looking at the missille casing that was sukpposedly used to deliver the Sarin Nerve gas was the same pictukre about six months or so ago being firedd from Gaza toward Tel Aviv. Can you check it out?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Now that Kerry offered to let Syria off the hook if they turn in all their chemical weapons, Syria quickly agreed, and Russia offered to moderate, verify and destroy the weapons Obama finds himself in a very precarious position. This is not unlike the position that the previous administration was in just prior to the invasion of Iraq when Saddam offered to give unlimited access to his ammunitions to UN inspectors and Bush decided to invade anyway.

How many more times can the US Government side step voluntary offers of peace and concession to pursue war before the international community gets fed up. What did Bush once say, "Fool me once..."

RACadmin 9 years 28 weeks ago

Good news, Kerry was asked how a confrontation (bombing syria) could be avoided... his reply opened the door for avoiding such action and Russia seized on his answer as a way to avoid undesirable consequences by offering a proposal to both the United States and Syria to come to terms (as a solution suggested by Kerry) by getting Syria to agree to turn over control of its chemical wepons to international control overseen by the United Nations of which they and the US are members... a smart move by them to draw down the middle east unrest rather than escalate it... i.e., it should be a combined effort and and the United States (who ever that is) would be a fool not to work with Russia and the United Nations (of which both are a part) rather than taking on the whole middle east conflict on its own when our military is already strapped to the limit and our econemy is tanking... this gives congress and, the president too, a means to save face and put pride of obligation or prior commitment to a line drawn in the sand aside, be sensable and back down on its threat of retaliation which was based on the assumption that the chemicals in question that were recently used, weren't used by the rebels or terrorists in an attempt to get the United States to hold to their red line previously drawn... i.e., as a way to help them wage war against the syrians... i.e. peace will only come via negotiation with all parties whos interests are involved ... and, until agreements and resolusions are arrived at in which all parties can be satisfied... that is, when did retaliation ever solve disagreements between parties in disagreement?

Breaking from

Hillary: WMD Handover 'Important Step'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says any move by Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to international control would be an "important step" to avert a U.S. military strike.

"But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction,” she said, adding that Russia, which proposed the action, “has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account."

Clinton spoke at the White House on Monday after meeting with President Barack Obama.
Read More Here

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

And if Assad agrees to give up his chemical weapons how can it be assured that the rebels no longer have any? They may have buried lots of chemical weapons in in the world can it be assured that the rebels no longer have chemical weapons?

I agree with DAnneMarc:

Quote DAnneMarc:This is not unlike the position that the previous administration was in just prior to the invasion of Iraq when Saddam offered to give unlimited access to his ammunitions to UN inspectors and Bush decided to invade anyway.

You really does serve Obama right for letting the Bush administration get away with blatant war crimes and then carrying on with the same war crimes himself. And, in addition, prosecuting whistle blowers, using the NDAA to quash dissent.* The US has no credibility! They've lied way too many times. No one believes them anymore! Except for a few, maybe. Obama deserves to be seen by the world as a lying hypocrite failure.

By the way, here is a web site that has done a lot of investigation into the Aug 21 alleged chemical attack:

videos here:
Chemical Weapons Specialists:
* Abby Martin of RT interviews Susan Lindauer

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Google Earth: 33°31'14.10"N 36°21'26.76"E
matches this paused video at 4 minutes and 21-22 seconds which is .36 miles southeast of the Zamalka, Syria town center. This is one place where a missile hit..looks like into a building which is on one of those other videos. The other missile in the videos that hit a rock fence...I don't know for sure what town that hit. Zamalka had the highest number of kills at around 1000 of the 1400 reported. There was a map at that brown-moses blog site that showed 8 skull and cross bones representing people who died. The 8 areas, towns, were all from the northeast to the southeast of Damascus. It was unclear as to whether each of these areas were hit by a missile but it could have just been that the wind spread the gas from the two that were shown in the videos.

There was a lot of very interesting information at this blog site. I learned that many journalists who went into the area to cover the news, right after the attack, died from Sarin gas. Also, that many people, including health care providers, died from being exposed from secondary exposure from the patients. One story I read was from a so-called expert who said that many people died because they hid in their basements...and since Sarin is heavier than air it settled in the basements. While another so-called expert said that Sarin was lighter than air and would quickly dissipate. Also the fact that since it was about 3am, many people probably just died in their sleep. If the Sarin attack had happened during the day...the heat would have caused the Sarin to dissipate faster but at night it remained longer...killing more people.

This blog also talked a lot about the other chemical attacks in and in the towns around Aleppo, Syria months earlier. Lots of information. Lots of videos and photos.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 28 weeks ago

Any one hear about the man in Arizona who "stood up to" John McCain during a Town Hall Meeting last week?
Google search "I would have you arrested for treason" and you will find several sites to watch in amazement...The only thing that would have made this tongue lashing better is if the police would have lead McCain away in cuffs. Instead...Well I won't ruin it for you.

I have to say that I am hopeful for the first time in my life (I'm 41) that We the People will take back our Government from the Corporate Warmongering Capitalist.

FUCK McCain and Obamney, Tar and Feather all the Corporate NeoNazi Capitalist!

Americans need to take this one directly to the door steps of these Facist Robber Barron Swine!!! The Gallow Tree will be busy! ;)

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 28 weeks ago

We must resist the urge for power...Change our way of thinking so that people and planet last.

RACadmin 9 years 28 weeks ago

How come major USA television broadcast stations do not air the above interview so that millions of americans can learn the truth and get another perspective on what is really going on in Syria?

You can bet top officials have seen it in our government but you do not see them sharing it with us or the rest of the nation on prime time but give them a football game and everyone sees the advertisments....

How come it is only available for viewing on youtube which gets such a small number of viewers?

We can blame the ignorance and stupidity of the masses here in america including our elected officials on the major United States Media statiopns (both television and radio) that do not offer to air what is aired in other countries... i.e., just take a look at the small number of views the above interview made available on youtube has had... you will see that many of youtube videos that you think would reach millions are lucky if they get 100,000 views.... but come election time with citizens united ruling, these major media stations do not hesitate to air all the bullshit and deceptive campaine ads to also keep us in the dark or to misslead us as to who to vote for that will be making all the decisions that affect all of us... after all, billionaires and big corporations just love to give millions away in super pac money for legislated favors that benifit the military industrial complex for war machinery as there is gold in them and lets not go after the manufactures of mwd's but those that would use them since allowing their production makes that possible

Published on Nov 8, 2012

In an exclusive interview with RT, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that Syria is not going through a civil war, but rather a different kind of war -- terrorism through proxies - FULL SCRIPT:


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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 500 million YouTube views benchmark.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Thanks RACAdmin...I read the transcript and tried to download the video from RT but after it "downloaded" I tried to watch the "download" and found that it quits playing after a few minutes (it did appear that the download was going to take a while and then, all of a sudden, it finishes unexpectedly sooner than it was initially indicating it would. I've read that YouTube does often censor things...including free speech. And that sure looks to be true.)

Then I just tried to watch the video on-line and it got about 3/4 way through and the video stopped. I don't know if this is a problem with RT or if it is being "interfered" with (if you know what I mean). I have noticed, in watching various programs on RT on the TV that there is often an interruption in the audio or the whole satellite interception goes dead.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS: Yes, right on! And thanks for your reference to that guy in Arizona who read that speech to McCain. He was, of course, very correct in what he said about McCain and all the other treasonous war criminals that are running this country.

And that woman from Syria also took McCain down a few notches as well.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

MMmmNACHOS & RACadmin ~ That was a great moment for the people. Everyone should see it. Oh, by the way, here it is:

That man had a ton of Chutzpah. Another American hero gets booed for telling the truth and defending the country from itself.

Quote MMmmNACHOS:I have to say that I am hopeful for the first time in my life (I'm 41) that We the People will take back our Government from the Corporate Warmongering Capitalist.

I certainly agree, sir! It is a shame.

So many other opportunities to fix this mess. We could have stormed the White House when we had it surrounded during Vietnam. We could have prosecuted Nixon when he left office. There was an opportunity to prosecute Reagan when we had him on trial and he suddenly developed Alzheimers symptoms. No contempt of court there just unholy sympathy. You try telling a judge that you can't remember what you did. See you later, maybe!

We really blew it big (no pun intended) when we elected a Constitutional scholar who promised to investigate and prosecute the Bush Administration for obvious war crimes and crimes against humanity; and, instead were fed Bush III.

Yet, as MMmmNACHOS so poignantly points out, people are wising up and getting fed up.

I must say that I was very disappointed in Thom today when he ridiculed that same man for what he said. The man said the US was "probably behind" not that they did it. The idea that our Government or one of our allies--or any fringe element thereof(ie. Al Qaeda)--could pull off such a false flag as a prelude to war just seems ridiculous to Thom. Perhaps Thom has Alzheimers too!

Here's a refresher course in historical false flags governments (including the United States of America) have used to start wars that have been documented in recent and not so recent history:

* Franco-Prussian War

* Russo-Swedish War

* Spanish-American War

* Reichstag Fire

* The Gleiwitz Incident

* Winter War

* Kassa Attack

* Operation Ajax

* Operation Northwoods

* Gulf of Tonkin Incident

In the future the list will go on and on. I might remind Thom that to deny the past is to repeat it in the future.

By the way, wasn't Al Qaeda behind 9/11? Didn't we just fight two wars to eliminate the influence of Al Qaeda in the middle east? Just why are we supplying them with weapons and itching to go to war for them now? Are they now our allies? If so, maybe they were working for us in 9/11 too? If you ask me, that is what the man talking to McCain was referring to. Sounds fishy to me! Doesn't it sound fishy to anyone else? I know that the vast majority of the American people just aren't that stupid.

Most important of all, isn't arming an enemy the same as offering aid and comfort to the enemy anymore? ISN'T THAT TREASON???

Nevertheless, I cut Thom some slack because after all he did spend some time arguing--and rightly so--for the need to obtain UN approval before resorting to any military action against foreign sovereign entities. And for that alone Thom, BRAVO!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Thanks for that link to the Syrian women's passionate plea with McCain. I must say one thing I admire about McCain, as screwed up as he obviously is (especially according to the Twain Report) he did have the patience and restraint to respectably give both those individuals the microphone and let them say their peace without interruption. Bravo for McCain! Well done!

There, I said something nice about McCain.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago
Palindromedary ~ Here's some excerpts from that interview with Assad that RACadmin posted from RT:

Quote RT:RT: For years there have been so many stories about almighty Syrian army, important and strong Syrian secret services, but then we see that, you know, the government forces are not able to crush the enemy like people expected it would, and we see terrorist attacks take place in the middle of Damascus almost every day. Were those myths about the Syrian army and about the strong Syrian secret services?

BA: Usually, in normal circumstances when you have the army and the secret services and the intelligence, we focus on the external enemy even if we have an internal enemy, like terrorism because the society is helping us at least not to provide terrorist’s incubator. Now in this case, it is a new kind of war; terrorism through proxies, either Syrians living in Syria or foreign fighters coming from abroad. So, it is a new style of war, this is first and you have to adapt to this style and it takes time, it is not easy. And to say this is as easy as the normal or, let us say, the traditional or regular war, no, it is much more difficult. Second, the support that has been offered to those terrorists in every aspect, including armaments, money and political aspect is unprecedented. So, you have to expect that it is going to be a tough war and a difficult war. You do not expect a small country like Syria to defeat all those countries that have been fighting us through proxies just in days or weeks.

RT: Yes, but when you look at it, I mean on one hand, you have one leader with an army, and he orders this army go straight, go left, go right and the army obeys. On the other hand, you have fractions of terrorists who are not unified and have no one unified strategy to fight you. So, how does that really happen when it comes to fighting each other?

BA: This is not the problem. The problem is that those terrorists are fighting from within the cities, and in the cities you have civilians. When you fight this kind of terrorists, you have to be aware that you should do the minimum damage to the infrastructure and minimum damage to the civilians because you have civilians and you have to fight, you cannot leave terrorists just killing and destroying. So, this is the difficulty in this kind of war.

Quote RT:RT: You know that the infrastructure and economy are suffering; it is almost as if Syria is going to be fall into decay very soon and the time is against you. In your opinion, how much time do you need to crush the enemy?

BA: You cannot answer this question because no one claimed that he had the answer about when to end the war unless when we have the answer to when they are going to stop smuggling foreign fighters from different parts of the world especially the Middle East and the Islamic world, and when they are going to stop sending armaments to those terrorists. If they stop, this is when I can answer you; I can tell that in weeks we can finish everything. This is not a big problem. But as long as you have continuous supply in terrorists, armaments, logistics and everything else, it is going to be a long-term war.

RT: Also, when you think about it, you have 4,000 km of loosely controlled borders, so you have your enemy that can at any time cross over into Jordan or Turkey to be rearmed, get medical care and come back to fight you!

BA: No country in the world can seal the border. Sometime they use this word which is not correct, even the United Stated cannot seal its border with Mexico for example. The same can be applied to Russia which is a big country. So, no country can seal the border. You can only have a better situation on the border when you have good relations with your neighbor and this is something we do not have at least with Turkey now. Turkey supports more than any other country the smuggling of terrorists and armaments.

Quote RT:BA: In order to find the answer, you need a joint committee between the two armies in order to know who shells who because on the borders you have a lot of terrorists who have mortars; so, they can do the same. You have to go and investigate the bomb in that place itself and that did not happen. We asked the Turkish government to have this committee but they refused; so, you cannot have the answer. But when you have these terrorists on your borders, you do not exclude them from doing so because the Syrian army does not have any order to shell the Turkish land because we do not find any interest in this, and we do not have any enmity with the Turkish people. We consider them as brothers, so why do it; unless that happened by mistake, then it needs investigation.

RT: Do you accept that it may be mistakenly from the government forces?

BA: That could happen. This is a possibility and in every war you have mistakes. You know in Afghanistan, they always talk about friendly fire if you kill your soldier; this means that it could happen in every war, but we cannot say yes.

Quote RT:RT: Why has Turkey, which you call a friendly nation, become a foothold for the opposition?

BA: Not Turkey, but only Erdogan’s government in order to be precise. Turkish people need good relations with the Syrian people. Erdogan thinks that if Muslim Brotherhood takes over in the region and especially in Syria, he can guarantee his political future, this is one reason. The other reason, he personally thinks that he is the new sultan of the Ottoman and he can control the region as it was during the Ottoman Empire under a new umbrella. In his heart he thinks he is a caliph. These are the main two reasons for him to shift his policy from zero problems to zero friends.

RT: But it is not just the West that opposes you at this point; there are so many enemies in the Arab world and that is to say like two years ago when someone heard you name in the Arab world they would straighten their ties, and now in the first occasion they betrayed you, why do you have so many enemies in the Arab world?

BA: They are not enemies. The majority of Arab governments support Syria in their heart but they do not dare to say that explicitly.

RT: Why not?

BA: Under pressure by the West, and sometimes under pressure of the petrodollars in the Arab world.

Quote RT:RT: Iran which is a very close ally also is exposed to economic sanctions, also facing a threat of military invasion. If you were faced with an option to cut ties with Iran in exchange for peace in your country, would you go for it?

BA: We do not have contradicting options in this regard because we had good relations with Iran since 1979 till today, and it is getting better every day, but at the same time we are moving towards peace. We had peace process and we had peace negotiations. Iran was not a factor against peace. So, this is misinformation they try to promote in the West that if we need peace, we do not have to have good relation with Iran. There is no relation; it is two completely different subjects. Iran supported Syria, supported our cause, the cause of the occupied land and we have to support them in their cause. This is very simple. Iran is a very important country in the region. If we are looking for stability, we need good relations with Iran. You cannot talk about stability while you have bad relations with Iran, Turkey and your neighbors and so on. This is it.

Quote RT:RT: Do you have any information that the Western intelligence is financing rebel fighters here in Syria?

BA: No, so far what we know is that they are offering the know-how support for the terrorists through Turkey and sometimes through Lebanon mainly. But there is other intelligence, not the Western, but the regional intelligence which is very active and more active than the Western one under the supervision of the Western intelligence.

RT: What is the role of Al-Qaeda in Syria at this point? Are they controlling any of the rebel coalition forces?

BA: No, I do not think they are looking to control; they are looking to create their own kingdoms or emirates in their language, but they mainly try now to scare the people through explosions, assassinations, suicide bombers and things like this to push the people towards desperation and to accept them as reality. So, they go step by step but their final aim is to have this, let’s say, Islamic Emirate in Syria where they can promote their own ideology in the rest of the world.

Quote RT:RT: There has been many times…not you but the government forces have been accused for many times of war crimes against your own civilians, do you accept that the government forces have committed war crimes against their own civilians?

BA: We are fighting terrorism. We are implementing our constitution by protecting the Syrian people. Let’s go back to what happened in Russia more than a decade ago when you faced terrorism in Chechnya and other places; they attacked people in theaters and schools and so on, and the army in Russia protected the people, would you call it war crimes?! No, you would not. Two days ago, Amnesty International recognized the crimes that were committed few days ago by the armed groups when they captured soldiers and executed them. Also Human Rights Watch recognized this. Human Rights Watch recognized more than once the crimes of those terrorist groups and few days ago it described these crimes as war crimes, this is the first point. The second point, if you have an army that committed a crime against its own people, this is devoid of logic because the Syrian Army is made up of Syrian people. If you want to commit a crime against your people, then the army will divide, will disintegrate. So, you cannot have a strong army while you are killing your people. Third, the army cannot withstand for twenty months in these difficult circumstances without having the embrace of the public in Syria. So, how could you have this embracement while you are killing your people?! This is a contradiction. So, this is the answer.

Quote RT:RT: Do you think a foreign invasion is imminent?

BA: I think the price of this invasion if it happened is going to be more than the whole world can afford because if you have a problem in Syria, and we are the last stronghold of secularism and stability in the region and coexistence, let’s say, it will have a domino effect that will affect the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you know the implication on the rest of the world. I do not think the West is going in that direction, but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Legal suit brought against Google for intercepting and decoding private and business Wi-Fi signals as they traversed neighborhoods while photographing the neighborhoods for Google Street View.

Quote document at and History
Google launched its Street View feature in the United States in 2007 to complement its Google Maps service by providing users with panoramic, street-level photographs.

Street View photographs are captured by cameras mounted on vehicles owned by Google that drive on public roads and photograph their surroundings. Between 2007 and 2010, Google also equipped its Street View cars with Wi-Fi antennas and software that collected data transmitted by Wi- Fi networks in nearby homes and businesses. The equipment attached to Google’s Street View cars recorded basic information about these Wi-Fi networks, including the network’s name (SSID), the unique number assigned to the router transmitting the wireless signal (MAC address), the signal strength, and whether the network was encrypted.

...the antennas and software installed in Google’s Street View cars collected more than just the basic identifying information transmitted by Wi-Fi networks. They also gathered and stored “payload data” that was sent and received over unencrypted Wi-Fi connections at the moment that a Street View car was driving by.

Payload data includes everything transmitted by a device connected to a Wi-Fi network, such as personal emails, usernames, passwords, videos, and documents.

...In total, Google’s Street View cars collected about 600 gigabytes of data transmitted over Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries.
since Google has been spying on US citizens for the NSA or other "law-enforcement" groups, I wonder how many people have been compromised by this illegal spying activity.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago


Syrian FM: We are ready to sign Chemical Weapons Convention

Quote RT:Syria said it would sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, following Russia’s proposal that it hands over its chemical weapons to international supervisors. Damascus pledged to open its storage sites and provide full disclosure of its stocks immediately.
Quote Syrian Foreign Minister:“We fully support Russia’s initiative concerning chemical weapons in Syria, and we are ready to cooperate. As a part of the plan, we intend to join the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview with Lebanon-based Al-Maydeen TV.

“We are ready to fulfill our obligations in compliance with this treaty, including through the provision of information about our chemical weapons. We will open our storage sites, and cease production. We are ready to open these facilities to Russia, other countries and the United Nations.”

He added: “We intend to give up chemical weapons altogether.”

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Thanks for quotes from that transcript...but I have already read the whole transcript. But, true, not everyone will bother reading the whole transcript.


Quote Bashar Assad:Now in this case, it is a new kind of war; terrorism through proxies, either Syrians living in Syria or foreign fighters coming from abroad.

And I wonder just how the Obama regime will handle "terrorists" inside our country either from abroad or from within. If some other country sent many thousands of mercenaries into the US and helped local citizens who believed they were fighting against a tyrannical government... just how far would the Obama regime (or whatever regime is currently running the show) go to quash dissent? Would he resort to chemical weapons if he thought his government was seriously being threatened. If the ruling elite in the US thought they were about to lose everything would they not do just what some claim Assad is doing?

So they are trying to force Assad to give up his chemical weapons...the ones that everyone..including western corporations...sold to him in the first place*. Who is going to hold Israel accountable...get them to give up their massive arsenals of nuclear weapons...and most likely their own bunkers full of chemical weapons? What about the nukes and pukes that the US has in it's arsenal?

* I have quoted official documents by US diplomats commenting on how the western (including Israel) corporations have made lots of money by selling chemical weapons to both Iraq and Iran...and I wouldn't doubt that Syria managed to get some of those chemical weapons manufacturing ability from them. Shrewd Israeli businessmen...if they sold these things to Iran and Iraq then they probably had no qualms about selling to Syria.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago
iPhone Users Are 'Zombies' and Steve Jobs is 'Big Brother,' According to NSA Report

Excited about the iPhone 5S announcement today? Well, the NSA is probably sitting back and laughing at you.

According to newly leaked documents from Edward Snowden, the NSA used presentation slides that labeled Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as "Big Brother" and iPhone owners as "zombies."

Quote Der Spiegel: Who knew in 1984....that this (iphone) whould be big brother....and the zombies would be paying customers?
can you easily remove the battery from your iphone?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago
Quote DAnneMarc:
Quote Syrian Foreign Minister:
“We fully support Russia’s initiative concerning chemical weapons in Syria, and we are ready to cooperate. As a part of the plan, we intend to join the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview with Lebanon-based Al-Maydeen TV.

“We are ready to fulfill our obligations in compliance with this treaty, including through the provision of information about our chemical weapons. We will open our storage sites, and cease production. We are ready to open these facilities to Russia, other countries and the United Nations.”

He added: “We intend to give up chemical weapons altogether.”

That's got to really tick off the criminal US war mongers! But will it really stop them? As you pointed out didn't stop the criminal US war mongers from invading Iraq.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Under the guise of modernizing our phone systems to fiber monopolies are rising up. I think that modernizing to fiber optics is a great thing that is very late in coming to the US compared to other countries. But...

The break up of Ma Bell didn't last long...because the new monopolies like AT&T and Verizon (but I guess that would be a duopoly..or if other mega telecommunications corporations are involved..polyopolies?)

Anyway, what they are doing is taking away the state-owned-controlled phone systems and replacing them with their fiber optics systems.

99% of households will still have copper wires running to their houses...not fiber optics. You will, ostensibly, not be able to have an option of the Plain Old Telephone system of past years. The major parts of the grids will use fiber optics but you will still have the POTS copper wires to your house andyou will be forced to subscribe to one of the major Verizon or AT&T. During a power outage you will not be able to call 911 because you will need an AT&T or Verizon unit inside your home that needs power from your home. POTS worked weather your house power was there or not. I guess we're all going to have to get emergency power backup generators if we hope to have a lifeline to 911 during power outages...or a cell iphone spy phone phone, perhaps?

The other thing that has happened to others already is that even if you subscribe, your telephone/internet may not work for a long time. Many problems have been reported by people who say that they have gone without these services for months waiting for the carrier to fix problems.

Usually, the first year service is promised at a very low rate (about what you currently pay for an ISP and phone service to lull you into their trap) but then the second year the rates go way up. It's not easy to find out what those next year rates will be either.

Since the switch-over can disrupt your communications via phone/internet it could also be a way of controlling those who have dissenting ideas from expressing them on the internet. I wonder how much easier it will be to shut down the internet if everyone had to pass through the few carriers who controlled it? It's funny how if you go to the AT&T or Verizon web sites and do the check as to whether your address is in the service area...and then check your neighbors addresses that for some funny reason it looks like you, or a few surrounding neighbors seem to be within...or just without a service area. I guess AT&T have their territories staked out so that there is no competition.

And if you check into'll find that ALEC has been behind much of this.

Quote blogger:Prior to AT&T disconnecting one of my DSL circuits last year, I had been getting offers to signup for U-verse for at least a year, and I still get the same email and snail mail offers. However in the real world (not AT&T's imaginary universe) U-verse is not available at my location (and I have been told by local techs that it is not likely to ever happen).
----------- is also very likely that AT&T is just using this as a massive marketing scare tactic to hook people into signing up for their UVerse plans. You may be waiting forever for real fiber optics to be installed...which you won't get installed to your home'll still have copper wires...but you may not be able to use your ADSL internet.

Maybe an alternative is just go with cable!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Another blogger at the last site I interesting information about the AT&T takeover:

Quote blogger:
"Potential" doesn't mean it really will be.

"Free" rarely is (while there's no line item for it, you are still paying for it.) In my case, replacing "the equipment" would be thousands of dollars -- Cisco 1720 + WIC-1ADSL... equiv. "upgrade" would be an 880VA series or ISR-G2 series + EHWIC-VA-DSL-A. [I've been using that hardware for a very long time. With Uverse, one cannot use their own hardware; they are forced to use whatever crap AT&T provides.]

At the end of 12 months, it *WILL* go up. My Bellsouth "DSL Extreme 6.0" hasn't changed price over the last decade. None of the technology (and thus speed) has either, but I can live with it.

VDSL is still DSL. It's bound to the same things that have limited all previous versions... loop length, loop quality, noise, power limits, etc. If you're next door to the DSLAM, yes, speeds are fabulous. But those speeds fall off a cliff very quickly. This is why ATT has wastedinvested many millions in peppering the countryside with VRADs -- they have to have one within 3000ft of every house. VDSL is just as dead-end as the aged ADSL technology it's replacing. There's only so much to be had out of a single tiny copper pair.

The issue is simple... they're forcing you to replace *your* hardware with *their* hardware; you have no choice in this. Due to their 802.1x authentication system, it cannot be replaced with generic dsl gear, or configured as a true modem (i.e. bridge mode) [it lacks this feature, 'tho dot1x is not an IP mechanism], so you're forced to live with (or through) whatever stupid routing engine is in it along with any bugs -- which you cannot do anything about. You are 100% at the mercy of ATT for support (firmware, capabilities, hardware repairs...) When ATT drops any given device -- and they do -- they cease to support it unless you replace it with the then flavor-of-the-day router.

And they're going to charge you more for it. Maybe not at first, but soon.

See Also:

quote:Note that Motorola offers no support whatsoever for this device [NVG510] and you cannot get the manual for this product from either Motorola or AT&T.

The only copy was pieced together through the device's FCC filings. And AT&T has significantly crippled it for consumer deployment. (cli disabled, a lot of configuration options disabled, they config it rather insanely, etc.) Also, it appears to be running linux, however, neither AT&T nor Motorola mention the thing contains any GPL'd software at all, or provide any source code for that software.

The 2210's (if they're still handing them out) are well known to over heat and fail. And the -1ATT firmwared IPDSLAM models don't have a bridged mode either.

Do you know where your VRAD is?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:That's got to really tick off the criminal US war mongers! But will it really stop them? As you pointed out didn't stop the criminal US war mongers from invading Iraq.

Palindromedary ~ Now that is the $10K questions, isn't it? Who knows?

My practical side says, no! This attack and WWIII will proceed as planned. Too much by too many powerful interests have already been invested. Those entities don't really care about the risk of WWIII to the world and are blinded by the money. To them this is a big crap shoot and they have nothing to lose and everything to win. They are all that matter to them and they have nothing but contempt for everyone else. The more that die the merrier. After the USA loses WWIII, the international community will stop the US criminal war mongers once and for all. I hope I am wrong.

My optimistic side says, yes! President Obama is a very intelligent man who see what is really going on and where this is headed and cooked up this scheme with the help of President Putin to let the air out of our imperialistic war machines tires. He has the backing of the international community and this aggression is over before it begins.

Honestly, however, I just don't know. We should have a better idea tonight!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago


Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy