What do you do when the world around you goes mad? Do you hopelessly plead for your fellow citizens to regain their senses? Or do you just settle into your chair at the beach (either a literal or a figurative chair will do), put on your shades, clink the ice in your drink, smile and say wheeeeeee
as you watch it all go to hell?
Screw the rule of law.
In the New York Times, Ian Hurd says: "Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal."
Hurd is a professor who has written a book called After Anarchy
. At least the man knows what he wants.
Proof that the rebels did it?
I generally trust Pepe Escobar. This is from his Facebook feed
VERY IMPORTANT: RUSSIA HAS PROOF THAT THE "REBELS" DID IT.
Khalil Harb, of Lebanese paper As-Safir, confirmed a few minutes ago to my great friend Claudio Gallo an article published in Arabic two days ago, quoting a Russian source.
According to the source, Russia's ambassador in the UN Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence - based on documents and Russian satellite images - of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals, fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian "rebels", and landing on East Ghouta. Hundreds of "rebels", as well as civilians - including those children on the cover of Western corporate media papers - were killed. The evidence, says the Russian source, is conclusive. This is what Lavrov himself was hinting at yesterday. And that's the reason there's no UN Security Council resolution against Syria, and why Washington does not want the inspectors to find anything.
That Lebanese paper, Al-Safir, gets quoted a lot. (Remember, another Lebanese journal, Al-Shiraa, broke the story that led to the Iran-contra scandal.) That newspaper is currently reporting
that a strike against Syria may come as soon as tomorrow. At least, that's the impression conveyed by Google's machine translation...
If ratified by the U.S. Pentagon leaks, will wake tomorrow morning, on the impact of the giant U.S. missiles cross the skies of Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine into Syrian territory.
The United States does indeed seem intent on striking before the inspectors can properly inspect. This rush to judgment
is telling. If Obama won't let the UN inspection team finish its work, he will have acted even more rashly than Bush did.
We now learn that the main evidence indicating Syrian culpability comes down to an undetermined number of phone calls
allegedly made by a Syrian defense official and intercepted by American spooks.
Is this some kind of joke? Are we going to launch air strikes -- strikes that will probably kill more people than died at Ghouta -- based on the say-so of an intelligence community headed by a guy who lied to Congress
not long ago?
Are we really supposed to believe that, after so much discussion of the NSA's capabilities, a Syrian defense official would be stupid enough to blab about his responsibility on an open line? On any
And even if we presume that this report is true, Fox News -- yes, Fox
, god help us all -- raises a legitimate point:
If a Syrian defense official was questioning the chemical weapons unit about the attack, it raises the possibility that it was a rogue event -- or, to the contrary, cleared at the highest levels, without the say-so from mid-level defense officials.
"It's unclear where control lies," one unnamed intelligence official reportedly told Foreign Policy.
One official added that the U.S. does not know why the attack happened. "We just know it was pretty f------ stupid."
Indeed so. From the standpoint of the pro-Assad forces, attacking civilians just a couple of miles away from a UN team served no discernible military purpose.
Syria is not acting like a guilty party -- in fact, the government has asked the United States to produce the evidence
of Syria's guilt.
President Assad's government denied involvement from the outset, however, suggesting the rebels were behind the use of chemical agents in Ghouta. On Saturday, Syrian state TV broadcast images of what the government claims were chemical agents discovered by soldiers in tunnels used by rebel forces in the suburbs.
Upping the stakes, official Syrian sources now say that not only were "terrorists" responsible for the Ghouta attacks, but that these same terrorists -- that is, anti-Assad groups -- will soon launch a chemical weapons attack in Europe
, in order to frame Assad again
Make of that statement what you will.
The "Whodunnit" question: Further evidence.
From a CNN story
published on the 22nd:
Government forces did not appear to be in imminent danger of being overrun by rebel factions in the areas concerned; in fact, many observers believe a bloody stalemate has set in around Damascus. And regime forces have also made gains recently against rebels around Homs and elsewhere. Why would it risk an action that would likely kill hundreds in a heavily-populated area and risk stirring up an international appetite for intervention?
Over the top? The Week listed yours truly
Would it also have risked using an agent as lethal as sarin just a few kilometers from the heart of Damascus -- to both the southwest and northeast of the city -- on what appears to have been a quite windy night?
among four "over the top" voices raised against intervention in Syria; the others are Sean Hannity (ew!
), Glenn Beck (double ew!
) and Dennis Kucinich (not an ew
). Although the company of Sean and Glenn is unpleasant, I am grateful for this article, since it gives a fair overview of the argument against air strikes.
In the UK, where libel laws are tough, reporters have perfected the art of denying a story in order to get it on the record. (Example: "This writer most certainly does not
believe the scurrilous reports that Lord Tragamour sleeps with goats.") The Week's Peter Webber seems to have pulled off a similar trick, sneaking anti-interventionist opinions before the eyes of an audience that might not otherwise seek such views.
Russia's alleged threat.
A number of bloggers (including our friends at Corrente
) have noticed a European Union Times report that Putin has vowed to attack Saudi Arabia
if the west attacks Syria...
According to Kremlin sources familiar with this extraordinary “war order,” Putin became “enraged” after his early August meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan who warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat of Syria, Saudi Arabia would unleash Chechen terrorists under their control to cause mass death and chaos during the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held 7-23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
It goes on and on like that. But there's a problem: The EU Times appears to be a massive disinformation exercise
. This tale gets pretty wild, folks...
The European Union Times isn’t exactly a venerable news source akin to, say, The Associated Press. It is registered to Jessica Nachtman, wife of Christopher Nachtman. [Editor's note: After the initial posting of this blog item, Jessica Nachtman wrote Hatewatch to say that she merely provides Web hosting for "a European who lives abroad," who she declined to identify further. She said she does not publish or modify any of the site's content.] Christopher Nachtman is a former member of the neo-Nazi group National Alliance who more recently has been active in Volksfront, a racist skinhead group.
In October, Nachtman stabbed another man during an altercation at a luxury hotel in Palm Beach County, where Holocaust revisionist David Irving was giving a talk. No charges have been filed. The man who was stabbed, John Kopko, has also been involved in neo-Nazi activities in the past.
I'm reminded of the massive frauds perpetrated by Gregory Douglas
. Is someone funding