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Is it “if” or “when” the bombing of Syria starts?

Is it “if” or “when” the bombing of Syria starts?

As international pressure mounts for action in response to chemical attacks alleged to have been perpetrated by the Assad regime, US officials say they could launch military strikes on Syria as early as Thursday.

From NBCNews.com:

The United States could hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to the Syrian regime than to cripple its military, senior U.S. officials told NBC News.

The disclosure added to a growing drumbeat around the world for military action against Syria, believed to have used chemical weapons in recent days against scores of civilians and rebels who have been fighting the government for two years.

In three days of strikes, the Pentagon could assess the effectiveness of the first wave and target what was missed in further rounds, the senior officials said.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the chemical weapons attack was undeniable and accused the Syrian government of the “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians,” according to the NY Times.  A United Nations team sent to investigate the site of chemical attacks came under sniper fire on Monday near the capital city of Damascus, causing a delay in their activities.

Reports from the Associated Press on Tuesday (via NPR) indicated that the Obama administration is expected today to formally declare that Assad’s regime launched a chemical weapons attack against his own people last week.  The AP also reports that following that statement, we are likely to hear about a planned US military response.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview today that the US military is “ready to go, like that,” if ordered.

Meanwhile, France’s President Francois Hollande pledged more support today to Syrian government opposition, according to Agence France-Presse.

“France is ready to punish those who took the vile decision to gas innocent people,” he said in a televised speech, pointing the finger of blame at President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Hollande also said France would increase military support to Syria’s main opposition body.

“I have decided to increase our military support to the Syrian National Coalition,” he said in the speech.

In contrast, Russia’s foreign ministry warned in a statement today that military intervention from the US and its allies would result in “catastrophic consequences” for Syria and the region.

Russia has also begun evacuating from Syria about 100 Russians and 80 citizens of former Soviet countries who have “made clear a desire to leave the country,” according to ITV.

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Comments

There are two major parties with strategic interests in Syria: Russia and Europe. I wonder who is telling the truth. We probably should not go to war with only speculation and “undeniable” proof to justify our action.

I sure hope someone has checked with Code Pink and St. Cindy to make sure this is OK with them.

PersonFromPorlock | August 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

And who knows? Maybe the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians by the Syrian government is perfectly legal under Syrian law. We wouldn’t want to undermine the principle of legal positivism, would we?

    If you bomb a nerve gas storage facility all you do is release of shedload of neurotoxins into the air. Some small portion would be consumed by the explosion but 80% to 90% would be scattered.

    Sure. Ask the Paulites. I’ve even seen a comment saying Iran had a second-amendment right to have nuclear weapons.

    Isn’t it fun to live in an alternate universe? I wonder how many of these people are out of school. I wonder how many know about Munich.

Syria? Seriously? Who will we support with any effort we make: Hezbollah (Iran), Assad, or Al Qaeda? Those are the choices, with a few splinter Salfist Sheikist groups (they think the Muslim Bros are too moderate) thrown in to the mix. No ordinary average working stiff Syrian will have anything to say about anything…they will flee if they can, and they are who will die in numbers if we attack.

Those are the choices. What on earth do we think we will accomplish?

    Anchovy in reply to Aridog. | August 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Syria represents a large squirrel covered with bright sparkly sequins running across the Benghazi school yard.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Anchovy. | August 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      ^^This^^

      Syria is an exploitable crisis. Watch Barak “Butch” Obama try to rehab his tough guy rep, irreparably tainted by Benghazi.

The Syrian government used chemical weapons to attack its own people WHILE THE UN INSPECTORS WERE IN-COUNTRY, and then denied that they were the ones that used the weapons. While I am sure they are perfectly capable of lying, I do have to wonder why they would pull such a stunt at such a time.

…..And in other news, this administration STILL thinks the Benghazi attack was caused by an obscure video of a trailer of a proposed movie….

    mzk in reply to Valerie. | August 28, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Please. They Are Not Like Us. (OK, they are line Clinton and Obama.) They may not care. That said, I think the administration is quite aware that this could be false flag.

You can’t tell me Israel didn’t offer to take out their chem sites long ago, and Obama said no.

Somebody want to tell me why we haven’t just taken out their stockpiles, and remove the threat?

I can’t remember ever agreeing with those “regional war” fear mongers, but this time I think there is a distinct possibility.

To many players chomping at the bit.

With absolutely no U.S. interest in Syria whatsoever, given Obama’s track record on foreign policy, I see the stars aligning for Obama to step in it big time.

Obama can’t rehabilitate his limp-wristed foreign policy failures by raining Tomahawks on Syria. Even as part of a coalition force with UN backing there is little to no upside for our participation. It makes no practical sense for Assad to have used chemical weapons. With arms suppliers such as Iran and Russia, Assad has access to all of the conventional weapons he can possibly use. Launching mortar rounds of nerve gas on civilian neighborhoods has no military or psychological value and nets him nothing but international scorn. Absolutely pointless. On the other hand for the “rebels” a false-flag gassing of civilians is a propaganda bonanza.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Merlin. | August 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    There is little profit in panning for sense in Obama foreign policy, nor in the motives of the various actors in the middle east, for that matter.

    A gander at Obama domestic policy reveals the great divide between what works and what he thinks works.

And the “when” depends on when shadow president valerie jarrett tells OBOZO what do do – or she just goes ahead and orders it.

Henry Hawkins | August 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I have a mental image of Obama in the War Room at a map of Syria pointing out golf courses to the Joint Chiefs.

Obama is trying to prove he’s got marbles. Our national interest in Syria has to do with this: ensuring the destruction of Al Qaeda; ensuring that Syria and Iran (as well as their cats’ paws Hezbollah, Hamas, and Fatah) are considerable weakened by diminishing each other’s numbers; ensuring that as many jihadis are allowed to enter the Syrian theatre unchecked so they may be slaughtered.

We have no reason, with our bombs, to seek to redress any wrong or take revenge for the chemical gassing of Assad’s citizens. The reason that would set us on this destined-to-fail adventure is the same one that should have dictated our intervention a few hundred thousand lives ago.

So, let’s offer the Syrian Christians asylum and let Allah sort out the rest.

If the “International Community” is so very concerned, let them deal with it. Let them pay for it and let them deal with the repercussions.

History books, looking back upon this year from the point of view modern society in the year 2413, wonder how Obama managed to start WW3, or as some call it, the war to end civilization, all by himself. Perhaps the concept of trying to stop Syria from killing all other Islamic Terrorists was too much for Obama to ignore anymore. It was a time for reflection and to ponder what might have been …

Unfortunately, the damage done by Democrats (at the behest of the Left) to our foreign human intelligence assets programs over the last four decades has virtually dismantled them, leaving a skeleton effort of varying reliability, so it is not possible to “target the nerve gas depots” with any degree of confidence. In order to hit such targets without causing a catastrophic dispersal, a great deal of detail would have to be known, including exact compounds and quantities and structures of storage facilities and containers.

The best news would be a few days of cruise missiles and attacks on Syrian air power and radar, taking out a major advantage of Assad without weakening him so much as to cause his imminent fall. Then all the bad guys could go back to killing each other in a war of attrition that could take years, praise Allah.

I heard Steve Hayes on Fox Monday night disputing this strategy, claiming a long war of attrition might leave the winner “even stronger.” I’ll have whatever he is smoking, please. Of course, that is nonsense.

As a point on HUMINT, current law since Clinton prohibits US agencies from using or paying any person who is even suspected of ever having committed a war crime, act of terror, etc. But the people who know the people we want to know about aren’t Boy Scouts, and that sort of purity doesn’t exist in the shadowy world of clandestine operations where betrayal is the currency and cash only the fuel.

CIA, etc. is legally prohibited from contracting with anyone on the inside of al Qaeda or the Assad regime, in effect, and then we wonder why were were surprised by the resistance in Iraq and the terror attacks in Afghanistan.

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