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September 07 2013

** #G20 #Syria divide: World’s largest nations ...

** #G20 #Syria divide: World’s largest nations speak out against US-led strike — RT News** - http://rt.com/news/g20-against-syria-strike-527/

“Central Asia is Watching [Syria] Too”

As the United States and Russia spar over the way ahead in Syria, the governments in Central Asia are following the situation closely, writes Nathan Barrick on Registan.net:

Russia chooses to focus on the perspective that the Syrian government is fighting a battle against Islamic extremists and this message likely resonates with Central Asian governments.  Official silence from Central Asia on Syria should not disguise the real sympathy with Russia’s perspective…

…Central Asia is watching too… not because they will seek to develop and acquire chemical weapons to use against their populations, but to note how much confidence they can place in a security partnership with the United States, or even if they should re-evaluate and partner more closely with Russia.

Pentagon Is Ordered to Expand Potential Targets in Syria With a Focus on Forces - NYTimes.com

Pentagon Is Ordered to Expand Potential Targets in Syria With a Focus on Forces - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/pentagon-is-ordered-to-expand-potential-targets-in-syria-with-a-focus-on-fo

President Obama has directed the Pentagon to develop an expanded list of potential targets in Syria in response to intelligence suggesting that the government of President Bashar al-Assad has been moving troops and equipment used to employ chemical weapons while Congress debates whether to authorize military action.

Poll : Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria | The Onion - America's Finest…

Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source
http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-sending-cong,33752

The New York Times/CBS News poll showed that though just 1 in 4 Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to intervene in the Syrian conflict, more than 90 percent of the public is convinced that putting all 535 representatives of the United States Congress on the ground in Syria—including Senate pro tempore Patrick Leahy, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and, in fact, all current members of the House and Senate—is the best course of action at this time.

“I believe it is in the best interest of the United States, and the global community as a whole, to move forward with the deployment of all U.S. congressional leaders to Syria immediately,” respondent Carol Abare, 50, said in the nationwide telephone survey, echoing the thoughts of an estimated 9 in 10 Americans who said they “strongly support” any plan of action that involves putting the U.S. House and Senate on the ground in the war-torn Middle Eastern state. “With violence intensifying every day, now is absolutely the right moment—the perfect moment, really—for the United States to send our legislators to the region.”

“In fact, my preference would have been for Congress to be deployed months ago,” she added (...) regardless of whether the Assad regime used chemical weapons or not.

In fact, 91 percent of those surveyed agreed that the active use of sarin gas attacks by the Syrian government would, if anything, only increase poll respondents’ desire to send Congress to Syria.

**Iran-Contra Redux? Prince Bandar Heads Secret...

**Iran-Contra Redux? Prince Bandar Heads Secret Saudi-CIA Effort to Aid Syrian Rebels, Topple Assad | Democracy Now!** - http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/6/iran_contra_redux_prince_bandar_heads -

The Wall Street Journal recently revealed new details about how Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud — Saudi’s former ambassador to the United States — is leading the effort to prop up the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm hand-picked Syrian rebels

Pierre Charasse, Français de l'étranger, contribuable et électeur Syrie : la lettre d'un ancien…

Pierre Charasse, Français de l’étranger, contribuable et électeur

Syrie : la lettre d’un ancien ambassadeur de France à François Hollande
http://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/060913/syrie-la-lettre-dun-ancien-ambassadeur-de-france-francois-hollande

(...)
De même, je suis sûr que d’autres pays suivront la France dans son intention de livrer des armes aux rebelles syriens, malgré les risques que cela comporte. M. Laurent Fabius, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, a annoncé qu’il exigerait des destinataires des armes françaises qu’ils signent un « certificat d’utilisateur final ». Avec une telle fermeté nous aurons l’assurance que nos armes ne tomberont pas entre les mains des combattants Jihadistes du Front Al Nusra-Al Qaeda, qui font partie de la Coalition rebelle (encore très hétéroclite mais que avez le mérite de vouloir unifier, bon courage !) et ne se retourneront pas contre les pays occidentaux qui les ont aidé ou leurs rivaux au sein de la Coalition, voire des populations civiles.

Nous voilà rassurés. Al Qaeda devrait comprendre le message fort que vous lui envoyez. Il est important de bien expliquer que notre ennemi reste le Terrorisme International, même si de temps en temps il faut se montrer pragmatique, comme disent nos amis anglo-saxons, et tendre la main à ceux qui veulent notre perte. Ceux-ci ne devraient pas être insensibles à nos gestes amicaux. Vos services devraient pouvoir sans peine démentir l’information diffusée par l’agence Associated Press selon laquelle des armes chimiques livrées par notre allié l’Arabie Saoudite (le Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, chef des services saoudiens de renseignement) au Front Al Nusra-Al Qaeda auraient été manipulées maladroitement par ces apprentis-sorciers.

Une fois ce point éclairci vous aurez les mains libres pour agir sur la base des informations fournies par les Etats-Unis et Israël qui ont toute votre confiance. Toutefois il ne serait pas inutile d’éviter que se reproduise le scénario de 2003 aux Nations Unies lorsque Colin Powell a exhibé des photos truquées et un flacon de poudre de perlimpinpin comme preuves irréfutables de la présence d’armes de destruction massive en Irak ! Principe de précaution élémentaire. On vous fait confiance, c’est la crédibilité de la France qui est en jeu. (...)

September 06 2013

Révolutions arabes : et demain, les monarchies ?

Tandis qu'en Tunisie, en Egypte, en Libye et au Yémen s'amorce une chaotique transition démocratique, les combats s'intensifient en Syrie. Moins remarquées, les contestations s'enracinent dans les monarchies, que ce soit en Jordanie, au Maroc ou dans les pays du Golfe. / Monde arabe, Démocratie, (...) / Monde arabe, Démocratie, Économie, Élections, Islam, Jeunes, Mouvement de contestation, Fondamentalisme, Maghreb, Autoritarisme, Réveil arabe 2011- - 2013/01
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US Attack On Syria Violates International Law
Michael Ratner: Without UN approval US attack on Syria violates international law.
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Syrie : François Hollande lâché par l'Europe au G20

Syrie : François Hollande lâché par l’Europe au G20
http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2013/09/05/01003-20130905ARTFIG00549-syrie-le-splendide-isolement-de-hollande.php

La mission s’annonce difficile. Si ce n’est impossible. Au sommet du G20 de Saint-Pétersbourg, François Hollande ne s’est fixé qu’un seul objectif : rallier « la coalition la plus large possible » de pays en faveur d’une intervention punitive en Syrie, aux côtés des Américains. « Nous comptons sur le soutien des Européens et des pays arabes », assurait l’entourage du chef de l’État. Peine perdue. François Hollande avait à peine posé le pied sur le tarmac de l’aéroport de Saint-Pétersbourg qu’il était déjà lâché par ses plus proches alliés, les Européens.

Membre du G20, représentant les 28 États membres de l’UE, le président du Conseil européen, Herman Van Rompuy, flanqué du président de la Commission José Manuel Barroso a clairement rejeté l’usage de la force en Syrie. « Il n’y a pas de solution militaire au conflit en Syrie » a-t-il déclaré à Saint-Pétersbourg, « seule une solution politique peut arrêter les massacres, les violations de droits de l’homme et la destruction de la Syrie ».

Très joli : « Après avoir subi la poignée de main glaciale de Vladimir Poutine… ».

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Congress Debates Obama Syria Attack
Politicians and activists argue the legality and aims of Obama's Syria plan.
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September 05 2013

Another Redline, falling : Transfer of weapons to Hizbullah…. the geopolitical border has already…

Another Redline, falling: Transfer of weapons to Hizbullah…. the geopolitical border has already fallen | The Mideastwire Blog
http://mideastwire.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/another-redline-falling-transfer-of-weapons-to-hizbullah-the-

One of the least discussed, but perhaps most vital field developments of the past few months, and especially the past few weeks, is that Israel has yet another serious problem on its hand vis-a-vis Hizbullah: With Hizbullah fighting in Syria, and “reports” and speculations and off record comments from Hizbullah “sources” saying a counter strike would likely come from WITHIN syria, but with Hizbullah manpower and expertise and command and control, there is no longer really an effective distinction between Syria and so called Hizbullah controlled areas when considered from several angles.

This means the geo-political discourse long pursued by the Israelis to keep things contained – i.e. if syria transfers advanced weapons to Hizbullah IN LEBANON, then this could lead (and has led in syria at least!) to an Israeli strike(s), is all effectively dead as both an effective deterrent and as a tactic of international relations.

Hizbullah is fighting IN SYRIA

Hizbullah now presumably has access (or easy pathways should push come to shove) to most if not all weaponry in sryia

Onward Into Syria, Blindly : The New Yorker

Onward Into Syria, Blindly : The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/09/onward-into-syria-blindly.html?mbid=social_retweet

Four days on and President Obama’s gambit of going to Congress for approval of military action in Syria is working out pretty well for him. Senator John McCain, his opponent in the 2008 campaign, is standing shoulder to shoulder with him. Secretary of State John Kerry is busy making allusions to Munich, and the skeptics in the Pentagon are keeping their doubts to themselves. The pro-bombing side is clearly on top. Ranged against it, an unlikely alliance of Tea Party Republicans, liberal Democrats, and war-weary moderates is making little progress.

But while the war party may have the votes, the skeptics still have the stronger arguments.

En Syrie, sous les bombes, ils installent des antennes pour diffuser des radios libres - Terra eco

En Syrie, sous les bombes, ils installent des antennes pour diffuser des radios libres - Terra eco
http://www.terraeco.net/En-Syrie-sous-les-bombes-les,51035.html

http://www.terraeco.net/local/cache-vignettes/L450xH338/photo-5-b9441.jpg

Ici, des journalistes syriens décrivent la situation de leur pays au jour le jour sur des chaînes d’information continue internationales. Là, des antennes faites avec les moyens du bord diffusent des émissions de radios libres sur la bande FM. Tandis qu’une imprimante semi-professionnelle distribue des journaux dans tout le pays. La Syrie, où la guerre et des décennies de censure empêchent toute communication, voit pourtant émerger des médias indépendants.
L’association Smart (Syrian media action revolution team), basée à Paris, est l’un des meilleurs témoins et soutiens de ces initiatives. Depuis plus de deux ans, elle conseille, forme, et apporte une aide logistique aux journalistes du pays. « Dès le début de la révolte, il était pour nous évident qu’il fallait absolument informer sur ce qui se passait en Syrie. Nous avions tous en tête le précédent du massacre de Hama, en 1982, qui était resté presque inconnu à l’époque. Nous savions qu’il fallait que le monde soit au courant de tout pour protéger les gens à l’intérieur », explique Chamsy Sarkis, cofondateur de Smart, fils d’opposants au régime de Bachar El-Assad et donc interdit de séjour en Syrie depuis sa naissance.

#Syrie

Senate Panel Backs Resolution on Use of Force Against Syria - WSJ.com

Senate Panel Backs Resolution on Use of Force Against Syria - WSJ.com
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324577304579054973488682120.html

Apparemment le feu vert du Sénat est compatible avec l’emploi d’une force plus grande,

The revised options under development, which reflect Pentagon concerns that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has dispersed his military equipment, include the use of Air Force bombers to supplement the four Navy destroyers armed with missiles that are deployed in the eastern Mediterranean. Initially, Pentagon planners said they didn’t intend to use aircraft in the proposed strikes

...

The Pentagon’s new planning stems from Mr. Assad moving equipment, including Russian-made helicopters, to bases around the country while the U.S. debates, a change that could require the Pentagon to use many more Tomahawk cruise missiles and other types of munitions than initially envisioned.

Moreover, U.S. officials say, Mr. Assad has moved aircraft and other equipment into hardened bunkers and shelters. In some cases, destroying these hardened targets, officials say, could require the use of multiple Tomahawks.

The Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean carry about 40 Tomahawks each. Air Force bombers could carry dozens more munitions, potentially allowing the U.S. to carry out follow-on strikes if the first wave doesn’t destroy the targets.

Among options available are B-52 bombers, which can carry cruise missiles; low-flying B1s that are based in Qatar and carry long-range, air-to-surface missiles; and B-2 stealth bombers, which are based in Missouri and carry heavy guided bombs.

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Understanding the Players in Syria
After a recent visit to Syria, Patrick Cockburn describes the pluralistic, militant groups that make up the "failed opposition" in Syria and provides the bru...
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Special report : We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin

Special report : We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/special-report-we-all-thought-libya-had-moved-on--it-has-but-into-law

Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi
Patrick Cockburn Author Biography

Tuesday 03 September 2013

Traduction par Colibri-Info :

Nous pensions tous que la Libye avait évolué, elle a évolué, mais dans l’anarchie et la ruine

http://colibrinfo.blog4ever.com/blog/lire-article-636480-10234215-traduction__nous_pensions_tous_qu

Il y a un peu moins de deux ans, Philip Hammond, le secrétaire à la Défense, exhortait les hommes d’affaires britanniques à « faire leurs valises » et de voler en Libye pour participer à la reconstruction du pays et exploiter le boom attendu dans les ressources naturelles.

Mais aujourd’hui, la Libye a presque entièrement cessé de produire du pétrole alors que le gouvernement perd le contrôle d’une grande partie du pays au profit des miliciens.

Les personnels de sécurité se sont mutinés et ont repris les ports pétroliers de la Méditerranée cherchant à vendre du pétrole brut sur le marché noir. Ali Zeidan, Premier ministre de Libye, a menacé de « bombarder depuis les airs ou la mer » tout pétrolier essayant de récupérer le pétrole illicite aux mains des gardes des terminaux pétroliers, pour la plupart d’anciens rebelles qui ont renversé Mouammar Kadhafi et qui sont en grève depuis Juillet pour protester contre les bas salaires et la corruption.

Au cours des deux derniers mois, alors que l’attention du monde est centrée sur le coup d’Etat en Egypte et l’attaque au gaz toxique en Syrie, la Libye a plongé dans sa pire crise politique et économique depuis la défaite de Kadhafi il ya deux ans, et ce dans l’indifférence générale. Les pouvoirs publics sont désintégrés dans toutes les régions du pays démentant ainsi les déclarations des politiciens américains, britanniques et français prétendant que l’action militaire de l’Otan en Libye en 2011 a été un exemple remarquable d’une intervention militaire étrangère réussie qui devrait se répéter en Syrie.

HEUTE IN DEN FEUILLETONS: Die Lage ist nicht nur schlecht

Kenan Malik plädiert in seinem Blog gegen eine militärische Sanktionierung der syrischen Giftgasmassaker an der Zivilbevölkerung. Die NZZ schildert die aussichtslose Lage der Frauen in Syrien. In der SZ wehrt sich Taiye Selasi gegen die Idee einer afrikanischen Literatur. In der FAZ erklärt Ulrich Beck, was wir fortan unter Kosmopolitisierung zu verstehen haben. In der Welt fürchtet der Historiker Dominik Geppert, dass der Euro Europa platzen lässt. Die Berliner Zeitung fragt: Was wird aus den Dahlemer Museen?







September 04 2013

“In Damascus All is Quiet”: Russians Report from Syria

A video of a syrian market shown on russian news channel ntv on september 3, 2013. the footage was presumably taken by anhar kochneva. youtube screenshot.

A Syrian market, as shown on Russian news channel NTV on September 3, 2013. The footage was presumably taken by Anhar Kochneva. YouTube screenshot.

In Russia, support for Bashar al-Assad's regime cuts across political lines. Deep suspicions of Western motives for military intervention, combined with a domestic history of Islamist rebel groups, lead even the staunchest Kremlin opponents to see eye to eye with Vladimir Putin on the Syrian conflict. For example, Maria Baronova, an opposition activist currently on trial for participating in a rally turned violent last year, tweeted this about the August 21 chemical attacks near Damascus:

Gentlemen, I hope everyone understands that the story with chemical weapon use is some kind of shady American scheme?

Baronova was likely getting her information from photographer Sergey Ponomarev, who was in Damascus during the time of the attacks and tweeted shortly after, questioning MSF reports of poison gas casualties:

@AltePute @ponny1 I've been to three hospitals, they told me there were no victims there. if someone knows which hospitals the MSF works with, I'd go there

Another Russian tweeting from Damascus was Komsomolskaya Pravda journalist, Nigina Beroeva. She also doubted the use of chemical weapons:

@madoleroyer we were here, if the attack was so strong that 1300 people died, the gas would have gotten to us as well

Later, Beroeva cited a local source:

I talked to a man who lives with his family near the war zone. he says, there was no chemical weapons use. they would have felt it.

Besides for journalists like Beroeva and Ponomarev, who come to Syria on relatively short reporting stints, there are Russian bloggers actually living and blogging in the country. Just like the majority of the Russian public, these bloggers support the Assad regime. The most prominent one is probably Anhar Kochneva, a Russian-Palestinian woman living in Damascus. Kochneva worked with the tourist industry before the start of the conflict, but quickly started writing about the war for a Russian audience. She gained particular notoriety last year, when she was kidnapped by an alleged rebel group [ru], spent 152 days in captivity, and then managed to escape on her own.

In spite of her rather negative experience with the Syrian conflict, Kochneva is eager to reassure [ru] readers about the stability of the regime:

Ничего плохого не происходит. Люди ходят в кафе и рестораны, шастают по магазинчикам и даже посещают достопримечательности. Давайте, будем показывать ПРАВДУ. А не делать все, чтобы во всем мире сложилось впечатление. что в Сирии камня на камне не осталось!

Nothing bad is happening. People sit at cafes and restaurants, go shopping and even visit local sights. Let's tell the TRUTH. And not do everything possible so that the world starts thinking that Syria is completely razed to the ground!

On August 29, when the world was expecting an imminent bombing campaign against Assad, she wrote [ru]:

Хомс, Хама, Тель-Калях, Месьяф, Беньяс, Джебла, Латакия, Тартус… ВЕЗДЕ ВСЕ ПОД КОНТРОЛЕМ ГОСУДАРСТВА. В Дамаске все тоже спокойно.

Homs, Hama, Tel Kalyah, Masyaf, Banias, Jableh, Lattakia, Tartus… EVERYTHING IS UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL. In Damascus all is quiet.

In general, Beroeva and Ponomarev seem to agree. Beroeva tweeted shortly after the gas attacks:

You won't believe it, but all is quiet in Damascus. People sit in cafes, walk the streets, and are far from a universal hysteria

Ponomarev also said that the country is basically “unchanged” since 2009, while jokingly extolling the virtues of armed conflict in driving down local hotel prices:

Downtown hotels [formerly] €300 [per night] now cost $50-70, dinner for three with wine — $20

There is something strangely familiar to a Russian audience within this narrative — the conflict, when portrayed in this fashion, seems less like an all out war and more like the slow-burning violence in Dagestan and Ingushetia. Yes, there are bandits/terrorists/rebels/jihadists but they are far away, geographically isolated. Sure, somewhere people are dying, but 90% of the population aren't affected — at least until their summer vacation plans are derailed by military action near a resort. This, Russians can empathize with.

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