Category Archives: Lebanon

Is The Big Dog Wagging The Dog?

Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Lebanon, Middle East, War, WMD

Like the Bush administration before it, the Obama administration is crying “WMD” at a convenient time in the course of the catalogue of Obaminations it has been inflicting on us.

The same lying “intelligence community” that has been spying on millions of us, “‘estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete,’ Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said in a statement released by the White House.”

Needless to say that CNN, whose website and TV infotainment hours have never headlined with the AP, IRS or NSA stories—is in its element.

Jessica Yellin is yelling, “Barack is back.”

BBC News fails to offer independent verification of the Sarin news, repeating US talking points about this brief being based on a thing called, in Orwellian speak, “a high confidence assessment”:

Mr Rhodes said US intelligence agencies had concluded Mr Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, based on battlefield reports, “descriptions of physiological symptoms” from alleged victims, and laboratory analysis of samples obtained from alleged victims.

It would appear that nothing much has changed on the ground, except in the US. Is the Big Dog wagging the dog?

All I can say is that you must keep your eye on the Snowden story. Don’t let it die (it’s also the topic of my new column).

McCain’s Rebels Lunch On … Enemy Lungs

Democracy, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Lebanon, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Republicans

Senator John McCain is not working with much. He finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy and lost five jets. As IQ ace Steve Sailer once quipped, “To lose one plane over Vietnam may be regarded as a heroic tragedy; to lose five planes here and there looks like carelessness.”

McMussolini wants the US to go to war with Syria to support the ragtag rebels, whoever they are. (Here is a useful history of the US-Syria relationship.)

To that end, earlier this week, “US Senator John McCain,” reported Al Jazeerra, “crossed from Turkey into Syria to meet with rebel leaders in the war-torn nation.”

Via Economic Policy Journal:

When John McCain slipped into Syria the other day to meet with Islamist rebels, Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted “best wishes” to his fellow warmonger and claimed “dibs on his office if he doesn’t come back.” Leave it to Sen. Graham, who has been agitatingalong with McCain for the US to send weapons to the rebels, to joke about the untrustworthiness of the very people he wants to arm. But the rebels’ savagery is no joke: we are, after all, talking about people who eat the lungs of their enemies.
… Here is a man who is the Republican party’s voice when it comes to foreign policy, a role he has appropriated due to his intimacy with those who book the Sunday talk shows, and yet when it comes to America’s relationship with the rest of the world his utter and complete ignorance is appalling.
He told us the invasion and occupation of Iraq would be “fairly easy.” He pontificated that the anthrax attacks were delivered by the Iraqis. His preferred policy for Afghanistan: we should “muddle through,” rather than withdraw. When the North Koreans started acting out, he averred we ought to threaten them with “extinction.” And when Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia got into an armed conflict over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, McCain announced “Today, We Are All Georgians” and demanded we go to war with Moscow. He thinks Iran is training Al Qaeda: he also thinks Iraq shares a border with Pakistan.
In short, McCain doesn’t know s%^*t about foreign policy: he has been wrong, wrong, wrong about absolutely everything. So it isn’t merely ironic that he is leading the charge in demanding we intervene in Syria – it’s downright crazy.

What’s as troubling, but doesn’t surprise in the least, is that the Obama administration has also adopted the position that Assad must be removed.

Rule by Alawite minority (with some nominal power sharing), however, is by far the more civilized of the options facing this country. This, unfortunately, is the reality.

Soon you might be supplying McCain’s rebels with rations.

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Hands-Off Syria

Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Neoconservatism

It’s not often that I agree with Barack Obama, but his hands-off Syria policy, if it is to be believed, is, I’m sorry to say, the right one. It is unlikely, unfortunately, that the US is uninvolved in some covert operation in Syria. One “international affairs and defense analyst” told RT that “since 2012, if not earlier, weapons have been supplied to the rebels … a covert supply of weapons, of course – through Turkey and with the assistance of Saudi, Qatari and Turkish intelligence services.”

As for Israel’s strafing of Syria, what triggered this Israeli strike? The “crisis in 2006 was triggered by cross-border raids on Israel by Hamas in Gaza and by Hezbollah in Lebanon.” Journalist and Middle East expert Ali Rizk is searching for provocation (as we libertarians ought to):

Has there been any military action, has Israel been attacked by any side, whether it be Hezbollah or Syria? Has Israel been attacked by any side whatsoever? Israel has not been attacked.
So we hear this talk about game-changing weapons. But that doesn’t give the right or justification for such escalation…I have to emphasize, the clear message if anyone had any doubts I think now it has become clear: Israel wants Bashar Assad to fall. That is Israel’s choice. Netanyahu himself has said time and again: “Syria is the linchpin between Iran and Hezbollah.”

BBC News’ Jonathan Marcus thinks he’s found justification. Neoconservatives will concur. “According to US intelligence sources,” he reports, “the target of the first of these latest Israeli attacks [inside Syria] which took place overnight on Thursday was a shipment of ground-to-ground missiles at a warehouse at Damascus airport.”

…these latest air strikes underscore Israel’s equal worry about sophisticated conventional weapons being passed to Hezbollah. This includes sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, anti-shipping missiles, or accurate long-range ground-to-ground missiles. Such concerns are longstanding. … The missiles, which had been shipped from Iran, according to the sources, were Fateh-110s – a mobile, highly accurate solid-fuelled missiles with the capability of hitting Israel’s main population centres, like Tel Aviv, from southern Lebanon.
…What’s not clear, American officials admit, is exactly who the missiles were intended for – the Syrian army or Hezbollah. But the airport warehouse is said to have been under the control of personnel from Hezbollah and Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force.

‘Arab Spring’ Spills Over Into Israel

Democracy, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Private Property

The American news cartel and commentariat have promised that the Arab Spring is a good thing. And indeed, by their standards, the breaching of Israel’s borders by neighborly Arabs with a spring in their step is not necessarily a bad thing. Today Haa’retz has conceded what DEBKAfile reported on May 15:

Israeli forces on high alert for Nakba Day, Sunday, May 15, failed to seal three national borders on the Golan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip against large-scale incursions. Dozens of Syrians and Hizballah invaders were able to overrun the Israeli Golan village of Majd al Shams and hoist Syrian and Palestinian flags in the main square; Hizballah-sponsored Palestinian demonstrators breached the Lebanese-Israeli border and damaged IDF installations; and hundreds of Palestinians battered the Erez crossing from the Gaza Strip.

Haa’retz caught up with DEBKAfile:

Sources in the Northern Command confirmed the existence of intelligence indicating that Nakba Day demonstrators planned to try to cross the border near the “Shouting Hill,” across from Majdal Shams. However, they said, the IDF had based its deployment on past experience, and expected the Syrian army to prevent the demonstrators from breaching the border.

However late, at least Israel does defend its border communities, which is more than can be said for the homes ransacked and ranchers shot on the US’s south-western border (often while patrolling their fence lines and tending their cattle).