Lies after lies, the US administration is making its case.
At first, we were told about 2 or 3 days bombings.
Then we got the last minute bill provision for 60 days of intervention with a 30 days in bonus for a go-ahead.
Yesterday, asked whether this provision could be extended, the Secretary of State responded « Yes », opening the possibility of a protracted war open.
The can is open and the devil is out.
Same thing for the exit plan.
It was not about a regime change.
Now it is. The administration has came to the conclusion that reducing the capacities of the Assad’s regime must be insufficient to prevent a repetition of those bombings. So the better way to be sure this would not happen again is a regime change.
Regime Change or Not ?
For Secretary Kerry, it is the wish of the president.
General Dempsey, the more realistic and convincing in the yesterday hearings before the foreign senate committee did go that far. Nor did he fully endorse the militarisation of the rebels on the ground on the point of overturning the government in place.
Red line ?
President Obama has recalled the red line is not his, nor his administration’s, but a World endorsement during WW1. But, where is the World to show an overwhelming support ?
Yesterday, the question was raised by two members of the committee at the House : how is it that many nations of the world among the 100 signatories of the treaty – Syria didn’t, at the time – are not backing the US military Strike’s move in Syria ?
Answer of Secretary Kerry : 43 countries have condemned the use and 34 are prepared to supporting the strikes.
Can we have a list of those nations ? The Rep. asked ?
Essentially some members of the Arab League (Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Emirates) and France. It is a secret to nobody , those are second-zone nations, democratically speaking. It is worth noticing Germany – through Chancellor Merkel’s voice – has ruled out any participation in the announced Iraqi’s style movie, should the Congress gave a passport to the strikes ; which is far from being granted.
But everything is possible.
Secretary Kerry sworn he is telling the truth, to the best of his knowledge with « classified intelligence’s report ».
With due respect and even sympathy to Mr. Secretary of State, yesterday was a disappointing day for his hearings. No proof of evidence anywhere to uphold his words. May be he is in possession of evidence « classified documents ». Yet, we need to see them before endorsing him. Secretary Kerry knows more than anyone that not because you repeat a lie will you change it into a truth. We don’t know at this precise stage if it is a lie, or an approximation. What is for sure is we don’t know.
For Secretary Kerry, there is no doubt. For all of us, there still is. This undermines the whole case for strikes specifically when we’ve heard the prospective : « if we do nothing, Pyongyang, Damascus, Tehran will celebrate ». Hence the question : what are the strikes targeting?
– a preemtive war, in the line of G.W. Bush ?
– a punishment of Assad’s regime and a signal to anybody trying to engage in this way ?
– a regime change ? knowing that the probability of destabilizing the region is even higher with the strikes ? – « Strikes could be a bigger destabilizing factor », a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee mentionned yesterday. Did you envisioned that possibility and its potential impact on increasing the number of refugees ?
Many alarming signs were noticeable. Here are the most striking among many many others absolutely compelling :
1. A war without limits.
Mr. Smith reset the Kosovo exception in Yougoslavia underlining 7 days were asked and granted. In the end, the operation lasted for 74 days. Secretary Kerry will bring down the number of days to 40. From 7 days to 74 or 40, the stretch remains considerable and preoccupying, since Secretary Kerry has left the door open for this. Question : where do we stop ?
2. The « First volley » questionned by Rep. Doug Collins (R) Georgia.
If the strikes suffered a delay in reaching their targets within the first period of time of 60 days plus 30 more, is it possible you’ll come back to the Congress to ask for another 60 days plus 30 more ?
The answer were unequivocally « Yes ». This could effectively be a « first volley ».
3.The slippery slope of proliferation of WMD and the Risk of escalation.
Asked if the risk of escalation in the use of WMD has been taken into account by the contingency plans, the Secretary assumed « the likelihood of President Assad in resorting to another Chemical attack is high as this has become a routine to him ».
What about the risk of those chemical arms being disseminated and ending in Al-Qaeda or jihadists’ hands?
4. What is the alternative to Assad ?
How do we make sure Rebels are American friendly ?
Who are the rebels ? What are their goals ? Radicals have been blasted on the rebels’ side.
How do we make certain we are not empowering those radicals ? 50 % of the Syrians opposition are Jihadists. How do you make the distinction ?
We have seen this movie before with the Arab Spring.
Who is going to fill the vaccum, if Assad’s regime fails ? How do we make sure we are not taking dangerous steps ? We should be very careful on how we proceed ?
Secretary of State responded the US Ambassador has spent times with some of the good rebels to check their goals.
5. What is the cost of the strikes ?
10 of millions. Who is going to pay for this ?
6. What about Benghazi’s precedent ? (Jeff Duncan, South Carolina)
Raising a picture of a fighter in Lybia, Rep. Jeff Duncan opposed vehemently any further military move until we get the truth over the attack of Benghazi. The Rep. recalled that the breach of law there was even more compelling and older than the red line we are talking about today. There is no good grasp to get behind Syria. Rep. Duncan affirmed he has received 300 e-mails and none of them is demanding any military strike.
We should have acted at the time of Benghazi’s crimes of diplomats with the same outrage expresses today.
7. What if we do nothing ? What is the price for INACTION?
This will undermine our credibility, embolden Iran and strengthen terrorism, was the answer.
Kinzinger approved this along with the message of impunity sent to « dictators » murdering their own people. Tom Cotton (Arkansas) did the same. “It’s a miracle, but I’m on Board”. Really ? A miracle named Arkansas ? I don’t know why but the name « Arkansas » reminds me of Kosovo. Secretary Kerry recalled there were no casualties over there. Arkansas also reminds me of the guy who gave a call to Romney, the day after president Obama won the election (2012) to tell him that “has it not been for Sandy, Obama wouldn’t won it”. Arkansas and miracle don’t match each other. Sorry for Mr. Cotton. Thanks to Sandy.
8. America, the World Policeman.
This is a recurrent debate. On the senate floor, sen. Rubio made his case upon it : it is up to the first and strongest country of the World to do that job. Whenever it shows some reluctance here, the nation is called back later on for help. Yes senator Rubio. But policing the World comes with High Standards over Justice and the rule of Law.
Blaming Assad today of civil war and chemical attacks do not exempt America from his questionable responsibilities fueling civil wars and mounting rebellions abroad. This is kind of Yellow Line not to be transgressed, even for America.
I seize the occasion to come back to Rep. Alan Grayson, member of the Foreign Affairs committee. Days ago, we reported an interview of the Rep. with Hala Gorani of CNN. One question was about whether a genocide should be a game changer for the Rep no vote announced ? He responded No. We want to specify this : it was not about being indifferent to mankind or to mass murders. It was about testing if the decision was definitive or not. Of course, Syria is not going to be another Rwanda, 800,000 Deaths. We are far from approaching a genocide and the risk of it is improbable.
We learnt during the hearings that this was the great regret of president Clinton, not intervening in Rwanda.
9. Will the strikes halt Iran nuclear programme ?
Strikes sent a psychological messages of end of impunity, according to Secretary of State.
We can go on with questions without answers, but we have to stop somewhere and that somewhere is here.
Conclusions until further notice :
– The outcome remains impredictible. Options are not clear.
– Lots of uncertainties remain. Example. This is true because I’m telling you it is.
– lots of Political correctness to argue the case and an old tiring rhetoric
– General Dempsey was the only one to bring some kind of security with the modus operandi.
– Last but not least, probably highly dismissive, the red line is kaput. The World voted it. Where is the World to massively support the strikes ?
The concept of Chemical weapons is somewhat behind us. Farid Zakaria made a convincing case over these. There are so many arms today leading to mass shootings and killings : America is used to some with guns still uncontrolled. Second, in March, the rebels used CW, according to Russia. How do they get there ?
Apparently, the composition of those arms, the device used to fire them and the modus operandi are apt to tell who did what related to the kind of equipment and material involved. In a sense, the UN’s team is able to tell if Chemical Weapons were used and is also able to say who is behind this. Clearly ?
Not that simple as Syria is infiltrated by spies and military trainers coming from nations behind the US military strikes today : France, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They are also able to provide the rebels with State’s fabricated chemical weapons corresponding to the stock piles of Syria.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE STRIKES. Here is our proposal.
1. A UN resolution mentioning an immediate cease-fire with the UN peace keepers on the ground to enforce it, in case the two parties are not abiding by the law.
2. An inquiry on who fired the CW ?
3. Talks under the supervision of Geneva II.
4. Humanitarian assistance.
Ask about more on this to your Representative or Senator, while awaiting the president to talk to « We the people ».
The plan presented yesterday by the Secretary brings no guarantee of enlasting peace in Syria.
The global sentiment of those hearings is the move is insufficiently thought trought. Eventhough zero risk doesn’t exist (Gen. Dempsey).
Apparently, the future will take care for itself. Hum… Isn’t it frightening ?
From Newsmax. Putin Says John Kerry ‘Is Lying. It’s Sad’