Obama’s setback has emboldened the tyrannical Syria regime to hail and declaring victory claiming US has already lost its war even before it starts, also giving them enough time to maneuver and adjust themselves tactically and strategically versus any future possible strike against them. Moreover it would send a memo to IRI Mullahs in Iran that don’t worry I will change my red line to green line on your uranium enrichment, and it is all OK, I am going to play golf now, you guys have all the time you need to continue with your enrichment process toward the nuclear bomb. [DID] (Read the full view of the DID editor at the bottom of this article)
In a dramatic turnaround, President Obama said Saturday that he will wait for congressional authorization to punish Syria for a chemical weapons attack, even though he has decided a military strike is needed.
“We should have this debate,” the president said in an announcement in the White House Rose Garden. “I respect the views of those who call for caution.”
After more than a week of deliberation, Mr. Obama essentially put the onus on Congress to stop him from launching missile strikes against targets of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Lawmakers are not scheduled to return from their August recess until Sept. 9. Read more…
The administration considers it clear evidence that the regime of Bashar al-Assad carried out the attack with a nerve agent.
Here are some of the key findings, which are based on “human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting” (emphasis ours):
- A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children.
- The Syrian regime has the types of munitions that we assess were used to carry out the attack on August 21, and has the ability to strike simultaneously in multiple locations. We have seen no indication that the opposition has carried out Read more…
Throughout the current war in Syria, Iran has remained a steadfast supporter of the Bashar al-Assad regime. The surprising endurance of the Iran-Syria alliance is made more striking by the fact that it is based on neither shared national interests nor religious values, but is rather a tactical-cum-strategic partnership between two authoritarian regimes. Mutual contempt for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq brought Syria and Iran together in 1980, and mutual fear and loathing of the United States and Israel has helped sustain their alliance.
Iran initially supported the popular uprisings in the Middle East—calling them “Islamic awakenings”—when it appeared that only Western-allied Arab autocracies in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen were vulnerable to collapse. In Syria, however, Tehran has offered unwavering support to the embattled al-Assad regime and denounced the Syrian opposition as “terrorists” supported by a motley alliance of Gulf Arab states, Israel, and the United States. Read more…
An aerial attack on Syria will only protract the Assad survival; it would be a pass for him to continue even more decisively slaughtering his own people. What is the difference if the people are killed by WMD or Conventional weapons? The goal of assault on Syria must have been based on humanitarian objectives that respect the lives of human beings, and not a reluctant response, just to do something, for silencing the national critics with respect to US feckless foreign policy. If so then Assad has to be arrested and put on trial for his crimes against humanity, nothing less should be the outcome of such raid on Syria. [DID]
After years of hectoring for American action against Assad, the prospect of American action against Assad makes me sad. Obama seems to be readying a strike of some kind against the author of the atrocity at East Ghouta, the suburb of Damascus whose name has entered the rolls of contemporary evil, alongside Halabja and Srebrenica and Rwanda. Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians—or more accurately, his latest use of chemical weapons against civilians: according to Dexter Filkins’s Syrian sources, he has used them 35 times—was one crime against humanity too many for the president. The administration is now speaking in somber hawkish tones and leaking to reporters various possibilities for the deployment of air power. There was some fussing about verifying that Assad was in fact responsible for the horrors, which reminded me of Clemenceau’s jibe about the complexity of the origins of World War I—that whoever started it, it wasn’t Belgium. Read more…
Mid-East including Israel on high alert after Obama’s failed last-Ditch Bid for Syria deal with Iran
Monday night, Aug. 25, saw one Middle East country after another, including Israel, going on high military alert after they learned that US President Barack Obama had failed to come to an understanding with Tehran on Syria and so avert a US-led operation against Syria over its chemical attacks.
Obama had hoped this understanding would also pave the way to direct dialogue on the nuclear issue with the new Iranian president Hasan Rouhani.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the US president delegated two emissaries for two separate tracks.
He found cause for optimism in Tehran’s consent to receive Jeffrey Feltman, UN Deputy Secretary, Monday, Aug. 25, although in his former capacity as US Undersecretary of State and US ambassador to Damascus, Feltman was viewed as an adversary of Iran, Syria and Hizballah. Read more…
The U.S. has hard choices to make in Syria. Even if the U.S. does intervene militarily, the time window for its best option has already passed. President Obama may have had reason to be cautious and play King Log to President Bush’s King Stork, but the U.S. did not intervene when the rebels were strongest, the Assad regime most fragile, and limited U.S. support to the then dominant moderate rebel factions might well have pushed Assad out of power without dividing Syria along sectarian and ethnic lines.
Every option today comes up against the reality that Assad is now far stronger, the country is increasingly being split into Assad and rebel controlled sections, the rebels are fractured and rebel forces have strong Sunni Islamist extremist elements, and the nation is increasingly polarizing into an Alawite and more secular Sunni and minority bloc, a Sunni Arab bloc, Read more…
The tone of the White House changed over the weekend.
It is now much harsher towards the Syrian government – more certain that the deaths last week were caused by a chemical weapons attack and that it was carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
A statement derided the idea of the inspectors being allowed in now, suggesting shelling had already destroyed the evidence.
Doubtless, there will be similarly pointed words about the shooting at the inspectors as they attempted to begin an investigation.
It’s Middle East Groundhog Day all over again. The discussion of What To Do About Syria is a replay of What To Do About Saddam: it’s all about the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong way. When the intel and military “experts” say, as they have been saying for many months, “there is no good outcome in Syria,” they’re talking about that war, the wrong war.
We invaded Iraq in the name of the War Against Terror, which President George W. Bush defined as a war against terrorist organizations and the states that supported them. That should have made Iran the focus of our strategy, since Tehran was (and still is, now more than ever) the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Nothing would have so devastated the jihadis as the fall of the Iranian regime, which–then as now–funded, trained, armed and gave sanctuary to terrorist groups from al-Qaeda and Hezbollah to Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Unless we defeated Iran, it would not be possible for Iraq to have decent security, no matter how total the defeat of Saddam and the Baathists, and how well-intentioned the successor government. As you can plainly see. Read more…
In the space of 48 hours, the Assad regime, Iran and Hizballah launched a three-point offensive against foreign intervention, DEBKAfile reports. Here are some facts: The sarin nerve gas atrocity of Wednesday, Aug. 21, alleged to have claimed more than 1,000 lives, was the work of the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army’s 4th Division, headed by President Bashar Asad’s younger brother Gen. Maher Assad.
The poison gas shells were fired from the big Mount Kalmun army base south of Damascus, one of the three repositories of Syria’s chemical weapons. In response to a demand from Moscow last December, Assad collected his chemical assets in three depots. The other two are Dummar, a suburb 5 kilometers outside Damascus, and the Al-Safira air base, west of Aleppo. Read more…
All the setback of US policy in Middle East is because of Iranian regime; yes US foreign policy is being sacrificed because of Iran, why? Well you don’t expect US to betray its dear friends, the Mullahs in Iran! Yes a dear friendly regime in Iran, are you surprised? Don’t be, you see, Iran has been at good service to US during the last decades, how come? Take the followings into consideration: …………… (read the full editor’s view at the bottom of the article )
The images emerging from Syria — from this hysterical young girl to these rows of corpses — should be a turning point in a conflict that has killed 100,000 people. The deaths, if proven, demonstrate either the depravity of Bashar al-Assad — or the rebels fighting him.
But the Obama administration has spent so much time distancing itself and Americans from acting in Syria that a serious U.S. reaction is politically impossible in Washington. And instead of learning its lesson — and respecting Syria’s dead — the White House is repeating its destructive pattern of issuing empty threats. Read more…
There are multiple avenues Iran can take to become a definitive nuclear state. And as the summer draws to a close, the country’s leaders are accelerating down virtually every one of them.
For over a decade, the United States, Israel and independent scientific experts have largely disagreed over just how long Iran has until it becomes capable of building its own nuclear weapons.
That debate is over.
US and Israeli officials now discuss granting Iran a period of months – less than half a year – to change course before considering diplomacy exhausted and resorting to alternative measures.
According to officials, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the UN General Assembly next month will be treated as an inflection point, though not a deadline, by both governments. The reason is that virtually all of the choice dictating timelines in this slow-motion nuclear crisis – finally nearing its peak – Read more…
have died, gassed in their beds while they slept. Since the attack allegedly occurred in the middle of the night, the dead included women, children, and infants. (Warning: These images are extremely graphic.) President Bashar al-Assad’s crimes against his people have been barbaric from the beginning. But if these reports prove true, Aug. 21 will surely be the worst single day in the slow-burning massacre of innocence that has marked the past two years in Syria.
That’s not because of the number of dead, or at least not because of the number alone. It is the way these people would have died—in precisely the manner the United States and the international community once claimed they could not allow. Read more…