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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Contemplates ‘Additional Measures’ for Syria

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Posted on Feb 22, 2012
U.S. Navy / MC3 Phillip Pavlovich

Press representatives at the White House and the State Department are using the same vague phrase, “additional measures,” to describe the administration’s mystery plan for addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

What measures, exactly? No one knows, perhaps not even those speaking the phrase, but The Associated Press suggests that foreign powers with or without U.S. assistance could arm the rebels trying to topple Bashar al-Assad’s regime:

In coordinated messages, the White House and State Department said Tuesday they still hoped for a political solution. But faced with the daily onslaught by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians, officials dropped the administration’s previous strident opposition to arming anti-regime forces. It remained unclear, though, what, if any, role the U.S. might play in providing such aid.

...

Neither [White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney nor [State Department spokeswoman Victoria] Nuland would elaborate on what “additional measures” might be taken but there have been growing calls, including from some in Congress, for the international community to arm the rebels. Most suggestions to that effect have foreseen Arab nations such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — and not the West — possibly providing military assistance.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel from a conference on Somalia in England on Wednesday to a conference on Syria a few days later in Tunisia, a country that only recently dispatched its own corrupt dictator.  —PZS

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By allen, February 22, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps the picture accompanying the article is intended to suggest that the “additional measures” under consideration may involve U.S. aircraft carriers and what is referred to in military circles as “kinetic solutions.”

If so, a more appropriate picture might have shown flight deck personnel in red shirts (ordnance):  these chaps in green are responsible for, among other things, launch and recovery of aircraft.  The sled these two fellows are manhandling appears to have either oranges or onions in those bags.

I suppose pictures of bombs and such would only upset the citizenry.  Well, some of the citizenry.

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By gerard, February 22, 2012 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Let’s see now, what was the United Nations for again?

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, February 22, 2012 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

This Administration and State Department have a pretty clear record of additional measures for “humanitarian crisis”.  Drones and mercenaries.

Ever notice how all these International Crisis meetings on Syria, Iran, Egypt, et al, look a lot like Republican Congressional Committee meetings about birth control?

Just the Empire and the Corporate Media reminding you that blind faith is the only thing that makes creation science work.

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By doughboy, February 22, 2012 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

US interference is not new. In the 1940s and 1950s, we tried to change regimes
then too. The result was a hostile reaction that led to such events as the 1958
Lebanese crisis, the UAR, and eventually the rise of the Ba’ath Party and Hafez al-
Asad. What this time has that sixty years didn’t is the “cold war” we are having
with Iran. Syria in and of itself is not the concern—in spite of the tear filled eyes of
news reporters and horrified government officials. Freedom and democracy are
not elements of our foreign policy that has backed as villainous authoritarian
governments as Asad’s. What is the policy is hegemony in the Persian Gulf region
and its oil. Whereas the vast majority of Arab sheikdoms have made their
obsequious genuflections to us, recalcitrance on the part of Iran presents a
obstacle to be removed. As part of plan to reduce Iranian influence, the fall of its
only Arab partner—Syria—is a first step. What should be insulting to us is the fact
that we are aligned with al-Qaeda in this effort to overthrow the Syrian
government. Many of the “freedom fighters” are Salafists who gladly went to fight
our troops in Iraq just six years ago. Everything from September 2001 from the
tragic deaths to the Iraq and Afghan wars, the dead and wounded soldiers, the
loss of our freedoms under the Homeland Security measures, to the trillions of
dollars spent that help to bring our economy down are now all for nothing. We are
now in an alliance with those who harmed us. Our enemy’s enemy should not be
our friend.

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By sofianitz, February 22, 2012 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

According to former Central Intelligence Agency officer Philip Giraldi, writing in the current issue (January, 2012) of The American Conservative magazine:

  “Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gaddafi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] and US Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.”

Giraldi adds that the CIA analysts themselves are “skeptical regarding the approach to war”, as they know that the frequently cited United Nations account of civilians killed is based largely on rebel sources and uncorroborated. The CIA has “refused to sign off on the claims” of mass defections from the Syrian Army. Likewise, accounts of pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers “appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently”.

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