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Bomb

'Surrender monkeys' are now the gung-ho nation

Francois Hollande
© Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
President Hollande went out of his way to insist that Britain’s defection would not shake France’s intent to “punish” President Assad

President Hollande has pledged French resolve to join a strike on Syria, putting his country in the historically rare posture of military alliance with the US in the face of British refusal.

The left-wing President went out of his way to insist that Britain's defection would not shake France's intent to "punish" President Assad. "It is ready," he said of the French military, adding that action could start before Wednesday. "The decision of the British Parliament changes nothing for our determination to act," the Élysée Palace said.

The President, who commands dozens of French cruise missiles around the eastern Mediterranean, said that France was among the few nations capable of "inflicting a sanction by the appropriate means". He said: "The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot remain unpunished."

His staff said that strikes would be ordered only if UN inspectors confirmed Mr Assad's use of chemical weapons.
Bad Guys

Weapons of mass distraction: Syria war propagandists debunked

Abby Martin dissects the establishment propaganda about Syria's chemical weapons and questions the interests driving the call for war.

Attention

No surprise! Senate-crafted Syria resolution gives Obama plenty of loopholes to go to war

Syria - a proxy was
© Unknown
Senators on Wednesday tried to write a tight resolution authorizing President Obama to strike Syria under very specific circumstances, but analysts and lawmakers said the language still has plenty of holes the White House could use to expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend.

"Wiggle room? Plenty of that," said Louis Fisher, scholar in residence at the Constitution Project and former long-time expert for the Congressional Research Service on separation of powers issues.

Writing the actual language to empower and constrain Mr. Obama is proving to be a difficult task, with the key authors being pulled in various directions.

Some of the drafters' colleagues want to give the president broad latitude for ongoing strikes that not only target Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons, but also aids the rebels seeking to overthrow him. Other lawmakers, though, want the most limited of action - a strike designed only to make sure the Assad regime can't deploy its chemical weapons again.

The resolution drafted by Sens. Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, grants Mr. Obama power "to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria" - but only in relation to that nation's weapons of mass destruction.
Magic Hat

The Troodos conundrum: Israel fabricated 'intercept' of Syrian government planning chemical attack

The GCHQ listening post on

Mount Troodos in Cyprus
Mount Troodos in Cyprus is arguably the most valued asset which the UK contributes to UK/US intelligence cooperation. The communications intercept agencies, GCHQ in the UK and NSA in the US, share all their intelligence reports (as do the CIA and MI6). Troodos is valued enormously by the NSA. It monitors all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East, ranging from Egypt and Eastern Libya right through to the Caucasus. Even almost all landline telephone communication in this region is routed through microwave links at some stage, picked up on Troodos.

Troodos is highly effective - the jewel in the crown of British intelligence. Its capacity and efficiency, as well as its reach, is staggering. The US do not have their own comparable facility for the Middle East. I should state that I have actually been inside all of this facility and been fully briefed on its operations and capabilities, while I was head of the FCO Cyprus Section in the early 1990s. This is fact, not speculation.

It is therefore very strange, to say the least, that John Kerry claims to have access to communications intercepts of Syrian military and officials organising chemical weapons attacks, which intercepts were not available to the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

Comment: See also: Source of 'intercept' claiming Syrian government ordered chemical attack was IDF 8200 unit, Israel's NSA

Dollars

The financial war against Syria: Currency speculation sees Syrian pound plummet in value

© AFP
An employee stacks Syrian banknotes at the Syrian Central Bank in Damscus, on August 25, 2011. The Syrian government has lifted restrictions on the sale of dollars to individuals, in a bid to curb black market trade caused by the Western powers' covert war.
The central bank in war-torn Syria has lifted restrictions on the sale of dollars to individuals, state news agency SANA said Wednesday, in a bid to curb black market trade.

"Citizens may purchase foreign currency at banks, for non-commercial purposes, according to the rates fixed by the central bank," the bank's governor Adib Mayaleh said, quoted by SANA.

Allowing banks to sell foreign currency was part of "efforts by the central bank in the domestic market to stabilise the price of the Syrian pound and stop speculation on the exchange rate.

"The central bank will continue to finance imports of basic goods through banks operating in Syria at preferential rates," said Mayaleh.

The agency said the central bank had sold dollars to 10 private banking institutions at the rate of 173.27 Syrian pounds to the dollar "to cover the needs of the local market between August 13-19".
Gold Coins

Making the world safe for Banksters: Syria in the cross-hairs


The Central Bank of Syria, Damascus
Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario.

In an August 2013 article titled "Larry Summers and the Secret 'End-game' Memo," Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

The "end-game" would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and "usury" - charging rent for the "use" of money - is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don't need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.
Pistol

Weapon of Choice

syria map
There has been much ado in the press lately about the "alleged" use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces against the so-called "rebels". Not only are these rebels supported, trained and funded by western interests, they also include members of al-Qaeda, who, up until last year were the sworn enemy of these very same western interests. How bizarre is that?

Anyone who reads the Sott page regularly will have figured out by now that it was likely the western-backed rebels that were responsible for the attack we see portrayed in the media. But some readers may not be aware that there is also evidence to suggest that chemical weapons weren't even used in the attack.

Of course, none of these facts seem to bother the mainstream media, who remain content to parrot the administration lies calling for a U.S. attack on Syria.
Document

Russia releases key findings on chemical attack near Aleppo indicating similarity with rebel-made weapons

© Reuters / George Ourfalian
People injured in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack, breathe through oxygen masks as they are treated at a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo March 19, 2013
Probes from Khan al-Assal show chemicals used in the March 19 attack did not belong to standard Syrian army ammunition, and that the shell carrying the substance was similar to those made by a rebel fighter group, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

A statement released by the ministry on Wednesday particularly drew attention to the "massive stove-piping of various information aimed at placing the responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria on Damascus, even though the results of the UN investigation have not yet been revealed."

By such means "the way is being paved for military action" against Damascus, the ministry pointed out.

But the samples taken at the site of the March 19 attack and analyzed by Russian experts indicate that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, the ministry statement suggests, outlining the 100-page report handed over to the UN by Russia.
Airplane

U.S.-NATO Should Not Be "Al Qaeda's Air Force"

Kerry's claim that Syrian rebels are not associated with Al Qaeda has been thoroughly debunked.

Politico notes:
"We certainly don't have a dog in the fight," [Senator Ted] Cruz said, calling it a civil war in Syria. "We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That's why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda's air force."

Pirates

Rush Limbaugh suspects Obama conspired with Al-Qaeda to frame Bashar al-Assad

"If true, this is the setup of all time," says Limbaugh
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh acknowledges building evidence that the chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged to frame President Bashar al-Assad.

On Tuesday's broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh show, the talk show host acknowledged reports from the Associated Press that the admitted intelligence on Syria's chemical weapons attack was "no slam dunk."


He also announced he believes Obama may have been "complicit" in the attack and possibly helped plan it.

Limbaugh expressed doubt over allegations Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Limbaugh asked if the allegations are true, what does Assad have to gain?

On Saturday morning, the talk show host received a note from a friend who spent time in the Middle East. In the note, Limbaugh's friend vouched for Assad, claiming there's "nothing in it for him," and "he's not that kind of guy," describing the note as "almost a personal reference for Bashar."
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