The economy is getting worse, retail is down, housing is declining, the stock market is barely staying in the green and gold is rising. War is coming. This war will be used by the central bankers/US government to control all natural resources and keep these countries using the dollar as the reserve currency. If the central bankers/US government cannot do this the dollar collapses. The US Congress is debating to vote for the war on Syria. If the Congress votes no the US government will use a false flag event to bypass Congress.
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The unemployment rate in the Eurozone is going up not down. As time passes it is getting harder and harder for people to find work. Spain youth unemployment is at 56.1%, the youth is the future of the country, if they cannot find work there is not future.
- Number of young Spaniards belonging to ‘lost generation’ is up 2% since June, despite government claims that the worst is over
- Youth unemployment in Spain has reached a new high of 56.1%, a quarter of the 3.5 million under-25s jobless across the eurozone, according to the latest Eurostat figures.
- The number of young Spaniards belonging to what has become known as the lost generation is up 2% since June to 883,000. Only Greece has a higher percentage of young people out of work, at 62.9%.
- Among adult males, Spain has the highest unemployment at 25.3%, higher even than Greece. Despite the government’s claims that the worst has passed and that employment reforms will encourage firms to hire, the figures suggest it will be a long time before any upturn in the economy is reflected in a declining jobless rate. With the holiday season coming to a close, the numbers are likely to rise as workers on seasonal contracts go back on the dole.
- With close to six million Spaniards out of work, unemployment is so entrenched that there was no political reaction to the latest figures, neither from government nor the opposition. Indeed, mentioning the economy at all has become virtually taboo across the political spectrum. Meanwhile, Spaniards and recent immigrants are deserting the country in search of work, with 500,000 leaving in 2012, 60,000 of them Spanish nationals, most of them to Latin America and Europe.
- The total number of unemployed across the eurozone is 19.2 million, 15,000 fewer than in June. Across the EU the figure was 26.7 million, down 33,000 from June. However, it has remained at a record rate of 12.1% for the fourth months. The overall rate across the eurozone is 11%, half a percentage point up on last year.
- Italy saw a small fall to 12%, while the lowest rates among member states are Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.3%) and Luxembourg (5.7%). The rate in the US is 7.4% and in Japan 3.8%.
- As the continent still grapples with the effects of the financial crisis five years on, a board member of the German central bank warned that the European financial system is still not equipped to cope with a bank failure of a similar magnitude to 2008’s collapse of Lehman Brothers.
- “If we had a Lehman 2.0 tomorrow, which I don’t see, we still wouldn’t hold the tools we designed to wind down banks globally effectively in our hands,” said Andreas Dombret of Germany’s Bundesbank.
- Some progress had been made and the system is now safer than in 2008, but implementation is slow, said Dombret, who is in charge of the financial stability portfolio on the German central bank’s board.
- He added: “More than anything, we have bought time with a number of unconventional measures. That’s why financial markets are currently calm, but it doesn’t have to stay like that forever.”
- The bankruptcy of US investment bank Lehman plunged the global financial system into crisis, leading to a raft of new rules aimed at making banks’ business less risky to avoid taxpayer-funded rescues.
- The European Central Bank’s vow a year ago to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the single currency, the euro, took some heat out of the debt crisis, but it also eased pressure on struggling eurozone countries to reform, according to Dombret.
- U.S. banks are making more of their car loans to subprime borrowers as delinquencies fall and as automobile manufacturers’finance subsidiaries draw the more-reliable customers, according to data released on Tuesday.
- U.S. banks made 36 percent of their car loans to subprime borrowers in the second quarter, up from 34 percent a year earlier, according to data from Experian Plc, which tracks credit information as well as data on nearly 700 million vehicles in North America.
- The move down the credit spectrum came as the banks faced stronger competition. Their market share fell four points to 36 percent in the past year, while so-called captive finance companies of automakers gained more than seven points to 25 percent of the market. Credit unions, the third-biggest type of auto lender, lost two points of market share to 15 percent.
- The car companies’ finance units also moved up the credit scale, making 74 percent of their loans to borrowers that Experian rates as prime.
- The shifts came as average credit scores for new car loans from all lenders fell for the fourth consecutive year. Lending standards were tightest in 2009, when the U.S. economy was in recession and many banks and automakers were desperate to conserve capital.
- A person who is considered a higher-than-normal credit risk. Subprime borrowers typically have a below-average credit history and are penalized for their poor credit with higher interest rates. Subprime borrowers may qualify only for higher-interest mortgages and higher APR credit cards. Subprime borrowers may have an extensive history of late or missed payments, default debt, excessive debt or no property assets that could be used as security.
- Car sales in Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, declined in August after growing slightly a month earlier, casting doubt on the chances of a recovery in vehicle demand in the region.
- New auto registrations in Germany, home to Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE), fell 5 percent year-on-year last month to 214,100 passenger cars, industry association VDA said on Tuesday.
- Year-to-date German deliveries dropped 7 percent to 1.97 million, Berlin-based VDA said. An extra working day had caused sales to edge up 2 percent in July but headline numbers were negative in six of the first eight months.
- Similarly, France, Italy and Spain reported sharp declines in auto registrations on Monday, dimming prospects for a stabilization in demand in Europe where overall sales have plunged to a two-decade low.
- VDA president Matthias Wissmann emphasized that domestic orders kept growing by 2 percent in August following a 3-percent gain in July while passenger-car production was up 9 percent to 397,150 autos, helped by demand for premium brands.
- Adjusted for one working day fewer than in August 2012, new car sales in Germany were almost flat last month, Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel said.
- “There may be no turnaround yet but the German market keeps stabilizing,” Gommel said, citing improving business confidence in Europe’s No. 1 economy that could help underpin vehicle demand in the remainder of 2013.
- Registrations can be an imperfect indicator for the health of Germany’s car market, since they can lag demand by around two to three months. Also, automakers can boost their monthly results by registering new cars to themselves.
- Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) started selling its remaining stake in China Construction Bank Corp (601939.SS) (CCB) on Tuesday for up to $1.5 billion, according to a term sheet of the deal seen by Reuters, marking the final step of the U.S. bank’s multi-year exit from the asset.
- The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank joins a list of Western banks that have found that their investments in Chinese financial firms did not provide the strategic benefits they had hoped for. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) sold out of its seven-year investment from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
- The sales come as the Chinese banking system has shown signs of stress, with bad loans picking up as economic growth slows. As a result, several Chinese lenders are preparing to launch equity sales to bolster their capital base.
- But even before the Chinese banking sector weakened, many U.S. and European banks decided to sell the assets to bolster their capital bases and focus on their main businesses.
- Bank of America’s investment in CCB dates to 2005 when it paid $3 billion for a 9.9 percent stake ahead of the Chinese bank’s initial public offering.
- At the time, Bank of America’s then Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said the partnership was designed to give Bank of America more access to roughly 1.3 billion Chinese consumers, while CCB would benefit from BofA’s U.S. retail banking experience.
- The U.S. bank increased its holdings in following years, before paring it down starting in 2009. In 2011, the bank raised a combined $14.9 billion from selling shares in CCB to a group of investors that included Singapore’s Temasek Holdings TEM.UL.
- Bank of America launched Tuesday’s sale after a lock-up on its remaining stake expired last month.
- The bank launched an offer for 2 billion Hong Kong-traded shares of CCB (0939.HK) in a range of HK$5.63 to HK$5.81 ($0.73 to $0.75) each, according to a term sheet of the deal seen by Reuters. The price is equivalent to a discount of up to 5.1 percent to Tuesday’s close of HK$5.93.
- Bank of America shares rose 1.63 percent to $14.35 in morning trading.
- CCB shares are down 4.7 percent since the beginning of the year in Hong Kong, outperforming the 9 percent decline in the financial sub-index of the Hong Kong stock exchange .HSHFI in 2013.
- CLEANING UP
- Bank of America has been cleaning up its balance sheet since the financial crisis. In the bank’s 2012 annual report, chief executive Brian Moynihan wrote that the bank had divested more than $60 billion of assets outside its main businesses while improving capital ratios and maintaining itsearnings power.
- The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank increased its second-quarter profit 70 percent to $3.57 billion. The bank managed to trim operating expenses by 6 percent while boosting its Basel III capital ratio.
- The bank has been particularly active in streamlining its international operations. In recent years Bank of America sold its foreign wealth management businesses to Julius Baer Group (BAER.VX) and credit card portfolios in Canada, Spain and Britain to various banks and private-equity firms.
- The United States Supreme Court is being asked to hear a federal lawsuit challenging the military’s legal ability to indefinitely detain persons under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, or NDAA.
- According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges — a co-plaintiff in the case — attorneys will file paperwork in the coming days requesting that the country’s high court weigh in on Hedges v. Obama and determine the constitutionality of a controversial provision that has continuously generated criticism directed towards the White House since signed into law by President Barack Obama almost two years ago and defended adamantly by his administration in federal court in the years since.
- Should the Supreme Court reject the plaintiffs’ plea, Hedges said it could signal the “obliteration of our last remaining legal protections.”
- With the inking of his name to the annual Pentagon spending bill nearly two years ago, President Obama awarded his military the power to imprison persons suspected of ties to terrorist groups until the vaguely-defined “end of hostilities.”
- Journalists and human rights workers were among those to immediately oppose the Dec. 31, 2011 signing of the NDAA — and one provision in particular, Section 1021(e) — because they said the US government could manipulate the law in order to detain anyone alleged to have “substantially supported” a group that’s considered an enemy of America, without trial, until the end of persistent and consistently expanding warfare.
- “I have had dinner more times than I can count with people whom this country brands as terrorists … but that does not make me one,” Hedges, a long-time war correspondent for the New York Times, said when the suit was first filed in federal court in early 2012.
- In an editorial published by Hedges on Monday, he wrote that he has been detained numerous times during his decades as a foreign correspondent, and in those instances was illegally held by the US government.
- “In those days there was no law that could be used to seize and detain me,” he wrote. “Now there is.”
- Last year, US District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York said Section 1021 was unconstitutional and ordered an immediate stay on the provision. Without delay, however, the Obama administration filed an appeal which was honored this past July when the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sided with the White House and ruled 3-to-0 that the American co-plaintiffs could not challenge the NDAA because they lacked standing.
- The appellate court decided with that ruling that US citizens couldn’t fight Section 1021 in court because, “with respect to citizens, lawful resident aliens, or individuals captured or arrested in the United States, Section 1021 simply says nothing at all.”
- “The court, in essence, said that because it did not construe the law as applying to US citizens and lawful residents we could not bring the case to court,” Hedges wrote this week in his op-ed.
- But according to Hedges and at least one member of his legal team, the court should be clearer and opine precisely in a manner which ensures American citizens cannot be placed in indefinite military custody.
- “The problem is by saying there’s no standing,” attorney Bruce Afran told Hedges, “they deprive the district court of entering an order, saying and declaring that the statue does not apply to US citizens or permanent residents, lawful residents in the US.”
- “We have the absurdity of the court of appeals, one of the highest courts in the country, saying this law cannot touch citizens and lawful residents, but depriving the trial court of the ability to enter an order blocking it from being used in that way,” Afran told Hedges. “The lack of an order enables future [military] detentions. A person may have to languish for months, maybe years, before getting a court hearing. The [appellate] court correctly stated what the law is, but it deprived the trial court of the ability to enter an order stopping this [new] law from being used.”
- Last year, Hedges suggested during a question-and-answer session on Reddit.com that the Obama administration may be defending Section 1021 so adamantly in federal court because it is already being used. If so, Hedges added this week, negating the power provided in that provision could lead the president to be found in contempt of court.
- “If the Obama administration simply appealed it, as we expected, it would have raised this red flag,” Hedges said in 2012. “But since they were so aggressive it means that once Judge Forrest declared the law invalid, if they were using it, as we expect, they could be held in contempt of court. This was quite disturbing, for it means, I suspect, that US citizens, probably dual nationals, are being held in military detention facilities almost certainly overseas and maybe at home.”
- This week Hedges wrote, “If Section 1021 stands it will mean that more than 150 years of case law in which the Supreme Court repeatedly held the military has no jurisdiction over civilians will be abolished.”
- “It will mean citizens who are charged by the government with ‘substantially supporting’ al-Qaida, the Taliban or the nebulous category of ‘associated forces’ will be lawfully subject to extraordinary rendition. It will mean citizens seized by the military will languish in military jails indefinitely, or in the language of Section 1021 until ‘the end of hostilities’—in an age of permanent war, for the rest of their lives,” Hedges added.
- When Pres. Obama signed the NDAA on New Year’s Eve, he added a statement in which he swore he wouldn’t use the military detention provision against Americans. Given recent revelations regarding his administration, however, another member of Hedges’ legal counsel told the journalist that he isn’t so certain that will stand true.
- “First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not US citizens,” Hedges quoted from another attorney on the case, Carl Mayer. “Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists”
- Hedges has already been detained by the US, Hedges added, while recalling the case of Laura Poitras, an American filmmaker who also claims to have been repeatedly held and interrogated by federal officials during years of investigative work. Poitras has most recently collaborated with the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald on digesting the National Security Agency leaks attributed to former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that have aided in disproving some of the promises already made by the Obama administration, as referenced by Carl Mayer.
- Hedges is joined in the suit by a handful of plaintiffs, including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, writer Noam Chomsky and independent journalist Alexa O’Brien. When the case was first brought before Judge Forrest last year, O’Brien testified that federal contractors attempted to link a group she co-founded, US Day of Rage, with Islamic organizations in an attempt to discredit, and perhaps detain, her.
- O’Brien said she had interviewed former Guantanamo Bay detainees as part of her work as a journalist and feared that those conversations could be construed as giving “substantial support” to terrorist groups of “associated forces,” as described in the NDAA.
- After Pres. Obama authorized the NDAA, O’Brien said in court, “I am now fearful of doing the type of reporting that I have done on individuals and organizations that are considered terrorists by the United States government and my reporting has therefore been curtailed.”
- According to emails obtained by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks that were pilfered from private intelligence firm Stratfor, government contractors attempted to connect US Day of Rage “to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements” in late 2011 before the NDAA was autographed by Obama. O’Brien said that she later learned that her employer was asked repeatedly by US government agents for information about the journalist’s involvement with US Day of Rage and the Occupy Wall Street movement
- “I have an actual and well-founded fear that the US Government will consider me a covered person under the [NDAA] and will either detain me indefinitely or subject me to a military tribunal,” she said in a sworn statement filed March 12, 2012. “Because of this fear I have substantially curtailed my journalistic and political activities.”
- Joining Hedges, Ellsberg, Chomsky and O’Brien in the lawsuit are Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, RevolutionTruth founder Tangerine Bolen, Occupy London activist Kai Wargalla and Dr. Cornel West. In the appeals ruling from July, the court said, “While Section 1021 does have meaningful effect regarding the authority to detain individuals who are not citizens or lawful resident aliens and are apprehended abroad, Jónsdóttir and Wargalla have not established standing on this record.”
- According to Hedges, the Supreme Court only accepted around 100 of the 8,000-or-so requests it receives each year. “If we fail, if this law stands, if in the years ahead the military starts to randomly seize and disappear people, if dissidents and activists become subject to indefinite and secret detention in military gulags, we will at least be able to look back on this moment and know we fought back,” he wrote.
- Source: rt.com
- August 30th, 2013
- Rebels admit responsibility for attacks http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/
- Aug 27th, 2013
- Does President Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side? http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/does-president-obama-know-hes-fighting-on-alqaidas-side-8786680.html
- Aug 27th, 2013
- Pat Buchanan: Syria ‘reeks of false flag’ http://www.storyleak.com/pat-buchanan-chemical-attack-false-flag-operation/
- Aug 26th, 2013
- Russia Warns U.S. Over Syria, Says Obama Like Bush http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2013/08/25/russia-warns-u-s-over-syria-says-obama-like-bush/
- Aug 25th, 2013
- Syrian soldiers enter rebel tunnels, find chemical agents: state TV http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/24/us-syria-crisis-jobar-idUSBRE97N04T20130824
- Aug 24th, 2013
- *Russia says rebels may have staged alleged Syrian chemical attack http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/21/us-syria-crisis-chemicals-russia-idUSBRE97K0SB20130821
- Aug 21st, 2013
- Obama authorizes secret CIA support for Syrian rebels http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/obama-authorizes-secret-cia-support-for-syrian-rebels/article4457317/
- Aug 2nd, 2013
- Al-Qaeda Backers Found With U.S. Contracts in Afghanistan http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html
- July 30th, 2013
- *Obama to move forward with plan to arm Syrian rebels http://us.cnn.com/2013/07/23/politics/us-syrian-rebels/index.html
- July 24, 2013
- Al Qaeda militants flee Iraq jail in violent mass break-out http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/22/us-iraq-violence-idUSBRE96L0RM20130722
- July 22nd, 2013
- *U.S. has secretly provided arms training to Syria rebels since 2012 http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/21/world/la-fg-cia-syria-20130622
- June 21st, 2013
- Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/
- May 6th, 2013
- UN’s Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels ‘used sarin’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188
- May 5th, 2013
- U.S. Army vet charged with firing rocket propelled grenades with Al Qaeda http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/u-s-army-vet-fights-al-qaida-fbi-article-1.1302377http://video.foxnews.com/v/2263622958001/
- March 29th, 2013
- US ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad govt’: Reporthttp://in.news.yahoo.com/us-backed-plan-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-syria-045648224.html
- Jan 30th, 2013
- U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime’ http://in.news.yahoo.com/us-backed-plan-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-syria-045648224.html
- *Syrian Rebels Tied to Al Qaeda Play Key Role in War – NYTimes.com https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/world/middleeast/syrian-rebels-tied-to-al-qaeda-play-key-role-in-war.html?
- Dec 8th, 2012
- Reality Check: One on One with President Obama, Why Is The U.S. Supporting Al Qaeda In Syria? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE4xM9W1drI
- Sept 11th 2012
- Al Qaeda is seeking to manipulate tensions in the Middle East to its own advantage, warn experts http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2012/07/27/al_qaeda_is_seeking_to_manipulate_tensions_in_the_middle_east_to_its_own_advantage_warn_experts.html
- July 27th, 2012
- *Al Qaeda’s War for Syria http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443343704577551281530782466.html?
- July 26th, 2012
- Al-Qaeda tries to carve out a war for itself in Syriahttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9396256/Al-Qaeda-tries-to-carve-out-a-war-for-itself-in-Syria.html
- July 12, 2012
- Stephen Harper defends aid money through unregistered Syrian charityhttp://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/08/14/stephen_harper_defends_aid_money_through_unregistered_syrian_charity.html
- Aug 14th, 2012
- Double agent led CIA, allies to terrorists, underwear bombhttp://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2018171295_underwearbomb09.html
- May 9th, 2012
- Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?
- Apr 28th, 2012
- Al-Qaeda has likely infiltrated Syria opposition, behind recent suicide bombings: U.S. intelligence chiefhttp://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/16/al-qaeda-has-likely-influtrated-syria-opposition-behind-recent-suicide-bombings-u-s/
- Feb 12th, 2012
- *Report: U.S. Bribes to Protect Convoys Are Funding Taliban Insurgents http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Afghanistan/united-states-military-funding-taliban-afghanistan/story?id=10980527
Iran realizes that war is coming, there is no stopping it. The central bankers/US government need to do this or the dollar collapses, they need to control the natural resources of all middle east countries.
- Commander of Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says state-of-the-art weapons and radar systems have been installed on the newly-overhauled Lavan warship.
- “The warship needed an overhaul and had to be fitted with sophisticated and novel technologies,” Sayyari told reporters on the sidelines of the first forum of modern marine technologies in the northern city of Nowshahr, 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Tehran, on Tuesday.
- He added that the warship’s body as well as propulsion, sonar, radar and firing systems in addition to data gathering sensors have been repaired.
- The admiral noted that Lavan warship would be unveiled in the Sacred Defense Week in late September, which commemorates the braveries of the Iranian soldiers who fought in the 1980-1988 Iraqi-imposed war.
- On March 17, Iran launched the Jamaran-2 destroyer in the Caspian Sea near the northern port city of Bandar Anzali.
- Jamaran-2, a Mowj-class warship, has been designed and built by Iranian experts and has state-of-the-art navigation equipment and complex defensive systems.
- In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.
- Tehran has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other states, insisting that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.
- A forensic expert with evidence President Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons near Aleppo in March has defected toTurkey, the Syrian opposition said on Tuesday, but the medic failed to appear at a planned news conference.
- Washington is considering military action over an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus last month that killed hundreds. Evidence of their past use by government forces could prove important.
- The Istanbul-based Syrian opposition coalition said Abdeltawwab Shahrour, head of the forensic medicine committee in Aleppo, would make public his evidence of the March 19 chemical attack in Khan al-Assal.
- But Shahrour, who opposition officials said had been under close protection since defecting two weeks ago, failed to appear at a news conference planned by the opposition on Tuesday. Coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh said security concerns had kept him away and that he would instead appear in the coming days.
- Turkish officials were not immediately available to confirm the defection.
- Shahrour had documents proving that a chemical weapons attack took place and eye-witness accounts from police authorities that contradicted the administration’s version of events, a second opposition official said.
- The attack at Khan al-Assal in the northern province of Aleppo in March killed more than two dozen people. Both the government and rebels have blamed each other for what they say was an attack involving chemical weapons.
- Russia, which alongside Iran is Syria’s closest ally and chief arms supplier, said in July its own scientific analysis indicated the attack had involved the nerve agent sarin and had most likely been carried out by the rebels.
- Both sides deny using chemical weapons.
- A team of U.N. experts who visited Syria last month to investigate allegations of chemicals weapons had originally planned to visit Khan al-Assal but ended up focusing on a much larger apparent poison gas attack which killed hundreds of civilians in suburbs of the capital Damascus on August 21.
- At least four petitions posted on the White House “We the People” website urge the Obama administration not to intervene in the Syrian civil war; or not to do so without congressional authorization.
- A search of the website shows that as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, there were no petitions in favor of U.S. military intervention in Syria.
- The first petition, created on Aug. 27, is titled, “NO TO WAR IN SYRIA.” It had 14,647 signatures as of 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
- Two petitions were posted on Wednesday, Aug. 28: One says “Pledge that there will be no military intervention in Syria” (5,105 signatures); the other says “Delay military action against Syria until the U.N. Weapons Inspectors verify use of Chemical Weapons” (1,875 signatures).
- The most recent petition, posted on Aug. 30, has 325 signatures so far. This petition says the president should seek approval of the U.S. Congress prior to military action in Syria.
- Taken together, the four petitions have gathered 29,960 signatures in 7 days.
- On Saturday afternoon, President Obama accused the Syrian regime of murdering more than a thousand of its own people with chemical weapons.
- “This attack is an assault on human dignity,” Obama said in remarks delivered at the White House. “It also presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders…It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm.”
- Obama said, “After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.” But he also said he’s made a second decision: “I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”
- That effort begins in earnest on Tuesday, as President Obama heads to Sweden, and his top aides urge members of Congress to back the president on the use of U.S. military force against the Syrian regime.
Why would Israel fire a missile with the US, Syria and Russia all standing by for war? This was to provoke each side and they were hoping that someone with a itchy trigger finger would fire a missile and the war would start.
- Two “ballistic targets” detected Tuesday in the Mediterranean by the Russian military were launched by the Israeli military as part of a joint US-Israeli test of its missile defense system, an official in Tel Aviv said.
- “The launches we’re talking about were a test of the Anchor target missile that is used for testing our missile defense system,” an Israeli Defense Ministry representative told RIA Novosti.
- The launch was part of joint tests with the US military and were successfully tracked by radars in Israel, the official added.
- So with the world on the edge, and everyone waiting for the “other side” to take the initiative and send a an immediate triggerhappy response, the US and Israel decided to conduct a cruise missile “test” in a hot zone, without warning Russia or anyone else in advance?
- * * *
- Moments ago Russian RIA news agency reported that Russia’s Defense Ministry said, citing its ballistic missile early warning system, that the launch of two “ballistic targets” has been detected in the Mediterranean, “The launch was detected at 10:16 Moscow time (06:16 GMT) by a radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.
- RUSSIA SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH DETECTED IN MEDITERRANEAN: RIA
- RUSSIA SAYS MISSILES SEEN HEADED TOWARD EAST MEDITERRANEAN: IFX
- RIA CITES RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ON MISSILE LAUNCH
- RUSSIA SAYS MISSILES SEEN HEADED TOWARD EAST MEDITERRANEAN: IFX
- RUSSIA SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH DETECTED IN MEDITERRANEAN: RIA
- RUSSIA SAYS LAUNCH OF 2 BALLISTIC MISSILES DETECTED: RIA
- The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said. A diplomatic source in the Syrian capital, Damascus, told RIA Novosti that the targets fell into the sea. The Russian Embassy in Damascus said it did not have any information about the launch, and the streets and residents of the Syrian capital appeared calm, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported the launch to President Vladimir Putin, the spokesman told Russian journalists. The Defense Ministry’s press service was not immediately available for further comment.”
- Immediately conflicting reports about the source of the launch emerged: Reuters initially said that “Israel said on Tuesday it was unaware of any ballistic missile launch being conducted in the eastern Mediterranean. “We are not aware, at this time, of such an event having occurred,” a military spokeswoman in Jerusalem said after a Russian news agency reported the launch of two ballistic “objects” from the central part of the sea eastward.”
- Oddly enough, seconds ago more headlines hit Bloomberg which refuted the Reuters report, and determined that it was indeed Israel which had hit the launch button:
- ISRAEL SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH WAS TEST OF MISSILE DEFENSE: RIA
- ISRAEL SAYS MISSILE LAUNCH WAS TEST, ISRAEL ARMY RADIO SAYS
- On the other end, US Navy’s 6th Fleet said no US ships have launched missiles in Eastern Mediterranean despite Russia defence ministry reports.
- So on the surface, it appears a missile was launched by Israel, which knows full well that with tensions already at an unprecedented levels, this in itself would likely have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back and causes retaliation. The irony, as Reuters also reports, is that Syria’s early warning radar system did not detect any missiles landing on Syrian territory, according to a Syrian security source quoted by Lebanon’s al-Manar television on Tuesday.
- In other words, if this was indeed an attempt at provocation, then Israel was testing to see what Russia’s response would be, not so much Syria’s.
- Finally, NATO, as RIA also reports, is now investigating this launch:
- NATO has no information about the launch of “ballistic targets” in the Mediterranean and is looking into those reports, an official from the alliance told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
- Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday its early warning system had detected the launch of two “ballistic targets” in the Mediterranean.
- The Pentagon, the UK and French Defense Ministries and the Israel Army command have all told RIA Novosti they have no information about such launches.
- “The Defense Ministry cannot confirm these media reports. This is all I can say,” a French Defense Ministry spokesman said.
- The launch was detected at 10:16 Moscow time (06:16 GMT) by a radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said.
- And speaking of Russia’s official response, stay tuned.
- If the direct result of today’s surprising and unannounced Israeli missile test was to provoke a response by Russia, the Allies have succeeded. ITAR TASS reports that Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets’ Ropucha-class landing ships Novocherkassk (150 marines on board) and Minsk (225 marines) have sailed off for the Mediterranean Sea. What was not reported is that the destination of the two marine carrying ships is the sensitive area around Syria already staked out by the US navy. It is implied.
- “The Russian Navy continues stage-by-stage rotation of warships and support ships of the standing naval force in the Mediterranean,” the spokesman said. “Having passed through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, the big landing ships will reach the designated area in the Mediterranean Sea on September 5 or 6 to start their mission under the command of the remote zone headquartered onboard the big anti-submarine ship of the Russian Pacific Fleet Admiral Panteleyev.”
- Currently, one of the key tasks of the Russian standing naval force in the Mediterranean is “comprehensive monitoring over the air, underwater and surface situation in the zone of its deployment,” the Russian defence ministry said, adding that the rotation of Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea would continue till mid-September.
- In other words, more ships will be “rotating” into the Mediterranean for the next two weeks. The last time Russia dispatched one or more squadrons of ships to Syria was last December, when Syria was once again a hot bed of pre-war foreplay. This is what Russia did back then: “The squadron of five ships that sailed from the Baltic Sea base of Baltiysk includes a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels that could evacuate hundreds of people… Another group of three navy ships departed Tuesday from Severomorsk, the main base of Russia’s Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula.” Will Russia repeat a comparable pile up of naval powers now as it did then? Most certainly.
- Summarizing the balance of power so far:
- 2 US amphibious assault ships are about to be matched by 2 Russian amphibious assault ships. That’s a lot of marines.
- The US still outnumbers Russia with 5 destroyers including 4 from the strike group surrounding the USS Nimitz carrier which is also slowly approaching Syria.
- Our prediction: the next ship to be dispatched in direction Syria will be the missile cruiser Moskva, the “flag ship of the Black Sea fleet” and more of its affiliated warships, which was last deployed in November of 2012 during the 8 day escalation between Israel and Gaza which culminated in Operation Pillar of Defense. That, and a whole lot of submarines.
- Finally, for those curious or simply “mocking” Russia’s navy, below is a full breakdown ofjust the Russian Black Sea fleet:
Proposed AUMF – Authorization for the Use of Military Force
UPDATE 2: I neglected perhaps the most salient implication of the proposed AUMF: The phrase “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” would include authorization for ground troops, should the President decide they were “necessary and appropriate.” And yes, if history is any guide, Congress can authorize the President to use force in a limited fashion with limited means (i.e. just the Navy, or just the Air Force). Curtis Bradley and I went through this history on pp. 2072 ff.
- It seems that the reason why Obama has been such a staunch supporter of a Syrian campaign without a land component, is because US-armed and trained Qatari mercenaries, also known elsewhere in the media as “rebels”, are about to take to the battlefield (ignoring for a moment prior reports that American, Israeli and other troops have already long operated on Syrian territory). The Telegraph reports that “the first cell of Syrian rebels trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators. During a meeting at the White House, the president assured Senator John McCain that after months of delay the US was meeting its commitment to back moderate elements of the opposition. Mr Obama said that a 50-man cell, believed to have been trained by US special forces in Jordan.”
- The deployment of the rebel unit seems to be the first tangible measure of support since Mr Obama announced in June that the US would begin providing the opposition with small arms.
- Congressional opposition delayed the plan for several weeks and rebel commanders publicly complained the US was still doing nothing to match the Russian-made firepower of the Assad regime.
- Mr McCain has been a chief critic of the White House’s reluctance to become involved in Syria and has long demanded that Mr Obama provide the rebels with arms needed to overthrow the regime.
- Still, one can’t help but wonder why only 50 people? After all, if the Assad regime is so proficient with chemical weapons, all that would take to wipe out the Syrian version of the A-Team would be one relatively well placed WMD hit. After all, just like in Iraq, they serve WMDs at ever regime-controlled coffee shop, both grande and venti variations, right?
- As for the punchline, or what happens after the surgical intervention is over?
- “They’re not trying to replace one dictator, Assad, who has been brutal… to only have al-Qaeda run Syria,” Lindsey Graham said.
- No, just replace it with a pro-Qatari/pro-Syria regime, which just may have a few Al-Qaeda participants in ti, and which like in the case of Egypt, will last about two years top before it too is toppled in a countercoup. What happens then?
Million Muslim March
Biker ride to DC to counter the Muslim March