Putin educates Megyn Kelly on Syria, chemical weapons & terrorism

Re-blogged from RT

Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the insinuation by NBC News correspondent Megyn Kelly that the Syrian government was behind the April chemical attack, putting the blame on terrorists who orchestrated a provocation. Using terrorists as proxies is a bad idea, Putin said, pointing out how the US created Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the USSR, only to end up with 9/11.


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Troops oppose strikes on Syria by 3-1 margin

By Andrew Tilghman

75 percent of troops are not in favor of air strikes

To the list of skeptics who question the need for air strikes against Syria, add an another unlikely group — many U.S. troops.

“I haven’t heard one single person be supportive of it,” said an Army staff sergeant at Fort Hood who asked not to be identified by name.

A Military Times survey of more than 750 active-duty troops this week found service members oppose military action in Syria by a margin of about three to one.

The survey conducted online Monday and Tuesday found that about 75 percent of troops are not in favor of air strikes in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons to kill civilians in that country.

A higher percentage of troops, about 80 percent, say they do not believe getting involved in the two-year-old civil war is in the U.S. national interest.

The results suggest that opposition inside the military may be more intense than among the U.S. population at large. About 64 percent of Americans oppose air strikes, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll published Monday.

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Interview with Chomsky on 9/11, Syria’s “Bloody Partition” and Why U.S. Role Ensures Failure of Mideast Talks

Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, weighs in on today’s 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks and how the civil war in Syria appears destined to permanently break the country apart. “[9/11] was very significant, a major terrorist act, thousands of people killed,” Chomsky says. “It’s the first time since the War of 1812 that U.S. territory had been attacked. The United States has had remarkable security, and therefore was, aside from the horrible atrocity, a very significant, historical event. And it changed attitudes and policies in the United States quite considerably. And in reaction to this, the government was able to ram through laws that sharply constrained civil liberties. It was able to provide pretexts for the invasion of Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq — the destruction of Iraq, with consequences that spread through the region. And it’s the basis for Obama’s massive terrorist war, the drone war, the most extreme terrorist campaign that’s underway now, maybe most extreme in history, and the justification for it is the same: the second 9/11, 9/11/2001. So, yes, it’s had enormous effects on society, on attitudes, on policies. Many victims throughout the world can testify to that.” On Syria, Chomsky says the country “is plunging into suicide. If negotiations [don’t] work, Syria is moving towards a kind of very bloody partition.”

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Beware the Ides of September: a turbulent month for the economy

It brought Lehman Brothers’ collapse and Northern Rock’s run, now Syria, the Fed Reserve and G20 are among new flashpoints

The Federal Reserve’s chairman Bernard Bernanke. Conflict with Syria may affect oil prices, but policy error by the Federal Reserve troubles markets the most during the dangerous month of September. Photograph: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

September is a dangerous month. Five years ago this month, Lehman Brothers went belly-up. Twelve months earlier there was the run on Northern Rock. Black Wednesday in September 1992 saw Britain’s departure from the exchange rate mechanism; the pound left the gold standard in September 1931.

The signs are that September 2013 will also be an interesting month. That’s interesting as in scary. There are five potential flashpoints: Syria, the G20 summit, emerging markets, the Federal Reserve meeting to discuss scaling down the US stimulus, and the German election. Any one of them has the potential to damage the global economy. Continue reading

Glaspie Memo Leaked: US Dealings With Iraq Ahead of 1990 Invasion of Kuwait Detailed

Ambassador Assured Saddam of Bush’s Friendship at July 25 Meeting

by Jason Ditz

One of the crown jewels of secret pre-Gulf War negotiations was unveiled tonight when the notorious Glaspie Memo, or as it is now known 90BAGHDAD423, was released by WikiLeaks

The cable, whose official title was “Saddam’s Message of Friendship to President Bush” details the meeting between US Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990, just a week before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The meeting has long been a matter of speculation, as it had long been speculated that comments by Glaspie had led Saddam to believe that the United States was giving them the green light to invade Kuwait if diplomacy failed.

The memo reveals indeed Hussein expressing concern about the Bush Administration’s position on Iraq owing to its participation in military exercises with the United Arab Emirates and pledges to “defend its allies” in the region. He complained the US pledges were making Kuwait and the UAE refuse to negotiate with Iraq. He also expressed concern about negative media coverage in the US, which Ambassador Glaspie assured him did not reflect US policy and singled out a Diane Sawyer report on “nuclear bomb triggers” for condemnation.

Rather Glaspie assured Saddam of Bush’s friendship and expressed support for the negotiations being set up by Hosni Mubarak for the weekend of July 28-30. She also explicitly said the United States took no position on the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait, though the summary also mentions that she made clear the US wanted the move solved peacefully. Hussein assured that no action would be taken against Kuwait if the negotiations showed some progress, which seemed to suit the US at the time.

But the talks didn’t accomplish anything and by August 2 Iraq was invading Kuwait. Within hours the mutual friendship was completely torn up and US officials were railing against Iraq. A few months later the US invaded for the first time, sparking invasions, decades of enmity, sanctions which killed massive numbers of Iraqi civilians and, eventually, a full US occupation which continues to this day.

Originally published in Antiwar