Friday, 25 November 2011

Worst case scenario looms in Middle East/Iran

Yesterday an article from the Washington Post noted that Russian officials had become more belliicose.
Judging from president Medvedev’s comments posted yesterday and the following, the boot may be on the other foot.
Missiles in Europe directed against Russia, threats against Iran and - it seems - Syria, following on from war in Afghansitan, Iraq and Libya.
What are we to say?

Aircraft Carrier CVN-77 Parks Next Door To Syria Just As US Urges Americans To Leave Country "Immediately"

Yesterday we reported that the Arab League (with European and US support) are preparing to institute a no fly zone over Syria.

Today, we get an escalation which confirms we may be on the edge.

Just out from CBS: "The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart "immediately," and Turkey's foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria."

But probably the most damning evidence that the "western world" is about to do the unthinkable and invade Syria, and in the process force Iran to retaliate, is the weekly naval update from Stratfor, which always has some very interesting if always controversial view on geopolitics, where we find that for the first time in many months, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush has left its traditional theater of operations just off the Straits of Hormuz, a critical choke point, where it traditionally accompanies the Stennis, and has parked... right next to Syria.

From Stratfor:

And from CBS:

"The U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available," said a statement issued to the American community in Syria Wednesday and posted on the Embassy's website. "The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer, while many of those airlines remaining have reduced their number of flights."

The warning followed an announcement in Washington this week that Ambassador Robert Ford would not return to Syria this month as planned, indicating concerns over his safety.

The Obama administration quietly pulled Ford out of Syria last month, citing credible personal threats against him.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Wednesday urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia and avoid traveling through Syria for security reasons.

The warning came two days after Syrian soldiers opened fire on at least two buses carrying Turkish citizens, witnesses and officials said, apparent retaliation for Turkey's criticism of Assad. The Turks were returning from Saudi Arabia after performing the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia”
Uh...Got Brent?

China says it opposes Western sanctions on Iran

News Daily

BEIJING, Nov. 23, 2011 (Reuters) — China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it opposes unilateral sanctions against Iran,days after several Western countries announced new measures against Tehran to halt its nuclear program.

The United States, Britain and Canada announced new measures against Iran's energy and financial sectors on Monday and France proposed "unprecedented" new sanctions, including freezing the assets of its central bank and suspending purchases of its oil.

"China is always against unilateral sanctions against Iran and is even more opposed to the expansion of such sanctions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters at a regular press briefing, reiterating the need for negotiations.

"We believe pressure and sanctions will not fundamentally solve the Iranian issue, but will complicate the issue. Intensifying confrontation is not conducive to the region's peace and stability," Liu said.

For article GO HERE

Russia Warns US, Israel against Attack on Iran

Farsi News

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the US and Israel against an attack on Iran, cautioning that such a move would mean "a very serious mistake".

Such an attack "could bring very unpredictable results ... military intervention only creates a great number of victims," Lavrov said, speaking at a Moscow press conference to the Interfax news agency. 

An Israeli attack against Iran "is not impossible", Lavrov added. 

Lavrov called for a diplomatic settlement of problems. 

"Our suggestions (for the settlement of the West-Iran nuclear standoff) are still on the negotiating table, and I hope that no one will do anything that would destroy chances - voluntarily or by accident - of a negotiated solution," he said. 

For article GO HERE

 Sanctions Against Iran Not Working, White House Admits
Donilon Urges More Sanctions

by Jason Ditz, November 22, 2011

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

To that end, President Obama’s National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon today conceded at a conference at the Brookings Institute that even though massive US sanctions on Iran have done serious harm to the nation’s economy, they have not led to Iran “fundamentally altering its behavior.”

Donilon then, continuing his speech, went on to back President Obama’s current plan to impose addition sanctions on Iran, providing no justification for why he thought this might lead to anything resembling a policy change.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded to the latest round of sanctions by insisting, in case anyone wasn’t paying attention, that the sanctions won’t do anything to change their current policies, saying the effort will be in vain.”

Is the U.S. About to Invade Syria … and Pick a Fight with China and Russia?

23 November, 2011

Tyler pointed out yesterday and today that the risk of a Syrian war is quickly rising.
I want to amplify on three aspects of this issue:
(1) a war against Syria was planned 10 years ago
(2) the American people don't want a new war and
(3) Russia and China may strongly react against such a war


I noted in August:

While the U.S. is doing its best to try to whip up support for a war against Syria (a war planned at least 10 years ago), a new Rasmussen poll finds:

Just 12% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United States should get more directly involved in the Syrian crisis, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Sixty-six percent (66%) think the United States should leave the Syrian situation alone.


This is even more dangerous because China has warned the U.S. against attacking Syria, and Russia has reportedly moved warships into Syrian waters to defend Syria from a U.S. attack.

Relations between the U.S. and Russia have degraded recently. See this and this

May cooler heads prevail.

From RT

Escobar: No war with Iran before 2012 elections

Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar says that America's missile shield in Europe targets Russia - and is part of Washington's strategic plan of global dominance.

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