... Kerry told reporters that only the Syrian regime and the opposition can determine the make-up of a transitional government to shepherd the war-torn nation towards democratic elections.
"It's impossible for me as an individual to understand how Syria could possibly be governed in the future by the man who has committed the things that we know have taken place," Kerry said as he wrapped up his first visit in office to Russia.
"But I'm not going to decide that tonight, and I'm not going to decide that in the end."
Except for the middle paragraph, that is largely what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been saying for quite awhile (see paragraph four in blockquote below).
So how does the peace talks proposal play with the rebels? So far not well. From Reuters:
Thoughts on the major Israel missile strike on Damascus while reading a bit too much of the Western war propaganda ...
Internal chaos weakens Syria and at least for now benefits Israel. However, the Syrian people have long tired of senseless killing there and support peace above all else. So, those still fighting the government are now largely either paid Western mercenaries or paid Islamic extremists bent on establishing a Saudi-style Sunni state in Syria. Not a surprise that, faced with such opponents the Syrian state was making progress on the battlefield (note such real news is not allowed on the mainstream 'news' because it counters the line/narrative that the Syrian government is on its last legs). Israeli missile attacks will help but won't be enough, the rebels are too weak, so the attacks are primarily aimed at forcing Western intervention 'Libya style'. (If you've forgotten what that did to Libya read this by Patrick Cockburn.) In sum, the 'why' of the Israeli attacks has nothing to do with the mainstream media's explanation: "Israel strikes Syria, says targeting Hezbollah arms." So please, read Robert Fisk:
Prior to the last 24 hours it was joke publications like The Telegraph (source of the photo above) and other Murdochian, Fox News quality rags that trumpeted the simpleton propaganda video that Syrian rebels say shows poisoning by government sarin gas. In those good old days we could enjoy light-hearted blog titles like this:
That title was above some very entertaining ridicule of the video and some serious (but easy) debunking (link is in the original: follow it to the Centers for Disease Control, which lists the signs and symptoms for sarin exposure):
The short video posted at the Telegraph site shows three persons laying on hospital stretchers. All three persons have some white foam around their mouths. None of them shows any acute breathing problem. All three seem rather relaxed. ... This "foaming at the mouth" video proof of chemical weapons usage is fake. ... "foaming at the mouth" is NOT a standard symptom of sarin exposure.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov commenting on the current government in Syria:
They are committed to a pluralistic Syria, to a Syria in which every minority has minority rights protected, that includes all of minorities in which everybody will have an ability to be able to make choices for the future.
It is a vision that rejects terrorism and rejects extremism. It is a vision that is pledged to never use chemical weapons. It is a vision that is committed to a political solution.
Yes, I admit I appreciate the timing of the Chechen mercenaries in Syria. "Just for kicks, let's kidnap some Christian archbishops at the same time as Chechen-immigrant-generated hell in Boston. How can the Western media ignore us?" Well, they can and they did guys cuz of course obedience to the moneyed narrative is the Western media careerist's prime directive. Thanks for only killing their driver and not the bishops though.
Notice that U.S. media are not reporting that the Boston bomber was an enthusiastic supporter of your Syrian "revolution". He posted videos about it on his Youtube page.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:41 AM
Yup, let the self-censorship begin. Since April 20 (based on my Google search), the mainstream media has not mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers' fundamentalist Syrian rebel sympathies. This even though there have been multiple mainstream articles in recent days on relations between Russia and the U.S. which mention the Syria rebellion. So, for example, in a USA Today column by Louise Branson we get this:
We're fighting the same fight, has been [Putin's] refrain to U.S. presidents and officials. President Assad makes the same case in Syria. The Boston Marathon explosions have helped tip Putin's argument. ... Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the captured Boston marathon bomber will, over time, give answers about the brothers' aims and ties.
Hey columnist Branson, haven't you noticed that he's already given 'answers' (that don't fit the U.S. imperialist narrative)? ... Take a look at his Youtube page.
The bosses in the U.S./EU, the monolithic West, will of course continue to support the Syrian rebellion. It just makes less sense than ever today, this week. That rebellion has come a very long way from its peaceful 2011 origins and is now widely understood to be a religious war -- whether the rebels are led by the Muslim Brotherhood or the Al Nusra Front and Al Qaeda-- against a secular Syria.
And how obvious can the following be after Boston: violent Islamic extremism is a bad thing. And it is not as if who they oppose, Bashar Assad, is anything more diabolical than a run-of-the-mill non-ideological tyrant who'll cling to power whichever way he can, but at least he has a desire not shared by the rebels: he has kept Syria secular and wants it to remain that way.
There are signs that the brothers showed interest in the conflict in Syria, which has drawn al Qaida fighters and other militants from across the Muslim world and Europe, according to a U.S. counterterror official. ...
The brothers had viewed videos about the plight of Syrian Muslims, the official said. Syria is the latest hotspot on the world map of jihad. Holy warriors a decade ago were inspired by videos about brutal combat between jihadis and Russian troops in the brothers' family homeland ...
But we can't agree in the West that we should do whatever necessary to make sure the Tsarnaev brothers' favorite rebels do not win in Syria or anywhere else? Why not?
I must confess that each year beginning in April, and then once more each during June, July and August, I begin to grow in anticipatory blush as the major professional golf tournaments known colloquially as the "Grand Slam" re-set to play out once more across the elitist goat pastures of the US and the UK.
No, it's not that I like to play golf. Not at all. In fact I rather despise the game, actually. I can think of little that is more boringly useless in life than the waste of five-six good waking hours hacking up a perfect lawn when I could be doing something much more stimulating like sitting in front of the keybooard LMAO over Socrates's Twitter feed.
And puh-leeze. I also simply can't be bothered dahlink to watch TV in any of its debased, postmodernist forms, but most especially following those yuppiefied walking advert boards in polyesther slacks and white belts as they rake in millions playing with their putter shafts.
Nay, what truly pickles my tiddler in a pint draught about the great sport game of kingsCEOs sissies is the Guardian's liveblogging of the majors, which are brought to us fore times per annum in all faded English gloriousness by an extremely gallant chap name of Scott Murray.
The 77th Masters Tournament owes us a little something today. Boil the bones down, and yesterday's third round was a thoroughly miserable affair, bookended by two experiences which crushed the soul in different ways. The day started with Tiger's Trauma, an undignified business all round, not least in the gleeful stampede to finger the greatest player of the modern era as nothing more than a two-bit cheat, when confusing the drop-at-same-spot rule with the drop-along-line-where-ball-entered-hazard option is an easy enough mistake to make at the best of times, never mind when your almost-perfect wedge has just twanged off the flag and into the blue vagueness in the heat of Masters action.
The day ended with a Couples Catastrophe, the smoothest swinger in town keeping the fairytale alive through 13 holes, then capitulating over the final five to extinguish the dream. Butch Harmon's sullen reaction on Sky to seeing his erstwhile pupil suffer as he stumbled up the 18th in the wake of a triple-bogey on 17 - "Freddie's just run out of gas," he sighed wistfully - was laced with heartbreak, and the unconscious existential realisation that the 53-year-old's fate served as an allegory of all humankind's inexorable decay and inevitable return to dust.
Better days:We've had them.
The once storied empire may long since have shrunk into the rather nasty, brutish little US protectorate we know and larf at today, a colony of Jim Fowlers to our Marlon Perkins, yes, ah, but that purely self-deprecating low wit lives on within descriptions of the always humbling often humiliating circumstances wrought on its participants by the quintessential British Scottish game, the same one where the royals at the top suffer every pip and yelp of the choking dog meltdown as surely as us plebes, the multitude of bored infotainment consumers who must yet shake our own martinis and pull our own tattered trousers on one leg at a time without the assistance of a faithful Jeeves, the obedient servant of the late, great Merv Griffin Show, Arthur Treacher.
Because Greg Walden said this about Pres. Obama's Social Security cuts proposal -- that it "really lays out kind of a shocking attack on seniors" -- he finds himself reviled by Republican leaders and targeted for defeat in 2014 by the Club for Growth, an anti-economic-growth group that works single-mindedly to redistribute wealth from the rest of us to the rich.
Walden added later, in a conference call with Oregon media, that he was especially worried by the impact of the Obama proposal "on low-income seniors who rely on Social Security." Now, doesn't that needed rhetoric need defending against the right (Obama) and the far right (most Republicans and definitely the Club for Growth). I mean (cue random comment on Oregonlive.com), "Imagine that, a Republican not marching in lockstep with his leadership, but instead standing up for his constituents. Go Greg!"
So, I said over there at MyFDL, how about it Firedoggers??! Firebaggers? Collection for Greg Walden's primary campaign? ... 'kay, never mind.
It's only logical to assume that Obama will attack N. Korea and Iran. That's the PNAC strategy and he follows it religously it seems.
He will also cut back social security approve the Keystone Pipeline.
He appears to be the anti christ, though the antichrist is what the world needs, a real antichrist, not a devil. Some one who can make sense of things and speak clearly and logically.
Perhaps Obama is an evil man, leading the world to nuclear war with the pretext of security.
North Korea like Saddaam's Iraq are presented as mad men.
They are not. Kim Jong Un. is probably responding to American threats and interference in the only way he can.
Jane Hamsher, Queen Bee of a curious, dying breed known as the Dilettante White Left (AKA 'the .35 of one percent') has filed for Chapter 7 dissolution of CommonSense Media, an internet advertising network founded in 2007.
From the vantage point of your intrepid reporter, this latest sign of financial woe within the Hamsher Cult is both entirely predictable and richly [intentional pun alert] deserved.
I'm in sympathy with Norman Pollack's article recently published in Counterpunch, Gay Marriage: A Contrarian's View, but feel Pollack's reasoning could be improved on. And, by the way, I agree with Pollack that, in the abstract, divorced from the real political context of these horrible times, marriage equality would be a great thing for a society to have.
As a way of contextualizing things ... I recall reading a year or two ago, probably in the Chicago Reader, that a local gay politico had triumphantly returned from Springfield in 2010 or 2011 after passage of its civil unions act. "At its essence," the Chicago Tribune described the law, "the bill says that two people who have entered into a civil union are entitled to the same legal treatment under Illinois law that is presently given to spouses." So, all was great, I'm sure he thought, for gay marriage rights, except the word marriage could not officially be used to describe those rights. But instead of being greeted as the returning conqueror of Springfield, said politico was met by his activist group with anger that he just "didn't get it" and worse. He was ousted for another leader who understood that civil unions weren't enough, and that the only acceptable stance was gay marriage or bust.