Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Syria vs Iran: First Tipping Point?

Just as the focus had shifted to Iran and their stalling tactics - something recognized by Israel, as they prepare to launch a military attack against the nuclear facilities, Syria steps up to the plate as the next tipping point. Keep in mind the fact that Assad promised that any 'outside intervention' into Syria's affairs would result in an attack on Israel:

The US's top military officer has warned Syria it could face armed intervention as international outrage grows over the massacre of women and children by tanks and artillery in Houla.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that following the UN security council's condemnation of the slaughter – in which more than 100 people were killed, many of them children – there needed to be increased diplomatic pressure on Damascus. But he added that the US would be prepared to act militarily if it was "asked to do so".
"There is always a military option," he told Fox News. "You'll always find military leaders to be somewhat cautious about the use of force, because we're never entirely sure what comes out on the other side. But that said, it may come to a point with Syria because of the atrocities."

Was this a 'false-flag' operation? Not that the Syrian government should be trusted, but the article below isn't the first one to raise some credible questions.

Syrian authorities on Monday blamed Islamist militants for the massacre of 108 men, women and children in the town of Houla and denied UN and witness accounts that army tanks were in the area at the time.

In a letter to the UN Security Council published by state media, the Foreign Ministry said the Syrian army had clashed with hundreds of armed men who it said committed Friday's massacre. The ministry said the killers used knives, which it called a "signature" of Islamist militant attacks.

"Not a single tank enteredthe region and the Syrian army was in a state of self-defense using the utmost degree of self control and appropriate response, and anything other than this is pure lies," the ministry's letter said.

"The terrorist armed groups ... entered with the purpose of killing and the best proof of that is the killing by knives, which is the signature of terrorist groups who massacre according to the Islamist way."

Houla is mostly populated by Sunni Muslims - from Syria's majority community which has led the revolt - while many of the surrounding villages are dominated by Alawites, the offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that provides most of Assad's ruling cadre.

The escalating "atrocities" in Syria could end up triggering a military intervention, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Fox News on Monday -- following the massacre that left more than 100 dead.

The international community has scrambled to respond to the violence over the weekend, with the recognition that an international peace plan has failed to stem the fighting. The U.N. Security Council called an emergency session Sunday, with its members unanimously supporting a statement condemning the killings and blaming the Bashar al-Assad regime. Meanwhile, U.N. envoy Kofi Annan traveled to Syria for talks.

It's unclear how seriously military options are being discussed. All along, administration officials have pushed more for sanctions, diplomacy and international pressure to compel Assad to leave power -- warning that a military intervention in Syria could be far harder to control than one in Libya, which was relatively isolated both diplomatically and geographically.

Back to Iran:

Meanwhile, around the world:

At least eight people were killed in an earthquake in northern Italy on Tuesday, civil protection authorities said, predicting the number would rise.

The earthquake came nine days after a quake in the same region killed seven people.

"People are very scared. It's been shaking non-stop for the past week," said journalist Andrea Vogt, who was near the epicenter.

"Some buildings which were damaged already in last week's earthquake were affected again today. San Felice sul Panaro and Mirandola registered most of the damage," a spokewoman said.

Some train services have been suspended for safety reasons, and high speed trains from Bologna to Milan and Florence, among others, are running at slower speeds, train operators said. There are no trains stuck on tracks, Trenitalia said.

There have been at least three aftershocks since the Tuesday morning earthquake, the Italian geological service said.

Northern Italy is the heartland of the country's manufacturing industry.

"It's going to have an economic impact as well as a human impact," Vogt said of the earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake on Tuesday, which struck at 9 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), was centered 25 miles northwest of the city of Bologna. It hit the area where a magnitude-6.0 temblor killed seven people earlier this month — and just as citizens had begun to resume some semblance of normality.

The news agency ANSA reported that nine people had died, while news agency LaPresse said others were buried under the rubble of collapsed homes and factories.

Monti said at the time of the quake he was meeting with emergency officials in Rome to discuss dealing with the impact of the earlier quake.

What passes for normal at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant today would have caused shudders among even the most sanguine of experts before an earthquake and tsunami set off the world's second most serious nuclear crisis after Chernobyl.

The public's fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe. The three nuclear reactors that suffered meltdowns are in a more stable state, but frequent quakes continue to rattle the region.

The worries gained new traction in recent days after the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building's safety.

The worst-case situations for reactor No. 4 would be for the pool to run dry if there is another problem with the cooling system and the rods catch fire, releasing enormous amounts of radioactive material, or that fission restarts if the metal panels that separate the rods are knocked over in a quake.

Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away - the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources

“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”


“We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.

Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...

STOCKS are UP again....
Potential is still there for a RALLY
back to 13,000 or higher, with the
end being DELAYED yet again.

Will have to see how the week pans out, but so far BULLS are in control.....not even close to
breaking 12, 311...........

there really is not much to say.

will update on WED again.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

ally said...

I'm shocked that anyone would be even mildly surprised that something swimming in the Pacific Ocean could be a radioactive. Especially a large Tuna which has been eating literally tons of smaller radioactive fishes. We are getting radioactivity continously and have been since the Fukishima disaster!!! Just because the mainstream media tends to ignore it doesn't mean squat. If you look at the rise in infant mortality rates across this nation and the death rates attributed to the actual radiation itself plus all the info on plant dna damage etc. It's out there.
But I worship a God who is greater than radiation. Lol! Really, read the Book and stand on the word! And I mean STAND on it! Pray over everything you put in your mouth! I do believe we will be out soon but until then we gotta walk the walk and in some ways Faith is going to be a whole new kind than we are used to walking in.
I know I should be scared in the natural because I know what this means but I'm just not. I trust him, he has carried me a long long way and he will never leave me or forsake me! I know that without a doubt, no matter what the circumstances say! Yes, I get down and burdened and disappointed and sad and all those other human emotions. Sometimes its hard. But he is always there! And he always will be!

Scott said...

Great points and I agree with all of them.

And I love that verse "I will never leave you or forsake you". So true and so comforting. The movie "Soul Surfer", which I highly recommend - had that verse quoted at a critical time in that girl's near-death experience. It was very moving.