Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama To Seek Congressional Vote On Syria

Obama To Seek Congressional Vote On Syria Strike

President Barack Obama said on Saturday he has decided he should order a limited military strike against Syria, but in a move laden with political and diplomatic implications, he agreed in an about-face to solicit authorization for the mission from Congress.

Mr. Obama's announcement in a Rose Garden statement brought an unusually sudden halt to a military mobilization that for days had appeared on the cusp of a bombardment of Syria as punishment for its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 people—including more than 400 children.
It also marked a jarring shift as president for Mr. Obama, whose senior aides have been saying that he would not seek congressional authorization and that he had the legal right to order the start of military strikes.

Mr. Obama said legislative leaders have agreed to hold a debate and a vote on the issue as soon as Congress returns, which currently is scheduled to be Sept. 9. Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, considered calling the chamber back to session before then.
The move places the president's Syria policy on an unknown course, subjecting it to a certain showdown on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are deeply divided on the issue and even more so over Mr. Obama himself.

By agreeing to a congressional debate, Mr. Obama faces some amount of risk that he will be handed a defeat by legislators, like that suffered by British Prime Minister David Cameron over Syria this past week.
By assuming that risk, Mr. Obama also faces the possibility of some consternation from U.S. allies, who have been pressed by the administration for support for its aims in Syria.
In Israel, President Obama's decision to postpone military action until after congressional approval was received with skepticism. Analysts on Israeli television blasted the president for making the U.S. appear weak in the region. An Israeli official warned that U.S. hesitation could embolden Iran's nuclear ambitions.

President Barack Obama was ready to order a military strike against Syria, with or without Congress' blessing. But on Friday night, he suddenly changed his mind.

Senior administration officials describing Obama's about-face Saturday offered a portrait of a president who began to wrestle with his own decision - at first internally, then confiding his views to his chief of staff, and finally summoning his aides for an evening session in the Oval Office to say he'd had a change of heart.

The ensuing flurry of activity culminated Saturday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden when Obama stood under a sweltering sun, his vice president at his side, and told the American public the U.S. should launch a military strike to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack the U.S. says killed more than 1,400 people last week.

But first, he said, he'll ask permission from Congress.

Russia dramatically escalated its denunciations of American threats to attack Syrian military targets on Saturday, with President Vladimir Putin saying it would have been “utter nonsense” for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons as the Obama administration alleges.

The Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued before President Obama said he would seek congressional authorization before ordering strikes on Syria, said a U.S. attack would be a “gross violation” of international law.

Speaking out for the first time since an apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, Putin called on President Obama to find a nonviolent way out of the crisis.
“I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate: Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties,” Putin told Russian news agencies in Vladivostok during a tour of the country’s flood-stricken Far East.

“Russia is urging you to think twice before making a decision on an operation in Syria,” he said.
The White House argued Friday that intelligence shows more than 1,400 people died from exposure to chemical weapons in an attack carried out by the Syrian military.

Putin said he was sure the attack was the work of rebels trying to provoke international — and especially American — involvement in the Syrian conflict. The government of Bashar al-Assad, he said, would have had no reason to use chemical weapons at a time when it had gained the upper hand in the fighting.

Doing so, he said, would have been “utter nonsense’’ – with the clear implication that that is how he would characterize the American allegations.

On top of that, he said, the Obama administration’s “claims that proof exists, but is classified and cannot be presented to anybody, are below criticism. This is plain disrespect for their partners.”

Putin’s comments were soon underlined by a stern statement from the Foreign Ministry. After U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul had finished a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Saturday, the ministry declared, “Russia has expressed its conviction that any forceful action against Syria that the U.S. could carry out in circumvention of the U.N. Security Council would be an act of aggression and a gross violation of international law.”

Other than clarifying that Congress would vote on US military involvement in Syria, US President Barack Obama’s last-minute announcement Saturday left viewers and pundits alike with more questions than answers.

Obama’s decision to put the vote to Congress virtually ensures victory — for the president, at least. If Congress rejects military action, he retains the moral high ground of intending to help, and of agreeing to legislative oversight, without facing the critique for the outcome of intervention. If Congress approves, he will have demonstrated moral and political leadership, and may even create an environment of improved Hill-White House relationships in the weeks before the looming budget and debt ceiling debates.

If the Republican leadership put the nail in the coffin of an early vote, it is unclear if the delay will benefit or harm the president’s case. But that, of course, depends on what the president’s real agenda is.
Obama emphasized in his address that Congress would hold a debate and vote on military action in Syria immediately after the legislature reconvenes. The scheduled date for the Congressional session to begin is September 9, a date that critics have already noted gives Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime an additional 10 days to hunker down before airstrikes.

His approval rating on how he has handled the issue of intervention in Syria is even worse – a grim 35 percent, according to the same NBC poll released Friday. Part of his real agenda must be to change that — but in what direction, given the 50% approval/disapproval rate for military intervention?
What he means to do depends largely on how his advisers have “read” his chances of getting the vote on intervention through both houses of Congress. If his advisers believe that the partisan politics of the capital city will take over, and the GOP will reject involvement, it could be that he is banking on the Republicans taking the fall for blocking an attack that he doesn’t want to carry out in the first place.
Obama has refused to answer questions about whether he will continue with plans for intervention if his resolution fails on the Hill, leaving a final note of ambiguity in an already hard-to-read political situation.

UN Weapons Inspectors Leave Syria: Syria Expecting U.S. Strike At Any Moment

Fasten your seatbelts - It looks like the U.S. Strike will happen this weekend. The aftermath is what will make this whole scenario interesting from a prophetic perspective. 

The 13 inspectors, led by Ake Sellstrom, brought forward their departure from 7am on Saturday to 4am, despite travel being considered dangerous around that time.
Their departure has opened a window for a possible US strike after President Barack Obama on Friday gave his clearest indication yet that a military intervention was imminent.
He said his administration was looking at the possibility of a "limited, narrow act", while stressing no final decision had been taken on whether to unleash military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Meawhile, Syria said Saturday morning it was expecting a military attack "at any moment" after the last of the inspectors left Damascus.
A Syrian security official told AFP: "We are expecting an attack at any moment. We are ready to retaliate at any moment."

The experts are due to report straight back to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon and detail their conclusions on whether a poison gas attack actually did take place on August 21, based on samples collected on site.
However, the results from testing of alleged chemical weapons in Syria could take up to two weeks.
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, yesterday dismissed any findings of the inspectors as essentially irrelevant because, he said, their mandate was restricted to determining only if chemical weapons had been used, not who launched the attack.

Syria is expecting a military strike “at any moment,” a security official said on Saturday, only hours after U.N. inspectors left the country after investigating the aftermath of suspected chemical weapons attacks said to be perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“We are expecting an attack at any moment. We are ready to retaliate at any moment,” an unnamed Syrian security official told AFP news agency.
The departure of the U.N. inspectors has given the United States an opportunity to carry out a military strike, after President Barack Obama on Friday indicated that military intervention was pending.
The U.S. president said that his administration was looking at the possibility of a “limited, narrow act,” while emphasizing that no final decision had yet been made on possible military strikes against the Syrian regime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared ‘utter nonsense’ the idea that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people and called on the US to present its supposed evidence to the UN Security Council.
Putin has further called the Western tactic a ‘provocation.’
Washington has been basing its proposed strategy of an attack on Syria on the premise that President Bashar Assad’s government forces have used chemical agents, while Russia finds the accusations unacceptable and the idea of performing a military strike on the country even more so. Especially as it would constitute a violation of international law, if carried out without the approval of the UN Security Council. 
Further to this, Putin told Obama that he should consider what the potential fallout from a military strike would be and to take into consideration the suffering of innocent civilians. 
The Russian president has expressed certainty that the strategy for a military intervention in Syria is a contingency measure from outside and a direct response to the Syrian government’s recent combat successes, coupled with the rebels’ retreat from long-held positions. 

But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn't know were there because they've lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents.
Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons - purposely or accidentally - would likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, five experts told The Associated Press. That's because under ideal conditions - and conditions wouldn't be ideal in Syria - explosives would leave at least 20 to 30 percent of the poison in lethal form.
"If you drop a conventional munition on a storage facility containing unknown chemical agents - and we don't know exactly what is where in the Syrian arsenal - some of those agents will be neutralized and some will be spread," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a nonprofit that focuses on all types of weaponry. "You are not going to destroy all of them."

Take a look at the following paragraphs and consider Isaiah 17:

"It's a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease," Kimball said. He said some of the suspected storage sites are in or near major Syrian cities like Damascus, Homs and Hama. Those cities have a combined population of well over 2 million people.

There is one precedent for bombing a chemical weapons storehouse. In 1991, during the first Persian Gulf War, the U.S. bombed Bunker 13 in Al Muthanna, Iraq. Officials figured it contained 2,500 artillery rockets filled with sarin, the same nerve gas suspected in Syria. More than two decades later the site is so contaminated no one goes near it even now.
That bunker is a special problem for inspectors because "an entry into the bunker would expose personnel to explosive, chemical and physical hazards," says a 2012 report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which implements the international chemical weapons convention.
Pentagon planners are also worried about accidentally triggering a nerve agent attack by hitting weapons stores that have been moved by the government to new locations.

After Secretary of State John Kerry’s melodramatic speech on Friday, August 30, it is clear that it was intended to prepare Americans for an attack on Syria by U.S. forces, presumably missiles and excluding the use of troops. The navy would take the lead, but what Americans are likely unaware of is the fact that Russian-made surface-to-ship missiles could retaliate and, if U.S. aircraft are also involved, surface-to-air missiles would come into play.

President Obama has left himself with few options because he cannot go to the United Nations Security Council where any effort to condemn Syria or give its blessings to an attack would be vetoed by Russia. After members of Congress saw the British parliament vote against participation in an attack, they are not likely to want to cast votes authorizing one. There’s no coalition of nations supporting Obama though France has said it would be willing. Even the War Powers Act, as squishy as it is, assumes a response to an attack on the homeland.

This observer thinks Obama will launch an attack on Syria and it might well come on Sunday. I also think that a Syrian attack on Israel in retaliation will get little U.S. support because nothing Obama has said (his word is dirt) or done demonstrates any fondness for Israel.

A President who can turn his back on a longtime ally like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is not likely to feel any concern about Bibi Netanyahu’s little nation. Israel, however, is the only ally in the region with the capability of attacking Iran and damaging its nuclear capabilities.

If a Syrian missile should hit one of our ships, the U.S. will be “all in” whether we want to be or not. Our “allies” in Syria would be a variety of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Conducting a war in such a manner is idiotic, but Obama does not want to go to the up-coming G-20 meeting in Europe looking like a wimp who will not back up his earlier warnings to Assad and will do nothing given the use of poison gas. The “message” he is sending will be for Iran, not Syria.

Iran has been at war with America since 1979 when American diplomats were seized and held hostage. We are the “great Satan” and Israel is the “little Satan.”  As Iran moves closer to acquiring nuclear capabilities, its leaders feel emboldened.

That’s how big wars begin.

The key to figuring out who is really behind the push for war is to look at who will benefit from that war.  If a full-blown war erupts between the United States and Syria, it will not be good for the United States, it will not be good for Israel, it will not be good for Syria, it will not be good for Iran and it will not be good for Hezbollah.  The party that stands to benefit the most is Saudi Arabia, and they won't even be doing any of the fighting.  

They have been pouring billions of dollars into the conflict in Syria, but so far they have not been successful in their attempts to overthrow the Assad regime.  Now the Saudis are trying to play their trump card - the U.S. military.  If the Saudis are successful, they will get to pit the two greatest long-term strategic enemies of Sunni Islam against each other - the U.S. and Israel on one side and Shia Islam on the other.  In such a scenario, the more damage that both sides do to each other the happier the Sunnis will be.
For the United States, there really is no good outcome in Syria.
If we attack and Assad stays in power, that is a bad outcome for the United States.
If we help overthrow the Assad regime, the rebels take control.  But they would be even worse than Assad.  They have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, and they are rabidly anti-American, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western.
So why in the world should the United States get involved?
This war would not be good for Israel either.  I have seen a number of supposedly pro-Israel websites out there getting very excited about the prospect of war with Syria, but that is a huge mistake.
Syria has already threatened to attack Israeli cities if the U.S. attacks Syria.  If Syrian missiles start landing in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel willrespond.
And if any of those missiles have unconventional warheads, Israel will respond by absolutely destroying Damascus.
And of course a missile exchange between Syria and Israel will almost certainly draw Hezbollah into the conflict.  And right now Hezbollah has70,000 rockets aimed at Israel.
If Hezbollah starts launching those rockets, thousands upon thousands of innocent Jewish citizens will be killed.

And below another very strange, disconcerting story which reveals the times in which we are living:

[You can't make stuff like this up]

If your political goal is to murder as many of the unborn as is humanly possible, no one should be surprised that you’re constantly taking the rhetoric to new depths.

Today’s sick twisting of religion comes to us from a pro-abortion rally in Iowa.  There, Des Moines activist Midge Slater delivered one of the creepiest prayers you’re ever going to hear.
In attendance were Iowa Democrat gubernatorial candidates Jack Hatch and Tyler Olson.  We can only presume that their grasp on religion is tenuous at best, since they apparently support praying for things like this:

"We give thanks, or Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care."

“We pray for increased financial support for low-income women to access contraception, abortion and childcare.”

“Today, we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access toemployment, education, birth control and abortion.”

Just  Obviously, we get that the left loves to mock the faithful and warp Christian beliefs into a derisive weapon, but this is pretty vile stuff.  The fact that two major Democrat candidates were willing to stand there, fold their hands, and bow their heads speaks volumes about how low they’re willing to sink.

Video of the complete “prayer” appears below.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Evening Update: Tension And Skepticism In Israel

Speaking on Friday from the White House,US President Barack Obama said he still hadn't made a final decision on whether or not to strike Syria. But the president made clear that a response, of some kind, is fast approaching.
At this point, the nature of that response is a mystery to no one.
Yet, after a week of strategic leaks from US government officials indicating that an allied strike against Syria was imminent, Obama's indecision or delay has already produced some unintended consequences for the White House.

Out of step with the cautious, incremental approach to foreign policy that has become his hallmark, the president dramatically charged Syrian President Bashar Assad last week with crossing an uncrossable American red line, deployed forces and shook alliances awake from a comfortable slumber on the Syrian crisis, now well into its third year.

The president's goal was to quickly build an international consensus that would not only condemn Syria's Assad for using chemical weapons on a massive scale on August 21 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. He also wanted to build a formidable coalition that would join the US in a military strike, meant to send a principled message that the use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated.
From the Treaty Room of the State Department on Friday,Secretary of State John Kerry laid out the case for action, presenting a declassified intelligence report and warning that inaction in and of itself was a fateful choice.
"This crime against conscience, this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community... this matters to us," Kerry said. "And it matters to who we are. And it matters to leadership and to our credibility in the world."
But that message first began eroding Thursday night, asBritain's Parliament shocked the White House by voting against joining a military strike. British leader David Cameron had already sent two warships to the Eastern Mediterranean and six fighter jets to Cyprus.
Following the vote in London, The Washington Post published an article Friday morning claiming rampant skepticism among top military brass at the Pentagon, worried that the Syria operation does not have clear aims and might aggravate the situation on the ground.

Obama faces a difficult timeline for a strike going forward, should he choose to proceed with French President Francois Hollande, who says his country remains committed to the cause of deterrence.

UN inspectors left Damascus on Friday, giving Obama four days to strike before he arrives in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G20 Summit. He will travel to Sweden beforehand on Tuesday night. If he does not strike before then, the pressure to refrain from the summit's host, Vladimir Putin, could be extraordinary.
The military campaign could last for several days, officials say.
Next Wednesday also marks the high holy day of Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar, which could complicate an attack due to threats from the Syrian and Iranian regimes to retaliate against Israel for any Western strike. Threatening a surprise attack, Syria's foreign minister this week invoked Arab tactics against Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Obama added that he had “not made a final decision” on how to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its people last week. He was examining “a wide range of options,” he said. “What we will consider,” he reiterated, was the kind of “narrow” action that met the concerns over chemical weapons use, “understanding that there is not going to be a solely military solution” to the Syrian civil war.
Obama said he has a strong preference for multilateral action. But he said, “we don’t want the world to be paralyzed.”
Regarding the UN, Obama said, “There is an incapacity for the Security Council to move forward.”
Despite a vote in Britain against taking action in Syria, Obama indicated that France is with him.
Obama’s comments came as his administration made its intelligence case against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for its chemical attack against civilians earlier this month.

Washington’s statements threatening to use military force against Syria unilaterally are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.
Given the lack of evidence, any unilateral military action bypassing the UN Security Council – “no matter how limited it is” – would be a direct violation of international law and would undermine the prospects for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria and will lead to a new round of confrontation and victims, Lukashevich concludes. 
“Instead of executing the decisions of G8’s summit in Lough Erne and subsequent agreements to submit comprehensive report from experts investigating possible cases of use of chemical weapons in Syria to the UN Security Council, in the absence of any evidence, we hear threats of a strike on Syria,” the statement reads. 
Lukashevich emphasizes that even “US allies” are calling to wait for the completion of the UN chemical expert group “in order to get an unbiased picture of what really happened and decide on further steps in terms of the Syrian crisis.” 
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council may have to wait as long as two weeks before reviewing the final results of an analysis of samples taken from where chemical weapons were used in Syria, diplomats told Reuters on Friday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told representatives from China, Russia, the United States, Britain, and France, warning them of the time period on the eve of a possible US missile strike on the Syrian regime. 
"The samples that have been collected will be taken to be analyzed in designated laboratories, and the intention of course is to expedite the analysis of that sampling that's been taken," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. “This is not an electoral process, where you have exit polls and preliminary results." 
“The only result that counts is the result of the analysis in laboratories and the analysis of the evidence that's been collected through witness statements and so on," Nesirky explained, adding that UN inspectors would return later to investigate several other sites of alleged chemical weapon attacks.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon meanwhile briefed representatives from China, Russia, the United States, Britain, and France on the ongoing investigation in Syria. Although the envoys of the Security Council’s permanent members did not comment on the details, two diplomats told Reuters that analysis of the samples could take up to two weeks, according to Ban.

Also see: 

Earthquakes back in the news: 

Dangerous Times

No one could argue otherwise. Not only is the Middle East on the verge of exploding, the world's economic crisis is threatening to spread far and wide as the U.S. ability to print money 'out of thin air' may come to a close at the end of the year. Additionally, at least according to one author, the situation in the Middle East, specifically Syria, is tied to global economics and the attempted globalist takeover. 
All of what we are seeing today, as playing out on the world stage seems intertwined and planned. Today's news are highly consistent with these emerging trends. For whatever reason, the news today takes a deeper look into what is really happening around the world - a deeper look that extends beyond the surface:

“We’re in the most dangerous time in modern world history and here’s why, here’s what’s happening,” stated my source deep within the spy world early this morning.

“We’re seeing a combination of a nine-percent overall approval rating for intervention in Syria, or the absence of public support for the globalist plans by the Obama regime, the UK, the Saudis and other NATO allies. When have we seen this before, and what does history tell us? The increased likelihood of a false flag event larger and causing more public outrage than the alleged chemical weapons attacks.”

Make no mistake, the global agenda has not changed,” he emphasized. “When their primary plan backfires or meets resistance, they have alternate plans. In the coming days or weeks, we could see an event that will be horrendous enough to change that nine-percent backing. Also, time is not on their side, they need to act within a shortwindow as the anti-Assad ‘rebels’ are being beaten badly without Western assistance.”

“Look at all of the military assets being moved into that region. I told you last October, and you reported it, that we are engaged in a proxy war against Russia and China. Both countries have a huge stake in Syria, militarily and economically, especially Russia. Oh, and is John McCain out of his [multiple expletives deleted] mind? This designated loser of the 2008 presidential campaign is talking as if any action in Syria is going to happen in a vacuum. As I said before, any action will not be in a vacuum or without a tit-for-tat response,” stated this source.

“This is not a ‘zero sum game’ confined to Syria. Again, this is about setting up the globalist takeover of the world’s economic system, killing off the U.S. dollar to have it replaced by a basket of currencies, or SDRs, and controlling all transactional activity everywhere on the planet under one mechanism. It will be done by using Syria as the trigger, oil as a weapon, and striking at the weakest aspect of American power—the U.S. dollar, which has been the target all along.”

“What better way to accomplish this by blaming the economic ‘collapse’ on the ‘unfortunate and unseen’ consequences of a ‘humanitarian mission’, saving the Syrians from a dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people? It’s all a lie, and we’re being played as fools. This is an international bankers’ war that will result in heavy causalities.”

“The globalists are financing all sides of this conflict to assure the accomplishments of their objectives. When things go hot in Syria and the Middle East, we could see something very bad happen in Saudi Arabia, or something to affect the production or free flow of oil, the single factor that is keeping the U.S. dollar relevant. We could see something happen to threaten, hinder or even temporarily halt oil shipments across the globe. Also, with the U.S. preoccupied, China could well move on the Japanese Senkaku islands, North Korea will ramp up their mischief, and other areas will gradually become unglued. It’s all one big transfer of power, transfer of wealth, and a globaleconomic reset.”
“Understand this: the globalist objectives have not changed. The absence of popular support just makes this whole situation much more dangerous, and raises the possibility of ‘false flag events’ of similar historical precedent to change public opinion. Something much bigger than we’ve seen to date. People are just not thinking big enough.”

One of the most respected and veteran voices in Congress told WND it would be a “scary and dangerous precedent” if President Obama does not seek approval for a military strike on Syria because there is no “direct threat to the United States.”
“It isn’t like the United States has been attacked,” observed Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., a 17-term congressman whose tenure extends back to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory.
President Obama has been considering whether to order a military strike on Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people on Aug. 21.
Asked whether the president is obligated under the War Powers Act to obtain congressional approval to strike Syria, or whether consultation would suffice, Wolf was adamant that the president must get authorization from Congress.
“I think we should have a vote, up or down.”
The Virginian believes, if necessary, Congress ought to be brought back into session.
“I think there are so many questions that have to answered,” he said. “I would hope most members would agree that Congress ought to be not only consulted but ought to be involved.”
Wolf noted court decisions on the War Powers Act have been somewhat unclear, but, “I think (the president) has a responsibility to come to Congress and have it approved.”

But, Wolf emphasized the gravity of the situation if the president did take that course, predicting, “[I]t would be a weakening of congressional authority.”
He said, “We don’t have a king. That was the reason we fought the Revolutionary War. We have a Constitution, and the Congress has to be involved.”
Wolf noted that British Prime Minister David Cameron faced so much opposition he called Parliament back into session. In fact, later Thursday, British lawmakers voted 285 to 272 to not participate in a strike on Syria.
After the vote, Cameron, who had previously claimed he could act without Parliament’s approval, said he will not.

The tepid, symbolic response that the US is poised to adopt in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons represents a clear signal to Iran. Both the planned strikes and the growing possibility that the US will scrap even a symbolic military strike in Syria tell Iran it has nothing to fear from Obama.

Iran achieved a strategic achievement by exposing the US as a paper tiger in Syria. With this accomplishment in hand, the Iranians will feel free to call Obama's bluff on their nuclear weapons project. Obama's "shot across the bow" response to Syria's use of chemical weapons in a mass casualty attack signaled the Iranians that the US will not stop them from developing and deploying a nuclear arsenal.

Policy-makers and commentators who have insisted that we can trust Obama to keep his pledge to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons have based their view on an argument that now lies in tatters. They insisted that by pledging to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Obama staked his reputation on acting competently to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. To avoid losing face, they said, Obama will keep his pledge.

Obama's behavior on Syria has rendered this position indefensible. Obama is perfectly content with shooting a couple of pot shots at empty government installations. As far as he is concerned, the conduct of air strikes in Syria is not about Syria, or Iran. They are not the target audience of the strikes. The target audience for US air strikes in Syria is the disengaged, uninformed American public.

While for a few days the bread and circuses of the planned strategically useless raid will increase newspaper circulation and raise viewer ratings of network news, it will cause grievous harm to US national interests. As far as US enemies are concerned, the US is an empty suit.

And as far as America's allies are concerned, the only way to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power is to operate without the knowledge of the United States.

The Federal Reserve has been propping up the stock market through its quantitative easing program that forced interest rates to all-time lows and drove investors out of bonds and into stocks.
But those days may be coming to an end.
For one, the Fed can’t keep printing money to buy U.S. bonds. Bond purchases by the Fed, with printed money, account for about three-quarters of all Treasury bond purchases resulting in a Federal Reserve balance sheet that exceeds $3.6 trillion.
One day, QE must come to an end.
Indeed, on June 19, 2013, Fed chairman Bernanke hinted that QE might slow from its recent pace.
The stock market reacted with a hefty decline of 2.5 percent on June 20. By June 24, the stock market had declined almost 5 percent in less than a week.
Now this isn’t a crash by any measure, but it might be a harbinger of things to come. Here’s where the predictability thesis come in.
We know that the market won’t like any reduction in Fed purchases. So what will happen when the Fed not only reduces its bond purchases, but stops them altogether? Hasn’t the market told us how it will react?

President Barack Obama on Thursday prepared for the possibility of launching unilateral American military action against Syria within days as Britain opted out in a stunning vote by Parliament. Facing skepticism at home, too, the administration shared intelligence with lawmakers aimed at convincing them the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people and must be punished.

Despite roadblocks in forming an international coalition, Obama appeared undeterred and advisers said he would be willing to retaliate against Syria on his own.

Even before the vote in London, the US was preparing to act without formal authorization from the United Nations, where Russia has blocked efforts to seek a resolution authorizing the use of force, or from Capitol Hill. But the US had expected Britain, a major ally, to join in the effort.

Despite shortcomings in the intelligence, the White House signaled urgency in acting, with Earnest, the White House spokesman saying the president believes there is a “compressed time frame” for responding.
“It is important for the Assad regime and other totalitarian dictators around the world to understand that the international community will not tolerate the indiscriminate, widespread use of chemical weapons, particularly against women and children as they’re sleeping in their beds,” he said.
But many Congress members were pressing Obama to explain the need for military action and address fears that such a move might draw the US deeper into the Syrian civil war.
The White House has not responded directly to Boehner’s letter seeking more answers about Syria operations and the speaker’s office appeared unsatisfied after the president’s call Thursday.

The IDF deployed an Iron Dome battery in the greater Tel Aviv area overnight Thursday amid preparations for apotential US strike on Syria.
Jerusalem has assessed that their is a low probability that Syria would strike Israel in retaliation to Western military intervention, according to officials. Nevertheless, the deployment of the Iron Dome battery in the Gush Dan region was the latest in a number of preparations that the IDF has taken in recent days.

“We have a clear responsibility to prepare the army for all possibilities. We took a number of decisions to prepare ourselves for a scenario we hope will not materialize,” a military source said Wednesday.
As part of the preparations, the IAF deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries in Haifa, Ashkelon and Eilat, and is set to place additional batteries in the northern regions of Amakim and Safed.

After resolute condemnation of the Assad regime’s “heinous crime” of using chemical weapons against its people, the president opted for a low-key, practically painless military strike against Syria. The Syria ruler would be able to wave his hands in a gesture of victory, followed by Vladmir Putin. Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would say, I told you so, the United States is a paper tiger and will never attack our nuclear program.

By voting for opposition Labor’s motion against UK involvement in military action in Syria, the British parliament not only shattered Obama’s multinational coalition for Syria; it struck at the heart of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO), the historic bulwark of Western security since the last world war.
The alliance’s fortunes have faded progressively under the vacillating foreign and security polices of President Barack Obama.

The half-hearted military operation against Syria, due to be launched in the coming days, and its muddled objectives, may finally close the book on the current chapter of US history in the Middle East – even if it successful.
The world will be left rubbing its eyes in amazement at the achievement of one individual, president Barack Obama of the USA, in smashing American influence in this sensitive region and Europe in the space of a few short years.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s political future is in grave doubt after the House of Commons withheld endorsement from the government’s policy of participation in a US-led strike on Syria. Parliament voted 285 in favor to 272 against, with 30 members of his own Conservative party and 9 of his coalition partner, the Liberals, crossing the line and voting with the Labor opposition against the government.
Cameron may be just the first victim among Western and Middle East leaders who opted to toe Obama’s wavering line and continually shift around their national interests.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is fond of saying his policies are “responsible and balanced.” This mostly translates into inaction or procrastination on such vital issues as Iran’s nuclear aspirations and Hizballah’s massive buildup of rockets.
But now, Khamenei, Assad and Nasrallah will be buoyed up by America’s loss of allied support and more likely than not make good on their threats, heard repeatedly in the past week, to destroy Israel once and for all. It won’t be enough to keep on intoning solemnly that Israel is not involved in the Syrian conflict – which no one believes anyway. Netanyahu will have to start looking squarely at the perils just around the corner and move proactively.

Also see: