Thursday, August 29, 2013

Russia Sends More Warships: UK, U.S. Backing Down?

This story has yet more twists and turns. Just as Russia sends in more warships, there is growing evidence that the U.S. and the UK may be backing down:

Russia will send two ships to the east Mediterranean to strengthen its naval presence because of the "well-known situation" there, Interfax news agency said on Thursday referring to the Syria crisis.

The agency quoted a source in the armed forces' general staff as saying an anti-submarine vessel and a missile cruiser would be sent in the coming days because the situation "required us to make some adjustments" in the naval force.

The initial Interfax report had made clear that the aim was to beef up the navy's presence and not to replace the ships in the Mediterranean. The reason for the discrepancy in the two reports was not immediately clear.

Russia has repeatedly expressed its opposition to military action against Syria and warned that intervention would be "tragic mistake."

The Prime Minister has now said he will wait for a report by United Nations weapons inspectors before seeking the approval of MPs for “direct British involvement” in the Syrian intervention.
Downing Street said the decision to wait for the UN was based on the “deep concerns” the country still harbours over the Iraq War.
MPs had been recalled to vote on a motion on Thursday expected to sanction military action. Instead, after a Labour intervention, they will debate a broader motion calling for a “humanitarian response”.
A second vote would be required before any British military involvement. This could now take place next week.
In a statement on Wednesday night Downing Street said that it only wanted to proceed on a “consensual basis” and was now wary about becoming embroiled in another divisive conflict in the Middle East in the wake of Iraq.
Senior sources had previously suggested that Britain would take part in strikes as soon as this weekend which meant an emergency recall of Parliament was necessary on Thursday.
However, following Labour threatening not to support the action and senior military figures expressing concerns over the wisdom of the mission, the Prime Minister on Wednesday night agreed to put British involvement on hold.
The climbdown is likely to be seen as an embarrassment for Mr Cameron as he was determined to play a leading role in British military strikes, which had been expected this weekend.
The new strategy emerged after days of wrangling with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, and after a succession of senior Tories had spoken out in the strongest terms against an intervention.

The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, US intelligence officials say.

President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was responsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected US military strike.

However, multiple US officials used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to describe the intelligence picture — a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet’s insistence in 2002 that US intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a “slam dunk” — intelligence that turned out to be wrong.

The complicated intelligence picture raises questions about the White House’s full-steam-ahead approach to the August 21 attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, with worries that the attack could be tied to al-Qaida-backed rebels later. Administration officials said Wednesday that neither the UN Security Council, which is deciding whether to weigh in, or allies’ concerns would affect their plans.
Intelligence officials say they could not pinpoint the exact locations of Assad’s supplies of chemical weapons, and Assad could have moved them in recent days as US rhetoric builds. That lack of certainty means a possible series of US cruise missile strikes aimed at crippling Assad’s military infrastructure could hit newly hidden supplies of chemical weapons, accidentally triggering a deadly chemical attack.
Over the past six months, with shifting front lines in the 2½-year-old civil war and sketchy satellite and human intelligence coming out of Syria, US and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country’s chemical weapons supplies, according to one senior US intelligence official and three other US officials briefed on the intelligence shared by the White House as reason to strike Syria’s military complex. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the Syrian issue publicly.

US satellites have captured images of Syrian troops moving trucks into weapons storage areas and removing materials, but US analysts have not been able to track what was moved or, in some cases, where it was relocated. They are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad’s forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored.

So while Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,” US intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

In the face of statements by senior US officials that the Obama administration had crossed the Rubicon on military intervention in Syria, President Barack Obama declared early Thursday, Aug. 29, that he had not yet made a decision on whether to order a military strike against Syria. Although Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that US armed forces were “ready to go,” Obama said he was still examining options with his security team.

The US president added that he had no doubt that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, not the rebels, saying that for violating international norms and human decency, Assad “should be held accountable.”

At the same time, the White House suddenly appeared Wednesday night to be engaging in maneuvers for buying time and holding up military action against Syria, after the armies of the Middle East and half of Europe were already standing ready after completing massive war preparations.

One such maneuver was a leak from White House sources about a delay in releasing to America and the world the promised evidence of Assad’s culpability in the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. It was postponed because “the report was not yet ready.”

This left the optimal dates for his decision to go through with the attack as Friday night, early Saturday, Aug. 31 or after Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 2.

Although Obama appeared still to be standing by that decision, DEBKAfile’s Washington and Moscow sources disclose he has applied the brakes on the momentum for its implemention to buy time for US Secretary of State John Kerry to wind up secret negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and strike a deal: The US would soften its military action against the Assad regime and his army and reduce it to a token blow, after which the American and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 to hammer out a solution of the Syrian crisis and end the civil war.

Russia and China are urging the West to wait for the results of the UN chemical probe before taking military intervention in Syria. But President Obama is calling for action before ‘all kinds of folks’ direct Syrian chemical weapons at the US.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned his UK counterpart William Hague against submitting a Security Council resolution that would permit the use of force against Bashar Assad before the UN chemical weapons inspection finishes its job in Syria.

China meanwhile said there should be no rush to prejudge the findings of a UN team. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated that China opposed anyone using chemical weapons, but said military action would not help.

“A political resolution has, from the very beginning, been the only way out for the Syrian issue,” Wang stated, reiterating Russia’s position on the crisis.

On Wednesday, Britain presented a resolution to use “all necessary measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to protect civilians from chemical weapons.” 

Chapter 7 allows the use of military force.

The five members of the UN Permanent Security Council – which will have the final say on whether any resolution is agreed – met in New York on Wednesday, to unofficially discuss the text of the draft resolution.

But although the resolution has not been officially submitted yet, US officials have already made clear that Barack Obama will decide on a military strike regardless of the results of the vote. 

The Kremlin is to deploy a missile cruiser and an anti-submarine ship to the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, amid rising tension over a possible US-led military response to Syria’s alleged chemical weapons use.

“The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces,” a Moscow military source told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

“A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them [the existing naval forces] over the next few days. Later it will be joined by… a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet.”

The report of new Russian naval activity came days after the US announced its dispatch of four naval vessels toward the Syrian coast. The UK also began mustering military aircraft and transports at the Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, the Guardian reported earlier this week. On Thursday France dispatched the advanced frigate Chevalier Paul to the region from the Mediterranean port of Toulon, French news site Le Point reported.

Both Moscow and Tehran are major backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and have vociferously opposed Western intervention in the civil war that has raged there for over two years. Both countries supply the Assad regime with the bulk of its military hardware through regular airlifts.

The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no "slam dunk," with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say.

President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was responsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike.

However, multiple U.S. officials used the phrase "not a slam dunk" to describe the intelligence picture - a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet's insistence in 2002 that U.S. intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk" - intelligence that turned out to be wrong.
A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence outlining that evidence against Syria is thick with caveats. It builds a case that Assad's forces are most likely responsible while outlining gaps in the U.S. intelligence picture. Relevant congressional committees were to be briefed on that evidence by teleconference call on Thursday, U.S. officials and congressional aides said.

The complicated intelligence picture raises questions about the White House's full-steam-ahead approach to the Aug. 21 attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, with worries that the attack could be tied to al-Qaida-backed rebels later. Administration officials said Wednesday that neither the U.N. Security Council, which is deciding whether to weigh in, or allies' concerns would affect their plans.

President Barack Obama promised Wednesday that any U.S. military strike at Syria would be a “shot across the bow” that avoids seeing America pulled into “any kind of open-ended conflict.”
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with PBS Newshour, Obama insisted he has not made a decision on how best to respond to the alleged massacre of civilians by forces loyal to Syrian strongman Bashar Assad using chemical weapons.
But “if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict — not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about — but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term,” the president said.
That would send the Assad regime “a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again."
Obama, making his first public remarks on the crisis since a CNN interview that aired Friday, rejected claims that rebels fighting to topple Assad were behind the Aug. 21 attack.
“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences,” he said.
“I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable,” he said.


Dylan said...

If the report finds that the rebels used chemical weapons, is Obama going to harshly condemn the rebels too?

Alice said...

Dylan, good one! Ummmmmmm.... I'm gonna say no.

Everyone, here's an article I just ran across. You will probably find that you know most of this information, but I thought it worthy to note the following:

"That evening (Aug. 20, 2013), for the first time since the destruction of the Holy Temple, a historic practice drill of the daily Tamid offering was reenacted by a group of contemporary kohanim-in-training. ..."

Here is the link to the article:


Annie in Indianie said...

Wow. Was really hoping this was it! My hopes were high for the rapture.

Mrs.C said...

This coward in chief, has put our brave men and women serving this great nation, in harms way. They are sitting ducks!
We are witnessing the difference between a true leader, Bibi, and the rooky who hasnt a clue how to be a leader, other that a "community" leader!
Our allies already know what they are dealing with, with this rooky in chief, and will never trust us again.He shot off his mouth (no coincidence-he was off his teleprompter)and in doing so, has showed weakness, and put our military at risk, and Israel at risk. He has backed himself in a corner, and even more dangerous, he will act for the sake of his ego.Its like he has entered a munitions building with a lit match!
Weakness in the ME, is seen in the ME as a green light for a banquet of death and destruction against Israel. Dont you know, that Israel has their own plans and not relying on this clown! The stark difference is Israel says there will be consequences, there are consequences. Israel's doesnt leak their plans, they just quietly do it!

For years I have been hoping that the U.S. would retreat somehow from this, because the alternative is unthinkable!The U.S. is no where in His Word, for the Isaiah 17 war, or the Ezekiel 38 war/invasion...whether we withdraw, or the unthinkable happens, either way, we have now provided any number of the enemies of Israel an excuse to attack Israel...all it takes is just the wildcard of some extremest guy named Habbeeb hiding in a bushes who decides to start the whole thing himself...

David said...

Despite the wavering , chocking, and back stepping that is being done on the whole Syrian issue, lets not forget the very, very important fact that is still at hand. Any attack on Syria will be followed by a hail of rockets on Israel from Syria. That is the show to watch for. Obama can "fire the shot across Assad's bow", but no matter how insignificant it is, Syria has said it will all out attack Israel as retaliation.

Now with that in mind, let me follow with this question, and you answer it.

Would Russia care if Syria attacked Israel?
Would Iran care?
Would Lebanon care?
Would Egypt care?
Would Saudi Arabia Care?
Would Jordan care?
Would Palestine care?
Would Libya care?
Would Turkey care?
Would the U.S. commanders care?

Now ask yourself another question. Out of that very same list, which ones want Israel out of the picture? Starting to come into focus, isn't it!

David P

Anonymous said...

I pray that this brings encouragement to the Body of Christ that inhabit this beautiful blog! God Bless each and every one of you!!! Marty

Dutch Treat said...

All this wavering back and forth over Syria reminds me of one gigantic soap opera: AS THE WORLD TURNS those who are frantically lost are living on THE EDGE OF NIGHT as they frantically SEARCH FOR TOMORROW in all the wrong places, while those who have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb are looking to THE GUIDING LIGHT who has promised us A BRIGHTER DAY!

Annie in Indianie said...

Thank you Mrs. C! I was wondering about the U.S. in bible prophecy. From what I have studied, they are nowhere to be found. I have been very confused this week. God bless you! Is this just a rumor of wars?

Robin said...

Rumor of wars indeed. And while I'd prefer to believe Obama was just jumping to conclusions . . .taking the word of our sworn enemies, Al Qaeda and Ansar al Sharia over the Syrian government, I have a hard time believing the man is a complete idiot. Which begs the question . . .what exactly ARE his goals for our nation? And is he really a tool of those attempting to install a world wide caliphate?

Ultimately, God is in control and has provided us more time to spread the Gospel. I pray each of us find opportunities every day to plant seeds that can be cultivated by the Holy Spirit.

GG2013 said...

Keeping in mind the timing when all these reactionary moves started by him. Wasn't there some embarrassment with the arrests of the MB? Hadn't we previously supplied some help to the rebel forces? What does Assad have to lose by following the footsteps of family history and members, nothing as he would be deemed a martyr in a sense.

That platform is ripe for the picking for someone to use based on greed from what I am seeing. The time for talking is over and soon someone has to act even if it was a deceptive perception from where it started from. We know it has to happen according to Gods word but does mere man have the patience of God? Nope, soon enough an impulsive move will be made and everyone will go down in some form or fashion.

We should be very grateful too for the timing we have left to do Gods work. It wasn't easy for Jesus so we can't expect God, Jesus and the HS to do all the work. I have always believed we were sent here for such a wonderful purpose and to coast would be self serving after all that Jesus did so we can have eternal life and in abundance. I think we all can agree deep down in our hearts helping one another in tough times is the least we can do as a true representative in Christ :)

God Bless!!


Mrs.C said...

Sister Anni,
It doesnt appear to be a "rumor of wars" at this point. Are you asking if this is a war coming? All it will take is one chemical weapon lobbed into Israel and that will be it.The enemies of Israel are chomping at the bit to attack her, and at this point it is so unstable, anything can set it off.

The coward in chief has really emboldened the enemies of Israel with the demonstration of his lack of experience, and weakness.

As it was a special Israeli Unit that provided the Western Nations with the proof of the gas attack, this notches things up. While the West dithers, the enemies may act without even a Western attack...whew...this is intense to watch...

Mrs.C said...

Just to add a bit more, regardless of what the "rebels" say, Israel KNOWS for a fact that the Syrian Government ordered the gas attack. They even know where they were launched from! Israel, God Bless Them, is waiting for the U.S.-Western forces to take action.
They will only wait for so long...

GG2013 said...

Yes, Mrs. C I agree. :). I think of what the MB must have thought possibly one of their own was going to help but didn't? If, he is one of them, you know what I mean. Some action makes it look like a power move when we know it isn't.

Then Assad planning early on his departure route with Russia (if he even gets that lucky) and we know he is not for his people, look at his Dad and Brother.

Israel IMO has always shown integrity and compassion for their people and their land. Even as darkness descends upon them, they still are always working to be the light in the horrific situation of good vs evil.

God Bless, Dear Sister!


Mrs.C said...

Yes indeed Dear Sis :)
We know by the end of all these wars, MB and Islam will be destroyed...

Assad, is an eye doctor for goodness sakes, educated in the UK no less...a total evil coward...

You speak the Truth regarding Israel. They not only have compassion for their own, but many other nations also. They are often the first to offer their superb medical assistance in disasters around the world. Even to those that hate Israel, that hate them just because they are Jewish (some nations refuse their offer of help). Such is the case with Syria. The average Syrian Im sure, does not like Israel at all.
Yet to quote Bibi, this is Israel's compassion for them.

“Our hearts go out to the women, children, babies and civilians injured so cruelly by the use of weapons of mass destruction,” the prime minister said.

Yes indeed dear Sis, Israel is a light in a very dark and evil land that surrounds them...

God Bless You Too Dearest Sis!

Chuck said...

I have found where the USA is found in scripture. It is in Ezekiel 38:4 - I will turn you around, put "hooks" in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.

The USA is the "hooks" :). When the US attacks Syria Iran has said they will attack Israel and the USA and Russia will be supporting Iran.

Mrs.C said...

"Chuck" Forgive me, but I have heard several attempted over the years to place the U.S. in Scripture, but your idea is a first. :)
The "hooks" has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S., and the U.S. in no way will assist Russia in "supporting" Iran. Iran is not even going to be a major player...

Mrs.C said...

"British Lawmakers Reject Measure on Military Action in Syria, in Setback for Obama Administration"

And we'll see if the 6:00pmET meeting tonight with some members of Congress goes just as poorly...

Anonymous said...

British parliament just voted against action in Syria . I think things just calmed down for a bit . Obama isn't going to go it alone .


Stephen said...

Despite all the games that the
US is playing, one thing is VERY VERY CLEAR....

Bulls need to be pacified.

and they are.

stocks are UP AGAIN......

I must admit that if Obama had not
said anything to begin with about
attacking, then bulls ALSO would have enjoyed that.

BUT THE END RESULT is the same and
stocks are UP for 2 days now, nasdaq UP big. but dollar also way

To me it does not matter, really.
This "backing out" game....

STOCKS HAVE NOT crashed in 5 years
and they are due. SEP/OCT will be
very dangerous....

stocks can crash FOR ALL KINDS OF reasons...not just the M E.......
Mr. Obama and Mr. Bernanke will
find out the HARD WAY !!!

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

Mrs.C said...

That meeting with Congressional Members otta be interesting...especially with the British rejection 15 minutes before the meeting was supposed to start...
Guess the empty-suit-in chief shoulda maybe not returned the bust of Churchill, and given the Queen a DVD of himself when he first occupied the office...didnt go over very well with the Brits...obviously they dont trust him or his judgement.

He's on his own, and has plenty of arrogance to go it alone. Maybe the French will rescue him. Maybe not, have to try to recollect if hes insulted them somewhere along the line...

Caver said...

Well, not to worry about the French warship in rout to the hot spot. Intelligence leaks show Iran sent a PT boat to meet it equipped with a loudspeaker to say BOO and enough paper and pens to accept the surrender papers.

So, the UK MKs actually decided to think this one through....amazing.

Now, Obama is talking about a token strike and then going home.

Boy, is he ready to inspire fear, respect, and trust.....again.....

Bet this sure teaches Assad and the Muslim world a lesson they'll never forget. Its might even set prophecy back a few weeks until they can stop laughing and find two braincells that can make a spark again.

Mrs.C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs.C said...

Of all of Israel's enemies, I wonder if Hamas has changed its tactics since this in 2009...somthing right out of
Wile E. Coyote...

"Hamas Couldn't Fire Smuggled Stingers Against Israelis Due To Embedded ID System"
Thursday, April 2, 2009

The source said Hamas smuggled four Stinger systems in 2008. The source said the Hamas military deployed the Stingers against Israel Air Force AH-64 Apache attack helicopters during strike missions in the northern Gaza Strip.
"Our gunners couldn't fire the weapon," the source recalled. "A notice came up on the display saying "friendly aircraft".

Another Hamas source said gunners deployed Stinger along with heavy machine guns in attacks on Israeli helicopters during the war in the Gaza Strip. The source said one Stinger surface-to-air missile was launched, but the projectile veered off course and struck a Hamas gunner squad.
"The Stinger was drawn by the heat of our guns rather than the engines of the Israeli helicopters," the source said. "At that point, we stopped using this weapon."

GG2013 said...

Some of these comments are making me laugh, though I know this is not a laughable situation to say the least :)

A regroup may be in order since in the past few days we have heard statements about dancing monkey's and a bad painting that has shame written all over it from another.

Doesn't pride cometh before the fall? So much happening with the ego and pride of some of these leaders that it is making a mockery out them being put into those roles.

1 Peter 2:13-17 "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."

May God Bless Us and Keep Us Safe! God Bless!!


David said...

Ohhhhh boy!