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Monday, September 2, 2013

Wars on the Horizon

What To Expect During The Next Stage Of Collapse

For years now at Alt-Market (and Neithercorp.us) I have carefully outlined the most likely path of collapse to take place within the U.S., and a vital part of that analysis included economic destabilization caused by a loss of the dollar's world reserve status and petro-status.

I have also always made clear that this fiscal crisis event would not occur in the midst of a political vacuum. The central banks and international financiers that created our ongoing and developing disaster are NOT going to allow the destruction of the American economy, the dollar, or global markets without a cover event designed to hide their culpability. They need something big. Something so big that the average citizen is overwhelmed with fear and confusion. A smoke and mirrors magic trick so raw and soul shattering it leaves the very population of the Earth mesmerized and helpless to understand the root of the nightmare before them. The elites need a fabricated Apocalypse.

Enter Syria...
I have been warning about the Syrian trigger point for a very long time. Syria's mutual defense pact with Iran, its strong ties to Russia, the Russian naval base off its coast, the advanced Russian weaponry in it's arsenal, its proximity to vulnerable oil shipping lanes, all make the nation a perfect catalyst for a global catastrophe. The civil war in Syria is already spreading into neighboring countries like Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, and if one looks at the facts objectively, the entire war is a product of covert action on the part of the U.S. and its allies.

The U.S. trained, armed, and funded the insurgency using Al Qaeda operatives. Saudi Arabia has sent funding and arms as well. Israel has aided the rebels using air strikes within Syria's borders (even though this means that the Israeli government is essentially helping their supposed mortal enemies). This war would NOT be taking place today without the express efforts of the West. Period.

If one takes more than a brief examination of the Syrian insurgency, they would find an organization of monsters. Wretched amoral wetwork ghouls whose crimes have been thoroughly documented, including the mass executions of unarmed captured soldiers, the torture and beheading of innocent civilians, the mutilation and cannibalism of dead bodies, and the institution of theological tyranny on a terrified populace. The U.S. created and unleashed these demons, and now, we the people are being asked by the White House to support them through force of arms.

But what is the goal here...?
The goal, I believe, is to utterly transform the world's political, economic, and social systems. The goal is to generate intense fear; fear that can be used as capital to buy, as the globalists call it, a “new world order”. Syria is the first domino in a long chain of calamities; what the Rand Corporation sometimes refers to as a “linchpin”. As I write this, the Obama Administration is moving naval and ground forces into position and clamoring in a painfully pathetic fashion to convince the American public that 90% of us are “wrong” and that a strike on Syria is, in fact, necessary. It appears that the establishment is dead set on starting this chain reaction and accelerating the global collapse. So, if a strike does occur, what can we expect to happen over the next few years? Here is a rundown...

1) Many U.S. allies will refrain from immediate participation in an attack on Syria. Obama will continue unilaterally (or with the continued support of Israel and Saudi Arabia), placing even more focus on the U.S. as the primary cause of the crisis.

2) Obama will attempt to mitigate public outcry by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these strikes will be highly ineffective compared to previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) A no fly zone will be established, but the U.S. navy will seek to stay out of range of high grade Russian missile technology in the hands of Syria, and this will make response time to the Syrian Air Force more difficult. Expect much higher American naval and air force casualties compared to Iraq and Afghanistan.

4) Iran will immediately launch troops and arms in support of Syria. Syria will become a bewildering combat soup of various fighting forces battling on ideological terms, rather than over pure politics and borders. Battles will spread into other countries, covertly and overtly, much like during Vietnam.

5) Israel will probably be the first nation to send official ground troops into Syria (and likely Iran), citing a lack of effectiveness of U.S. airstrikes. American troops will follow soon after.

6) Iran will shut down the Straight of Hormuz sinking multiple freighters in the narrow shipping lane and aiming ocean skimming missiles at any boats trying to clear the wreckage. Oil exports through the straight of Hormuz will stop for months, cutting 20% of the world's oil supply overnight.

7) The Egyptian civil war, now underway but ignored by the mainstream, will explode due to increased anger over U.S. presence in Syria. The Suez Canal will become a dangerous shipping option for oil exporters. Many will opt to travel around the Horn of Africa, adding two weeks to shipping time and increasing the cost of the oil carried.

8) Saudi Arabia will see an uprising of insurgency that has been brewing under the surface for years.

9) Gasoline prices will skyrocket. I am predicting a 75%-100% increase in prices within two-three months of any strike on Syria.

10) Travel will become difficult if not impossible with high gasoline costs. What little of our economy was still thriving on vacation dollars will end. Home purchases will fall even further than before because of the extreme hike in travel expenses required for families to move.

11) Russia will threaten to limit or cut off all natural gas exports to the EU if they attempt to join with the U.S. in aggression against Syria. The EU will comply due to their dependency on Russian energy.

12) Russia will position naval forces in the Mediterranean to place pressure on the U.S. I feel the possibility of Russia initiating direct confrontation with the U.S. is limited, mainly because countries like Russia and China do not need to engage the U.S. through force of arms in order to strike a painful blow.

13) China and Russia will finally announce their decision to drop the dollar completely as the world reserve currency. A process which already began back in 2005, and which global banks have been fully aware of for years.

14) Because of China's position as the number one exporter and importer in the world, many nations will follow suit in dumping the dollar in bilateral trade. The dollar's value will implode. China, Russia, and the war in Syria will be blamed, and global banks including the Federal Reserve will be ignored as the true culprits.

15) The combination of high energy prices and a devaluing dollar will strike retail prices hard. Expect a doubling of prices on all goods. Look for many imported goods to begin disappearing from shelves.

16) Homelessness will expand exponentially as cuts to welfare programs, including food stamps, are made inevitable. However, welfare will not disappear, it will merely be “adjusted” to fit different goals. The homeless themselves will be treated like criminals. The roaming bands of jobless drifters common during the Great Depression will not exist during a modern crisis. State and Federal agencies will pursue an “out of sight, out of mind” policy towards the indigent, forcing them into “aid shelters” or other bureaucratic contraptions designed to conditioning the homeless to accept refugee status, making them totally dependent on federal scraps, but also prisoners on federally designated camps.

17) Terrorist attacks (false flag or otherwise) will spread like wildfire. Israel is highly susceptible. The U.S. may see a string of attacks, including cyber attacks on infrastructure. Syria and it's supporters will be blamed regardless of evidence. The White House will begin broad institution of authoritarian powers, including continuity of government executive orders, the Patriot Act, the NDAA, etc.

18) Martial Law may not even be officially declared, but the streets of America will feel like martial law none the less.

19) False paradigms will flood the mainstream as the establishment seeks to divide American citizens. The conflict will be painted as Muslim against Christian, black against white, poor against rich (but not the super rich elites, of course). Liberty Movement activists will be labeled “traitors” for “undermining government credibility” during a time of crisis. The Neo-Conservatives will place all blame on Barack Obama. Neo-Liberals will blame conservatives as “divisive”. Liberty Movement activists will point out that both sides are puppets of the same international cabal, and be labeled “traitors” again. The establishment will try to coax Americans into turning their rage on each other.

20) The Homeland Security apparatus will be turned completely inward, focusing entirely on “domestic enemies”. The domain of the TSA will be expanded onto highways and city streets. Local police will be fully federalized. Northcom will field soldiers within U.S. border to deal with more resistant quarters of the country. Totalitarianism will become the norm.

What Can We Do Right Now?
The level of collapse, I suspect, will not be total. The government is not going to disappear, rather, it will become more dominant in its posture. Certain sections of the country will be maintained while others fall apart. The IMF will move in to “help” the ailing U.S. economy by tying funding to the SDR (Special Drawing Rights). America's economy will be absorbed by the IMF. Constitutional protections will be fully erased in the name of reestablishing “law and order”, with the promise that the loss of our civil liberties is “only temporary”.

If the U.S. strikes Syria, and refuses to disengage, these things WILL happen. So, the next question is what can we do about it?

1) Given that this crisis is going to be riding a wave of extremely high energy prices, every single Liberty Movement activist (and every American for that matter) should be stockpiling energy reserves. Motor oil, gasoline (with gas saver), diesel fuel, propane, etc. should be at the top of your list right now. A generator should be next. Prices are only going to rise from here on out. Buy reserves now, before it is too late.

2) Everyone in the Liberty Movement should have at least minimal solar power capability. A couple of 100 watt panels, an inverter, a charge controller, and two-four deep cycle batteries can be had for under $1000. You may not be able to run your house on it, but you can at least charge important electronics, run a well pump, run some lights, a security system, etc.

3) The internet as we know it will no longer exist. The White House will apply preexisting executive orders on U.S. communications to restrict internet use, or, a convenient cyber attack will take place, opening the door for federal controls. The web will likely still operate, but only as a shell of its former greatness. Certain sites and email providers will be designated “safe”, while others will be designated “unsafe”. This leaves a gaping hole in our society's ability to communicate information quickly and efficiently, and, it removes the alternative media from the picture. The best solution I can present for this problem is Ham Radio, which is very difficult for the establishment to shut down. Ham Radio communication chains could take the place of the internet as a lower-tech but useful means of spreading information across the country. In the next few months, EVERYONE in the Liberty Movement should have a Ham Radio set, or handheld model, and they should know how to use it.

4) Harden your home during the next few months. Place security bars on windows, and replace weak doors with steel core doors. An internal lock bar will still frustrate entry by those who might blast hinges. Add a fire suppression system for good measure. This might sound like overkill, but if you want to be able to sleep at night during such an event, you must make your home your castle. No one should be able to enter your house without your permission.

5) Learn a useful trade right now. If you don't already know how to produce or fix a necessary item or commodity, take the next six months to learn how. If you don't know how to teach a valuable skill, get to work. Barter and trade will become the primary method of economy during a dollar collapse. Make sure you are sought after within your local economy.

6) Cache items before winter begins. Do not assume you will be able to stay on your homestead indefinitely. There are no guarantees during collapse. A wildfire could reduce your neighborhood to ashes in hours. Your home could be overrun. Make sure you have secondary supplies in a safe location just in case.

7) Find two friends (or more) right now that are willing to coordinate with you in the event that the worst happens. This means mutual aid and defense. This means predetermined arrangements for supplies, communications, meeting spots, and security. Do it now. Do not wait until our situation worsens.

8) Buy six months worth of food over the course of the next two months. Bulk food, freeze dried, MRE's, whatever. Just buy it. Have a lot of food already? I don't care. Buy six more months of supplies now. You'll thank me later.

9) Cultivate nutrient rich soil before winter begins. Buy a truckload of planting soil and manure and create a garden space if you have not already. Purchase extensive seed storage. Compile books on growing methods.

10) Gauge the temperament of your neighborhood. If all of your neighbors are mindless brain eating zombies, then perhaps it would be better to share a home with a prepared family member in another region now. If not, then start a neighborhood watch. Two or three families working together is far stronger than only one, and can change the temperament of an entire block of homes.

11) Train for tactical movement over the next three months. Learn how to move, shoot, and communicate as a team. Learn your strengths and weaknesses today or suffer the consequences tomorrow.

12) Prepare yourself mentally for conflict and self defense. Sign up for at least six months of hand to hand defense training. Learn how to deal with the mental and emotional strain of another person trying to harm you. Get used to the idea, because where we're headed, someone, at some point, will probably want to do you in. Always maintain your conscience and your principles, but never allow yourself to become a victim.

The Tension Is Palpable
As I have said many times before, a fight is coming. There is no way around it. But this fight must be fought intelligently, and we must never forget who the REAL enemy is.

If a revolution ensues and Obama loses control, the establishment could simply trigger a Neo-Con or military coup in order to placate the masses and fool Constitutionalists into believing they have been saved. Useless solutions will be presented to the people, including new leadership composed of more old guard elitists, a disastrous Constitutional Convention, or limited secession (which will never be honored by the establishment anyway). The purpose of these false solutions will be to fool you into relaxing your vigilance, distracting you from seeking justice against globalist organizations, or, to redirect your energies away from self sufficient communities, counties, and states, ready to dispel aggressive establishment elements.

Beware of those who grasp too readily for leadership over you. Real leaders stand as teachers, not oligarchs, and rarely do they take on the role without considerable reservations. Never trust anyone who does not immediately back their promises with tangible action. And, never forget that we fight not just for the removal of one particular tyrant, but for Constitutional liberty itself. One must follow the other, or there has been no victory.

Though it is depressingly difficult to see in times like these, there is indeed good in this world. There are ideals, and aspirations, and visions, and loves worth standing up for, worth fighting for, and worth dying for. There is still a future worth striving for at the end of the long night. There are dreams here, in the hearts of men, worth realizing. We do not necessarily battle for what humanity is, but for what we have the potential to become. The tides of society may shift and storm, the chaos may become unbearable, and the world may tear apart until it is unrecognizable. The agents of dominion believe they are the only constant, but there is another. In time, the dim pale of tyranny will always break in the light of freedom's resolute. Get ready, honorable Liberty Movement, our work has just begun.

Zero Hedge

Strange sounds all over the planet

Move Over, Obamacare. Here Comes Obamaschool

Submitted by Hunter Lewis via the Ludwig von Mises Institute,
The president gave a speech on August 22 in Buffalo outlining his proposal to “reform” the student loan program. He acknowledged that the program has some problems, but assured the audience they are easily fixed. Just take the principles behind Obamacare and apply them to education. The president personally “guaranteed” that his proposals would make college more affordable.
Here’s the plan. The government will rate colleges based on fees (the lower the better) and graduation rates (the higher the better) and student success in finding a job. Then student loan funds will be allocated to schools according to the rating. Students will also be guided to the best-rated schools via government web sites. And schools will get more funding if they set up demonstration projects to reduce costs. This will all encourage more “competition” among schools. Yes, you heard that right: more government control of colleges will increase market “competition.”
We don’t have a 2,000 page bill in Congress yet, but it’s all quite familiar: government will take even tighter control of higher education just as it has taken even tighter control of medicine, and use Obamacare as its operating manual. Of course, Obamacare not only rated medical insurance policies; it mandated what would be in them at what prices, which in effect put government in charge of defining what healthcare is. Presumably, the government rating of schools will in due course also lead to mandates and the government defining what higher education is. Obamacare also set up government sites where people would be steered to buy government approved policies, and set up demonstration projects, even though the history of government-inspired healthcare demonstration projects has been dismal.
There is a lot more in common between Obamacare and Obamaschool than these superficial characteristics. Obamacare came into being because of a crisis in medical care. As usual, that crisis had been caused by earlier government interventions in medicine, especially price controls. At present, Medicare price controls about 7,500 medical procedures. Because payment varies by location and practitioner (e.g., doctors employed by hospitals get paid more than other doctors), it has been estimated that Medicare price-controls six billion medical transactions at any one time. As government has come to dominate medicine and price-control it, prices have inevitably risen at a rate that threatens to bankrupt the economy. Obamacare has doubled down on the price controls, mandating allowed price increases under Medicare and installing a price control board. All of this will no doubt lead to the kind of legislation recently passed in Massachusetts where any “material” change in a medical practice, in either prices or services, must be approved by the state.
Obamaschool is coming into being for similar reasons. In this case, the government set up a student loan program which was ostensibly designed to subsidize students. But whenever government subsidizes demand without increasing supply, prices inevitably rise, and this was no exception.
As President Obama pointed out, “Over the past three decades, the average tuition [and fees] at a public four-year college has gone up by more than 250 percent. 250 percent. Now a typical family’s income has gone up 16 percent. That’s a big gap.” Yes it is.
In reality, both the 250 percent and the pitiful 16 percent have been caused by government policies, especially price manipulations and controls. The 250 percent increase in fees (mitigated somewhat by increases in student aid) has specifically been driven by government’s mistake in flooding schools with student loan money. That money did not help students; it enabled schools to keep raising fees. What students mostly got out of the loan program was an early initiation into massive debt. If leaving school with heavy debts is not exactly slavery, it certainly represents some kind of indentured servitude.
Obama was more than a bit mendacious about this debt burden. He took credit for keeping student interest rates down. He even said that “government shouldn’t see student loans as a way to make money; it should be a way to help students.” But the reality is that his administration is currently borrowing money at negligible interest rates and then relending it to students at much higher rates. The difference is booked elsewhere in the federal budget under “deficit reduction.” If that isn’t a clear case of using student loans as a way to make money, then what is?
What will really happen if the federal government completes its takeover of higher education pricing?The certain result will be even higher prices, which will then lead to calls for a complete federal takeover, just as advancing prices under Obamacare are now leading to admissions by Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi that it was only intended to be a stepping stone to a “single payer” system in which government in effect nationalizes all healthcare. Nationalizing healthcare would make the crisis worse, not better, but Reid and Pelosi don’t understand that.
The president’s specific proposals for student loans will have some other presumably unintended effects as well. If schools get more federal money as their graduation rate increases, they will simply stop taking students who are more likely to drop out. That of course means they will stop taking disadvantaged students who need help the most.
The administration says that it will get advice from schools in devising the rating system. This is all we need: closed door meetings in Washington between the government and special interests with the consumer excluded. This is exactly how Mussolini ran Italy and Roosevelt tried to run the U.S. with the National Recovery Act. The results of dismantling a consumer-driven market economy will be no better now than they were then.
From Zero Hedge

Where Our War Is!

We must FULLY comprehend and possess that our war is NOT with flesh and blood (the physical tangible things of this physical fallen world) but with the arch fallen angel Lucifer and his demonic disciples who ARE working from an ETERNAL position and his godless fallen sheep of this age (Rom. 1:18-32, 2 Cor. 4:-34, Eph. 6:12)

My dearly beloved may I say it again, we MUST FULLY comprehend and posses that our standing and position in Christ is SURE and REAL (Eph. 1:1-23, 2:1-12, Col. 3:1-4). Beloved, our position is as sure as two plus two equals four and water is wet! However... Until we FULLY allow Almighty God the Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us in the Father's will for our lives here in time (John 16:13, Rom. 8:26-39, 1 Thess. 5:19) and ourselves apply the wondrous sound ABSOLUTES (spiritually and morally) - which are found in Almighty God's INFALLIBLE Word - we will NEVER possess these REALITIES and TRUTHS and be subject to the chains and shackles of this physical temporal world and it's god (2 Cor. 4:3-4, Eph.2:1-2, 1 John 5:19).

Until we FULLY allow Almighty God the Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us in the Father's will for our lives here in time and apply the wondrous sound ABSOLUTES (spiritually and morally) which are found in Almighty God's INFALLIBLE Word we will NEVER possess these wondrous REALITIES and TRUTHS and be subject to the chains and shackles of this physical temporal world and it's god.

Dear Christian friend, do you personally possess these wondrous TRUTHS and REALITIES in your life that pertain to you? Dearly beloved, it is an absolute tragedy if we as believers today do not. OH, how we will be ETERNALLY missing out and ashamed when we finally see Him face to Face (1 John 3:1-4)

Our lives are ETERNALLY greater than the temporal vain years of our existence in this fallen world and time. Beloved, we ought to be possessing and walking in our ETERNAL position by faith with an ETERNAL perspective as we cross the busy street of this vain life knowing and possessing that it is NEVER in vain to serve the Lord, that the Day of the Lord is at hand and the establishment of His 1000 year kingdomhere in time is very nigh (Isa. 2:1-4, Isa.11, Dan. 2:44-45, 7:13-14, Mic. 4:1-4, Zech. 14, Rev. 20:1-10)! The trumpet is about to blow my beloved and may we ALL be found FULLY occupying and possessing in Spirit and in TRUTH Almighty God's WONDROUS TRUTHS and REALITIES until our Savior meets us in the air (John 14:3, 1 Cor. 15:51-58, 1 Thess. 4:13-18,1 John 3:1-4)! Even so come Lord Jesus!

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!!


The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

Russia sends spy ship as US prepares for possible Syria strike

Russia is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean as the US prepares for a possible military strike in Syria, it was reported on Monday.

The Priazovye left Russia's naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late on Sunday on a mission "to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict", said an unidentified military source quoted by the Interfax news agency. The defence ministry declined to comment.

Barack Obama said on Saturday he would seek congressional authorisation for punitive military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad after what the US says was a sarin gas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

Russia says the US has not proved its case and that it believes the attack was staged by rebels to provoke intervention in the civil war.

Russia is one of Assad's biggest arms suppliers and has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous. Moscow opposes any military intervention in Syria and has shielded Damascus from pressure at the UN security council.

Interfax said the Priazovye would be operating separately from a navy unit permanently stationed in the Mediterranean in a deployment that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said is needed to protect national security interests.

The defence ministry said last week that new warships would be sent to the Mediterranean to replace others in a long-planned rotation of ships based there.

The Guardian

Over 80 Russian Warships on Sea Duty Across World

Missile cruiser Moskva

ST. PETERSBURG, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – More than 80 Russian naval warships and support vessels are currently at sea at combat readiness, Navy chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said Monday.

The intensity and duration of the voyages undertaken by the navy's vessels have increased considerably in recent years, and there has been an expansion in their geographical scope, he said.

A naval task force comprised of the guided missile cruiser Moskva, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Kulakov, the tug boat Yevgeny Khorov and tanker Ivan Bubnov are currently in the western Atlantic, he said, adding they have made unofficial visits to Cuba and Venezuela.

A Pacific task force, including the guided missile cruiser Varyag, the tanker Boris Butoma and the tug SB-522, is en route to the southwestern Pacific, the admiral said.

Long-range naval missions help improve confidence building measures and expand collaboration with foreign navies, he said.

RIA Novosti

US & Syria War, Printing Money = MARKET COLLAPSE! Be Prepared!

Obama 'has the right' to strike Syria regardless of Congress vote, says Kerry

The US has evidence that sarin nerve gas was used in chemical attacks outside Damascus last month and could go ahead with military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's regime even without the backing of Congress, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, has said.

A day after Barack Obama vowed to put any intervention in Syria to a vote of both the Senate and House of Representatives, Kerry said the administration was confident of winning a motion of the kind that David Cameron unexpectedly lost last week. "We don't contemplate that the Congress is going to vote no," Kerry said, but he stressed the president had the right to take action "no matter what Congress does".

In a round of appearances on the Sunday political shows in the US, Kerry said the evidence of sarin came from samples from first responders who had helped victims of the attacks. "[We have] blood and hair samples that have come to us through a secure chain of custody from east Damascus – it has tested positive for signatures of sarin. So each day that goes by this case is even stronger," he said.

Kerry said America's evidence for the use of sarin nerve gas had not come from the UN. He gave no further details of the source of the samples, or where or when they had been tested.

He said the Obama administration's clear preference was to win a vote in Congress, which could come as early as next week, after politicians return from their summer recess on 9 September. He could "hear the complaints" about presidential abuse had Obama not gone to Congress, and its backing would give any military action greater credibility: "We are stronger as a nation when we act together." But he added: "America intends to act."

On Sunday, Britain definitively ruled out any involvement in military strikes against Syria even if further chemical attacks take place.

William Hague, the foreign secretary, said Britain would offer only diplomatic support to its allies. "Parliament has spoken. I don't think it is realistic to think that we can go back to parliament every week with the same question having received no for an answer."

His remarks were echoed by the chancellor, George Osborne, who said he did not think more evidence or more UN reports would have convinced the MPs who voted against intervention. He also ruled out a rerun of the vote.

Syrian opposition figures have reacted angrily to what they perceive as America's delay in striking against Assad. While the Obama administration insists that military intervention would be a punishment for the chemical weapons attack and a deterrent against future incidents rather than an attempt at regime change, many in the fractured opposition hope it will tip the military balance in their favour after a two and a half year civil war that has killed about 100,000 people.

Samir Nishar, of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, called Obama a "weak president", according to CNN.

The mood among government forces in Syria was triumphant after Obama's speech, with claims in the state-run media that the west had backed down because it was afraid of a confrontation.

Syria's permanent representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, said Obama and Cameron had decided to seek approval before military action because they were looking for a way out after banging the drums of war, the official news agency Sana reported. Jaafari said the two leaders had "climbed to the top of the tree and don't know how to get down".

The UN said it had asked the chemical weapons team to expedite its report into the use of the weapons. "The secretary general took note of the announcement by President Obama yesterday on the referral to Congress. He regards it as one aspect of an effort to achieve a broad-based international consensus on measures in response to any use of chemical weapons," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"Use of chemical weapons will not be accepted under any circumstances," he added, asking that the investigation mission "should be given an opportunity to succeed".

Kerry also suggested that Obama will not limit US involvement in Syria's civil war to cruise missile strikes provoked by the use of chemical weapons. The administration "may even be able to provide greater support to the opposition", he said. Obama began providing weapons to Syrian rebels after determining earlier this year that Assad had carried out a smaller-scale chemical attack.

But there is a deep reluctance within the US military to bless even a one-off military strike. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a multi-tour veteran of Iraq, has voiced such fears for more than two years.

Some leading figures on Capitol Hill predicted that Obama would win. "At the end of the day, Congress will rise to the occasion," Representative Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, told CNN.

But others were less sure. Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Republican, put the chances of an authorisation vote in the House of Representatives at 50-50. "I think the Senate will rubber stamp what he wants but the House will be a much closer vote," he told NBC.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain said the administration needed a more decisive plan to topple the Assad regime. But he warned against the possibility of Congress defying the president. "The consequences of a Congress of the United States overriding a decision of the president of the United States on this magnitude are really very serious," he told Face the Nation on CBS.

Meanwhile Labour MP Thomas Docherty, a member of the House of Commons' committee on arms export controls, criticised the government after it emerged that British firms were granted licenses in January 2012 to sell chemicals to Syria that could be used to make nerve gas including sarin.

The chemicals never left the UK as the European Union imposed tough new sanctions on Assad's regime and the licenses were revoked.

But Docherty has written to the business secretary Vince Cable demanding to know more details about the deals.

In his letter he asked: "How many licenses for the export of chemicals have been issued not only in the period in question but in the wider period since the start of the Syrian civil war?"

From the Guardian

Arab states urge action against Syrian government

Al Arabiya

Arab states on Sunday urged the international community to take action against the Syrian government over a chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, Reuters reported.

The final resolution passed by an Arab League meeting in Cairo urged the United Nations and international community to “take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for.”

The League foreign ministers also said those responsible for the attack should face trial, as other “war criminals” have.

Before the Arab states passing their resolution, head of the main Syrian opposition group, Ahmad al-Jarba, urged the Arab League’s foreign ministers to back potential U.S. led Western strikes on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday.

He made the statement during a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.

“I am here before you today to appeal to your brotherly and [humane] sentiments and ask you to back the international operation against the destructive war machine,” of the Syrian regime, Reuters quoted al-Jarba as saying during the meeting.

Jarba said he is calling for a military strike to stop the “Syrian regime killing its people with the help of the Iranian invader.”

He described Iran as “concealing its false brotherhood.”

He also warned that fighters from Iran, the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, and “extremist militants” from Iraq are “killing the Syrian people.”

The opposition chief said the “Syrian people have suffered enough from the Syrian oppressive regime.”

He added: “Syria should be the battle ground to confront Iranian interference,” in the region.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia also called on the international community to take all the necessary steps to deter Syrian government violence, which surpassed “all red lines,” according to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

“The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy,” Reuters quoted Prince Faisal as saying during the meeting.

A weak international response will only “encourage” Assad regime to further quell its people, he added.

However, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said his country is against a military strike on Syria, but not because it defends the embattled regime.

Fahmy said the only end to the Syrian crisis is via a “political solution.”
Before the meeting

Before the meeting prince Faisal said that Syria was not seeking a political but a military solution to solve its 29-month crisis that has killed more than 100,000 people.

Damascus has used “poisonous gases,” against its people and “started firing at people at the start of the crisis.”

“We cannot bear seeing Syrian people being shelled with poisonous gases this way,” he said. He went on to urge “the international community to stop aggression by the Syrian regime against its people.”

On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that he will seek congressional approval for a “limited strike” to punish the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons on Aug. 21 in a Damascus district. The attack, according to Washington, killed at least 1,400 people.

Commenting on the prospect of a U.S. strike, he said: “We stand by the will of the Syrian people. They know best their interests, so whatever they accept, we accept, and whatever they refuse, were fuse.”

Prince Faisal said Arab countries are “incapable” of solving the Syrian crisis.

“We wish that [Arabs had the ability] to solve this…but there is no one unfortunately. Finally it is the choice of the Security Council and there is a veto.”

He added that Saudi Arabia has helped the Syrian opposition against a regime “that doesn’t [want] to show compassion or allow mercy.”

He added: “We need to help them by halting the bloodshed, and not by merely condemning the violence. But [we need to] help them with all legal means possible…against aggression that will almost make Syrians extinct.”

Fahmy said that his Arab counterparts will keep on negating and that Cairo condemns whoever used chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

Nimitz Rerouted To Syria As More Destroyers Arrive

While it is unknown is the US is suddenly focusing more on non-Cyprus based air support in theaftermath of the Cypriot decision to prohibit the launch of air strikes from its territory (just in time following a Russian agreement to restructure Cyprus debt), what is known, according to Reuters, is that while broad popular opinion is that the war drums are beating far more quietly following Obama's Saturday punt to Congress (a decision which can certainly still go either way), the US has decided to reroute CVN-68 USS Nimitz, and other ships in its strike group including four destroyers, in direction west toward the Red Sea "to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday."

From Reuters:
The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked. It was not immediately clear when the ships would enter the Red Sea, but they had not arrived by Sunday evening, said one official.

"It's about leveraging the assets to have them in place should the capabilities of the carrier strike group and the presence be needed," said the official.

President Barack Obama on Saturday delayed imminent cruise missile strikes by five destroyers off the coast of Syria, and sought approval from Congress, a move that effectively put any strike on hold for at least nine days.

The delay gives military planners more time to reassess which ships and other weapons will be kept in the region - and which may be swapped out - before the U.S. military launches what defense officials say is still intended to be a limited and narrowly targeted attack on Syria.

The U.S. Navy doubled its presence in the eastern Mediterranean over the past week, effectively adding two destroyers to the three that generally patrol the region. The five destroyers are carrying a combined load of about 200 Tomahawk missiles, officials say.
But that's not all: as reported yesterday, the US dispatched the USS San Antonio, an amphibious ship with 300 Marines and extensive communications equipment on board, to join five US destroyers already in proximity to Syria, diverting it from a previously scheduled mission that would have taken it farther west. It could serve as an afloat forward staging base, which could provide a temporary base for special operations forces, if they were needed.
Today we learn that yet another amphibious assault ship, the USS Kearsage, with yet more marines is joining in the supposedly demilitarized fray:
The USS Kearsarge, a large-deck amphibious ship that is part of a readiness group with the San Antonio, is also on the way toward the Red Sea after a port call in the United Arab Emirates, officials said. No further specific orders had been issued to the ship, they said.
So to sum up: since last week, when the entire world expected the US to attack Syria imminently, and when there were "only" 5 destroyers within striking distance, now that the sentiment is that war is far less probable, the US has an additional 4 destroyers from the Nimitz group, two marine ships, and an aircraft carrier.
De-escalation? Not really.
Perhaps this has something to do with it - going back to the fundamental driver behind it all, Saudi Arabia, the NYT reports that the Kingdom of Saud will hardly rest peacefully until the Assad scourge is wiped off the face of the planet... and room for one or more gas and/or oil pipelines is made below a receptive Syrian government.
Saudi Arabia and the other oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies on Sunday stepped up their efforts to drum up support for Western airstrikes against Syria.

With the Arab League meeting on Sunday evening for a second time to discuss responses to the Syrian crisis, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, broke the kingdom’s public silence on the subject at a news conference in Cairo on Sunday afternoon, urging other Arab nations to back the Syrian rebels with military action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad after a suspected chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds.

Saudi Arabia, its Gulf allies and Jordan have all pushed hard behind the scenes for Washington to lead strikes against Mr. Assad, whom they consider the most important regional ally of their greatest enemy, Iran. That pressure continued on Sunday, but until now the monarchies have refrained from publicly endorsing Western military action, presumably because the idea of Western intervention is overwhelmingly unpopular across the Arab world.

Several analysts said Sunday that President Obama had badly damaged American credibility in the Arab world by appearing to back down from airstrikes just hours before many Arab government expected them to begin.

“He is seen as feckless and weak, and this will give further rise to conspiracy theories that Obama doesn’t really want Assad out and it is all a big game,” said Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Doha Center. “Many Arab leaders already think that Obama’s word cannot be trusted — I am talking about his friends and allies — and I am afraid this will reinforce that belief.”
And speaking of Obama's damaged credibility, nowhere has it been more crushed than in ground zero: Syria.
"He who talks a lot doesn't act," said Souad, a Damascus resident, mocking US President Barack Obama as a "coward" for delaying a decision to attack the Syrian regime.

"Obama is a coward. He didn't strike because he knows that our President Bashar (al-Assad) is all-powerful," said the employee of nationality electricity firm Ferdaws, in the northeast of the capital.

In the wealthy neighbourhood people went about their business without seeming too worried about the thuds from intermittent shelling of rebel positions outside the city centre.

A similarly calm atmosphere prevailed at one of the area's traditional, men-only cafes, where some customers appeared more interested in winning at backgammon than by Obama's speech.

On Saturday the US president said he will ask US lawmakers to approve a strike on Syria when Congress returns from summer recess on September 9, effectively lifting the threat of an imminent attack.

"He was like an actor taking part in a play being shown to the American people," staunch government supporter Hassan Azzam, 73, said of Obama.

"I saw him, he was trembling like a leaf as he spoke, he seemed really troubled," said Azzam, leafing through a copy of the state newspaper Ath-Thawra.

Obama's unexpected speech was broadcast by Syrian state television and on Sunday many in Damascus shared Azzam's view that the president of the world's most powerful army decided not to act because he feared the reaction of Assad's allies, notably Iran.

"(The Iranians) really intended to strike Israel... and Obama backed down because he knew that in response (to US strikes on Syria) Israel would be wiped off the map," said Azzam.

Asked by AFP for their reactions to Obama's speech, many Syrians poked fun at the US president.

"Obama? Who is he anyway," joked Ali, 18.
The jury is still out.
From Zero Hedge