Update: it appears the photos posted on twitter are fake. Hopefully that means there are no B-2 in the vicinity of Syria.
The rise of Tomahawk force began in 1983 during the Reagan buildup, but the demise of the Evil Empire did not slow down its development one bit. By the end of the century the United States had about 150 surface ships and attack submarines that could launch these deadly cruise missiles and an inventory of nearly 5,000 missiles. Tomahawks have a range of seven hundred miles. This means that from their offshore platforms they can reach three-fourths of the world’s population. And during the last two decades they have been used in just this “stand-off” manner against targets in Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, and others—teaching presidents that they could meddle freely without getting bloodied.
“… gold is the hard currency of choice, and we expect for this trend to accelerate going forward. We still believe that in the next couple of years we will be looking at a gold price of around $US3,500. As the gold/silver ratio plummets near 30, this would also suggest a silver price above $US100.”
French President François Hollande jumped straight in declaring in more Sarkozy-style fashion than ex-President Sarkozy himself that he would attack Syria. That was even before the UN investigators had been shot at by some unidentified people.
While most of the country is obsessing over Miley Cyrus, the Obama administration is preparing a military attack against Syria which has the potential of starting World War 3. In fact, it is being reported that cruise missile strikes could begin "as early as Thursday". The Obama administration is pledging that the strikes will be "limited", but what happens when the Syrians fight back? What happens if they sink a U.S. naval vessel or they have agents start hitting targets inside the United States? Then we would have a full-blown war on our hands. Could this be the beginning of a chain of events that could eventually lead to a massive global conflict with Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other? Of course it will not happen immediately, but we fear that what is happening now is setting the stage for some really bad things... Let us hope that cooler heads prevail before things spin totally out of control.
Since the Vietnam War, the United States has engaged in several military interventions. As the West looks ready to act against Syria, accused of using chemical weapons against its own citizens, WaPo presents 10 instances when America has intervened, sometimes without authorization from the United Nations.
Debunking U.S. Claims about UN Weapons Inspections In Syria
If Syria is invaded by the West, then we should be getting ready for a hike in the price of Brent that some say may reach a much as $150 since it will escalate into a regional problem and affect supplies coming out of Iraq.
While Nigel Farage personal view that it is 'probable' that Assad did what the US and British are accusing him of, he notes "it is not absolutely certain," and before we go to war, "we must have absolute proof and certainty." Commenting on the British and US seeming enthusiasm for another Middle Eastern 'war', Farage provides a few minutes of common sense in this brief clip when he notes that Europe remains split - though "moral outrage" at the accusations will likely mean they support the attacks (adding that "moral outrage alone is not enough to warrant attacks."). The UKIP leader then warned that "military intervention in Syria could lead to something far bigger, and even more worrying than we are seeing at the moment." Finally, Farage notes that "whenever we get involved in the Middle East, we tend to make things worse, not better," and as ghastly as the actions being committed are, there is nothing the British (or American) military can do to make things better.
Until now, the loudest and most material opponent to a Syrian invasion by the "liberating" powers was Russia. Moments ago, China joined the anti-western axis. BBC reports: "Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region." Adding to the picture, Interfax reported moments ago that representatives of Russia and China have withdrawn from a UN Security Council session on Syria. And since both countries have UN veto power, just like back in 2012 when this whole scenario was being replayed, there can be not joint UN resolution.
At a time when we claim to be seeking a permanent solution to the circular situation which exists between Israel and Palestine (Palestinians), it is incongruous to reality that we fail to see what is happening all around the Middle East. The old United Arab Republic, Syria and Egypt, have over 90 million people divided and fighting, whether in open civil war or through socioeconomic confrontation. It has less to do with political regimes, and so-called dictatorships such as those of Mubarak and Assad, and more to do with the existing distribution of wealth and power. And equity may or may not come through dialogue (hopefully) or civil struggle (unfortunately).
- Merkel Blames SPD’s Schroeder for Letting Greece Into Euro (BBG)
- U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion (BBG)
- U.K. to Request U.N. Action to Protect Syrians From Chemical Weapons (WSJ) - and Russia to veto any decision
- U.N. inspectors in new Syria mission as West prepares to strike (Reuters)
- Emerging-Market Rout Intensifies on Syria Jitters (WSJ)
- Rebels Without a Leader Show Limit to U.S. Role in Syria War (BBG)
- Anger at IRS Powers Tea-Party Comeback (WSJ)
- China has much at risk but no reach in Middle East (Reuters)
- 'London Whale' Penalties Put at $500 Million to $600 Million (WSJ)
- U.S. lawmaker says 'compelling' evidence of Syrian chemical attack (Reuters)
Over the weekend we laid out the textual "short guide to the Middle East", today we provide the graphic (visual) version of the dummies guide to the Middle East. Simple, right?
The increasing likelihood of some form of limited US led military action in Syria is compounding concerns about the stability of the world’s key oil producing region and Barclays warns that it will likely exert upward pressure on prices until the nature of the possible military intervention becomes apparent. But the bigger risk for the oil market is the potential for the Syrian conflict to spread to neighboring producing countries and imperil regional output, as the Syrian conflict is fueling broader sectarian tensions across the entire Middle East and has become something of a proxy war. The problem for global oil prices is that all of this Middle East volatility is taking place against the backdrop of a recent rise in unplanned outages in the oil market outside Syria. In sum, Barclays is concerned that with geopolitical tension and physical outages on the rise, crude oil markets are at an inflection point.
- MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST SYRIA WOULD ONLY WORSEN CONFLICT - DUMA CHAIRMAN
- MOSCOW ALARMED BY SOME COUNTRIES' DELIBERATE ACTIONS TO UNDERMINE PRECONDITIONS FOR POLITICAL-DIPLOMATIC SETTLEMENT OF CONFLICT IN SYRIA - FOREIGN MINISTRY
- LAVROV DISAGREES WITH U.S. ON BLAMING SYRIAN GOVERNMENT FOR CHEMICAL ATTACK IN TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH KERRY - RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
- RUSSIA BELIEVES EXPERTS' WORK IN SYRIA SHOULD BE SUPPORTED, FACILITATED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE - FOREIGN MINISTRY