As the United States prepares for a likely military strike on Syria, speculation about the timing and extent of the operation is the topic de jour. Lucky for you, the political team here at The Qnion has received the transcript of a closed-door press briefing attended by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and a select group of journalists from major media outlets.
[Classified: Off the Record and Not for Public Circulation]
White House Press Secretary Carney: Alright everyone… I think we’re ready to start. [Inaudible… laughter and background noise.] Thank you all for showing up on such short notice. Obviously the situation is developing very quickly so we’d like to get the information out to you in a timely manner. I’ve just come from a meeting in the Situation Room, and have some important updates.
First, as we have stated on multiple occasions, the government of the United States condemns in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. We consider this to be a violation of international norms, and continue to support the efforts of the United Nations on the ground in Syria. As you know, the President has decided that these efforts are not sufficient, and is now considering options for decisive and uncompromising military action.
[Raised voices, lots of inaudible questions]
Reporter: What kind of military options?
Jay Carney: I’m glad you asked, Jim. Obviously, it is not in the interests of the United States to share sensitive details about military operations. We reserve the right to strike anywhere in Syria so as to punish the regime for its reprehensible and brutal attacks on its own people.
Having said that, we’re primarily considering two sets of Tomahawk missile strikes (between 8 and 11) launched by the USS Mahan and the USS Gravely against a set of military bases in the Syrian desert, including but not limited to… [ruffles some papers]… and let me see if I can get these names right: the Marj Ruhayyil Military Airbase, Al-Nayrab Military Airbase, the Suwayda Army Base, the Marj al-Sultan Military Heliport… Wait, no scratch that. My bad. The heliport is not under consideration. I mean, it may or may not be under consideration. Let’s see, where were we? Oh, also the Shayrat Military Airbase and the Khalkh… you know what, I’m not even going to try to pronounce that one.
We’ve put together a list of the potential targets that you can pick up on your way out, along with geographical coordinates and correct spelling, and so on, just to facilitate things.
Reporter: How soon can we expect the strikes to begin?
Jay Carney: Again, we’re not in the business of revealing sensitive information, Judy. All I can tell you is that we may or may not strike the potential targets during the hours of 21:00 and 23:00 on Friday August 30th, and again between 15:00 and 17:00 on Saturday the 31st. Please note that we’re talking about the Damascus time zone, which is GMT +2. I know that can be confusing.
Anyway, after the strikes which may or may not take place between those hours, we may or may not launch a surprise follow-up attack again the following week on Monday morning between 10:30-11:00 am, depending on the situation on the ground.
[Eruption of questions]
Jay Carney: No, I’m afraid we just can’t discuss any details. However, the Obama Administration would like to emphasize and assure the brave Syrian people that they are not the targets of these highly surgical strikes. Only people and military equipment that happen to be in the vicinity of those areas during those limited time frames that I mentioned may or may not be potentially targeted. The Assad regime should consider that a warning.
Reporter: Are you hoping that these strikes will bring down the Assad regime?
Jay Carney: I’m really glad you asked that, Bill. This may come as a surprise to you, but we are not, repeat not, envisioning any regime change scenarios, despite the decisiveness with which we may or may not strike. We, in fact, have several contingencies in place to modify the proposed operation in case regime collapse looks imminent. This is why we are being so deliberate and careful.
Jay Carney: Now I can see a lot of hands in the air, but I’m not at liberty to say anymore, lest we compromise the integrity of the mission. Thanks very much for coming, everybody. On your way out, don’t forget to pick up the handout that summarizes all the information I’ve given you and includes a few more details like the military assets under attack on the potential sites that I mentioned. Also, to repeat: Damascus is seven hours ahead of Washington. GMT +2. I know I already said that, but it’s an easy thing to overlook.
Ok, everyone. More soon.
Hilarious. From Bush to Obama, SSDD
Mahdoom ya az3ar! : )
This “operation” is looking more absurd as each hour passes.
The Obama Administration is leaking all over the place and apparently wants you to know that Assad and the regime are not a target.
This “punitive” measure is only for show. Assad will be struck with the full force of a small wet noodle. He will only need a tissue to battle back from this enormous set-back…
Why don’t you repeat “The best course of action is … Get both sides to expend their energy and reluctantly accept a ceasefire and a de facto partition. Then the West can slowly (over many years) help non-Assad areas and hope that moderates prevail there.” on “Syria Comment”, and perhaps you could engender an interesting discussion with regime opponents there.
And btw, this prediction of yours “Israel is not going to wait very long before taking out the WMDs before Assad has a chance to use them”, looks to be proven false.
Syria Comment is an outpost for the criminally insane.
Reblogged this on Blognovic's Weblog and commented:
A post with a transcription of a meeting with journalist at the White House about the possible strikes against Syria starting next Friday night
I think someone thinks this “meeting with journalists” is for real…
QN take care about spreading rumours, you may end up inadvertently starting a 3rd world war! All on the back of a Qnion piece!
Stay home at those hours Blease…Don’t forget to load up on persian tembac and a good ergileh. Mezza on the white house for all!!
There is unusual traffic rushing out of the bases you named QN 🙂
“And btw, this prediction of yours “Israel is not going to wait very long before taking out the WMDs before Assad has a chance to use them”, looks to be proven false.”
I could be proven false but it hasn’t happened yet in this case. I of course meant use them against Israel. As for a discussion on SC, I will leave that to you and AP.
C’mon back to SC. We miss your uncanny ability to put muqawamistas in their place. And there are lots of them.
Let’s just imagine that the US Administration’s announcements and leaks are rational — that they have a purpose. (Unlikely, i realize, but bear with me a minute.) There would then be several possible purposes that i can think of. Of course, i’m only a dog (iOAD™) so there are bound to be many i cannot think of. But anyway:
1. The leaks will cause the announced targets to disperse or go to ground, and then, having distracted the enemy, we’ll hit ’em somewhere else.
2. The leaks will cause the announced targets to disperse or go to ground, and this is all we really wanted to have happen in the first place, so there’s no need to attack.
3. We will gain valuable intelligence by seeing the Syrian (and the Syrian-Rebel) response.
Would you like to take the place of Chuck Hagel? Please send me an updated resume. Thx.
A postdated résumé would be better.
Such is the world where this is the Reality of the calculations for war:
“One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.”
Is it any wonder that those unfamiliar with QN’s hobby would find his fiction to be completely plausible?
Bachar al assad had killed arab nationalism, sad time for palestinian!
Now , people are welcoming USA! THank you Bachar
And even a sadder time to be Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian….did I miss any?
“Is it any wonder that those unfamiliar with QN’s hobby would find his fiction to be completely plausible?”
Lally my dear; although the time frame is “fictional”; believe me when I say the substance of the post is not! It has become cumbersome and idiotic to see these “acts” played out in ME by Israel and now USA. It is beyond being a charade! No wonder they are the laughing stock of the world. The only thing USA is not providing yet is the refreshments needed with a pill for nausea when watching the brave Anderson Cooper with a helmet describing us the devastating effect of these strikes on “flour factories” or goat farms”.
The US & Europe’s reaction to the Syria situation is incredibly ridiculous. “Continuation of politics by other means” is taking an extreme meaning here. Timid, beaurocratic, politically correct design by committee. Something must be done so something will be done. Leave outcome to the eggheads. Sun Tsu and every great general in history are jumping up and down in their graves.
Start with the premise: the use of poisonous gas. Its ugly and brutal, no doubt. So are lots of ways of killing, including the ways people were being killed the days before the gas, in similar numbers. Technically its in the WMD category, but it is clearly different to using biological or nuclear weapons, the real “cat in the bag.”
Acting in response to the volume of civilian deaths/injuries/displacement would be one thing, acting based on this WMD technicality is ridiculous.
Then there is this whole “surgical” nonsense. The US doesn’t have an ally in Syria that they want to back so proxy warfare is out. The voting public don’t want long term military involvement or casualties, so direct warfare is out.
By process of elimination we get our answer: surgical warfare. Surgical Warfare is a revolutionary new product brought to you by ____!! Cheap! Easy! Effective. Well, not really effective but you can’t have everything. Hehe. Lets blow something up! Doesn’t matter that it doesn’t do anyone any good. Doesn’t matter that it doesn’t affect the outcome of the civil war.
Either you get involved in a war and aim for an achievable outcome or you don’t get involved. This means you back a side, or you stay out.
Miss Me Yet? Part II
Either you get involved in a war and aim for an achievable outcome or you don’t get involved. This means you back a side, or you stay out.
Arm the FSA and bomb Assad’s assets. Leave it to the Obama Adminstration to punish those who used d to CW by waiting. It’s like punishing a puppy a week after he poops on the rug. A meaningless exercise.
Looking for WMD Lawyers in the Yellowpages NewZ
For all those who have been wondering, it is legal for the UK to attack Syria now that the regime has opened Pandora’s Box and used CW. Yup, I guess you can slaughter hundreds of thousands without cause for worrry, but the minute you use CW, expect someone to serve you papers (or cruise missiles).
Lally, will you or you Shia friends in Hezbollah or back at HQ in Iran be pressing charges against the UK even though GWB is no longer president?
Gotta agree with AP on the last comment: If you’re gonna get involved in a way, you should mean it. These half-ass “symbolic measures” are worse, IMHO, than staying out of it entirely.
Damascus is Washington +7, but is it not GMT+3 in the summer? Wonder if Bashar would’ve caught that one?
So GWB, who in Elias’ opinion, was one of the worse presidents in US history, went to Congress AND the UNSC and got permission each time for military action against Saddam Hussein.
Today we the reluctant “red line” warrior, president Obama (one of the few congressmen who voted against the war in Iraq), trying to decide to act against the murderous Syrian regime.
The difference is startling. The Syrian people have no hope, even if WMD is used. The British are cowards.
Obama wasn’t in Congress in 2003. And GWB did *not* have UNSC authorization to invade Iraq. US threats to attack Iraq forced UN weapons inspectors to leave before they had finished their work (remember Hans Blix?).
Obama wasn’t in Congress in 2003.
True, Obama was not yet a US Senator, he was a State Senator in IL. But the “reluctant warrior” was against any military action against Saddam Hussein from the get go, and this was just 1 year after 9-11.
Here’s a snipet of what President “Red Line” said about the vote in 2002:
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
And GWB did *not* have UNSC authorization to invade Iraq.
Beg to differ:
He got US congressional approval….
The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution (formally the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub.L. 107–243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114) is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing military action against Iraq.
UNSC approval was unanimous in resolution 1441 although the legality of this is/was subject to debate. At least GWB brought it to the UNSC and got the unanimous vote.
The point is, GWB got approval from the US Congress and the UN. There no debate in this regard. “Reluctant Warrior” is a whimp. Glad he wasn’t around in the 1940s.
The above was addressed to Dr. Jim Reilly.
Dr. Reilly, since you have been immersed in arab culture (per your academic and professional background), why don’t you tell the forum how the West should handle the despots the ME keeps churning year after year.
Damned if I know. Heavy-handed and militarized foreign intervention in the region has been a major source of the region’s intractable problems for most of the past century. In light of this record, advocates of yet another round of militarized intervention need to develop some humility.
So James, what do you mean by “major source if the region’s intractable problems”? In your opinion, what percent of the problems are due to foreign actions and what percent due to the agency and actions of Arabs?
…advocates of yet another round of militarized intervention need to develop some humility.
OK, just let me understand. So as a long-time student of the ME, you believe we should let millions of arabs languish is poverty, bereft of any semblance of human rights, and used as cannon fodder for the unelected “leaders” because the UNSC is held hostage by similar regimes, namely Russia and China?
Just so you know, I believe the US and other free countries have an obligation to make the world better than that.
I am not academically endowed but as a former and current ME resident I would say 20 /80
Then you may disagree with James that foreign intervention is a “major source” of the problems.
You want percentages? How can those be anything but arbitrary? But “major sources” include: 1) the post-World War I map 2) arms exports 3) manipulation of latent sectarian and ethnic tensions 4) encouragement of coups and attempted coups. All (with the possible exception of “1”) require(d) willing and eager regional partners, Arab and non-Arab alike. Successive disasters and tragedies should (in my view) caution against yet another call for “the West” to intervene militarily and sort out things (= even more deaths, grievances and problems). Given that there is little eagerness in US public opinion for yet another Middle East military intervention, Obama is going out on a limb. Just as LBJ wrecked his legacy with Vietnam (and only now is LBJ’s domestic legacy getting some retrospective appreciation), Obama may now be risking a similar mishap.
If percentages are arbitrary then claiming that foreign intervention is a “major source” of the problems sounds pretty arbitrary too. So what do you mean by “major source”?
But let’s take your points one by one:
1) the post-World War I map – yes, it was decided by foreign players but how does that dictate that the result should be dictators and failed states?
2) arms exports – this is a non issue since it is a constant all over the world and not specific to one region and there are many cases were arm exports led to more stability or even democracy, like in Europe for example.
3) manipulation of latent sectarian and ethnic tensions – very weak argument since it assumes that Arabs somehow had no will or way to stop being manipulated. In fact, a different reading of history could make a strong case that the sects in the middle east manipulated the foreign powers to further their interests, like the Christians in Lebanon for example.
4) encouragement of coups and attempted coups – When was the last case the West supported a coup against a democratic regime? Iran in 53?
I think by and large that foreign intervention is a constant in this world and agents have to take this into account in their actions, not blame the results on foreigners.
I would say the “Require(d) willing and eager regional partners” is the operational phrase here.
It all makes perfect sense. Self-elected statesman, Bashar Assad refuses to bring democracy and freedom to Syria because of the Sykes-Picot agreement and Assad never agreed with his “given” borders (except for the Golan). Further, all the internal strife in Syria is because the Western (not Austin) Powers fomented sectarian strife. Lastly, it seems Russia provided too many arms in Syria. So much so, that the pro-liberal Syrians couldn’t even protect themselves from their holy Baathist government.
If it wasn’t for the sinister outside intervention, the Sunnis & Shias would be indulging in an Abu Nawas inspired love fest and Muslims, Christians together holding hands with the Jews by the wailing wall.
Yeah. I don’t buy blaming everything that’s wrong in the ME on the west either. We (Middle Easterners) are to blame for most of it.
Are there variables and external factors? Sure. There always are. Everywhere in the world, and throughout history, going back to the days of Rome and Greece. All governments tend to meddle to some extent into other countries affairs for a number of reasons (going from self-interest, the interest of their own country, all the way to naked expansionist ambitions, etc.)
Is the Sykes-Picot agreement at the root of all our problems? Not all, but it certainly played a big role in setting the stage, if you will, for everything that followed (including, but not limited to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which itself is at the root of many issues in the region).
But having said that, has anyone asked themselves the following question? What would have happened if there was no Sykes-Picot? Would the ME have been war-free, devoid of dictatorship and thriving?
Let’s take that one step further, let’s ask what would have happened if the Jews were never given a state by Sykes-Picot, and Israel had never existed. Would the ME have been the idyllic place all the “blame Israel’s existence and the West” claim?
I’ll give my answer to the questions above:
With no Sykes-Picot, there would still have been a defeated Ottoman Empire, falling to pieces, after WW1. The various tribles/sects/ethnicities in the former Ottoman Empire would have most likely fallen into wars amongst each other, while they each attempted to carve out various states out of the remnants of a fallen Empire (history shows us this is exactly what happens when Empires fall and disintegrate).
Even with no Israel, and no Jews fighting for a state in the ME, we would have still had decades of war and misery, much like Europe suffered after the fall of the Roman Empire, or the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, or the fall of Nazi Germany, or the fall of communism (Yugoslavia, more specifically, as well as various nations in the caucasus).
My point is, it is hard for me to blame all our ills on an admittedly arbitrary and externally imposed partition of the Ottoman Empire (Sykes-Picot). It is hard for me to believe that none of our problems would have ensued, had the WW1 victors simply left us alone. I’m fairly certain the ME would have still ended up a place of war, tribalism and sectarianim. The maps and boundaries may have turned out different, but the result would still have been roughly the same, IMO.
To me, the bottom line is the answer to the following question:
Would the ME be run by a small group of autocratic strong-men if Israel wasn’t created??
So the next time it’s “bombs away” — with unknown and unknowable consequences — we can tell people in the targeted countries that it’s for their own good? That if we weren’t doing this they’d be in even worse shape? And we *know* this just because we do? These are rhetorical questions, but the certitude of those who advocate bombing (or cruise missile strikes or whatever) is sobering. Nothing any of us says here will affect real-world outcomes, but I fear that Great Power military intervention will only cause misery to spread.
Not to defend “bombs away”, but your statement in and of itself, implies, to a certain degree that the region isn’t already suffering “misery”?
I think there’s an underlying implication that things are hunky dory, and why afflict pain and misery.
I wonder, do you also advocate the same logic to the “resistance axis”? I mean, those who want to liberate Palestine, for example…Do you also point out to them that their actions are spreading misery?
If your logic is “We don’t know the exact consequences. And even though people are suffering, we shouldn’t decide that we know better and shouldn’t therefore take any action that may cause suffering and pain”.
Does this logic also apply to HA? Syria? Iran? The Salafis? the Aounis, etc?
I am curious whether you advocate this line of thought only when there is talk of directing violence at the Syria regime. Or do you also advocate this same line of thought to those who wish to direct violence at Israel?
Sorry. Hit enter too fast…One more thought:
After all, if your thinking is that “who are we to determine what’s best for the Syrian people. And who are we to unilaterally commit violence in their name.”, then I have to wonder, do we apply the same logic to HA? Who are they to determine what’s best for Palestine? Who are they to unilaterally commit violence in the name of Palestine?
“The Syrian rebels have got plenty of access to Sarin. It’s not rocket science! A group of Shinto obscurantist in Japan living in Mount Fuji poisoned the underground… You don’t have to be Einstein…”
My oh my, dear dear me.
Carry On, Boyz and Girlz!
The George Galloways of the world, and their appeasement friends in academia do not just exist to criticize Israel and the West, they are here ONLY to criticize Israel and the West as they see us as the only guilty party. The Assads of the world can do whatever they want, use CW, kill untold thousands and we just never hear a peep from them.
Israeli security officials believe Syrian rebels used sarin gas against
soldiers yesterday, killing 26 (Yediot)
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3:14 AM – 20 Mar 13 from location
But you know that Oren Kessler, he’s probably self-hating…..
Any refutation from Turkey on this story on RT? [Back in May]
Apparently WMD Sarin was used in Halabja :). Who knew. Maybe Shinto goatherds handed some to the ragheads in Al-Nusra 🙂
It’s all coming together. Anderson Cooper, where art thou!
I suspect Israel may not want Obama to strike at the Lion. After all, isn’t it better that the Hizbis stay pre-occupied in Syria?
Gabe. More than wanting to keep the Hizbies busy taking out salafist Islamofascist berserkers, some Israelis would have preferred to keep Assad’s hands guarding the CB stocks. They were quite happy with the level of security provided by the regime.
The prospect of those nasties falling into our AQ allies’ hands has been the #1security concern. They didn’t worry about the Hizbies in that regard. I’ll be surprised if there are no whispers of operations mounted to “secure” the caches.
BTW. Current events are too important for our Anderson to carry the torch of keeping them accountable. Wolf Blitzer is in heavy rotation on CNN doggedly pimping doughty widdle Israel. So much so that it might confuse some viewers into thinking that’s what it’s all about! Or something.
Yediot has an english website: YNet
Who is Oren Kessler? And since when is a tweet considered fact? In any case 1300 gassed by your resistance heroes doesn’t make any better by jihadist crimes.
Lally’s favorite news source, Yediot, states:
US report: Assad’s responsible for nerve gas attack
Report concludes with ‘high degree of confidence’ that Assad fired missiles carrying nerve gas at Damascus suburbs, killing 1,429 people.
Today’s Question: When will Lally “indict” the Obama Administration’s “false flag” op? Is there a lawyer out there willing to help Lally?