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Majority of UK Public Urges Government #DontBombSyria: Vote to be Held Today

Next Cold War Roundup 12/2/15

M/W/F 10ish AM Eastern

#SyriaVote in British House of Commons

_ In many ways it feels like 2003 all over again with no lessons learned. A vigorous (and at times nasty) debate in British House of Commons tonight, broadcast on C-SPAN2 , on a livefeed hosted by Business Insider in the US, with a Guardian liveblog , RT liveblog, and prolific discussion on Twitter.

_ The majority of the public in the UK opposes bombing Syria.

_ Jeremy Corbyn, under severe pressureS and threat of attempts to remove him from leadership position, is allowing a free non-whipped vote by Labour party members. He demanded two full days of debate and a vote held next week at the earliest but Tory leader and PM Cameron afforded him neither.  The debate proceeds now and the vote will be held today (tonight in UK).  David Cameron called Jeremy Corbyn and those who oppose taking UK into war in Syria a “terrorist sympathiser”, which dialed the discussion up a lot too.

_ 72% of Scots are opposed to bombing Syria according to party leader Angus Robertson on floor of the House of Commons today. A majority of Labour MPS oppose and majority of voters in UK overall oppose the intervention too.

_ Pretty well sums it up


Syria and Iraq

_ In a long House Armed Services committee hearing yesterday, SecDef Ash Carter announced we will be escalating, increasing the number of special forces and the “unilateral operations” in Iraq and Syria.  Mission creep, anyone?

_ After some promising developments during the last meeting of Obama and Putin at the G20, and after the Vienna talks, things between the two seem to have taken a severe turn for the worst based on Obama’s press conference yesterday at a climate change summit. Obama had harsh words for Russia and signaled that he is back in the “Assad must go” frame of mind, making that a priority over the defeat of ISIS.  Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor discussed this last night in their weekly Tuesday evening discussion of US/Russia/NATO on the John Batchelor Show.

_ An old plan for dividing Syria into partitions shows up in at least two places this week.  Michael Flynn gave a long interview to der Spiegel calling for the balkanization of Syria and Iraq and in an article on Foreign Affairs site literally titled “Divide and Conquer in Syria and Iraq”. This is a decades old plan from the neocon side of the house and begins to reveal some of the real reasons why we demand regime change.

_ Russia plans to escalate in Syria, open two new air bases in Syria soon and to substantially increase the number of aircraft and troops.

_ As we train and equip our new Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ground forces, Al Qaeda kills them.

_ Turkey doing what it’s told after EU deal. “Turkey has stepped up a crackdown on people smuggling, arresting 1,300 asylum seekers in a single operation just hours after the country promised to curb the flow of refugees to Greece in exchange for financial aid from the

_ After one of Russia’s unarmed (for air-to-air combat) fighter jets was shot down, Pentagon says they still can’t be armed. “Pentagon warns Russia’s against arming its warplanes in Syria with air-to-
air missiles… Such systems will further complicate an already difficult situation in the skies over Syria and do nothing to further the fight against ISIL ”

_ Perhaps one of the most concerning recent developments is Turkey sending a signal that it may blockade Russian supply ships through the Bosphorous, their only route from Black Sea ports to Syria.  I’ve been wondering if this would happen.  This could easily lead to a bigger war, perhaps world war.

_ This reminds of pre-Iraq and talk of how quick and easy the war would be, would be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues, etc. Graham says this one will be paid for by our Arab allies. It’s also interesting that Graham has, for the past two years, said the war against ISIS would be a long war. As for the 10K troops, he’s talking about a 100K troops coalition. Full scale invasion and occupation.

_ On the Sunday news shows he’s talking 40-50K. In an interview with Defense One just days before he said 80-100K and also said it on CNN in this interview about a week before that (1:20 mark)

ISIS Oil Smuggling Routes in Turkey

_ The Russian Defence Ministry says it has satellite image proof of the ISIS oil smuggling routes in Turkey. Proof. Time for Erdogan to resign


_ “UAE troops dig in for a long war in Yemen

_ Iona Craig on RTE World Report. November 2015 – The Seige of Taiz, Yemen. The battle for control of Taiz – surviving siege, snipers and shelling. ‘By the time the world realises what’s happening to us [in Taiz] we will probably all be dead’


_  Mark Weisbot explains what the latest US manipulations will be in Venezuela’s Dec 6 election (which does not include a presidential election) using the 2013 election as an example “Venezuela Votes Soon — And the U.S. Isn’t Missing Its Chance to Meddle” He also explains how Argentina’s new president and the head of the OAS will also work to undermine the government of Venezuela.

More War and Peace News

_ We will now have civilian contractor drone pilots participating in military missions. At the moment, the claim is that they will only fly on the surveillance part of the missions, not the missile strikes.  There are some serious legal questions about this new practice, which reportedly came about as a result of the shortage of drone pilots. International law prohibits civilians from taking part in military operations.

_ Qatar paid Al Qaeda money & prisoners to negotiate release of Lebanese prisoners

_ Will this require more troops? More bases? Higher risk?






Joanne Leon

Joanne Leon

Joanne is a blogger with focus on issues of war and peace, a mom, engineer, software developer and amateur photographer.