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Member since: Wed May 5, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Park Service is part of the Interior Dept. If there's a crackdown, it's the White House, not Issa

who gives that dispersal and arrest order.

If the U.S. Park Police do forcibly evict OWS from DC, we will have become just another Third World Police State in the eyes of the world.

P.S. - It's incidents of petty brutality and unlawful arrest of political protestors, like this one, that creates that image. It's the kind of mass arrest scene in Oakland, below, that solidifies it.

Gee, why don't they all just buy brand new homes in gated communities with that $1,800 "settlement"?

If not something like this:

Maybe, a gated community like this?

UN and US being drawn into decades-old Saudi-Iran religious struggle for control of Syria

We've heard a great deal in recent months about violence is Syria, particularly about the killing of members of anti-regime opposition groups and demonstrators. Outrage at this has predictably roused world opinion, so that there is now a push for military intervention in the style of last year's regime change in Libya. But, the origins of violence in Syria are very different and much older and widespread than the short, sharp shock that dislodged the Khaddafi regime. A few NATO airstrikes and special forces on the ground, and boom, over. Not.

Few Americans appear to realize that political violence between the Ba'athist regime and opponents is actually a new round in what is essentially a decades-old religious war between a minority Shi'a Baathist regime and a Sunni Salaafist opposition primarily funded by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

For those who want to deny that the US is preparing for military intervention in Syria, please read this:

Obama administration secretly preparing options for aiding the Syrian opposition
Josh Rogin
Foreign Policy
December 29, 2011

As the violence in Syria spirals out of control, top officials in President Barack Obama’s administration are quietly preparing options for how to assist the Syrian opposition, including gaming out the unlikely option of setting up a no-fly zone in Syria and preparing for another major diplomatic initiative.

<. . .>

But the administration does see the status quo in Syria as unsustainable. The Bashar al Assad regime is a “dead man walking,” State Department official Fred Hof said this month. So the administration is now ramping up its policymaking machinery on the issue. After several weeks of having no top-level administration meetings to discuss the Syria crisis, the National Security Council (NSC) has begun an informal, quiet interagency process to create and collect options for aiding the Syrian opposition, two administration officials confirmed to The Cable.

Unfortunately, some in the US and UN appear to now be willing to be pulled into the middle of this one. This is a war that the US cannot win by picking sides, and the consequences of intervention and escalation could be disastrous.

Syrian opposition presses for UN intervention
Foreign affairs editor Peter Cave, wires

Posted January 23, 2012 00:25:04
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby Photo: Arab League secretary general Nabil Elaraby meets the observer committee in Cairo. (Reuters: Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)
Related Story: Arab League debates future of Syrian mission
Related Story: Syria rejects calls for Arab force
Related Story: UN chief renews attack on Assad, amid amnesty
Related Story: Qatar calls for military intervention in Syria
Map: Syrian Arab Republic

The Syrian National Council is planning to send a delegation to the United Nations to press the Security Council to intervene in the country. A spokesman for the Syrian National Council said its members did not believe the Arab League observers report would be objective.

<. . .>

The Arab League could expand the mission to more than 300 observers from more than 160 now deployed across Syria, according to a source in the mission. But the opposition Syrian National Council has been lobbying for UN intervention and said it will reveal "a counter-report" later on Sunday to try to discredit General Dabi's account.


The operation is now past the Arab League intervention stage, and has now moved to the UN. It's as if there's a timetable, with mid-March as some kind of target date, the one-year anniversary of the start of the sniping that killed 7 Syrian policemen and 4 civilians at the border city, Daraa, home of Salaafist separatists. It's important to get back to basics, though. Not surprisingly, credible reporting on the external origins and support of the intervention are scarce. The propaganda focus is on internal violence, not outside planning and mobilization of support for regime change.

There's a religious dimension to this that's been largely ignored by the western media. The Assad family is part of Shi'a minority that dominates the Ba'athist regime. There's little or no reference to the fact that the Sunni-Shi'a conflict is at the heart of political violence in Syria today. Wiki:

From 1976 to 1982, Sunni Islamists fought the Ba'ath Party-controlled government of Syria in what has been called "long campaign of terror". Islamist Mujafadin attacked both civilians and off-duty military personnel, and civilians were also killed in retaliatory strike by security forces.

The Muslim Brotherhood was blamed for the terror by the government, although the insurgents used names such as Kata'ib Muhammad (Phalanxes of Muhammad, begun in Hama in 1965 Marwan Hadid) to refer to their organization.

There are also undertones of a renewed "rollback" operations against Russian interests in the region. With the involvement of Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islamist terrorists backed by the Saudis against a regime armed by Russia, this resembles Kosovo and the regime change operations against Iran, as much as it also follows the Libyan "Arab Spring" model. Remember the Kosovo snipers? They're back.

The repercussions of intervention would also be far less containable and could spark a full-fledged regional war in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. What we're seeing in Syria is actually a continuation of a religious-based sectarian struggle between Saudi-backed Sunnis and the Shi'a Ba'ath Party minority regime of the Assad family with ties to Iran and Lebanon.

But, on the other hand . . .

1. Ending the Iraq War.<...> Escalated the War in Afghanistan, and started five others, including a looming war with Iran.

2. Twelve billion dollars in new funding to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.<...>After two billion federal dollars diverted to fuel the growth of charter schools in the last two decades, the Obama Administration endorsed a doubling of direct federal funding. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/education/25educ.html

3. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, welcome gays into the military, and appointed more openly gay officials than any president in history.<...>Bravo, but no more than any Democratic President should have and would have done.

4. Passed $789 billion in economic stimulus in 2009.<...>A third of the Stim went to tax cuts. And, for context, $16 trillion in extra liquidity went to big banks in QE2.

5. Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during all 8 of Bush's years.<...>Unemployment rate is still higher than when he took office. Obama has cut public sector jobs. There are still a record six million long-term unemployed, the highest number in the post-war era www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

6. Voluntary disclosure of White House visitors for the first time in US history.<...>Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than did Bush, imposed the Espionage Act, and continues a widening campaign against those who dare reveal corruption and wrongdoing in military and intelligence matters.

7. Appointed first Latina to the US Supreme Court.<...>See 3, above.

The rest, mostly padding the resume . . . not very impressive for a guy who had an FDR size mandate, and returned Hoover results in economic policy and Wall Street reform.

Not very impressive.

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