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Forum Post: 2013 NDAA Reignites Cold War with Russia, Opens Door for Hot War with Iran

Posted 2 years ago on June 23, 2012, 3:10 a.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

“In addition to language saber-rattling and preparing for war with Iran, the FY013 NDAA includes language that could undermine our diplomatic relationship with Russia and thwart the implementation of the historic Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on. For example, the House accepted an amendment that adds to efforts to delay the implementation of START by preventing any reductions to our nuclear arsenal until the Secretary of Defense reports to Congress on Russia’s compliance with the Treaty.

“Another such amendment, adopted by voice vote in the middle of the night, singles out Russia by limiting the availability of funds for Cooperative Threat Reduction Activities with Russia until the Secretary of Defense ‘can certify that Russia is no longer supporting the Syrian regime and is not providing to Syria, North Korea or Iran any equipment or technology that contributes to the development of weapons of mass destruction.’

”Put simply, these are ploys to delay the Defense Department’s ability to implement the nuclear arms reductions as required by the START Treaty and will only raise tensions with our Russian ally,” said Kucinich.

“We should be working cooperatively with Russia to not only reduce arms but to abolish all nuclear weapons.”

  • Dennis Kucinich

“If you want peace, you prepare for peace. If you want war, you prepare for war. The NDAA prepares for war against Iran.

“It calls for pre-positioning planes, bombs, ships, munitions and for naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz. [Sec. 1221 (b) and Sec. 1222 (A)] This is not about defense. This is about offense.

“I was a third string quarterback on not a very good varsity football team and I know the difference between defense and offense. We’re preparing to go on offense on Iran which does not have nuclear weapons and has no intention or real capability to attack the United States.

“We're about to make the same disastrous mistake we made against Iraq. This bill does not explicitly authorize war, perhaps, but that's beside the point. It’s licensing it. It sets the stage for it in an election year.

“Wake up, Congress.”

Read about HR 4310 here - http://kucinich.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=296070

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5 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Congress Pushes for War with Iran, House 401–11 vote,

By Stephen Zunes, June 13, 2012.

"...in an overwhelmingly bipartisan 401–11 vote, has passed a resolution (HR 568) urging the president to oppose any policy toward Iran “that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.”

http://www.fpif.org/articles/congress_pushes_for_war_with_iran

This dangerous embrace of neoconservative military policy is now so widely accepted by both parties in Congress that the vote on the resolution was taken under a procedure known as “suspension of the rules,” which is designed for non-controversial bills passed quickly with little debate. Indeed, given the serious implications of this legislation, it is striking that there was not a single congressional hearing prior to the vote.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, noted how "this resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran. It's effectively a thinly-disguised effort to bless war."


http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-syria-arms-2012-1 (ship load of Arms reached Syria from Russia on 12 January 2012)

RIA Novosti reports that the vessel docked in the Syrian port of Tartus. It was allegedly carrying 35 to 60 tons of ammunition and explosives. Russia has a naval presence in Syrian waters, its only one in the Mediterranean, that dates back to the Soviet-era.


http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-is-filling-two-of-these-assault-ships-with-marines-and-reportedly-rushing-them-to-syria-2012-6

18 June 2012, Russia Is Reportedly Filling Two Of These Assault Ships With Marines And Rushing Them To Syria

Fearing for its naval base and citizens on the ground in the conflict ridden nation, Russia is reportedly sending two amphibious assault ships to Syria.

Oliver Carmichael at The Telegraph reports an unidentified Russian officer confirmed that "Two major amphibious ships – The Nikolai Filchenkov and The Tsezar Kunikov – are preparing to be dispatched to Tartus outside of their schedule."

The two ships can off load 450 Marines and nearly 2,200 tons of equipment, through ramps at both the front and back of the ship.

The ships will be docking at Tartus, Russia's only naval base outside the former Soviet Union where it's suggested they'll be used to help evacuate Russian troops and property.


21 June 2012, Why Russia Is Extremely Protective Of Syria,
Walter Hickey.

Lately there's been a lot made over Russia's continuing support of the current Syrian Regime.

They've gone to the plate for them at the U.N. Security Council. Russia has sold Syria an immense amount of munitions. Russia was going to ship more attack helicopters, until that shipment was cancelled this week.

Our opinion is that — from a strategic perspective — Syria serves a similar role for Russia that Israel serves for the United States.

In that light, Russia's current behavior in Syria makes total sense.

It goes without saying that Syria and Israel couldn't be more different culturally. But from a tactical position, it's easy to understand why Russia backs the Syrians so adamantly.

The Foreign Bases

Russia has its only Mediterranean naval base in Syria, in the port city of Tartus. The only remaining Soviet port on the Med — and the last Russian military base outside of the territories of the Soviet Union — the Russians have poured a fortune into the base, dredging it for years and establishing it as the site of their Mediterranean naval presence. Allegedly, it's currently the site of multiple nuclear powered warships and subs.

The United States has six war reserve stocks in Israel with some $300 million worth of military equipment stored there. Even more, the United States has the Dimona Radar Facility in Israel, located in the Negev desert. That site has two 400 foot, ballistic missile tracking radar towers. The facility can detect missiles 1,500 miles away, and also provides targeting info for interceptors.

The Money

Russian exports to Syria in 2012 alone amounted to more than a billion dollars. Its investments in the nation amounted to nearly $20 billion in 2009. Russia has dumped a ton of money into Syria. Russian natural gas construction company Stroitransgaz has $1.1 billion in investments in Syria and a staff of more than 80 Russians working there. There is a huge vested interest in the Syrian economy for Moscow.

The United States has a strong monetary relationship with Israel as well. Since the mid-eighties, Washington has given more than $3 billion in grants to Israel. The economies are somewhat close, and there is a substantial interplay between Israeli companies and U.S. businesses.

The Guns

Russia is one of the major exporters of arms to Syria. Current contracts amount for more than $4 billion worth of arms deals to the Syrians. The price of owning the base in Tartus wasn't cheap, and involved Russia canceling billions of dollars worth of debt incurred by Syria during the Soviet era. Nearly all of Syria's jet fighters, helicopters, and missile systems are Soviet or Russian made.

Likewise, the United States is a huge weapons exporter to Israel. We've sold them the Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense system, which is one of the most sophisticated missile interceptor systems in the world. We provide nearly $3 billion per year to Israel in military aid each year.

The Footholds

Either way you cut it, Israel is an American foothold in the Middle East. It's a friendly coastal nation with a longstanding relationship with the United States, a powerful allied military, and an immense amount of American weapons. It's a special relationship, and — were the excrement to hit the air conditioning — the U.S. has done everything it can to establish Israel as an American foothold in the Middle East.

That's what Syria is for Russia. The base at Tartus has been described by Russian military officials as their "foothold" in the Mediterranean. They're putting in guided missile cruisers, and perhaps aircraft carriers. The Russians are very close with the ruling Assad family, and Syria has been set up as their ally in the Middle East. Russian-Syrian relations are special.

The Wildcards

Perhaps the most interesting similarity between Israel and Syria — philosophically, two extremely disparate nations — is their mutual devotion to leaving every single option open for national defense.

Neither country has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. U.S. Congress Office of Technological Assessment has recorded that Israel is widely reported to have chemical and biological weapons programs, and Syria is known to have stockpiles of Sarin and other chemical weapons.

They both have a mandatory civil service requirement. In both Damascus and Jerusalem, anyone who turns eighteen has to serve in some capacity in the military.

Israel could very well have a nuke. That's one of the most contentious questions in foreign policy at the moment. Syria, plausibly, wants nuclear weapons, but hasn't got the material to do so.

So essentially, each nation is willing to do what neither the U.S. nor Russia is capable of doing. Not only does each nation serve as an ally and a foothold, but each is willing to do whatever it takes to win, something that has tied the hands of the U.S. and Russia.

That kind of ally can't hurt to have on your team, strategically.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-russia-is-extremely-protective-of-syria-walter-hickey-business-insider-2012-6#ixzz1ydRkOytX

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4744) 2 years ago

Hi Middleaged, Thank you for this post.

http://www.voanews.com/content/syria-turkey-jet/1246255.html

Hopefully, this is not the start of a war.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Wow, yes. Turkey has popped up as the 2nd biggest Ally to the USA behind Israel. Turkey could be a total proxy for US Interests in the Middle East.

Catalyzing Events of War are flimsy and unsubstancial. But what was Turkey doing, and what is their interest in Syria? There is little altruism in the Middle East. Although blockade running ships did come from Turkey to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza, West Bank?

Turkey is one of the Largest Armies in the area. And being backed by the USA. There is smoke.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Censorship Rise by US Government. Google reports 'alarming' rise in government censorship requests, By John D. Sutter, CNN, Tue June 19, 2012,

Google says government requests to remove Web content are way up
In last half of 2011, U.S. agencies asked Google to remove 6,192 pieces of content
That's up 718% compared with the previous six-month period
Google released its biannual transparency report Sunday night

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/18/tech/web/google-transparency-report/index.html

(CNN) -- Western governments, including the United States, appear to be stepping up efforts to censor Internet search results and YouTube videos, according to a "transparency report" released by Google.

"It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect -- Western democracies not typically associated with censorship," Dorothy Chou, a senior policy analyst at Google, wrote in a blog post on Sunday night.

"For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors. In Poland, we received a request from a public institution to remove links to a site that criticized it. We didn't comply with either of these requests."

In one incident cited in the report, a U.S. law enforcement agency asked Google to take down a blog that "allegedly defamed a law enforcement official in a personal capacity." The company did not comply with that request.

In another, a separate law enforcement group asked Google to take down 1,400 YouTube videos (Google owns YouTube) because of "alleged harassment."

And in Canada, the passport office asked Google to delete a YouTube video "of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet," according to the report.

The tech company did not oblige either of those requests but did comply at least in part with 42% of the removal requests from the United States in the last half of 2011, the report says. That number is down considerably compared to previous reports; In the latter half of 2010, for example, Google said it complied with 87% of U.S. requests to remove content.

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (4744) 2 years ago

Good Post