Voices from Russia

Friday, 6 September 2013

US Congress Finds “Overwhelming” Public Opposition to Force in Syria

00 No tanks. 06.09.13

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After three days of non-stop phone calls from hundreds of Colorado constituents opposed to an American military strike on Syria, on Friday, US Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) announced Friday he was “leaning against” a resolution giving US President Barack Obama the authority to take limited action. Catherine Mortensen, Lamborn’s communications director, said that following the long Labour Day holiday weekend, “Tuesday is when the calls started, they’re still coming in, and I’d say fewer than two percent are people who want us to take action. People say things like, ‘We have problems at home we need to take care of’. What was surprising was how quickly people’s opinions gelled. They’re not lukewarm. Right off the bat on Tuesday it was, ‘We don’t need this’. It’s been overwhelming”. On Friday morning, whilst Lamborn was answering questions from listeners during a radio show, Mortensen said, “One man phoned in to say, ‘I’m in Afghanistan, and I don’t want this anymore’”. By the end of the show, Lamborn, a Republican, who previously said that he was gathering facts and hadn’t made up his mind yet, told listeners that he was inclined to vote against the resolution. Moreover, Lamborn’s office isn’t alone.

Other Congressional offices said that they’ve been bombarded with calls ever since last Saturday, when Obama said that he’d ask Congress to approve a “limited” strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last month. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a televised interview on MSNBC, “I can tell you, 99 percent of the calls coming to my office are against it”. US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who lost the presidency to Obama in 2008, voted to support his old rival during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this week, but took significant heat about it on Thursday from angry constituents at a town hall meeting in Arizona. One man in the crowd held up a bag of marshmallows, saying, “This is what I think of Congress. They’re a bunch of marshmallows… why aren’t you listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It’s not our fight”.

Some of those calls and comments to Congress appear to be having an effect. After days of discussions with voters, Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) announced late Thursday in a statement on his website that he’d vote against the president’s request, saying that the situation in Syria is a civil war, so, the USA shouldn’t intervene in it. He said, “This isn’t just my opinion. It’s the considered opinion of the people that I represent, expressed not at just one or two town halls, but literally at every public or private meeting and casual encounter that I’ve had since the president decided to put this issue before Congress last Saturday. I’ve heard their opposition loud and clear and I won’t vote in favour of military intervention in Syria”.

Upon hearing word about a chemical attack that killed men, women, and children, Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) said that his initial reaction, as a USMC combat veteran, “was to stand by the Commander-in-Chief and support immediate targeted strikes”. On Thursday, Grimm announced that he, too, changed his mind. He said in a statement on his website, “I’ve heard from many constituents who strongly oppose unilateral action at a time when we have so many needs here at home. Thus, after much thought, deliberation, and prayer, I’m no longer convinced that an American strike on Syria would yield a benefit to the USA that wouldn’t be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of the war”.

Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), in a statement on his website explaining his opposition to a strike, said that, thus far, the Obama Administration “failed to present a convincing argument that the events in Syria pose a clear threat to America, failed to list a strong coalition of nations willing to support military attacks, and failed to articulate a clear definition of victory”. Salmon told National Review Online that he’s had 500 calls to his office about the crisis in Syria, and only two were in favour of US intervention. He predicted Obama’s efforts in Congress “would fail by 20 votes”.

However, Obama is counting on members of Congress like Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who’s viewed classified information about the chemical weapons attack and said on Thursday that she supports the strike on Syria, despite the lack of public support. According to the AP, she said, “There’s no question… what’s coming in is overwhelmingly negative, but you see, then, they don’t know what I know. They haven’t heard what I’ve heard”. On Friday, during a press conference in St Petersburg soon after the G20 summit wrapped up, Obama said that he’d address the nation about the crisis on Tuesday, telling reporters that he considers it part of his job to “make the case”. He told reporters, “It’s conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do”. However, he added that members of Congress would have to decide for themselves if they think a strike is the right thing for national and global security, saying, “Ultimately, you listen to your constituents, but you’ve got to make some decisions about what you believe is right for America”. Obama didn’t say whether he’d still order a strike even without Congressional approval.

6 September 2013

Maria Young

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20130907/183229540/US-Congress-Finds-Overwhelming-Public-Opposition-to-Force-in-Syria.html

Editor’s Note:

A Russian correspondent of mine (who lived in the USA for about five years) had an interesting thought:

What if this is just political kabuki to defang the right? Obama could call it all off if the House rejected it, and he’d put the onus on the Republicans. Maybe, he’s looking to confuse his opposition before more important votes. He’s not a stupid man. The American right-wing believes their fairy tales about him; they don’t look at him objectively.

That’s an interesting thought. However, there’s a lotta light from that there fire. I’d like to believe that my interlocutor’s correct. Yet… I’d need more evidence. Still, I want to see this put to bed with no war… and I’m not alone in wanting that.

BMD

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Putin sez Russia will Help Syria in Case of External Military Strike

00 Russian and Chinese soldiers. 06.09.13

Chinese soldiers present gifts to Russian soldiers in Chelyabinsk on 7 August 2013. Russian soldiers participating in the Peace Mission-2013 ChinaRussia joint military drill visited a Chinese cultural centre set up in the field, in which they enjoyed many aspects of Chinese culture. The American drive for global hegemony is driving many countries together… it looks as though more will join the anti-American coalition.

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On Friday, at a press conference following the G20 summit in St Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin said, “Will we help Syria? We will”. Putin added that the USA and other countries would make themselves outlaws if they launched a military operation in Syria. He said, “I presume that everything concerning the so-called use of chemical weapons was a provocation on the part of fighters who expected outside assistance, I mean assistance from countries that supported them from the very start. This is the essence of this provocation. The use of force against a sovereign state is only possible if one does it in self-defence and, as we know, Syria isn’t attacking the USA, nor was there a decision made by the UN Security Council. As one participant in our discussion said, those who act otherwise put themselves outside the law. At this time, which is generally difficult for the world economy, to say the least, it’d be counterproductive to destabilise the situation in the Middle East“.

President Putin pointed up that the USA, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and France supported a military operation against Syria, whilst Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Italy opposed the option at the G20 summit, saying in response to a journalist who suggested that the G20 divided approximately 50/50 over the need for a military strike on Syria, “You said the vote was 50/50. This isn’t quite so and I can tell you who was in favour of military operations. As you know, those were the USA, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and France”. Putin went on to say, “Categorical objections were raised by Russia, China, India, and Indonesia and I’d like to call your attention to the fact that this is the world’s largest Islamic country, in terms of population, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Italy”.

Putin hadn’t forgotten that British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in favour of a military intervention in Syria, but the British parliament voted down the proposition. He said, “The German Bundeskanzlerin is also extremely cautious. Germany isn’t going to get involved in any military operations”. Putin said that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opposed military operations against Syria, too, but Putin also said that he was surprised with the positions of certain G20 states on Syria, noting, “Last night, the Indian Prime Minister unexpectedly said that he was categorically against any military operation. The position of the Indonesian President, which is the largest Islamic country in the world with a population of, I think, 350 million {VVP is a bit off… Indonesia’s population is a tad under 240 million: editor}, came as a surprise to me. The Brazilian President took an absolutely firm stand, and the South African President did, too”.

Putin also said that he had a conversation with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit. According to Putin, the short dialogue was friendly, although they agreed to differ on certain issues. Putin said at a press conference following the G20 summit, “This was a very substantive, constructive, and friendly conversation. At least, it took place in a friendly atmosphere. Each of us stuck to our opinions, but dialogue exists”.

 6 September 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_09_06/Russia-to-help-Syria-in-case-of-external-military-strike-Putin-7536/

Editor’s Note:

Russia’s upped the ante. Its forces are on enhanced alert and VVP made it clear that he was going to stand by his Syrian ally. I hope that the current imbroglio doesn’t turn into July 1914. I truly do… the USA is playing with matches around dynamite, though. If you needed proof that the USA, as a society, is juvenile, violent, and unrestrained, well, this is it. God do keep us… for it looks as though the establishment in the USA has committed itself to a death ride. May the chalice pass from us… please…

BMD

MID Concerned Over Danger to Christian Holy Sites in Ma’loula and the Threatened Massacre of its Inhabitants

St Thecla Monastery

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On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) expressed concern about the attempts of Syrian rebel forces to seize the city of Ma’loula, which is a symbol of the Christian presence in Syria. A statement from its Information Department stated, “The fact that terrorist attacks threaten Ma’loula distresses Moscow profoundly, as it’s a symbol of the Christian presence in Syria. It’s well to remember that its residents speak the almost-extinct Aramaic language, the language that Jesus Christ used for his sermons; some of the most ancient and revered Christian churches in the world are in this town”. The MID called for a general effort to bring the danger facing Ma’loula and its people to the world’s attention, “to make every possible effort to prevent violence to its inhabitants and to prevent the destruction of its Christian holy places. It’s necessary for us to put an end to terrorist attacks against it immediately. A particular responsibility for this threat is borne by those, both in the region and outside it, who, willingly or unwittingly, encouraged terrorists”.

6 September 2013

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=52564

Editor’s Note:

This is the strongest language that the MID has used to date. Indeed, it condemns the actions of the USA and its Saudi ally in the strongest-possible diplomatic terms (the statement doesn’t name the two nations explicitly, but it doesn’t require deep thought to trick it out). The USA did similar evil in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. It has to end… NOW.

NO WAR IN SYRIA… decency and humanity demand it.

BMD

6 September 2013. Fatso’s Back in Bethesda! Does Mollard Know About This?

00 Oh no. 06.09.13

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Got this from a loyal Cabineteer:

Seems [Paffhausen] is” back in the fold”, returning to an OCA venue for his talks. There’s going to be a “Friday Night study with Metropolitan Jonah” on 6 September at 19.30 EDT at St Mark’s in Bethesda MD.

Perspirin’ minds wanna know… is Sir Ray going to be there in clericals wearing a dog collar, too (Ray WAS suspended by the OCA Holy Synod, disgraced and still in bad odour, after all)? Let’s see… Fatso was his Godfather protector, wasn’t he? Fatty allowed Ray to sue people right and left (Fatty was his diocesan bishop, after all… if Ray sued people with impunity, it meant that Fatty approved of it (if only implicitly)). Is Fatty out of favour at Potapov’s establishment? Did Potapov drop Fatty because he became too much of a “hot potato?” Does Mollard APPROVE of Fatty stirring up his claque in the District? It’s not very bright, y’ know. Mollard should send Fatty somewhere quickly, if only to Jordanville as a simple monk. Mollard can’t afford to leave Fatty in the District… it’s unwise and looking for trouble. Mollard sure isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this is STOOPID. It’s playing with matches and someone should get Mollard to STOP IT.

Things sure ain’t boring covering the Orthodox beat… I sure wish that they’d stop being so “interesting”, though… the Chinese were right…

BMD

 

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