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one dead or a million...is holocaust about numbers or mind set?
DrMarty | March 9, 2012 at 02:39 amby
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President Obama has ordered the Defense Department, by way of the National Security Council, to take the first steps towards planning military operations against Syria. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said as much during testimony, yesterday, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where there is a great deal of pressure to go to war.
In effect, what Dempsey said, without willing to go into very much detail in an open hearing, was that the White House has asked for options and options have been provided, but no detailed planning has been ordered.
``We're at what I would describe as the commanders' estimate level of detail, not detailed planning, have not been briefed to the President, have been discussed with the President's National Security staff,'' Dempsey said. Panetta added that ``we have not done the detailed planning, because we are waiting for the direction of the President to do that.''
The commander's estimate amounts to a summary of information that is required before detailed planning can take place, such as the enemy order of battle, an evaluation of the terrain, the population in the expected area of operations, as well as what kinds of operations might be executed depending on what political objective is decided on.
Once a political objective and course of action is decided on at the White House, then the next military step is to actually determine, at the unit level, what forces to deploy and what their tasks will be.
The only real gap between those on the committee who want war, and the administration, as represented by Panetta, is whether or not to initiate it unilaterally.
In addition, Panetta mentioned that Obama is considering giving ``non-lethal aid'' to the Syrian opposition. According to a well-placed Washington intelligence source, there probably will soon be, or already is, a Presidential finding approving this "non-lethal aid," but this is not medical supplies and radios -- rather the term is a euphemism for military support and training for opposition forces that are already being armed by others, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Sen. Corker Uncorks on Administration Double-talk on Syrian Opposition
At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Syria, held on March 1, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), upbraided the Obama Administration's witnesses for presenting a "flowery" picture of the Syrian opposition -- the exact opposite, "night and day," of what the U.S. intelligence community is saying.
Confronting Jeffrey Feltman, the State Department's top Middle East official, and Robert Ford, the provocateur U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Corker told them that the committee had just had a classified briefing the previous day, "that could not have been more different than the one we're having today."
"It's really kind of fascinating," Corker said, because in the classified briefing, if you ask what are these guys fighting for, "the word `democracy' never comes up."
Corker said that "basically, you've got an Alawite minority that has dominion over, if you will, a Sunni population, mostly. And what the Sunnis are fighting for is dominion over the minority population."
"And so when I hear these flowery statements, I do hope, especially Ambassador Ford, since you've been there, if you could educate us a little bit, because this is a night-and-day presentation from what we had through our intelligence community yesterday."
What is going on right now in Syria "is not exactly a democracy movement," Corker pointed out, noting that "the people fighting, from what I understand, are fighting for power and government.
They're not fighting under the banner of democracy -- as was laid out by Mr. Feltman -- at least by [according to] our intelligence community, anyway."
Corker concluded by asking Feltman and Ford, "do you think it's in our national interest to be involved in military operations, arming operations, to join in with al Qaeda and Hamas and others ... to overthrow this government?"
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