A coalition of the weak and the stupid !

A coalition of the weak and the stupid !

I may well have missed something in light of the recent statements made by Secretary of State John Kerry that he and the President, Barack Obama believe that Syria poses an imminent threat of stability to the Middle East well as its own citizens there in the country , after evidence was found that President Bashar al Assad`s forces, have been using chemical weapons against the civilian population, as well as opposition forces in the uprising that has been ongoing in the country for the past two years. The evidence was clear for all to see, but somehow , it has taken the snail`s pace activity of the US government and its rather asinine intelligent efforts, and some two years to coming to this conclusion, as to the gross criminality in the behavior of Al Assad`s military ? It should really come as no surprise, considering the US`s continued inactivity, while there was ongoing mass genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan , as the West chose to close its eyes, while such atrocities were taking place .

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During, a decade-long era of ceaseless violence, America literally stood by and did absolutely nothing, simply because that region bore no strategic importance to the United States. Yet, given the lack of a cohesive foreign policy and the dogma that encompasses the country`s full understanding of the global threats, beyond what it deems to be Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It is becoming increasingly clear, that this administration like previous administrations before is simply devoid of expertise where it is needed most when it comes to the Middle East .

It now seems that Kerry`s formal statement is meant to be a warning to the Syrian government that the United States and its allies will not tolerate the actions of the Syrian military , the inner workings of Bashar al Assad`s crack squad of covert operatives and its continued use of chemical weapons, in order to suppress what is now in essence, civil war taking place in the country . `We will no longer tolerate ` ? Two years of bloodshed, and the estimated loss of some 80,000 lives and the US will not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons. Over one million lives were lost in Darfur, from the genocide taking place there, as President Omar al-Bashir used to The Janjaweed (Men on Horseback), Sudanese Army to bring terror and terrorize and as part of his ethnic cleansing , in killing Christians, as well those in opposition to his rule of the country of Sudan . Omar al-Bashir was once described by former President George W Bush , as a man of conviction and of deep faith. Somehow, I get the feeling that when the former US President made that statement, he may not have been completely cognizant of what was going on in the region at the time. Albeit, that the statement came after a meeting between the two heads of state , while Bush was in office, during his second term.

This country can now ill afford to enter into a third military conflict in just over a decade , under the pretext of a humanitarian effort, when the real truth is like his predecessor , for Barack Obama , the strategic reality here is simply a matter of the West and its allies creating an even bigger imprint in the Middle East and perhaps gaining access to Syria`s oil reserves . The lessons to be learned from the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have not been heeded, in spite of the loss of over 5,000 lives and in excess of some 240,000 military services members wounded, at the cost of over $1.77 trillion (cumulative).

President Barack Obama , along with John Kerry , Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel , General Martin Dempsey JCOS, NSA Director Gen Keith B Alexander will now have to strategize as what militaristic options are viable. With UK Prime David Cameron having issued a public statement in the House of Commons that Britain is prepared to act unilaterally to protect the Syrian people from the wanton intent of the country`s dictator to suppress their democratic freedoms. Ad nausea, it now looks as if Cameron is also now prepared to follow in the footsteps of a former predecessor Tony Blair , as he marched locked in footstep with George W Bush, as he declared military action against Iraq, under the premise of following UN article 1441 , which did not give full military action for the invasion of that country in 2003. The resolution simply called for, use of military force should Saddam Hussein pose an imminent threat in the region, in particular to Israel and many of the West`s allies in the Middle East. At this juncture, it now begs the question , to whom does Bashir al Assad now pose a threat to, other than his own people ? Any type of joint action, sanctioned by the UN or not , is likely to be met with a great deal of opposition by the American public as well as the population of Britain. No matter how closely tied the two countries are said to be , the explanations now being offered up by Barack Obama and David Cameron will not be enough to drown out the likely antiwar sentiment that is likely to be heard from those opposing military intervention or quite possibly all-out war in Syria.

It certainly will be interesting to see which countries are likely offer a broad-based support of America and Britain , as both will undoubtedly seek a resolution from the UN Security Council and the likely input that will be made by known Syrian supporters on the Council , China and Russia , who are both permanent seated members of that particular council. . Russia remains Syria`s largest armaments` supplier as well as having oil drilling rights in the country through a number Russian based petroleum companies . The Middle Eastern nation is also one of Russia`s largest trading partners in the Arab world. So it should not come as a surprise , were the Russian to seek to veto any vote taken by the Security Council for a preemptive strike to be taken by a coalition force. Russian President Vladimir Putin has now become a thorn in the side of any perceived bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia. And with the growing reluctance by the Russian nation to expel NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden , it would be indeed correct to say that the relationship between the two nations is now close to an all-time low. Any chance that Vladimir Putin obtains to further embarrass his American counterpart is seen as a plus by the Russian President.

One of the more unappealing parts of the UN Security Council , remains the very fact, that once any two permanent member seeks to veto any action to be taken , everything becomes null and void . China`s own position may well be, now more closely tied to the other three permanent members of the UNSEC. Chinese President Xi Jinping has become market oriented with regard to his economy, which is now the world`s second largest, with an estimated $ 9.6 trillion GDP, but it should be noted that the Chinese nation is the largest holder of US sovereign debt ($2.455 trillion). What may well now take place within the United Nations will be predicated upon the cases that will be made by the US ambassador Samantha Power and UK ambassador / Philip Parham , UN ambassadors to that international body , if the argument is not laid out by either David Cameron or Barack Obama , personally , at the UN headquarters in New York City.

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The geopolitical issues are not unfounded , when one considers how any such action is likely to be viewed in the Arab world along with the possible economic costs , in terms rising gas prices , as well as possible terrorist reprisals by entities favoring Islamic fundamentalism. One has to wonder if either David Cameron or Barack Obama have seriously thought over the implication of their actions and the likely outcome . Should Bashir al-Assad be overthrown and toppled, then, who will the West seek replace him with ? Lessons, to be learned, indeed . Your thoughts on this all ?

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(1) President Barack Obama ,left, and Secretary of State John Kerry are seen here disembarking from Air Force One. Kerry now seeks to make the case that the US should intervene in Syria after the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian military against the civilian population in the Middle Eastern Country. AP Photo/ Mark Shaw ….

(2) President Bashir al- Assad of Syria , who succeeded his father Hafeez al Assad upon his death, to lead the country. The incumbent leader, denies claims now being made in the West that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian armed forces against the civilian population as well as against the Syrian opposition in what is seen as a popular uprising against the Baathist led ruling party in Syria. The country`s only publicly known ally in the outside world would appear to be Russia , who also happens to be one of Syria`s main trading partners, as well the country`s biggest military armaments` supplier . AFP/ REUTERS/ Paul Ross …

(3) Sudanese President Omar al Bashir seen here on an official to visit Beijing China . Although the country as now been split into entities with the Muslim led North and the Christian based South. There still remains a great deal of friction between the two countries . The Sudanese leader is looked upon in the West as a war criminal , but neither the European Court or International Court , or UN Court on Human Rights have seen fit to bring charges against al Bashir. AFP/ Getty Images/ Frank Mitchell …

(4) David Cameron , left , is seen here with Barack Obama at the White House . The two leaders are seeking a UN resolution that will grant them the grounds to launch a preemptive strike against Syria . Also being sought would be a `no fly zone ` throughout the greater part of the country , as well as over the nation`s capital of Damascus. REUTERS ……….

(5) Vladimir Putin greets his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping . The two leaders could very well now be at odds, as how best to deal with the current issue in Syria . Both China and Russia have a great deal to lose , with both countries having heavily invested in the country . Adam Ross / The Guardian UK …..

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tophatal …………. 08/29/2013

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Chalk one up for the Big Boys … Though Not Necessarily The Good Guys …..

Chalk one up for the Big Boys … Though Not Necessarily The Good Guys …..

by tophatal

Unofficially, the London Olympics kicked off on Wednesday afternoon (10:00 AM , EST) with the opening round of the women’s soccer tournament . The heavily favored US team led by Abby Wambach and team goalkeeper Hope Solo faced France in their opening Group G match . They came away with an easy 4-2 victory over their French opponents .

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Inasmuch, as I am looking forward to the games, it has to be said, there are far more consequential events that are being overlooked by the world and IOC Executive Committee . IOC President Jacques Rogge try as he must , faces a daunting task in trying to justify the game’s continuance in light of the international crisis now being played out in the international arena , as the Syrian government lays siege to its citizens . The country’s President , Bashir al-Assad has toyed with the West and the idiotic diplomatic strategy of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan . Never mind the fact that the country’s Foreign Minister , Walid Muallem , recently made the public statement that the country now possesses “ weapons “ of mass destruction , specifically Sarin gas , Agent Orange , and several other highly toxic chemical weapons . Muallem , also through a spokesman stated that the Syrian military would only use these weapons against outside insurgents and the enemies of the Syrian nation and its citizens . Somewhat asinine , when you consider the death toll in the eighteen months of internal strife and struggle has led to deaths of 20,000 Syrians , many of them innocent bystanders and civilians. What the world has now been made aware of , is that George Bush’s hunt for WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) were in fact centered in the wrong fu#king country , as it has been proven that Iraq possessed none of the chemical weapons that the embellished evidence had suggested .

Donald Rumsfeld , Dick Cheney and the a#sholes at that venerable bastion of stupidity Fox News Channel kept on blowing smoke up everyone’s ass , and in large part, far too many of the public bought into the bulls#it. Currently , Syria possesses the third largest quantities and stockpiles of chemical , biochemical weaponry and germ warfare in the world , behind the United States and Russia . Somehow , this seemed to have escaped the attention of the CIA , NSA , DIA , Defense Department , FBI , State Dept , Senate Intelligence Committee , House Intelligence Committee and the god-damn US administration of Barack Obama .

Syria has sent a delegation of ten athletes and officials to the London Olympics. And it seems remarkable that the athletes and its delegation will be treated with the utmost respect. In this day and age , I find it somewhat ambivalent of Jacques Rogge, in not addressing Syria’s heinous actions against its populace . What has been even more asinine is the idiotic and rhetorical statement s made by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton stating that Bashir al-Assad should step down as President , and that the heinous atrocities taking place within the country should come to an immediate halt . Now unless I am with Arab Spring “uprising “ of the past Fall , we saw the United States intervene in Libya , assisting the opposition to overthrow that country’s long-reigning dictator Muammar Gaddafi . This continuing asinine stance , in terms of US foreign policy, in fomenting strategic alliances with Arab partners , has ran aground like a vessel stuck in an oncoming maelstrom of violent weather , with no clear vision in sight . The State Department is no longer sure as to who its closest allies are , in the Middle East , much less dealing the rest of the Arab and the Muslim world . And God forbid , we have some dick-head of a specialist from the Brookings Institute try to allay our fears while still trying to espouse the view that Israel remains this country’s greatest ally in the Middle East . Fu#k that sh#t , Israel is simply glad to annually receive …. $8,000,000,000 ($ 8 billion) in non-discretionary aid , which in return it uses to buy heavy US military armaments . Why the hell else , would AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) be front-and-center , otherwise dictating a skewered and blatantly lopsided US foreign policy ? Plainly put , the vast majority of the US electorate are simply sheep who like to be led , rather than sifting through the bull#hit placed within their midst by the idiots on both sides of political aisle and diaspora !

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has shown that as the body’s most senior official , he simply does not countenance the respect needed to get things done . At the same time the five permanent members of the UN Security Council might as well be playing pool or Canasta for all of the good they are now said to be doing . China and Russia at every step, has sought to derail any real intent to bring about a ceasefire in Syria . The duos are the Middle Eastern country’s biggest trading partner and armament’s supplier. At $4 billion a year in arms’ sales , one could well understand why Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Russian counterpart , Sergey Lavrov are disingenuous , and they would rather see the United States be viewed as a “ paper lion “ whose roar is no louder than that of a mouse ,within the international diplomatic arena .

Intellectually, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s heads are rammed so far up their own ass, that they are unable to tell the difference between night and day ! If they do not realize that Bashir al-Assad is no different from his father , Hafez al-Assad , whom the young al-Assad succeeded . Then it is clear , that the information provided the duo by analysts from the NSA , US Defense Department and CIA , simply isn’t worth the paper it is written on . In other words , they are continually being provided with a whole bucket load of shit ! The estimated 20,000 lives said to have been lost in the latest Syrian uprisings are but a mere “ drop in the bucket” , when one takes into account the deaths said to have taken place during the reign of Hafez al-Assad , as the President of Syria .

With the 187 nations now either on route or having already arrived in the UK for the official Opening Ceremony this Friday, for the Olympic Games , the first controversy and act of stupidity has already raised its ugly head . Greek track star and triple jumper , Voula Papachristou , has been expelled from the game for “tweeting” racially insensitive remarks concerning African athletes and African migrants in her native Greece . Papachristou has since apologized for the remarks stating that poor judgment and the statements were originally meant as a joke . The ideals of the Olympic are foster an environment of athlete camaraderie wherein, the athletes can compete on the world stage on an equal level while exhibiting fairness and compassion . The Games’ modern-day founder Baron Pierre de-Coubertin meant for these ideals to be upheld , and in many respects those tenets have been abandoned by de-Coubertin’s successors as Presidents of the IOC . The Summer and Winter Olympics have now become far too commercialized and it has been to the complete detriment as to what the event was meant to represent .

Now there is no denying that the Olympic Games will be primarily about the more high-profiled athletes and teams in competition . Team USA Basketball , both the men’s and women’s teams will be highly favored to repeat as champions in their respective tournaments . Geno Auriemma , head coach of the women’s Team USA , will be seeded number one , and will be in Group A , pitted against China , Angola , Croatia , Czech Republic and Turkey , in the group stages of the tournament . Their toughest competition is likely to come from Australia , Brazil and China , en-route to an anticipated Olympics Final and perhaps the inevitable gold medal .

We know that the US Men’s Basketball team is laden with NBA stars led my LeBron James , Kobe Bryant , Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony . The team will be coached once again by Mike Krzyzewski . Coach K , as he is more commonly known will seek to add to his own already impressive legacy as the head coach of the national team as well as the head of the four-time NCAA championship program of Duke University (Blue Devils) .

Having won Olympic gold , in 2008 , in the men’s competition of the basketball tournament in Beijing . London 2012 will present Mike Krzyzewski’s players with a different set of obstacles and a much sterner test than most will have anticipated . Pre warm-up games asides , this team cannot afford any slip-ups at any point during the Men’s Basketball Tournament at the London Games . As highly favored as they are to repeat as champions , the bulls-eye will remain a constant target on the backs of the players , specifically LeBron James , Kobe Bryant , Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant , who are seen as the “ faces “ of the NBA . USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo has not worked in close conjunction with David Stern and the NBA hierarchy over the past three years to see this all go up in smoke . And it will be incumbent upon Team USA’s players to prove to the world that the NBA brand of basketball is far superior to that of their contemporaries around the globe . Granted , the rules to be administered for the format of the tournament will be played under the FIBA guidelines but it is anticipated that it will not prove to be a difficulty for the players or Krzyzewski’s coaching staff to understand .

Argentina , Spain and quite possibly Brazil , are seen as the toughest obstacles standing in the way of the USA repeating as champions . However, I do feel that if the team can stamp their authority from the outset , then their path to the finals should not prove to be all that difficult !

We all know of the heroics of Michael Phelps in Beijing as he swam to Olympic gold in six individual events , and then won two more gold medals in team relays . The swimmer has set his sights in London on swimming in seven events , including relays , with view to bring his medal tally to an unprecedented and astonishing twenty-one gold medals , an all-time among Olympic athletes . Phelps’ tally of Olympic medals currently stands at sixteen and counting (fourteen gold and two silver medals ) . Phelps and teammate Ryan Lochte , apart from being close friends , they will also prove to have the greatest rivalry anticipated , once the competition begins with its very first event. Both the men’s and women’s events should prove to be a real revelation , as the US’s dominance will most certainly come into question .

The real highlights and anticipation to my belief , will come from the track and field events to be held at Olympic Park in East London . The the venue that will in large part will hold the events as well as being the center the opening and closing ceremony for the games . Encompassing seventeen days , starting on the 27th July and ending 13th August 2012 , this will be the thirtieth Olympiad (XXX) of the modern era , first held in 1896 , in Athens , Greece , birthplace of the original Olympic Games . The main attraction of the track and field events will undoubtedly be the double-defending Olympic sprint champion , Usain Bolt of Jamaica . The talented sprinter , holder of the world records in the 100 meters , as well as the ” 200 meters , will hope to make a successful defense of both titles as well anchoring the 4 x 100 meter relay team (men’s) to Olympic gold for his country . Bolt however , will face a stiff challenge from teammate Yohan Blake in both events , where the talented twenty-two year-old has this year recorded the second fastest times in history , in both of the men’s sprint events . The once dominant US men’s track team is no longer there but the likelihood of Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin mounting a serious challenge to the dominant Jamaican duo remains a distinct possibility. The world record in both of the men’s (100m 9.59 & 200m 19.19 ) sprint events is likely to be challenged and perhaps lowered and that is part of the anticipation that will wet the appetites of the most ardent of track and field fans .

NBC Sports , its affiliate stations and cable partners will provide the North American television market with an unprecedented 400 hours of approximate live televised coverage (cumulative 5,000 plus hours on all of its affiliated partnering networks ) of the games , taking in repeated televising of certain events . And given the poor staple and stable of the network’s prime-time programming and television coverage . The 2012 London Olympics should provide a much-needed boost to the television viewership and bottom line for the fourth ranked television network .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As an expat Brit , now residing here in Central Florida , these Olympic Games will have a special meaning to me ! Many of the events to be staged will in and around many of the neighborhoods I frequented as a teenager . Olympic Park , itself, as it is centered in the town of Stratford , East London , and will be the venue where my attention will be keenly linked to . The town in fact , where I was born and raised , through the first eight years of my life . And though there will be venues nationwide that will stage many of the twenty six events that will make up the thirtieth Olympic Games . None perhaps , will be more riveting , spectacular or explosive as many of the track and field events taking place at Olympic Park . Whether or not you are an ardent fan of the Summer Olympics , what if anything will you be most looking forward to and why ?

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(1) Alex Morgan (left) and Megan Rapinoe celebrate as the US women’s soccer team get off the mark in their come from behind 4-2 victory over France in the opening round of group play in the Women’s Olympic soccer tournament . AP Photo / Scott Mackenzie ….

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United States’ Alex Morgan, center, is challenged by France’s Wendie Renard , left, during their women’s Group G soccer match prior to the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 25th July , 2012. AP Photo / Frank Morris ……..

(3) From left to right , IOC President Jacques Rogge , British Prime Minister , David Cameron and far right Lord Sebastian Coe , Chairman of London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games . Daily Telegraph / Mark Patterson @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(4) Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is seen here with Syrian President Bashir al-Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus . Failed attempts to negotiate a long-lasting and meaningful cease-fire has led to civil war in the nation of 14 million residents . The UN’s peacekeeping observers have been powerless to stop the atrocities being perpetrated by the Syrian President’s military and security forces across the country , that has led to the loss of an estimated 20,000 people in the past eighteen months . REUTERS / Hamed El Gherrouj …….

(5) Mike Kryzewski, coach of U.S. men’s senior national team, pauses during a pre-Olympic friendly basketball match against Argentina at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, July 22, 2012. … Getty Images Europe / Alain Desjardins …

(6) Greek track athlete, Paraskevi “Voula” Papachristou becomes the first athlete to be sent home from the London Olympics . Her banishment was not for a drug related offense but for “tweeting ” racially insensitive remarks about African migrant workers in her native Greece as well making remarks about a number of African athletes housed at the Olympic village . Papachristou offered a public apology to the IOC as well as to those which her comments referred to . However , the Greek IOC as well the LOGOC felt that her act of contrition was not enough in light of her comments and she was sent home , back to Athens , Greece where a possible suspension awaits the athlete by the Greek Athletics Federation . AP/REUTERS/ Miles Eastley ….

(7) Ryan Lochte , left , and teammate Michael Phelps could provide the London Olympics with one of the most anticipated and eagerly awaited rivalries . The two swimmers will face off against each other in a number of individual events in the Aquatic Center at the upcoming games . Daily Telegraph / Adrian Whitehead ……

(8) Yohan Blake (535) defeats compatriot Usain Bolt (539) in the finals of the 100 meters on the 29th June , 2012 , at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in Kingston , Jamaica . The two , are the leading contenders in both of the sprint events at the Olympics . The Weekly Gleaner / Buster Etienne

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