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Old 01-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
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Sryia chemical weapons - UN rep

Well, that was interesting. I just listened to an interview on NPR. Yeah, it's good to listen sometimes to those you don't necessarily agree with. Sadly, I didn't catch the names - it was on the PBS-NPR news. And you know, when the interviewer seems to share some "we're grateful and friendly" to the interviewee - sometimes they talk a little bit more loosely. Good job there.

At any rate, on the topic of the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons. The UN rep (female from the voice) spoke very carefully, for example, would not ID the exact chemicals and precursors, but did "speak to" the fact that they were "the worst" - hinting that the other reports and news are correct. No matter, we knew that.

As to the process, it seems (my summary) that the deal was, for all intents and purposes "we'll buy your chemical weapons investment off you at your/the best we can get for the chems" price. In other words, there's a quid pro quo and it's bucks.

I should not be surprised. The UN rep went into some more specifics, but it was basically that the already-made final products go to the US Navy boat to be "rendered" into something they have "tenders" for already.

The stockpiles of "precursor" chemicals will simply be shipped to private firms who have "tendered" for them, again, already. A UN/Syria split of the resulting bucks seems implied.

Syria gets some bucks is my assumption. The interviewer perhaps didn't have the wit to ask (or did have the wit to not-ask, and for certain, the UN rep didn't say either way. The word "tender" (used a few times) is what set me off - the mention of bucks involved, contracts and so forth.

This just set off my personal "follow the money" meter, so I thought I'd share.

The whole Syria thing seems to have been (at the start) about money anyway - who gets or doesn't get to run a pipeline to Europe and perhaps compete with Russia/Putin for energy to Europe. If you follow the other money, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have put billions into the "revolution" which is now having its own problems all of a sudden. Now for various reasons, legit or otherwise - the "resistance" is made up of several factions, no doubt with somewhat different motivations and pay scales from the funders...with differing commitment to somewhat different goals.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Yup, it's all about money/resources, as usual.

As if the Saudis were all the sudden concerned with human rights, in another country no less.

Of course, it is much easier to get the public to accept going to war against bad people who do bad things than to say we are going to war to uphold the petrodollar.

And if Assad does fall, the new ruling faction will be much worse, just like in Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Egypt...
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:21 PM   #3
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Well the point here is one of several. Assad didn't just give up the stuff. He's learned some way that the use of these things (ahem, the major powers might have had something to say) is worse than zero sum, so someone offering to take them is, well, just about no loss, and in fact, is most likely a gain, and both political and monetary.

While the other side is falling apart as mercenaries generally do if their support isn't consistent.
I note the difference between a mercenary and a "true believer" in terms of commitment to a cause.

And yes, most of what we get involved in over in the MENA is petrodollar. So, since this doesn't seem to have a lot to do with that, isn't it interesting we backed right off? We don't have a dog in this one....I guess we'd like our "friends" in the ME to have a way to bust our "enemies" monopoly over fuel to Europe. That's about it, this time, and why we lost interest.
It wasn't important enough. And we all get paid.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
... And yes, most of what we get involved in over in the MENA is petrodollar. So, since this doesn't seem to have a lot to do with that, ...
Saudi Arabia is mad enough at the USA's refusal to do their bidding that they have made some veiled threats about the future of the petrodollar. It appears from what I've read on the subject that Syria marks the first significant time in modern history that the USA told our Saudi sugar daddies, "no".
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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Agreed, Bug. But at the moment, the Saudis seem to be directing their anger in more-tangible form towards Russia - stuff that goes "boom" being the sign there, just ahead of the Olympics.
I believe a guy in SA made the threat (Bandahar?), and seems to be making good on it.

Since it's only our first time "off the reservation" they may forget for a bit, or at least till they deal with their actual competition. We are, after all, a major customer - we just didn't help them (enough) in gathering more customers, in their view.

I find it interesting that no MSM seems to have made any of these connections, including those I scan not US based. Perhaps each outlet makes one of them. Seeing them all as manifestations of a single issue seems unique.

Also interesting is how the "true believer" resistance to Assad is having a pretty serious falling-out with the mercenaries hired by SA and Qatar - even though they need the help.
I'd put it down to fear that while they both want to get rid of Assad, they don't trust the mercs, as they fear the mercs will wind up running the place instead, and in a way not to their liking.

The next piece of the puzzle would be finding out that monietary and other support for the mercs from their sponsors has been falling. I heard Qatar had chipped in 3 billion at the get-go, SA's numbers haven't crossed my eyes. Truly a pittance compared to the value of a pipe to sell to Europe.

Almost like the payout ratio of "buying" a few congress-critters in the US, which has shown itself to be ~~ 100::1 for some large companies here at home when you compare their lobbying costs to the value of what they get in return.

I really do have to struggle not to be so much of a cynic some days. Stuff like this makes it more difficult not to be one. Almost embarassing to admit I'm a human and part of the same species as these guys.
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