NATO Considering Attack On Bashar Assad’s Regime
NATO countries are strongly considering the possibility of an international deployment to Syria if the Syrian opposition does not make major advances in the next few weeks, according to multiple informed Middle Eastern diplomatic and security officials.
Egyptian security officials, meanwhile, outlined what they said was large scale international backing for the rebels attacking the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad – including arms and training from the U.S., Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Several knowledgeable Egyptian and Arab security officials claimed the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi, which is located in the country’s northern desert region.
Those security officials also claimed Saudi Arabia was sending weapons to the rebels via surrogates, including Druze and Christian leaders in Lebanon such as Druze leader Walid Jumblatt; Saudi-Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, who recently served as Lebanon’s prime minister; and senior Lebanese opposition leader Samir Farid Geagea.
Syrian sources claimed to this column that Jordan’s fingerprints can bee seen on the opposition forces entering the country. They claimed that just this week they shot dead 15 armed smugglers coming into the country from Jordan and that Jordanian forces helped cover the smugglers’ tracks on the Jordanian side of the border.
While Turkey, the U.S. and Arab countries may be arming the opposition, Russia has been directly aiding Assad’s forces on the ground, according to informed Middle Eastern diplomatic and security officials.
In once recent incident, when opposition forces successfully destroyed a Russian-provided tank in the rebel stronghold of Homs using an antitank missile, the officials said that Russian technicians took fragments of the missile to study the components in a Russian lab to determine the exact missile used.
Meanwhile, according to those same Middle Eastern diplomatic and security officials speaking to this reporter, the international community is considering launching NATO airstrikes on Assad’s forces as soon as March if the opposition does not make major strides toward ending Assad’s regime.
NATO members, however, have been satisfied with the momentum of the opposition in the last few days, which saw a number of defectors from the Syrian military join the rebels, a move that also precipitated the downfall of Muammar Khaddafi’s regime in Libya.
Similar to Khaddafi, Assad’s regime has been accused of major human rights violations, including crimes against humanity in clamping down on a violent insurgency targeting his rule.
Damascus officials claimed NATO troops are currently training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria.
Dershowitz To Launch Crusade Against Media Matters
Liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz vowed he will begin a campaign to personally make the Media Matters for American controversy into a reelection issue for President Obama.
A series of reports has exposed the embattled Media Matters’s purported illicit tactics, including compiling a de facto enemies list; announcing an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel; and reportedly seeking to investigate the personal lives of reporters and news personalities.
The information came amid reports that White House staffers held regular meetings and even a weekly conference call with Media Matters.
Dershowitz took particular issue with Media Matters’s coverage of Israel, including rhetoric from Media Matters Action Network senior fellow M.J. Rosenberg, who is known for his extreme anti-Israel views. Rosenberg has been pushing the phrase “Israel Firster,” implying those who support the Jewish state place Israel’s needs before those of the U.S.
“Not only will [the Media Matters controversy] be an election matter, I will personally make it an election matter,” said Dershowitz.
He continued: “I will speak to every Jewish group that invites me, and I think it’s fair to say I speak to more Jewish groups than probably any other person in the world. I spoke to over a million Jews over the years. You know, just last Thursday I spoke to 1,200, just in the next weeks alone I’ll be speaking…to thousands of American Jews. And believe me, I will not let them ignore this issue.”
Dershowitz made these comments on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio.
“I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” Dershowitz said. “I can tell you this, he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”
Koch Not A Santorum Fan
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch recently lambasted Rick Santorum in an interview on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.”
“Santorum is nuts,” Koch told this reporter. “And I say that in a loving way. He is someone who is of the belief that religious obligations that he has can be imposed on other people. Now I don’t mind his imposing on himself the business of no pre-natal care, no abortion. That’s okay from his point of view. But in my judgment, it’s nuts to try to impose that on other people of other religions who don’t agree with you.”