Monday, July 13, 2020

America's "Ceasar" Sanctions On Syria to Damage the Region- Curveball Redux

Curveball the consummate ,extremely skilled and accomplished,  liar;
I had forgotten about this prevaricator,  but, it did come back to me after reading the piece below, written  by James Durso @ Oil - Jul 11, 2020, 2:00 PM CDT Keeping in mind Curveball's claims took the US to war in Iraq. Where do you suppose Ceasar's lies are going to lead other then to the desired increase in war? I can't see these sanctions leading in any other direction.

Excerpts below
"In 2003, the red-hot source was “Curveball;” in 2020, its “Caesar.” The U.S. might soon discover if the second time is, in fact, farce.  On 20 December 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 which incorporated many of the provisions of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Caesar Act). The NDAA includes provisions for additional sanctions against leaders and enablers of the Bashar Al-Assad regime of Syria"
Of course, it seems much more likely to me that the US knows that Caesar, like Curveball, is a fake and a fraud, being deployed to advance a desired agenda
"The sanctions are named after “Caesar,” allegedly a Syrian police photographer who defected with over 50,000 photos of what were claimed to be 11,000 victims of torture at the Tishreen and Military 601 hospitals in Damascus"
"Caesar" was first written about here years back.. More then six years ago to be precise
Jan 2014: Syrian torture claims- Without the torture- Unlike Abu Ghraib- Odd?
Followed up with another report in July 2014: "Hail Caesar" Syrian "Defector" appears in Washington- as the so called torture images were shown at a "Holocaust Museum"
I'll post some additional related info at the bottom of this report

The photos were the basis for the Caesar Report that claimed to detail "the systematic killing of more than 11,000 detainees by the Syrian government in one region during the Syrian Civil War over a two and half year period from March 2011 to August 2013." The Caesar Report was announced on 20 January 2014, two days before the start of UN-sponsored negotiations which quickly broke down. The report was incorporated into the ongoing campaign against the Assad regime and, eventually, the Caesar Act.
Well, OK, there were some administrative glitches, it’s the middle of a war after all, but this Caesar guy can probably explain everything, right?

Well, that’s another problem. No one knows who he is. Just as with Curveball, whose evidence was used to justify attacking Iraq in 2003, the U.S. is relying on evidence from a mystery man. (Curveball later admitted his evidence was almost all lies.)
We were told Caesar’s identity must be kept secret to protect his family, even though they have been secreted out of Syria. If Caesar was a government photographer the Syrian security services likely know who he is, but it’s also possible he’s not a photographer and was picked to conceal the true source of the photos, or he himself was involved in atrocities and used the photos as a Get Out of Jail Free card. Whoever he is, his handlers may be concerned he wouldn’t do well even in front of a friendly interviewer.

We’ll eventually know Caesar’s identity, but in the meantime his sponsors won this skirmish with the imposition of new sanctions on Syria.

And impressive sanctions they are.
The Act provides for sanctions against the Central Bank of Syria if it is involved in money laundering. Also targeted is the Government of Syria and any entity it owns or controls; senior Syrian political figures and regime connected businessmen; providers of oil and natural gas, and aircraft or spare aircraft parts; operators of aircraft used for military purposes; providers of  construction or engineering services, to stop reconstruction efforts; and foreign military contractors working on behalf of the governments of Syria, Russia, or Iran.

To deepen Damascus’ isolation, the Act also authorizes sanctions on non-U.S. persons who engage certain transactions with the Government of Syria or other sanctioned Syrian persons, so persons with no U.S. connection can be subject to secondary sanctions for activity outside U.S. jurisdiction. (If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you just read about China's Hong Kong National Security Law which “applies to anyone, anywhere in the world.”) 

In June, the U.S. government made 39 “designations” of entities “actively supporting the corrupt reconstruction efforts of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” and “obstructing, disrupting, or preventing a ceasefire or a political solution to the Syrian conflict.” The sanctions start at the top with Mr. and Mrs. Assad, numerous members of their families, regime-connected businessmen, and selected military units. 
The sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for the region. 
Or a more opportune time for a fresh round of birth pangs... 
Aside from the COVID-19 dislocation in the region, Lebanon’s economy is in free fall and its banks, which may hold up to $45 billion in Syrian assets, may be soon be deemed untouchable by the international system.
Lebanon targeted. Gee, who benefits from that?
If Syria’s economy contracts even more, increasing its already dire 80% poverty rate, we’ll likely see more Syrians heading to Lebanon, which is already hosting almost 900,000 registered refugees, putting additional stress on Lebanon’s economy and infrastructure.
Jordan is hosting over 650,000 Syrian refugees. The economy is starting to recover from the COVID-19 lockdown, but the kingdom, home to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, and will face an internal political crisis if Israel annexes territory in the West Bank which may kill the two-state solution.
Wrote about this years ago as well... 

2014: Jordan: Threatened by Western pressure applied via ISIS- Chafe at US/Israeli peace plan  or 2011:  Jordan offers a new home to Hamas

Jordan offers Hamas a "new home" Palestinians expelled to Jordan?
Why would Jordan do that? Offer a new home to Hamas? To help the Palestinians? Puhleez.
Three years ago I queried: (Now 9 years ago)
This is presented as being beneficial to the Palestinian cause. Is it really?
Isn't it in fact more beneficial that Palestinians get their own nation, and their lands back and their right of return? In fact the very concept of Palestinians in Jordan is one that is often promoted by Israel and that nations supporters..
Birth Pangs of a new remade region
"The threat of sanctions against Lebanese and Jordanian businesses working with Syrian enterprises may slow the economic recovery as businesses stop trading, thus reducing tax revenues, just when the states face the burden of hosting more refugees. 
Turkey is hosting over 3.5 million refugees but its bigger economy has been undone by President Erdogan’s economic mismanagement and the country’s dire COVID-19 infection rates, blunting an effective response if more Syrian refugees land on Turkey’s doorstep."
I've talked repeatedly about an influx of refugees from Idlib which will destroy Turkey
"Iraq hosts almost 250,000 refugees but it is suffering from low oil prices, an ongoing insurgency, and an overt Iranian influence campaign. A new government is finally in place, headed by former security chief Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and a priority is renegotiating its strategic security relationship with the U.S. so Iraq can create its own space between the U.S. and Iran."
Again, Iraq has been allied or subordinate to the US. That's been obvious and stated clearly here repeatedly. As Iraq aided in the allied bombing in partnership with the US. Never with Damascus.
"The U.S. State Department says the sanctions won’t “hinder our stabilization activities in northeast Syria” which may concern Iraq and Turkey if they see that policy as encouraging the Kurdish area of Syria (the northeast) to seek independence, thus encouraging their own Kurdish communities to do the same. If that is so, how will Kurdish independence benefit the U.S. if that destabilizes a NATO ally (Turkey) or a country in which it has invested money and lives (Iraq)"
As was planned. Kurdish independence will benefit US and Israel policy for so many reasons that have been hashed and rehashed here at PFYT's.
"If more sanctions on Syria will cause regional problems why did Washington press for them?
Mostly out of habit."
"Mostly out of habit" Is Triple AAA Rubbish.  Sanctions are warfare.  They lead to destruction and mayhem every time. It's not habit. It's intent.
"Sanctions have become Washington’s standoff weapon to avoid politics. They are easy to implement when the editorial pages say “Do something!” and they usually don’t affect the interests of U.S. business. When President Trump ordered a troop withdrawal from Syria (in the end the troops were just moved around) the national security establishment freaked out, but the interventionists knew they had to find another way to get rid of Bashar Al-Assad.

Sanctions mean U.S. officials can avoid having to negotiate with someone like Assad, who is highly motivated to keep his job - and his life (he saw the video of the end of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi). With his life in the balance, he isn’t likely to make concessions just to meet an American Assistant Secretary of State, which may save a U.S. official from the sort of ritual humiliation his father served to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
And sanctions usually just buttress the positions of corrupt officials, insiders, and regime-connected businessmen. Sanctions against Iraq befitted figures connected to Saddam Hussein and his sons, and in Iran have bolstered the economic empire of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. From the look of the recent sanction designations in Syria the friends and families of Mr. and Mrs. Assad are doing pretty well, also.
To the U.S., Syria was only important as the spoiler of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and if it could be bribed or suborned to get the deal, great, but then the U.S. could go back to ignoring it.

Russia and Iran see Syria differently. Moscow hasn’t had to remind Damascus of the successful CIA-backed coup in March 1949 and the unsuccessful CIA-backed coup in 1957. It has supported Syria over the long haul and it really wants that base at Tartus, it’s only naval outpost on the Mediterranean Sea. Iran, the target of a successful CIA-backed coup in August 1953, has said it isn’t leaving Syria, which it needs to aid its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. It’s likely that the new sanctions, by further isolating Russia, Iran, and Syria, may drive them closer together. Their shared history won’t hurt. 
U.S. sanctions are usually viewed by the targets as part of a regime change operation, not as a means to a “peaceful, political resolution of the conflict” in diplomat-ese. You can throw in some “democracy promotion” and “civil society” but Washington isn’t fooling anyone.  Unfortunately for the people in the target states, U.S.-sponsored regime change has rarely worked as intended (they work exactly as intended)  and has “often produce unintended consequences, such as humanitarian crises and weaker internal security within the targeted state” – like next door in Iraq. In fact, U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey gave the game away when he admitted his goal is to make the Syrian conflict a “quagmire” for Russia. That’s not good news for the Syrian people caught between the Syrian regime anvil and the U.S. hammer. And given the track record of U.S. sanctions in the region – the sanctions against Iraq destroyed the country’s middle class and bred resentments that hobble U.S.-Iraq relations to this day - it looks grim for Syrians.

If sanctions have provisions for trade in non-controlled goods, there is the problem of “over compliance” by the private sector, which hasn’t forgotten the $9 billion fine paid by BNP Paribas for breaking sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba. A consequence of draconian penalties is that subsequent attempts to woo the private sector will fail.

After the Obama administration secured the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry made a special effort to sell the opportunity to the Europeans saying, “… when people have a question, we are available to answer those questions.” Lawyers in the sanctions trade replied that responses from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to their questions were “vague and noncommittal.” Mr. Stuart Levy, chief legal officer of HSBC Holdings and former Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Treasury Department, took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal where he noted Mr. Kerry’s “peculiar message” and confirmed “…HSBC has no intention of doing any new business involving Iran.” 

Then, after the Trump administration left the Iran nuclear deal, but not the Iran sanctions, European governments created the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) in order to facilitate trade between Europe in Iran. INSTEX was commissioned on 31 January 2019 and has been used for one transaction – a shipment of medical supplies to Iran.

Sanctions have long-term effects, other than stunted children and a ruined middle class. 

Somebody has to bust those sanctions, and the guys that do that successfully can turn their skills into political influence or they can pursue other types of illicit activity. Sanctions increases the pool of people experienced with informal transportation networks, money laundering, the use of front companies, and corrupting public officials – and often that’s just to trade in legitimate goods. When the shooting stops it’s naïve to think they will all gravitate from high-risk/high-reward, “patriotic” illicit activity to a quiet life approved by the U.S., the United Nations (UN), or the European Union sanctioneers."
This is where the Usrael Kurds are shining bright.  PKK has all the necessary tools for illicit activity
"If the U.S. is leading the charge for sanctions on Syria, will it be expected to help pay for the reconstruction, if this latest set tips over Syria? Probably, but it may not be interested in doing so. After spending over $6.4 trillion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan since 2001, the U.S. taxpayer may have had all the nation-building he can stand. 

But without significant reconstruction spending, estimated by the UN at around $400 billion, those refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey may not go home, creating Palestinians 2.0 for the host countries. Or else they’ll wash up in Europe"
A Palestine 2.0 for an Israel 2.0. And so it goes
"So, the U.S. used information of uncertain accuracy from a hand-puppet source with unknown motivation to give one last shove to the odious Assad regime and to continue its proxy war against Russia, regardless of the regional consequences. Well, why not? It worked like a charm in Iraq"


  1. " It has supported Syria over the long haul and it really wants that base at Tartus, it’s only naval outpost on the Mediterranean Sea. "

    One minor point. It was the Soviet Union that helped Syria back then, not Putin's Russia which is behaving very oddly in this situation. Not only have they forced concessions on Tortuous from Syria, but they are also building numerous bases and radar installations there. Under any definition of the word, that can be considered and occupation.

    I would be weary of Putin's Russia.

    1. The Russia's have been at Tartus for a long, long time now. A very long time- years and years ago they were expanding the base there. As they undoubtedly continue to do.
      I covered it way back.

      What do you think of this sanctions round? Definitely intended to set the entire area on fire. More so then it already is- It's like the past 9 years have been heading, slowly, but surely, to this point

    2. Definitely, they're trying to starve them into submission which will lead to more conflict. That is why I say Putin's actions are suspicious because its looks like Syria shipped at least one Pansir system to Haftar, and he's delayed the conclusion of this war way to long. Doesn't Syria need all the Pansirs it can get ?

      In addition Turkey obviously knows Russia authorized or forced this.

      Check this out. Is it possible someone is trying to sabotage a future invasion ? Its an amphibious assault ship.

    3. I did see the news about the ship burning..

      Re: the sanctions- they are designed to harm the region.
      Their reach extends beyond Syria. So it's more then just starving the Syrians..

      re: Syria sending a Pantsir to Libya?

      That's questionable. And since it originated with southfront and zero hedge it's even more questionable.

      I spent a bit of time to see if I could find out if the Libyan army under Gaddafi had any Pantsirs- but google is so censoring these days I can barely information more then a couple of years old.


  2. Off topic, Penny, but have to tell you the gov't's being sued over mandatory vaccines and masks!
    Here's the video: more links at my site.

    I wrote my City Councillor telling him maybe the City should reconsider. You could do that too! Denis Rancourt is a claimant in the lawsuit on behalf of the OCLA.

    1. Hey yaya!
      Thanks for letting me know.
      I did watch the video and will try to stay up to date. It's just a difficult and distracting time right now..

    2. It's just a difficult and distracting time right now.

      I know everything is crazy in the world, but I hope you and hubs are well. :)

    3. sigh... we're okay.
      I hope you and yours are okay too

      I'll likely be pre occupied for some time to come
      we shall see..