It could be that the military solution to the Syrian Crisis is for the moment set aside while furious efforts are under way to secure whatever chemical weapons the Syrian government has from use, misuse, theft and dispersal.
Might-could-be. Hard to say.
I watched Charlie Rose's interview with The Devil Assad last night, and it seemed to me that the soft-spoken Assad was running rings around Rose, literally tying him in knots and forcing numerous errors as Rose was exposed again and again as simply acting as the spokesman for the Obama Regime, not as a journalist at all. He was clearly ignorant of anything about Syria that he hadn't been fed by the White House, DoD, and State Departments. Assad easily exposed Rose's ignorance and hypocrisy as he pointed out repeatedly that the US has presented no evidence whatever that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on August 21, the date of the alleged sarin gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. None. Zero. And he offered a plausible explanation for what happened: there may have been an accidental release of home-made sarin by the rebels. His point was that with current information, there is no way to tell for sure, but in any case, there is no compelling evidence that the Syrian government -- rather than some other interest involved in the Syrian civil war -- was responsible. There is only assertion. And in the end, even so-called "evidence" -- such as that presented by Colin Powell at the UN to justify attacking Iraq, can be false.
The US has no credibility in these matters in other words.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts, triggered by John Kerry's "rhetorical" offer to withhold missile strikes on the Syrian government if it agrees to turn over all its chemical weapons to "international control" within the week, are apparently underway in earnest as the Russians and Syrian government have agreed to attempt to comply. Oh my, who would have thought?
Some people are saying this is Obama's brilliance in action; I will withhold judgement on that. It's obvious to me that preparations for direct military intervention in the Syrian civil war by the United States have been under way since spring at the latest and were probably in work well before that. I recently read a series of stories in the Economist published in May that explored the possibilities and potentials of direct US military intervention in Syria, stories that indicated that preparations to intervene had been made long before.
The notion that the whole Syria Thing is nothing but a distraction from the NSA revelations has been taking hold among some of those who see the NSA Thing to be Bigger Than God. Well, I don't see it quite that way.
I'll put it this way: the government operates on numerous parallel tracks all the time. While it often seems to be responding to various pressures -- whether driven by the media or by its corporate partners or what have you -- in fact, the government is juggling a bunch of shit all the time, and it is quite capable of asserting and acting on its own interests as chosen (at the top) from a menu of options at any given moment.
In other words, the government can easily use something that's in the to do list pipeline to overwhelm something else that has been captivating the media -- especially captivating summer stories.
And so it is with the Syria Thing. Is it a "distraction"? Hardly. It's serious as fuck. It's Post Labor Day now, and the Summer Shark and Missing White Boy stories would have faded on their own -- because that's how the media works. Now the news cycle is dominated by the White House and the Serious Matters that the White House has to deal with. That would have happened with or without the Syria Thing.
Of course, the White House and whatever Spookery has been running the summer con (I say it's likely to be the CIA) are going to use Syria and whatever else is in the offing to tamp down the NSA story or at least make it a minor issue rather than a major one. Of course they are. How much the Congress gets its panties in a collective wad over domestic surveillance remains to be seen, but I suspect the only real upshot is that certain categories of the Overclass will be granted the exemptions and immunities they seek while everyone else will be subjected to ever more intrusive surveillance. That's what the indications have been since the opening salvos of the Story of the Century. Or Summer. Or whatever.
We should understand that the CIA has been operating in Syria at least since last year and probably well before that, attempting to undermine the Syrian government enough to enable their favored rebel factions to march into Damascus and take over. It's not been going well, and I wouldn't be surprised if the CIA didn't blame the difficulties they're having in Syria on bad intelligence from the NSA. And it would be surprising if they'd try to cripple the NSA and run their own intelligence operations as they've done in the past (to often disastrous results.) These sorts of Inner Party squabbles have been commonplace for many decades. What we can see of them is usually only a tiny portion of what's really going on.
Keeping the public focus on Syria or the NSA or what have you is useful to those who are squabbling over their prerogatives and powers behind the scenes. We won't be likely to know for years what this whole thing is really about -- if we ever find out. But what we are allowed to see is rarely more than a glimpse of the whole picture.
If the Apocalypse has actually been averted and the diplomatic solution to the apparent crisis is implemented, we can breathe a sigh of relief -- at least temporarily. But never forget, as the Bard once put it:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
And that's putting it mildly.