Title may strike you as quite odd since there is no apparent pot boiling on the international stove. But trust me on this one, there are guns being loaded and fingers touching triggers that the average person is not privy to and we could find ourselves plunged into a new military venture. The hot zones you ask? Syria and Iran.

All of this is about Iran. Syria? Seen as a mere proxy for Iran and a fertile battleground for the Sunnis, especially Sunni extremists aligned with Al Qaeda and its ilk, Syria is getting quite a bit of global attention. Al Jazeera catches us up on the latest moves in the UN Security Council to address the challenges in Syria:

The reports of violence comes as Kofi Annan, the Arab-UN envoy, asked the Assad government and the opposition to immediately halt violence and the use of heavy weapons.

“I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors to consolidate the fragile cessation of violence in all its forms,” Annan said in a statement.

“The government in particular must desist from the use of heavy weapons and, as it has committed, withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centres and implement fully its commitments under the six-point plan.”

Annan welcomed a UN plan to expand monitoring mission to Syria, saying: “The work of the mission should help create the conditions conducive to launching the much-needed political process, which would address the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Syrian people.”

The UN Security Council approved a resolution to deploy 300 ceasefire observers, mandated to monitor an April 12 truce mediated by Annan.

This is not a story of aspiring Jeffersonian democrats being crushed in Syria by an evil, Islamist fanatic. To the contrary. Bashir Assad is an Alawite, a version of Shia Islam, and he is not terribly religious. He is backed by Christians. Lining up against him? The Sunnis of the Middle East, led by the Saudis and the Egyptians.

The battles raging in the neighborhoods of Homs and Hama are very similar to those our Marines fought in Fallujah. In fact, Assad is fighting against some of the same kinds of crazies. So what are many in the United States trying to do? Cheerleading us into taking the side of the Sunni extremists. Why would uber Jewish Senators like Joe Liebermann be pushing such an agenda?

One word–Iran. Israel’s fear of Iran has made the Israeli leadership more crazy than usual. They worry that Iran’s hold over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is dangerous and must be countered. How to do it? Get behind the Saudis and the Egyptians who want to dislodge the loathsome Shias.

It really is this simple and this bizarre. I worry that sometime in May we will see military action by U.S. forces in Syria and/or Iran. It will come as a surprise. If it is going to happen it must happen before June. Why? The onset of summer creates too many operational problems for a sustained offensive campaign.

Keep your eyes peeled.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • alicewolf

    We need leadership in the USA that can deal with this situation correctly.  It is patently obvious that our current President is only interested in golf and still acts like a Community Organizer instead of a World Leader.   In order to lead you need to have people want to follow you.   Or, as in the case of now, noone is interested in going anywhere or doing anything except cop out, then a major thermonuclear war could break out………………………..because the intention to do so was previewed in Hiroshima etc.  ONly this time the bombs are bigger and badder and those who think they can come out on top by going ahead and triggering this type of war are kidding themselves.   The results would be beyond devastating.
    Therefore the answer is to get someone into the WH who has a clear plan of how to avoid this, and a clear plan about how to fix the economy, and a clear plan of how to start rebuilding the states and the citizens ruined lives, here, in Europe and especially in Africa.
    We are human beings after all, created in the image of God, so we should be able to get something together other than killing each other.



    Rohrabacher refused entry to Afghanistan by  karzai.

    just give  karzai the money and shut up

  • foxyladi14

    Thanks Larry.


    my own opinion as an armchair reader with no experience,
    Ben Ladin attacked the twin towers to bring down our economy. Since then just how much of our economy has been drained by the middle east with nothing but our blood to show for it??
    The people there are not our friends and never will be. They have been fighting each other for hundreds of years and we will not  change that
    I do not know how we can stop the insanity, but we are going to have to do so.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    Thanks very much for this article. Since Libya’s conflict, I no longer take Mccain’s or any other MSM’s word on who the rebels are. This is not to say Assad is not murdering innocent bystanders, but they are not the instigators, but these rebels, I’ve always wondered who are they al-queda helped the rebels in Libya, and now that govt wants more shariah law.

  • DianaLC

    Since I know little about the inner workings of the organizations and the people in charge who would make the decision for us to enter another war, all I can do is sit back and hold my breath.  I just keep hoping against all hope that the wold comes to its senses to realize that Marvin Gaye is right and war is not the answer.

    It’s hard being older because I’ve been thinking a lot about the novel on which the older movie entititled On the Beach (1959) was based.  It’s about nuclear holocaust and the last people dying in Australia.  I believe that in the movie those in charge made it unclear who was the first to start the nuclear conflagration, but in the novel it was the Middle East.

    Makes me very nervous thinking about all this.

  • bbf


    Friends of Syria

    Revealing the Truth 23 Million
    Support Bashar Al Assad

    Al Jazeera Producer Resigns
    Over Syria
    Posted on April
    19, 2012 by friendsofsyria

    Another Al Jazeera Producer with a conscience,
    resigns due to the lies being spread by the company. 


  • KenoshaMarge

    Oh damn, there goes any peaceful sleep for the near future.

    I have a granddaughter who is bound and determined to join the army as soon as she graduates from college in June.

    I am being blamed by her parents, perhaps rightly so, for my many stories of my father who was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army. Also tales of being raised on Army Bases.

    I cannot do anything but commend her spirit and patriotism while wetting my underwear in fear.

    Life is never simple. Choices have consequences. My choice to lionize my father, who I adored, is coming home to roost.

    • HoosierinDixie

      I understand the feeling Marge. I have a nephew in the Marines fulfilling his life long dream to serve his country. Last I heard he was bound for another tour in Afghanistan. Now I have a sickening feeling he may be rerouted to this sandtrap,essentially trading one hell hole for another. I am now wearing out my rosary beads praying he stays safe and his younger brothers don’t follow in his foot steps.

    • DianaLC


      I loved my dad and honored him and my uncles who all joined during WWII, but though they remain grateful for the opportunities their service provided them–most came home to farm.  My mother alwasys say, “You can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.”

      I spent my first pregnancy doing all the magic I could think of to make my baby grow in my womb as a non-violent baby.  That is when I gave up red meat (and he was perfectly healthy and so was I).  I had the threory at that time that eating red meat contributes to aggression. 

      Anyway, as it turned out this was the kid who grew up studying the Civil War, WWI and II, and every other war you could think of.  We used to laugh whenever he brought a new kid home, calling the poor guy “another vicitim of WWII” because we knew he was there to serve as either the Axis player or the Allies player in his long, complicated strategy game based on that War—unless it was to become involved in the ancient Samurai battles on another war strategy game.

      When it was time for college, I floated the question about the Citadel, as he loved to get into discussions about war strategies.  His answer was that he liked studying war, but he knew himself.  He knew he could never make the decision to send someone off to battle.  (Did my red meat theory work?)

      He went off to get a math major and was then recruited by the Navy for the nuclear Power Program.  His excuse was that he felt the Navy was the branch that would be least likely to send him off into battle at the time.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Marge, your granddaughter has made her choice to become a productive, honorable adult member of our society.  To the extent that you guided her toward that choice, you are to be congratulated.  There were alternative outcomes.

  • Justine00

    Wasn’t Obummer raised Sunni?

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    It would appear that the Israelis are not predisposed to delay their preemptive attack(s) until after the November election as President Obama requested during his last meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister.

  • BronwynsHarbor

    Do any of you follow Joshua Landis, the academic expert on Syria. In the past we’ve posted a couple stories from his blog. Larry’s post made me check in on Josh who – the last time I’d scanned his blog – sounded quite worried about the make-up of the opposition. He still seems to be:

    Peter Harling’s newest report – Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation –  is superb as always.

    He agrees in broad outline with my assessment of Syria’s opposition that I set out last month in my report: Upheaval within the Opposition: Defections, Terrorism, and Preparing for a Phase II Insurgency. He believes Syria is headed for a new “phase of radicalisation,” which is based on the need to develop a new and more violent insurgency to take on the Syrian Army. The Syrian army has become an “occupation force.” Islamization, terrorism, and growing hatred will be hallmarks of this new phase. …

    I don’t like the activist response to crises in countries so different from ours, making us less able to grasp who’s who, etc.

  • HARP2

     Obama Justice Department Now Referring Reporters to Media Matters for Information on Fast and Furious


  • Flop_Flipper

    Isn’t it funny how well Sunni Muslims and Jews get along when it comes to attacking Shiites?

    It is easy to envision an observer mission leading to war. Either side could provoke it. And to me, the most frightening scenario is that we find ourselves unintentionally siding with Al Qaeda. Handing them victory and another base.

    I take your heads up warning seriously. It offers no comfort.

  • TeakWoodKite

    Thanks for passing the salt Larry. The remote viewing of this is very “Art Bell” and very dark.

    Might you comment on where Russia and China would make things  “difficult” for us?


    backtrack agrees to give aid to Afghanistan for 10 more years
    I knew the sob would give away the store



    • Flop_Flipper

      I vote Romney rescind that order immediately after sending waivers to all 50 states for Obamacare.



    egyptian envoy camp david accords could be revisited

    • Hokma

      Our education system at work.
      Clueless morons.

    • Hokma

      I’m sure they can make it look like a drone. Let’s see if they can make it operate as a drone.

    • Hokma

      No surprise here. Looks like Obama’s Arab Spring is really working out well (if you’re a radical Islam lover).

  • Popsmoke

    It just does not make any sense….

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Yes.  I fully agree.  But if you saw what I have seen your eyes would be bugging out.  My best guess is that we have info specifying when Israel intends to strike and are putting forces into place to react if that happens.  Israel will drag us into a war if they decide to hit Iran before 1 June.

      • Popsmoke

        ” But if you saw what I have seen”

        The scariest part of your statement…  The last time you said this to me my eye did not bug out. I only shit my pants….

        Knowing you. I will now start bunking under my bed…..

      • Hokma

        Boy do I pray it’s wrong info.

        If Israel was going to strike I would have guessed that it would have been after the summer to concede for the request for more time for sanctions and negotiations – – –  unless they see that line in the sand being crossed.

  • Hokma

    I agree that the U.N. will likely drag the U.S. into the conflict but I don’t think Obama would authorize anything more than air support and drones.

    Regarding Israel, while they are not anxious to engage in any major military conflict I trust they know what the line in the sand is regarding Iran and nuclear weapons better than the U.S. does and they will act based on that and solo if necessary (which is likely). The talk about an attack on Iran’s nculear facilities leading to a regional war is not rational.

    • Popsmoke

       “The talk about an attack on Iran’s nculear facilities leading to a regional war is not rational.”

      I hope your right because if your not, we are all in deep shit….

      • Hokma

        Egypt – too weak and unorganized – also military will not engage Israel again for fear of losing Sinai.

        Syria – can’t engage now amid civil war but would likely not for fear of past engagements.

        Iraq – military too weak and siding with Iran could divide country.

        Saudi and Jordan et al likely support Israel but quietly.

        If Israel strikes Iran it would likely also shield against and likely attack Hamas and Hezbollah.

        Israel’s concern are missiles coming from Iran and Lebanon randomly hitting civilian populations. And that is why a strike on Iran is an absolute last resort and only when Iran has crossed that last line in the sand.

        My concern has always been Obama. If he is dropping in the polls into the Fall, he could use a military engagement (Syria or Iran) to get the support he needs to put him over the top. I think this administration has proven itself to be recklessly political and incapable of responsible governing. So a tactic like that is not beyond the scope of reason.

        • Popsmoke

          What about US soft targets? Also remember the Shahab 3 (MRBM) has a1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) strike radius…

          By the way, its was deployed in 2003 under Bush’s watch and after how many pencil experts yelling and screaming since what 1998…. under Clinton?

          • Hokma

            As you know Iran wouldn’t directly but they would use Hezbollah to target USA soft targets. But if they did it would almost guarantee  to draw in the U.S. into the conflict which could destablize Iran.

            I think, if Israel needs to strike Iran it is likely going to be a surprise one-shot strike like Syria with Iran using it to scream to the U.N. and will only delay their development.

        • BronwynsHarbor

          “Wag The Dog”?

  • April454

    Obama and Europe have no appetite for any military action in Syria. It is a fantasy that America will do anything further in the Middle East. Not sure how toppling Assad helps Israel. Not sure why Liebermann supporting a toppling of Assad benefits any of Liebermann’s narrow interests.

    • Popsmoke

      Assad has only two options…Fight or die…. I can tell you right now which way he is going and Iran nor Russia will allow the Assad regime to fall…..

      • TeakWoodKite

        Thats the crux of the apostrophe, isn’t it?

  • FLDemFem

    I doubt we will go to war, no matter what the situation is. It’s an election year and Obama won’t risk the votes. He will let the world go down in flames rather than do anything that might risk his re-election. Besides, we can’t afford it and Congress knows that. 

    • Hokma

      On one hand I agree that Obama would not go to war because he is just too weak. However, I would not dismiss some sort of air attack in Syria before the election to try and prove that he can be a CiC with kahones just to change the election narrative from the very weak economy to something Americans circle around on which is when our armed forces are initially used in combat.

      • FLDemFem

         Our armed forces are woefully overstretched and the American people know it. They won’t rally around anyone who sends more of our boys to war.

        • Flop_Flipper

          I Want to Believe!

        • foxyladi14