Sunday, August 25, 2013

You're invited...



On Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 7pm
at Walter C. Young Middle School Auditorium 
in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Lady Patriot Diane Sori 
and
The Davie/Cooper City Republican Club 
 in conjunction with the Southwest Broward Republican Organization
   an evening with special guest  

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller is the founder, editor and publisher of Atlas Shrugs.com and President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). She is the author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, with Robert Spencer (foreword by Ambassador John Bolton) (Simon & Schuster); Freedom or Submission: On the Dangers of Islamic Extremism and American Complacency; and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance (WND Books). She is also a regular columnist for World Net Daily, the American Thinker, Breitbart.com and other publications.

with... 
Tom Trento of The United West

Tom Trento is one of the leading academic activists in the United States. A highly skilled debater and dynamic public speaker, Tom frequently goes toe to toe with Muslim Brotherhood representatives exposing their radical agenda to the public and elected officials. Mr. Trento with earned degrees in Law Enforcement and Philosophy and Theology was awarded the The Carnegie Hero Medal Award for saving a man from a burning car.
Mr. Trento has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe lecturing and exposing Islamic violence and infiltration in government, law enforcement and academic institutions. He is one of the co-authors of Shariah: The Threat To America and appears frequently on major media outlets and talk shows as an authority on Islamic ideology.
- See more at: http://theunitedwest.org/about/tom-trento/#sthash.8K2nWXKR.dpuf
Tom Trento is one of the leading academic activists in the United States. A highly skilled debater and dynamic public speaker, Tom frequently goes toe to toe with Muslim Brotherhood representatives exposing their radical agenda to the public and elected officials. Mr. Trento with earned degrees in Law Enforcement and Philosophy and Theology was awarded the The Carnegie Hero Medal Award for saving a man from a burning car.
Mr. Trento has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe lecturing and exposing Islamic violence and infiltration in government, law enforcement and academic institutions. He is one of the co-authors of Shariah: The Threat To America and appears frequently on major media outlets and talk shows as an authority on Islamic ideology.
- See more at: http://theunitedwest.org/about/tom-trento/#sthash.8K2nWXKR.dpuf
Tom Trento is one of the leading academic activists in the United States. A highly skilled debater and dynamic public speaker, Tom frequently goes toe to toe with Muslim Brotherhood representatives exposing their radical agenda to the public and elected officials. Mr. Trento with earned degrees in Law Enforcement and Philosophy and Theology was awarded the The Carnegie Hero Medal Award for saving a man from a burning car.
Mr. Trento has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe lecturing and exposing Islamic violence and infiltration in government, law enforcement and academic institutions. He is one of the co-authors of Shariah: The Threat To America and appears frequently on major media outlets and talk shows as an authority on Islamic ideology.
- See more at: http://theunitedwest.org/about/tom-trento/#sthash.8K2nWXKR.dpuf
Tom Trento is one of the leading academic activists in the United States. Tom frequently goes toe to toe with Muslim Brotherhood representatives exposing their radical agenda to the public and elected officials. Mr. Trento with was awarded the The Carnegie Hero Medal Award for saving a man from a burning car. Mr. Trento has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe lecturing and exposing Islamic violence and infiltration in government, law enforcement and academic institutions. He is one of the co-authors of Shariah: The Threat To America and appears frequently on major media outlets and talk shows as an authority on Islamic ideology.

and...
 Wild Bill for America
 

Bill grew up in the Colorado Rockies and had a successful career in law enforcement, serving as both a Deputy Sheriff and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Prior to law enforcement Bill served with the U.S. Marines as a Corpsman. As a security specialist, Bill has tackled Islamic violence and intimidation head on, recruiting and training security teams to protect missionaries serving around the world. Having studied Islam intensely and seen how it operates first hand, Bill i
s well qualified to speak out about the dangers this religion presents.  Bill is well known for his Wild Bill videos extolling American virtues and patriotism and as one of the first Tea Party members Bill continues his policy of speaking the truth boldly and encouraging others to do the same.

with a special appearance by Bamboo Bob

CONSERVATIVE CHARACTER who uses SARCASM and SATIRE in dealing with today's events & issues in the news
This is one evening you do NOT want to miss.
If you have any questions please contact 
Davie/Cooper City Republican Club Communications Chair 
Diane Sori at 954-881-3326 or e-mail her at DianeSori@gmail.com 

DIRECTIONS: From I-75 exit go east on Pines Blvd and turn left at 129 Ave. Follow the signs on 129 Ave to the parking lot and meeting place on school campus in theatre….

Team involved in tracking Benghazi suspects leaving Libya permanently

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

The coverup continues. Never pulling the trigger on arresting and prosecuting suspects helps ensure that the truth of what happened will not come out. "Team involved in tracking Benghazi suspects pulling out, sources say," by Adam Housley for FoxNews.com, August 23 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently. 
Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could "never pull the trigger." In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department -- and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7.
Meanwhile, months after video, photo and voice documentation on the Benghazi suspects was first presented to high-level military leaders, the State Department and ultimately the White House, prison breaks in the country have eroded security. U.S. special forces have now been relegated to a "villa," a stopover for the operators before they're shipped out of the country entirely.
"We put American special operations in harm's way to develop a picture of these suspects and to seek justice and instead of acting, we stalled. We just let it slip and pass us by and now it's going to be much more difficult," one source said, citing 1,200 prisoners escaping two weeks ago. "It's already blowing up. Daily assassinations, bi-weekly prison escapes, we waited way too long."
The latest development raises questions about when the attackers will be brought to justice in the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last September.
The special operators are starting to get frustrated at the lack of action, and Fox News has been told by multiple sources that one special forces leader "literally yelled" at former Libyan Chief of Mission William Roebuck "and told him, 'so you're willing to let these guys get away with murder?'"
The outburst was "met with crickets," the sources said....



Perhaps you read the USA Today editorial on August 19 that concludes with: “the most important gains could come from radical shifts that are as unanticipated as was North America's emergence as an oil and gas powerhouse.” It points out “that free enterprise has a way of solving problems that is beyond the capabilities of government.” And continues: “The surge in domestic oil and gas production—spurred on by such new techniques as hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) did not come about as the result of government energy polices, but largely in spite of them.”

Other oil producing countries are taking note.

Mexico has huge oil-and-gas reserves— estimated at 115bn barrels of oil equivalent, comparable to Kuwait’s—but lacks the technology to develop non-conventionals, such as shale gas and deep-sea crude. President Pena Nieto is looking to make reforms that would allow foreign companies to partner with the state-owned oil company, Pemex, to bring the wealth to the surface.

The Saudi Prince Alwaleed recently warned: “the kingdom's oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production.” Alwaleed’s comments were penned before Mexico announced its intended energy reforms. The thought of Mexico’s resources flowing on to the global market has got to make the prince increasingly nervous.

The reality of North America becoming an “oil-and-gas powerhouse” threatens more than just OPEC nations. In response to the USA Today editorial, Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), wrote an “opposing view” proclaiming: “Increasing domestic oil and gas production is no panacea for our nation's energy needs or economy.”
 
Energy and the Economy

Apparently, she is not aware that regions with oil-and-gas development have some of the lowest unemployment in the country—states with resource extraction such as Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming all have unemployment rates below the national average and North Dakota has the lowest in the country at 3.9%. My home state of New Mexico shares the rich Permian Basin with Texas. There, they tell me: “Anyone who can pass a drug test can get a job.”

Due to the increasing domestic resource development, President Obama’s stated 2010 goal of doubling exports by 2015 has already been met—though not through his initiatives, and in fact, in spite of them. Alan Tonelson, an economist at the US Business and Industry Council, says: “When the president talks about trade, when he talks about creating middle class jobs, when he talks about turning the US economy into an economy that lasts, he usually talks about manufacturing, those are the classic American living wage jobs. There’s no chance that he’s been thinking mainly about petroleum.”

Rayola Dougher, a senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, sums up the economic impact of oil and gas on the economy: “We have been a real engine of growth at a time when other industries have been languishing.”

Gas Prices

Next, Beinecke states: “U.S. oil production may be up 44% since 2008, but so are prices. The costs of crude oil have risen 6% in that time.” While this claim appears to be accurate on the surface, it ignores the fact that the Federal Reserve has driven the value of the dollar down. In his Forbes article, “The rising price of the falling dollar,” contributor Charles Kadlec, explains: “The real price of the on-going debauchery of the dollar is measured by the loss of our prosperity and the debasement of our liberty.” Similarly, Paul Streitz, in American Thinker, draws the connection between our national debt and the price of oil: “excessive spending means monetizing our debt, which means printing money, which means foreign oil producers want more of it for the same barrel of oil.”

Fracking

Of course, Beinecke resorts to the environmentalists’ standard claim: “The fracking that is driving our oil and gas surge has grown at breakneck speed.” She continues: “states have responded with weak rules and limited enforcement.” Environmental groups, like Beinecke’s NRDC, want federal government to add regulation on fracking—which will increase the cost and slow the growth of drilling.

Friday, August 23, was the deadline for public comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt and attorneys general from four other states sent a letter to the BLM, objecting to the agency’s intent to duplicate the state’s long-standing regulation of hydraulic fracturing. “States have been regulating hydraulic fracturing for more than 40 years with great success. This proposed rule is just another layer of unnecessary regulation that will cause significant delays and hinder natural gas production,” General Pruitt said. “The Supreme Court has made it clear that regulation of water and land use is a state and local power, and no law gives an agency such as the BLM the authority to pre-empt state regulations.”

Environmentalists’ hyperbole about the use of hydraulic fracturing would lead the general public to believe that the practice is new. In fact it has been successfully used to extract oil and gas for more than 60 years—and, over the decades, it has been refined and made giant technological leaps.

Attempts to link fracking to water contamination have repeatedly been disproven.

The “Fear Factor” in Foreign Policy: The Case of Egypt
Michael Youssef / Townhall Columnist

 
Since September 11, 2001, Western governments have developed a “fear factor” approach in how they deal with Islamist groups. Fear leads those governments, especially the United States, to do foolish things—like supporting apparently less-overt Jihadist Muslim groups, such as the global powerhouse of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In doing so, they think they can kill two birds with one stone. To the Islamists, they can say: “See, we’re not anti-Islamist. We’re just against the bad guys who want to kill us.” To other Muslims, they can say: “Please tell those terrorists not to attack Western targets or people.”

But it’s easy to see how this “fear factor” causes the West to stumble into the darkness of foolishness.

For example, many Western governments shipped loads of weapons to Islamic terrorists in Libya to depose that country’s strong man, Muammar Gaddafi. Never once did those governments have the wisdom to ask: “What will happen to those weapons once Gaddafi is deposed? How will that terrorist network, which belongs to the global network of terror, use those arms? Will they turn them against the West?”

Well, now we know the answer to that question. They did, indeed, turn them against us when they killed the U.S. Ambassador and three other American heroes in Benghazi.

And now that story is being repeated in Syria. Are any of those questions that weren’t asked regarding Libya being asked now? No.

The most blatant manifestation of “fear factor” foreign policy, however, is being exhibited today in Egypt. When Egyptians, who had suffered under twelve months of the U.S.-supported Islamo-fascist regime of the Muslim Brotherhood, rose to shake off the shackles of tyranny, they got clobbered and abused by the U.S. Administration.

Ahmed Said, the head of the Egyptian revolution, which led 33 million people into the streets, recently wrote an impassioned letter to President Obama. In the letter, Said stated: “We believe in the same fundamental values on which the U.S. was founded.” Later, he goes on to say about the Muslim Brotherhood: “They pretend they are God’s emissaries and they will not rest until they have forced the whole world into submission.”

Mr. Said finishes by reminding Mr. Obama of something that he shouldn’t have to be reminded of: “Mr. President, the interest of peace in the region is served best by truly peace-loving people and democratic values.”

Will Mr. Obama listen to this heart-rending reminder? Will he shake off the shackles of fear in his foreign policy and act with Thatcher-like courage? Will he fire his Muslim Brotherhood advisors and move in a sane direction?

It is not only our heart cry, but our deepest prayer.


Flashback May 17, 2013: Foreign Policy magazine reports Obama rules out unilateral action in Syria as Russia ships advanced missiles to Assad
Top News: U.S. President Barack Obama again ruled out unilateral U.S. military action in Syria at a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. "It's not going to be something that the United States does by itself. And I don't think anybody in the region would think that U.S. unilateral actions … would bring about a better outcome," the president said, promising to "keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and working with the Syrian opposition.”
Pentagon Crafts Limited Strike Plans for Syria

Today's "Top News" looks remarkably different: Pentagon Crafts Limited Strike Plans for Syria
A U.S. official said the Pentagon has crafted military options for limited U.S. air strikes in Syria that would send a message to the regime of President Bashar al Assad not to continue using chemical weapons against its civilians. There has been no presidential decision to use the military options, and U.S. intelligence continues to investigate an apparent large-scale chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime this week that may have killed as many as 1,000 civilians.

The official said the military options developed for consideration by the White House are limited in scope and would be intended to “deter or prevent” the Assad regime from the further use of chemical weapons.The options are not intended to remove the  Syrian president,  who has tenaciously hung on to power as Syria’s two-year civil war has raged on.

Traveling on a plane to Malaysia, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel confirmed to reporters that  Obama had asked the Pentagon to provide military options in Syria in light of the reported use of chemical weapons against civilians by the civilian government.
Ready to Act

Bloomberg reports U.S. Forces Are Ready to Act on Syria as UN Envoy Arrives.
“The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies,” Hagel told reporters yesterday while en route to Kuala Lumpur, where he starts a week-long visit to the region. “That requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets to be able to carry out different options, whatever option the president may choose.”

Military options include the repositioning of personnel and assets including ships, so as to be ready if the president chooses a military intervention, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.

Obama is under increased pressure to intervene in Syria amid allegations that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical arms in an Aug. 21 attack in a Damascus suburb that opposition groups say killed 1,300 people.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called on the world to respond “with force” to any use of chemical weapons.

Iran’s foreign ministry warned against any international military action in Syria today, saying that intervention would heighten tensions in the Middle East.

“There are no international authorizations for a military intervention in Syria,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi was quoted as saying by the state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency. “We warn against any moves or announcements that would result in further tensions in the region.”
"Wide Range of Options"

Liberty Radio reports Obama To Meet National Security Team To Discuss Syria
The White House says President Barack Obama is meeting with his national security advisers to discuss possible next steps in Syria.

The meeting comes amid reports that the Syrian government has carried out a toxic-gas attack near Damascus on August 21.

A White House official said in a statement Washington had "a wide range of options available."

Hagel said Obama had asked the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria, and that some of these options "require positioning our forces."
Lose-Lose Proposition

Edward N. Luttwak, in a New York Times Op-Ed says In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins
The Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene more forcefully in Syria’s civil war. A victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.

At this point, a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.

Indeed, it would be disastrous if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were to emerge victorious after fully suppressing the rebellion and restoring its control over the entire country. Iranian money, weapons and operatives and Hezbollah troops have become key factors in the fighting, and Mr. Assad’s triumph would dramatically affirm the power and prestige of Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanon-based proxy — posing a direct threat both to the Sunni Arab states and to Israel.

But a rebel victory would also be extremely dangerous for the United States and for many of its allies in Europe and the Middle East. That’s because extremist groups, some identified with Al Qaeda, have become the most effective fighting force in Syria. If those rebel groups manage to win, they would almost certainly try to form a government hostile to the United States. Moreover, Israel could not expect tranquility on its northern border if the jihadis were to triumph in Syria.

The war is now being waged by petty warlords and dangerous extremists of every sort: Taliban-style Salafist fanatics who beat and kill even devout Sunnis because they fail to ape their alien ways; Sunni extremists who have been murdering innocent Alawites and Christians merely because of their religion; and jihadis from Iraq and all over the world who have advertised their intention to turn Syria into a base for global jihad aimed at Europe and the United States.

Given this depressing state of affairs, a decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States.

There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

By tying down Mr. Assad’s army and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies in a war against Al Qaeda-aligned extremist fighters, four of Washington’s enemies will be engaged in war among themselves and prevented from attacking Americans or America’s allies.

That this is now the best option is unfortunate, indeed tragic, but favoring it is not a cruel imposition on the people of Syria, because a great majority of them are facing exactly the same predicament.
Maintain Stalemate Says Luttwak

Luttwak continues with a hugely controversial set of statements "Maintaining a stalemate should be America’s objective. And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad’s forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning."

Stalemate Option Foolhardy

Up until his "maintain stalemate" position, Luttwak was on track. The point being the US receives no particular benefit regardless of who wins.

Yet, by alternating support depending on who was winning, both sides would resent US tactics. And sooner or later one side is going to win by some US miscalculation somewhere, intervention by Russia, or intervention by other Mideast countries.

In the meantime, the hot-cold practice of on-again off-again backing of both sides would be 100% guaranteed to inflame tensions in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia (all of which would resent US policy).

Better if Assad Won?
 
One might even argue it would be better if Assad won than a group of belligerent Al Qaeda rebels guaranteed to stir up more problems in the region if they win.

Yet backing Assad is hardly an option.

Sensible Option

I suggest the sensible option is to condemn chemicals, condemn bloodshed, and otherwise stay out of the mess.

Unfortunately, I strongly suspect the US will not choose the sensible option. Preparing a wide range of military options and sending forces to the area is hardly encouraging. So mentally prepare for the US to engage in another senseless, unwinnable war, that we cannot afford in the first place.

US Prepares for Possible Cruise Missile Attack on Syria

By Newsmax Wires



The Obama administration is rapidly making the initial preparations for a cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces, CBS News reported Saturday.

The Pentagon's "initial preparations" will only give President Obama the immediate option of an attack. Indications Friday, based on an interview the president gave to CNN, is that he hasn't reached that point yet.

Despite the mounting indications that some sort of attack involving chemicals occurred in Syria last week, the "who" and the "what" are still far from clear. There has been no conclusive evidence -- such as toxicology reports using tissue samples from the victims -- that internationally banned chemicals like sarin were used.

President Obama personally warned Syria a year ago this month that a "red line" in the conflict was the use of chemical weapons. Thus far, however, the US has not acted on Obama's threat.

President Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, sent out a Tweet on Friday calling what happened "an apparent CW (chemical weapons) attack." And the commander of US forces in the Mediterranean has ordered Navy warships to move closer to Syria to be ready for a possible cruise missile strike.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is strongly suggesting that the Pentagon is moving forces into place ahead of possible military action against Syria.

Launching cruise missiles from the sea would not risk any American lives. It would be a punitive strike designed not to topple Syrian dictator Bashir Assad but to convince him he cannot get away with using chemical weapon

US commanders have prepared a range of "options" for Obama if he chooses to proceed with military strikes against Damascus, Hagel told reporters before landing in Kuala Lumpur.

"The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies," Hagel said.

"And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets to be able to carry out different options — whatever the president might choose."

But Hagel declined to provide any details on the deployment of US ships, aircraft or troops, as the Obama administration reportedly contemplated cruise missile strikes against Assad's forces.

Hagel's comments came as a defense official said the US Navy would expand its presence in the Mediterranean with a fourth warship armed with cruise missiles.

Meanwhile in Syria, Assad cast blame on rebel forces for the grisly chemical attack. UN Under Secretary General Angela Kane also arrived in Syria's capital Saturday for talks aimed at establishing the terms of an inquiry into alleged chemical weapons attacks.

Syrian state television said troops found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in a Damascus suburb on Saturday and some soldiers were "suffocating", intensifying a dispute over blame for a reported nerve gas attack that killed hundreds this week, Reuters news service reported.

In a clear attempt to strengthen the government's denials of responsibility for the suspected chemical assault, Syrian state television said soldiers came across chemical agents in rebel tunnels in the suburb of Jobar and some were overcome by fumes.

"Army heroes are entering the tunnels of the terrorists and saw chemical agents," it quoted a "news source" as saying. "In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar. Ambulances came to rescue the people suffocating in Jobar."

An army unit was preparing to storm the insurgent-held suburb, the television added.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius countered that all indications show that Syria's government was behind a "chemical massacre" near Damascus that the opposition claims killed hundreds.

"All the information at our disposal converges to indicate that there was a chemical massacre near Damascus and that the Bashar regime is responsible," Fabius said on a visit to Ramallah in the West Bank

"We ask that the UN team that is there can be deployed very quickly and make the necessary inspections," Fabius said. "The information which we have shows that this chemical massacre is of such gravity that it obviously cannot pass without a strong reaction," he added.

The US Sixth Fleet, with responsibility in the Mediterranean, has decided to keep the USS Mahan in the region instead of letting it return to its home port in Norfolk, Virginia.

Three other destroyers are currently deployed in the area — the USS Gravely, the USS Barry and the USS Ramage. All four warships are equipped with several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The reinforcement would allow the Pentagon to act more rapidly if Obama were to order a military strike.

"The president has asked the Defense Department for options. Like always, the Defense Department is prepared and has been prepared to provide all options for all contingencies to the president of the
United States," Hagel said.

The Pentagon chief made clear that no decision had been taken on whether to employ military force as the more than two-year-old conflict rages on.

US newspapers have suggested disagreements within the administration over the risks of another American military intervention in the Middle East.

In an interview aired earlier Friday on CNN, Obama voiced caution.

He said Syrian opposition allegations that hundreds of people had been killed in a gas attack near Damascus this week were more serious than previous charges against Assad's regime.

"What we've seen indicates clearly this is a big event, of grave concern," Obama said.

One year after warning that the use of chemical arms in the vicious Syrian conflict would cross a US "red line", Obama said Americans expect him to protect their long-term national security interests -- but avoid foreign entanglements.

"Sometimes what we've seen is folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations," Obama said.

He warned that America could get "drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region."

The president also said that there were questions about whether the United States would violate international law if it attacked another country without a United Nations Security Council mandate.

And, after ending the Iraq war and as he brings troops home from Afghanistan, Obama noted the cost in US lives and financial resources of foreign military action.

Obama observed that the latest attack was conducted on a much wider scale than a previous one in Syria that the United States deemed to have been the result of chemical weapons.

On that occasion, Obama decided for the first time to send direct military aid to vetted Syrian rebels, though has declined to specify exactly what help Washington is providing.

Syria has vigorously denied its forces were guilty of a chemical attack on the rebel-held area.
Hagel, who began a week-long tour of Southeast Asia, said he expected American intelligence agencies to "swiftly" assess whether Damascus was to blame.

He warned that if the Assad regime had resorted to chemical weapons, "there may be another attack coming".

The US government would not rule out unilateral action, Hagel said, but he stressed the need to work with international "partners".

"If the intelligence and facts bear out what appears to be what happened — use of chemical weapons  — then that is not just a United States issues, it's an international issue," he said.

"It violates every standard of international behavior."

Before the alleged chemical weapons assault, the US military's top officer, General Martin Dempsey, had expressed caution over any military action in Syria.

Dempsey had warned that imposing a no-fly zone would carry the risk of dragging the US into a protracted conflict or inadvertently aiding Islamist militants fighting Damascus.

Asked about Dempsey's statements, Hagel said he agreed with the four-star general's assessment, calling it "very accurate".

National Security Adviser Susan Rice took to Twitter to urge the Syrian government to permit UN inspectors to probe the latest chemical weapons allegations.

"What is Bashar al-Assad hiding? The world is demanding an independent investigation of Wednesday's apparent CW attack. Immediately," she wrote.

"Otherwise, we'll all conclude that Assad is guilty and lying — again."