Have you ever heard anything quite as stupid? CIA head says ‘Iran, Hezbollah & Russians’ involved in Venezuela, pose ‘risk’ to US

CIA head says ‘Iran, Hezbollah & Russians’ involved in Venezuela, pose ‘risk’ to US

CIA head says ‘Iran, Hezbollah & Russians’ involved in Venezuela, pose ‘risk’ to US

CIA Director Mike Pompeo claimed Venezuela is overrun with Iranians, Hezbollah, Cubans and Russians in response to questions about Donald Trump’s statements about US military intervention.

Pompeo appeared on  Fox News Sunday where he responded to comments made by President Donald Trump on Friday, in which he said there was “a possible military option” for Venezuela.

The CIA head said he believes Trump’s comments were an effort to “give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored.”  

Pompeo described “continued deterioration” in Venezuela as “[President Nicolas] Maduro is continuing to assert more power, inflict more pain on the people of Venezuela, you can see the beginning of fissures among various groups.”

“The intelligence makes very clear that the Maduro regime continues to put snipers in towers,” Pompeo said with a laugh, “And do things that are horrible, repressive and the American policy is to work with our Latin American partners to try and restore democracy,” he said.

When asked why Venezuela would be the US’s problem, Pompeo responded:

“Venezuela could very much become a risk for the United States of America. The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there. This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”

In July, Pompeo suggested the CIA is working on regime change in Venezuela during a talk at the Aspen Security Forum.

“America has a deep interest in making sure that it is stable, as democratic as possible. And so, we’re working hard to do that, I am always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there’s a lot of stories,” Pompeo said to laughter from the audience. Far from it being a joke, US intelligence has been involved in attempted regime change and coups across Latin America between the 50s and early 90s.

“We are very hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there, so that we can communicate to our State Department and to others.” he added.

The US imposed sanctions on eight officials in Venezuela this month, including President Nicolas Maduro, in response to the country’s Constituent Assembly elections to draft a new constitution in July, which the US called “illegitimate.”

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 03.08.2017

Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump

Eric ZUESSE

During the later portion of a phone-call, by the world’s greatest investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, Hersh has now presented “a narrative [from his investigation] of how that whole fucking thing began,” including who actually is behind the ‘RussiaGate’ lies, and of why they are spreading these lies.

In a youtube video upload-dated August 1st, he reveals from his inside FBI and Washington DC Police Department sources — now, long before the Justice Department’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be presenting his official ‘findings’ to the nation — that the charges that Russia had anything to do with the leaks from the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to Wikileaks, that those charges spread by the press, were a CIA-planted lie, and that what Wikileaks had gotten was only leaks (including at least from the murdered DNC-staffer Seth Rich), and were not from any outsider (including ’the Russians’), but that Rich didn’t get killed for that, but was instead shot in the back during a brutal robbery, which occurred in the high-crime DC neighborhood where he lived. Here is the video, and here is the transcript of it:

I’ll tell you what I know:

(Mumble) comes off an FBI report, don’t ask me how, I can figure out, I’ve been around long enough:

The kid gets — I don’t think he was murdered [because of this] I don’t think he was murdered because of what he knew, the kid was a nice boy, 27, he was not an ITS person, he learned stuff, he was a data-programmer, but he learned stuff, and so he was living on one street, somewhere, he was living in a very rough neighborhood, and in the exact area where he lived, there had been about, I am sure you know, there had been about 8 or 9 or 10, violent robberies, most of them with somebody brandishing a gun, and I am sure you know, his [the kid’s] hands were marked up, the cops concluded [HERSH SAW THE POLICE REPORT] he fought off the people, he tried to run, and they shot him twice in the back with a 22, small-caliber, and then the kid that did it ran, he got scared. So, the cops do this, here’s what nobody knows, what I am telling you, now maybe you do know something about it: When you have a death like that, DC cops, as you’re [dealing now with a person who is] dead, you generally don’t zip and go, yep I know, what’s the motive, what’s going on, you have to get to the kid’s apartment and see what you can find. If he’s dead, you don’t need a warrant, but most cops get a warrant because they don’t know if the guy has a roommate, so they get a warrant, I’m just telling you, there is such a thing. They go in and can’t do much with his computer, [to find the] password, the cops don’t know much about it, so the cops have a cyber unit in DC, and they’re more sophisticated, they come in and look at it. The idea is maybe he has had a series of exchanges with somebody who said ‘I am going to kill you motherfucker’ over a girl, and they can’t get in, the cyber guys are a little better, but they can’t make sense of it, so they call the FBI cyber unit. The DC unit, the Russian[-monitoring] and field office is a hot-shit unit. The guy running the Washington field office, he’s like a three-star at an army-base, he’s ready [mumble], you know what I mean, he’s going to do a top job. There’s a cyber unit there that’s excellent. What you get in a warrant, the public information you get in a warrant doesn’t include the affidavits underlying why you are going in, what the reason was. That’s almost never available, I can tell you that — the thesis of a warrant as a public document 99% of the time. So they call in the feds, the feds get through, and here’s what they find [HERSH SAW THE FBI REPORT]. This is according to the FBI report. What they find is, first of all you have to know some basic facts, one of the basic facts is there is no DNC or protected email that exists beyond May 22nd, the last email from either one of those groups. So, what the report says, is:

(2:50-) At some time in late spring, which we’re talking about in June 21st, I don’t know, just late spring early summer, he makes contact with Wikileaks, that’s in his computer, and he makes contact. Now, I have to be careful because I met Julian [Assange] in Europe ten twelve years [ago], I stay the fuck away from people like that. He has invited me and when I am in London, I always get a message, ‘come see me at the Ecuadorean’ [Embassy], and I am fucking not going there. I have enough trouble without getting photographed. He’s under total surveillance by everybody.

They found, what he had done, he [Seth Rich] had submitted a series of documents, emails from DNC — and, by the way, all this shit about the DNC, you know, was it a ‘hack’ or wasn’t it a ‘hack’ — whatever happened, it was the Democrats themselves wrote this shit, you know what I mean? All I know is that, he offered a sample, he sends a sample, you know, I am sure dozens of emails, and said ‘I want money’. Later Wikileaks did get the password [SETH RICH DID SELL WIKILEAKS ACCESS INTO HIS COMPUTER.] He had a drop-box, a [password-]protected drop-box, which isn’t hard to do. I mean you don’t have to be a whiz at IT [information technology], he was not a dumb kid. They got access to the drop-box. This is all from the FBI report. He also let people know with whom he was dealing, I don’t know how he dealt, I’ll tell you all about Wikileaks in a second, with Wikileaks the mechanism, but according to the FBI report, he shared his box with a couple of friends, so ‘If anything happens to me, it’s not going to solve your problem’, okay? I don’t know what that means. But, anyway, Wikileaks got access. And, before he was killed, I can tell you right now, [Obama’s CIA Director John] Brennan’s an asshole. I’ve known all these people for years, Clapper is sort of a better guy but no rocket-scientist, the NSA guys are fuckin’ morons, and the trouble with all those guys is, the only way they’ll get hired by SAIC, is if they’ll deliver some [government] contracts, it’s the only reason they stayed in. With Trump, they’re gone, they’re going to live on their pension, they’re not going to make it [to great wealth]. I’ve gotta to tell you, guys in that job, they don’t want to live on their pension. They want to be on [corporate] boards like their [mumble] thousand bucks [cut].

I have somebody on the inside, you know I’ve been around a long time, somebody who will go and read a file for me, who, this person is unbelievably accurate and careful, he’s a very high-level guy, he’ll do a favor, you’re just going to have to trust me, I have what they call in my business, long-form journalism, I have a narrative, of how that whole fucking thing began.

(5:50-) It’s a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation, and the fucking President, at one point when they even started telling the press — they were back[ground]-briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, the fucking cocksucker Rogers, telling the press that we [they] even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. All bullshit. They were telling. I worked at the New York Times those fucking years, they’re smart guys, but they’re totally beholden on [to] sources. If the President or the head of the CIA tells them something, they actually believe it. I retired at the Times at the end of the Vietnam War 1972, because they were just locked-in. So that’s what the Times is, these guys run the fuckin’ Times, and Trump’s not wrong, I wish he would calm down, get a better press secretary, you know, not be so — Trump’s not wrong to think they all fucking lied about him.

UPDATE:

The media-coverage of this matter is focusing on allegations that Seth Rich was murdered in order to silence him. All such media-coverage ignores much of what Hersh said on the phone (where Hersh makes clear that Rich was, indeed, murdered in a regular robbery), and therefore should be viewed as an example of what the Washington Post and others in the mainstream press call ‘fake news’, but which actually applies to themselves, on both the left and right, above all.

The purpose of those distorting ‘news’ stories might be a desire, on the part of both the Democratic Party aristocrats and the Republican Party aristocrats, to distract the public’s attention away from the far deeper understanding that drives the “narrative” that Hersh, in that clip, is describing: rot by the U.S. aristocracy, which controls both of America’s political Parties, to deceive the American public. The objective is to protect the aristocracy. That’s not publishable; it is American samizdat. Corruption rules America. The public do not. This fact is what Hersh is describing in his “narrative”.

washingtonsblog.com

The Neoconservatives and the “Coming World”: A response to the questions of a virtual friend

July 31, 2017

by Amir Nour (1)

« In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universalityof Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous »

Samuel Phillips Huntington

« The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order »

Dear friend, I have just read the The Neoconservatives and the “Coming World”: A response to the questions of a virtual friendgreat question you have asked me about the world’s future according to the American Neo-conservative’s vision. This question came quite naturally to your mind when reading the interview (2) given by one of the most impassioned advocates of this school of thought – Thomas Barnett – author of the controversial book “The Pentagon’s New map: War and Peace in the twenty-first century”.

Assuredly, we’re dealing here with a major issue whose understanding is a sine qua non condition for deciphering both the contingencies and the dominant trends characterizing the evolution of international relations, particularly since the end of the Cold War.

Indeed, the turmoil and convulsions the world is experiencing since the turn of the third millennium, more particularly in the region that should be of a paramount interest to you – i.e. the Arab-Muslim world – are one of the most significant manifestations of the process of multidimensional change underway. Most probably, they are harbingers of the “coming world”- in the words of Malek Bennabi- one radically different from that which we have known since the end of the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet empire in 1992.

The ensuing new international reality -the emergence of the United States of America as the sole global superpower- has also been a long shot since it has in turn faded as a result of both the financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2007-2008 and continues to this day, and the rise of new assertive international actors, including the BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

In all likelihood, this new “coming world” will be multipolar. This is a frightening prospect for the proponents of the perpetuation of the Old Order established by and for the West several centuries ago. And it is quite naturally therefore that the West, under the aegis of its American hegemon leader, is fiercely trying to hinder the realization of this inexorable prospect.

In the first chapter of my aforementioned book (3), I tried to analyze the reasons for this “fear”. At the core of those is undoubtedly the persistence of the imperial ideology that took over American policy after World War II: Neo-conservatism.

As explained in a related Wikipedia article, neoconservatism is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s of the twentieth century, among conservative-leaning Democrats who became disenchanted with the party’s foreign policy and the “New Left” culture. The first writings of the neo-conservative current appeared in the Jewish monthly New York Monthly Review Magazine Commentary, published by the American Jewish Committee. And the first neo-conservative theorist to have adopted this word and is considered therefore as the founder of this ideology is Irving Kristol (who was militant Trotskyist in his early days!). He is the founder of the famous neo-conservative think tank: Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

Neo-conservatism peaked in influence during the Republican presidential administration of Ronald Reagan whose doctrine was guided by anticommunism and opposition to the global influence of the USSR. It reached its climax at the turn of the last century with the Bush Doctrine of exporting democracy, including by means of military force if necessary. The prominent neo-conservative newspapers are Commentary and the Weekly Standard. There are also neo-conservative think tanks on foreign policy, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Heritage Foundation, JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and, of course, the PNAC (4).

In foreign policy, the Neocons defend “the military power of Democratic States in international relations in order to establish a new international order”. In a PNAC manifesto published in 1996, they laid out their quintessential thought and principles as follows:

-Moral clarity and benevolent hegemony;
-Preventing the emergence of a rival power;
-End of “complacency” towards dictatorships;
-Refusal of the decline of the American power because it is the first democratic power of the world;
-Upgrading of the military tool to respond to aggression.

The Neo-conservatives say they want a new international order based on freedom, according to the designs that are not those of Kant and Wilson, to which they reproach the impotence, but which take their source in the writings of Moses Maimonides and Saint Augustine. They criticize the United Nations and international law in the name of morality. At major international conferences, they prefer smaller coalitions according to the “mission-defines-the-coalition” principle. They support Israel. Their creed is interventionism. Therefore, the United States “must be recognized as the flagship nation of human rights and export democracy and freedom all over the world if need be by force”.

Among the emblematic ideas of the Neo-conservatives, features prominently the theory of “creative chaos” -developed mainly by Michael Ledeen, a former correspondent in Rome of the New Republic. It is a project aiming to “establish a state of war and permanent instability in the Middle East that would enable the Americans and Israelis to preserve their geostrategic objectives in the region, even by re-redrawing it’s map”. Neo-conservatives do not consider the stability of the world a good to maintain but instead advocate the virtues of destabilisation.

Such was the opinion of Robert Kagan, co-founder with William Kristol of the PNAC. He was the originator of the letter of 26 January 1998 sent to Bill Clinton asking him to conduct another policy in Iraq, one with a view to toppling Saddam Hussein to preserve American interests in the Gulf. The same can be said about Robert Cooper, a British partisan of neoconservatism who advocated a doctrine of “imperialist liberalism” granting the “right” to “civilized countries” to use force against their “foreign ennemies” (5).

It was, however, President G. W. Bush who is notoriously known for having endorsed and put in practice these neo-conservative principles. He did so by invading Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 through an extreme instrumentalization of the unfortunate though “miraculous” events of 11 September 2001. In his 31 December 2005 State of the Union Address, he explained that there is no question of satisfying the “false comfort of isolationism”, which ends in “danger and decline”. America must “lead” the world. It’s a security imperative. “The alternative to American leadership is a much more dangerous and anxious world.” In his view, America must therefore continue to “act boldly in favour of freedom”. And as in 1945 “when she liberated the camps of death, she must accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed”, Half the world lives in a democracy, he said. “We do not forget the other half, in countries like Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran because the demands of justice and the Peace of the world also require their freedom” (6).

To do so, the Security Council of a United Nations, although until then so decried by the neo-conservatives, becomes the privileged instrument for conducting hazardous military expeditions with chaotic consequences for some “recalcitrant” States and their peoples, particularly in the MENA region (7). George W. Bush named as his Ambassador to this important UN body John Bolton, a neo-conservative “hawk” who recounts his UN experience in a book with a very significant title (8).

Almost a decade later, and notwithstanding the debacles of unilateralism and military interventionism he has been preaching ceaselessly, Robert Kagan continues to exert a strong influence on the American establishment. In his book (9) published in 2012, he strived to refute the thesis of the “Decline of America”. This book is said to have become the bedside book of President Barack Obama, who stated in his State of the Union Address in January 2012: “America is back. Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn’t know what they’re talking about”.

This vision is shared by Steve Bannon, the mastermind of the new administration (before being excluded from it) of President Donald Trump. As explained in the excellent article by Pepe Escobar (10), Steve Bannon “a man who eats history and political theory essays for breakfast (…) a post-truth Machiavelli behind the most powerful of Princes”, sees our current geopolitical juncture as “the ultimate battle between Good and Evil (no, Nietzsche’s verdict, for him, does not apply) ‘Good’ in our case is Christian civilization and its history of two millennia – with a possible place of honor for the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Its opposite, ‘evil’ is conveyed by a whole series of ‘existential threats’ – from the post-modern, technocratic/secular elites (the inner enemy) to Islam (the enemy in general)”.

For more insight into the roots of this neo-conservative ideology and its impact on the policy that characterizes the United States today, I recommend reading the analysis written by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould (11). Armed with a razor-sharp writing style and remarkably documented references, they dissect the history of the Neocon take over of the United States, through a four-step-process presented as follows:

– American Imperialism Leads the World into Dante’s Vision of Hell
– How Neocons Push for War by Cooking the Books
– How the CIA Created a Fake Western Reality for ‘Unconventional Warfare’
– The Final Stage of the Machiavellian Elites’ Takeover of America

The Neocons, the Arab World and Israel

Dear friend, after outlining this long but indispensable historic and geostrategic overview, I come to the other major question underlying the issue you raised: Why is the Arab-Muslim world the main victim of this American neo-conservative ideology, one that is supposedly the bedrock of the New World Order and the ultimate culmination of a long process of a history coming to an end – according to another neo-conservative theorist: Francis Fukuyama? We now know that History did not end; on the contrary, it is witnessing an unprecedented acceleration, and the American Empire, far from bringing peace and prosperity to the world, has led all mankind on the road to the great disorder in the world and destructive chaos in the Arab-Muslim world, especially through the ill-named “Arab Springs”.

Aided by a formidable “media compressor roller” in its enterprise of global domination on behalf of a so-called messianic “manifest destiny”, the American empire undertook to redesign the world map in order to be able to establish, in the long term, a kind of « World State » or a « World Government ». This presupposes the destruction of nations by dissolving them into regions and continental poles. This is probably what Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian sociologist and Vatican adviser – notably known for coining the expression « the medium is the message » – had in mind when he wrote in 1968 “War and Peace in the Global village” (12) his revolutionary book in which he depicted a planet made ever smaller by new technologies, and used the concept of “glocal”, a mixture of global and local, foreshadowing the fundamental architecture of the New World Order.

As is well explained in an article (13) published in 2012, after the fall of communism, the epicenter of this policy was set in the Middle East “where not only the great reserves of hydrocarbons are located, but also the State of Israel, the real mother house of Globalism, which has been impeding all attempts of peace in this region of the world since its creation”. The map of this part of the planet has long been redesigned within Judeo-American think tanks as well as by military commands whose ultimate goals are the fragmentation of nations on ethnic and religious bases (leaving Israel as the only regional superpower), but also by pushing Islam to operate its “Vatican II” so as to be integrated tomorrow into the vast global market in gestation. Because Europe « is being in Dormition, whether we like it or not, Islam is the only bulwark against the total stranglehold of the Tel-Aviv and Washington traders on the world”. This desire to subdue Islam also aims to “create a single religion” (which should bring together all religious currents). This will only be achieved through the division of Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites. In view of this, one can easily understand why the sacred Islamic State (14) is also planned, including Mecca and Medina, to better control Islam and integrate it into a new world order, which is not possible today. Indeed this religion does not have an identified hierarchy (15).

In his excellent book “Black Terror White Soldiers: Islam, Fascism & the New Age”, David Livingstone states that because they are far too ignorant of the histories of the rest of the world, and being aware of only the accomplishments of Greece, Rome and Europe, Westerners have been made to believe that their societies represent the most superior examples of civilization. This idea, he continues, derives from the hidden influence of those who believe in and teach that history would attain its fulfillment when man would become God, and make his own laws. Livingstone concludes that this is the basis of the propaganda which has been used to foster a Clash of Civilizations, whereby the Islamic world is presented as stubbornly adhering to the anachronistic idea of “theocracy”. Where once the spread of Christianity and civilizing the world were used as pretexts for colonization, today a new White Man’s Burden makes use of human rights and democracy to justify imperial aggression. And because, after centuries of decline, the Islamic world is incapable of mobilizing a defense, the Western powers, as part of their age-old strategy of Divide and Conquer, have fostered the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, to both serve as agent-provocateurs and to malign the image of Islam.

Few weeks after the Amercian invasion of Iraq, Ari Shavit wrote a thought-provoking piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz under the significant title « White Man’s Burden » (16). He stated that the war against Iraq was based on an « ardent faith disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neo-conservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Elliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history. They believe that the right political idea entails a fusion of morality and force, human rights and grit. The philosophical underpinnings of the Washington neo-conservatives are the writings of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Edmund Burke. They also admire Winston Churchill and the policy pursued by Ronald Reagan ».

Quoting William Kristol, he added that this war was also based on « the new American understanding that if the United States does not shape the world in its image, the world will shape the United States in its own image ». At a deeper level, according to Kristol, it is « a greater war, for the shaping of a new Middle East. It is a war that is intended to change the political culture of the entire region. Because what happened on September 11, 2001, Kristol says, is that the Americans looked around and saw that the world is not what they thought it was. The world is a dangerous place. Therefore the Americans looked for a doctrine that would enable them to cope with this dangerous world. And the only doctrine they found was the neo-conservative one ».

This opinion is obviously shared by Charles Krauthammer for whom « the war in Iraq is being fought to replace the demonic deal America cut with the Arab world decades ago. That deal said: you will send us oil and we will not intervene in your internal affairs ». That deal effectively expired on September 11, 2001, Krauthammer says. Since that day, the Americans have understood that “if they allow the Arab world to proceed in its evil ways – suppression, economic ruin, sowing despair – it will continue to produce more and more bin Ladens”. America thus reached the conclusion that it has no choice: it has to take on itself the project of rebuilding the Arab world. Therefore, the Iraq war « is really the beginning of a gigantic historical experiment whose purpose is to do in the Arab world what was done in Germany and Japan after World War II ».

The article ends with a slightly divergent opinion expressed by Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist, who is not part of the group, although he didn’t oppose the war and was convinced that « the status quo in the Middle East is no longer acceptable. The status quo is terminal. And therefore it is urgent to foment a reform in the Arab world ». Friedman thought « it’s the war the neo-conservatives wanted. It’s the war the neo-conservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite (…) I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened ». Still, he was of the opinion that « it’s not some fantasy the neo-conservatives invented. It’s not that 25 people hijacked America. You don’t take such a great nation into such a great adventure with Bill Kristol and the Weekly Standard and another five or six influential columnists. In the final analysis, what fomented the war is America’s over-reaction to September 11; the genuine sense of anxiety that spread in America after September 11. It is not only the neo-conservatives who led us to the outskirts of Baghdad. What led us to the outskirts of Baghdad is a very American combination of anxiety and hubris ».

Echoeing Ari Shavit, Stephen Green affirms (17) that since 9-11, a small group of neo-conservatives –many of whom are senior officials in the Defense Department, National Security Council and Office of the Vice President– have effectively gutted–they would say reformed–traditional American foreign and security policy. After reviewing the internal security backgrounds of some of the best known among them, he concludes that they had dual agendas, while professing to work for the internal security of the United States against its terrorist enemies.

Bill Christison (18) and Kathleen Christison reach the same conclusion (19). They say that since the long-forgotten days when the State Department’s Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, U.S. policy on Israel and the Arab world “has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel”. These people, “who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president’s office”.

An examination of the cast of characters in Bush administration policymaking circles, they say, reveals a “startlingly pervasive network of pro-Israel activists, and an examination of the neo-cons’ voluminous written record shows that Israel comes up constantly as a neo-con reference point, always mentioned with the United States as the beneficiary of a recommended policy, always linked with the United States when national interests are at issue”.

The two authors point out to a telling example of the drafting by Feith, Perle, and both David and Meyrav Wurmser of a policy paper issued, in 1996, by an Israeli think tank and written for newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Through this document, they urged Israel “to make a ‘clean break’ from pursuit of the peace process, particularly its land-for-peace aspects, which the authors regarded as a prescription for Israel’s annihilation”.

The document’s authors saw the principal threat to Israel coming, we should not be surprised to discover now, from Iraq and Syria and advised that focusing on the removal of Saddam Hussein would kill two birds with one stone by also thwarting Syria’s regional ambitions.

According to the Christisons, Elliott Abrams is “another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of U.S”, after his appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff.

Interestingly enough, the Christisons were of the view that the dual loyalists in the Bush administration “have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days”. These crazed fundamentalists, they say, see Israel’s domination over all of Palestine as a “necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon”, which raises the horrifying but very real prospect of an apocalyptic Christian-Islamic war”.

Writing a commentary in a recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine (20), Elliott Abrams –in his capacity as a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relation-, predicts that “even in the best-case scenario, with the Islamic State defeated and losing its control over a “state,” it may continue to exist as a terrorist group — and in any event al Qaeda and other jihadi groups will not disappear”. This, he concludes, “will not end our involvement in Middle East conflicts and may in fact lead it to increase. There will be no repeat of the Iraq wars, with vast American armies on the ground, but there will need to be a long continuation of the sort of commitment we see today”.

As is explained by Alison Weir in her book (21), « Few Americans today are aware that US support enabled the creation of modern Israel. Even fewer know that US politicians pushed

this policy over the forceful objections of top diplomatic and military experts ». Prodigiously documented, this book brings together « meticulously sourced evidence to illuminate a reality that differs starkly from the prevailing narrative. It provides a clear view of the history that is key to understanding one of the most critically important political issues of our day ».

All of the above fits perfectly with the thesis of the “New Sykes-Picot” that I develop in my book.

In conclusion, I believe I can assert that if Men are the main driving force of the events that make world history, they are certainly not the movers and shakers of its destiny. This -as the great Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi wrote in the past century in his flagship book “l’Afro-asiatisme” (22) – is realized “in spite of the will of men (for) human reason would be futile if it did not coincide with the processes of facts that impose God’s will on History. And it would be sacrilegious if it wanted to deflect the course of history as if it wanted to oppose God’s will and purposes”.

* *
*

Notes:

[1] Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book « L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot » (“The Orient and the Occident in time of a new Sykes-Picot”), Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014.  He is a fervent advocate of the henceforth vital “dialogue of civilizations”, the alternative option of which in today’s increasingly globalized and polarized world, is a catastrophic “clash of civilizations.
[2] “A future worth creating: Interview with Dr. Thomas Barnett“:
Http://www.checkpoint-online.ch/CheckPoint/Forum/For0078-InterviewBarnett.html
[3] Downloadable free of charge, in French and Arabic languages, by clicking on the following links: Http://www.mezghana.net/amir-nour.pdf  and
Http://www.mezghana.net/Sykes-Picot.jadeed-REAL.LAST.pdf
[4] Read the presentation made by l’Observatoire européen des think tanks:
Http://www.oftt.eu/think-tanks/monographs/article/pnac-project-for-the-new-american-century
[5] Robert Cooper “The Breaking of Nations: Order and chaos in the twenty-first century“, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2003.
[6] Read the article in the French newspaper Le Monde of 01/02/2006 entitled ” L’Amérique doit conduire le monde, selon Bush» (America must lead the world, according to Bush).
[7] This episode is superbly analyzed by Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India in Geneva and New York (between 2002 and 2013) in his book “Perilous Interventions: the Security Council and the Politics of chaos“, Harper Collins, 2016.
[8] John Bolton, “Surrender is not an option: Defending America at the United Nations and abroad“, Threshold Editions, 2008.
[9] Robert Kagan, “The World America made“, Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
[10] Pepe Ecsobar, “Will Andrew Jackson Trump Embody the Benno doctrine” Entelekheia, March 21, 2017.
[11] A four part analysis titled “The history of the Neocon takeover of America “, the Francophone Saker, 10 May 2017.
[12] “War and Peace in the global Village“, Bantam Books, New York, 1967.
[13] Read “Les coups tordus de l’Empire“, in the French magazine “Réfléchir et agir”, No. 40, Winter 2012.
[14] According to a readjustment of the boundaries of the Islamic geographical area imagined by Ralph Peters, member of the PNAC, in an article in the military journal Armed Forces newspaper of June 2006 entitled “How a better Middle East would look“.
[15] In “L’Iran, un pays en sursis “, French magazine ‘Nexus 66’, January-February 2010.
[16] See article « White Man’s Burden », Haaretz newspaper, April 3, 2003.
[17] See Stephen Green, « Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration », Counterpunch, February 28, 2004.
[18] Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.
[19] See « The Bush Neocons and Israel », Counterpunch, September 6, 2004.
[20] See « The United States Can’t Retreat From the Middle East », Foreign Policy magazine, July 10, 2017.
[21] Alison Weir, « Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel », CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 2014.
[22] Malek Bennabi, «L’Afro-Asiatisme, conclusions sur la Conférence de Bandoeng », Cairo, Imprimerie Misr S.A.E, 1956.

Venezuela – The National Constituent Assembly is in Place – But the fight for Sovereignty isn’t Over

by Peter KoenigVenezuela – The National Constituent Assembly is in Place – But the fight for Sovereignty isn’t Over

Venezuela has voted on 30 July for a National Constituent Assembly (ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) with a resounding close to 8.1 million votes, or over 41% of the total eligible electorate. The figure was confirmed by the president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena. The Chavistas battle cry before the elections was Venceremos! – Ché Guevaras favored revolutionary slogan. And the day after, 31 July, the victorious Ganamos! Accompanied by dancing in the streets.

To counter the mainstream presstitute mass media slandering of Venezuela, calling the legitimate democratically elected President a dictator, and that the vote was illegitimate and against the present Venezuelan Constitution – lets explain upfront what the Constitution says:

Article 347 of Venezuela’s constitution:

“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”

Article 348 states

“(t)he initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”

Article 349 states

“(t)he President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.”

The process to vote for the ANC is complex but highly democratic. The 30 July election chose 545 members to the National Constituent Assembly, of which two thirds (364) were elected on a regional or territorial basis, and one third (181) by sectors of professions or activities, i.e. students, farmers, unions of different labor forces, employees, business owners – and so on. This cross-section of people’s representation is the most solid basis for democracy. See also http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-venezuela-in-the-white-houses-crosshairs/5594240.

The 8.1million pro-ANC vote may, at first sight, with 41% of total eligible voters not constitute an absolute majority, but they are a legitimate majority analyzed from different perspectives. The only historic data we currently have on Venezuela is the one from the 1999 Constitution (still valid today), which President Hugo Chavez Frias, elected in 1998, initiated after asking the people whether they agreed to the drafting of a new Constitution. He received an overwhelming 80% support.

Assuming that on average about 20% to 25% of the electorate do not vote (based on the past 19 elections since the Bolivarian Revolutionary Government took over in 1998), of the 20 million eligible electorate, about 15 million could be expected to vote. With 8.1million ANC supporters, the National Constituent Assembly resulting from the 30 July elections is a clear majority, about 54%.

The election result is another resounding victory, when compared to the opposition’s plebiscite, illegally held a week earlier. The opposition claims having received 7.2 million votes against the ANC. However, by all observers, including internationals, this is a highly questionable and probably vastly inflated figure (based on their election boots which were a fraction of those of the ANC election process countrywide. Plus, the announced result cannot be checked, as the voter’s bulletins were burned by the opposition, as soon as they informed the public of the plebiscite’s result. However, even assuming this figure was correct – which it most likely isn’t – the total alleged votes cast between de official ANC process and the illegitimate referendum would amount to 15.3 million, of which 8.1 million represents about 53%, or an absolute majority of the votes cast.

For analysis sake, let’s just look at the curious composition of votes the oppositions claims having received. In their referendum people had to respond with yes, or no to three questions, with each one being a leading question against the ANC. Each one of the three answers counted for one vote, thus, there were up to three votes per person. The same people also were allowed to vote in several districts. During the press conference held by the opposition, a journalist asked whether it was correct that one voter could cast his / her vote 17 times. The answer of one of the directors was yes, but it may bediscovered at the final count. There were also stories of 10-year old kids and other minors voting. Also, there are 101,000 eligible voters abroad – but according to the opposition, the votes received from Venezuelans living outside Venezuela were almost 700,000.

The illegitimate – yes, illegitimate – opposition vote is pure farce. Though it can never be checked, since the votes were burned and given the above details, the promulgated results of 7.2 million votes against the ANC would have to be discounted by at least 30% to 50%. Yes, illegitimate, as the Constitution does not allow interference from anybody, once the ANC process has been launched.

Curiously though, the opposition, having the majority in the National Assembly could have initiated themselves an National Constituent Assembly. They didn’t. They could have actively participated in President Maduro’s ANC vote and presented their own candidates as they would have, had they respected the principles of democracy. They didn’t do that either. It is clear, they are not interested in a democratic process. They are not interested even in dialogue, one of Mr. Maduro’s priorities for conflict resolution. They want a violent ‘regime change’ – that’s what their Washington masters want and pays them for.

——–

The most vociferous critics of the process came from the usual villains, CNN, BBC, Washington Post, NYT, even The Guardian, but so far relatively few from the EU and her members. One of the countries that sticks out most with her unsolicited comment is “neutral” Switzerland, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on President Maduro, to cancel the elections for the new National Constitutional Assembly in ‘respect of democracy’. It further declared through the Swiss state-run radio-TV station, SRG, that the elections were illegal, as they are against the Constitution – which is a blatant lie, the Swiss Executive is aware of, but it pleases for sure Washington.

The Trump Administration also said it would not recognize the vote and slammed more heavy sanctions on Venezuela, among them, blocking President Maduro’s alleged ‘assets held in the US’. This in itself is a massive and ridiculous propaganda falsehood. It must be clear to any dimwit, that President Maduro does not have assets in the US. Washington forced ‘sanctions’ will probably also follow from its European vassals.

The right-wing puppet leaders (sic) in Latin America have of course also immediately played to the tune of their northern masters. The first one to do so was Peru’s President Pablo Kuczynski, saying that his government would not recognize the result of the elections. But who cares what Peru thinks about sovereign democratic Venezuela? – His arrogance went as far as calling upon the Peruvian Prime Minister to form a committee that should look into possible actions Peru could and should take against Venezuela. If one knows the level of corruption that literally runs Peru – one of the worst, if not the worst of all Latin America – and the way Kuczynski was ‘elected’, or rather shoed in by his Washington Masters, one can just chuckle in disbelief. If there was any un-bought, uncorrupted functioning legal system in Peru – the last five consecutive Presidents would now be in jail for corruption and crimes against humanity, including the present one.

Of course, Colombia and Mexico, among the staunchest vassals of the northern empire were also accusing Venezuela’s ANC initiative as being illegitimate, anti-democratic, for the sole purpose of allowing President Maduro to become a dictator and to bend the new Constitution so that he may stay President for life. None of this is of course intended or in the cards, or indeed allowed under the Constitution and the National Assembly still in place. In fact, according to the Constitution, neither the President or the National Assembly which is not being resolved or replaced by the new National Constituent Assembly, have a right to interfere in ANC’s process of drafting a new Constitution.

On a recent visit to Mexico, the ultra-right-wing (Tea Party) CIA chief, Mr. Pompeo, pledged for both Mexico and Colombia to help assure that the situation in Venezuela is being corrected. Let’s not forget, Colombia’s President Santos (the latest Peace Nobel Laureate!) has already several months ago asked Brussels to send NATO troop to Colombia. They may already be there. With a 2,200 km porous border between Colombia and Venezuela, infiltration of Colombian and NATO troops into Venezuela would not be complicated (http://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/5575480).

Among the few but strong supporters of the ANC and which called for the world to respect this legitimate and democratic process, were Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Iran, China and Russia. Others may follow. So far Brussels has only been mumbling. What remains to be seen is how these countries, notably Russia and China, would react, when it comes down to the wire with a possible CIA / US / NATO instigated coup à la Maidan, in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2014.

———

Why did President Maduro call now for a National Constituent assembly to modify or redraft the current Constitution? – The answer is simple. Dictators around the world, like France under Macron, the UK under Mme. May, and probably soon Germany under Mme. Merkel, would call for Martial Law to clamp down ‘legitimately’ on the peoples’ rights and carry through their atrocious militarization and austerity programs, as well as to ’selectively curtail foreign influence’.

President Maduro, instead, follows democratic principles to the core. The purpose of a new or reality adjusted Constitution has precisely to do with foreign interference to the detriment of Venezuela’s economy. They include outside orchestrated food and medical supply shortages; from Miami manipulated black-market vs. official exchange rates, ruining local purchasing power, thereby causing inflation and a sagging economy; foreign news networks deadly propaganda; and infiltration of foreign trained, armed and funded violent terror groups to help organizing the relatively small Venezuelan elitist opposition to cause havoc and civil unrest – as we have seen over the last several months in the runup to these ANC elections. The US State Department funded NED – National Endowment for Democracy – is a key sponsor of violent opposition in Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in the world. The new or adjusted Constitution is expected to allow the government to sovereignly control its borders and its economy with whatever means it has to take to keep the criminals out and regain full sovereignty.

These vicious foreign supported groups have cost the life of some110 people during the last few months leading up to the ANC vote, through the most horrendous acts of terror, including lynching, burning alive, shooting, looting of shops, attacking and destroying schools, public infrastructure, police headquarters and more. There is no end to the list of heinous crimes committed by the so-called opposition – which is nothing else as a tool for the Washington tyrant-in-chief, who will not let go until he has achieved ‘regime change’.

The presstitute doesn’t present this real picture of things. They portray the violence and dead toll as the government’s responsibility. In fact, thanks to the diligence of national police and the 200,000 military forces deployed throughout the country in the last couple of weeks to protect the population, the voters, in the leadup to the elections, violence and dead tolls were kept in check. Violent outbreak would have most likely been even more atrocious without the military deployment.

A new puppet government would return Venezuela to the pre-Chavez years – or most likely much worse – giving away Venezuelans world’s largest hydrocarbon deposit is to US petrol giants and torturing Chavistas and anybody who had in the past opposed and still opposes the violent undemocratic, oppressive servile-to-Washington elite.

—–

What’s next for Venezuela? – Well, it’s not over. The National Constituent Assembly is just the first step. The rabid bulldog will not let go. He keeps attacking and biting relentlessly and without merci sovereign democratic and un-obedient Venezuela. The steady internal foreign instigated economic and social decay, the build-up to what prompted President Maduro to initiate the ANC vote, was very reminiscent of the fascist 9/11/1973 CIA instigated military coup in Chile.

The Chile coup was also preceded by artificially and outside instrumented shortages of food and medical supplies – paying people to protest in the streets. The only difference there is that the Chilean army was split and high ranks defected President Allende. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Venezuela. – The overwhelming people’s support for the ANC has further cemented the solidarity within the Bolivarian Republic – and given the revolution new energy. Venezuela will prevail. Venceremos!

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

THE US HAS OFFICIALLY LOST THE WAR IN SYRIA: REPORT

The US Has Officially Lost the War in Syria: Report

28.07.2017 

Written by Darius Shahtahmasebi; Originally appeared at TheAntiMedia.org

By ending the “secret” CIA program to arm and train Syrian rebels attempting to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Trump administration has accepted defeat in Syria, according to the Century Foundation, a prominent New York-based think tank.

The Century Foundation believes this signals an end to America’s commitment to achieving regime change in Syria and claims Washington’s attempt to topple Assad was half-hearted to begin with.

That being said, the Century Foundation also concedes that the program was doomed from the outset, stating:

“The problem with the program, which was reportedly running the CIA nearly a billion dollars a year, was not that it was under resourced or ‘insufficient in scale.’ The problem was that its logic was wrong and out of sync with the basic dynamics of the insurgency.” [emphasis added]

Whatever the program had going for it, its ludicrous nature came to light after the conflict took full swing and opposition groups gathered momentum, as the think tank explained:

“But the covert program’s theory of the case also fell apart when when [sic] it became clear that the armed opposition—which was supposed to extract political concessions from the regime—was increasingly permeated by sectarian extremists and de-linked from the civilian interlocutors with which the regime was meant to compromise. [emphasis added]

The think tank then went further to explain why this might signal the end of the regime change operation in Syria, as America’s allies have started to lose interest in pursuing an agenda they can no longer realistically achieve:

“Moreover, it’s not clear many opposition backers will be willing to continue with this or a similar effort absent America’s political cover and leading role. Opposition sponsors—including most of the Gulf states—are exhausted, if not checked out on the opposition entirely. Saudi Arabia, preoccupied now with its war in Yemen, is no longer seriously invested in regime change in Syria. Turkey has also give[n] up on regime change, instead preferring to negotiate with Russia over de-escalation and pursue its narrow national security ends. Qatar has been a rogue actor, participating in the joint arms program but also independently supporting Islamist factions in partnership with Turkey. But, as Qatar’s dispute with Saudi and the United Arab Emirates drags on, its standing internationally and with the United States specifically is precarious. Donald Trump is already telling fundraisers that Qatar funds terrorism—if Qatar decides this is the opportune moment to go all-in on the Nusra Front, well, that’s its prerogative.” [emphasis added]

There is plenty of evidence to indicate that the U.S. aimed to achieve regime change as early as 2012 — or at the latest by 2013 — yet Assad has shown no signs of stepping down some five years later. Though this is clear to the outside world, the problem is that the United States is never one to accept defeat outright. Not, at least, until they have completely left their destructive mark on everything that moves in the very country they are struggling to forcibly bring to its knees.

In other words, the Century Foundation makes some insightful points but doesn’t touch on the fact that the Pentagon backs groups in Syria that pose an equal threat to the Syrian state and is still continuing to back these groups quite heavily. The report doesn’t touch on the fact that, although it is common knowledge that the U.S. is partnering with the Kurds, the Trump administration is actually attempting to give the Kurds as much Syrian territory as possible, conveniently taking Syria’s most oil-rich region in the process. This would take the region directly out of the hands of the Syrian government, which retains an isolated military outpost there.

What happens if the Syrian government decides it doesn’t want the American-backed Kurds to take their most oil-rich city? Will regime change be back on the agenda?

It is worth noting that the Trump administration has merely axed one program that has proved incredibly ineffective and counter-intuitive but has not rolled back any of its other operations in Syria. Nevertheless, as the Century Foundation explains in its report, the U.S. has basically killed the CIA’s support base for Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliates (which, at the very least, is progress to a degree).

Despite this, the mainstream media has attempted to paint this issue as one in which Trump has handed Russia and Syria a treacherous victory in the Syrian conflict. At its peak, the CIA program was costing $1 billion a year to teach Syrian rebels potential terrorist tactics, yet Assad has only strengthened his position in the face of such an aggressive covert program.

It seems more likely that the U.S., which has vacillated between advocating and abandoning the strategy of regime change in the most schizophrenic of ways, is probably considering other approaches in regard to the Syrian conflict. At the very least, we should take note of the fact that Iran is Syria’s closest ally, and regime change in Iran has become an official U.S. strategy.

The other problem with this entire assessment is that no one is asking why on earth the United States is at war with Syria to begin with — not in relation to fighting the terror group ISIS, but more specifically, why the CIA was spending $1 billion a year to train rebels to overthrow a sovereign government in the first place.

Do we just accept this and dismiss it as unworthy of further scrutiny and criticism? If Russia spent $1 billion a year training rebels to overthrow the U.S. government, nobody would stand for it; and quite rightly so.

While the U.S. is accepting defeat when it comes to the Obama administration’s Syria strategy, its wars remain completely active in the Middle East. If anything, predicting the Trump administration’s next move is the tricky part, but you can be almost certain that the next move will not see anything close to a withdrawal from Syria or the wider Middle East region.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fgeopolitical-standoff-in-post-isis-middle-east%2F&pid=824

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Say Goodbye to Regime Change in Syria

Say Goodbye to Regime Change in Syria

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 25.07.2017

Say Goodbye to Regime Change in Syria

Trump’s decision to stop sending arms to rebels alters everything

Scott RITTER

President Donald Trump has ordered that the CIA begin to phase out its covert train-and-equip program in support of so-called “moderate” rebels fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The program represented the tip of the spear of a larger goal of regime change that had been the official policy of the United States since September 2013, when President Obama declared “Assad must go” in the aftermath of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta that killed hundreds of civilians.

Through this action, President Trump is walking away from an established policy of America taking an active role in forcing the Syrian President’s ouster, willing instead to leave Assad’s fate in the hands of the Syrian people and its allies. The decision by Trump to terminate support for the “moderate” Syrian rebels, while not giving voice to a policy that rejects regime change in Syria, is the clearest signal yet that the United States has changed course on trying to force regime change in Damascus as a precondition for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis.

The train and equip mission of the CIA in Syria can be traced back to the spring of 2011, when a revolution broke out in Libya against the dictatorial rule of Muammar Gadhafi. Backed by NATO airpower, anti-regime fighters were able to establish control over large areas inside Libya. The CIA began a program to train and equip these fighters, supplying weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who in turn shipped these weapons to Libya, where they were turned over to Libyan rebels. (This circuitous route was chosen to avoid the U.S. being in violation of a UN embargo against weapons deliveries to Libya.)

In August 2011, in the aftermath of the capture of the Libyan capital of Tripoli by rebel forces, Qatar began diverting arms originally intended for Libya to Turkey, where they were turned over to rebel forces that had, since June of 2011, been fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

These rebels were grouped together under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an ostensibly secular resistance group that  was in reality controlled by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that had been crushed by Bashar al-Assad’s father back in the early 1980’, and was operating in exile in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

While the CIA was not directly involved in this activity, CIA personnel in Libya and Turkey monitored these shipments to make sure no sensitive weaponry, such as hand-help surface-to-air missiles, made their way into Syria. This effort, which involved billions of dollars of arms, including those provided by the United States for the express purpose of aiding Libyan rebels, continued through 2012 and into 2013. (The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi in September 2012, was involved in coordinating these weapons transfers.)

As the fighting in Syria expanded in scope and scale, the number of anti-regime combatant organizations increased. The FSA took on an increasingly Islamist character, and many of its fighters defected to more extreme organizations, such as al-Nusra (an Al Qaeda affiliate). Many of the CIA-provided weapons being shipped by Qatar through Turkey made their way into these Islamist units, with the unintended result being that the U.S. was actively arming Al Qaeda and other extremist entities openly hostile to American interests. In an effort to control the flow of weaponry into Syria, President Obama authorized the CIA to formally take over the process of training and equipping Syrian rebels. This operation, known by its codename, Timber Sycamore, was run out of Turkey and Jordan with the full support of both governments.

From 2013 through 2015, Timber Sycamore oversaw the purchase of billions of dollars of modern weaponry from Balkan suppliers, primarily in Croatia, and their shipment to ports in Turkey and Jordan, where the CIA, working with Turkish and Jordanian intelligence agencies, trained and equipped thousands of rebel fighters from more than 50 groups inside Syria that had been vetted by the CIA. The impact of this program on the fighting in Syria was significant—by the fall of 2015, the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was teetering on the brink of collapse, largely due to the military pressure brought to bear on the regime by these U.S.-backed groups. The success of these rebels played a large role in triggering Russian military intervention in Syria in the fall of 2015, with Russian air power being unleashed against these very same rebels in an effort to save the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The Russian gambit worked, and by 2016 the Syrian military had reclaimed the initiative, recapturing the city of Aleppo and driving the U.S.-backed rebels back on all fronts.

The U.S. and its allies had no effective response to the Russian intervention. One of the reasons for this is the fact that there was little to differentiate the U.S.-backed rebels on the ground inside Syria from the more extremist fighters from al-Nusra and other Islamist groups. While the United States protested the Russian air strikes, it had to deal with the reality that Timber Sycamore was arming far more than just the so-called FSA. In both Turkey and Jordan, corrupt intelligence officers were siphoning off tens of millions of dollars in weapons and munitions, selling them on the black market, where they were bought by al-Nusra and, after 2014, ISIS. The U.S.-backed rebels would often sell or trade their US-provided weapons to both al-Nusra and ISIS, and in many cases, U.S.-trained fighters would defect with these weapons. Thousands of fighters serving under the banner of Al Qaeda and ISIS were, in fact, armed and trained by the CIA.

Another problem confronted by the United States was the growing divergence between its objectives in supporting so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, which were shared by Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and the willingness on the part of Turkey and Qatar to train and equip more radical anti-Assad fighters, including al-Nusra (Al Qaeda) and ISIS. The position taken by Turkey and Qatar are rooted in their mutual support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which had morphed into various radical Islamist units operating inside Syria under the guise of the FSA, but in reality fighting in support of both al-Nusra and ISIS. Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood became unsustainable for Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Arab nations, which subsequently outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The demise of Timber Sycamore is directly linked to the ongoing crisis between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbors over support for the Muslim Brotherhood; Turkey’s position in support of Qatar has, given Ankara’s status as a NATO member, likewise created diplomatic problems for the U.S. that are simplified through the termination of the CIA’s train-and-equip efforts in Syria.

President Trump’s decision to terminate Timber Sycamore is part and parcel of an overall policy objective designed to gain control over U.S/ objectives in the region. In many ways, Washington’s policy of regime change in Syria, of which the CIA’s train-and-equip program was a major part, was responsible for the crisis currently underway in Syria, and the region as a whole. Central to this failure was the notion that there existed inside Syria a moderate, secular force able and willing to take down the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which led to the decision to flood the region with U.S.-provided arms and munitions that only served to spread of Islamic extremism under the banner of Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The fact is that there was no secular, moderate force worthy of the name operating inside Syria; virtually the entire anti-Assad effort is dominated by Islamist extremists who, if Assad was overthrown, would probably replace a secular dictator with something far worse. The Obama policy of regime change in Syria, like the Bush policy in Iraq, has done little more than unleash forces which the U.S. was unable to control, costing American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and the blood of American military personnel who lost their lives in its implementation.

President Trump’s decision to terminate Timber Sycamore, and with it the Obama-era policy of “Assad must go,” when seen in this context, is the clearest expression to date of his desire to rein in the unsuccessful policies of the past. The president’s decision liberates the United States, which can now proceed in its fight against ISIS and Islamic extremism unencumbered by policies that do little to further American interests while empowering enemies. By working with Russia to focus on the defeat of ISIS, President Trump is positioning the United States to play an important role in helping shape a political solution to the Syrian problem that will bring peace to the people of Syria and the region. Achieving such a solution will not be easy, nor is the outcome guaranteed.  Timber Sycamore, however, was nothing more than an impediment in this regard, and President Trump was wise in shutting it down.

theamericanconservative.com

Syria Summary – Consolidating The West – Marching East

 

By Moon Of Alabama

July 23, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – There were no major changes  in the situation in Syria since our last post. Several smaller steps have further consolidated the position of the government of Syria and its allies while the positions of its enemies continue to deteriorate.


Source: Fabrice Balanche/WINEP – bigger (with legend)

In the north-west Idleb governate and the city of Idleb saw new infighting between Ahrar al-Sham and al-Qaeda in Syria under its current moniker Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Ahrar, historically also an al-Qaeda offspring, was supported by Qatar and Turkey while al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al Nusra aka HTS) was said to have support from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Rudiments of local CIA paid Free Syrian Army gangs are intermixed with these. Their primary task was to collect supplies from the CIA in Turkey and to distribute those to their friends in al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham.

The spat between Qatar and Saudi Arabia mostly ended their interest in their proxies in Syria. The Trump administration decided to end the CIA support program for its FSA proxies in the north-west (but not for others elsewhere). This was a significant change of the situation for each group.

After losing their paymasters the local FSA gangs melted away. Ahrar held on to the border crossings with Turkey and collected “taxes” for everything that went through them. Al-Qaeda in Syria needed money. It attacked Ahrar al-Sham to eliminate the competition and to gain control over the only income source left. Last week al-Qaeda overran nearly all Ahrar al-Sham positions. It managed to capture and hold the Bab al-Hawa border station with Turkey. Taxing all trucks going through is a very significant sources of money. Al-Qaeda will now feed off all im- and exports between the Idleb area and Turkey. Ahrar al-Sham is practically done. It lost most of its weapon and ammunition storages and several subgroups left to join with al-Qaeda in Syria.

In an effort to support Ahrar al-Sham Turkey transferred some of its Syrian proxies from the Euphrates Shield area it holds north-east of Aleppo towards the Turkish side of Idleb border station. But those forces are too few and too little motivated to take up al-Qaeda in Syria. Ahrar is now too depleted and weak to win and control Idleb. The Turkish move was too little too late. Idleb is now for most parts consolidated al-Qaeda territory.

The usual “expert” propagandists have long claimed that Ahrar and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) had no longer anything at all to do with the original al-Qaeda. But today al-Qaeda central published a letter that asks both of these groups to stop there infighting. What will those propaganda goons make out of that?

South from Idleb a pocket of various insurgent groups (Ahrar, al-Qaeda, ISIS) controls the mountains around the Lebanese city of Arsal right next to the border with Syria. In June several Lebanese army personal were killed in the area. The Takfiri insurgent groups are a continuing danger to Lebanon as well as to Syria. Several offers for their transfer to Idleb were rejected.

Last week a united front of Lebanese and Syrian forces started to clean up the pocket and to eliminate all insurgents in area. The Lebanese army took control of Arsal city and will protect it against infiltration. About 5,000 Hizbullah fighters were allocated to attack the insurgents within Lebanon while 3,500 Syrian army personal will mop them up from the Syrian side. The Syrian air-force provides support within Lebanon and Syria. The Hariri government of Lebanon (a Saudi puppet) as well as the U.S. have agreed to the operation. So far it ran without a hitch. After several losses on the first day Hizbullah gained significant ground (see map below) during the last two or three days. Nearly half of the insurgent area is already under control and it will not take long for the rest to be liberated. Those insurgents who do not want to get killed and give up their fight may be send to Idleb where they can join the infighting between their brothers.


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The U.S. and Russia had agreed on a deescalation zone further south next to the border with Israel and Jordan. While Israel was consulted on the issue it later voiced disagreement. The Israeli government wants a permanent U.S. forces in the area to cover the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan height. Neither the Trump administration nor the U.S. military have any interested in such a costly entanglement. Israel has long paid, supplied and supported Takifiri groups in the area. It gave them fire support whenever they were in fighting the Syrian government forces. The deescalation agreement foresees the supervision of the deescalation area by Russian military policy. That regime will be installed during the next few weeks and further Israeli shenanigans in the area will become difficult. Russia will react harshly against any interference with its troops’ task.

In the north-east the Kurdish YPG is the U.S. proxy forces for the fight against ISIS in Raqqa. When the YPG submitted to U.S. command was told (video) to rename itself and became the “Syrian Democratic Forces”. It is still the same anarcho-marxist cult that it was before. It is still the same group that is killing Turkish soldiers within Turkey. The U.S. military believes that it can sustain the support for the group and continue to occupy the north-east of Syria after ISIS is defeated:

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last month left open the possibility of longer-term assistance to Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, saying the United States may need to supply them weapons and equipment even after the capture of Islamic State’s Syria stronghold of Raqqa.

The U.S. plan to split up Syria and Iraq after ISIS is defeated is still in force. But neither the Turkish nor the Iraqi nor the Syrian government will allow the consolidation of a U.S. protected Kurdish minority in east-Syria that they all see as a threat to their sovereignty:

The question remains: how can new Kurdistan states” survive with four countries surrounding it (Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran), all determined to do everything to neutralise a future Kurdish state in Mesopotamia and/or Bilad al-Sham? The Kurds really believe they can rely on two US and one British military bases in Kurdistan Iraq and on Saudi Arabia monies, and on six US military bases in the north of Syria to impose their “state”?

The YPG/SDF has already huge difficulties to defeat ISIS in Raqqa. There is little progress but the losses are considerable. Last week it had to discontinue its attack and wait for fresh forces to arrive. Raqqa is only a medium size city but with many high-rise buildings and a still significant population. Bombing support by the U.S. and heavy artillery shelling will be requited to eliminate ISIS from the city. This may well take several additional months. The city will be destroyed and the attacking Kurds will have high losses. There will be many civilian casualties. All this for a city that even after ISIS is defeated will never submit to Kurdish control and will eventually fall back to the Syrian government. One wonders how the political leadership of the YPG will justify this costly effort when questioned by its constituency.

On the southern bank of the Euphrates the Syrian government forces have now encapsulated the SDF forces around Raqqa. They make continues progress towards Deir Ezzor where a Syrian government forces is still under siege of ISIS.


Source: Weekend Warrior/@evil_SDOC – bigger

The Syrian government attack against ISIS around Deir Ezzor will come on multiple axes. But there are still some 80 kilometers to go and even though the area is mostly an empty semi-desert ISIS commandos are still active there. Only last week some 25 Syrian soldiers were killed in one ISIS commando attack at the T-3 pumping station near Palmyra.

The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was interviewed (video) by some (know-nothing) journalist of NBC. He rejected the claims of a stop of CIA support to the insurgents (25:20):

“I understand that the US supports much more groups than just the ones, which were announced as being left without the American weapons.”

Lavrov also warned against any thoughts of establishing permanent U.S. bases in Syria.

This article was first published by Moon Of Alabama 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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