Published in Syrian Perspective


Both in Syria and Lebanon, the thousands of Scud Bs, Cs, and, especially, Ds, are stored underground to prevent detection and, ergo, preventive strikes – almost always by the Zionist Obscenity.  If Hizbollah has over 100,000 missiles in Lebanon, aimed at Occupied Palestine, imagine what the Syria Army has.  After all, it is the Syrian Military Industrial Network which provides HZB with 80% of its missiles – and their guidance systems.  Iran provides the other 20%.

In caves and professionally-dug subterranean storage facilities, these strategic weapon, fully mechanized on their platforms,  are ready to be launched at anyone who invades Syria with a conventional army.  Here are more facts for your consideration:

As we have written, there is no real Saudi Army south of the Iraqi border and southeast of the Jordanian frontier.  There were maneuvers consisting of battalion-strength units made up of mostly retired Egyptian, Moroccan, Sudanese and Pakistani soldiers who were being paid a handsome sum for their participation.  But, as we showed our readers in a translated document forwarded to Prince Muhammad bin Naayif, the heir apparent and Minister of the Interior, by members of Saudi Arabia’s highest echelon officers, the maneuvers were a disaster and the officers openly warned of serious consequences to the kingdom if the government went ahead with its plan to invade Syria.  It is worthy of note that the heir apparent is locked in a battle for survival with the king’s imbecile son, Muhammad bin Salmaan.


“Prince Muhammad bin Salmaan, Saudi Defense Minister and congenital idiot, flashes for the public to the obvious approbation of American dunderhead and Secretary of Defense,  Ashton Carter.

We can go even beyond that.  According to our sources in Damascus, the entire plan to invade Syria is viewed as some kind of running gag.  The logic goes like this:  If the Saudis had such an army capable of fighting a resourceful and experienced army like that of Syria’s, why is Saudi Arabia enmeshed in a catastrophic and endless war in Yemen, the Arab World’s most impecunious nation?  Russian “Sat-Int” also has provided deep insight into the ill-fated Saudi plan to assault Syria’s underbelly.  The Russian position is that the Saudi mercenary army cannot move 5 kilometers into Iraq without being exterminated by Syria’s yet-to-be-deployed SCUDs.  This is not even to mention the use of newly refurbished fighter-bombers under the umbrella of Russian MiG 31B Foxhounds and the Sukhoi-35S, both air supremacy aircraft.  The Saudis have been told by the U.S. not to engage the Yemenis.  They must have also been told not to lock horns with the much more powerful Syrian Army and its allies, Iran and Russia.

Taking a lesson from the effects of a worldwide decline in oil prices; their own imminent bankruptcy; their genetically programmed ineptitude, the Saudis have embarked on a lightning campaign to convince the world of the righteousness of their cause.  A few days ago, the much-maligned, much-sexually-abused foreign minister and “ghulaam”, ‘Aadil Al-Jubayr, flew to the Zionist Abomination to meet with members of the military command, MOSSAD and even, the slimy, unctuous and corpulent Lithuanian rodent, Benjamin Mileikowski (a/k/a “Netanyahu”) to coordinate plans to invade Syria.  This visit comes after a Zionist delegation traveled to Riyaadh to discuss strategy with the apes of that country.  We don’t know what the Zionists have told the meat-headed Saudi barbarians, but, it must have involved either diplomatic finesse or a demand for more money than the Saudis could borrow.  Note also that King Salmaan intends to visit Vladimir Putin in the next few days to discuss how the Russians are going to annihilate the army of clowns he plans to send into Syria.

The Zionist Settler State has much to consider.  For starters, HZB  has the ability to strike deep into Occupied Palestine hitting congested industrial areas.  The Zionist missile defense system, the Iron Dome, is not capable of tracking scores of missiles fired at the same time.  This is the essence of both the SAA’s and HZB’s strategy, to wit:  overwhelm the Zionist air defense system with more objects than the enemy radar can track.  Notice how Hamas, firing volleys of its Qassam missiles, as prehistoric as they are inaccurate, into southern Palestine manage to always reach Zionist territory although some rockets are sacrificed as distractions for the Iron Dome system.  Studies of the Zionist air defense constellation have not been particularly encouraging and the average settler will have to plan many weeks underground as Syrian-made SCUDs and FROGs descend upon their counterfeit state like an unending maelstrom of metal and fire. And as they sit and wait for the bombings to stop, they will have to consider the over 50,000 commandos who are going to simultaneously penetrate Zionist borders to finish up what the missiles couldn’t.


Prince Muhammad bin Naayif, the Heir Apparent and Minister of the Interior, is practically under house arrest by orders of Muhammad bin Salmaan.  His “Ministry of the Interior” has been redefined to include the courtyard to his home.  Many Saudi family members are enraged by his marginalization. 

Muhammad bin Salmaan, cannot go on with his charade.  His military policies are patently disastrous and reflect the mindset of an individual besotted by alcohol, advanced syphilis and amphetamines – not to mention hysteria and vainglory.  He has been told that there has to be a “coalition” to support the non-existent Saudi military force.  But, this coalition can’t be some rickety Rube Goldberg machine whose moving parts are Somali imbeciles, Pakistani mendicants or Egyptian orchard guards – no! – this coalition has to involve a real army capable of facing the full wrath of Iran, HZB, Syria and Russia.  This is no walk in the park.  It is the end of the Saudi regime.

Dr. Assad has given the order to prepare for a “devastating counterattack against Saudi Arabia using all capabilities”.  This means that Syria will begin utilizing its vast arsenal of ground-to-ground missiles.  That is the “surprise” the Arab media is talking about although they don’t know specifically what the surprise really is.  There are massive underground warehouses, each the size of 5 airplane hangars with thick metal gates opening up on to the Damascus Plain where the warheads of the missiles have Palestinian cities painted on them.  This time, if the Zionists and Saudis make this lethal mistake, missiles named Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Al-Khaleel, Nubulus, Jineen, Tool-Karm and Gaza will fall from the sky with a type of explosive the Zionist derelicts have never seen.  The Saudis will buckle instantly after the first strike.  The Zionists will have to deal with their failed state as they rancorously bellow out threats of nuclear retaliation.  It is here that Russia will insure no such response as its nuclear submarines are readied to deliver the deterrent which will end the suffering and subjugation of the Palestinian people once and for all.

The Saudis are flummoxed.  They just don’t know what to do about this cease fire.  Their major allies, ISIS and Nusra/Alqaeda, are exempted from the cease fire and are viewed by the Russians and Syrians as fair game.  The Saudis are watching Jaysh Al-Fath, whose capo, Zahraan ‘Alloosh,  was recently rendered into a fine puree, reduced to quivering sheep some of whose eyes are fixated on a possible Amnesty from the government.  The Saudis, clearly unable to understand how they can’t get their way after buying their wish-list for decades from wishy-washy, morally flaccid and whore-like hedonists, are suddenly without friends – the United States having opted for the war against ISIS and avoidance of a new world war whose endgame would be an apocalypse.

Their only allies are Turkey, a nation teetering on the brink of a new internal cataclysm brought on by policies calculated to enrich a few Islamist plutocrats; and the Zionist Ghetto State, whose primary axiom of survival can be summed up with the all-American expression:  “I don’t stick my neck out for nobody”.   With little money to go around these days, the Saudis, whose brains are addled by exposure to constant air conditioning, can find no instrument to effectuate their self-destructive political/military strategy – if there was one to begin with.

No, my friends, there is no huge army on the Iraqi border (my sources say it is about 24,000 total) and there are only 4 Saudi jets flown into Incirlik.  The Yemeni freedom fighters are on the verge of establishing total control over Ma`rib Province with Saudi-backed troops reeling from incessant defeat.  The Saudis have resorted now to a “scorched earth” policy in a country, like Yemen, which was already scorched by years of mismanagement and a population addicted to Qaat.  And, yet, they can’t secure one single victory as evidenced by the silence in the Western media over the entire fiasco.  In the meantime, the Russian Army continues to mass on Armenia’s border with Turkey.  ZAF



Ibrahim Abdul-Rashid sends this eye-opener about the Saudis and their miscalculations:

Don’t Bomb Our Terrorists, for Pete’s sake:


Hillary Clinton, David Duke, Yulia Tymoshenko and the University of Hate in the Ukraine



MAUP University in Kiev remains the key source of pro Stepan Bandera anti-Communist and anti-Semitic agitation and propaganda in Ukraine. It organizes anti-Communist and anti-Semitic meetings and conferences, regularly discusses issues  statements and publishes anti-Communist anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi propaganda in two widely-distributed periodicals, Personnel and Personnel Plus.

At the same time, MAUP is a bona fide registered university (its English name is the Interregional Academy for Personnel Management), with more than 50,000 students enrolled at campuses in various locations. Business, political science and agriculture are among the subjects taught.It has received the majority of it’s funded from two sources pro-Wetsern oligarchs who assets stripped state enterprise and from US government funded USAID grants, especially during the Presidency of Bill Clinton and during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.

The anti-Semitic and anti-Communist activities are directed by MAUP’s President, Georgy Tschokin, and a number of his colleagues. Tschokin was also the…

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Please Don’t Attack Al-Qaeda by Steven Chovanec

In the weeks leading up to the agreed upon cessation-of-hostilities (CoH) agreement between the US and Russia, it was John Kerry’s diplomacy that was instrumental in “downgrading” the truce from a more forceful and legally binding ‘ceasefire’ agreement to the less intensive ‘cessation-of-hostilities’ now taking effect.

Please Don’t Attack Al-Qaeda


As described by Kerry: “So, a ceasefire has a great many legal prerogatives and requirements. A cessation of hostilities does not.  A ceasefire in the minds of many of the participants in this particular moment connotes something far more permanent and far more reflective of sort of an end of conflict, if you will.  And it is distinctly not that.  This is a pause dependent on the process going forward.”

So why the insistence on non-permanence?  Especially if, as Kerry says, the ultimate objective is to “obtain a durable, long-term ceasefire” at some point in time?

According to the 29-year career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, India’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan and Turkey M. K. Bhadrakumar, it is plainly because “the Russian military operations have met with devastating success lately in strengthening the Syrian regime and scattering the Syrian rebel groups,” leading “the US and its regional allies” to “stare at defeat.”  Therefore, they “forthwith need an end to the Russian operations so that they can think up a Plan B. The Geneva talks will not have the desired outcome of President Bashar Al-Assad’s ouster unless the tide of war is reversed.”  Therefore, “a cessation of hostilities in Syria is urgently needed.”(1)

Judging by the fact that top US officials began announcing that Russia would break the deal immediately after it was agreed upon while calling for further measures to “inflict real pain on the Russians”, Bhadrakumar’s assessment that a pause, and not a permanent halt, was sought in order to regroup and eventually reverse the tide of war seems to be quite apt.  As well there has been an almost ubiquitous media campaign in the US to prime the public for accusations of a Russian infraction, from which a breakdown of the deal would follow; the narrative portrayed is filled with “doubts” and “worries” and “statements from US officials” about how Russia isn’t serious and will likely break the agreement.

Furthermore, outwardly Russia is much more optimistic and invested in the deal, President Putin hopefully promoting it while engaging in a blitz of diplomacy to support it, while on the other hand the US has been less vocal and much quicker to doubt its outcomes.

However, this downgrading from a ‘ceasefire’ to a ‘cessation of hostilities’ actually violates past agreements.

In UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in which it was articulated that member states be committed to the “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” while calling on them to suppress ISIS, al-Nusra, and “all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL”, it was also agreed upon that the Security Council  “expresses its support for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria.” (emphasis added)

Given the about-face, Lavrov was visibly agitated, stating that “Resolution 2254 talks about the ceasefire only. This term is not liked by some members of the International Syria Support Group. What I’m referring to is how something that has been agreed upon should be implemented rather than try to remake the consensus that has been achieved in order to get some unilateral advantages.”

The “unilateral advantages” likely are in reference to the pause-and-regroup strategy Bhadrakumar previously articulated.

Despite this Russia agreed to the downgraded CoH; however, in the week leading up to the agreement there was a major hurdle to overcome, namely whether al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, would be protected as a party to the truce.

It has long been a tenant of US propaganda that a sort of “third force” of “moderate opposition fighters” exists in Syria, separate and distinct from the extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates.  Yet when push came to shove, the main stumbling-block in the way of the CoH was the opposition’s demand that any truce be “conditional on the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front no longer being targeted.”  Sources close to the talks would tell Reuters that this insistence was the main “elephant in the room” preventing a settlement.

Even more telling is the fact that this opposition demand only came after the US had insisted upon it.  Indeed, while relentlessly pushing the “moderate rebel” narrative, it was official US policy to push for the protection of al-Qaeda.

According to The Washington Post: “Russia was said to have rejected a U.S. proposal to leave Jabhat al-Nusra off-limits to bombing as part of a cease-fire, at least temporarily, until the groups can be sorted out.” (emphasis added)

Al-Nusra is the Rebels

Responding to arguments that al-Nusra should be included in the truce — given that they operate in areas where other rebels are and thus Russia can use this as an excuse to bomb them — Max Abrahms, Professor at Northeastern University and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, explains that these recent developments show that Nusra and the other rebels are one in the same.

If you’re pro-rebel in Syria, you’re pro-al Qaeda in Syria,” Abrahms writes.  “The rebels are now begging for Russia to stop bombing their al-Qaeda partner.”

Indeed, it was the “moderate” US-backed FSA factions that were the biggest advocates of their al-Qaeda partners being included in the truce.

Major Ammar al-Wawi, Secretary General of the Free Syrian Army and head of the FSA’s al-Ababil Brigade in Aleppo, said that al-Nusra was the FSA’s “partner”, and that al-Qaeda was an ally of most of the groups brought together by Saudi Arabia underneath the Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC) banner.

“Nusra has fighters on the ground with rebel brigades in most of Syria and is a partner in the fighting with most of the brigades that attended the Riyadh conference.”

And therefore, while the ceasefire is good in principle, it is not good if it does not include al-Nusra, because “if the ceasefire excludes Jabhat a-Nusra, then this means that the killing of civilians will continue since Nusra’s forces are among civilians.”  Al-Wawi seems to forget that the reason Nusra is a terrorist organization is specifically because of its indiscriminate attacks and disregard for civilian lives.

According to the spokesman for Alwiyat al-Furqan, one of the largest FSA factions operating under the Southern Front umbrella, the FSA “will not accept a truce that excludes Jabhat al-Nusra.”  The spokesman later goes on to call Nusra “honorable”, along with the equally honorable Salafi-Jihadists groups Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam.

Ahrar, it should be noted, only presents itself as being different from al-Qaeda; in actuality it is not, it is a Salafi-Jihadi group which espouses a reactionary and apocalyptic Islamist ideology that has been complicit in sectarian mass murders of Alawites throughout Syria.  Furthermore, Jaish al-Islam, in the words of their former leader, regards al-Nusra as their “brothers” whom they “praise” and “fight alongside.”  Jaish al-Islam is infamous for parading caged civilians throughout warzones, using them as human shields.  Despite that, the current leader of the group, Mohammed Alloush, was named as the chief negotiator to represent the rebel opposition in talks with the UN.

Yet, according to the FSA, “If today we agreed to exclude Jabhat a-Nusra, then tomorrow we would agree to exclude Ahrar a-Sham, then Jaish al-Islam and so on for every honorable faction.  We will not allow the threat of being classified as a terrorist organization to compromise the fundamentals of the revolution for which the Syrian people rose up and for which we have sacrificed and bled.”

One wonders, if the exclusion of al-Qaeda from the ceasefire is tantamount to “compromising the revolution”, what would choosing al-Qaeda as partners be called?

Muhammad a-Sheikh, spokesman for an FSA faction in Latakia, also thanked Nusra for its “role in trying to lessen the pain inflicted on the Syrian people”, of all things.(2)

Yet all of this gets recycled within the US media as al-Nusra merely being “intermingled with moderate rebel groups”, as the Washington Post puts it.  While the narrative claims that the FSA consists of “moderates” reluctantly forced to endure an al-Qaeda alliance for military expediency, in reality much of FSA conduct throughout the war has not been much different from that of the recognized extremists.

In the case of Aleppo, while one man describes how al-Nusra beheaded one of his brother-in-laws, ripped the other to pieces between an electricity poll and a moving car, and kidnapped another, another man describes how “Free Syrian Army fighters burned down their house – leaving one daughter with terrible burns” after the man refused to join them.  He said they attempted to abduct one of his daughters but were unsuccessful as neighbors intervened.

Another Aleppo resident writes that “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars.”

Indeed, FSA groups were so brutal at times that these “moderates” were feared even more than other recognized extremists.

“Pilloried in the West for their sectarian ferocity… jihadists were often welcomed by local people for restoring law and order after the looting and banditry of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army,” writes Patrick Cockburn, the leading Western journalist in the region.(3)

For people paying close attention this is unfortunately not that surprising.

According to a recent poll conducted by ORB, it was found that most Syrians more or less hold both ISIS and the FSA in equal disdain, 9% saying the FSA represents the Syrian people while 4% saying that ISIS does.  The similarity in opinion is reflective of the similarity in conduct.

Jihadi ‘Wal-Mart’

The not-so-popular FSA groups are routinely described as a separate and distinct entity apart from al-Nusra and ISIS, yet in actuality the lines between the groups have always been extremely porous.

“Due to porous links between some Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, other Islamist groups like al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, and ISIS, there have been prolific weapons transfers from ‘moderate’ to Islamist militant groups,” writes Nafeez Ahmed, Britain’s leading international security scholar.

These links were so extreme that “German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, who spent 10 days inside the Islamic State, reported last year that ISIS is being “indirectly” armed by the west: “They buy the weapons that we give to the Free Syrian Army, so they get western weapons – they get French weapons… I saw German weapons, I saw American weapons.”

Recently the BBC’s Peter Oborne conducted an investigation into these claims and came across evidence that the “moderate” FSA were in essence being utilized as a conduit through which Western supplies were funneled to extremists.

Oborne spoke to a lawyer who represents Bherlin Gildo, a Swedish national who went to join the rebel ranks in 2012 and was subsequently arrested for terrorist offenses.  Based on her clients own first-hand observations while embedded with the rebels, trucks referred to as NATO trucks were observed coming in from Turkey, which would then be unloaded by the FSA and the arms then distributed quite generally without any specificity of the exact recipient.  The weapons would be distributed “to whoever was involved in particular battles.”

Similarly, in 2014 US-backed Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) commander Jamal Maarouf admitted that his US-handlers had instructed him to send weapons to al-Qaeda.  “If the people who support us tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them. They asked us a month ago to send weapons to [Islamist fighters in] Yabroud so we sent a lot of weapons there.”

Battlefield necessity was dictating the weapons recipients, not humanitarian concern for victims of terrorism.

Eventually charges brought against Mr. Gildo were dropped.  The reason was because he planned to argue that he had fought on the same side the UK government was supporting.  As it was explained before the court, if it is the case that the government “was actively involved in supporting armed resistance to the Assad regime at a time when the defendant was present in Syria and himself participating in such resistance it would be unconscionable”, indeed an “affront to justice”, “to allow the prosecution to continue.”

In a similar case a man named Moazzam Begg was arrested in the UK under terrorism charges after meeting with Ahrar al-Sham.  However, his case too was dropped, the courts understanding that if he was guilty of supporting terrorism than so was the British state.  “I was very disappointed that the trail didn’t go through,” Begg said.  “I believe I would have won… what I was doing… was completely in line with British policy at the time.”

Career MI6 agent and former British diplomat Alastair Crooke extrapolates further on this phenomena of the West’s principle allies playing such a crucial role in arming the jihadis.

“The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaeda, let alone ISIS,” he said, “but the system that they have constructed leads precisely to that end.  The weapons conduit that the West directly has been giving to groups such as the Syrian Free Army (FSA), have been understood to be a sort of ‘Wal Mart’ from which the more radical groups would be able to take their weapons and pursue the jihad.”  This constitutes a sort of ‘supermarket’ where rebels can go and receive weapons, the weapons always migrating “along the line to the more radical elements.”  The idea was to “use jihadists to weaken the government in Damascus and to drive it to its knees to the negotiating table.”  Exactly the same kind of policy used in Afghanistan during the 1980s, when conduits such as the Pakistani ISI were used to funnel weapons to the mujahedeen.

Yet these Western weapons were not just going to al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham, ISIS too was shopping at the “moderate” “supermarket.”

In his book The Rise of Islamic State, Patrick Cockburn writes, “An intelligence officer from a Middle Eastern country neighboring Syria told me that ISIS members “say they are always pleased when sophisticated weapons are sent to anti-Assad groups of any kind, because they can always get the arms off them by threats of force or cash payments.”(4) (emphasis added)

The result of all of this was a deep alliance between the US-backed “moderates” and al-Qaeda, as well as a rebel opposition dominated by ISIS and al-Nusra.

Al-Nusra’s FSA

Recently a leader of the Nusra group appeared in a video presenting an FSA commander with a gift while saying that there is no difference between the FSA, Ahrar al-Sham, and al-Qaeda.  “They are all one,” he explains.  The Nusra field commander goes on to thank the FSA for supplying Nusra with US-made TOW anti-tank missiles, which were given to the FSA directly, of course, from the CIA.

A month prior to these revelations reports started to surface about the unfolding situation in “rebel-held” Idlib.  Despite the repressive dress codes and savage Islamist laws it became apparent that the FSA was only operating under the authority of the more powerful al-Qaeda rebels.

Jenan Moussa, a journalist for the UAE based Al Aan TV channel who recently had visited the area, reported that Nusra allows the FSA to operate in Hama and Idlib because the FSA groups there get TOW missiles from the West.  The reason they are allowed to operate is that the “FSA uses these TOW in support of Nusra.”

Investigating the situation further, veteran journalist Gareth Porter concludes from a range of sources that in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo every rebel organization is in fact part of a military structure controlled and dominated by al-Nusra.

“All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it,” Porter writes.

In the case of the rebel capture of Idlib, “Although some U.S.-supported groups participated in the campaign in March and April 2015, the “operations room” planning the campaign was run by Al Qaeda and its close ally Ahrar al Sham.”  As well, before the Idlib campaign, “Nusra had forced another U.S.-supported group, Harakat Hazm, to disband and took all of its TOW anti-tank missiles.”

Clearly al-Nusra was subordinating the “moderates.”

The reality began to emerge in December of 2014 when US-backed rebels, supplied with TOW missiles, teamed up with Nusra and fought under their command in order to capture the Wadi al-Deif base.  Al Qaeda was “exploiting the Obama administration’s desire to have its own Syrian Army as an instrument for influencing the course of the war.”

Andrew Cockburn reports that “A few months before the Idlib offensive, a member of one CIA-backed group had explained the true nature of its relationship to the Al Qaeda franchise. Nusra, he told the New York Times, allowed militias vetted by the United States to appear independent, so that they would continue to receive American supplies.”

“In other words,” Porter writes, “Nusra was playing Washington,” while Washington was “evidently a willing dupe.”

This all comes down to the fact that the savage and brutal al-Qaeda fighters were proving to be militarily effective, leaving a trail of torture and atrocities, and battlefield successes, in their wake.

Explaining the mindset, Ed Husain, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes that the influx of Al-Qaeda and various jihadis “brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results.”

Because of this, Porter explains, “instead of breaking with the deception that the CIA’s hand-picked clients were independent of Nusra, the Obama administration continued to cling to it.”  The United States basing its policy on the “moderates” was “necessary to provide a political fig leaf for the covert and indirect U.S. reliance on Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise’s military success.”

Ever since the Russian intervention began, the US has continued to embrace this deceptive narrative, claiming that Russia is targeting the “moderate” opposition.  This narrative, and the publics belief in its validity, “had become a necessary shield for the United States to continue playing a political-diplomatic game in Syria.”

Yet, as Patrick Cockburn has reported for quite some time, “The armed opposition to President Assad is dominated by Isis, the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and the ideologically similar Ahrar al-Sham.”  Of the smaller groups the CIA openly supports, they “only operate under license from the extreme jihadists.”

Several rebel groups, 5 of which belong to the FSA, have recently united under the leadership of the former emir of the al-Qaeda-linked Ahrar al-Sham.  A longtime al-Qaeda member who sits on al-Nusra’s elite council explained that “The Free Syrian Army groups said they were ready for anything according to the Islamic sharia and that we are delegated to apply the rulings of the sharia on them”, essentially meaning that the FSA had subordinated themselves to al-Qaeda.

It has been further revealed that all of the Syrian groups operative in Aleppo had recently declared Ba’yaa (loyalty) to the Ahrar al-Sham emir Abu Jaber.

Ba’yaa, it should be noted, means total loyalty and submission, much like what follows from pledging loyalty to ISIS.

Official Policy

Indeed, at least by as far back as August of 2012, the best US intelligence assessments were reporting that the jihadists and extremists were controlling and steering the course of the opposition.  Then head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Michael T. Flynn, would confirm the credibility of these reports, saying that “the intelligence was very clear” and that it wasn’t the case that the administration was just turning a blind eye to these events but instead that the policies were the result of a “willful decision.”

Despite all of this, US officials still continue to maintain that “Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, launched last fall, has infuriated the CIA in particular because the strikes have aggressively targeted relatively moderate rebels it has backed with military supplies, including antitank missiles.”

However, according to the CIA and the intelligence communities own data, this is false.

Back in October of 2012, according to classified US intelligence assessments, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar”, which were organized by the CIA, were “going to hard-line Islamic jihadists.”

A year earlier, immediately after the fall of Gaddafi in October of 2011, the CIA began organizing a “rat line” from Libya to Syria.  Weapons from the former Libyan stockpiles were shipped from Benghazi to Syria and into the hands of the Syrian rebels.  According to information obtained by Seymour Hersh, “Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.”

In a highly classified 2013 assessment put together by the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), an “all-source” appraisal which draws on information from signals, satellite, and human intelligence, it was concluded that the US program to arm the rebels quickly turned into a logistical operation for the entire opposition, including al-Nusra and ISIS.  The so-called moderates had evaporated, “there was no viable ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad,” and “the US was arming extremists.”

DIA chief Michael Flynn confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of warnings to the civilian administration between 2012 and 2014 saying that the jihadists were in control of the opposition.

“If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,” Flynn said.

Yet, as Flynn stated previously, it was a “willful decision” for the administration “to do what they’re doing.”

By summer of 2013, Seymour Hersh reported that “although many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists,” still “the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming.”

According to a JCS advisor, despite heavy Pentagon objections there was simply “no way to stop the arms shipments that had been authorised by the president.”

“I felt that they did not want to hear the truth,” Flynn said.

So what Russia is bombing in actuality is an al-Qaeda, extremist dominated opposition embedded with CIA-backed rebels operating under their control.  The not-so-moderates only operate under license from, and in support of, the Salafi jihadists, openly expressing their solidarity with them, labelling them as “brothers”, and begging the UN to protect them.  Concurrently the US and its allies continue to support the terrorist-dominated insurgency, US officials openly planning to expand their support to al-Qaeda-laced rebels in order to “inflict pain on the Russians”, all while Turkey and Saudi Arabia openly support al-Qaeda.  All of this occurring because of the United States reliance upon “Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise’s military successes” and their “deadly results”, in order to further the policy of using “jihadists to weaken the government in Damascus” and to “drive it to its knees at the negotiating table.”

The function of the “moderates” in essence being the logistical and public relations front for the “not-so-moderate” al-Qaeda units winning the battles.

Speaking at Harvard University, Vice President Biden infamously and candidly summarized what had been going on, saying that it was our allies who were “so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war,” that they “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

When asked why the United States was powerless to stop nations like Qatar from engaging in this kind of behavior, “a former adviser to one of the Gulf States replied softly: “They didn’t want to.”

So it should be no wonder why the US tried to push through a provision including al-Nusra in the current ceasefire agreement, nor why they would seek to protect their most viable ally in pursuance of their Syria policy.

It should be no wonder that it has been, and continues to be, official US policy to protect al-Qaeda.



1.)    For further analysis, see Moon of Alabama, February 20, 2016, “U.S. Ignores Own UNSC Resolution – Tells Russia “Stop Bombing Al-Qaeda!” http://www..

2.)   Syria Direct, “Five rebel spokesmen, commanders react to ‘cessation of hostilities’ to take effect Saturday.”  February 25, 2016.

3.)   Cockburn, Patrick. “Jihadists Hijack the Syria Uprising.” The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 84-5. Print.

4.)   Cockburn, Patrick, The Rise of ISIS, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 3. Print.

Syrian Peace Plan: US Seethes at Its Humiliation by Russia by Alexander Mercouris

Public comments confirm reports of furious rows and recriminations between US officials at the way Russia has outplayed US in Syria

A very well sourced article, which has recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal (attached below), shows the extent of the policy disarray in Washington following the US-Russian “cessation of hostilities” agreement.

It seems there has been a massive row.

The heads of the US military and the CIA are clearly furious at the way in which they feel the US has been humiliated, and in a series of angry meetings in the White House they have made their feelings known.

Though they rationalise their anger with talk about how Russia cannot be trusted, and how US allies in the regions like the Turks and the Saudis feel betrayed, that is what it amounts to.

These recriminations have slipped into the open, as shown by the recent angry comments of Mark Toner, the US State Department’s deputy spokesman, who in exceptionally crude and undiplomatic language called on Russia in Syria “to put up or shut up”.

These comments have provoked a stern rebuke from Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s formidable spokeswoman, whilst Alexey Pushkov, the Chairman of the State Duma’s committee for foreign affairs, has twisted the knife by Tweeting that

“A deputy spokesman of the U.S. Department of State has broken down – frayed nerves.  In the United States lots of people regard the ceasefire in Syria as a defeat: the papers are indignant and the neoconservatives are shocked.”

The difficulty the US hardliners face is that for all the brave talk of a Plan B they have no realistic alternative to offer.

The Wall Street Journal reports US officials saying that “neither (US Defence Secretary Ash) Carter nor Gen. Dunford had formally submitted recommendations to Mr. Obama” and the suggestions mentioned the article – stepping up arms supplies to the rebels, providing them with battlefield intelligence, or imposing further economic sanctions on Russia – hardly amount to practical recommendations Obama can use.

With much of Europe seething against the sanctions already in place, any idea of cranking the sanctions up further on the issue of Syria (of all things) is – as the article says US officials privately admit – a complete non-starter.

As for arms supplies to the rebels, Russian aircraft in Syria fly too high to be reached by the sort of man portable surface to air missiles (“MANPADS”) the article refers to, whilst the supply of heavier medium or long range surface to air missiles to the rebels that might actually cause problems for Russian aircraft, would be a massively controversial escalation and – for public opinion in the US and Europe – almost certainly an escalation too far.

This is quite apart from the fact that supply of weapons like MANPADS or Javelin anti-tank missiles to the rebels would guarantee they fell into the hands of jihadi terrorists and the Islamic State – something the Western public would never agree to if it found out about it – without – as the article again says US officials admit – necessarily altering the military situation in the rebels’ favour.

As for the suggestion the US provide the rebels with intelligence information, that would almost certainly lead to the Russians withdrawing from their information sharing agreement with the US military, since the Russians would not want to risk information they provided to the US military being shared by the US with the rebels.

Since the US relies on this agreement to co-ordinate its operations in Syria with the Russians, unless the US were prepared to risk a clash with the increasingly strong Russian force in Syria – risking World War III – it would have to cease its operations in Syria in order to avoid a clash with the Russians.

Since that is hardly what the US wants, the option of intelligence sharing with the rebels in any meaningful way is also simply a non-starter.

As the US hardliners undoubtedly know, the only thing that would be certain to change the situation in Syria in the rebels’ favour would be direct NATO military intervention on their behalf, which in order to be effective would have to involve the US itself.

Since that would again risk provoking World War III over an issue where most of the Western public supports Russia, that too is a non-starter.

The one suggestion that has been floated as a possible Plan B – the partition of Syria on sectarian lines – which we will doubtless be hearing much about in the coming weeks – is in reality also completely impractical.

Not only do opinion polls show the overwhelming majority of Syrians – including Sunni Syrians – oppose it, but in the event the Syrian government succeeds in consolidating its control of the populated western coastal region of Syria – where all Syria’s big cities are located – the only territory left in Syria for a Sunni state would be the desert.

Whilst territorially speaking this is a very large area, it is one which is also sparsely populated, is not self-sustaining and which has no access to the sea.  A sectarian Sunni state established on this territory would be militarily undefendable and economically completely unviable.

The Syrian government would be determined to regain control of this territory once it had fully re-established and consolidated itself  – and it would have international law on its side.With far greater resources at its disposal, and with the backing of Iran and Russia, the Syrian government would have no difficulty reconquering this territory unless the US and NATO were prepared to send ground troops into this territory to defend it.

The idea of planting a permanent US or NATO garrison in western Syria to defend what would be an economically unviable militant jihadi micro pseudo state – in effect the Islamic State under a new name – is a fantasy – as is any idea the US and the West would be prepared to invest the huge sums needed to sustain it.

The US and European public would never agree to such a thing, especially as it would be strongly opposed by Arab opinion, which would be horrified at the sight of the great Western powers once again carving up Arab lands as they did during the colonial era and when Israel was created.

The fact the key regional powers Iran and Iraq would also vigorously oppose such a partition plan, as would the big non-Western powers like China, India and Russia, and that such a plan would almost certainly fail to attract the support of the wider international community or of the United Nations, all but settles the issue.

Though this plan will no doubt find its supporters in the Western media, in reality it does not belong within the world of practical politics.

The reality is the US has no real option but to work with the Russians in Syria, and this in fact is what very grudgingly – and for all the fire and thunder coming from the hardliners – it is doing.

There are however two further points to make about The Wall Street Journal article.

The first is a minor one, which with the US Presidential election pending is now of mainly historical interest.

It is that Obama has gone to ground.

Though the article does not say so, it is clear from its contents that he was not physically present at the meetings in the White House where the hardliners made known their views.

Instead of explaining – and defending – his policy in person to the hardliners, Obama has chosen to hide behind others – in this case his Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been left to take the heat for his boss.

Where Harry Truman famously said the buck stopped with him, Obama makes sure it stops with someone else.

The second point is more important, and it is about the future

It is that the anger the hardliners feel does not promise well, and is absolutely not a cause for rejoicing, and certainly not for gloating.  On the contrary, it is a cause for foreboding and for worry about the future.

Far from accepting their defeat, on past experience the hardliners will now be looking for ways to get even with Russia.

The fact they cannot do it in Syria will not hold them back, any more than failure in Vietnam in the 1970s held an earlier generation of US hardliners back.

What happened then was that the hardliners “avenged” the US’s defeat in Vietnam by setting Afghanistan on fire – with catastrophic consequences for the whole world including the US.

The fact Afghanistan turned out a disaster will however hardly deter the hardliners of today from acting in the same way.  If there is one constant in US foreign policy it is that when it comes to disasters it is the wrong lessons that always get learnt.

Far from being a factor in improving relations between the US and Russia, the fact the US feels humiliated in Syria is going to make relations between the two countries even worse than they already are, and is storing up more problems for the future.

This article was first published by The Wall Street Journal

Pentagon, CIA Chiefs Don’t Think Russia Will Abide by Syria Cease-Fire

Emerging alliance of Russia hawks in cabinet exposes disagreement in the administration

23rd February 2016

President Barack Obama’s top military and intelligence advisers, convinced Russia won’t abide by a cease-fire in Syria, are pushing for ways to increase pressure on Moscow, including expanding covert military assistance for some rebels now taking a pounding from Russian airstrikes.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter; Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan have voiced increasingly tough views in White House meetings, calling for new measures to “inflict real pain on the Russians,” a senior administration official said.

The emerging alliance of Russia hawks exposes discord among defense and diplomatic officials and could put pressure on Mr. Obama to take stronger action against Moscow. But doing so risks pulling the U.S. deeper into a proxy fight in Syria, with Moscow showing little sign of lessening its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government said Tuesday it accepted the proposed cease-fire, announced a day earlier by the U.S. and Russia. But it said military operations would continue not only against Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front—both designated by the United Nations as terrorist organizations—but against “other terrorist groups connected to them” as well.

Russia and the Assad regime have branded all rebel groups as terrorists—further clouding prospects for any truce.

The opposition’s delegation to U.N.-mediated peace talks in Geneva said late Monday it supported the U.S.-Russia deal, with several conditions related to humanitarian issues.

Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, launched last fall, has infuriated the CIA in particular because the strikes have aggressively targeted relatively moderate rebels it has backed with military supplies, including antitank missiles, U.S. officials say.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday gave its conditional support to a proposed cease-fire that the international community hopes will revive peace talks in the war-torn country. The announcement comes less than a day after the U.S. and Russia agreed to implement the cease-fire on Saturday.

Officials say it was unclear whether stepped-up support would make much difference at this stage, given how much ground the CIA-backed rebels have lost in the recent pro-regime offensive.

Mr. Obama has been reluctant to allow either the U.S. or its regional partners to supply the rebels with advanced ground-to-air antiaircraft weapons to fend off airstrikes. While introducing that sort of system could be a game-changer, any decision to help the rebels directly go after Russian soldiers or destroy Russian airplanes could mark a dramatic escalation.

At the heart of the debate is how much confidence to place in diplomacy at this point in the Syria drama.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said there have been discussions within the administration over what strategy to pursue “in the event we don’t succeed” in negotiations. He noted the president has the ability to take additional actions against Moscow.

But Mr. Kerry also said that “this is a moment to try to see whether or not we can make this work, not to find ways to preordain its failure and start talking about all the downsides of what we might do afterward.”

Officials said neither Mr. Carter nor Gen. Dunford had formally submitted recommendations to Mr. Obama.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the CIA director. Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman for Gen. Dunford, said the general’s recommendations were private.

A senior administration official said of the White House’s review: “We’ll judge Russia by its actions, not its words.”

The official added: “To be clear: Our actions are not aimed at Russia. Our focus, however, does not change the fact that Russia, by increasingly involving itself in a vicious conflict on the side of a brutal dictator, will become enmeshed in a quagmire. Should it not change course, Russia’s fate will be self-inflicted.”

Aside from expanding the CIA program, other options under discussion include providing intelligence support to moderate rebels to help them better defend themselves against Russian air attacks and to possibly conduct more effective offensive operations, officials said.

Another option with wide support among Mr. Obama’s advisers would impose new economic sanctions against Russia. But senior administration officials said they doubt European powers would go along, given the importance they place on trade with Russia.

The drawn-out negotiations with Moscow this month over a cease-fire agreement in Syria exposed the growing rift within the administration.

Mr. Carter had publicly voiced support for the negotiations led by Mr. Kerry. But while the talks were under way last week, Messrs. Carter and Brennan, and Gen. Dunford, privately warned the White House they risked undermining Washington’s standing with regional partners in the two U.S.-led coalitions—one in support of anti-Assad rebels, the other fighting Islamic State, the senior officials said.

At one point last week, the Pentagon came close to withdrawing its representatives from the cease-fire talks after the Russians claimed military cooperation between the U.S. and Russia was part of the closed-door discussions, according to senior administration officials.

Mr. Carter was upset about the Russian claims because he had explicitly ruled out such discussions, the officials said.

The Pentagon believes Russia was trying to try to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its coalition partners and to make it look like Washington would support Moscow’s military campaign in Syria and accept Mr. Assad.

While Russia was engaged in the cease-fire talks, U.S. officials say its war planes stepped up their attacks on positions held by moderate rebels. Russia maintains its airstrikes are targeting terrorist groups.

Mr. Kerry believes Monday’s agreement has “a viable chance of succeeding,” according to a senior administration official close to the secretary.

In contrast, Mr. Carter told senior officials Monday that it won’t hold. “He thinks it’s a ruse,” a senior administration official said.

Messrs. Carter and Brennan and Gen. Dunford raised many of their concerns in meetings last week involving Mr. Kerry, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, according to senior administration officials.

The senior administration official close to Mr. Kerry said the secretary recognized the challenge of ensuring Russian compliance. The official added that the agreement was partially intended to test whether Moscow can be trusted. If Russia doesn’t abide by the deal, then “Plan-B thinking needs to occur,” the official said.

Mr. Kerry has supported the CIA program in Syria in the past and has advocated for greater military involvement, such as the creation of a safe zone to protect the moderate opposition. But the Pentagon has been resistant to such ideas, warning they could lead to a conflict with Russia, administration officials have said.

Senior administration officials involved in the discussions said it is unclear whether Mr. Obama would support expanding the CIA program.

Ms. Rice, Mr. McDonough and other senior national security officials at the White House have voiced skepticism in the past about the CIA effort.

White House critics of the program warned that open-ended support for the rebels could pull the U.S. deeper into the conflict over time, with little chance of success as long as Moscow remains willing to increase its support to Mr. Assad, according to former administration officials.

Current and former officials said Mr. Obama was persuaded in 2013 to green-light the covert program in Syria in part because doing so gave the CIA influence over the actions of regional partners, including Saudi and Turkish intelligence, preventing them, for example, from introducing advanced antiaircraft weapons known as Manpads on the battlefield. Washington warned the weapons could fall into terrorist hands and be turned against commercial aircraft.

If the U.S. doesn’t take action to prevent moderate rebel forces from being wiped out by the Russian-backed offensive, then the Saudis or some other group could decide to break ranks with Washington and send large numbers of Manpads into northern Syria to shoot down Russian bombers, U.S. intelligence agencies have warned policy makers, increasing the chances of a wider conflict.


Refugee Crisis: EU Cites Missing Libyan Navy It Destroyed In 2011 byTony Cartalucci

FEBRUARY 29, 2016

libya_navyBy Tony Cartalucci

News agencies are reporting on a WikiLeaks report detailing the EU’s “Operation Sophia,” an allegedly covert military operation aimed at stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.

The International Business Times in their report, “WikiLeaks leak ‘classified report’ indicating EU Operation could move into Libyan territory,” would report that:

WikiLeaks has released a “classified report” about the first six months of Operation Sophia, the EU military intervention against refugee boats in Libya and Mediterranean.

The leaked report is dated 29 January 2016 and written by the operation commander, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino of the Italian Navy. It allegedly provides statistics on refugee flows and outlines the phases of Operation Sophia, including future strategies of the operation. The report has been published for the European Union Military Committee and the Political and Security Committee of the EU.

Perhaps the most ironic aspect of “Operation Sophia” is the EU’s ultimate exit strategy, creating a functioning Libyan navy capable of policing its own shores. The Times would report:

The report published by WikiLeaks notes that their “exit strategy” involves ensuring that a “well-resourced Libyan Coastguard can protect their own borders and prevent irregular migration taking place from their shores”. It also mentions an “EU comprehensive approach to help secure their invitation to operate inside [Libyan] territory”.

It is particularly ironic that the EU now sorely needs a Libyan navy to police its own coasts because until 2011, it already had one. Some may wonder what happened to that navy. Within the answer lies the irony.

US-EU Destroyed the Navy in 2011 it now Needs to Restore Order Back to the Med

In broad daylight in the middle of May, 2011, NATO laid waste to three separate locations in the North African nation of Libya. The targets, more specifically, were ports used by the nation’s navy. Several warships would be sunk, among many more that would be destroyed during the conflict. In addition to ships, the facilities supporting them were also utterly destroyed.

Even before the first NATO bomb dropped on Libya in 2011, geopolitical analysts had warned of the refugee crisis that would be triggered along with a variety of other humanitarian and security concerns that would evolve with the destruction of not only the Libyan navy, but the stabilizing effects of the Libyan government itself.

Indeed, many migrants and refugees from across Africa came to Libya to live and work. They were supported by and supporters of the Libyan government, but reviled by US-backed terrorists based in eastern Libya’s Cyrenaica region. During the conflict, the Western media disingenuously depicted these Libyans as “African mercenaries” to account for the subsequent racist genocide carried out by NATO-backed terrorists.

When the terrorists of Benghazi, Derna, and Tobruk finally overran the country with NATO backing, entire cities of Libya’s black population were emptied out either through genocide, into concentration camps, or driven out of the country into neighboring Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria.

Refugees eventually following those who destroyed and plundered their nation back to the den in which their nation’s future was stolen to, was all but inevitable. NATO’s own terrorist proxies were also expected to leverage the lawlessness of America and Europe’s “new” Libya, turning it into a base for Mediterranean piracy and human trafficking. The US State Department itself, in post-regime change Libya, would go as far as constructing terrorist networks through which weapons and fighters were forwarded to Turkey and onward to Syria and Iraq.

The Destruction of Libya “Uncorked” a Volatile Brew

If the continent of Africa and the many countries within it subjected to both over and covert Western meddling, exploitation, and subversion was a bottle, Libya was the cork. It provided a means of preventing the pressure building up from various conflicts from exploding into Europe – one of the primacy culprits driving these conflicts. France alone – one of the most vocal nations decrying the “migrant crisis,” currently has troops stationed in African nations including the Central African Republic (2,000), Chad (950), Ivory Coast (450), Djibouti (2,470), Gabon (1,000), Mali (2,000), and Senegal (430).

These nations either constitute, or are bordering those nations producing the most refugees flooding in to Europe with the exception of Syria, which France, along with several other European nations and the United States are bombing and arming terrorists on the ground in, and Afghanistan, occupied by NATO since 2001.

With Europe’s very intentional transformation of Libya from a bastion of stability to a divided and destroyed wasteland, the bottle was uncorked, and the poisonous brew the US and Europe had been developing, exploded like a volcano.

Europe plays the victim of a region-wide conflagration it itself not only intentionally lit, but continuously poured gasoline upon ever since. The missing Libyan navy it itself helped send to the bottom of the Mediterranean being cited as a contributing factor to the severity of the current “migrant crisis” is an indictment of the “international order” the EU and its Transatlantic partners both claim to uphold, and predicated the destruction of Libya and the incremental occupation of the African continent upon.

For other nations around the world, including Eastern Europe, Russia, and beyond, who played no role in the West’s various wars – or even openly opposed Western military aggression – they have no obligation to take responsibility for refugees created by these wars, thus attempting to wade into the refugee debate in Europe is both unnecessary and unbecoming.

Regardless of how the US and Europe attempt to wield “international law,” it is clear that they are directly responsible for the instability driving millions of people from their homes, and they have intentionally elected to continue destabilizing these regions of the world.

They cannot elect, therefore to avoid the consequences of their meddling, nor demand others to share the burden of these consequences. That the EU desperately seeks the help of a fleet it itself sent to the bottom of the sea illustrates perfectly the self-inflicted nature of this crisis.

Compounding and Exploiting Crisis

Finally, it should be noted, that the WikiLeaks report also indicates that not only does the EU seek to replace a fleet it itself sank in 2011 which led to the crisis in the first place, it is also seeking to expand EU military jurisdiction far beyond EU territory, predicated on a disaster of its own making.

The report states specifically that:

It also mentions an “EU comprehensive approach to help secure their invitation to operate inside [Libyan] territory

For Europeans – many of whom were complacent as their respective governments went to war against Libya in 2011 – they must understand that the chaos unfolding in their streets has not only been intentionally created, but is being cynically used to expand the control of special interests both at home and abroad. With the EU’s naval operations extending into Libyan territory, it will be all that much easier to secure and exploit Libya’s coastal oil assets, while keeping the rest of the country divided against themselves and collectively too weak to protect and use their own resources for their own nation’s future.

Unfair hands are being dealt all around. Instead of fighting over who has the worst hand, the world must expose and deal with those who have rigged the deck.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”

Part III – Voices from Syria: Assad is Essential for Syria’s Unity & Security  BY VANESSA BEELEY 

Andrew Portrait

Rev. Andrew Ashdown
21st Century Wire

“Syria’s triumph over terrorism and maintaining the secular identity of Syria is what will bring back a good relationship with Europe.  It will also solve the problem of refugees and it will restore peace. Nothing can be achieved without getting rid of terrorism.” ~ Dr Ali Haider


Following my meeting with the Minister of Tourism, I was taken to meet with Dr. Ali Haider, the Minister of Reconciliation.

Dr. Haider is a wise and gentle man who is passionate about the need for reconciliation, peace and reform.  He is leader of an internal opposition party, whilst also being in the Government, as Minister of Reconciliation.

In previous visits to Syria, I have seen some of the profound work achieved by local faith leaders working ‘on the ground’ amongst all parties in the midst of conflict.   Several have lost their lives, including a dear Sheikh with whom I spent time in 2014.  The Ministry for Reconciliation has been responsible for a significant number of ceasefires around the country, and for the rehabilitation of fighters into their communities, or their peaceful removal if they choose not to stay.

I don’t shy away from difficult questions and had a particularly fascinating conversation with the Minister for Reconciliation on the issue of reconciliation initiatives throughout Syria and sieges. The following is a transcription of the recording I made of our conversation [with his permission].  I am not commenting on the truth or otherwise of what is said, but this is a voice and a perspective which should be heard:

I first asked the Minister if he could tell me something about the situation in Aleppo.  He replied:

“The truth in Aleppo is completely the opposite of what is being reported in the west. The besieged part of the city is in fact the one loyal to the Syrian Government, and this part was under siege for a very long time.  The army had to fight many battles to secure an alternative road in order to bring food and other supplies into that part of the city.

 [Most of the population remaining in Aleppo are in the Government-controlled area of the city.  Most of the population from the remaining part of the city have already fled, mainly to government-controlled areas in Syria].

What is happening now in Aleppo is that the families of the terrorists are fleeing, and there is an attempt to create a counter propaganda in order to terrify people and make them leave their houses so that they can say that civilians are fleeing the bombing of Syrian and Russian air forces.

The Syrian army in all the battles they fought were aiming to break the siege of many areas. When the Syrian army managed to break the siege of Nubol and Zahara, Aleppo became a bit safer. The army is trying to make the terrorists get away as much as possible from Aleppo. Till now the Syrian army hadn’t entered into any area inhabited by civilians and hadn’t made any humanitarian mistakes. In the media they speak about people fleeing their houses and they never spoke about massacres committed by the Syrian army because there were not any.”

Of course we have heard much about the situation in Madaya, and the blockade by the Syrian Government, I asked Dr Haider for his opinion:

“The agreement that was known as the Zabadani- Madaya and Kfraya and Foua agreement  is nine months old.

 [Kafraya and Foua are two Shia villages under US NATO backed terrorist siege, partially since 2011 and full siege since March 2015.]  

The first phase of the agreement was that  the terrorists would leave from Zabadani to Beirut in exchange for civilians leaving from Kfraya and Foua into Turkey. 

The final exchange of people would take place in the airports of Beirut and Ankara.  It was the Turkish government that delayed the first phase for more than 8 months, and that is why the suffering that took place in Kfraya and Foua and Madaya and Zabadani.  It was the Turkish Government that delayed the implementation of the agreement.

Despite all of this, the Syrian government in October 2015, delivered food aid which the IRCR acknowledged would be sufficient for the people in Madaya for many months.  But the armed group called Al-Shamia Front took control of the distribution of the food items.  The Shamia Front Head Quarter is in Idlib and their references are in Turkey. The food items were stored in two main warehouses.  One of the warehouses was set in the house of one of the leaders of the front his name is Ziad Darwish;   and the second one was set in a house opposite to a medical point in Madaya.  It is they who restricted the aid to the residents.  And no one was allowed by the fighters to deliver any aids into Kfraya and Foua.

Later on, when we initiated the first phase of the agreement, we managed to achieve the exchange. But when we moved to the second phase which meant to deliver food aids and medical aids and other supplies into the four mentioned towns, all the needed help were successfully delivered into Madaya , but the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent ( SARC)  were able to deliver aid for one time only.

In Madaya, the UN went in four times and witnessed the situation from within, whereas the terrorists would not allow us to go into Foua. We had an experience yesterday  (Wednesday Feb 10 2016), when SARC went into Madaya to bring  out three injured civilians.  The terrorists targeted the convoy, and the cars  and one of the drivers were hit:, yet SARC brought out the three civilians and they are now being treated in a Damascus hospital.

Also, Deir Azzor city is completely besieged by ISIS and no one can go there .  Now the Syrian government with the help of Russian Air Force deliver food aids using Parachutes. We have sometimes done the same in Kfraya and Foua.

In areas under the control of armed groups where there are still civilian, the government allows food aids to enter these areas.  For example  in the past two weeks alone,  we have delivered food to  Madaya, Tall, Ma’adamia and Douma, which are under the control of armed groups.   They all received aids.

The suffering of the civilians inside these areas is caused because the armed groups confiscate the aids and control the distribution. They also control the movement of the civilians and have checkpoints that don’t allow the civilians to leave.

Now, there is a campaign against Syria politicizing the humanitarian issue. Why does this campaign always start whenever there is any progress whether politically or militarily?   I have to mention here that whenever there have been peace talks, the humanitarian issues (made worse by the terrorists) are highlighted to hinder progress; to gain sympathy. And  to justify any intervention in Syrian under the pretext of Humanitarian help.”

I then asked Dr Haider for clarification of the much reported upon situation in Yarmouk, the Palestinian suburbs often described as a Camp situated to the south of Damascus:

“There are about 18,000 people still inside Yarmouk.  [It was over 150,000 before the crisis, but most have been allowed to leave and are being looked after safely in areas under Government control.]  We are now working on a reconciliation project in Yarmouk.  if the project succeeds a big problem will be avoided, and it will have a positive impact on the people in many areas.  

The counter propaganda to this project is because it will affect the existence of ISIS and Nusra in these areas. The reconciliation project aims to make 1800 fighters from ISIS and Nusra get out of the area. Some of the fighters have already left in a clandestine agreement.  The Syrian forces had to provide protection for their exit because other terrorists did not want them to leave.  Our aim is to free people from those fighters.”

I asked what Dr. Haider would want to say to British MPs if he could meet them. He said:

“My message is still the same:  Syria is the wall that protects Europe, I think that the main battle is a battle for civilization, and humanity. Europe has started to feel the threat that is coming because of what is going on in Syria. 

My message to all the Europeans is:  Syria’s triumph over terrorism and maintaining the secular identity of Syria is what will bring back a good relationship with Europe.  It will also solve the problem of refugees and it will restore peace. Nothing can be achieved without getting rid of terrorism.  Attaching a political demand will make Syria suffer in the same way that Iraq has suffered.  Finally, Europe is closer to Syria than the US not only geographically, but in terms of civilization and history.”

The Minister for Reconciliation is someone with whom we really ought to be engaging. He is a wise and gentle man and is in every way a moderate.  Like most people in the country, he desires the well-being and unity of Syria, unlike the terrorists whom the west euphemistically label ‘moderate’.

It is shocking that the West is talking with leaders of extremist terrorist groups, and not with people who are genuinely seeking peaceful engagement with all Syrians.

Andrew Ashdown with Ali Haider, Syrian Minister for Reconciliation



I have spent the last 6 weeks in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, the fourth such visit in 2 years – talking to numerous people, including refugees, from all segments of Syrian society. Assad has very strong support within Syria across the whole spectrum of Syrian society, the majority of whom are Sunni.

Sunnis in fact make up the majority of the Syrian Army. Just a few weeks ago, 70 Sunni Syrian Army soldiers were executed by ISIS at Deir Ezzor, largely ignored by the mainstream media.  A huge number of the population support Assad personally, though everyone has criticisms of the regime, especially about corruption and the security apparatus.

Many refugees, even if they don’t support the regime, say that Assad is better than the chaos that would ensue if the sectarian ‘rebels’ were to win. Talking to Kurdish Refugees from Syria at a camp in Iraq 2 weeks ago, all of them were united in their belief that though they didn’t like the regime they support Assad personally, and do not want to see him defeated.

Even the government’s opponents inside Syria acknowledge that Assad did try to undertake reform, and I saw plenty of evidence of this in my travels to Syria immediately prior to the conflict. It is popularly believed that Assad was deeply constrained by the powerful forces within sections of the regime. The regime structure is profoundly complicated, and Assad does not have direct control of every part of it. I have not only experienced aspects of this myself in a small way, but have heard about it from individuals who have been political prisoners as well.

It is true Assad made mistakes at the begining of the uprising, but the details of the uprising have entered the realms of exaggeration and fiction. I have spoken with people who participated in the uprising and who witnessed the violence perpetrated by armed outsiders against the army very early on. An opposition leader even told me that he was told by an opposition figure in Turkey in 2010:

“There is going to be a war in Syria. It is coming soon and has all been planned.”

In some cities, the army only opened fire after they had first been attacked. This is now well documented.

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who gives unqualified support to the regime. Barrel bombs and torture chambers are a fact [cf the actions of USA in Iraq and Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Israel in Gaza, and most of our allies]. However, little has been said of the constant killing and destruction perpetrated against civilians by the moderate rebels Hell Cannon mortars and shells that are randomly killing and maiming civilians in large numbers.

As for the refugee crisis. The largest numbers of refugees are within Syria itself, having fled the rebel-controlled areas to the comparative safety of the government-controlled areas. Most that I have spoken to in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq say they did not flee the regime. Rather they were fleeing the violence caused by the conflict on both sides,  the brutality of the ‘rebels’ towards those not of their religious or political persuasion and the bombing of rebel areas by the government,  and the economic hopelessness that now exists in the country.

All narratives contain a degree of truth. But in the Syrian war, the truths have been brutally twisted into a narrative to fit the political interests of the west and gulf countries. It is infinitely more complex than the simplistic good-guy-bad-guy western media narrative.

My experience across Syria is that much of the narrative that we are fed is grossly distorted. Incidentally the only places which feel in any way vaguely like the secure pluralistic society that existed before the uprising [many Syrians say they want Syria to be ‘safe like it was’] are the government-controlled areas where people live together in comparative safety.

When I walked the streets of Homs in November, people were coming up and saying how glad they were the ‘rebels’ had been removed, and now the city could begin to recover. As I mentioned previously, two of my friends had to flee their homes in Homs because of the ‘rebel’ occupation. Their homes were destroyed in the government bombardment, but each of them said:

“If it took bombing my home to destroy the terrorists, I accept that.”

Now however, the economic situation caused by the war and the sanctions is creating tremendous hardship for all Syrians, and is creating the grounds for a further exodus. Anyone who blindly accepts the media narrative frankly is a bit of political fool!  Perhaps my biggest lesson in this past six weeks in the region is just how profoundly complex and multi-layered the situation is.

It is not nearly as clear-cut as the media and politicians are making out and western policies, actions and alliances are without doubt making it infinitely worse. What is contributing to the continuation of the conflict is the refusal of the international community to speak to people within Syria, and to listen to what their wishes are and our on-going support for extremist Islamicgroups who wish to see the sectarian partitioning of Syria. Most Syrians I have spoken to across the region, have no wish for them to take charge of the country.

Lastly, as Christians, what is our response to the Christian community in the region, whose very existence is threatened? 

The wishes of the Christian communities have been made clear again and again.  And every single Church leader in Syria has spoken out against western policies.  On the ground, local Christian and Muslim leaders work together to bring healing and reconciliation amongst profoundly fractured and suffering communities.  They feel abandoned by the international community.

Their voices are ignored by political and religious leaders alike.  In this conflict, there are no innocent parties.  And we ourselves must take our share of the blame for the catastrophe that has befallen this country that was a cradle of faith and civilisation.  And if western Church leaders are silent in response to the cries of our fellow Christians in the region, then we must share responsibility for their catastrophic demise and the sectarian disaster that could follow.

End of Part III

Reverend Andrew Ashdown is an Anglican priest in England.  He has been visiting and leading groups to the Middle East for over 25 years, and has visited Syria four times since April 2014, both as a member of faith delegations, and more recently independently.  Andrew is undertaking research into Christian/Muslim relations in the region. 

ALSO READ: Part II – Syria’s Secularism & Pluralism cannot Survive without Assad.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

PART TWO: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – The Betrayal of America by James Hall


21st Century Wire

The other leg to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

In our Part I scrutiny of the TPP proposal indicates that standards of monopoly amalgamation far exceeded efforts to advance actual competitive trade.

From the White House Fact Sheet, the aims of the TTIP are:

• Further open EU markets, increasing the $458 billion in goods and private services the United States exported in 2012 to the EU, our largest export market.

• Strengthen rules-based investment to grow the world’s largest investment relationship. The United States and the EU already maintain a total of nearly $3.7 trillion in investment in each other’s economies (as of 2011).

• Eliminate all tariffs on trade.

• Tackle costly “behind the border” non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods, including agricultural goods.

• Obtain improved market access on trade in services.

• Significantly reduce the cost of differences in regulations and standards by promoting greater compatibility, transparency, and cooperation, while maintaining our high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection.

• Develop rules, principles, and new modes of cooperation on issues of global concern, including intellectual property and market-based disciplines addressing state-owned enterprises and discriminatory localization barriers to trade.

• Promote the global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Opponents of TTIP echo the same loss of national sovereignty, similar to the reservations with TPP. The IPS-Inter Press Service reports on the concerns and consequences.

“The claims that this deal will somehow be an economic cure-all and generate significant growth are simply not supported by any reliable evidence,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen‘s Global Trade Watch.

“But we do know that the talks are based on the demands of U.S. and EU corporations that have been pushing for decades to eliminate the best consumer, environmental and financial standards on either side of the Atlantic.”

Also stated in the IPS account is that “Tariffs between the U.S. and E.U. are already low, and critic’s note that what the deal really seeks to accomplish is the removal of “non tariff barriers” (also referred to as “trade irritants”).”

“Non-tariff barriers is a commonly-used euphemism which refers to the array of financial, environmental, health and other policies which the public has put in place to safeguard its own interests,” Ben Beachy, a research director for Public Citizen, told IPS.

Under T-TIP, standards such as those mentioned by Beachy would be “converged”, so that regulations from state to state would be more closely aligned. Supporters of the deal say this uniformity would facilitate trade, but Beachy contended that the greater effect would be to lower regulation levels to a point that “democratic electorates would never stand for.”

Not surprising, the European Commission seeks to rely upon esoteric and speculative economic models to project that increased growth will ensue, while avoiding the hard political concerns inThe Economic Analysis Explained study – about the overall impact of TTIP.

“The CEPR study predicts that an ambitious TTIP deal would increase the size of the EU economy around €120 billion (or 0.5% of GDP) and the US by €95 billion (or 0.4% of GDP). This would be a permanent increase in the amount of wealth that the European and American economies can produce every year.”

The video below, Economic Effects of a Transatlantic Free Trade Deal (TTIP) projects the winners and losers, while disclosing that individual countries would be relinquishing their own policies to an unelected economic bureaucracy.
The flaws of any corporate or trade delegation research is that the conclusions are baked into the assumptions. Acknowledging the formation of a unified supra-national trade and commerce authority to implement economic decisions is usually outside the parameters of such studies. So when a Bertelsmann Foundation survey admits the obvious, it becomes noteworthy.

“In some respects, TTIP could be considered as a new sort of trade agreement—one that provides a framework for mutual regulatory decision-making and sets high standards that other countries outside the US and Europe can eventually join as well. This framework approach allows negotiators to quickly conclude an historic tariff and investment deal and leave the door open to future streamlining on those policy differences that might be too difficult to bridge today.”

In order to appreciate the radical departure from national regimes and the transfer of administration and authorization of law by treaty, through regulation into an economic federation of non-governmental governance, is startling.

Grasp the vast extend and scope of this betrayal, in the skillful presentation on YouTube, AVN, US & EU Merger – TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership.
The banksters controlled media and press remain virtually silent and tight-lipped about the economic coordination into a Corporatocracy of elites control. The New World Order consolidated economic structure, progresses with every trade treaty.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have the objective of merging the American economy into and under the European Union model of supranational dictates. If this were not the path to betrayal, what would you call it? With the fallout from the nuclear option by “Democrat Dictator” Harry Reid, the filibuster will not stop ratification of treaties in the Senate.

False promises of job expansion are nothing but hideous promises for the uninitiated or unintelligent. The TTIP is just another tactic to maintain and expand the Anglo –American hegemony. Only favored companies that operate under the oversight and protection of central bankers, benefit from monopolistic trade arrangements.

Protective tariffs built America. Free Trade agreements are destroying the middle class. Increasing economic activity under a framework that effectively excludes the next generation of the working population only fattens the Plutocrats appetites for even more dominance.

The TTIP assurance to “Promote the global competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises” is a total fraud. Ask any business executive, the commerce race is stacked in favor of the corporatist. Then pose the same question to a small business owner, who knows they seldom even get the chance to play the international trade game at all.

 READ PART ONE HERE: Trade Agreements Part I

Discuss or comment about this essay and related issues on the BATR Forum.