Former Top CIA Official, Graham Fuller, Speaks the Truth: “We fight, crudely put, with al-Qaeda in Syria”

“We cannot both hate Assad and hate those jihadis (like ISIS) who also hate Assad. We fight, crudely put, with al-Qaeda in Syria and against al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

–Graham Fuller, former vice chairman, CIA’s National Intelligence Council in The Huffington Post…

“Assad is not going to be overthrown in the foreseeable future. He is hardly an ideal ruler, but he is rational, has run a longtime functioning state and is supported by many in Syria who rightly fear what new leader or domestic anarchy might come after his fall. He has not represented a genuinely key threat to the U.S. in the Middle East — despite neocon rhetoric. The time has now come to bite the bullet, admit failure, and to permit — if not assist — Assad in quickly winding down the civil war in Syria and expelling the jihadis. We cannot both hate Assad and hate those jihadis (like ISIS) who also hate Assad. We fight, crudely put, with al-Qaeda in Syria and against al-Qaeda in Iraq. But restoration of order in Syria is essential to the restoration of order in the Iraqi, Lebanese, Israeli and Jordanian borderlands. Permitting Assad to remain in power will also restore a Syria that historically never has acted as a truly “sectarian” or religious state in its behavior in the Middle East — until attacked by Saudi Arabia for its supposed Shi’ism.”

As’ad AbuKhalil: The 8 Proxy Wars Going On in Syria Right Now

Embedded image permalinkGraphic by @SomersetBean

These proxy conflicts now determine the course of events in Syria and the Syrian people themselves, on either sides of the conflict, have very little control over them. The slogans that are being raised by both sides of the conflict merely serve to rationalize the policies and decisions of external patrons.

Read Dr. AbuKhalil’s article at The Huffington Post…

A Statement from Levant Report Writers: SYRIA and the PEOPLE’S FOREIGN POLICY

Interventions MapIn late August, early September 2013, the United States nearly went to war with Syria. According to veteran investigative Pulitzer Prize journalist, Seymour Hersh, the Obama White House set September 2 as the date for a “monster strike” on Syria, which was to include devastating bombing raids of military and civilian infrastructure by B-52 bombers and other aircraft. This planned strike, which never materialized yet which has since been kept “on the table” by the administration, was Obama’s response to the two-and-a-half years long civil conflict which had engulfed Syria in a seeming endless cycle of death and destruction.

This planned “humanitarian intervention” or “humanitarian war” was given justification as “Assad is killing his own people.” Specifically, the White House accused the Assad regime of carrying out the August 21 large scale chemical attack against civilians of Ghoutta, on the outskirts of Damascus. The argument for war, based on the supposed crossing of the chemical weapons “red line” previously set by President Obama, would by the end of August hinge on Assad’s alleged use of “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

That the world was about to witness, once again, a U.S. led intervention against a Ba’athist government based on charges of WMD was an irony not lost on many commentators. The untold story of why Obama backed down, while deferring to a Congress which never even got to the point of holding a vote, was the American people’s taking to the streets in defiance of the White House’s logic of “Assad must go” via overwhelming strike power of the U.S. military.

In this moment—the first such moment going back to the Vietnam War, the common people brought Washington’s war plans to an abrupt halt. This in spite of mainstream media’s preparing the people and rallying the public for war with the non-stop airing of images of what was said to be Assad’s unique brutality against women and children, and the frequent parading of pro-intervention pundits on news shows declaring the moral outrage of “doing nothing.”

The Washington war machine failed as the people, for even a brief moment, took back the republic’s foreign policy. This was a moment of triumph for what Senator Wayne Morse called “the people’s foreign policy.”

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, a lone voice of caution during a decade of war hysteria, spoke on a Face the Nation episode circa 1964, about his voting against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and general opposition to entering Vietnam:

Questioner: Senator, the Constitution gives to the President of the United States the sole responsibility for the conduct of foreign policy-

Morse: Couldn’t be more wrong!  You couldn’t have made a more unsound legal statement than the one you have just made.  This is the promulgation of an old fallacy, that foreign policy belongs to the President of the United States, that’s nonsense-

Questioner: To whom does it belong, then, Senator?

Morse: It belongs to the American people, and our Constitutional fathers made it very, very, clear.

Questioner: Where does the President fit into this in the responsibility scale?

Morse: What I am saying is under our Constitution all our President is, is the administrator of the people’s foreign policy.  Those are his prerogatives, and I am pleading that the American people be given the facts about foreign policy-

Questioner: You know, Senator, that the American people cannot formulate and execute foreign policy.

Morse: Why do you say that?  Why, you’re a man of little faith in democracy if you make that kind of statement.  I have complete faith in the ability of the American people to follow the facts if you’ll give them.

Questioner: It isn’t a lack of faith, Senator-

Morse: And my charge against my government is we’re not giving the American people the facts.

Now, in September 2014, the United States stands ready once again to bomb inside Syrian territory. The stated objective continues to be the bringing down of the sovereign Syrian state. As Senator Morse demanded decades ago, the American people must have the facts.

NEO Journal: Sanction-Drunk West Forgets to Target ISIS Sponsors

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NEW EASTERN OUTLOOK (by Ulson Gunnar 9/21/14) – As the US and Europe prepare another round of sanctions against Russia over the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, the third round of such sanctions since the conflict began shortly after the Euromaidan unrest resulted in the installation of a NATO-backed regime in Kiev, a curious and inexplicable oversight appears to have been made.

While wild accusations have been leveled against Russia over its involvement over the violence in Ukraine, claims ranging from covert support up to and including unsubstantiated claims of a “full scale invasion,” prominent media organizations across the Western World have for years reported a flow of cash, weapons, equipment and fighters from America’s allies in the Persian Gulf as well as from nations like NATO member Turkey, and into the conflict raging within Syria’s borders.

While baseless claims leveled against Russia have served as ample justification for the West to continue leveling sanctions against Moscow, no sanctions have as of yet been leveled against the overt sponsors of militancy and, in fact, terrorism in Syria. So widespread has state-sponsored terrorism become in the Middle East that what began as a limited proxy war against Syria has transformed into an immense regional army with tens of thousands of paid soldiers requiring millions of dollars a day to operate across multiple borders and confounding the forces of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon combined.

ISIS is State-Sponsored, So Why Aren’t These States Being Sanctioned? 

Clearly, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria also known as ISIS or ISIL, are the benefactors of vast state-sponsorship and yet the West has not identified nor condemned these sponsors, let alone move toward leveling sanctions similar to what it is seeking to impose upon Moscow.

Read the full article at NEW EASTERN OUTLOOK…

Bomb ISIS as Syrian Intervention Plan B: The Goal Has Always Been Regime Change in Syria

syrian-revolutionMost Americans think the current war plans are really about war on ISIS. The long game continues to be regime change in Damascus. Americans should simply pay closer attention to what the top command is saying in very plain terms.

Hagel couldn’t have been any clearer in his Senate Armed Services Committee testimony Sept. 16:

As we pursue this program, the United States will continue to press for a political resolution to the Syrian conflict resulting in the end of the Assad regime. Assad has lost all legitimacy to govern, and has created the conditions that allowed ISIL and other terrorist groups to gain ground and terrorize and slaughter the Syrian population. The United States will not coordinate or cooperate with the Assad regime. We will also continue to counter Assad through diplomatic and economic pressure.

As many other commentators have said before me, bombing ISIS inside Syria (without Syrian approval, which amounts to an attack on a sovereign state) is but a Trojan Horse backdoor attempt to accomplish the regime change Obama pushed for a year ago.

Plans for regime change in Syria were discussed very publicly in Washington going back to the 1990’s (esp. PNAC and the neo-cons), and again in the early 2000’s (immediately after Saddam was toppled).

Understand that plans for the current bloodbath in Syria were made long ago in Washington. Read the following Time Magazine article from 2006 entitled “Syria in Bush’s Crosshairs.”

Current war plans leave even the likes of academic Syria experts baffled. Joshua Landis expressed in frustration on his Twitter feed today: “HAGEL SAYS END OF ASSAD REGIME IS U.S. GOAL IN SYRIA & political solution?! How would this work? Makes no sense me.” No one should assume that the people in charge of the White House’s Syria policy actually care about people in Syria or Iraq.

Last year, the White House decided it was time to push for direct military intervention against Damascus, using as a pretext the August 21 chemical attack incident. If you still believe “Assad gassed his own people” please read this article I wrote based entirely on mainstream admissions concerning CW usage in Syria (the United Nations final report, establishment media outlets, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the major defense tech. contractor Tesla Labs).

A lot has been invested in the three year long push to oust Assad. For the Gulf states, the U.S., Turkey, Israel, Cameron’s Britain, it is inconceivable that the Syrian state overcame the plot and still endures intact.

So now plan B is in effect…

I hope that I am wrong, but here are my predictions of what we’re about to see:

1) The U.S. will bomb ISIS sites inside Syria.

2) Washington will continue to warn the Assad regime not to interfere while coalition jets fly over Syrian territory.

3) Either ISIS or a so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition group will use one of the many MANPADS now in their hands to down a U.S./Western military plane. (Both ISIS and Syrian rebels have every incentive do this! See #4)

4) Downed jet incident will be pinned on the Syrian regime, and U.S. will respond (as promised) by simply expanding the scope of its campaign to bombing Syrian government facilities.

5) U.S. will attack by air both ISIS and Syrian government sites while claiming to wage “war on terror” on two fronts

6) U.S. equipped/trained Syrian opposition rebels will attempt to move in to bombed out government facilities

 

Joshua Landis: Why Syria is the Gordian knot of Obama’s anti-ISIL campaign

ALJAZEERA AMERICA (9/15/14) – President Barack Obama’s strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) relies entirely on allied forces on the ground doing the work that can’t be done by U.S. airpower. That formula may have made some progress in Iraq in recent weeks, but in Syria it lacks ready partners on the ground.

ISIL currently controls approximately 35 percent of Syrian territory, according to opposition-aligned human rights monitors, and fights against both the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian rebel forces. The question facing U.S. military planners is which forces on the ground will move in to clear and hold towns after ISIL positions have been bombed into retreat. Without such a partner, the U.S. will simply be repeating the Israeli approach to Gaza, cynically dubbed mowing the lawn by Israeli officials — an approach that not only fails to eliminate adversaries but can even work to their political advantage.

Obama has ruled out cooperating with Assad, whose forces control a bit less than half of Syria’s land mass (although a lot more than half the population lives in areas under government control). Instead, Obama informed the world that he would work with Syria’s “opposition.” Tellingly, he named no names.

Continue reading at ALJAZEERA AMERICA…

The 28 Pages and the War on Terror

28 PAGES.ORG (9/14/14) – Today more than ever, Americans are struggling to unravel the Gordian knot of overt and covert alliances that comprise the Middle East’s geostrategic landscape. As they do, politicians and pundits constantly remind them that reaching the correct conclusions about the region is imperative if we are to thwart the menace of terrorism and prevent the next 9/11.

As if a thicket of misinformation, hit-and-miss journalism and competing propaganda didn’t make the challenge daunting enough, the American people face an even more formidable barrier in their attempts to reach informed and rational conclusions about U.S. policy in the Middle East: the classification of a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers—classification that continues over the objections of the chairman and vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission and the former senator who co-chaired the inquiry that produced the 28 pages.

Preventing a hypothetical “next 9/11″ starts with a clear understanding of what enabled the actual one—yet, even as the U.S. military prepares for the next chapter in the seemingly perpetual War on Terror, Americans continue to be denied critical knowledge about how the September 11 attacks were planned and funded. Reflecting on that disconnect, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie recently told Slate, “Until we know what enabled or caused 9/11, we shouldn’t be talking about starting a third war to prevent another 9/11.”

Continue reading here…

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