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

 

Advertisements

White House Denies Hersh Allegations: But what do the United Nations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tesla Labs Inc. say about Syria Chemical Weapons?

A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in Northern Syria. A highly sophisticated chemical riot control grenade can be seen, indicating outside state-sponsorship. This image and others, was the focus of a number of Syria weapons watch websites speculating whether or not the rebels had chemical weapons capabilities.
A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in N. Syria with a professional CW riot grenade.

The White House responded early this week to Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” Director of National Intelligence Shawn Turner, in an official statement to the Ankara-based news outlet Today’s Zaman, said [bold emphasis mine]:

“We’re not going to comment on every inaccurate aspect of this narrative, but to be clear: the Assad regime, and only the Assad regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21. We have made that judgment based upon intelligence collected by the United States and by our partners and allies. It is a view that is shared overwhelmingly by the international community and has led to unprecedented cooperation in the dismantling of Assad’s CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles. The suggestion that there was an effort to suppress or alter intelligence is simply false. Likewise, the idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.”

The final United Nations report on chemical weapons usage in Syria was published December 12, 2013. Anyone in the world, with internet access, can read the UN report; it contains some damning information related to rebel possession and use of chemical weapons.

From page 21 of the 82 page document:

“The United Nations Mission remains deeply concerned that chemical weapons were used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arabic Republic, which has added yet another dimension to the continued suffering of the Syrian people,” [emphasis mine, and for all bolded below].

The report states that chemical weapons were “probably used” at five sites in Syria during the two-and-a-half year long conflict. Most significant is that at two sites, the victims were Syrian government soldiers, and at another, the victims were regime soldiers and civilians. While the purpose of the investigation was not to establish the culprit in each attack, the report identifies the victims in three out of the five incidents as regime soldiers. This is a tacit UN admission that the rebels possess and have used chemical weapons. Not once were rebel fighters confirmed to be victims of chemical attack.

On page 19 of the official United Nations report:

“Khan al Asal, 19 March 2013:  111.  The United Nations Mission collected credible information that corroborates the allegations that chemical weapons were used in Khan al Asal on 19 March 2013 against soldiers and civilians.”

Also on page 19:

“Jobar, 24 August 2013:  113.  The United Nations Mission collected evidence consistent with the probable use of chemical weapons in Jobar on 24 August on a relatively small scale against soldiers…”

Page 20:

“Ashrafiah Sahnaya, 25 August 2013 117.  The United Nations Mission collected evidence that suggests that chemical weapons were used in Ashrafiah Sahnaya on 25 August 2013 on a small scale against soldiers.”

Even the generally pro-rebel and very establishment New York Times had to admit the following in a December 12, 2013 article, Chemical Arms Used Repeatedly in Syria, U.N. Says:

Chemical weapons were used repeatedly in the Syria conflict this year, not only in a well-documented Aug. 21 attack near Damascus but also in four other instances, including two subsequent attacks that targeted soldiers, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

Concerning the first reported usage of chemical weapons in the entirety of the Syrian conflict, the NYT admits in the same article that Syrian soldiers were on the receiving end:

The report said the panel had corroborated “credible allegations” that chemical weapons were used in the first reported attack — a March 19 episode involving soldiers and civilians in Khan al-Assal in the country’s north.

According to BBC News coverage of the final UN report:

Chemical weapons were “probably used” at five out of seven sites in Syria, UN investigators say in a report. In two cases, the weapons affected [regime] soldiers, and in a third, [regime] soldiers and civilians, the report says.

According the Jerusalem Post’s December 13 coverage of the final UN report:

The report noted that in several cases the victims included government soldiers and civilians

Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, who currently works at Tesla Laboratories Inc., in an RT News interview on White House claims of the missile trajectories in the August 21 sarin gas attack in Syria:

…right now as it stands, these rockets could have never been fired from government controlled territory. They would be fired more from a rebel type of a territory or a border of a contested territory.

From the official news page of Tesla Laboratories Inc. [emphasis mine]:

Tesla’s Richard Lloyd, in collaboration with MIT’s Ted Postol, has created some media buzz with his analysis of the chemical weapons being used in Syria. Richard and Ted held a 2-day seminar in late January at Tesla HQ, that covered several in-depth studies including performance analysis of the Iron Dome system and forensic exploration of various weapons being used in Syria. Of particular note is his and Ted’s performance modeling of the large-capacity Syrian chemical rockets employed this past summer. Their conclusions bring into serious question the launch sites for these attacks claimed by the U.S. State Department.

In May 2013, Carla Del Ponte, a top UN human rights investigator and former UN Chief Prosecutor and veteran International Criminal Court prosecutor, was the first to accuse the rebels using Sarin gas against regime forces and civilians (see here, here, and here). Del Ponte’s assertions, based upon her information gathering team on the ground, caused a row in Europe, but it seems the only major American outlet to cover the story was the LA Times. During a Swiss-Italian TV interview, she was convinced enough to be very blunt in her assessment, saying, “I was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition.”

All the way back in May 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported:

A leading member of a United Nations investigatory commission says there are “strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that Syrian rebels have used the nerve agent sarin.

 

Media Blackout of New Syria Revelations

My article, originally published yesterday for GlobalResearch.org. The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal.

(Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies, Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies, Wiki Commons)

Today (4/6/14), London Review of Books published in its online journal Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” Hersh continues to expose details surrounding the staged August 21 chemical attack incident in Syria, which apparently pretty much everyone in Washington’s intelligence bureaucracy suspected was carried out by the rebels as soon as it happened.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist whose 40+ years career includes the exposing of the My Lai Massacre  and its cover-up, as well as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. His December 19 report, “Whose Sarin?” -was his first report to expose the Syria chemical attack hoax. While “Whose Sarin” was originally prepared for the Washington Post, the newspaper rejected it and a media blackout followed in American press. Currently, Hersh’s newest investigative findings are going unacknowledged in mainstream US media.

Hersh’s report confirms the following:

  • Obama’s push for attack on Syria was halted last minute when evidence that the Syrian government had nothing to do with the August 21 chemical attack became too overwhelming
  • It had been well known to US government officials throughout the summer of 2013 that Turkish PM Erdogan was supporting al-Nusra Front in attempts to manufacture Sarin
  • US military knew of Turkish and Saudi program for bulk Sarin production inside Syria from the spring of 2013
  • UN inspectors knew the rebels were using chemical weapons on the battlefield since the spring of 2013
  • As a result of the staged chemical incident, the White House ordered readiness for a “monster strike” on Syria, which included “two B-22 air wings and two thousand pound bombs” -and a target list which included military and civilian infrastructure targets (note: most of these are in densely populated civilian areas)
  • Full military strike was set for September 2
  • UK defense officials relayed to their American counterparts in the lead up to planned attack: “We’re being set up here.”
  • CIA, MI6, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey set up a “rat line” back in 2012 to run Libyan weapons into Syria via Turkey, including MANPADS; the Benghazi consulate was headquarters for the operation
  • Obama OK’ed Turkish-Iranian gold export scam (that went from March 2012 to July 2013) which erupted in a Turkish scandal that nearly brought down the Erdogan government
  • US Intelligence community had immediate doubts about Syrian regime responsibility for Aug. 21 attack, yet “reluctant to contradict the president”
  • US government will not expose continued Turkey support of terrorism simply because “they’re a NATO ally”

In addition, last Thursday freelance Middle East journalist Sara Elizabeth Williams broke the story of a CIA/US Military run training camp for Syrian rebels in the Jordanian desert. VICE UK ran her story, “I Learned to Fight Like an American at the FSA Training Camp in Jordan,” yet it too failed to make it across the Atlantic into American reporting. International Syria experts thought her story hugely significant, but it got little attention. Top Syria expert in the US, Joshua Landis, announced on his Twitter account Thursday: “Sara Williams gets the scoop on the top secret FSA Training Camp in Jordan.” This courageous young freelancer revealed, with photos, the ins and outs of this secretive facility -yet the mainstream carefully shielded Americans from knowledge of the explosive report.

In email conversation this weekend, Williams told me: “The access was tough to get, but I think it was worth the effort: to my mind, it’s important that people know what their government is doing in their name, with their tax dollars.”

According to her investigative report:

  • Confirmed: “US-run training camp” for Syrian rebels in Northern Jordan
  • Rebel recruits go “off the grid” while in secretive training camp
  • Rebel fighter: “The Americans who taught us wore military uniforms I did not recognize. We called them by their first names and they spoke English to us.”
  • Camp awash with “American food and American dollars”: recruits eat Kentucky Fried Chicken and live in temporary “pre-fabricated housing” units
  • Recruits sent through intense 40 day program, which includes exercise, training in anti-tank missiles, and boot camp style atmosphere with orders given by US military instructors
  • Upon graduation, US trained insurgents slip back across Syria’s southern border
  • Experts say there are more camps like this one
  • American trained rebel insurgent says: “America is benefiting from the destruction and the killing in order to weaken both sides.”

 

Confirmed in mainstream sources: Syrian rebels possess and have used Chemical Weapons

A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in Northern Syria. A highly sophisticated chemical riot control grenade can be seen, indicating outside state-sponsorship. This image and others, was the focus of a number of Syria weapons watch websites speculating whether or not the rebels had chemical weapons capabilities.
A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in Northern Syria. A highly sophisticated chemical riot control grenade can be seen, indicating outside state-sponsorship. This image and others, was the focus of a number of Syria weapons watch websites speculating whether or not the rebels had chemical weapons capabilities. (Photo taken by Jeffry Ruigendijk.)

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote an extensive investigative piece last week featured in the London Review of Books, which details the Obama administration’s “cherry-picking” of intelligence related to the August 21 Damascus chemical attack. “Whose sarin?” was originally intended for the Washington Post, but neither the Post nor Hersh’s usual New Yorker Magazine published it – presumably because its allegations and conclusions are too explosive and embarrassing for those already heavily invested in the accepted narrative of D.C. official sources. Read the following bombshell revelation from the first paragraph:

Most significant, he [Obama] failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

Hersh goes on to detail an intelligence community revolt, involving high-level officers, against the administration claim that only the Assad regime could have been responsible for the August 21 incident. Hersh has extensive intelligence and military contacts based on his decades long career covering war going back to Vietnam (it was Hersh that exposed the My Lai Massacre). His reporting of intelligence community push-back begins with the following:

But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote.

In mid-November, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer who writes on foreign and defense affairs for The American Conservative first broke the story of a threatened mass resignation by top intelligence analysts over Syria chemical weapons claims. “Quitting Over Syria,” while written by an insider who keeps extensive intel community contacts, got no exposure in major network news, failing to reach the mass of Americans. Giraldi’s reporting was consistent with Hersh’s recent revelations:

With all evidence considered, the intelligence community found itself with numerous skeptics in the ranks, leading to sharp exchanges with the Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. A number of analysts threatened to resign as a group if their strong dissent was not noted in any report released to the public, forcing both Brennan and Clapper to back down. This led to the White House issuing its own assessment, completely divorcing the process from any direct connection to the intelligence community. The spectacle of CIA Director George Tenet sitting behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the United Nations, providing him with credibility as Powell told a series of half-truths, would not be repeated.

The American public had no knowledge of this internal conflict and dissent within the intelligence community while it was happening, and few know of it today.

More surprising is that while the ongoing UN investigation was center stage throughout September, the final UN findings on chemical weapons usage in Syria were published this last Thursday (12/12), yet received little focus in major American media reporting or analysis. While major media has perhaps “moved on” – the UN report contains some damning information related to the rebels and chem weapons: “The United Nations Mission remains deeply concerned that chemical weapons were used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arabic Republic, which has added yet another dimension to the continued suffering of the Syrian people,” the report says [emphasis LR’s].

The report states that chemical weapons were “probably used” at five sites in Syria during the two-and-a-half year long conflict. Most significant is that at two sites, the victims were Syrian government soldiers, and at another, the victims were regime soldiers and civilians (for initial BBC reporting go here). While the purpose of the investigation was not to establish the culprit in each attack, the report identifies the victims in three out of the five incidents as regime soldiers. This is a tacit UN admission that the rebels possess and have used chemical weapons.

Even the generally pro-rebel and very establishment New York Times had to admit the following on Thursday:

Chemical weapons were used repeatedly in the Syria conflict this year, not only in a well-documented Aug. 21 attack near Damascus but also in four other instances, including two subsequent attacks that targeted soldiers, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

And concerning the first reported usage of chemical weapons in the entirety of the Syrian conflict, the NYT admits that Syrian soldiers were on the receiving end:

The report said the panel had corroborated “credible allegations” that chemical weapons were used in the first reported attack — a March 19 episode involving soldiers and civilians in Khan al-Assal in the country’s north.

For those that did their homework while questions of Syria chemical attacks were the hot topic in August and September, credible allegations of rebel chemical weapons are nothing new. Last May, Carla Del Ponte, a top UN human rights investigator and former UN Chief Prosecutor and veteran International Criminal Court prosecutor – was the first to accuse the rebels using Sarin gas against regime forces and civilians (see here, here, and here). Del Ponte’s assertions, based upon her information gathering team on the ground, caused a row in Europe, but it seems the only major American outlet to cover the story was the LA Times. During a Swiss-Italian TV interview, she was convinced enough to be very blunt in her assessment, saying, “I was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition.”

Revelations of the deep divide within the U.S. intelligence community over the August 21 chemical attack and Obama’s push for intervention, along with the just release UN report confirming that CW were used against regime troops in the majority of attack sites, should get common sense Americans questioning everything they were ever told by establishment sources concerning chemical weapons and Syria.