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CIA & State Dept fund, train & arm Syria terrorists from 2006 etc., from Peter Myers

CIA & State Dept fund, train & arm Syria terrorists from 2006; Neocon coup reverses Brzezinski policy

You can download this newsletter as a WORD file, with bold emphasis highlighting the headlines and important points:

(1) Brzezinski opposed Iraq & Syria Wars, but Neocons backed both; their rise is a Zionist coup
(2) Zbigniew Brzezinski calls Iraq War an Historic, Strategic and Moral Calamity (Feb 2007)
(3) Zbigniew Brzezinski condemns Syria war plan (June 2014)
(4) Cheney (Defense Sec 1989) puts Netanyahu's Neocons in charge of US foreign policy
(5) Next Stop, Iraq - Richard Perle (Nov 2001)
(6) Pentagon cannot account for $2.3 trillion - Rumfeld (Jan 2002)
(7) Israel encourages US to attack Iraq (Aug 2002)
(8) Bush adopts Neocon plan for destabilisation of "despotic regimes" (Sept 2002)
(9) Sharon says U.S. should also attack Iran, Libya and Syria (Feb 2003)
(10) The Israel Factor: Neocons' dual loyalty & Jacobin streak - Pat Buchanan (Mar 2003)
(11) U.S. nurturing Syrian activists, intervening in Syrian election - TIME (Dec 2006)
(12) "We're going to take out 7 countries" - Wesley Clark interview Democracy Now (Mar 2, 2007)
(13) Bush backed Al Qaeda Sunni Islamists, to undermine Iran - Seymour Hersh (Mar 5, 2007)
(14) Wesley Clark reveals "policy coup after 9/11" - Fora TV (Youtube, Nov 5, 2007)
(15) Wesley Clark reveals Neocon coup (1991), plan to overthrow "old Soviet regimes" (2007)
(16) WikiLeaks cables prompt State Dept to admit funding Syrian opposition (Apr 2011)
(17) State Dept admits funding Syrian opposition, after Wikileaks releases cables (Apr 2011)
(18) Senators Joseph Lieberman & John McCain call for US to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya (July 2012)
(19) Saudis supply Croatian Arms to Rebels in Syria, with CIA support (NYT Feb 2013)
(20) CIA training Syrian rebels in Jordan; State Dept covert aid (NYT Feb 2013)
(21) Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels expands, with Aid from C.I.A. - NYT (Mar 2013)
(22) CIA training Chechen terrorists to fight Assad; snipers in Maidan Sq were also Chechen (Oct 2014)
(23) Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut - Washington Post (June 2015)
(24) NYT erases CIA's Efforts to Overthrow Assad (Sept 2015)
(25) US behind Syria civil war - Christopher Hill, former US Ambassador (Sept 2015)
(26) Putin blames US for ISIS (Sept 2015)
(27) Putin to UN: Export of so-called democratic revolutions continues globally
(28) 'West's main target in Syria is Assad, not ISIS' - Kadyrov (Sept 2015)
(29) The Rothschild line: Economist editorial taunts Obama, insists Assad must go (Oct 2015)
(30) The Economist - Rothschild-owned
(31) Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA (Oct 2015)
(32) Brother Nathanael for President?

(1) Brzezinski opposes Iraq & Syria Wars, but Neocons backed both; their rise is a Zionist coup - by Peter Myers, October 18, 2015

Brzezinski's opposition to the Iraq and Syria wars, and to a clash with
Islam (item 2), shows that a new force is pulling the strings. That
force is the Neocons, mostly Jews affiliated to Likud.

Wesley Clark warned of their "policy coup", and their use of 9/11 to
wage wars in Islamic countries. What Clark omitted was that those wars
were Israel's wars, against Israel's enemies.

Brzezinski pointed out that they involved America acting as a colonial
master, undermining its credibility and legitimacy. The cost is the loss
of Goodwill, that intangible but priceless quality. But the Neocons only
think of what's good for Israel.

Obama vacillates between Brzezinski and the Neocons.

(2) Zbigniew Brzezinski calls Iraq War an Historic, Strategic and Moral Calamity (Feb 2007)

Zbigniew Brzezinski Calls Iraq War an Historic, Strategic and Moral
Calamity & Says Stop the Trappings of Colonial Tutelage

Posted: 01/02/2007 07:19 AEST Updated: 26/05/2011 02:00 AEST


Huffington Post, February 1, 2007

Mr. Chairman:

Your hearings come at a critical juncture in the U.S. war of choice in
Iraq, and I commend you and Senator Lugar for scheduling them.

It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities:

1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity.
Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global
legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses
are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean impulses
and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability.

2. Only a political strategy that is historically relevant rather than
reminiscent of colonial tutelage can provide the needed framework for a
tolerable resolution of both the war in Iraq and the intensifying
regional tensions.

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody
involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is
likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of
Islam at large. [...]

A mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a
protracted and potentially expanding war is already being articulated.
Initially justified by false claims about WMD's in Iraq, the war is now
being redefined as the "decisive ideological struggle" of our time,
reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism. In that
context, Islamist extremism and al Qaeda are presented as the
equivalents of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and then Soviet Russia,
and 9/11 as the equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attack which precipitated
America's involvement in World War II.

This simplistic and demagogic narrative overlooks the fact that Nazism
was based on the military power of the industrially most advanced
European state; and that Stalinism was able to mobilize not only the
resources of the victorious and militarily powerful Soviet Union but
also had worldwide appeal through its Marxist doctrine. In contrast,
most Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism; al Qaeda is an
isolated fundamentalist Islamist aberration; most Iraqis are engaged in
strife because the American occupation of Iraq destroyed the Iraqi
state; while Iran--though gaining in regional influence--is itself
politically divided, economically and militarily weak. To argue that
America is already at war in the region with a wider Islamic threat, of
which Iran is the epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Deplorably, the Administration's foreign policy in the Middle East
region has lately relied almost entirely on such sloganeering. Vague and
inflammatory talk about "a new strategic context" which is based on
"clarity" and which prompts "the birth pangs of a new Middle East" is
breeding intensifying anti-Americanism and is increasing the danger of a
long-term collision between the United States and the Islamic world.

(3) Zbigniew Brzezinski condemns Syria war plan (June 2014)

Zbig: Obama Syria plan is 'chaos, baffling, a mess, tragedy'

BY PAUL BEDARD | JUNE 14, 2013 AT 11:25 AM

The president's abrupt decision to arm Syrian rebels is a huge mistake,
one driven by emotion and propaganda not they kind of strategic White
House plan that has marked past successful interventions in civil wars,
according to former Carter-era national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In a broad attack on President Obama's vague interventionist policy, the
highly-respected international affairs analyst warned that by jumping in
to Syria's civil war with no plan is likely to lead to another costly
and extended military action that could eventually draw U.S. forces into
a clash with Syria's top ally Iran.

"I think our posture is baffling, there no strategic design, we're using
slogans," slammed Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday. "It's a
tragedy and it's a mess in the making," he said. "I do not see what the
United States right now is trying to accomplish."

The administration Thursday changed its wait-and-see policy, sparked by
Syrian admissions it had used chemical weapons in the civil war. The new
policy of arming rebels was announced by deputy national security
advisor Ben Rhodes.

"It all seems to me rather sporadic, chaotic, unstructured, undirected,"
said Brzezinski. "I think we need a serious policy review with the top
people involved, not just an announcement from the deputy head of the
NSC that an important event has taken place and we will be reacted to it."

Several lawmakers have been pressing Obama to arm rebels and create a
no-fly zone, two things the president is finally willing to do. The
effectiveness of a go-it-alone policy, however, has been questioned in
the military, especially plans for a no-fly zone.

Brzezinski said, "we are running the risk of getting into another war in
the region which may last for years and I don't see any real strategic
guidance to what we are doing. I see a lot of rhetoric, a lot emotion, a
lot of propaganda in fact."

Instead, he advised that the administration build a coalition that
includes Russia, Japan, China and India to put pressure on Syria's
ruling regime to give up.

"That is the kind of response that might have some effect. Instead we
are essentially engaging mass propaganda, portraying this as a
democratic war," said Brzezinski

(4) Cheney (Defense Sec 1989) puts Netanyahu's Neocons in charge of US foreign policy

Syrian War-Islamic State (ISIS) Creation Timeline

By Kevin Borge

Global Research, August 29, 2015


History Commons, Autumn 1992:

1965: Former RAND Analyst Gathers Young, Nascent Neoconservatives

Albert Wohlstetter, a professor at the University of Chicago, gathers a
cadre of fiery young intellectuals around him, many of whom are working
and associating with the magazine publisher Irving Kristol (see 1965).
Wohlstetter’s group includes Richard Perle, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Paul
Wolfowitz. Wohlstetter, himself a protege of the Machiavellian academic
Leo Strauss, is often considered the "intellectual godfather" of modern
neoconservatism. Formerly an analyst at the RAND Corporation,
Wohlstetter wielded a powerful influence on the US’s foreign policy
during the heyday of the Cold War.

Late March 1989 and After: Defense Secretary Cheney Advocates Enforced
Regime Change in Soviet Union

When Dick Cheney becomes defense secretary (see March 20, 1989 and
After), he brings into the Pentagon a core group of young, ideological
staffers with largely academic (not military) backgrounds. Many of these
staffers are neoconservatives who once congregated around Senator Henry
"Scoop" Jackson (see Early 1970s). Cheney places them in the Pentagon’s
policy directorate, under the supervision of Undersecretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz, himself one of Jackson’s cadre. [...] In 1991, Wolfowitz
will describe his relationship to Cheney: "Intellectually, we’re very
much on similar wavelengths."

A Different View of the Soviet Union - Cheney pairs with Wolfowitz and
his neoconservatives to battle one issue in particular: the US’s
dealings with the Soviet Union. Premier Mikhail Gorbachev has been in
office for four years, and has built a strong reputation for himself in
the West as a charismatic reformer. But Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the
others see something far darker. Cheney opposes any dealings with the
Soviets except on the most adversarial level (see 1983), and publicly
discusses his skepticism of perestroika, Gorbachev’s restructing of the
Soviet economy away from a communist paradigm. In April, Cheney tells a
CNN news anchor that Gorbachev will "ultimately fail" and a leader "far
more hostile" to the West will follow in his footsteps. Some of
President Bush’s more "realistic" aides, including James Baker, Brent
Scowcroft, and Condoleezza Rice, as well as Bush himself, have cast
their lot with Gorbachev and reform; they have no use for Cheney’s
public advocacy of using the USSR’s period of transitional turmoil to
dismember the nation once and for all.

Cheney's Alternative Policy - Cheney turns to the neoconservatives under
Wolfowitz for an alternative strategy. They meet on Saturday mornings in
the Pentagon’s E ring, where they have one maverick Sovietologist after
another propound his or her views. Almost all of these Sovietologists
echo Cheney and Wolfowitz’s view—the USSR is on the brink of collapse,
and the US should do what it can to hasten the process and destroy its
enemy for good. They assert that what the Soviet Union needs is not a
reformer guiding the country back into a papered-over totalitarianism,
to emerge (with the US’s help) stronger and more dangerous than before.
Instead, Cheney and his cadre advocate enforced regime change in the
Soviet Union. Supporting the rebellious Ukraine will undermine the
legitimacy of the central Soviet government, and supporting Boris
Yeltsin, the president of the Russian Republic, will strike at the heart
of the Gorbachev regime. Bush and his core advisers worry about
instability, but Cheney says that the destruction of the Soviet Union is
worth a little short-term disruption.

Failure - Bush will not adopt the position of his defense secretary, and
will continue supporting Gorbachev through the Soviet Union’s painful
transition and eventual dissolution. After Cheney goes public one time
too many about his feelings about Gorbachev, Baker tells Scowcroft to
"[d]ump on Dick" with all deliberate speed. During the final days of the
Soviet Union, Cheney will find himself alone against Bush’s senior
advisers and Cabinet members in their policy discussions. [NEW REPUBLIC,

February 1982: Article in Israeli Journal Says Israel Should Exploit
Internal Tensions of Arab States

The winter issue of Kivunim, a "A Journal for Judaism and Zionism,"
publishes "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" by Oded
Yinon. The paper, published in Hebrew, rejects the idea that Israel
should carry through with the Camp David accords and seek peace.
Instead, Yinon suggests that the Arab States should be destroyed from
within by exploiting their internal religious and ethnic tensions:
"Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent
for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian
peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria
and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in
Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long
run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves
as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance
with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in
present day Lebanon." [KIVUNIM, 2/1982]

Autumn 1992: Influential Neoconservative Academic Advocates Breaking Up
Middle Eastern Countries, Including Iraq

Princeton University professor Bernard Lewis publishes an article in the
influential journal Foreign Affairs called "Rethinking the Middle East."
In it, he advocates a policy he calls "Lebanonization." He says, "[A]
possibility, which could even be precipitated by [Islamic]
fundamentalism, is what has late been fashionable to call
'Lebanonization.'"… Lewis, a British Jew, is well known as a longtime
supporter of the Israeli right wing. Since the 1950s, he has argued that
the West and Islam have been engaged in a titanic "clash of
civilizations" and that the US should take a hard line against all Arab
countries. Lewis is considered a highly influential figure to the
neoconservative movement, and some neoconservatives such as Richard
Perle (right) and Harold Rhode consider him a mentor. In 1996, Perle and
others influenced by Lewis will write a paper for right wing Israeli
leader Benjamin Netanyahu entitled "A Clean Break" that advocates the
"Lebanonization"  of countries like Iraq and Syria."… "Lewis will remain
influential after 9/11. For instance, he will have dinner with Vice
President Cheney shortly before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Some
will later suspect that Cheney and others were actually implementing
Lewis's idea by invading Iraq. Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to
Saudi Arabia, will say in May 2003, just after the invasion, "The
neoconservatives' intention in Iraq was never to truly build democracy
there. Their intention was to flatten it, to remove Iraq as a regional
threat to Israel."

July 8, 1996: Neoconservative Think Tank Advocates Aggressive Israeli
Foreign Policy

The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli
think tank, publishes a paper titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for
Securing the Realm." The paper, whose lead author is neoconservative
Richard Perle, is meant to advise the new, right-wing Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. … It advocates making a complete break with
past policies by adopting a strategy "based on an entirely new
intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and
provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on
rebuilding Zionism.…" [GUARDIAN, 9/3/2002]

Much along the lines of an earlier paper by Israeli Oded Yinon the
document urges the Israelis to aggressively seek the downfall of their
Arab neighbors—especially Syria and Iraq—by exploiting the inherent
tensions within and among the Arab States. The first step is to be the
removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A war with Iraq will destabilize the
entire Middle East, allowing governments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and
other countries to be replaced. "Israel will not only contain its foes;
it will transcend them," the paper says."

Late Summer 1996: Neoconservatives Push for War with Iraq, Reshaping of
Middle East to Favor Israel

After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United
States (see July 8-10, 1996), US neoconservatives mount an orchestrated
push for war against Iraq and an overall reshaping of the Middle East
(see July 8, 1996). At first, the offensive takes place in the pages of
US newspapers and magazines. William Kristol and Robert Kagan write
articles for the magazines Foreign Policy and the Weekly Standard;
syndicated columnists Charles Krauthammer and A. M. Rosenthal use their
columns to push the idea; Zalmay Khalilzad and Paul Wolfowitz pen op-eds
for the Washington Post; "Clean Break" co-author David Wurmser writes
op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and publishes a book, Tyranny’s Ally,
in which he proposes that the US use its military to literally redraw
the map of the Middle East (see Late Summer 1996). Neoconservatives are
transforming Christian evangelicals’ argument that Americans are God’s
"chosen people" into secular terms, and argue in their op-eds and
articles that it is, in author Craig Unger’s words, the US’s "moral duty
to project that greatness throughout the world—using American military
power, if necessary." [UNGER, 2007, PP. 148-149]

(5) Next Stop, Iraq - Richard Perle (Nov 2001) -

Next Stop, Iraq

Richard Perle

FPRI, November 2001

{Address delivered  at 2001 Annual Dinner of Foreign Policy Research

[...] After September 11 the first words of President Bush included the
statement that "we will not distinguish between terrorists and the
states that harbor them."

[...] So now we are taking the war to the first state on the list of
active supporters of terrorism, Afghanistan.

[...] There’s going to be a Phase 2. If there is no Phase 2, there can
be no victory in the war against terrorism. The war against terrorism is
not the war against al-Qaeda or the Taliban, worthy though they may be.
They're only one of the sources of terror in the United States. You
cannot end this war and lay any claim to victory if the other sources of
terror are left intact.

[...] At the top of the list for Phase 2 is Iraq, and there are several
reasons for that. I’m going to offer a couple of them.

[...] Those who think Iraq should not be next may want to think about
Syria or Iran or Sudan or Yemen or Somalia or North Korea or Lebanon or
the Palestinian Authority. These are all institutions, governments for
the most part, that permit acts of terror to take place, that sponsor
terrorists, that give them refuge, give them sanctuary, and very often
much more help than that. [...] If we destroy the Taliban in
Afghanistan, and I’m confident we will, and we then go on to destroy the
regime of Saddam Hussein, and we certainly could if we chose to do so, I
think we would have an impressive case to make to the Syrians, the
Somalis and others. We could deliver a short message, a two-word
message: "You're next. You're next unless you stop the practice of
supporting terrorism." [...]

(6) Pentagon cannot account for $2.3 trillion - Rumfeld (Jan 2002)

CBS News, January 29, 2002:

- ""According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in
transactions," Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion — that's $8,000 for
every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon
can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military
accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million."…

Christian Science Monitor, August 30, 2002:

(7) Israel encourages US to attack Iraq (Aug 2002)

Israel sees opportunity in possible US strike on Iraq

Israel promised support and assistance this week for a US war against Iraq.

By Ben Lynfield, Special to The Christian Science Monitor    August 30,

JERUSALEM — It echoes the hawks in the Bush administration, but Israel
has its own agenda in backing a US attack on Iraq. As Egypt and other
Arab allies issue vehement warnings to dissuade Washington, Israel's
fear is that the US will back off.

"If the Americans do not do this now," said Israeli Deputy Defense
Minister and Labor Party member Weizman Shiry on Wednesday, "it will be
harder to do it in the future. In a year or two, Saddam Hussein will be
further along in developing weapons of mass destruction. It is a world
interest, but especially an American interest to attack Iraq."

"And as deputy defense minister, I can tell you that the United States
will receive any assistance it needs from Israel," he added.

Viewed through the eyes of Israel's hawkish leaders, however, a US
strike is not about Iraq only. Decisionmakers believe it will strengthen
Israel's hand on the Palestinian front and throughout the region. Deputy
Interior Minister Gideon Ezra suggested this week that a US attack on
Iraq will help Israel impose a new order, sans Arafat, in the
Palestinian territories.

"The more aggressive the attack is, the more it will help Israel against
the Palestinians. The understanding would be that what is good to do in
Iraq, is also good for here," said Ezra. He said a US strike would
"undoubtedly deal a psychological blow" to the Palestinians. [...]

Yuval Steinitz, a Likud party member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee, says he sees another advantage for Israel. The
installation of a pro-American government in Iraq would help Israel
vis-à-vis another enemy: Syria.

"After Iraq is taken by US troops and we see a new regime installed as
in Afghanistan, and Iraqi bases become American bases, it will be very
easy to pressure Syria to stop supporting terrorist organizations like
Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad, to allow the Lebanese army to dismantle
Hizbullah, and maybe to put an end to the Syrian occupation in Lebanon,"
he says. "If this happens we will really see a new Middle East." [...]

(8) Bush adopts Neocon plan for destabilisation of "despotic regimes" (Sept 2002)

Playing skittles with Saddam

The gameplan among Washington's hawks has long been to reshape the
Middle East along US-Israeli lines, writes Brian Whitaker

Brian Whitaker

The Guardian, September 3, 2002; updated Wednesday 4 September 2002
00.10 AEST

In a televised speech last week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked.

"We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region," he
said. Mr Mubarak is an old-fashioned kind of Arab leader and, in the
brave new post-September-11 world, he doesn't quite get the point. [...]

The hawks claim that President Bush has already accepted their plan and
made destabilisation of "despotic regimes" a central goal of his foreign
policy. They cite passages from his recent speeches as proof of this,
though whether Mr Bush really knows what he has accepted is unclear. The
"skittles theory" of the Middle East - that one ball aimed at Iraq can
knock down several regimes - has been around for some time on the wilder
fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the
back of the "war against terrorism".

Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996
by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and
Political Studies. Entitled "A clean break: a new strategy for securing
the realm", it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming
government of Binyamin Netanyahu. As the title indicates, it advised the
right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by
adopting a strategy "based on an entirely new intellectual foundation,
one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room
to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism ..."

Among other things, it suggested that the recently-signed Oslo accords
might be dispensed with - "Israel has no obligations under the Oslo
agreements if the PLO does not fulfil its obligations" - and that
"alternatives to [Yasser] Arafat's base of power" could be cultivated.
"Jordan has ideas on this," it added.

It also urged Israel to abandon any thought of trading land for peace
with the Arabs, which it described as "cultural, economic, political,
diplomatic, and military retreat".

"Our claim to the land - to which we have clung for hope for 2,000 years
- is legitimate and noble," it continued. "Only the unconditional
acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial
dimension, 'peace for peace', is a solid basis for the future."

The paper set out a plan by which Israel would "shape its strategic
environment", beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the
installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad.

With Saddam out of the way and Iraq thus brought under Jordanian
Hashemite influence, Jordan and Turkey would form an axis along with
Israel to weaken and "roll back" Syria. Jordan, it suggested, could also
sort out Lebanon by "weaning" the Shia Muslim population away from Syria
and Iran, and re-establishing their former ties with the Shia in the new
Hashemite kingdom of Iraq. "Israel will not only contain its foes; it
will transcend them", the paper concluded.

To succeed, the paper stressed, Israel would have to win broad American
support for these new policies - and it advised Mr Netanyahu to
formulate them "in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into
themes of American administrations during the cold war which apply well
to Israel".

At first glance, there's not much to distinguish the 1996 "Clean Break"
paper from the outpourings of other right-wing and ultra-Zionist
thinktanks ... except for the names of its authors.

The leader of the "prominent opinion makers" who wrote it was Richard
Perle - now chairman of the Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon.

Also among the eight-person team was Douglas Feith, a neo-conservative
lawyer, who now holds one of the top four posts at the Pentagon as
under-secretary of policy.

Mr Feith has objected to most of the peace deals made by Israel over the
years, and views the Middle East in the same good-versus-evil terms that
he previously viewed the cold war. He regarded the Oslo peace process as
nothing more than a unilateral withdrawal which "raises life-and-death
issues for the Jewish state".

Two other opinion-makers in the team were David Wurmser and his wife,
Meyrav (see US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy, August 19).
Mrs Wurmser was co-founder of Memri, a Washington-based charity that
distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs
in a bad light. After working with Mr Perle at the American Enterprise
Institute, David Wurmser is now at the State Department, as a special
assistant to John Bolton, the under-secretary for arms control and
international security.

A fifth member of the team was James Colbert, of the Washington-based
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) - a bastion of
neo-conservative hawkery whose advisory board was previously graced by
Dick Cheney (now US vice-president), John Bolton and Douglas Feith.

One of Jinsa's stated aims is "to inform the American defence and
foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does
play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the
Middle East". In practice, a lot of its effort goes into sending retired
American military brass on jaunts to Israel - after which many of them
write suitably hawkish newspaper articles or letters to the editor.

Jinsa's activities are examined in detail by Jason Vest in the September
2 issue of The Nation. The article notes some interesting business
relationships between retired US military officers on Jinsa's board and
American companies supplying weapons to Israel.

With several of the "Clean Break" paper's authors now holding key
positions in Washington, the plan for Israel to "transcend" its foes by
reshaping the Middle East looks a good deal more achievable today than
it did in 1996. Americans may even be persuaded to give up their lives
to achieve it.

The six-year-old plan for Israel's "strategic environment" remains more
or less intact, though two extra skittles - Saudi Arabia and Iran - have
joined Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the hit list.

Whatever members of the Iraqi opposition may think, the plan to replace
Saddam Hussein with a Hashemite monarch - descendants of the Prophet
Muhammad who rule Jordan - is also very much alive. Evidence of this was
strengthened by the surprise arrival of Prince Hassan, former heir to
the Jordanian throne, at a meeting of exiled Iraqi officers in London
last July.

The task of promoting Prince Hassan as Iraq's future king has fallen to
Michael Rubin, who currently works at the American Enterprise Institute
but will shortly take up a new job at the Pentagon, dealing with
post-Saddam Iraq.

One of the curious aspects of this neo-conservative intrigue is that so
few people outside the United States and Israel take it seriously.
Perhaps, like President Mubarak, they can't imagine that anyone who
holds a powerful position in the United States could be quite so reckless.

But nobody can accuse the neo-conservatives of concealing their
intentions: they write about them constantly in American newspapers.
Just two weeks ago, an article in the Washington Times by Tom Neumann,
executive director of Jinsa, spelled out the plan in clear, cold terms:

"Jordan will likely survive the coming war with US assistance, so will
some of the sheikhdoms. The current Saudi regime will likely not.

"The Iran dissident movement would be helped enormously by the demise of
Saddam, and the Palestinians would have to know that the future lies
with the West. Syria's Ba'athist dictatorship will likely fall
unmourned, liberating Lebanon as well.

"Israel and Turkey, the only current democracies in the region, will
find themselves in a far better neighbourhood." Would anyone like to bet
on that?

(9) Sharon says U.S. should also attack Iran, Libya and Syria (Feb 2003)

Says U.S. Should Also Disarm Iran, Libya and Syria

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria
should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq.

Aluf Benn

Haaretz, February 18, 2003:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria
should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. "These are
irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass
destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make
that easier to achieve," Sharon said to a visiting delegation of
American congressmen.

Sharon told the congressmen that Israel was not involved in the war with
Iraq "but the American action is of vital importance."

In a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton yesterday,
Sharon said that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by
Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while
American attention was focused on Iraq.

Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt
America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to
deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Bolton, who is undersecretary for arms control and international
security, is in Israel for meetings on preventing the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction. [...]

(10) The Israel Factor: Neocons' dual loyalty & Jacobin streak - Pat Buchanan (Mar 2003)

Whose War?

A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of
wars that are not in America's interest.


The American Conservative, March 24, 2003:

The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something
it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been
exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism,
Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: "Can you assure
American viewers … that we're in this situation against Saddam Hussein
and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the
link in terms of Israel?"

Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is
not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight, our
neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student
deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted
minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the
world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the
schoolyard of politics. Not so.

Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off the campaign. When
these "Buchananites toss around 'neoconservative'—and cite names like
Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is
'Jewish conservative.'" Yet Boot readily concedes that a passionate
attachment to Israel is a "key tenet of neoconservatism." He also claims
that the National Security Strategy of President Bush "sounds as if it
could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine, the
neocon bible." (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the bible in which Boot
seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish Committee.)

David Brooks of the Weekly Standard wails that attacks based on the
Israel tie have put him through personal hell: "Now I get a steady
stream of anti-Semitic screeds in my e-mail, my voicemail and in my
mailbox. … Anti-Semitism is alive and thriving. It's just that its
epicenter is no longer on the Buchananite Right, but on the
peace-movement left."

Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan endures his own purgatory abroad:
"In London … one finds Britain's finest minds propounding, in
sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents, the conspiracy
theories of Pat Buchanan concerning the 'neoconservative' (read: Jewish)
hijacking of American foreign policy."

Lawrence Kaplan of the New Republic charges that our little magazine
"has been transformed into a forum for those who contend that President
Bush has become a client of … Ariel Sharon and the 'neoconservative war

Referencing Charles Lindbergh, he accuses Paul Schroeder, Chris
Matthews, Robert Novak, Georgie Anne Geyer, Jason Vest of the Nation,
and Gary Hart of implying that "members of the Bush team have been doing
Israel's bidding and, by extension, exhibiting 'dual loyalties.'" Kaplan

The real problem with such claims is not just that they are untrue. The
problem is that they are toxic. Invoking the specter of dual loyalty to
mute criticism and debate amounts to more than the everyday pollution of
public discourse. It is the nullification of public discourse, for how
can one refute accusations grounded in ethnicity? The charges are, ipso
facto, impossible to disprove. And so they are meant to be. [...]

This is a time for truth. For America is about to make a momentous
decision: whether to launch a series of wars in the Middle East that
could ignite the Clash of Civilizations against which Harvard professor
Samuel Huntington has warned, a war we believe would be a tragedy and a
disaster for this Republic. [...]

We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to
ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's
interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those
wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. [...]

They charge us with anti-Semitism—i.e., a hatred of Jews for their
faith, heritage, or ancestry. [...]

Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals,
socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution
who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism's long march to
power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be
a magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to
be a resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for
Security Policy or the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
(JINSA). As one wag writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of
a think tank than an Abrams tank. [...]

When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for
a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time
came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America's rage into
all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic
"rogue states" that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.

The War Party's plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of
9/11. And when President Bush, after defeating the Taliban, was looking
for a new front in the war on terror, they put their precooked meal in
front of him. Bush dug into it.

Before introducing the script-writers of America's future wars, consider
the rapid and synchronized reaction of the neocons to what happened
after that fateful day.

On Sept. 12, Americans were still in shock when Bill Bennett told CNN
that we were in "a struggle between good and evil," that the Congress
must declare war on "militant Islam," and that "overwhelming force" must
be used. Bennett cited Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and China as
targets for attack. Not, however, Afghanistan, the sanctuary of Osama's
terrorists. How did Bennett know which nations must be smashed before he
had any idea who attacked us?

The Wall Street Journal immediately offered up a specific target list,
calling for U.S. air strikes on "terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya,
and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt." Yet, not one of
Bennett's six countries, nor one of these five, had anything to do with

On Sept. 15, according to Bob Woodward's Bush at War, "Paul Wolfowitz
put forth military arguments to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq rather
than Afghanistan." Why Iraq? Because, Wolfowitz argued in the War
Cabinet, while "attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain … Iraq was a
brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable."

On Sept. 20, forty neoconservatives sent an open letter to the White
House instructing President Bush on how the war on terror must be
conducted. Signed by Bennett, Podhoretz, Kirkpatrick, Perle, Kristol,
and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the letter was an
ultimatum. To retain the signers' support, the president was told, he
must target Hezbollah for destruction, retaliate against Syria and Iran
if they refuse to sever ties to Hezbollah, and overthrow Saddam. Any
failure to attack Iraq, the signers warned Bush, "will constitute an
early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism."

Here was a cabal of intellectuals telling the Commander-in-Chief, nine
days after an attack on America, that if he did not follow their war
plans, he would be charged with surrendering to terror. Yet, Hezbollah
had nothing to do with 9/11. What had Hezbollah done? Hezbollah had
humiliated Israel by driving its army out of Lebanon.

President Bush had been warned. He was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to
launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us.
All, however, were enemies of Israel. "Bibi" Netanyahu, the former Prime
Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous
on American television, calling for us to crush the "Empire of Terror."
The "Empire," it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq,
and "the Palestinian enclave."

Nasty as some of these regimes and groups might be, what had they done
to the United States?

The War Party seemed desperate to get a Middle East war going before
America had second thoughts. Tom Donnelly of the Project for the New
American Century (PNAC) called for an immediate invasion of Iraq. "Nor
need the attack await the deployment of half a million troops. … [T]he
larger challenge will be occupying Iraq after the fighting is over," he

Donnelly was echoed by Jonah Goldberg of National Review: "The United
States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with
someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense."

Goldberg endorsed "the Ledeen Doctrine" of ex-Pentagon official Michael
Ledeen, which Goldberg described thus: "Every ten years or so, the
United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and
throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business." (When the
French ambassador in London, at a dinner party, asked why we should risk
World War III over some "shitty little country"—meaning
Israel—Goldberg's magazine was not amused.)

Ledeen, however, is less frivolous. In The War Against the Terror
Masters, he identifies the exact regimes America must destroy:

First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning
with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to
grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and
Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to
ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an
unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not
want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we
want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to

Rejecting stability as "an unworthy American mission," Ledeen goes on to
define America's authentic "historic mission":

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and
abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science,
literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our
enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which
menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for
their inability to keep pace. … [W]e must destroy them to advance our
historic mission.

Passages like this owe more to Leon Trotsky than to Robert Taft and
betray a Jacobin streak in neoconservatism that cannot be reconciled
with any concept of true conservatism.

To the Weekly Standard, Ledeen's enemies list was too restrictive. We
must not only declare war on terror networks and states that harbor
terrorists, said the Standard, we should launch wars on "any group or
government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future."

Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the
prospect of Armageddon. The coming war "is going to spread and engulf a
number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of
civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that
the demise of some 'moderate' Arab regimes may be just round the corner."

Norman Podhoretz in Commentary even outdid Kristol's Standard,
rhapsodizing that we should embrace a war of civilizations, as it is
George W. Bush's mission "to fight World War IV—the war against militant
Islam." By his count, the regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown
are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil
(Iraq, Iran, North Korea). At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria
and Lebanon and Libya, as well as '"friends" of America like the Saudi
royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian
Authority. Bush must reject the "timorous counsels" of the "incorrigibly
cautious Colin Powell," wrote Podhoretz, and "find the stomach to impose
a new political culture on the defeated" Islamic world. As the war
against al-Qaeda required that we destroy the Taliban, Podhoretz wrote,

We may willy-nilly find ourselves forced … to topple five or six or
seven more tyrannies in the Islamic world (including that other sponsor
of terrorism, Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority). I can even
[imagine] the turmoil of this war leading to some new species of an
imperial mission for America, whose purpose would be to oversee the
emergence of successor governments in the region more amenable to reform
and modernization than the despotisms now in place. … I can also
envisage the establishment of some kind of American protectorate over
the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, as we more and more come to wonder why
7,000 princes should go on being permitted to exert so much leverage
over us and everyone else.

Podhoretz credits Eliot Cohen with the phrase "World War IV." Bush was
shortly thereafter seen carrying about a gift copy of Cohen's book that
celebrates civilian mastery of the military in times of war, as
exhibited by such leaders as Winston Churchill and David Ben Gurion.

A list of the Middle East regimes that Podhoretz, Bennett, Ledeen,
Netanyahu, and the Wall Street Journal regard as targets for destruction
thus includes Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and "militant

Cui Bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds
nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to
survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West
and Islam?

Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.

Indeed, Sharon has been everywhere the echo of his acolytes in America.
In February 2003, Sharon told a delegation of Congressmen that, after
Saddam's regime is destroyed, it is of "vital importance" that the
United States disarm Iran, Syria, and Libya.

"We have a great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after" the
war on Iraq, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Conference of Major
American Jewish Organizations. After U.S. troops enter Baghdad, the
United States must generate "political, economic, diplomatic pressure"
on Tehran, Mofaz admonished the American Jews.

Are the neoconservatives concerned about a war on Iraq bringing down
friendly Arab governments? Not at all. They would welcome it.

"Mubarak is no great shakes," says Richard Perle of the President of
Egypt. "Surely we can do better than Mubarak." Asked about the
possibility that a war on Iraq—which he predicted would be a
"cakewalk"—might upend governments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, former UN
ambassador Ken Adelman told Joshua Micah Marshall of Washington Monthly,
"All the better if you ask me."

On July 10, 2002, Perle invited a former aide to Lyndon LaRouche named
Laurent Murawiec to address the Defense Policy Board. In a briefing that
startled Henry Kissinger, Murawiec named Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of
evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" of the United States.

Washington should give Riyadh an ultimatum, he said. Either you Saudis
"prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including the
Saudi intelligence services," and end all propaganda against Israel, or
we invade your country, seize your oil fields, and occupy Mecca.

In closing his PowerPoint presentation, Murawiec offered a "Grand
Strategy for the Middle East." "Iraq is the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia
the strategic pivot, Egypt the prize." Leaked reports of Murawiec's
briefing did not indicate if anyone raised the question of how the
Islamic world might respond to U.S. troops tramping around the grounds
of the Great Mosque.

What these neoconservatives seek is to conscript American blood to make
the world safe for Israel. They want the peace of the sword imposed on
Islam and American soldiers to die if necessary to impose it. [...]

(11) U.S. nurturing Syrian activists, intervening in Syrian election - TIME (Dec 2006),8599,1571751,00.html

Syria in Bush's Cross Hairs

By Adam Zagorin/Washington Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006

The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals and
parties opposed to the Syrian government in an effort to undermine the
regime of President Bashar Assad. Parts of the scheme are outlined in a
classified, two-page document that says that the U.S. already is
"supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists"
in Europe. The document bluntly expresses the hope that "these meetings
will facilitate a more coherent strategy and plan of actions for all
anti-Assad activists."

The document says that Syria's legislative elections, scheduled for
March 2007, "provide a potentially galvanizing issue for... critics of
the Assad regime." To capitalize on that opportunity, the document
proposes a secret "election monitoring" scheme, in which "internet
accessible materials will be available for printing and dissemination by
activists inside the country [Syria] and neighboring countries." The
proposal also calls for surreptitiously giving money to at least one
Syrian politician who, according to the document, intends to run in the
election. The effort would also include "voter education campaigns" and
public opinion polling, with the first poll "tentatively scheduled in
early 2007."

American officials say the U.S. government has had extensive contacts
with a range of anti-Assad groups in Washington, Europe and inside
Syria. To give momemtum to that opposition, the U.S. is giving serious
consideration to the election-monitoring scheme proposed in the
document, according to several officials. The proposal has not yet been
approved, in part because of questions over whether the Syrian elections
will be delayed or even cancelled. But one U.S. official familiar with
the proposal said: "You are forced to wonder whether we are now trying
to destabilize the Syrian government."

Some critics in Congress and the Administration say that such a plan,
meant to secretly influence a foreign government, should be legally
deemed a "covert action," which by law would then require that the White
House inform the intelligence committees on Capitol Hill. Some in
Congress would undoubtedly raise objections to this secret use of
publicly appropriated funds to promote democracy.

The proposal says part of the effort would be run through a foundation
operated by Amar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based member of a Syrian
umbrella opposition group known as the National Salvation Front (NSF).
The Front includes the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that
for decades supported the violent overthrow of the Syrian government,
but now says it seeks peaceful, democratic reform. (In Syria, however,
membership in the Brotherhood is still punishable by death.) Another
member of the NSF is Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former high-ranking Syrian
official and Assad family loyalist who recently went into exile after a
political clash with the regime. Representatives of the National
Salvation Front, including Abdulhamid, were accorded at least two
meetings earlier this year at the White House, which described the
sessions as exploratory. Since then, the National Salvation Front has
said it intends to open an office in Washington in the near future.

"Democracy promotion" has been a focus of both Democratic and Republican
administrations, but the Bush White House has been a particular booster
since 9/11. Iran contra figure Elliott Abrams was put in charge of the
effort at the National Security Council. Until recently, Elizabeth
Cheney, daughter of the Vice President, oversaw such work at the State
Department. In the past, the U.S. has used support for "democracy
building" to topple unfriendly dictators, including Serbia's Slobodan
Milosevic and Ukraine's Vladimir Kuchma.

However, in order to make the "election monitoring" plan for Syria
effective, the proposal makes clear that the U.S. effort will have to be
concealed: "Any information regarding funding for domestic [Syrian]
politicians for elections monitoring would have to be protected from
public dissemination," the document says. But American experts on
"democracy promotion" consulted by TIME say it would be unwise to give
financial support to a specific candidate in the election, because of
the perceived conflict of interest. More ominously, an official familiar
with the document explained that secrecy is necessary in part because
Syria's government might retaliate against anyone inside the country who
was seen as supporting the U.S.-backed election effort. The official
added that because the Syrian government fields a broad network of
internal spies, it would almost certainly find out about the U.S.
effort, if it hasn't already. That could lead to the imprisonment of
still more opposition figures. [...]

Money for the election-monitoring proposal would be channeled through a
State Department program known as the Middle East Partnership
Initiative, or MEPI. According to MEPI's website, the program passes out
funds ranging between $100,000 and $1 million to promote education and
women's empowerment, as well as economic and political reform, part of a
total allocation of $5 million for Syria that Congress supported earlier
this year.

MEPI helps funnel millions of dollars every year to groups around the
Middle East intent on promoting reforms. In the vast majority of cases,
beneficiaries are publicly identified, as financial support is
distributed through channels including the National Democratic
Institute, a non-profit affiliated with the Democratic Party, and the
International Republican Institute (IRI), which is linked to the G.O.P.
In the Syrian case, the election-monitoring proposal identifies IRI as a
"partner" — although the IRI website, replete with information about its
democracy promotion elsewhere in the world, does not mention Syria. A
spokesperson for IRI had no comment on what the organization might have
planned or under way in Syria, describing the subject as "sensitive."

U.S. foreign policy experts familiar with the proposal say it was
developed by a "democracy and public diplomacy" working group that meets
weekly at the State department to discuss Iran and Syria. Along with
related working groups, it prepares proposals for the higher-level Iran
Syria Operations Group, or ISOG, an inter-agency body that, several
officials said, has had input from Under Secretary of State Nicholas
Burns, deputy National Security Council advisor Elliott Abrams and
representatives from the Pentagon, Treasury and U.S. intelligence. The
State Department's deputy spokesman, Thomas Casey, said the
election-monitoring proposal had already been through several classified
drafts, but that "the basic concept is very much still valid."

(12) "We're going to take out 7 countries" - Wesley Clark interview Democracy Now (Mar 2, 2007)

Global Research, July 12, 2014

Video Interview with General Wesley Clark

Democracy Now 2 March 2007

"We're going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran."

"We're going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq,
and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran" –

General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied
Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

Short version of video interview on U-Tube

Complete Transcript of Program, Democracy Now.

AMY GOODMAN: Today, an exclusive hour with General Wesley Clark, the
retired four-star general. He was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO
during the Kosovo War. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. In 2004, he unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential
nomination. He recently edited a series of books about famous US
generals, including Dwight Eisenhower and Ulysses Grant, both of whom
became president after their military careers ended.

On Tuesday, I interviewed Wesley Clark at the 92nd Street Y Cultural
Center here in New York City before a live audience and asked him about
his presidential ambitions.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for the rest of the hour, we'll hear General Wesley
Clark in his own words on the possibility of a US attack on Iran; the
impeachment of President Bush; the use of cluster bombs; the bombing of
Radio Television Serbia during the Kosovo War under his command; and
much more. I interviewed General Clark on Tuesday at the 92nd Street Y
in New York.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, let's talk about Iran. You have a whole website
devoted to stopping war.


AMY GOODMAN: Do you see a replay in what happened in the lead-up to the
war with Iraq — the allegations of the weapons of mass destruction, the
media leaping onto the bandwagon?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn't repeat
itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of
Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it
shouldn't be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our
administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.

I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11.
About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw
Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs
just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to
work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you've
got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you're too
busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We've made the decision we're going
to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said,
"We're going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don't know." He said,
"I guess they don't know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they
find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no."
He says, "There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to
go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it's like we don't know what to
do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down
governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a
hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were
bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?"
And he said, "Oh, it's worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He
picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from
upstairs" — meaning the Secretary of Defense's office — "today." And he
said, "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven
countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it
classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me."
And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He
said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

AMY GOODMAN: I'm sorry. What did you say his name was?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I'm not going to give you his name.

AMY GOODMAN: So, go through the countries again.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon,
then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran. So when you look
at Iran, you say, "Is it a replay?" It's not exactly a replay. But
here's the truth: that Iran, from the beginning, has seen that the
presence of the United States in Iraq was a threat — a blessing, because
we took out Saddam Hussein and the Baathists. They couldn't handle them.
We took care of it for them. But also a threat, because they knew that
they were next on the hit list. And so, of course, they got engaged.
They lost a million people during the war with Iraq, and they've got a
long and unprotectable, unsecurable border. So it was in their vital
interest to be deeply involved inside Iraq. They tolerated our attacks
on the Baathists. They were happy we captured Saddam Hussein.

But they're building up their own network of influence, and to cement
it, they occasionally give some military assistance and training and
advice, either directly or indirectly, to both the insurgents and to the
militias. And in that sense, it's not exactly parallel, because there
has been, I believe, continuous Iranian engagement, some of it
legitimate, some of it illegitimate. I mean, you can hardly fault Iran
because they're offering to do eye operations for Iraqis who need
medical attention. That's not an offense that you can go to war over,
perhaps. But it is an effort to gain influence.

And the administration has stubbornly refused to talk with Iran about
their perception, in part because they don't want to pay the price with
their domestic — our US domestic political base, the rightwing base, but
also because they don't want to legitimate a government that they've
been trying to overthrow. If you were Iran, you'd probably believe that
you were mostly already at war with the United States anyway, since
we've asserted that their government needs regime change, and we've
asked congress to appropriate $75 million to do it, and we are
supporting terrorist groups, apparently, who are infiltrating and
blowing up things inside Iraq — Iran. And if we're not doing it, let's
put it this way: we're probably cognizant of it and encouraging it. So
it's not surprising that we're moving to a point of confrontation and
crisis with Iran.

My point on this is not that the Iranians are good guys — they're not —
but that you shouldn't use force, except as a last, last, last resort.
There is a military option, but it's a bad one.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your response to Seymour Hersh's piece in
The New Yorker to two key points this week, reporting the Pentagon's
established a special planning group within the office of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to plan a bombing attack on Iran, that this is coming as
the Bush administration and Saudi Arabia are pumping money for covert
operations into many areas of the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria,
and Iran, in an effort to strengthen Saudi-supported Sunni Islam groups
and weaken Iranian-backed Shias — some of the covert money has been
given to jihadist groups in Lebanon with ties to al-Qaeda — fighting the
Shias by funding with Prince Bandar and then with US money not approved
by Congress, funding the Sunnis connected to al-Qaeda.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don't have any direct information to confirm
it or deny it. It's certainly plausible. The Saudis have taken a more
active role. You know, the Saudis have –

AMY GOODMAN: You were just in Saudi Arabia.


AMY GOODMAN: You just came back from Saudi Arabia.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Yeah. Well, the Saudis have basically recognized that
they have an enormous stake in the outcome in Iraq, and they don't
particularly trust the judgment of the United States in this area. We
haven't exactly proved our competence in Iraq. So they're trying to take
matters into their own hands.

The real danger is, and one of the reasons this is so complicated is
because — let's say we did follow the desires of some people who say,
"Just pull out, and pull out now." Well, yeah. We could mechanically do
that. It would be ugly, and it might take three or four months, but you
could line up the battalions on the road one by one, and you could put
the gunners in the Humvees and load and cock their weapons and shoot
their way out of Iraq. You'd have a few roadside bombs. But if you line
everybody up there won't be any roadside bombs. Maybe some sniping. You
can fly helicopters over, do your air cover. You'd probably get safely
out of there. But when you leave, the Saudis have got to find someone to
fight the Shias. Who are they going to find? Al-Qaeda, because the
groups of Sunnis who would be extremists and willing to fight would
probably be the groups connected to al-Qaeda. So one of the weird
inconsistencies in this is that were we to get out early, we'd be
intensifying the threat against us of a super powerful Sunni extremist
group, which was now legitimated by overt Saudi funding in an effort to
hang onto a toehold inside Iraq and block Iranian expansionism.

AMY GOODMAN: And interestingly, today, John Negroponte has just become
the number two man, resigning his post as National Intelligence Director
to go to the State Department, Seymour Hersh says, because of his
discomfort that the administration's covert actions in the Middle East
so closely echo the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and Negroponte was
involved with that. [...]

AMY GOODMAN: What about the soldiers who are saying no to going to Iraq
right now? [...]

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: It's wrong to fight in Iraq? Well, I think it's a
mistake. I think it's a bad strategy. I think it's brought us a lot of
grief, and it will bring us a lot more grief. I think it's been a
tremendous distraction from the war on terror, a diversion of resources,
and it's reinforced our enemies. [...]

AMY GOODMAN: 1953 was also a seminal date for today, and that was when
Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, went to Iran and led
a coup against Mohammed Mossadegh under Eisenhower.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: People make mistakes. And one of the mistakes that
the United States consistently made was that it could intervene and
somehow adjust people's governments, especially in the Middle East. I
don't know why we felt that — you can understand Latin America, because
Latin America was always an area in which people would come to the
United States, say, "You've got to help us down there. These are
banditos, and they don't know anything. And, you know, they don't have a
government. Just intervene and save our property." And the United States
did it a lot in the '20s. Of course, Eisenhower was part of that
culture. He had seen it.

But in the Middle East, we had never been there. We established a
relationship during World War II, of course, to keep the Germans out of
Iran. And so, the Soviets and the Brits put an Allied mission together.
At the end of World War II, the Soviets didn't want to withdraw, and
Truman called their bluff in the United Nations. And Eisenhower knew all
of this. And Iran somehow became incorporated into the American defense
perimeter. And so, his view would have been, we couldn't allow a
communist to take over.

AMY GOODMAN: But wasn't it more about British Petroleum?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Oh, it's always — there are always interests. The
truth is, about the Middle East is, had there been no oil there, it
would be like Africa. Nobody is threatening to intervene in Africa. The
problem is the opposite. We keep asking for people to intervene and stop
it. There's no question that the presence of petroleum throughout the
region has sparked great power involvement. Whether that was the
specific motivation for the coup or not, I can't tell you. [...]

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about what you think of the response to
Jimmy Carter's book, Peace, Not Apartheid.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, I'm sorry to say I haven't read the book. [...]

Jimmy Carter has taken a lot of heat from people. I don't know exactly
what he said in the book. But people are very sensitive about Israel in
this country. And I understand that. A lot of my friends have explained
it to me and have explained to me the psychology of people who were in
this country and saw what was happening in World War II, and maybe they
didn't feel like they spoke out strongly enough, soon enough, to stop
it. And it's not going to happen again. [...]

(13) Bush backed Al Qaeda Sunni Islamists, to undermine Iran - Seymour Hersh (Mar 5, 2007)

The Redirection

Is the Administration's new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on


The New Yorker, MARCH 5, 2007

In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the
Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert
operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The
"redirection," as some inside the White House have called the new
strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation
with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening
sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush
Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in
the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has co-perated with
Saudi Arabia's government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations
that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is
backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations
aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has
been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant
vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

One contradictory aspect of the new strategy is that, in Iraq, most of
the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from
Sunni forces, and not from Shiites. But, from the Administration's
perspective, the most profound—and unintended—strategic consequence of
the Iraq war is the empowerment of Iran. Its President, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, has made defiant pronouncements about the destruction of
Israel and his country's right to pursue its nuclear program, and last
week its supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on state
television that "realities in the region show that the arrogant front,
headed by the U.S. and its allies, will be the principal loser in the

After the revolution of 1979 brought a religious government to power,
the United States broke with Iran and cultivated closer relations with
the leaders of Sunni Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi
Arabia. That calculation became more complex after the September 11th
attacks, especially with regard to the Saudis. Al Qaeda is Sunni, and
many of its operatives came from extremist religious circles inside
Saudi Arabia. Before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, Administration
officials, influenced by neoconservative ideologues, assumed that a
Shiite government there could provide a pro-American balance to Sunni
extremists, since Iraq's Shiite majority had been oppressed under Saddam
Hussein. They ignored warnings from the intelligence community about the
ties between Iraqi Shiite leaders and Iran, where some had lived in
exile for years. Now, to the distress of the White House, Iran has
forged a close relationship with the Shiite-dominated government of
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The new American policy, in its broad outlines, has been discussed
publicly. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in
January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there is "a new
strategic alignment in the Middle East," separating "reformers" and
"extremists"; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation,
and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were "on the other side of that
divide." (Syria's Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran
and Syria, she said, "have made their choice and their choice is to

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The
clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving
the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to
work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and
former officials close to the Administration said.

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee told me that he
had heard about the new strategy, but felt that he and his colleagues
had not been adequately briefed. "We haven't got any of this," he said.
"We ask for anything going on, and they say there's nothing. And when we
ask specific questions they say, ‘We're going to get back to you.' It's
so frustrating."

The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney,
the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing
Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay
Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security
adviser. While Rice has been deeply involved in shaping the public
policy, former and current officials said that the clandestine side has
been guided by Cheney. (Cheney's office and the White House declined to
comment for this story; the Pentagon did not respond to specific queries
but said, "The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran.")

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new
strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an
existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the
Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will
give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in
Arab-Israeli negotiations.

The new strategy "is a major shift in American policy—it's a sea
change," a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said.
The Sunni states "were petrified of a Shiite resurgence, and there was
growing resentment with our gambling on the moderate Shiites in Iraq,"
he said. "We cannot reverse the Shiite gain in Iraq, but we can contain it."

"It seems there has been a debate inside the government over what's the
biggest danger—Iran or Sunni radicals," Vali Nasr, a senior fellow at
the Council on Foreign Relations, who has written widely on Shiites,
Iran, and Iraq, told me. "The Saudis and some in the Administration have
been arguing that the biggest threat is Iran and the Sunni radicals are
the lesser enemies. This is a victory for the Saudi line."

Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton
Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that "the
Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War." Indyk, who
is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the
Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear
whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of
its new policy. "The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,"
he said. "It's doubling the bet across the region. This could get very
complicated. Everything is upside down."

The Administration's new policy for containing Iran seems to complicate
its strategy for winning the war in Iraq. [...]

(14) Wesley Clark reveals "policy coup after 9/11" - Fora TV (Youtube, Nov 5, 2007)

October 3, 2007, Clark spoke at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. He
said America underwent a post-9/11 transformation. A "policy coup"
occurred. With no public debate or acknowledgement, hardliners usurped

Clark, Fora TV, Uploaded on 5 Nov 2007,

(15) Wesley Clark reveals Neocon coup (1991), plan to overthrow "old Soviet regimes" (2007)

Saturday, Nov 26, 2011 10:45 PM EST (updated)

Wes Clark and the neocon dream

In 2007, the retired General described a necon "policy coup" aimed at
toppling the governments of 7 countries VIDEO

Glenn Greenwald

In October, 2007, Gen. Wesley Clark gave a speech to the Commonwealth
Club in San Francisco (seven-minute excerpt in the video below) in which
he denounced what he called “a policy coup” engineered by neocons in the
wake of 9/11. After recounting how a Pentagon source had told him weeks
after 9/11 of the Pentagon’s plan to attack Iraq notwithstanding its
non-involvement in 9/11, this is how Clark described the aspirations of
the “coup” being plotted by Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz
and what he called “a half dozen other collaborators from the Project
for the New American Century”:

     Six weeks later, I saw the same officer, and asked: “Why haven’t we
attacked Iraq? Are we still going to attack Iraq?”

     He said: “Sir, it’s worse than that. He said – he pulled up a piece
of paper off his desk – he said: “I just got this memo from the
Secretary of Defense’s office. It says we’re going to attack and destroy
the governments in 7 countries in five years – we’re going to start with
Iraq, and then we’re going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia,
Sudan and Iran.”

Clark said the aim of this plot was this: “They wanted us to destabilize
the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control.” He
then recounted a conversation he had had ten years earlier with Paul
Wolfowitz — back in 1991 — in which the then-number-3-Pentagon-official,
after criticizing Bush 41 for not toppling Saddam, told Clark: “But one
thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our
military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop
us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet
regimes – Syria, Iran [sic], Iraq — before the next great superpower
comes on to challenge us.” Clark said he was shocked by Wolfowitz’s
desires because, as Clark put it: “the purpose of the military is to
start wars and change governments? It’s not to deter conflicts?”

The current turmoil in the Middle East is driven largely by popular
revolts, not by neocon shenanigans. Still, in the aftermath of
military-caused regime change in Iraq and Libya (the latter leading to
this and this), with concerted regime change efforts now underway aimed
at Syria and Iran, with active and escalating proxy fighting in Somalia,
with a modest military deployment to South Sudan, and the active use of
drones in six — count ’em: six — different Muslim countries, it is worth
asking whether the neocon dream as laid out by Clark is dead or is being
actively pursued and fulfilled, albeit with means more subtle and
multilateral than full-on military invasions (it’s worth remembering
that neocons specialized in dressing up their wars in humanitarian
packaging: Saddam’s rape rooms! Gassed his own people!). As Jonathan
Schwarz (or, as he would be called by establishment newspapers: “a
person familiar with Jon Schwarz’s thinking on the subject who asked not
to be identified”) put it about the supposedly contentious national
security factions: advertisement

     As far as I can tell, there’s barely any difference in goals within
the foreign policy establishment. They just disagree on the best methods
to achieve the goals. My guess is that everyone agrees we have to
continue defending the mideast from outside interference (I love that
Hillary line), and the [Democrats] just think that best path is four
overt wars and three covert actions, while the neocons want to jump
straight to seven wars.

(16) WikiLeaks cables prompt State Dept to admit funding Syrian opposition (Apr 2011)

U.S. admits funding Syrian opposition (2011)

Thousands staging sit-in vow not to leave until Assad's ouster

CBC News Posted: Apr 18, 2011 3:15 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011
10:22 PM ET

The U.S. State Department acknowledged Monday it has been funding
opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, following the release of
secret diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks that document the funding.

The files show that up to $6.3 million US was funnelled to the Movement
for Justice and Development, a London-based dissident organization that
operates the Barada TV satellite channel, which broadcasts
anti-government news into Syria. Another $6 million went to support a
variety of initiatives, including training for journalists and
activists, between 2006 and 2010.

Asked point-blank by reporters whether the United States is funding
Syrian opposition groups, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a
news conference Monday, "We are — we're working with a variety of civil
society actors in Syria with the goal here of strengthening freedom of

Then pressed to specify whether the U.S. provides satellite bandwidth
for Barada TV's broadcasts, Toner said: "I'd have to get details of what
exactly technical assistance we're providing them."

Toner insisted the financing is not aimed at overthrowing Assad's rule.
"We are not working to undermine that government."

However, an April 2009 diplomatic cable from the U.S. mission in
Damascus recognizes the risky optics of the funding.

"Some programs may be perceived, were they made public, as an attempt to
undermine the Assad regime.… The Syrian Arab Republic government would
undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as
tantamount to supporting regime change."

(17) State Dept admits funding Syrian opposition, after Wikileaks releases cables (Apr 2011)

U.S. admits funding Syrian opposition

Thousands staging sit-in vow not to leave until Assad's ouster

CBC News  Posted: Apr 18, 2011 3:15 AM ET |  Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011
10:22 PM ET

Updated    * Syrian government blames radical 'armed Salafi groups' for

The U.S. State Department acknowledged Monday it has been funding
opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, following the release of
secret diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks that document the funding.

The files show that up to $6.3 million US was funnelled to the Movement
for Justice and Development, a London-based dissident organization that
operates the Barada TV satellite channel, which broadcasts
anti-government news into Syria. Another $6 million went to support a
variety of initiatives, including training for journalists and
activists, between 2006 and 2010.

Asked point-blank by reporters whether the United States is funding
Syrian opposition groups, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a
news conference Monday, "We are — we're working with a variety of civil
society actors in Syria with the goal here of strengthening freedom of

Then pressed to specify whether the U.S. provides satellite bandwidth
for Barada TV's broadcasts, Toner said: "I'd have to get details of what
exactly technical assistance we're providing them."

Toner insisted the financing is not aimed at overthrowing Assad's rule.
"We are not working to undermine that government."

However, an April 2009 diplomatic cable from the U.S. mission in
Damascus recognizes the risky optics of the funding.

"Some programs may be perceived, were they made public, as an attempt to
undermine the Assad regime.É The Syrian Arab Republic government would
undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as
tantamount to supporting regime change."

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks provided the cables to the Washington
Post newspaper, which first reported on them. The files are part of a
haul of 251,000 secret U.S. diplomatic documents the website says it has
obtained. It began disclosing them in November through partner media
outlets and so far has released nearly 7,000.

On Monday, more than 5,000 anti-government protesters in Syria took over
the main square of the country's third-largest city, vowing to occupy
the site until Assad is ousted and defying authorities who warn they
will not be forced into reforms.

However, the government blamed the weeks of anti-government unrest in
the country on ultraconservative Muslims seeking to establish a
fundamentalist state and terrorize the people, in the latest official
effort to portray the reform movement as populated by extremists.

In the past month, Syrian security forces in uniforms and plainclothes
have launched a deadly crackdown on demonstrations, killing at least 200
people, according to human rights groups. Many Syrians also say
pro-government thugs — known as Shabiha — have terrorized neighbourhoods
with tactics such as opening fire into the air.

'Armed gangs' blamed for unrest

The government has in the past blamed "armed gangs" seeking to stir up
unrest for many of the killings, such as the ones who fatally shot seven
people, including three army officers, on Sunday in Homs.

On Monday, the Interior Ministry identified the gangs as "armed Salafi
groups," referring to an ultraconservative form of Islam that has its
roots in Saudi Arabia and can be found all over the region. The
statement carried by the state news agency said they were seeking to
establish "emirates" and were "abusing the freedoms and reforms launched
in the comprehensive program with a timetable by President Bashar Assad."

Assad has been playing on fears of sectarian warfare as he works to
quell any popular support for the uprising and has blamed the unrest on
a foreign plot to sow sectarian strife — echoing pronouncements from
almost every other besieged leader in the region.

The Egypt-style standoff in the central city of Homs followed funeral
processions by more than 10,000 mourners for some of those killed in
clashes Sunday that a rights group said left at least 12 people dead. It
also brought a high-stakes challenge to security forces over whether to
risk more bloodshed — and international backlash — by trying to clear
the square.

With files from The Associated Press

(18) Senators Joseph Lieberman & John McCain call for US to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya (July 2012)



WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), John McCain (R-AZ),
and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following joint statement
regarding the situation in Syria:

"Last March, as Moammar Qaddafi's tanks were approaching the gates of
Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, the United States and our allies
intervened, averting a massacre and helping the Libyan people to win
their freedom and liberate their country.

"Today, armored columns are advancing on Aleppo, the second largest city
in Syria, with the clear intention of unleashing indiscriminate violence
against civilians. Helicopter gunships, heavy artillery, and fixed wing
aircraft are already pounding Aleppo and other Syrian cities. The State
Department spokesperson has expressed "concern that we will see a
massacre in Aleppo" – and for good reason. And yet, the United States is
failing to take any of the steps that are within our power to stop
Bashar al Assad's killing machine.

"It is not too late for the United States to make the difference in
Syria, as we did in Libya. We can and should be providing weapons,
intelligence, and training directly to the rebels – not sitting on the
sidelines and outsourcing this job to others. Even more urgently, as 62
foreign policy experts recently urged, the United States and our allies
should work with the Syrian opposition to establish safe havens in
liberated parts of Syria and do what is necessary to guarantee their
protection, including consideration of a no fly zone, given Assad's use
of helicopters and aircraft. In none of this, moreover, does the U.S.
need to act alone. Our allies in the region are ready and eager to work
together with us – indeed, some of them are already much more engaged in
this fight than we are – but American leadership is necessary. Right
now, it is woefully absent.

"Years from now, the Syrian people will remember that – in their hour of
desperation, when they looked to the world for help – the United States
stood idly by as brave Syrians struggled and died for their freedom in a
grossly unfair fight. If we continue on this path of inaction, a mass
atrocity will surely unfold in Aleppo, or elsewhere in Syria. We have
the power to prevent this needless death and advance our strategic
interests in the Middle East at the same time. If we do not, it will be
a shameful failure of leadership that will haunt us for a long time to

(19) Saudis supply Croatian Arms to Rebels in Syria, with CIA support (NYT Feb 2013)

Saudis Step Up Help for Rebels in Syria With Croatian Arms (2013)


FEB. 25, 2013

Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from
Croatia and quietly funneled them to antigovernment fighters in Syria in
a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar
al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials
familiar with the purchases.

The weapons began reaching rebels in December via shipments shuttled
through Jordan, officials said, and have been a factor in the rebels'
small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to
Mr. Assad.

The arms transfers appeared to signal a shift among several governments
to a more activist approach to assisting Syria's armed opposition, in
part as an effort to counter shipments of weapons from Iran to Mr.
Assad's forces. The weapons' distribution has been principally to armed
groups viewed as nationalist and secular, and appears to have been
intended to bypass the jihadist groups whose roles in the war have
alarmed Western and regional powers.

For months regional and Western capitals have held back on arming the
rebels, in part out of fear that the weapons would fall into the hands
of terrorists. But officials said the decision to send in more weapons
is aimed at another fear in the West about the role of jihadist groups
in the opposition. Such groups have been seen as better equipped than
many nationalist fighters and potentially more influential.

The action also signals the recognition among the rebels' Arab and
Western backers that the opposition's success in pushing Mr. Assad's
military from much of Syria's northern countryside by the middle of last
year gave way to a slow, grinding campaign in which the opposition
remains outgunned and the human costs continue to climb.

Washington's role in the shipments, if any, is not clear. Officials in
Europe and the United States, including those at the Central
Intelligence Agency, cited the sensitivity of the shipments and declined
to comment publicly. [...] [...]

A version of this article appears in print on February 26, 2013, on page
A1 of the New York edition with the headline: In Shift, Saudis Are Said
to Arm Rebels in Syria.

(20) CIA training Syrian rebels in Jordan; State Dept covert aid (NYT Feb 2013)

U.S. Steps Up Aid to Syrian Opposition, Pledging $60 Million


Published: February 28, 2013

ROME — The food rations and medical supplies that Secretary of State
John Kerry said Thursday would be provided to the Free Syrian Army mark
the first time that the United States has publicly committed itself to
sending nonlethal aid to the armed factions that are battling President
Bashar al-Assad. [...]

The nonlethal aid was just one element of the American program of
assistance that Mr. Kerry unveiled Thursday.

The United States is also providing $60 million to help the political
wing of the Syrian anti-Assad coalition improve the delivery of basic
services like sanitation and education in areas it has already wrested
from the government’s control.

A covert program to train rebel fighters, which State Department
officials here were not prepared to discuss, has also been under way.
According to an official in Washington, who asked not to be identified,
the C.I.A. since last year has been training groups of Syrian rebels in

The official did not provide details about the training or what
difference it may have made on the battlefield, but said the C.I.A. had
not given weapons or ammunition to the rebels. An agency spokesman
declined to comment.

Defending the limited program to provide medical supplies and military
rations known as Meals Ready to Eat, or M.R.E.’s, to the military wing
of the Syrian resistance, Mr. Kerry said that other countries would also
provide help. He said that the "totality" of the effort would make an
impression on Mr. Assad.  [...]

The $60 million is on top of more than $50 million in assistance,
including communications equipment, that the United States has already
provided to local councils and civil activists. The new funds need to be
approved by Congress, which is caught up in politics over how to cut the
American budget deficit. But Mr. Kerry said that he expected
Congressional approval soon.

Reporting was contributed by Mark Mazzetti from Washington; Anne Barnard
and Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon; and Christine Hauser from New York.

(21) Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels expands, with Aid from C.I.A. - NYT (Mar 2013)

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels expands, with Aid from C.I.A. (2013)


MARCH 24, 2013

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply
increased their military aid to Syria's opposition fighters in recent
months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the
uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic
data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of
rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued
intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much
heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include
more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari
military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara,
and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

As it evolved, the airlift correlated with shifts in the war within
Syria, as rebels drove Syria's army from territory by the middle of last
year. And even as the Obama administration has publicly refused to give
more than "nonlethal" aid to the rebels, the involvement of the C.I.A.
in the arms shipments — albeit mostly in a consultative role, American
officials say — has shown that the United States is more willing to help
its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.

 From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have
helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large
procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to
determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to
American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. The C.I.A.
declined to comment on the shipments or its role in them. [...]

The Turkish government has had oversight over much of the program, down
to affixing transponders to trucks ferrying the military goods through
Turkey so it might monitor shipments as they move by land into Syria,
officials said. The scale of shipments was very large, according to
officials familiar with the pipeline and to an arms-trafficking
investigator who assembled data on the cargo planes involved.

"A conservative estimate of the payload of these flights would be 3,500
tons of military equipment," said Hugh Griffiths, of the Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute, who monitors illicit arms transfers.

"The intensity and frequency of these flights," he added, are
"suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military
logistics operation."

Although rebel commanders and the data indicate that Qatar and Saudi
Arabia had been shipping military materials via Turkey to the opposition
since early and late 2012, respectively, a major hurdle was removed late
last fall after the Turkish government agreed to allow the pace of air
shipments to accelerate, officials said.

Simultaneously, arms and equipment were being purchased by Saudi Arabia
in Croatia and flown to Jordan on Jordanian cargo planes for rebels
working in southern Syria and for retransfer to Turkey for rebels groups
operating from there, several officials said. [...]

Reporting was contributed by Robert F. Worth from Washington and
Istanbul; Dan Bilefsky from Paris; and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul and
Ankara, Turkey.

A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2013, on page A1
of the New York edition with the headline: Airlift To Rebels In Syria
Expands With C.I.A.'S Help.

(22) CIA training Chechen terrorists to fight Assad; snipers in Maidan Sq were also Chechen (Oct 2014)

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 05:44:50 +0900 Subject: America’s Chechen Proxy
Fighters: The Big Picture Everyone Has Missed | New Eastern Outlook
From: chris lancenet <>

The snipers in Maidan Square, who shot at everyone indiscriminately and
were also described as Chechens

by Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus,
exclusively for “New Eastern Outlook”


[...] On September 1 Iraqi News reported that “Iraq’s counter-terrorism
office announced the killing of 23 fighters of Chechen nationality who
belong to the organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, in
Sulaiman Bek district, east of Tikrit.”

Whether these people were really Chechens has not been established, as
“Chechen” has been equated with “terrorist” for a long time, so if you
don’t know where a dead terrorist comes from he is called a Chechen. But
there is a reason this state of affairs came to be, and it does not
derive from Russian propaganda, as sources such as Arab News try and
make out.

On June 23 The Barefoot Strategist drew attention to the fact that
“While most of the world is focused on the battle between Assad and the
Syrian rebels, Chechens are becoming known as some of the best fighters
in Syria. Their prominence is growing, and it is alarming.”

This article detailed how the Chechens had split into different groups,
some pro- and some anti-ISIL, based on their original allegiances.
However it did not say why these Chechens were interested in Syria and
how they got there, or how they became such good fighters.

On July 22 Cristina Maza, writing in The Balkanist, stated that
“according to Murad Batal al-Shishani, a London-based expert on Islamic
groups and a specialist on Islamic movements in Chechnya, the majority
of the Chechen fighters in Syria right now are from the Pankisi Gorge.”

The article also pointed out that “the number of residents in the region
[Pankisi] has doubled over the past decade due to an influx of refugees
from Chechnya.” It described how they are “volunteering” to fight in
Syria, encouraged by “radicals” and lack of opportunity in the Gorge.
Once again however the article failed to mention why the Chechens and
[even some Saudi nationals] suddenly took such an interest in this part
of Georgia, if there are so few opportunities there.

The point everyone is missing is that what Henry Kamens has been saying
for more than 10 years is being proven true every day. The Chechens
being recruited in the Pankisi Gorge did not end up there by accident,
they were inserted by the CIA and funded and trained in terrorist
warfare by the CIA in order to destabilise other countries the US was
interested in. Those same Chechens are not volunteering for service but
are being sent there by the US, as part of a co-ordinated plan, to serve
US interests, and being moved around to wherever they are needed.

Roddy Scott, a young British journalist and filmmaker, was killed for
knowing and saying this, and that was no accident either. He was
following the money and weapons, the NGO mechanism used to fund the
freedom fighters and provide fake passports to people who, based on the
American definition, were terrorists. So let us consider the facts.

Safe haven for chosen terrorists

 From 2001 onwards an extensive media campaign was conducted by
international outlets which claimed that Pankisi, which none of those
reporters had previously seen, was a “terrorist haven”. No actual
evidence was provided to support this, but it made people feel better to
think all the terrorists came from one place and it had been identified.

These reports were used as the justification for sending US military
advisers to the Gorge in April 2002, purportedly on a mission to contain
al-Qaeda loyalists who might have been operating there. It is only after
this, however, that most of the Chechens later branded as terrorists
actually moved to this isolated valley, as Cristina Maza’s article implies.

The US intervention there would therefore seem to have been an utter
failure, which would cause heads to roll. However, the sudden influx of
terrorists was used as the excuse for the establishment of the 64
million dollar Train and Equip Program. This provided precious few
weapons to the Georgian Armed Forces and their “training” was exposed
for what it was during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. It has, however, led
to a succession of fearsome Chechen warriors, highly-trained, well-armed
and successful, emerging from the Gorge and appearing in US –backed wars
all over the region, as the articles cited state.

This activity was not hidden. Within weeks reports about what was really
going on there, dismissed as rumour at the time, started appearing.
Nikolaus von Twickel of the Moscow Times soon reported that Russian
Federal Security Service (FSB) officials had confirmed that Ramzan
Turkoshvili, 34, a Russian citizen born in Georgia, had been
co-ordinating the activities of illegal armed groups in the Northern
Caucasus by order of Tbilisi.

He told Itar-Tass that the Pankisi Gorge, “despite repeated statements
of the Georgian leadership and their Western allies, is still used as a
base of terrorists acting in the North Caucasus and by various terrorist
and extremist organisations. Ringleaders of terrorist groups from the
Georgian territory provide financial support to bandit groups,
coordinate activities for the preparation of terrorist acts, as well as
recruiting Muslim youth of the Akhmed districts of Georgia and involving
them in extremist activities.”

One of the Chechens who appeared in Pankisi Gorge at that time was Imran
Akhmadov. When journalists such as Jeffrey Silverman, who was then
working as an editor-and-chief of the Georgian Times, followed up on his
Chechen and intelligence connections they were told that he had been
killed by the FSB. Not only is Akhmadov still alive, he is one of the
leaders of ISIL.

He had in fact been provided with a fake Georgian passport, in the name
Kavtarashvili, and shipped to Turkey by the US Embassy when people
started enquiring about him. The snipers in Maidan Square, who shot at
everyone indiscriminately and were also described as Chechens, were
similarly removed from the scene, and sent to Syria, on fake Georgian
passports when it was reported that they were neither protestors nor
Ukrainian security services personnel.

Akhmadov’s brother was also reported killed by the FSB, as if to provide
support for the claim that Imran had died. He too is still alive, and is
a senior Georgian intelligence operative. As official investigations are
now revealing, he was involved in the planning of the prospective murder
of tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, obviously not a matter for low level

Knowing too much

It was in October 2002 that Roddy Scott accompanied the Chechens as they
crossed from Georgia into the Russian republic of Ingushetia, whilst
making a documentary. The 31-year-old journalist was killed filming a
firefight between Chechen fighters and the Russian army in the village
of Galashka in the Ingush region of the Russian Federation. Roddy worked
for Frontline TV, a British TV company, was no stranger to hotspots and
knew how to protect himself.

Scott had made no secret of the fact that he felt the wrong information
about Pankisi was being reported in the West. He had written to a friend
shortly before he left:

“I personally think it’s a great story, it’s about the first time I have
ever seen the possibility for someone to really lift the lid on
everything, rather than the usual
‘journo-grasping-at-straws-with-no-good-sources’ which seems to emanate
from the region. And what really gives it the boost is that it is tied
into US policy, which gives it the international rather than
local/parochial flavour. As you saw, there are plenty of boyeviks
[terrorists/fighters] in Pankisi, and pretty much they operate openly;
but the story has never really come out because most journals don’t have
access. And there is a real danger of kidnapping if you are there too
long without the protection of a Chechen commander. Equally, the
Chechens have a vested interest in making sure the full story never
comes out (in print, photos or TV). It’s the kind of thing that might
just provoke the Russians to do something, (or give them excuse, I guess).”

After the rebels were driven back Russian Federal Forces found Scott’s
body. Any such death is generally investigated. When Jeffrey Silverman,
who had been one of his sources in Georgia, started asking deep
questions he was warned by a former employee of the BBC (and possibly
MI6, the British intelligence service) [...]

I have been to Pankisi Gorge and lived with the locals for weeks on end.
I have seen the Georgian military supposedly cracking down on terrorists
patrolling with no bullets in their weapons. I have seen the newcomers,
the Chechen terrorists, Arab nationals, the cars they drive, their
clothes, their flats in Tbilisi. None of them work, and they do not live
like that on remittances from relatives abroad or herding sheep.

I have also investigated the Akhmadov brothers further. They were
involved in the kidnapping of two Polish journalists who might have
stumbled on the story, Zofis Fischer and Ewa Marchwinska-Wyrwal, two
Spanish businessmen and the faked abduction of British banker Peter
Shaw, who staged it himself. The murder of Anthony Russo, an Italian
journalist, also remains unresolved, and has never been properly
investigated, like all the other cases linked with the Akhmadov brothers.

None of this is coincidence. The appearance of Chechens from the Pankisi
Gorge, who moved there after the US sent people to root out terrorists,
in all the wars the US is involved in is not coincidence. The US has put
those people in those places to conduct whatever terrorist operations
serve its interests, even if it means sacrificing those same terrorists.

All we are seeing now is part of a long lasting, co-ordinated programme
of state-sponsored terrorism conducted by the guardians of freedom and
democracy, using people it labels as terrorists who it has armed and
trained to do all these things. Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, all the conflicts
we are seeing are part of the same programme.

I’ve been saying all this for a very long time. A lot of people have a
vested interest in proving me wrong, and will give anyone trying to do
so all possible assistance; go ahead, the world is waiting, make my day!

(23) Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut - Washington Post (June 2015)

Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut

By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung

June 12 2015

Key lawmakers have moved to slash funding of a secret CIA operation to
train and arm rebels in Syria, a move that U.S. officials said reflects
rising skepticism of the effectiveness of the agency program and the
Obama administration's strategy in the Middle East.

The House Intelligence Committee recently voted unanimously to cut as
much as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program
that U.S. officials said has become one the agency's largest covert
operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year.

"There is a great deal of concern on a very bipartisan basis with our
strategy in Syria," said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking
Democrat on the intelligence panel. He declined to comment on specific
provisions of the committee's bill but cited growing pessimism that the
United States will be in a position "to help shape the aftermath" of
Syria's civil war.

The cuts to the CIA program are included in a preliminary intelligence
spending bill that is expected to be voted on in the House next week.
The measure has provoked concern among CIA and White House officials,
who warned that pulling money out of the CIA effort could weaken
U.S.-backed insurgents just as they have begun to emerge as effective
fighters. The White House declined to comment.

Recent CIA assessments have warned that the war is approaching a
critical stage in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing
territory and strength, and might soon be forced to relinquish all but a
narrow corridor of the country to rebel groups — some of them dominated
by Islamist militants. [...]

But the sudden contraction of Assad's sphere of control has focused
renewed attention on Syria and the CIA program set up in 2013 to bolster
moderate forces that still represent the United States' most direct
involvement on the ground in Syria's civil war.

The cost of that CIA program has not previously been disclosed, and the
figure provides the clearest indication to date of the extent to which
the agency's attention and resources have shifted to Syria.

At $1 billion, Syria-related operations account for about $1 of every
$15 in the CIA's overall budget, judging by spending levels revealed in
documents The Washington Post obtained from former U.S. intelligence
contractor Edward Snowden.

U.S. officials said the CIA has trained and equipped nearly 10,000
fighters sent into Syria over the past several years — meaning that the
agency is spending roughly $100,000 per year for every anti-Assad rebel
who has gone through the program.

The CIA declined to comment on the program or its budget. But U.S.
officials defended the scale of the expenditures, saying the money goes
toward much more than salaries and weapons and is part of a broader,
multibillion-dollar effort involving Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to
bolster a coalition of militias known as the Southern Front of the Free
Syrian Army.

Much of the CIA's money goes toward running secret training camps in
Jordan, gathering intelligence to help guide the operations of
agency-backed militias and managing a sprawling logistics network used
to move fighters, ammunition and weapons into the country.

The move by the House intelligence panel to cut the program's funds is
not mentioned in the unclassified version of the spending bill. But
statements released by lawmakers alluded to some of their underlying
concerns, including a line calling for an "effort to enhance the metrics
involved in a critically important [intelligence community] program."

That language, officials said, was a veiled reference to members'
mounting frustration with the program and a perceived inability by the
agency to show that its forces have gained territory, won battles or
achieved other measurable results.

"Assad is increasingly in danger, and people may be taking bets on how
long he can last, but it's largely not as a result of action by
so-called moderates on the ground," said a senior Republican aide in
Congress, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the
sensitivity of the subject.

In the past two years, the goal of the CIA's mission in Syria has
shifted from ousting Assad to countering the rise of extremist groups
including al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State,
which is also known as ISIS and ISIL.

"Unfortunately, I think that ISIS, al-Nusra and some of the other
radical Islamic factions are the best positioned to capitalize on the
chaos that might accompany a rapid decline of the regime," Schiff said.

Even defenders of the CIA program acknowledge that moderate factions in
Syria have often performed poorly and are likely to be overwhelmed in
any direct showdown with the Islamic State. [...]

(24) NYT erases CIA's Efforts to Overthrow Assad (Sept 2015)

Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA's Efforts to Overthrow Syria's
Government (2015)

by Adam Johnson

Monday, September 21, 2015 by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

FAIR has noted before how America's well-documented clandestine
activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media
discuss the Obama administration's "hands-off" approach to the
four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in
the New York Times detailing the "finger pointing" over Obama's "failed"
Syria policy, and a Vox "explainer" of the Syrian civil war—did one
better: They didn't just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming,
training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had
never done so.

First, let's establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over
the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence
Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training
anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including
the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the
Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed
a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of
$1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA's official annual budget.

In addition to the CIA's efforts, there is a much more scrutinized and
far more publicized program by the Department of Defense to train
"moderate rebels," of which only a few dozen actually saw battle. The
Pentagon program, which began earlier this year and is charged with
fighting ISIS (rather than Syrian government forces), is separate from
the covert CIA operation. It has, by all accounts, been an abysmal failure.

One thing the DoD's rebel training program hasn't been a failure at,
however, is helping credulous reporters rewrite history by treating the
Pentagon program as the only US effort to train Syrian rebels–now or in
the past. As the US's strategy in Syria is publicly debated, the CIA's
years-long program has vanished from many popular accounts, giving the
average reader the impression the US has sat idly by while foreign
actors, Iranian and Russian, have interfered in the internal matters of
Syria. While the White House, Congress and the Pentagon can't legally
acknowledge the CIA training program, because it's still technically
classified, there's little reason why our media need to entertain a
similar charade.

Let's start with Peter Baker's New York Times piece from September 17
and some of its improbable claims:

{quote}  Finger-Pointing, but Few Answers, After a Syria Solution Fails

By any measure, President Obama's effort to train a Syrian opposition
army to fight the Islamic State on the ground has been an abysmal
failure. The military acknowledged this week that just four or five
American-trained fighters are actually fighting.  {endquote}

Notice the sleight-of-hand. There may only be "four or five
American-trained fighters…fighting" expressly against ISIS, but there is
no doubt thousands more American-trained fighters are fighting in Syria.
The DoD's statement is manifestly false, but because the New York Times
is simply quoting "the military"—which, again, cannot not legally
acknowledge the CIA program—it is left entirely unchallenged. This is
the worst type of "officials say" journalism. The premise, while
ostensibly critical of US foreign policy, is actually helping advance
its larger goal of rewriting US involvement in the Syrian civil war. A
four-year-long deliberate strategy of backing anti-Assad forces–which
has helped fuel the bloody civil war and paved the way for the rise of
ISIS–is reduced to a cheesy "bumbling bureaucrat" narrative.

Baker went on:

{quote} But the White House says it is not to blame. The finger, it
says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to
attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place — a group that, in
addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

At briefings this week after the disclosure of the paltry results, Josh
Earnest, the White House press secretary, repeatedly noted that Mr.
Obama always had been a skeptic of training Syrian rebels. The military
was correct in concluding that "this was a more difficult endeavor than
we assumed and that we need to make some changes to that program," Mr.
Earnest said. "But I think it's also time for our critics to 'fess up in
this regard as well. They were wrong."

In effect, Mr. Obama is arguing that he reluctantly went along with
those who said it was the way to combat the Islamic State, but that he
never wanted to do it and has now has been vindicated in his original
judgment. The I-told-you-so argument, of course, assumes that the idea
of training rebels itself was flawed and not that it was started too
late and executed ineffectively, as critics maintain.  {endquote}

The sleight-of-hand continues: The article presents the training of
rebels as a "way to combat the Islamic State," but repeatedly speaks in
general of training Syrian rebels as something "Obama always had been a
skeptic of"–which flies in the face of the fact that he did so, to the
tune of $1 billion a year over four years, with 10,000 rebels trained.

But the piece goes on to make clear that when it's talking about
"training Syrian rebels," it's referring not only to the anti-ISIS
program but to efforts to overthrow Syria's government as well:

{quote} The idea of bolstering Syrian rebels was debated from the early
days of the civil war, which started in 2011. Mrs. Clinton, along with
David H. Petraeus, then the CIA director, and Leon E. Panetta, then the
Defense secretary, supported arming opposition forces, but the president
worried about deep entanglement in someone else's war after the bloody
experience in Iraq.

In 2014, however, after the Islamic State had swept through parts of
Syria and Iraq, Mr. Obama reversed course and initiated a $500 million
program to train and arm rebels who had been vetted and were told to
fight the Islamic State, not Mr. Assad's government.  {endquote}

This is outright false. These two paragraphs, while cleverly parsed,
give the reader the impression Obama parted with the CIA and Mrs.
Clinton on arming opposition forces, only to "reverse course" in 2014.
But the president never "reversed course," because he did exactly what
Panetta, Petraeus and Clinton urged him to do: He armed the opposition.
Once again, the Pentagon's Keystone Kop plan is being passed off by
journalists who should know better as the beginning and end of American
involvement in the Syrian rebellion. Nowhere in this report is the CIA's
plan mentioned at all.

The whitewashing would get even worse:

{quote} Some Syrian rebels who asked for American arms in 2011 and 2012
eventually gave up and allied themselves with more radical groups,
analysts said, leaving fewer fighters who were friendly to the United
States. {endquote}

But the US did get arms to Syrian rebels in 2012. In fact, Baker's own
publication reported this fact in 2012 (6/21/12):

{quote} CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition  {endquote}

Indeed, according to a rather detailed New York Times infographic from
2013 (3/23/13), shipments began, at the latest, in January 2012

Note that this map accompanied an article headlined "Arms Airlift to
Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From CIA."

The CIA's program, when discussing a fraught foreign policy issue like
Syria, is simply thrown down the memory hole. How can the public have an
honest conversation about what the US should or shouldn't do in Syria
next when the most respected newspaper in the US can't honestly
acknowledge what we have done thus far?

The New York Times wouldn't be alone. Comcast-funded Vox would also
ignore the CIA rebel training program in its almost 4,000-word overview
of the Syrian civil war. Again, the Pentagon's program would be the sole
focus in regards to funding rebels, along with reports of Gulf states
doing so as well. But the CIA funding, training and arming thousands of
rebels since at least 2012? Nowhere to be found. Not mentioned or
alluded to once.

Reuters and the Washington Post's reports on the US's Syrian strategy
revamp, while they didn't fudge history as bad as the Times and Vox,
also ignored any attempts by the CIA to back Syrian opposition rebels.
This crucial piece of history is routinely omitted from mainstream
public discourse.

As the military build-up and posturing in Syria between Russia and the
United States escalates, policy makers and influencers on this side of
the Atlantic are urgently trying to portray the West's involvement in
Syria as either nonexistent or marked by good-faith incompetence. By
whitewashing the West's clandestine involvement in Syria, the media not
only portrays Russia as the sole contributor to hostilities, it absolves
Europe and the United States of their own guilt in helping create a
refugee crisis and fuel a civil war that has devastated so many for so long.

(25) US behind Syria civil war - Christopher Hill, former US Ambassador (Sept 2015)

Who Caused the Refugee Crisis?

Christopher R. Hill

Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East
Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a
US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords,
and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009.

SEP 23, 2015

In the Middle East, there is always plenty of blame to go around, and
those who blame the US for renewing sectarianism in the region fail to
recognize its antecedents and its cyclical nature. Still, the US did
play a major role in the Syrian drama. In July 2011, the US and France
sent their ambassadors to Hama, the site of so much bloodshed and enmity
toward Syria’s government, in order to urge the “opposition” there –
that is, a then-peaceful Muslim Brotherhood – to unite against the regime.

Following that visit – the culmination of an effort to bring about
regime change in Syria – any prospect of dialogue or negotiation with
Assad (whose family, for better or worse, had controlled Syria for
decades) was destroyed. Neither ambassador ever had a consequential
meeting in Damascus again. [...]

(26) Putin blames US for ISIS (Sept 2015)

Obama denounces Assad in speech to UN

Deutsche Welle  28.09.2015

Author Richard Connor

[...] Putin's made his first speech before the General Assembly in a decade.

Putin effectively put the blame for IS at the door of the US, noting
that many members of the group had been members of the Iraqi military
who were "thrown out into the street" after the 2003 US-led invasion of

Others came from Libya, the statehood of which had been destroyed
because of Western powers, Putin said, while some had defected from the
"so-called moderate" rebels, who had been supported by the West.

Putin was strongly critical of the US, saying it was a "grave mistake"
not to cooperate with the Syrian government in the fight against IS. He
urged the creation of a broad anti-terror coalition. [...]

(27) Putin to UN: Export of so-called democratic revolutions continues globally

Published time: 28 Sep, 2015 16:16 Edited time: 28 Sep, 2015 18:45

The export of the so-called democratic revolutions continues, as the
international community fails to learn from mistakes, which have already
been made, Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing the UNGA.

He cited the example of the revolutions in the Middle East, when people
wished for change, “but how did that turn out?”

He said that instead of triumph of democracy “we have violence and
social disaster,” where no one cares about human rights, including the
right to life.

Actions carried out without a UN mandate could destroy the system of
international relations, Putin said in his address. [...]

(28) 'West's main target in Syria is Assad, not ISIS' - Kadyrov (Sept 2015)

Published time: 29 Sep, 2015 14:55 Edited time: 29 Sep, 2015 16:05

The US and the EU cannot bring peace to the Mideast because instead of
real action against Islamic State terrorists they prefer to talk about
their desire to displace Syrian President Assad, the head of the Chechen
Republic has told reporters.

"Today there are no more doubts that the main target of the West is
Assad and not the 'Iblis State' terrorist organization," Ramzan Kadyrov
told reporters on Tuesday, using wording suggested by Russian Muslim
scholars to describe the group that calls itself Islamic State (IS,
formerly ISIS/ISIL). [...]

(29) The Rothschild line: Economist editorial taunts Obama, insists Assad must go (Oct 2015)

Putin dares, Obama dithers

The danger of Russia's intervention in Syria, and America's timidity in

Oct 3rd 2015 | From the print edition: Leaders

TO HEAR Vladimir Putin, Russia has become the leader of a new global war
on terrorism. By contrast Barack Obama seems wearier by the day with the
wars in the Muslim world that America has been fighting for more than a
decade. On September 30th Russian jets went into action to support
Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered troops. It is setting up an
intelligence-sharing network with Iraq and Iran. The Russian Orthodox
church talks of holy war. Mr Putin's claim to be fighting Islamic State
(IS) is questionable at best. The evidence of Russia's first day of
bombing is that it attacked other Sunni rebels, including some supported
by America. Even if this is little more than political theatre, Russia
is making its biggest move in the Middle East, hitherto America's
domain, since the Soviet Union was evicted in the 1970s.

In Afghanistan, meanwhile, America's campaign against the Taliban has
suffered a blow. On September 28th Taliban rebels captured the northern
town of Kunduz—the first provincial capital to fall to them since they
were evicted from power in 2001. Afghan troops retook the centre three
days later. But even if they establish full control, the attack was a

Both Kunduz and Russia's bombing are symptoms of the same phenomenon:
the vacuum created by Barack Obama's attempt to stand back from the wars
of the Muslim world. America's president told the UN General Assembly
this week that his country had learned it "cannot by itself impose
stability on a foreign land"; others, Iran and Russia included, should
help in Syria. Mr Obama is not entirely wrong. But his proposition hides
many dangers: that America throws up its hands; that regional powers,
sensing American disengagement, will be sucked into a free-for-all; and
that Russia's intervention will make a bloody war bloodier still. Unless
Mr Obama changes course, expect more deaths, refugees and extremism.

Having seen the mess that George W. Bush made of his "war on terror",
especially in Iraq, Mr Obama is understandably wary. American
intervention can indeed make a bad situation worse, as odious leaders
are replaced by chaos and endless war saps America's strength and
standing. But America's absence can make things even more grim. At some
point, extremism will fester and force the superpower to intervene anyway.

That is the story in the Middle East. In Iraq Mr Obama withdrew troops
in 2011. In Syria he did not act to stop Mr Assad from wholesale
killing, even after he used poison gas. But when IS jihadists emerged
from the chaos, declared a caliphate in swathes of Iraq and Syria, and
began to cut off the heads of their Western prisoners, Mr Obama felt
obliged to step back in—desultorily. In Afghanistan Mr Obama is making
the same mistake of premature withdrawal. As NATO's combat operations
wound down into a mission to "train, advise and assist", Mr Obama
promised that the last American troops would leave Afghanistan by the
end of 2016. The date had no bearing on conditions in Afghanistan but
everything to do with when Mr Obama leaves the White House.

What can Mr Obama do? In Afghanistan, rather than pull out the 9,800
remaining American troops, he should reinforce them and make clear that
he puts no date on their withdrawal. The rules of engagement must expand
so that NATO forces can back Afghan ones. Attack aircraft should support
them as needed, not just in extremis. He needs to knock heads together
in Kabul, where the "unity" government forged last year between
President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, is
dysfunctional enough to lack a defence minister. This was Mr Obama's
"good war": he risks losing it.

In Syria Mr Obama's dithering means his options continually grow harder
and riskier. Mr Putin is unabashedly defending a tyrant and deepening
the region's Sunni-Shia divide. America must hold the line that Mr Assad
will not remain in power, and set out a vision for what should follow.
It needs to do more to protect the mainly Sunni population: create
protected havens; impose no-fly zones to stop Mr Assad's barrel-bombs;
and promote a moderate Sunni force. That may well mean staring down
Russian jets.

As a judoka, Mr Putin knows the art of exploiting an opponent's
weakness: when America steps back, he pushes forward. Yet being an
opportunist does not equip him to fix Syria. And the more he tries to
save Mr Assad the more damage he will cause in Syria and the region—and
the greater the risk that his moment of bravado will turn to hubris.
Given the enduring strength of America, there is much that it can still
do to contain the spreading disorder—if only Mr Obama had a bit more of
Mr Putin's taste for daring. ==

(30) The Economist - Rothschild-owned

The Economist Newspaper Limited, trading as The Economist Group, is a
British multinational media company headquartered in London and best
known as publisher of The Economist. The Economist Group specializes in
international business and world affairs information. Its principal
activities are magazines, newspapers, conferences and market intelligence.

The Economist Group is owned by the Cadbury, Rothschild, Schroder,
Agnelli and other family interests as well as a number of staff and
former staff shareholders.

This page was last modified on 14 September 2015, at 09:13.

(31) Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA (Oct 2015)

Business | Fri Oct 2, 2015 5:59am EDT


By Laila Bassam and Andrew Osborn

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground
offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government, Lebanese
sources said on Thursday, a sign the civil war is turning still more
regional and global in scope.

Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by
rebels trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the group's
commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a
Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.

Senior U.S. and Russian officials spoke for just over an hour by secure
video conference on Thursday, focusing on ways to keep air crews safe,
the Pentagon said, as the two militaries carry out parallel campaigns
with competing objectives.

"We made crystal clear that, at a minimum, the priority here should be
the safe operation of the air crews over Syria," Pentagon spokesman
Peter Cook said.

Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached
Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground
offensive. They would also be backed by Assad's Lebanese Hezbollah
allies and by Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq, while Russia would
provide air support.

"The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria -soldiers
and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not
advisers ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be
followed by more," one of the sources said.

So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the
form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia
fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian
government forces.

Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck
near the cities of Hama and Homs are mostly held by a rival insurgent
alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies
including Arab states and Turkey.

Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group that is
part of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters one of the targets was his
group's base in Idlib province, struck by about 20 missiles in two
separate raids. His fighters had been trained by the CIA in Qatar and
Saudi Arabia, part of a program Washington says is aimed at supporting
groups that oppose both Islamic State and Assad.

"Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to
Bashar," Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by
members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.

The group is one of at least three foreign-backed FSA rebel factions to
say they had been hit by the Russians in the last two days. [...]

(32) Brother Nathanael for President?

If I Were President

Brother Nathanael

September 1, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

The very first thing I’d do as President is set up a new 9/11 Commission
and trash the old one.

Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth would head it up
and after proving the attack was an “Inside Job,” the stuff will hit the

Israel’s Mossad will be indicted for installing Interior Demolition
Devices in the Towers and Silverstein’s ‘doctor’ alibi will be debunked.

Americans will then brand Israel as an enemy and the Jewish Lobby as

US foreign policy will finally be freed up, and leaders–hated by
Jews–like Syria’s Assad, who protects Christians, and Iran’s Rouhani,
who battles ISIS, will become our allies.

We’re now on our way to ‘making America great again.’

Two. I’ll end the Fed.

Instead of gouging taxpayers with interest on the Fed’s loans to the
government and killing the purchasing power of the dollar, I’ll give
Congress its Constitutional right to coin our own money and put the
Jewish banksters out of business.

Three. I’ll slap term limits on Supreme Court judges.

Kagan, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor–all Jews–and the lapsed Catholic,
Kennedy, who all made sodomy the law of the land, will be sent packing.

I’ll sign an Executive Order challenging their homosexual law as a
breach of judicial boundaries since only Congress has the right to make

A smart Congress will follow and annul their ruling.

Four. I will nationalize the media.

CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and FOX will no longer be pouring out Jewish
positions…but instead, voices from all directions will be sanctioned.

I’ll appoint to each channel Directors from all sides of the political
spectrum and have the government sign a “non-interference” agreement
with them.

We’ll be on our way to a nation where the Jewish agenda no longer holds

Will my actions as President break Jewish power in America?

You bet they will. Trump can’t even come close.

Peter Myers