The weather in Syria: cloudy. Getting murkier.

02 Oct

The US has apparently decided to ignore its own list of terrorist organizations when it comes to aiding the “rebels” in Syria, so determined are we to interfere in another nation’s governance and sovereignty.  We liked Assad well enough when he was running some black sites for us; now “his days are numbered”, according to Hillary we-came-we-saw-he-died Clinton.  The US has just announced it will increase its monetary aid to the “rebels” in Syria, bringing the total amount given so far to $170 million.  Imagine what this money could be used for in our own country.  While we are offering only “non-lethal” support at this point – at least (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), we hope the rebels only use the money to purchase cell phones and the like – we are in fact giving money to groups who are on the US State Dept. terrorist list.  Arms to these groups are funneled through proxy countries: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

US seeks to rally Syrian opposition, Clinton pledges $45 million in additional aid
By Associated Press, Published: September 27 | Updated: Friday, September 28, 7:47 PM

NEW YORK — The Obama administration moved Friday to rally Syria’s opposition with pledges of $45 million in new non-lethal and humanitarian assistance as the administration and other world leaders lamented the failure of diplomatic efforts to push Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. would contribute an additional $15 million in non-lethal gear — mostly communications equipment — to the civilian opposition trying to oust Assad as well as $30 million in new humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the continuing violence.

She also delivered a new, stark warning to Iran that it must stop arming and supporting the Assad regime.
“It is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the U.N. Security Council have been blocked repeatedly, but the United States is not waiting,” Clinton said as she announced the new aid at a gathering of the Friends of Syria group that she hosted at a New York hotel on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. She and other foreign ministers from the group met with nine Syrian opposition figures, including several who traveled from Syria to attend Friday’s session, to discuss strategy.

With U.N. action blocked by Russia and China, Clinton said the rest of the world must support the Syrian opposition. She also said it was urgent that the fractured foes of the regime unite around plans for a political transition that could put an end to more than three decades of Assad family rule.[…]

The new U.S. humanitarian assistance — which brings America’s total humanitarian contribution to more than $130 million since the crisis began — will include food, water, blankets and medical services to victims of the violence. U.S. officials said on Thursday that an earlier shipment of medical goods provided by USAID had just arrived in southern Syria. The officials would not provide details of how the aid made it into Syrian territory.

The additional non-lethal support brings the total U.S. contribution in that area to nearly $40 million since the crisis began and includes 1,100 sets of communications equipment, including satellite-linked computers, telephones and cameras and training for more than 1,000 activists, students and independent journalists.

“We are working to help them strengthen their networks, avoid regime persecution and document human rights abuses,” Clinton said. The U.S. is not providing military aid to the rebels although it acknowledges that other countries are.[…]

Neither Russia nor China, which have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions aimed at pressuring Assad to end the violence and enter negotiations on a political transition, were invited to Friday’s meeting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — who was to address the General Assembly on Friday — has accused the U.S. and other countries of encouraging terrorism in their stance on Syria.

However, Clinton told the meeting that the greatest threat to Syria, other than the Assad regime itself was Iran.
“Let’s be very frank here,” she said. “The regime’s most important lifeline is Iran.”

“There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus. Iran will do everything it can to evade international sanctions,” Clinton said. She urged Syria’s neighbors to take extra steps to ensure that Iran is not smuggling weapons and materiel into Syria through their airspace or territory.

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report from Washington.Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

As Americans, we are supposed to hate Russia, China and Iran by reflex.  Yet it is Vladimir Putin of Russia who most clearly and succinctly states the truth of the situation in Syria:

(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin signaled in an interview aired on Thursday that Russia was not ready to shift its stance on Syria, and suggested Western nations were relying on groups such as al Qaeda to help drive President Bashar al-Assad from power.[…]

Putin was asked whether Moscow should rethink its stance on Syria after vetoing three Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to pressure Assad to end violence that has killed 20,000 people.
“Why should only Russia re-evaluate its position?” he said. “Maybe our partners in the negotiation process should re-evaluate their position.”

Without naming any country, he hinted the United States was looking to militants to help topple Assad and would regret it, drawing a parallel with U.S. support for the mujahideen who fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan during the Cold War.

“Today somebody is using al Qaeda fighters or people from other organizations with the same extreme views to achieve their goals in Syria,” Putin said. “This is a very dangerous and short-sighted policy.”[…]

(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Out in the hinterlands of the US, we have forgotten that the Taliban was not originally our enemy in Afghanistan nor the main reason for our invasion, although most of us seem to believe now that they were.  We have forgotten that al Qaeda was formed by the CIA out of the mujahideen of Afghanistan and that Osama bin Laden was originally a CIA asset.  al Qaeda is our prime enemy in the war on terror, or whatever this global conflict is now called; yet today, it is expected that we simply won’t notice that we are now on the same side as al Qaeda.  Even Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta admit as much and have done so publicly.  See:

For sure, we won’t notice that the “uprising” in Syria appears to be more of a planned invasion by terrorist groups sent in from elsewhere.  By us.

For a good history of the morphing of al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, you might do worse than to start here:

As well as al Qaeda itself, the Syrian “rebels” include the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Tawhid Brigade (also called the Army of Islam).  Regarding the LIFG:

[…]In reality, the “opposition” in Syria constitutes foreign terrorist legions flowing across Syria’s borders, and in particular, staging and crossing over from NATO-member Turkey. In fact, it was recently admitted by the terrorist legions themselves that their headquarters has been located within Turkish territory for the duration of the conflict. In a recent France 24 article titled, “Free Syrian Army move HQ from Turkey to Syria,” armed militants claimed they had only just recently “moved from Turkey to within Syria.”[…]

The presence of LIFG in Syria was first announced by the Western press in November of 2011 when the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:
“Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader
of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army
leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military
 official working with Mr Belhadj. ‘Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim 
Libyan president) sent him there.’ ”

The face of Libya’s “revolution” was literally Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda’s LIFG commander, Abdul Hakim Belhadj, was NATO’s point man in Libya and has now redirected his terrorist forces against Syria. LIFG commanders are now literally running entire brigades in Syria with Western diplomatic, logistic, and military support.  Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit “Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday,
 aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against
 President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and more recently, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans.[…]

CNN’s reports provide bookends to 2011′s admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist LIFG commanders making the arrangements.

LIFG officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007, but has fought along Al Qaeda since its inception by the US and Saudis in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980′s. This includes fighting alongside Al Qaeda most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq against US troops while sowing sectarian violence, as covered by the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center in a 2007 report.[…]

It would now appear that LIFG’s logistics capacity aimed at Iraq which was previously routed through Syria and Egypt in cooperation with sectarian extremists, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood based in both nations, is now being directed exclusively at Syria. LIFG is doing this with Qatari, Saudi, US, French, British, and NATO support (predominantly Turkey) after receiving similar support in overthrowing the Libyan government in 2011.[…]

Ironically, the recent infusion of cash and support for Al Qaeda terrorists by the US comes on the heels of assaults staged by the group against US diplomatic missions across the region. One in particular, emanating within LIFG’s own terror emirate in Benghazi, Libya, would claim the life of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. While Stevens’ death was most likely accidental, (he succumbed to smoke inhalation, and was not killed directly by militants), it was most certainly the LIFG militias who dominate Benghazi that staged the attacks.[…]

About the Tawhid Brigade (Army of Islam) and the US attempts to get Iraq to engage in the Syrian matter as a US proxy against Iran:

[…]The “rebel” surge inside Syria’s two main cities is the latest escalation of the long-running proxy war between the United States and its regional allies, on one side, and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran, on the other.
The intensified fighting in Syria coincided with Washington’s announcement Friday that it would send additional aid to the opposition militias. The Obama administration declared that it would provide an extra $45 million of “non-lethal” aid to anti-Assad groups, bringing total direct US financial support for the Syrian opposition to $170 million.[…]

Washington has also ramped up its diplomatic offensive to isolate the Assad regime. During a press conference in New York on Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki had been pressured into conducting “random searches of Iranian aircraft en route to Syria.”

The Maliki regime has until now sought to balance the dictates of its US masters with the growing economic and political ties that Iraq has with its neighbors in Iran and Syria. Clinton’s announcement that the US proxy war against Syria has been extended into Iraqi airspace only underscores the bullying and reckless character of Washington’s role in the region. The seizure of Iranian civilian aircraft and their cargoes by Iraqi air defenses, acting under the control of the Pentagon, would amount to a declaration of war between the two countries.[…]

One of the main armed opposition forces waging the current offensive in Aleppo is the Tawhid Brigades. Led by Sunni extremists like Abu Khalid, a 28-year-old Syrian veteran of the sectarian civil war in Iraq, the Tawhid militia is one of the largest armed groups loosely associated with the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Speaking to McClatchy Newspapers in March, Khalid, then based in Jordan, admitted that his organization was running guns into Syria using money provided by the Sunni Gulf sheikdoms and the European powers. “We don’t mind any kind of cooperation,” even from the US, Khalid told a McClatchy journalist. “Our goal now is to end the regime, even if another million people are killed,” the opposition leader added.

While they have gained the sponsorship of Washington and its regional allies, the armed opposition groups have failed to win a significant base of support among the working class and small businessmen in either Aleppo or the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Pro-opposition activists inside Aleppo have estimated that there are around 6,000 “rebel” militants in the city – out of a total population of over 2 million people.Many of these fighters, including elements linked to Al Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, have come across the nearby border with Turkey under the auspices of the CIA.[…]

Here is the official list of  terrorist organizations as per the State Dept:  You may notice that al Qaeda, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and the Tawhid Brigade (listed as the Army of Islam) are on this list.   They are also groups which are part of the “rebel forces”, the Free Syria Army, that we have formed and are backing in Syria.   Laws pertaining to groups on the list as per the State Dept:

Legal Ramifications of Designation
1.    It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to a designated FTO. (The term “material support or resources” is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(1) as ” any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who maybe or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials.” 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(2) provides that for these purposes “the term ‘training’ means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge.” 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(3) further provides that for these purposes the term ‘expert advice or assistance’ means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.’’
2.    Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
3.    Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

But Syria is on the way to Iran.  Thus we will ignore the terrorist designations for now and hope that the American public is sufficiently stupefied by this time as to ignore the fact that our own government is aiding and abetting terrorists.  And I sincerely doubt that the entire US government is going to imprison itself indefinitely under the rules of the 2012 NDAA.

The beneficiaries of the continued interference in the Middle East and north Africa are obvious; and it is not the average citizen of the US.  The weapons manufacturers, the oil companies, various mercenary groups, big corporations who get to divvy up the spoils after a country has been “democratized”, the security apparatus in the US that depends on our continued fear of “terrorists” – these are the ones who benefit.  The IMF and big banks do well also, as they rush in to offer “loans” to countries impoverished by our actions.  We will eventually become so impoverished ourselves by the costs of waging these operations that most of us will suffer terribly as our economy grinds to a standstill.  We, however, are not of paramount concern in the scheme of things.  We are useful as cannon fodder and a source of tax money.  (Except for the wealthiest among us, who will never see their tax rates rise.  That is a given.)  When the tax money dries up, as it must when people continue to lose jobs and homes and face unaffordable levels of inflation on basic goods, and the social safety net is finally ripped to complete shreds as part of austerity measures, then we are totally expendable.  That’s when you will see the TransPacific Partnership go into force and the sovereignty of the US given over to the corporations with no further pretense that our Congress has any interest in us.  (Regarding the TPP, see:

Here is a bonus video.  This was taped in June of this year.  In this interview, Hillary Clinton and James Baker are talking with Charlie Rose.  You don’t need to watch the whole thing – start at the 23-minute mark and watch until about the 28-minute mark.  Baker says of Iran, “At the end of the day, we [the US rather than Israel] oughta take ’em [Iran] out.”  Hillary, cackling like the mad witch she is and rubbing her shoulder flirtatiously against Baker: “Ha, ha, ha!  We’re working on it!”  This year?  Next year?  Eventually, is the point – and we do fully intend to “take them out”.  Syria is on the way and in our way on the road to destroying Iran.  For doing what they are not doing.  And because our government seems to have a higher interest in following Israel’s wishes rather than the wishes of the American people, who, by a large margin, do not want war with Iran.

[Note: in case you are too young to remember who James Baker is, here is part of his bio from wikipedia:

[…]In 1981, Baker was named White House Chief of Staff by President Ronald Reagan… He served in that capacity until 1985. Baker is considered to have had a high degree of influence over the first Reagan administration, particularly in domestic policy.[…]
During the Reagan administration, Baker also served on the Economic Policy Council, where he played an instrumental role in achieving the passage of the administration’s tax and budget reform package in 1981.[…]
President George H.W. Bush appointed Baker Secretary of State in 1989. Baker served in this role through 1992. From 1992 to 1993, he served as Bush’s White House Chief of Staff, the same position that he had held from 1981 to 1985 during the first Reagan administration.
On January 9, 1991, during the Geneva Peace Conference with Tariq Aziz in Geneva, Baker declared that “If there is any user of (chemical or biological weapons), our objectives won’t just be the liberation of Kuwait, but the elimination of the current Iraqi regime….”Baker later acknowledged that the intent of this statement was to threaten a retaliatory nuclear strike on Iraq, and the Iraqis received his message.[…]
In 2000, Baker served as chief legal adviser for George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign and oversaw the Florida recount.[…]
On September 11, 2001, Baker watched television coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington DC, where Baker and representatives of Osama bin Laden’s family were among those attending the annual conference for the Carlyle Group. Baker is Senior Counselor for the Carlyle Group, and the bin Ladens are among its major investors.[…] -]


Posted by on October 2, 2012 in economy, MIC, State Dept/diplomacy, Syria


3 responses to “The weather in Syria: cloudy. Getting murkier.

  1. laura

    October 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I read your blog often – thank you for your work here. There’s a short video at my website you might find interesting.

    Thanks for your dedication.


    • Teri

      October 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

      I did look at your website. I love the way you write. The videos on your homepage are devastating, but honest.

      To the other two people who read this blog, you can visit Laura’s website by clicking on her name at the top of her comment. (How about that? I guess if you leave a website address with your comment, the wordpress system automatically produces a live link within your name. I didn’t know that until now. I hope that it is alright that I leave it that way, Laura.)

      Thank you so much for writing – it makes a very real difference in my level of motivation to trudge on.


  2. laura

    October 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Teri,
    I’m glad I checked back here. It wasn’t my intention to leave a comment necessarily but that route appeared to be the only way to reach you. Your kind words are much appreciated. I guess I want to add this: for over four years I’ve read every Greenwald forum though never posted. But because of that I followed your posts as well as those of MM, Owen, Corem, Titonwan, Lyn, RaisedByWolves, Milton, Helen, and many others. I didn’t post because I didn’t have anything to add to all of that. I have learned so much from every one of you. But after a time I felt I did have something of my own to say in a different way and that’s why I made the videos.

    You must trudge on. Your work is important. Thank you again for reading my work and for your kind words. I will post your link at my site for my two visitors to see.




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