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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Obama's "Good Cop" tactics in Syria exposed!

From the beginning, US President Barack Obama, as the supreme leader of NATO, has talked a good game of support for Bashar al-Assad's opposition in Syria. He has played "good cop" to Putin's "bad cop." He has been helped immensely in this task by elements in the US Left, a majority I'm afraid, that have accused him of arming and, in fact, instigating, the Syrian opposition from the beginning.

Of course, they have never produced anything like a shred of evidence to support these claims. Now as US weapons are finally showing up on the Syrian battlefield, but in the hands of those fighting for Assad, David Ignatius, writing for the Lebanese Daily Star has done a very good job of chronologicalizing Obama's entirely predictable "Good Cop" betrayal of the Syrian Revolution:
Syrians learn to trust the U.S. at their own peril

July 18, 2013 12:58 AM
One of the worst recurring features of U.S. foreign policy is a process that might bluntly be described as “seduction and abandonment.” Now it’s happening in Syria. The seduction part begins with an overeager rhetorical embrace. Nearly two years ago, on Aug. 18, 2011, President Barack Obama first proclaimed “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” He didn’t back up his call for regime change with any specific plan, but this hasn’t stopped him from repeating the “Assad must go” theme regularly ever since.

The next stage is a prolonged courtship with ever-deeper implied promises and commitments. The CIA began working with the Syrian opposition in 2011, and has been providing training and other assistance. When the Syrian opposition was wooed by other suitors (say, Turkey and Qatar), the United States chased those rivals away with renewed avowals of affection.

Then comes the formal engagement. On June 13, the White House announced it would provide military aid to the Syrian opposition because the Assad regime had crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons. The rebels began preparing warehouses to receive the promised shipments – hopeful that at last the United States was serious about its intentions.

And then? Well, this is a story of unhappy romance, so you know what comes next. It’s what 19th-century English novelists called “the jilt.” To quote a New York Times story published last weekend, it turns out “that the administration’s plans are far more limited than it has indicated in public and private.”

Imagine for the moment that you are a Syrian rebel fighter who has been risking his life for two years in the hope that Obama was sincere about helping a moderate opposition prevail not just against Assad but against the jihadists who want to run the country. Now, you learn that Washington is having second thoughts. What would you think about America’s behavior?

Let me quote from a message sent by one opposition member: “I am about to quit, as long as there is no light in the end of the tunnel from the U.S. government. At least if I quit, I will feel that I am not part of this silly act we are in.” A second opposition leader wrote simply to a senior American official: “I can’t find the right words to describe this situation other than very sad.”

An angry statement came this week from Gen. Salim Idriss, the head of the moderate Free Syrian Army. After the United Kingdom, like the U.S., backed away from supplying weapons, he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “The West promises and promises. This is a joke now ... What are our friends in the West waiting for? For Iran and Hezbollah to kill all the Syrian people?” More...

The remains of what used to be a child's bedroom | 18 July 2013

Here are two more pieces from today's news that highlights where the United States really stands with regards to the Syrian Revolution.

From PolicyMic we have this piece:
In Syria's Civil War, Are the CIA and Hezbollah Working Together In An Unholy Alliance?
Usman Butt
17 July 2013
Lebanese officials have confirmed that they were tipped-off about a possible bomb attack in Beirut by the CIA.

It is likely that the targets were senior and high-ranking Hezbollah officials. The CIA tip helped foil the plot. Islamist groups operating along the Syrian-Lebanese border are believed that have wanted revenge for Hezbollah’s role in the re-taking of Al-Qusayr by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Hezbollah is a staunch ally of Syria’s belligerent president and the battle of Al-Qusayr was the first time Hezbollah actively and openly fought alongside Assad’s forces. Hezbollah justified their involvement by saying that they were defending the Arab world against the "same Zionist plot," and that the "road to Jerusalem passes through Al-Qusayr."

According to Lebanese officials, the CIA Beirut station chief passed on information obtained by the National Security Agency (NSA) to Lebanese intelligence, with the "understanding" that it would be passed onto Hezbollah. U.S. law prohibits direct contact between U.S. officials and the militant Lebanese Shia organization. It’s alleged that groups "linked" to Al-Qaeda were planning to assassinate senior Hezbollah officials. Hezbollah acknowledged the warning and tightened security in Al-Dahiyya, a Hezbollah controlled suburbs in Beirut. One Hezbollah internal security commander told the Olympian, “Yes, a warning came from the CIA. They passed us the information thought the Mukhabarat (Military Intelligence), but we had our own information about the bombs."

The U.S. government has not yet commented on the matter, but Lebanese officials have said, that the NSA had intercepted phone calls being made by Al-Qaeda suspects based in Syria, Lebanon and an unnamed Gulf country. The information provided included location of potential suspects and movement of military-grade explosives. The Lebanese army carried out raids in the city of Aarsal, in-which, a number of different Arab nationals, including some from the Gulf, were arrested and explosive equipment sized. As a result of the information, Hezbollah has been conducting, overt security patrols and detaining suspicious people, likely Syrians. More...
This article doesn't connect its revelation with the fact that US weapons have been recently spotted in the hands of Hezbullah fighters, but it should.

Writing in Al Arabia, Joyce Karam tells us:
US Advises French not to Arm Assad's Opposition

Sources tell Al Arabiya that Syria’s opposition has not received any of the arms shipments that U.S. President Barack Obama had pledged to “vetted groups.” Obstruction from Congress’ intelligence committees on funding such effort, has politically crippled the plan. Although the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is authorized to act alone in launching “covert operations” while allocating the money from other sections in its budget.

While Washington has approved indirect arming by regional countries to the opposition, it has exercised its leverage in controlling what kind of arms cross the Syrian border. Sources say that the U.S. has recently advised the French government against selling an Arab country heavy arms that might end up in the hands of the Syrian opposition. It has also not provided key Arab governments like Saudi Arabia and UAE with an “end user agreement” on arms purchases they have made from the U.S. Without such an agreement, re-exporting these arms is not an option.

EAWorldView has this piece today:
US Secretary Of State On Syria No-Fly Zone: “I Wish It Was Very Simple”

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington had “a lot of different options are under consideration” regarding helping the Syrian opposition in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking during a visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, Kerry addressed questions from refugees as to why the US had not established a no-fly zone over part of Syrian airspace. His response? “It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

“I wish it was very simple. As you know, we’ve been fighting two wars for 12 years. We are trying to help in various ways, including helping Syrian opposition fighters have weapons. We are doing new things. There is consideration of buffer zones and other things but it is not as simple as it sounds,” Kerry was quoted as saying.

Kerry later told reporters that he empathized with Syrian refugees’ frustration — because he felt the same way.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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