William Engdahl On Syria: Is Obama Arming Al Qaeda To Topple Assad?

Is Obama arming Al Qaeda to topple Assad? (Veterans Today, June 25, 2013):

By F. William Engdahl

After two years of hesitating, US President Barack Obama announced he will deliver arms to the Syrian rebels, citing unverified “proof” that the troops of the Syrian Bashar Al-Assad government used Sarin gas against so-called opposition rebels. The Obama flip-flop is bizarre and reveals a President under enormous pressure to detonate a war whose consequences may well bring the world into a Third World War.

Clinton and Netanyahu allied

According to a report in the New York Times, it was nasty pressure from former US President Bill Clinton, along with a series of nasty initiatives from Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, Republican warhawks like John McCain, who tipped Obama to active intervention.[1] Even former Presidential national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, by no means a peace dove, went on US national TV to deride the Obama decision: “I think our posture is baffling, there no strategic design, we’re using slogans,” stated Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday. “It’s a tragedy and it’s a mess in the making. I do not see what the United States right now is trying to accomplish.” [2]

He added, “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.” [3]

The same Brzezinski in an interview with a Paris daily, boasted it had been his policy to arm the Mujihadeen Muslim Salafists, including a then-young Saudi named Osama bin-Laden, to actually provoke a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.[4]

Also according to reliable sources close to the Pentagon, the US military is opposed to another war in the Islamic world after suffering the debacles of Afghanistan and Iraq.

That all begs the question, why now after two years of only minimal support is Obama moving to arm Syrian opposition rebels? One answer is that with major military successes in the past two months, the Assad government, allied with unprecedented support from several thousand experienced Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, the only force to deliver Israel’s IDF a major defeat in combat, and with military advisers from Russia and Iran, have been rolling back the gains of the rag-tag gaggle of assorted mercenaries, terrorists, Jihadists from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and beyond.

Some say that were the US to stand by and do nothing in Syria, it would mark a devastating blow to America’s image as the world’s unbeatable military power. That in turn would trigger a series of other nations moving to defy American demands.

The irony is, however, that at this stage, the strongest and best organized of the “opposition” within Syria are not the Washington-backed Free Syrian Army but a branch organization of Al Qaeda. That’s right, the same Al Qaeda that declared a Jihad against America and was accused, rightly or wrongly, of the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade towers and attack on the Pentagon. [5]

The US will now supply weapons and ammunition to Syrian rebels. That means, as Obama well knows, weapons will go to Al Qaeda.  Syria’s Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front has emerged, with aid of large Saudi funds, as the strongest and best-organized “opposition” groups fighting the Damascus government.[6]

The Al Qaeda Syrian al-Nusra Front is united with another Al Qaeda franchise in Iraq that is working to destabilize and “Balkanize” Iraq as well. “In an audio message posted online, the speaker identified as Baghdadi insists that a merger he announced in April with Syria’s al-Nusra Front, also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, to create a cross-border movement known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant will go on. Al-Nusra is an al-Qaeda affiliate that has emerged as one of the most effective rebel factions in Syria.” [7]

Washington now clearly backs an internal Islamic war of Sunni (yellow) against Shiite (red) which will plunge all Eurasia into chaos

With the decision of the US President to openly provide arms and support to Syrian rebels, Washington now clearly sides with a Jihadist Sunni muslim front consisting of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and now Morsi’s Egypt, against the Shiite-friendly or Shia-controlled Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq, backed directly or indirectly by Russia and China. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam. A look at the map shows the extent that this Islamic “civil war” conflict would spread, a conflict likely to last decades and bring the world economy into disorder and chaos.

Obama’s Chief White House Islam adviser is Dalia Mogahed, an Egyptian-born backer of the Turkish Sunni Fetullah Gülen movement,which wants to restore the Ottoman Empire and to establish a universal caliphate. Mogahed is on record stating, “I think the Gülen movement offers people a model of what is possible if a dedicated group of people work together for the good of the society. I also think that it is an inspiration for other people and Muslims for what they can accomplish.” [8] Mogahed is tied to the secret Muslim Brotherhood of Egyptian President Morsi through her ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both of these US groups are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama appears to be backing Mogahed’s side, at least at present.[9]

Several days ago, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked president, Mohammed Morsi, a man who owes his job to the Obama Administration, broke Egyptian diplomatic relations with Damascus and reportedly called for a jihad or holy war on Islam’s Shi’ite sect, which makes up nearly 40% of the Muslim population of the Middle East. Morsi called Shia Muslims “unclean” and de facto called for extermination of the majority of the population of Iraq, Iran, large portions of Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Nigeria, Ghana, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and a numerous other nations. (see map). [10]

Obama’s decision now to arm the Syrian opposition, backed by six of the G8 nations at their recent meeting, with only Putin firmly objecting, provoked Russia to announce delivery of advanced defensive weaponry to Assad’s Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia has already delivered part of its advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system and will complete final deliveries. [11]

In addition, two Russian warships reportedly, according to Israeli military sources, carrying 600 Russian marines, 20 tanks and 15 armored troop carriers or military trucks, are heading for Syria “to protect the Russian citizens there” along with air force cover as needed. There are presently some 20,000 Russian nationals in Syria.

Lavrov told Russian TV: “We respect all our contracts and are honoring all our contractual obligations.” Both Russia and the United States are pumping more arms into Syria for the decisive battle for Aleppo between the Hezbollah-backed Syrian army and heavily mobilized rebel forces.[12]

New reports, unconfirmed, indicate that the even more advanced S-400 system is being sent to Assad’s Syria in response to the decision by Saudi Arabia to send vehicle mounted anti-tank systems into Syria’s opposition. The S-400 system has a range of over 400 miles and is considered more than a decade ahead of the most advanced US counterpart, as well as itsstate-of –the-art 24-Barrel rocket launchers which have a range of 6 km, ranked as the most developed artillery weapon of its kind. As well, Russia has announced it will supply 400 “Buratino” Russian TOS-1 24-barrel multiple rocket launchers with thermobaric weapons mounted on a T-72 tank chassis that can defeat enemy personnel in fortifications, open country, in lightly armored vehicles and transports within a range of six kilometers. [13]

Further complicating the already tangled war over the future of Syria, on June 22, DEBKAfile, an online service with close ties to the Israeli intelligence community, reported that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told Obama on June 19 that he would no longer permit transfer of US and NATO arms from Turkey across into Syria.  Reportedly Erdogan made the dramatic u-turn after pressure from Russia’s Putin. Turkish industry gets some 40% of its natural gas from Russia. [14]

From 1936 through 1939 Spain was devastated by a civil war which pitted Republicans loyal to the established Spanish Republic against rebel Nationalists led by ultra-conservative General Francisco Franco. Franco’s rebels received support from Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Portugal, while the Soviet Union and Mexico intervened in support of the “loyalist,” or Republican, side. In effect it was the starting battle of what became World War II.

Syria today is looking ominously like a grotesque remake of that Spanish Civil War, with the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar potentially pitted against Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq, Russia and China.

*F. William Engdahl, geopolitical analyst and economist, is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. He may be reached through www.williamengdahl.com

Endnotes:


[1] Maureen Dowd, Bill Schools Barry on Syria, The New York Times,  June 15, 2013, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/opinion/sunday/dowd-bill-schools-barry-on-syria.html?hp&_r=1&

[2] Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets–Zbig: Obama Syria plan is ‘chaos, baffling, a mess, tragedy,‘ June 14, 2013, Washington examiner, accessed in http://washingtonexaminer.com/zbig-obama-syria-plan-is-chaos-baffling-a-mess-tragedy/article/2531924

[3] Ibid.

[4] Zbigniew Brzezinski, How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen, Le Nouvel Observateur (France), January 15-21, 1998, p. 76*, accessed in http://www.counterpunch.org/brzezinski.html.

[5] Oliver Holmes and Alexander Dziadosz , Syria’s Islamists seize control as moderates dither, June 19, 2013,  accessed in http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/us-syria-rebels-islamists-specialreport-idUSBRE95I0BC20130619.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Gordon Duff, Obama, Morsi plunge Middle East into chaos, PressTV, June 16, 2013, accessed in

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/16/309361/obama-morsi-plunge-middle-east-into-chaos/.

[8] Paul L. Williams, White House Muslim Advisor Supports Islamist Gülen Movement, June 15, 2010, accessed in http://www.aim.org/guest-column/white-house-muslim-advisor-supports-islamist-gulen-movement/

[9] An article in an Egyptian magazine, Rose El-Youssef, identified six American Islamist activists connected to the Obama Administration as Muslim Brotherhood (MB) operatives who enjoy strong influence over US policy, claiming their influence on the Obama Administration was “tantamount to a turning point for the Obama administration from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood in the world as well.” See Bob Beauprez, Muslim Brotherhood in the White House, January 17, 2013, accessed in http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/bobbeauprez/2013/01/17/muslim-brotherhood-in-the-white-house-n1490354/page/full

[10] AP, Morsi’s new tough tone on Syria raises concerns of a nod to jihadi fighters, Associated Press, June 16, 2013, accessed in http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-16/world/40013153_1_morsi-syria-president-bashar-assad-s; Gihan Shahine, Morsi ups the ante, Al-Ahram, 19 June, 2013, accessed in http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/3069/17/Morsi-ups-the-ante.aspx

[11] PressTV, Russia to fulfill S 300 systems contract with Syria: Lavrov,  June 20, 2013, accessed in http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/20/309999/russia-to-honor-s300-deal-with-syria/

[12] Debka.file, Lavrov: Russia will honor its S-300 missile contract with Damascus. Two Russian warships head for Syria, June 21, 2013, accessed in http://www.debka.com/article/23058/

[13] Dam-press, Russian Advanced Weapons for Syria: Unrevealed Secrets of Vladimir Putin’s Recent Visit to London,  Global Research,  June 18, 2013, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/russian-advanced-weapons-for-syria-unrevealed-secrets-of-vladimir-putins-recent-visit-to-london/5339559

[14] DEBKAfile  Special Report, US troop buildup in Jordan after Turkey shuts US NATO arms corridor to Syrian rebels, June 22, 2013, accessed in http://www.debka.com/article/23066/US-troop-buildup-in-Jordan-after-Turkey-shuts-US-NATO-arms-corridor-to-Syrian-rebels-.

2 thoughts on “William Engdahl On Syria: Is Obama Arming Al Qaeda To Topple Assad?

  1. Look at the outcome of India’s division based on religion. Radical Muslims irregardless of sect can never be appeased only controlled by the heavy hand of a Tyrant.

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