Sunday, September 15, 2013

Former CIA deputy director: Islamic supremacists gaining power among Syria's rebels

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


The fact remains: if the U.S. goes in to Syria, it will be aiding al-Qaeda.

"Former CIA leader: Syria’s Islamist Rebels Gaining Power," by Bill Gertz for the Washington Free Beacon, September 13 (thanks to Benedict):
Syria’s al Qaeda-linked rebels are gaining strength and garnering support from more secular opposition forces, a former deputy CIA director said. 
Michael Morell, who recently retired from the No. 2 position at CIA, also warned in an interview set for broadcast Sunday that a U.S. military strike on Syria is likely to trigger cyber terror attacks.
On Syria’s al Qaeda rebels, Morell identified two main groups: the Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al-Sham as “the two most effective organizations on the battlefield.”
“They have a disproportionate influence on the battlefield to their size,” Morell said in an interview with “60 Minutes” on CBS.
“And because they’re so good at fighting the Syrians some of the moderate members of the opposition joined forces with them to fight the Syrians,” he said.
Morell warned that Syria’s civil war, which so far has claimed 100,000 lives, will produce one of two bad outcomes. Either “a strong, more brutal [Bashar al] Assad regime, or a rebel government influenced by al Qaeda.”...
It’s a sad day for the United States when the president of any other country, but especially Russia, can outmaneuver our president and successfully claim the moral high ground on anything. But that’s exactly what happened thanks to President Obama's feckless “foreign policy by gaffe” – if you can even it call it policy – toward Syria in recent weeks.

But in the course of seizing that high ground, Vladimir Putin got a couple of things wrong.

He wrote a column in The New York Times Wednesday that concluded, “My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Contrary to Putin's prose, American exceptionalism is not based on “policies” but the principles upon which our nation was founded. For what it’s worth, President Obama misunderstands this too, but the thought of a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB invoking God and citing the Declaration of Independence is beyond ironic. Yet aside from what Putin gets wrong, he gets one thing right, if only by accident.

When Putin wrote, “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation,” he was, dare I say it, right.

Our nation is exceptional, but you, me and every other American – we’re not exceptional simply because we are American, even though we, more than any other people on Earth, have the opportunity to become exceptional through our actions.

This concept of individual exceptionalism simply through the act of existing is the greatest threat to American exceptionalism we face today.

We are raising a generation of people to believe they are special, that like every child in Lake Wobegon they’re all “above average.” Of course that’s not only impossible, it’s dangerous.

This “participation ribbon generation” being raised by helicopter parents who have coddled their children to the point of removing scores, statistics and standings from sports, will, if reality doesn’t set in, breed into the future an attitude of entitlement more damaging than any chemical weapon. In short, it will bring about the end of American exceptionalism from within.

A story in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal makes clear the first members of participation ribbon generation are entering the workforce, and it isn’t pretty. An ever-growing percentage of the few recent college graduates who can find work in this economy are exhibiting a disturbing trend – bringing their parents on job interviews and involving them in their adult working life.

President Reagan famously said “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Today, self-esteem has replaced achievement, and children are becoming more and more insulated from the realities of life, such as failure, disappointment, losing, etc. Conversely, they’re also being insulated from success, accomplishment, winning and the rest. This trend will soon grow to the point children could grow up never having won or lost, failed or succeeded, and never felt the highs and lows or learned the lessons of either.

A few weeks ago the CBC Radio ran a parody piece about a soccer league that was removing the ball because "We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it's about using your imagination. If you imagine you're good at soccer, then, you are." It was originally not seen as parody because, well, society has gotten to the point that it’s totally believable. How long until we have an “activity” (not a sport because that implies competition) called “Imagination Ball” where the rules are what you make them and everybody wins? It can’t be long…

We’re teaching children they are exceptional because they are, which is wrong. What we should teach them is that, as Americans, they have the best opportunity to do something exceptional – at least for now. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work, wins and losses., successes and failures and, above all, dedication.

Vladimir Putin was correct in one respect, “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional” simply for being. Steve Jobs wasn’t born exceptional, but he certainly did exceptional things while he was alive. The same is true for Barack Obama, and everyone else you’ve ever heard of. We’re losing that which drives us, the desire to be exceptional and do exceptional things, and replacing it with entitlement through insulation from reality. Without strife there is no accomplishment, without failure how do you measure success? If we don’t stop this trend of coddling and enveloping kids in emotional bubble wrap, American exceptionalism may only be one generation away from extinction.
The First and Second Amendment are very good friends. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that they’re close, one always protecting the other, as we witnessed again last week in Colorado.

The national media dutifully reported that two gun-and-ammo grabbing Rocky Mountain State legislators were recalled from public office by the voters in their districts — the two being now former Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and former Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo). But don’t expect thoughtful analysis or introspection from the stridently anti-gun Fourth Estate.

Nightly, the TV talking-heads tell us to be afraid of the powerful National Rifle Association, which supposedly has such deep pockets that its propaganda can overwhelm simple-minded fly-over voters, destroying their ability to reason — that is, come to the same conclusions that the chattering class habitually does. But recall forces, with all their help from the NRA, were outspent better than five-to-one by billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, public employee unions and other gun control advocates defending Senators Morse and Giron.

Better to let the grassroots Davids explain their victory over the political Goliaths from Gotham and beyond.

“We beat the machine,” said an ecstatic Ron Harris of the pro-Morse recall group, Basic Freedom Defense Fund (BFDF), after the results came in. “‘We the People’ stood up against Morse, Bloomberg, Biden, Obama,” he added. “And we won.”

“Literally millions of dollars were spent to defeat or sabotage us,” explained Tim Knight of the Colorado Springs-based BFDF. Not only did the recall volunteers have to gather tens of thousands of voter signatures against harassment by recall opponents, they withstood well-financed legal challenges to their recall petition and then a massive disadvantage in funding for paid advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts.

Still, a smiling Jim Brown with Pueblo Freedom & Rights, the group working to recall Sen. Giron, told reporters on election night, “All the money in the world can’t buy an election.”

From a partisan standpoint, Sen. Morse was in a very competitive district, which he had last won quite narrowly, but Giron’s Pueblo-area turf is solidly Democrat. A review of turnout last week showed many more Democrats voted than did Republicans. Nonetheless, Giron lost by a solid 12 percentage points, 56-44.

“We beat a Democrat senator in a Democrat town by a wide margin,” Brown pointed out. “We sent a message here to every legislator: They better hear what we have to say, because they can be held accountable.”

Characteristically, national Democrats are refusing to listen to their VM (vote mail). DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz explained away the result as “voter suppression, pure and simple.” The recalled Giron picked up that mantra on CNN, babbling that, “The people who are in support of very common sense gun legislation weren’t able to get to the polls.”

The Washington Post editorialized against the very idea of voter recall: “States should examine their laws with an eye toward heightening the barriers to recalling politicians.”

So, the choice appears to be between ignoring the messenger or shooting the horse he rode in on.

Listening to the common sense citizens who brought us the only recall elections for state legislators in all of the Centennial State’s history, one discovers that the recalls were about more than just guns. The issue was ultimately about governance.

“The fuse that lit the powder keg,” according to BFDF’s Knight, was Sen. Morse “telling his party caucus he was proud of his fellow politicians for ignoring their constituents.”

“Enough,” declared El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. “You’re elected to represent us, not to dictate to us.”

“We just stood up as regular citizens and said we’re not going to accept this,” Jim Brown offered. “We’re not going to accept our rights being stripped away.”

The fears of big media and big government that an uppity citizenry is on the rise are hopefully well founded. The success of the Colorado recalls not only bodes well for voters protecting their Second Amendment rights, it also illustrates what a powerful weapon we have in our First Amendment right to petition government — for recalling politicians or for reforming government through a ballot initiative.

“We’re plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians, we’re all just regular working guys,” explained Victor Head of Pueblo Freedom & Rights, “We may have just thrown a huge bike wrench into the whole political system — definitely of this state, maybe even the nation.” Head added, “We’re thinking of kinda taking the plumber’s wrench as our new logo. Don’t mess with regular people or we will throw a big wrench into your well-thought-out plans.”

Martin Dietrich, a voter in the recall, summed up pretty well how this new world might work:

“Represent the people or you’re out of here — you’re fired.”

Sounds like representative government. Very representative.  

Saudi tail wagging U.S. into war?

Ambassador lobbying Congress, White House to take action


Aaron Klein / WND

SaudiArabia44Powerful U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has been a driving force behind the scenes, pushing for the U.S. to act militarily in Syria.

The Saudis already have been secretly helping to fuel the insurgency to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the two years that the uprising has been going on. And it was reportedly the Saudi security services that alerted the U.S. to the first claim last February of a sarin gas attack by Assad’s regime.

And WND reported in October 2012 that Saudi Arabia was working with Qatar and Turkey to send weapons to the Syrian rebels.

Further, WND reported at the time that murdered U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

In a hearing last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said Arab countries have offered to pay for any U.S. military intervention in Syria.

Now the Wall Street Journal has detailed a massive Saudi lobbying effort to push the U.S. to act in Syria.

The Journal fingered Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, as leading a campaign to convince Congress and the White House to expand the U.S. role in Syria.

The newspaper reported an original Saudi goal was to secure U.S. support to train the Syrian rebels at camps in Jordan.

The Saudis were apparently successful.

WND was first to report in February 2012 the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, according to knowledgeable Egyptian and Arab security officials.

In May, The New York Times confirmed the CIA was training the rebels in Jordan under a covert program that also included a U.S. campaign to send weapons to the rebels via Arab and Turkish points.

Now the Journal is reporting the Saudis pushed for the Jordanian training camps and sent AK-47s and ammunition, according to Arab officials.

The Journal reported that in September and October 2012 the Saudis approached Croatia to procure more weapons.

The choice of Croatia may be instructive. It has been confirmed that on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, U.S. Special Forces were stationed just a few hours away from Benghazi on a training exercise in Croatia.

The Journal reported that in April, “the Saudi king sent a strongly worded message to Mr. Obama: America’s credibility was on the line if it let Mr. Assad and Iran prevail.”

The king “warned of dire consequences of abdicating U.S. leadership and creating a vacuum, said U.S. officials briefed on the message,” reported the Journal.

Is this what Syria war really about?
 
Is the reported willingness of Arab Gulf states to fund a U.S. military campaign in Syria really about major oil and gas interests that run through the country?

The potential for trillions of dollars of energy revenue in deals that snake through Syrian territory may be a motivating factor for the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Arab states in the current Syria crisis.

Syria is a key energy transit route to Europe. A number of countries appear to be seeking dominance of the energy market that runs through Syria.

Beside the prospect of its own gas field, Syria is also one of the most strategic locations for natural gas pipelines to flow to Europe.

Qatar, home to the world’s largest gas field along with Iran, has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey that would traverse Syria to the Mediterranean, with the gas then being shipped to Europe.

However, Assad in 2009 refused to go along with the plan, instead inking deals with Russia and Iran.

Syria is the site of the proposed construction of a massive underground gas pipeline that, if completed, could drastically undercut the strategic energy power of U.S. ally Qatar and also would cut Turkey out of the pipeline flow.

Dubbed the “Islamic pipeline,” the project may ultimately favor Russia and Iran against Western energy interests.

Set to open in 2016, Iran, Iraq and Syria signed a deal in 2010 to construct the 3,480-mile natural gas pipeline connecting Iran’s South Pars field to European customers.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji announced the pipeline would ultimately have the capacity to pump 3.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. He told Iran’s official Mehr News Agency the route would “pass through Iran, Iraq, Syria, the southern Lebanon territories and also through the Mediterranean basin,” with a refinery and infrastructure to be built in Damascus.

A key portion of the Islamic pipeline is concentrated on the Syrian ports, which would export directly to Europe out of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Russia has reportedly built up its naval presence along the major Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartus.
The Islamic pipeline is viewed as a major threat to Turkey, which has long desired to become the main bridge for natural gas and oil between the East and the West.

Turkey, however, is a key player in the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, which is being constructed to transit natural gas to Europe from the Central Asia and Caspian regions. The pipeline is set to traverse Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, ending in Austria. Turkey has been a key supporter of the rebels fighting Assad’s regime, while Qatar has reportedly been supplied arms and training to the rebels.

If Assad can be deposed, Turkey and Qatar would like the Nabucco pipeline to run through Syria.

Perhaps in a bid to wean Russia off of the Islamic pipeline, Saudi Arabia last month presented a plan to Moscow in which Russia would reject Syria’s president in return for a huge arms deal and a pledge to boost Russian influence in the Arab world.

Agence France-Presse reported President Vladimir Putin refused the plan in a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Bandar reportedly proposed that Saudi Arabia buy $15 billion of weapons from Russia and invest “considerably in the country,” according to AFP.

Demonstrating that oil interests are clearly at play, AFP reported: “The Saudi prince also reassured Putin that ‘whatever regime comes after’ Assad, it will be ‘completely’ in the Saudis’ hands and will not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports.”
Op-ed:
Checkmated again and this time national security could be involved
By: Diane Sori 

Vladimir Putin has NOT only checkmated Obama yet again, he has proven himself to be the most savvy and cunning of players in the game of world diplomacy…diplomacy that he guides, sets the rules for, and manipulates so that he comes out on top.

And as new developments emerge in regards to Syria joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), please do NOT be fooled by all the bravado surrounding this joining which ‘on the surface’ looks good, but there’s more to this than meets the eye…and Putin is standing in the background smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

There is so much more…and Syria so readily agreeing to join OPCW is just one part of a cleverly crafted plan put together by two very smart but conniving of men…two men working in tandem to prove to the world what a fool our American president is…what an amateur he is…and in a way you have to give them credit for they have done what our media refuses to do…report the truth that Barack HUSSEIN Obama has NO clue whatsoever about the happenings in the Middle East or how to deal with them.

Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad…two pros have just again upped the ‘Community Organizer’ and this time the consequences could indeed have US national security issues attached to them.

Let me explain…

Early yesterday morning OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, announced that an agreement of sorts had been reached between Russia and the US on Syria’s surrendering its cache of chemical weapons, but carefully note the wording and the name of this organization…an agreement has been reached for Syria to surrender its ‘chemical’ weapons…its ‘chemical’ weapons…the Organization for the Prohibition of ‘Chemical’ Weapons…

Syria will surrender its ‘chemical’ weapons and its ‘chemical’ weapons alone while nary a word has been said about Syria’s biological weapons…for OPCW has NO authority whatsoever over biological weaponry…weaponry just as deadly as ‘chemicals’ if NOT even more so. And add into this that progress on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) has been slow if NOT outright halted, because of the lack of a formal verification mechanism.  So the bottom line is that al-Assad will lose his ‘chemical’ weapons but gets to keep his even more deadly bio-weapons.

And Putin knows this…but shhhhh…we here in America are NOT supposed to know about this glitch, because Obama has NOT told ‘We the People’ about this most serious of developments.

Now this is exactly what falls under OPCW’s auspices and this alone…any toxic ‘chemical’ or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its ‘chemical’ action, and including the munitions or other delivery systems designed to deliver said ‘chemical’ weapons, whether filled or unfilled.

And according to OPCW, the toxic ‘chemicals’ used as weapons, or have been developed for use as weapons, must be choking, blister, blood, or nerve agents. The most commonly known agents are choking agents like chlorine and phosgene…blister agents like mustard gas and lewisite… blood agents like hydrogen cyanide…and nerve agents like sarin, soman, and VX.

And with regards to Syria NO matter it be al-Assad’s forces or the al-Qaeda backed rebels who gassed the civilians, the ‘chemical’ of choice has been sarin gas…and sarin gas al-Assad is very willing to turn over.

Al-Assad will turn his ‘chemical’ weapons over but NO word has been said about the ‘chemical’ weapons that are in the hands of the rebels…and NO subterfuge or doublespeak will hide the fact that the rebels do indeed have their hands on a limited amount of said weapons.  And why has NO one demanded the rebels turn over their chemical weapons…why…I guess it will be up to Putin to sort that one out because we know Obama sure won't.

So as al-Assad turns his ‘chemical’ weapons over to OPCW he can inwardly smile knowing that his biological weapons cache is safe from prying eyes…for NOT even Barack HUSSEIN Obama…the al-Qaeda backed rebels best friend…has said one word about his cache of bio-weapons…whether deliberately or through sheer ineptitude…a cache that is far more deadly than any ‘chemical’ weapon can ever be…and a cache that is easily portable.

Portable to America perhaps…

Bio-weapons made from the likes of anthrax, smallpox, ebola, bubonic and pneumonic plague, tularemia, botulinum toxin, nipah virus, chimera viruses, ricin, and Clostridium perfringens, to name just a few of the most deadly…deadly agents that can be delivered by something as simple as through aerosol dispersal…be dropped into our water supply…into our soil…into our food supply…all  transportable to America...nasty little bugs that can wipe out thousands with just one drop.  And while they're somewhat safely stored away and protected under al-Assad, just imagine what would happen if the al-Qaeda backed rebels ever did get their hands on them.

And that casts a shadow of doom over the US and of course Israel…Israel who would be the first recipient of such a bio-weapons attack.

And al-Assad knows this as of course does Putin, and that’s why al-Assad was so willing to jump on board the chemical weapons ban as he has back-up bio-weapons if need be…weapons that are far more deadly than sarin gas can ever be…bio-weapons that can kill thousands in the blink of an eye.  And what al-Assad doesn’t have Putin will give him, and Obama is just too incompetent to see how he, Kerry, and all the other DC miscreants have been played by being forced to focus on ‘chemical’ weapons alone.

And if anything nefarious happens because bio-weapons were NOT even addressed before any agreement concerning Syria was put into place, Barack HUSSEIN Obama through sheer ineptitude and incompetence will own that too.