On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved Obama’s plan to train and arm “moderate Syrian rebels to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State organization,” according to The Washington Post.
There is a problem with this: there are few if any “moderate” Syrian “rebels” to arm and train. In other words, Obama and Congress will arm and train ISIS and other al-Qaeda inspired radical Wahabist groups.
No Such Thing as a Moderate, Secular Rebel Group
“My sense is that there are no seculars,” Elizabeth O’Bagy, of the Institute for the Study of War, told the Times.
“Syria’s revolution is devouring its children, and ISIS is the devourer,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told The Christian Science Monitor last November.
Much of the establishment media pretends the “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) is secular and democratic. This is not merely a distortion, it is outright propaganda designed to mislead. Stephen Gowans writes:
You don’t have to be committed to a secular society to belong to the FSA. Indeed, according to Reuters, the organization’s military command is “Islamist dominated”. The Associated Press says that “Many of the participating groups have strong Islamist agendas, and some have fought in ways that could scare away Western backers. They include the Tawheed Brigade, whose ideology is similar to that of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Falcons of Damascus, an ultraconservative Islamist group.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Brig. Gen. Mithkal Albtaish, an FSA leader, says that the organization is “dominated by Islamist groups that are in close coordination with al Nusra,” the al-Qaeda aligned terrorist group. The idea, then, that the FSA is secular is mistaken.
Al-Nusra and ISIS merged in June. Factions within the FSA have pledged allegiance to ISIS, including Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa’im, and Aisha. Around 20,000 FSA mercenaries were trained by the U.S. and were the recipients of rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles supplied through back-channels in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
FSA members have defected to al-Nusra in droves. “The FSA’s Ahrar al-Shimal brigade joined al-Nusra en masse while the Sufiyan al-Thawri brigade in Idlib lost 65 of its fighters to al-Nusra a few months ago for lack of weapons. According to one estimate the FSA has lost a quarter of all its fighters,” The Guardian reported in May, 2013.
CIA Provides the Weapons
The CIA has shipped weapons to the al-Qaeda groups in Syria since at least 2012, a fact also revealed by The New York Times. The shipments included, as of March last year, more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara and other Turkish and Jordanian airports. The effort to arm al-Nusra – now fully merged with ISIS – and other jihadist groups is coordinated by American intelligence:
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.
In addition to arming ISIS in Syria, the U.S. Army has trained the jihadists how to use the weapons. “Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials,” Aaron Klein wrote in June.
Support for Obama’s Plan Marginal
Arming and training ISIS to fight ISIS is not fully supported in Congress, however. Obama’s proposal is opposed by 40 percent of Democrats who are concerned it will merely extend and exacerbate hostilities in the Middle East. This is, despite the thin veneer of establishment propaganda, exactly what the plan is designed to do.
Neocon Republicans in the House, on the other hand, support the plan. In fact, they believe Obama’s plan is far too timid and does not go far enough. Disregarding the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8), one “top GOP leader suggested that Congress could give the president blanket military authority, even if Obama doesn’t want it, when lawmakers hold a much broader debate after the November elections about the fight against Islamist militants,” the Post reports.
Despite the reservations of a large minority of Democrats, both parties support arming and training ISIS to fight ISIS and ensuring the war on terror continues indefinitely, or at least until the U.S. government collapses as a result of internal contradictions and the weight of an astronomical debt.
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell “have been working together on a cross-chamber strategy designed to keep their party ranks united and move swiftly toward passage of the measure,” according to the Post.
“The House is expected to grant Obama the short-term authority as part of an amendment to a larger measure funding federal agencies that is expected to pass after it is debated Tuesday and Wednesday, GOP leadership aides said. Once the House votes, the Senate would take up the issue by next week before adjourning for the elections.”