Arab Spring and Syrian War: Understanding the US Role in World’s Conflicts

Obama Arab Spring

The Arab Spring: Made in the USA

Stuart Jeanne Bramhal  June 2018

Arabesque$: Enquête sur le rôle des États-Unis dans les révoltes arabes (Investigation into the US Role in the Arab Uprisings) is an update of Ahmed Bensaada’s 2011 book L’Arabesque Américaine. It concerns the US government role in instigating, funding and coordinating the Arab Spring “revolutions.”

Most of this history has been carefully suppressed by the western media. The new book devotes much more attention to the personalities leading the 2011 uprisings. Some openly admitted to receiving CIA funding. Others had no idea because it was deliberately concealed from them. A few (in Egypt and Syria) were officially charged with espionage. In Egypt, seven sought refuge in the US embassy in Cairo and had to be evacuated by the State Department.

Read More: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-arab-spring-made-in-the-usa/5484950/amp

 

This is ISIS

Ben Rhodes Admits Obama Armed Jihadists In Syria In Bombshell Interview

Rhodes has been described as being so trusted and close to Obama that he was “in the room” for almost every foreign policy decision of significance that Obama made during his eight years in office. While the Intercept interview is worth listening to in full, it’s the segment on Syria that caught our attention.

In spite of Rhodes trying to dance around the issue, he sheepishly answers in the affirmative when Mehdi Hasan asks the following question about supporting jihadists in Syria:

Did you intervene too much in Syria? Because the CIA spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding and arming anti-Assad rebels, a lot of those arms, as you know, ended up in the hands of jihadist groups, some even in the hands of ISIS.

Your critics would say you exacerbated that proxy war in Syria; you prolonged the conflict in Syria; you ended up bolstering jihadists.

Rhodes initially rambles about his book and “second guessing” Syria policy in avoidance of the question. But Hasan pulls him back with the following: “Oh, come on, but you were coordinating a lot of their arms.” 

The two spar over Hasan’s charge of “bolstering jihadists” in the following key section of the interview, at the end of which Rhodes reluctantly answers “yeah…” — but while trying to pass ultimate blame onto US allies Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (similar to what Vice President Biden did in a 2014 speech):

MH: Oh, come on, but you were coordinating a lot of their arms. You know, the U.S. was heavily involved in that war with the Saudis and the Qataris and the Turks.

BR: Well, I was going to say: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi.

MH: You were in there as well.

BR: Yeah, but, the fact of the matter is that once it kind of devolved into kind of a sectarian-based civil war with different sides fighting for their perceived survival, I think we, the ability to bring that type of situation to close, and part of what I wrestled with in the book is the limits of our ability to pull a lever and make killing like that stop once it’s underway.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-24/ben-rhodes-admits-obama-armed-jihadists-syria-bombshell-interview

 

 

All Fronts in the Neocon/Globalist Agenda for a “New American Century” Leads to War with Russia

Proof Russia Wants War
source: http://borgdrone.de/

How the US Establishment Lies Through Its Teeth, for War Against Russia

ERIC ZUESSE | 03.03.2018

The same people, Republicans and Democrats, who lied through their teeth for an invasion of Iraq in 2003, are doing it again for an invasion of Russia, sometime soon, so as to ‘defend’ ‘democracy’. The US has by now swallowed up virtually all lands surrounding Russia, at least in Europe, the latest being Ukraine, and is placing its missiles now on and near Russia’s borders, which is to Russians like would be to Americans if Russia had swallowed up Canada and were placing its missiles there. But the lying holier-than-thou US Establishment accuses Russia of being ‘aggressive’ when Russia holds war-games on and near its borders in order to prepare for a US-NATO invasion, which actually looks increasingly likely to them every day — and not because of ‘Russian propaganda’, but because of the US Government’s actions.

Read More: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/03/03/how-us-establishment-lies-through-its-teeth-for-war-against-russia.html

Why Don’t We Ever Hear About Our Involvement in the Yemen War? Companies like Lockheed Martin Probably Know

How many shares of your favorite media outlet or website does Lockheed Martin own? How much of Lockheed do they own?

How many federal and state politicians does Lockheed contribute donations or hire as lobbyists?

Now why don’t we hear about the Yemen war?

Guided Bomb Fragments At Site Of Yemen Bus Airstrike Trace Back To Lockheed Martin

A prominent Yemeni journalist who throughout the war has been instrumental in getting images and information out of the country ahead of Western journalists has photographed and examined fragments from one of the exploded missiles found at the site of the US-Saudi coalition airstrike on a school bus in Yemen, which left as many as 50 people dead and 63 injured — the vast majority of which were children

The image of the missile fragment, believed to be among those that scored a direct hit on the bus full of children traveling through Dahyan market in Saada province last Thursday, was uploaded by Sanaa-based Hussain Albukhaiti and quickly spread online over the weekend. It appears to be a US-made MK-82 guided bomb produced by Lockheed Martin.

Ben Norton, an American journalist among the first to track down publicly available government contract information showing the MK-82’s likely origins, said of the bomb fragment imagery: “Yemeni journalists found this fragment of the bomb Saudi Arabia dropped on a school bus full of children in Yemen. It’s a US-made MK-82 guided bomb, which has been used in previous attacks on Yemeni civilians. The cage code on the bomb is Lockheed Martin’s.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-12/guided-bomb-fragments-site-yemen-bus-airstrike-reportedly-trace-back-lockheed

 

Yes Snowflake Your Democratic Idol President Started and Supplied ISIS

 

Anyone that doesn’t want to admit the US role in the creation of ISIS as well as the war in Syria should STFU and Read some articles instead of their Fairy tale echo chamber headlines and sound bytes. 

Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria

HOW ISIS GOT WEAPONS FROM THE U.S. AND USED THEM TO TAKE IRAQ AND SYRIA

https://www.newsweek.com/how-isis-got-weapons-us-used-them-take-iraq-syria-748468

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq

The US Hand in the Syrian Mess

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/20/the-us-hand-in-the-syrian-mess/

The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dirty-war-on-syria/5491859

1986 CIA Document Analyzes Possibilities Of “Regime Change” In Syria

All War is a Racket: We and Our Allies Created the War in Syria?

Smeadly Butler War is a Racket

A Bosnian signs off weapons he says are going to Saudi Arabia – but how did his signature turn up in Aleppo?

Robert Fisk Novi Travnik,  

…. Five-hundred mortars is a massive shipment of weapons – most European armies don’t have that many in their individual inventories – and some of them at least appear to have ended up in the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s Islamist Nusrah Front/al-Qaeda enemies in northern Syria within six months of their dispatch from Bosnia 1,200 miles away. Because the mortars left Bosnia on 15 January 2016 under a BNT-TMiH factory guarantee for 24 months – numbered 779 and with a weapons series number of 3677 – the documents now in The Independent’s possession must have reached Aleppo by late July of 2016, when Syrian government troops totally surrounded the enclave held by armed factions including Nusrah, Isis and other Islamist groups condemned as “terrorists” by the United States.

When The Independent asked the Saudi authorities to respond to the documents in its possession and their discovery in eastern Aleppo, the Saudi embassy in London replied that the Kingdom did not give “practical or other support to any terrorist organisation [including Nusrah and Isis] in Syria or any other country” and described the allegations raised by The Independent as “vague and unfounded”. It said Saudi Arabia had been a “leading voice within the international community in support of a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria, while at the same time working with our neighbours and allies to counter the growth of forces of extremism”. It made no comment on the weapon log book and arms control coupons, photographs of which The Independent had asked it to examine.

However, it is clear that Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahabi faith has inspired Nusrah, Isis and other violent Islamist groups in Syria. Saudi Arabia has often been accused of arming the rebels in Syria, and religious publications from Riyadh have been found in towns formerly held by the Islamist groups. Besides, Saudi Arabia has demanded the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his government in Damascus. …

McCain of ISIS
Did they KNow WHo They were Meeting with?

Read More: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-war-bosnia-saudi-arabia-aleppo-weapons-arms-deals-a8451841.html

Google: Part of the Military Industrial Surveillance System

Google Helped Develop Autonomous Targeting

Google Will Not Renew Pentagon Contract That Upset Employees

By Daisuke Wakabayashi and Scott Shane  June 1, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when a current deal expires next year.

Diane Greene, who is the head of the Google Cloud business that won a contract with the Pentagon’s Project Maven, said during a weekly meeting with employees on Friday that the company was backing away from its A.I. work with the military, according to a person familiar with the discussion but not permitted to speak publicly about it.

Google’s work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, roiled the internet giant’s work force. Many of the company’s top A.I. researchers, in particular, worried that the contract was the first step toward using the nascent technology in advanced weapons.

But it is not unusual for Silicon Valley’s big companies to have deep military ties. And the internal dissent over Maven stands in contrast to Google’s biggest competitors for selling cloud-computing services — Amazon.com and Microsoft — which have aggressively pursued Pentagon contracts without pushback from their employees.

Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/technology/google-pentagon-project-maven.html

AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

RYAN NAKASHIMA  Aug. 13, 2018

Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.

For the most part, Google is upfront about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating. If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a “timeline” that maps out your daily movements.

Read More: https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb/AP-Exclusive:-Google-tracks-your-movements,-like-it-or-not

“The Search Engine Is The Most Powerful Source Of Mind Control Ever Invented…”

Asher Schechter via ProMarket.org,

Google CEO Sundar Pichai caused a worldwide sensation earlier this week when he unveiled Duplexan AI-driven digital assistant able to mimic human speech patterns (complete with vocal tics) to such a convincing degree that it managed to have real conversations with ordinary people without them realizing they were actually talking to a robot.

While Google presented Duplex as an exciting technological breakthrough, others saw something else: a system able to deceive people into believing they were talking to a human being, an ethical red flag (and a surefire way to get to robocall hell). Following the backlash, Google announced on Thursday that the new service will be designed “with disclosure built-in.” Nevertheless, the episode created the impression that ethical concerns were an “after-the-fact consideration” for Google, despite the fierce public scrutiny it and other tech giants faced over the past two months. “Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing,” tweeted Zeynep Tufekci, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a prominent critic of tech firms.

The controversial demonstration was not the only sign that the global outrage has yet to inspire the profound rethinking critics hoped it would bring to Silicon Valley firms. In Pichai’s speech at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, the ethical concerns regarding the company’s data mining, business model, and political influence were briefly addressed with a general, laconic statement: “The path ahead needs to be navigated carefully and deliberately and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right.”

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-12/search-engine-most-powerful-source-mind-control-ever-invented

 

American Government and Corporations Knowingly Supplying Both Sides in Global Wars

You Might be a CIA terrorist if you have a 300 dollar gun and 3000 dollar rocket launcher but can't afford shoes

I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to

Robert Fisk

…”I met an old Hughes Aircraft executive who laughed when I told him my story of finding his missiles in eastern Aleppo. When the company was sold, Hughes had been split up into eight components, he said. But assuredly, this batch of rockets had left from a US government base….”

“… Are they making enquiries about this shipment, which Krnjic said went to Saudi Arabia, and the shipping documents which clearly ended up in the hands of al-Nusra – papers of which Nato and the EU had knowledge when the transfer was originally made?

I bet they’re not. For I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East – certainly not in the case of Damascus, where the west has just given up its attempt to unseat Assad.

Indeed, in a political landscape where “regime change” has become a moral, ethical objective, there can be no moral, ethical investigation of just how the merchants of death (the makers) manage to supply the purveyors of death (the killers) with their guns and mortars and artillery. And if any end user says that “allegations” of third parties are “vague and unfounded” – always supposing that the persons saying this are themselves “end users” – this, I promise you, must be accepted as true and unanswerable and as solid as the steel of which mortars are made….”

Read More: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-missile-arms-deals-west-us-uk-saudi-arabia-a8459731.html

Elite Corporate Intel Website Quietly Displays Prediction of Drastic Western World Depopulation

UN Agenda 2030

We know that the Luciferian elites like to project what they plan for the world. It’s called signalling or predictive programming. They use it for a number of reasons, and all of them have to do with mass mind control aimed at global domination.

That’s why more people have been taking notice of this nondescript, military-intel insider’s website that casually predicts a population reduction in the US of 230 million people in the next seven years by 2025.

http://www.deagel.com/country/United-States-of-America_c0001.aspx
Deagel 2025 USA Population Prediction
http://www.deagel.com/country/United-States-of-America_c0001.aspx

The website itself claims to be “Guide to Military Equipment and Civil Aviation.”

The same website is sited in a report from Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company, Stratfor, in Wikileaks documents:

“the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.”

Read More: https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/26/2655808_dprk-marko-p-.html

Deagel, a real intelligence organization for the U.S. government, predicts massive global depopulation (50-80%) by 2025

rebelskum  •  last year

Deagel’s reports, in particular the aforementioned research on North Korea, were also provided to the President during Presidential Dialy Briefings. Deagel thus provides information which is subsequently used by global intelligence communities and governments.

Here is a partial list of known Deagel partners and clients, according to their own website:

  • National Security Agency
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO – OTAN)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • OSCE
  • Russian Defense Procurement Agency
  • Stratfor
  • The World Bank
  • United Nations (UN)

This highly regarded intelligence organization has a grim outlook for the United States in the coming years including a 78% decrease in population. In fact, it predicts a similar, cataclysmic fate for the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Denmark, and more U.S. allied nations:

Year: 2013, Population: 316 million, Forecast 2025: Population: 69 million

Source: Deagel

I know many Austrailian readers will be curious as well, and for their reference their population will be cut in from 22 million to 11 million.

To make matters even stranger a statement on Deagel’s forecast page can found be which was made by the authors on October 26, 2014 which apparently claims the population shifts are due to suicide and dislocation and assure us they are “not a death or satanic cult”:

Historically a change in the economic paradigm has resulted in a death toll that is rarely highlighted by mainstream historians. When the transition from rural areas to large cities happened in Europe many people unable to accept the new paradigm killed themselves. They killed themselves by a psychological factor. This is not mainstream but it is true. A new crisis joins old, well known patterns with new ones.

We are not a death or satanic cult or arms dealers as some BS is floating around the internet on this topic. Take into account that the forecast is nothing more than a model whether flawed or correct. It is not God’s word or a magic device that allows to foresee the future.

Source: Deagel’s note from Deagel forecast page

More research on Deagel and their associates can be found at the Pizzagate Wiki.

This topic and more were also discussed by me on the Higherside Chats podcast.

Read More From Rebel Scum: https://steemit.com/news/@rebelskum/deagel-a-real-intelligence-organization-for-the-u-s-government-predicts-massive-global-depopulation-50-80

 

US Media Remains Never-Trumpers but Never Mentions the WAR IN YEMEN

MSNBC dedicated zero segments to the US’s war in Yemen, but 455 segments to Stormy Daniels

ACTION ALERT: IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR SINCE MSNBC HAS MENTIONED US WAR IN YEMEN

WHY IS THE NO. 1 OUTLET OF ALLEGED ANTI-TRUMP #RESISTANCE COMPLETELY IGNORING HIS MOST DEVASTATING WAR?

Adam Johnson July 23, 2018

As FAIR has noted before (1/8/18, 3/20/18), to MSNBC, the carnage and destruction the US and its Gulf Monarchy allies are leveling against the poorest country in the Arab world is simply a non-issue.

On July 2, a year had passed since the cable network’s last segment mentioning US participation in the war on Yemen, which has killed in excess of 15,000 people and resulted in over a million cases of cholera. The US is backing a Saudi-led bombing campaign with intelligence, refueling, political cover, military hardware and, as of March, ground troops. None of this matters at all to what Adweek (4/3/18) calls “the network of the Resistance,” which has since its last mention of the US’s role in the destruction of Yemen found time to run over a dozen segments highlighting war crimes committed by the Syrian and Russian governments in Syria.

By way of contrast, as MSNBC was marking a year without mentioning the US role in Yemen, the PBS NewsHour was running a three-part series on the war, with the second part (7/3/18) headlined, “American-Made Bombs in Yemen Are Killing Civilians, Destroying Infrastructure and Fueling Anger at the US.” The NewsHour’s Jane Ferguson reported:

The aerial bombing campaign has not managed to dislodge the rebels, but has hit weddings, hospitals and homes. The US military supports the Saudi coalition with logistics and intelligence. The United States it also sells the Saudis and coalition partners many of the bombs they drop on Yemen.

MSNBC chat show/Starbucks commercial Morning Joe did run one segment (4/25/18) that vaguely mentioned the war on Yemen, but failed to note the US’s role in it at all, much less that Washington is arming and backing the conflict’s primary aggressor. Instead, they did the perverse inversion––previously mastered by Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl (FAIR.org6/27/17)—of not only ignoring the US’s major role in killing thousands, but painting the US as a noble haven for refugees. The schlocky segment, an interview with writer Mohammed Al Samawi, was a shallow mixture of “interfaith” pablum, poverty porn and self-congratulations to the US for taking in refugees (without, of course, acknowledging that they’re seeking refuge from a crisis the US has created).

Read More: https://fair.org/home/action-alert-its-been-over-a-year-since-msnbc-has-mentioned-us-war-in-yemen/

The US had a Hand in Starting the Syrian War for Regime Change

Official Flag

The US Hand in the Syrian Mess

By Jonathan Marshall
July 20, 2015

Exclusive: Neocons and the mainstream U.S. media place all the blame for the Syrian civil war on President Bashar al-Assad and Iran, but there is another side of the story in which Syria’s olive branches to the U.S. and Israel were spurned and a reckless drive for “regime change” followed, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Syria’s current leader, Bashar al-Assad replaced his autocratic father as president and head of the ruling Ba’ath Party in 2000. Only 35 years old and British educated, he aroused widespread hopes at home and abroad of introducing reforms and liberalizing the regime. In his first year he freed hundreds of political prisoners and shut down a notorious prison, though his security forces resumed cracking down on dissenters a year later.

But almost from the start, Assad was marked by the George W. Bush administration for “regime change.” Then, in the early years of Barack Obama’s presidency, there were some attempts at diplomatic engagement, but shortly after a civil conflict broke out in 2011, the legacy of official U.S. hostility toward Syria set in motion Washington’s disastrous confrontation with Assad which continues to this day.

Thus, the history of the Bush administration’s approach toward Syria is important to understand. Shortly after 9/11, former NATO Commander Wesley Clark learned from a Pentagon source that Syria was on the same hit list as Iraq. As Clark recalled, the Bush administration “wanted us to destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control.”

Sure enough, in a May 2002 speech titled “Beyond the Axis of Evil,” Under Secretary of State John Bolton named Syria as one of a handful of “rogue states” along with Iraq that “can expect to become our targets.” Assad’s conciliatory and cooperative gestures were brushed aside.

The Assad regime received no credit from President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney for becoming what scholar Kilic Bugra Kanat has called “one of the CIA’s most effective intelligence allies in the fight against terrorism.” Not only did the regime provide life-saving intelligence on planned al-Qaeda attacks, it did the CIA’s dirty work of interrogating terrorism suspects “rendered” by the United States from Afghanistan and other theaters.

Syria’s opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its suspected involvement in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri deepened the administration’s hostility toward Damascus.

Covertly, Washington began collaborating with Saudi Arabia to back Islamist opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, according to journalist Seymour Hersh. One key beneficiary was said to be Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian vice president who defected to the West in 2005. In March 2006, Khaddam joined with the chief of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood to create the National Salvation Front, with the goal of ousting Assad.

Thanks to Wikileaks, we know that key Lebanese politicians, acting in concert with Saudi leaders, urged Washington to support Khaddam as a tactic to accomplish “complete regime change in Syria” and to address “the bigger problem” of Iran.

Meanwhile, the Assad regime was striving mightily to reduce its international isolation by reaching a peace settlement with Israel. It began secret talks with Israel in 2004 in Turkey and by the following year “had reached a very advanced form and covered territorial, water, border and political questions,” according to historian Gabriel Kolko.

A host of senior Israelis, including former heads of the IDF, Shin Beit, and Foreign Ministry, backed the talks. But the Bush administration nixed them, as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek confirmed in January 2007.

As Kolko noted, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz then “published a series of extremely detailed accounts, including the draft accord, confirming that Syria ‘offered a far reaching and equitable peace treaty that would provide for Israel’s security and is comprehensive’, and divorce Syria from Iran and even create a crucial distance between it and Hezbollah and Hamas.

“The Bush Administration’s role in scuttling any peace accord was decisive. C. David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, sat in at the final meeting [and] two former senior CIA officials were present in all of these meetings and sent regular reports to Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. The press has been full of details on how the American role was decisive, because it has war, not peace, at the top of its agenda.”

Isolating Assad

In March 2007, McClatchy broke a story that the Bush administration had “launched a campaign to isolate and embarrass Syrian President Bashar Assad. . . . The campaign, which some officials fear is aimed at destabilizing Syria, has been in the works for months. It involves escalating attacks on Syria’s human rights record. . . . The campaign appears to fly in the face of the recommendations last December of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which urged President Bush to engage diplomatically with Syria to stabilize Iraq and address the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . . The officials say the campaign bears the imprint of Elliott Abrams, a conservative White House aide in charge of pushing Bush’s global democracy agenda.”

Not surprisingly, Vice President Cheney was also an implacable opponent of engagement with Syria.

Attempting once again to break the impasse, Syria’s ambassador to the United States called for talks to achieve a full peace agreement with Israel in late July 2008. “We desire to recognize each other and end the state of war,” Imad Mustafa said in remarks broadcast on Israeli army radio. “Here is then a grand thing on offer. Let us sit together, let us make peace, let us end once and for all the state of war.”

Three days later, Israel responded by sending a team of commandos into Syria to assassinate a Syrian general as he held a dinner party at his home on the coast. A top-secret summary by the National Security Agency called it the “first known instance of Israel targeting a legitimate government official.”

Just two months later, U.S. military forces launched a raid into Syria, ostensibly to kill an al-Qaeda operative, which resulted in the death of eight unarmed civilians. The Beirut Daily Star wrote, “The suspected involvement of some of the most vociferous anti-Syria hawks at the highest levels of the Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, have combined with US silence on the matter to fuel a guessing game as to just exactly who ordered or approved Sunday’s cross-border raid.”

The New York Times condemned the attack as a violation of international law and said the timing “could not have been worse,” noting that it “coincided with Syria’s establishing, for the first time, full diplomatic relations with Lebanon. This was a sign that Syria’s ruler, Bashar Assad, is serious about ending his pariah status in the West. It was also a signal to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan that Assad, whose alliance with Iran they abhor, is now eager to return to the Arab fold.”

The editorial added, “if President Bush and Vice President Cheney did authorize an action that risks sabotaging Israeli-Syrian peace talks, reversing the trend of Syrian cooperation in Iraq and Lebanon, and playing into the hands of Iran, then Bush and Cheney have learned nothing from their previous mistakes and misdeeds.”

In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Syrian ambassador Imad Moustapha noted that his government had just begun friendly talks with top State Department officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “And suddenly, this [raid in eastern Syria] happens,” the ambassador said. “I don’t believe the guys from the State Department were actually deceiving us. I believe they genuinely wanted to engage diplomatically and politically with Syria. We believe that other powers within the administration were upset with these meetings and they did this exactly to undermine the whole new atmosphere.”

Despite these many provocations, Syria continued to negotiate with Israel through Turkish intermediaries. By late 2008, according to journalist Seymour Hersh, “Many complicated technical matters had been resolved, and there were agreements in principle on the normalization of diplomatic relations. The consensus, as an ambassador now serving in Tel Aviv put it, was that the two sides had been ‘a lot closer than you might think.’” Then, in late December, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a devastating assault on Gaza that left about 1,400 Palestinians dead, along with nine Israeli soldiers and three civilians.

Israeli Sabotage

The brief war ended in January, just before President Obama’s inauguration. Assad told Hersh that despite his outrage at Israel “doing everything possible to undermine the prospects for peace we still believe that we need to conclude a serious dialogue to lead us to peace.” The ruler of Qatar confirmed, “Syria is eager to engage with the West, an eagerness that was never perceived by the Bush White House. Anything is possible, as long as peace is being pursued.”

Of Obama, Assad said “We are happy that he has said that diplomacy, and not war, is the means of conducting international policy.” Assad added, “We do not say that we are a democratic country. We do not say that we are perfect, but we are moving forward.” And he offered to be an ally of the United States against the growing threat of al-Qaeda and Islamist extremism, which had become major forces in Iraq but had not yet taken hold in Syria.

Assad’s hopes died stillborn. The new government of Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which took office in March 2009, steadfastly opposed any land-for-peace deal with Syria. And the Obama administration lacked the clout or the will to take Israel on.

President Obama did follow through on promises to engage with Syria after a long period of frozen relations. He sent representatives from the State Department and National Security Council to Damascus in early 2009; dispatched envoy George Mitchell three times to discuss a Middle East peace settlement; nominated the first ambassador to Damascus since 2005; and invited Syria’s deputy foreign minister to Washington for consultations.

However, Obama also continued covert funding to Syrian opposition groups, which a senior U.S. diplomat warned would be viewed by Syrian authorities as “tantamount to supporting regime change.”

Read More: https://consortiumnews.com/…