"Well, God bless Barack Obama – he’s found some “moderate” rebels in Syria. Enough to supply them with weapons and training worth $500m.

(image/blurb courtesy Zero Hedge)"

Robert Fisk

June 26, 2014 - Well, God bless Barack Obama – he’s found some “moderate” rebels in Syria. Enough to supply them with weapons and training worth $500m. Congress wants to arm these brave freedom fighters, you see. And Obama, having sent his 300 elite Spartan lads to Iraq to help Nouri al-Maliki fight the rebels there, needs to send help to the rebels in Syria – even though most of them are on the side of the rebels in Iraq whom Obama wants Maliki to defeat.

Confusing? You bet. So first steps first.

Who are the “moderate” rebels whom Obama wants to train and arm? He doesn’t name them – and he can’t, because the original “moderates” whom America swore to arm (with the help of the CIA, the Brits, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey) were the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, mostly composed of deserters from Assad’s government forces. But the FSA – briefly beloved of John McCain until he discovered a pro-al-Qa’ida fighter sharing a photo-op with him in northern Syria – has decomposed.

Its men have gone home, switched to the bearded Islamists of the Nusrah or Isis – or Isil if we heed the latest acronym – or re-deserted to the government army and taken up arms for Assad again. Some freedom fighters! They weren’t given enough weapons, we are told. Now they’ll get more. And no doubt sell them – as they did the last lot. For it is a sad fact of war that whenever a gun crosses a border, it represents not loyalty but cash.

Give an FSA man – if you can find one – an anti-aircraft missile and it will be sold to the highest bidder. In all the civil wars I’ve covered, I’ve never seen a weapon in the hands of a militia which hasn’t bought it from someone else. In a humiliating interview on Channel 4, our own Defence Secretary admitted that weapons given to Syrian rebels had fallen into the hands of the bad guys. How do you monitor all the guys whom you give a gun to? Send them off with a personal drone to make sure they don’t sell it?

Besides, how do you actually find a “moderate” these days in Syria’s war? The Islamist rebels fight to the death. No “moderates” they. And – accursed facts now intervene – these are the very same Islamist rebels now threatening the Iraqi state. And just to make things even more confusing, Maliki has just been thanking Assad’s boys for air-raiding his own rebel enemies on the Iraqi-Syrian border on the grounds that Syria and Iraq are “friends”.

So now to our own real friend, the Department of Home Truths. What’s left of the FSA has been fighting the Islamist Isis-Isil forces. So have the Kurdish militias in northern Syria. So have a few village militias. And the Syrians have a suspicion that this is Obama’s half-baked plan: to arm the anti-Islamist Syrian rebels to fight the pro-al-Qa’ida rebels and thus – indirectly – keep both the Assad and Maliki regimes in power.

The problem is that Obama must do this without revealing that the Syrian-Iraqi battle against Sunni Wahabis is one and the same war, that Assad’s Syrian army – using Russian jets – is struggling against exactly the same enemy as Maliki’s Iraqi army, also soon to be augmented (if we are to believe Maliki’s blather to the BBC Arabic Service) with Russian jets. In other words, Assad not only has the public support of Moscow; he has the private support of Washington (and therefore, of course, of Israel).

Why else would the White House say that the money for Syrian “moderates” would help “counter terrorist threats” – “terrorist” being Assad’s description of his enemies. But of course, Obama must keep calling Assad a “brutal dictator”.

Difficult to explain all this on Fox News, of course. So just keep repeating the word “moderate”. Over and over again.

© independent.co.uk

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Spook Humor on the occasion of the @CIA’s fledgling tweet. @NGA_GEOINT is ” the official Twitter account for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, Virginia”. At the time of the CIA’s assassination of Che Guevara courtesy of the Bolivian army they bragged they had used early Earth mapping satellites to locate him in the Bolivian jungle and could tell how long it had been since he shaved from the imagery. There’s been a technological light-years leap in imaging technology since then…The NRO, National Reconnasaince Office, is the organization that operates the satellites the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency collects the imagery to be analyzed from… Source

Spook Humor on the occasion of the @CIA’s fledgling tweet. @NGA_GEOINT is ” the official Twitter account for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, Virginia”. At the time of the CIA’s assassination of Che Guevara courtesy of the Bolivian army they bragged they had used early Earth mapping satellites to locate him in the Bolivian jungle and could tell how long it had been since he shaved from the imagery. There’s been a technological light-years leap in imaging technology since then…


The NRO, National Reconnasaince Office, is the organization that operates the satellites the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency collects the imagery to be analyzed from… Source

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The US Foreign Policy apparatus is ‘spilling the beans’ about US involvement in Syria now that the Syrian elections are over and Assad has won by landslide. I suppose they expect no support from US citizens which is why it’s kept a secret until the deal is done then, “If you don’t like it, sue us.” Expect the same secrecy when we lethally arm the Fascist elements your father or his father fought during WWII in Ukraine

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(Besides Italy where “Gladio” operators affiliated with NATO assisted in the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigade) assassination of PM Aldo Moro) "…stay-behind’ armies of NATO have also been discovered in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Turkey. They were internationally coordinated by the Pentagon and NATO and had their last known meeting in the NATO-linked Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in October 1990.”
Poster’s note: The point of these clandestine, often murderous cells of soldiers, AND SIMILAR OPERATIONS JUST LIKE THEM in other regions of the world, was to destabilize an already unstable post-war Europe while making it appear to look like the work of “Communists”, thereby convincing NATO-skeptical government officials and the affected country’s civilians population they would be safer staying in the NATO sphere of influence. Bombings and random shootings at civilian gathering places… thugging and murders of community and union organizers were common occurrences often blamed on “Ghost” Nazis…
…A cynically amusing ‘straw man’ because many Nazis DID work as Gladio operators, with the CIA’s James Jesus Angleton acting as overarching mayhem master. BBC did a TV special on Gladio in the 1990s. It’s available for viewing (2h 25m) here.

This fascinating book shows how the CIA and the British secret service, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services, set up a network of clandestine anti-communist armies in Western Europe after World War II.

These secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centres in England and in the United States by the Green Berets and SAS Special Forces. The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorist who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation,…

Codenamed ‘Gladio’ (‘the sword’), the Italian secret army was exposed in 1990 by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to the Italian Senate, whereupon the press spoke of ”The best kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II” (Observer, 18. November 1990) and observed that ”The story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller.” (The Times, November 19, 1990). Ever since, so-called ‘stay-behind’ armies of NATO have also been discovered in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Turkey. They were internationally coordinated by the Pentagon and NATO and had their last known meeting in the NATO-linked Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in October 1990.
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…even one and two-hop searches can generate tens or even hundreds of thousands of numbers … that will inevitably include the phone numbers of many people whose only connection to terrorism is that they called the same take-out joint that a suspected terrorist did.
Even beyond the frightening possibility of being accused of ordering a pizza with SARDINES (An NSA selector keyword believe it or not), metadata based information is NOT a reliable arbiter of anything (the Economist on the basic mathematical fallacy of ‘big data’), no less deciding whether you’re killing the right person.

David Cole @JustSecurity:
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