March 30, 2016
How The U.S. Continues To Arm al-Qaeda
According to rebels in the Turkish border zone, weapons have flowed steadily into Syria since the ceasefire began. Even those who hope for a political settlement aren’t betting on one any time soon. Instead they’re stockpiling for the next round, which they expect will be as desperate as the last.
“We ask the Friends of Syria and they give us,” [Colonel Hassan Rajoub, commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Division 16], said with a smile. “They have just now given us new supplies of everything. But we want some special weapons to give us a little bit of leverage.”
[S]everal FSA commanders said the United States had been forthcoming during the ceasefire period, replenishing arms stocks and leaving open the possibility that some anti-aircraft missiles might be released into northern Syria.
“We expect a surprise,” said one satisfied commander.
“The U.S. military commanders are always with us,” Rajoub said. “We ask. They are very cooperative. They understand our needs.”
Around Aleppo, It’s Not Peace—Just a Break, Thanassis Cambanis, Century Foundation, March 28 2016
Hard-core Islamists in the Nusra Front have long outgunned the more secular, nationalist, Western-supported rebels. According to FSA officers, Nusra routinely harvests up to half the weapons supplied by the Friends of Syria, a collection of countries opposed to Assad, and has regularly smashed FSA factions that were corrupt and inefficient — or that Nusra thought were getting too strong or too popular.
The Syrian Revolution Against al Qaeda, Thanassis Cambanis, Foreign Policy, March 29 2016
Posted by b on March 30, 2016 at 12:19 PM | Permalink
Never expected them to. History tells us so. The arms to Al Qaeda will likely increase in scope once Clinton buys herself the presidency.
Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 30, 2016 12:50:25 PM | 1
USSA and her israeli boss (plus KSA and Turkey) ought to make clear their intentions and go in under their flags, like real men with a mission of honor. Not this arm one retard or another criminal BS.
Posted by: farflungstar | Mar 30, 2016 1:24:00 PM | 2
The problem might be usa and friends having a learning disability. Only the utterly stupid repeat and repeat again the same fatal error.
Posted by: Pnyx | Mar 30, 2016 1:55:57 PM | 3
I suppose that it has occurred to someone else that the fundamental problem with the world is not just capitalism per se, but the way capitalists behave. I am playing with the notion that capitalism has run amok not because any capitalist has planned to do to the world what is being done ... but rather something far more venal because it is mindless. Let me suggest that capitalists are much like the 'in crowd' we dealt with in High School ... the so-called popular people. For the most part they were mindless twits who operated on the notion of 'me-too-ism.' They just did what the other cool people did. So, capitalists have become a bunch of idiots who want to make a lot of money because in their clique that is the 'in' thing. Thus, it isn't really money that drives them ... it is being able to say that they too have 'made it.'
If we look at the world from that perspective, then making money leads to all sorts of anti-human and venal,amoral, corrupt,crooked, dishonest,immoral, unethical, and unscrupulous behaviour. The fact that the political system has become buyable, conscienceless, double-dealing and mercenary is merely the extension of the idea of 'me-too-ism.'
Taken from this perspective, the behaviour of the elites, the oligarchs, is not only understandable but perhaps inevitable.
Posted by: rg the lg | Mar 30, 2016 2:28:45 PM | 4
@ rg the lg | Mar 30, 2016 2:28:45 PM | 4
You are looking at the conservative mind there. The conservative mind is superbly adept at copying, particularly when whatever copied brings success, it is the 'in thing' as you mentioned. The plethora of 'neo-xxxxx' is a sure sign that some successful policy or program is being copied by the conservative in search for success for themselves, i.e. neoliberal is the conservative copy of the success of liberalism without the bother of maintaining liberal based function - the rubes buy it without a pause. Conservatives do not self-correct, that is what Liberals are for (and do). It is likely the neoconservative theology is what you are catching sight of as it becomes threadbare and abraded by reality.
You may find:
Corey Robin - "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin", (ISBN 978-0-19-995911-2) possibly enlightening and a surprisingly good read as well.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 30, 2016 3:04:23 PM | 5
Just like Libyan Democrats were never given US weapons, but the jihadi head chopping terrorist were given US weapons and we see the results in the deliberate ongoing horror show in Libya. Same goes for Syria where the Islamic extremists get the best and most US weapons.
US propagandists are so easily exposed, because the weapons say otherwise.
Posted by: tom | Mar 30, 2016 3:05:46 PM | 6
Many astute observers of Syrian war more and more see so-called ceasefire as de-facto partitioning of Syria which is an ultimate goal of US neocons according to plan B of creation of US friendly Sunni state, load it with weapons and US training to finish Assad later under US AF support when Russian are gone or acquiescent via some geopolitical deals .
Do Russians see through that? I am 100% sure they do. So what are they doing?
And who really benefit from this arrangement, so-called moderate rebels that do not exist? But In fact either aligned themselves with Russia or US. Who really benefit? Assad, who vowed to liberate whole territory, Kurds, who are being pounded by Turkey?
So far nobody on the ground seems to be content with current outcome, or is weaken or defeated to a degree that makes them interested in "peace". Spoinsors did not backed out, in contrast they double down.
Collapse of Geneva talks is just a final proof that so called ceasefire is not about peace and political solution but rather some kind of quid-pro-quo between Russians and US vaguely related to Syrian war but more about geopolitical considerations.
US's building airbases in Syria Kurdish territory and withdraws military families from Turkey. What's that all about? Planing some moves Erdogan may not like?
What about former ISIL commander taking over rebels groups including members of ANF along Golan Heights' Syrian foothills having friendly relationship with IDF which many times shelled the advancing SAA and allowing Russian AF to enter Israeli air space to maneuver while IDF air force is bombing Assad air bases and kills commanders of Assad allies while S400 is idling. Do russin protect legal government of Syria and its territorial integrity? It is a good question.
Who actually benefits from temporarily freezing the war is broadly discussed here:
Posted by: Kalen | Mar 30, 2016 3:26:34 PM | 7
It's hard to believe Russia would put up with this. Putin has to know that a salafist victory would supply a training and staging ground for Sunni militants to attack Russia.
Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Mar 30, 2016 3:49:56 PM | 8
National Petroleum Radio just announced the deployment of a full battalion of US troops to Eastern Europe to quell "Russian aggression."
Our government is out of control.
Posted by: benlomand | Mar 30, 2016 4:04:54 PM | 9
Yeah, that will show them Russkies. I guess battalion makes such a huge difference.
Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 30, 2016 4:18:10 PM | 10
Foreigners living in Turkey are asked to leave Turkey combined with rumours of C17 Globemaster US military planes landing clandestinely at Ankara Esenboga Airport increase chances of near assault towards Mosul and potential huge escalation of ISIS attacks on Turkey.
Interesting developments can take place in the region shortly..
Posted by: Truist | Mar 30, 2016 5:00:20 PM | 11
thanks b.. more of the same bs...
@3 pnyx.. either that, or chaos and destruction of select areas on the globe is the plan and the politicians/msm are only too happy to not ask questions or comply with these same freaks unleashing suffering, murder and mayham on the planet... personally i choose the later... no one can be so stupid as to not see it for what it is, other then the spoon fed msm crowd and even then i have a hard time believing that..
@4 rg and lg.. capitalism is just another tool to lord it over people.. it has been perverted beyond recognition and lost any semblance of any dignity thanks corporations eating up other corporations and forcing whatever they want on the masses.. even if i never go to walmart - they are in my community - and this is just a small example..
@9 benlomand... did you get a chance to listen to that freak breedlove in the past few weeks? may as well be dr. strangelove leading the us military... what a doofus..
Posted by: james | Mar 30, 2016 5:06:05 PM | 12
I'm hoping Cambanis's spouse, Ms. Anne Barnard of the NYT, reads these pieces, starts putting 2 & 2 together, & then starts reflecting these realities in her reporting??
Posted by: Helena Cobban | Mar 30, 2016 5:17:07 PM | 13
From that first link to Thanassis Cambanis' article "Around Aleppo ..."
' ... In the midst of a continuing meltdown, it striking that plenty of actors, as angry as they are about a perception of American indifference, still welcome American help: activists, humanitarians, and military commanders arrayed against Bashar al Assad’s cynical dictatorship—which we ought to remember, played the most pivotal role in abetting ISIS and continues to devote resources to smashing nationalists while leaving ISIS, for the most part, untouched ...'
If the unlovely Cambanis is convinced that Bashar al Assad's government is actually helping ISIS while fighting the FSA, despite actually having visited Syria and talked to people there, I'm not sure that his quoted articles are all that trustworthy even though he may be right that the US continues to supply weapons to anti-Assad forces. Another viewpoint would be welcome.
Perhaps Ms Barnard is wise to ignore Cambanis' pieces - how would NYT readers be able to cope with two competing sets of lies and propaganda?
Posted by: Jen | Mar 30, 2016 5:40:07 PM | 14
Helena @13 I hope you're not holding your breath...! Btw, I love your reporting on the MENA...!
Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 30, 2016 6:03:11 PM | 16
At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the psychos in DC just want to give the jihadis enough proverbial rope to hang themselves with, rather than fleeing into Europe
Posted by: aaaa | Mar 30, 2016 6:18:00 PM | 17
@likklemore. I do not mean "doing" on the ground where they did tremendous job while US did nothing but propping up terrorists. Also Russian did not really withdraw it is just a rotation during sand storm season.
I mean "doing" as a propaganda, psychological warfare move, and it is unfortunate, giving Turkey and Saudis a propaganda win since they demanded Russian withdrawal for six months now, and hence in eyes of terrorists they support, they pushed Russian away at least in propaganda realm, but it is important from recruitment and donation of weapons and money to terrorists after 6 months of defeat. This is what author is providing evidences about, higher morale and new recruits and weapons and molding into so called moderates, fake desertions from ISIL to "moderates" by name only in order to get US protection. even at this point they is fake fighting between ISIL and moderates to switch control to "moderate" so ceasefire could be use for reloading. Russian see it and saying nothing but compianing to americans why US is not policing their own "moderates".
Without cutting off logistical routes from Turkey and Jordan, time works against Assad and hence the pause it not what Russian generals ordered but it is clearly political move with military pros and cons.
Palmyra was always militarily easy target but since ISIL booby trapped it, Syrian army stopped offensive about at 90 day ago, waiting for Russian electronic warfare units to come and jam of remote detonation system, even one Russian Specnaz soldier was captured and killed by ISIL in the process after that it took two days to liberate city and also mostly for propaganda purposes of saving world heritage from barbarians who it turned out dis not destroyed but stolen most valuable pieces of sculptures.
Posted by: Kalen | Mar 30, 2016 8:39:46 PM | 18
@ Kalen 18
I accept and thank you for expanding on your comment.
Posted by: likklemore | Mar 30, 2016 9:34:19 PM | 19
@10 SmoothieX12, Ruskies won't blink nor fall for any bravado, Europe on the other hand will do whatever her daddy tells her to. Right now, a battalion can conquer Europe.
Posted by: citizen X | Mar 31, 2016 3:10:00 AM | 20
Us military being evacuated from Turkey is giving a bad after taste. I'd Watch for some fireworks late summer..
Posted by: Lozion | Mar 31, 2016 3:35:38 AM | 21
I don't get Russia .This was so foreseeable..WE all knew it was coming.Even if Obama was serious about this ceasefire there were no way The neocons could have put on with that.I really don't understand what's going on.
Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Mar 31, 2016 4:36:23 AM | 22
US Marine Corps advertising began about three days ago on my alarm clock radio station. More cannon fodder is needed.
Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 31, 2016 6:54:13 AM | 23
Just as the USA was built upon stolen land and concurrent genocide of millions of indigenous peoples, All of MENA, likewise belongs to Israel. (The "savages" must be eradicated!) It's been a long slog (mission creep), but it is a matter of time.
Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 31, 2016 7:09:05 AM | 24
@20 citizen X, that was sarcasm on my part.
Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 31, 2016 8:49:03 AM | 25
@21 & 26 I assume you are referring to the US military family members leaving Incirlik?
"The U.S. military has ordered military family members to evacuate southern Turkey, primarily from Incirlik Air Base, due to security concerns, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Family members will also be evacuated from facilities in Izmir and Mugla, according to a Pentagon statement.
"The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense," Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said in the statement."
Posted by: dh | Mar 31, 2016 12:39:03 PM | 28
I'm not a crime scene analyst, but my first glance prior to the article's reveal is that there is no possible explanation for the multiple patterns of blood. It's pretty lazy propaganda that relies on the visceral need to avert ones gaze when presented with something that, if true, would be horrifying.
I've long felt that real images of the atrocities of war should be displayed in western media in order to drive home conflict realities to those lounging blissfully in the homeland. But this type of duplicity really does make me reconsider, as I would assume the vast majority of people lack the skepticism required to look past the ruse. Pictures are a powerful tool in nations educated by CNN and Fox.
Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Mar 31, 2016 3:13:40 PM | 29
@ IhaveLittleToAdd | Mar 31, 2016 3:13:40 PM | 29
What happens when the difference between media and entertainment becomes seamless and is produced by merchandisers? Once the images of war were displayed in the media and the resultant loss of control nearly derailed the government and divided the public severely; that experiment will not be tried again anytime soon. Why should you have to endure reality when lies are so easily produced to secure your dreams from unpleasantness? Why have entertainment terms come to be used to describe nearly everything? It is like the citizenry have become the borg.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 31, 2016 4:41:07 PM | 30