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The Silent Extermination of Iraq’s ‘Christian Dogs’


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Pentagon proposes plan to equip and train ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

Published time: September 19, 2013 00:35

Edited time: September 19, 2013 04:22 Get short URL

The Pentagon has put together a plan to equip and train “moderate” Syrian rebel forces. The move would mark the first instance of the American military having direct contact with the opposition.

Information regarding the new plan was relayed by two Obama administration officials to CNN. The idea has allegedly been under consideration since the first evidence emerged of a massive chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21. The US maintains the attack was carried out by Assad’s government.

Though the two officials did not cite many specifics on the proposal, the effort would involve training that would take place in a country near Syria. However, weapons would not be directly supplied as the Pentagon has no authority to do so.

"We have any number of options under development that could expand our support to the moderate opposition, but no decision has been taken at this point," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey told reporters on Wednesday.

The Pentagon’s plan would involve US troops training selected rebels on the use of small arms, along with command and control and other military tactics.

"The path to the resolution of the Syrian conflict is through a developed capable moderate opposition, and we know how to do that," Dempsey said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing earlier this month.

"I think that subsequent to that, we would probably return to have a discussion about what we might do with the moderate opposition in a more overt way," he added.

According to the Obama administration officials, the idea of training rebel groups may face poor timing as the US is currently engaged with both Syria and Russia in a plan to put the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles under international control.

Increased hostility among moderates and the extremist Al-Qaeda-affiliated wing may further complicate plans to intervene on behalf of the Syrian opposition.

On Tuesday, Syrian rebels turned on one another in the border city of Azaz, located next to Turkey. Clashes were reported in the area between the Free Syrian Army and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The fighting reportedly broke out after the ISIS attempted to abduct a German doctor from a local hospital guarded by an FSA unit. The physician was accused of being a spy.

The ISIS, which is believed to have superior equipment by way of Gulf states supplying arms, was reported to have sent 600 reinforcements from the city of Raqqa to bolster its control over Azaz, which lies on a vital supply route for Syrian rebels.

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Obama's Move to Arm Al Qaeda in Syria

On Monday, twelve years and five days after al Qaeda precipitated the worst domestic attack in modern history, President Obama waived two sections of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), allowing him to provide military assistance to "vetted" rebel grips in Syria. Though the AECA was designed to prevent arming terrorists, Obama announced that he had the authority to "waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40(a) of the AECA related to such a transaction."

Section 40, "Transactions With Countries Supporting Acts of International Terrorism," and Section 40(a), "Prohibited Transactions by the United States Government," ban sending munitions to any nation described in Section 40 (d), "Countries Covered by Prohibition:" "The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."

Section 40(g), "Waiver," grants the president the power to waive these provisions if he determines "the transaction is essential to the national security interest of the United States." The same section requires the president to give Congress the name of any country involved in the proposed transaction, the identity of any recipient of the items to be provided pursuant to the proposed transaction, and the anticipated use of those items" at least 15 days before the transaction takes place.

In addition, he must provide a description of the items involved, the reasons the transaction is essential to our national security, the date of delivery, the name of every government "department, agency or other entity" involved in the transaction, as well as "every foreign government involved..and every private party with significant participation in the proposed transaction."

Yet unless the Washington Post is inaccurate, Obama has dispensed with the notion that Congress gets their 15-day notification. Five days before the president announced his waiver, the paper revealed that the CIA and the State Department had already begun delivering weapons to Syrian rebels, along with vehicles, advanced communications equipment, and cutting edge medical kits.

Nonetheless, National Security Council Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden contended that this action will allow the president to provide, "where appropriate, certain non-lethal assistance inside or related to Syria," (italics mine) ostensibly related to giving rebel forces "life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance" currently prohibited by the AECA. Hayden further noted that the AECA no longer applies to "international organizations…[and] select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council."

The idea that the Obama administration can determine "select vetted members of the opposition" is utter nonsense. A new study by IHS Jane's, a defense consultancy, estimates that, out of the approximately 100,000 rebels fighting the government of Bashar Assad, 10,000 are jihadists, including foreign fighters linked directly to terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share the same sentiments, but are focused on the war in Syria, as opposed to the effort to realize a worldwide Islamic Caliphate. An additional 30,000 are so-called moderates, but even they belong to groups described by IHS Jane's as having "an Islamic character." Thus, non-Islamist, secular or nationalist groups comprise a minuscule minority.

Charles Lister, who authored the analysis, minced no words. "The insurgency is now dominated by groups which have at least an Islamist viewpoint on the conflict. The idea that it is mostly secular groups leading the opposition is just not borne out."

Apparently that reality is irrelevant to the true believers. "Our intelligence agencies, I think, have a very good handle on who to support and who not to support," said Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) on CBS last Sunday. "And there's going to be mistakes. We understand some people are going to get arms that should not be getting arms. But we still should be doing everything we can to support the free Syrian opposition." Sen. John McCain dismissed the IHS Jane's report completely. "Not true, not true!" he exclaimed, contending there are "about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army."

That would be the same Free Syrian Army that coordinates regular military operations with al Qaeda and other terrorist entities, and the same John McCain who, along with our equally clueless Secretary of State John Kerry, cited research by the now-discredited Elizabeth O'Bagy to back up their assertions. O'Bagy, who was subsequently fired from her "senior analyst" job at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for lying about her education credentials, has now admitted that her original contention that she had defended her dissertation, and was only waiting for Georgetown University to confer her Ph.D. degree, was also a lie. She never enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

McCain remains undaunted. He insists his strategy is to provide "meaningful lethal assistance to moderate opposition forces."

Unfortunately such silliness obscures the more ominous implication of Hayden's contention that the AECA no longer applies to international organizations. That means the additional shipments the president intends to make to rebel forces also violates the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012. Section 1021(B)(2) of the law, upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd District, allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents on "suspicion of providing substantial support" to groups engaged in hostilities against the U.S.

How this statute fails to apply to the "some people" Corker has essentially admitted are terrorists, is anyone's guess.

The primary rationale for arming rebel factions is that the Assad regime crossed a "red line" by employing chemical weapons. The subsequent circus that ensued from those two words culminated in an agreement where Assad would submit a list of his chemical weapons cache within a week, allow U.N. weapons inspectors into Syria no later than November, and completely destroy the stockpile by the middle of next year. If Assad refuses to comply, the use of force may or may not be an option.

As advantageous as that deal is to Assad and Putin, highlighted by reports that Assad may already be moving his chemical weapons to Iraq and Lebanon to avoid detection, it may already be in jeopardy. Yesterday, Russia announced that it will present evidence provided by the Syrian government to the U.N. Security Council, revealing chemical weapons use by rebel forces in the Damascus suburbs. "We will present all this in the UN Security Council, of course," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to Interfax.

Earlier in the day, Russia denounced the U.N. report of the August 21 chemical attack in the al-Ghouta area of Damascus as "politicized, preconceived and one-sided," according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Likely this is due to the reality that British, French and US envoys said the report leaves no doubt Assad's government was responsible, even though the investigative team itself refrained from blaming either side. Thus, it seems likely that Russia is building a case to veto any punishment that France, Britain and the U.S. might mete out to Assad for any violations of his promise to abandon chemical weapons.

Yet none of these machinations negates the reality that the president, members of his administration, and members of Congress will be engaged in arming America's mortal enemies, even as they claim they can sift the secular/nationalist wheat from the terrorist chaff.

Radio host Glenn Beck cut right through that pernicious assertion. He made the irrefutably logical case that if we are providing military aid to the "good guys," it shouldn't be necessary to waive sections of a law aimed at preventing terrorists from being armed.

On Monday, the remains of a 49-year-old man killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were identified using an advanced DNA technique. Only 1,638 out of 2,753 people murdered that day have been identified. They were murdered by the same group of Islamist savages that President Obama and the useful idiots in his administration and Congress would arm a dozen years later. How long before these weapons are inevitably turn on us?

By Arnold Ahlert

Frontpage Magazine


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Islamists' Rise in Syria Undercuts Kerry's Claim They Play Minor Role

This week's takeover of Syrian rebel posts by al Qaida-linked fighters undercuts Secretary of State John Kerry's assertion to Congress earlier this month that moderates make up the bulk of the guerrilla movement against President Bashar Assad's regime and are growing stronger.

Kerry told Congress that Islamist extremists make up only 15 to 25 percent of the rebels. But a closer examination of the composition of fighting groups suggests that his figure is low.

Charles Lister, an analyst for IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center in Great Britain, circulated a study this week that showed that al Qaida-linked fighters and "hard-line Islamists" who coordinate closely with them number more than 40 percent of the anti-Assad forces. "Genuine moderates, with a distinctly nationalist-secular outlook," Lister said, account for 20 to 25 percent of the estimated 100,000 anti-Assad fighters.

Even some units that nominally are under the control of the U.S.-backed Supreme Military Council espouse radical ideology that opposes elections and other hallmarks of a democratic vision for Syria.

Battles of the past few days have only supported the assessment that Islamists, not moderates, hold sway in the anti-Assad movement. Al Qaida-linked fighters seized Free Syrian Army strongholds, most notably the town of Azaz near the Turkish border, amid intense firefights.

Attacks on foreign journalists by al Qaida-linked Islamists have risen so dramatically in the last few days that for the first time since the conflict began in 2011, Peter Bouckaert, the director of emergencies for Human Rights Watch, warned all foreign reporters Thursday to stay out of northern Syria.

"The risks can no longer be managed, even with the strongest security," said Bouckaert, who administers a Facebook page on logistics and security for war correspondents.

The changes in the fighters' makeup are at odds with the words of politicians such as Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who's been a vocal supporter of arming the "moderate" rebels as a counterweight to al Qaida's influence. McCain caused much fanfare when he slipped into Syria on a secret trip in May, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. visitor to rebel-held territory.

Asked whether McCain could make the same trip today, Bouckaert was categorical.


"Absolutely not," he said. "He might be able to hop across the border in some places, but going deep into Syria would be impossible because ISIS is operating in many places they weren't before."

He referred to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, an al Qaida affiliate made up primarily of foreign fighters (Sham is the Arabic word for the region that includes Syria). McCain's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

American pundits and officials are fond of sorting Syrian rebels into three broad categories: the "good rebels" affiliated with the Supreme Military Council, the conservative Islamists of an umbrella group called the Syrian Islamic Front, and the extremists in al Qaida-affiliated groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham and the Nusra Front.

Analysts who study the rebel forces complain that such broad catchalls overlook the complexity and nuance of the 1,000 or more anti-Assad militias.

In the case of the Supreme Military Council, for example, several units not only have adopted overtly sectarian and religious rhetoric but also have shown signs of only a nominal relationship with the council's leadership, preferring to align themselves with the much more effective fighters of Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, along with their allies.

One such group is the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya Battalion, a fighting unit in Tel Abyad, a town in eastern Syria across from Akcakale, Turkey.

The group proclaims loyalty to the Supreme Military Council and describes itself as part of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army. But Aymenn Tamimi, a student at Oxford University who studies jihadist groups that operate in Syria and Iraq, said the battalion had aligned itself with Ahrar al Sham -- an Islamist group that follows the literalist ideology of the more radical factions -- as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham in battling local Kurdish militias.

"Its logo claims FSA affiliation, but I know it is an ally of ISIS," Tamimi said. "If you look at the Facebook posting dated 19 August, they feature a post with the ISIS banner on it."

"What this shows is that the name FSA and the banner are not all that helpful in determining who is 'moderate' or not," he added.

The role of Ahrar al Sham is also disputed. While Lister doesn't include it among al Qaida-affiliated groups, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell did during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes."

Even the term "moderate" is problematic, and it has a meaning on the Syrian battlefield that's different from the one it has in a Washington think tank. Advocates of the U.S. arming Syrian rebels talk about the need for a "federal, democratic Syria" as one way to determine whether a rebel group is moderate.

But, Tamimi said, many large rebel groups, including Liwa al Tawheed, a military council-affiliated group that's taken the lead in fighting in Aleppo, "are hostile to this concept," particularly if it means granting autonomy to Syria's Kurdish minority, concentrated in the country's northeast.

The name of Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya Battalion indicates its extremist leanings. The name references an early Islamic scholar whom many al Qaida adherents consider an intellectual innovator who advocated a doctrine of rejecting and even killing fellow Muslims who fail to uphold the tenets of the religion. Such thinking, labeled "takfiri" in Arabic, argues that Muslims who advocate for any system of government beyond the most rigid interpretations of the Islamic state are heretics subject to death at the hands of "real" believers.

Such thinking is on the fringes of mainstream Islamic thought. Blind adherence to the ideology can breed especially dedicated and ruthless fighters, and might be one reason that fighters from Nusra and the Islamic State compose the most effective rebel units, a fact that's forced the U.S.-backed military council to coordinate with them.

"They have trucks that give them the ability to move and lots of experience from Afghanistan and Iraq," said Abu Omar al Homsi, a commander with the council-affiliated Farouk Brigades in Homs province. "They'll appear and join with our offensives, and of course we have to coordinate with them on some level. Even if we know that one day we might have to fight these people, most commanders have decided to deal with that problem after we deal with the bigger problem of Bashar."

Lister has said the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham has another important quality that most military council groups lack: the ability to coordinate military resources in 11 of Syria's 14 provinces. With most rebel groups operating on a hyper-local basis, that gives the Islamic State, and to a lesser extent Nusra, the ability to see the fight against Assad in broader geographical terms and an advantage in determining how to effectively manage their resources.

By Mitchell Prothero

McClatchy Newspapers


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They supported the Muslims directly against the Christians in Kosovo. Fact. They armed and supported the Muslim Kurds against the Christian Assyrians in Iraq. Fact. They forced the step-down of Mubarak with the goal of installing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Fact. They are arming Al Qaeda in the anti-Christian jihad in Syria right now. FACT!!! Whenever they have the chance to undermine the Christian people somewhere they NEVER miss the opportunity. They topple secular governments in places like Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria every chance they get.

They are the anti-Christ.

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Here's an idea: Leave the sandy, windswept, inhospitable desert to the MUslims and go somewhere else if you are a christian. Stop trying to "save" everyone. Just about every war over the last 2000 years has been brought about by jesus freaks sticking their noses where they don't belong.

Now, if the muslims try to step one foot out of their desert, then fine, give them bibles and bomb the crap out of them, but until then, just leave em be to wallow in their misery.

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The US supported both Christians and muslims in the Yugoslavian war. All of Nato did. There were areas where Christians were massacering Muslims and areas where Muslims were massacering Christians. NATO stepped in wherever people were being killed.

The US did not force Mubarek to step down in any way. Mubarek stepping down was a plot by the Egyptian army to remove him from power. The army pulled support for Mubarek. They allowed an "election". Then when the election didn't go there way, they removed the Muslim Brotherhood and re-installed their own guys in power. The US was initially very oppossed to removing Mubarek, who was their long term ally. They only supported the idea when the writing was on the wall for Mubarek. The idea that they set the chain of events up or that they forced the decision is ridiculous. The US continues to give the Egyptian army, who are oppossed to the MB, billions.

The US is not arming anyone in Syria right now. Russia has accussed the US of doing so through their national paper, the "Russian Times". However, even they state this aid only just started and is giong towards non-jihadists factions within the rebels:


In Iraq many Christians are fleeing into Kurdistan. That part of Iraq is the saffet part for Christians. The massacres are largely being done by Iranian and Saudi funded jihadists in the major cities.

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For those of you who don't think that the US is supporting Terrorist groups who kill Christians, you need to read a source from outside of the US. Fox and CNN are not really 'news' providers they are big money marketing tools that sort of report some news but with a slant. Call someone in a country like Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc... and ask them what is REALLY going on. It is rough being a Christian anywhere right now.

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For those of you who don't think that the US is supporting Terrorist groups who kill Christians, you need to read a source from outside of the US. Fox and CNN are not really 'news' providers they are big money marketing tools that sort of report some news but with a slant. Call someone in a country like Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc... and ask them what is REALLY going on. It is rough being a Christian anywhere right now.

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The Christian genocide in the middle east is a story that you won't be reading about in the main stream media, I'm afraid. Iraq has lost more than half it's Christian population since the 2003 Bush invasion. I warned people then that the Kurds would use the invasion as an opportunity to finish their centuries old project of Kurdifying the Christian lands of Northern Iraq. Of course, the US knew as well as I did the result of their toppling of Saddam the Secular, protector of Iraq's Christians, would be the extermination of Iraq's indigenous Assyrian people, it was clearly an important part of the strategic calculation. Given the way that Great Britain betrayed these people in the 19th and early 20th centuries (promised a homeland in the Mosul district if they fought the Ottomans and then not only failed to support them militarily,l but reneged on the promise of statehood and buddied up to the Kurdish butchers), you could almost make the case that this habitual undermining of the Christian position in the region comes from an anti-Christian belief, not merely unhappy coincidence.

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