If you thought the Isis war couldn’t get any worse, just wait for more of the CIA
Even America’s top spies know that arming rebels is ‘doomed to failure’ – but that can’t stop Obama’s gun-running operation
By Trevor Timm
Information on secret weapons already flowing into Syria has been kept in hiding from most of the people who approved paying for them. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty
As the war against the Islamic State in Syria has fallen into even more chaos – partially due to the United States government’s increasing involvement there – the White House’s bright new idea seems to be to ramping up the involvement of the intelligence agency that is notorious for making bad situations worse. As the Washington Post reported late Friday, “The Obama administration has been weighing plans to escalate the CIA’s role in arming and training fighters in Syria, a move aimed at accelerating covert U.S. support to moderate rebel factions while the Pentagon is preparing to establish its own training bases.”
Put aside for a minute that the Central Intelligence Agency has been secretly arming Syrian rebels with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and antitank weapons since at least 2012 – and with almost nothing to show for it. Somehow the Post neglected to cite a front-page New York Times article from just one month agoalerting the public to the existence of a still-classified internal CIA study admitting that arming rebels with weapons has rarely – if ever – worked:
‘One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?’ said one former senior administration official who participated in the debate and spoke anonymously because he was discussing a classified report. The C.I.A. report, he said, ‘was pretty dour in its conclusions.’
The Times cited the most well-known of CIA failures, including the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and the arming of the Nicaraguan contra rebels that led to the disastrous Iran-Contra scandal. Even the agency’s most successful mission – slowly bleeding out the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s by arming the mujahideen – paved the way for the worst terrorist attack on the US in its history.
But as anyone who has read journalist Tim Weiner’s comprehensive and engrossing history of the CIA knows, the agency’s past is a graveyard rife with literally dozens of catastrophic failures involving covert weapons deals to countless war criminals and con artists in an attempt to overthrow governments all over the world. Not only has the CIA failed repeatedly,but oftentimes its plan has completely backfired, solidifying the very power of the actor it sought to remove and leaving the people the agency claimed to be helping in a much, much worse-off spot than before the CIA gun-running mission began.
We’ve already seen Syrian fortunes turn for the worse as the US has stepped up involvement in the past few months, as Bashar al-Assad has gone on the offensive against the US-backed rebels, and as the US airstrikes have reportedly led to Isis and al-Qaida reuniting, after being sworn enemies for more than a year. The two terrorist groups then proceeded to route the “moderate” rebels in combat and are currently in possession of many of the US-made weapons previously owned by the rebels.
Two months ago, the US Congress voted to send hundreds of millions of dollars in more arms to Syria. Even the politicians voting on sending countless more US weapons into the middle of a civil war were kept in the dark about the CIA’s internal report. That should be a scandal, right up there with the torture report the CIA is trying to keep secret, too.
But at least a few in-the-know elected officials were aware of the dangers of insanity of Congress’ Syria vote. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim and Sam Stein quoted an unnamed Democratic Congressman in September who was even more blunt, insisting that the CIA’s belief in arming rebels was “doomed to failure”:
‘I have heard it expressed, outside of classified contexts, that what you heard from your intelligence sources is correct, because the CIA regards the effort as doomed to failure,’ the congressman said in an email. ‘Specifically (again without referring to classified information), the CIA thinks that it is impossible to train and equip a force of pro-Western Syrian nationals that can fight and defeat Assad,al-Nusra and ISIS, regardless of whatever air support that force may receive.’
The unnamed Congressman added: “The CIA also believes that its previous assignment to accomplish this was basically a fool’s errand, and they are well aware of the fact that many of the arms that they provided ended up in the wrong hands.”
But the information on the secret weapons that were already flowing into Syria has been kept in hiding from most of Congress. John Kerry refused to answer any questions about the CIA’s activities in Syria when asked by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite the news of the agency’s involvement in Syria being on the front page of newspapers for years. “I hate to do this,” he said. “But I can’t confirm or deny whatever that’s been written about and I can’t really go into any kind of possible program.”
Perhaps the most shocking part is that we know Barack Obama himself has read the CIA study and knows that arming rebels in Syria – or anywhere – was an incredibly dangerous idea. Seemingly referencing the study, Obama told David Remnick of the New Yorker earlier this year:
Very early in this process, I actually asked the C.I.A. to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn’t come up with much.
So even though the CIA “couldn’t come up with much” proof of any time when sending tons of weapons into a war zone full of extremists has worked in the past, or that the agency itself has told Congressmen arming the rebels was “doomed to failure,” the Obama administration is ready to do just that.
No one doubts that Isis is a horrific terrorist group that’s terrible for the entire Middle East – as it proved over the weekend by barbarically beheading another innocent aid worker – but further entrenching the CIA and its weapons into an already awful situation can really only make things worse. Much worse.
The thousands of secret documents leaked by Wikileaks US repaired no praise when describing Bernardino León (Málaga, 1964). USA dubbed him “golden boy” of the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and ventured that his career would take “far beyond where it is now.” Then he was the principal adviser to the president on foreign policy and today’s special representative of the European Union for the Southern Mediterranean and
Arab Spring that just will not bloom.
Two and half years later, Egypt lives on the edge, with a battered economy, high debt, low and tourism to survive an outstanding loan from the International Monetary Fund hours. The country, as in Tunisia, Islamism and grow governs the voices calling for restricting the rights of women or freedom of the press. Syria remains a tinderbox and other regimes resolve the dissatisfaction with the necessary concessions to perpetuate power.
Leon, waiting to be renovated in office in June, facing the situation calmly. The special representative, who runs marathons, believe in almost everything, even in the Arab Spring, perseverance is the key to success.
They’ve spent two and a half the outbreak of the Arab Spring years. Can you say who has spent a great feast to a tough hangover?
As Europeans, we are required to analyze it from a historical perspective. We know that transitions last long and in some European countries have not yet been completed. Pretender finding results very quickly and, above all, link their lack of real will to democracy is a huge mistake. I think the process continues to meet its logical steps. The Islamists are not building dictatorships and excluding others.
The Arab Spring – follows an Islamist winter?
They just finished the transition phases linked to the previous regimes and now we live in a completely logical process when you consider that this revolution did groups with a vision of politics and very different society. Now the Islamists have won in Tunisia and Egypt. There is polarization and instability is normal but in the end, what matters is an agreement between Islamists and liberals. In Tunisia, after a very difficult time after the Chokri Belaid murder was a moment of great tension. However, it has formed a coalition government. They have even gone more games than the previous.
That is, that the rise of Islam is not a risk but an unavoidable stage.
We are accustomed to see Islam as a threat, but not per se to be a hazard. We tend to confuse Islam with fundamentalism and jihadism. But governs Islam in Turkey and the country has proven to be the most pro-European reformers of the past decades.
They’re different countries makings. In the case of Turkey has always outweighed the influence and legacy of Atatürk, the father of the country and its secularism.
Ataturk and Habib Bourguiba [president of Tunisia between 1957 and 1977] have many similarities. The role of women in Tunisia is unmatched in other Mediterranean countries. In short, we know that Islam is not the problem. There are different types of Islam by country.
They will make mistakes. We are seeing and is common in such countries.
‘In Egypt there are fewer than Hosni Mubarak parliamentary and there are voices that criticize that there are pressures to restrict certain rights that existed before. Against Mubarak life was better?
No. The leaders of Islamist movements in Tunisia and Egypt have insisted that there will be no turning back. The gains for women are collective achievements and country. We’ve heard of Rachid Ghannouchi, the Tunisian Islamist leader. It is true that in the Egypt of Mubarak timid changes occurred. His wife, Suzanne Mubarak led a campaign against female genital mutilation.
Precisely Salafist groups now claim mutilation.
Salafism is a difficult qualifying as a political movement and the distances between them and the Islamists are enormous. Even within Salafism we are seeing big changes. Just before the revolution leaders were very rough, with very basic speeches, and in recent months have come a long way. When they commented to the IMF loan to Egypt I was told that “the Koran says that necessity makes the unacceptable acceptable.”
Right. They begin to understand that politics is the art of the possible and you can not work on the basis of unrealistic principles. Islamist governments know they have to make virtue of necessity. Your credibility depends on foreign affairs as progress in women’s rights.
CAN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS TRANSITION TO THWARTING DEMOCRACY?
‘The Arab Spring was born not only as a requirement of democracy, but to improve the standard of living. Does the economic instability threatens political transitions?
Revolutions settled around dignity not only understood from the political arena. Egypt is now living a very difficult time, with most of the population in poverty, in unacceptable conditions, work without any protection. Investment has fallen and tourism. The situation has solutions that work for us immediately. The IMF is negotiating an agreement but not yet closed.
-What will happen it not?
Failure to reach an agreement with the IMF soon, which it will be an important opportunity for Europe and USA strengthen their investment in the country condition, the situation will be very difficult. In Egypt no reserves left. It is resisting because it has had a emergency loan of 3,000 million Qatar and Libya 2,000 million. The budget deficit will exceed 12,000 million and debt to energy companies is 9,000 million. Or we find a solution in a few weeks or there is a real risk that the economic problems to affect the political transition.
- Political and economic instability slows the spread of revolution to other countries, such as the Gulf monarchies? Stated another way, the experience of Tunisia and Egypt slows monarchies concessions to their citizens and avoid demands of society?
They are two different phenomena. Not the fear of instability which slows societies that have a thirst for freedom. We know that in Libya and Syria people took to the streets against regimes that had no scruples and commit savage acts. It is not that fear that stops them. But I do not think we can talk of contagion to countries in the Gulf. Except in the case of Yemen, who is a tribal society, the only country where there has been conflict in Bahrain, for problem which came back.
That is, the Arab Spring has consolidated only where there has already been riots, no more travel.
Has a long journey. Egypt has a key that can open or close a door. Tunisia also, but it is a very special case, because it is known as the Switzerland or Singapore of the Mediterranean, with unique characteristics. If a functioning democracy is consolidated in Egypt, I am convinced that we will gradually changes in all Mediterranean countries.
When? It depends on how long it takes Egypt to reverse the key. But once you do, it will be irreversible.
SYRIA: ARM THE REBELS YES, BUT HOW?
-What The EU and USA are unable to overthrow Bashar Al Assad, who massacres his people, which says on its ability to accompany transitions?
Syria is a very special country in which there are more than 20 minorities. We are not only witnessing a conflict between those who want democracy and they do not want, but the actors choose to support one side or another depending on future consequences. Decisions have to be taken with extreme caution, because there are close to Al Qaeda elements that make us all think twice. Many have memories of Afghanistan, where he supported the
Taliban. We have made mistakes in the past, supporting Mubarak, Ben Ali, Muammar Gaddafi. That mistake we are not committed in the Syrian case.
‘In March, the EU showed its division between those who wanted to arm the rebels and those who do not.
If the lowest common denominator in the EU does not serve to advance Syria, where 27 have tried to go beyond not have agreed.
Everyone would like to spend the economic and political opposition to military support, to help tip the balance in favor of supporting the rebels. At the same time, everyone wants to ensure that these weapons are paid with the money of our citizens do not end up turning against them. It is necessary that these weapons will ever be good hands to fight for truth and freedom democrtacia and are not elements that reinforce or elemenos of jihadists and Al Qaeda is a threat to Europe. Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece are very close to
- Arming the rebels is not the solution now. It’s not what but how I care at this time.
“SPAIN LIVE A CRISIS OF VALUES, MORALS CASI”
Spain -How seen in the distance?
The situation is difficult. We say that the situation will improve in 2014 or 2016 as if the crisis were only economic. It is, but also politics, values , almost moral. The trouble is that finding, but one does not see action with the depth and ambition needed by the whole of society and institutions. The perspective that gives you exposure to areas where everyone is involved, where a vehemence for solutions means you can not be optimistic.
How do you see the protest movements emerged in Spain and disaffection of the policy?
They are a logical answer. My own children are in that dynamic. It is a rejection of politicians who seem to engage in defending formulas always like things have not changed. I’m not worth the view that everything that has to do with politics is bad, because politics is nothing more than finding solutions. These movements are on the street are also political, but not enough to reject it. From politics to look for solutions in which everyone must get involved.
‘The corruption in countries like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, much of the carried resources to accompany a successful transition. Did he think the Corruption in Spain was so ingrained? Did you know?
I had no idea. It has been one of the biggest blows throughout this stage. It’s terrible, a big disappointment. Together, we must transform a model that goes beyond the legal or political. Have to focus on earlier stages as the field of education. A society with corruption, which does not take into account other values is a society that has no future.
- Europe is a part of his career, is he back from exile?
The question contains an assessment we make many times. When you come called black men, when it comes to giving sovereignty to Europe … we talk about Europe as alien, but it’s not. We are Europe. Spain is a huge part of it, so I, being Andalusian or Malaga, I am one of those realities. Many solutions involve the EU. The biggest challenge facing Europe is Spain and southern Mediterranean. That does not mean they do not ponder, does not take me that no part of the reflection and debate.
WORLD SHOCKED BY THIS BETRAYAL! TURKEY’S RADAR SYSTEM PROTECTING ISRAEL FROM GAZA ROCKETS
MISSILE SHIELD in so called Islamic Erdogan Govenment TURKEY is protecting zionists from Gaza Rockets!
Almost 40% of the Palestinians are homeless, all of them hungry, nearly 1300 heavily injured, 190 dead… This is the heavy price of defending their own country from the illegitimate regime occupying the holy lands. It has been seven days so far. No one can sleep in Gaza. Could you image the pain they suffer in the Holy month of RAMADAN.
They are inhuman zionists, we know them. But unfortunately we do not know the Muslim FACED zionists transmitting data of resistance rocket, betraying the whole Ummah. Yes, they seem to be friends of Muslims but in fact they are more zionist and inhuman than Ariel Sharon as they betray and deceive the sincere feelings of Muslim Turks.
The Missile shield set up in Malatya/Kürecik town in 2012 has been functioning and sending signals to zionists since that year. The radar station has been established under the pretext of Syria crisis to save Turkey(!) from the missiles coming from Syria(!). After a short while the allegations uncovering the fact that radar base was in fact established to save terrorist regime from a possible war with Resistance Groups surrounding the occupied territories.
To save the terror regime or to protect Turkey from the very unlikely Syria attack?
Although the experts declared clear opinions about the impossibility of intercepting and preventing any possible attack from Syria, people seemed to believe that Radar System is not for israel’s interests and security as Erdogan government redesigned the public opinion that the system will certainly be controlled by NATO forces.
Coordination of the system tested and approved
Defense News Magazine known US Defense news magazine reported that israel has tested the Iron Dome aerial defensesystem and as a result of these tests, the system was integrated with the Radar Base in Turkey. The magazine also stated that the defense system was really tested in real life situation on November 20, 2012 in the attack conducted by HAMAS.The rockets were intercepted and signals from the radar base were sent to the iron dome control unit in israel and the threat was eliminated through the signals sent from Turkey’s Kürecik. In the previous trials the Blue Sparrow Missiles sent by israeli jets were simultaneously intercepted and the protecting system eliminating the missile worked properly. In this drills both the coordination and and data tarnsfer between Kürecik and iron dome was tested.
israeli soldiers were in the radar base
The radar system creating conflict between Iran and Turkey was established under the umbrella of NATO but in fact it was for the forthcoming war started by israel. Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz denied the the fact that zionist soldiers were in the radar base and controlling the radar unit.
Erdogan’s ONE MINUTE SHOW
After the one minute show everybody supposed Erdogan a real anti-zionist politician. The facts revealed shortly after the establishment of the radar system and after he introduced himself as the co-chairman of BIG MIDDLE EAST PROJECT.2008 Hezbollah, 2009 Hamas victories against israelobliged israel friendly puppet regimes find a protective umbrella for israel. The most challenging issue which was more complicated than preventing resistance rockets was the ammunition flow provided from Syria.
It seems that the weapons coming from Iran through Syria has not been prevented yet. InshaAllah, all the world understand why Assad and Maliki regimes were attacked by global terroristsall over the world and how Syrian people paid the bill with their life and destruction of the whole country as a price of supporting resistance in Palestine.
“If ‘winning’ means remaining as president of Syria, I think [Assad] is winning.”
Editors Note: Finally the US is coming to grips with reality they (F.UK.U.S., ISRAEL, QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA) are loosing in Syria even with all the financing and training of the TAKFIRS (AL QAIDA, NUSRA, FREE SYRIAN ARMY AND A LIST OF DESIGNATED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS) in Syria.
Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network: Syrian Arab Army units & National Defence Forces repelled foreign armed mercenaries and terrorist groups in many provinces, destroyed their weapons, hideouts and equipment. Mercenary terrorist groups have committed horrific crimes, against the…
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