Tag Archives: Syrian War

Reps Gabbard, Scott Introduce Bill to End U.S. Effort to ‘Overthrow Syrian Government of Assad’

Rep Tulsi Gabbard: End Illegal War Against Syrian Government of Assad, Focus on Destroying ISIS

On CNN “New Day,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard explained why it’s critical that the US end its illegal and counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and instead ally itself with France, Russia, and other countries to focus on destroying ISIS and other Islamic extremists who have declared war on western civilization.

Posted by Tulsi Gabbard on Sunday, November 22, 2015

Late last week, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), two House Armed Services Committee members, introduced a bipartisan bill to “end U.S. efforts to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad.”

In a press release, Rep. Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq war and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, condemned the United States government’s desire to remove Assad from power and said that the U.S should “ally ourselves with any countries willing to focus on destroying the Islamic extremists who pose a genuine threat to civilization.”

Rep. Scott said that “our primary mission should be the war against ISIS, al Qaeda, and radical Islamic extremists that have operations both inside and outside of Syria and Iraq.” Scott said those groups “are currently threatening attacks on our homeland” and he expressed support for “eliminating these radical Islamic terrorists through any means necessary.” However, Scott noted that “working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.”

“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria. The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11,” Gabbard said in a press release.

[pull_quote_center]The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. The war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria—which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world. Also, the war to overthrow Assad is illegal because Congress never authorized it.[/pull_quote_center]

In the press release, Gabbard listed ten reasons why she believes the United States should halt its attempt to overthrow Assad. Her first reason stated that “if we succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, it will open the door for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremists to take over all of Syria. There will be genocide and suffering on a scale beyond our imagination. These Islamic extremists will take over all the weaponry, infrastructure, and military hardware of the Syrian army and be more dangerous than ever before.”

Gabbard cautioned that “we should learn from our past mistakes in Iraq and Libya that U.S. wars to overthrow secular dictators (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) cause even more chaos and human suffering and open the door for Islamic extremists to take over in those countries.”

She also noted that “the money and weapons the CIA is providing to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad are going directly or indirectly into the hands of the Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and others who are the actual enemies of the United States. These groups make up close to 90 percent of the so-called opposition forces, and are the most dominant fighters on the ground.”

Gabbard made similar remarks on CNN last month before the terror attacks in Paris, telling Wolf Blitzer that “by working towards overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, we are not only strengthening our enemy- the Islamic extremists who will walk in and take over all of the country of Syria, right now they have about half of the country under their control- but it also put us in that position of a potential direct head-to-head conflict with Russia, which brings us to the brink of a potential larger conflict of a WWIII-type of situation.” She also criticized the government for providing arms to “our sworn enemies.”

In March, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode, The Origin of ISIS, that exposed how certain U.S. foreign policy decisions, including providing weapons to “rebels,” bolstered the rise of ISIS.



Syria’s Game of Thrones: Obama backs Al Qaida and the Chechen terrorists

From 1979 to 1989, the Soviet Union was involved in a long, drawn out war in Afghanistan which came to be known as “Russia’s Vietnam.”  At the time, the US was backing anti Russian forces in the country.  Those forces – collectively known as the Mujahideen – were fighting against the pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

One of the main leaders of the Mujahideen was Osama Bin Laden – originally from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family – and were ultimately successful in toppling the government.  They didn’t, however, form a new government right away, and ultimately the Pakistan and Saudi-backed Taliban were able to seize control.  These radical groups backed Bin Laden’s attack on the US in September 11, prompting the US to enter a near-decade-long war in the country.

Unfortunately, it seems that neither Russia nor the US has learned much from history, and the geopolitical conflicts of the Cold War have shifted almost entirely to the Middle East.  Russia’s control over Europe’s oil supply gives the country a substantial amount of influence in that region, but the oil comes from the Middle East, making it the strategically relevant region of the 21st century.

The difference between the Middle East and the former battleground of Eastern Europe, though, is that in the 1940s, Eastern Europe had no strong regional powers.  The empires which had previously dominated the region had disintegrated, and no one had replaced them.  The Middle East, however, does have its own strong regional players.

The Saudis and Iranians are vying for control over the Middle East, and each support different sets of regional forces.  The Saudis are allied with the USA, while Iran is backed by Russia and China; the Saudis support Al Qaida, and Iran supports Hezbollah.  The Saudis support the rebel forces – much as they did in Afghanistan – while Iran’s alliance is with Syria’s current leader, Bashar Hafez al-Assad.


It’s in this context that recent reports of Saudi-Russian negotiations have emerged.  In a recent meeting with Vladimir Putin, Prince Bandar bin Sultan tried to urge the Russian President to withhold support from Assad’s regime.  The Saudi Prince and intelligence leader reportedly offered Putin a multi-billion dollar arms deal, as well as guaranteed continued control over Europe’s oil supply.

Russia declined, but Russian and Lebanese reports have detailed other alleged incentives from Saudi Arabia.  Russia’s relationship with Syria gives it a warm-water naval base on the Mediterranean, and Bandar promised to safeguard that even if Assad is removed from power.  He also issued threats, according to those sources, including threatening the Russian Olympics next year.

“The Chechen groups which threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he said, adding that “We use them in the face of the Syrian regime, but they have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”  He said this to assuage any potential Russian concerns over helping the Chechen terrorists who have killed so many Russian civilians.

It’s worth noting that, as America backs the Saudis, and they back Al Qaida and the Chechen terrorists, through its relationship with the House of Saud, America is actually helping to fund terrorism against both Russia and itself.  The moral implications are far greater than any inaction in Syria.  Involvement in Syria will support Saudi Arabia more than it does anyone else in the region, or indeed the world.  The Russians have every right to be skeptical of the Saudis, just as the US has every right to be skeptical of Iran.

Unlike Eastern Europe, the Russian-American geopolitical games in the Middle East will have no positive impact on the region or its people.  Both countries are acting as mere pawns for regional empires with no moral conviction in their relations with other nations, or even toward their own citizens.  To support either is shortsighted and actively detrimental, and could easily lead to more of the long, drawn out conflicts both Russia and America have experienced in the region.

Israeli-American Scholar: Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?

According to Yossef Bodansky, respected scholar and Senior Editor of GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs, states, “There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the August 21, 2013, chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a pre-meditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.”

“The extent of US foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light,” Bodanski said. Read article here.

Bodansky’s report along with other reports from Benswann.com have demonstrated, based on facts, a quite different narrative than what the Obama administration and hawkish Republicans are trying to sell the American people. But there are dissenting voices in both major political parties who oppose the push for a Syrian war.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D) agrees with Sen. Rand Paul not to get involved with Syria’s civil war.

Grayson told CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, “The secretary (John Kerry) said that the evidence against Assad was undeniable, well its been denied.”

In fact the Syrian government said that (a) they didn’t do it, (b) they never would do it, (c) they never will do it, and (d) they invited U.N. inspectors to prove that. To say it was undeniable is flatly false,” said Grayson.

“Even if we have undeniable evidence the simple fact is it’s not our responsibility. Sometimes everyone needs to learn the principle of minding your own business,” said Grayson.

Tapper asked, “Based on what you have seen in the media and the congressional office you’re not convinced that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in Syria?”

“First of all it is not even clear that it was a chemical attack. If it was a chemical attack then the residue that was left on the clothing of victims would have poisoned other people. That hasn’t happened. Secondly, it could have easily been the rebels who did it or some defective parts of the Syrian military, and third, even if it was a chemical attack, if it was the military doing it. There is no evidence that it was a deliberate decision on the part of the leadership in Syria. And I don’t like sitting here sounding like an apologist for a dictator, but the fact is if you are going to say there is clear evidence and its undeniable that’s the way it ought to be. The British put out a report that it is not undeniable and the evidence is quite unclear. We are not the world’s policeman that is not our responsibility, said Grayson.

Grayson told Tapper, “Obama is giving only one side of the story.”

Americans demand clear answers.

Bodansky poses these questions at the end of his article:

Given the extent of the involvement of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” in opposition activities, how is that US Intelligence did not know in advance about the opposition’s planned use of chemical weapons in Damascus?

And if they did know and warned the Obama White House, why then the sanctimonious rush to blame the Assad Administration?

Moreover, how can the Obama Administration continue to support and seek to empower the opposition which had just intentionally killed some 1,300 innocent civilians in order to provoke a US military intervention?




Opinion: Obama Crossing the Rubicon into Syria

US Presidents do not have the legal power to declare wars. Barack Obama ignored that Constitutional guarantee in Libya, and is set to begin another war while Congress is not even in session. If we continue to allow Presidents to attack small nations whenever they need a distracting headline, then they are no longer “Presidents”, and we are no longer a Republic.

The politicians who want to borrow (or print) more billions to pre-emptively attack Syria are the same politicians who used our foreign aid to pay for the Pakistani and North Korean nuclear weapons. Muslim nations receive five times more US foreign aid than Israel, and North Korea still gets our support for its hereditary dictator. The US has helped every dictator in the world since 1945, including Castro, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin. We also funded the Taliban both through direct foreign aid and via the Pakistani spy service… in fact, the GAO reports that the Taliban still receives at least $500 million a year in payoffs from US contractors in Afghanistan. If our foreign policy is supposed to get rid of dictators, maybe we should take them off our welfare rolls first.

From 1971-2001, USAID says that US foreign aid to Syria was $539 million. In recent years, US money has been funneled to the Assad regime through the UN. In June, the UN announced plans to spend 5.2 billion in aid to Syria in 2013, much of which would go through the regime. And there is always the inscrutable Federal Reserve, which since 1980 has “monetized” (i.e. paid off) billions of dollars worth of foreign bonds held by US banks, making accurate foreign aid totals impossible to obtain (probably even the US state department doesn’t know the amount). While much less than aid to Egypt or Pakistan, our taxes still gave the Syrian dictator dynasty enough support that they could afford to suppress their own nation’s economy to control dissent.

Militarily, the US has been allied with the Assads for decades. In 1991 Hafez al-Assad sent 14,500 soldiers and support personnel to attack Saddam Hussein in Desert Storm. In 2001 the Syrian secret police joined with US intelligence agencies in the War on Terror.

So the US has been supporting the vicious dictatorship for decades. Now, however, we are also supporting an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist insurgency. So now we are paying for both sides of the war (as the GAO says that we have done in Afghanistan).

What if, instead of paying for both sides of various wars, we just kept all our money at home and left it in the US economy? Our military spending on offensive forces is nearly as much as all the other nations’ combined. What if we used some of that money for Swiss-style civil defense to protect our own children in the event of terrorist or WMD attack?

A United States that wasn’t involved in Middle Eastern, African, and Central Asian wars would be a more secure United States. Not only would we have fewer enemies, but we wouldn’t be bankrupt and vulnerable when there is an unavoidable conflict. Right now our debt is bigger than our GNP… we can’t even afford to pay for the last few wars we fought, let alone start new ones.

Thomas Jefferson warned against getting entangled in the wars of other nations. “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” But then Thomas Jefferson was a President, not an Emperor.