Historic civil law suit against alleged war criminal George W. Bush in California: Chilcot Report submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court

Global Research, July 25, 2016
Witness Iraq 23 July 2016

We are pleased to announce that excerpts from the Chilcot Report by the British Iraq Inquiry Committee have been submitted to the Ninth Circuit in support of the plaintiff’s case in Saleh v. Bush, et al.

What is the current status of the case?

Currently, Saleh v. Bush is on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.  Ms. Saleh’s lawsuit in federal court against US government leaders named as Defendants — George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz — was dismissed in December 2014 after the district court immunized the Defendants, ruling they were acting within the lawful scope of their employment when they planned and executed the Iraq War.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair shaking hands with Defendant-Appellee George W. Bush.

Ms. Saleh is arguing on appeal that the Defendants should not be immunized. She alleges that the Defendants  were acting from personally held convictions that the US should invade Iraq, regardless of any legitimate policy reasons. Specifically, she is pointing to a record of statements made by some of the Defendants in leading neoconservative outlets in which they called for the military overthrow of the Hussein regime as early as 1997.

She is also arguing that Bush administration officials knowingly lied to the public by fraudulently tying Hussein to Al Qaida and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Such misrepresentations would also make them personally liable for their conduct under relevant law.

The Ninth Circuit has not indicated when it will issue a ruling on the appeal.

What is the Chilcot Report?

The Chilcot Report is the final report issued by the Iraq Inquiry, a committee established by the British Government in 2009 to investigate what happened during the run up to the Iraq War. Composed of British “privy counsellors,” the report was released on July 6, 2016 after more than 6 years of investigation, research, and drafting.

Why is the Chilcot Report important to the Saleh v. Bush lawsuit?

The Chilcot Report contains (i) factual conclusions by the privy counsellors about what happened during the run up to the Iraq War, (ii) actual documentation (including written notes between Blair and Bush) that show a plan to go to war in Iraq as early as October 2001, and (iii) statements of international law by distinguished experts who have concluded that the Iraq War was illegal and constituted aggression against Iraq.

What are some of the pieces of evidence submitted to the Ninth Circuit?

These are some of the excerpts that we highlighted for the Ninth Circuit as evidence that the Iraq War was illegal, and that government leaders were not acting within the lawful scope of their employment authority when they planned and executed the Iraq War:

Conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry Committee:

  1. President Bush decided at the end of 2001 to pursue a policy of regime change in Iraq.
  1. On 26 February 2002, Sir Richard Dearlove, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, advised that the US Administration had concluded that containment would not work, was drawing up plans for a military campaign later in the year, and was considering presenting Saddam Hussein with an ultimatum for the return of inspectors while setting the bar “so high that Saddam Hussein would be unable to comply.”
  1. Mr Straw’s advice of 25 March proposed that the US and UK should seek an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to re-admit weapons inspectors. That would provide a route for the UK to align itself with the US without adopting the US objective of regime change. This reflected advice that regime change would be unlawful.
  1. Sir Richard Dearlove reported that he had been told that the US had already taken a decision on action – “the question was only how and when;” and that he had been told it intended to set the threshold on weapons inspections so high that Iraq would not be able to hold up US policy.

Conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry Committee related to the legal analysis of the British government leading up to the war:

  1. Despite being told that advice was not needed for Mr Blair’s meeting with President Bush on 31 January, Lord Goldsmith wrote on 30 January to emphasise that his view remained that resolution 1441 did not authorise the use of military force without a further determination by the Security Council.
  1. Mr Wood had warned Mr Straw on 24 January that “without a further decision by the Council, and absent extraordinary circumstances”, the UK would not be able lawfully to use force against Iraq.
  1. Mr Wood wrote that Kosovo was “no precedent”: the legal basis was the need to avert an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe; no draft resolution had been put to the Security Council; and no draft had been vetoed. He hoped there was: “… no doubt in anyone’s mind that without a further decision of the Council, and absent extraordinary circumstances (of which at present there is no sign), the United Kingdom cannot lawfully use force against Iraq to ensure compliance with its SCR WMD obligations. To use force without Security Council authority would amount to the crime of aggression.”
  1. Lord Goldsmith recognised that there was a possibility of a legal challenge

Underlying statements and facts relied on by the Iraq Inquiry Committee

15 January 2010 Statement by Foreign & Commonwealth Office legal advisor Sir Michael Wood to the Iraq Inquiry Committee

I considered that the use of force against Iraq in March 2003 was contrary to international law. In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorized by the Security Council, and had no other legal basis in international law.

18 January 2010 Statement by Foreign & Commonwealth Office legal advisor Elizabeth Wilmshurst to the Iraq Inquiry Committee

I regarded the invasion of Iraq as illegal, and I therefore did not feel able to continue in my post. I would have been required to support and maintain the Government’s position in international fora. The rules of international law on the use of force by States are at the heart of international law. Collective security, as opposed to unilateral military action, is a central purpose of the Charter of the United Nations. Acting contrary to the Charter, as I perceived the Government to be doing, would have the consequence of damaging the United Kingdom’s reputation as a State committed to the rule of law in international relations and to the United Nations.

12 July 2010 Statement by Carne Ross, First Secretary of the U.K. Permanent Mission to the U.N. to the Iraq Inquiry Committee

This process of exaggeration was gradual, and proceeded by accretion and editing from document to document, in a way that allowed those participating to convince themselves that they were not engaged in blatant dishonesty. But this process led to highly misleading statements about the UK assessment of the Iraqi threat that were, in their totality, lies.

October 11, 2001 message from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to George W. Bush

I have no doubt we need to deal with Saddam. But if we hit Iraq now, we would lose the Arab world, Russia, probably half of the EU …

However, I am sure we can devise a strategy for Saddam deliverable at a later date. My suggestion is, in order to give ourselves space that we say: phase 1 is the military action focused on Afghanistan because it’s there that perpetrators of 11 September hide. Phase 2 is the medium and longer term campaign against terrorism in all its forms. …

(Mr. Blair was apparently discussing with Defendant-Appellee Bush regime change in Iraq just one month after the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Mr. Blair’s suggestion for “phase 1” of the U.S.-U.K. strategy on the war on terrorism to first direct military action toward “Afghanistan because it’s there that perpetrators of 11 September hide,” further supports allegations that U.S. officials used an unrelated terrorist attack to execute a pre-existing plan of regime change in Iraq.  Mr. Blair then went on to discuss a “phase 2” that would include invading Iraq).

December 4, 2001 message from  former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to George W. Bush

Iraq is a threat because it has WMD capability … But any link to 11 September and AQ [Al Qaeda] is at best very tenuous; and at present international opinion would be reluctant, outside the US/UK, to support immediate military action … So we need a strategy for regime change that builds over time. …

(This note supports allegations that U.S. government leaders were aware that Iraq had no link to the 9/11 attacks or Al Qaeda and support allegations that U.S. government leaders made false statements to the public about the threat Iraq posed, or its connection to Al Qaeda, in order to support a war and satisfy personally-held objectives of regime change that had no legitimate policy underpinning)

July 28, 2002 message from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to George W. Bush:

I will be with you, whatever …

The Evidence. Again, I have been told the US thinks this unnecessary. But we still need to make the case. If we recapitulate all the WMD evidence; add his attempts to secure nuclear capability; and, as seems possible, add on Al Qaida link, it will be hugely persuasive over here.

(This note confirms that U.S. government official’s intent to invade Iraq was well-formed by July 2002. Mr. Blair’s July 2002 note to George W. Bush observed that U.S. officials thought evidence supporting regime change was “unnecessary” and that an “Al Qaida link” could be simply be tacked onto government messaging in order to sell the war).

Statements by legal experts who have concluded that the Iraq War was illegal

10 September 2010 Submission by Philippe Sands QC to the Iraq Inquiry Committee

Distinguished members of the legal community in the United Kingdom have also concluded without ambiguity that the war was unlawful.

9 September 2010 Statement by Professor Nicholas Grief to the Iraq Inquiry Committee (emphasis added).

A second Security Council resolution specifically and unambiguously authorising military action was required. The vague warning of ‘serious consequences’ in resolution 1441 did not suffice, and to interpret resolution 678 as granting the necessary authority was not ‘good faith’ interpretation as required by international law. Without such a resolution, the invasion of Iraq constituted an act of aggression, contrary to Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

What happens next?

The Department of Justice has indicated that it will oppose the filing of these portions from the Chilcot Report with the Ninth Circuit. We will circulate the DOJ opposition once it has been filed.

Terror attack in Nice: Open letter to President Hollande, the French Republic’s Frankenstein

Global Research, July 16, 2016

President Hollande, after this terrorist attack that has rocked our country, you addressed the nation with emotion and dignity, expressing your compassion for the victims.  We assume you have been well informed as you were able to immediately point the finger of blame at the perpetrators and you called upon France to display unity and solidarity against the “islamist terrorism”. You called upon us to close ranks and to harness all our energies in confronting this terrible threat.

But this entirely legitimate call for national cohesion, when our country is feeling so vulnerable, should not prohibit citizens from questioning your policies. From the day you were elected, you have claimed to be ceaselessly combatting terrorism. But in reality, you appear to be doing exactly the opposite.

Instead of combatting evil you have been focusing your efforts against those who are truly fighting it. You tell us you are fighting terrorism but you never cease your demonization of and campaign against Syria and Bashar al Assad.

You condemned this sovereign state to the horrors of the same criminals who open fire upon our cafes and restaurants, this sovereign state detested by your American-Zionist allies because it refuses to bow down to their diktat. The Jihadist mercenaries were looking for a target and you cynically gave them Damascus.

Image right: Prof. Bruno Guigue

Yes, thousands of young people have been brainwashed by your war propaganda and persuaded to take up arms against this despised state that you dream of bombing into oblivion. It is your foreign affairs minister, Laurent Fabius who launched this mission when he declared that Bashar al Assad does not deserve to live and that the Syrian Al Qaeda [Al Nusra Front] were doing a “good job” in Syria.

You can try to conceal your responsibility, but we all can see now how these attacks committed in France are a direct result of your failed foreign policy. Why are there no attacks in Italy, Argentina or Japan? Are the French being collectively punished for your refusal to co-operate with Syrian intelligence to identify the french jihadists and prevent their return to France?

Do our compatriots know that you expressly forbid the transfer of funds to the majority of the Syrian people living in government held areas inside Syria? Do they know that you have never once expressed your sorrow for the multitude of Syrian victims of Al Qaeda atrocities or that you persist in the imposition of sanctions upon these people enduring relentless mass terrorist attacks?

You decided to play a role in the Syrian conflict and you sugar-coated your involvement with humanitarian pretexts which are now collapsing like a house of cards, exuding the acrid stench of hydrocarbons. You have dragged France into a swamp which should have been avoided at all costs and you have exposed your people to a boomerang effect bringing with it, unimaginable devastation. You have brought home the violence that you and your neo-colonialist allies have unleashed.

Do you think the French will thank you especially once they have unraveled the truth of this dramatic event?

Mr Hollande, when the dust has settled on this drama, and the compassion photo-shoot is over, the patriotic unity celebrations finished, are you once more going to award medals to the bankrollers of terror? Overtly condemning terrorism while covertly entertaining its Saudi sponsors. The US has its Frankenstein in George W Bush, the sorcerer’s apprentice of geopolitical chaos. You are his equal – you are France’s own Frankenstein.

By affiliating France with a mafioso, manipulated, sectarian “rebellion”, thinking you were boxing clever while on the ropes, you have fed the monster that is now extending its tentacles into France. You allied yourself with DAESH while they were fighting Assad but condemned them after the first executions of westerners in Iraq. Thus you nourished resentment among these criminals from whom you seemed to expect greater understanding.

You have been advised by pseudo-experts whose intellectual independence is entirely dependent upon how much you pay them, so its impossible for you to extricate yourself from your errors without being overruled. Instead, you continue to throw dust in our eyes with the “State of Emergency” and to “windmill” your little arms. We are nine months away from the elections where, of course,  you will try to manipulate the facts.

Your legacy will be the rotting fruit of your political ineptitude, the manifestation of your incompetence as a minister who confuses Saddam Hussein with Bashar al Assad, an absurdity that does not even raise a smile on this day of universal grief.

Translation by Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire.

The original article can be consulted at arretsurinfo.ch

Bruno Guigue is a French author and political analyst born in Toulouse 1962. Professor of philosophy and lecturer in international relations for highter education. The author of 5 books including  Aux origines du conflit Israélo-Arabe, l’invisible remords de l’Occident (L’Harmattan, 2002).

Syria: Russian surprise attack blows up Kerry’s delaying tactic

Global Research, June 19, 2016
Moon of Alabama 18 June 2016
U.S.-Russia-Syria-570x332

The U.S. is unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100% of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the Syrian government and state and the inauguration of a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.

After the ceasefire in Syria started in late February Obama broke his pledge to separate the U.S. supported “moderate rebels” from al-Qaeda. In April U.S. supported rebels, the Taliban like Ahrar al Sham and al-Qaeda joined to attack the Syrian government in south Aleppo. The U.S.proxies broke the ceasefire.

Two UN resolutions demand that al-Qaeda in Syria be fought no matter what. But the U.S. has at least twice asked Russia not to bomb al-Qaeda. It insists, falsely, that it can not separate its “moderates” from al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda can not be attacked because that would also hit its “moderate” friends.

The Russian foreign minster Lavrov has talked wit Kerry many times about the issue. But the only response he received were requests to further withhold bombing. Meanwhile al-Qaeda and the “moderates” continued to break the ceasefire and to attack the Syrian government forces.

After nearly four month Kerry still insists that the U.S. needs even more time for the requested separation of its proxy forces from al-Qaeda. Foreign Minister Lavrov recently expressed the Russian consternation:

The Americans are now saying that they are unable to remove the ‘good’ opposition members from the positions held by al-Nusra Front, and that they will need another two-three months. I am under the impression that there is a game here and they may want to keep al-Nusra Front in some form and later use it to overthrow the [Assad] regime,” Lavrov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The bucket was full and Kerry’s latest request for another three month pause of attacking al-Qaeda was the drop that let it overflow. Russia now responded by hitting the U.S. where it did not expect to be hit:

Russian warplanes hit Pentagon-backed Syrian fighters with a barrage of airstrikes earlier this week, disregarding several warnings from U.S. commanders in what American military officials called the most provocative act since Moscow’s air campaign in Syria began last year.The strikes hit a base near the Jordanian border, far from areas where the Russians were previously active, and targeted U.S.-backed forces battling the Islamic State militants.

These latest strikes occurred on the other side of the country from the usual Russian operations, around Tanf, a town near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet.

The Russian strike hit a small rebel base for staging forces and equipment in a desolate, unpopulated area near the border. About 180 rebels were there as part of the Pentagon’s program to train and equip fighters against Islamic State.

When the first strikes hit, the rebels called a U.S. command center in Qatar, where the Pentagon orchestrates the daily air war against Islamic State.

U.S. jets came and the Russian jets went away. The U.S. jets left to refuel, the Russian jets came back and hit again. Allegedly two U.S. proxy fighters were killed and 18 were wounded.

Earlier today another such attack hit the same target.

This was no accident but a well planned operation and the Russian spokesperson’s response makes the intend clear:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov appeared to confirm the attack Friday, telling reporters it was difficult to distinguish different rebel groups from the air.

Translation: “If you can not separate your forces from al-Qaeda and differentiate and designate exclusively “moderate” zones we can not do so either.”

The forces near Tanf are supported by U.S. artillery from Jordan and air power via Iraq. British and Jordan special operations forces are part of the ground component (and probably the majority of the “Syrian” fighters.) There is no al-Qaeda there. The Russians know that well. But they wanted to make the point that it is either separation everywhere or separation nowhere. From now on until the U.S. clearly separates them from AQ all U.S. supported forces will be hit indiscriminately anywhere and anytime. (The Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State with U.S. support are for now a different story.)

The Pentagon does not want any further engagement against the Syrian government or against Russia. It wants to fight the Islamic State and its hates the CIA for its cooperation with al-Qaeda and other Jihadi elements. But John Brennan, the Saudi operative and head of the CIA, still seems to have Obama’s ear. But what can Obama do now? Shoot down a Russian jet and thereby endanger any U.S. pilot flying in Syria or near the Russian border? Risk a war with Russia? Really?

The Russian hit near Tanf was clearly a surprise. The Russians again caught Washington on the wrong foot. The message to the Obama administration is clear. “No more delays and obfuscations. You will separate your moderates NOW or all your assets in Syria will be juicy targets for the Russian air force.

The Russian hits at Tanf and the U.S. proxies there has an additional benefit. The U.S. had planned to let those forces move north towards Deir Ezzor and to defeat the Islamic State in that city. Eventually a “Sunni entity” would be established in south east Syria and west Iraq under U.S. control. Syria would be split apart.

The Syrian government and its allies will not allow that. There is a large operation planned to free Deir Ezzor from the Islamic State occupation. Several hundred Syrian government forces have held an isolated airport in Deir Ezzor against many unsuccessful Islamic State attacks. These troops get currently reinforced by additional Syrian army contingents and Hizbullah commandos. A big battle is coming. Deir Ezzor may be freed within the next few month. Any U.S. plans for some eastern Syrian entity are completely unrealistic if the Syrian government can take and hold its largest eastern city.

The Obama administration’s delaying tactic will now have to end. Russia will no longer stand back and watch while the U.S. sabotages the ceasefire and supports al-Qaeda.

What then is the next move the U.S. will make?

Al Qaeda goes to Washington

Global Research, May 22, 2016
Syrian Al Qaeda Affiliated Leader Visited Washington, for Consultations with U.S. State Department?
A senior figure from a Syrian rebel group with links to al Qaida was allowed into the United States for a brief visit, raising questions about how much the Obama administration will compromise in the search for partners in the conflict.”  McClatchy, May 21, 2016Labib al Nahhas is known as the foreign affairs director for the Islamist fighting group Ahrar al Sham. He visited Washington in December. The leader of a terrorist entity linked to Al Qaeda was granted entry by US immigration:

That suggests that authorities granted him entry at a time when U.S. immigration authorities face political pressure to block visitors with even tenuous ties to extremist groups. Four months after Nahhas entered the United States on a European passport, U.S. authorities denied entry to a well-known Syrian humanitarian leader who had been approved to visit Washington to receive an award from international aid groups. McClatchy 

While the purpose of his visit was not disclosed, the report nonetheless intimates that he was in Washington for talks with US government officials. “His previously undisclosed visit is a delicate matter for both sides – the conservative Salafist insurgents risk their credibility with even perceived ties to the United States, and the U.S. government risks looking soft on screenings by allowing entry to a member of an Islamist paramilitary force.”

Moreover,  shortly prior to his visit to Washington, Nahhas together with other rebel leaders met with Michael Ratney (image right), U.S. State Department special envoy for Syria, in Istanbul on December 5, 2015.

Was this Istanbul meeting intended to establish the groundwork for further consultations with the jihadist leader in Washington DC?

The report suggested that the Ahrar al Sham “moderate” terrorist leader (who appears to have the profile of a US “intelligence asset”)  would be meeting with “third parties” in Washington DC  ”who might influence policymakers” –e.g. D.C. think tanks, research institutes, media, US intelligence, etc. as well as  ”lobbyists and Middle East researchers”.

The State Department declined to answer whether any U.S. officials knew in advance or expressed reservations about Nahhas’s presence in Washington, or whether State Department officials had assisted his entry.

In this image posted on the Twitter page of Ahrar al-Sham on May 6, 2016, an Ahrar al Sham fighter guards the front lines of Breidige village in northwest Syria. Unlike the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham is not on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

In this image posted on the Twitter page of Ahrar al-Sham on May 6, 2016, an Ahrar al Sham fighter guards the front lines of Breidige village in northwest Syria. Unlike the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham is not on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

National security analysts say U.S. authorities likely knew of Nahhas’ arrival – intelligence agencies for years have watched his group’s interactions with al Qaida’s Syrian branch, the Nusra Front.

“They could make, quickly, the decision that he’s persona non grata in the United States and yet they haven’t.” Faysal Itani, a Syria specialist with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East

Links to al Qaeda

Nahhas denies his affiliation to al Qaeda:

“We have been falsely accused of having organizational links to Al-Qaeda and of espousing Al-Qaeda’s ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

According to Charles Lister (Brookings):

These are bold words [above] from such a senior Ahrar al-Sham official, … , this author still finds it nearly impossible to get any group, including those already successfully “vetted” by the United States, to commit to condemning Jabhat al-Nusra in front of others, Syrian or foreign.

So was Nahhas’ omission of Jabhat al-Nusra merely an extension of this broader reality? Thus far, it would seem so. By explicitly singling out al-Qaida, Nahhas was distinguishing its Syrian affiliate, or at least much of the 60 to 70 percent Syrian portion of it, as still being a potential partner [al Nusra] in a broader and more medium-term Syrian project. Brookings, July 14, 2015

In this regard, the McClatchy report confirms that

The group’s ultimate vision is Islamist rule for Syria and its old links to al Qaida are no secret: One of the group’s founders, Abu Khalid al Suri, was memorialized by al Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri after his death in a bombing.

By all accounts, Ahrar al Sham is much more ideologically diverse than al Qaida, encompassing members ranging from followers of a more moderate, Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamism to Salafist jihadists whose beliefs are virtually identical to al Qaida’s.

“They’re not al Qaida but they are Salafi jihadists – they’re just not transnational ones,” Itani said of Ahrar al Sham. (McClatchy, op cit)

Al Qaeda goes to Washington! This should come as no surprise. It’s part of a routine. US officials have been working hand in glove with Al Qaeda since the onslaught of the war on Afghanistan in 1979.

President Reagan meets with Mujahideen leaders, 1980s

The original source of this article is Global Research

Report: US-NATO supported al Qaeda Nusra militants deploy chemical weapons near Aleppo

Global Research, May 14, 2016

An al-Nusra Front detachment (more than 100 men) has arrived in Khan Tuman amid the rumors that the loyalists are going to launch the operation to liberate the town in the coming days. Artillery duels and firefights are ongoing in the area.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Al-Nusra militants have deployed chemical weapons near Syria’s city of Aleppo. Several trucks carrying self-made ammunition, armed with chlorine-based toxic agents, have arrived from the Idlib province to the northern outskirts of the Aleppo city.

On May 12, Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar as Sham units seized Jarjisah and Al-Zara in the north part of the Homs province, Syria. In the Alawite village of Al-Zara, they abducted a number of children and women, destroyed some houses and looted the locals’ property.

In the Al-Hasakah province, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized back from ISIS the village of Qashqash. The clashes were observed at Ziyanat as Kurdish units were advancing in the southern direction.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on May 12 that the Turkish armed forces are preparing to “clear” from terrorists the territory on the Syrian side of the border. According to media reports, the official reason of the act will be “difficulties in Kilis.” Erdogan blamed the allies that aren’t helping and noted that Ankara is ready to act by itself.

America’s outrageous ultimatum to Syria and Assad, and de facto demand for Syria to surrender to al Qaeda

Global Research, May 07, 2016
Syria as the Libya of the Levant

How the United States presumes to possess the authority to determine the fate of a sovereign nation thousands of miles from its own shores in the Middle East is never explained by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he recently announced a new ultimatum leveled at Damascus. Nor is it explained why Syria should capitulate to US demands to begin a political transition that has demonstrably left other nations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) divided, destroyed, and safe-havens for state-sponsored terrorism years after “successful” US-backed regime change has been achieved – Libya most notably.

Yet despite all of this, according to the Associate Press (AP) in their article, “Kerry warns Assad to start transition by Aug. 1  or else,” the United States fully expects Damascus to concede to a “political transition” engineered by Washington, leaving the nation in the hands of verified terrorists linked directly to the political and militant forces currently laying waste to Libya and those nations that put them into power.

The article reports:

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Syria’s government and its backers in Moscow and Tehran on Tuesday that they face an August deadline for starting a political transition to move President Bashar Assad out, or they risk the consequences of a new U.S. approach toward ending the 5-year-old civil war.   

AP would also claim:

…it’s unlikely that the Obama administration, so long opposed to an active American combat role in Syria, would significantly boost its presence beyond the 300 special forces it has authorized thus far in the heart of a U.S. presidential election season. More feasible might be U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia giving the rebels new weapons to fight Assad, such as portable surface-to-air missiles.

Again, the US is making demands of “Syria’s government and its backers in Moscow” while it is openly allied with Saudi Arabia who is admittedly backing US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organizations including the Al Nusra Front – quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.

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This point has inconveniently surfaced even across the West’s own media, including the Independent in an article titled, “Turkey and Saudi Arabia alarm the West by backing Islamist extremists the Americans had bombed in Syria.” In it states that:

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actively supporting a hardline coalition of Islamist rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s regime that includes al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, in a move that has alarmed Western governments. 

The two countries are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, an extremist rival to Isis which shares many of its aspirations for a fundamentalist caliphate.

Despite superficial attempts to portray Al Nusra at “arms length” from Saudi Arabia, and thus from Saudi Arabia’s closest and most valuable ally, Washington, the inseparable nature of those the US and Saudi Arabia are supporting and those they claim not to support is documented fact.

America Essentially Demands Syria’s Surrender to Al Qaeda

Considering the verified nature of the so-called “opposition” in Syria and the verifiable nature of what US foreign policy has done to Libya – leaving it to this day in the hands of state-sponsored terrorist organizations including the notorious “Islamic State” or ISIS – what the US is essentially demanding of Syria and its allies is capitulation to Al Qaeda.

It is a surreal full-circle US foreign policy has made, from first creating Al Qaeda in the late 1980’s jointly with Saudi Arabia and elements within the Pakistani government, then claiming to have been struck egregiously by the terrorist organization on September 11, 2001 triggering over a decade of very profitable war, before finally arriving in Libya and Syria beginning in 2011 where once again US politicians found themselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder with literal commanders of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, waging proxies wars against their collective enemies.

Indeed, US Senator John McCain would find himself in a Libya utterly devastated by NATO at the end of 2011, shaking hands with the commander of US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – literally Al Qaeda in Libya. The LIFG commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj, had at one point been arrested by the US before being handed over to the Libyan government and imprisoned for his terrorism.

Syria’s Clear Course of Action

Syria is undoubtedly being overrun by heavily armed and extremely dangerous terrorists backed by foreign powers. These are terrorists that have proven already in Libya, that upon coming to power, they will first carry out genocide against their ethnic and political enemies, then transform Syria into a devastated wasteland and springboard for terrorism and proxy war elsewhere in the region – likely Iran and then southern Russia.Syria’s only clear course of action is to resist and defeat these terrorist factions and restore order within the nation’s boundaries. It must do this by interdicting terrorists and their supplies along the Turkish-Syrian border in the north, and the Jordanian-Syrian border in the south. It is abundantly clear that the terrorists operating within Syria cannot sustain their fighting capacity without significant and constant logistical support from their foreign sponsors beyond Syria’s borders. This fact alone, undermines the legitimacy of the so-called “uprising” and “civil war” in Syria that upon closer examination is clearly a proxy invasion.

The US’s Clear Course of Action

The US itself, in its own military manuals (MCWP 3-35.3) regarding combat operations, states in reference to defeating terrorism that:

In countering this threat, [it should be determined] whether it is internally or externally directed terrorism. Terrorism rooted externally must be severed from its roots. Against internal terrorism, [attempts should be made] to penetrate the infrastructure and destroy the leadership of the terrorist groups.

The US has already boasted of having struck hard at the leadership of various terrorist groups in Syria it claims to be at war with, yet these groups appear unfazed. This is precisely because the terrorism is being direct externally, from Turkey and Jordan where the US itself has based its forces for its ongoing Syrian operations. The clear and obvious course of action for the US is to identify the “roots” of this externally directed terrorism and “sever” them.

However, the US refuses to do this. Instead, even as it continues its feigned war against terrorism in Syria, it is doubling down on support for its proxies, including Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, who in turn, are harboring, arming, funding, training, and directly supporting the very terrorist groups the US claims to be fighting.

US Secretary of State John Kerry threatens a “new approach” by the US in Syria, if Syria does not capitulate to what is essentially the end of its existence as a functioning nation-state. The “new approach” is likely simply the continuation of existing plans to incrementally invade and occupy Syrian territory, particularly in the east through the infiltration of Iraq-based Kurds operating under US proxy Masoud Barzani, as well as to trigger a cross-border incident north of Aleppo by using their ISIS proxies to attack Turkish targets – reminisced of staged attacks Ankara had planned earlier during the war to justify the invasion and occupation of northern Syria.

Warning the world of the “success” America’s previous “political transitions” have wrought in Libya or Iraq, and raising awareness of the current nature of US-Saudi support for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria today, is essential in undermining the legitimacy and authority upon which the US is attempting to base its demands directed at Damascus. The demands are illegitimate and the authority they are made with constitutes not principles nor rule of law, but naked and unjust aggression that must be resisted today lest it succeed and set a precedent for further acts of injustice against other nations tomorrow.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.