"Abu al-Ezz, commander, says about Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda): “We are one part of al-Qaeda. Our principles are: Fighting vice, pureness and security. Our affairs and our way have changed. Israel, for example, is now supporting us, because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hizbullah." Todenhofer
"Our aim is the downfall of the dictatorial regime, the tyrannical regime, the regime of the apostate. Our aim is the conduct of conquests, like [the great Arab general] Khaled ibn al-Walid made them. First in the Arab world and then in Europe." Todenhofer
"To whom did the U.S. hand those missiles before they were brought to you? Were those missiles first given to the Free Syrian Army by the U.S. and from there to you?
No, the missiles were give directly to us. They were delivered to a certain group. When the “road” was closed and we were besieged we had officers here from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States." Todenhofer
"We do not recognize the ceasefire. We will reposition our groups. We will undertake in the next, in a few days an overwhelming attack against the regime. We have rearranged all our armed forces in all provinces, in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama." Todenhofer
"You do not want those 40 trucks with aid supplies to bring those into the eastern part of Aleppo?
We have demands. As longs as the regime is positioned along Castello road, in al-Malah and in the northern areas we will not let those trucks pass. The regime must retreat from all areas in order for us to let the trucks pass. If a truck come in despite that we will arrest the driver.
Why did a few of your groups pull back a kilometer or 500 meters from the Castello road?
The regime used highly developed weapons against us. We received a backlash. That is why we silently retreated, to recover and to attack the regime anew. But this attack must lead to the downfall of the regime.
So that was a trick, a military tactic?
Yes, it was a military tactic." Todenhofer
Jurgen Todenhofer is a German journalist. He traveled to Aleppo where he interviewed Abu al Ezz, a Nusra Front Commander. MoA, Barish and several others have written of this interview but there are several things about it that I find so interesting that I will comment as well.
1. al-Ezz states clearly that Israel considers the Nusra Front jihadis to be allies because Israel is at war with Syria and Hizbullah. I have often written that Israel is an inept and short sighted analyst of its own interests. The Nusra Front is presently fighting its other enemies in Syria, but do the Israelis believe that when that is done the basic jihadi impulse against Zionism will have disappeared in an aura of good feeling created by Israeli support for the jihadis?
2. al-Ezz states that deliveries of US weapons (presumably by CIA) is made directly to them and not to the Free Syrian Army "moderates. He also states that both Israel and the US have liaison people positioned with the Nusra Front in Syria generally and in East Aleppo specifically.
3. al-Ezz makes it clear that at the time of the interview the jihadis intended to use the ceasefire as cover for a re-positioning of forces and were preparing for a general offensive to be launched after forces were re-positioned under protection of the ceasefire. We have now seen part of that in Homs and Hama Provinces.
4. al-Ezz makes it clear that the jihadis in East Aleppo are indifferent to the suffering of whatever remaining civilian population are still trapped there with them. For the jihadis the movement of relief supplies into East Aleppo is just something to be used as "a military tactic." pl
‘When the “road” was closed and we were besieged we had officers here from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.”’
And the British were absent, for once?
I feel left out.
(What was Matthew Rycroft doing, for God’s sake !??!)
The hypocrisy of the Democrats surpasses even Dubya & Darth Cheney and their mushroom cloud propaganda.
Directly supporting al-Qaeda is so far beyond the pale! And then they lecture us about Trump and decency. Obummer & Crooked Hillary and their duplicitousness.
Warmonger Crooked Hillary needs to be defeated on November 8th.
Trump and Clinton are going to have their TV debate tonight. Is Trump fast enough and smart enough to absorb and process this information? Is Trump smart enough to decide whether he supports the DC FedRegime supporting as Nusra or whether he opposes the DC FedRegime supporting al Nusra? If Trump opposes it now, will Trump promise right there on TV to describe in in fully complete while just-simple-enough terms and then make an overt promise, ON TV, that if he is elected president, he will cancel all
aid to the jihadoterrorists, and will fully support the R + 6 in doing whatever is needed to exterminated the rebellion against the legitimate government of Syria?
If Trump is smart enough to do all of that, is he smart enough to ask Clinton to make her overt promise right there ON TV to do specifically whatever it is she believes in doing about Syria?
Is the small minded real-estate-hustling short-fingered vulgarian really smart enough to do all of that? Or even any of it? While a hundred million people are watching at home?
If I understand correctly, this interview first appeared in a major German newspaper.
Is it possible that it represents a divide in the German political establishment, some of who (like Merkel) are joined at the hip with the Borg, while others would like to patch things up with Putin, open Nordstream, and go back to making money instead of saber rattling all the time??
I doubt Trump or his campaign staff read SST or Southfront. IMO, all he needs to accomplish tonight is note the outcome of the Borg Queen’s disastrous judgment. Anarchy in Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the creation of the environment for ISIS and jihadi terrorism to flourish and attack us at home.
Those of us who frequent SST already knew that Obama and Hillary support and arm the jihadists.
Charles Hugh Smith of the blog Of Two Minds asserts that the wisest, deepest elements within the Borg (Deep State in his terms) are beginning to heed the push-back from us proletarians against the shoot-first maybe we’ll talk later policies of Bush 43 and Obama, and as a result their support of Hilary is cooling. We’ll see.
All of this has been stated repeatedly in Iranian papers for months.
I do not recall UK being mentioned in that list in the Persian sites.
DC – actually, Trump has, basically, brought this up already. The fact checkers called him a conspiracy theorist.
For example: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/06/trumps-isis-conspiracy-theory/
Hopefully, he reads this and brings it up again, even more forcefully, tonight. But maybe not – both he and Clinton had their obligatory meeting with Netanyahu yesterday. Probably the Zionists threaten to impede the victory of any candidate venturing into this territory.
If Trump is smart enough to absorb these and turn them into a credible policy proposal that he can articulate to the broad public quickly, then there’d be no question in my mind that he deserves presidency. We shall see in mere hours.
I saw this earlier today at Moon of Alabama (hearty thanks to Bernhard for having taken on the job of translation from the original German interview by Herr Tödenhöfer), and although I thought the claims made herein by the al-Nusra commander to be likely true even before reading this interview, the comprehensiveness with which my previous suspicions have been confirmed still has taken me aback.
The thing that probably struck me the most on first reading were the sections that you extracted, Col. Lang, concerning the Red Crescent aid convoy. The man basically, without explicitly saying so, laid claim to the attack on the convoy. Very clarifying, indeed.
Well, Ambassador Power, how about that s***, huh? So much for the ever-changing story – the Russians did it, the Syrians did it; whichever doesn’t matter, as it was a war crime from those peas-in-a-pod barbarians! So now what, Samantha? Well, the US has not been shown to have been very adept at “pivoting” except in regard to their latest line of agitprop, so I’m sure you will find a way, you depraved and disreputable woman. But come to think of it, since changing tack would be an implicit admission that your mendacious cant was willfully false, your response will, in all probability, be to merely shriek the same line yet more loudly and more obsessively. I can’t wait.
This interview will, of course, never see the light of day on western main stream media. They go all quiet and cagey when inconvenient truths get articulated, and we weak-minded muppets are sedulously defended from being confused by this sort of information through their news blackouts. Also very clarifying, don’t you agree?
Two items of note:
And here is a link to further information concerning NATO links to Islamist/Jihadi forces, this time operating in the heart of the western Balkans.
Well, wouldja get a load of those campaign posters. Guesses anybody?
And although the author does not mention this element, I would bet that our frenemies, the Turks, are in the mix here, too, revanchism seeming to be all the rage with the Sultan.
Notable was the agreement between Russia and the Republika Srpska for Russia to train their security forces. And Serbia’s words about not standing by if the Bosniaks threatened violence against this reported referendum, and any following referendum on independence or unification with Serbia? Well, well.
Interesting interview; as with all wars, understanding the enemy and truth are the first casualties.
There is reality and then there are lies. The Jihadists left in Aleppo are followers of Allah. They are armed by the West. There are two ways out of the cauldron for them; paradise or evacuation. After 25 years of war in Iraq and 5 in Syria there will be no surrender to the heretics. If arming the Islamists continues, refugees and chaos will engulf the West. There are only two ways towards peace; 1) Get out and build an impenetrable wall around the Middle East and wean the West off of petroleum or 2) Join with Russia and China and quarantine and then eliminate the Islamist threat with secure national borders. I wish Donald Trump or some politician would articulate this. If not, it’s not going to end well.
Don’t forget economic, military, R2P globalization without representation ( sending US manufacturing jobs to cheep overseas workers and feeling good of being exceptional)
According to Scott Adams people don’t vote on the basis of policy proposals. They vote on the basis of emotions and gut feeling about a person. Considering the duopoly establishment and the MSM and the Borg Queen’s campaign have continuously made it seem that Trump is a clown and Les Déplorables, all he needs to do is seem presidential like he did with the Mexican president. If he accomplishes that he would have done what he needs to do tonight.
I have to disagree with you. Getting into the weeds on any policy would be terrible strategy for Trump tonight. He should just give the vibe that many can visualize him in the Oval Office. That’s the only thing holding back those inclined to vote for him but are concerned he is a blowhard. He’s never gonna convince the urban elites.
In other news, the Syrian Government alleges they have a recording of a conversation between DAESH and “American Military” prior to the Dier es zor airstrike. Details yet to be released.
If this is credible and the conversation reveals active military coordination between Daesh and the USA, then I think we may be heading for a no fly zone, – enforced by Russia.
The President of the United States has placed his country in an untenable position. The American people are now learning that our country is backing a group called al Nursa who consider themselves part of al-Qaeda in Syria. This President has vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would allow the survivors of 9/11/2001 to enter litigation against the Saudi Arabians where the bulk of the criminals that perpetrated the Terrorist acts on 9/11 were citizens. The President has been asked to participate in a joint effort by the Russian government & the Syrian (duly elected) government to restore peace in Syria and destroy the jihadists of ISIS our true concern. The U.S. President seems to be playing both ends of this situation but now is supporting Al-Qaeda and providing them with arms. He may be ill advised, which is no excuse, but within the next few days or weeks he needs to take a position that will be acceptable to the American people & Al-Qaeda is not it.
What is most surprising is that there have been no resignations in Washington. Is there not one Good Man left in our government.
Some blogger — I forget who — used to speculate about a “truth bomb” being held in reserve by Russia. This article in German appears, is translated and starts making its way into the web of info-flow. The path of flight MH17 hit is clarified by “recently discovered, civilian” radar imagery data. These may be instances of a new robustness in the Russian attitude towards US-relations. It may be related to the “not-agreement-capable” perception of the US admin.
What he said doesn’t surprise me at all. But I think you also have to look at it from the point of view of a Nusra commander. There may be some bragging and exaggeration. Particularly in relation to the claim of direct deliveries from the US. I was less convinced by that.
I have to disagree that Israel is short sighted. They have a longer range sight. If their support for al Nusra in Syria is successful in over throwing Assad then they will have succeeded in the short term. The Israelis are fully aware that an al Qaida led Syria will not be their ally. But it will be a very weak opposition that I am sure they believe they can take them out without difficulty. Who will be allies with the Islamic State of Syria? Saudi Arabia? That is a joke. If it turns out that Israel is unable to defeat the Jihadists then without doubt the Israel lobby in the US will be able to bring in the US to save Israel from any kind of military defeat.
So in the short and long term Israel is covered. Though in the longer term I think the Jewish State of Israel is doomed.
Disagree all you like. Israel will think it has won but it will be a short lived satisfaction. An Islamic state where Syria is now will not be a weak enemy, quite the opposite. Have you not learned anything from the persistence and malevolence of Islamist jihadis across the region? pl
Come now! Why would a jihadi commander brag of making common cause with the Zionists and Crusaders unless it were true? Ah, I remember, you are relentlessly anti-Syrian government and this makes the rebels less “appetizing.” pl
What does not kill you makes you stronger?
Lebanon 2006, IDF fails badly, no wonder it now wants to move the killing fields as far away as possible.
Reports from @EHSANI22, who claims to have contacts in E. Aleppo, on Twitter: “Reports that #Nusra & armed groups in E #Aleppo are threatening residents who decide to leave for western part will have their houses burnt.”
You think the IDF is stronger now than it was in 2006? I do not. They remain incapable IMO of breaching Hizbullah’s defended belts of fortifications in south Lebanon and are unable to deal with the threat of Hizbullah rocket and missile fire against their populated areas from Tel Aviv north. The battlefields are far away? No. Damascus is forty miles from the crest of the Golan Heights and Israel’s Nusra allies are fighting IS on the slope leading up to the Golan heights crest. This is “far away? I assure you that after the possible victory of the jihadis the jihad will be on Israel’s doorstep. pl
I really wish/hope he had/has people reading this blog and reporting back to him in condensed detail. If he does what you say he needs to do in the debate, that might be enough. I just think it would be even more if he were to do what I hoped for in my comment above, because most of the hundred million people who are expected to be watching do not read SST or Southfront or even Professor Cole or Professor Landis. And if he could back Clinton into a corner of no retreat with an overt promise of what he will do and why he will do it, he could have her looking worse in current real time.
Ahh yes. The fact – checkers. One has to thread the needle between making something clear enough to understand in a few-couple minutes as against describing every single grain of sand on the beach to the satisfaction of the fact – checkers.
Since I have never played in that league ( or any league) at all, I really don’t know how Trump could or should thread that needle. I hope it can be done. I hope he can do it.
Well . . . its the first of three debates. If he has secret reserves of Deep Smartness that I know nothing of, he is thinking three debates down-trail. And he is already thinking of how to trick Clinton in this debate into taking the trail he wants her to take next debate where he has already prepared a bear-trap with ricin-tipped teeth waiting for her.
“do the Israelis believe that when that is done the basic jihadi impulse against Zionism will have disappeared in an aura of good feeling created by Israeli support for the jihadis?”
Clearly the Israelis are actively trying to ensure that there is a regime change in Syria, and they know full well that means a jihadi state. So the question is why they think that, when it is clearly correct that a jihadi state in Syria will be a bitter enemy of Israel. I believe there are two elements that must be significant in Israeli thinking on this, for them to have reached that conclusion.
First, they are obsessive about Iran and Hezbollah. That is, their thinking is not entirely rational when it comes to anything involving those particular groups. They genuinely think that breaking the link between Iran and Hezbollah is worth almost any price. While that might be understandable, given the history, it still leads them away from competent analysis.
Second, they presumably take the view that a jihadi state in Syria will never amount to more than a ragtag terrorist organisation without the kind of state backing that makes Hezbollah effective by providing access to sophisticated weaponry and the training and logistics to use it, and without any international diplomatic backing that would prevent Israel from treating jihadist Syria as even more of a free fire zone than it does already. For sure, the prospect of an ISIS style suicide bombers in trucks attack across the Golan getting anywhere is nil, they’ll be reduced to lobbing over whatever missiles they can cobble together, under complete Israeli air interdiction backed fully by the US. And of course, it will guarantee US political, and therefore diplomatic, economic and military support for Israel for the foreseeable future. The states that might think about backing Syrian sunni jihadis are ones the Israelis probably assume the US can in extremis effectively pressure – Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, unlike obstinately resistant Iran. (The fact that the US has previously proved incapable of ending such support merely imo reflects the reality that the US regime is conflicted on ISIS and large parts of it have seen regime change as the main priority – it will no longer be nudges and winks when ISIS or Nusra is attacking Israel, it will be: “stop supplying them or else”).
To the rest of us this might seem like an insane and corrupt gamble, considering the possibility that a jihadist triumph in Syria could well spread murderous jihadist chaos to the very countries that Israel is depending upon remaining under the US thumb. Or perhaps they think these countries will just be added to the murderous, chaotic Israeli/US free fire zone if their governments are overthrown. Questionable judgement? See point one.
If we are reduced to saying: “surely the Israelis can’t be that crazy”, we must bear in mind that we know significant parts of the US regime and establishments, and of the same groups in the European countries that are within the US sphere, have evidently also come to the conclusion that overthrowing the Syrian government is a worthwhile risk.
Point one applies to much of the US regime and establishment as well, it appears. The European and British political and media establishments either know better and are just subservient to Washington on this, or are genuinely so stupid they actually believe in all the R2P “humanitarian” nonsense they’ve been spouting for so long on Syria.
should have been more expansive.
the quote does apply to the IDF as they did not face an “existential” threat. In Lebanon the IDF was not motivated, was poorly lead, and got beaten, 180 or so IDF casualties? Nothing to challenge Israel’s very existence.
Lebanon was defended by the Hezbollah who had been digging in for many months if not years.
Not sure that IS will be able to replicate the tunnels and hardened bunkers of Hezbollah, not sure that IS will be received and supported by the locals.
IS on the move is a quite different enemy even if the distance is relatively short.
but the basic facts remain true. For Israel to support religious fanatics in Syria does not appear to be a viable tactic.
“stop supplying them or else.” Or else what? I don’t now what your background is but it is a profoundly mistaken fantasy to believe that the US still has that kind of leverage in any of these places. As I have said I was head of DoD intelligence liaison to the IDF general staff for seven long years. In my experience, the Israelis always act against enemies upon whom their fears and insecurities are focused. Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are their enemies of choice. To destroy them they are willing to make common cause with irreconcilable enemies. the idea that wide spread jihadi activity centered in a jihadist Syria would not be dangerous to Israel or would be easy to defeat by invading Syria is, IMO, simply mistaken. pl
The only bad things that happened to the “Coalition” during this war were 1) the vote against military involvement in Syria in the House of Commons and 2) the passage of Security Council resolutions naming jihadist factions in Syria as the enemy.
Following on Number 1) there has been Brexit and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. Just think how much those events have made the “Coalition” dependent on ISIS. ISIS is all they have now. So the U.N. must be trashed and trashed it is.
ISIS is all the U.S. has now. C.f. Deir el-Zor.
First, a few words about the Free Syrian Army. From Thierry Meyssan’s mind-blowing article, “Why does France want to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic?” – Sept 12, 2015:
France’s colonial ambitions in Syria since 2011
When, in 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy invited his Syrian opposite number, Bachar [Bashar] el-Assad, to the 14th of July ceremonies on the Champs-Élysées in order to celebrate his democratic progress, he was also busy negotiating the remodelling of the « Greater Middle East » with the United States and the United Kingdom, set for 2009-10. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, convinced him to re-launch the Franco-British colonial project under the guidance of the United States – this is known as the theory of « leading from behind ».
On the 2nd of November 2010 – in other words before the « Arab Spring » – France and the UK signed a series of documents known as the Lancaster House Agreements. While the public part of these documents indicated that the two states would blend their « projection forces » (that is to say their colonial forces), the secret part of the Agreements anticipates the attacks on Libya and Syria, on the 21st March 2011. We now know that Libya was attacked two days earlier by France, causing the anger of the United Kingdom at having been double-crossed by its ally. The attack on Syria never took place, however, because its commander, the United States, changed its mind.
The Lancaster House Agreements were negotaited for France by Alain Juppé and General Benoît Puga, a hot-headed partisan of colonisation.
On the 29th of July 2011, France created the Free Syrian Army (the « moderates »). Contrary to the official communiqué concerning its commander, Colonel Riyad el-Asaad, the first elements engaged were not Syrians, but Libyan members of al-Qaïda.
Riyad el-Asaad is no more than a cover, supposed to give the affair a Syrian veneer. He was chosen because he bears a similar name to President Bachar el-Assad, to whom he is in no way related. However, ignorant of the fact that the two names are not written the same way in Arabic, the Atlantist Press chose to see in him a sign of the « first defector from the régime ».
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is supervised by French legionnaires, detached from their services and placed at the disposition of the Élysée and General Benoît Puga, President Sarkozy’s own private chief commander. The FSA now fights under the French colonial flag.
Currently, the FSA is no longer a permanent army. But its trade name is used from time to time for operations dreamed up by the Élysée and carried out by mercenaries from other armed groups.
France persists in making a distinction between « moderate » and « extremist » jihadists. Yet there is no difference in terms of personnel or behaviour between the two groups. …
At the beginning of 2012, French legionnaires escorted the 3,000 combatants of the FSA to Homs, the ancient capital of French colonialism, in order to make it the « revolutionary capital ». They moved into the new area of Baba Amr, where they proclaimed an Islamic Emirate. A revolutionary tribunal condemned to death more than 150 inhabitants who had stayed in the area, and had their throats cut in public. The FSA held out for a month against a siege, protected by fire stations of Milan anti-tank missiles offered to them by France.
As to whether anything has changed since Meyssan’s article — from Tony Cartalucci’s mind-blowing article for NEO, “Syria: Phantom “Rebels” Return from the Dead,” March 7, 2016:
French colonial green, white, and black banner of Syria adapted by the West’s proxy ‘Free Syrian Army’ FSA) had long been forgotten in the sea of black banners held aloft by Washington and Riyadh’s more extreme ploy to gain leverage upon and more direct access to the battlefield.
However, as Syrian forces backed by its regional allies and Russian air power overwhelm these forces while building alliances with other factions, including the Kurds, the West’s entire regime change enterprise faces ignominious collapse.
It appears that — having exhausted all other options — the West has decided to change as many of those black banners back to the “rebel” green, white, and black as possible, before the conflict draws to a close, giving the West the most favorable position achievable ahead of “peace talks.”
Why are French machinations in Syria not discussed in the American press? Because we’ve been blinded — or more precisely, deafened, by all the noise in the system.
I agree with the colonel that Israel has not gotten stronger since the last war with Lebanon. In fact I would say the IDF has weakened some what and the population considerably. Hezbollah is undeniably stronger.
But I agree with you that for AQ or Daesh to be as strong of a threat they would need the backing of a local government. The problem there is that all the countries that rage at Assad are now in bed with Israel and wouldn’t back any terror group going after the Israelis.
What AQ and Daesh do have though is staying power. They can survive at some level on next to nothing and it doesn’t take that many people to plant a bomb when explosives have been so readily available. With all the ATGM and manpads the reckless have been handing out Ben Gurion airport will be jihad central if Assad falls.
Trump played the debate as you were suggesting.
My immediate reaction after watching the debate is that Hillary, the more experienced debater, did not knock Trump out. In fact I think he helped himself a lot by framing it as status quo vs change. Hillary took the low road by trying to go after the women vote with her making the charge that Trump is sexist. I think that will backfire.
Overall I think Trump did well relative to Hillary. He gave the impression that he’ll get stuff done and Hillary has had decades to fix things but instead has created a gigantic mess. He also looked presidential and showed enthusiasm. While Hillary was putting me to sleep with her droning.
I think the momentum that Trump has in the polls in the battleground states will continue after this debate.
In reply to Bill Herschel 26 September 2016 at 09:25 PM
“Following on Number 1) there has been Brexit and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. Just think how much those events have made the “Coalition” dependent on ISIS. ISIS is all they have now. So the U.N. must be trashed and trashed it is.”
I’m simply breathless waiting for you to explain that statement logically.
Explain to us how the British vote to leave the EU has “made the “Coalition” dependent on ISIS”.
Once you’ve done that I’d love to read your explanation as to how the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the Labour party – and therefore the opposition in parliament has made “made the “Coalition” dependent on ISIS”. There’s no prospect of an election at present and even if there were there’s no prospect of Labour winning it.
It’d be nice if you’d also tell us how much of our portfolios we should switch into the tinfoil headwear manufacturing sector.
Listening to Ziad Fadel at Syrian perspective, he has always blamed the British. Maybe he knows what I am growing to suspect, that the Americans are really just overseas English. If you believe the discourse that the Fed is run by the City of London, maybe they are right.
If you want to know how the tragedy, horror, death, and destruction imposed upon the people of Syria has come about, read Title 50, United States Code, section 3093, “[Secret] Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions”–
“(a) Presidential findings. The President may not authorize the conduct of a covert action by departments, agencies, or entities of the United States Government unless the President determines such an action is necessary to support identifiable foreign policy objectives of the United States and is important to the national security of the United States, which determination shall be set forth in a finding that shall meet each of the following conditions:….”
Notice the initial two requirements: it is necessary to support identifiable foreign policy objectives of the United States, and, is “important” to the national security of the United States. It would be interesting to read what the presidential findings by (probably) both Bush jr. and Obama say about those two requirements.
Look at subpart (a)(5): “(5) A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.”
That presents a problem for the U.S. covert action in Syria. A war is going on. The U.S. is doing all sorts of things to initiate, support, advise, and see that the war happens and continues. There is the big euphemism, “communications equipment”, which is not used by the “jihadis” to call their families and girlfriends. It now seems clear that the U.S. is helping supply and is directly supplying arms and powerful weapons. All the conduct of the U.S. in Syria demonstrates that it is a participant in the war. Such participation, according to the constitution, requires a declaration of war by Congress. No such declaration has been made.
Furthermore, the whole question of under what circumstances the U.S government can try to kill a person who has not been found guilty of capital murder and given the death penalty by a jury, or when war has not been declared, is raised in the problem of covert action.
Look at subpart (a)(4). That part of a “finding” would really be intriguing to read, as it shows that the operation is wide open for any co-conspirators and co-actors, the sky is the limit, and some other person or country can supply some money: “(4) Each finding shall specify whether it is contemplated that any third party which is not an element of, or a contractor or contract agent of, the United States Government, or is not otherwise subject to United States Government policies and regulations, will be used to fund or otherwise participate in any significant way in the covert action concerned, or be used to undertake the covert action concerned on behalf of the United States.”
Carefully read part (e) which defines “covert action”. That completely open-ended definition means anything nefarious and nasty that the U.S. and its enablers want to do. But subparts (e)(1) through (e)(4) say what is not included in the meaning of covert action. You can see that everything required to sustain a country is not part of a covert action. You can do all the information gathering, espionage, law enforcement, counterintelligence, “traditional” diplomatic and military activities, etc. that you want to, and none of that is a covert action.
Last, but not least, is part (h): “Plan to respond to unauthorized public disclosure of covert action. For each type of activity undertaken as part of a covert action, the President shall establish in writing a plan to respond to the unauthorized public disclosure of that type of activity”. Here, the U.S. Congress is openly saying that they all need to get their lies lined up in advance to tell the public in case the rotten scheme is exposed.
You can now understand how the dirty business is done.
Regarding the Israeli support for the headchoppers in Syria. Is this shortsighted? Very likely; but myopia is an Israeli specialty. Just look at how they nurtured Hamas as a counterbalance to the PLO. But with that said, there is more to consider as part of the larger picture.
Who funds the headchoppers? Saudi Arabia, along with Kuwait and Qatar. Of these three, the Saudis are the most powerful and very likely supply the largest amount of cash. Cash buys influence, to a degree.
The next dot to connect: the blossoming Saudi-Israeli alliance, which began covertly, but has become ever more overt in recent years. During the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah, the Saudis publicly supported Israel. More recently, high-level Saudi-Israeli visits have taken place. The Saudi public is mightily displeased, but they have no say in the matter. They were wildly enthusiastic about Nasrallah in 2006, while the Saudi government denounced him as a troublemaker.
With the Saudi-Israeli alliance in mind, what happens if the headchoppers should somehow take over Syria? (Unlikely, but let’s consider it as a thought experiment.) The Saudis will likely continue supplying cash. If the headchoppers turn against Israel, the Israelis will find leverage via their new best friends, the Saudis, and attempt to use that point of influence to cut off the cash flow and smack down the troublemakers. Of course, Israel will also have freedom of action via air power.
Is it all dumb and evil on the part of the Israelis? Of course. But it would seem to fit into their doctrine of strategic balancing.
Thinking about it further, imagine the headchoppers form a new Syrian government. This entity, likely to be highly fractious, will surely face a massive insurgency from the remains of the old Syrian government, along with Hezbollah and the various militias. Not to mention bombing by the Russians, assuming the Russians manage to carve out a zone around their bases. (Which seems more than likely in this scenario; although the Russians could also bomb from afar.)
So how much external force would the headchoppers be able to project against Israel, when considering these limitations they’d face? Probably not very much. It would be a situation somewhat comparable to the late Taliban government in Afghanistan, which was recognized by only the Saudis and Pakistan. A weak government; a government mostly in name. In any jihadi takeover, a likely scenario would seem to be continuous fighting in Syria for decades, which would very likely please Israel very much.
Free Syrian Army Unicorns, the Voice of the People, have gone holy roller:
“Religious and military leaders of Jeish al-Fatah coalition are fleeing the battlefields in Aleppo. It is a long time that they have been trapped in Aleppo districts. They are hopeless. They are fleeing to Turkey with the money they received from the backers of the terrorist groups and the money they took by force from civilians in Aleppo,” the General Staff the Syrian Armed Forces said.
In the meantime, one of the commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), in an audio file, disclosed that a number of commanders of the terrorist groups have left their forces alone and have escaped to Turkey.
“You commanders, who stole a large amount of people’s money and fled the battlefields, you have been trading the Syrian people’s blood,” the audio file said, adding, “Where are the religious leaders of the militants fleeing now, those who once claimed they were close to the God?”
I thought the Syria-Turkey border had been sealed. Obviously not to outbound traffic.
The above is from FARS report today, “Syrian Army Urges Remaining Civilians to Leave Eastern Districts of Aleppo City,” which also reports on another large-scale SAA coalition offensive on E Aleppo being prepared.
Will this be the coup de grâce? Not if they don’t get those tunnels and the veritable underground city cleaned out with bunker busters. It looks as they’re going to have absolutely flatten the eastern part of city, with the International Community looking on and screeching Barbarians.
We agree that the Israelis are dangerously mistaken in their support for the overthrow of the Syrian government. Whatever we might think about the realism of the notion that Israel will be able to manage the aftermath of a defeat of the Syrian government, it’s difficult to see how Israel can possibly have come to the conclusion that overthrowing said government is a viable policy and a desirable outcome without taking the view that they can manage the aftermath, is it not?
So what is your guess as to how they see themselves achieving that? I am interested because I have no doubt you are far better informed and in a better position to speculate on the topic.
One factor imo is that the Israelis probably intend to settle militarily with Hezbollah at the first opportunity, and they probably expect such an opportunity to arise in the aftermath of any overthrow of the Syrian government. Unless they expect the installation of a sunni dominated regime in Damascus to allow for the commencement (or rather renewal, in far more favourable circumstances) of a long process of strangling a more isolated Hezbollah.
plantman, that’s a bit of an simplistic approach.
True, Jürgen Todenhöfer was a member of the Christian Democrats. I wood have even put him into the right fraction of his part for most of the time. But a while ago, I had a second thought about some matters in this context. Salvador and Evita versus Pinochet? I guess everyone who talked the to latter while denying support for the former was highly suspicious for me at the time. But, you could consider it as some type of continuity too. No matter who, you try to talk with them, try to find out what’s on their mind. But yes, there was his position on Apartheid too …
Post 9/11 much to my surprise he surfaced as a staunch critic of the GWOT. Even skeptical about the war in Afghanistan. As I was. The Taliban weren’t behind 9/11. Were they? I had similar fears aoubt the GWOT then..It’s a bit odd if you meet a former adversary suddenly on your side. He knew Afghanistan before and strictly supported the US’ proxy mujahedin approach against the Russian.
He traveled to Afghanistan, wrote a book about it, which again he knew before. Mind you with his critique against the Iraq War he converged for a short time with the German general mood. Remember, we were part of the unwilling, Old versus New Europe at the time.
Todenhöfer traveled a lot in the ME, Iraq already under Bush, Lybia, Syria… the whole ME, Gaza too. In Syria he spent 10 days with his son among ISIS. Wrote a book about it. It caused a bit of uproar over here. He was accused of simplifying matters. Or spreading ISIS’ propaganda.
this is a short BBC interview from 2015. There is a much longer CNN interview in 2015.
He left out Clinton’s Balkan war, including his low intensity activities in Iraq. That’s not completely unimportant in the overall chronology. Not least since it may well have been the start of some type of “proxy confrontation” with post Cold War Russia.
Contrary to the mythology Israel does not generally have a good grasp of realities in the surrounding countries. They have built both emotional and physical walls around themselves and in general have very little contact with the locals including within Israel itself. I used to deal with them at the top of the IDF general staff on issues concerning the surrounding countries and often found that they did not understand the dynamic underway anywhere in the ME. In general the Israelis conduct their affairs in the region on the basis of a desire for hegemonic domination of enfeebled anarchic neighbors. To that end they seek to sow theanarchy and when Lebanon, Jordan and syria are reduced to poverty stricken jihadi strongholds they will rue the day. pl
“Is it possible that it represents a divide in the German political establishment, some of who (like Merkel) are joined at the hip with the Borg, while others would like to patch things up with Putin, open Nordstream, and go back to making money instead of saber rattling all the time??”
Here you miss the important nuances of the situation:
1) It never has been a unified position of the German political establishment. E.g. not only the SPD but also some parts of the CSU around Gauweiler were against the Iraq war in 2003.
And a few days ago, Gauweiler has had no problems with reminding “his” Bundeskanzlerin Merkel that she was pro-war as opposition leader 13 years ago. 🙂
2) Merkel usually does not make the same mistake twice. Thereforee, there is no real possibility that she will pro-war in case of Syria.
3) The Nord Stream expansion was not opposed by Merkel, where did you get this impression from? IMHO Merkel is simply not willing to give the guys in Ukraine leverage against Germany. The expansion allows to shut down the pipeline through Ukraine and Poland in 2018.
4) With the shit hitting the fan in Turkey nobody is longer proposing alternatives that are under control of Erdogan.
Thanks for the link. Nearly as jaw dropping at same site is this treatment of the Clinton email scandal. Man, if people had even the vaguest idea:
The Nord Stream expansion was not opposed by Merkel
I booked that under: did the German’s ever had a different chancellor then Merkel? North Stream, Russia, Schröder, Putin?
Didn’t Putin already then join the coalition of unwilling Germany and France from the East, I wonder now?
And Thierry Meyssan’s French/Anglo re-colonization thesis linked to above by Pundita allows for further post Assad scenario speculation.
Col: That, to me, is the real risk of our Syria policy. If Russia sustains Assad and Russia and China rebuild the country. Israel’s Arab neighbors will see an alternative to American leadership.
AS I wrote yesterday, having a loyalist like King Abdullah of Jordan basically begging us for help speaks volumes.
sorry: lately I seem to heavily have stopped to check, following my babbling brand, as it flows out of my fingers.
I am here English to learn:
did the German’s ever
hadhave … maybe I should have substituted chancellor with leader too?
But we’ve also learned that the jihadist forces are losing the war, even with all of that support from the US and Israel. How formidable will they be if that support is gone?
Here is one possible long-term outcome for Israel: The jihadist forces successfully overthrow Assad, and a black flag is raised in Damascus. These groups then start turning their attention toward Israel. Israel being under attack by jihadist forces in Syria would provide the PERFECT excuse for a US no-fly zone and possible ground war to “defend” those poor Israelis. Maybe another opportunity for Israel to grab more land in the Golan Heights and more. I think the zionists see opportunities and an enemy they can confidently handle.
It seems to me Israel suffers the same astronomical hubris the US does. They don’t mind arming these kinds of groups and individuals because they think, ‘we made them. we can break them when necessary. Maybe. Nobody outside blogs like this that follow political and military affairs in detail are even raising a hue and cry about it. The Borg Hive Media has switched seamlessly from Al Quada to ISIS to now Russia being the Great Satan. The Mighty Wurlitzer plays on. I talk to people (a lot of our local grandees in Portland OR FWIW) all day about this stuff and they mumble about how we need to watch out for Russia. It’s surreal. I’m going back and re-reading Kafka and Catch-22 just so I can remember it’s not just me suffering from WTF-itis.
“I booked that under: did the German’s ever had a different chancellor then Merkel? North Stream, Russia, Schröder, Putin?”
The 2011 part of Nordstream plus the pipelines through Ukraine are more than sufficient to supply Germany with NG from Russia.
Therefore, if Merkel wanted to screw Russia and if she trusted the guys in Kiew she would delay the expansion of Nord Stream, this would leave Russia in the undesirable situation it was before, i.e. could be blackmailed by Ukraine.
The expansion, i.e. adding EXCESS capacity, means that Merkel does not consider the Ukrainian government trustworthy and may simply fear that Germany would be blackmailed too. This new capacity will give of course Russia real leverage against Ukraine in 2018.
Are Hizbullah and Hamas not threats to Israel? Neither of them poses a threat of invasion. pl
Ulenspiegel, strictly the Ukrainian context we witness surfacing more prominently now for me had some type of aura, although a very very hidden one in one of the bigger recent scandals “cum” privatization; former public but then privat & privat partnerships, if I may. … Ok public went privat and then went back to public, going undercover for one Euro in a buisness account in Wiesbaden for some time.
“Israel’s Arab neighbors will see an alternative to American leadership.”
Not going to happen – not to Jordan (rented and paid for), and not to Egypt (rented and paid for).
Gulfies have no alternative to US either.
Hezbollah and Hamas are definitely threats, and I was mistaken if I suggested otherwise. I was referring primarily to AlQaeda and it’s different brands in Syria. Israeli policy seems to suggest that they actually believe a salafist principality in Syria is to their own benefit. Perhaps that is due to their plans for expansion in the Golan region and the many excuses they would have if the head choppers were launching attacks from there. Maybe they see the Syrian state as a roadblock to that goal. For the record, I believe they are sorely mistaken with this policy as well, but THEY think it makes sense.
Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states can always turn massively to China and Russia. Don’t overestimate the level of their dependency on the US. I sense a certain Iranian bias there. pl
“Is there not one Good Man left in our government.”
No they have been successfully purged starting in 92.
As nobody mentioned it yet I might add a little about Todenhöfer. He was in the Eighties a member of the parliament for the conservaties, a mighty antisoviet fire eater and hated by all leftists. In contrast to other cold warriors he had real guts and travelled several times to Afghanistan and even took part in the fighting. That is why he is accepted by all kinds of Jihadis and that is why he is the only foreign journalist that I am aware of who is can freely with Al-Nusra. He genuinely understands the mindset of mideastern people and that is why he was so vehemently opposed to US politics after 9/11. I genuinely admire him although I don´t always agree with his policies. By the way he is 76 and he is travelling with his son.
There have lately been attempts at character assassination in the German press and I am pretty sure there is more to come.
To what degree do you think Golan plays into this? A decade or so ago there was actual discussion in Israel to return Golan as part of a peace deal, but that was before oil and gas riches under it became widely known, to me at least. I can see Israel negotiating with with an Assad type figure but never with a bunch of jihadists. For those who want to take the return of Golan off the table, Assad has to go and the jihadists reign.
I suspect the political leadership in Israel believe they can manage the jihadists, which lacking industry and without a strong state sponsor will be relatively weak in terms of supply or moderns weapons and with limited ability to pose more than a nuisance.
Thanks for the link on Clinton emails and what they showed about reasons for US involvement in Libya and Syria. Unlike so many articles on her email scandal that ramble on and on, this was a relatively short piece with a limited focus on essentials. Much appreciated!
I don’t know if this is the right thread for this but it was a very interesting Southfront article on the attrition being suffered by the Jihadi’s around Aleppo.
It is worth savoring but since it is a long article I cannot paraphrase it, I can only give a ‘teaser’. There is much more content then the snippets that I’ll post here.
1. It describes the declining revenue of ISIS and their current relationship with the populations under their control and the state of their current manpower.
2. It describes the sorry state of Al Nusra and their assorted allies including their current level of support from outside sponsors and recent losses.
Financial support of Syrian militants from Bahrain has stopped. Pro-Saudi groups suffered heavy losses in the recent battle in Aleppo. Experts estimate that up to half of their composition (between 7,000 and 8,000 fighters) was lost; they were either killed, wounded, captured or deserted. ‘Jabhat Fatah al-Sham’ lost control over a large group of Jordanians. Most foreigners in its ranks are Tunisians (3,000 fighters). But that was before the main battle for Aleppo, which formed the backbone of the coming Tunisians.
Who is Abu el-Ezz is a key question here. Has anyone ever heard of him before this interview? He looks more like the pillsbury doughboy than a jihadi, even with the grenade clipped to his chest. Most al-Nusra guys do not hide their faces. And didn’t al Nusra change their organization name to ‘Jabhat Fath Al Sham’ back in July?
Todenhofer says Abu el-Ezz is the commander of al Nusra? I thought the leader of al Nusra was Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a AKA al-Golani (sometimes spelled Jolani or Julani or Joulani) originally from the Golan heights. Have I missed his assassination by smart bomb? He was reportedly still alive just ten days or so ago when he accused the Americans of placing themselves alongside Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime of Assad.
Ezz does not appear to be a common Arabic name as far as my limited knowledge goes. There are some Egyptians named Ezz that I have read of. Any Arabic experts here?
Among other things, the fact that Israel (and the US) spurned Assad’s normalization overtures of 7 or 8 years ago imo proves your point of Israel’s unwillingness to engage in reality.
Ezz al Din, perhaps?
They have been dependent on US for more than 80 years; it is difficult for me to envision they ditching US and shopping themselves to China or Russia.
US and her contractual allies – France, UK, Australia, New Zealand are providing round-the-clock security for the Gulfies in and around the Persian Gulf.
It is inconceivable for me that China or Russia could or would be a replacement for all those Western men, airplanes and naval vessels.
Lastly, as you likely know, Arabs favor voluptuous – preferably blonde – women; that would be yet another strike against China.
Thanks Babak –
I have seen “Izz al Din”, which is said to mean “Glory of the Faith”. So does Abu al-Ezz translate to Father of Glory?
If only… The Dutch Board (along with Ukraine et al) came to conclusion that Russia is to blame for the downing the MH17. Meanwhile, the US adamantly refuses to provide the pertinent satellite images; therefore the Dutch National Detective Force has used the images and revelations of Eliot Higgins (an expert in selling the ladies underwear: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/06/medias-beloved-expert-higgins-wrong-again-and-again-and-again.html).
Higgins, for his consistent anti-Russian attitude, has become a darling of Atlantic Council that elevated Higgins to a status of “Senior Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Future Europe Initiative.” Messieurs Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of Atlantic Council, and Damon M. Wilson, Executive Vice President of AC, are perfectly OK with becoming a laughing stock thanks to their servile (pro-presstituting) stance.
Mr. Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch National Detective Force has presented his verdict by using the data coming from “the internet and Ukraine’s secret services.” https://www.ft.com/content/79e08d7e-8572-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15
The utilized “internet data” was most likely a Mr. Higgins’ production that was debunked by professional investigators: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/05/26/more-video-fakery-on-mh-17/
“Higgins had stumbled into a potentially profitable (in terms of media exposure and possibly pledged funding) publishing venture. … His output has been nothing if not consistent, viz: Consistent with what one would expect from promoters of the Anglo-US-NATO Official Narratives of geo-politics and the War on Terror, but done in a slipshod and blatantly partisan fashion that those who quote him (the Commercially-controlled media) are wary of claiming their own; which is to say in a way which is quotable but can not be made attributable to those who ultimately control the narrative – ie the Spooks.
The Syrian observatory of Human rights serves an analgous purpose.”
Mr. Wilbert Paulissen should have been aware of the quality of Higgins’ data.
It probably means – someone who is the father of someone named Izz al-din. That is a typical naming construction in Arabic. pl
Israel can count on the unquestionable support from the US plutocracy in case the victorious “moderate” fighters came to dominate Syria. The “moderates” and other anti-Assad opposition forces (gravitating to Al Qaeda) make a motley bunch that is no match to the US military might. And yet, the generous supply of the jihadis opposition with advanced weaponry delivered to the Middle East by the “coalition of the willing” (US, EU, Israel, Turkey, Golfies) is going to create a tremendous problem in the region when the skilled and well-armed fighters decide to turn on the infidel “suppliers.” The ziocon and Israeli supremacists are not able to think forward about the details of their predatory activities in the Middle East.
In light of the refugee-migrant crisis in EU, we should expect a vigorous opposition to EU involvement in other “humanitarian” interventions. The ugly Sarkozy was certainly very pro-active when attacking the previously prosperous Libya. Today Libya is in ruin; it suffered a massive deaths of civilian population, and it became a nest of the fanatical jihadis. For now, Sarkozy counts on the pliable presstituting media that should have raised already a question of his personal responsibility for the trashed cities of France. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1xMpGznUuA
“…they [Israelis] are obsessive about Iran and Hezbollah. That is, their thinking is not entirely rational when it comes to anything involving those particular groups.”
Agree. This is the root of the enormous problem that the wold is facing today: We are drawn into a clash of civilizations, which originates to large degree in the visceral tribal hatred. The “chosen” – with their irrational aggressiveness towards Iran and their childish desire for mythical Eretz Israel (territorially expansive) – could push the whole western world into the abyss.
Ah! A chance to show off. A name like this is a kind of patronymic nickname. In Arabic grammar it is called an idafa (noun-noun construct in English approximation). In an idafa the first term “abu” (father) is “possessed” grammatically by the second “‘izz al-din” (fervent of faith) so the whole thing means “father of a fervently faithful one.” Another example of an idafa would be bab(door)al-beit (house) meaning(door of the house). Jus to make it interesting “bab beit”without the specifying article “al” (the) would mean “door of a house”. fun, eh! BTW the same man would also have a non-patronymic name like Hassan ibn (son – of since this is also an idafa) Ibrahim signifying that his name is Hassan and his father was named Ibrahim. In classical days to this latter name would have been addended a descriptor naming the place of origin of the family, something interesting about the family, etc. So. Hassan ibn Ibrahim al- (the again) Maghrabi (the Moroccan) Similarly “Sa’iid “eid milad” means Happy birthday! Whilst “Sa’iid eid al-milad” means Happy onTHE birthday I.e. Happy Christmas. Want to do some more Arabic grammar? It is fascinating.” pl