From JAMES HOULE
We are mercifully at the termination of Hillary Clinton’s masterful four-year career as Secretary of State. She has managed, despite her lack of experience in international affairs, to supervise international disasters in two countries, Libya and Syria. Leading the US-NATO coalition, she transformed Libya from a peaceful oil exporter who had long since given up any nuclear ambitions, into a chaotic and totally leaderless exporter of weapons and Al-Qaeda mercenaries to the Syrian rebellion. Now Libya is also the source of fighters in Northern Mali. As cheerleader-in-chief for those hell-bent upon the overthrow of President Assad in Syria she has arranged for the shipment of many hundreds of tons of weapons and mortars abandoned in the Libyan desert to bolster the Syrian rebellion forces over the past twenty-two months. These foreign rebels have now managed to destroy a large part of Aleppo’s ancient citadel, built over the past 4000 years and a World Heritage Site..With this last accomplishment, she approaches the record of her predecessor, Condelesa Rice, who as Bush’s Secretary of State shipped 4 million US manufactured cluster bombs to the retreating Israeli Defense Forces which they dropped all over southern Lebanon. At least 50% of these bomblets are still unexploded and patiently await the innocent footstep of a child to keep Ms. Rice’s memory alive amongst the Lebanese. Secretary Clinton will be cursed by many Syrians for generations.
IS ASSAD REALLY LOSING THE BATTLE?
Syria today faces chaos and dismemberment as a result of the last 22 months of civil war with little hope for a negotiated settlement or even a battlefield truce. It has now become apparent that the rebels are losing the fight despite an impressive propaganda campaign by the likes of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London based organization often quoted in Western media, that repeatedly blames all civilian deaths upon the Syrian government forces. They fail to mention the large number of imported Al Qaeda warriors from Libya and Saudi Arabia, who are the most disciplined fighters. How can one make this claim when all our news media and even NATO’s Secretary-General Fogh Rasmussen tell us that Assad’s regime is a short step from collapse and that rebel forces are closing in on the capital of Damascus with battles raging just one mile from the presidential palace? Journalists on the ground such as Elizabeth Kennedy of the Associated Press report that “Assad is far from finished since he has thousands of loyal troops and a monopoly on air power” (Business Insider, Michael Kelley, 12/17/12). Veteran Journalist Patrick Cockburn reports (London based Independent) that within areas of Syria he visited last month “ the situation was far more peaceful than the picture given to the world both by foreign leaders and by the foreign media”. While he acknowledges that “the Assad government is not in a good place, it is a long way from total defeat unless there is direct military intervention by foreign powers”. Neither the government nor the rebels have protected journalists, hence there are very few brave souls reporting from within the country.
OUR ALLIES SUDDENLY SOUND PESSIMISTIC
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister admitted at the Arab Economic Summit on January 24th that the rebel militias, many of which he financed, recruited, and armed had reached an impasse (Syria 360 1/24/13). Prince Faisal asked the UN Security Council to somehow inject a solution that would undermine the steadfastness of the Syrian people to resist these imported terrorists. He recommends heavy artillery and tanks.
The French Foreign Minister complained on January 25th that “things were not moving and the fall of Bashar al-Assad has not happened” (Syria 360 1/26/13). Just a month earlier this same Minister Laurent Fabius had said “the end is nearing” for the Syrian President, And back in November he had recognized the opposition coalition as Syria’s legitimate government- a coalition that Hillary has now replaced.
Little King Abdullah of Jordan, not wanting to be left out, announced from the World Economic Forum in Davos, where big bankers and munitions makers exchange pleasantries with politicians and an occasional royal, that “anyone who says that Bashar’s regime has got weeks to live really doesn’t know the reality on the ground” (CNN 1/25/13). He voiced concern that foreign jihadist fighters who have been in Syria for over a year now will still be a threat even if the Al-Assad regime is replaced. We suspect that he was mainly concerned that Jihadists might cross into Jordan and overthrow Little Abdullah himself.
OH MY GOD, WHERE DID THOSE TERRORISTS COME FROM?
In November 2012, Hillary Clinton “discovered” that the al-Nusra group, the jihadi fighters shipped into Syria from Libya and Saudi Arabia, actually to be a terrorist organization and demanded they be removed from the Syrian Coalition. Al Nusra is composed of Salafist al-Qaeda types sponsored by the Saudis. They comprise the most effective fighters in Syria. However, the Syrian National Coalition leaders have not agreed with Secretary Clinton’s demand and continue to welcome al Nusra fighters within their ranks. Now the State Department has known for some time that these “terrorists” were active in Syria and has turned a blind eye so long as they got the job done. Only now as American media finally awakens to the fact that perhaps al-Nusra = “terrorist” by America’s definition, this is as embarrassment to the good Lady Hillary. Secretary Clinton herself has not commented since her hospitalization about her coalition partners’ pessimism nor the disagreement over al-Nusra. Therefore we refer to her Syrian Ambassador Robert Ford, who no longer resides in Damascus, for the Clinton line on things. He told CNN on Jan 25th that President Bashar’s mother had “fled the country, and that the government knows they are losing. You can see that the inner core is weakening, but again it is a gradual process”. Ford also said that when UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met Assad in December “You could hear the artillery outside the President’ office” How Ford heard this artillery back in Washington was not immediately revealed. Ford has said that the US will not reconsider it’s decision to ban al-Nusra from the coalition: “Young fighters who have trained and fought with al-Nusra will have to switch allegiances. Jabhat al Nusra will have to accept its waning influence”. Meanwhile, Lakhdar Brahimi reported to the Security Council (1/29/13) that: “Syria is being destroyed bit by bit”.
Of course, if the Obama Administration were really committed to the overthrow of President al-Assad, then a no-fly zone would have been established, as was done in Libya, massive air strikes would have been ordered, the Syrian armored battalions would have been destroyed, and the rebels would have replaced the government in Damascus. Obama has not done any of these things and while he has assisted in shipping weaponry left over by Qaddafi in Libya to Turkish military bases along the Northern Syrian border, allowed the Saudi and Qatari Kings to pay foreign mercenaries to enter the country, and turned a blind eye to the accusation that he was supporting terrorists, he will not stick his toe into the Syrian desert. Why? Does he fear that our military strength is not sufficient, or our national resolve too weak and our economy too fragile? Hillary has been left out there rattling the sword and acting tough but even she must know that her gun has not been loaded. If I were her, I would have probably resigned after one term as Secretary of State as well.