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Enough Already: Time To End The War On Terrorism By Scott Horton

"far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practice their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices. Very few have been brought up in strongly religious households, and there is a higher than average proportion of converts. Some are involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes. MI-5 says there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalization. . . . The security service also plays down the importance of radical extremist clerics, saying their influence in radicalizing British terrorists has moved into the background in recent years. . . . The MI-5 authors stress that the most pressing current threat is from Islamist extremist groups who justify the use of violence “in defense of Islam,” but that there are also violent extremists involved in non-Islamist movements." MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain The Guardian Wed 20 Aug 2008

"[Religious] radicals refused to defend violent jihad in the West as religiously obligatory, acceptable or permitted. The same was true of the young Muslim sample. Young Muslims rejected al Qaeda’s message and often use simple, catchy sayings from the Qur’an or Hadith to express that rejection. However, there was widespread support among radicals and young Muslims for Iraqi and Afghan people “defending themselves” from “invaders,” framed in the language of self-defense, just war and state sovereignty." Demos 2010 Report, The Edge of Violence Page 16

"It was also interesting to confirm that President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran through Fahd.” Talking Points, State Department, "Talking Points" [for Alexander Haig meeting with Ronald Reagan], Top Secret/Sensitive, circa April 1981

"Former Reagan administration National Security Council staff member Howard Teicher says that after Ronald Reagan signed a national security decision directive calling for the U.S. to do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq's defeat in the Iran-Iraq war, Director of Central Intelligence William Casey personally led efforts to ensure that Iraq had sufficient weapons, including cluster bombs, and that the U.S. provided Iraq with financial credits, intelligence, and strategic military advice. The CIA also provided Iraq, through third parties that included Israel and Egypt, with military hardware compatible with its Soviet-origin weaponry." Document 61: United States District Court (Florida: Southern District) Affidavit. "United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Carlos Cardoen [et al.]" [Charge that Teledyne Wah Chang Albany Illegally Provided a Proscribed Substance, Zirconium, to Cardoen Industries and to Iraq], January 31, 1995.

“confirming Iraqi use of chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq has acquired CW production primarily from Western firms, including possibly a U.S. foreign subsidiary” “Iraq Use of Chemical Weapons,” unclassified memo from Jonathan Howe to the secretary of state, November 1, 1983, National Security Archives, (quote not in book but relevant)

"GLASPIE: I think I understand this. I have lived here for years. I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." CONFRONTATION IN THE GULF; Excerpts From Iraqi Document on Meeting With U.S. EnvoyThe New York Times Sept. 23, 1990 (quote not in book but relevant)

"Mr Kelly: We have no defense treaty relationship with any Gulf country . That is clear . We support the security and independence of friendly states in the region. Ever since the Truman administration , we have maintained Naval forces in the Gulf because of our interest in stability in that region . We are calling for a peaceful resolution of any differences in that area and we hope and trust and believe that the sovereignty of every state in the Gulf ought to be respected .

Mr. HAMILTION: Do we have a commitment to our friends in the Gulf in the event that they are engaged in oil or territorial dis putes with their neighbors ?

Mr. KELLY: As I said , Mr. Chairman , we have no defense treaty relationships with any of the countries . We have historically avoided taking a position on border disputes or on internal OPEC deliberations , but we have certainly , as have all administrations , resoundingly called for the peaceful settlement of disputes and differences in the area.

Mr. HAMILTON: If Iraq , for example , charged across the border into Kuwait , for whatever reason , what would be our position with regard to the use of U.S. forces ?

Mr. KELLY: That , Mr. Chairman , is a hypothetical or a contingency , the kind of which I can't get into . Suffice it to say we would be extremely concerned , but I cannot get into the realm of '' what if answers.

Mr. HAMILTON: In that circumstance , it is correct to say , however , that we do not have a treaty commitment which would obligate us to engage U.S. forces ?

Mr. KELLY: That is correct.

Mr. HAMILTON: That is correct , is it not ?

"Despite the qualifiers that Kelly put into place about America’s preference for peaceful solutions to disputes, the only thing the Iraqi regime heard was that we had no legal obligation or even any mechanism to react to an invasion. That had far more effect than anything April Glaspie may or may not have said in her meeting with Saddam Hussein.” The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies That Put the White House on Trial and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity Joseph Wilson (Diplomat to US Iraq Ambassador to Iraq Glaspie)

"While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us.

The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends.

I saw and talked to a friend of mine after his torture and release by the Iraqis. He is 22 but he looked as though he could have been an old man. The Iraqis dunked his head into a swimming pool until he almost drowned. They pulled out his fingernails and then played [sic] electric shocks to sensitive private parts of his body. He was lucky to survive.

If an Iraqi soldier is found dead in the neighborhood, they burn to the ground all the houses in the general vicinity and would not let firefighters come until the only ash and rubble was left.

The Iraqis were making fun of President Bush and verbally and physically abusing my family and me on our way out of Kuwait. We only did so because life in Kuwait became unbearable. They have forced us to hide, burn or destroy everything identifying our country and our government.

I want to emphasize that Kuwait is our mother and the Emir our father. We repeated this on the roofs of our houses in Kuwait until the Iraqis began shooting at us, and we shall repeat it again. I am glad I am 15, old enough to remember Kuwait before Saddam Hussein destroyed it and young enough to rebuild it

Thank you." Nayirah testimony, Video

"deliberately did great harm to Iraq's ability to support itself as an industrial society. The worst civilian suffering, senior officers say, has resulted not from bombs that went astray but from precision-guided weapons that hit exactly where they were aimed -- at electrical plants, oil refineries and transportation networks. Each of these targets was acknowledged during the war, but all the purposes and consequences of their destruction were not divulged.

Among the justifications offered now, particularly by the Air Force in recent briefings, is that Iraqi civilians were not blameless for Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. "The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear," said a senior Air Force officer, noting that many Iraqis supported the invasion of Kuwait. "They do live there, and ultimately the people have some control over what goes on in their country." ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ June 23, 1991 NYT

"Mr. Gates, who has been nominated to be Director of Central Intelligence, said of Mr. Hussein, "Iraqis will pay the price while he is in power."

"All possible sanctions will be maintained until he is gone," Mr. Gates continued.

He said Iraq "will be nothing but a pariah state" as long as Mr. Hussein rules and that "Iraqis will not participate in post-crisis political, economic and security arrangements until there is a change in regime." AFTER THE WAR; Bush Links End Of Trading Ban To Hussein Exit NYT May 21, 1991

"If Saddam Hussein did not exist, we would have to invent him. He is the linchpin of American policy in the Mideast. Without him, Washington would be stumbling in the desert sands. . . . If not for Saddam, would the Saudi royal family, terrified of being seen as an American protectorate (which in a sense it is), allow American troops on their soil? Would Kuwait house more than 30,000 pieces of American combat hardware, kept in readiness should the need arise? Would the King of Jordan, the political weather vane of the region, allow the Marines to conduct exercises within his borders? . . . [T]he end of Saddam Hussein would be the end of the anti-Saddam coalition. Nothing destroys an alliance like the disappearance of the enemy. . . . Imagine American policy in the Middle East if we didn’t have Saddam Hussein to kick around anymore." Thank Goodness For A Villain BY FAREED ZAKARIA ON 9/15/96 Newsweek (Ex-CNNbroadcaster, CFR)

"Pentagon officials declined two written requests for a review of the 28 electrical targets and explanations of their specific military relevance.

"People say, 'You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,' " said the planning officer. "Well, what were we trying to do with {United Nations-approved economic} sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions."

Col. John A. Warden III, deputy director of strategy, doctrine and plans for the Air Force, agreed that one purpose of destroying Iraq's electrical grid was that "you have imposed a long-term problem on the leadership that it has to deal with sometime."

"Saddam Hussein cannot restore his own electricity," he said. "He needs help. If there are political objectives that the U.N. coalition has, it can say, 'Saddam, when you agree to do these things, we will allow people to come in and fix your electricity.' It gives us long-term leverage."

Said another Air Force planner: "Big picture, we wanted to let people know, 'Get rid of this guy and we'll be more than happy to assist in rebuilding. We're not going to tolerate Saddam Hussein or his regime. Fix that, and we'll fix your electricity.' " ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ The Washington Post June 23, 1991

"Leslie Stahl: "We have heard that a half million children have died (as a result of sanctions against Iraq). I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeleine Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." 60 minutes Interview with Madeline Albright 1996 Clinton's secretary of state, commenting on the sanctions on Iraq

"Ms Heslin: U.S. policy was to promote the rapid development of Caspian energy. . . . We did so specifically to promote the independence of these oil-rich countries, to in essence break Russia’s monopoly control over the transportation of oil from that region, and frankly, to promote Western energy security through diversification of supply.”

"For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the U.S. without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan’s military leadership said. But U.S. officials appear to have dismissed the proposal and are instead hoping to engineer a split within the Taliban leadership. The offer was brought by Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban foreign minister and a man who is often regarded as a more moderate figure in the regime. He met officials from the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence directorate in Islamabad on Monday. . .

[U]ntil now the Taliban regime has consistently said it has not seen any convincing evidence to implicate the Saudi dissident in any crime. “Now they have agreed to hand him over to a third country without the evidence being presented in advance,” the source close to the military said. . . . The U.S. administration has not publicly supported the idea of a trial for Bin Laden outside America and appears intent on removing from power the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and the hardliners in the regime." The Guardian October 16, 2001 New offer on Bin Laden

"But the Al Qaeda leader would live to fight another day. Fewer than 100 American commandos were on the scene with their Afghan allies, and calls for reinforcements to launch an assault were rejected. Requests were also turned down for U.S. troops to block the mountain paths leading to sanctuary a few miles away in Pakistan. The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines. Instead, the U.S. command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes. On or around December 16, two days after writing his will, bin Laden and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area. Most analysts say he is still there today.

The decision not to deploy American forces to go after bin Laden or block his escape was made by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, the architects of the unconventional Afghan battle plan known as Operation Enduring Freedom. Rumsfeld said at the time that he was concerned that too many U.S. troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency... Even when his own commanders and senior intelligence officials in Afghanistan and Washington argued for dispatching more U.S. troops, Franks refused to deviate from the plan.

There were enough U.S. troops in or near Afghanistan to execute the classic sweep-and-block maneuver required to attack bin Laden and try to prevent his escape. It would have been a dangerous fight across treacherous terrain, and the injection of more U.S. troops and the resulting casualties would have contradicted the risk-averse...

After bin Laden's escape, some military and intelligence analysts and the press criticized the Pentagon's failure to mount a full-scale attack despite the tough rhetoric by President Bush. Franks, Vice President Dick Cheney and others defended the decision, arguing that the intelligence was inconclusive about the Al Qaeda leader's location. But the review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants underlying this report removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora.

For example, the CIA and Delta Force commanders who spent three weeks at Tora Bora as well as other intelligence and military sources are certain he was there." TORA BORA REVISITED: HOW WE FAILED TO GET BIN LADEN AND WHY IT MATTERS TODAY A Report To Members OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE John F. Kerry, Chairman One Hundred Eleventh Congress First Session November 30, 2009

"Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Iran) within five years, according to a memorandum disclosed by US General Wesley Clark." General Wesley Clark, not exact quote

“As I have heard Bush say, only a wartime president is likely to achieve greatness, in part because the epochal upheavals of war provide the opportunity for transformative change of the kind Bush hoped to achieve. In Iraq, Bush saw his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness.” What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception By Scott McClellan

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed."

As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap" Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? 60-minutes CBS BY REBECCA LEUNG JANUARY 9, 2004

"Is the Iraq war the great neoconservative war? It’s the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It’s the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened." White Man's Burden The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical Ari Shavit Apr 3, 2003 Haaretz

"The predominantly Shia population of southern Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najf, Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophetís family, the direct descendants of which ó and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows ó is King Hussein" A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

"If, on the other hand, Jordan wins, then Syria would be isolated and surrounded by a new pro-western Jordanian-Israeli-Iraqi-Turkish bloc, the first of which can help contain and manage (through its more solid and traditional regime) the scope of the coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria. In the long-run, a Hashemite victory could usher in an era defined by a stable balance of power system rooted to tribal alliances. These alliances, in turn, can form solid bases for the development of states" Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant Page 2

"Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, this [American security] perimeter has expanded slowly but inexorably. . . . In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semipermanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defences Page 14

"PBS Interviewer: Of course, a lot CIA guys, when we interview them, blame you guys for the intel mistakes or the wrong emphasis. ... They would just say: "Who are these guys? What do they really know? Atta's a mistake. It's been repudiated."

"Michael Maloof: This is the same crowd that worked with the mujahideen in Bosnia, that couldn't give us any heads up on the worst intelligence failure in U.S. history? And they're going to criticize me? It's pathetic. You've got to consider the source. They basically blew it." PBS Interviews Michael Maloof: Dark Side 20th June 2006

"It has been reported that the U.N. Secretariat has come up with a plan to inspect Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. But that proposal is a clever arrangement to slowly undermine the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq while having the appearance of cooperation." Smoke screen on weapons inspections Thursday, October 31, 2002 Newt Gingrich Washington Times

"Senior IDF officers and those close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, such as National Security Advisor Ephraim Halevy, paint a rosy picture of the wonderful future Israel can expect after the war. They envision a domino effect, with the fall of Saddam Hussein followed by that of Israel’s other enemies." Background Enthusiastic IDF Awaits War in Iraq Senior security figures paint a rosy picture of the post-war future Israel can expect. They envision a domino effect, with Saddam's fall followed by that of Israel's other enemies: Arafat, Nasrallah, Assad, the ayatollah and maybe even Gadaffi. Aluf BennHaaretz Correspondent

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990—it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell. Don’t look at the links between Iraq and al Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, “Gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel?” Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant" Foreign Policy Experts Assess War on Terrorism, Saber Rattling Toward Iraq

September 11, 2002 Michael Marshall (Mentioned here, in part)

"John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved. A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani “had to go,” particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war." Bolton’s role in diplomat’s ouster questioned John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved NBC June 4, 2005

"Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)" For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary January 28, 2003 President Delivers "State of the Union"

"Mr. Obeidi told Mr. Hage that Iraq would make deals to avoid war, including helping in the Mideast peace process. "He said, if this is about oil, we will talk about U.S. oil concessions," Mr. Hage recalled. "If it is about the peace process, then we can talk. If this is about weapons of mass destruction, let the Americans send over their people. There are no weapons of mass destruction." Mr. Obeidi said the "Americans could send 2,000 F.B.I. agents to look wherever they wanted," Mr. Hage recalled.

He said that when he told Mr. Obeidi that the United States seemed adamant that Saddam Hussein give up power, Mr. Obeidi bristled, saying that would be capitulation. But later, Mr. Hage recounted, Mr. Obeidi said Iraq could agree to hold elections within the next two years…

Mr. Hage said Mr. Habbush began to vent his frustration over what the Americans really wanted. He said that to demonstrate the Iraqis' willingness to help fight terrorism, Mr. Habbush offered to hand over Abdul Rahman Yasin, who has been indicted in United States in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Mr. Yasin fled to Iraq after the bombing, and the United States put up a $25 million reward for his capture…

The report also listed five areas of concessions the Iraqis said they would make to avoid a war, including cooperation in fighting terrorism and "full support for any U.S. plan" in the Arab-Israeli peace process. In addition, the report said that "the U.S. will be given first priority as it relates to Iraq oil, mining rights," and that Iraq would cooperate with United States strategic interests in the region. Finally, under the heading "Disarmament," the report said, "Direct U.S. involvement on the ground in disarming Iraq Mr. Perle said he subsequently contacted a C.I.A. official to ask if he should meet with the Iraqis. "The answer came back that they weren't interested in pursuing it," Baghdad Scrambled to Offer Deal to U.S. as War Loomed By James Risen Nov. 5, 2003

"Mr. Perle said he sought authorization from C.I.A. officials to meet with the Iraqis, but the officials told him they did not want to pursue this channel, and they indicated they had already engaged in separate contacts with Baghdad. Mr. Perle said the response was simple: "The message was, `Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad.' " Baghdad Scrambled to Offer Deal to U.S. as War Loomed By James Risen Nov. 5, 2003

"Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The “good works” part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions." Thank God for the death of the UN

"Ahmed Chalabi is a treacherous, spineless turncoat. He had one set of friends before he was in power, and now he’s got another. He said he would end Iraq’s boycott of trade with Israel and would allow Israeli companies to do business there. He said [the new Iraqi government] would agree to rebuild the pipeline from Mosul [in the northern Iraqi oil fields] to Haifa [the Israeli port and the location of a major refinery]. . . . He promised that. He promised a lot of things. How Ahmed Chalabi conned the neocons A Salon By JOHN DIZARD PUBLISHED MAY 4, 2004

"Chalabi's Arab admirers say they knew he'd never make good on his promises to ally with Israel. "I was worried that he was going to do business with the Zionists," confesses Moh'd Asad, the managing director of the Amman, Jordan-based International Investment Arabian Group, an industrial and agricultural exporter, who is one of Chalabi's Palestinian friends and business partners. "He told me not to worry, that he just needed the Jews in order to get what he wanted from Washington, and that he would turn on them after that." How Ahmed Chalabi conned the neocons A Salon By JOHN DIZARD PUBLISHED MAY 4, 2004

"King Abdullah promised Saudi cooperation, but was deeply skeptical of the chances of success and even appeared to question the bonafides of U.S. policy in Iraq. He commented that whereas in the past the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Saddam Hussein had agreed on the need to contain Iran, U.S. policy had now given Iraq to Iran as a “gift on a golden platter." AMBASSADOR KHALILZAD SEEKS POST-IRAQI ELECTIONS SUPPORT FROM SAUDI LEADERS Date: 2006 January 2

"How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one of the four chemical bunkers. The two arrows indicate the presence of sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions. The arrow at the top that says “security” points to a facility that is the signature item for this kind of bunker. Inside that facility are special guards and special equipment to monitor any leakage that might come out of the bunker. The truck you also see is a signature item. It’s a decontamination vehicle in case something goes wrong. This is characteristic of those four bunkers. The special security facility and the decontamination vehicle will be in the area, if not at any one of them or one of the other, it is moving around those four, and it moves as it needed to move, as people are working in the different bunkers. Now, look at the picture on the right. You are now looking at two of those sanitized bunkers. The signature vehicles are gone, the tents are gone, it’s been cleaned up, and it was done on the 22nd of December, as the U.N. inspection team is arriving, and you can see the inspection vehicles arriving in the lower portion of the picture on the right." Full text of Colin Powell's speech US secretary of state's address to the United Nations security council Part 2 Part 3 The Guardian Feb 2003

"The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West. . . . The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale. . . . [D]uring the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war. All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. . . .

Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the United States suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons, including that the government bristled at further acknowledgment it had been wrong. “They needed something to say that after Sept. 11 Saddam used chemical rounds,” Mr. Lampier said. “And all of this was from the pre-1991 era.” Others pointed to another embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies." The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons BY C. J. CHIVERS October 14th 2014 NYT

"Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search. The businessman said in an interview that the Iraqis also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 who was being held in Baghdad. At one point, he said, the Iraqis pledged to hold elections… Mr. Obeidi told Mr. Hage that Iraq would make deals to avoid war, including helping in the Mideast peace process. ''He said, if this is about oil, we will talk about U.S. oil concessions,'' Mr. Hage recalled. ''If it is about the peace process, then we can talk. If this is about weapons of mass destruction, let the Americans send over their people. There are no weapons of mass destruction.''

"All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing. .. It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraq military to act with honor and protect your country, by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attack and destroyed. I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life. And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders." Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war and every measure will be taken to win it." Bush: 'Leave Iraq within 48 hours' Tuesday, March 18, 2003 Posted (CNN) -- Here is a transcript of President George W. Bush's Monday night televised address to the nation

"a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills. . . . There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries." Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground The Washingtno Post January 14, 2005, David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats

"The al Qaeda membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq.” BBC 14 January, 2005, National Intelligence Council report Mapping the Global Future

"Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. . . . “It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the [senior intelligence] official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.” Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will May 29th NYT

"The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes . . . is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.” He said it worsens a “perception of American arrogance that says, ‘Well we can fly where we want, we can shoot where we want, because we can.’” Reuters JAN 7, 2013 Retired general cautions against overuse of "hated" drones General McChrystal

"According to sensitive information available to this these individuals, Qaddafi's government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver… This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French.franc (CFA). (Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals Sarkozy's plans are driven by the following issues:

a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,

b. Increase French influence in North Africa,

c. Improve his intemai political situation in France,

d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,

e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi's long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa)" U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05779612 Date: 12/31/2015, Email Between Hillary Clinton And Sidney Blumenthal, April 2, 2011

"Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Qaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear. At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." March 28, 2011

"One of America's most senior diplomats claimed at the United Nations security council that Muammar Gaddafi is supplying his troops with Viagra to encourage mass rape, according to diplomats… A UN diplomat at the closed session on Thursday said: "I was in the room when she mentioned Viagra. The remark did not cause a stir at the time. It was during a discussion about whether there is moral equivalence between the Gaddafi forces and the rebels. She listed human rights abuses by Gaddafi's forces, including snipers shooting children in the street and the Viagra story." Gaddafi ‘supplies troops with Viagra to encourage mass rape’, claims diplomat US ambassador Susan Rice The Guardian Fri 29 Apr 2011

"Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would

have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi, if those forces had been able to

enter the city. However, while Muammar Gaddafi certainly threatened violence against

those who took up arms against his rule, this did not necessarily translate into a threat

to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with

unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as “an

intelligence-light decision” House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

"As mercenaries, reputedly from Chad and Mali fight for him, a million African refugees and thousands of African migrant workers stand the risk of being murdered for their tenuous link to him. One Turkish construction worker told the BBC "We had 70–80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying, ‘You are providing troops for Gaddafi.’ The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.” 25 February 2011 BBC African viewpoint: Colonel's continent?

"Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- "Eight hundred," says the auctioneer. "900 ... 1,000 ... 1,100 ..." Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars -- the equivalent of $800. Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not "merchandise" at all, but two human beings… Buyers raise their hands as the price rises, "500, 550, 600, 650 ..." Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new "masters." After the auction, we met two of the men who had been sold. They were so traumatized by what they'd been through that they could not speak, and so scared that they were suspicious of everyone they met.

"GOLDBERG: Can you just talk about Syria as a strategic issue? Talk about it as a humanitarian issue, as well. But it would seem to me that one way to weaken and further isolate Iran is to remove or help remove Iran's only Arab ally.


GOLDBERG: And so the question is: What else can this administration be doing?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: … [The Arab Spring is] engulfing Syria, and Syria is basically their only true ally in the region. And it is our estimation that [President Bashar al-Assad's] days are numbered. It's a matter not of if, but when. Now, can we accelerate that? We're working with the world community to try to do that. It is complicated by the fact that Syria is a much bigger, more sophisticated, and more complicated country than Libya, for example -- the opposition is hugely splintered -- that although there's unanimity within the Arab world at this point, internationally, countries like Russia are still blocking potential UN mandates or action. And so what we're trying to do -- and the secretary of state just came back from helping to lead the Friends of Syria group in Tunisia -- is to try to come up with a series of strategies that can provide humanitarian relief. But they can also accelerate a transition to a peaceful and stable and representative Syrian government. If that happens, that will be a profound loss for Iran.

GOLDBERG: Is there anything you could do to move it faster?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, nothing that I can tell you, because your classified clearance isn't good enough. (Laughter.)" Obama to Iran and Israel: 'As President of the United States, I Don't Bluff' By Jeffrey Goldberg MARCH 2, 2012 The Atlantic

“I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement,” Mr. McCain said… “Breaking Syria apart from Iran could be as important to containing a nuclear Iran as sanctions,” Mr. Graham said. “If the Syrian regime is replaced with another form of government that doesn’t tie its future to the Iranians, the world is a better place." Two Senators Say U.S. Should Arm Syrian Rebels NYT Feb. 19, 2012 John McCain Lindsey Graham

"It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security—not through a direct attack, which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests. . . . With Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel through its proxies, it is possible that the United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran’s program has crossed an unacceptable threshold. In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria." The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria Cutting Iran's link to the Mediterranean Sea is a strategic prize worth the risk By James P. Rubin June 4th 2012 Foreign Policy (Bill Clintons Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs)

"Some worry that U.S. involvement risks a confrontation with Russia. However, the Kosovo example — where NATO went to war against another Russian ally, while Moscow did little more than complain — shows otherwise. In that case, Russia had genuine ethnic and political ties to the Serbs, which don’t exist between Russia and Syria. Managing Russia’s reaction to outside intervention will be difficult but should not be exaggerated. Arming the Syrian opposition and creating a coalition air force to support them is a low-cost, high-payoff approach. Whether an air operation should just create a no-fly zone that grounds the regimes’ aircraft and helicopters or actually conduct air to ground attacks on Syrian tanks and artillery should be the subject of immediate military planning. And as Barak, the Israeli defense minister, also noted, Syria’s air defenses may be better than Libya’s but they are no match for a modern air force." The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria Cutting Iran's link to the Mediterranean Sea is a strategic prize worth the risk By James P. Rubin June 4th 2012 Foreign Policy (Bill Clintons Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs)

"The larger point is that as long as Washington stays firm that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed, à la Kosovo and Libya, the cost to the United States will be limited. Victory may not come quickly or easily, but it will come. And the payoff will be substantial. Iran would be strategically isolated, unable to exert its influence in the Middle East. The resulting regime in Syria will likely regard the United States as more friend than enemy. Washington would gain substantial recognition as fighting for the people in the Arab world, not the corrupt regimes. With the Islamic Republic deprived of its gateway to the Arab world, the Israelis’ rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on its nuclear facilities would diminish. A new Syrian regime might eventually even resume the frozen peace talks regarding the Golan Heights. In Lebanon, Hezbollah would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor, since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance, and missile" The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria Cutting Iran's link to the Mediterranean Sea is a strategic prize worth the risk By James P. Rubin June 4th 2012 Foreign Policy (Bill Clintons Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs)

"Foreign power loomed. According to a top-secret National Security Agency document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the March 2013 rocket attacks were directly ordered by a member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Salman bin Sultan, to help mark the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution. Salman had provided 120 tons of explosives and other weaponry to opposition forces, giving them instructions to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the airport, the document, produced by U.S. government surveillance on Syrian opposition factions, shows."NSA DOCUMENT SAYS SAUDI PRINCE DIRECTLY ORDERED COORDINATED ATTACK BY SYRIAN REBELS ON DAMASCUS“ The Intercept October 24 2017 NSA Document

"Officials who supported the shift said the Obama administration could no longer tolerate what one of them described as “a deal with the devil,” whereby the United States largely held its fire against al-Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad. Russia had accused the United States of sheltering al-Nusra, a charge repeated Thursday in Moscow by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The president doesn’t want this group to be what inherits the country if Assad ever does fall,” a senior U.S. official said. “This cannot be the viable Syrian opposition. It’s al-Qaeda.” Obama directs Pentagon to target al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad November 10th 2016 The Washington Post

"After a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [i.e. reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces... They have been told to prepare contingencies and be ready to act within 2-3 months, but they still stress that this is all being done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation." HACKED STRATFOR EMAILS: Source Says Several Countries Already Have Forces In Syria Yahoo News March 6, 2012

"blacklisting the Nusra Front could backfire. It would pit the United States against some of the best fighters in the insurgency that it aims to support. While some Syrian rebels fear the group’s growing power, others work closely with it and admire it—or, at least, its military achievements—and are loath to end their cooperation." Syrian Rebels Tied to Al Qaeda Play Key Role in war NYT Dec. 8, 2012

"We know al-Qaida. Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaida in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria? So, I think . . . despite the great pleas that we hear from those people who are being ruthlessly assaulted by Assad . . . if you’re a military planner or if you’re a secretary of state and you’re trying to figure out do you have the elements of an opposition that is actually viable, we don’t see that." Interview With Wyatt Andrews of CBS Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State February 26, 2012

"From: Jake Sullivan

To: Hillary Clinton

Date: 2012-02-12 09:01

Subject: SPOT REPORT 02/12/II

"The Moderate Face of Al Qaeda” Foreign Affairs How the Group Has Rebranded Itself By Colin P. Clarke October 24, 2017 - The Good and Bad of Ahrar Al-Sham: An Al Qaeda-Linked Group Worth Befriending.” By Michael Doran, William McCants, and Clint Watts January 23, 2014 - Accepting Al Qaeda The Enemy of the United States’ Enemy By Barak Mendelsohn March 9th 2015 (CFR Magazine)

"there was a slight absurdity in the fact that we were debating options to provide military support to the opposition at the same time that we were deciding to designate al-Nusra, a big chunk of that opposition, as a terrorist organization. So there was kind of a schizophrenia that’s inherent in a lot of U.S. foreign policy that came to a head in Syria." CONFRONTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, joins Mehdi Hasan June 22 2018 The Intercept

"Instead, Mr. Obama decided to make the rebel training program a “covert action” run by the C.I.A. He signed a secret finding allowing the agency to begin preparing to train and arm small groups of rebels in Jordan, a move that circumvented the legal issues and allowed the White House to officially deny it was giving the lethal aid. Besides the legal worries, there were other concerns driving the decision to make the program a secret. As one former senior administration official put it, “We needed plausible deniability in case the arms got into the hands of Al Nusra.” Obama’s Uncertain Path Amid Syria Bloodshed October 22nd 2013 NYT

"Abu Kumayt, a fighter with the Syrian Revolutionaries Front who said he fought in the battle under cover, gave a slightly different version. He said that groups with the antitank missiles fought alongside Nusra fighters and under their command — but that only Nusra and its Islamist ally Ahrar al-Sham were allowed to enter the base when it fell. Nusra, he said, lets groups vetted by the United States keep the appearance of independence, so that they will continue to receive American supplies.

His group’s commander, Jamal Maarouf, has been unable to enter Syria since his fighters were driven from their base in Idlib Province this fall. In his house in Reyhanli, near Antakya, he blamed anemic Western support and a mistake that he and other fighters made: They initially welcomed Nusra’s foreign jihadists, believing that they would help bring victory. No F.S.A. faction in the north can operate without Nusra’s approval,” Mr. Maarouf said, adding that the front had either bought or terrorized F.S.A. fighters into compliance. “Nusra cannot cover every area so they still need them. But once they take control, they will confiscate all weapons or oblige those factions to pledge allegiance.”As Syria’s Revolution Sputters, a Chaotic Stalemate December 27th 2014 NYT

"Although the Nusra Front was widely seen as an effective fighting force against Mr. Assad’s troops, its Qaeda affiliation made it impossible for the Obama administration to provide direct support for the group. American intelligence officials estimate that the Nusra Front now has as many as 20,000 fighters in Syria, making it Al Qaeda’s largest affiliate. Unlike other Qaeda affiliates such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Nusra Front has long focused on battling the Syrian government rather than plotting terrorist attacks against the United States and Europe." Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret CIA Syria war August 2nd 2017 NYT

"always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards. There’s not as much capacity as you would hope." Obama on the world NYT August 8th 2014

"[Iraq are ] going to have to show us that [they] are willing and ready to try and maintain a unified Iraqi government that is based on compromise. We’re not going to let them create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq. But we can only do that if we know that we have got partners on the ground who are capable of filling the void." Obama on the world NYT August 8th 2014

"The fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad will prove a major blow to Iran and Hezbollah, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday. Speaking to CNN, Barak said regime change in Syria would remove a key element connecting Iran and Hezbollah in the region, weakening the two actors’ ability to fight Israel. He said Islamic Jihad, a Gaza-based terror group, may also be affected by Assad’s downfall." Barak: Fall of Assad regime will seriously hurt Iran and Hezbollah Defense minister says Syrian president's fate is sealed, though it's taking longer than expected 17 May 2012 Times of Israel

"The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,” he said. This was the case, he said, even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated to al-Qaida. “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” he said, adding that this designation did not apply to everyone in the Syrian opposition. “Still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria. With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.” 'Israel wanted Assad gone since start of Syria civil war' SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the US Michael Oren told The Jerusalem Post in a parting interview

"For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis. "This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.” Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria September 5th 2013 NYT

"Nusra Front, however, hasn’t bothered Israel since seizing the border area last summer—and some of its severely wounded fighters are regularly taken across the frontier fence to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals… Only about one-third of the Syrians treated in Israel, however, were women and children. An Israeli military official acknowledged that most of the rebels on the other side of the fence belong to Nusra but said that Israel offered medical help to anyone in need, without checking their identity. “We don’t ask who they are, we don’t do any screening…Once the treatment is done, we take them back to the border and they go on their way,” he said." Al Qaeda a Lesser Evil? Syria War Pulls U.S., Israel Apart Mountaintop on edge of Golan Heights illustrates complexities. WSJ March 12th 2015

"What my constant cry was that our biggest problem was our allies. Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends, and I’ve a great relationship with [Turkish President Recep] Erdoğan, who I’ve just spent a lot of time with, the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing?

They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. If you think I’m exaggerating, take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden, everybody is awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in eastern Syria, work with al-Nusra, who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So, what happened?

Now, all of a sudden [now that ISIS has taken over western Iraq]—I don’t want to be too facetious—but they have seen the lord. Now we have—the president’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a [Sunni] Muslim nation and be the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis. To go and attack a Sunni organization. And so, what do we have for the first time? Now Saudi Arabia has stopped the funding from going in. Saudi Arabia is allowing training on its soil of American forces under Title 10, open training. The Qataris have cut off their support for the most extreme elements of the terrorist organizations. And the Turks, President Erdoğan told me—he is an old friend—said, “You were right; we let too many people through. Now we are trying to seal the border.” VP Joe Biden 2014 talk to Harvard University Delivers remarks on foreign policy

"John Kerry: I think we've put an extraordinary amount of arms in.

Michael Ratney: And . . . I have to say . . . it’s a double-edged sword because you give people the ability to defend themselves, but when you pump more weapons into a situation like Syria, it doesn’t end well for Syrians, because there is always someone else who is going to pump more weapons in for the other side. The armed groups in Syria get a lot of support, not just from the United States but from other partners.

Kerry: Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia—a huge amount of weapons coming in. A huge amount of money.

Ratney: But pumping weapons in causes someone else to pump more weapons in and you end up with Aleppo.

Kerry: The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus and so forth. And that’s why Russia came in. Because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad. And we know that this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage. Uh, you know, that Assad would then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got Putin to support him." John Kerry, Michael Ratney Leaked meeting with Syrian revolutionaries, Min 25

David Petraeus' bright idea: give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists Former CIA director David Petraeus is advocating giving arms to members of al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida off-shoot, to beat Isis. That is madness. The Guardian September 2nd 2015

"he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. “We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019… “What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.” Outgoing Syria Envoy Admits Hiding US Troop Numbers; Praises Trump’s Mideast Record

"This is a time for Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable. ISIS right now is the biggest threat to Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and pro-Shiite Iranian militias — because ISIS is a Sunni terrorist group that plays as dirty as Iran and Russia. Trump should want to defeat ISIS in Iraq. But in Syria? Not for free, not now. In Syria, Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan." Why Is Trump Fighting ISIS in Syria? Thomas L Freidman April 12th 2017 NYT

"The ongoing civil war in Syria was a significant factor in driving worldwide terrorism events in 2014. The rate of foreign terrorist fighter travel to Syria – totaling more than 16,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 90 countries as of late December – exceeded the rate of foreign terrorist fighters who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years. Many of the foreign terrorist fighters joined ISIL, which, through intimidation and exploitation of political grievances, a weak security environment in Iraq, and the conflict in Syria, secured sufficient support to conduct complex military operations in an effort to seize contiguous territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria for a self-declared Islamic caliphate. ISIL routinely and indiscriminately targeted defenseless civilians, including religious pilgrims, while engaging in violent repression of local inhabitants." BUREAU OF COUNTERTERRORISM Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 Report US State Department

"Mr. Rohrabacher. Okay. I have just a couple more seconds here. Let me just note that we have recently seen an attack on Iran and the Iranian Government. The mullahs believe the Sunni forces have attacked them. This may signal a ratcheting up of certain commitments by

the United States of America. And as far as I am concerned I just want to make this point and see what you think. Isn't it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us? Isn't that a good thing? And if so, maybe it is a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.

Mr. Levitt. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State. It is never in our interest to support a terrorist group like the Islamic State. We should condemn the attacks in Iran.

Mr. Rohrabacher. Even----

Mr. Levitt [continuing]. We should condemn any act of terrorism, even as we hold Iran accountable for its sponsorship of terrorism." Serial No. 115-51 (House Hearing) - Attacking Hezbollah's Financial Network: Policy Options General. Thursday, June 8, 2017.

"We know that the aim of the Iranian regime is to reach the focal point of Muslims [Mecca] and we will not wait until the fight is inside Saudi Arabia and we will work so that the battle is on their side, inside Iran, not Saudi Arabia" MAY 2, 2017 Reuters Powerful Saudi prince sees no chance for dialogue with Iran

"The U.S. has formed ties with Houthi rebels who seized control of Yemen’s capital, White House officials and rebel commanders said, in the clearest indication of a shift in the U.S. approach there as it seeks to maintain its fight against a key branch of al Qaeda. American officials are communicating with Houthi fighters, largely through intermediaries, the officials and commanders have disclosed, to promote a stable political transition as the Houthis gain more power and to ensure Washington can continue its campaign of drone strikes against leaders of the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, officials said. . . .

U.S. officials said they also are seeking to harness the Houthis’ concurrent war on AQAP to weaken the terrorist organization’s grip on havens in Yemen’s west and south. . . . Houthi commanders, in recent interviews conducted in Yemen, asserted that the U.S. began sharing intelligence on AQAP positions in November, using intermediaries, as the conflict in the country intensified. They specifically cited a Houthi campaign against AQAP positions in western Al Baitha province as one such operation. One Houthi commander said the U.S. provided logistical aid to the militants and exchanged intelligence on AQAP to support the Houthis’ operations against the group and pinpoint drone strikes. The Americans passed on all this information, the officer said, through Yemeni counter-terrorism officials." In Strategic Shift, U.S. Draws Closer to Yemeni Rebels Jan 29th 2015 WSJ

"Senior U.S. intelligence official Michael Vickers said Jan. 21 that the United States is continuing attacks on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) despite ongoing violence in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and has an intelligence relationship with the Houthi insurgent group that has seized much of the capital since September. . . . Vickers, a special forces veteran and current undersecretary of defense for intelligence, presented a more nuanced view of the Houthis’ recent advances and aims than has been reported in much of the Western and Sunni Gulf media. . . .

Vickers, in response to a question from Al-Monitor, stated, “The Houthis are anti al-Qaeda, and we’ve been able to continue some of our counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda in the past months.” Asked after the public event whether that included lines of intelligence to the Houthis, Vickers said, “That’s a safe assumption.” The Atlantic Council January 22, 2015 Slavin: United States Maintains Intelligence Relationship With Houthis By Barbara Slavin - Senior US intelligence official Michael Vickers

"The United States strongly condemns ongoing military actions taken by the Houthis against the elected government of Yemen. These actions have caused widespread instability and chaos that threaten the safety and well-being of all Yemeni citizens.The United States has been in close contact with President Hadi and our regional partners. In response to the deteriorating security situation, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, and others will undertake military action to defend Saudi Arabia’s border and to protect Yemen’s legitimate government. As announced by GCC members earlier tonight, they are taking this action at the request of Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi…

In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations. While U.S. forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support." March 25, 2015 Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the Situation in Yemen

“We’re doing this not because we think it would be good for Yemen policy; we’re doing it because we think it’s good for U.S.-Saudi relations,” said Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official who is now with the Center for a New American Security." Saudi-led Yemen air war’s high civilian toll unsettles U.S. officials April 16th 2015 LA Times

"Gen Lloyd Austin, commander of US Central Command, admitted in March 2015: “I don’t currently know the specific goals and objectives of the Saudi campaign, and I would have to know that to be able to assess the likelihood of success.” Yet that hasn’t stopped the military from helping the Saudis kill thousands of civilians since." The US is promoting war crimes in Yemen Trevor Timm August 18th 2016 The Guardian

"The Saudi bosses absolutely depend on BAE Systems,” John Deverell, a former MoD mandarin and defence attache to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, told me. “They couldn’t do it without us.” A BAE employee recently put it more plainly to Channel 4’s Dispatches: “If we weren’t there, in seven to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.” The Saudis couldn’t do it without us’: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war 18th of June 2019 The Guardian

"British technicians working for the UK’s biggest defence contractor are working on air bases in Saudi Arabia keeping Saudi jets in the sky. One former BAE Systems worker who left a few months ago reveals the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) would be unable to fly its fleet of Typhoon fighter jets without this support. He tells Dispatches: “With the amount of aircraft they’ve got and the operational demands, if we weren’t there in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”Britain's Hidden War: 1 April 2019 Monday 1st April, Channel 4

"In recent weeks, the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen has allied with armed tribes to fight Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, putting that alliance on the same side of the country’s civil war as the United States and Saudi Arabia. In Syria, al Qaeda-allied fighters are important members of a rebel coalition against President Bashar al-Assad that includes groups supported by the West. This strategy has clear benefits for a group that has long been near the top of the United States’s list of enemies by allowing it to build local support while providing some cover against the threat of foreign military action." AL-Qaeda tries a new tactic to keep power: Sharing it June 9th 2015 NYT

"But that’s not the view of McCain and other hawkish senators around him. They see Iran’s fingerprints all over whatever goes wrong in the region — a view that alarms Horton. “This is a guy who complained that we were Iran’s air force in Iraq,” he said. “Well, guess what? Now we’re Al-Qaeda’s air force in Yemen.” US generals: Saudi intervention in Yemen ‘a bad idea’Analysis: Some top officers question Washington’s support for Riyadh-led intervention, which they say is doomed April 17, 2015 Aljazeera

"If Islamic State’s capital is the Syrian city of Raqqa, then al Qaeda’s is Mukalla, a southeastern Yemeni port city of 500,000 people. Al Qaeda fighters there have abolished taxes for local residents, operate speedboats manned by RPG-wielding fighters who impose fees on ship traffic, and make propaganda videos in which they boast about paving local roads and stocking hospitals.

The economic empire was described by more than a dozen diplomats, Yemeni security officials, tribal leaders and residents of Mukalla. Its emergence is the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago. . . . A senior Yemeni government official said the war against the Houthis “provided a suitable environment for the . . . expansion of al Qaeda.”

The withdrawal of government army units from their bases in the south allowed al Qaeda to acquire “very large quantities of sophisticated and advanced weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and armed vehicles.” How Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger – and richer Reuters April 8, 2016

"The coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself. These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes." AP Investigation: US allies, al-Qaida battle rebels in Yemen August 7, 2018

"Iran—when I became President, I had a meeting at the Pentagon with lots of generals. They were like from a movie. Better looking than Tom Cruise, and stronger. And I had more generals than I’ve ever seen, and we were at the bottom of this incredible room. And I said, “This is the greatest room I’ve ever seen.” I saw more computer boards than I think that they make today. And every part of the Middle East, and other places that was under attack, was under attack because of Iran. And I said to myself, “Wow.” I mean, you look at Yemen, you look at Syria, you look at every place. Saudi Arabia was under siege. They were all. I mean, they wanted Yemen because of the long border with Saudi Arabia, and that’s why they’re there, frankly. But every place was under siege." Remarks by President Trump in Cabinet Meeting January 3, 2019, Iran Watch, Snopes

"Almost a quarter of a million people have died in Yemen’s war, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on its website on Tuesday, confirming the huge toll from a conflict that has ravaged Yemen’s economy and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis… “The war had already caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure”, it said. More than 3,000 child deaths “Hostilities have directly caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties; 3,153 child deaths and 5,660 children were verified in the first five years of the conflict, and 1,500 civilian casualties were reported in the first nine months of 2020.” UN humanitarian office puts Yemen war dead at 233,000, mostly from ‘indirect causes’ 1st December 2020 UN

"The brutal war in Yemen has already caused the country to miss out on $126 billion of potential economic growth, according to UNDP. The UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has estimated 80 per cent of the population, or 24 million people, rely on aid and protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need… For example, the authors project that 1.3 million lives will be lost if the war continues through 2030. Moreover, a growing proportion of those deaths will not be due to fighting, but to the impacts on livelihoods, food prices and the deterioration of health, education and basic services." Yemen recovery possible if war stops now: UNDP report 23rd November UN News

"Thus far, the report projects that 60 percent of deaths from the crisis have been caused by these secondary factors – a proportion projected to grow to 75 per cent by 2030 if the war continues… The crisis has already pushed an additional 4.9 million people into malnutrition, and the report projects that this toll will grow to 9.2 million by 2030 if the war persists; by the same year, the number of people living in extreme poverty would surge to 22 million, 65% of the population." UNDP: Recovery in Yemen possible despite fast-deteriorating situation If war stops now, new report projects Yemen can eradicate extreme poverty within a generation NOVEMBER 23, 2021 UN

"By comparing the current reality in Yemen to a scenario where no conflict ever occurred, we can provide an estimate of the total death count – the number of deaths caused both directly and indirectly from the conflict. By doing so, we found that by the end of 2021, Yemen’s conflict will lead to 377,000 deaths – nearly 60 per cent of which are indirect and caused by issues associated with conflict like lack of access to food, water, and healthcare. These deaths are overwhelmingly made up of young children who are especially vulnerable to under and malnutrition. In 2021, a Yemeni child under the age of five dies every nine minutes because of the conflict. This is a significant increase since our 2019 report, Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen, that – through the same assessment – found this to be approximately every 12 minutes." Assessing the Impact of War in Yemen: Pathways for Recovery UNDP November 23rd Page 12

"The motive was very clear to us who are laying in our own blood and other people’s blood, who are injured, who were shot. Everybody who was in that bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911, saying the reason why he’s doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country.” Orlando shooting survivor describes attack: ‘We knew what his motive was’ June 15th 2016 The Guardian

"While I was deployed, I went to bed at night believing that I was protecting the homeland because coming after me and my fellow Marines was a much easier commute for those so hell-bent on killing Americans. But that argument no longer makes sense if my war has inspired enemies at home." I could justify fighting in Afghanistan — until the Boston bombing The Washington Post April 26th 2013

"Alshamrani also was said to have retweeted tweets from Mutairi, which called for 'jihad' against American and Israeli 'crusaders.'.. The aviation student's screed invoked purported 'crimes against Muslims,' blasted the US government for supporting Israel and brought up the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." Saudi Air Force officer who killed three US sailors at Pensacola naval station retweeted hate preacher's call for 'jihad' against American 'crusaders' years before his attack in series of tweets supporting terror, 11th of December 2019 The Daily Mail

Weeping Angel - Wikileaks Vault 7

"So for you, this is a moral issue? You know that there are a lot of jobs at stake. If a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes and other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?" Wolf Blitzer (CNN Host) says to Senator Rand Paul, The Intercept September 9th 2016

"Senior Western diplomats have told Foreign Policy on many occasions that sanctions are the West’s last leverage against Assad to pressure him to . . . agree to a political reconciliation that, if carried out sincerely, would eventually mean him leaving power. They insist that paying for Syrian reconstruction, including infrastructure like power plants and irrigation systems that are necessary for the country’s food security and daily life, will end up strengthening the regime’s oppression. They say they have no intention of letting Assad succeed in that, at least not unless he makes significant concessions." Assad’s Syria Is Starting to Starve Like Saddam’s Iraq How sanctions against the Syrian regime are forcing the country into famine. December 2nd 2020 Foreign Policy

Unverified Sources

"First, for over seven years, the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded one million . . . despite all this, the Americans are once again trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation. So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula." Bin Laden

"The issue here is whether the West and Israel can construct a strategy for limiting and expediting the chaotic collapse that will ensue in order to move on to the task of creating a better circumstance. . . . If . . . Jordan wins, then Syria would be isolated and surrounded by a new pro-western Jordanian-Israeli-Iraqi-Turkish bloc, the first of which can help contain and manage (through its more solid and traditional regime) the scope of the coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria." David Wurmser Coping with Crumbling states

The NIE’s conclusion was so stunning that I felt certain it would immediately leak to the press. As much as I disliked the idea, I decided to declassify the key findings so that we could shape the news stories with the facts. . . . Both [Israel and the Arabian states] were deeply concerned about Iran and furious with the United States over the NIE.

“Your Majesty, may I begin the meeting?” I asked. “I’m confident every one of you believes I wrote the NIE as a way to avoid taking action against Iran.” No one said a word. They were too polite to confirm their suspicion aloud. “You have to understand our system,” I said. “The NIE was produced independently by our intelligence community. I am as angry about it as you are.” The NIE didn’t just undermine diplomacy. It also tied my hands on the military side. . . . After the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active weapons program?" Decision Points George W Bush

"diminish Iran’s influence in the Arab world. . . . Iran knows that if his regime fell, it would lose its most important base in the Arab world and a supply line to pro-Iranian Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.” Max Boot


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