Arming Our Enemies

The Obama administration has a habit of helping our enemies obtain weapons, with lethal consequences.  The Fast & Furious operation resulted in guns going to Mexican drug lords. The Libyan “lead from behind” operation allowed weapons to get loose and ultimately into the hands of Islamist jihadists. The latest episode involves arms flowing from Islamic countries, who claim to be in our camp, to Islamist jihadists, some with ties or affiliations with al Qaeda.

While the United States has not been directly arming the Syrian rebels itself – at least not openly – the Obama administration has effectively outsourced this task to our allies in the region, principally Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They have done so in part through the Free Syrian Army, which operates from bases in Turkey.

As the New York Times reported on October 15th, most of the arms shipped are “going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”

Qatar is reportedly the largest source of shipments going to the jihadists fighting in Syria. According to the Times, “American officials have been trying to understand why hardline Islamists have received the lion’s share of the arms shipped to the Syrian opposition through the shadowy pipeline with roots in Qatar, and, to a lesser degree, Saudi Arabia.”

Vice President Joe Biden curiously omitted to mention Qatar at last week’s vice presidential debate when he discussed the countries supplying aid to “the free forces inside of Syria.” He listed only Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan. Was this simply an oversight or an intentional omission to cover up the fact that an Islamic country in the Gulf region with whom we have close military and economic ties is in fact actively helping our enemies?  Does Biden want us to forget how President Obama publicly praised the emir of Qatar in April 2011 during the emir’s visit to the Oval Office for his country’s role in supporting democracy in the Middle East, as a hedge just in case more evidence becomes known of Qatar’s complicity with the Islamist jihadists in Syria?

Here is what President Obama said publicly according to the White House transcript on April 14, 2011:

Well, I want to welcome the Emir of Qatar, and we have just completed a very useful conversation.  I expressed to him my appreciation of the leadership that the Emir has shown when it comes to democracy in the Middle East… In addition to our efforts in Libya, we have a strong relationship between our two countries.  It is an economic relationship.  It is a military relationship.  It is a cultural relationship.  And obviously, Qatar has done very well under His Highness’s leadership, but his influence extends beyond his borders.  And so we’ve had discussions about how we can continue to promote democracy, human rights, increased freedom and reform throughout the Middle East.

In remarks Obama made privately to donors about the emir’s visit on the very same day in April 2011, which were caught by CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller via an open mike, the president made fun of the notion that the emir is really a democratic reformer. However, at the same time he praised the emir for buying peace by redistributing the country’s riches:

The emir of Qatar come by the Oval Office today, and he owns Al-Jazeera basically. Pretty influential guy. He is a big booster, big promoter of democracy all throughout the Middle East. Reform, reform, reform. You’re seeing it on Al-Jazeera. Now, he himself is not reforming significantly (laughter from the audience). There is no big move towards democracy in Qatar.

You know part of the reason is that the per capita income of Qatar is $145,000 a year. That will dampen a lot of conflict (quiet laughter) – $145,000 a year!

Now keep in mind they have like 1.7 million people, and 75 percent of them aren’t even Qatari. They’re from all over the world. You know, Filipinos and Pakistanis.

But you know the average income is $145,000 a year. Now granted, if you look at the curve, I’m sure not every laborer there is making (that), but I make this point only to say that if there’s opportunity, if people feel like their lives can get better, then a lot of these problems get solved.

Obama can joke about the Qatar emir’s dedication to democratic principles, but Qatar’s role in the arming of Islamist jihadists is no laughing matter.  Obama knew by his own admission, when at the same time he was publicly extolling “the leadership that the Emir has shown when it comes to democracy in the Middle East,” that the emir was in reality no democratic reformer. However, the Obama administration decided to rely on Qatar to help “promote democracy, human rights, increased freedom and reform throughout the Middle East.” And now, as the Obama policy of outreach to the Islamists unravels in the aftermath of the Benghazi disaster, the administration is suddenly waking up and expressing alarm that our partner Qatar is helping to arm the hard-line Islamist jihadists!

There were red flags unheeded by the Obama administration. For example, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has been directing fighters, cash, and arms, funneled through Turkey, to the same Free Syrian Army our allies are arming. The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was designated an Al Qaeda affiliate by the United Nations pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), in addition to being listed by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization. Meetings between Libyan jihadists and senior Free Syrian Army leaders, held nearly a year ago, were reported on at the time by the Daily Telegraph.

According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency last June, jihadist rebels “heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia” have been wreaking havoc on Christian churches and communities in Syria.

“Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth. After a year of conflict, the reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media,” said a testimony sent to Fides Agency by the French Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos, a Greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite, who visited Syria, by traveling to different cities, like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. “In the capital car bombs and assassinations on behalf of Islamist suicide bombers, drawn by the desire of heaven, that cradle the dream of the end of the Alawite regime are feared. Currently the country, through the bloody work of adventurers who are not Syrian is trying to be destabilized.”

Islamist monarchies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood now controlling the political levers of power in Egypt, seek a post-Syrian regime on the Islamist model, not on the secular democratic model that we fantasize for the Middle East.  How many times do we have to be burnt before our foreign policy establishment acknowledges and acts upon that incontrovertible fact?

Could there be more disastrous unintended consequences from our allies arming Islamists, our most dangerous long-term enemies, in a conflict with the Syrian dictator for whom our short-term goal is regime change? Absolutely, because the Islamists our allies are arming will be in the strongest position to fill the vacuum of power if and when Assad is forced out.  Another Benghazi-type tragedy, or worse, could then be in the offing.

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  • pierce

    The President has been arming our enemies by apologizing for our past, i.e.. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, telling Putin that things will be better after he is elected to a 2nd term. By these actions he is enhancing the Enemy, because the enemy knows Obama has no interest in standing up for America. Weakness is his forte!

  • Coptic John

    Soon those savages will turn the very same weapons over your back …
    In every war between the civilized man and the savage, support Romney and defeat Obama

  • Marty

    Up to a point, this isn't a completely foolish policy. The great advantage is that this is probably the beginnings or a continuation of a conflict between sunnis and shiites. The American government is supporting essentially sunnis who are in conflict with (iranian) shiite supported asad regime. Hopefully, it will all end in a de facto partition of syria and occasional renewals of what is basically a civil war. It's rough on any decent people remaining in the country, but most of those have probably already fleeing. Something similar to this occurred during the 1980s when the United States supported iraq and Israel sent arms to iran. That war lasted eight years and neither iraq nor iran have either completely recovered. Besides, this is the Middle East: muslims slaughter one another when no one else is available.

    • Tanner

      Keep in mind that the conflict between sunnis and shiites are starting to come to a close. Not based on the majority in the middle east, but take a look at Iran now: they are friends with Egypt which is Wahhabi. Wahhabism derives from sunnism. And even though Iran supports Hezbolla, don't forget that they support Hamas, which is sunni and from the Muslim Brotherhood. So yes, the sunni/shiite conflict is still going on, however, we are slowly seeing some sunnis and shiites starting to unite against Israel and other common enemies. I still think that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" will still hold true for both sunnis and shiites, regardless of any alliance they make.

  • Drakken

    Our wishful thinking President giving weapons to our enemies is absolutely priceless. At least the Russians are arming ole Assad to off set the stupidity on our part. Let them slaughter each to their little muslim hearts content.

  • Nat Ben Zim

    The 2 state "solution" is bad for Israel . It will compelle her to surrender her most important strategic asset – the high ground – and will be left defenseless. Take a look at the following website for an explanation. The pictures that you'll see herein don't lie. They explain why Israel must never fall into the "2 State Solution" trap.
    Click here:

    • Stephen_Brady

      Thanks for the link. It puts the entire problem into perspective. The pictures were literally "eye-openers". In the United States, we're used to so much room. I could leave tomorrow from my home, and it would take three days to reach the west coast, and two days to reach the east coast, on interstate highways at speeds of 70 miles per hour. I could literally drive the distance from the Arab village, in one of the pictures, to Tel Aviv in about 15 minutes.

      God bless Israel (from a member of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews) …

    • Paul D

      I read an article on this website some time ago, written by a Jewish guy, Israeli maybe, that as far as evidence would make it seem, a 2 state solution is ridiculous. He favoured a 3 state solution which at the time made sense to me. Egypt takes over Gaza and all the people there become egyptians. Same for Jordan taking over some portion of the West Bank.That would eliminate gracing a bunch, who advocate for annihilation of israel, with a country of their own to continue with the terrorism of Israel towards that goal. Unfortunately Egypt has now fallen into the hands of the MB and can't really be counted on to be non-aggressive as they and Jordan have been for a long time now. But still no point in giving in to the terrorist ideology of islam.

  • Constitution Gal

    This President has done NOTHING but practice "taqiya" on the American people and if you know what "taqiya" is, it plays out right before your eyes!
    Talk about a "dumbed down society", we've become too politically correct (to our own detriment) to even realize we're being played as fools!
    Try asking our military boots on the ground. They'll have some fact-checking for you1

  • Ghostwriter

    I've got a feeling this won't be good.

  • jonsobieski

    Sadly Romney has said we need to arm the 'freedom fighters' of Syria SEVERAL TIMES. When I got that solicitation call for more donations yesterday, I explained why I would not give anymore to someone so clueless and cannot see the truth after 11 years of 'testimony' to the truth (Ft. Hood, London, Christian persecution, exposed deceit, etc.) Really what does it take? He kept arguing with me, then he said thank you and good bye with no donation.

  • Anamah

    Wake up Americans!!!

  • cristiano
  • watsa46

    Perhaps this administration wants to prove to Iran that the US will not intervene in Iran backyard!!!

  • muchiboy

    From an anti Zionist,pro Israel,pro Palestinian perspective,if indeed Obama was as pro Palestinian as you make him out to be,there would be celebrations in Gaza and throughout the Palestinian world.I see no such celebrations.