Obama Inc. pulled this same stunt in Libya. It turned a blind eye to Qatari gun-running to Libyan rebels and then it disavowed that once it became clear that the weapons were headed to Jihadists, specifically Al Qaeda or groups allied with Al Qaeda.
Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official.
The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said.
After all this was acknowledged by Obama Inc. and leaked in a plausible deniability form to the New York Times, Kerry and Obama Inc. appear to have learned absolutely zero from the experience and are doing the absolutely very same thing again.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the Obama administration supported efforts by Middle Eastern nations to send arms to the opposition in Syria, and had had discussions with foreign officials to emphasize that those arms should go to moderate forces rather than to extremists.
“We had a discussion about the types of weapons that are being transferred and by whom,” Mr. Kerry said after a meeting with the prime minister of Qatar, which has been involved in arming the Syrian opposition. “We did discuss the question of the ability to try to guarantee that it’s going to the right people and to the moderate Syrian opposition coalition.”
Notice that Kerry doesn’t say that this is policy or that the US is insuring the flow of arms. Instead there was a “discussion” and Kerry went on record as asking the question, even though he already knows the answer. But now Obama Inc. is on record as being skeptical about a policy that it supports.
The “moderate forces” that Kerry would like to arm are the Muslim Brotherhood. The immoderate forces are Al Qaeda. And there’s no doubt that Qatar is not limiting its support to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Salafists in Syria have better weapons and Kerry is pretending that once again Obama Inc. has no idea where those weapons are coming from.
Mr. Kerry asserted that the United States was not directing the arms shipments by other nations; rather, he suggested, the United States was consulting with them about what was being provided and to whom. “I don’t think the United States is engaged in a specific allotment process,” he added. “But obviously we are aware.”
So… Obama Inc. is disavowing responsibility for the weapons shipments, even as it endorses the program.
He spoke at a joint news conference here with the prime minister of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. The prime minister said he sensed a new openness on the part of the United States to the provision of military support to the Syrian opposition.
“There is a change in the international position and the American position,” Sheik Hamad said. “They are talking about weapons. We hope that this had happened some time ago because this would have maybe lessened the death and destruction that took place in Syria.”
Sheik Hamad has underwritten much of the death and destruction in Syria and through the Middle East over the last two years.
A major question is whether these efforts will be enough to turn the tide against Mr. Assad. The flow of weapons has not stopped the Syrian military from firing Scud missiles at its opponents or bombing them.
Maybe we should give them F16s and Abrams tanks. Oh wait… Obama already did.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Thursday defended the Obama administration’s gift of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt despite Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi’s newly-surfaced comments referring to Israelis as “descendents of apes and pigs.”
“The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone you don’t agree with doesn’t give us permission to walk away,” Kerry said.
It also doesn’t give us permission to stop arming people whose entire worldview consists of killing us and then killing us some more. And the best case scenario in Syria, is that these are the only people being armed under Kerry’s watch, even though it’s fairly certain that the weapons are actually flowing to Al Qaeda.