From arming Mexican druglords to arming the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last week the New York Times reported that the CIA was helping direct guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons bought by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and smuggled into Syria by the Muslim Brotherhood. The article makes mention of keeping the weapons out of the hands of Al-Qaeda, but there is no mention of keeping it out of the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.
There is every reason to think that the Obama Administration would not have any problem with arming the Muslim Brotherhood. Officials from the National Security Council have met with Muslim Brotherhood officials and the Syrian National Council, which has Washington’s blessing, is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood’s revolution in Egypt had a secular façade in the form of Mohammed El-Baradei, which it needed only long enough to gain Western support, before taking power directly. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates the SNC more heavily than the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood dominated the opposition to Mubarak, has its own “moderate” patsy in the form of Abdulbaset Sieda.
Burhan Ghalioun, the last SNC patsy, whose presence was supposed to demonstrate that the Syrian National Council was a moderate group, is gone. Abdulbaset Sieda’s role is to imply that the SNC has Kurdish backing, which it does not, because it is a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey, which is in the business of repressing Kurds. The Brotherhood even went so far as to block the election of a Christian SNC leader, because it was unwilling to allow a non-Muslim to rule over Muslims; even for the sake of its long term goals.
The weapons and intelligence pipeline being routed through the Brotherhood is only half the story. The other half involves the true purpose of those weapons. Officially the weapons are needed to fight Assad, unofficially they are meant to give the Brotherhood military parity with the Free Syrian Army, which has done the bulk of the fighting, and has remained outside the SNC.
There is a major gap between the Free Syrian Army, which conducts the actual rebellion, and the SNC, which claims to be the true provisional government of the rebel groups. The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t in this to overthrow Assad just to hand over power to a group of army officers. The Brotherhood’s chief foes have been Middle-Eastern regimes run by groups of army officers who took power. The Brotherhood and its backers in the Obama Administration are determined not to allow another secularist officer like Husni al-Za'im to undo all their plans for Syria.
While the administration and its media mouthpieces praise the “Brave Syrian people” fighting against Assad, they are determined not to allow the soldiers and officers doing the fighting to determine the post-Assad future of Syria. Instead the game plan calls for a provisional SNC government followed by another “Democratic election” that will allow the Brotherhood to reap all the benefits of the rebellion.
A Time Magazine article has already described Free Syrian Army units facing pressure to take orders from Muslim Brotherhood leaders in exchange for weapons. But the weapons are just part of the picture. The biggest asset that the United States has to offer is the intelligence gained from electronic eavesdropping and satellite surveillance. By providing that intelligence to the right militias, the Obama Administration can pick winners and losers, it can even help the Brotherhood dispose of rival militias by providing intelligence on the movements of the Free Syrian Army to the SNC.
As bad as Fast and Furious was, helping arm a genocidal terrorist group like the Muslim Brotherhood is worse than helping arm Mexican drug cartels. And anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades weren’t being sent by express delivery to the cartels, the way that they are being directed to the Muslim Brotherhood.
It’s readily apparent that those who smuggle the weapons also decide who gets to use them. The United States provided aid to the Mujahedeen through the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency. That proved to be a fatal mistake. This time around there isn’t even a serious presumption that the weapons are being routed to anyone other than the terrorists.
Hamas, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, is on the terrorist list in the United States. The Syrian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood is just as much of a terrorist group, it just happens to be a terrorist group fighting a government that we oppose. It is not however fundamentally any different in its motives, its goals or its tactics.
As in Libya, it is all but certain that we are getting only a small slice of the real story. When the initial media reports of “Sneakers on the Ground” in Libya came in, it was the first glimpse of the truth that under the guise of a mission to protect civilians, there was a coordinated effort by the CIA to guide the rebels in their campaign against Gaddafi.
What began as an operation to suppress Libya’s air force was slowly revealed to be a coordinated effort between NATO and the Libyan rebels to destroy the Gaddafi regime. Now, even before the war has begun, the first “Sneakers on the Ground” reports are coming in. These leaks show that the Obama Administration has moved past its official objections to arming the Syrian rebels and that the CIA is actively involved. And they are almost certainly far deeper in the mix, than the leaked news stories claim.
Much as in Libya, the British government is being more open about its intentions. Early in June, British Foreign Secretary William Hague hinted at coming military intervention using the magic word, “Bosnia”. In Libya, Hague had been more open than his American colleagues about an assassination effort aimed at Gaddafi, and military coordination with the rebels. In Syria, Hague is also likely expressing the quiet agreement that already exists between Prime Minister Cameron and Obama.
The aftermath of the disastrous intervention in Libya not only boosted the domestic Islamists of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who have been linked to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, but spilled across Mali, accompanied by stockpiles of weapons. The Syrian conflict will unleash far more firepower from a country with vastly superior stockpiles of weapons.
The weapons making their way into Syria now will head over to Afghanistan before too long. The rebels being shepherded and guided by the CIA will pass on their knowledge of American tactics to the next generation of insurgents as our allies today become our enemies the day after.
As criminal as the Obama Administration’s behavior was in Fast and Furious, its actions in Libya and Syria are even more disturbing, because it is not merely arming profiteering criminals, but the sworn enemies of America and the free world.
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