With your tax dollars. Fred Hof now admits that at least one of the Syrian rebel groups is essentially al Qaeda in Iraq – conveniently after that the U.S. banned the group last week. But Hof and others (like Romney) still want to arm them. The question remains, why is the U.S. even involved in Syria? And where are all the anti-war protesters? via Former US Official Urges Military Intervention in Syria – Al-Monitor. By: Barbara Slavin. Posted on Thu, Dec 13.
Fred Hof, a former top State Department adviser on Syria, said Thursday that the US should provide arms to select Syrian rebels and might target the Syrian regime’s command and control centers and missile forces to prevent the use of chemical weapons.
Video suggests it’s Hof’s rebels who are testing Turkish chemicals as weapons.
Hof, who left the Obama administration in September and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Al-Monitor in an interview that “it is inevitable” that the US will begin providing weapons to elements of the Syrian opposition as the conflict intensifies. The US, he said, has now had sufficient time to vet the rebels who are organizing themselves politically as well as militarily and needs to send weapons to influence the shape of Syria’s future government.
“I might ignore the chemical side and concentrate on targets that could disable the regime’s ability to wage war across the board,” said Hof, a former US Army officer with decades of experience in the Middle East. “It could be very complicated and perilous to go after the chemicals themselves” because of the danger that striking such stockpiles would disseminate poison gas to civilian populations.
In a subsequent email to Al-Monitor, Hof added that he was not advocating a pre-emptive attack on Syria but only suggesting “how might the US most effectively respond militarily if the regime uses dirty weapons.”
Hof, who originally joined the Obama administration as an adviser to Middle East envoy George Mitchell to work on Syrian-Israeli peace, turned to helping organize the US response to the uprising in Syria in April 2011 when, he said, “it became clear that Bashar al-Assad was going to use violence to counter peaceful protest, thereby putting his own legitimacy in jeopardy, legitimacy which he eventually lost.”
Over ensuing months, the conflict has become increasingly bloody as the rebels have received arms from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar and captured government weapons depots.
Hof defended the US decision not to stage a Libya-style intervention in Syria initially and to leave the arming of the rebels to others, even though extremist groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, appear to have benefited.
Except Obama and Hof didn’t leave arming the al Qaeda linked terrorists to others. They knowingly and secretly armed the terrorists.
“It’s always possible to look back from the vantage point of December 2012 … and retroactively reassess what might have been done months earlier but that’s ultimately a useless exercise,” Hof told Al-Monitor. He said the US provision of so-called non-lethal assistance, including communications gear, to the rebels had been significant in preventing the “Syrian revolution from being strangled in the cradle” and that US officials had gained crucial knowledge over the past 20 months.
“I presume that the US government has done all of its due diligence and knows how to do this,” Hof said of his recommendation that weapons now be sent. “I suspect the provision of nonlethal assistance has been a good laboratory for figuring out how to get things into Syria — who’s reliable.”
Later Thursday, at an appearance at the Atlantic Council, Hof said that while he wished diplomatic efforts would end the conflict without US intervention, “guns will likely decide the outcome and those who want to influence and shape the outcome must get into the arena. This is not about messaging; this is about doing.” He also clarified that he meant providing Russian and other former East bloc weapons, not American arms.
“You get rid of the bad guys — the [Assad] family and its enablers must be gone lock, stock and barrel. But continuity of government otherwise is extremely important,” he said.
Paving the way for what Hof calls sectarian leaders. Like the Muslim Brotherhood?
Asked if he thought Iran might recalibrate its support for Assad as he becomes increasingly embattled, Hof said he doubted it. “Iran is going to go down in Syria with the ship,” he said.
Later, at the Atlantic Council, Hof, who in 1983, as a US Army officer helped draft the official report on the bombing of the US Marine barracks — widely attributed to Hezbollah and Iran — said: “As an American, it would not break my heart to see the Iranians beaten in Syria.”
So there you have it – this is a proxy war. Iran and Russia the prime targets.
Not to be outdone, a current Obama official says Arming Syrian fighters possible if that will help topple Assad: U.S. diplomat.
The United States will provide weapons for the Syrian opposition fighters if that will speed up the fall of the President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, told Al Arabiya on the sidelines of “Friends of Syria” meeting on Wednesday.
“We are in favor for a political solution and if we see weapons provisions to Syrian rebels to be in support to such political solution then we will go for such possibility.”
“Friends of Syria” countries, a group that includes the United States and 113 other countries collectively recognized Syria’s new opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people at a conference in Morocco.
During the meeting, Saudi Arabia pledged to donate $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, the United States promised $40 million while Germany $22 million.
And another $40 million of your tax dollars wasted on people who care nothing about Americans and will do nothing to make America safer, more free or more peaceful.