Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Spokesman for Chihuahua state says US agencies don’t want to end drug trade, a claim denied by other Mexican officials.
 

The CIA refused to comment directly on the allegations of complicity made by a low-level Mexican official [Reuters]

Juarez, Mexico – The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states – one which directly borders Texas – going on the record with such accusations is unique.

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”

A spokesman for the CIA in Washington wouldn’t comment on the accusations directly, instead he referred Al Jazeera to an official website.

Accusations are ‘baloney’

Villanueva is not a high ranking official and his views do not represent Mexico’s foreign policy establishment. Other more senior officials in Chihuahua State, including the mayor of Juarez, dismissed the claims as “baloney”.

“I think the CIA and DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] are on the same side as us in fighting drug gangs,” Hector Murguia, the mayor of Juarez, told Al Jazeera during an interview inside his SUV. “We have excellent collaboration with the US.”

Under the Merida Initiative, the US Congress has approved more than $1.4bn in drug war aid for Mexico, providing attack helicopters, weapons and training for police and judges.

More than 55,000 people have died in drug related violence in Mexico since December 2006. Privately, residents and officials across Mexico’s political spectrum often blame the lethal cocktail of US drug consumption and the flow of high-powered weapons smuggled south of the border for causing much of the carnage.

Drug war ‘illusions’
“The CIA wants to control the population; they don’t want to stop arms trafficking to Mexico, look at [Operation] Fast and Furious,” he said, referencing a botched US exercise where automatic weapons were sold to criminals in the hope that security forces could trace where the guns ended up.”The war on drugs is an illusion,” Hugo Almada Mireles,professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez and author of several books, told Al Jazeera. “It’s a reason to intervene in Latin America.”

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms lost track of 1,700 guns as part of the operation, including an AK-47 used in 2010 the murder of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection Agent.

Blaming the gringos for Mexico’s problems has been a popular sport south of the Rio Grande ever since the Mexican-American war of the 1840s, when the US conquered most of present day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico from its southern neighbour. But operations such as Fast and Furious show that reality can be stranger than fiction when it comes to the drug war and relations between the US and Mexico. If the case hadn’t been proven, the idea that US agents were actively putting weapons into the hands of Mexican gangsters would sound absurd to many.

‘Conspiracy theories’

“I think it’s easy to become cynical about American and other countries’ involvement in Latin America around drugs,” Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House on drug control policy, told Al Jazeera. “Statements [accusing the CIA of managing the drug trade] should be backed up with evidence… I don’t put much stake in it.”

Villanueva’s accusations “might be a way to get some attention to his region, which is understandable but not productive or grounded in reality”, Sabet said. “We have sort of ‘been there done that’ with CIA conspiracy theories.”

In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published Dark Alliance, a series of investigative reports linking CIA missions in Nicaragua with the explosion of crack cocaine consumption in America’s ghettos.

In order to fund Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s socialist government, the CIA partnered with Colombian cartels to move drugs into Los Angeles, sending profits back to Central America, the series alleged.

“There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” US Senator John Kerry said at the time, in response to the series.

Other newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, slammed Dark Alliance, and the editor of the Mercury News eventually wrote that the paper had over-stated some elements in the story and made mistakes in the journalistic process, but that he stood by many of the key conclusions.

Widespread rumours
Acceptance of these claims within some elements of Mexico’s government and security services shows the difficulty in pursuing effective international action against the drug trade.”It’s true, they want to control it,” a mid-level official with theSecretariat Gobernacion in Juarez, Mexico’s equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, told Al Jazeera of the CIA and DEA’s policing of the drug trade. The officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he knew the allegations to be correct, based on discussions he had with US officials working in Juarez.

Jesús Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.

“Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada’s] father, Ismael Zambada and ‘Chapo’ Guzmán were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs… into… the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels,” Zambada’s lawyers wrote as part of his defence. “Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.

Joaquin “El Chapo”, the cartel’s billionaire leader and one of the world’s most wanted men, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by sneaking into a laundry truck – likely with collaboration from guards – further stoking rumours that leading traffickers have complicit friends in high places.

“It would be easy for the Mexican army to capture El Chapo,” Mireles said. “But this is not the objective.” He thinks the authorities on both sides of the border are happy to have El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy. Other analysts consider this viewpoint a conspiracy theory and blame ineptitude and low level corruption for El Chapo’s escape, rather than a broader plan from government agencies.

Political changes

In Depth
More from Mexico’s drug war
Cartels cast shadow over
Mexico polls
Dirty money thrives despite
Mexico drug war
As PRI wins, Mexico looks
forward to its past
Mexicans make beeline
for ‘bandit saint’
US-trained cartel terrorises
Mexico

After an election hit by reported irregularities, Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is set to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1.

He wants to open a high-level dialogue with the US about the drug war, but has said legalisation of some drugs is not an option. Some hardliners in the US worry that Nieto will make a deal with some cartels, in order to reduce violence.

“I am hopeful that he will not return to the PRI party of the past which was corrupt and had a history of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels,” said Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas.

Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans – including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva – will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.

The widespread view linking the CIA to the drug trade – whether or not the allegations are true – speaks volumes about officials’ mutual mistrust amid ongoing killings and the destruction of civic life in Mexico.

“We have good soldiers and policemen,” Villanueva said. “But you won’t resolve this problem with bullets. We need education and jobs.”

Tajik Special Forces in combat right on the Afghan border

[Tajik Special Forces in combat right on the Afghan border.  Wanna bet that they were led by US Spec. Ops.?]

Official Dushanbe: In a special operation in Khorog killed 42 people

The security forces in Tajikistan have extended the first official information on casualties as a result of the operation in Khorog. According to “AP” Head Public Relations Center of the State Committee on National Security of Tajikistan Nozirdzhon Buriev, in a special operation of law enforcement and security agencies of Tajikistan, Khorog, July 24 had been killed 42 people.

According Burieva among 30 dead from among the members of the armed group and 12 among the country’s security forces. It was also detained 40 members of an illegal organization, of which eight Afghan citizens. During the operation, were seized over 100 firearms and ammunition. As a result of the operation 23 people were injured and the number of civilians were no injuries. At the moment, the active phase of the special operation is completed, ongoing cleanup.

Joint Statement by National Security Committee and the Tajik Interior Ministry has also been read by all public television stations.

Recall a special operation to destroy a group Tolib Ayembekova started early this morning. The members of the armed group suspected of killing Ayembekova Head of State Committee on National Security of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, General Abdullo Nazarov.

Meanwhile, in Dushanbe, deliver wounded special operations soldiers and officers. At the moment, the Republican Clinical Hospital delivered 13 wounded special operations members, one of them died in hospital.

Also noticeable crowd of people outside Dushanbe military hospital in which to deliver the bodies. Both clinics are under heavy guard, photo and video next to them are forbidden.

Up To 200 Reported Killed In Tajikistan Reprisals for Assassination of Security Chief

Tajikistan clashes: ‘Many dead’ in Gorno-Badakhshan

BBC Map

At least 42 people including 12 soldiers and 30 rebels have been killed in fighting in the remote Tajik region of Gorno-Badakhshan, state television has reported.

Some unconfirmed reports speak of a far higher level of casualties, with dozens of people being killed in the violence.

It follows the fatal stabbing of a top security forces official on Saturday.

That led to military action against local opposition strongman Tolib Ayombekov, reports say.

Residents of the provincial capital Khorog told the BBC their town now resembled a warzone.

Communications in Gorno-Badakhshan province have now been cut.

People are trapped in their homes because of the heavy fighting in the streets, where armoured vehicles have been seen. Dozens of people have been reported wounded.

A hospital official in the Tajik capital Dushanbe – where some of those injured have been treated – told the BBC’s Central Asian Service that more than 200 people were killed on Tuesday.

 

Relations between the central government in Dushanbe and the mountainous region of Badakhshan – locally known as Pamir – have always been difficult.

This remote and poor region broadly supported the Islamist-led opposition during Tajikistan’s five-year civil war between 1992 and 1997.

The region borders Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province and the porous frontier means that drug trafficking is a major problem.

Tajik officials say that former opposition commanders are heavily involved in smuggling narcotics.

But drug trafficking is not only a problem in Pamir. It is widespread all over the country and some observers believe that without the support of high-ranking officials no-one would dare to get involved.

The latest attack on Tolib Ayombekov however is less about drug trafficking and more an attempt by the government to regain full control of a troublesome region.

The majority of the population are migrant workers in Russia, as there are very few local jobs.

Reports of official corruption are widespread and fuel resentment among Pamir’s 250,000 population.

 

The dead included more than 100 military personnel and about 100 civilians, he said.

The official – who did not want to be named – said that about 60 people were injured in the violence.

State television said that police detained 40 armed men on Tuesday, including eight Afghans. It said that 23 soldiers were injured in the operation in Khorog – but there were no civilian casualties.

Security forces say they decided to use force after Mr Ayombekov refused to surrender.

Mr Ayombekov was a member of the opposition which fought against the government during Tajikistan’s civil war in the 1990s.

Continuing instability

The operation is yet another attempt by the Tajik government, which has little influence in the area, to bring Gorno-Badakhshan under its full control, says the BBC’s Abdujalil Abdurasulov.

The pre-dawn attack on fighters loyal to Mr Ayombekov deep in the Pamir mountains underlines the continuing instability of the impoverished former Soviet republic 15 years after the end of a civil war, correspondents say.

It took place three days after State Committee on National Security (GKNB) regional head Abdullo Nazarov was found dead.

Residents in Khorog told the Reuters news agency that locals had been ordered to stay at home as government helicopters flew overhead. They said that gunfire could be heard in the distance.

A statement released by the GKNB said that investigations were under way to see “whether the citizens of Afghanistan” involved in the violence were connected with the Taliban, al-Qaeda or the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

While such claims are difficult to verify, our correspondent says the area remains a base for former rebel fighters.

A former Soviet republic, Tajikistan plunged into civil war almost as soon as it became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is Central Asia’s poorest nation.

Oh Crap! Here We Go Again, Another “W”

 

[Try looking deeply into those eyes…there’s nothing there…at least, nothing good.  It’s a scary experience.  Maybe there is something to that whole “lizard” thing.  Notice the military record, or lack thereof.  Of course he was made an officer without all that basic training garbage.]

George Prescott Garnica Bush (born April 24, 1976)

At the age of 12, Bush spoke before the 1988 Republican National Convention

On March 21, 2007 the United States Navy Reserve announced the selection of Bush for training as an intelligence officer. Once commissioned as an Ensign for eight years of reserve service, he was expected to attend direct commission officer training, and then undergo a year of intelligence training, initially assigned to duty near his home.

George P. Bush by Gage Skidmore.jpg

The “Great Game” In the Stans Runs-Up Against 5 Great Game Players

Competing Mediators in Central Asia

by MYLES G. SMITH

New players are challenging Russia’s traditional position as the conflict referee and patron of first preference in Central Asia. All the others are, arguably, ‘emerging powers’, to reuse an overused phrase. China is returning to prominence after a long hiatus. Two decades of American power in the region has paid some dividends, for a high price of investment. Turkey’s economic influence has risen, though its political influence has not kept pace. Arab and Iranian regimes seemed poised to become new players as well. But the events of last few years: the ongoing financial crisis, rising violence in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, among others, will inevitably reorder the priorities of external powers, and their policies towards the region.

This was essentially the starting point for a series of discussions hosted bythe Hollings Center for International Dialogue in Istanbul last week. To extend the conversation a bit to this audience, I submit the following points for discussion. For the most part, I reproduce common sentiments, unless made clear otherwise.

Russia, of course, is by no means an ‘emerging power’ where it concerns Central Asia, a region it has dominated for well over a century. China may have been gone from the scene for that time, but as my colleague from the region aptly pointed out, in Central Asia ‘we remember’. Splitting hairs may consider China as ‘re-emerging’. While the US was ascendant globally for 20 years after the region gained independence, its influence and that of kindred spirits in the EU is inevitably falling as others gain.

Each of the three maintains a favored project for mediating conflicts and wielding influence in the region – Russia has the CSTO, the West has the OSCE, China has the SCO. Uniquely, Russia is a member of all three, which allows it to limit the scope and influence of both to some extent. Crises in the region such as the Andijan and Osh incidents of 2005 and 2010 showed the hollowness of all three organizations when conflicts arose to be mediated. In Osh, the OSCE struggled to insert even a handful of unarmed police observers, and the CSTO refused to offer any military support to the Kyrgyz government, despite a specific and public plea for it.

China and the West have emerged of alternative providers of public goods, the West mostly through development programs and the multilateral banks, China through bilateral infrastructure deals, soft loans, aid-for-resources, and other arrangements. Suffice it to say that these alternatives are often more enticing to local governments than Western aid, which usually comes with more difficult conditions for the ruling elite to swallow. Territorial concessions may secure massive, regime-preserving resources from China, while doing little harm to these authorities themselves. Their primary limitations in such deals with China are the nationalist, anti-Chinese proclivities of their own populations – while there seems to be almost limitless patience for corruption in the region, there are invisible lines of ‘patriotism’ that all the region’s leaders fear crossing.

In this environment, the West’s influence has waned. Local governments have sidelined Western-sponsored NGOs. Chinese money comes in larger, easier to swallow doses than conditional loans from the IMF and World Bank. And with the West’s painfully slow but seemingly inevitable extraction from Afghanistan on the horizon, some republics see the US and EU as departing patrons who will never visit town again – good targets for one last fleecing, before they are forever forgotten.

The group generally saw the ‘Turkish Model’ – Western-style democracy, capitalism, and secularism in an Islamic country (or something) – as fully abandoned by the five Central Asian republics, all of which have preferred statism, authoritarianism, and Personality worship in varying doses. An observation was made that with Turkey’s deteriorating relationships with Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, and Egypt, Turkey is poised for a return to the region, lacking other outlets for its surplus political and economic capital.

Iran was generally acknowledged to have played a stabilizing influence in the region, in contrast to its reputation for meddling in countries to its south and west. Its fruitful assistance in mediating the Tajik Civil War, and its assistance to the US-led coalition in Afghanistan early in that war, were prominent examples. It also plays important, but quiet, roles in regional trade and business.

Participants from the Middle East were particularly interested in exploring the roles of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the smaller oil-rich Gulf states in the region. The Central Asia participants saw modest roles for each, and as elsewhere, many promises with relatively few deliveries on investment and aid. The former also posed the question as to whether Central Asia’s political situation after the Soviet Union will prove any precedent for the Arab Spring countries. Still, we from Central Asia saw few parallels. Afghanistan, however, had quickly come to resemble a dysfunctional Central Asian dictatorship.

Despite the many powers competing for influence in Central Asia, described by some commentators as a ‘New Great Game’ with even higher stakes than the original, one participant observed a dearth of external power in the region. This is a view I sympathize with. No external power is willing or able to reorder the region to suit its interests. Additional powers at play are quickly converted by the five republics into new patrons to play off the incumbents. This tends to increase the leverage of the client republics, not the external patrons. We all mused about consequences of the United States pulling out of this patronage network. While it was tempting to conclude that the US would lose little by abandoning its military and development aid to the region, we conceded that any such a withdrawal, while weakening the five republics, it would strengthen their remaining external patrons.

I argued that we see a harmony of interests among all of the key players in the region, including Russia, China, and the West. Preventing state collapse, expropriations of investments, and growth in Islamic terrorism appears on each’s agenda. It is their widely divergent views of the nature of each threat, and the methods to they apply to counter these threats, that will continue to make their cooperation (and success) in mediating conflicts in Central Asia a fleeting phenomenon.

Government of Goa, India Seek To Remove Russian and Israeli Mafias from Island Resort

The government of Goa resort to cleanse the Russian and Israeli areas

Photo ITAR-TASS

The authorities of the Indian state of Goa will not allow Russian and Israeli tourists to occupy entire neighborhoods and to establish its own rules there . The corresponding statement was made ​​by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar state.

According to the politician, he “heard about the existence of enclaves along the coastline, and will not allow that they were there.” He recalled that all the inscriptions in the state can only be made in local languages, as well as English. “Those who install signs in foreign languages ​​(except English) will be denied licenses to engage in trading activities”, – quotes ParrikaraITAR-TASS .

Goa is one of the most popular resorts among Russians. The number of visitors from Russia is close to 100 thousand people.

Putin: Non-stop civil war if Assad ousted

Putin: Non-stop civil war if Assad ousted

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 23, 2012 shows Syrian rebel fighters battling government troops in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 23, 2012 shows Syrian rebel fighters battling government troops in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

Russian President Putin has warned that if the Assad government is overthrown, the ensuing civil war in Syria may see no end.

Speaking after a meeting with Italian PM Monti, Putin said thatt in the case if the Syrian authorities are displaced, “they will simply swap places with the current opposition and this will cause a civil war that would go on for no one knows how long.”

Putin also called on the conflicting parties to reach a compromise, saying this is the only path which ensures the country has a future. “The incumbent Syrian authorities as well as the so- called armed opposition must find strength to organize the talks and find a mutually acceptable compromise for the country’s future,” Putin told reporters.

“We believe that the following should be the course of action: halting the violence, conducting negotiations, searching for a solution, laying down a constitutional basis for the future society, and only then introducing structural changes, not vice versa. Doing things the other way around would only cause chaos,” Putin continued.

Prime Minister Monti told the press that a provisional government modeled on Lebanon’s could be the best solution to the crisis. He added that such a government should include all elements of Syrian society, and that Russia should support such a move once it goes through the UN.

Putin replied that Russia’s position on the subject remained the same – the priority being putting an end to violence.“Both the government side and the armed opposition must end the violence and get to the negotiation table,” the Russian President said.

“We hold that the country’s future must be decided not on the basis of a military defeat or a military victory by one of the sides, but on the basis of the process of talks, on the basis of agreements and compromise,” Putin said.

“The agreements that were reached in the UN on prolonging the UN mission testify to the fact that despite certain splits in defining what is primary and what is secondary, compromises can be found on UN grounds and a settlement made with all sides for the benefit of the Syrian people,” Putin added.

Putin’s words echoed the statements made earlier by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other top Russian diplomats. Russia insists that both sides of the Syrian conflict take part in the settlement, sharply criticizing the unilateral approach of those nations who have blamed the crisis solely on President Assad and his government. Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions that threatened the Syrian regime with sanctions if the conflict continued, arguing that both the rebels and the government should be held responsible for the current situation.

Earlier this month, Russian officials received two delegations from the Syrian opposition in Moscow. Following the talks, the Syrian opposition recognized Russia’s roll in helping stabilize the situation in the country. On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to prolong the international monitors’ stay in Syria, a move suggested by Pakistan and supported by Russia.

Washington’s Plan B For Syria

Washington’s Plan B For Syria

By Stephen Lendman

 

Replacing independent governments with pro-Western puppets is official US policy. So is war on Islam.

After Soviet Russia dissolved, Muslims replaced communists as public enemy number one. Since the 1990s, millions were ruthlessly killed. Many more die daily. Dozens succumb every day in Syria. US-sponsored death squads murder them.

On July 20 or 21st, Ramadan began. It continues for 30 days until August 18. It’s a time for prayer, fasting, reflection, spiritual purification, self-sacrifice, charity, and forgiveness.

On July 20, Obama hypocritically “extend(ed) warmest wishes to” American and global Muslims. He wished them a “blessed month.” He did it despite official US policy to murder them. It doesn’t stop in deference to Ramadan, Christmas, or any other time of year.

He contemptuously expressed support for their determination to achieve “democracy,” “equality,” “justice,” and “universal rights.” He said his administration stands forthrightly with them.

He lied. He’s a serial liar. He’s also a war criminal multiple times over.

America deplores these values at home and abroad. It won’t tolerate them. They’re anathema to the nation’s imperium. It seeks unchallenged global dominance. Ravaging the world one country at a time or in multiples is policy to achieve it.

Plans to get Security Council authorization for war failed. Russia and China vetoed three resolutions. Vladimir Putin said no to Libya 2.0.

He denounced efforts to circumvent Security Council authority. He said Russian National Security Council members deplore Western attempts to link ongoing violence to Moscow’s position.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called Washington’s statements “hypocritical.” He added that America subverts efforts to urge opposition leaders to dialogue responsibly with Assad.

He called Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice accusations “absolutely unacceptable.”

Taking aim at Washington and Britain primarily, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said don’t “be misled by humanitarian discourse by some countries.”

“The policies on Syria are more geopolitical than humanitarian.”

“Unfortunately, the consequences of these policies will make the conflict and bloodshed continuous.”

He indicated that so-called aid is a prelude and pretext for military intervention, adding:

“The US and the UK intervened in Iraq under the most sublime of pretexts, causing (massive numbers of) civilian (deaths), let alone the displaced people inside and outside Iraq.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich warned of serious consequences if Washington intention circumvents Security Council authority and intervenes directly in Syria’s internal affairs.

He said doing so constitutes “a very very alarming signal.” He rejected US retaliatory threats. He criticized congressional action and Western media denunciations.

Russia’s Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Aleksey Pushkov called Western nations’ position on Syria political cover to escalate tensions. He rejected calls for unilateral approaches.

He accused Washington and so-called “Friends of Syria” of “double standards.” On the one hand, they support diplomatic solutions. On the other, they further violence, bloodshed, and resolving Syria’s conflict militarily. Russia stands firmly opposed.

Last week, Washington upped the stakes. Killing Syrian officials at Damascus National Security headquarters Wednesday was strategically timed.

They happened ahead of the latest Western Security Council scheme to authorize military intervention. It failed. At the same time, battles raged in and around Damascus and elsewhere. They failed.

Efforts were made to hijack Syria’s satellite channel frequencies and silence other state run online media. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) was repeatedly hacked and shut down. On Sunday it was operating. It and other Syrian media remain vulnerable.

So far Western and complicit regional attempts to destabilize, weaken, and perhaps bring down the government failed. Expect continued schemes to topple Assad and his regime.

On July 21, a New York Times editorial headlined “Stymied at UN, US Refines Plan to Remove Assad,” saying:

Obama officials “abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.”

Obama officials are meeting with Israeli, Turkish, and Western counterparts. They’re also discussing policy with Syrian opposition leaders.

Internal Washington “daily high-level meetings” are held. At issue is Plan B “to help map out a possible post-Assad government.”

“The administration has had regular talks with the Israelis about how Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities, administration officials said.”

Washington is directly involved in arming, funding, training, and directing Syrian opposition mercenaries. They’re cutthroat killers. They’re enlisted to commit mass murder.

They target pro-Assad civilians and others randomly. Expect stepped up efforts ahead of direct Western and/or regional allies’ intervention.

Unnamed US officials said:

“You’ll notice in the last couple of months, the opposition has been strengthened. Now we’re ready to accelerate that.”

According to hawkish, pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) member Andrew Tabler:

“We’re looking at the controlled demolition of the Assad regime.”

He left unsaid that official Washington policy includes all options. They include full-scale war.

International Crisis Group member Robert Malley warned of “war that never ends.” Syrians won’t tolerate being ruled by elements now fighting them.

Josh Rogin reports on national security, foreign policy, and defense issues. On July 20, his Foreign Policy article headlined “Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria,” saying:

Senior Syrian opposition group representatives are meeting covertly in Germany. The State Department provides funding.

For “the last six months,” they’ve been working with so-called US Institute for Peace (USIP) members. They’re planning a post-Assad government.

USIP is a pro-Western front group. According to the Weekly Standard:

Washington supplies millions of dollars. “Since 1985, taxpayers have forked over more than $720 million (inflation adjusted).”

“That has included support for a gleaming new 150,000 square foot office building in the shadow of that other taxpayer-supported institution (allegedly) devoted to peace: the State Department.”

USIP’s Steven Heydemann heads the initiative. In June, he met with Friends of Syria representatives in Istanbul. The project is called:

“The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria.” Heydemann said USIP is “working in a support role with a large group of opposition groups to define a transition process for a post-Assad Syria.”

USIP shortly plans releasing a report. It’s a regime change strategy document. Implementing initial priorities needs to start now, said Heydemann. He disingenuously claims pushing Assad from power isn’t discussed.

“We have very purposely stayed away from contributing to the direct overthrow of the Assad regime,” he said. “Our project is called ‘the day after.’ There are other groups working on the day before.”

Of course, they’re interconnected. As the lyrics to the well-known spiritual “Dem Bones” say, the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, etc.

USIP board chairman J. Robinson West is a corporate CEO (PFC Energy). President Richard H. Solomon is a former Assistant Secretary of State. Vice chairman of the board George E. Moose is a former Assistant Secretary of State.

Other board members include:

Judy Van Rest: right-wing International Republican Institute (ISI) executive vice president.

Michael H. Posner: Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Of course, all US administrations deplore these values. They tolerate none of them at home or abroad.

James N. Miller: Obama’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Nancy McEldowney: Interim president of the National Defense University (NDU).

Eric S. Edelman: A retired US Foreign Service Career Minister. He also held senior Defense Department positions.

Judy Ansley: Previously she held various high-level national security and Senate staff positions.

Syrian opposition members support violently overthrowing Assad’s government. Most Syrians support it. In May, free, fair, and open parliamentary elections were held. Ruling party members won most seats.

Washington, key NATO partners, and so-called Friends of Syria don’t recognize them. They represent Syria, not Western interests.

Replacing them with subservient puppets is policy. USIP was enlisted to help. It’s a wrongly named imperial tool. It supports war, not peace. It’s well paid for furthering Washington’s imperium. Destroying Syria is prioritized.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour