Will Syria Become Another 'Failed State'? The Role of the United Nations
“According to Robert Baer, a former CIA covert operations specialist, the CIA endorsed the idea of using the Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser in Egypt . In “Sleeping With the Devil,” Baer outlines the tactics of a top-secret U.S. effort: ‘At the bottom of it all was this dirty little secret in Washington : the White House looked on the Muslim Brotherhood as a secret ally, a secret weapon. This covert action started in the 1950’s with the Dulles brothers – Allen at the CIA and John Foster at the State Department when they approved Saudi Arabia’s funding of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser.
‘If Allah agreed to fight on our side, fine.’ according to Baer, ‘If Allah decided political assassination was permissible, that was fine, too, as long as no one talked about it in polite company. Like any other truly effective covert action, this one was strictly off the books. There was no CIA finding, no memorandum notification to Congress. Not a penny came out of the Treasury to fund it. In other words, no record. All the White House had to do was give a wink and a nod to countries harboring the Muslim Brotherhood, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan .’” (Robert Dreyfuss, “How the United States Helped to Unleash Fundamentalist Islam”)
The Libya now described in innumerable credible reports, is a failed state, now defenseless against the exploitation or plunder of its resources and people, as a result of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 as implemented by US-NATO. Confronted with the horrific consequences of Resolution 1973, adopted by a vote on which they abstained, Russia and China are now desperately trying to prevent a repetition in Syria of this disastrous result, and have three times vetoed attempts by US-NATO members to obtain United Nations Security Council authorization for repeating their crime again in Syria.
On November 29, 2012, Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Joint Special Representative for Syria stated before the United Nations General Assembly:
“Naturally, nobody wants to see a failed state in Syria . Nobody wants to see the state and its institutions withering away, lawlessness spreading, warlordism, banditry, narcotics, arms smuggling, and, worst of all, the ugly face of communal and sectarian strife take hold of Syria . Therefore, if we really do not want for Syria the fate I have just described, the only option everyone should opt for is a negotiated political process. Or, Syria becomes a failed state with all the predictable, dire consequences for the people of Syria , for the entire region and for international peace and security.”
In the Corridors of the United Nations Security Council
Almost immediately following US-NATO’s success in obtaining United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, on March 17, 2011, which resulted in the demolition of Libya as a viable nation state, according to Indian Ambassador Puri at the United Nations:
“as early as May, 2011, a resolution was proposed to impose sanctions on Syria, President Assad was declared to have lost legitimacy. The opposition was discouraged to engage with the government and the armed groups started receiving support ostensibly to defend themselves.”
On April 18, 2011, less than five weeks after the adoption of Resolution 1973 on Libya , the Washington Post headlined:
“U.S. Provides Secret Backing to Syria Opposition.” “The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects….according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.” The Washington Post article confirmed that demonstrations opposing President Assad began on March 18, 2011, precisely 24 hours following the passage of UN Resolution 1973 against the government of Qaddafi in Libya ; the Syrian government blamed the resulting violence on ‘armed gangs.” The extraordinary speed with which the Syrian opposition demonstrations were organized and launched following the adoption of UN Resolution 1973 indicates that they were not “spontaneous.”
The Washington Post article continues:
“The U.S. money supporting Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush in 2005. The support continued under President Obama.” In February, 2006 the Bush administration gave $5,000,000 in grants to “accelerate the work of reformers in Syria …..Around the same time, Syrian exiles in Europe founded the Movement for Justice and Development. The group, which is banned in Syria , openly advocates for Assad’s removal. U.S. cables describe its leaders as ‘liberal, moderate Islamists who are former members of the Moslem Brotherhood…..Several diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative…according to the cables, the State Department funneled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. According to its website, the council sponsors projects in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America to promote ‘the fundamental elements of stable societies’…..The Middle East Partnership Initiative has received more than 12 million dollars between 2005 and 2010.”
Also on April 18, 2011, a press briefing at the U.S. Department of State , which I attended, included the following question and answer exchange, verbatim:
“Question: Is the United States Government, through any programs or means, trying to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria ?
Mr. Toner: Well, the premise of your question is whether we are engaged in.
Question: There was no premise. There was no premise. It was a flat-out question. There was no predicate, there was no premise.
Mr. Toner: Yes, but, as you know, James, we need to be careful in – to identify what we’re talking about because if you’re talking about a news story based on the contents of – or the alleged contents of classified cables, then I can’t speak to the specific substance of that.
Question: I didn’t ask you to speak to anything specific. My question was, very broadly, is the United States Government, through any programs or means, presently working to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria ? If the answer is ‘no’ you should feel free to say so.
Mr. Toner: Well we do – and look, this is a – to talk about Syria , but we should also talk globally here. The U.S. democracy and governance programs in Syria , it’s no different than programs that the United States has in many other democratic governments around the world – or countries around the world. This is part of our support for civil society and nongovernmental organizations. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian Government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.
Question: Well, so, if I can just finish, you’ve responded to the same question twice now. The first time you spoke to premises that weren’t present in the question. The second time you told me that we need to speak globally. So I would appreciate it if you could address yourself to the question as I put it to you, and that is –
Mr. Toner: Well, I – yeah, No. Then I – okay James. What I’m trying to do is –
Question: – are we working to undermine that government or not? That’s a very simple –
Mr. Toner: No. We are not working to undermine that government. What we are trying to do in Syria , through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. My own personal experience, when I was in Poland in the 1980’s, we worked enormously with civil society and nongovernmental organizations. The difference here, as I said is that the Syrian Government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its existence.
Question: is U.S. Government money continually – or continuing to be funding in any way the Movement for Justice and Development?
Mr. Toner: No.
Question: Can you talk about U.S. support for Barada TV?
Mr. Toner: Well, again, I don’t want to go into the details of what was in the – in today’s story in The Washington Post beyond the fact that we are working with a variety of institutions and organizations to support their efforts. Freedom of the press, freedom of expression is an important element of these kinds of programs. And obviously, again, it speaks to the broader content of what we’re trying to do, which is support institutions that promote democracy and democratic ideals.
Question: Right, but actually, I don’t think the article did – I mean, the article talked about Barada TV, but it didn’t really have any information about U.S. support for TV. But isn’t it true that the U.S. Government is providing bandwidth capability for the TV station to keep it broadcasting in the face of blocking by the Iranian Government?
Mr. Toner: I’ll have to get details of what exactly technical assistance we’re providing them.
Question: Is the United States funding opposition groups in Syria ?
Mr. Toner: Well, again, we are – we’re working with a variety of civil society actors in Syria, with the goal here of strengthening freedom of expression and the kind of institutions that we believe are going to be vital to a possible democratic future in Syria.”
Of extraordinary significance is the fact that UN Ambassador Hardeep Puri of India stated, explicitly that
“As early as May, 2011, the Syrian opposition was discouraged to engage with the government, and the armed groups started receiving support ostensibly to defend themselves.”
Ambassador Puri’s reference to armed opposition groups in Syria, already functioning and receiving support as early as May, 2011 raises serious questions about the actual composition of the so-called peaceful demonstrations which began on March 18, 2011, a mere six weeks earlier. The speed with which organized armed groups, already receiving outside support, joined the so-called peaceful demonstrators indicates extraordinary preparation and organization, and the sudden speed with which violence erupted raises further serious questions. Three United Nations draft resolutions followed, condemning the Syrian Government for attacking its own people. All three were vetoed by Russia and China , and later information revealed that many members of the armed opposition were not even Syrians.
On October 19, 2012 United Nations Syrian Ambassador Dr. Bashar Ja’afari presented to the Security Council, with a copy to the UN Secretary-General, a letter listing the names and nationalities of 108 foreign individuals who had entered Syria illegally, and were engaged in terrorist activities in Syria .
Many on the list of those arrested were members of Al Qaeda. They were nationals of: Iraq , Egypt , Palestinian/Lebanese, Palestinian/Algerian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Tunisian, Libyan, Australian. Ambassador Ja’afari advised me, in a press briefing, that these letters were never acted upon by the Security Council, and the protracted delay in translating them from the Arabic to English was unexplained. The letter contains explicit information about the organizations and specific terrorist acts in which each individual was involved.
United Nations Resolution 1963 (2010) Adopted by the Security Council on 20 December 2010 states:
“Reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level.”
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1371 states:
“Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts in another State, or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed toward the commission of such acts.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,
Decides all states shall:
Criminalize the willful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to carry out terrorist acts.”
UN Security Council Resolutions 1963 and 1373 are explicit in their condemnation of any and all forms of collusion with terrorism, whether overt or covert, and in characterizing such overt or covert collusion or acquiescence as criminal.
On June 21, 2012, the front page of the New York Times headlined:
“CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Rebels. A small number of CIA officers are operating secretly in Southern Turkey , helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said…By helping to vet rebel groups, American intelligence operatives in Turkey hope to learn more about a growing, changing opposition network inside Syria, and to establish new ties. ‘CIA officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people, said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts….. American officials and retired CIA officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements…But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps….” What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels…..Last month, these activists said, Turkish army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria . The United States , these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers.”
Within four weeks, a spectacular and devastating escalation of the conflict in Syria took place: the terrorist attack on July 19, which murdered four of President Assad’s closest aides, and was obviously intended to assassinate President Assad, himself. The terrorist attack was executed with precision, sophistication and skilled professionalism one could scarcely expect from the disorganized, fragmented ragtag militias, described by Western media as so pathetic they were in dire need of massive assistance. Within one week, The New York Times acknowledged extensive al-Qaeda terrorist actions within Syria .
Although the June 21 New York Times article had said that CIA officers were in Turkey, “in part to help keep weapons out of the fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups,” they seem to have accomplished exactly the opposite, with a drastic improvement in terrorist operations successfully targeting and slaughtering top Syrian government officials, and the vast increase of Al-Qaeda strength and terrorist activity following close upon the CIA officers’ clandestine visit to Turkey.
The scandalous refusal of Western members of the United Nations Security Council to issue a public statement condemning the brazen terrorist attack which murdered the Syrian President’s closest aides and brother-in law, is clearly an attempt to avoid being charged with criminal complicity in acquiescing in this terrorist attempt by the Syrian opposition to murder Syrian President Assad.
On July 21, the New York Times headline announced:
“Stymied at the United Nations, United States Refines Plan to Remove Assad. The Obama administration has for now abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria , and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels.” In view of the rebels’ sensational terrorist attempt to assassinate Syrian President Assad, and the slaughter of four of his closest aides two days earlier, Washington thereby publicly aligned its position in support of terrorism, in clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1963. And no longer speaking of any authentic democratic electoral process, “Administration officials have been in talks with officials in Turkey and Israel over how to manage a Syrian government collapse.”
On July 24, 2012, The New York Times headlined:
“Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria Conflict: “It is the sort of image that has become a staple of the Syria revolution, a video of masked men calling themselves the Free Syrian Army and brandishing AK-47s – with one unsettling difference. In the background hang two flags of Al Qaeda, white Arabic writing on a black field. ‘We are forming suicide cells to make jihad in the name of God,’ said a speaker….Since December 2012 there have been at least 35 car bombings and 10 confirmed suicide bombings…in February, 2012, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper stated that there were ‘all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda-like attack in a series of bombings against security and intelligence targets in Damascus.”
On October 14, 2012 The New York Times headlined:
“Rebel Arms Flow is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria .” In what by this time has become a ludicrous and prevaricating attempt by Western powers to abdicate responsibility for their role in instigating the violent escalation of the war in Syria, claiming thousands more lives, the Times states: “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists and not to the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats…American officials have been trying to understand why hard-line 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.”
The October 19letter from the Syrian government addressed to the United Nations Security Council and United Nations Secretary –General Ban Ki-moon, identifying 108 foreign terrorists arrested by the Syrian government for their terrorist activities within the Syrian Arab Republic was ignored. On November 21, the Syrian Ambassador presented another letter to the United Nations Security Council, containing a new list of “143 Foreign and Arab individuals who were killed in Syria while carrying out their terrorist activities.” The list includes information about each individual, name, age, date and place of death, terrorist affiliation, and nationality. They entered the Syrian Arab Republic illegally, and are from: Qatar , Saudi Arabia , Tunisia , Turkey , Yemen , Iraq , Azerbaijan , Chechnya , Kuwait , Palestine , Lebanon , Algeria, Chad and Pakistan .
This November 21 letter from the Syrian Government to the Security Council was also ignored, and encountered inexplicable delay in translation. In another shameful example of double standards, seven days later, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2078 against the 23 March Movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stating:
“8. Expresses deep concern at reports indicating that external support continues to be provided to the M23, including through troop reinforcement, tactical advice and the supply of equipment, causing a significant increase of the military abilities of the M23, and reiterates its demand that any and all outside support to the M23 cease immediately.”
If external support to the Syrian opposition had been prohibited, there would have been no civil war in Syria .
By November 28, the Obama Administration, in an effort to finally force the total collapse of the Syrian government, began considering directly arming the Syrian opposition. In view of the fact that Syria , as a nation is now convulsed in a civil war, resulting from the West’s indirect aid to an admittedly terrorist infested opposition, which includes Al Qaeda in Syria now linking its insurgency with Islamic extremists in Iraq , it would not seem necessary to refine assistance to the Syrian opposition any further. But President Assad has survived, and the United States is criminally complicit in providing aid, indirectly or otherwise, to the now largely terrorist opposition. So, by a sleight of hand, on December 12 Obama declared he will recognize the rebels in Syria . The New York Times on December 12 admits that the opposition coalition now recognized by Washington as the legitimate Syrian authority “is still unlikely to be viewed as a legitimate representative by the many Syrians still supporting the government.” Where is the ballyhooed representative democracy in all this? A large part of the Syrian population is hereby disenfranchised.
The United States has now deployed Patriot surface to air missiles in Turkey. There is talk now of partitioning Syria into Alawite and Christian enclaves. If the Assad government collapses, there is a strong probability that Islamic extremists will seize power, with a destabilized, disintegrated Syria posing a great threat to Israel , throughout the Middle East and beyond. On December 14, The New York Times quoted:
“ Moscow has strongly criticized meetings like those of the Friends of Syria in Morocco , which supports the Opposition council…According to Aleksei K. Pushkov, head of Russia ’s Foreign Affairs Committee, ‘ Marrakesh drives a stake through any attempt for a political solution. Now it is clear – only war.’ Fyodor Lukyanov said: ‘The main view here is that there is preparation for something – if not intervention, something bold.’ He said there are ‘parallels with Libya , where recognition of the Transitional National Council meant a pretext for war.’”
On December 17, The Washington Post reported:
“The White House had been vague about whether and how it would respond if Assad is toppled and Syria’s chemical weapons are left unprotected or end up in the hands of anti-American insurgents…Defense officials have been updating their contingency plans as chaos has overtaken Syria. They said they are working closely with Israel, Jordan and NATO allies, including turkey, to monitor dozens of sites where Syria is suspected of keeping chemical arms and to coordinate options to intervene if necessary….Meanwhile the US government and some European allies have hired private contractors to train Syrian rebels how to monitor and secure chemical weapons should Assad abandon or lose control of any of his stock.”
Syria’s opposition has now kidnapped Ukranian journalist Anhar Koshneva. According to the New York Times, December 21,
“It is not just Russians who are coming under threat….One senior leader of the opposition movement, Haitham al-Maleh told Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that both Russian and Iranian civilians ‘present legitimate military targets for militants in Syria because their governments have supported Syria’s President. A similar threat came from masked men claiming to be Ms. Kochneva’s captors, who said on Ukranian television, ‘Let not a single Russian, Ukranian or Iranian come out of Syria alive.’” And these are the people the Obama administration just recognized as the legitimate government of Syria .
The terrorist-infiltrated Syrian rebels were spawned as a result of the obscene marriage of convenience of capitalist powers masquerading as respectable, but whose dirty little secret is exposed by CIA operative Robert Baer, in “Sleeping With The Devil.”
It is almost impossible to envision a way in which the integrity of the Syrian nation can be salvaged. The West continues to arm the terrorist-rebels, and attempts to legitimize and justify its complicity in the methodical demolition of Syria , a country once among the most progressive in the Arab world. In its ostensible attempt to impose “democracy,” by force of bombs, or by stealthy destabilization, the West has demolished Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, ravaging more countries than Attila the Hun, leaving failed states overrun by terrorists, and in the words of the infinitely wise Mr. Brahimi,
“With institutions withering away, lawlessness spreading, warlordism, banditry, narcotics, arms smuggling and worst of all, the ugly face of communal and sectoral strife.”
These once proud, independent countries, now demolished, failed states, are rendered vulnerable to control by capitalism’s rapacious oligarchs.
Thirty three years ago President Najibullah in Afghanistan had required, by law, that all children, boys and girls, receive secular education; women as well as men held high government ministry positions, and the nation was on track for further economic and social development. But educated people are less malleable or easily manipulated, and so Najibullah had to go. It was in Afghanistan that the Carter administration began funding, training and arming Islamic terrorists.
Helping to destroy the progressive, secular government in Afghanistan was none other than Charlie Wilson’s pal, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, responsible author of the practice of throwing acid in the faces of Afghan girls who attended school. “Hekmatyar’s specialty was skinning prisoners alive.”
But Texas Republican Charles Wilson, immortalized by Hollywood , was a great fan of the acid hurling, misogynist Hekmatyar. As the war evolved, both Hekmatyar and Saudi Arabia ’s favored client, Abdul Rasul Sayyaff inspired militant terrorist Islamists in Egypt , Algeria , Saudi Arabia , Iraq and elsewhere, including Chechnya and Uzbekistan .
This is the global army that the West has been covertly supporting, and it is this force that the United Nations Joint Special Representative for Syria must contend with, along with their sponsors in the West.
One can only admire Mr. Brahimi for risking his enormous prestige and accepting this mission. And one can only hope for his success in finally ending this psychotic greed for power, before it explodes into a world war. For the next targets will be Russia and China .
Carla Stea is an author, geopolitical analyst and accredited journalist at the United Nations Headquarters in New York