On September 30th 2016 the New York Times quietly released a leaked audio recording of Secretary John Kerry meeting with multiple factions associated within Syria.
The 40-minute discussion took place on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly in New York. The meeting took place at the Dutch Mission to the United Nations on Sept. 22nd 2016:
[…] Kerry’s off-record conversation was apparently with two dozen ‘Syrian civilians’, all from US backed opposition-linked NGO’s in education and medical groups supposedly working in ‘rebel-held’ (aka terrorist-held) areas in Syria.
This opposition conclave also included ‘rescue workers’ which can only be ambassadors from the White Helmets, a pseudo NGO which serves as Washington and London’s primary PR front in pursuit of a “No Fly Zone’ in Syria, and it’s being bankrolled by the US, UK, EU and other coalition states to the tune of well over $100 million (so far). (link)
When you listen to the audio recording (embedded below) it becomes immediately obvious what was going on in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as an outcome of policy from the White House. In addition, you discover why this jaw-dropping 2016 leak/story was buried by the U.S. media and how it connects to the prior 4 years of perplexing U.S. mid-east policy.
This evidence within this single story would/should forever remove any credibility toward the U.S. foreign policy under President Obama. It also destroys the credibility of a large number of well known republicans, and explains how the prior action has placed President Trump into a precarious position requiring a careful approach.
The key Secretary Kerry moments are at 02:00, and again at approximately 18:30 forward.
The discussion from 18:30 through to 29:00 are exceptionally revealing and should be listened to by anyone who has wondered what was going on in Syria. Kerry even makes mention of the “Responsibility to Protect, or R2P” principle:
@18:30 Secretary John Kerry [transcript]:
[…] “Well, the problem is the Russians do not care about law, and we do. And, we don’t have a basis -our lawyers tell us- unless we have a U.N. Security Council resolution, which the Russians can veto and Chinese, OR unless we are under attack from the folks there, or unless we are invited in. Russia was invited in by the legitimate regime, well, it’s illegitimate in our mind, by the regime. And so, they were invited in and we’re not invited in.”
“We’re flying in airspace there, where they can turn on the air defense and we have a very different scene. The only reason they’re letting us fly is because we’re going after ISIS. If we were going after Assad, those air defenses, we’d have to take out all those air defenses, uh, and we don’t have a legal justification, frankly, for doing that unless we stretch it way beyond the law on a humanitarian basis, which some people argue we should – by the way.”
“Uh, but so far American legal theory has not gone into these so called “right to protect”, uh, and we don’t even have what we had in Kosovo where we had an, you know, an existing resolution and so forth. Uh, even though we went alone.”
“And so it’s complicated, it’s not easy. And we’ve been fighting. How many wars have we been fighting? We’ve been fighting in Afghanistan, we’ve been fighting in Iraq, we’ve fighting -you know- in the region for fourteen years. And a lot of Americans don’t believe that we should be fighting and sending young Americans over to die in another country. That’s the problem.”
“The congress won’t vote to do it. And you can be mad at us, but what we’re trying to do is help Syrians fight for their own country; and we’ve been spending a lot of money, a lot of effort to try and help do this. So, there’s an opposition there; the opposition is doing very well. Russia came in, and that’s a problem I know, because, uh, y’ know, uh, we don’t behave like Russians, it’s just a different standard.”
“So we are trying to see if we can test whether Russia, you see, is serious about a political solution. And if they are not serious, then we will help the opposition more. But I don’t think that’s particularly good for Syrians in the end because it will mean more fighting.”
Secretary Kerry is then questioned by an obvious sympathizer toward the extremist elements (calls pro-assad Sunni faction “Sunni Jews”) about why the U.S. fights the extremist Sunni (ISIS), but not the extremist Shia (Hezbollah). Kerry’s response:
“Well, they’re [Hezbollah] a terrorist organization, we’ve designated them a terrorist organization. The reason for [airstrikes against the Sunni Extremists] is because they have basically declared war on us; and are plotting against us, and Hezbollah is not plotting against us; Hezbollah is exclusively focused on Israel, they’re not attacking now, and on Syria where they are attacking in support of the, uh, in support of Assad.”
“So it a, uh, it’s…”
Question: “But how to make the majority of the Syrian people accept this approach, that because Hezbollah or the Iraqi or Iranian groups are not attacking the U.S. now when they are attacking against the terrorism in Syria?”
Kerry: “Well, they, they are targeted by the opposition who we are arming and training.”
What the recording reveals is substantive:
♦ First, only regime change, the removal of Bashir Assad, in Syria was the 2013, 2014, and 2015 goal for President Obama. This is admitted and outlined by Secretary John Kerry.
♦ Secondly, in order to accomplish this primary goal, the White House was willing to watch the rise of ISIS (’13, ’14, ’15) by placing their bet that ISIS’s success would force Syrian President Bashir Assad to acquiesce toward Obama’s terms and step down.
♦ Thirdly, in order to facilitate the objective, Obama and Kerry intentionally gave arms to ISIS and even, arguably, attacked a Syrian government military convoy to stop a strategic attack upon the Islamic extremists killing 80 Syrian soldiers.
Pause for a moment and consider those three points carefully. Because the audio, along with accompanying research now surfacing, not only exposes these three points as truth – but also provides the specific evidence toward them.
The problem in the Obama/Kerry’s secret strategy became clear when ISIS grew in sufficient strength to give the White House optimism for the scheme – however, instead of capitulation Assad then turned to Russia for help.
When Russia came to aid Bashir Assad the Syrian Government began being able to defeat ISIS and the Islamic Extremist elements within Syria. For the hidden plan of Obama/Kerry (and also McCain, Graham, et al), Russia defeating ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra, upended their objective.
Against the backdrop of this recording we can reconcile so many historic issues. We already know of a Second Presidential Finding Memo authorizing additional CIA covert action in 2012, this time in Syria. However, unlike the 2011 Libyan operation we do not know the operational name of the second action in 2012 Syria.
2012: WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad. (link)
Further consider how this Kerry audio tape, and the now transparent Obama policy toward Syria, absolutely confirms our earlier research as contained within the Benghazi Brief surrounding Syria. [Previous post]
President Obama, Secretary Clinton (2011, 2012) and later Secretary Kerry, together with John McCain, and the CIA tentacled team within the Republican party (2013, 2014, 2015) were willing to support extremist (under all factional names) in order to overthrow Bashir Assad…
…THIS WAS THE Obama/Kerry POLICY.
This was their now admitted policy.
Nothing else mattered.
Now, we keep going. The challenges change over time.
Now, it is 2017. Russia has maneuvered in Syria to protect the Assad regime, and wall off ISIS regionally; stopping them from being able to attack Assad. ISIS (al-Qaeda, al-Nusra etc.) still exists, but they are no longer a threat to Bashir Assad directly.
In 2017 the extremists, previously armed and funded by Obama et al, have been reduced to a regional threat with critical geography now controlled by the Syrian forces and Russian military.
♦ What was true in 2014 (ISIS is a threat to Assad) is no longer necessarily true in 2017 (ISIS, thanks to Russia, now contained in a geographic region within Syria – and not the same threat as 2014).
This understanding helps to reset the landscape to the current quagmire. The current quagmire is brutally overlooked and misreported by the media, because the situation has fully evolved.
This fundamental paradigm shift in regional action, is what lies behind Assad (and Russia) now focusing on eliminating the political opposition to Assad, that is not ISIS.
The ISIS narrative (including al-Qaeda, al-Nusra) now provides the foil for Assad, with Russia’s help, to eliminate his opposition that is NOT extremist. Under the guise of fighting terrorism (ISIS) Assad is launching attacks against his political opposition with the intention to wipe them out.
If the Russian military and the entire Syrian military wanted to eliminate ISIS in Syria (said to be approximately 30k +/-), they could do so rather quickly. They’ve had over a year to assemble enough military personnel and military armament to defeat that enemy.
They have not done so because it doesn’t fit the current agenda: keeping Assad in power.
It is this specific quagmire, via Assad’s interests served by the continuance of ISIS, that creates a situation where the recent chemical weapons were deployed. Either:
• A.) By Assad against his political opposition groups. Not ISIS terrorists. Or…
• B.) By political opposition groups, against extremists (al-Qaeda, ISIS etc.). Or…
• C.) By extremist groups, against political opposition groups, in an effort to get the Western forces to attack Assad.
Both A and C are most likely. We can make a solid research argument for both motives. Given the nature of the victims, option B is impossible to reconcile. If I had to bet I’d say “C”, but the White House claims evidence toward “A”.
However, the reality of this quagmire is also why we previously said it doesn’t matter who used Chemical Weapons.
What really matters is President Trump’s response as guided by the regional partners who are aware of this reality.
The joint mid-east alliance have a regional plan to combat extremism and bring back stability. The alliance has heard from President Trump that he has no intention of engaging U.S. forces in another mid-east war. However, the alliance members also know for the first time in history they are dealing with a U.S. President that is beholden to no external political elements. As a consequence, they can trust him:
[…] “I fully trust the capabilities of President Trump … he can succeed in so many fields that others cannot. I trust him wholeheartedly.”…
The alliance is now asking for Trump’s political leadership strength.
This is where President Trump assigns responsibility, and the promise of further action, to Bashir Assad – and by taking extremely aggressive and public action that was widely accepted as necessary by the larger international community – President Trump is breaking up the availability of Assad (Russia and Iran) to hide behind the useful foil of their opposition to ISIS.
If another chemical attack takes place, Bashir Assad runs the risk of being removed. And the entire world, sans Russia and Iran, will see the removal action as justified.
Remember, the primary goal of Russia and Iran is to keep Assad in power.
♦ If Bashir Assad did not carry out the prior chemical attack, he, and Russia, is now in a position of having to make sure that another attack doesn’t take place, ever. This means Russia and Assad need to re-engage the fight against whomever ‘might’ carry out another chemical attack. (Trump wins)
♦ If Bashir Assad did carry out the prior chemical attack, he and Russia, are now unable to use that action against Assad’s political opposition. (Trump wins)
President Trump has assigned responsibility, and given consequences. President Trump is forcing Assad (and Russia/Iran) to: #1) fight ISIS, and #2) stop targeting Assad’s political opposition; at least with chemical weapons.
And THAT is the exact response Assad gave after the 59 tomahawk missiles struck the Syrian airbase. See: “Assad promises to fight ISIS harder.” This is also one of the reasons why the targeted airbase is still operational.
Now pay attention to Secretary Tillerson:
Overall, the situation in Syria is one where our approach today and our policy today is, first, to defeat ISIS. By defeating ISIS we remove one of the disruptive elements in Syria that exists today.
That begins to clarify for us opposition forces and regime forces. In working with the coalition — as you know, there is a large coalition of international players and allies who are involved in the future resolution in Syria.
So it’s to defeat ISIS; it’s to begin to stabilize areas of Syria, stabilize areas in the south of Syria, stabilize areas around Raqqa through ceasefire agreements between the Syrian regime forces and opposition forces. Stabilize those areas; begin to restore some normalcy to them. Restore them to local governance — and there are local leaders who are ready to return, some who have left as refugees — they’re ready to return to govern these areas.
Use local forces that will be part of the liberation effort to develop the local security forces — law enforcement, police force. And then use other forces to create outer perimeters of security so that areas like Raqqa, areas in the south can begin to provide a secure environment so refugees can begin to go home and begin the rebuilding process.
In the midst of that, through the Geneva Process, we will start a political process to resolve Syria’s future in terms of its governance structure, and that ultimately, in our view, will lead to a resolution of Bashar al-Assad’s departure.