Israel Carries Out Multiple Strikes

I am not a huge fan of ZERO HEDGE, but this was some good commentary on the actions:

Israeli strikes have hit an arms depot operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport, Syrian opposition sources told Al Jazeera. Witnesses said a total of five strikes occurred near the Damascus airport road, about 25km from the capital, early on Thursday. Syrian state TV quoted a military source saying rockets fired from Israeli territory targeted a military area in the southwestern part of the airport which caused explosions.

Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep near Syria’s border, said opposition activists posted pictures online showing a huge fire near the area.

“We do understand that the Israelis have been carrying out strikes in the past. The last one was in January targeting the Mezze military base.

“In 2015 they also launched attacks near the capital Damascus and in the Golan Heights, killing two prominent Hezbollah commanders, including Jihad Mughniya who is the son of the top military commander of Hezbollah Imad Mughniya who was also killed in Damascus in 2008,” Ahelbarra said.

[….]

“The prime minister has said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicated an intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act.” Katz added. An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.

[….]

This is the second Israeli attack on Syria in the past week: on Sunday, Israeli forces bombed a camp for pro-government forces killed three fighters near the Golan Heights on Sunday according to AFP. Two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.

Israel’s army declined to comment Sunday on the attack. On Friday the army said it targeted positions inside Syria in retaliation for mortar fire that hit the northern part of the Golan Heights….

Some news about troop positions that I was not tracking with via DEBKA FILE:

Early Thursday, April 26, a mixed Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force embarked on a general offensive in southern Syria ready for a leap on Israel’s Golan border. They moved forward in the face of Israeli warnings that were relayed from Moscow to Tehran and Hizballah.

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrived in Moscow Tuesday for a two-day international conference on Security. After meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Lieberman said that Israel would not stand for Iranian or Hizballah concentrating military forces on the Syrian-Israeli border. He praised the coordination mechanism between the IDF and the Russian Syrian command as working effectively and preventing unnecessary friction. Officers of the two militaries had so far met nine times. Lieberman will also meet Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun during the visit.

This latest warning was issued by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is visiting the Russian capital this week to attend an international security conference. After meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun, the Israeli minister stated clearly on Wednesday: “Israel will not allow the concentration of Iranian and Hizballah forces on its Golan border.”  

By Thursday morning, it was evident that a decision had been taken in Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Beirut to ignore Lieberman’s warning.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that early Thursday, Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, alongside Hizballah troops, organized as the Southern Shield Brigade, launched their offensive at Mt. Hermon southwest of Damascus, on their way to the Syrian-Israeli Golan border in the region of Quneitra. The Syrian contingents taking part in this push are the Syrian army’s elite 42nd Brigade and elements of the 4th Mechanized Division.

Their first objective is to capture a string of villages held by Syrian rebel groups in the region of Hadar on the Hermon slopes. They are advancing towards the Golan along the Beit Jinn route.

There is no word yet on whether the warning issued by the defense minister from Moscow has produced a direct Israeli response to the provocation. Very possibly the five explosions and ball of fire they set off at Damascus international airport Thursday morning may prove to be connected to that response.

 

“False Flag” Conspiracies All the Rage – Syria (Updated)

PROLEGOMENA

I wish to start out this post with a bit of a background on myself. As a reinvigorated Christian (recommitted Christian whilst sitting in jail many years ago), my early studies included eschatology. A subject that catches many newer Christians attention as the subject is an exciting, almost adrenaline boosting study — typically like a new Christians faith. So of course I got into the many books, literature, sites that spoke of a New World Order (NWO). One can view the very small sampling of the books I have read and still own in my library here (under the links).

At any rate, in 2000 I had a tri-fecta going on that shook me from the conspiratorial view of history more towards an accidental view of history – which was: listening to Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show,” where, on the full moon he would for the entire three hours of his show take calls on nothing else but conspiracies; second, all the people I was “into” warned of the dire consequences of Y2K, which never came to fruition; and third, and mainly because of the previous two, I revisited my past NWO type books and tried to confirm or disprove many of the references to historical event. This venture proved devastating for what was being proffered in these books. The most outrages statements about history were made based on the flimsiest of evidence.

AND THEN 9/11 happened… and all the weirdos came out with all their conspiracy theories. So my debunking many of the propositions laid out by the then popular “Loose Change” video for my son’s friends created an interest in getting to the facts. And so, here we are again… with all the crazy conspiracies coming out about Syria and the chemical attack by Assad.

May I say that I cannot believe I must rev-up this topic again, but so be it.

THE THEORIES

So the first indicator of the conspiracy theories surrounding the recent chemical attack in Syria that I was made aware of was this video by Ron Paul found over at ZEROHEDGE. In the video Ron Paul (a man who thinks America was behind 9/11 BTW) says there is ZERO CHANCE Assad was behind the chemical attacks. Ron Paul also said something that was echoed across the internet, which was this:

  • “It doesn’t make any sense for Assad under these conditions to all of a sudden use poison gases – I think there’s zero chance he would have done this deliberately…”

He went on to say that Assad could not benefit from this action, and instead saying the “evil” neo-cons are the only one’s who would benefit. (People do not know what the hell they mean when they use the term – BTW) So somehow, they were in cahoots with the military complex and someone on the ground in Syria to make this happen.

POLITIFACT notes this about Alex Jones and his site, InfoWars, and their take on the issue:

Chief among the skeptics was Alex Jones’ InfoWars website, which questioned the validity of the attack in an April 5 post that blamed a group called the White Helmets for arranging the attack for nefarious reasons.

The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence, is a group of ostensibly nonpartisan volunteers who aid civilian victims of the civil war. The group has been accused of being pro-rebel, and InfoWars contends they are an al-Qaida affiliate funded by George Soros and the British government.

So Soros is behind it according to “Alex Jones types.” Dumb.

Here is the John Birch Society magazine, THE NEW AMERICAN noting motives… like they are psychologists making informed claims (psychoanalyst) who have sat with Assad for months in private sessions:

Of course, even if Damascus did use chemical weapons on civilians, it would be unlikely to admit that. But a simple analysis of motives — a basic first step in any serious investigation — would suggest that Assad had every reason to avoid the use of chemical weapons at all costs. On the other hand, jihadist rebels on the verge of annihilation had every reason to use them. After years of fighting globalist-backed jihadists and terrorists, the dictatorship in Damascus was reportedly close to victory — at least until Trump intervened by firing dozens of missiles at Syrian targets.  

(For the record, I stopped reading this magazine when they had an article saying CIA operative planted the explosives in the Murrah Federal Building.) In that article The New American notes that the “last time Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad supposedly used chemical weapons, the story quickly collapsed under scrutiny.” Unfortunately, this too is false:

The UN mission was not asked to ascertain who was behind the attack.

However, by examining the debris field and impact area where the rockets struck in Muadhamiya and Ein Tarma, the inspectors found “sufficient evidence” to calculate azimuths, or angular measurements, that allow their trajectories to be determined “with a sufficient degree of accuracy”.

When plotted on a map, the trajectories converge on a site that Human Rights Watch said was a large military base on Mount Qassioun that is home to the Republican Guard 104th Brigade

(BBC)

In other words, Assad has used chemical weapons before on his people. In fact, Ned Price, US National Security Council spokesman, said: “it is now impossible to deny that the Syrian regime has repeatedly used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people.” So when people talk about WHAT MOTIVE Assad (and his father before him) had in torturing, criminal subjugation, using banned and not banned chemicals on his own people over the many years… I suspect his motive now was the same then. The United Nations has blamed [prior to this attack] three of the four known chemical attacks during this 6-year conflict on the Syrian government. ISIS was to blame for one.

In one discussion on Facebook, this was said with no evidence to back up the belief:

I concur with Ron Paul on every point. It makes no political sense for Assad to do this. Assad had everything going his way. Al Quaida/ISIS was on the run–a good thing–whereas the Neo-Conservatives–McCain, Graham, Saudis, et al.–and Deep State constituents in the military needed to undo that to stay in the game. It plays right into the hands of the Democrats who have used the Neo-Cons to rid Syria of Assad for years. …

You know the saying, opinions are like butt-tholes, everyone has one. Well, that’s exactly what that is, a stinky, unfounded opinion. Emoting, really. AGAIN, it is like these people are well-trained psychologists who have sat with Assad for years in private one-hour sessions.

COUNTER EVIDENCE

I discussed evidences for the attack originating from Al-Shayrat Airfield, using eyewitness testimony, satellite and other surveillance the U.S. is using on that region, operatives, the type of gas used, etc., etc. And then I came across this TWEET:

That Tweet brought me to some Russian news reports that needed translation that showed concrete evidence that Syria had weaponized chemical materials (WMDs) at the exact same airbase that the SU-22s flew their sorties from. I got better pictures than the above Tweet. Here IT is, and click on it to enlarge it:

The top picture is from Russian news agencies of the aftermath of the strike at Al-Shayrat Airfield… take note the chemical weapons barrels meant to store agents to be used in ordinance. The picture below that top one comes from a Russian journal about the Russian military disposing of some of their chemical weapons cache. They are identical.

MOTIVES

EVEN AFTER ALL THIS, people are still stuck on Assad’s motives? I followed the most recent question in this regard with this:

He has done it before, from torturing and mutilating his own people to dropping chlorine bombs on them, to chemical attacks past and present. What were benefits and motives in all these other attacks? The same here… he only controls a third of the country and he wants this to be over — quick.

But, motives are not the question really at stake here. If you were a doctorate holding psychologist who has had many private sessions with Assad, you would be in a position to speak to motives.

What we can answer here is that there is concrete evidence that Assad’s military were the source of this (and past… sorry conspiracy theorists) attack.

For instance I would say Hitler’s motives were a mix of strict adherence to Darwinian evolution, occultism, power, etc. But when you are a polish Catholic sent to a concentration camp — motive is not important. If he were to escape and join the resistance, his only question is “who did this to me and others.”

As if madmen have motives worth calculating. Dumb.

Another person said those photos were photoshopped:

So if I understand correctly, you were part of the battlefield damage assessment team that visited the airfield after the attack and took the photos. Really that tells me that there are barrels in the photo, that photo could be one of the Syrian facilities or something from Iraq, wherever, whenever. It tells me nothing. I have two words for you, Tonkin Gulf.

Sigh. The photo’s were from Russian news agencies, as well as there being drone footage AFTER the attack. So I responded thus (I will add some thoughts in brackets):

So if I understand correctly, Russia placed these barrels there after the bombing of the airfield, then, invited Russian news services in to photo the damage [and the evidence for chemical agents] to show evidence that disputes their earlier claim that it was a [terrorist] cache [merely hit by Assad’s air-force]. [Also undermining their response to America’s “aggression,” and bringing the whole world to the side of Trump’s response.] I will use your thinking behind this: what motivation or benefit would this serve Putin?

So Russia is planting evidence to prove Trump correct? Grind me up an Advil so I can snort it.

The U.S. Military also intercepted communications by the Assad regime planning and speaking to the required experts needed in the operation of such an attack:

The US military and intelligence community has intercepted communications featuring Syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for the sarin attack in Idlib last week, a senior US official tells CNN.

The intercepts were part of an immediate review of all intelligence in the hours after the attack to confirm responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in an attack in northwestern Syria, which killed at least 89 people. US officials have said that there is “no doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attack.

The US did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen, the official emphasized. The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material.

So far there are no intelligence intercepts that have been found directly confirming that Russian military or intelligence officials communicated about the attack. The official said the likelihood is the Russians are more careful in their communications to avoid being intercepted….

(CNN)

But “no, I will instead,” the typical conspiratorially minded person says, “listen to a guy who thinks the United States of America causes tornadoes in Oklahoma. (*Snort* WOW! That Advil goes right to your head!)

RECAP

  • Satellite tracking of flights and airfield;
  • drone footage supporting this was the airfield the chemical weapons were found, to wit;
  • chemical weapons found at airbase;
  • Used them three times prior;
  • the type of chemicals used hint at Assad as well;
  • eyewitnesses and intercepted communications (both covert and witnesses hit with the ordinance — no secondary explosions);
  • Russian news services broke story about chemicals on base (not the deep state);
  • Obama officials admit they did not rid Assad of all weapons like these;
  • Assad is known to lie — often — in the past (former U.S. ambassador to Syria: Assad “lies directly to your face”);
  • war has been raging for 6-years, Assad is desperate to keep his power;
  • the chemical cache on the airbase may have been from Iraq’s arsenal and so was not declared.

All this goes a long way to supporting the case that leans to the “most likely” category that Assad’s military was behind it, like the MINIMAL CASE for the Resurrection by Habermas. Since, however, EVERYTHING is explained via these theories… you can never get a concession on a point, like the meta-narrative of the Neo-Darwinian story.

GULF OF TONKIN and MORE

As for the Gulf of Tonkin incident mentioned by the above detractor, here is a quick run down of the evidence that negates the conspiratorial views of this matter (For a more in-depth dealing with this, see the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE’S article on it that incorporates hundreds of declassified documents):

Myth: The rationale for US intervention in Viet Nam was based on a fraud.

Fact: The Tonkin Gulf incident was not a fraud. It was the motivating force behind the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

  • This myth is based on the false belief that US involvement began with the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy “false” torpedo attacks, known as the Tonkin Gulf incidents.
  • North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap himself admitted that torpedo patrol boats attacked the USS Maddox.
  • The USS Turner Joy incident is more controversial, but multiple eyewitness accounts of professional sailors, both enlisted and officers, confirm the events of that night.
  • The testimony of sailors involved in the Turner Joy incident confirms the presence of at least one PT boat (visually sighted), one torpedo wake (visually sighted), one searchlight (visually sighted) and one PT boat sunk (visually sighted).
  • The Commander of the Destroyer Task Force, Captain John J. Herrick, testified before Congress that the attack on the Turner Joy occurred.
  • Captain Herrick recommended the Silver Star be awarded to the Turner Joy’s commanding officer, Commander Roger C. Barnhart, Jr. (He was awarded a Bronze Star instead).
  • The first US combat troops were committed to Vietnam in February, 1965, about seven months after the Tonkin Gulf incident.

Confirming Evidence

(VIETNAM VETERANS FOR FACTUAL HISTORY)

Again, usually this is how it works… when one conspiracy theory is proffered and then found wanting… another is used as evidence that shows the previous true. However, these conspiracy theories are also found wanting. That same person said this as well:

  • It still doesn’t answer the question, why would Assad use these weapons when he has said he wouldn’t, and he is winning?

(*BUZZER SOUND*) No, Assad only has control of a third of his country. This battle has been raging for 6-years… he wants a quick resolution to this. And chemical weapons may be an answer Assad thinks he needs. Two thirds of his country are controlled by rebels as well as Islamic State radicals. Winning? For a dictator like Assad?

There are soo many layers of bad thinking involved in these theories that sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air. Like I am doing now.


Comments By Others


This comment comes via Facebook — by John S.

Ambassadors and others who have had dealings with Assad directly have found him to be a boldfaced liar. He is well known to lie to the face of an ambassador without any qualms. He is lying about this.

Do we find it hard to understand why he would use chemical weapons against Syrians? Yes, of course, but Assad has done this before. He is engaged in a war with many radical groups that seek to remove him from power or kill him and his family. He would do anything to stay alive and in power. He is trusting in the cover the Russians are providing for him. He could get away with lying to Obama, but now he learns that Trump is no pushover.

McCain is wrong to demand that we supply the rebels. Most of them are now affiliated with radical terrorists. The pressure to remove Assad also comes from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. This bombing was not meant to destroy Assad, but to send a message that if he wants to stay in power there are certain rules and using chemical weapons is forbidden.

If Assad was smart he would seek our help in fighting ISIS and connecting the dots between ISIS and Al Qaeda. And he should disavow any desire for aggression against his neighbors. But he is also a puppet of Iran and so is pressured from two sides. Right now he is trusting in his previous support from Iran and Russia. That will be his undoing.

The Aftermath of the Attack In Syria

  • Joke: All jokes Assad, things are getting pretty Syrias right now.
  • A friends response: I’m laughing so hard I’m Putin!

PICTURE: Al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from… AFTER Tomahawk Barrage

This is from the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE NEWS post, which includes videos of the launching of some of these Tomahawks:

…..“The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Davis’s statement continued. “Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”

A U.S. military official told USNI News that Russian forces in the country were given a “heads up” ahead of the launch of the missiles. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. did not seek Moscow’s permission for the strike.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves on the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that “I don’t believe this is a message; I believe this is actually a tactical action that furthers an objective, which is important. My guess is, and I think you’ll see confirmation of it shortly, al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from with fixed-wing aircraft a couple days ago, is going to be the target, and that is the airfield from which the chemical attacks were launched. It’s also a critical point in a part of the country where they’re battling rebels, non-ISIS rebels, in the northern part of Syria. So as I said, it’s an important and decisive step that was taken. It is not a message; it is an actual degrading of the capability of Syrian regime to carry out further chemical attacks against innocent civilians. This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air, and I think it was an important step and hopefully it’s part of a comprehensive strategy moving forward to bring to a close this chaos that’s happening in Syria.”

Asked about the significance of this first attack in the bigger context of the ongoing situation in Syria, Rubio told Cooper, “I’m not saying this accomplishes everything, but I am telling you that this is the area from which those chemical attacks were launched and where we were going to see future attacks come from, particularly targeting innocent civilians in an area where the regime felt it was losing territory after making significant gains.”….

And — more from DEBKA FILE:

Washington has NO DOUBT that the Syrian SU-22 bomber which Tuesday dropped a sarin gas bomb on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, killing up to 100 people, was a joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian gambit to divert the Trump administration from a comprehensive plan for Syria. As US President and commander-in-chief he could not ignore this provocation.

Our sources report that the new US administration’s plans for Syria center on an offensive to evict the Islamic State from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, a mission for which US military preparations have been going forward for the past two weeks at five centers. To this operation Moscow, Tehran and Damascus were not averse. But that operation was also designed to rid Syria of Iranian and Hizballah forces – to which they were.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite previous agreements, Syria had not surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile, and accused Russia of “failing in its responsibility to deliver on its commitment” to supervise the surrender of those chemical weapons. “Either Russia has been complicit or simply incompetent in its ability to deliver,” Tillerson continued.

The question now is whether Vladimir Putin will decide to hit back at the US operation. Russia did not retaliate for the Israel air strike on March 17 over the northern Syrian T4 air base. If Putin chooses to sit on his hands once again, the same question may be addressed to Iran and Hizballah.

Very possibly, Trump and Putin reached accord on the limits of the US punitive attack in Syrian in long hours of debate during the day between the US State and Defense Departments and the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries, which were first reported by DEBKAfile 24 hours ago. Pentagon sources report that Washington gave Moscow advance warning of the coming US attack on the Syrian Shayrat base where Russian air force units are also deployed.

Follow-up US military action may yet come after the US president asserted that for him, “many, many lines were crossed” by Assad’s chemical attack and his attitude towards Syria had changed….

Trump’s Countries for Old Men – 72 Convicted

Damning…

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump‘s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, bolstering the administration’s immigration ban.

According to a report out Saturday, at least 17 claimed to be refugees from those nations, three came in as “students,” and 25 eventually became U.S. citizens.

The Center for Immigration Studies calculated the numbers of convicted terrorists from the Trump Seven:

  • Somalia: 20
  • Yemen: 19
  • Iraq: 19
  • Syria: 7
  • Iran: 4
  • Libya: 2
  • Sudan: 1

The Center’s director of policy studies, Jessica M. Vaughan, based her blockbuster report on a 2016 report from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born.

She received further information on many in the report to conclude that 72 of those convicted of terrorism come from the seven nations target by Trump.

…READ THE REST…

See my previous post entitled, “78 TERROR ATTACKS

Hillary Said It Is Impossible To Vet Syrian Refugees in 2013

In other words, she was against it before she was for it. I got this video from Mike Pence’s Twitter, it is amazing that Hillary can stand in front of two differing groups and tell opposite things to them. Like tellin Chelsea minutes after the Benghazi attack: yep, terrorists. Then days later standing in front of the American people and say it was a video tape. PLEASE!

  • Hillary in ’13 private speech: They can’t possibly vet all those refugees; don’t know if jihadists are coming in.

Son’s of Liberty ~ Military Missions Trip?

I usually check out people who follow me on Twitter to see if they have a cool site or impact on politics or the world. Matthew VanDyke’s firm, SONS OF LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL, operates on a non-profit model to provide free security and military consulting and training to communities fighting terrorism, insurgency, and oppressive regimes. This guy does AWESOME work, and this is a missions trip for Christian Spec-Op/Military guys if I ever saw one. Follow him on TWITTER.

Islamic State Destroys Embarrassing Pagan Roots of Muhammad

A quick history of the Satanic Verses:

Dr. Thies has a great short article on the Islamic State destroying historical evidences of the Pagan roots of Muhammad’s faith:

…Sura 53:19-20 According to Islam, the Koran contains a revelation from Satan. An entreaty concerning three lesser deities, al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and Manat, worshipped by the people of Mecca. As a result of Muhammed invoking these gods, the people of Mecca no longer opposed him. Then, in a later revelation, Muhammed revoked this revelation, and recommenced prosecution of the people of Mecca.

The entire incident has been one of great controversy in Islam, although the logical implications of Satanic Verses being admitted to being included in the Koran has become taboo. Well, one of the remaining physical evidences of the gods of Mecca has been destroyed by ISIS: the statute of al-Lat, in the form of a lion, in the Syrian city of Palmyra, and dating back to the 1st Century AD. But, not to worry. ISIS isn’t destroying all the archeological treasures of this ancient city. Instead of destroying the 2,000 year old Roman theater, they are using it for public executions…

Jihad Watch notes that this incident led to the Islamic tradition of later verses in the Qur’an abrogating earlier ones, and why Islam practices “religious” violence.

…Incidentally, that passage in the Qur’an’s 53rd sura is the only trace left of the celebrated “Satanic Verses.” Long before the novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie, this term referred to an incident recorded in Islamic tradition, in which Muhammad tried to achieve reconciliation with the Quraysh by a “revelation” in which he declared, “So have you considered al-Lat and al-Uzza? And Manat, the third, the other one? They are the exalted cranes (gharaniq), worthy of veneration.” The Quraysh, hearing this, prostrated to Allah with the Muslims, who accepted the three goddesses as Allah’s daughters. But Muhammad soon realized that he had thus compromised the absolute monotheism that he had preached up to that point, and so he reneged, and claimed that Satan, not Allah, had inspired those verses, which were then duly replaced by the “revelation” recorded in Qur’an 53:19-22. The concept of abrogation, which ultimately led to the idea that the Qur’an’s violent passages take precedence over its peaceful ones, justified this change in still another “revelation”: “We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth  better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?” (Qur’an 2:106)…

Dispelling The “CIA Trained-Funded Bin Laden/Taliban” Myth/Mantra

Politicians and leaders from both sides of the aisle make mention of this myth that we funded/created Al Qaeda via weapons, training, and money to the likes of Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Caller in 2013 notes:

…in just a one-month span, Sen. Paul has — not once, but twice — advanced a conspiracy theory that says that during the Reagan era, the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden.

During John Kerry’s secretary of state confirmation hearing, Paul said ”We funded bin Laden” — a statement that prompted Foreign Policy magazine’s managing editor, Blake Hounshell, to fire off a tweet saying: “Rand Paul tells a complete falsehood: ‘We funded Bin Laden.’ This man is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

But that didn’t discourage Paul. During a much anticipated foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Paul doubled down, saying: “In the 1980’s the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union.”

The only problem is that this is, at best, highly speculative — and, at worst, the perpetuation of an outright myth.

This also puts Paul in the same camp as Michael Moore, who said: ““WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”….

…read it all…

And this is the crux of the matter.

Truthers took Michael Moore’s non-evidential presentations and statements and ran with themAnother example that shows this myth isn’t necessarily one owned by strictly by politicians, as, this conversation on a friends FaceBook shows:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

Here is my short intercept of the above conversation. More info will follow it:


Weapons

This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

Iraqi Weapons

Moral Position

Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

History

And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

Reagan didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: ‏جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستانJabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barā-yi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president in exile Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Sayed Hussein Anwari and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from Iran, Russia, India, Tajikistan and others, while the Taliban were backed by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was mostly made up of ethnic Tajiks, but later included Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Pashtuns. The Taliban government was dominated by Pashtuns with other groups being the minority. After the US-led invasion and establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001, the Northern Alliance broke apart and different political parties were formed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.


CNN was doing a special on Afghanistan and Peter Bergen asked for questions from viewers that he would answer. One of the questions is as follows: “If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?”~ Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

Peter Bergen responds:

This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

One person in a forum that was similarly challenged pointed out that this surely wasn’t the Taliban because they hated women in any position of authority — look at the pic at the top again.

As you read on, keep in mind Mr. Bergen was not a fan of conservatives, or Republicans. With that in mind, enjoy the rest, it is posted here so it will never disappear on me:

Northern Alliance (WIKI)

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”,[7] and “simply a folk myth.”[8]

They argue that:

  • with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
  • with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
  • Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;[9]
  • the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner.[10]

Bin Laden himself once said “the collapse of the Soviet Union … goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan … the US had no mentionable role,” but “collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant.” [11]

According to CNN journalist Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997,

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.[8]

Bergen quotes Pakistani Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, who ran the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987:

It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending the taxpayers’ money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment. It was their secret arms procurement branch that was kept busy. It was, however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.[12]

Marc Sageman, a Foreign Service Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987–1989, and worked closely with Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, argues that no American money went to the foreign volunteers.

Sageman also says:[13]

Contemporaneous accounts of the war do not even mention [the Afghan Arabs]. Many were not serious about the war. … Very few were involved in actual fighting. For most of the war, they were scattered among the Afghan groups associated with the four Afghan fundamentalist parties.

No U.S. official ever came in contact with the foreign volunteers. They simply traveled in different circles and never crossed U.S. radar screens. They had their own sources of money and their own contacts with the Pakistanis, official Saudis, and other Muslim supporters, and they made their own deals with the various Afghan resistance leaders.”[14]

Vincent Cannistraro, who led the Reagan administration’s Afghan Working Group from 1985 to 1987, puts it,

The CIA was very reluctant to be involved at all. They thought it would end up with them being blamed, like in Guatemala.” So the Agency tried to avoid direct involvement in the war, … the skittish CIA, Cannistraro estimates, had less than ten operatives acting as America’s eyes and ears in the region. Milton Bearden, the Agency’s chief field operative in the war effort, has insisted that “[T]he CIA had nothing to do with” bin Laden. Cannistraro says that when he coordinated Afghan policy from Washington, he never once heard bin Laden’s name.[15]

Fox News reporter Richard Miniter wrote that in interviews with the two men who “oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance, Bill Peikney – CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986 – and Milt Bearden – CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989 – he found,

Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.[16]

Other reasons advanced for a lack of a CIA-Afghan Arab connection of “pivotal importance,” (or even any connection at all), was that the Afghan Arabs themselves were not important in the war but were a “curious sideshow to the real fighting.”[17]

One estimate of the number of combatants in the war is that 250,000 Afghans fought 125,000 Soviet troops, but only 2000 Arab Afghans fought “at any one time”.[18]

According to Milton Bearden the CIA did not recruit Arabs because there were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight. The Arab Afghans were not only superfluous but “disruptive,” angering local Afghans with their more-Muslim-than-thou attitude, according to Peter Jouvenal.[19] Veteran Afghan cameraman Peter Jouvenal quotes an Afghan mujahideen as saying “whenever we had a problem with one of them [foreign mujahideen], we just shot them. They thought they were kings.”

Many who traveled in Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy[20] and Peter Jouvenal,[21] reported of the Arab Afghans’ visceral hostility to Westerners in Afghanistan to aid Afghans or report on their plight. BBC reporter John Simpson tells the story of running into Osama bin Laden in 1989, and with neither knowing who the other was, bin Laden attempting to bribe Simpson’s Afghan driver $500 — a large sum in a poor country — to kill the infidel Simpson. When the driver declined, Bin Laden retired to his “camp bed” and wept “in frustration.” [22]

According to Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, the primary contact for the CIA and ISI in Afghanistan was Ahmed Shah Massoud a poppy farmer and militia leader known as the “Lion of the Panjeer”. During the Afghan Civil War which erupted once the Soviets had left, Massoud’s army was routed by the Taliban (who were being helped by Pakistan’s ISI) and restricted to the northern region of the country. A loose entente was formed with several other native tribal militias which became known as the Northern Alliance who operated in opposition to the Taliban. On September 10, 2001 a camera crew was granted access to Massoud under the premise they were interviewing him for a documentary about the Mujahadeen. The crew members were actually Al Qaeda operatives who detonated a bomb killing themselves and Massoud. The purpose of the assassination was to eliminate a key ally for the US in anticipation of an invasion in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks which were to take place the following day.

And here is another great post responding to the non-evidential/conspiratorial [leftists] on the subject:

Bin Laden trained and funded by the CIA

“Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA” – you’ll read the claim everywhere, and it’s rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it’s true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?

The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we’re not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.

Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares”. In his book “Al Qaeda”, he wrote the following:

It is often said that bin Ladin was funded by the CIA. This is not true, and indeed it would have been impossible given the structure of funding that General Zia ul-Haq, who had taken power in Pakistan in 1977, had set up. A condition of Zia’s cooperation with the American plan to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet’s ‘Vietnam’ was that all American funding to the Afghan resistance had to be channeled through the Pakistani government, which effectively meant the Afghan bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the military spy agency. The American funding, which went exclusively to the Afghan mujahideen groups, not the Arab volunteers [bin Ladin’s groups], was supplemented by Saudi government money and huge funds raised from mosques, non-governmental charitable institutions and private donors throughout the Islamic world. Most of the major Gulf-based charities operating today were founded at this time to raise money or channel government funds to the Afghans, civilians and fighters. In fact, as little as 25 per cent of the monet for the Afghan jihad was actually supplied directly by states.

Page 59, Al Qaeda: The true story of radical Islam, Jason Burke

Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”:

…According to [Ahemd] Badeeb, on bin Ladin’s first trip to Pakistan he brought donations to the Lahore offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Zia’s political shock force. Jamaat was the Pakistani offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood; its students had sacked the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. bin Ladin did not trust the official Pakistan intelligence service, Badeeb recalled, and preferred to fund his initial charity through private religious and political networks.From the beginning of the Afghan jihad, Saudi intelligence used religious charities to support its own unilateral operations. This mainly involved funneling money and equipment to favoured Afghan commanders outisde ISI or CIA control… “The humanitarian aid-that was completely separate from the Americans”, Badeeb recalled. “And we insist[ed] that the Americans will not get to that, get involved–especially in the beginning,” in part because some of the Islamist mujahedin objected to direct contact with Western infidels…

In spy lexicon, each of the major intelligence agencies began working the Afghan jihad–GID [General Intelligence Department, Saudi Arabia], ISI and the CIA– began to “compartment” their work, even as all three collaborated with one another through formal liasons…

bin Ladin moved within Saudi intelligence’s compartmented operations, outside of CIA eyesight…

Page 86/ 87, Ghost Wars, Stevel Coll

In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:

Wheaton, Md.: There have been accusations from the left that have directly accused the CIA of funding and training bin Laden. Is there any truth to this ? Steve Coll: I did not discover any evidence of direct contact between CIA officers and bin Laden during the 1980s, when they were working more or less in common cause against the Soviets. CIA officials, including Tenet, have denied under oath that such contact took place. The CIA was certainly aware of bin Laden’s activities, beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, and they generally looked favorably on what he was doing at that time. But bin Laden’s direct contacts were with Saudi intelligence and to some extent Pakistani intelligence, not with the Americans.

Missouri EDU

Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:

But were the CIA and the Afghan Arabs in cahoots, as recent studies have suggested? One author charges: “The CIA had funded and trained the Afghan Arabs during the war”. Another refers to “the central role of the CIA’s Muslim mercenaries, including upwards of 2,000 mercenaries in the Afghanistan war”. Both authors present these claims as axioms, but provide no real corroboration.Other commentators have reported that bin Ladin himself was aided by the CIA. A report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian states: “In 1986 the CIA even helped him [bin Ladin] build an underground camp at Khost [Afghanistan] where he was to train recruits from across the Islamic world in the revolutionary art of jihad”…Bin Ladin, meanwhile, had expoused anti-American positions since 1982, and thanks to the fortune derived from his family’s giant construction business had little need of CIA money. In fact, the underground camp at Khost was built in 1982 by an Afghan commander, with Arab funding.

A source familiar with bin Ladin’s organisation explains that bin Ladin “never had any relations with America or American officials… He was saying very early in the 1980’s that the next battle is going to be with America… No aid or training or other support have ever been given to bin Ladin from Americans.” A senior offical unequivocally says that “bin Ladin never met with the CIA.”

While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of grey. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to fund the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.

Former CIA officer Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980’s, says: “The CIA did not recruit Arabs,” as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight…

Moreover, the Afghan Arabs demonstrated a pathological dislike of Westerners. Jouvenal says: “I always kept away from Arabs [in Afghanistan]. They were very hostile. They would ask, ‘What are you doing in an Islamic country?” The BBC reporter John Simpson had a close call with bin Ladin himself outside Jalalabad in 1989. Travelling with a group of Arab mujahideen, Simpson and his television crew bumped into an Arab man beautifully dressed in spotless white robes; the man began shouting at Simpson’s escorts to kill the infidels, then offered a truck driver the not unreasonable sum of five hundred dollars to do the job. Simpson’s Afghan escort turned down the request, and bin Ladin was to be found later on a camp bed, weeping in frustration. Only when bin Ladin became a public figure, almost a decade later, did Simpson realise who the mysterious Arab was who had wanted him dead.

Page 67/68, Holy War Inc, Peter Bergen

This level of hostility to Westerners doesn’t suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there’s some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:

…the handful of Americans who had heard of bin Ladin in the 1980’s knew him mainly for his violently anti-American views. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, told me about a trip he took with the mujihideen in 1987. At the time, Rohrabacher was a Reagan aide who delighted in taking long overland trips inside Afghanistan with anti-Communist forces. On one such trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Ladin’s encampment. Rohrabacher was told, “If he hears an American, he will kill you.” 

Page 16, Disinformation, Richard Miniter

Bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:

Fisk: …what of the Arab mujahedin he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? bin Ladin: “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help…

Fisk interview, 1996

And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner”. Here he claims the “Afghan Arabs” had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:

“While the United States backed Pakistan and the mujahidin factions with money and equipment, the young Arab mujahidin’s relationship with the United States was totally different.”Indeed the presence of those young Arab Afghans in Afghanistan and their increasing numbers represented a failure of US policy and new proof of the famous US political stupidity. The financing of the activities of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan came from aid sent to Afghanistan by popular organizations. It was substantial aid. “The Arab mujahidin did not confine themselves to financing their own jihad but also carried Muslim donations to the Afghan mujahidin themselves. Usama Bin Ladin has apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin that amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.

Imagine how much aid was sent by popular Arab organizations in the non-military fields such as medicine and health, education and vocational training, food, and social assistance (including sponsorship of orphans, widows, and the war handicapped. Add to all this the donations that were sent on special occasions such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha feasts and during the month of Ramadan.”

“Through this unofficial popular support, the Arab mujahidin established training centers and centers for the call to the faith. They formed fronts that trained and equipped thousands of Arab mujahidin and provided them with living expenses, housing, travel, and organization.”

Changing Bin Ladin’s Guard

About the Afghan Arabs’ relationship with the United States, Al-Zawahiri says in his book: “If the Arab mujahidin are mercenaries of the United States who rebelled against it as it alleges, why is it unable to buy them back now? Are they not counted now-with Usama Bin Ladin at their head-as the primary threat to US interests? Is not buying them more economical and less costly that the astronomical budgets that the United States is allotting for security and defense?”

“The Americans, in their usual custom of exaggeration and superficiality, are trying to sell off illusions to the people and are ignoring the most basic facts. Is it possible that Usama Bin Ladin who, in his lectures in the year 1987, called for boycotting US goods as a form of support for the intifadah in Palestine, a US agent in Afghanistan?….

“Furthermore, is it possible that the martyr-as we regard him-Abdallah Azzam was a US collaborator when in fact he never stopped inciting young men against the United States and used to back HAMAS with all the resources at his disposal?

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a collaborator movement for the United States when Khalid al-Islambuli and his comrades killed Anwar al-Sadat, even before the phenomenon of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan emerged?”

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a US collaborator movement when in fact it brought up its children, ever since the movement started, to reject Israel and all the agreements of capitulation to it and to consider making peace with Israel as a contravention of Islamic Shari’ah?”

Book, His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri

Richard Miniter has a little more on this in “Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth“, and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.