Before you block me I am not saying the Gilets Jaunes protestors are wrong. I am suggesting they have the wrong model. This message also applies to the American Resistance movement. As America slips into active Resistance to fight the ever increasing lawless Republican regime, our protests should look less like the Islamic State and more like Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood.
This will be the dividing line between being painted as a terrorist or a valid social movement.
What did we learn from the Arab Spring in Egypt? Yes you can topple a government but you do not get to rule. The old power structure takes over once the excitement of throwing rocks fades. There is a reason why the Muslim Brotherhood came to power and not the protestors in Tahrir Square. There is a reason why Hezbollah now has seats in the Lebanese Parliament and can make or break the government.
Both Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood are community based programs. They provide medical, food, and welfare. In other words, they act like the government in their neighborhoods. In countries like the United States where the government is totally bankrupt in terms of social care and the normal government presence is jack-booted police with a well deserved reputation for abuse, it is vital for a social protest movement to solve social issues at the same time protest.
My advice to the French Gilets Jaunes is to step back and build a community care approach, work one-on-one winning hearts and minds in loyal neighborhoods like Saint Denis and the other banlieue. There is a reason why Barrack Obama rose from community organizer to President. There is a reason why Hillary Clinton failed to win the blue collar states. It is called community.
The American Resistance needs to prepare for an all out assault if Trump wins again in 2020. The Trump government will be brutal in its response. Trump and nearly all the GOP Congress believe they are above the law. A solid community presence will be a refugee.
Preorder Now available. Send Tweet to @ciwarswilliam. You will not be charged till shipped
You R Screwed
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You R Screwed is about the growth of the United States Surveillance Police State and its penultimate coordination with all levers of power: corporate, social, and state.
There is nothing wrong until it goes horribly wrong. You can trust your government and its integrated corporate structures until you can’t.
This book takes no moral position or view. I am not advocating you walk around paranoid or change. Actually, the pop phrase is true: Resistance futile. It is true unless you have a plan and understand the threat.
I am advocating that you have a plan. You have an awareness of how screwed you are. It is my personal view that the United States government has already gone wrong. It is my personal view that the United States is a threat to our liberty and can not be trusted. I have one fact that hopefully will focus your mind: the United States government has a database with 8 million names called MainCore. It is a threat database. As an intelligence analyst I built these databases. I understand their need. However, it is shocking that the United State government thinks eight million of us are threats. It is shocking that MainCore will be activated by Presidential command.
You R Screwed because the United States government no longer needs to physically arrest eight million of us who are deemed threats. With the press of one button, you will wake up one day to find that your mobile phone, internet connection has been turned off. With the press of one button your bank accounts will be frozen, all your credit and debit cards frozen. With the press of one button you will be locked out of all transportation infrastructure: EZPass, Subway or Metro Cards. As you approach a turnstile facial recognition will activate a lock-out mode. When you attempt to flee, the police license plate reading network will locate your car anywhere in the United States and through coordination with car manufacturers and the specially installed “black box” in all new cars will turn off your engine. If you have bought a car like Tesla, the car will cease being yours. The government no longer has to physically seize your car. They can just turn it off.
Your home will be seized by the government by pressing one button.
Yes, Apple, Amazon, Ring and all the others fully cooperate with the United States government. Your electronic door locks, your ability to turn off and on your lights will be controlled by the government.
The government does not need to put you in a jail cell. They can simply control your doors and windows to only allow you to exit when they want.
None of this is futuristic. None of this is science fiction. These systems exist today. These systems are fully functioning today.
What does not exist today is a government willing to violate our constitution but we need to ask one question:
Are we on the verge of having that illegal government.
You R Screwed has two parts. In the first part I lay out the current threat: the United States government surveillance system. In the second part, I suggest possible actions to survive the coming government crackdown.
What do Putin and Trump talk about in private? Their secret collusion is promoting a sense of war so each make billions from arms sales.
Trump and Putin are co-conspirators in a game to increase the sales of complex weapons systems, tanks, jets, and Air Defense Systems. Their puppets are the American people and the brain-dead American press chasing its tail over the misdirect of Russia-USA 2016 election collusion. It is a classic information warfare operation while Rachel Maddow’s head spins over Mueller they loot America.
The two leaders have a push and pull relationship. Trump pulls his support from treaties like the JCPOA with Iran, pulls support from Korea and NATO, and pulls the plug on the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty and Putin pushes weapons sales for both countries, with his stoic glowering presence. It is the story of the Clown and Evil Wizard, and no need to define who is the clown, that has pushed both countries to increased weapons sales.
The following chart shows the explosion in USA weapons sales since Trump and Putin started their routine,
This chart show how Russia has moved into second place in the world’s arms market.
Trump and Putin have played their game no where better than in the Middle East. Trump stokes war between Israel and Iran by backing Israel’s aggressive bombing campaign in Syria and moving its capital to Jerusalem. Not one news anchor sought to explain why Trump turned his back on Qatar, especially when it houses America’s largest airbase in the region. The answer is simple: Trump could make money from arms sales. The following chart makes this only too clear.
Arms sales to Saudi Arabia has exploded. Middle East countries take five of the top 10 USA weapons buyers. The proof of this theory is South Korea. Trump edged South Korea into the top 10 buyers by getting it to agree to a 8.5 percent increase in weapons sales this year.
The final proof is the stock of Lockheed Martin, America’s largest maker and whose not so tongue-in-cheek motto is: “If it kills we sell it.”
It started 2017 at $259 a share and ended 2017 $360, a 30 percent increase in value. Compare this to Trump’s first year in office and the start of his money making strategy, the Dow Jones only rose 14% (February 17 to February 18.
What do Trump and Putin talk about? They laugh about how easy it is divide America and control the news cycle while America’s and Russia’s billionaires loot the world.
Pompeo/Trump’s greed for money and war against China drives the United States policy in Venezuela.
Here are the facts.
1. The Koch Brothers-Pompeo connection. Venezuela owes the Koch Brothers–an oil and gas company and significant right-wing GOP political supporter–$409 million dollars over a nationalization dispute of Koch Brothers assets in Venezuela. The Koch Family is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s largest financial benefactor (See Federal Election Commission data) to the tune of millions of dollars. Koch Brothers are located in Kansas, Mike Pompeo’s home state, and own Pompeo.
2. Venezuela owes mostly United States investors over $65 billion in defaulted bond investments. A well known Trump supporting lawyer involved in recovering the defaulted investment has stated, “There will be no debt restructing for Venezuela until there is regime change. It is clear that Trump/Pompeo has chosen the coup route to recover USA investment.
3. This is also about China. Venezuela owes China billions and China has already cut a favorable deal to recover that debt. Today, China takes about 28 percent of Venezuela’s oil production to pay that debt. Trump and Pompeo are dedicated to hindering China’s growth and cutting off oil is effective. USA coup in Venezuela is just as much about hurting China as recovering money for USA investment bankers and Koch Brothers.
British philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote about Panopticon, the open air prison, where there are no doors or bars because the guards are constantly watching. Michel Foucault applied this to the modern surveillance state. Today America is the embodiment of Panopticon. The government with its tech partners like Google, Facebook, Amazon and your internet provider know every move you make. It is control of your actions because you know you are being watched.
William Church in his bestselling Citizen’s Privacy Manual provides the detailed method to avoid this surveillance. It deserves its five star rating on Amazon with reviewers calling it the “real deal.”
Church’s solution is practical and simple: let the government watch the “public” you while you operate as a private “you”. He provides detailed explanation how to establish a private you, how to communicate so that you can never be traced back to the public you, and the tools you need to a avoid all types of surveillance.
The methods are low cost–under $250–and readily available without any technical knowledge. His method can be followed anywhere in the world at any time. Church warns that encryption is worthless because it is the first thing governments look for and most important it is widely known encryption can be cracked. So called whistler-blower sites are full blown traps because the government can easily trace you by ISP traffic or simply get a warrant.
These methods are ideal for business people who want to conduct negotiations away from a corporate discovery framework. Ideal for private communications that you want to separate from your private life.
In a democracy, even writing the word assassination in a positive context is a repugnant activity. However, three things are very clear when examining the history of assassination in democracies: first, democracy does not end with an assassination. Second, America is sufficiently resilient to treat the act of assassination as another form of government change not an abnormal process, and some democracies might even prefer political violence to voting. Third, the political assassination many times ushered in a period of change that countered the previous political direction.
Lets get the first ugly truth out of the way. Americans accept assassination as a form of change. In America’s short history—only 230 years and 45 presidents—the reality is staggering. Four presidents have been assassinated while in office, one president was shot and survived, seven presidents have been shot at or in the case of George W Bush had a grenade thrown at him, and four presidents had creditable threats disrupted. Two potential presidential candidates—George Wallace and Robert Kennedy—were killed or wounded as they rose to power and challenged the political power structure and one survived a political assassination attempt—Theodore Roosevelt—and would go on to be president.
This is not ancient history. Two of the presidents with the most attempts on their lives are Clinton and Obama with four each. The total number of assassinations, attempted assassinations, and credibly thwarted attempts is over 21 out of 45 presidents. In other words, the American people attempted to change the political process with violence nearly half as many times as they peacefully elected a president.
Americans believe in political violence. A fast historical search of political assassinations in the United States revealed the names of over 50 high-level politicians assassinated in office to include Louisiana’s Huey Long and George Moscone and Harvey Milk. This is not even counting the politicians wounded like Representatives Gifford and Scalise in recent history.
For comparison, the United Kingdom, another long-term democracy has had one Prime Minister assassinated in the same period—Spenser Perceval in 1812 and none in modern history. The only possible conclusion is that political assassination is not abhorrent; instead, it is steeped in the political psyche of America. America’s political assassinations do not lead to a revolution like other countries. American assassinations are not a prelude to a military coup, nor a suspension of the democracy process. No, they are followed by a peaceful election.
The only possible conclusion is that Americans see political violence—perhaps violence in general—as part of the political discussion with shared space with the voting process. Many times America’s mass killings resemble political statements as in the Charleston church killings and the Pulse nightclub and the commentary comes closer to a political discussion than an exploration of mental health issues that might drive a killer.
If terrorism is defined as a violent act designed to influence a political process, then the only possible conclusion is that America’s core political foundation is built on terrorism and not elections. And this terrorism has been normalized in America like no other democracy on earth.
Therefore, Americans view political assassination as a natural political process. However, it is important to note that political assassinations live in a bifurcated space (until now); on one hand illegal and punishable by death and on the other hand a cultural norm. As then candidate Trump famously said, “I could shoot someone (perhaps a political foe) on Fifth Avenue and get away with it”, his supporters chanted USA USA. Since the Justice Department has ruled that presidents can not be indicted then this would make political assassination an acceptable American act if done by those with privilege and power.
The Second Proof: Political Assassination Is More Effective than Elections
America’s most trusted ally in the Middle East—Israel–is another democracy that has found the value of political assassination. In 1995, Israel had a Prime Minister dedicated to resolving the Israeli Palestinian issues. Yitzhak Rabin had been elected in 1992 on peace platform and during his tenure signed the ground-breaking Oslo Accords and Jordan Peace Pact.
In November 1995, a right wing Israeli student assassinated Yitzhak Rabin. This was immediately followed by a series of suicide bombings—blamed on Hamas but never proven—which turned the Israeli mood away from the peace accords especially when a up and coming right-wing politician name Netanyahu fanned the flames of discord. Without Rabin to provide a passionate defense of peace, Netanyahu turned Israel to the right and what has become over twenty years of increased tension and constant war.
The political assassination of Rabin—even though indisputably done by an Israeli not an Arab—opened the eyes of Israelis to Netanyahu’s unopposed view that peace was not possible and what could not be done by a democratic election was accomplished by assassination.
The American public are assaulted each day with pictures of President Trump surrounded by US military generals or senior law enforcement. They serve as a backdrop at many of his news conferences and it displays the marriage of the most corrupt president in US history with the most corrupt military in American history.
Generals like Michael Flynn have been caught lying to investigators and possibly working for a foreign government while a senior security official, in another time and place this would be called treason. General Kelly demonstrated his unwavering Trump support by attacking a member of Congress, which is a direct violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). General Petraeus, ex-CIA director, was convicted of leaking Top Secret documents. Another General was recently court-martialed for years of sexual assault on a child.
Sexual assaults are at an all time high in the US military. Since 2013, military investigators documented at least 500 cases of serious misconduct by generals, admirals and senior officers. One general ran a swinging sex club and lived rent free in the home of a defense contractor.
This corruption and misconduct goes all the way to the top. In 2017, six generals were punished for misconduct. A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was demoted for sexual harassment. General Wayne Grigsby, 1st Infantry commander, was punished for sexual harassment which displays a complete breakdown in discipline in the US military.
This comes with a period of documented lack of readiness by the military, a shortage of Air Force pilots, falling Army recruitment numbers, and continual naval and aviation accidents leading to the unnecessary death of service members. Nothing displays this lack of command discipline that the death of four special operators killed in Niger last year and a court martial found the officers in charge of a failure of command.
General Mattis was aware of this trend. Before being forced out by President Trump he commissioned a study that showed the failure of the military command to enforce discipline. Court-martials were down 70 percent over the past 10 years and the lessor category of administrative punishments was down by 40 percent.
The military command corruption shows up with disastrous results. Troops guarding America’s nuclear arsenal at F E Warren Air Force Base in March 2016 were convicted of taking LSD on and off duty. This unit managed a third of the US Minuteman missiles. Another group of airmen at Malmstrom Air Base ran a drug ring between 2011 and 2014.
Corruption in America’s nuclear force runs deep. In 2014, 34 nuclear Air Force officers were convicted of cheating on readiness and proficiency tests putting the nuclear arsenal in jeopardy. The US Navy has not been exempt for the Trump era corruption.
Navy Captain Heather Cole funneled nearly a million dollars to her own manufacturing company when managing US defense contracts. Another Navy officer stole 2.7 million dollars to feed his gambling habit.
Is it a coincidence that the most corrupt president in US history has married himself to the most corrupt US military in history?
The new Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has a choice today. He should either admit he is totally over his head for the job or admit he is willing to lie for President Trump to Congress and US people.
Deep Background Information
President Bongo is a long term dictator in the West African country of Gabon
Last year President Bongo on a visit to Saudi Arabia was described as having a heart attack; however, MBS has detained Lebanese President Hariri, assasinated US based journalist, invaded Bahrain, and blockaded Qatar. It is clear MBS is a President Trump henchman.
Oil production in Gabon has steadily fallen over last decade threatening US/French financial interests
France has 300 troops stationed in Gabon
December 2018 had constant demonstrations and civil disruptions in Gabon and the country verged on a coup the entire month.
USA Military Assessment
Current situation is fluid and hostile. On Friday 4 January 2019 President Trump, as required by law, notified Speaker Pelosi of the deployment of 80 combat troops to Gabon with appropriate equipment to follow. The stated purpose was the potential unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the eve of election results.
It appears the unit was from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response unit and not from the Marine Security Augmentaiton Unit, which is a backup unit to protect US embassies. (unconfirmed). Nor did they deploy the hyper-capable Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams (FAST). (unconfirmed)
The distinction is critical because these units are specially trained in EXFIL and intense combat situations, which would be required if the deployment was to protect US citizens. Whereas, the deployed units do not appear to have this special training.
DRC Election Sitrep
After 17 years of strongman rule Joseph Kabila agreed to elections in the DRC. After postponements and fraud, a vote was held and the results were due to be announced on 6 January 2019. Kabila’s strongest opposition and most explosive region is the Eastern Congo which is over 3000 miles from Kinshasa. This analyst worked in Kinshasa and can verify it is a heavily garrisoned city by friendly Kabila troops; however, Eastern Congo is highly disputed with opposing militia and the FDLR which are the remains of the former Rwandan government that commited the 1994 genocide.
It is unlikely that a force of 80 combat troops would be effective in Kinshasa. First, Kabila’s troops would be openly hostile. Second, Kinshasa is a slum ridden urban centre where ten thousand demonstrators could easily flood the streets within an hour, which would, without much effort, overwhelm any USA force. (Think Blackhawk Down.)
Third, the most likely point of conflict will be in Eastern Congo over 3,000 miles away and the USA has a very capable force in Uganda near the Eastern Congo border. The USA Uganda force (thought to be primarily US Army Special Forces) would be the most likely deployable force for Eastern Congo violence.
Based on the above information, this analyst believes the 80 person force recently deployed to Gabon was targeted at Gabon and not the DRC elections violence.
Within 24 hours of the US troops arrival announcement, five Gabon senior officers staged a coup attempt. This analyst believe it is important to note that US military is currently training Gabonese troops. USA has access to top levels of command. As part of its mission, it regularly performs leadership assessments. There is zero chance that this came as a surprise to USA military command.
The current reporting is that the coup was squashed and the leaders arrested. Until this anlayst receives more accurate information, it is difficult to assess if the USA promoted the coup or was there to support non-coup officers.
It is clear, at least by this analyst’s view, President Trump and Secretary Shanahan misled the United States Congress, which is a crime. It is clear President Trump has consolidated his grip on the US miltary and found an ally in SecDef Shanahan who is more willing to serve the President than the terms of the US constitution.
It strains creditability to describe the US military as the most successful military on the planet. Unless you are a jingoistic American military hawk trying to lead a chanting–USA USA–mob of Americans, the American military can only be described as a failure. As a former US soldier and ex-member of US intelligence community, I am placing the blame not on the individual soldiers but squarely on its failed leaders like General Mattis, General Dunford, General Kelly.
General James Mattis deserved to be fired as Secretary Defense. Not only was he one of the architects of the current failed American military, but as Secretary Defense he failed for two years to solve the deep structural issues within the military and at the same time, pushed for increased military engagement fully knowing that the US military was not prepared.
Before I launch into a detailed analysis, let me clearly state that only a suicidal nation would fight the US military on the open battlefield, or open seas. It is the best equipped, best educated, best trained, and best led–below the General Staff level-military in the world. But we do not fight these type of battles anymore. Do we? That said, it is also recognized that the United States can marshal vast resources to fight a war, and that counts in the short-term, but it does not direct a success.
Only the 1991 American Gulf War achieved its stated objectives. By all accounts, the United States did not achieve its objective in the American Vietnam War, the American 2003 invasion of Iraq, and failed in its 17-year-war in Afghanistan. On balance, it was highly successful in taking over a third-rate dictator in Panama, and the heroic invasion of Grenada, a small island without an army.
Lets dig into the significant issues of the US military that Geneal Mattis had a part in causing and failed to fix. In this analysis, I do not wish to show disrespect to the decades of excellent service of General Mattis to this nation. He is a loyal patriot who served with honor. However, the facts show it is time for new leadership.
General Mattis and the General Staff failed in the following five areas:
Air power is the backbone of the United States military might and according to internal reports, aircraft readiness is at an all time low. It is in desparate need of new leadership and a new strategy to improve readiness and over two years General Mattis failed to correct this situation.
Under General Mattis’ leadership there has been a growing list of Naval and Marine accidents that has cost lives. Other than declaring a “time-out” General Mattis has failed to halt these problems that are a sign of poor training, and incompetent leadership.
Deployment readiness is at an all-time low. A significant percentage of our soldiers, sailors, aviators, and Marines can not be forward deployed. General Mattis has failed to stem this problem.
The US military is not meeting its enlistment or re-enlistment goals with normal measures. When it does meet its goals, it is by granting an excessive number of waivers that weaken the overall quality of the fighting force.
Cracks in the Special Operations Command are showing with failures in Yemen and especially West Africa. These failures are leadership failures that harken to the leadership failures of the Vietnam War.
Air Force aircraft readiness has fallen under General Mattis’ command. In 2017, readiness of all aircraft fell to 71.3 percent from 72.1 percent in 2016; however, in terms of combat aircraft the plunge has created significant alarm.
Former head of the Air Combat Command who has followed the situation since his departure says, “it scares the heck out of me.”
John Venable of the Heritage Foundation citing the pentagon headed by General Mattis as “on the backside of the power curve.”
F-22 Raptors readiness fell 11 percent in the last year. F-35 dropped 10 percent. Some variations of the B1 bombers have a dismal readiness record of only 52 percent.
The following chart gives the full picture:
US Army Deployability Crisis
Deployability means troops ready for combat and the non-deployability percentage in the US Army has plunged to 14 percent under General Mattis’ leadership. This is despite a General Accounting Office (GAO) report in September 2016 that warned of this crisis unless a comprehensive plan was developed.
Genereal Mattis, as Secretary Defense, did not respond to this growing crisis until mid-2018. An in-depth investigation revealed two causes for the crisis. First, according to Command Sgt Major John Troxeli there was a command breakdown with soldiers missing medical and dental appointments–an activity supervised by senior unit officers–that hindered their readiness for deployment.
Former under secretary of defence for personnel and readiness, Robert Wilkie, pinned the problem on longer term problems. Wilkie blamed too many enlistment waivers for either medical or bad conduct issues. These waivers allowed the US Army to meet its enlistment goals but filled the ranks with soldiers with barriers to deployment.
If you were a CEO of a corporation and 14 percent of your workers did not show each day, would you still have a job? No.
Under General Mattis, the US Army in the last fiscal year missed its recuritment goals by 20,000 enlistees. This is spread across the regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves. General Mattis has ordered increased waivers for medical or conduct issues which sets up further problems in terms of deployability. The larger problem is out of General Mattis’ control. A shocking number–only 30 percent–of American youth between the ages of 17 and 24 can pass the mental or physical tests for enlistment.
Though the Air Force is meeting its enlistment goals it is failing under General Mattis in terms of retention of pilots and the programs proposed by General Mattis have failed.
Air Force General Mike Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, says the pilot shortage “has become a crisis” with a significant shortage of experienced 11F pilots. At the Air Mobility Command pilot retention rates have failed despite a General Mattis plan that threw money–a common Pentagon strategy–at the problem by increasing the retention bonsus. But the pilots signaled a vote of no confidence when retention dropped a further 6 percent to 37.9 percent.
Leadership Failure at Special Operation Command
The most publicized failure in the Special Operation Command was the October 2017 ambush of a 11-member Green Beret team in Niger, Africa. However, there have been others like the botched Navy Seal Operation in Yemen during General Mattis’ tenure.
The Niger failure which cost the lives of four enlisted men is pinned directly on incompetence of the officer corp. An inquiry board found that leadership had not directed the team to have crucial training as a unit, not rehearsed the mission before leaving base, and two officers had intentionally mischaracterized the mission. In addition, there was a command breakdown in obtaining a timely evacuation of the wounded.
These findings indicate a breakdown in the command structure under General Mattis.
Lack of Naval Leadership Causing Accidents at Sea and Marine Aviation Accidents
During General Mattis’ tenure there have been four major naval accidents on the open seas, and all are pinned to lack of command leadership. These accidents have led to the death of 17 sailors and senior officers charged with dereliction of duty and endangerment of a ship.
These accidents include the USS John S McCain which rammed an oil tanker in August. 2017 and the USS Fizgerald hitting another commerical ship off the coast of Japan. Both accidents occurred in open water and under acceptable weather conditions.
Marine aviation accidents have gone through the roof. A Military Times investigation found that Marine Aviation accidents under General Mattis increased from 56 per year in 2013 to 101 per year in 2017. They reported this as an 80 percent increase and costing Marine deaths in the double digits.
The following charts provide an overview:
There is a current trend in America to compare government actions to corporation management principles. This begs one single question:
If a board of directors hired a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a company with significant problems, which is true for the US military, and the new CEO did not turn it around in two years would that CEO still have a job?
Rightly, the answer is no. It was time for General Mattis to leave his job as Secretary Defense but we should still honor his decades of selfless service to this nation.
I am writing this post because of the hysterical talking heads on Main Street Media (MSM) especially CNN and others pushing the idea that a withdrawal of American troops is betraying the Kurds. Many of these “experts” have limited knowledge of the situation on the ground. Here is my report after covering the Syrian War for years and numerous trips to the region starting in 2013.
MSM Lie #1: The Syrian Defense Forces is a Kurdish force.
The Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) was created in 2015 by the United States after its failed attempt to fund the Free Syrian Army (FSA) comprised of ex-Syrian Army officers, which turned out to be more corrupt, if possible, than Assad’s army. The FSA would not have existed except for United States funding through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In another act of incompetence, the CIA claimed it vetted the FSA and they funded, pushed by Hilary Clinton, with the promise that the FSA was safe and appropriate.
In reality, the FSA was highly ineffective and by early 2013 much of the active combat had been taken over by the Islamists elements like al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) and Saudi-backed Ahrar al-Sham. In 2013, the FSA sold most of its weapons, like the highly lethal anti-tank TOW weapon, to the highest bidder which included a wide variety of Islamists factions.
Therefore, the creation of the SDF is a reaction to that CIA blunder; however, from the very start the SDF and the United States worked at cross purposes. The SDF’s goal was the creation of a new independent nation state inside Syria. The SDF was an alliance of Syrian Kurdish Forces and the five tribes of Southern Syria. It was approximately 40 percent Arab and 60 percent Kurdish.
The threat of the Islamic State (IS) brought Arabs and Kurds together. The United States’ primary support was only fighting IS. It did not endorse the Kurdish state. It was very rare that the SDF engaged Assad forces. I stress this because the Arab tribes did not necessarily want to overthrow Assad so any characterization of the SDF as Kurdish denies its real purpose. The United States funded SDF as a coalition of Arabs and Kurds to fight IS.
MSM Lie #2: Withdrawal of US troops betrays the Kurds
The constant prattle by ill-informed CNN commentators is about Kurd betrayal. The fact is the United States supported the SDF to fight the IS. IS has been driven from Syria, except for small pockets, and Kurds and the Arab tribes are not menaced by IS in their area of Syria.
The mission was never to build a Kurdish state, regardless of what the MSM talking heads say. There is no record of that being the mission and the MSM talking heads know that. The MSM is conflating the Kurds of Iraq with the Kurds of Syria. These are two completely different situations.
MSM Lie #3: Turkey will slaughter the Syrian Kurds if the United States withdraws.
Here are the facts. Syrian Kurds live in the sovereign state of Syria. After seven years of war funded by the Saudis and the United States, Bashar Assad is in control of Syria. He is backed by Russia and Iran, and in a strange way Turkey.
Turkey has crossed the border into Syria with the silent approval of President Assad. Turkish involvement is largely confined to two areas: Idlib Province in the west and the al-Bab area and Manjb. It played a role of clearing the border areas of forces it considered hostile.
Turkey as well as Russia, Syria and Iran are part of the Astana Reconciliation process. This means there is a peaceful process to resolve these border issues. It is very clear that Russia, Syria, and Iran will not tolerate Turkey to conduct long-term military operations in Syria. The Syrian Kurds live in Syria. Iran, Russia, and Syria have clearly stated that all foreign forces must leave Syria and that includes Turkey. Once again the MSM talking heads are conflating issues.
It is true that Assad has had a rocky relationship with the Syrian Kurds. However, before the war began President Assad was making an effort to improve relations with the Syrian Kurds. A Turkish slaughter of Kurds on Syrian soil would undermine Assad’s hard-fought sovereignty. It would threaten Iran both geopolitically and internally since it also has a Kurdish population.
There will be no wholesale slaughter of Kurds in Syria by Turkey. If the Kurds want to avoid that fate from the Syrian government, it is in their best interests to negotiate with Assad and not fight.
MSM Lie #4: Kurds are needed to fight IS.
IS is largely confined to pockets of land in Syria that is far from Kurdish areas. IS is still operating in the Syrian Desert which is tribal areas. Kurdish forces are withdrawing from Deir ez Zor oil fields or making accommodations with Assad. IS is no longer a significant threat in Syria.
MSM Lie #5: IS will resurge
The real threat has always been al-Qaeda. As I have written before and now supported by academics like Max Abrahms and Ben Fishman, IS was the JV team as proposed by President Obama. For over 1200 years, nomadic forces have roared out of the Levant’s deserts and taken territory only to be driven back and IS is no different. The terrorist threat (not military) of IS was largely propaganda-based. As many academics have proven, IS played a very limited role in non-Levant based terrorism, except for feeding the hate of foreign nationals who wanted to strike against their governments in Europe.
Our threat is al-Qaeda, which IS was part of, and the al-Qaeda threat can not be handled by military effort, as 20 years of war have proven.