The Trump Administration Quietly Began Funding Radical Islamic Terrorists in Syria Last Month
As President Trump’s public spats with the U.S. intelligence community remain headline fodder, a little-noticed story from last month raises serious doubts that Trump is manning a Howitzer aimed at American institutions.
According to a story recently promoted by Middle Eastern expert Joshua Landis–and originally reported by Al-Jazeera–the CIA’s Train and Equip program for so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels was restarted in early April after being frozen in February of this year.
In no uncertain terms, this means the U.S. is again directly supporting radical Islamic terrorism. Now of course, for President Trump, hypocrisy is daily bread, but on this particular subject, it’s especially newsworthy.
Then-candidate Trump provoked a hellfire storm in miniature by accusing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of founding ISIS. Trump’s accusation was a characteristically inarticulate collection of words, but at heart it was neither gibberish nor simply simple-minded grandstanding–and the charge was certainly not lacking in truth.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, was allowed to gain strength by the Obama administration as part of a longstanding policy to destabilize the Syrian government. (In leaked audio released by Wikileaks, John Kerry embarrassingly admitted as much.)
Obama’s Syria strategy, not merely a prize-winning blunder but a deliberate policy decision, was outlined in a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo unearthed by the conservative group Judicial Watch and later confirmed by then-DIA director, Michael Flynn.
That DIA memo detailed how the opposition in Syria was largely made up of various Islamists, including al-Qaeda and their homegrown Syrian affiliate, which would eventually splinter off into ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. Those predominantly Islamist forces were supported by the U.S. as well as Arab and Turkish allies in an effort to sic them on the faltering administration of Bashar al-Assad.
As Joe Biden put it in 2015 during a Q&A session at Harvard: “The people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements coming from other parts of the world [because Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates] were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”
Of course, one need not take the unusually candid word of former Obama administration officials like Flynn, Kerry and Biden.
According to The National Interest, a magazine oriented toward foreign policy realism, the vicious fundamentalism of the rebels in Syria is not misunderstood or underestimated due to the fog of war. Instead, the rebels’ behavior and ideology is intentionally obscured with the help of establishment media like the Washington Post.
Somewhat more cautiously, Ed Husain with the Council on Foreign Relations noted, “The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker without al-Qaeda in their ranks.”
Those “moderate rebels” we so often hear about never really existed. And they definitely don’t now–no matter how many re-branding efforts they go through to escape official designation as terrorists.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, Iraq War veteran and harsh critic of both Obama’s and Trump’s foreign policy recently visited Syria on a fact-finding mission. While covering more ground in Syria than most journalists writing about it, Gabbard discovered what serious researchers have long known: most Syrians don’t consider the rebels moderate at all–or even proper rebels. Rather, for the great majority of Syrians, the “moderate rebels” are unmistakably terrorists. And for those few who once did support the opposition, the overwhelming feeling is regret.
The feel-good story that Riyadh’s head-chopping, heart-eating, rebels are besieged and brave moderates fighting for a Free Syria has always been a bit outrageous. But since the cuddly neckbeards of Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are the only Captagon-addled jihadists with enough manpower to hold large swathes of territory, their viciousness makes perfect grist for the regime change mill.
To his credit, Trump once owned the necessary neural networks to ignore most of the interventionist P.R. whether it came from left-wing humanitarians or right-wing neoconservatives.
And yet, as inane as the hope that Trump would remain committed to non-intervention might look in retrospect, Trump’s approach to war and peace was supposed to be different.
Trump savaged Obama throughout the latter’s presidential tenure on the issue of Syria. The Twitterholic who would become president proclaimed over and over that Syria is not America’s problem. He even specifically chided Obama for supporting the Syrian rebels in light of their radicalism.
Perhaps more famously, Trump made quite a bit of political hay out of Obama’s refusal to utter three little words: “radical Islamic terrorism”. The Obama administration dismissed the phrase out of hare-brained political correctness and Trump’s team keenly picked up on this–ridiculing Obama nonstop for his refusal to say the words.
So, now here we are. The U.S. government is back to its typically fail-hard policies of cynically supporting terrorists against state enemies. For Trump stans let’s put it in their own terms: the deep state pulled another win out of their Mary Poppins purse and Donald J. Trump is currently being cucked on the global stage.
Those three little words have now become six.
Donald Trump supports radical Islamic terrorism.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.