We have discussed the NATO fixation on changing Syria’s leadership at length in previous articles. It is obvious that Syria’s position in the “Confrontation Front” as link and linchpin for a perceived Iranian political expansion into the Fertile Crescent (qua “Fatimid Crescent”) clashed with virtually every principle guiding the Western alliance, e.g. it’s need to control natural resources and the need to protect the settler state of “Israel”. The so-called “Arab Spring” presented NATO with an opportunity that it has awaited since at least 2007 when the U.S. and its reactionary allies began to prepare for this eventuality. Throughout the period from 2007-2011, the feckless American Ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, conducted operations to identify traitors inside the Syrian military and security services. He did this through indirect methods such as gleaning names from opposition supporters in towns like Hama and Homs and through direct methods of encouraging direct contact via intermediaries. The purpose of the contacts was to determine how reliable the military and security personnel were if an when the situation in Syria came to a boil. We have no information about direct contacts between Ford and any officers in the Syrian military/intelligence establishment with the exception of Col. Harmoush, who is discussed later. Ford pretends to speak Arabic, which he does, but with a terrible grasp of grammar and an accent that “cuts without a blade”, as the Arabs say. I have heard from my sources that Gen. Ali Mamlouk had Ford in his sights and was enjoying following his movements in Syria which gave the Chief of General Security ample Intel about potential Fifth Columns in the country.
Money or power are almost always the issues in treason. The only exception is when the act of treachery is grounded in a conviction. Col. Oleg Penkovsky betrayed the Soviet GRU and paid with his life in the 1950’s. His motivation could not have been money since he died in poverty and, apparently, in a KGB-stoked live industrial furnace. According to those connected to him in American intelligence, he was committed to democratic principles. But he’s a rare bird. Other traitors like the British spy cell (“The Cambridge Five”) led by Kim Philby seemed to be motivated more by a misguided belief in the inherent liberalism of communist ideology, a singularly befuddling notion that homosexuality was accepted in Stalinist Russia.
There are exceptions, of course. But a study of the history of treason discloses the need for a fat piggy bank to finance the normally voracious appetites of potential turncoats. Enter Saudi Arabia. From 2007 until the present, Saudi Arabia and, now, Qatar, have placed at the disposal of American spooks tens of millions of dollars in order to accomplish the following:
1. Purchase weapons for delivery to terrorists operating against the Syrian government;
2. Pay salaries to terrorist mercenaries. The salaries vary depending on the area of operations. For example, we have received reports that Libyan criminals affiliated with Abdel-Hakim Bel-Hadj receive over $500.00 per week to fight the Syrian Army and kill Syrian civilians. On the other hand, Egyptian killers recruited in Jordan receive a paltry $150.00 per week. The actual number of Egyptians fighting with the terrorist army has gone down to almost zero since they realized that the war was not a cake-walk and that life in Jordan as an underpaid foreign worker was better than being killed or captured by our usually humorless security forces.
3. Setting up bank accounts for high-ranking personalities in the military or the security services. In order to secure the “loyalty” of these individuals, Swiss or Israeli bank accounts were established with substantial sums of money deposited in them. I have heard that Riad Hijab, the former Syrian P.M., received $2,000,000.00 from Qatar for his highly-publicized act of treason. Manaf Tlas received a similar amount. Neither Hijab nor Tlas were in the “inner circle”, but their willingness to publicly defect had predictable morale-boosting effects on the terrorist army.
4. Financially supporting Sunni religious personalities and institutions to justify the cause of “Jihad” against an Arab country like Syria. The absolutely repugnant Wahhabist Egyptian cleric, Youssef Al-Qaradawi, is an example of a man who was paid exorbitant sums to spread vicious anti-minoritarian propaganda among the millions of gullible simpletons in the Islamic World.
5. Supporting governments like Turkey’s to host a large number of foreign Jihadists and Syrian defectors. Turkey has received over $10,000,000,000.00 from Saudi Arabia as a hedge against losses arising from Erdoghan’s irresponsible foray into the world of terrorism. Reports are that King Abdallah II of Jordan was offered a huge sum of money but refused out of fear that the mayhem in Syria could easily spread to his country. Instead, he accepted the American offer to send specialists to vet the various killers taking refuge in Jordan. The “Salafists” would be i.d.’d and discarded while the rest would be approved for fighting and “directional guidance” by American terrorism-enablers.
6. Investing in major media outlets like the BBC, PBS, NYT, WP, CNN and others quite familiar to our readership. The dissemination of false information and fabricated news (SOHR, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiyya), would mold public opinion and vector it in favor of foreign intervention, a la Libya. The conflict in Syria has brought to the surface the immense capabilities of world media in controlling the flow of data to the public and, thus, theoretically, its domination over the thought processes of human beings. Fortunately, independent news sources have had a decisive effect in neutralizing a program, so inherently malicious, it brings to mind the titles of novels still locked in our collective subconscious.
So, with all the money in Arabia and all the technology of the West; how did it fail in Syria?
The effort to recruit officers in Syria collapsed from the very beginning. Unlike Iraq, which suffered under a withering twelve-year sanctions regime, a deluded leader and an officer corps which had lost interest in his fantasies, Syria had been developing militarily at an accelerating pace. Syrian military officers knew first-hand that Syria, as of 2011 when the troubles began in Der’ah, that its mobile air defense system was second to none in the world. Missile manufacturing was common knowledge with the army’s industrial corps producing North Korean-style ground-to-ground Scud Bs and Ds, inter alia. Syria’s vast arsenal of anti-ship missiles (Yakhont) stanched any thought of naval assaults. The regimentation and discipline of our army was impressive and officers were proud to serve in such a modern and powerful army.
In Iraq, it saddens us to say, General Sultan Hashem Ahmad Al-Ta’iy Al-Jaboory, then Defense Minister, had been contacted by the Americans and “turned” against his own government by Petraeus’ own office. When the U.S. and Britain invaded in 2001, the entire Iraqi army was compromised and Saddam had no chance of survival. Such efforts met with abject failure when it came to Syria. Generals like Dawood Rajiha, a Christian Orthodox officer from Damascus; Gen. Hassan Turkmani, a Sunni from Aleppo; Gen. Maher Al-Assad, the president’s brother; Gen. Hafez Makhlouf, the president’s cousin; all commanders of Syria’s four Army Corps; Gen. Issam Hallaq, a Ba’athist commander of the air force; Gen. Assef Shawkat, the president’s brother-in-law and Deputy Chief of Staff; Gen. Hisham Yikhtiyar and Dhul-Himma Shaleesh, represented the military “inner circle” which was impregnable!
The security services which were largely mixed between Sunni and Alawi officers were all known for their Baathist and secular leanings. Both Generals Ali Mamlouk and M. Deeb Zeitoun, Sunnis, demonstrated intense loyalty to the flag and rejected repeated offers to turn against the Syrian state although compensation would have been quite enticing for men so highly-placed.
Only a few officers, most unnamed in the Western press, (which makes the whole affair suspicious) have actually defected. Most of the ones known to us at SyrPer, like Adnan Sinnu and Mustapha Al-Sheikh, were marginalized officers with high-falutin’ sounding portfolios that, in truth, hid an uglier professional fact: that they were never trusted with their substantive responsibilities devolving upon deputies who were beyond suspicion. Another general, Manaf Tlas, was hilariously touted for months as the “highest ranking general to defect…..A member of the president’s inner circle”, as the BBC fatuously regurgitated. But everyone knew that Tlas had been under house arrest for almost 14 months at the time of his arranged departure. Members of Syria’s elite Republican Guard danced for joy when they heard he left to join his father in Paris. He was like Adnan Sinnu, an incompetent and untrustworthy officer. That’s the story.
When Robert Ford visited the Detroit area this summer, we greeted him with the usual contempt reserved for criminals and plague-spreading vermin. He did say something that was interesting, though, and it concerned one of the earliest of the traitors to defect and form a terrorist organization in Southern Turkey – one, Colonel Hussein Harmoush.
Harmoush spills the beans on Syrian state t.v. c.a. August 2011, after our special ops people lured him back to Syria and pounced on this traitor.
Ford looked heaven-wards as he described his affection for Harmoush, a true patriot, as he called him. (It was obvious that Ford was responsible for snookering this rube into betrayal). He pondered for a moment the issue of whether he was still alive or whether he had been put to death. So touching. For the U.S. and NATO, Harmoush and Riad Al-As’ad were the best they could get; Harmoush a universally scorned provincial officer with a proverbial boot readied for the kick to the haunches and Al-As’ad, a Sunni fanatic whose hatred of minorities became so well-known in the military that he suspected an imminent and humiliating discharge. As a note, Harmoush was executed by firing squad at the Al-Quteifa military base almost two weeks after his command performance before Syrian state television.
With no powerful officers defecting, the only other hope was the derangement of Syrian discipline in the army. The more defectors who could be cajoled or bribed, the more the army would teeter and totter on the brink of schism. The Arab-language propaganda networks like Al-Jazeera played a role in this by often, falsely announcing, the defections of whole groups of soldiers as they did in 2011 with a invented defection of an entire regiment of soldiers from the Qatana armor base outside Damascus. The idea here was to encourage more defections by giving the impression the army was falling apart. Once the truth started coming out, the army generally remained quite cohesive and immune to NATO’s and Qatar’s efforts to rive it. In addition, General Rajiha made sure that units whose fealty was unquestioned were liaised with ones of a more suspect inclination. The army, thus, remained unified and effective.
Another factor that bedevilled the NATO alliance was the Syrian population, especially in the cities. The U.S., always the hypocrite, fomented sectarian discord in Syria without regard to any sanguinary repercussions for the minorities who make up close to 40% of the total population. The effort to create an environment of inter-sectarian hatred met with failure because NATO, or the U.S., or the Qataris neglected the differences that made Syria different from Lebanon and Iraq, to wit: the history of secular Ba’athis rule and the heritage of moderate Islam. To this date, the Syrian Sunni population remains to loyal to Dr. Assad no matter what folderol the Western Press has strived to purvey.
The U.S. has tried to entice minorities with promises of fair treatment and protection in the event of a take-over by Islamists or their allies. Oh, please!! This failure to appreciate the views of Christians, Alawis, Druze, Ismailis, Shi’a, Circassians, Kurds and their investment in the secular government of Dr. Assad condemned American Neo-Con plans to the sewage pile of history. Only minds steeped in a phantasmagorical Traumwelt could ignore this crucial factor that dominates the way minorities view their own survivability. The minorities in Syria remain completely committed to the durability of Dr. Assad’s secular government.
I know what all my readers are thinking: “But, Ziad, there’s another factor that NATO never counted on and completely miscalculated”. I know. I’m not going to dwell too long over this out of respect for the Chinese axiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words”:
Get the message? I hope the U.S. and its pedophile allies get it too.