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Syria militants in tremendous disarray: Webster Tarpley

Wed Mar 6, 2013 7:54AM GMT | MY/HSN
Interview with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley

The foreign-backed militant groups in Syria have fallen into tremendous disarray and they are overwhelmingly bearing the brunt of the fight against the Syrian government, says an American author.

The Saudi regime has claimed that it has a moral responsibility to assist the militant groups in Syria. In January, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, also called for sending heavy weapons such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the militants.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian from Washington, to further discuss the issue at hand. He is joined by another guest on Press TV’s Debate: Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, chairman of the Arab Media Watch from London. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley let us have your view on this as well. We are hearing that the US State Department under John Kerry, the fact that they have come up with new help, they say, for the insurgents. They have come up during the Rome Conference with a new financial aid.

They are saying that they are trying to shift their focus to help the insurgents establish an alternative government on Syrian territory and then recognize it as the legal government.

They say that this would help them legitimize the transfer of weapons and it also allows the US to directly employ airstrikes or Patriot batteries against Assad’s forces.

Do you think that that is true?

Tarpley: Well, first of all the tremendous political vulnerability of these rebels, who are after all heavily salted with al-Qaeda and al-Nusrah terrorists, is that when they take over parts of Syria, their administration, their rule, their domination is so oppressive and so incompetent that the populations turn against them.

In other words it is not just a military reason that prevents them from holding territory and holding cities, it is that when they come up on the scene, their extremist and fanatic ideas are anathema and remember most of these fighters in a hardcore main force units of the rebels are foreigners. The foreign fighters are overwhelmingly bearing the brunt of the fighting. So there is tremendous disarray there.

On the other hand we now have John Forbes Kerry, the Boston Brahmin, the member of this infamous Skull and Bones Freemasonic death cult; and with Kerry we can see a new element of disarray in the coalition attacking Syria.

Remember Kerry is famous as a flip-flopper. He is somebody who tells you one thing today and another thing tomorrow or maybe even another thing in five minutes.

We saw him in Saudi Arabia yesterday and today in Qatar, and there is obviously a friction because Kerry is saying that the United States, for political reasons, cannot openly deliver sophisticated weapons to the al-Nusrah terrorists because the state department has condemned them, it is a violation of US law.

Whereas Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Mr. Thani there in Qatar are saying, ‘We do not care, give them all the missiles they want and if airliners are shot down we do not care.’

Press TV: So Dr. Tarpley would you describe it as such as well? That there is a revolution that is being undermined now, that it is facing the threat of being hijacked by these terrorists?

Tarpley: The research I was able to do on the ground in Syria in November 2011 especially in Homs and in Baniyas, along the ocean, is that from the very beginning you had some people coming out, maybe with some placards, that they wanted democratic rights and they did not like the Ba’ath Party and so forth. But from the word go, from the very beginning, there were violent elements, terrorist elements that were seeded inside those crowds.

So there was no idyllic, halcyon day when everything was peaceful. The shooting and the killing was there from the very beginning and it did not start from the Syrian army.

The Syrian army, as I founded in Baniyas, had been ordered, do not shoot at anybody and a lot of people from the Syrian army depot in Baniyas had been killed precisely because they did not want to shoot at the several hundred fanatics that were attacking them.

As far as the US is concerned, there is a double element here. It may well be that the weapons coming in are paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, maybe. But it is clear that they are coming in through Incirlik air force base. It is a NATO air force base in Turkey dominated by the US coming in through various ports along the Mediterranean in Turkey and the officers who are directing the traffic, the logistics officers, the beach commanders - if you will - those are people from the CIA and the US special forces, and I simply cannot believe, with the track record of the CIA, that they are not making sure that the al-Nusrah gets the good weapons because otherwise the entire rebellion might collapse.

Press TV: Right now we are hearing Bashar al-Assad saying that we are ready for talks, we have asked all of the opposition, he says, we have not been categorizing them to come up and start talking with us.

So what do you think is stopping this diplomacy from happening and do you agree with our guest there that there are foreign backers and foreign fighters on both sides of the conflict affecting the situation?

Tarpley: Concerning the foreign fighters we have to remember Syria is a sovereign state. It is a member state of the United Nations. The sovereign government of Syria has every right to ask for assistance from other countries, be it Russia, be it Iran or so forth.

The US presence in South Vietnam, let us say, the legal basis of it was that the South Vietnamese government invited the United States to provide military assistance.

If Damascus does that vis-à-vis Moscow or Tehran, that is perfectly legal and perfectly normal.

On the other hand it is a breach of international peace and security for countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar or the US or NATO to foment, to ship in weapons and foreign fighters to create, artificially, a civil war inside such a country and this is what has gone on.

So I would say that the main precondition for peace is the departure of foreign fighters and a cessation of the arms deliveries coming in, primarily through Turkey, also through Jordan, through Lebanon and some props from the Kurdish entity in Iraq or maybe less there, but to stop those arms deliveries and for the foreign fighters to be kicked out.

What is involved here is a political judgment, who is the aggressor? Who has started it? The opprobrium goes to the party that begins the hostilities and in the case of Syria, this is clear. It is part of this destabilization of the entire Arab world, the so-called Arab Spring, and it is done by shipping in these foreign fighters, and as I mentioned in Homs and in Baniyas, I was able to talk to people who were present on the very first days. There were terrorists and some of them were foreign fighters from the very beginning. So the aggressors are these foreign powers.

Press TV: So Dr. Tarpley would you say that the condition for these insurgents to lay down arms is unrealistic right now?

Tarpley: I think that it is the only possible thing that Assad can say because otherwise you would be inviting the total destruction of the country.

Look! The alternative in Syria is not Assad or democracy. The alternative is Assad or chaos, terrorism, mass murder, failed state… endless civil war and so forth.

The only possibility of saving the assemblance of civilization is to keep the Assad administration in power.

Well since we have got Libya to look at, maybe those arguments have to be revisited and taken more seriously. If you want to have the collapse of civilization like you have got in Libya, then al-Nusrah is the way to go.




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