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Obama Naivete Destabilizing the Middle East

Barack Obama’s inexperience in international military affairs will be come glaring in the coming months as the fallout from Syria starts to sink in. What am I talking about? There is a major, coordinated covert op undeway designed to oust Bashir Assad and the United States, at Obama’s direction, is playing a major role. Only one tiny problem–no guarantee on who will replace Assad. But the early odds favor radical Islamists that share much in common with the likes of Bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri.

We are seeing evidence this week of the dramatic escalation of the war in Syria. It is no mere coincidence that this escalation follows Obama securing his second term. Two things this week:

Use of manpads aka shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles that brought down at least two Syrian Air Force planes.

Syrian rebels have acquired as many as 40 shoulder-fired missile systems in recent weeks to counter assaults by Syrian military aircraft, introducing a possibly decisive new weapon into the conflict, Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials say.

The potential impact of the missiles on the 20-month-old civil war was demonstrated Tuesday with the dramatic downing of a Syrian helicopter, blasted from the sky near Aleppo by what military experts say was almost certainly a portable anti-aircraft missile.

Shutting down Syria’s access to the internet.

Starting at 10:26 UTC (12:26pm in Damascus), Syria’s international Internet connectivity shut down. In the global routing table, all 84 of Syria’s IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet.

The arrival of manpads is especially alarming and points to what was going on in Benghazi.

While the Obama Administration publicly declares it is opposed to giving Syrian rebels manpads, it is another story on the covert side of the house. This is not a simple matter of simply providing a weapon system. Some of the intelligence operatives at the so-called “Annex” in Benghazi were collecting and shipping these weapon systems to Turkey. That’s one of the dirty secrets the Obama Administration is keen on hiding.

Do not delude yourself. The Syrian rebels did not win the Power Ball Lottery and suddenly acquire the ability to purchase and use manpads. They had help. Not just with procuring and moving the weapons, but in learning how to shoot them and hit a target.

So, where did that training take place? Were any Syrians brought to Libya for training? Turkey? Saudi Arabia? This much is clear–a covert training program for Syrian rebels has been operating somewhere over the last six months. And who is doing the training? There are only three possibilities–the United States, Europe or Turkey.

Don’t count Syria out. Assad has the Russians and Iranians in his corner. I don’t see with willing to sit by and let radical Sunnis take control of Syria. One thing is certain–this is very bad and very dangerous. Don’t be shocked if a civilian airliner is shot down within the next two years by a shoulder fired surface-to-air missile in the hands of a Sunni jihadi.

  • linlili237
  • http://www.last.fm/music/Samuel+Barber/_/Adagio+for+Strings adagioforstrings

    I fall into the more cynical camp that Obama is destroying the US, domestically & internationally, on purpose vs thru simple naive incompetence

  • MrLynn

    Larry, are you aware of the claim by DEBKA that the Gaza operation was really an intelligence-led coup by Egypt, Turkey, Israel, and the US to disentangle Hamas from Iran? See here:

    http://debka.com/article/22568/The-Gaza-Operation-Less-a-War-than-an-Anti-Iran-Coup

    Interesting, if true. The article gives a lot more credit to Obama than I would have thought likely:

    “The coup action was designed as Part One of US President Barack Obama’s overall plan, which is to harness the Arab Spring to key US objectives. His partners were – and are – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.Obama’s next stop is Syria where matters are coming to a head on several fronts.”

    Is The Puppet President really capable of such planning? If not, who in the Administration is really behind it?

    It echoes your post here at the end: “. . . the same coalition has meanwhile shifted its sights from Gaza to Syria. NATO is about to post Patriots with American crews on the Turkish-Syrian border and the rebels are finally beginning to hem Assad’s military resources in.”

    /Mr Lynn

  • foxyladi14

    unbelievable thanks Larry

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/11/30/state-department-were-still-trying-to-get-congress-to-release-495-million-in-aid-to-the-palestinians/

    unbelievable state dept still trying to get congress to release $495 million to aid the palestinians

    • HELENK2

      I hope congress tells them NO WAY

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    The emissary of genocidal Sudan, whose leader is a wanted war criminal,
    introduced the Abbas resolution. What’s not to love about the UN?

  • HELENK2

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_EGYPT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-11-30-06-08-15

    Islamist rush and pass Egypt’s new constitution. riots begin

    compare morsi to prophet mohammd

    so how is that arab spring working out

  • KenoshaMarge

    When you combine narcissism, arrogance and naivete you get obama. Not a combination you want, if you have a brain, directing operations in a volatile Middle-East.
    We can only hope that there is someone who can convince the pinhead that he doesn’t always know best. A seriously difficult task with someone who is convinced they are infallible.

  • HELENK2

    http://news.msn.co.nz/worldnews/8573066/friends-of-syria-rebels-meet-in-tokyo

    friends of syria rebels meet in Toyko, cite UN failure to act as reason for meeting
    representives of more than 60 countries attend

  • HELENK2

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/30/uk-china-seas-asean-idUKBRE8AT08X20121130

    it is not only the ME that problems are getting worse.

    between North Korea and now China and there provocations that part of the world is heating up also

  • http://www.examiner.com/user/4964201 Kevin Brent

    It’s naivete…. it’s intentional.

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/11/29/turkish-president-west-must-fix-the-disease-of-islamophobia-a-menace-to-world-peace/

    Turkish president West must fix the disease of islamophobia a menace to world peace.

    when I fly back east to see my kids, I now have to take off my shoes and get the choice of radiation or molestation just to fly.

    this was not caused by any other religion than islam

    Do not know of any other religion that wants me dead other than islam.

    so who is diseased????

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    I was wondering

    now they are talking about bringing the terrorists from Gitmo to the USA. put them in an American prison. they get the same rights as an American citizen.

    If an American citizen goes to a foreign country and fights against this country , backtrack can take them out with a drone. screw their rights.

    what is wrong with this picture???

    • jrterrier

      Actually, Guantanamo is a lot nicer than most American prisons. And the sentences meted out or negotiated out of Guantanamo have been more lenient than those imposed on defendants charged with terrorist offenses in US courts. Heck, they have been more lenient than the average drug conspiracy offenses in fed courts.

      The biggest problem with bringing the Gitmo detainees into fed prisons is the risk that they will radicalize other prisoners.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    Interesting article.

  • Heather Stein

    So you are criticizing the Obama adminstration because you think they are giving the Syrian rebels manpads?

    So you don’t have a problem telling the world about U.S. covert operations on your website? Funny stuff for an ex-CIA guy. You are the same guy who criticized the Obama adminstration for your belief that they were telling the world about Seal Team Six and taking out Bin Laden. Always the hypocrite Larry Johnson.

    Also funny you vote for a Republican party that is full of neocons like McCain who have been calling for months to arm the Syrian rebels.

    How about being a little consistent Larry Johnson? I guess it is hard to be consistent when you are all politics and bash Obama all the time.

    • FormerLib160

      Get Obama out of your mouth………

      That’s disgusting

      • Heather Stein

        Actually Larry Johnson should get Obama out of his mouth. He should stop with the meaningless and lame Obama bashing and write something a little more objective. It would be more interesting and help him regain his credibility in analytical circles.

        • TeakWoodKite

          And what have you published that is objective?

          • buzzlatte3

            Oh, that doesn’t matter to the “Heather Steins” of the world. They are the chosen ones. The erudite left. They know all and never question the agenda or dear leader. They are the ones stuck in the Matrix and forever no better than their programming.

            • HELENK2

              and they get written about in Pravda

        • NellieS

          And your authority to be TELLING Larry Johnson what he should be doing??? When you offer verifiable proof that your are even qualified to dictate to Larry, post it here and we will get back to you. Until we get back to you, go and haunt some other website. You are NOT welcome here.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      I think McCain is a fool for advocating that. Just because McCain wants to engage in the same stupidity as Obama does not make it a smart move. I’ve been quite consistent. I criticized the Republicans when they were in charge of similar madness. Why don’t you apply the same standard? Douche breath.

      • Heather Stein

        McCain is not the only neocon in the Republican party. Romney also suggested much more U.S. military involvement and arming the rebels to throw out Assad in Syria. The guy you voted for. You hear zero on the Democrat side talking about arming the Syrian rebels. Quite the opposite. Obama has done a very good job at keeping America out of Syria. If a Republican like McCain (who you vote for) or Romney (who you voted for) was President we would be much more involved in Syria. I have read not a single critical post on this website where you have critiqued either Romney or McCain on their hawkish/neocon foreign policy prescriptions. You are full of shit as usual.

        You have been anything but consistent on anything you write about on this website. No I am wrong. Your comments involving race and women have been consistent.

        • NellieS

          Well Heather your chronic name calling is a indicator that you are a teenager in years, if not an adult in years, then just emotionally stunted. I’ve met McCain several times in NH, and he is NOT a neo con or whatever your current puerile bratty slime is for the day.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Interesting article and comments, particularly concerning the relative capabilities of various generations of MANPADs. I’ve actually armed nontechnically oriented guerillas with MANPADs, so let me offer one other factor that needs to be considered: The ability of the guerillas to use the things.
    Depending on the model of MANPAD, not just anyone can pick it up and fire it successfully. I’ve actually been in situations where we had to go with a different model of MANPAD because the difficulty of shooting the model that we had originally selected. In cases where you are supplying with war surplus, or in cases where plausible deniabiity is preeminent, you may not have the ability to be as selective as we were in that particular situation
    I notice that SecDef is on the screen denying that we are arming guerillas in Syrian (note that I did not say, “Syrian guerillas”) with MANPADs. This is what I mean by plausible deniability.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Would you ever write a novel? Mostly redacted fictional characters no doubt, but great plot lines.

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        I would never get it by the PRB, no matter how much I sanitized it. But I might write a book about raising orchids:) (If you get the orchid reference, 100 bonus points.)

        • Fred82

          Angleton?

          • Retired_from_SPOnaj

            We have a winner!

            • TeakWoodKite

              :) I always was partial to the color purple…

    • Popsmoke

      Especially if they were using a SA7 to bring down a MIG….

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Heh, heh, heh.

    • Fred82

      I tend to think that al Qaida ranks among the more technically proficient guerrilla movements out there.

      Al Qaida has a thing for recruiting military guys, especially those from special forces, intelligence organizations, and individuals with technical knowledge regarding things like MANPADs.

      Al Qaida members also tend to be technically inclined and well educated, often possessing advanced degrees and degrees in subjects like electrical engineering. The average IQ of al Qaida members is sure to be pretty high as well.

      If there is a list of guerrillas capable of learning how to operate the more advanced MANPADs via manuals and hands on experience, I would say al Qaida would belong near the top of that list.

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        All excellent points. Every guerilla force is different, and one must work with what one has to optimize the results.

  • HELENK2

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nine-nations-vote-against-palestinian-un-upgrade

    only 9 nations voted against palestinian UN upgrade

  • Eyes Wide Open

    I always thought flight 800 was shot down by one of those. One of the weapons just given to the Afghanistan. Perhaps Obama is simply an arrogant bumbler, maybe. Or is he the puppet or is he the puppeteer?

    • http://www.facebook.com/margaret.maree Margaret Maree

      I’ve thought the same. I still recall hearing a Saturday Night Live line about “two Iraqis in a Chris Craft”; that’s how I pictured it. It many not have been on SNL, but maybe one of its cast, Miller or Hartman??

      • Eyes Wide Open

        Here is a documentary about it.

        http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/silenced/

        • http://www.facebook.com/margaret.maree Margaret Maree

          Thanks so much, but unfortunately link isn’t working, nor are others I tried. I like Jack Cashill, so I’ll browse his site’s links and maybe pick up a copy of the book.

          • Avspatti

            Link is now working for me.

            • http://www.facebook.com/margaret.maree Margaret Maree

              Thanks. Must’ve been my work desktop at fault. Now my iPad ( 3g, out in boondocks ) isn’t getting it– will watch tomorrow. I hope we get answers about Benghazi so it doesn’t remain shrouded as Flight 800.

              • Avspatti

                I agree. My worst fear is that people are going to lose interest and stop pushing for information. It was such a horrible event with our President refusing to even TRY to help those people not to mention actually pulling out some of the security that they already had that it makes me sick.

          • Eyes Wide Open

            Maybe cutting and pasting it into your browser would work.

          • KenoshaMarge

            Here’s an article you might find interesting.
            Benghazi ‘Narrative’ Reads Like TWA 800′s http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/benghazi_narrative_reads_like_twa_800s.html

            • http://www.facebook.com/margaret.maree Margaret Maree

              Thanks very much. About out the door, but will read once home.

    • foxyladi14

      Heh, heh,

  • Hokma

    When events such as these take place you want to believe that an American administration has an end game regardless of whether it will work or not.

    Does Obama have an end game or is he just feeling his way through this hoping it will either get better or go away?

    The last I saw, there is no rule in the Constitution that requires the President to always have to take sides in a foreign conflict – particularly when both sides of the conflict will end up being your enemy. And hoping for a good outcome if both sides would be your enemy is insanity.

  • HELENK2

    http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-draft-constitution-limits-presidential-terms-195025088.html

    Egypt’s constitution draft limits presidential terms to 2 4years terms.

    will morsi go along with this???

    • Hokma

      Of course he will . . . . for 7 years.

  • DianaLC

    Larry,
    Your posts are so full of joy this holiday season. (Of course I’m being facetious. I know your keeping us informed and must tell it as you know it.)
    I wish the McCain/Graham/Ayotte trio would get off Rice’s case and move on to try to discover why she was told to lie–as your post gives a clear indication of the reason. Why does the Senate decide it’s always o.k. to move at a snail’s pace? How fast did those four Americans take to die?
    I am so very angry with the many people who voted for Obama–especially those dead ones and the ones who voted more than once. I am tired of the stupidity of our general it’s-all-about-me citizen.
    I’m trying to decide if I should take a trip to Australia so I can be “on the beach.”

    • buzzlatte3

      Laying the groundwork perhaps? McCain et al are not stupid. Rice IS a weak link and should be worked on until the next step is revealed. I rather think it’s the no stone left unturned phase. We already know there was a lie. Now it’s finding all the puzzle pieces to make the chain evidence pointing to the lie irrefutable.

      • DianaLC

        But by the time they take all these steps, witll the process become pointless? Will Holder refuse to cooperate when necessary? Will Obama lie and lie, backed up by the Dems and the media? I’ve grown disillusioned. Our system has been broken.

        • TeakWoodKite

          It shouldn’t stop one from being persistent in searching for the truth and in holding these bastards accountable. Elected or not.

          • buzzlatte3

            It took a year to ferret out Nixon after the beginning of his second term. While I imagine that even Nixon was more honorable and had more integrity than Obama, the truth shouldn’t be given up on just because it appears to take too long.

            • Avspatti

              The media was against Nixon; not so with Obama. Will make things even longer even if possible.

              • buzzlatte3

                But the media didn’t have the power to begin impeachment and it doesn’t this time either. I’m tired of giving up attitude because of the media.

                • Avspatti

                  I am tired of it, too. What I want is for us to band together to reduce their power. Cancel them.

        • mgm

          “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” -Yeats

  • TeakWoodKite

    Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have provided extensive help for Syria’s rebels in recent months, providing cash and weapons for a guerilla army that has received only non-lethal aid from Washington and Western Europe.

    Why the lie? Obama is running guns and it got 4 Americans dead, never mind how many Mexicans and Syrians.
    That is “non-leathal”???

  • Fred82

    I disagree.

    Why I see where you are coming from, there are other possibilities as to how the Syrian insurgents could acquire MANPADs and know how to use them.

    al Qaida and other Iraqi insurgents have shown themselves capable of acquiring MANPADs and using them with some success.

    It must also be considered that a staple of guerrilla warfare is living off of the land and making use of enemy resources when possible. MANPADs like the SA-7, SA-14, and SA-16 are known to be present in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. The bad guys could easily acquire them.

    It would even appear as if SA-24s are present in both Libya and Syria. Any further information here would be greatly appreciated.

    • Popsmoke

      Fred…
      Your wrong… there was no surprise in any Libyan cracker jack box. The Merchants of Death are alive and well. There is always a Lord of War involved especially with these type of systems.

      • Fred82

        Then where did the Iraqi insurgents acquire MANPADs. I can assure you that they did not all come from Iran, the Saudis, or Russian mafia types.

        When regimes start to go belly up, massive arms caches and facilities start to become grab-bag giveaways. Likewise, corruption, infiltrators, and raids on government facilities can serve as a source of arms.

        Is corruption endemic in Syria? Yes.

        Do AQ and Co. have a history of infiltrating military and security organizations to acquire weaponry? Yes.

        Has the Syrian “opposition” launched attacks on government facilities used to store arms? Yes.

        Not saying that Merchants of Death are not involved here, they almost certainly are. What I am saying is that Merchants of Death and nation states are not the only source of weaponry.

        At the same time, where do Merchants of Death acquire weaponry from?

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Fred,
      Nonsense. Please show me one instance in the last 20 years of al Qaeda using a manpad and using it effectively. You can’t because they haven’t.

      • Fred82

        In 2007, As-Shabaab utilized SA-18s to put down an II-76. As Shabaab is an affiliate of al Qaida.

        In Chechnya, there were several shoot downs of Russian aircraft that involved MANPADs. Not saying for certain that al Qaida did it but it is known that Khattab and Co. were affiliated with al Qaida and did possess MANPADs.

        There were also several successful uses of MANPADs against helicopters in Iraq by Iraqi insurgents. Once again it would be near impossible to determine if or how involved al Qaida was with these incidents. Given al Qaida’s practice of training, advising, and providing experts to carry out operations on behalf of affiliates and sometimes less affiliated movements, I think Al Qaida involvement is possible, even probable in at least a few instances.

        That said, al Qaida has admitted that older model MANPADs such as the SA-7 are ineffective against American fixed-wing aircraft. Then again, I cannot think of any recent conflict where MANPADs where used that effectively against fixed-wing aircraft.

        • Popsmoke

          Fred,
          Shit son… An Il76? They can shoot down one of those with a sling shot. There is a huge difference between a airlifter and a fast mover. Hell they can use RPGs to shoot down choppers if they are in range. Again a helo and a fast mover are two totally different aircrafts.
          By the way, there is nothing wrong with the SA7 against any fixed wing aircraft. But there is a problem with operators who find the SA7 difficult to use..

          • Fred82

            Well,

            In order to have a true anti-air capability, insurgents require a MANPAD that is somewhat effective versus fast moving aircraft.

            As Shabaab, the Chechens, and Iraqis were known to possess more advanced MANPADs than the SA-7. How many? I don’t know.

            It is also rumored that Hezbollah’s anti-air brigade, Saladin’s Falcons possess more advanced MANPADs like the SA-14 and SA-18.

  • TeakWoodKite

    Hey LJ, I was thinking this was the link for the manpan citation?

    from the from the Washington Post?

  • Popsmoke
    • TeakWoodKite

      Many a bad omen on the road to hell.

    • jrterrier

      You guys are made of sturdier stuff than I. The news is so dreary these days and with the election over, I don’t see any reason to hope that things will get better any time soon.

      • buzzlatte3

        gallup: Obama at 49% approval rating – buyer’s remorse. Really? The illiterate voters Pravda pointed out expected something different? But that would be saying Obama won the election honestly.

  • Popsmoke

    Let’s not forget that Harpo McCain and Groucho Graham pushed for arming these idiots as well. We have not leaned the Kosovo lessons at all. I also hold Patraeus responsible. But the buck stopped at Hillary and Obama.
    The issues as LJ presented will go no where in any of the investigations. There are just to many big players in this domination game…
    So the truth will never come out and if Jordan falls we will be so fucked that we as a country will be walking sore for decades to come..

    • DianaLC

      For once I am agreeing with you. They should just leave Rice alone. I still remember McCain’s silly “bomb, bomb Iran” routine. I know he’s a military hero, but give me a break. This is not our (his and mine) generation’s type of war. Those in the Middle East are not the Vietnamese.

      We are not playing dominoes here and fighting their fall into communism. This is more insidious threat.

      • Hokma

        McCain is a military hero but that does not automatically endow him with brains. I am seeing more and more of his younger daughter in him.

        In regard to Rice, I can see them pursuing a course but it has to lead somewhere. Maybe there is an endgame and maybe McCain is part of that – or maybe not.

      • mgm

        Yes, they should stop pursuing Rice. Much more and they risk making her into a sympathetic character—which ordinarily would be pretty hard to do.

  • HELENK2

    it is almost as if the backtrack bunch want the ME to blow up and a world war 3 to start.
    which one of his owners profit the most from this happening??

    • TeakWoodKite

      The thinking is the opposite of the Neo-con, in which the neo-con was thinking the best way to “deal” with the Islamist was to invade Iraq and and start invading everywhere…

      These ass clowns over at Motel 1600 think those same Salafist should come to power and that they will “loves them some democracy”.

      “Having the article that says only “principles” of Islamic Sharia and not “Sharia is the base of legislation” is unacceptable,” Said Farag, Salafist member of the Islamic Coalition for Rights Support, told Ahram Online.

      Link

      • NellieS

        Thanks for the Link Teak. So a Salif is someone who wants to PROGESS back to the 14th century for Islamic law purity! Which in my mind raises the question as to why the US is giving these misfits and their ‘revolutions’ billions in Aid, Training and weapons that the USA cannot afford? Who benefits?

        • TeakWoodKite

          I think it is appeasement and a very mistaken policy of “influence”. We will loose control everytime. Who benefits? Not us. Giving a Christian a weapon and giving a Salif a weapon are very different things.