Meet the Rebels

This Syrian civil war is extremely sad and tragic, but it has become abundantly clear that there are no “good guys” when it comes to the main factions fighting. The idea that we would provide aid to a side that is allied with al-Qaeda, the terrorist group used to justify the destruction of civil liberties domestically, is beyond absurd.

As we see from today’s New York Times article, these rebel factions are not fighting for peace or democracy, but more often than not for simple bloodthirsty revenge. Some of the factions are actively trying to form an Islamist state, while others are calling for the extermination of an entire group of people based solely on the fact they are part of a particular religious group, the Alawites. From the New York Times:

The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men.

The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.

The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.

This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.

In the more than two years this civil war has carried on, a large part of the Syrian opposition has formed a loose command structure that has found support from several Arab nations, and, to a more limited degree, the West. Other elements of the opposition have assumed an extremist cast, and openly allied with Al Qaeda.

Across much of Syria, where rebels with Western support live and fight, areas outside of government influence have evolved into a complex guerrilla and criminal landscape.

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Why is the U.S. Allied with Al Qaeda in Syria?

I have made comments about this on many occasions over the past several months, as even mainstream media outlets have covered the fact that our allies, the “Syrian rebels,” actually have a large “Al Qaeda” element to them (whatever the hell that means).

To me this is just further proof that our foreign policy is a complete joke, run by a bunch of insane chicken hawks in Washington D.C.

From McClatchy:

QALAT AL MUDIQ, Syria — When the group Jabhat al Nusra first claimed responsibility for car and suicide bombings in Damascus that killed dozens last January, many of Syria’s revolutionaries claimed that the organization was a creation of the Syrian government, designed to discredit those who opposed the regime of President Bashar Assad and to hide the regime’s own brutal tactics.

Nearly a year later, however, Jabhat al Nusra, which U.S. officials believe has links to al Qaida, has become essential to the frontline operations of the rebels fighting to topple Assad.

The prominence of Nusra in the rebel cause worries U.S. and other Western officials, who say its operations rely on the same people and tactics that fueled al Qaida in Iraq – an assertion that is borne out by interviews with Nusra members in Syria.

Among Nusra fighters are many Syrians who say they fought with al Qaida in Iraq, which waged a bloody and violent campaign against the U.S. presence in that country and is still blamed for suicide and car bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqis since the U.S. troops left a year ago.

Nusra’s rise is most evident in Syria’s north and east, where anti-Assad forces have recently been racking up impressive military gains. Gone are the days just five months ago when Nusra’s actions seemed limited to car and suicide bombings. Now, Nusra fighters are organized in battalion-sized groups that are often armed with heavy weaponry.

“When we finish with Assad, we will fight the U.S.!” one Nusra fighter shouted in the northeastern Syrian city of Ras al Ayn when he was told an American journalist present. He laughed as he said it and then got into a van and drove off, leaving the journalist unable to ask whether it had been a joke.

Did you catch that?  We are literally allied with some of the same fighters that we battled in Iraq!  The bigger point is we are supposed to be willing to give up our freedoms and civil liberties to fight an enemy that we are supporting in Syria?  Our “leaders” have no shame.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

My Two Cents on LIBOR-GATE

So much has been written on LIBOR-GATE that I have chosen to refrain from the subject until now.  It is a generally confusing topic for many not in the financial industry (and many that are) so I want to cut right into the heart of the matter.  First of all, in the CFTC’s very own press release about the scandal they wrote:

“The American public and our markets rely upon the integrity of benchmark interest rates like LIBOR and Euribor because they form the basis for hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions and affect nearly every corner of the global economy,” said David Meister, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement.

So even the layperson can understand these are the most important interest rates in the world and are used to price hundreds of trillions in ponzi (and legitimate) products.  The key thing however is that the bankster crooks are going to try to spin this as if they were only doing it during the height of the crisis and were working diligently with the Central Bank cabal to “save the financial system, planet earth and potentially the solar system as a whole.”  The mainstream media is mainly reporting this as a financial crisis phenomena.  This is patently untrue.

In fact, as we see from the UK’s Financial Service Authority (FSA) in this Final Notice to Barclays, the bank derivatives traders were in many cases instructing others where to price LIBOR in order to make their positions profitable.  See here:

On numerous occasions between January 2005 and June 2009, Barclays’ Derivatives Traders made requests to its Submitters for submissions based on their trading positions.  These included requests made on behalf of derivatives traders at other banks.  The Derivatives Traders were motivated by profit and sought to benefit Barclays’ trading positions.  The aim of these requests was to influence the final benchmark LIBOR and EURIBOR rates published by the BBA and EBF.

Notice the year 2005.  Prisons were invented for people like this.  Let’s stop playing games, lock these criminals up and claw back every dollar they ever made.

For the full FSA Notice click here.