Hillary Clinton Admits in E-mail: Qatar and Saudi Arabia Are Clandestinely Helping ISIS
A new batch of e-mails released on October 10 by the WikiLeaks media organization includes one that Hillary Clinton sent to her campaign chairman John Podesta in 2014 — back when he was counselor to President Barack Obama — informing Podesta that the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia were providing support to ISIS and other radical groups in the Middle East.
In her e-mail to Podesta on August 17, 2014 Clinton (who had been replaced as secretary of state by John Kerry on February 1, 2013) outlined her eight-point plan on how to defeat ISIS and how to avoid “the old school solution, which calls for traditional military operations.”
After recommending several steps to Podesta, Clinton made this significant statement:
While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.
Clinton explained the “military/paramilitary operation” to which she referred in preceding statements: “Armed with proper equipment, and working with U.S. advisors, the Peshmerga [military forces from Iraqi Kuristan] can attack the ISIL with a coordinated assault supported from the air.”
In the same paragraph, Clinton also wrote another significant statement: “At the same time we should return to plans to provide the FSA [Free Syrian Army], or some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.”
Clinton proposed many things in her e-mail to Podesta, but the statements we’ve quoted provide us with more than enough important material to comment on at this time. Starting with the most revealing point, Clinton stated as a given fact that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS and other radical groups.
In a recent article, we quoted from a September 11, 2013 Washington Post report that specifically mentioned those two nations as being among out Middle Eastern “allies” through whom the CIA was funneling weapons to the supposed “moderate” rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:
The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war….
The CIA shipments are to flow through a network of clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year as the agency sought to help Middle Eastern allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, direct weapons to moderate Syrian rebel forces. [Emphasis added.]
The problem with that policy is, as would become evident, and would be frankly admitted by Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014, there is no moderate rebel opposition in Syria.
These admissions were documented in the article by The New American’s foreign correspondent, Alex Newman, in his article, “Obama’s “Anti-ISIS” Coalition Built ISIS, Biden Admits.” The article stated:
Speaking at Harvard, Obama’s widely ridiculed vice president admitted what astute analysts have known all along: The Obama administration’s “coalition” partners in the supposed battle against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) played a key role in building up the threat from the start…. Biden also stumbled upon another truth long accepted as fact among credible analysts: Despite all of Obama’s rhetoric, there is no such thing as a “moderate” force in Syria that the White House claims to have been supporting against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
In a question-and-answer session following a speech at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Biden admitted that there was no “moderate middle” among the anti-Assad rebels:
“The fact is, the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria, um, was, uh — there was no moderate middle,” Biden said, acknowledging that history was likely to record the facts. “What my constant cry was, that our biggest problem was our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem.” Specifically identifying the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, along with unspecified others such as Qatar, Biden noted that “they were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”
While Biden admitted that the rebels were not moderate, he placed the blame for aiding the non-moderate (i.e., extremist) rebels on “our allies,” naming specifically the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, while ignoring our own government’s role in aiding rebels who were often allied with ISIS.
As we have seen, that role was significant. The Washington Post article on September 11, 2013 reported that our CIA was sending weapons to the “moderate” Syrian rebels though Saudi Arabia and Qatar — nations that Clinton said in her e-mail on August 17, 2014 were providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS and other radical groups!
In view of Biden’s Harvard speech, delivered just two month’s after Clinton’s e-mail to Podesta, we might wonder what Clinton had in mind when she recommended: “we should return to plans to provide the FSA [Free Syrian Army], or some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.”
Biden also criticized the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, along with unspecified others such as Qatar, noting that “they were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”
While Biden condemned the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for being so determined to take down Assad that that they failed to distinguish between terrorists and “moderates” to accomplish that goal, Clinton did the same in her e-mail to Podesta, advocating that we help the rebel cause by supporting “stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.”
During the recent debate with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Clinton still seemed more concerned about stopping the Assad regime than in eliminating terrorist elements such as ISIS who have been allied with the anti-Assad rebels in Syria, when she said: “There is a determined effort by the Russian air force to destroy Aleppo in order to eliminate the last of the Syrian rebels who are really holding out against the Assad regime.”
After Clinton expressed a position in favor of providing further support to various anti-Assad rebel groups, Trump countered: “She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesn’t even know who the rebels are.”
Few people probably do know exactly who the rebels are.
As Alex Newman noted in his New American article, “In Syria, Obama-backed ‘Rebels’ Battle Obama-backed Militias”:
Further illustrating what would at least appear to be the incredible absurdity of what passes for U.S. government “foreign policy,” Sunni jihadist “rebels” in Syria backed by al-Qaeda and the Obama administration have been battling against Shia militias that have also been backed by Obama. Both sides are fighting with American weapons, according to news reports. How much money U.S. taxpayers forked over to arm the two warring Islamic factions was not immediately clear. But the enormous human tragedy on the ground is getting worse quickly.
The only thing we can know for sure regarding the current turmoil in Syria and Iraq is that our past intervention in the region undoubtedly made the situation worse than it otherwise would have been.