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State Department Conducts Secret Visit with Death Squad Leader in Syria

May 14, 2013
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Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

As the Syrian army continues to gain the upper hand against the NATO-backed death squads made up of mercenaries, fanatics, and al-Qaeda terrorists, it appears that the Western powers responsible for the creation of the armed and violent rebellion have kicked into high gear as the advance of their proxy army has been stalled.

Even though the barbarism of death squad participants seems to have recently hit a fever pitch, while Israeli air strikes on sovereign Syrian soil are targeting military and civilian targets alike, and newfound erroneous claims by Western nations of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad government, the Syrian army has managed to continue its mop up of the inappropriately named “rebels.”

Yet the Western agitators have not given up. This much is made clear by the recent “secret” visit by former U.S. Ambassador to Syria and notorious destabilization agent Robert Ford made to the current death squad leader, Gen. Salim Idriss.

This visit took place Wednesday, May 9, 2013 and was likely initiated via the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkey/Syria border. According to Deborah Thomas of NPR, “Ford met with the head of the Aleppo military council, Abdul Jabbar Okaidi, who thanked him for the shipment of nonlethal aid. Seven trucks transported some 65,000 MREs, or meals ready to eat, the U.S. military's battlefield rations.”

Although no mention is made of the actual lethal aid that has been provided to the death squads by the generosity of the American taxpayer via Gulf State feudal monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Thomas points out that the MREs were part of “an additional $10 million aid package” dedicated to the death squads by the U.S. government. Secretary of State John Kerry announced in April that the United States would be donating $123 million to the Syrian death squads, despite facing a worldwide economic depression, drastic levels of unemployment at home, and a manufactured crisis such as the “sequester” and a host of other domestic crises.

Ford’s visit to Syria is both part of the overarching attempt to further destabilize the country, organize death squad activity, and create a public relations campaign aimed at forming an image of Idriss as a figure around which popular support can be rallied. This, of course, is at least the third time Western interests have attempted to create a “freedom fighter” lead image for the Syrian death squads – Moaz al-Khatib and Ghassan Hitto being the more recent failures.

Idriss appears to be nothing more than the latest incarnation of a would-be puppet dictator set up to impose the Western will upon the Syrian people and act as a proxy stabilizing force in the event of the much-desired (on the part of NATO) removal of Assad. Idriss was actually a military officer in the Assad government himself until defecting in 2012. Now, he is the official commander of the Free Syrian Army and thus a comrade in arms of al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and a ragtag band of fanatics, mental deficients, traitors, and mercenaries.

As Webster Tarpley commented on PressTV on May 10, 2013,
Well, I think we have some mixed signals from the Obama regime here. Let us hasten to say that anybody calling themselves “Free Syrian Army” is, in fact, a representative of the al-Nusra Front because we’re getting reports everyday of more and more units of the so-called FSA showing their true colors or going over to Nusra and proclaiming themselves full-fledged terrorists, al-Qaeda disciples, death squads in every sense of the word. Now, we had, in the last twenty four hours, Ambassador Robert Ford of the State Department, somebody who did a lot to get this tragic rebellion going in the first place . . . Ambassador Robert Ford who is a taskmaster of death squad deployments, having learned it from Negrponte in Baghdad some years ago, he crossed into Syria, not with the permission of the Syrian government, but to go and meet General Idriss. And this General, Salim Idriss, is the new golden boy here. He is the new darling of the CIA and the State Department. And it looks like Ford is trying to coordinate the next move with Idriss. You can think of Idriss as the new Ahmed Chalabi – somebody the U.S. is grooming to become dictator of the country.
Of course, this is not the first time that Ford has engaged in a publicity-based visit to the Syrian death squads inside Syria, thus drawing the ire of the Syrian government. In 2011, after his travel as U.S. Ambassador had been restricted due to his destabilization efforts already taking place, Ford traveled to Hama in order to promote and encourage the violent assault waged by the Western-backed death squads against innocent Syrian civilians as well as Syrian soldiers.

Ford’s very presence in Syria was never anything more than a destabilization tactic. Indeed, he has managed to draw quite a bit of international attention to himself by traveling across the country at will, “meeting with protestors” and turning terrorists into martyrs in the minds of the gullible Western public.

Logically, by “meeting with protestors” one can read “instigating terrorism.” The mainstream media, however, reported Ford’s terror encouragement tour as a heroic act of solidarity with “the people.”

Ford’s action in Syria, even as the official U.S. Ambassador, served exactly the same purpose as his presence in Iraq only a few years previous. With Syria, however, it seems that Ford attempted to take on a more central role in the affair. Indeed, many Syrians, if not aware of the more specific sinister acts of Ford, are at least aware that he has been instrumental in fomenting violent rebellion and negative Western public opinion against the ruling government. This is why Ford’s convoy was attacked by “pro-government” Syrians as he rode through town meeting with his terrorist pets.

The reality is that Ford is nothing more than a globalist chaos promoter who is merely taking over from his mentor John Negroponte, who became quite refined as a enabler of mass slaughter in Central America and Iraq. Indeed, Negroponte’s Iraq affair is where Ford himself was able to hone his skills in the arming and assistance of ruthless death squads who target innocent people in campaigns of terror and mass murder.

It should be noted that Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of GlobalResearch.ca has provided an excellent historical presentation of the connections of Negroponte, Ford, and even David Petraeus in relation to death squads and destabilization in his article “The Pentagon’s ‘Salvador Option’: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria.” I encourage everyone to read this excellent piece for context and analysis as a companion to my own article.

John Negroponte was the U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. In this role, he was instrumental in supporting and overseeing the Nicaraguan Contra killers who, although based in Honduras, engaged in horrific acts of terrorism inside Nicaragua. Ultimately, this operation claimed the lives of approximately 50,000 innocent civilians. This is the origin of the term “Salvador Option” when speaking of the formation of “death squads” for political purposes, an option that has become a hallmark of Negroponte and the system which he represents.

Negroponte was also responsible for the formation of the Honduran death squads who engaged in a mission of terror against opponents of the US-backed Honduran regime as well as the Sandinistas and civilian populations in Nicaragua.

As Peter Roff and James Chapin write in their article “Face-off: Bush’s Foreign Policy Warriors,”

The Sun described the activities of a secret CIA-trained Honduran army unit, Battalion 316, that used "shock and suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves."

On August 27, 1997, CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz released a 211-page classified report entitled “Selected Issues Relating to CIA Activities in Honduras in the 1980s.” This report was partly declassified on Oct. 22, 1998, in response to demands by the Honduran human rights ombudsman.

In 2005, Negroponte was appointed as ambassador to Iraq. In this role, he again oversaw the formation of death squads who targeted both the civilian populations and the Iraqi insurgency. The goal here was to foment division within the insurgency and turn it into a fragmented front. A divided opposition is obviously much easier to defeat than a united one. This theory has been proven accurate time and time again.

Indeed, in 2005, a story was leaked to Newsweek where the Pentagon confirmed that it was “considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago.”[1]

The Pentagon did more than “consider” this option. Not very long after this information was leaked, Iraq began to see the results of its implementation. As Dahr Jamail of Antiwar.com wrote in 2007,
Under the "Salvador Option," Negroponte had assistance from his colleague from his days in Central America during the 1980s, Ret. Col James Steele. Steele, whose title in Baghdad was Counselor for Iraqi Security Forces supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shi'ite militias in Iraq, in order to target the leadership and support networks of a primarily Sunni resistance.

Planned or not, these death squads promptly spiraled out of control to become the leading cause of death in Iraq. Intentional or not, the scores of tortured, mutilated bodies which turn up on the streets of Baghdad each day are generated by the death squads whose impetus was John Negroponte. And it is this U.S.-backed sectarian violence which largely led to the hell-disaster that Iraq is today. Of course, the fact that the death squad option was implemented so quickly after the release of the report suggests that the mercenaries were being organized and applied long before Newsweek was made aware of them.

Nevertheless, serving in Iraq at the same time that the death squads were beginning to make their bloody mark on the cohesion of the “insurgency,” was Robert Ford who, at the time, had been appointed political counselor to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Ford remained in this post from 2004-2006 where he worked closely with Negroponte. He was also heavily involved in the organization of the death squads. Ford was instrumental in helping make “contacts” with these individuals as well as developing and maintaining relations with them for other purposes such as continued and future terror campaigns.

In fact, Ford was once described by Negroponte as “one of these very tireless people . . . who didn’t mind putting on his flak jacket and helmet and going out of the Green Zone to meet contacts.” In short, Ford acted as a foot soldier in death squad formation.

Attempting to summarize the death squad plan, Michael Hirsh and John Barry of Newsweek wrote in 2005:
[O]ne Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called 'snatch' operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries. [emphasis added]
While Robert Ford is by no means the architect of any of these conflicts, particularly the Syrian version, it is without a doubt that he has played a vastly important role in the the destruction of these sovereign nations. Ford, like Negroponte, may not have been the architect of deconstruction but he has no doubt, also like Negroponte, served as a fervent worker bee in the process.

Notes:
[1] “El Salvador-style ‘death squads’ to be deployed by US against Iraq militants.” Times Online. January 10, 2005. As quoted and sourced by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of GlobalResearch.ca in his article, “ The Pentagon’s ‘Salvador Option’: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria.”

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.


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