October 21, 2017

Obama Training Terrorists: First Sunni, Now Shia to Fight Them

Obama is again illegally arming and training known terrorists to fight other terrorists he previously armed and funded in violation of U.S. law, unleashing more violence and terror across Iraq, Syria, and all over the Middle East. Unfortunately, the developments are neither “fake news” nor “Russian propaganda.” The schemes are highly illegal, though, with the punishment for aiding designated terror organizations ranging from 20 years to life in federal prison.

Under the guise of battling the Frankenstein terror monster of “moderate Syrian rebels” Obama unleashed on the people of Iraq and Syria in recent years — “moderate rebels” that even Vice President Joe Biden has admitted never actually existed — the Obama administration is now training pro-Iran Shiite militias led by known terrorists. That is according to official U.S. government sources cited by Molly Hennessy-Fiske and W.J. Henningan, reporting from Iraq for the pro-Obama Los Angeles Times.

The purpose of arming and training the pro-Iranian Shiite militias, the Times claimed, was to help them in an “operation” designed to re-take the Iraqi city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. That terror group and its top leaders, of course, were armed, trained, and supported by the Obama administration and its “anti-ISIS” coalition under the guise of destabilizing the Syrian dictatorship, as official Pentagon documents and senior officials have publicly revealed.

In framing the investigative report, the LA Times inaccurately claimed that the training of Shiite (sometimes referred to as Shia) terror leaders was a “significant break with past policy.” In reality, arming jihadists and terrorists to battle other U.S.-backed jihadists and terrorists has been Obama policy for years. Indeed, The New American reported as recently as early this year that Obama-backed Sunni “rebels” were battling Obama-backed Shiite militias across Syria. So it is nothing new.

“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,” this magazine reported on February 12. “Both sides are fighting with American weapons, according to news reports.”

Based on the December 14 Times report, though, it sounds like the same insanity is ongoing. “The U.S.-led coalition has provided hundreds of guns and training to the fighters in recent weeks, indicating a new level of cooperation,” the report said, referring to the arming and training of “hundreds” of Shiite fighters from militias “known for having ties to Iran.” U.S. officials quoted in the report acknowledged that some of those militias are officially designated as terror organizations by the U.S. government.

In response to the Times reporting, U.S. officials quickly tried to downplay the scheme, even while acknowledging that officially designated terror groups are being armed and trained by the Obama administration. The U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Col. John Dorrian, said the fighters being trained were “vetted” to supposedly ensure that they had at least not been involved in murdering Americans. But for Obama-backed jihadist “rebels” in Libya, even boasting publicly of murdering Americans as part of al Qaeda was not disqualifying.

“We only train forces we can vet,” Dorrian was quoted as saying. “You assess to make sure they don’t have association with terrorist groups, or groups associated with the government of Iran. They must be with groups that promote respect for human rights and rule of law.” Right after that, though, he acknowledged that some of the militias are still classified by the U.S. government as terror groups.

As the Obama administration knows very well, it is a felony under 18 U.S. Code § 2339B to knowingly provide material support to designated terrorist organizations, punishable by prison terms as long as life behind bars. There are no exceptions provided in the statute for U.S. government employees. However, as top Obama officials and official U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents revealed, Obama’s material support for terror groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda, has been underway for years.

Indeed, based on comments by multiple top U.S. officials, it appears that much of the terror threat in Syria and Iraq is actually a direct consequence of the Obama administration and its so-called “anti-ISIS” coalition. And far from being a mistake, the administration’s showering of aid, weapons, training, money, and more on known Islamist terror groups was willful — it was deliberate policy, in fact, as President-elect Donald Trump pointed out repeatedly on the campaign trail.

The Obama administration made a “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist groups in Syria, despite being warned of the disastrous consequences of doing so, according to Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (Ret.), who led the Defense Intelligence Agency and will now serve in the Trump administration. Indeed, a 2012 report from Flynn’s agency noted clearly that the Obama administration and its allies were supporting al Qaeda and other terrorists. The goal was establishing a “Salafist principality,” or an Islamic State (now known as ISIS), in Eastern Syria. Other top officials made similar assertions.

U.S. officials quoted in the Times report noted that it is difficult to properly vet the militiamen they are arming and training. “And the senior leadership of the Shiite forces includes individuals who have been deemed terrorists by the United States,” the reporters added, noting that the Shiite militias, estimated to have as many as 100,000 men under arms, had received the government’s blessing. The militias have also been accused of abusing Sunni Muslims, who make up a majority of Syria’s population and a significant segment of Iraq’s population, in areas under their control.

As outrage grows surrounding Obama’s support for pro-Iran militia groups, the militias have reportedly “promised” to follow orders by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi. But the Iraqi leader himself comes from the Islamic Dawa Party, a Shia political party openly backed and even financed by the Iranian dictatorship. Under Abadi’s leadership, the Tehran-backed militias were granted official status as a military corps by the Iraqi Parliament last month.

But critics of the Obama administration’s arming, training, and support for the pro-Tehran militias highlighted the danger. “It’s a mistake,” said former U.S. Army Paratrooper and Iraq war vet Michael Pregent, described as an “Iraq expert” at the Washington-based Hudson Institute. The Shiite militias, he added, were “directly involved in killing Americans. They’re sectarian.” Human rights groups have also accused the militias of terrorizing and murdering Sunnis in cities like Fallujah and Tikrit after beating back Obama-backed Sunni terror forces.

Top U.S. lawmakers were also outraged. “Shia paramilitary forces — many of them funded, armed and even directed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — have been responsible for horrific human rights abuses,” complained House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif), saying it was “risky” for the White House to arm terrorists and Iran-backed militias. “The Obama administration is playing with fire.”

Despite all the bluster over the last eight years, though, House GOP leaders have almost never used constitutional tools such as the power of the purse to rein in Obama during his term of unprecedented lawlessness. Indeed, Royce and other Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for most of Obama’s term. There was no explanation offered for why those Republicans have continued to authorize unconstitutional funding for Obama to support terrorists and militias, illegally overthrow governments, operate a mass-murder program that executes even Americans without charge or trial, and generally “play with fire” all over the world was not explained.

Obama has long been accused by Republicans and even some Democrat critics of serving as a lackey for the regime in Tehran, which is still formally listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. Most recently, the infamous and unconstitutional “Iran deal,” backed and facilitated by globalists in both parties, sparked outrage. After that, Obama came under fire for paying hundreds of millions of dollars in cash as “ransom” money to the Iranian regime in exchange for the release of some kidnapped Americans. But again, despite the public complaining, GOP lawmakers have done little to actually stop him, and much to enable his radical anti-constitutional agenda.

Obama’s support of Iran-backed terrorists to fight other Obama-backed terrorists clearly illustrates that the U.S. government is completely out of control and poses an enormous danger. People around the world are literally dying in massive numbers as a direct result of what the globalist establishment in Washington, D.C., euphemistically refers to as “foreign policy.” Christians in Iraq, Syria, and across the region are facing genocide as a result of the machinations, too.

The solution, though, is simple: Congress and the president must obey the Constitution they swore an oath to uphold, which requires a congressional declaration of war prior to military intervention abroad. Beyond that, heeding the non-interventionist advice of America’s founders would make America and the world safer, freer, and more prosperous. It is past time for Americans to demand a restoration of common sense and constitutional governance in Washington.

Photo shows fighters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (an umbrella group composed mainly of Shia militias) in Iraq: AP Images

Alex Newman is co-author of Crimes of the Educators, a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Alex is also a Bear Witness Central Director in the NE of Florida.  Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

His article was also posted in The New American.

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