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August 22, 2014



ISIS, Syria, and Obama’s Mouth Problem

The thing that struck me first while watching the videos of the Yazidi people fleeing from certain death at the hands of ISIS (Insipidly Stupid Insurgent Salafists) (1) on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq is what a beautiful people those Yazidis are. Beautiful young women, handsome young men, gorgeous children on their way to becoming beautiful women and handsome men. Even the elderly have retained much of the physical beauty of their youth. And also the Kurdish peshmerga helping to rescue the Yazidis: gorgeous young men and women sitting in a group in their camos, AK-47s on their laps, taking part in a group-song fest.

Maybe I’m genetically attracted to dark eyes and long eyelashes.  When the videos of hundreds of dead children started flooding the Internet after the Ghouta Massacre in Syria on August 21.2013, I was struck with their physical beauty, too. But, of course, those Syrian children were on their way to becoming distant memories and decomposed corpses, not beautiful adults. For within six months of the massacre the world had forgotten that those Ghouta kids ever existed and now the MSM gives no more notice to them or their gruesome fate than to dust in the desert.

But, tragically, the story of what happened to those Syrian children has been not just buried, it has been fictionalized by the US government; consequently, those children’s murderers not just unindicted, they are ignored altogether. Presently, no one – certainly no one in the West – could care less who murdered those children, in breathtaking contrast to a year ago when everyone cared because Barak Obama, John Kerry, Lindsay Graham, and John McCain were exploiting their deaths as a justification for attacking Bashar al-Assad.

The spin that Obama, Kerry, and the MSM force-fed Americans before going oddly silent on the matter was that Assad was responsible for killing precisely 1429 people in Ghouta on Aug21.2014 by gassing them with a deadly neurotoxin called "sarin." Obama and Kerry invested an enormous amount of personal effort and political capital spinning the lie that the Ghouta Massacre had been carried out by Assadists and, consequently, the monster Assad must be punished. Having broadcast their lies with such certainty and sanctimonious bravado, they are now waist deep in the mud of their own deceit and there is no way for them to reverse their position even though the world now knows that Assad did not kill those people in Ghouta. And so, Obama and Kerry have just shut up about the whole grisly affair. The talk has turned to ISIS, and Iraq, and Yazidis; last year’s Ghouta debacle has disappeared without the crime being investigated, resolved, or punished.

And now, a year later, there are connections between the Ghouta Massacre and the on-going Yazidi massacre that being ignored but are so large and obvious that even the dullest journalist could see them – and I’m talking ISIS kidnapping 300 Alawite women and children in Syria in August 2013 just before a similar number ended up dead in Ghouta, and ISIS kidnapping 1500 Yazidi women and children a year later. What is happening in northern Iraq today is a delayed re-play of the Ghouta Massacre carried out by the same insipidly stupid insurgent Salafists and in the same way as a year ago. It is the same modus operandi used by pestilential, violent Salafist jahadis running by the name of Boko Haram and trying to establish their own caliphate in Nigeria. It is the same blood-thirsty modus operandi was used by Genghis Khan and his successors to expand the Mongol Empire across Asia and well into Europe.

But the lessons of history – both recent and ancient – are easily lost on the only generation that stands to learn from them: the present one. When Reuters first reported that 300 hundred Yazidi women had been kidnapped and 500 Yazidis had been butchered, some buried alive, the reporters did not check their notes from Ghouta and say "Here we go again."

And yet it is "Here we go again" and the reason for the repeat is the massive intelligence and foreign policy failures of the West during the Syrian crisis of August-September 2013 – more specifically, failures of the administrations of Barak Obama, David Cameron, and Francois Hollande.  So let me back this thing up all the way to Obama’s red-line threat and walk through what happened last year with an eye on the similarities to what is happening this year. Perhaps I can convince you that if the USG had come down on the right side of the Ghouta Massacre last year, Iraq would be more stable today and America would be safer.


Doing the red-line redux

Obama’s original red-line threat came during his impromptu appearance at a WH news briefing on Aug20.2012. In response to a question from Chuck Todd about whether Syria’s chemical weapons were safe, Obama said, in pertinent part:

"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." [Emphasis added.]

Obama’s threat was, ironically, the antithesis of the Golden Rule of his foreign policy: Don’t do stupid shit. As I opined on Sep14.2013, the red-line threat virtually guaranteed that a bunch of Syrian civilians were going to die. It was "stupid shit," IOW. And the reason I say it is because ISIS and al-Nusra and the other bloody Salafist Syrian insurgent groups trying to take out Assad desperately needed the USG to bomb Assad’s Syrian Arab Army in order to take some pressure off of the insurgents’ operations in and around Aleppo. After the red-line threat hit the news, the Syrian insurgents very reasonably figured that if they could pull off a false-flag sarin attack and make it look like Assad’s troops had done it, then the US cruise missiles would start flying.

And so, a year to the day after Obama’s threat, the insurgents played the CW gambit. But they had a problem: they didn’t have sufficient amounts of sarin to produce mass casualties, nor did they have the technical expertise to deliver what sarin they had in a way that would look like a military operation. And so what the insurgents did do was to execute a large (but so far undetermined) number of civilians with a poison or poisons they had – cyanide and/or carbon monoxide. Then they posed the suffering people and the bodies and began videoing them for YouTube, claiming the innocent civilians had been gassed with Assad’s sarin. But, of course, it didn’t work – at least not in the sense of getting the US to attack Assad. It did work with respect to getting Assad to give rid of CWs that must have been a major concern to those trying to bring him down.

There is now no reasonable doubt that the massacre in Ghouta last August was just such a false-flag operation carried out by the Syrian insurgents. A modest number of concerned individuals dedicated to determining the truth buried under Kerry and Obama’s lies spent months studying videos from Ghouta trying to understand what happened – individuals such as Adam Larson, Charles Wood, and Petri Krohn. After months of effort a strong consensus was reached by some of these individuals that Assad was not responsible for the Ghouta Massacre. The Salafist insurgents were.  The incredible efforts of these dedicated people -- and many others like them -- can be seen and studied at A Closer Look on Syria.  More of the truth about the Ghouta Massacre can be found at that website than what Obama ever told you, and, probably, more than what Obama ever knew.

As a one trained in pharmacology, I carved out a small niche in this much larger grass-roots effort and spent six months trying to find pharmacological evidence of the sarin attack that Obama and Kerry claim killed those 1492 people in Ghouta. In spite of a highly flawed UN/OPCW investigation that claimed to have found sarin or "signatures" of sarin in Ghouta and in spite of an equally flawed Human Rights Watch report accusing Assad of the attack, there is virtually no pharmacological evidence that the victims we see in the Ghouta videos were poisoned by sarin. The evidence taken as a whole virtually eliminates the hypothesis that sarin was deployed by Assadists in Ghouta. I have written a 288 page thesis explaining the situation and the irrefutable evidence that the Ghouta victims were not gassed in their sleep with sarin munitions; they were gassed with carbon monoxide/cyanide by the Syrian insurgents:

Murder in the SunMorgue

My conclusion in the report was this:

". . . the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the Syrian insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."


Before leaving Obama’s red-line gaff, let me point out one subtle issue that has – so far as I am aware – not been previously raised. Obama did not limit his threat to Assad. It was addressed "to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground." And who else was playing on the ground? Well, the FSA, Ahrar al-Sham, al-Nusra, ISIS, and a whole bunch of others, mostly fundamentalist Sunnis called, collectively, Salafists. So, the point is that Obama’s threat was explicitly not limited to Assad – the threat was that anyone who stepped over the CW red-line would get spanked by a drone-happy Obama. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it worked out, and that’s why the ISIS mess has spread to Iraq and beyond.


The Latakia mass kidnappings of Aug.2014

Those of us trying to understand what happened and who was responsible in Ghouta were not able to identify which of the insurgent groups were responsible for the Ghouta Massacre. The videos that were uploaded by the Syrian insurgent support groups offered virtually no clues as to who, specifically, poisoned all of those people, After all, it was a flase-flag operation and the insurgents were not going to be flying their colors for the cameras. At the time, there were 20-40 of these groups and the most radical of them were turning against the more moderate Free Syria Army, and against each other. And so even identifying the groups was a challenge . . . and still is. But ISIS was strongly implicated in the Ghouta Massacre even before the first gruesome video landed on YT.

Not long after Obama’s red-line threat, ISIS began surrounding an area about 150 miles north of Ghouta, an area known as Latakia – the name applies to a governorate, a district, and a city. This region is dominated by Alawites, which are a sub-sect of Shiism and are hated by ISIS as being apostates. But because the region was Assad’s home and because he is also an Alawite, it was pretty heavily fortified. Nevertheless, by August, 2013 ISIS was able to make hit-and-run attacks on a number of these Alawite communities and military posts as documented in a Human Rights Watch report titled "You Can Still See Their Blood."

You Can Still See Their Blood.

The odd thing was that the rural communities that ISIS was attacking had no military value. However, they did have people – mostly women and children because the men were all systematically killed or run off as emphasized in the HRW video on the Latakia Massacre. But what ISIS needed was not women and children, but bodies of women and children to video for YouTube in an attempt to sucker the US, Britain, and France into thinking Assad had crossed Obama’s CW red-line. But it wouldn’t do to shoot, behead, or bludgeon the women and children because even Obama’s intelligence people were smart enough to figure out that people who are gassed with sarin while asleep in their beds won’t have bullet holes, bloody faces, or blood-soaked clothes. No, the victims would have to be gassed – not necessarily with sarin, just gassed or poisoned somehow. 

And it wouldn’t do to pull off the false-flag stunt in Latakia because everyone (except Kerry) knew Assad wouldn’t attack his own people. The victims would have to be taken to an area that was under control of the opposition and gassed there, and then videoed for the YT audience, which included Obama, Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, and the entire US Congress, who would all daftly buy into the insurgents’ claims that the poor victims were opposition civilians who had been killed in their sleep by Assad’s sarin. Ghouta, an area next to Damascus, was the perfect place, and the timing was perfect, too, for a UN/OPCW mission to investigate prior allegations of CW use had just arrived at The Four Seasons hotel a few miles away from Ghouta.

This ain't fiction. We know from multiple eye-witness reports and from research by HRW that, in fact, hundreds of Alawite women and children were kidnapped by ISIS on or about Aug04.2013 – two weeks prior to the Ghouta Massacre. And we know that a year later those women and children have not been released and have never been seen – except, perhaps, as the red-cheeked bodies shown in the insurgents’ videos of the Ghouta Massacre. A few people, such as Mother Superior Agnes Miriam, have alleged that there are survivors in Latakia who have identified relatives in the videos of the Ghouta Massacre victims, but that evidence is rather vague and not very convincing - yet. What is needed is for DNA samples to be collected from the grave sites of the Ghouta victims and matched, if possible, with families in Latakia.


The modus operandi argument

"Modus operandi refers to a pattern of criminal behavior so distinctive that separate crimes may be recognized as the work of the same wrongdoer." Harvey v. State, 719 N.E. 2d 406 (1999) Court of Appeals of Indiana

In spite of what may reasonably be considered a likely scenario as described above, we cannot with unmitigated certainty allege that ISIS kidnapped hundreds of women and children from Latakia, took them to Ghouta, and murdered them. It may be plausible; it may be possible; it may even be likely. But it is by no means certain. And that’s the way the story has smoldered for a year, waiting for DNA evidence or for a firm ID of one of the victims as being from Latakia. And then came the Yazidi Massacre and the allegations suddenly lurched a whole lot closer to certainty.

The legal principle of modus operandi is that if the cops can prove that a suspect has committed crime "A" but they don’t know who committed crime "B," they can charge, and possibly convict, the suspect for crimes "A" and "B" if both crimes are out of the ordinary and if they are very similar. The best example I can think of of how this principle might work was demonstrated in the movie Home Alone. Recall that the robbers had the unusual habit of turning on the faucets of homes they robbed and flooding the places just to compound the victim’s pain. But once they were caught in a house with the faucets running, the principle of modus operandi immediately connected them to all of the other robberies with flooded houses.

In the present case, the suspect we are talking about is a Salafist coward named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. And the unusual modus operandi his thugs have used in committing their own special crimes against humanity is the selective kidnapping of women and children. There is no doubt that ISIS kidnapped and/or killed hundreds of Yazidi women, given the multiple news report based on eye-witness accounts. There is also no doubt that the same ISIS run by al-Baghdadi carried out the kidnapping and/or murder of hundreds of women and children in Latakia in early August 2013.  But should there be any doubt about one or the other of these crimes, the identical modus operandi pretty much obviates that doubt. There is no other group fighting in the Levant known to have carried out violence against civilians on this scale in terms of brutality and numbers. (2).


Obama’s mouth problem

We all know that Obama’s greatest personal asset in politics is his mouth. That’s what got him into Harvard, got him into the Senate, and got him into the White House. Simultaneously smooth, glib, and intense, Obama offered the country intelligent jabber, which, after eight years of George W. Bush, was as welcome as a puff of wind to the Ancient Mariner. But, as I have argued above, it was Obama’s red-line jabber that sealed the fate of over 1000 Syrians who died in the insurgents’ false-flag debacle. And then Obama compounded his problems by accusing the wrong people. Kerry was even more virulent in his BS imputations against Assad. But worse than the loose, misplaced accusations, Obama nearly attacked Assad’s troops with what Seymour Hersh claims was going to be B52 bombing raids.

Had Obama continued with his plan to bomb Assad, the seriousness of his mistake would have been immediately evident, even to him. Within months ISIS would have been crawling all over Damascus, beheading anyone and everyone who got in their way, including the moderate Free Syrian Army. There would have been a blood-bath the likes of which haven’t been seen since Hulagu Khan and his Mongol horde sacked Baghdad in 1258, killing well over a million Muslims. After taking over Assad’s military hardware and huge chemical weapons stockpile, the ISIS patho-parasites would have moved on to Iraq and today there wouldn’t be a Christian, Kurd, Shia, or Yazidi standing between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. Fortunately for Obama, the Middle East, and the entire world, a wiser, far more experienced leader, Vladimir Putin, prevailed.

The very severe ISIS problem the West faces today should have been evident well before Ghouta, given ISIS’s history of brutality and their origin in al Qaeda. But the enormity of the problems Obama’s mouth has caused did not become evident until this week, a year after Obama and Kerry spewed their accusatory and impolitic jabber damning Assad -- jabber that was void of substance and backed up by nil evidence, at least none that was ever released to the public. Had Obama’s intel correctly assessed the problem last August, and had the USG seen that the Ghouta Massacre was the work of ISIS and the other Salafist insurgents, Obama could have offered Assad assistance in rounding up and destroying the ISIS vermin who murdered hundreds of Syrian children, but instead Obama, his administration, Congress, and the MSM all had a heyday demonizing the wrong guy: Assad (who may well be a demon, but not because of Ghouta). Now, with the USG badly in need of Assad’s cooperation, perhaps even the anti-Assad hawks are beginning to see how Obama’s open mouth policy coupled with faulty intelligence (primarily from Israel) has put America in grave danger. It is almost certain that ISIS gained control of at least some of Assad’s CW’s, but where those deadly chemicals are now, and what al-Baghdadi has planned for them are questions that should have every  American a bit on edge, especially those in NYC.

After American James Foely's beheading ISIS has become the new boogy-man on the street, and today the pressure is off of Assad. In fact it has been off of him for quite a while.  Have you noticed how for the last four months we have not heard a peep from the hawks – McCain, Feinstein, Graham, Rubio – who began screaming for Assad’s head a year ago tonight. There’s a reason for that. Having wrongly accused Assad of gassing his own people, of murdering Syrian children, of crimes against humanity, now America needs the man and his Syrian Arab Army in order to wipe out what could very easily be America’s most dangerous enemy.  Secretary of Defense Hagel has characterized ISIS as "beyond anything we have seen." Oh, yeah . . . Obama can bomb ISIS positions and gear in Iraq, but can the US defeat ISIS without going after them in Syria? America’s top general, Martin Dempsey, answered that question bluntly: "The answer is ‘no.’" Now that an American citizen has been beheaded, Kerry and Obama have finally arisen from their comatose state and seem to finally understand that it is ISIS, not Assad, that "must be destroyed." Welcome to the real world, boys. Anyone who understood what really happened in Ghouta has known for months that ISIS has to be destroyed. The Administration’s 2013 approach of letting the Syrian insurgents eliminate Assad is in the process of backfiring in 2014. As I said in Murder in the SunMorgue:

"If Americans can justify killing a half-million Iraqi toddlers as worth it in order to remove the despot Saddam from power, then how could Americans possibly complain about al-Nusra or ISIS killing a few hundred Syrian children in Ghouta in an attempt to remove that despot, Assad, from power? I mean, the scale of the Ghouta Massacre is minuscule compared to the scale of Americans’ Iraqi Massacre, and yet the end point – regime-change – is equivalent. If it works to bring down Assad, then, from Americans’ way of thinking, the Ghouta Massacre was a great deal . . . on a per-child basis."

But in addition to pissing off Assad in the intervening year, Obama’s jabber has also managed to alienate and demonize Putin, the only person who can possibly intercede with Assad on America’s behalf. After backing the Ukrainian revolution that ousted an elected president, after "getting tough" with Moscow by leading the West in screwing down the sanctions, Obama has screwed himself and possibly his own country. He now has two choices: A) attack ISIS in Syria without the assent of Assad and risk an all out war with Russia, who is Assad’s protector, or B) eat crow and lift the sanctions from Russia in exchange for Putin’s help in obtaining Assad’s cooperation. And Obama would likely have to apologize to Assad publicly and admit that there is no evidence that Assad’s people gassed anyone at Ghouta. Perhaps such embarrassing attempts at conciliation with yesteryear’s boogy-men would lead to a joint Syrian-Russian-Iraqi-NATO coalition to defeat ISIS.

I find it odd that Russia has not been once mentioned by the MSM as a likely participant in the effort to destroy the Salafists in Syria. And only since Foley's death has the idea of hooking up with Assad even been mentioned.  For instance, a New York Times article by Helene Cooper and Michael R. Gordon yesterday does not once raise the obvious issue of Assad, much less Putin, joining forces with the West to go after their common enemy, ISIS. NYT Aug21.14 It’s odd because Russia is obviously the lynchpin to resolving the mess that Obama’s mouth has gotten America into.

-- Denis O'Brien, PhD/Esq., Aug22.2014

End notes

(1) The MSM insists on referring to this pack of murderous Muslim monkeys as the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," or "The Islamic State," or "The Caliphate," fer’ chris-sake. But these cretinous butchers of women and children are not an Islamic State and they are certainly not a caliphate; therefore, I decline to offend my readers with such misleading sobriquets.

(2) The only other reports I know of this side of Genghis Kahn where women and children have been targeted for mass kidnappings are the 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok, Nigeria in April.2014 by another pack of Salafists trying to establish a caliphate – the group calling itself Boko Haram led by another Abu Bakr coward, this one AbuBakr Shekau.



Copyright, Denis O'Brien, 2005-2016 ~ ~ All rights reserved.