Sites of Interest
(courtesy Empire Burlesque)
A Tiny Revolution
William Blum/Killing Hope
The Distant Ocean
Welcome to the Sideshow
Mark Crispin Miller
Crooks and Liars
Black Agenda Report
The Raw Story
Iraq Vets Against the War
Blues and Dreams
Bright Terrible Spirit
"As information trickles out of Houla, Syria, near the city of Homs and the Lebanese-Syrian border, it is becoming clear that the Syrian government was not responsible for shelling to deaths some 32 children and their parents, as periodically claimed and denied by Western media and even the UN itself. It appears that instead, it was death squads at close quarters - accused by anti-government "activists" as being "pro-regime thugs" or "militias," and by the Syrian government as the work of Al Qaeda terrorists linked to foreign meddlers." (See Tony Cartalucci, Syrian Government Blamed for Atrocities Committed by US Sponsored Deaths Squads, Global Research, May 28, 2012)
US Ambassador Robert S. Ford was dispatched to Damascus in late January 2011 at the height of the protest movement in Egypt. (The author was in Damascus on January 27, 2011 when Washington's Envoy presented his credentials to the Al Assad government).
At the outset of my stay to Syria in January 2011, I reflected on the significance of this diplomatic appointment and the role it might play in a covert process of political destabilization. I did not, however, foresee that this destabilization agenda would be implemented within less than two months following the instatement of Robert S. Ford as US Ambassador to Syria.
The reinstatement of a US ambassador in Damascus, but more specifically the choice of Robert S. Ford as US ambassador, bears a direct relationship to the onset of the insurgency integrated by death squads in mid-March 2011 (in the southern border city of Daraa) against the government of Bashar al Assad.
Robert S. Ford was the man for the job. As "Number Two" at the US embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005) under the helm of Ambassador John D. Negroponte, he played a key role in implementing the Pentagon's "Iraq Salvador Option". The latter consisted in supporting Iraqi death squads and paramilitary forces modelled on the experience of Central America.
Since his arrival in Damascus in late January 2011
until he was recalled by Washington in October 2011, Ambassador Robert
S. Ford played a central role in laying the groundwork within Syria as
well as establishing contacts with opposition groups. The US embassy was
subsequently closed down in February 2012.
Ford also played a role in the recruitment of Mujahideen mercenaries from neighboring Arab countries and their integration into Syrian "opposition forces". Since his departure from Damascus, Ford continues to oversee the Syria project out of the US State Department:
"As the United States’ Ambassador to Syria—a position that the Secretary of State and President are keeping me in —I will work with colleagues in Washington to support a peaceful transition for the Syrian people. We and our international partners hope to see a transition that reaches out and includes all of Syria's communities and that gives all Syrians hope for a better future. My year in Syria tells me such a transition is possible, but not when one side constantly initiates attacks against people taking shelter in their homes". (US Embassy in Syria Facebook page)
Robert S. Ford's mandate as "Number Two" (Minister Counsellor for Political Affairs) under the helm of Ambassador John Negroponte was to coordinate out of the US embassy, the covert support to death squads and paramilitary groups in Iraq with a view to fomenting sectarian violence and weakening the resistance movement.
John Negroponte and Robert S. Ford at the US Embassy worked closely together on the Pentagon's project. Two other embassy officials, namely Henry Ensher (Ford's Deputy) and a younger official in the political section, Jeffrey Beals, played an important role in the team "talking to a range of Iraqis, including extremists". (See The New Yorker, March 26, 2007). Another key individual in Negroponte's team was James Franklin Jeffrey, America's ambassador to Albania (2002-2004).
It is worth noting that Obama's newly appointed CIA head, General David Petraeus played a key role the organization of covert support to Syria's rebel forces, the infiltration of Syrian intelligence and armed forces, etc.
Petraeus played a key role in Iraq's Salvador Option. He led the Multi-National Security Transition Command (MNSTC) "Counterinsurgency" program in Baghdad in 2004 in coordination with John Negroponte and Robert S Ford at the US Embassy in Baghdad.
David Petraeus, the CIA chief, held meetings with top Turkish officials both yesterday and on March 12, the Hürriyet Daily News learned. Petraeus met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday and his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the previous day.
An official from the U.S. Embassy said that Turkish and American officials discussed “more fruitful cooperation on the region’s most pressing issues in the coming months.” Turkish officials said Erdoğan and Petraeus exchanged views on the Syrian crisis and anti-terror fight. (CIA chief visits Turkey to discuss Syria and counter-terrorism | Atlantic Council, March 14, 2012).
A Syria policy committee chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton involves the participation of Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, CIA director David Petraeus, Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Derek Chollet, Principal Deputy Director of Clinton's Policy Planning Staff at the State Department.
Under Jeffrey Feltman's supervision, the actual recruitment of terrorist mercenaries, however, is carried out in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in liaison with senior intelligence officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and NATO. The former ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, who remains a key member of Saudi intelligence, is said to be working with the Feltman group in Doha.