A Blank Check for Perpetual War

Christopher Bollyn — bollyn.com July 8, 2017

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“Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons, or support to al Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham, and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
– Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, December 8, 2016
AUMF-Invoked-Map

The AUMF resolution passed after 9/11 has been used to authorize and fund more than 37 military operations in 14 countries. Click to enlarge

Three days after 9/11, after only two hours of debate, the U.S. Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF),  a joint resolution giving the President the authority “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” Signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001, the AUMF is the Congressional authorization that funds the War on Terror.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution. In her statement of September 14, 2001, Lee said:
We are not dealing with a conventional war. We cannot respond in a conventional manner. I do not want to see this spiral out of control… we must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target. We cannot repeat past mistakes.

A BLANK CHECK FOR PERPETUAL WAR

Rep. Lee’s warning about the AUMF spiraling “out of control” and leading to “an open-ended war” has proved prophetic. In the first sixteen years of the War on Terror the AUMF resolution has been used for more than 37 military operations in 14 countries. Operation Inherent Resolve, for example, the current U.S. military operation in Iraq and Syria against the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is one of the 37 operations, although ISIL did not even exist in 2001. In September 2014, citing the AUMF, President Obama claimed that he had the authority he needed to wage war against ISIL.
After years of persistent effort, on June 29, 2017, Rep. Lee succeeded in getting her amendment that would end the 2001 AUMF authorization through the House Appropriations Committee. If the final funding bill goes through with Lee’s amendment it will give Congress 240 days to debate new authorization. The 2001 authorization would be repealed at the end of the eight-month period of debate.

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“I’ve been working on this for years and years and years. I’m just really pleased that Republicans and Democrats today really understood what I’ve been saying and I’ve been explaining for the last 16 years, and that is, this resolution is a blank check for perpetual war,” Lee said after her amendment passed the committee.
Before the vote, the congressmen who spoke in support of Lee’s amendment said it was high time that Congress debate the authorization for the War on Terror. Several of them stressed that Congress had failed the members of the U.S. military by not debating the wars and operations to which they had been sent.
“Any administration can rely on this blank check to wage endless war,” Lee told the committee members before the vote. “Many of us can also agree that a robust debate and vote is necessary, long overdue, and must take place.”

THIS MADNESS MUST END

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is another courageous congresswoman who has taken a stand against the duplicity of the War on Terror. In December 2016, Rep. Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, introduced legislation which would prohibit the U.S. government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Haqq, and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al Qaeda, and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.
In introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act on December 8, 2016, Gabbard said the U.S. government has been “quietly supporting allies and partners of al Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. This support has allowed al Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”
“This madness must end. We must stop arming terrorists,” Gabbard concluded. “The Government must end this hypocrisy and abide by the same laws that apply to its’ citizens.”
The legislation proposed by these two brave congresswomen indicates there is an urgent need for a real congressional debate on the AUMF and the military operations being waged under the rubric of the War on Terror.  After nearly sixteen years of senseless war in Afghanistan, the fighting and dying continues and the cost of the war increases by $4 million per hour, or nearly $100 million per day, according to the National Priorities Project. The war in Afghanistan has already cost nearly $777 billion, as of July 2017, and the total cost of the wars fought since 9/11 is some $1.7 trillion.  One might ask, if it weren’t for Rep. Lee’s amendment at what point would Congress take action to rein in the runaway War on Terror?
Rep. Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act should broaden the debate and open the discussion about the duplicity of the U.S. intervention in Syria.  Gabbard’s bill indicates that a covert strategy is at work that the public is generally not aware of. The U.S. has provided “direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al Qaeda,” Gabbard said when she introduced the bill. These are the very same groups the U.S. is supposedly fighting in the War on Terror.  Why would the U.S. be supporting the avowed enemy of its Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria? Shouldn’t this be a subject of discussion and investigation by the media? Why isn’t it?
For a person with a conventional understanding of the War on Terror, informed by the mainstream media, it certainly makes no sense that the U.S. would be supporting groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, against which it is supposedly waging war. It isn’t that Rep. Gabbard is misinformed, rather it is the public that has been misinformed and deceived for years about the true purpose of the War on Terror operations, like the anti-ISIS operation in Syria and Iraq.
The fact that the U.S. and its allies have supported terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda indicates that these groups are being used to advance the real strategy of the U.S.-led operation in Syria. The U.S. intervention in Syria began in 2012 under President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In a leaked email written by Secretary Clinton in December 2012 she reveals that the U.S. policy to overthrow the Syrian government was being pursued to help Israel. Clinton’s email said:  “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”
This is a very important revelation because it indicates that the real reason the U.S. has intervened in Syria is not to fight terror, but to overthrow the government because it would be “the best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability.” When we understand that the Israeli strategic plan (i.e. Yinon Plan) for Iraq and Syria calls for splintering these nations into ethnic or religious enclaves we can make sense of U.S. support for groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. They are being used to break up these multi-ethnic secular Arab states in order to advance the Zionist plan to dominate the Middle East.
The idea that Syria should be broken up into ethnic enclaves is pushed by Israeli officials and by the Zionist-controlled media as the only solution to the conflict.  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, for example, at the Munich Security Conference on February 14, 2016, said:
Unfortunately we are going to face chronic instability for a very, very long period of time… And part of any grand strategy is to avoid the past, saying we are going to unify Syria. We know how to make an omelette from an egg. I don’t know how to make an egg from an omelette… We should realize that we are going to see enclaves, Alawistan, Syrian Kurdistan, Syrian Druzistan. They might cooperate or fight each other
Moshe Yaalon, chief of military intelligence (1992-1998), IDF Chief of Staff (2002-05), Likud (2009-13), Defense Minister of the Netanyahu cabinet  2013 to 2016. Click to enlarge

Moshe Yaalon, chief of military intelligence (1992-1998), IDF Chief of Staff (2002-05), Likud (2009-13), Defense Minister of the Netanyahu cabinet 2013 to 2016.

On the same day, Ram Ben-Barak, Director General of Israel’s Intelligence Ministry, spoke on Israel’s Army Radio saying, “I think that, ultimately, Syria should be turned into regions under the control of whoever is there – the Alawites where they are, the Sunnis where they are.” A partition of the Syrian state along sectarian lines was “the only possible solution,” Ben-Barak said.
In order to make sense of the reports of U.S. support for jihadist militants and terrorist groups in Syria it is essential to understand that the War on Terror is really just a misleading cover to deceive the public about the real operational plan at work, which is to break Syria into ethnic enclaves as called for in the Yinon Plan, “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.” With this understanding of the deceptive nature of the War on Terror we are better able to make sense of the confusing developments and reports coming from the Middle East.

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