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Gareth Porter on Why Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Act’ Needs To Become Law

June 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—Investigative reporter Gareth Porter, in an article published yesterday in The American Conservative, reviews in considerable detail how President Obama facilitated the arming of al-Qaeda in Syria in order to use it as a weapon to bring down the Assad government in the name of "democracy" and "pushing back" against Iranian influence. Citing numerous reports that have been published since 2012, Porter details how the Obama Administration went from facilitating the flow of weapons to jihadi groups in Syria from Libya, through U.S. allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to facilitating even larger quantities of weapons from the Balkans, to the outright supply U.S. weapons, mainly TOW anti-tank weapons, to "moderate" rebel groups from which they ended up directly in Al Qaeda’s hands for use against the Syrian army. "The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the "Global War on Terrorism"the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates," Porter writes. The result of this policy, writes Porter, has been the expansion of Al Qaeda’s military power in Syria.

Much of the history that Porter relates has been already in the public domain for some time, but he uses it to explicitly to argue for the passage of the "Stop Arming Terrorists Act," sponsored by U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) which would make illegal exactly the activity that Porter describes.

"The significance of all this is clear: by helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaedas power across a significant part of Syrian territory,"

Porter concludes.

"The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of Americas stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, as Tulsi Gabbards legislation would force them to do, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there."