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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘the Salafists’

Parallels: Obama Appeasement and British Intelligence Files on Hitler

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Last week President Barack Obama proposed a policy of allying with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafists, and al-Qaida against Syria.

What is amazing about Islamism parallels the debate on appeasing—rather than opposing–Hitler based on newly released British intelligence documents.

One of the themes then, as now, was to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, no matter what a violent and threatening past he had. Ideology is ignored.

The day after Hitler took power, on January 30, 1933, the Times of London, (a newspaper like the New York Times) editorialized.

“That Herr Hitler who leads the strongest party in the Reichstag and obtained almost one third of the votes at the last election should be given the chance at showing that he is something more than an orator and an agitator was always desirable.”

About the same day, Guy Liddell of British intelligence, responsible for Germany, wrote in a secret report, that while he knew about antisemitic persecution in the new Germany: there had indeed been too much Jewish political power there. Liddell was strongly anti-Nazi and not personally antisemitic but he was a supporter of the appeasement bloc in the British government.

As opposed to the British international intelligence (MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA), British counterintelligence (MI-5, the equivalent of the FBI), wanted a strong stand against Germany:

“No reliance can be placed on any treaty which has been signed, or may be signed, by Germany or Italy….” It took what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf seriously. He intended to conquer Europe.

One reason MI-6 knew this was that it listened to anti-Nazi German agents. The main hero was Wolfgang zu Putlitz, a diplomat at the German embassy in Britain and later Holland. Along with John “Klop” Ustinov (father of the actor Peter Ustinov) the two men had no illusions about the Nazis. In fact they nagged British intelligence all the time about the need to get tough.

So did the second main agent, General Baron von Schweppenburg, the German military attaché in London. In the summer of 1938 he told Putlitz, “We simply must convince the British to stand firm, if they give in to Hitler now there will be no holding him.”

But although the British government was repeatedly warned the prime minister and government knew better. There were two factions—which is more than the U.S. government has now regarding radical Islamism.

One of the factors in British policy was a hope that if the Germans were flattered and treated properly, they would not be aggressive. Another reason was that the British felt guilty that they had formerly treated Germany so badly after World War One (Germanophobia?)

An MI-6 document of the time said:

“There have been times that he [Putlitz] has said that the English. Are hopeless and it is no use trying to help them to withstand the Nazi methods which they so obviously fail to understand.…”

It was these factors that convinced Hitler, in the words of a contemporary MI-6 report, that Britain “decadent” and lacks “the will and power to defend” itself.

Hitler himself was directly quoted as saying:

“It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal.”

He was also directly quoted as calling Chamberlain an “arsehole.” ( I wonder what Putin said about Obama.)

The prime minister’s own press aide, George Steward, told the German press attaché—no kidding—that Britain “would give everything Germany asked for the next year.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, according to a senior British diplomat, “was completely bewitched by his German friends and reported myopically that ‘the German compass was pointed toward peace.’”

With Obama’s friends telling him that the Islamists’ compass was pointed toward peace guess that proves the price of having an incompetent leader.

As late as February 19, 1940, Chamberlain wrote,”All the information I seem to get points to peace.” In fact, we know this is not true. Even his former allies were jumping ship, horrified by what they had done and knowing war had become inevitable.

Robert Vansitart, a foreign policymaker who was one of the leaders of the tough position, along with Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, wrote:

“Nothing seems any good. It seems as if nobody will listen to or believe me.”

The West’s New Syrian War

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

One day people will ask how the United States and several European countries became involved in mass killings, genocide, corruption, arms smuggling, and the creation of another anti-Western and regionally destabilizing government. Even if a single Western soldier is never sent, the West is on the verge of serious intervention in Syria. The choices are unpalatable and decisions are very tough to make but it appears to be still another in a long history of Western leaps in the dark, not based on a real consideration of the consequences.

At least people should be more aware of the dangers. As I entitled a previous book on Iran (Paved with Good Intentions), the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. People are dying and suffering in Syria. That’s true. But will this make more people or fewer people die and suffer?

So now we are seeing the trial balloons rise. As the Bashar al-Assad regime proves to be holding on—but not recapturing the country or winning the war—the West is panicked into sending aid to the rebels.  In fact, the government is merely holding the northwest area (where the ruling Alawite group lives), the region along the Lebanese border (with Hizbollah’s help), Damascus (where the best troops are based and there is a favorable strategic situation in the army holding the high ground), and part of Aleppo. It seems that U.S. decision makers are panicking over these relatively small gains. If the Syrian army plus Hizbollah tries to advance too far it will stretch its resources then and face a successful rebel counteroffensive.

Understandably, the opposition is demanding arms. If the opposition did not consist mostly of al-Qaida, the Salafists, and the Muslim Brotherhood, that would be a good idea perhaps. But since the opposition is overwhelmingly radical—even the official “moderate” opposition politicians are mostly Muslim Brotherhood—this is a tragedy in which the West does not have a great incentive to say “yes.”

President Barack Obama is said to be close to sending weapons to carefully chosen rebel units who are moderates. Now, pay close attention here. The Western options for giving assistance are:

The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This is Muslim Brotherhood type people including, most importantly, the Farouk Brigades from the Homs area and Aleppo’s Tawhid Brigade. Around 50-60,000 fighters in total who are autonomous.

Do you want to give arms to them? Weapons that might soon end up in the hands of (other) terrorists? Weapons to be turned against not only Israel, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.S. diplomats, and who knows who else?

Or perhaps you like the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), an alliance of more hardline Islamist forces, including Ahrar al-Sham from the north.  Ahrar al-Sham is probably around 15,000 fighters. The SIF as a whole probably around 25,000.   These people are Salafists meaning that the Brotherhood is too moderate for them. They are the kind of people who attack churches in Egypt, who want to wage jihad alongside Hamas, and so on.

Do you want to arm them so they can establish another Sharia state?

How about Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise with around 6,000 fighters and reportedly the fastest growing militia.

Want to give guns to those who committed the September 11, 2001, attacks and the Benghazi attack? Of course not! You want the Free Syrian Army (FSA), headed by the untested General Salim Idris, who Senator John McCain met with. Now those are moderates who, after all, are just led by former officers in the repressive, historically anti-American Syrian army. And the FSA is just not a serious factor in military terms.

The West will say it supports the FSA; the FSA will be pushed aside by an Islamist regime if it wins, its Western-supplied weapons seized even during the course of the war. Moderates–even if we define radical Arab nationalists as moderates–don’t have the troops on the ground. It’s too late to organize and train a moderate force now. That should have been done two years ago.

On the political level, U.S. pressure failed to force the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated exile leadership to add the real political moderates! Even as financial aid is being (temporarily?) withheld the “official” opposition won’t expand its base. How about withholding all money and aid until they yield or choosing a new official leadership?  If the United States can’t stop–or doesn’t want to–the Brotherhood from dominating an exile leadership how is it ever going to do after a victory in the civil war?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/the-wests-new-syrian-war/2013/06/11/

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