Moderate Rebels episode 3

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton interview Gareth Porter, an award-winning investigative journalist who has done extensive reporting on the US proxy war in Syria, and how the CIA program arming and training rebels strengthened al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other extremist Salafi groups.

We discuss the military-industrial complex and how billionaire-backed think tanks funded by arms manufacturers and fossil fuel corporations fuel the permanent war state. And we address the historical parallels to the US wars in Afghanistan and Vietnam, and what could come in the future after the Syrian war winds down.

This interview expands on episode 2 of Moderate Rebels.

Show Notes

Gareth Porter’s Syria reporting

Gareth Porter, “How CIA and Allies Trapped Obama in the Syrian Arms Debacle,” The American Conservative, July 27 2017

Gareth Porter, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria,” The American Conservative, June 22 2017

Gareth Porter, “Behind the real US strategic blunder in Syria,” Middle East Eye, December 27 2016

Gareth Porter, “US strikes on Syrian troops: Report data contradicts ‘mistake’ claims,” Middle East Eye, December 6 2016

Pentagon official and Afghanistan mujahideen CIA echoes

Michael G. Vickers, “The Trump administration should not give up on removing Assad in Syria,” The Washington Post, July 23 2017

US-trained rebels and rebranded Syrian al-Qaeda, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)

Ben Norton, “U.S.-Armed ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Join Al-Qaeda’s ‘Bin Laden Front’ in New Coalition,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, February 1 2017

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Thomas Joscelyn, “Rebranding Terror: Nusra’s Renaming Is Part of al Qaeda’s Plan,” Foreign Affairs, August 28 2016

Ben Norton, “Al Qaeda Is Attacking Major Syrian Cities with US Weapons — but You Wouldn’t Know That from the Media,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, March 22 2017

State Department and HTS terrorist designation

Evan Dyer, “Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate escapes from Canada’s terror list,” CBC News, May 15 2017

Bombing of Syrian evacuation buses at Rashidin

Ben Norton, “A Tale of Two Syrian Cities Under Attack Exposes Western Media’s Pro-War Hypocrisy,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, April 24 2017

Atlantic Council

Ben Norton, “While Turkish Bodyguards Brutalized Protesters, This DC Think Tank Connected Erdogan with Foreign Policy Insiders,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, May 19 2017

Regime change fraud Elizabeth O’Bagy and Syrian Emergency Task Force

Max Blumenthal, “Shady PR operatives, pro-Israel ties, anti-Castro money: Inside the Syrian opposition’s DC spin machine,” Mondoweiss, September 7 2013

Anadolu Agency report on US military bases in Syria

Levent Tok, Mohamad Misto, Selen Temizer, “US increases military posts supporting PKK/PYD in Syria,” Anadolu Agency, July 18 2017

Map of US military bases in Syria, from the Turkish government mouthpiece Daily Sabah:

Brett McGurk at Middle East Institute (MEI)

US Envoy McGurk blames Ankara for turning a blind eye to al Qaida safe haven in Idlib,” Washington Hattı, July 29 2017

Gulf regime-funded Middle East Institute panel “Assessing the Trump Administration’s Counterterrorism Policy,” featuring Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, and neoconservative regime change hawks Charles Lister and Jennifer Cafarella

McGurk begins speaking at 51:57 in the following video:

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 3 here: