Council on Foreign Relations: Syrian Rebels Need Al-Qaeda Now


Aaron Nelson (The Anti-Media)
September 3, 2014

An article published in 2012 by Ed Husain, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), promoted Al Qaeda as the solution needed to improve morale and bring discipline to the Syrian rebels.

The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results.  In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.” – Ed Husain, Council on Foreign Relations

Comprehending the significance of this “recommendation” by the CFR may not be possible without first understanding two things:

1) The history of the Council on Foreign Relations.

2) The origin of ISIS.



What is the CFR?
In 1917 Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) as a propaganda agency designed to build support for wars. Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, was the one of the most influential member of the CPI.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” – Edward Bernays, 1928

Bernays studied the group psychology and mindset of the American people. It was he who heavily promoted the idea that war was needed to “make the world safe for democracy“.

In other words, he created propaganda to convince the public that it was in America’s best interest to send American soldiers to Europe to fight in WWI.

The success of the “make the world safe for democracy” slogan during the war led to a breakthrough in group psychology tactics.

It was so contagious Bernays began developing a scientific method of managing group behavior during times of peace.

Karl von Wiegand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Wiegand his propaganda library, the best Wiegand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Wiegand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.” – Edward Bernays, “Biography of an Idea“, page 652

The word “propaganda” obtained a negative meaning from the war, so Bernays invented a new one:

 “Public Relations.

After the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, several British diplomats discussed plans to form a permanent international institution on public relations.

After this group merged with a network of high-ranking officials from banking, finance companies, trading, and manufacturing companies led by Elihu Root, a former United States Secretary of War, they filed a certification of incorporation on July 29th, 1921. This was the official formation of the Council on Foreign Relations.


The CFR went on to build an international partnership with the most powerful people in the world. Including:

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Exxon, Chevron, BP Oil, Shell, General Electric, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Bloomberg, and Dyncorp International.

October 2011

This is really just scratching the surface. Here is the official list of corporate members  on the CFR’s own website.

Who is a member of the CFR?

The Secretary of State under president Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, is one of the founding members of the CFR. Dulles convinced President Eisenhower to topple the democratically elected prime minister of Iran in 1953 by using the CIA. He was also behind the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala.

Edward Bernays actually ran the propaganda campaign for that entire operation.

McGeorge Bundy, National Security adviser under Kennedy and then under Lyndon B. Johnson, was a member of the CFR. Many remember Bundy as the man responsible for encouraging the escalation of the Vietnam War.


Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s National Security Adviser, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kissinger was behind the CIA coup which overthrew the democratically elected president of Chile Salvador Allende. A Wall Street Journal piece by Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order was published last week.

In 2009 Kissinger told CNBC that, “Obama’s main task will be to develop a New World Order“.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s National Security adviser, is another member of the CFR. Brzezinski is responsible for the funding and arming of mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These are the same Islamic militants many have come to know as the Taliban… Brzezinski is Obama’s mentor!

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisers Richard V. Allen and Robert C. McFarlane are also members of the CFR. So was his Secretary of State, George P. Shultz.

Reagan and Shultz were arming and training the Contras as they murdered hundreds of civilians who sympathized with the Sandinista government. Ever heard of the Iran Contra scandal?

George H. W. Bush was a director of the CFR, and his former Secretary of State James Banker is also a current member.

Bill Clinton is a member of the CFR. Madeline Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, is currently serving on the CFR Board of Directors.

Colin Powell, is also currently on the CFR board of directors.

George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and are also members of the CFR.


Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under both Bush and Obama, is another CFR member.

Obama’s first National Security Adviser James L. Jones, second National Security adviser Tom Donilon, and third National Security adviser Susan Rice, are all CFR members.

John McCain taking a selfie with Syrian rebels who were later found to be ISIS fighters. Credit:
John McCain taking a selfie with Syrian rebels who were later found to be ISIS fighters. Credit:

Chuck Hagel, Janet Napolitano, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Tom BrokawChristopher Dodd, Janet Yellen, Fareed Zakaria… The list goes on and on.

Which brings us back to the CFR article published in 2012 promoting Al-Qaeda as the solution in Syria.

Why would a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York want Al Qaeda to “provide discipline, improve morality and supply military experience” to the Free Syrian Army?

How could a foreign policy “expert” possibly believe this would be a wise move?


Obama’s first major military intervention was during the Libyan revolution in 2011. The corporate media displayed it as an extension of the Arab Spring, framed as a humanitarian “war for peace.

It’s not exactly common knowledge in America, but the U.N.’s Human Development Index ranked Libya as the highest standard of living of any country in Africa before the violent coup.

Gaddafi was named chairman of the 53-nation African Union in 2009.

It’s openly admitted that the CIA was covertly working with the Libyan rebels to topple Gaddafi. This is no secret. Still, the airstrikes on the Libyan government ordered by President Obama were celebrated by NATO and much of the American public.

Who were these rebels?

The leader of the Libyan rebels has admitted some of his militants included Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists from Iraq. This is the same group the corporate media called “Al-Qaeda in Iraq“. Yes, the same group which evolved into the Islamic State (ISIS). It’s worth noting that Al-Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before the U.S. invasion in 2003.

With the U.S. military and NATO forces on their side, the Libyan rebels brutally executed Gaddafi in broad daylight for the world to see. These were McCain’s beloved “freedom fighters“?

Since the coup, the country has spun out of control and is stuck in a constant state of chaos. Libya is now regarded as a “failed state“.

After Gaddafi was killed, large amounts of weapons were sent to Syria after Libyan armories were looted by militants. Three days after anti-aircraft missiles were smuggled into Syria through Turkey, Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered by Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the infamous September 11th, 2012 attack on a U.S. embassy in Benghazi. Since April 2011, Stevens had served as the U.S. government’s lone liaison to the Libyan rebels.


Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh released an article in April 2014 exposing the agreement between the CIA, Turkey and the Syrian rebels to covertly create a network used to funnel weapons from Libya across the Syrian border through southern Turkey. According to this information, the funding was provided by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Several thousand jihadist fighters from Libya crossed into the Syrian rebel ranks to fight alongside other militants in a proxy war to topple the Syrian government.

The U.S. government began targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, using the exact same tactics the CIA used in Libya to topple Gaddafi.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Jamal Maarouf has admitted that his fighters conduct joint operations with Al-Nusra frequently, the official Al-Qaeda branch in Syria.  In June 2013 Colonel Abdel Basset Al-Tawil, commander of the FSA’s Northern Front, expressed his desire to see Syria ruled by sharia law. In 2012, Reuters reported that the FSA’s command was dominated by Islamic extremists. The New York Times reported that the majority of the weapons Washington was sending into Syria ended up in the hands of jihadists.

In May 2014, PBS interviewed Syrian rebels who were trained by the U.S. in Qatar.

They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

Executing captured soldiers? Sounds a lot like ISIS, doesn’t it? That’s because this is a “terror tactic“.

In June 2014, Al-Nusra merged with ISIS at the border between Iraq and Syria.

As recent as June 26th, 2014, Obama proposed another $500 million dollars to train and equip the Syrian rebels. In other words, the FSA is working with Al-Nusra, Al-Nusra is working with ISIS, and the U.S. has been sending money and weapons to the FSA. For two years the U.S. has adopted this strategy (and still do) while they had known most of these weapons were ending up in the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

June 2014 was when ISIS obtained international celebrity by crossing over the Syria border into Iraq. In the process of capturing Mosul and Baiji, ISIS obtained entire truckloads of humvees, artillery, tanks, and helicopters.

George W. Bush used out in the open military aggression to  “make the world safe for democracy“. Barack Obama uses covert tactics through the CIA. What else would you expect considering Zbigniew Brzezinski was Obama’s mentor?

Why would Obama fund and arm Islamic extremists in Syria to attack them later?

Why did the CIA put Saddam Hussein in power in 1963?

Why would the U.S. arm and fund Islamic extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1979, including Osama bin Laden?

Now are you beginning to see how the Islamic State can be useful for United States foreign policy? Even Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney recently stated on the corporate media, “We helped build ISIS.

Problem, reaction, solution… The U.S. and ISIS share common ground. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has already resigned as both sides desired, but Assad is the main target.


The U.S. created an Al-Qaeda breeding ground in Iraq after their invasion in 2003. They continued creating an Al-Qaeda breeding ground in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by funding and arming jihadists battling the Syrian government. ISIS would not exist without the twisted foreign policy of the United States.

Is this twisted logic coming from the Council on Foreign Relations?


Within the last hour, President Obama announced the deployment of 350 ground troops to Iraq. It’s only a matter of time until the U.S. attempts to extend airstrikes into Syria, with troops surely following…

The only way to stop the inevitable from happening is to have the U.S. government cut all support to the Syrian rebels who are attempting to topple Assad. Even the most moderate rebels (if they exist) are only strengthening ISIS by forcing Assad, an enemy of ISIS, to fight a war on multiple fronts. We already know the majority of weapons and cash are ending up in the hands of “bad guys“.


Iraq has proven “bombing for peace” does not work to combat terrorism. What kind of impact exactly does Ed Husain of the Council on Foreign Relations think a failed state in Syria (like Libya and Iraq) would have on the region? Wouldn’t that create the largest breeding ground we’ve seen yet for anti-American terrorists?

When you take a step back and look at Bush’s toppling of Saddam, which created the Islamic State of Iraq, and Obama’s arming of the Syrian rebels, who share a common enemy with ISIS in Assad… The question needs to be asked: Did U.S. foreign policy, heavily influenced by the CFR, create the situation we see today with ISIS by invading Iraq and arming Syrian rebels?

Repeating the same actions over and over expecting different results is crazy.

If you love your country, stop listening to these sociopaths.


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