Stranahan on Obama’s Syria Policy: ‘We’re Backing the Jihadists’

Barack Obama
The Associated Press

On Wednesday’s episode of Whatever It Takes on the Breitbart News Network, Breitbart’s lead investigative reporter Lee Stranahan and host Curt Schilling attacked the establishment media’s coverage of the Syrian Civil War, saying the press was covering up the facts that the “rebels” fighting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad consist largely of jihadists, some connected to terrorist group al-Qaeda.

As Assad’s forces and his Russian and Iranian allies have achieved a major victory over the “rebels” in the Northern city of Aleppo last week, Stranahan told Schilling that the major force battling Assad in Aleppo was a force called the Army of Conquest.

Israel National News reported on Wednesday a deal that allowed “civilians and moderate rebels with light weapons will be granted safe passage” out of Eastern Aleppo, an area held by the Army of Conquest after the group announced a new siege on Aleppo back in August.

…the deal stipulated that those leaving would go to the northwest province of Idlib, almost completely controlled by a powerful rebel alliance known as the Army of Conquest.

The “Army of Conquest” is a coalition of rebels and jihadists including the former Al-Nusra Front formed this past August.

Stranahan pointed out that the establishment has done almost no reporting on who actually makes up the Army of Conquest or their Sunni Islamist ideology

Asked who was backing the Army of Conquest, Stranahan said, “The United States of America and Saudi Arabia. We’re backing the jihadists. And this is what we’ve done consistently.”

Stranahan explained how during the Arab Spring, the Obama administration had supported other Middle Eastern groups that supported strict Sharia law, using Egypt as an example, saying that under Obama, American foreign policy “supported Hosni Mubarak leaving. We helped get Hosni Mubarak out of there, and then immediately he was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, who inserted Sharia law. Now, the Egyptian people didn’t want that and so they got rid of the Muslim Brotherhood in fairly short order. But that’s what happened, and we supported the people supporting Sharia law.”

Criticizing the conflicting policies of the Obama administration claiming to fight a war on terror while supporting Islamist groups, Stranahan said, “this is the schizophrenia we have. Hopefully the Trump administration is going to end once and for all.”

Stranahan also said he found of the timing of allegations of Russia “hacking the elections” suspicious, coming at the same time and from the same people who have supported the jihadists in Syria and who have connections to Saudi Arabia. Stranahan said:

The week that Aleppo is falling, and that Assad is winning, what happens? The CIA, who trained these forces, comes out with a secret report about Russia hacking the election. Hillary Clinton—who’s supported by Saudi Arabia—comes out with a press conference. And who among the Republicans jumps in front of this train and says ‘Yes, we have to have investigations into the Russians?’ John McCain.

In response to a question from Schilling about the United State’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, Stranahan brought up the Kingdom’s deep financial ties, saying “This goes back to the Nixon administration, when American was in the middle of the oil crisis, when people were standing in line to get gasoline. We sent (Treasury Secretary) William Simon over there, and he negotiated a deal.”

Stranahan cited a May, 2016 article in Bloomberg titled The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret that gave details for the first time about history of the deal.

Simon, better than anyone else, understood the appeal of U.S. government debt and how to sell the Saudis on the idea that America was the safest place to park their petrodollars. With that knowledge, the administration hatched an unprecedented do-or-die plan that would come to influence just about every aspect of U.S.-Saudi relations over the next four decades.

The holdings in treasuries created by that decades-old deal are significant. As the Bloomberg article said:

In response to a Freedom-of-Information-Act request submitted by Bloomberg News, the Treasury broke out Saudi Arabia’s holdings for the first time this month after “concluding that it was consistent with transparency and the law to disclose the data,” according to spokeswoman Whitney Smith. The $117 billion trove makes the kingdom one of America’s largest foreign creditors.

Yet in many ways, the information has raised more questions than it has answered. A former Treasury official, who specialized in central bank reserves and asked not to be identified, says the official figure vastly understates Saudi Arabia’s investments in U.S. government debt, which may be double or more.