Saturday, June 15, 2013

Obama Sell-out of Syrian Moderates

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Obama Sell-out of Syrian Moderates

Ziad K. Abdelnour

Phoenix Media Alliance
847-318-6413, Andre Traversa   

Ziad K. Abdelnour CREDS:
President & CEO, Blackhawk Partners, Inc.
Oil & Gas Trader & Financier
Lobbyist, Activist, Philanthropist
Founder and President of the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon
Founder and Chairman of the Financial Policy Council
Member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Forum
Former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America

Obama Sell-out of Syrian Moderates 
By ignoring the moderate members of the Free Syrian Army who defected in mid-2011, the Obama Administration left open a vacuum that was filled by al-Qaeda allied Islamist-terrorists who are now backed by the Obama Administration” says Ziad K. Abdelnour, President of the U. S. Committee for a Free Lebanon and CEO of Blackhawk Partners.  
“Nothing is more telling of the state of affairs in Syria today than watching terror rear its ugly face on both sides.

“The latest is the execution of a 14-years old Mohammad Qatta from Aleppo for refusing to serve coffee by saying “If Muhammad, peace be upon him, were to come to this earth right now, I would still not lend a cup of coffee to anyone unless they pay for it”.

“I am going to assume these were real Islamists, but I am not discounting for a moment that those who committed this crime could also be Assad agents to turn the people of Aleppo against the Islamists and by extension the rebels as well. When you know so much about a regime, these kinds of ideas come naturally because of past facts” notes Abdelnour.

“Between the butchery of Assad and the apathy of Obama, Syrians fighting each other have become dehumanized killing machines with each side exacting more terror and revenge on civilians than on each other. The repercussions for a Levant region that prides itself on co-existence with minorities will be a rise in sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunni’s that could break out into total war between the two dominant dueling Islamic sects. 
Meanwhile, as Christians are driven out from the region, I pray for the safety of my Lebanese Christian brethren who could be caught in the cross-fire. 
These are the guilty parties:  

• Bashar al-Assad for dictating the tempo with regard to inviting terrorists Assad knew could save his neck. Assad tied his own personal fate to those of millions of Syrians and foreigners who have been part of the transformation before us. It is hard for the minorities of Syria to judge him today as they struggle for survival, but his history of blood will haunt them for generations to come even if we never succeed in saving whatever remains of Syria. When the dust settles, the answers to the many questions their children will ask will be far less satisfying than the answers their parents had during their time. Just as the children of Nazi Germany searched their souls for justification to what their parents did and what their existence meant, so will Syria’s children on both sides.

• President Obama for refusing to side against Assad for fear he may upset his attempts at negotiating a mirage peace deal with Iran, which effectively tipped the balance in favor of Assad/Iran/Hezbollah. No one speaks of Obama’s foreign policy failures as these dangerous gaffes pile-up mountain high. The worst lies in the fact that Obama does not think his policy on Syria was harmful to US interests.

• Iran for fighting a cold war with intermittent sectarian wars all over the region to correct a history and settle a score that nobody should care about if the goal is the reformation of Islam and the culture of the people of the region. This is no different that Constantinople waging a war on the Vatican for the Orthodox Eastern Church to overrun the Catholic Church using violence and terror as its primary means of communication. The Iran before us, shaped by ignorant and vengeance-driven Ayatollahs, is as evil as it gets; the very same Iran President Obama believes is worthy of a negotiated settlement to inherit the region.

• President Putin of Russia who believes the redemption of Russia’s great history lies not in books and enlightenment of the Russian people (Pushkin out), but in aggressive violence to dictate (Stalin in). The people of Russia are starting to realize that their country, under Putin, is the Soviet Union living under their bed instead of on top of them. Putin’s support for the savagery of Assad has opened the door wide open in full view of what the DNA of Stalin is capable of. Right or wrong, given Obama’s disposition towards a solution for Syria, Putin missed an opportunity to join the civilized in favor of remaining loyal to his true roots. Considering the miserable modern existence of the Russian people, I think they deserve far better than the appalling specter of their past.

• Secretary John Kerry whose past influence on Obama as the Senator chairing the powerful Foreign Relations Committee to support Assad was delivered frequently and consistently. Even when Assad began committing atrocities against peaceful protestors, Kerry kept pressing Obama for a solution to save Assad’s neck. As Secretary, he continues to sing this tune even though he chooses his words either to look neutral or to take sides against Assad. The reality is far from his public position. For Kerry to accept waiting for Putin for 3 hours before seeing him says a lot about his mindset, his lack of courage, and his own views as to America’s place in the pyramid of power. Do you think Vice President Cheney would have been kept waiting for 3 hours by Putin?

• Secretary Hillary Clinton for appeasing Assad from day one by calling him a “reformer” the very same day he was gunning down peaceful civilians marching in funerals of those he killed the day before. Clinton did not borrow the page from her husband’s own foreign policy manual on Bosnia. By the time she sided with other cabinet members for a limited distribution of lethal weapons to the rebels, Syria’s transformation into a mutated State was almost completed by then.

• Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and PM Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey who believed the solution for Syria is an Islamist State instead of the Assad State. By lobbying for the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington and supporting the organization politically, both doomed Syria’s future because the minorities recoiled and circled the wagons. Today’s destruction of Syria is partially the fault of two leaders whose common sense does not exceed those of talking parrots.

• Saudi Arabia for its timidity, weakness, and instigating religious extremism while hiding behind a veneer of moderation. The largest oil rich Arab country is also the weakest physically and morally because the whole country rests on one premise only: Keep one family ruling it no matter the cost. This policy opens the door open for weak responses, fearful maneuvers, and timid behavior. Iran is aggressive partially because the Gulf countries are weak morally. Saudi Arabia has been boasting about the powerful lobby Bandar Bin Sultan left behind in Washington, yet it cannot even influence a President who bowed to her King to do the right thing with regard to Iran and Hezbollah and to interfere in Syria to defeat Assad.

• Finally, the Western analysts who believed that if Sunni extremists fight the Shia extremists in Syria, there will be less extremism overall. They do not realize the folly of this logic and that extremists fighting will foster more extremism. Just ask Hezbollah how many more members it managed to enroll in its war in Syria when it called on saving Sayeda Zaynab Mausoleum outside Damascus from the hands of extremist Sunni fighters. The same call is mirrored on the other side to save al-Omayyad Mosque. The longer the civil war lasts, the more of our children will accrue and follow behind the unholy steps leading to terror. What happens when everyone tires of this war? These children will have learned by then where the blame for their misery lies, which is squarely on the shoulder of Western governments and their analysts.

Syria no longer exists. The ruins of its cities will be governed by the ruins of its humanity be it the Assads or the religious terrorists. What form or political shape will rise from these ashes should be our concern moving forward as we let history judge those who lacked the courage and the moral fortitude to save valuable lives rather than step aside to let lives destroy each other. There is no escaping responsibility because time always uncovers the truth.
As Founder and President of the Financial Policy Council, Ziad K. Abdelnour is also President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a New York based private equity ”family office” that focuses on originating, structuring, advising and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financings in companies and projects based both in the US and emerging markets.
Blackhawk Inc. is also a reliable trader and supplier of a wide range of commodities to industrial and financial consumers globally. The Firm’s customers around the world rely upon Blackhawk as a source of Metals and Minerals and Crude Oil and Oil Products. These products originate either from Blackhawk directly or indirectly owned assets, or are secured by Blackhawk from third parties.
Since 1985, Mr. Abdelnour has been involved in over 125 transactions worth in aggregate over ten billion dollars in the investment banking, high yield bond and distressed debt markets and has been widely recognized for playing an integral role in those three key market sectors.
Mr. Abdelnour also serves on the Advisory board of DPG Investments, a recognized premier multi strategy global merchant banking, alternative investment, management and advisory firm.
On a more personal level, Mr. Abdelnour is Founder and President of the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), Founder and Chairman of the Financial Policy Council, Member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Forum and Former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America.
Mr. Abdelnour holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from the American University of Beirut . 
He is the author of Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics and a regular panelist and speaker on private equity and venture capital topics at industry conferences nationwide. 
Phoenix Media 2013

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