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How sexy is Benghazi?

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There is no question that ambassador Chris Stevens was in close contact with this powerful "rebel" strand -- including Islamist superstar Abdelhakim Belhadj. After Colonel Gaddafi was captured, sodomized and killed by the "rebels" -- with ample previous support of American missiles and Qatari Special Forces on the ground -- Libyan Islamists, with Belhaj on the forefront, started to smuggle fully weaponized Salafi-jihadis for the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad government. 

It took a while but finally Hillary and the State Department woke up to the potential blowback. This was one of the key reasons why Hillary pressed for a remix of the Syrian opposition leadership, enshrined this past weekend in Doha. 

At his press conference, Obama stuck to platitudes on Syria, as in "we have been extensively engaged with the international community" and "constantly consulting with the opposition" as well as Turkey, Jordan and Israel (significantly, Obama did not mention key anti-Assad Gulf Cooperation Council players Saudi Arabia and Qatar). He warned about "extremist elements" within the Syrian opposition, and did not commit to weaponize them. At least on the record. 

This Friday a new Syria donors' conference -- the follow-up to Hillary's Friends of Syria bash -- begins in London. That's when the West will be formally introduced to the new opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib -- which Western corporate media, in unison, is frantically selling as a "moderate," with "impeccable revolutionary credentials," who will, in his own words, lead Syria towards a "civic state."  

This is as ridiculous as the Boobghazi farce. Al-Khatib has already said that Syria's problems will be solved with "weapons." France -- which under Hollande remains as pathetically neo-colonial as under King Sarko -- already recognized him and the new opposition set-up, essentially created under pressure by the US and Qatar compounded with vague promises of cash. 

Al-Khatib -- the former imam of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, a position he would have never obtained without being vetted by Syrian intelligence -- is known to have called for jihad to rescue the Muslim world (here it is, in Arabic, but nothing Google Translate could not handle). And then the clincher; he is sure that Facebook is a US-Israeli plot. 
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With frenemies like the US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, Syria certainly does not need enemies. As for blowback, brace yourselves; what happened in Benghazi is just the hors d'oeuvres to be offered by increasingly rampaging frenemies of the US. Can't count on Petraeus and Allen to defend the homeland? Well, there's always four-star groupie Jill Kelley. 
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Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His regular column, "The Roving Eye," is widely read. He is an analyst for the online news channel Real News, the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and (more...)

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The one thing that perked my ear up today, maybe e... by E. T. SIMON on Friday, Nov 16, 2012 at 5:41:03 PM