Meet the Syrian Rebels: Who Are They And What Do They Fight For?


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not a nice guy.  His government is responsible for long term oppression and horrendous human rights abuses toward those that oppose his regime domestically.

That said, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or ‘rebels’ are not the band of liberty loving freedom fighters Western media has been jamming down our throats.  Indeed, this fragmented umbrella of groups is dominated by the same radical Islamists that we’ve seen operating in Libya.  These groups are motivated by a hatred of Assad’s secular regime and by a burning desire to implement Sharia law in Syria.  Most of these fighters are not Syrian natives and the civilian population in Syria, for the most part, does not support the FSA in the civil war.

Let’s take a quick look at Syria over the last 10 or 15 years in the lead up to the ongoing civil war and then take a good hard look at which groups are represented within the FSA and some of the atrocities they’ve committed.

A Brief History of Recent Events in Syria

In 2000 Hajez Assad, then President of Syria died and his son, Bashar, took over as head of the Ba’ath party, the President and head of the military.  These positions were pretty much a package deal since the Syrian constitution at that time stipulated that only Ba’ath party leaders could ascend to the Presidency.

Under the younger Assad, the general authoritarian flavour of the Syrian government, though slightly relaxed, pretty much continued as it had in the past.  There was still a large secret police force (the mukhabaraat) and people had no expectation of privacy or basic rights to assembly or protest the government.  Dissenters continued to be disappeared or be otherwise intimidated into submission.  In short, Syria was run much like other dictatorships in the region.

But, for all its obvious flaws, there are a few things to recognize about Bashar Assad’s regime.  First, and entrenched in the Syrian constitution, is the fact that Syria’s government is secular.  This is very important because the 23 million people calling Syria home are not homogenous in any sense of the word.  Here’s a rough breakdown of the Syrian population:

  • Sunni: 64%
  • Shiite: 13% (vast majority Alawites)
  • Kurds: 10%
  • Christians: 12%
  • Jews and Other Small Groups: 1%

While the Sunnis are will represented in every aspect of Syrian government and industry, they do not have the same stranglehold on the reigns of power as has been seen in other Sunni dominated countries (Iraq being a good example).  Indeed, the Assad family itself is Alawite.  By and large religious discrimination was not the norm and, in keeping with the constitution, there were equal rights and opportunity for all including equal opportunity and pay for women.  Thus people of different religions were free to pursue whatever occupation or government positions they desired.

‘Arab Spring’ Comes to Syria

In March and April of 2011 the ‘Arab Spring’ movement that had whipped through the Middle East arrived in Syria in the form of popular protests calling for an end to Ba’ath party rule and the ouster of President Assad.  These protests, for the most part, cut across the religious boundaries and amounted to a true grass-roots movement for democracy.

Things quickly boiled over with Assad seeking to clamp down on protestors throughout the country.  Estimates vary but at least several hundred protestors were killed in the first few months of protest in addition to many thousands of arrests.  There’s no two ways about it: This was authoritarian rule at its worst.

In June 2011 Assad held out an olive branch to protestors by agreeing to reform Syria’s constitution ending the one-party Ba’ath rule and limiting Presidents to at most two seven year terms.  Additionally Assad promised amnesty for protestors and a national dialog toward greater freedoms.

But it was too little, too late.  As government atrocities continued to mount, members of Syria’s military started to defect and join the opposition.  By the end of July a group of defected officers announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) dedicated to the removal of Assad through civil war.

A Movement Co-opted

Through the later part of 2011 the FSA was a largely popular, secular resistance force. That is not to say that atrocities weren’t being committed (by both sides) but, by and large, the conflict was a civil war in the traditional sense.

Then, starting in January 2012, the Islamic fundamentalists (jihadies) started to arrive.  At first it was dribs and drabs but then large numbers of well armed and seasoned veterans started to infiltrate the ranks of the FSA.  Large units of the original FSA, chronically short of weapons and ammunition, soon joined the ranks of the jihadies out of necessity.  The character of the rebel forces was altered – and not for the better.

Today, of the nine major groups operating under the umbrella of the FSA, seven are Islamic fundamentalist.  The Economist has a good chart showing the current breakdown of the FSA:


Widely recognized as the most effective combat unit is Al-Nusra.  These are seriously hard-core Sunni fundamentalist who have publicly pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda.  They strive to overthrow Assad and establish a pan-Islamic state under Sharia law.  Most of the other Islamic fundamentalist groups have similar aims – all wish to see Sharia law established in Syria.

Not only are these groups Islamic fundamentalist but additionally their members and leadership are hard-core jihadies – completely extremist and brutal in the worst possible sense of the word.

Direct From the Horses Mouth

But don’t take my word for it.  The rebel leaders are openly pledging their allegiance to Al-Qaeda.  Even the U.S. State Department was forced to designate the main Islamist group, Al-Nusra, as a terrorist organization with close ties to Al Qaeda.  Yet rebel groups across Syria have pledged their support for Al-Nusra and this organization continues to establish itself as the most effective military force under the FSA umbrella.

Then there’s this little gem of the FSA signing a heartwarming song which if you didn’t know the lyrics could be mistaken for the Islamic version of Kumbaya.  Here are the actual lyrics in english:

If they call me a ‘terrorist’, I would say: ‘It is an honor for me’ Our terror is praised, with a divine calling

Our leader, the Mullah (Omar), did not forsake his religion All the soldiers have sold their souls to Allah

Our leader bin Laden, America’s worst nightmare
With the power of faith and our weapons

We destroyed America with a civilian plane
The World Trade Centre was turned into a pile of rubble


David Enders (who was subsequently kidnapped for a short time by Al-Nusra) wrote an interesting article in which he interviewed a local Al-Nusra leader in Syria, Iyad al Sheikh Mahmoud.  Apparently Mahmoud didn’t feel that once Assad was ousted there would be any need to elections since “Eighty percent of Syrians want Islamic law“.

Here are some of the many other instances of Syrian rebels exposing their true ideologies:

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Actions do speak louder than words.  With that in mind allow me to call attention to a small fragment of the documented atrocities that have been committed by rebel forces.  A word of warning – some of this content is unbelievable graphic.  To be honest I had to stop building out this section of the blog post because it was too disturbing to troll through all these youtube videos.  Nevertheless it’s important for people to be aware of what’s really going on.

Independent Assessments

There are people with first hand knowledge of the situation in Syria who remain at arms length and have no obvious bias.  The observations of these people supports the idea that the rebellion in Syria has degenerated from a secular civil war to a jihad being waged by Islamic fundamentalists.

One great example is a French surgeon who worked at a hospital in Aleppo for Doctors Without Borders.  Jacques Bérès, when asked if the fighters he treated were extremists stated:

I would say at least half of them are Salafist Jihadists with the headband with Quranic verses, even the cars transporting them had Al-Qaeda flags on them, and the Salafist look with the mustache gone while keeping a beard.  …the goal of the militants is to impose sharia law and a global caliphate over Syria and the whole region.

You can see the entire interview here.

Persecution of Christians

Syria is home to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world – some going back as far as two millennium.  Or rather Syria used to be home to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

Estimates vary but according the U.N there are currently about 1.5 million Syrian refugees in addition to over 4 million internally displaced people.  Specific estimates for the number of Christians affected is hard to come by but it’s easily in the hundreds of thousands.  In just the town of Homs between sixty and seventy thousand Christians were forced to flee ahead of the rebel occupation.

And they flee with good reason.  There have been many documented instances of atrocities against Christians:

Persecution of Shiite Alawites

Like the Christians, the minority Alawites are a target of brutal atrocities that could be called genocide.  Indeed, FSA leaders have openly tied the loss of strategic cities to the wholesale slaughter of Alawites in areas they retain control of:

“I am telling them, if Al-Qusair falls, then Shia villages in Syria will be wiped off the map. The same applies to Alawite villages. We don’t wish this thing at all, but it will be something out of control.”

“Who would be able to control and restrain thousands of fighters full of spirit of revenge? Who would be able to control all those people?”

Even if one takes this in the most generous light possible this amounts to an admission by FSA commanders that they are not in the control of the jihadies comprising their main fighting force and further that these jihadies will initiate wholesale massacres as revenge for any defeats.

Then there’s this story which surfaced a few weeks ago of an influential FSA commander removing and taking a bite out of the heart of a fallen Syrian government soldier.  The commander goes on to issue a direct threat to do the same to all Alawites and infidels.

Use of Child Soldiers

New York based Human Rights Watch released a report late last year documenting the wide-spread use of child soldiers by FSA forces.  The rebels don’t try and hide this fact – indeed they seem proud of it.  Here’s Abdel Razzaq, a 38-year-old former regime army sergeant who defected to the opposition and now trains child soldiers at a rebel camp in the Syrian town of Tlaleen:

When they arrive here, they are children. By the time they leave, they are killing machines.  Children are the best soldiers I know. They obey every command. An adult asks questions and answers back. But the children, they question nothing.

There’s a myriad of additional evidence on the use of child soldiers (even their involvement in summary executions of government soldiers) which I won’t go into.  If you want to look into it further, this youtube video documenting child soldiers in Syria fighting with the FSA is a good jumping off point as well as the above linked Human Rights Watch report.


Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator whose forces are responsible for both long term oppression of the Syrian people and many egregious atrocities during the present civil war.

But the FSA is clearly the greater of two evils.  What began as a legitimate uprising by the people has been thoroughly co-opted and dominated by foreign Islamic extremists bent on imposing Sharia law and genocide for all infidels.

This being the case it’s simply unfathomable to me that the West has, by and large, decided to back and arm the FSA.  It is now U.S. policy to supply armaments to the FSA (they’ve been doing this covertly for a long time).

The outcome of this foreign entanglement is entirely predictable: Yet another failed state in the Middle East taken over by extremist elements.  It seems our political leaders are determined to leave a trail of destruction throughout the Middle East and will not rest until they’ve succeeded in destabilizing the entire region.

Citizens of governments supporting the FSA have a moral obligation to speak out against the use of their tax dollars to fund rebel forces in Syria.  As long as our governments continue to fund these extremists we’re all partially responsible for their actions.  I for one don’t want anything to do with these jihadies.

A final note of caution: We in the West will pay a high price for the recent campaigns which have destabilized Libya and Syria.  We have turned these countries into breeding grounds for exactly the kinds of terrorists our liberties are being systematically eroded to protect us against.  This will blow back on us.  We will reap what we sow.

Benghazi – The Mystery of the Missing Air Support

In my previous posts on Benghazi I’ve detailed:

Today I want to continue this investigation into the attacks on Benghazi by asking the question: Where was the air support?

Basis for the Question

The surprising lack air cover should, I hope, be a fairly obvious question for any critical thinker looking at the attack timeline.  After all, the attack unfolded over a period of eight hours and, in the midst of the events, there was no way of knowing precisely when the attacks would end.  Had the attackers been more determined it’s entirely possible that this attack could have dragged on for substantially longer than it did – even days.

Indeed, one must conclude that the Department of Defence (DOD) concurred with this assessment given that their response to the situation was the mobilization of three different teams none of which could even hope to arrive in Benghazi before the afternoon or evening of September 12th nearly 24 hours after the start of the attack.

So, given that the DOD’s own response implied an understanding that the attacks may continue for a protracted period, the question stands: Why was there never an attempt to bring air power to bear?  Why would DOD mobilize three fully equipped ground response teams (by air transport) and yet not mobilize available close air support assets?

This simply doesn’t make sense.

And It’s Not Just Me

No, it’s not just me asking this obvious question.  Importantly, some of the key people on the ground in Benghazi during the attack, notably the man in charge of security in Libya (Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom) and the man who became the lead State Department official in Libya upon Ambassador Steven’s death (Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks) have the same question.  When these men were asked during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the lack of air cover, both questioned the reasons given by DOD officials.  I have included the relevant short excepts of this testimony in Appendix A – I highly recommend reading these excerpts.

The Official Story

The official word on this question is that it wasn’t possible to get air-cover in Benghazi due to a lack of tankers available to refuel F-16 from the nearest air base in Aviano, Italy.  And, since Benghazi was beyond the combat radius for an F-16, this became the limiting factor which prevented F-16s from being launched.

Again, I would refer you to Appendix A for the relevant House Oversight Committee testimony.

The Tactical Reality

Now that we’ve got the official story on record let’s take a look at the tactical reality of the situation (click for a sharper image):


The distance from Aviano Air Force Base (AFB) in Italy to Benghazi is 1044 miles.  Aviano AFB is home to the 510th and 555th fighter squadrons both of which fly F-16s.

The combat radius of an F-16 depends on its payload but, even with a standard payload of a couple of sidewinders and two 1000 pound bombs (and no external tank), 500 miles would be a conservative estimate for the combat radius of this aircraft.  Cruising speed for an F-16 is around 577 mph.

Then there’s the red mark on the above map: Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella – a scant 468 miles from Benghazi and 610 miles from Aviano AFB.  During the ‘liberation’ of Libya, almost 4000 combat sorties were flown out of NAS Sigonella.  While Sigonella does not have a permanent fighter presence, it is a well established air base and is in constant use as a hub in the Mediterranean for U.S. military aircraft.

The Obvious Solution – Pit-Stop Sigonella

Now that we have an understanding of the tactical constraints facing the DOD, there is a (hopefully) obvious solution that more alert readers probably picked up on.

  • Hour 0-1.  While the F-16s at Aviano are not on strip alert, given the genuine emergency it’s reasonable to expect that within an hour of the order being given a sober pilot or two could have been located, an aircraft fuelled and in the air with a minimal default loadout.  In this scenario the aircraft may have had only ammunition for its 20mm cannon and pilot would be given a simple briefing on the way to the plane: Get to NAS Sigonella.
  • Hour 1-2.  Given that the distance from AFB Aviano to NAS Sigonella is only 610 miles, the pilot would be able to quickly attain altitude and cruise at above the standard cruising speed of 577 mph.  The F-16 would be on the ground at NAS Sigonella within an hour of its departure from AFB Aviano.  During this one hour flight two important things would happen:
    1. Via radio the pilot receives a more detailed briefing.  The plan – a quick refuelling at NAS Sigonella and an immediate departure for Benghazi to fly a close air support (CAS) mission.
    2. NAS Sigonella is informed of the incoming F-16 and told to prepare for immediate refuelling of the aircraft upon its arrival.
  • Hour 2-2.5.  The F-16 arrives at NAS Sigonella and is immediately refuelled.  While it’s possible to refuel an F-16 without even stopping the engines (hot-pit refuelling), it’s also possible that NAS Sigonella didn’t have a refuelling team available that was trained for this.  Thus, let’s assume that the refuelling process takes a full 30 minutes before the F-16 is again airborne and enroute to Benghazi.
  • Hour 2.5-3.5.  Given it is only 468 miles from NAS Sigonella to Benghazi the F-16 is on station and providing close air support within 3.5 hours from the initial order.

And, of course, subsequent F-16s could follow the same route at intervals to ensure that continuous air coverage was provided from that time on.

What Difference Would This Have Made?

According to the people on the ground and knowledgable about such matters, the appearance of U.S. warplanes would have been a total game-changer (see their testimony in Appendix A).  Basically, the consensus is that a single low altitude pass by an F-16 at full afterburner would have put the fear of God into the attackers – these men had all seen U.S. airpower in action during the Libyan campaign and would have tucked-tail and run as soon as air support showed up.

So, By What Time Could the F-16s Have Arrived in Benghazi?

Going back to our timeline of the attack (which started at 21:42), we can see that by 21:59 DOD had already redirected a surveillance drone to Benghazi.  This quick response is important because is shows us how efficiently orders could get relayed through the DOD chain of command.  By 23:00 it was clear to DOD that the attack involved U.S. casualties and was ongoing.  In my mind, there is no reason not to have scrambled the F-16s at this point.  After all, the worst case would be that the situation resolved and the F-16s would turn around and go home.  There was simply no reason not to deploy the F-16s and, conversely, every reason to do so.

Using 23:00 as the departure time, this would have put an F-16 overhead by 02:30 on September 12 – nearly three hours before the attack on the Annex which killed two additional U.S. personnel.  Had these F-16s been scrambled it’s very likely that the fatal attack on the Annex would never have occurred.

Troubling Questions

All this lays out some really troubling questions:

  1. Why were the F-16s never given orders to move?  Nobody knew how long the situation would persist.  Why on earth would DOD not even attempt to get air assets into place and chose instead to mobilize ground forces from distant locations (including continental U.S.)?   
  2. Why has there been a conspicuous lack of testimony from DOD officials?  I’ve read virtually every official report I can get my hands on and the only thing provided by DOD is a two page timeline of events from DOD’s perspective.  Someone needs to directly ask the right people from within DOD why no attempt was made to put planes in the air.


The absence of tanker support did not prevent F-16s from being able to provide close air support to U.S. personnel in time to prevent the second attack.  Despite the DOD decision to send three teams of ground personnel, none of whom would be able to arrive until the evening of September 12th, no attempt was ever made to move available fighters.  This is completely nonsensical.

Clearly the official investigations into Benghazi need to take hard looks at these facts.  This hasn’t happened.  Either DOD was told to stand-down or there was supreme incompetence that resulted in the deaths of two Americans.

Appendix A – Testimony of Gregory Hicks and Eric Nordstrom Before House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee

Testimony of Gregory Hicks to Congressman Cummings' Questions

Congressman Elijah Cummings: In the interview with the committee staff you stated, and I quote, “In my personal opinion a fast mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night”.  Is that right? Did you say that?

Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks: Yes, sir, I did.

Cummings: And you further stated, and I quote, “I believe that we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the Annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split”.  Is that right?

Hicks: Yes, sir.

Cummings: At a hearing in February before the Senate Armed Services Committee General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked whether we could have deployed F-16s from Aviano air base in Italy, and he explained why we could not, and these are his words.  We’re just trying to make sure we get the complete picture.  For a couple reasons, and I quote, “for a couple reasons, one is that in order to deploy them it requires this is the middle of the night now.  These are not aircraft on strip alert.  They’re there as a part of our commitment to NATO and Europe, and so as we looked at the timeline, it was pretty clear that it would take up to 20 hours or so to get them there”.  Mr. Hicks, I understand that you wanted planes to get to Benghazi faster.  If I were in your shoes, I would have wanted them to get there yesterday.  Yesterday.  And that is completely understandable, but the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said they simply could not get there quickly.  Mr. Hicks, do you have any reason to question General Dempsey’s testimony before the Senate?

Hicks: Again, I was speaking from my perspective.

Cummings: I understand.

Hicks: On the ground in Tripoli, based on what the Defense Attache told me.  And he said two to three hours.

Cummings: Ok.

Hicks: But there were no tankers.

Cummings: All right.

Hicks: And I also was speaking with reference to conversations I had had with veteran Libyan revolutionaries, and other personnel who had experienced the Libyan revolution and who had told me that the Libyan people were very well aware of — sorry, that American and NATO air power had been decisive in their victory and I was also speaking to their view, again, that Libyans would not stand if they were aware that American aircraft were in the vicinity.

Cummings: I understand.  So former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also testified in February, and he said this, and I quote – he says “Soon after the initial reports about the attack, the President ordered all available DOD assets to respond to the attack in Libya and to protect U.S. personnel and interests in the region.  Some have asked why other types of armed aircraft were not dispatched to Benghazi.  The reason is because armed UAVS, AC-130 gun ships or fixed wing fighters with associated tanking, armaments, targeting and support capabilities were not in the vicinity of Libya and because of the distance would have taken at least 9 to 12 hour if not, more to deploy.  This was pure and simple a problem of distance and time”.  Do you question his testimony?

Hicks: Sir, again, the Defense Attache said to me fighter aircraft in Aviano might be able to — would not be able to be over Benghazi before two to three hours.  That’s what I’m going on – what the Defense Attache told me.

Testimony of Gregory Hicks to Congressman Chaffetz's Questions

Congressman Jason Chaffetz: Mr. Hicks, we typically need permission of a host nation government to fly military aircraft over their territory?

Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks: Yes, we do.

Chaffetz: And to your knowledge did we ever ask the Libyans for permission to fly over their country?

Hicks: Frequently.

Chaffetz: Did we the night of the attack?

Hicks: The night of the attack?

Chaffetz: The night – once this incident started, did we seek permission from the Libyan government to do flyover?

Hicks: I think in the record there is a UAV was flying over Libya that night and it had permission to be there.

Chaffetz: Did we ever ask for permission to fly anything other than an unarmed drone over Libya during the attack?

Hicks: No.

Chaffetz: Would you have known that?

Hicks: Yes.

Chaffetz: Based on your extensive experience as a diplomat in dealing with the Libyan government, do you believe the Libyans would have grant the over flight rights if we had requested it?

Hicks: I believe they would have.

Chaffetz: Mr. Nordstrom, do you believe that would also be true?

Regional Security Officer Nordstrom: I think certainly in this situation.  They were fairly, yeah.

Chaffetz: I think one of the unanswered questions here is if it is a possibility, if there is any chance that we can get military over flight, if we can get a military flight there, then we would ask permission in advance.  My concern is there was never an intention, there was never an attempt to actually get these military aircraft over there.  I think one of the hard questions we have to ask is not only about the tankers but what was the NATO response?  We flew for months over Libya, months we conducted an air campaign, and we have assets.  We have NATO partners.  We worked for instance with the Italians.  It is stunning that our government, the power of the United States of America, couldn’t get a tanker in the air?  Mr. Hicks, when did you think that this was actually over?  It was done, we were safe?

Hicks: Not until our personnel landed in Tripoli on the C-130.

Chaffetz: And then even then Ansar Al-Sharia posted that, there is a reason why you had to leave the facility in Tripoli.

Hicks: That’s correct.

Chaffetz: When did you actually return to the embassy in Tripoli?

Hicks: We returned I believe on the 14th.

Chaffetz: When did the FAST team arrive to help secure the embassy.

Hicks:They arrived on the night of September 12th about 8 or so.

Chaffetz: And there still was a potential fly over and the government never asked for permission.  This is one of the deep concerns.

The New World Order Crowd Doesn’t Play Political Football – Part I

“We shall have world government whether or not you like it – by conquest or consent.” – Paul Warburg to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on February 17, 1952.

When most people in Western nations talk politics, it is usually over left-right issues.  And if it doesn’t start out as a left-right debate, it usually ends up that way.  The left loves to despise the right, and vice versa.  They shift blame to the other side instead of accepting responsibility.  The major media outlets each quietly but obviously take a side.  Talking heads and political pundits spew talking points for each camp.  Unfortunately for many, the world is viewed in unsophisticated political two-dimensional glasses: red state versus blue state.

The important issues of our day are more important than topics of political football.  The real power players in the world do not concern themselves in that game, although they fund it endlessly because it serves as a great distraction.  As Dr. Carroll Quiqley, Bill Clinton’s mentor, said in Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time:

“The chief problem of American political life for a long time has been how to make the two Congressional parties more national and international.  The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”

Think about it for just a moment.  Regardless of who is in office your country maintains a central bank that continues on with the same flawed Keynesian monetary policies resulting in bigger and bigger deficits.  Taxes go up.  In foreign policy, things are the same regardless of who holds office.  Your privacy and basic liberties are being eroded by your government, for your security.  Wherever you are, your police are likely being militarized for crowd control under the auspices of terrorism.  Your media is not critical of your government.  Not vaccinating is frowned upon.  What we see today is exactly what Quiqley called for in 1966: that key policy issues for the long-range planners continue to advance regardless of who holds office.  And the fact we see common policies advancing throughout the world is clear evidence of central planning and coordination that supersedes nation states.

As Barry Goldwater noted in his book With No Apologies:

“When we change Presidents, it is understood to mean the voters are ordering a change in national policy.  With the exception of the first seven years of the Eisenhower administration, there has been no appreciable change in foreign or domestic policy direction.”

However, keep in mind that this really isn’t a recent phenomenon, that inside baseball is what really operates key policy issues in government.  Elitists have been fooling the general public with political football for a long time.  Centuries ago, monarchies throughout Europe had operatives establish Parliamentary bodies to quell the masses and to give them protection so that they could maintain their positions safely behind the curtain.  Bismark in Germany is a great example of this.  Quigley gives us another example in Tragedy and Hope, as follows:

“When the business interests, led by William C. Whitney, pushed through the first instalment of civil service reform in 1883, they expected that they would be able to control both political parties equally.  Indeed, some of them intended to contribute to both and to allow an alternation of the two parties in public office in order to conceal their own influence, inhibit any exhibition of independence by politicians, and allow the electorate to believe that they were exercising their own free choice.”

Before moving any further, I know this sounds like paranoid, radical talk of conspiracy theories.  However, any logical mind that researches into what’s going to be discussed in this series of posts will conclude that we are talking about conspiracy fact, not theories.  Be rational in your thinking and take the time to do your own research on what’s being discussed here to really discover this for yourself.  Keep in mind, that it requires you to put aside the false paradigm of democrat/republican, liberal/conservative, blue state/red state, and focus on the bigger picture geopolitical game.

A World Government, Really?

There is indeed a subversive movement to establish a world government.  I know at first that sounds farfetched and sensational.  It’s a complex agenda that’s been in the works for generations.  There is no shortage of evidence around this.  The people behind it are elitist authoritarians.  They are not misguided or well intentioned.  Thus, our real adversary in politics is not the opposition party but a sophisticated international network that works very hard to operate without fanfare from the general public and threatens to destroy freedom worldwide.

In other posts of this series, we’ll get into details about this network and what they mean when they so often refer to a New World Order.  For the remainder of this introductory post in this series, we’ll look at a recent example of world government in action.

The Bilderberg Group

Every year but one since 1954, European royal family members have met in secret with approximately 150 select attendees whose roles range from heads of state, top leaders of the military and the intelligence community, international bankers, CEOs of major corporations, as well as the heads of regulatory bodies.  The meetings are a total secret and are conducted under high levels of tax payer funded security.  Thanks to muckraking journalists like Jim Tucker (now deceased), Alex Jones and Daniel Estulin we have been able to scratch the surface of this secretive and undemocratic confab.

Interestingly, over the years, leaks have occurred from the Bilderberg group.  Moles have reported the meeting locations, which change each year, along with snippets of what gets discussed at the meetings.

Their goal: nothing short of world government.  As long time attendee, past Chairman and current Advisory Group of the Bilderberg meetings David Rockefeller has stated in his Memoirs (page 405):

“For more than a century idealogical extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions.  Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure–one world, if you will.  If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

Until it’s time, they labor to build their lofty designs under secrecy, outside the general public’s consciousness.  The European Union and Euro currency, admitted Bilderberg designs, are great examples of this group’s power and influence.

Although the agenda for world government and the existence of the elitist network behind it are fully out in the open for those who care to look, you will not see it discussed critically in the media and it will not be found in school text books.

8 years ago, protests outside of the Bilderberg meeting location totalled maybe 15 people.  Last year, in Chantilly, Virginia, hundreds of people protested outside the gates.  This year, in Watford, UK, it is being estimated that protesters peaked at over one thousand.  More and more, people are waking up to the real power structure and are no longer being side tracked by political football.

This undesired attention will however force a reaction.  Unlike any previous year (other than maybe a back-of-the-paper one-liner mention), mainstream media outlets including BBC, AP, Reuters, the Times, the Telegraph, Channel 4 News, and others in the UK have given this year’s Bilderberg meeting major news coverage.  Unfortunately, not all of it is critical and much of the mainstream (establishment) media is doing a coordinated effort at apologetics for the Bilderbergers while at the same time painting protesters as the paranoid fringe, conspiracy theorists.  In dozens of mainstream articles here in Canada and the U.S., we are seeing a common spin: that the Bilderberg meetings are completely harmless; no decisions are ever made; policy is not being set; that these meetings are a gathering of concerned citizens that want only world peace; that their reason for secrecy is so that attendees can speak freely, without the fear of being on the record.

Do you live in a free and open society when your elected public servants can disappear on the public dime for a three-day confab with some of the richest, most influential people?  People like David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, who have talked relentlessly over past decades about their goal to create a New World Order, such as this example stated by Rockefeller:

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”

Are you willing to trust that they are going to do what’s best for the public when public servants meet in total secrecy with top globalists?  Should regulators be meeting in secret meetings with those they regulate?  Does their creature the European Union and it’s unstable Euro currency not meet the legal definition of conspiracy?

I suppose if you’re fine with Bilderberg and their designs then you wouldn’t have any concern with lobbying scandals or price fixing scandals like Libor.

Common sense says in no way is this acceptable and in no way is any regional or world government a good thing for free humanity.  History and human nature tell us sternly that we’d be complete fools to allow this.

Stay tuned for more posts in this series…

Benghazi – Attack Timeline

My last post detailed the deteriorating security situation in Libya in the lead-up to the September 2012 attack that resulting in the deaths of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

Today I want to present a consolidated timeline of the attack.  This timeline is taken from the various official sources detailed in Appendix I.  Subsequent posts will use the timeline to delve into specific aspects of the attack where there are questions (legitimate and otherwise) about the official story.

Benghazi Facilities and Resources

There are two facilities involved in the events of September 11th/12th, 2012:

  1. The U.S. Special Mission Compound/Consulate.  This facility is a walled compound about 100 yards wide and 300 yards long with a few buildings.  At the time of the attack there were seven Americans at the SMC: Ambassador Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith and five diplomatic security (DS) agents.
  2. The CIA Annex.  Details of the facility and the operations run out of it are unclear.  All official reports simply indicate that it was owned by ‘another agency’.  It seems fairly likely that this was actually a CIA facility – many none-official sources indicate this to be the case.  It is also not clear exactly how many people were present at the Annex when the attack commenced but the general consensus seems to be around 20 people.  It also appears that the majority of these individuals were DOD or CIA trained assets.

These facilities are only one kilometer from each other as can be seen in this Google map screenshot (click here for the interactive map):


Click for larger image.

Timeline of Attack (All times local Benghazi time)

  • September 10th, 2012.  Stevens arrives at the Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi.  There are five Diplomatic Security (DS) agents with him in addition to the four members of the February 17th Martyrs’ Brigade militia assigned to protect the SMC.  Information Management Officer Sean Smith is also at the SMC.
  • September 11th, 2012: 21:42.  Security video reveals dozens of armed individuals suddenly entering the SMC through the main gate.  The February 17th milita members have already fled.  The alarm is sounded  and the Annex and Embassy Tripoli are notified immediately of the attack.  The Annex is close enough that personnel there have heard the initial gunfire and are already preparing to respond.  Ambassador Stevens and Smith are secured in the main consulate building’s safe area with one of the DS agents.  Stevens immediately begins to use his cell phone to call local contacts and Embassy Tripoli for assistance.
  • 21:45.  Embassy Tripoli sets up a command center and notifies Washington.  A six person response team (including two military personnel) is dispatched from Embassy Tripoli to Benghazi.
  • 21:50.  The Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Tripoli reaches Stevens who reports that the SMC is under attack before the call drops.
  • 21:45-22:00.  Armed intruders use fuel cans to start fires in several buildings including the main building where Stevens is located.
  • 21:59.  AFRICOM and DOD redirect an unarmed surveillance drone to Benghazi.
  • 22:00.  As the main building fills with smoke the DS agent tries to lead Stevens and Smith out of the building.  In the zero visibility environment they get separated.  After exiting the building (at which point he is taking fire) the DS agent realizes he has lost Stevens and Smith.  The DS agent reenters the building several times to try and locate them without success due to the smoke.
  • 22:05.  The Annex response team departs with 6 security personnel (DOD and CIA) and a translator in two vehicles for the SMC.  Along the way they attempt to obtain heavy weapons and assistance from local militias – these efforts are not successful.  The team takes heavy fire en-route.  At the same time three DS agents at the SMC have managed to reach the main building and begin searching for Stevens in the smoke filled building and are assisting the original DS who is vomiting and losing consciousness from smoke inhalation.  At this point the first group of attackers have receded.
  • 22:05.  An OPS ALERT is issued to inform senior State Department officials, the White House situation room etc. of the attack.
  • 22:25.  The Annex response team arrives at the SMC and engages in a 15 minute firefight.
  • 22:32.  Secretary of Defence Panetta and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey are informed of situation.  They are already at the White House for a previous scheduled meeting
  • 22:40.  Annex team arrives at the SMC’s main building and links up with the SMC DS agents.  Smith’s body is recovered from building (deceased due to smoke inhalation).
  • 23:00 Panetta and Dempsey meet with the President and discuss the situation and potential responses.
  • 23:10.  First surveillance drone arrives overhead.
  • 23:15  The original SMC personnel depart for the Annex in an armored car.  They take heavy fire on the way and need to detour.  They arrive at the Annex at 23:30.  The Annex team stays at the SMC to continue the search for Stevens and weathers a second assault wave of small arms and RPGs.  After several attempts to recover Stevens and on the verge of being overrun, they retreat back to the Annex.
  • September 12th, 2012.  00:00-01:01.  The Annex comes under attack with intermittent small arms fire and RPGs.
  • 00:00-02:00.  SecDef Panetta mets with senior DOD officials.  Directs a response of three actions authorized at 02:39:
    1. One Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoon stationed in Rota, Spain to deploy to Benghazi and a second FAST platoon to prepare to deploy to Tripoli.  Only one FAST platoon will arrive in Libya and not until the evening of September 12th.
    2. U.S. European Command’s In-extermis Force (which happened to be training in Central Europe) to deploy to a staging base in Southern Europe.  Won’t arrive at the staging location in Sicily until the evening of September 12th.
    3. Special operations force in the U.S. to deploy to the staging base in Sicily.  This team arrives in Sicily the evening of the 12th
  • 00:06.  Second OP alert indicates an Al Qaeda linked group is claiming responsibility for attack.
  • 00:30.  Six person security team from Embassy Tripoli departs on a charter aircraft for Benghazi.
  • 01:15.  Six person security team from Embassy Tripoli arrives at Benghazi airport.  They are held at the airport for three hours while they negotiate with Libyan authorities about logistics.
  • 02:00.  Embassy Tripoli gets a call that Stevens’ body is at the Benghazi Medical Center (BMC) and is deceased.  His body is later reported to have arrived at BMC at 01:15.
  • 05:00.  A second surveillance drone directed to relieve first drone which is still overhead.
  • 05:04.  The six person security team from Embassy Tripoli arrives at the Annex.
  • 05:15 – 05:26.  A mortar and RPG attack on the Annex kills two and wounds two U.S. security personnel.
  • 06:00.  Libyan forces arrive at the Annex with about 50 vehicles to escort the Americans to the airport.
  • 06:30.  All U.S. personnel evacuate to Benghazi airport.
  • 07:30.  The wounded and some other U.S. personnel leave Benghazi airport on a chartered jet for Tripoli.
  • 08:25.  Stevens’ body is delivered to Benghazi airport by local ambulance.
  • 10:00.  A Libyan Air Force C-130 departs Benghazi airport with all remaining U.S. personnel and the four bodies.
  • 11:30.  The Libyan Air Force C-130 lands in Tripoli.

Appendix I – Resources

  1. The December 2012 Department of State Accountability Review Board (ARB) report that is the official word as far as the Department of State is concerned.
  2. The December 2012 Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report with 10 specific findings many of which directly contradict the ARB report.
  3. The April 2013 House Republican interim report which provides detailed timelines of the attack as well as describing the many security deficiencies and generally deteriorating security situation in Libya leading up to the attack.
  4. The May 2013 Department of Defence official timeline of the attack.
  5. The May 2013 testimony of Gregory Hicks, Eric Nordstrom and Mark Thompson before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  This testimony from the people on the ground directly involved with the events that unfolded directly contradicts the ARB in many details.

Benghazi – Prelude to the Attack

This will be the first in a series of posts looking at various aspects of the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) and ‘Annex’ facilities in Benghazi on September 11th and 12th, 2012.  My goal for the series is to provide an overview of the events that unfolded and then dig into a few specific aspects of the attack where the official story appears to be incomplete of outright false.

To start, today’s post will detail, without comment or interpretation, two timelines:

  1. The timeline of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi (and Libya in general) in the year preceding the attack.
  2. The timeline of requests for additional security made by Department of State employees in Benghazi in the year preceding the attack.

These timelines were built by consolidating the data in the following four official reports:

  1. The December 2012 Department of State Accountability Review Board (ARB) report that is the official word as far as the Department of State is concerned.
  2. The December 2012 Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report with 10 specific findings many of which directly contradict the ARB report.
  3. The April 2013 House Republican interim report which provides detailed timelines of the attack as well as describing the many security deficiencies and generally deteriorating security situation in Libya leading up to the attack.
  4. The May 2013 Department of Defence official timeline of the attack.

Deteriorating Security Situation Timeline

  • April 5th, 2011.  Chris Stevens, then Special Envoy to the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) arrives in Benghazi.  With him is a protective detail comprised of 10 Diplomatic Security (DS) agents.  Stevens uses the Tibesti Hotel as his base of operations.
  • June 1st, 2011.  Car bomb outside Tibesti Hotel and additional credible threat to Stevens.  Stevens moves to Annex.
  • June 21st 2011.  Stevens moves to Special Mission Compound (SMC).  This is a walled compound on 13 acres.
  • July 15th, 2011.  U.S. officially recognizes the TNC as Libya’s legitimate government even though Qaddafi forces still control a large part of country.
  • November 17th, 2011.  Stevens departs Libya.
  • March 22nd, 2012.  Members of a militia searching for a suspect fire weapons near the SMC and attempt to enter.
  • April 2nd, 2012.  UK armoured diplomatic vehicle attacked and damaged after driving into local protest.
  • April 6th, 2012.  A gelatin bomb is thrown over the north wall of the SMC.
  • April 10th, 2012.  An IED is thrown at the UN Special Envoy to Libya’s motorcade in Benghazi.
  • April 27th, 2012.  Two South African nationals in Libya as part of U.S. demining team are detained at gunpoint by militia, questioned and released.
  • May 22nd, 2012.  Benghazi Red Cross building attacked with RPGs.  Omar Abdurrahman Group claims responsibility for the attacks and issues threats against U.S. representatives in Libya.
  • May 26th, 2012.  Stevens arrives in Libya to replace outgoing Ambassador Cretz.
  • June 6th, 2012.  IED attack on the SMC blows a large hole in the compound wall.  Omar Abdurrahman Group claims responsibility.
  • June 8th, 2012.  Parked UK diplomatic vehicle attacked with two hand grenades.
  • June 11th, 2012.  British Ambassador’s convey attacked in Benghazi.  RPG and AK-47s used.  Two UK security officers injured.
  • June 12th, 2012.  British mission in Benghazi closed.
  • June 12th, 2012.  RPG attack on Red Cross compound in Misrata (400 km west of Benghazi).
  • June 18th, 2012.  Tunisian consulate in Benghazi stormed by protestors.
  • July 29th, 2012.  IED found at Tibesti Hotel.
  • July 30th, 2012.  Sudanese Consul is carjacked and driver beaten.
  • July 31st, 2012.  Seven Red Cross workers abducted in Benghazi.
  • August 5th, 2012.  Red Cross in Misrata attacked with RPGs.  Red Cross withdraws from Misrata and Benghazi.
  • August 9th, 2012.  Spanish-American NGO worker abducted in Benghazi (released same day).
  • August 20th, 2012.  Bomb thrown at an Egyptian diplomatic vehicle in Benghazi.

Requests for Additional Security Timeline

  • March/April 2012.  Only one Diplomatic Security (DS) agent assigned to Benghazi due to “visa problems”.
  • March 2012.  Regional Security Officer (RSO) Nordstrom requests five full time DSs for Benghazi.  Request denied – Washington caps the number of DS agents in Benghazi at three.
  • March 28th, 2012.  Then ambassador Cretz sends formal request for additional security assets to Secretary of State Clinton.
  • April 19th, 2012.  State Department cable acknowledges but denies Cretz’s request.  Cable goes on to outline plan to further reduce security by recalling the two Department of State Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) teams stationed in Libya.  Each of these teams was comprised of six men,
  • May 2012.  Stevens requests the two MSD teams remain due to deteriorating security situation.  Denied by State Department.
  • June 7th, 2012.  Stevens sends another request to State Department asking to keep the MSD teams.  Request denied. 
  • July 2012.  Embassy Tripoli requests a minimum of 3 DS agents for Benghazi.
  • July 2012.  Nordstrom sends request via cable (approved by Stevens) for  a minimum 13 security personnel to support Tripoli.  No response received.
  • July 6th, 2012.  Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Lamb strongly asserts that Embassy Tripoli should not make formal requests for extension of the 16 person Department of Defence site security teams (SSTs) or MSD teams.
  • July 9th, 2012.  Stevens responds to Lamb via cable stressing security conditions in Libya did not meet requisite State Department benchmarks.  Requests additional security personnel (regardless of whether DS, SST, MSD)
  • August 2012.  Last of MSD teams depart.  16-person DOD SST also departs from Tripoli.  Members of the SST team had occasionally augmented Benghazi security.  Nordstrom was told not to request an extension to their mission and that the political cost of making such a request would be high.
  • August 2nd, 2012.  Stevens sends a cable asking for “protective detail bodyguard postions” to “fill the vaccum of security personnel currently at post… who will be leaving with the next month and will not be replaced”.  In this cable Stevens warns that “the security condition in Libya … [is] unpredictable, volatile and violent”.
  • August 8th, 2012.  Stevens sends another cable to Washington warning that “a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape”.  He further characterizes these attacks as being “targeted and discriminate”.
  • August 27th, 2012.  The Department of State issues a travel warning for Libya citing the threat of assassinations and car bombings.
  • September 2012.  Diplomates in Benghazi approach their remaining security detail requesting firearms training.


Exposed.  That’s the word that comes to mind reading these timelines.  At the time of the attack there was only a handful of men providing security for the Benghazi mission and Ambassador Stevens.  The bulk of the Department of State and regional DOD security teams and been systematically removed from Libya in the months preceding the attack.  This drawdown occurred despite persistent protests from Stevens and RSO Nordstrom about the unacceptable security situation.

2011 Canadian Election Fraud – Obstruction by the Conservative Party MPs

In my last post I detailed federal court judge Mosley’s recent ruling on the so-called robocall fraud that occurred during the 2011 Canadian federal election.  Mosley’s complete ruling can be found here.

As a follow-up, today I want to look at what Justice Mosley had to say in his ruling about the conduct of the defendants – namely the six Conservative Party of Canada MPs whose ridings were covered under the complaint.

Immediately in the introduction of his ruling, Justice Mosley has the following to say:

[16] That the applications are to be dealt with expeditiously did not prevent the parties, particularly the respondent MPs, from bringing a considerable number of interlocutory motions. It is, I think, helpful to provide an overview of the preliminary proceedings to explain why this case has taken so long to be completed and to provide some background to the issues dealt with in these reasons.

Mosley then proceeds to dedicate long sections of his ruling to some of these ‘interlocutory’ motions.  Let’s take a look at some of these motions filed by the respondent MPs.

Motion to Dismiss

In May, 2012, two months after the complaint was filed, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) filed a motion to dismiss the case as “frivolous and vexatious, an abuse of process and not brought within the time required under s 527 of the Act“.  In July 2012 this motion to dismiss was denied with the presiding judge (Milczynski) having the following to say:

Far from being frivolous or vexatious, or an obvious abuse, the applications raise serious issues about the integrity of the democratic process in Canada and identify practices that if proven, point to a campaign of activities that would seek to deny eligible voters their right to vote and/or manipulate or interfere with that right being exercised freely – all of which if permitted to escape even the prospect of judicial scrutiny, could shake public confidence and trust in the electoral process and in those who in good faith stand for public office.

In her ruling, Milczynski did maintain that the question of timeliness needed to be dealt with at the subsequent trial since clearly the applicants had not filed in the statutory limitation period after the election (30 days).  Mosley delves into this issue in his ruling and concludes that section 527 of the Canada Elections Act clearly requires only that the application be filed 30 days from “the day on which the applicant first knew or should have known of the occurrence of the alleged irregularity, fraud, corrupt practice or illegal practice“.  Mosley concludes that the applicants did indeed meet this requirement as it was only after substantial time had passed since the election and media coverage of the fraud commenced that the applicants realized they had been targeted intentionally by misleading calls.

Maintenance and Champerty

On the same day in May 2012 that the above detailed motion to dismiss was filed by the respondent MPs, those same MPs filed a second, completely separate motion to dismiss on the grounds of “maintenance and champerty”.

The principal of maintenance is basically the support of a legal action by a third party with no direct concern in the proceedings.  Champerty is simply a more serious form of maintenance whereby the third party profits from the arrangement in some way.

In this motion to dismiss an organization called the Council of Canadians (website here) was accused of enlisting the complainants to act as surrogates.  The MPs alleged that the Council of Canadians then benefitted from this arrangement through profits generated by fund-raising to cover legal expenses for the case.  The MPs further allege that the Council of Canadians was motivated by a specific animosity towards Prime Minister Harper and, as such, were acting maliciously in their funding of this case.

Justice Mosley found these allegations to be baseless and noted that the Council of Canadians has been critical of government regardless of which party was in power and, in this case, were clearly acting to assist the applicants to “assert their rights to a fair election as Canadian citizens and electors“.

Further, Mosley takes issue with the motion to dismiss as a tactic to derail the proceedings:

[115] … The motion was, in my view, an attempt to derail these applications before they could be heard and determined on the merits and was brought without justification.

 Motion to Increase Security for Cost

After the failure of their motion to dismiss the MPs next moved to have an increased security for costs.  The MPs requested that the applicants put forward $260,409.00 which would be held pending the outcome of the trial.  The idea here is that if the lawsuit was found to be frivolous, the defendants (in this case the MPs) could draw upon these funds to cover their legal expenses and any punitive damages.

The judge hearing the motion (Aronovitch) denied it saying the “respondent MPs have failed to raise grounds or bring to bear evidence that would justify any further payment of security for costs, let alone in the amount requested“.  Aronovitch also determined that:

[22] …the seven motions (one in each application) had unnecessarily delayed and encumbered the proceedings, she ordered that the costs of the motions be paid by the respondent MPs in any event of the cause.


These are just a few of the shenanigans pulled by the MPs and their legal teams in an attempt to gum up the works and prevent a fair hearing of the evidence.  Their abuse of the system is nothing short of disgraceful.  Justice Mosley summed this up nicely in the conclusion of his findings:

[261] These proceedings have had partisan overtones from the outset. That was particularly evident in the submissions of the respondent MPs. In reviewing the procedural history and the evidence and considering the arguments advanced by the parties at the hearing, it has seemed to me that the applicants sought to achieve and hold the high ground of promoting the integrity of the electoral process while the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.

[262] Despite the obvious public interest in getting to the bottom of the allegations, the CPC made little effort to assist with the investigation at the outset despite early requests. I note that counsel for the CPC was informed while the election was taking place that the calls about polling station changes were improper. While it was begrudgingly conceded during oral argument that what occurred was “absolutely outrageous”, the record indicates that the stance taken by the respondent MPs from the outset was to block these proceedings by any means.

[263] The preliminary stages were marked by numerous objections to the evidence adduced by the applicants. The respondent MPs sought to strike the applications on the ground that they were frivolous and vexatious, to have them dismissed as champertous and to require excessive security for costs, in transparent attempts to derail this case.

This is the caliber of the people we elect in this country.