U.S. Policy in Syria: An Interview with VA Senator Richard Black
EIR's Jeff Steinberg interviews Virginia State Senator Richard Black on his recent trip to Syria and Lebanon. The two discuss the resilience of the Syrian people, the impact of U.S. sanctions on Syria, and the overall U.S. and Western strategy of "regime change."
The following is a transcript of the LaRouche PAC video interview, conducted by EIR Counterintelligence Editor Jeffrey Steinberg with Virginia State Senator Richard Black.
JEFFREY STEINBERG: Senator Black it's a pleasure to be here. And you've just returned from a trip to the Middle East, to Syria and Lebanon, and why don't you just start by telling us what you saw and your assessments of the situation there?
SEN. RICHARD BLACK: What we did, we spent the better part of a week; we spent our time in Lebanon initially; we met with General [michel] Aoun, who is sort of the presumptive next President of Lebanon. We met with Foreign Minister [gebran] Bassil who is the head of the Christian bloc of the parliament there. And also with the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon; which is a new thing. You know the Syrians have not had an ambassador there until just recently.
From there we flew to Damascus and were then taken out and we visited Palmyra, where the Syrian army conducted an enormously heroic fight to drive out ISIS and assisted by the Russians who did a very good job there. And then we drove from Palmyra to Homs. Homs is the largest province, it's the size of an American state, but it's also a very large city.
It was an incredible visit, because, like you, I have studied the Syrian war, the origins of the war for years, since 2011. I know you go back before that, but this is when I got so focused on it. And the best way to explain it, is that through intensive study and what we would call "open source intelligence," you begin to get a very clear concept of what the war is all about, and the origins of the war. But when you go there and you actually walk the grounds and you shake hands with the soldiers and meet with the refugees and people like that, it turns black and white into Technicolor. And I'm going to tell you: Syria is one of the most incredibly wonderful nations on Earth. And the fact that America set out to topple the government and destroy it, long before there was the faintest hint of civil unrest, it's really one of the great stains on American honor.
So when I went there, one the one thing that stands out so vividly is this incredible religious tapestry of religious harmony, between the Christians, the Alawites, the Sunnis, the Shi'ites, everyone; and there is such freedom of religion in Syria, and it's stunning. You know, as an American, here we have the Federal courts being partially repressive to Christianity in particular, and you go over there and I went to the Syrian broadcast system SANA, did an interview. And I came out and in the press room here is the plywood cutout of the Christmas tree and the ornaments are journalists who were martyred covering the war. And you think, "My gosh, if you did this in the United States, the ACLU would be all over you! You'd be in Federal court, and they'd rip down the tree."
And we went to the theater in Homs province, in Homs city; it's a large, modern theater, probably seated a thousand people. And they introduced me and they were very polite and receptive. And I sat next to the governor and his wife, and they're Muslim, and so I'm watching: Here's this choral presentation, very beautiful, everyone in tuxedos and the orchestra and a very lovely woman, and naturally, the woman very charismatic, you're focused on her; and then gradually your eyes start to shift gaze. And then, suddenly, I look and I realize that behind them is a theater screen with a projection of Jesus Christ, bloodied, crown of thorns, staggering under the weight of the cross. And I looked at it — and I didn't even know what they were singing, because they were singing in Arabic, right? And I realized later that they were singing Christian religious songs. And I turned to the wife of the governor, and I said, "Is this a religious theater, a Christian theater?" She said, "No, no, no, this is just a regular theater for entertainment. We put on shows, we put on concerts, everything." But it happened that on the Julian calendar, we were there for Palm Sunday and we left just prior to Easter.
And so, she said, many of the people here for the presentation are Muslim. She said, the choral group, many of them are Muslim also. And here, they're participating in the praise of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Not that they are not serious Muslims, but it's also indescribable without seeing it in person. I had heard about it, and from hundreds of Syrians, but to see it and just to encounter it at random, you suddenly were able to "breathe" religious freedom there!
STEINBERG: I think I told you, when I was in Damascus in March of 2010, some of the things that were completely stunning to me, were the Grand Mosque right off of this great market area. You walk in there; it's a gigantic, beautiful mosque, and right in the middle of it is the tomb of John the Baptist.
STEINBERG: And we went to parts of the old city, and we visited one of the earliest, the very first of the Christian churches anywhere in the world, and it's just really stunning. The first event that we went to, was an ecumenical conference. It was at a Sunni religious school; there were Shi'ite, Alawite, Sunni; there were Christians, there were Franciscan monks attending; people from Scandinavian churches. And that night there was a celebration in the old city, and they had these Sunni dervishes.
So it's what you're describing: If you're not there and you don't see it, it's almost hard to concede that this is such a natural phenomenon in this country, and you see what the Saudis and the Turks and others are trying to establish, which this hard, sectarian fight within Islam , that has no bearing on the traditional culture of Syria as a country!
BLACK: Yes, and you know, I spoke with Lebanon very senior officials, and of course, discussed this with President Assad and with the top leadership of the Syrian parliament. And one of my questions, is why is there war in Syria? We know, this was not a popular uprising. This was a calculated decision by the CIA, MI6, French intelligence, working with the Muslim Brotherhood, Turks, Saudis — an organized plan to topple the government. And of course we were familiar that there competing plans for oil and gas pipelines. And I come up a divided mind on exactly what's going on: It is true that the oil and gas pipelines are a major, major incentive for this war.
But the other thing, that both Lebanese and the Syrians were quite insistent on, is that it is Saudi Arabia's desire to impose Wahhabism. They're not content that the vast majority of Syrians are Sunni Muslims; now, if you listen to the press, they say, "oh, you know, we need a Sunni government." Well, there are umpteen million Sunnis who are in the government and in high positions, and in the army and everywhere else. What they really mean is that we want Wahhabism, the type of Wahhabism that says that you impose severe, brutal Sharia law, and you begin beheading people, you force conversions and you take the wives of the Christians that you've murdered and you sell them at slave markets, which is happening right now in Iraq, perhaps in some parts of Syria also; but their feeling is that the true zeal behind this is this desire to impose the harshest, most extreme and violent, brutal form of Islamic rule.
STEINBERG: What you're describing is the ISIS and the al-Nusra Front which is simply al-Qaeda, and the Saudis carry out beheadings, cutting off limbs, as their brand of Sharia law justice, exactly as ISIS and Nusra do in the areas they control.
BLACK: That's exactly correct. And this has gone on through history. When I visited the Church of the Patriarch of Syria and the East, we went to a little adjacent, Christian school, and they had paintings of martyrs, and just as a reminder, that the history of Turkey, the Turks and the Saudis share the same history of violence towards those who do not share this most extreme view. And there was a painting that just stood out in my mind of a martyr, a woman during the Armenian genocide, a Christian, and the extremists had come in and they had amputated her feet and her hands. And she had an infant, and she cradled the infant and breast-fed the infant for the next couple days until she finally died of the torture they'd imposed on her.
So you know, they had suppressed this in Turkey under Ataturk, starting 1925. I read the Turkish Constitution; it's admirable, it's a very fine Constitution. But now you have President Erdogan who has said...
STEINBERG: He's ripping it up.
BLACK: He's tearing it to shreds, and he says "I want the powers of Adolf Hitler."
STEINBERG: That's right.
BLACK: Our ally. Our ally says, "I want the powers of Adolf Hitler!" Imagine that!
STEINBERG: Mm-hmm. And it was brushed off and explained away in the American media as a misquote or something like that, as if he hadn't said it, and didn't mean it.
BLACK: And he never retracted a word of it! But a spokesman said, "well, you know, it's sort of out of context." Well — gimme a break. How do you put "the powers of Adolf Hitler" out of context! You know?
STEINBERG: Right, exactly.
I wanted to ask you, because I think you made a very important point about the Saudis and what they want, the Turks and what they want, but if the United States and Western European were not in on this for their own reasons, from the very outset, I doubt that the Saudis or the Turks would have been able to create the mess. And I'm reminded that way back in 1991, right at the point that the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union were disintegrating, according to Gen. Wesley Clark, he met with Paul Wolfowitz in Dick Cheney's office — Cheney was Secretary of Defense under Bush Sr.—and Wolfowitz went through a list of governments targeted for regime change because they had at various points, allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. And Syria was right near the top of that list; Syria, Iraq, Libya, others.
And so, I wanted to get your assessment, given the way the situation has played out, the tragedy of the last five years, do you think that this could have actually occurred were it not for the full, witting complicity of the United States, both under President George W. Bush and now, for the last seven years, under President Barack Obama?
BLACK: That's an excellent question. If one of our assistants could hand me the black and white poster over there, I think this could help to explain it somewhat. [Placard reading "Syrian War Countdown" 16:10]
Let me just run you through this, because the timeline is extremely important: In 2001, Gen. Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe has told us, that the Pentagon was ordered by the Secretary of Defense to make plans to topple seven different countries, neutral, non-belligerent countries, in what was an act of aggression under the law of war, which is a war crime. And so, the Pentagon began war-planning 2001.
Now, President Bashar al-Assad did not take office until I think it was 2000; so he was brand new. He'd come in as a reformer. But reform, good or bad, didn't matter; we were going to topple seven countries, all of them also enemies of the Saudi Arabians. The United States is pulled around by the nose by Saudi Arabia, and for our senior leaders in this country, they all have a meeting with Mr. Green. And Mr. Green persuades them to do whatever the Saudis tell them.
So, OK, you start with 2001, the Pentagon starts planning. In 2006, WikiLeaks has released a document that came from the Chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy; at the time, we didn't not have an ambassador, so the Chargé d'affaires was the senior person. That document outlined, in detail, plans to overthrow the government of Syria. And the two things that stand out in my mind is, we have a problem because President Assad came in as a reformer, he's doing a lot of positive things, and so it is drawing an enormous amount of foreign direct investment and we've got to smear the image of Syria so that it will begin cutting off this flow of funds, and will adversely impact the Syrian economy. This is the United States, your country and my country, saying "we're going to destroy another country by smearing their reputation.
The other thing which I think was equally sinister, is in this country that has this beautiful religious harmony, we said have got to create religious division, religious frictions and hatred among religions, so that we can disassemble this country.
But there were six very specific things outlined. And keep in mind, in 2006, there were no demonstrations, there was no political opposition, there were no uprisings, people were prosperous, they were happy.
So here you go from 2005, we start planning the war; 2006, we come up with explicit plans. You go to 2011 and the CIA works to gain the release of the most deadly al-Qaeda operatives in Libyan prisons and uses those people to spark an uprising in Benghazi, the purpose of which — and I wish, you know, Congress, while they're always talking about Benghazi, they never talk about before Benghazi. What was the reason we were there in the first place! Why did we attack our
ally, Colonel Qaddafi — now we have had problems with Qaddafi but we had resolved them ...
STEINBERG: In 2003, he dismantled his WMD program and became — even John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham, in early 2009, were in Tripoli and said "this guy's our best friend in our war against — " it wasn't ISIS yet, but "the war against al-Qaeda and the other jihadists."
BLACK: Yes, yes. So, absolutely, he was our best ally. And however, his big mistake was he had a huge arsenal of modern weapons, that we needed, to overthrow Syria. The reason that we went into Libya was, to capture their weapons to feed and fuel the war against Syria. Because we knew, Syria was a powerfully united, cohesive nation of people who — you know, every country has people who are unhappy or who are dissidents; we have 'em in this country — but we knew that we had a tough nut to crack here, because this was a very cohesive country. So we needed a huge amount of armaments. The reason we went into Libya was to capture these. And this is all laid out by Pulitzer Prize winning author Seymour Hersh in his article, "The Red Line and the Rat Line," something that was censored; almost everything he's done has been widely printed by major media, and they censored it. But the London Review of Books has it published, and he explains why we went in, how we captured the weapons, and how we started the rat line, flying arms in.
Because the CIA could not go before Congress and say, "Look, we intend to attack a neutral, non-belligerent country, where the people are happy, prosperous, and enjoy greater women's rights and religious freedom than any other Arab nation; we're going to rip it to shreds, we're going to open up a torrent of bloodshed: Please give us an appropriation so we can purchase weapons to do it."
BLACK: That would not have gone over well. So, we went around it, and we captured the weapons in Libya, sent 'em to Syria. Three months after the war in Libya, even before Colonel Qaddafi had fallen, we started the war in Syria. And the technique that we used, — now just watch the timeline: We go from 2001, we decided to bring 'em down then, it was 10 years! An entire decade of planning and plotting and preparing.
STEINBERG: Exactly, exactly.
BLACK: So, you look at this timeline, and then, of course, we've employed massive, unrelenting propaganda against President Assad and his government. We call him a "regime," the "Assad regime."
STEINBERG: Right, as opposed to "an elected, sovereign government."
BLACK: Yes. Now, of course, we always ignore the fact that he was popularly elected, in fair and open elections in 2014. Now, on the other hand, we sit at Geneva III at the peace talks, and on one side we have Saudi Arabia, where if you were to suggest the election of the King or dictator of Saudi Arabia, your head would be a spike the next day; and then, on the other hand, you have President Erdogan, the man who would be Adolf Hitler! [laughter]
BLACK: It is so bizarre. And the method that we use, the specific method when we triggered this is interesting. The Arab Spring started with a single suicide, and it is very difficult to conceive that it did not spread without very active covert action. Nothing ever happens in politics, nothing just happens without a push.
So there actually began to be legitimate demonstrations in Syria as well as across the Middle East. What I found interesting, I talked to several people — I just bumped into them on my trip, and they said, "Oh, I was anti-Assad then." Well, one of them turns out to be my interpreter; he'd been with me for the better part of a week! And one day we're talking, and he said, "You know," he said, "I was a demonstrator against President Assad." And I said, "Oh, that's interesting. Tell me about it?"
He said, "Well, we just started. It was during the Arab Spring, and we started holding demonstrations." Much like, you and I have both probably been involved in demonstrations! But he said, "first, people started showing up with al-Qaeda flags."
STEINBERG: Yeah. The black flags.
BLACK: "Then," he said, "people started showing up with military weapons." Now, there is no Second Amendment in Syria, so you don't just grab a Kalashnikov at the corner drug store.
STEINBERG: Right. You don't go to a gun show on Sunday afternoon.
BLACK: That's right, you don't do that. And he said, "The third thing, is they began to preach religious hatred!" And all along the demonstrators would say, "You guys, get out of here, get out of here! This is not what we're about. We're just here asking the government for some changes." And the friction became tougher and tougher, and he said, "My uncle was the head of all the demonstrators" in this large city, and he said, in the seventh month of back and forth with the al-Qaeda people, they murdered him; they killed him.
And so I asked the same question of the several people I encountered, who had been anti-Assad. Well, they weren't anti-Assad, they were demonstrators; they weren't demonstrating against him.
STEINBERG: Sure. They wanted reforms.
BLACK: They wanted reforms. You know, I've been in demonstrations; I wasn't demonstrating to bring down the government, I was there for reform.
And this was news to me, because I knew about this transition, but what was stunning that consistently, — two out of the three said that this transition took place over the span of a single month; the second one said it took place over the span of two months. So within one to two months, what started as demonstrations became an al-Qaeda-led violent, jihadist uprising. And of course, you still had demonstrators struggling to make it a demonstration. But that was how it developed.
STEINBERG: You know, it coincided with the period in 2010 going into 2011, when back here in Washington, there was a study ordered by President Obama, of how to relate to the anticipated insurgencies that were going to sweep across the Muslim world, particularly North Africa and the Middle East. The conclusion that was arrived at by people like Dennis Ross, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, was that the horse the United States should ride in on was the Muslim Brotherhood.
STEINBERG: And these are still classified, National Security Study and Decision Directives, that are the cornerstone of the U.S. strategy, which was to basically play into the jihadist insurgencies.
BLACK: Yes, and you know, that brings us to a good point: You then come to the point of the uprising itself, how was this carried out? Just prior to the uprisings, Ambassador Ford was sent to Damascus; we had not had an ambassador there for some time. He was put in place by Hillary Clinton. Around that time, of course, you have all of these covert agencies; Western agencies, plus the Saudis and the Turks. And their mechanism was the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood had created a violent uprising under the father, Hafez Assad, and it's often portrayed some put-down of these poor people. It was not at all that: It was a violent uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood copied, almost with precision, the approach that the Nazis took during Kristallnacht, which triggered the anti-Jewish backlash by the Nazi Party. The Nazis during Kristallnacht and they painted the Jewish star on all Jewish buildings and residences, and then on signal they surged through and they smashed and they beat, they killed 92 people. With identical procedures, the Muslim Brotherhood, first they hired people to stand on the street corners with placards that said, "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave." Which meant, we're going to kick out 10% of our population, another 10% we're going to murder them. In short order, it changed to "Christians to the grave, Alawites to the grave," which meant, we're going to kill 1 out of every 5 Syrians.
So they had these people carrying these placards, and then, at a certain point, the Muslim Brotherhood sent people out at night; they marked the residences, and the businesses, with the Nazarene symbol; and then right after mosque, with the most extremist mosques, they surged out and began beating and roughing up and murdering Christians. Within three days from the city of Hama, 70,000 Christians streamed into Damascus; why Damascus? Because they knew that President Assad would protect the Christians. He would protect anyone who was under attack by the Muslim Brotherhood.
And interestingly, then, Ambassador Ford and the French ambassador, get in a car; and the city of Hama had been ringed with security forces so that they could restore order to the town. And violating diplomatic protocol, they bypassed security, they met with the demonstrators, and they promised total American support. And by that action, they converted demonstrations into an armed revolution. And this was done intentionally.
STEINBERG: Right. I was at an event in Washington, in June of 2011, and there was still a Syrian ambassador in Washington at the time. It was Dr. Imad Mustafa. And this was really even before the major eruptions of violence that came a bit later in the year. And he presented a series of videos of sermons that were given by these Wahhabi and other radicalized clerics in these small, rural areas; and it was an absolute call to arms! And this was early on in the process. He said, "this is what we're dealing with. This is a problem that has existed for a long time, but now, suddenly this problem has mushroomed tremendously, because there's all of this outside support and encouragement coming from Washington and coming from all of these other places."
This is what has been described as "regime change." Using quote "civil society," as a kind of a human shield, for organized, well-armed, violent elements, that make the claim that they're part of a public outcry, upsurge; but in fact, it's an organized, financed, and armed operation.
You mentioned the Sy Hersh article: the United Nations as part of the enforcement of the arms embargo had been monitoring all of those weapons going from Libya into Syria, into the hands of the jihadists. And there were a series of UN reports that tracked out, from Benghazi ships and planes from Qatar and from Turkey, that were overseen by American and British officials on the ground, loading the weapons up; and this is all in official United Nations reports, indicating exactly what you described: the flow of weapons through these channels into the rebels in Syria. Yet, you won't read a word about that in the American and European media, which is completely on board with this regime change strategy.
BLACK: Well, you know, I'll tell you what is amazing, Jeff, is that when we started the war on terror, after 9/11, it was essentially a war against al-Qaeda and similar organizations. We have gone full circle from opposing al-Qaeda, which sent 3,000 Americans to a flaming death on 9/11, complete circle to where we now supply them; we arm them; we finance them; and it's all coming with the approval of the highest authorities in the United States government.
And you know, if you want to consider whether the people of Syria are for or against their government and their President, just consider this: Syria has a population of 23 million people. It is in the sixth year of a war in which it has been opposed by the United States, Great Britain, France, NATO, the European Union, ...
STEINBERG: Right. The GCC.
BLACK: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the GCC — this massive force! I mean, basically, all of the great nations of the world, — almost all, not China and Russia, of course — but almost all of the great nations have descended on little Syria, and it's like "The Little Train That Could," they just keep chuggin' and chuggin' and chuggin'.
And I spoke with the First Lady, who is just utterly charming. She is not — unlike the First Ladies we're accustomed to who are ostentatious, and pompous and arrogant — she is very down to earth, a very nice person; and she said, "One of the things I've done," she said, unlike worrying about hamburgers and billboards and things like that, she goes out and she meets the families that have lost sons in battle, and she says, "I've now met with over 1,000 personally." She said, "when I first did it, I was naturally apprehensive, and I knew that I would go to some homes and the people would be just so distraught that they'd burst out in anger at anybody who came, and was like me." But she said, "I was so surprised. I had never encountered that. Every home I go to, they tell me, we are so deeply sad for the loss of our son, but we cannot think of anything for which we would rather have sacrificed our son than for the defense of Syria, for the unity of this nation."
And I saw that over and over: I went to a hospital for amputees, and I discovered, — just to my personal disgrace as an American — that the sanctions we have imposed on Syria prevent them from receiving prosthetic devices, amputees. They said, not long ago, they had 600 cancer patients, and they said, "look can you make an exception to the exchange provisions," where we'd blocked all foreign exchange, "so we can get medication for these cancer patients?" And the Treasury Department said, "No. You don't get prosthetic devices for people who are missing legs and arms; you don't medication for cancer patients..." There's such utter cruelty in our government! I mean — our Federal government!
When I was a young Marine, we used to — at the end of the day we'd stand there, the drill instructor would march back and forth, and we'd scream the Marine Corps hymn, and we'd say the words, "we will fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean, we're proud to claim the title of United States Marine." If ever our honor has been disgraced, here we are cutting off access to prosthetic limbs for people! Where have we come?! What has come of this country?!
STEINBERG: Exactly. And these are really violations of the Geneva Conventions. There are rules of war, and rules for the kind of medical care that all parties deserve in wartime. And it's violated.
I wanted to ask you before we finish up: Within the bounds of what you're comfortable discussing, your impressions and things that came from both your discussion with President Assad and maybe some of the other officials; and similarly, when you were Lebanon, I'm wondering what General Aoun might of shared with you, in terms of his view of what has happened in the region; because is one of the countries that has been greatly affected, and badly, badly damaged by this phenomenon. The Saudis have basically vetoed a President being selected by the parliament because they don't want anything that would stand in the way of their — as you say — their drive to spread Wahhabism everywhere.
BLACK: Yes. Well, you know, Lebanon has a unique structure, where the President is always a Christian, the Prime Minister is always Sunni, and the Speaker of the Parliament is Shi'a. It's their way. They don't quite achieve religious harmony quite as smoothly as Syria does. But interestingly, General Aoun spent a good part of his life fighting against Syria, because Syria occupied a portion of Lebanon; and Syria withdrew under President Assad. When he took over he began the withdrawal and completed the withdrawal of Syrian troops. General Aoun always took the position, he said, "when you're in my country you are my enemy," he said, "when you're out, you are my friend." And he has been true to that. He's a delightful man.
And he clearly is supportive of the government of Syria, and I think is very respectful of the President of Syria. And I think he realizes something that I was quoted by ISIS as saying. You know, there were three Americans chosen as enemies as ISIS, but they quoted me, in a way that said, "this man is telling the truth, and listen," because they said, "in the words of the enemy." They called me the "American Crusader" — "in the words of the enemy," and they quoted me accurately and I had said something to the effect that, if Assad falls, then the dread black and white flag of al-Qaeda will fly over Damascus; and within months, Lebanon will fall, and Jordan will fall. And with the consolidation of this very large area under the control of al-Qaeda, we will then face this tremendous extremism that will percolate over into Turkey where it already is taking hold, very rapidly. And that that will begin a drive on Europe, and I believe that this time, Europe will fall."
And I think that from General Aoun's perspective, from President Assad's perspective, from the various officials that I spoke with, I think they share this belief; I think they believe that this is the objective of al-Qaeda.
And you know, the Joint Chiefs of Staff became so distraught, so very concerned about the eventual outcome of events in Syria, that they tasked the Defense Intelligence Agency in the summer of 2013 to do complete study and to render findings of fact. The Defense Intelligence Agency, which is not political like the CIA, came up with three findings: They said 1) President Assad must not leave office because if he does, Syria will fall into chaos, just as Libya has done. 2) Turkey is a major problem, because they are the supplier of ISIS, they give them arms, ammunition, everything that ISIS gets comes out of Turkey. And 3) which is the very thing that President Assad has said from the beginning, they said, there are no moderate rebels. The notion is a fantasy, they do not exist! And yet, I think yesterday, Secretary Kerry was out there saying, we've got to help the moderate rebels. The "moderate rebels" are al-Qaeda, who flew the jets into the Twin Towers and today these are the "moderates"!
So this is where we have come....
STEINBERG: Right, right. And "Saudi Arabia is our greatest ally in the region."
BLACK: Yeah. Saudi Arabia, there is increasing evidence pointing to Saudi Arabia as the prime actor in the attacks on 9/11; more and more people are beginning to conclude that as evidence starts emerging.
And so here we are: We are allied with the country most complicit in the 9/11 attacks on us, and we have gone full circle and we are now supplying al-Qaeda with TOW antitank missiles and we're preparing to give them even more advanced weapons such as antiaircraft missiles; they can be used to shoot down Boeing 747 jets at Dulles Airport, and Heathrow and LaGuardia and across the world.
Extremely reckless, nearly an insane American policy, driven by Saudi wealth that lines the pockets of top people in this country. It's sad.
STEINBERG: I want to thank you very much. This was really an important visit that you made, a courageous visit. And I think sharing these insights and getting them out as widely as possible is one of the critical steps in getting the United States back on its traditional track which we have veered off of so dangerously that we might not make it as a nation, if we don't make the corrections in time.
BLACK: We are on a suicidal course, and I really appreciate you, helping to get the word out. We've got to change course, or it's coming here, and it's coming fast.
STEINBERG: That's right. Thank you again.
BLACK: Thank you very much.