In an appearance before a reconfirmation hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 18, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he favors a U.S. role in “building a moderate opposition” against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The new interim leaders of Egypt appointed by the military have followed the pattern of being secular, internationalist, and socialist-leaning. Most of the new leaders have ties with either the Mubarak dictatorship, newly-formed socialist parties, the United Nations, or some combination of the above.
U.S. foreign aid dollars have been channeled to U.S.-based radicals advocating terrorism against Egyptian civilians, according to a recent report by Emad Mekay of the U.C.-Berkley Investigative Reporting Program, along with funding for other opponents of the former President Mohammad Morsi.
Despite the White House’s mistaken impression that Obama can arm jihadist Syrian rebels without permission from Congress, media reports indicate that the administration is lobbying lawmakers for a green light after key congressional committees rebuked the president’s deeply unpopular plan to send military aid to opposition forces in Syria. While members of Congress on both sides of the aisle fret about the potential for U.S. weapons to end up in the hands of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups currently fighting the Assad regime, the administration appears determined to go forward with its scheme.
On July 15, the 18th round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will begin in Malaysia. Japan is set to join the 11 countries currently included in the "free trade" area.