Syrian Rebel Lobby supported by McCain, Rubio

By Ben Barrack

Syrian rebels have a friend in Mouaz Moustafa, Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF). As such, those Syrian rebels have a friend in Senators John McCain (R-AZ), who sings Moustafa’s praises, and Marco Rubio (R-FL). SETF is essentially a D.C. lobbying arm for those Syrian rebels McCain and Rubio are always cheering on. SETF also has a very interesting Board member in Yahya Basha.

Jamie Weinstein has an excellent article over at the Daily Caller:

In two windowless offices just one block away from the White House, Mouaz Moustafa is working to persuade Congress and the executive branch to put the weight of American power behind the Syrian rebels seeking to overthrow the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad.

The 28-year-old leads the Syrian Emergency Task Force, the group that famously snuck Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain into Syria in May to meet with leaders of the Syrian opposition. McCain calls Moustafa a “patriot” and says he is “a tireless champion for the cause of freedom for Syria.”

Mouaz Moustafa - Executive Director of SETF

Mouaz Moustafa – Executive Director of SETF

If you’ve found yourself banging your head against the wall when trying to understand McCain’s support for America’s enemies, perhaps you could move closer than one block away from where he works; only then will you be closer to him than Moustafa is. Of course, the meeting McCain had with the Syrian rebels that Weinstein is referring to includes a photo of the Senator from Arizona with not only Moustafa but Mohammad Nour, a guy who heads a hostage-taking outfit.

Via the Daily Star (h/t Jawa):

According to families of the remaining captives and one of the released men, Anwar Ibrahim, one of the men standing alongside McCain in a photograph released by the senator’s office, is Mohammad Nour, the chief spokesman and photographer for the Northern Storm kidnappers. Nour appears in several other shots released by news agencies where McCain is posing with different officials.

Here is the photo of McCain with Syrian rebels that stirred controversy in May. Nour can be seen at far left and none other than Mouaz Moustafa (the “patriot”) can be seen at far right. The ignorant Senator, who has clowns to the left of him and jokers to the right, is in the middle:

McCain: Clowns to the left of him, Jokers to the right. America is stuck in the middle with him

McCain: Clowns to the left of him, Jokers to the right. America is stuck in the middle.

For some reason, this just seems appropriate, with one exception. McCain is both a clown and a joker who’s stuck in the middle of both:

Perhaps there is no better illustration of the similarity between Nour and Moustafa than the ‘do what we say and no one will get hurt’ mentality. Consider that Nour is much more overt about it; he physically takes hostages. Moustafa is a bit more nuanced about it. Nour’s group may or may not use that language but Moustafa does. In fact, Moustafa sounds like a political hostage-taker when presented with the prospect that his rebels may not get American support, via Weinstein:

“I think there would be a lot of people who would want revenge from the people who allowed this to happen to them,” he added, seemingly evoking a future in which a disconcerted group of rebels violently lash out against Americans if the U.S. doesn’t do more to bring down the Assad regime.

Isn’t it interesting how Moustafa sounds like former Ground Zero mosque imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf in 2010, who said that if Muslims weren’t allowed to build the mosque, “radicals” might attack?

Do what we say and no one gets hurt, right?

Let’s go back to the SETF and Board member Yahya Basha.

Yahya Basha is a Board member of the SETF

Yahya Basha is a Board member of the SETF

The New Republic’s Franklin Foer wrote an extremely revealing article in 2001 about a White House meeting that included Basha:

On the afternoon of September 26, George W. Bush gathered 15 prominent Muslim- and Arab-Americans at the White House. With cameras rolling, the president proclaimed that “the teachings of Islam are teachings of peace and good.” It was a critically important moment, a statement to the world that America’s Muslim leaders unambiguously reject the terror committed in Islam’s name.

Unfortunately, many of the leaders present hadn’t unambiguously rejected it. To the president’s left sat Dr. Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have repeatedly called Hamas “freedom fighters.” Also in attendance was Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who on the afternoon of September 11 told a Los Angeles public radio audience that “we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list.” And sitting right next to President Bush was Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who last fall told a Washington crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans, “America has to learn if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” Days later, after a conservative activist confronted Karl Rove with dossiers about some of Bush’s new friends, Rove replied, according to the activist, “I wish I had known before the event took place.”

You read that right. Not only was McCain photographed next to the leader of a kidnapping operation but he was put there by a guy in Moustafa, who works for an organization on whose board Basha sits; Basha was president of a group that revered Hamas. Go figure, the Syrian rebels have quite a stout Hamas contingent.

There is another disturbing connection to Basha’s AMC and a convicted terrorist:

AMC itself was founded by a man named Abdurahman Alamoudi, who would be convicted of terrorist fundraising and sentenced to 23 years in prison just two years after the leader of the group he founded had met with Bush. – The Case FOR Islamophobia, p. 279

Speaking of the Bush family, there is another revelation in the Daily Caller article worth noting and it involves the extremely enigmatic and disappointing U.S. Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, who has demonstrated a strange coziness with Jeb Bush.

About U.S. politicians Moustafa has been pleased with, Weinstein writes:

Among the legislators who have been most helpful to his cause, he said, are McCain, New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, as well as Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

It’s interesting that three of the members of the ‘Gang of 8’ on immigration – McCain, Menendez, and Rubio – are also supporters of the Syrian rebels.

You know what else McCain and Rubio share in common? Both defended Huma Abedin.

Rubio has been building quite the political rap sheet lately and he’s not even halfway through his first term:

Marco Rubio: Cozy with Jeb, co-opted by the Establishment

Marco Rubio: Cozy with Jeb, co-opted by the Establishment


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