Gen. Paul Vallely: Syrian Rebel General "Paid Off" by Muslim Brotherhood - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Gen. Paul Vallely: Syrian Rebel General “Paid Off” by Muslim Brotherhood

In a stunning assertion which I have not heard elsewhere, during my interview on Denver’s NewsRadio 850 KOA of Maj. Gen. Paul Valley (US Army, retired, and also Chairman of Stand up America), who just returned from his third trip to Syria, Gen. Vallely said that General Salim Idriss, nominally the head of the Free Syrian Army, is “not a real general,” has “never commanded anything,” and has been “paid off” by the Muslim Brotherhood and therefore should be considered part of the Islamist rebel factions, and not of the section of the anti-Assad conglomeration marketed to the US as “moderate.”.

I asked Vallely his thoughts on the fact that Senator John McCain (AZ), President Obama’s key Republican backer on US military action in Syria, holds up Gen. Idriss as the key figure whom we need to support in the  Syrian Civil War. Gen. Vallely said, “I was with Idriss on the plane two weeks ago, so I’m speaking from a little knowledge. They (the Muslim Brotherhood) basically paid him off…”

If true, this casts doubt (based on a combination of poor intelligence gathering and poor judgment) on almost everything that Sen. McCain says about how and why the US should be involved in Syria. Gen. Vallely also noted that “John (McCain) knows what I do.” That said, nobody has anything like perfect information about Syria and it would be unwise to think that anybody there is not looking out for himself first, his tribe second, and the country third.

You can listen to my entire interview (about 11 minutes long) at this link or below. All of it is interesting, but this specific discussion starts just after the 4 minute mark.

Gen. Vallely describes a Colonel Riad as the man worth considering for US backing. And although I do not share Vallely’s optimism regarding a potential good outcome in terms of parliamentary democracy for Syria should President Assad fall to the FSA, Vallely has more on-site experience in Syria than any other American I’m aware of; his views are well-informed and not to be taken lightly.

Gen. Vallely supports US action in Syria if we put together a better strategy including crippling Assad’s air force, whereas I believe there is no adequate strategy possible in this situation and further I do not believe there is a US interest in Syria which justifies the many risks and costs of our potential involvement there.

(For the record, Gen. Vallely thought I was assuming that Hezbollah was a rebel group, which I wasn’t. I know they’re Shi’ites supporting Assad, but that doesn’t mean that if Assad fell, Hezbollah (or other Iranian-controlled actors) could not be involved in whatever government came next — and if they were involved, it would certainly not be any modern, freedom-oriented new regime.)

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