Tag Archives: US Arming Al Qaeda

Obama’s Gun-Running Operation: Weapons and Support for “Islamic Terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. “Create Constructive Chaos” and “Redraw the Map of the Middle East”

By Julie Lévesque
May 29, 2015
Global Research

 

Obama-Eyes-SyriaNewly disclosed Pentagon documents prove what we’ve known for a while now: the Obama administration knew as early as 2012 that weapons were being sent from Benghazi, Libya, to rebels in Syria.

The U.S. government also knew at the time that:

“the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and [Al Qaeda in Iraq were] the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

But did they just “know” or was it part of the plan?

These official documents of the Obama administration add to the large  amount of evidence proving that the actual chaos and havoc wreaked by extremist groups in the Middle East was deliberately created by the U.S. and its allies and is not the result of a “failed foreign policy”.

Judicial Watch recently revealed:

The DoD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons. (Benghazi Scandal: Obama Administration Knew Weapons Were Being Sent to Al-Qaeda in Syria, New Documents Show, Judicial Watch 18 May 2015)

Although the documents do not reveal who was responsible for sending weapons to Syria, it is quite obvious from the language used in the documents that it was a US initiative and the CIA presence in Benghazi at the time suggests that US intelligence was behind this gun-running operation.

Libyan Terrorists in Syria

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Four people were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and two CIA officers.

In August 2013, Business Insider reported :

The Agency, for its part, doesn’t want anyone knowing what it was doing in the Libyan port city.

On Thursday Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston of CNN reported that the CIA “is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.”

Sources told CNN that 35 Americans were in Benghazi that night — 21 of whom were working out of the annex — and that several were wounded, some seriously.

One source said: “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

Among the questions are whether CIA missteps contributed to the security failure in Benghazi and, more importantly, whether the Agency’s Benghazi operation had anything to do with reported heavy weapons shipments from the local port to Syrian rebels.

In short, the CIA operation is the most intriguing thing about Benghazi. (Michael B. Kelley and Geoffrey Ingersoll, Intrigue Surrounding The Secret CIA Operation In Benghazi Is Not Going Away, Business Insider, August 3, 2013)

Last January, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded that the “Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ‘changed sides in the war on terror’ in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power”, WND reported.

WND added that

“several members of the commission have disclosed their finding that the mission of Christopher Stevens, prior to the fall of Gadhafi and during Stevens’ time as U.S. ambassador, was the management of a secret gun-running program operated out of the Benghazi compound.” (Jerome R. Corsi,Libya: U.S. Generals Conclude Obama Backed Al-Qaida and Operated a Secret Gun-Running Program in Benghazi, WND, January 20, 2015)

We’ve also known for several years that Western special operations forces were on the ground training rebels to fight against Assad.

In January 2012, Michel Chossudovsky reported:

Several articles in the British media confirm that British Special Forces are training Syrian rebels.

The underlying pattern is similar to that of Libya where British SAS were on the ground prior to the launching of NATO’s military intervention.

A Responsibility to Protect (R2P) NATO intervention modelled on Libya is contemplated… The reports confirm that British military and  intelligence operatives are already on the ground inside Syria. (Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: British Special Forces, CIA and MI6 Supporting Armed Insurgency. NATO Intervention Contemplated, Global Research, January 7, 2012)

Even CNN reported back in 2012 that rebels were being trained by defense contractors to handle chemical weapons:

The US and some of its European allies “are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria,” according to “a senior US official and several senior diplomats,” CNN reports.

The US-funded training is going on inside Syria, as well as in neighboring Turkey and Jordan and “involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials,” according to CNN. US Defense Contractors Training Syrian Rebels to Handle Chemical Weapons

Bashar Al-Assad Is The Target

The deadly chemical weapons were later used against Syrian soldiers and civilians. The U.S. government and the Western mainstream media tried to blame President Assad, but a UN investigation later concluded that it was  the rebels who had used the chemical weapons.

Another official document from 2012 revealed by Judicial Watch indicates that the “growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory. (Judicial Watch, op., cit.)

The U.S. did exactly what was needed to create “the ideal atmosphere” for Mosul and Ramadi to fall and for ISIS to declare an “Islamic state”.

With the fall of Mosul last June, the recent fall of Ramadi in Iraq and numerous reports about the U.S. delivering weapons and ammunition to ISIS, the recently disclosed official documents show once more that the U.S. gun-running operation created “the ideal atmosphere” for Al Qaeda Iraq and “the rise of ISIS” in the region. The war against the so-called Islamic State can thus only be a flatout lie.

The following articles pertain to the U.S. delivery of weapons to ISIS while it was supposedly fighting it:

U.S. Airdrops Weapons to ISIS as Iraqi Army Makes Gains

Delivery of US Weapons and Ammunition to ISIS: Iraqi Commander Wiretaps ISIS Communications with US Military

Terrorists Supported by America: U.S. Helicopter Delivering Weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS), Shot Down by Iraqi “Popular Forces”

Iraqi Army Allegedly Downs A US Helicopter For Providing Weapons To ISIS: Report

As a solution to the problem they created, with full knowledge of the consequences, the U.S. and its allies offered a military intervention with the stated intent of fighting the enemy they had created while covertly supporting it in order to sustain the war, for the greatest benefit of defense contractors and Israel, which has the a lot to gain in the dismantlement of neighboring states.

The purpose of this “constructive chaos” is nothing less than to redraw the map of the region and create a “New Middle East.”

As Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya explained back in 2006:

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of  the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives. (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”, Global Research, November 2006)

Note: The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006). Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles (Mahdi D. Nazemroaya).

All the evidence is there to prove ISIS and their ilks are instruments of  U.S.-NATO-Israel foreign policy.

How long can the Western mainstream media ignore this overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and its allies are supporting the entities they claim to be be fighting in the Middle East without totally losing the very little credibility it has left?

Looking at the situation, Joachim Hagopian argues that the war on ISIS is just for show since its “enemy” is only gaining territory:

The US led coalition air strikes in Syria and Iraq have failed to stop the Islamic State’s expansion. Four months ago it was noted that since the US air campaign began last August, the Islamic State has doubled its space in Syria, controlling more than one third of the country’s territory. In the same way that the US predator drone warfare policy has only caused more hatred against America in the nations it’s been deployed against in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, the same reverse effect is occurring in Syria where residents are increasingly sympathetic to Islamic State. Additionally, Syrian opposition groups bitterly complain that the US led coalition forces fail to coordinate dropping bombs with the rebels, thus not permitting them any tactical advantage in driving IS back. It’s as if the air strikes are more for show than to actually neutralize the enemy. (Joachim Hagopian,The US-Islamic State Dance: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back – By Design, Global Research, May 19, 2015)

This war on ISIS is just another disastrous endeavor for populations in the Middle East, another military intervention under a false pretext, another lie to divide and conquer. And once more, the Western mainstream media has failed to report the truth.

Below is a selection of articles on this topic.

SELECTED ARTICLES

U.S. General: “We Helped Build ISIS” – Islamic State Obtained Weapons from U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Paul Joseph Watson, September 03, 2014

U.S. Efforts to Arm Jihadis in Syria: The Scandal Behind the Benghazi Undercover CIA Facility, Washington’s Blog, April 15, 2014

CIA Gun-running, Qatar-Libya-Syria, Phil Greaves, August 09, 2013

Benghazi, US-NATO Sponsored Base of Operations for Al Qaeda, Tony Cartalucci, October 21, 2012

Resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Fuelled by Saudi Arabia, Zayd Alisa, 3 March 2014

More Evidence of Israel’s Dirty Role in the Syrian Proxy War, Steven MacMillan, May 18, 2015

CONFIRMED: US “Operation Rooms” Backing Al Qaeda in Syria

By Tony Cartalucci
May 11, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

syielfar1US policy think-tank Brookings Institution confirms that contrary to propaganda, US-Saudi “moderates” and Turkey-Qatar “Islamists” have been coordinating all along. 

The war in Syria continues to drag on, with a recent and renewed vigor demonstrated behind an opposition long portrayed as fractured and reflecting a myriad of competing foreign interests. Chief among these competing interests, the public has been told, were the US and Saudis on one side, backing so-called “moderate rebels,” and Turkey and Qatar on the other openly backing Al Qaeda and its various franchises including the Islamic State (ISIS).

However, for those following the conflict closely, it was clear from the beginning and by the West’s own admissions that success hinged on covertly providing arms, cash, equipment, and both political and military support to Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists, not opposed by Saudi Arabia, but rather by using Saudi Arabia as the primary medium through which Western material support could be laundered.

And this fact is now confirmed in a recent article published on the Brookings Institution’s website titled, “Why Assad is losing.”

It states unequivocally that (emphasis added):

The involvement of FSA groups, in fact, reveals how the factions’ backers have changed their tune regarding coordination with Islamists. Several commanders involved in leading recent Idlib operations confirmed to this author that the U.S.-led operations room in southern Turkey, which coordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups, was instrumental in facilitating their involvement in the operation from early April onwards. That operations room — along with another in Jordan, which covers Syria’s south — also appears to have dramatically increased its level of assistance and provision of intelligence to vetted groups in recent weeks.

Whereas these multinational operations rooms have previously demanded that recipients of military assistance cease direct coordination with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, recent dynamics in Idlib appear to have demonstrated something different. Not only were weapons shipments increased to the so-called “vetted groups,” but the operations room specifically encouraged a closer cooperation with Islamists commanding frontline operations.

Overall, Brookings is pleased to report that with the infiltration and overrunning of much of Idlib in northern Syria, it appears their long-stated goal of creating a seat of power for their proxies within Syria’s borders and perhaps even extending NATO aircover over it, may finally be at hand. Brookings still attempts to perpetuate an adversarial narrative between the West and Al Qaeda, despite admitting that it was only with Western backing that recent offensives spearheaded by Al Qaeda itself were successful.

In reality, as far back as 2007, it was the admitted policy of the then Bush-led White House to begin arming and funding sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda, through the use of intermediaries including Saudi Arabia. Veteran journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh in his report “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“would lay bare this conspiracy which has since then unfolded verbatim as described in 2007.

The above mentioned Brookings article also alludes to a grander geopolitical landscape taking shape beyond the Syrian conflict. It states in regards to the US now openly backing what is for all intents and purposes an Al Qaeda-led offensive that:

The most likely explanation for such a move is pressure from the newly emboldened regional alliance comprising Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The United States also is looking for ways to prove its continued alignment with its traditional Sunni Gulf allies, amid the broader context of its rapprochement with Iran.

The continuation, even expansion of the US-backed conflict in Syria is the most telling evidence of all regarding the disingenuous nature of America’s rapprochement with Iran. The entire goal of destabilizing and potentially overthrowing the government in Syria is to weaken Iran ahead of a similar campaign of encirclement, destabilization, and destruction within Iran itself.

The fact that events in Syria are being accelerated, with Brookings itself admitting that “international and ideological differences,” have been “pushed to the side,” illustrates a palpable desperation among the West to finish the conflict in Syria in hopes of moving forward toward Iran before regional dynamics and Iran’s own defensive posture renders moot the West’s entire regional agenda, jeopardizing its long-standing hegemony across North Africa and the Middle East.

Similarly rushed operations appear to be underway in Yemen. With Western-backed conflicts embroiling virtually every nation surrounding Iran, the idea that the US seeks anything but Iran’s eventual destruction, let alone “rapprochement” must surely have no one fooled in Tehran.

While Brookings enthusiastically reports on the continued destruction in Syria it itself played a part in engineering and promoting, it still admits that overthrowing Syria’s legitimate government is not inevitable. While it attempts to portray Syria’s allies as withdrawing support for Damascus, the reality is that if and when Syria falls, Syria’s allies are indisputably next in line.

Iran will face an entire nation handed over to Al Qaeda and other heavily armed and well-backed sectarian extremists dreaming of a cataclysmic confrontation with Tehran, fueled by a global network of US-Saudi backed madrases turning out legions of ideologically poisoned zealots. And beyond Iran, Russia faces the prospect of its Caucasus region being turned into a corridor of terror aimed straight at the heart of Russia itself.

The conflict in Syria is but a single battle among a much larger war  a global war constituting what is basically a third World War, fought not upon vast but clearly defined fronts, but rather through the use of fourth generation warfare, proxies, mercenaries, economics, and information. For those that fail to see how Syria is linked to the survival of many nations beyond its borders and the very concept of a multi-polar world built upon the concept of national sovereignty, they invite not just Damascus’ defeat, but that of the world as we know it.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

US-Al Qaeda offensive against Syrian regime

By Patrick Martin
April 29, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

In a series of battles in which a group linked to Al Qaeda has fought alongside a group armed and backed by the United States, rebel forces have made significant gains against Syrian Army troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, taking control of most of the critical northwestern province of Idlib.

With the fall of city of Jisr al-Shughur Saturday, the remaining government forces in the province are cut off and surrounded, and can only be resupplied by air. Rebel forces captured the provincial capital, the city of Idlib, on March 28, the second of Syria’s 14 provincial capitals to be lost to the Assad regime.

Idlib province occupies a critical strategic position, separating the coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartus, where Assad has a strong political base among the predominately Alawite population (a branch of Shiite Islam), from Aleppo, the country’s largest city and one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the four-year civil war. According to press reports, rebel forces were only five miles east of the nearest Alawite villages in Latakia province.

Syrian government media reported the fall of Jisr al-Shughur Saturday, and a nearby military base at Qarmeed the following day. The government blamed outside powers, including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States, with the state news agency SANA saying that its forces were “facing the terrorist groups flowing in huge numbers through the Turkish border.”

That this claim is not mere propaganda was confirmed by numerous reports in the American and European press, generally hostile to Assad, describing the alliance of Islamists and US-backed “rebels” in the struggle in Idlib province.

The headline of the McClatchy News Service report on the fall of Jisr al-Shughur left nothing to the imagination: “U.S.-backed rebels team with Islamists to capture strategic Syrian city.”

“The latest rebel victory came surprisingly quickly, apparently aided by US-supplied TOW anti-tank missiles,” McClatchy reported, adding, “accounts of the fighting made clear that US-supplied rebel groups had coordinated to some degree with Nusra, which US officials declared a terrorist organization more than two years ago.”

This article cited conflicting claims by “moderate” and Islamist groups about which had played a greater role in the capture of the city. McClatchy noted, “The battle itself was announced by the Fateh Army, an umbrella group that Ahrar al Sham [another Islamist group] and other groups established on March 24, just four days before they and the Nusra Front seized the city of Idlib.”

The rebel-linked television station Orient News reportedly showed video of rebel fighters in the central square of Jisr al-Shughur, raising the black flag that has long been the symbol of Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups. Photographs also appeared of “rebel” trucks bearing poster-sized photos of Osama bin Laden.

The New York Times and Washington Post reported many of the same facts—the fall of Jisr al-Shughur and nearby bases to the offensive of a rebel alliance—but sought to downplay the link between US-backed and Al Qaeda forces, with the Times publishing its article under the headline, “Islamists Seize Control of Syrian City in Northwest.”

McClatchy, citing many local eyewitnesses, described an active fighting alliance between Free Syrian Army forces armed with TOW missiles, destroying nearly a dozen Syrian Army tanks, and Al-Nusra suicide bombers who attacked concentrations of soldiers.

The Times sought to conceal these connections, suggesting that the TOW missiles had fallen into the wrong hands. By its account, “Last year, the United States provided a small number of TOW antitank missiles to some rebel groups. But those groups were largely routed or co-opted by the Nusra Front, further complicating what was already a murky battlefield that has left American officials wary of providing more robust aid to insurgents.”

The Post concentrated on the political benefits of the offensive from the standpoint of the US State Department, suggesting that the military setbacks had dealt a severe blow to the morale of Assad supporters in both Aleppo and the capital city, Damascus. Its account carried the headline, “Assad’s hold on power looks shakier than ever as rebels advance in Syria.”

The Post also glossed over the ties between the US-backed groups and Al Qaeda, writing, “The result has been an unexpectedly cohesive rebel coalition called the Army of Conquest that is made up of al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, an assortment of mostly Islamist brigades and a small number of more moderate battalions.”

The Idlib offensive demonstrates that the claims of successive US governments to be waging a “war on terror” are propaganda lies. Al Qaeda has its origins in the CIA-organized guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan against the Soviet Army and the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. Osama bin Laden was one of the reactionary anticommunist mujaheddin mobilized for the Afghan struggle along with thousands of other Islamists from throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Bin Laden broke with his US allies over the influx of American troops into Saudi Arabia during the 1990-91 Gulf War, targeting US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and a US Navy warship near Yemen, and, of course, staging the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

But Al Qaeda forces were later mobilized by the CIA in support of the 2011 US-NATO war against Libya, with many of these fighters then transported to Syria for the fight against Assad. Similarly, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula, supposedly the most dangerous branch of Al Qaeda in terms of mounting attacks on the United States itself, has become a de facto ally in the US-backed Saudi war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In the Syrian civil war, the relationship between Al Qaeda and US imperialism has been even more complicated. The Al-Nusra Front was formed as the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, as part of the mobilization of Islamists who comprise the main fighting force against the Assad regime. Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) emerged in competition with Al-Nusra and publicly broke with Al Qaeda, in pursuit of territorial objectives in both countries.

Obama launched airstrikes last summer against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, after the group seized control of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and staggered the US puppet regime in Baghdad. Since Al-Nusra and ISIS were engaged in bitter conflicts within Syria, the US became the de facto ally of Al-Nusra, despite protestations to the contrary.

Rebranding Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat Al Nusra as “Moderates”

By Maram Susl
March 23, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

Al-Nusra-Front-in-SyriaThe CIA backed and armed Syrian rebel group, Hazm brigade disbanded and its members have defected to Al Qaeda linked Jabhat Al Nusra (JAN) and ISIS. Hazm brigade also left behind a warehouse of US provided weapons, including anti-tank TOW missiles, which JAN has seized. With no one left to arm against the Syrian state but JAN, the US State Department has attempted to rebrand JAN as a non-Al Qaeda moderate force. The next step of the plan is to allow US proxy Qatar to openly arm JAN. However, the audacious campaign has so far been an abysmal failure.

Hazm Brigade Provided Plausible Deniability

The latest defection and disbanding was not the first time that the US backed Hazm brigade had handed over US provided weapons to Al Qaeda, the last incident occurring in December of 2014. It was previously asserted that the US administration advertised the ‘moderate’ Hazm brigade in order to maintain plausible deniability whilst knowing the heavy weapons they provide, such as anti-tank missiles, would eventually end up in the hands of Al Qaeda.

Indeed, former-US ambassador Robert Ford recently admitted through his twitter account to Syrian journalist Edward Dark, that the US knew the Syrian rebels they were backing were allied to Al Qaeda. With the announcement that Hazm brigade had disbanded, the State Department has lost their cover to aid al Qaeda whilst maintaining plausible deniability.

Rebranding Al Qaeda

NATO media has acknowledged that JAN is the most powerful group fighting the Syrian state besides ISIS. JAN also have widespread support amongst all other insurgents groups in Syria. Given the level at which the US has committed itself to an anti-ISIS narrative, they have little left to paint as a moderate force but JAN. Though, the US has launched strikes against JAN in one instance, earning the ire of all Syrian insurgent groups who protested “We are all JAN”. Suggestions to train a new insurgent group from scratch have been called unrealistic. Hence NATO media has been running a PR campaign for JAN’s new found moderation.

The New York Times suggested that JAN may ‘cut ties with Al Qaeda in the hope of receiving more military aid”. Reuters reported that if the group were to lose its Al Qaeda ties that Gulf states could provide more support openly.

“Sources in the group have said it was considering severing its ties to al Qaeda, a move that could result in more support from Gulf Arab states hostile to both Assad and Islamic State.”

The word of “more” tentatively suggests the New York Times and Reuters acknowledge that Gulf states have already provided some support to Al Qaeda in the past.

BBC analysis written by Dr. David Roberts, suggested that Qatar funding and arming JAN (Al Nusra Front) may be a good thing. In an article titled “Is Qatar bringing the Nusra Front in from the cold?” he writes,

“Secondly, the Nusra Front has pledged to concentrate its efforts on removing the Bashar al-Assad government, as opposed to attacking the “far enemy” (ie Western states). On this point, the Nusra Front is aligned tightly with Qatar, which also is implacably against the government and fundamentally believes that the situation in Syria will only improve if he is removed.This is why Qatar is hoping to bring the Nusra Front in from the cold. If the state can get the group to eschew its al-Qaeda affiliation and adhere to a broadly moderate Islamist platform, Qatar can officially commence, with Western blessing, the supply of one of the most effective fighting forces in Syria.”

The IBtimes downplayed JAN’s ties to Al Qaeda, stating:

“Though JAN is al Qaeda’s only branch in Syria, the group often downplays its role in al Qaeda Central’s long-term plan to establish an Islamic “emirate” in favour of marketing itself as a Syria-centric opposition group focused on the revolution and overthrowing Assad.”

Finally, In an article headlined “Accepting Al Qaeda,” the Council of Foreign Affairs (CFR) advised that the US must keep ‘Al Qaeda afloat to contain ISIS’’. Unlike other articles, the CFR doesn’t bother to suggest that JAN drop their Al Qaeda affiliations, instead suggesting the US should accept them in spite of their Al Qaeda affiliations. This would be the second time the CFR would recommend the US make friends with Al Qaeda. They had previously labeled the Ahrar Al Sham insurgent group “Al Qaeda worth befriending”. The CFR is considered to be US’s “most influential foreign-policy think tank”. In 2009, Hillary Clinton welcomed the fact that the CFR had set up an outpost down the street from the State Department, saying “I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing.”

A Difficult Task

It was always going to be a difficult task to convince the American people to support a group they have been constantly told was responsible for the death of thousands of US soldiers and civilians. They were reminded by their own government every year to “never forget 9/11” and their young men were sent to die to avenge the incident, now they are being asked to forget just that.

But the task of rebranding JAN has been fraught with other difficulties, the main being that Al Nusra is not co-operating with the US-Qatari plan. In an angry statement, JAN denied US media reports that they were breaking ties with Al Qaeda. The AFP wrote that JAN had rejected “any plan to break away [from Al Qaeda ] and become a more internationally acceptable rebel force.”

But the AFP falls short of explaining how dropping a label would make JAN more internationally acceptable and no longer a ‘terrorist’ organisation. When ISIS shed it’s al Qaeda label, it did not stop ethnically cleansing minorities or beheading Syrian soldiers. Al Qaeda is after all just label, it is practically an imaginary organisation with practically the only men on the ground being the insurgents of JAN. Al Qaeda is more of an ideological affiliation, rather than an affiliation to a real organisation

The very fact that the NATO run media suggests changing JAN’s label would make them moderate, illustrates that the only distinction between the Al Qaeda and those groups NATO media calls moderate, is nothing but a label. They have very little ideological differences and commit equally abhorrent war crimes. Further illustrating this is, the fact that the Hazm brigade fighters found it easy to defect to JAN and ISIS and shows that the ‘moderate’ fighters had little trouble embracing Al Qaeda’s ideology.

Another difficulty is while Jabhat Al Nusra was condemned as a terrorist organisation, NATO run media was allowed to report on their war crimes. It is difficult to run a PR campaign for a group that has claimed responsibility for many car bombings which targeted civilians. It was also widely reported that Jabhat Al Nusra kidnapped UN peace keepers and later taunted them with the heads of murdered Syrian soldiers. Just like ISIS, JAN has been busy destroying Syria’s historical sites, though unlike the case with ISIS it was under-reported across NATO run media.

In 2012, it became increasingly obvious the Syrian state was fighting a sectarian and religiously motivated insurgency that was linked to Al Qaeda. It is possible that the US labeled JAN a terrorist organisation, as it needed a scapegoat to pin all rebel warcrimes on and to with which to set apart other insurgent groups. The policy may have backfired when JAN grew to be the main insurgent group fighting the Syrian state. During this time the US no longer needed JAN to act as the scapegoat as ISIS rose to fill in that role.

Indeed it also required for the US to label at least one insurgent group as a terrorists organisation, in order to pursue a long term objective of fighting a perpetual war “on terror”. However, the time frame of the rise of JAN seems to be inconvenient for the United States. Such a narrative shift was likely meant to occur after the successful over throw of the Syrian government. Creating terror to overthrow a government and then going back in to fight it, has been the template which was applied to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. But unlike in Iraq and Libya, the Syrian government remains firmly in place. As a result the US has been forced to pursue two conflicting policies and narratives at once, fighting terror and funding terror.

Apart from perpetual war, the rise of Al Qaeda linked groups better suits other long term US objectives. Such groups are more fundamentally opposed to Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. They are also more likely to pursue a policy of ethnic cleansing which would more easily lead to balkanisation. Finally the advantage of a mostly Al Qaeda force is that it is cheaper to run, as they are funded mostly by Gulf states who launder money through donations to pro-Al Qaeda Wahabi mosques. The US may find it easier to convince Qatar to foot the entire bill for the insurgency, arguing that they can’t do so whilst maintaining plausible deniability. It is interesting to note that, some Hazm brigade members believe the US set them up to fail by not providing them enough resources. Perhaps Hazm brigade were always left in a state weaker than JAN so that JAN would be able to loot the TOW missile arsenal, but perhaps JAN killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

One of the biggest hurdles in the plan to allow Qatar to openly fund JAN arises from the fact the the UN Security Council has already condemned and sanctioned both JAN and ISIS, unanimously adopting a Russian-drafted resolution. This effectively makes it illegal to fund JAN under international law. But there have already been accusations of US-ally Qatar sponsoring JAN and Qatar has done little to deny them.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid II, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that there are groups that the US considered terrorists in Syria which Qatar does not, avoiding naming JAN outright. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Washington have gone as far as to admit that individuals in Qatar were also bank rolling ISIS, perhaps as a means of blackmailing their Qatari ally in the future. Qatar was able to openly transfer millions to JAN, under the guise of paying ransom for abducted nuns and UN peacekeepers. BBC analyst Dr David Roberts does not question Qatar’s ties to JAN but, referred to the hostage taking as ‘JAN helping Qatar release hostages’.

Whilst Qatar has provided funding to JAN in the past, openly arming JAN would allow Qatar to transfer a lot more money and perhaps heavier weaponry through the US. But without first removing JAN off the UN sanctions list it would be too difficult for the UN to ignore. Though there have been set backs to the US-Qatar open arming plan, they may continue trying in the coming weeks. Regardless, funding for JAN and the insurgency is not going to dry up any time soon, with or without plausible deniability.

Maram Susli also known as “Syrian Girl,” is an activist-journalist and social commentator covering Syria and the wider topic of geopolitics. especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

 

How the U.S. Is Allied with ISIS & Al Qaeda

By Eric Zuesse
March 20, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

isil-usal-media-realityThe United States is allied with Sunni Moslem aristocracies (and therefore with Sunni-headed nations), against Shia Moslem aristocracies (and therefore also against Shia-headed nations). Sunni aristocracies provide the huge ($1 million and larger) financial donations that sustain ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other jihadist armed movements, commonly called “terrorists.” 

Islamic terrorism is virtually entirely a phenomenon of Sunni Islam, and the U.S. is allied with the aristocracies that fund it. 

The only major Shia organization that is even slightly comparable to those Sunni terrorist organizations is Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon and answers to Shia Iran; but, as wikipedia has noted: 

“The Gulf Cooperation Council,[15] Canada,[16] and Israel[17] have classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, though in 2015 an assessment from the U.S. director of National Intelligence removed it from its list of terror threats.[18] The European Union and New Zealand have proscribed Hezbollah’s military wing, but do not list Hezbollah as a whole as a terrorist organization.[19][20] “

The Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, and Israel, are all, like the Sunni aristocracies are, U.S.-allied, not Russia-allied. They all want Hezbollah to be thought of as if it were like Al Qaeda, etc., so as to be able to hide the U.S. aristocracy’s alliance with the very same aristocrats who are funding global jihad, but they know that it’s just a lie. They know that global jihadism is essentially just a Sunni movement, which has its roots in the U.S.-Saudi alliance backing of the Mujahideen guerillas in Afghanistan during 1979-1989, as part of the West’s war against communism, which war now turns out to have been actually, in the real intent of the U.S. aristocracy, a still-ongoing war against Russia, because America’s NATO military alliance has continued on, long after the U.S.S.R.’s Warsaw Pact military alliance dissolved and ended entirely in 1991. Every single moment of NATO’s continued existence beyond that moment in time has been a clear indication that America’s aristocracy hope actually to conquer Russia — that anti-communism was, for them, just an excuse for their war to conquer the U.S.S.R., a war which is now raging hot again in the very bloody Ukrainian anti-Russian coup and follow-on Ukrainian civil war, and with preparations on both sides for an outright nuclear war between NATO and Russia. Because it’s all based on lies.

Islamic terrorism is allied with the U.S., not with Russia. (Russia experiences it in places like Chechnia.) Sunni extremists were even key U.S.-Saudi tools in weakening Russia and ending the U.S.S.R. This (and especially the Saudi aristocracy’s funding of Al Qaeda) is the reason why the U.S. White House refuses to allow the blocked 28 pages of the U.S. Senate’s Feinstein terrorism/torture report to be made public. The U.S. White House is, and has been at least since 2000, and maybe even before that, controlled by the U.S. aristocracy, no longer by the public. The U.S. Federal Government is, already, a dictatorship — actual rule by the country’s aristocracy or “oligarchs” — no authentic democracy anymore. This is a scientifically proven fact. Democracy in this country is now merely mythological, whatever the case might possibly have been before (when there were unfortunately no rigorous scientific studies yet regarding the question).

Sunni Islam is comprised of the Wahhabi variety and its offshoots, and it is comparable, in the Christian context, to fundamentalist or literalist Christianity, the extremist form of its own faith. That’s what the U.S. has been allied with after 1945.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is negotiationg with Iran about far more than Iran’s nuclear program. Iran is the world’s leading Shiite Muslim nation, just as America’s ally since 1945 Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading Sunni Muslim nation; and there is a global conflict between Shia and Sunni Islam, just as there had been in the past a global conflict between Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity. Even within the same religion, history is full of very bloody and lengthy wars between contending sects. It’s rather normal.

Above all: Iran is Shia, and has therefore been allied with Russia, the country that Obama’s Administration (including Kerry) are seeking to destroy. An inevitable part of Kerry’s negotiations with Iran is to turn Iran against Russia; it would be a geostrategic sea-change.

In the Arabic world, the standard variety of Islam is Sunni; and all of the royal families are Sunni, even in Shiite Bahrain, where the Sunni al-Khalifa family basically imprison the public, who are Shia, in their country, and they do it with American military support, so that without the U.S. there would be no Sunni dictatorship in Bahrain, at all. The al-Khalifas pay U.S. ‘news’ media to not cover the barbaric means they employ to subdue their population. The United States is no friend to democracy; it often imposes dictatorship, and Bahrain is the best example of this, because it is so brutal. However, the mirror-image of that on the Russian-allied side is in the Shite-led Sunni-majority nation of Syria. The only difference is that, if the Alawite Shiite dictatorship in Syria gets overthrown, it will be replaced by Sunni terrorists — which would be far worse. But that’s what Obama evidently wants — if he is to be judged by his actions and not by his words.

On Wednesday, March 18th, Iran’s Fars News Agency headlined “Iraqi Commander: Tapped Communications Confirms US Aids to ISIL,” and opened as follows:

A commander of Iraq’s popular forces disclosed that wiretapping of ISIL’s communications has confirmed the reports that the US planes have been airdropping food and arms supplies for the Takfiri terrorists.

“The wiretapped ISIL communications by Iraqi popular forces have revealed that the US planes have been dropping weapons and foodstuff for the Takfiri terrorist group,” Commander of Iraq’s Ali Akbar Battalion told FNA on Wednesday.

He noted that tapping on ISIL disclosed the terrorist group’s regular contacts with the US army, and said, “They exchanged sentences like if they would have a share of the ammunition dropped near (Spiker Military Base) or responses such as ‘you will also receive your share’.”

“The US forces by dropping weapons and ammunition for ISIL, specially in Yassreb, Al-Ramadi and near Spiker Base in Hay al-Qadessiya have provided a lot of help to the ISIL,” he added.

Many similar reports by Iraqi officials and forces have surfaced in the last few months.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

On March 2nd, I headlined “Obama Prioritizes Weakening Russia, Over Weakening ISIS,” and linked to a news report from Michael Snyder the day before, titled “Is Barack Obama Actually Trying to Help … ISIS … Take Over Syria?” which concluded in the affirmative, because the air-drops of weapons were specifically into areas that were firmly under the control of ISIS. I placed this into the broader context of Obama’s overriding foreign-policy objective: weakening or even destroying Russia.

So: the U.S. President is not only dropping bombs onto some ISIS positions, but is dropping weapons onto others — so that they can in turn fire weapons to weaken the Shiite Assad in Syria and the Shiite regime in Iraq.

George W. Bush was allied with Sunni aristocracies, and so is Barack Obama. That’s because Sunni aristocracies, like the American aristocracy, aim, above all, to destroy Russia.

The only Russia-friendly Sunni dictator was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi; and, as Hillary Clinton proudly and joyously said of him after bombing to hell his forces, “We came, we saw, he died.”

On 17 April 2014 in the London Review of Books, Seymour Hersh bannered “The Red Line and the Rat Line,” and he reported that after eliminating Gaddafi, the Obama Administration arranged to transfer from Libya into Syria the Libyan sarin that the Obama Administration claimed Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria had created and fired during 19 March 2013 onto the Syrian village of Khan al-Assal, and which gas-attack Obama was trying to use as a ‘justification’ for bombing Assad’s forces in the Syrian civil war — which a proposal from Russia caused to be canceled.

Although the United States Government pretends to be opposed to terrorism, the United States Government is also the global leader in militarily supporting the aristocracies that fund terrorism; and is, in the final analysis, more of a friend than a foe of terrorist organizations, because Russia is allied with the Shiite side in the Sunni-v.-Shiite conflict, and the U.S. is allied with the Sunni side — the side that sponsors terrorism and that supplies almost all of the actual terrorist fighters.

This explains a lot of the inconsistencies and absurdities in U.S. Government allegations about terrorism and its causes.

The U.S. is a crucial sponsor of terrorism, but only in the shadows, because our aristocracy provide the military muscle that retains in power the Arabic aristocrats who — also in the shadows — actually finance terrorists (and who pay them very well, it seems).

What the U.S. Government alleges in international relations today has just about as much reason to be believed as did the statements by Adolf Hitler’s German Government about international relations during the 1930s and ‘40s; and the U.S. actually has adopted and refined many of that Government’s propaganda-tactics. As a consequence, the predominant view that the American public has of what’s happening in international matters is dangerously false. It will benefit the few at the very top, each one of whom knows personally virtually every other one — and whose lawyers are constantly dealing with each other to negotiate the details — and whose deals are almost always made in private, even deals that determine which politician will be backed and become a government official, and which particular office that he or she will hold. Hiring the top executives, who hire all other people, at the think tanks, and at the ‘news’ media, shapes the way the public sees public affairs, and it also shapes their votes. These things can be arranged — and they are arranged; they are manipulated.

The world’s richest 0.7% own 13.7 times as much as the world’s poorest 68.7%. They spend enough of it buying controlling interests in the significant ’news’ media and endowing tax-free foundations and think tanks, so that the ‘authoritative reality’ will be what they want it to be; and, when the public sees it and believes it, politicians will likeliest win who don’t contradict the aristocratically shaped ‘reality.’

And this is the reason why, at least in the United States, aristocrats control the Government. It’s not mysterious; it’s just secret. It’s the way things actually are, rather than the way they are propagandized to be. The actual government isn’t publicly seen. 

And what are the people at the top actually like? Scientific studies find that successful people tend to be bad. The people at the top tend to be psychopaths. And, of course, psychopaths tend to be very good liars.

So: it all makes sense, when you stop to think about it. But unfortunately, few people do.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

The US to offer “a significant contribution” to the Middle Eastern crisis

By Viktor Mikhin
March 19, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

S2342342It has been widely reported by the world media that the American Central Intelligence Agency plans on providing training to Syrian rebels right on their own soil. The CIA, together with the security forces of Qatar (who coincidently are funding the training), plan on training the “opposition” to ISIS. John Allen, coordinator for the anti-ISIS coalition (turns out that it is a cushy job with a good salary), demagogically declared that all these actions are being taken in order to “create the diplomatic space that will make possible a political solution to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.”

What can one say about such a statement? Military experts from many countries feel that these steps made by Washington are just another attempt to fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  Opponents of US intervention in internal conflicts of other countries logically observe that ISIS was also once called a “moderate opposition” and backed by Qatar. They believe that such an initiative is but a smoke screen for Washington and Doha, financing al-Qaeda and one of its main organizations – ISIS, and that the main goal is carrying out one single task: the removal from power of the legitimately elected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A retired general draws attention to this statement and other issues. He stated in particular that the Pentagon will only work with so-called “moderate rebels from the Syrian opposition.” He is right at least by calling the opposition “rebels”, or in other words: terrorists, designed to solve Washington’s problems in the Middle East region. He also called for a larger definition of what is meant by “moderate opposition”. How will the CIA experts, having failed miserably more than once because of their lack of know-how, define who are “moderate rebels”. It seems that each rebel will first go to the US on a CIA visa, fill in a multi-page questionnaire and then pass a lie detector test? And maybe they will give a blood sample for analysis which will determine the degree of “moderation” of the visiting rebel and his “dedication to the American-style democracy”? And will those that don’t pass the test just go straight to Guantanamo?

Doesn’t this remind you of anything at all? It is well-known that all of the Saudis terrorists involved in the sad events of 9/11/2001 moved to the United States on visas handed out by the CIA. Now, a pretty impressive group of unknown fighters are arriving on American soil, yet again with the help of American intelligence. One must wonder what the pundits of the CIA are planning and what we should expect from them, which new acts of terrorism? Incidentally, one must also remember that some time ago, the US military delivered the best modern arms to the same “moderate opposition” paid by Qatar. And what happened with these “freedom fighters”? As you well know, once armed the rebels moved straight into the ranks of terrorist organizations such as the “al-Nusra Front” or ISIS, and are now actively fighting on the Syrian and Iraqi territories. And for some reason the US Air Force sometimes bomb them quite unsuccessfully.

Here are just two professional opinions on the matter. The air strikes by the US-led coalition on ISIS are superficial in nature and only do a little damage, said the Syrian Deputy-Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad. The deputy minister stressed that “the most effective way to combat ISIS are ground operations”, conducted by Syria and Iraq. He also stated that the preparation of anti-government forces that is being pursued by the USA, “will prolong the conflict and spread it to other countries.” According to him, Syria has amassed a large mass of information on the militants of terrorist organizations and is ready to share such information with friendly nations.

The measures taken by the West are insufficient to eliminate the long-term threat posed by the terrorist group of ISIS, said the editor of the British magazine Politics First, Marcus Papadopoulos. According to him, Washington and West European countries should above all stop supporting Islamists. “ISIS, al-Qaeda and other actors in the Islamist world would not be able to strengthen their positions if the West did not choose to support certain groups whenever it is suits them in order to achieve geostrategic objectives”, emphasized M. Papadopoulos. “During the war in Afghanistan in the 80s of the twentieth century, the West (led by the USA) supported the Mujahedeen to defeat Russia over there.” According to him, the United States supported the Muslim Bosnians in the Bosnian civil war of the early 90s, paving the way for the Afghan Mujahedeen to arrive and beat the Bosnian Serbs, simultaneously providing support to Washington in the Balkans and effectively depriving Russia from having influence in the region.

Now from Washington come these wasted scenarios from many countries that became victims of the American “democracy” on bayonets. Recruited, trained and armed with very modern weapons, riff-raff that is ready to kill for anyone and anywhere for the right price. And it pays well to organize terrorist attacks in Europe, the USA, to steal or shoot down civilian aircraft. It is no coincidence that many civilian aircrafts have been shot down or disappeared in recent years and for some reason it is always the flashy American justice and omniscient American media that has their mouths watering. What does this mean?

Here it is a case of the number and nationalist character of the rebels, sowing death and terror on Syrian and Iraqi territories where 8 million Arabs live. Lei al-Khatib, a scientific researcher at the Brookings Institution, estimates that ISIS has 80,000 fighters, including about 20,000 foreigners. And the majority of foreigners according to Lei al-Khatib come from the West. Other experts argue that the ISIS leadership inflates the number of its fighters for marketing purposes, as well as for the generous infusions from the Sunni regimes of the Persian Gulf states. But nevertheless, a caliphate now exists, publishing relevant laws and orders in the occupied territory and ostentatiously showing the world the executions of citizens of the Western world. All of these heinous killings with their worldwide display and setting, as many has observed, seem to follow a good quality Hollywood script. Maybe the CIA itself hired a number of Hollywood professionals with high salaries for this purpose? Because as you know, in the role of the executioner that is performed with such talent are the very mercenaries that come from the West. Once again the question arises, did they get there on their own or did someone pay them to go there?

The biggest beneficiary of these events, as was the case in the first half of the twentieth century, is the American military-industrial complex. The United States of America is an unusual country. Other countries with a budget deficit will try to reduce its budget but the US does the opposite. With a huge external debt and a constantly growing budget deficit, they increase again and again their military spending, increasing its military budget to a level that is equal to military expenditures of the rest of the world combined. And in concluding one military campaign seeks to ignite a new military conflict in another part of the world. According to the South China Morning Post, the air war in Iraq and Syria that is now led by the USA, “was a real godsend” for American arms manufacturers.

With the new air campaign in the Middle East, shares of leading military contractors and US military-industrial complex firms (Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics) has risen sharply. The Pentagon promptly signed a contract for nearly a billion dollars for the purchase of Tomahawk missiles and other weapons right after the active phase of the bombing in Iraq and Syria started.

That is why the conflict in the Middle East will continue and blood will flow for a rather long time, turning into hard cash in the vaults of the US military-industrial complex. The rulers of the USA like repeating an ancient maxim: money does not stink. That is why the “freedom fighters” of the past in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and now the Ukraine, missiles in hand, were specially imported for training in the United States.

Viktor Mikhin, member correspondent of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
First appeared:
http://journal-neo.org/2015/03/19/rus-vesomy-j-vklad-ssha-v-blizhnevostochny-j-krizis/

The Relationship between Washington and ISIS: The Evidence

By Prof. Tim Anderson
March 08, 2015
Global Research

 

obama-isisReports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS have been shot down by Iraqi forces have been met with shock and denial in western countries. Few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria, but some key myths remain important amongst the significantly more ignorant western audiences.

A central myth is that Washington now arms ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, to both overthrow the Syrian Government and supposedly defeat the ‘extremist rebels’. This claim became more important in 2014, when the rationale of US aggression against Syria shifted from ‘humanitarian intervention’ to a renewal of Bush’s ‘war on terror’.

A distinct controversy is whether the al Qaeda styled groups (especially Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS) have been generated as a sort of organic reaction to the repeated US interventions, or whether they are actually paid agents of Washington.

Certainly, prominent ISIS leaders were held in US prisons. ISIS leader, Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is said to have been held for between one and two years at Camp Bucca in Iraq. In 2006, as al-Baghdadi and others were released, the Bush administration announced its plan for a ‘New Middle East’, a plan which would employ sectarian violence as part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ in the region.

According to Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, ‘The Redirection’, the US would make use of ‘moderate Sunni states’, not least the Saudis, to ‘contain’ the Shia gains in Iraq brought about by the 2003 US invasion. These ‘moderate Sunni’ forces would carry out clandestine operations to weaken Iran and Hezbollah, key enemies of Israel. This brought the Saudis and Israel closer, as both fear Iran.

While there have been claims that the ISIS ‘caliph’ al-Baghdadi is a CIA or Mossad trained agent, these have not yet been well backed up. There are certainly grounds for suspicion, but independent evidence is important, in the context of a supposed US ‘war’ against ISIS . So what is the broader evidence on Washington’s covert links with ISIS?

Not least are the admissions by senior US officials that key allies support the extremist group. In September 2014 General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, told a Congressional hearing ‘I know major Arab allies who fund [ ISIS ]‘. Senator Lindsey Graham, of Armed Services Committee, responded with a justification, ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight [Syrian President] Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’.

The next month, US Vice President Joe Biden went a step further, explaining that Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world … [and then] this outfit called ISIL’. Biden’s admissions sought to exempt the US from this operation, as though Washington were innocent of sustained operations carried out by its key allies. That is simply not credible.

Washington’s relationship with the Saudis, as a divisive sectarian force in the region, in particular against Arab nationalism, goes back to the 1950s, when Winston Churchill introduced the Saudi King to President Eisenhower. At that time Washington wanted to set up the Saudi King as a rival to President Nasser of Egypt. More recently, British General Jonathan Shaw has acknowledged the contribution of Saudi Arabia’s extremist ideology: ‘This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education. Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money’, Shaw said.

Other evidence undermines western attempts to maintain a distinction between the ‘moderate rebels’, now openly armed and trained by the US, and the extremist groups Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS. While there has indeed been some rivalry (emphasised by the London-based, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned, Syrian Observatory of Human Rights), the absence of real ideological difference is best shown by the cooperation and mergers of groups.

As ISIS came from Iraq in 2013, its Syrian bases have generally remained in the far eastern part of Syria. However Jabhat al Nusra (the official al Qaeda branch in Syria, from which ISIS split) has collaborated with Syrian Islamist groups in western Syria for several years. The genocidal slogan of the Syrian Islamists, ‘Christians to Beirut and Alawis to the Grave’, reported many times in 2011 from the Farouk Brigade, sat well with the al Qaeda groups. Farouk (once the largest ‘Free Syrian Army’ group) indeed killed and ethnically cleansed many Christians and Alawis.

Long term cooperation between these ‘moderate rebels’ and the foreign-led Jabhat al-Nusra has been seen around Daraa in the south, in Homs-Idlib, along the Turkish border and in and around Aleppo. The words Jabhat al Nusra actually mean ‘support front’, that is, support for the Syrian Islamists. Back in December 2012, as Jabhat al Nusra was banned in various countries, 29 of these groups reciprocated the solidarity in their declaration: ‘We are all Jabhat al-Nusra’.

After the collapse of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ groups, cooperation between al Nusra and the newer US and Saudi backed groups (Dawud, the Islamic Front, the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm) helped draw attention to Israel’s support for al Nusra, around the occupied Golan Heights. Since 2013 there have been many reports of ‘rebel’ fighters, including those from al Nusra, being treated in Israeli hospitals. Prime Minister Netanyahu even publicised his visit to wounded ‘rebels’ in early 2014. That led to a public ‘thank you’ from a Turkey-based ‘rebel’ leader, Mohammed Badie (February 2014).

The UN peacekeeping force based in the occupied Golan has reported its observations of Israel’s Defence Forces ‘interacting with’ al Nusra fighters at the border. At the same time, Israeli arms have been found with the extremist groups, in both Syria and Iraq. In November 2014 members of the Druze minority in the Golan protested against Israel’s hospital support for al Nusra and ISIS fighters. This in turn led to questions by the Israeli media, as to whether ‘ Israel does, in fact, hospitalize members of al-Nusra and Daesh [ISIS]‘. A military spokesman’s reply was hardly a denial: ‘In the past two years the Israel Defence Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity.’

The artificial distinction between ‘rebel’ and ‘extremist’ groups is mocked by multiple reports of large scale defections and transfer of weapons. In July 2014 one thousand armed men in the Dawud Brigade defected to ISIS in Raqqa. In November defections to Jabhat al Nusra from the Syrian Revolutionary Front were reported. In December, Adib Al-Shishakli, representative at the Gulf Cooperation Council of the exile ‘ Syrian National Coalition’, said ‘opposition fighters’ were ‘increasingly joining’ ISIS ‘for financial reasons’. In that same month, ‘rebels’ in the Israel-backed Golan area were reported as defecting to ISIS, which had by this time began to establish a presence in Syria’s far south. Then, in early 2015, three thousand ‘moderate rebels’ from the US-backed ‘Harakat Hazzm’ collapsed into Jabhat al Nusra, taking a large stock of US arms including anti-tank weapons with them.

ISIS already had US weapons by other means, in both Iraq and Syria , as reported in July, September and October 2014. At that time a ‘non aggression pact’ was reported in the southern area of Hajar al-Aswad between ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, as both recognised a common enemy in Syria: ‘the Nussayri regime’, a sectarian way of referring to supposedly apostate Muslims. Some reported ISIS had bought weapons from the ‘rebels’.

In December 2014 there were western media reports of the US covert supply of heavy weapons to ‘Syrian rebels’ from Libya, and of Jabhat al-Nusra getting anti-tank weapons which had been supplied to Harakat Hazm. Video posted by al-Nusra showed these weapons being used to take over the Syrian military bases, Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh, in Idlib province.

With ‘major Arab allies’ backing ISIS and substantial collaboration between US-armed ‘moderate rebels’ and ISIS, it is not such a logical stretch to suppose that the US and ‘coalition’ flights to ISIS areas (supposedly to ‘degrade’ the extremists) might have become covert supply lines. That is precisely what senior Iraqi sources began saying, in late 2014 and early 2015.

For example, as reported by both Iraqi and Iranian media, Iraqi MP Majid al-Ghraoui said in January that ‘an American aircraft dropped a load of weapons and equipment to the ISIS group militants at the area of al-Dour in the province of Salahuddin’. Photos were published of ISIS retrieving the weapons. The US admitted the seizure but said this was a ‘mistake’. In February Iraqi MP Hakem al-Zameli said the Iraqi army had shot down two British planes which were carrying weapons to ISIS in al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published of the wrecked planes. ‘We have discovered weapons made in the US , European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region’, al-Zameli said.

The Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz saying that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province. Also in February an Iraqi militia called Al-Hashad Al-Shabi said they had shot down a US Army helicopter carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province. Again, photos were published. After that, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces were reported as having arrested ‘four foreigners who were employed as military advisors to the ISIL fighters’, three of whom were American and Israeli. So far the western media has avoided these stories altogether; they are very damaging to the broader western narrative.

In Libya, a key US collaborator in the overthrow of the Gaddafi government has announced himself the newly declared head of the ‘Islamic State’ in North Africa. Abdel Hakim Belhaj was held in US prisons for several years, then ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi’s Libya, where he was wanted for terrorist acts. As former head of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, then the Tripoli-based ‘Libyan Dawn’ group, Belhaj has been defended by Washington and praised by US Congressmen John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Some image softening of the al Qaeda groups is underway. Jabhat al-Nusra is reported to be considering cutting ties to al Qaeda, to help sponsor Qatar boost their funding. Washington’s Foreign Affairs magazine even published a survey claiming that ISIS fighters were ‘surprisingly supportive of democracy’. After all the well published massacres that lacks credibility.

The Syrian Army is gradually reclaiming Aleppo, despite the hostile supply lines from Turkey, and southern Syria, in face of support for the sectarian groups from Jordan and Israel. The border with Lebanon is largely under Syrian Army and Hezbollah control. In the east, the Syrian Army and its local allies control most of Hasaka and Deir e-Zour, with a final campaign against Raqqa yet to come. The NATO-GCC attempt to overthrow the Syrian Government has failed.

Yet violent destabilisation persists. Evidence of the covert relationship between Washington and ISIS is substantial and helps explain what Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad calls Washington’s ‘cosmetic war’ on ISIS. The extremist group is a foothold Washington keeps in the region, weakening both Syria and Iraq . Their ‘war’ on ISIS is ineffective. Studies by Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgent database show that ISIS attacks and killings in Iraq increased strongly after US air attacks began. The main on the ground fighting has been carried out by the Syrian Army and, more recently, the Iraqi armed forces with Iranian backing.

All this has been reported perversely in the western media. The same channels that celebrate the ISIS killing of Syrian soldiers also claim the Syrian Army is ‘not fighting ISIS’. This alleged ‘unwillingness’ was part of the justification for US bombing inside Syria. While it is certainly the case that Syrian priorities have remained in the heavily populated west, local media reports make it clear that, since at least the beginning of 2014, the Syrian Arab Army has been the major force engaged with ISIS in Hasaka, Raqqa and Deir eZour. A March 2015 Reuters report does concede that the Syrian Army recently killed two ISIS commanders (including Deeb Hedjian al-Otaibi) along with 24 fighters, at Hamadi Omar.

Closer cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is anathema to Israel, the Saudis and Washington, yet it is happening. This is not a sectarian divide but rather based on some clear mutual interests, not least putting an end to sectarian (takfiri) terrorism.

It was only logical that, in the Iraqi military’s recent offensive on ISIS-held Tikrit, the Iranian military emerged as Iraq’s main partner. Washington has been sidelined, causing consternation in the US media. General Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force is a leading player in the Tikrit operation.  A decade after Washington’s ‘creative destruction’ plans, designed to reduce Iranian influence in Iraq, an article in Foreign Policy magazine complains that Iran’s influence is ‘at its highest point in almost four centuries’.

——

Select references

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (2006) Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a ‘New Middle East’

http://www.globalresearch.ca/plans-for-redrawing-the-middle-east-the-project-for-a-new-middle-east/3882

Seymour Hersh (2007) The Redirection

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

Al Akhbar (2011) Syria: What Kind of Revolution?

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/540

The New Yorker (2013) Syrian Opposition Groups Stop Pretending

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/syrian-opposition-groups-stop-pretending

RT (2014) Anyone but US! Biden blames allies for ISIS rise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11l8nLZNPSY

Iraqi News (2015) American aircraft dropped weapons to ISIS, says MP

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/american-aircraft-airdropped-weapons-to-isis-says-mp/

Washington Post (2015) Syrian rebel group that got U.S. aid dissolves

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syrian-fighter-group-that-got-us-missiles-dissolves-after-major-defeat/2015/03/01/286fa934-c048-11e4-a188-8e4971d37a8d_story.html

David Kenner (2015) For God and Country, and Iran, Foreign Policy

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/05/for-god-and-country-and-iran/

Reuters (2015) Syrian air strike kills two Islamic State commanders

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/07/us-mideast-crisis-syria-islamicstate-idUSKBN0M30F720150307

Washington stokes Middle East bloodbath

By Bill Van Auken
March 6, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

ObamaGen. Martin Dempsey, the chief of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional committee Wednesday that US troops may be sent into Syria to fight alongside so-called rebels who are seeking the overthrow of the Damascus government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“If the commander on the ground approaches either me or the secretary of defense and believes that the introduction of special operations forces to accompany Iraqis or the new Syrian forces … if we believe that’s necessary to achieve our objectives, we will make that recommendation,” Dempsey told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel.

Dempsey’s testimony was preceded by that of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who allowed that Washington’s strategy in relation to the “Syria piece” is to “create a third force that can combat ISIL [the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-ISIS] and set the conditions for the eventual removal of Bashar Assad.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was on Thursday in the midst of a trip to Saudi Arabia to reassure the Sunni potentates of the Persian Gulf that US nuclear negotiations with Shiite Iran would not erode Washington’s counterrevolutionary alliance with these monarchical oil states, spoke along similar lines.

Kerry reiterated Washington’s commitment to regime change in Syria. “Ultimately a combination of diplomacy and pressure will be needed to bring about a political transition,” he told reporters, adding that “military pressure may be needed.”

There is a growing sense that, six months after President Barack Obama announced the new US war in both Iraq and Syria, this intervention has reached a turning point that threatens to unleash yet another massive bloodletting on the peoples of the region.

In Iraq, this threat is imminent with the mounting of a major siege of the city of Tikrit, the former hometown of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by the US invasion of 2003 and executed by hanging under the American occupation.

Some 30,000 troops—reportedly two thirds of which are comprised of Iraqi Shia militias operating with Iranian support—have sought to encircle the predominantly Sunni city, which lies approximately 100 miles north of Baghdad on the Tigris River. The siege is preparation for an even bigger onslaught against Iraq’s second city, Mosul.

Roughly 30,000 civilians have reportedly fled Tikrit in fear for their lives, while tens of thousands more remain trapped in the face of mounting artillery bombardment. Shia militia leaders, meanwhile, have openly proclaimed that the assault will be the occasion for revenge for massacres carried out by ISIS.

The US military has stayed out of the Tikrit siege, claiming that the regime in Baghdad had not asked for its aid. In reality, Washington has ruled out any direct military collaboration with Iran, which itself is still a potential target for US intervention.

US officials have warned Iran and the Shia-dominated government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi not to fuel sectarianism. “That would tear at the fabric of the country, and weaken the ability of the Iraqis to confront this threat to their country,” declared White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

What hypocrisy! The sectarian tensions are the direct product of the US war and occupation, which killed over a million Iraqis, tore the county’s social fabric to shreds and provoked internecine conflicts as part of a deliberate tactic of divide and rule.

ISIS, the purported target of the US intervention, is a Frankenstein’s monster spawned by both the Iraq intervention and US imperialism’s promotion of a war for regime change in neighboring Syria, where it and other Sunni Islamist militias received funding, arms and logistical support from Washington’s regional allies, all under the guiding hand of the CIA.

Washington’s stated policy of fostering, arming and training so-called moderate rebels to both combat ISIS and serve as a proxy force in the war to topple the Assad regime has become an increasingly criminal and cynical operation.

Last weekend, the last of the ostensible Syrian “moderates,” whose members were armed, equipped and even paid by the CIA—the Hazm, or “steadfastness” movement—officially disbanded after being routed in the northern province of Aleppo by the Al-Nusra front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. Advanced US weapons, including TOW missiles, were all surrendered to Al Nusra, while many of the surviving Hazm members joined it.

In the wake of this debacle, there are indications that Washington is preparing to seal a pact with Al Nusra, effectively allying with Al Qaeda itself in opposition to ISIS, a split-off from Al Qaeda. The government of Qatar, a key source of funding for Al Nusra, has reportedly been pressuring the group to drop its formal affiliation with Al Qaeda to facilitate this shift.

The sheer cynicism with which the military-intelligence apparatus and its front man, Barack Obama, wage their “war on terror” found the clearest expression in statements made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this week.

“Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who is not affiliated to ISIL,” he said. He indicated that US intelligence and military officials had “picked people that not only are moderate, whatever that is, but also we have to be sensitive to complying with the international rules of law, which in this environment is a pretty tough order.”

Of course US imperialism has operated for more than a decade in the Middle East—from Iraq, to Libya to Syria—in naked contempt for the bedrock provisions of international law, which, since the Nazis were tried at Nuremberg, has banned aggressive war as an instrument for pursuing state interests.

What Clapper is referring to is the international prohibition against arming Al Qaeda, a provision that can be evaded by having Al Nusra drop its formal affiliation.

Anyone attempting to deduce the logic of US policy in the Middle East from the claims made by US officials runs into a mind-boggling maze of contradictions. In Iraq, Washington is effectively in alliance with Iran and Shia sectarian militias to defeat ISIS. In Syria, it is forging ties to Sunni Islamist militias to supposedly fight both ISIS and topple the Syrian government, which is backed by Iran. Nearly 14 years into the “war on terror,” the US military-intelligence apparatus is preparing to turn an affiliate of Al Qaeda into its frontline “anti-terror” and “pro-democracy” fighters.

To the extent that any coherent policy emerges, it is one of stoking the fires of war and political instability everywhere, promoting a struggle of each against all with the aim of weakening every country and government so as to facilitate the US drive to assert its hegemony over the energy-rich region. In turn, this regional policy is directed toward the preparation of even more horrific wars against the allies of Damascus—Iran and Russia.

For the people of the Middle East, this translates into another deadly and tragic phase in their drawn-out encounter with US imperialism. For American working people, this policy—developed behind their backs, with no real debate, much less popular support—also holds the threat of catastrophe.

US Considering Openly Arming Syrian al-Qaeda Faction, al-Nusra

By Robert Barsocchini
March 5, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

obama-finances-terrorists-610x400As reported at Antiwar.com, the US and some of its regional client dictatorships are prodding the major al-Qaeda faction operating in Syria, a brutal terrorist group called al-Nusra, to “re-brand” so the US can openly arm it.

Wikipedia notes that al-Nusra:

…is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria…

…has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey.

…is generally made up of native Syrian mujahideen who adhere to Sunni Islam. Its goal is to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria and create an Islamic Emirate under Sharia law.

Members of the group have referred to the United States and Israel as enemies of Islam, and warned against Western intervention in Syria.

al-Nusra is also, according to both the United States government and ISIS itself, affiliated with ISIS, formerly known as AQI – al Qaeda in Iraq.

The Council on Foreign Relations notes:

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a predominantly Sunni jihadist group, seeks to sow civil unrest in Iraq and the Levant with the aim of establishing a caliphate—a single, transnational Islamic state based on sharia. The group emerged in the ashes of the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

And Wiki continues:

The United States accused it [al-Nusra] of being affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq; in April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq [later known as ISIS, as noted by CFR above], released an audio statement affirming this connection.

But it still gets better:

al-Nusra may have been the very group that carried out the sarin gas attack in Ghoutta, Syria, which Obama then dishonestly tried to use as a pretext to wage a full on US war of aggression against UN member state Syria.

Pulitzer winning journalist Seymour Hersh:

For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’

On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.)

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin.

The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons.

In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line.

This means the US, after having worked out a deal with Russia to get Assad to dismantle his chemical arsenal (because of massive US public opposition to aggression against Syria), would now be openly aiding (having long been knowingly “indirectly” aiding) the terrorist group that killed 3,000 US citizens (hence the need to “re-brand”), likely carried out the Ghoutta sarin attack that killed hundreds of civilians, and is working on expanding its chemical weapons capabilities in Syria and the wider area.

It was after Muammar Gaddafi naively partially disarmed himself that the US struck, planting and detonating high explosives in support of al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, and got Gaddafi lynched, turning Libya into a failed state.

It appears the strategy is being re-applied to Syria, with the US again showing its eagerness to act as a dishonest broker.

The US has recently been working closely with “re-branded” neo-Nazi party Svoboda, which was originally called the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, named in honor of Hitler’s National Socialist party.  In 2012, the EU officially designated Svoboda an anti-democratic, “racist”, “anti-Semitic” group, and the World Jewish Congress then designated it a “neo-Nazi” group.

Aiding these kinds of groups is standard operating procedure for the United States and its original home-country, imperial Britain.  The US has been working closely with non-state jihadist groups on a regular basis since the mid to late 1970s, with Britain having backed them through the 1940s and 50s (here discussed by British historian Mark Curtis).  Prof. Noam Chomsky noted in 1992 that the “US has always been involved in international terrorism, massively”.

US international terror has included, for example, huge aid to Saddam Hussein through the 1980s (through his internationally condemned gassing of the Kurds and Iranians) and into 1990.  Aid included conventional weapons (ie attack helicopters), a “witch’s brew” of chemicals for manufacturing chemical weapons, and blueprints for building chemical weapons manufacturing facilities.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

The U.S. Empire and ISIS: A Tale of Two Death Cults

As U.S. imperialism loses its capacity to compete outside the military sphere, its foreign policy options shrink, accordingly. “Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield.” Permanent War follows the same logic as a death cult. In fact, one created the other – literally.

By Glen Ford
February 22, 2015
Black Agenda Report, February 18, 2015

 

obama-finances-terrorists-610x400“Obama is a flame-thrower, a fire-spitter, a pyromaniac on a mission to incinerate humanity’s capacity to resist – a vision shared by the jihadist death cults.”

President Obama is a master of military supply and demand. His operatives and allies supply jihadists with enough weapons, financing and, in the case of Libya, a Euro-American air force, to plunge vast tracts of Africa and Asia into bloody chaos, thus creating a demand for intervention by the planet’s only “indispensable” nation: the United States. It’s a diabolical formula for fomenting hell on earth, driven by a simple logic: Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield. U.S. imperialism in terminal decay sees no salvation except through global war.

Of necessity, Obama is a flame-thrower, a fire-spitter, a pyromaniac on a mission to incinerate humanity’s capacity to resist – a vision shared by the jihadist death cults America has incubated for the past four decades.

ISIS, the Islamic State, begat by Al Qaida, which was begat by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the U.S. in Afghanistan, now declares sovereignty over portions of Libya, having occupied much of Syria and Iraq and planted the black flag in southern Yemen and the suburbs of Paris, where its token presence is enough to drive millions of Europeans into a decrepit Crusader palsy. A subcontinent of thieves who have plundered the planet for half a millennia vow to send the dark Others back to “their own countries” – as if Europe had not stolen these African and Asian homelands long ago. In the end, however, what Europe will send is more weapons to the jihadists, mimicking Uncle Sam.

“Boko Haram has proven quite useful to the consolidation of U.S. military dominance in West Africa.”

This week, as happens every year, France, Britain, Italy and other piratical European states join the U.S. Africa Command’s military Flintlock exercise, designed to deepen African militaries’ dependence on western weaponry, training and finance. Chad, a client state of both Washington and Paris, is the nominal host of the exercise – as if any of the African participants could actually say No to an imperial proposal. The Flintlock maneuvers have converged with a regional military offensive against Boko Haram, the northern Nigerian jihadists that have gained so much ground since the U.S. and NATO turned Libya over to the tender mercies of Arab jihadists, in 2011. Libyan weapons flooded south across the Sahara desert, bringing instability to the vast Sahel region – which is like honey to the Pentagon bee. The U.S. military has announced that it will “share communications equipment and intelligence” with the five nations preparing to battle Boko Haram around oil-rich Lake Chad – imperial double-speak for putting the Americans in charge of the command-and-control mechanisms of the armies of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Benin. Boko Haram has proven quite useful to the consolidation of U.S. military dominance in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the jihadist rampage has come full circle in Libya, where both ISIS and Al Qaida have multiple strongholds. Jihadist “ultras” are most deeply entrenched in Derna, a port city east of Benghazi that accounted for the most jihadists killed or captured in Iraq during the American occupation. When U.S. and NATO finally destroyed Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after seven months of bombing, hundreds of jihadists were sent to Syria, hoping to repeat the process against President Bashar al-Assad. Many have since returned to Libya, bringing the black flag of the Islamic State with them.

“Libyan weapons flooded south across the Sahara desert, bringing instability to the vast Sahel region – which is like honey to the Pentagon bee.”

Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a supporter of one of three rump “governments” in Libya, bombed ISIS targets in Derna after the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian migrant workers. The atrocity, combined with a declaration of allegiance to ISIS by some Islamic rebels on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, prompted el-Sisi to call for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS to put Libya on its bombing list – an invitation from the world’s most populous Arab nation for the U.S. to extend the scope of its military operations to Egypt’s western border.

Jihad is truly a blessing for U.S. imperial objectives – but there is nothing coincidental about it. The U.S. installed jihadists in power in Libya, leading directly to the destabilization of vast lands to the South, which in turn facilitated the U.S. Africa Command’s mission to militarily dominate the continent. The U.S.-led jihadist proxy war against secular Syria was the incubator for ISIS, providing the U.S. with a new portal into Iraq, an excuse to operate openly in Syria, and now a possible chance to re-enter Libya cloaked as a savior from the jihadist hordes that the U.S. armed, financed and empowered only four years ago.

ISIS has been such a boon to U.S. war-fomenting strategy, Obama has been emboldened to demand that Congress give him three years of virtually unlimited, renewable powers to reboot the War on Terror. Like George Bush before him, Obama refuses to put geographic limits on the scope of his crusade against ISIS and its “associates.” The world is his live-fire chessboard, he can call the pieces by whatever name he wants, and make up the rules along the way. Every move is calculated to lead to greater militarization of relations among nations and peoples, because the military is America’s strongest suit – in fact, its only suit.

The truth is, the rulers of the United States are as much a death cult as the Islamic State, although U.S. imperialism is infinitely more dangerous. Let us do our best to send them both to their respective Paradises.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.