The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the leadership of the Islamic State consists of members who formerly were part of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle.
According to a former mercenary fighting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in the U.S.-Saudi proxy war ongoing in Syria, IS is controlled by former Iraqi officers and intelligence agents who had served under Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who began his career as a CIA operative.
Based on Hamza’s claim, The Washington Times concludes “members of Iraq’s former Baathist army in an organization more typically associated with flamboyant foreign jihadists” play a “pervasive role” in the terror army fighting in Iraq and Syria.
Even with the influx of thousands of foreign fighters, almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes, according to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group.
Instead of a mercenary group cobbled together from disparate elements of al-Qaeda — also a documented intelligence operation — and other radical jihadist groups supported and encouraged by the Wahhabist kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Post argues the Islamic State is linked to the insurgency against the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the marginalization of Sunnis in the country during the occupation.
Instead of a foreign proxy army devised by U.S. intelligence operations, IS represents a “fusion… of the Iraqization process,” according to Col. Joel Rayburn, a senior fellow at the National Defense University.
The Post argues that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported leader of IS, recruited Hussein Baathists and a number of them, including Abu Muslim al-Afari al-Turkmani and Haji Bakr, are former members of the Republican Guard and Iraqi intelligence.
The Iraqis do not want an Islamic caliphate controlling Iraq, says Hamza. “A lot of these Baathists are not interested in ISIS running Iraq. They want to run Iraq. A lot of them view the jihadists with this Leninist mind-set that they’re useful idiots who we can use to rise to power.”
If we are to believe the argument offered by the Post that IS is a Baathist creation, then we must accept that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have worked in tandem with former agents of the Hussein regime.
Ample Evidence of U.S. Training and Arming the Islamic State
Jordanian officials admitted last year that then ISIS members were trained by the U.S. military. “Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan,” Aaron Klein wrote for WorldNetDaily in June.
Klein cites other sources stating Syrian mercenaries — most who would ultimately join ISIS — receiving training by the United States.
In addition, according to a Shiite source in contact with a high official in the government of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a training camp near Incirlik Air Base outside of Adana, Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located, served as a training facility for ISIS. The journalist Seymour Hersh has documented the linkage between the Turkish government and the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction formerly associated with al-Qaeda that eventually pledged allegiance to IS.
There are numerous instances of ISIS receiving weapons from the United States. In December, Iranian state media claimed U.S. military aircraft airdropped weapons to IS in the Yathrib and Balad districts in Iraq’s Salahuddin Province. This followed an accusation the previous month by Iraqi intelligence sources claiming the U.S. actively supplies IS with weapons.
“What is important is that the US sends these weapons to only those that cooperate with the Pentagon and this indicates that the US plays a role in arming the ISIL,” the Iraqis said.
In March, Qasim al-Araji, the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq, told parliament he has evidence the U.S. is arming the Islamic Army.
The London-based organization Conflict Armament Research previously reported that ISIS fighters are using “significant quantities” of arms including M16 assault rifles marked “property of the US government.”
The Iranians also believe the United States is behind the Islamic State. Masoumeh Ebtekar, the first female vice president of Iran, said as much in February and the former Iranian minister of intelligence,
Heydar Moslehi, said ISIS was created by “the triangle of Mossad, MI6, and the CIA.” Moslehi added that “dollars from Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf countries” are responsible for funding the terrorist army.
Corporate Media Specializes in Producing Lies for the War Machine
The links between IS and the U.S. and the Gulf Emirates is rarely if ever mentioned by the corporate media. If we are to believe, as the Post claims, elements of the Baath party and members of the old Saddam Hussein regime are responsible for the Islamic State, then it stands to reason they are collaborating with the U.S. and the Gulf Emirates.
It should be noted that the CIA had a hand in bringing the Baathists to power in Iraq in 1963. “The CIA were definitely involved in that coup. We saw the rise of the Ba’athists as a way of replacing a pro-Soviet government with a pro-American one and you don’t get that chance very often,” said James Akins, a diplomat who served in the Baghdad Embassy at the time. “I knew all the Ba’ath Party leaders and I liked them.”
The Saddam Hussein regime was useful to the United States until the early 1990s when it was decided his regime had to be replaced with one more amenable to U.S. geostrategic objectives.
As I noted prior to the second invasion of Iraq, the United States signed off on the chemical and biological weapons transfers to Saddam Hussein. Deadly agents, including anthrax, were sold to Iraq less than two years before the first Bush administration decided to invade the country.
The neocon propaganda machine completely ignored the facts about Iraq’s weapons program — including an entirely fictional claim Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons — as it built fabrications to legitimize the invasion which ultimately claimed the lives of 1.5 million Iraqis.
The Washington Post and The New York Times were complicit in selling these lies to the American people. In short, they have functioned as a propaganda machine for the war and should be held accountable.
Instead, we are fed the dubious claim Saddam Hussein has risen from the the grave and his agents are in charge of a brutal terror organization irrefutably linked to the United States and the Gulf Emirates.