October 18, 2012
The New York Times has finally reported what many watching the Syria insurgency have noticed all along: US-facilitated weapons shipments are ending up in the hands of radical jihadists. Of course while getting those facts right, the NYT, blinded as it is by ideology, gets the conclusion wrong. The Times has for some time been pushing the line that the US must act fast militarily in Syria lest the mythical “people’s uprising” be hikacked by radicals. In short, they have been — surprise — distorting facts to propagandize for war. The NYT line is that US “inaction” on Syria is leading to the radicalization of the rebels. Earlier this month the Times reported/opined that:
“Many Saudi and Qatari officials now fear that the fighting in Syria is awakening deep sectarian animosities and, barring such intervention, could turn into an uncontrollable popular jihad with consequences far more threatening to Arab governments than the Afghan war of the 1980s.”
Now we get the news from the Times that:
“‘The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,’ said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.”
Then the Times pushes its propagandistic conclusion to color the facts according to its own ideology:
“That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments…casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.” (emphasis added)
Ah yes, the fault is all with the “minimal and indirect” intervention of the US in the conflict. Surely a Libya-type operation would already be reaping US foreign policy the same kinds of rewards we are getting in Libya!
So what is the truth? The truth is hard to swallow for the propagandizing media and the propagandized public: Assad was telling the truth when he told Barbara Walters in an interview earlier this year:
“Not everybody in the street was fighting for freedom. You have different components, you have extremists, religious extremists…like-minded people of Al Qaeda… [F]rom the very first few weeks we had those terrorists they are getting more and more aggressive, they have been killing. We have 1,000– over 1,100 soldiers and policeman killed, who killed them? peaceful demonstrators? This is not logical.”
Of course no one wanted to listen to him because he, like Saddam, Milosevic, Gaddafi, etc before him, had been branded a “madman” in the media. Who could listen to a madman? Who could possibly negotiate with a madman? They only understand one thing, force. We have all heard this interventionist neo-con garbage for decades but for some reason it still seems to work.
Likewise, Mother Agnes Miriam of the Cross, a Melkite Greek Catholic nun, was telling the truth earlier this summer when she told the Irish Times that the rebels were targeting Christians in Syria. She continued:
“The West and Gulf states must not give finance to armed insurrectionists who are sectarian terrorists, most of whom are from al-Qaeda, according to a report presented to the German parliament. … They bring terror, destruction, fear and nobody protects the civilians. [There were] very few Syrians among the rebels. …Mercenaries should go home.”
The reason that the weapons being funneled to the Syrian rebels are ending up in the hands of radical Islamists is because the rebels are radical Islamists. The founder of Doctors Without Borders noticed it after working with the wounded in Syria. German intelligence noticed it after an investigation suggested that up to 95 percent of the Syrian rebels are not Syrian.
It is a myth that the initial peaceful protests only turned violent reluctantly after they were met with force by the regime. In fact we see plans early on to turn events in Syria toward regime change. We saw it early in the 1996 US neo-conservative “Clean Break” study for then-Prime Minister Netanyahu, which urged him to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” Syria and other countries in the region. We saw it more recently in numerous influential think tank studies like that of Brookings’ Saban Center’s oft-cited report early this year tellingly titled, “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change.” Like the authors of the “Clean Break” paper, the Saban Center is heavily neo-conservative and pro-Likud.
In conclusion, here is the really bad news: As the US Syria policy falls apart, there is increasing danger that the built up tension in the region — particularly the disastrous decision of the Turkish government to support the rebels in Syria — is leading to a wider conflict that threatens to spin out of control. Turkey and Armenia are at each others throats, Armenia and Azerbaijan are preparing for war, Iraq warily watches chaos on its borders, Russia is installing its next-generation S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in its southern military region near Turkey, and so on. Backed into a corner by a failed policy, the US as usual is doubling down on a bad bet, feeding Turkey bogus intelligence about chimeral arms shipments aboard Syrian passenger planes carrying Russian passengers, etc. Rebel mortars lobbed into Turkey give a desperate Erdogan government the pretext it needs to establish a buffer zone in Syria and hope for NATO reinforcements, which are not coming. French observer Thierry Meyssan writes that “Turkey [is] on the verge of a nervous breakdown” after NATO “packs it in” on Syria.