The ISIS threat to behead British hostage David Haines couldn’t have been more impeccably timed for David Cameron, arriving less than 48 hours before a speech by the British Prime Minister in which he began to build a case for air strikes targeting Syria.
Haines appeared at the end of a video released on Tuesday which purported to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. The ISIS militant in the footage threatens to kill Haines if the US and the UK do not “back off” from fighting ISIS.
At the start of the NATO summit in Wales this morning, Cameron cited the video as one of the reasons why air strikes on Syria cannot be ruled out, as he began re-building a case for military aggression that failed last year following dubious claims about who was responsible for the Ghouta chemical weapons attack.
For Cameron, who has been struggling to build political support for air strikes on ISIS, the threat to behead Haines couldn’t have been more timely.
And therein lies the completely illogical foundation of the alleged beheading videos. The release of the footage does nothing to encourage the US and the UK to “back off” fighting ISIS, it achieves the exact opposite, creating a casus belli for expanded western military operations in the middle east.
British forensic experts who analyzed the footage of the alleged beheading of James Foley concluded that the video was probably “staged” using “camera trickery and slick post-production techniques,” and that no blood was seen even though Foley was supposedly being decapitated.
The Steven Sotloff video bears all the same hallmarks – same setting, same ISIS militant, same editing techniques. Like Foley, Sotloff’s calm and composed demeanor as he reads out his statement belies the notion that he is about to be brutally murdered. There is also a total absence of blood as Sotloff begins to have his throat cut.
The fact that both videos do not actually show either individual being beheaded contradicts other ISIS footage which underscores the fact that the militant group is not squeamish when it comes to exhibiting the gruesomeness of its barbarity.
Whether the ISIS videos are genuine or are part of a crude propaganda campaign being contrived by the west, they are clearly being exploited by the US and the UK to grease the skids for a military assault on Syria. But as Tony Cartalucci notes, the timing of the videos means it would be naive not to consider that they are being directly produced by the west as part of a propaganda false flag.
If the Pentagon had an office dedicated to starting wars, and were in particular looking to create a war with Syria, it could not do a more effective job at corralling the American people with fear and hysteria behind the cause of war better than ISIS. With the NATO summit in Wales unfolding, ISIS’ timing with the alleged execution of a second US journalists, stokes the fires conveniently just ahead of public decisions that will be made regarding the military conglomerate’s many conflicts raging around the globe. Pressuring members to join a “coalition” will be all the easier with Sotloff’s alleged execution still making Western headlines.
Simultaneously threatening Russia’s interests in Syria, while seeking to counter Russian opposition to its agenda in Ukraine, strengthens NATO’s hand – all thanks to ISIS’ impeccable timing. For the uninformed, if they had not suspected ties between ISIS and the West’s agenda before, they should now.
Indeed, it appears as though ISIS are turning into the best enemies money can buy given the fact that the group was bankrolled and armed by some of the United States’ biggest allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan, while ISIS militants were also trained directly by the U.S. at a secret base in Jordan in 2012.
Many of the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels backed by the west also went on to defect to ISIS, while the insurgent group also obtained firepower as a result of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya in arming radical jihadists using weapons smuggled out of the Benghazi consulate.
During his NATO speech, Cameron made it clear that air strikes within Syria will not need the approval of the Syrian government, which the Prime Minister asserts is “illegitimate.”
Whatever labels the west slaps on Assad’s government in an attempt to justify a clear violation of national sovereignty, the fact is that Syria has made it clear that any military operation within its borders will be treated as an act of war.
Syria’s next step could be to activate Hezbollah units to attack western interests throughout the region, setting the stage for a wider conflict which could have devastating consequences for the entire middle east.