Mike WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press)
“No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”, Unnamed Green Beret, (“US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria”, Jack Murphy, SOFREP News)
The United States is on the wrong side in the Syrian war. The U.S. is on the side of al Qaida, the terrorist organization that killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Jabhat al Nusra, which is the name of al Qaida’s branch in Syria, is the most powerful and effective militia currently fighting against the Syrian government. Al Nusra is not comprised of “moderates” that are fighting for democracy, civil liberties or human rights. They are Islamic extremists that want to remove the secular government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and replace it with an Islamic caliphate that will ruthlessly enforce Sharia law. The bulk of al Nusra’s foot-soldiers are not Syrian nationals, but foreign-born militants recruited by the various Intelligence agencies (US, Turkish, Saudi and Qatar) from around the world. A large portion of these fighters have been armed, trained and funded by these same intel agencies. Whether al Nusra gets its marching orders directly from Langley, Riyadh or Ankara, is a matter of considerable debate, (I, personally, don’t think they do) but it is also completely irrelevant. What’s more important is that these terrorist organizations are mainly the invention of the western intel agencies that use jihadists to advance their own geopolitical agendas in places like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Chechnya, Libya, Somalia etc. Absent state support, these gangs of cutthroats would likely wither and vanish in a matter of months. Instead, they have grown into a small but lethal global army capable of ousting sovereign regimes and destabilizing entire regions.
The record shows that the CIA’s relationship to these shadowy groups goes back more than 30 years to Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan where the Mujahideen were used to rout the Russians in Washington’s stealth war against the Soviet Union. Elements of the Mujahideen evolved into al Qaida which launched the attacks on 9-11. One might think that a catastrophic event like the downing on the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, would prompt a thorough review of the policy (of supporting Islamic extremists), but that hasn’t been the case at all. The CIA continues to back all manner of dodgy groups (Death squads in Nicaragua and Iraq, neo-Nazis in Ukraine, jihadists in numerous locations) provided they help to advance the imperial agenda. National security and the safety of the American people simply never factor into elite decisionmaking. What drives the policy is oil, power, money and Israel. Nothing else matters.
In the case of Syria, al Nusra and the other so-called “moderate” terrorists serve a crucial purpose. They allow foreign actors to prosecute a clandestine “regime change” war while invoking plausible deniability, thus, eschewing any criminal accountability for their actions. These deep-state puppeteers– who are ultimately responsible for the massive death and destruction in Syria– believe they can achieve the same horrific results that were achieved in Iraq without committing US ground troops, without igniting a violent and prolonged insurgency, and without triggering the public relations disaster they experienced in 2003. In other words, Washington is using proxy warriors to achieve the same results as in Iraq without incurring the same costs.
The use of proxies has been used to confuse the public about what is really going on in Syria, but the facts are plain to see. Syria is not in the throes of a “civil war” as the media would have us believe. The country is being ripped apart by an American invasion, the same as Iraq was destroyed by an American invasion. The substitution of armed-proxies for US footsoldiers doesn’t change a thing. The fact is, the US is the main driver of the current policy. The jihadist invasion would not have taken place without a green light and material support from Washington.
The goal of the invasion is to replace Bashar al Assad with a US-stooge, splinter the country into multiple parts, and control vital pipeline corridors. Washington wants to create conditions on the ground that forever prevent the reemergence of a strong, secular central government that can openly oppose US commercial interests, US regional hegemony or pose a threat to Israel. That’s the whole ball o’ wax. Syria must be destroyed to strengthen Washington’s grip on the Middle East and assert control over its resources. To that end, the US eagerly throws its support behind the vast pool of Sunni militants that have formed into small armies which appear to enjoy a great deal of autonomy, but, in fact, follow a narrow script that closely coincides with the aims of their patrons. When these militias eventually outlive their usefulness, (as I expect they will) they will either be disbanded or extinguished by the same people who first breathed life into them.
Just to be clear, we are not saying that Washington or the CIA directly control al Nusra. (The precise manner in which Nusra acquires US-made weaponry remains unclear.) What we are saying, however, is that the CIA and their allies are responsible for this global scourge and use its agents on the ground to pursue their own interests. In effect, Al Nusra is performing the same function that US foot soldiers performed in Iraq. They are the tip of the spear, the faceless grunts who execute the imperial policy, regime change. The fact that no American soldiers are killed, precludes the bodybags, the flag-draped coffins, the wailing mothers at military funerals, and the blood-soaked headlines, all of which fuels popular resistance to misguided military campaigns. The use of proxy militias is designed to avoid all of those potential pitfalls. Even so, the strategy does have its shortcomings, like the effect it has on morale when Special Ops troops are used to train jihadists how to fight in Syria. Check out this excerpt from an article at SOFREP News titled “US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria”:
“Nobody believes in it. You’re like, ‘Fuck this,’” a former Green Beret says of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian militias. “Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis. No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”
“I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added. A second Special Forces soldier commented that one Syrian militia they had trained recently crossed the border from Jordan on what had been pitched as a large-scale shaping operation that would change the course of the war. Watching the battle on a monitor while a drone flew overhead, “We literally watched them, with 30 guys in their force, run away from three or four ISIS guys.” (sofrep.com) (“US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria”, Jack Murphy, SOFREP News)
The Green Berets see through this nonsense. They know that these training programs are a farce, but the game goes on regardless. They probably also know that the CIA has been running similar programs for the better part of the last 30 years and, yet, nothing changes. The agency continues its engagement with homicidal maniacs unleashing them on the world with ever increasing frequency. At the same time, Koolaid-drinking Americans continue to ignore what is going on right beneath their noses preferring instead to spend long hours in a coma-like trance watching home improvement shows or catching up with the Kardashians. Whatever it is, they remain uniquely oblivious to the crimes committed by their government which, as Harold Pinter noted in his Nobel acceptance speech “have been systematic, constant, vicious and remorseless.”
Last week, the spokesman for the US State Department, John Kirby, delivered a uncharacteristically threatening message to Moscow which suggested that the US maintains connections with terrorist organizations. Here’s what he said:
“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft.” Kirby added that if the war in Syria continues “more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down.”
Naturally, Moscow was taken aback by Kirby’s frankness, particularly his tacit admission that Washington somehow controls the activities of the terrorists they claim to be fighting. That was the real stunner, and it didn’t pass unnoticed, in fact, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov delivered a broadsides just hours after Kirby’s press confab. He said:
“We cannot interpret this as anything else but de facto support for terrorism. These poorly veiled invitations to use terrorism as a weapon against Russia shows the political depths the current US administration has stooped to in its approach to the Middle East and Syria.”
Ryabkov’s statement was followed by Russian FM Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova who took a more reflective view saying:
“And those [acts of terrorism] will be perpetrated by ‘moderate’ [Syrian opposition groups]?…Just the ones that Washington has been unable to separate from Al-Nusra for as long as six months?”
“[What about] Terrorist attacks in France, America and other countries; the beheadings of people of all nationalities by Islamic State militants in Syria – is this all kind of a different paradigm? Perhaps another ‘parallel reality?”
In other words, Zakharova wants Kirby to clarify the extent to which Washington controls these terrorist groups. Is the State Department’s power limited to Syria or can they claim responsibility for other seemingly random acts of violence? It would be nice to know, wouldn’t it?
Zakharova also added this bombshell that suggests the cat is out of the bag:
“Don’t you think that such ventriloquism about ‘body bags,’ ‘terrorist attacks in Russian cities’ and ‘loss of aircraft,’ sounds more like a ‘get ’em’ command, rather than a diplomatic comment?”
It’s a fair question, don’t you think? Is Washington acting as a “ventriloquist”, that is, a performer that controls the movements and voice of a dummy? Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, seems to think so. Check out this clip from AMN News:
“According to Konashenkov, US Department of State spokesman John Kirby’s statement is tantamount to recognition the Syrian opposition is in fact a US-controlled international terrorist alliance.
“Kirby, I am certain, is well aware of the after-effects of his statement. His words are the most frank confession by the US side so far the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a civil war in Syria is a US-controlled international terrorist alliance,” Konashenkov said.
“What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct US influence on terrorists’ activity is global. That it reaches as far as Russia. The mask comes off, doesn’t it, sirs?”
(“Russia warns US over recent threats”, AMN)
(This same analysis was published in western media, too, like the UK Telegraph.)
A “US-controlled international terrorist alliance”?? Is that what we’re talking about?
Kirby’s comments appear to indicate that that is precisely the case. But why would Kirby make such a careless and self-incriminating statement that many believe to be a smoking gun? And, why hasn’t he provided a follow-up explanation, clarification, correction or retraction ? Why?
Hubris, that’s why. The US foreign policy establishment is so secure in its unassailable political position, they simply don’t care what the little people think anymore. It just doesn’t matter to them. What the power elite care about is making sure that Putin “gets the message”, that he knows he’ll pay a hefty price if he doesn’t shape up and fall in line. That’s what they really care about and that’s why Kirby hasn’t backed off his damning statement.
But what about the rest of us? How should we regard the war on terror in light of Kirby’s surprising admission?
We need to realize that our approach to terrorism is all wrong. Terrorism cannot be defeated by nipping at the edges or by killing individual agents or groups. That hasn’t worked and that won’t work. The cancer has to be eradicated at its source which — in all probability– means either dismantling or reigning in the CIA and bringing its deep-state paymasters to justice. That is how one wins the war on terror.