Patrick Henningson — Global Research Sept 12, 2014
President Obama’s much celebrated ISIS(L) ‘strategy’ speech came on Tuesday night amid great fanfare and even greater debate. Sure, he outlined a strategy, but the President has been harboring another hidden agenda – one you won’t get a straight answer on.
Obama rode a wave of public outrage and fear into Tuesday’s address, mostly due to the extensive media coverage of the alleged murders of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff – a drama played out on Youtube of all places. The beheadings were important in this process because they set the US military media campaign into hyper-drive. The timing in the run-up to the 9/11 anniversary seemed uncanny.
Obama’s public agenda is the one you can see on the table, one where the US officials promise to “degrade and destroy ISIS”. Sounds great. Who can disagree with that?
Then there’s the hidden agenda, somewhere under the table, and not really up for rational debate. That’s probably because it’s highly illegal and has something to do with what started the ISIS crisis to begin with.
This is how Obama plans to sneak back in and re-ignite with last year’s failed bombing campaign that never was in Syria. He explains, “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria.”
Put aside for a minute that any US airstrikes conducted inside Syria without consultation from the Syrian government would be classed by international law and perhaps even by the UN as an act of war against Syria. Why are US politicians, bureaucrats and paid media pundits all guarding their Syrian option so closely? I thought this was an ISIS crisis, not a Bashar al Assad crisis?
The central flaw in all of this is that Washington has no real policy on Syria other than hyperbole. Any policies it does have are centered around clandestine and illegal operations there. US officials will spout now and again how, “we do not recognize Syria as a sovereign state”, even though the US has no legal basis on which to maintain such a position. They simply announce in 2011 that, “Assad must go”, ala regime change per usual.
Obama tried to explain Tuesday evening, “In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost.”
Instead the US only recognizes the fabled “Free Syria Army” – more of a concept than an actual army, as the legitimate governing body in Syria. So much so, that for the last 3 years Washington and its agencies like the CIA have been supporting and arming this proxy guerrilla fighting force – in effect driving a bloody civil war inside Syria.
Ironically (well, not really), the US has been doing the very thing that it’s been accusing (but has yet to prove) the Russians of doing in Eastern Ukraine. If any other country did what the US is doing in Syria, it would be roundly condemned by the US as ‘violating the sovereignty of Syria’ and disrespecting what John Kerry too often refers to as ‘international norms’. But for Obama, John Kerry, McCain and company, they’ve given themselves a free pass. That’s American exceptionalism.
The Myth of the ‘Moderate Rebel’ in Syria
The President is pulling the wool over Americans’ eyes when he tries to sell them the idea that more money, arms and training for his ‘moderate Syrian opposition’ will somehow degrade TheIslamic State in Syria. The absence of logic here is pretty stunning.
“Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters”, said Obama.
What he really means here is, ‘this seems like a good opportunity to get another half billion in Congressional funding for our proxy army in Syria’. If Congress won’t pass it, he’ll go the dictator route. Notice how Obama was careful not to call it a “war”.
The problem with the ‘Moderate Rebels’ is that Washington has never been able to identify who’s moderate and who’s borderline radical, and who are closet Islamic extremists. Rather inconvenient for spooks and politicians in Washington, rebel fighters in Syria don’t carry I.D.bracelets indicating how extreme they are or will be in the future.
It is this very problem which helped to enable the growth of ISIS inside Syria over the last three years. As foreign money, guns and NON-SYRIAN foreign fighters began to flow into Syria, the US and its allies turned a blind eye to a host of known terrorist groups and their heinous acts, as they infested the region from outside (including hundreds of British, French, and American terror recruits), including al Qaeda, AQI, al Nusra, Front Victory, and of course, ISIS.
Like it or not, that is what has happened over the last three years. The logic in Washington and London was basically, “whoever is fighting the Syrian government is OK by us. We want regime change, so the end justifies the means”.
Yes, US and NATO guns and equipment have moved from FSA hands to ISIS hands, and US special forces have knowingly or unknowingly (only they know) trained and armed future ISIS terrorists in Jordan. That’s not a theory, that’s a fact. Still, no comment from Washington.
Syrian Rebels Are Actually Working with ISIS
Here’s the real kicker. Even today, as the FSA/Moderate Rebels being backed by the US – they are also working together in joint operations with ISIS. Beirut’s Daily Star reported this week:
“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.
“We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” confirmed Abu Khaled, another FSA commander who lives in Arsal.”
So Obama wants to fund and arm rebels working with ISIS(L) in Syria. His plan will give aid and comfort to ISIS. On this basis alone, the Obama ‘strategy’ should be disqualified and the president should be dragged in front of a hearing to explain himself. Look at how we got here in the first place. Another $500 million dollars into the hands of these ‘moderate rebels’ will only yield more of the same – more well-equipped jihadist fighters marauding through Syria and Iraq. More ISIS.
Of course, even a Middle East novice knows full well that that in addition to all the residual aid and arms from Washington and the CIA, terror brigades like al Nusra and ISIS wave been financed and assisted by persons and intelligence agents in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait – all staunch US and British allies. ISIS would be history in a fortnight if the west applied real pressure on the Gulf monarchies responsible for terrorist infestations like the Islamic State and al Nusra. But that will never happen, because as any State Department official will tell you off the record, “It’s a very sensitive issue. There are grey areas there.” I think ‘duplicitous’ is the word they are really looking for.
Still, President Obama will go in front of the country with a straight face and try to sell the fiction – as a cheap trick to reboot his and the Neocon’s so far unsuccessful nation-building project in Syria.
US Will Use Airstrikes to Direct its Civil War in Syria.
Think about it: only 12 months after failing to secure another WMD narrative laying blame on Bashar al Assad and the Syrian government, the US military machine has done the impossible and found a new backdoor into Syria.
We’ve been observing US airstrikes overseas for a few decades now, long enough to understand the reality beyond Pentagon propaganda. Not to be naive, expect that the US will certainly use any air strikes in Syria to offer real time air intel to the rebels, provide air cover, and create much-needed corridors for the FSA Syrian rebels.
In addition, the US would not lose the opportunity to test all of Syria’s air defense systems and generate extensive target lists, eventually using the cover of their ‘ISIL Operation’ to hit key Syrian military targets. The deception will be carried out under a complete media blackout, with no western media reporting ‘wrong targets’ or ‘mistakes’. Any such attack will not exist from a western perspective, and only the Syrian and Lebanese news agencies will report these incidents
The US debate has already reached confusing and insane levels, with US pundits arguing that, “airstrikes could be problematic because ISIS is also fighting against the Syrian government and if we strike ISIS in Syria, this could actual provide relief to Assad which is not good for the US”.
Obama claims he’s gathered a broad ‘coalition of the willing’, but in reality, there is no coalition, at least no one willing to get their hands dirty on the ground.
Beyond Americans’ willful denial and refusal to recognize Syria and its people, is the fact that of all countries in the Middle East, no one has done more to fight extremist terrorists on the ground than Bashar al Assad and the Syrian military. No one has spilled more blood than the people of Syria.
In a logical world, if the real objective was to eliminate ISIS, then you would expect that Washington would want to sit down with both the Syria and Iraqi govt’s in order to form a strategy to flush out and destroy the ISIS brigades. With that level of coordination, the terror group could be wiped out in a matter of weeks, but that cannot happen because the US is playing their double agenda. The fact that the US is not coordinating with Syria and Iraq together shows more than anything, that the US is not fully committed to flushing out ISIS, and seems much more interested in regime change in Syria. One only needs to look at Libya today to get an idea of how bad Washington can be get it wrong on such important geopolitical matters.
A coalition without, Iraq, Greater Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iran – all together, is a meaningless coalition. That looks to be the case here. Lebanon is not invited because of their links to Syria. Iran is out because they have already been designated as a pariah state by the US and Israel and therefore are not allowed to participate in anything, not to mention they are the wrong branch of Islam for American planners. Syria is obviously out because the US has vowed not to recognize that state until Washington has installed their own government in Damascus. Jordan cannot participate because Jordan has been instrumental in providing training and refuge for foreign fighters heading into Syria. NATO member Turkey will not commit to any coalition partly because its hands are already dirty having played a damaging role in pumping-up the civil war in Syria since 2011, and has allowed itself to be used as both a staging ground and well as a safe haven for extremist and ISIS fighters inside Turkish borders just over Syria’s the northern border.
Obama: Lying in Full View
What is most impressive about Barack Obama is his ability to tell a lie right to your face, even if it contradicts what he said a few seconds earlier.
The first one was obvious. “But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil“, said Obama.
Shortly after, he boasts that he will be sending an additional 475 ‘US servicemen’ (Special Forces) to Iraq to help with the fight. Bear in mind that there are already over 1,000 boots already on the groundthere, which gives us a total of 1,700. To Obama, this number really means zero.
The next lie requires a forked tongue and the ability to be duplicitous, and feel cool about it. Here Obama thrives:
“In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.”
How is arming-up a rebel faction in a foreign country, and fueling a civil war… pursuing a “political solution”?
This fight could last another three years, which is perfect timing, as the crisis rides into the US 2016 presidential election. All this crisis needs is a false flag event on US soil to really solidify another 10 to 20 years of hyper security/police state designed mainly for Europe, Australia and North America.
The sad truth is that US actions and policies in the region over the last three decades have created the conditions for ISIS(L) and even the organization itself. It’s Mujahedin all over again, but much better funded and equipped this time.
None of it makes sense, until you study the facts. But facts and history do not seem to mean much to the ruling bureaucratic class in Washington, and London too.