Islamic State and the Forty Thieves
Once upon a time, Washington and Riyadh decided to bottle up the Iranian Genie. What follows is the chronicle of the biggest screw up in US foreign policy to date.
The strategy involved reinforcing existing Sunni extremists with a freshly released assortment of murderers and rapists from Libya, Iraq, England, and France. Prince Bandar bin Sultan and other Wahhabi flea bags reassured Washington saying, “they will keep a very close eye on the Islamic State hooligans. Their message was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”
Concurrently, Bush hard-liners and the Brotherhood’s Syrian branch came together in a tale of desperation to keep up the pressure on Mr. Assad, whose regime has weathered all attempts by the U.S. to cripple it in previous years. The unusual relationship is also a measure of the evolving strategies on both sides as they sought ways to counter the Syrian government.
In 2011 the mental midgets of US Foreign Policy go “ALL IN” in Syria. Head of Syrian military defectors denies a news report that he crossed the border from Turkey to Syria to command troops loyal to the opposition force called the Free Syrian Army. As the US completes its final withdrawal from Iraq, American special forces troops get diverted to positions in Jordan opposite a Syrian tank concentration building up across the kingdom’s northern border, DEBKA file’s military and intelligence sources reports. The US military sends a task force to Jordan to help it handle an influx of Syrian refugees and prepare for other scenarios, including Damascus losing control of its chemical weapons, a senior US defense official said at the time.
Moving on into 2012 and precisely on Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch publishes a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit.
While initial mainstream media reporting was focused on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, a much “bigger picture” admission and confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region.
Let’s jump to 2015. In Al Jazeera’s Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.”
Amazingly, Flynn actually took issue with the way interviewer Mehdi Hasan posed the question—Flynn seemed to want to make it clear that the policies that led to the rise of ISIL were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:
By September 2015, Nearly 30,000 assorted murderers and rapists have now poured into Syria, many to join the Islamic State, a doubling of volunteers in just the past 12 months and stark evidence that an international effort to tighten borders, share intelligence and enforce anti-terrorism laws is not diminishing the ranks of new hooligans.
Among those who have entered or tried to enter the conflict in Iraq or Syria are more than 250 Americans, up from about 100 a year before and mostly ex convicts who converted to Islam while in jail, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials.
How did 30,000 murderers and rapists enter Syria? With a little help from my friends…
Following an investigative report on German public television revealing that some German Islamist had received encouragement and even help if they showed a desire to leave the country. The chief officer in charge of counter-terrorism at Bavaria’s LKA investigative police department, Ludwig Schierghofer, told the “Monitor” program and later the DPA news agency that the measure was conducted “to protect our population.”
Germany is now sending weapons to fight IS, but did it once effectively encourage fighters to join IS?
The idea, Schierghofer said, was “to get people out of the country” if it was clear that “the danger existed that they might commit attacks.”
“If somebody had become radicalized and wanted to leave the country, then we tried to either let him depart, or even sought to accelerate their departure using legal means,” Schierghofer said.
Schierghofer told DPA that the practice was put into writing in Bavaria in 2009, but that it was stopped late last year when it became apparent that the policy was helping groups like the “Islamic State.” He also said that authorities began trying to stop more serious suspects – “known terrorists and dangerous Islamist” – from leaving the country as early as 2008, in cases where it was clear they planned to commit crimes once abroad.
Then there is the matter of the supplies coming in from Turkey courtesy of that immense piece of unmentionable that is Erdogan. Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.
In an article in The Independent on Sept. 17, 2012, the veteran Middle East expert of the Western media, Robert Fisk, wrote that Turkey was becoming an arms funnel and rest-and-recreation center for Syrian jihadists, just as Pakistan is for the Taliban and AL-Qaeda in Afghanistan. “Will Turkey turn out to be the Pakistan of the Middle East?” he asked.
A year later, did Fisk’s prediction materialize Did Turkey become Syria’s Pakistan?
Pessimists would answer affirmatively to this question. Optimists, for their part, would not be telling the truth if they responded with something other than this: “We are not a Pakistan yet, but we are on the way to becoming one.”
Turkish territory in the border region that arches from Hatay to Gaziantep is on the way to becoming the “Peshawar of the Middle East,” that is, a region where the state has no control over the border and outlawed forces move as they like.
While we are Pakistanizing, our neighbor Syria — torn by a civil war — is in the grips of Lebanonization (ethnic and sectarian polarization), Somalization (collapse of public order and state) and Afghanization (dominance of al-Qaeda and jihadists), with all those processes intertwined and mutually exacerbating each other.
Syria’s Afghanization is seen predominantly in the area that extends from Idlib to Aleppo, meets with the Kurdish Rojava region and then stretches along the Euphrates Valley, via Deir el-Zour, all the way to Iraq’s Sunni region.
Those capable of reading the map of the Syrian civil war would also discern this: If Turkey had not been Pakistanizing, Syria would not have been Afghanizing. It means that the jihadists — mainly the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra — could not have Afghanized Syria’s northern region bordering Turkey without logistical support from quarters in Turkey and easy access to Turkish territory and the Syrian border. Without using the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar as a rear base, Jabhat al-Nusra could not have fought the Kurds for months in Ras al-Ain, right on the other side of the border.
At the beginning of this article I quoted bowwow Bandar, ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ Not so fast pooch.
August 6, 2015 – The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a Saudi Arabian mosque that killed at least 15 people, including 12 members of a Saudi special forces unit, the latest in a spate of such attacks in the Gulf kingdom.
Isil said in a statement circulated on social media that it had targeted the men because they enabled the rule of Saudi Arabia’s monarchs and their western backers, and because they allegedly tortured Isis sympathizers.
The group pledged further attacks in the Arab world, and boasted of its ability to pierce Saudi security measures.
In late September it appeared the final curtain was descending on Bashar only to be lifted by Putin in a Blitzkrieg that caught the severely intellectually disabled leaders of the Western world by shall we say, surprise?
Claiming to target ISIL, Russia conducted its first airstrikes in Syria, while U.S. officials expressed serious doubts Wednesday about what the true intentions behind the move may be.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, warplanes targeted eight ISIL positions, including arms, transportation, communications and control positions.
But U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter countered that claim. “I want to be careful about confirming information, but it does appear that they (Russian airstrikes) were in areas where there probably were not ISIL forces,” he told reporters. ISIL is an acronym for ISIS. “The result of this kind of action will inevitably, simply be to inflame the civil war in Syria,” Carter said.
Ash Carter, unlike Kerry, is no dummy. However, unfortunately for him, he is in a position that in order to keep his job, he needs to be perceived as stupid as his half caste African boss, Obomber.
As expected ISIL commences retaliations. The Oct. 31 crash of a Russian passenger jet that killed all 224 on board was caused by a homemade bomb apparently smuggled onto the aircraft at Egypt’s Sharm el Sheik resort, Russian security officials said. Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to track down and punish those behind the disaster “wherever they are on the planet.”
The Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor agency to the Soviet KGB, announced a $50-million bounty for identification and capture of those responsible for the disaster.
“According to our experts, a homemade explosive device equivalent to 1 kilogram of TNT went off on board, which caused the plane to break up in the air,” FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov told Kremlin officials in confirming that the plane was destroyed by “a terrorist act.”
Then it’s Lebanon’s turn and as an important aside, this article explains why the New York Times is only good for fish wrapping.
Two ISIL suicide bombers killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 230 in attacks on a heavily Shia Muslim community in Beirut on November 12. This was the worst attack on the city in years.
The vast majority of the victims were civilians, not armed militants—but many media headlines obscured this.
“Deadly Blasts Hit Hezbollah Stronghold in Southern Beirut,” declared the New York Times (11/12/15). Absent from this headline were crucial facts—namely, that this supposed “stronghold” of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is in fact a busy civilian area, and moreover that dozens of civilians were killed in the attacks.
The website NewsDiffs, which tracks changes to articles published in leading news outlets, documents how, in less than eight hours, the Times changed the headline of its piece five times.
Now diplomacy whose motto is “Death by Bullshit”, kicks into high gear.
When world powers gather in Vienna to discuss a possible postwar political deal for Syria, one of the main points of contention will be to determine whom to include among opposition groups in future negotiations — and the West may back groups that are less than “moderate,” Britain’s top diplomat said.
“In my judgment, people we should be talking to will include people who have a vision for the future of Syria that is different from ours, a vision that we will not agree with,” the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said in an interview at The New York Times. No shit Sherlock…
Now it is time for a quick refresher course, “I think that one way or another we have opened a Pandora’s box in Iraq that we are unable to close,” said Jacques Chirac in September 2004 after a Madrid summit with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
And BOOM! that box was pulverized in where else but Paris? How apropos… French President Francois Hollande said the attacks in Paris that killed 127 people were “an act of war” organized from abroad by Islamic State with internal help.
Now ask yourselves, was the Paris operation and epic intelligence fail or was it allowed to happen to panic the French into accepting major changes to their constitution?
French authorities were investigating the mystery theft of 180 detonators, 40 grenades and 10 blocks of 250 grams of plastic explosives from the multi-service Miramas military site near Marseille in southeast France, officials said. One said the culprit or culprits appeared to have cut through security fencing to get inside.
An Islamic State operative suspected of helping plan the Paris attacks had been monitored in Syria by Western allies seeking to kill him in an airstrike, but they couldn’t locate him in the weeks before the plot was carried out, two Western security officials said. The operative, a Belgian citizen named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was convicted in absentia in Brussels earlier this year of recruiting jihadists, was suspected of masterminding a foiled plot to behead police officers, escaped to Syria and was profiled in Islamic State’s online magazine mocking European authorities for their failure to catch him.
Turkey notified France twice in December 2014 and June 2015 about one of the attackers in suicide bombings and shootings in Paris that killed more than 130 people, a senior Turkish government official said on Monday.
Mostefai, 29, from Chartres, southwest of Paris, is the only attacker to have formally been named by police in France. He was identified by the print from one of his fingers that was severed when his suicide vest exploded.
Turkey received an information request from France on Oct. 10, 2014, regarding four terror suspects but during its investigation identified a fifth individual, Mostefai, the official said. It twice notified France of its findings but only heard back after Friday’s attacks.
SOFREP sources reported weeks ago that the French National Police were meeting with the German BKA federal police and BND federal intelligence service to discuss an imminent pre-planned terrorist attack in Paris. Industrial targets were already being probed by suspected terrorists in France, and a bomb which failed to detonate was found in one facility. The explosives employed were those stolen in a little-publicized theft from a French military armory months prior.
Now we consider the fallout form U.S. Foreign Policy which really amounts to a Fairy-tale Gone Awry Policy.
The United States has carried out a fresh delivery of ammunition to fighters from the Syrian Arab Coalition battling Islamic State in northern Syria, pushing ahead with a strategy that initially unnerved ally Turkey, a U.S. official told Reuters on Sunday.
The delivery of ammunition represented only the second time the United States has moved to arm the Syrian Arab Coalition, a collection of about 10-12 groups numbering about 5,000 fighters. They are working with Kurds and others to claw back land from Islamic State.
It is beyond the capabilities of U.S. intelligence, or any other western states except Italy, to gain the complex strategic and tactical insight and the instinctive feel to successfully manipulate the conflict in the directions we want. These conflicts are riven by extremely intertwined ideological, personal, regional, religious, tactical, and tribal differences that outsiders cannot control in any convincing fashion.Thus Washington has been reduced to the crude instruments of bombing and providing support to jihadi attacks against other jihadis. Nobody has a score card. And it all grows worse. Washington’s fear of the Islamic State has now come to supersede the fall of Assad as the primary U.S. goal. Yet it is nearly impossible to succeed in Syria when many of the forces we support against Assad also support the Islamic State, directly or indirectly.