Folks, I need your help -- research
help. We have a war to prevent.
Remember when all sorts of respectable people were telling you that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction? They're at it again. The neoconservatives want to gin up another war based on a lie.
That lie is succinctly expressed in this call to arms
by John McCain and Lindsey Graham. In their piece, McCain and Graham spend a goodly amount of time discussing the evils of ISIS. That's an easy sale: Nearly everyone hates ISIS by this point, and for good reason.
But then they slip in this
Any strategy must, of course, be comprehensive. It must squeeze ISIS’ finances. It requires an inclusive government in Baghdad that shares power and wealth with Iraqi Sunnis, rather than pushing them toward ISIS. It requires an end to the conflict in Syria, and a political transition there, because the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will never be a reliable partner against ISIS; in fact, it has abetted the rise of ISIS, just as it facilitated the terrorism of ISIS’ predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq.
(Emphasis added.) Woah. Woah. WOAH!
ISIS is being used as an excuse to bring about regime change in Syria.
In other words, the threat posed by ISIS is being used as an excuse to bring about the very thing that ISIS wants.
McCain and Graham are betting on American ignorance. Most Americans don't know that ISIS has been fighting against
Bashar Assad. Most Americans don't know that the Islamic world is divided between Sunni and Shiite -- two factions which have been at odds for centuries. Most Americans don't know that ISIS is a Sunni fighting force while Assad belongs to an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
ISIS and Assad are blood enemies.
To assert that Assad deliberately created ISIS is like saying that England deliberately created Joan of Arc. It's like saying that Dracula deliberately created Van Helsing. It's like saying that the Clantons deliberately created the Earps. It's like saying that the Hatfields "abetted" the rise of the McCoys.
The very idea is ridiculous.
So how did this "Assad created ISIS" meme get started?
I've been trying to track it down, and what I've found is pretty disturbing. At this point (and my research is not complete), I think
that it all traces back to some of the same people who brought us the "Saddam has WMDs" fabrication. More specifically, a little-known news outlet in Lebanon -- funded by some important neoconservatives -- seems to have played a key role.
I will go into all of that quite soon. In the meantime, I ask you to fire up Google. Let's make this investigation a group effort.
Have you seen anyone try to offer evidence
for the "Assad created ISIS" meme?
McCain and Graham sure as hell don't feel the need to festoon their argument with anything so gauche as proof. All they give us are unsupported assertions.
Now, a few people have
tried to offer something more than proof-by-assertion. These people speak of a prisoner release from "Syria's notorious Sednaya prison on May 31, 2011." But the details of that release become hazier and hazier upon closer examination. Some sources assert that Assad deliberately released hard-core anti-Assad jihadis into the wild, in furtherance of some impenetrable game of 11-dimensional chess. Other sources say that Assad released prisoners in response to popular demand, and that these guys were radicalized while in prison.
Near as I can tell, this "prisoner release" business is it
. That's all the "proof" on offer.
By that same logic, one could argue that the United States of America created ISIS
. After all, the leader of that group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, spent years in an American prison. Some say he was radicalized during that time. When we released him, he became quite the michief-maker.
Assad had his prisoner release. We had ours. Seriously, what's the diff?
I'm asking my readers to help me investigate this matter. There is always the possibility that I've missed something important, and I don't want to be blindsided.
Do you know of any real
evidence that Bashar Assad had anything to do with the creation of ISIS? (I'm speaking in terms of deliberately
creating ISIS. Merely "inspiring" the jihadis doesn't count.) Has anyone offered an argument that goes beyond those highly dubious assertions concerning the 2011 prison release?
Can you find a detailed, objective account of that prison release?
Is there an official report -- by any intelligence agency or human rights group or United Nations team or anyone else -- which details the creation of ISIS? Does that report conclude with the words "Blame Assad because it's all his fault"?
At this time, it seems to me that some very slick malarky-peddlers have come up with a way to dupe the easily confused American public. A war against ISIS has subtly morphed into a war against the very guy that ISIS wants to topple.
This is a Dubya-style deception. Another war based on another Big Lie. It's happening now, right before our eyes.
Am I wrong? Can you think of any hard evidence that proves