File this headline
Saudi king warns West will be jihadists' next target
"If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month," he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.
This prediction comes on the heels of the UK's heightened terror warning. It also echoes the "intelligence" leak to Judicial Watch about ISIS agents sneaking in through the Mexican border.
Come on. Think about it.
Why would Sunni jihadists attack the United States (or Europe) now?
They have their hands full trying to conquer Iraq and Syria -- and after that, they might have to face Iran in an all-out Sunni-Shiite apocalypse. Why would they commit an act of terror here
? At this
time? Why would they commit an action which could not benefit them in the slightest? An action which would insure the arrival of American and European troops in that part of the world?
Granted, the leaders of ISIS are not exactly what you'd call rational actors -- but an attack on "the West" would go way beyond mere irrationality. It would be suicidally insane.
Maybe I'm wrong. In so mad a world, I suppose anything
is possible. But I cannot believe that ISIS has "the West" in its sights, at least not in the short or medium term.
On the other hand, it seems clear that there are forces which want us all to believe
that ISIS plans an attack on the US or the UK.
I'll say it again: If such a plan actually existed, the leaked info would have gone to someone at The Washington Post
. Instead, "intelligence sources" whispered into the ears of some gullible right-wing silly-billies at Judicial Watch. Guys like that are classic disinformation conduits. Spooks refer to them as "useful idiots."
Let's get back to King Abdullah.
What everyone seems to have forgotten is one important fact: Saudi Arabia fathered
ISIS. Just last June, the Daily Beast published an article titled "America's Allies Are Funding ISIS."
But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been publicly accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS for months.
The following appeared in The Telegraph
, also last June:
But to make sense of the new Iraqi civil war it's also necessary to untangle the relationship between the fanatics of ISIS and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, notionally an ally of the West.
Many rich Saudis are secretly thrilled by the advance of ISIS, whose atrocities are an extreme manifestation of their own Wahhabi ideology. And they will gloat mightily if ISIS fulfils its ambition of reducing every Shia shrine in Iraq to blood-spattered rubble. As we speak, funds are being transferred from their bank accounts to the organisers of the insurgency, who despise Saudi princelings for their "Western" lifestyles but are more than happy to pocket the cash.
At roughly the same time, Robert Fisk wrote an article headlined "Iraq crisis: Sunni caliphate has been bankrolled by Saudi Arabia."
Under Obama, Saudi Arabia will continue to be treated as a friendly “moderate” in the Arab world, even though its royal family is founded upon the Wahhabist convictions of the Sunni Islamists in Syria and Iraq – and even though millions of its dollars are arming those same fighters.
Thus does Saudi power both feed the monster in the deserts of Syria and Iraq and cosy up to the Western powers that protect it.
I could cite many more articles. Most of them, intriguingly enough, were published in the middle of June. It seems that our media was permitted to tell certain truths then
that they may not tell now
In the past few weeks, we've been flooded with ridiculous articles designed to convince the American public that ISIS was created not by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, but by -- get this! -- Bashar Assad of Syria. Furthermore, we are supposed to believe that Assad did this intentionally
, not inadvertently.
This scenario turns reality upside down. Why would the Saudis fund ISIS if ISIS was really Assad's baby? The Saudis funded the Sunni jihadists for the purpose of toppling
Assad. It all comes down to the age-old conflict between Sunni and Shiite. The Saudis are Sunni, while Bashar Assad is an Alawite (a type of Shiite).
Why would Bashar Assad help create something like ISIS? Why would he do anything to strengthen his Sunni opponents? Why would he feed the monster that now threatens to devour him?
Nevertheless, this nutty "blame Assad" thesis has popped up in all sorts of places -- not least in Slate
Bashar al-Assad helped create ISIS by releasing many of its original members from Syria's notorious Sednaya prison on May 31, 2011. He then let the group metastasize over three years to build a narrative that if the U.S. wants to choose sides in the Syrian war, it has to choose between the regime and ISIS as both squeeze mainstream rebels.
Why bother mounting a counter-argument? This is horseshit
. One cannot use reasoned argument to talk horseshit into becoming something other than horseshit.
This same horseshit article also cites a bizarre tweet from Kim Ghattas of the BBC regarding slain journalist James Foley. This humble blog has discussed that tweet in an earlier post. As perhaps you will recall, Ghattas claimed that Assad captured James Foley, held him for a while, and then (somehow) transferred him over to ISIS to be murdered.
Why would Assad do such a thing? Sayeth Ghattas: "Assad feels cornered, looking for leverage."
Allow me to repeat what I said then
"Assad feels cornered, looking for leverage" -- what the fuck are those words supposed to mean? That phrase is a complete non-sequiter. How could Assad get leverage from capturing and murdering an American journalist? Leverage for what?
Here's a simpler scenario that makes a lot more sense: Assad never held Foley; ISIS had him all along. United States government officials lied about the matter to Foley's family and employer. They did so because -- at the time -- Assad was considered The Main Enemy, while the anti-Assad rebels were considered The Enemies of Our Enemy (i.e., Friends).
Slate is now trying to obfuscate the fact that the government lied to the Foley family, and to the world. As you may have noticed, Slate and the NYT have become the primary tools for injecting neocon disinformation memes into liberal and moderate discourse.
Of course, the problem goes well beyond Slate. In recent weeks, this hallucinatory "Assad created ISIS" nonsense has popped up all over the damned place.
See, for example, this piece
in The New Republic
(another neocon seedbed publication):
Assad has pursued with singleminded discipline a very simple strategy: Sell oneself as the fire brigade to help hose the flames of one’s own arson. Determined to create an alternate opposition that would overwhelm peaceful protest, Assad emptied his jails of violent, Islamist prisoners and employed tactics of violent sectarianism to lure back to Syria the Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terrorists his regime once escorted to Iraq from Damascus. As AQI in Syria morphed into ISIS and the Nusra Front, and as foreign fighters swelled their ranks, Assad's message—amplified by Iran and Russia—has been unchanging: "I am the bulwark against terrorism. Sooner or later the West will have to crawl back into my good graces."
Do you see any proof for these large claims? Of course not. It's all just empty rhetoric. This is conspiracy theorizing of the lowest sort, right there in the pages of The New Republic
As if Assad would create
the only force which has ever stood a chance of destroying him! A force which has taken over a huge portion of his country!
One could as easily argue that Jefferson Davis worked for Abraham Lincoln. One could as easily argue that Sharon Tate created Charles Manson. One could as easily argue that, when Ronald Reagan won the election of 1984, Walter Mondale muttered: "Ah, yes! It's all going according to my plan. He walked right into my trap..."
Let's step back and look at the larger picture.
In June, we were permitted to hear a disturbing truth -- that ISIS was bankrolled by the Saudis, by Turkey, by Qatar. All ostensible allies. At that time, we heard whispers of an even more disturbing truth: That the Saudis, the Turks and the Qataris could never have done such a thing without our consent and collaboration.
Now, just a couple of months later, a new (and much less true) "truth" has replaced the older truth. We are supposed to believe that Assad
created ISIS. The Saudis are innocent. In fact, the King of Saudi Arabia wants "the West" to come marching back into that region in order to end the ISIS threat once and for all.
And of course, we must never talk about the well-hidden-yet-well-known fact that Saudi money funded Al Qaeda prior to 9/11...