By way of Moon of Alabama
, we learn that Missy Ryan of the Washington Post
offers a noteworthy view of the Syrian civil war:
While the Obama administration is expanding its effort against the Islamic State, it has resisted calls from some of its Middle Eastern allies to more directly pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose long civil conflict has created the conditions that gave birth to the Islamic State and other extremist groups.
Missy, you genius! Not only have you uncovered the secret history of Syria, you've also uncovered the true origin of the Charlie Manson murders. Obviously, we should blame Sharon Tate. She
created the conditions that gave birth to the great unpleasantness at Cielo Drive.
Missy has also contributed to our understanding of the Jack the Ripper murders. It seems clear now that Mary Jane Kelly created the conditions which gave birth to that grim scene in Miller's Court.
If not for the fine work of the Washington Post, I might have maintained the impression that the Syrian civil war was instigated by us
, and that we (or our allies) created ISIS as part of a proxy army against Bashar Assad
. Now I know better!
If you follow the first link, you'll see the foolish ideas promulgated by those silly-billies who don't get all of their information from Missy Ryan of the Washington Post...
As protests spread through the Arab world in 2011, the mostly leftist groups who organized the Arab Spring protests in Syria formed the NCB to coordinate peaceful protests and resistance to government repression. They agreed, and they still agree, on three basic principles: non-violence; non-sectarianism; and no foreign military intervention. But the U.S. and its allies marginalized the NCB, formed an unrepresentative "Syrian National Council" in Turkey as a government-in-exile and recruited, armed and trained violent armed groups to pursue regime change in Syria.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar began flying in fighters, weapons and equipment to turn the Syrian Spring into a bloody civil war. Once they had overthrown the government of Libya, at the cost of 25,000 to 50,000 lives, they began adapting the same strategy to Syria, despite knowing full well that this would be a much more drawn-out, destructive and bloody war.
Even as a Qatari-funded YouGov poll in December 2011 found that 55% of Syrians still supported their government, unmarked NATO planes were flying fighters and weapons from Libya to the "Free Syrian Army" base at Iskanderum in Turkey. British and French special forces were training FSA recruits, while the CIA and US special forces provided communications equipment and intelligence, as in Libya. Retired CIA officer Philip Giraldi concluded, "Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained and financed by foreign governments are more true than false."
Journalists in the Balkans have reported that wealthy Gulf Arab paymasters fund hundreds of hardened mercenaries from Croatia and elsewhere, who earn up to $2,000 per day as rebel snipers and special forces in Syria. Saudi Arabia has sent convicts to fight in Syria as an alternative to prison and funded shipments of weapons from Croatia to Jordan. Qatar has spent $3 billion to pay rebel fighters and ship at least 70 planeloads of weapons via Turkey.
While President Obama tries to assuage liberals with promises of limited and proportionate strikes, there has been a steady parade of hawkish Republicans emerging from closed door meetings at the White House reassured that, as theGuardian wrote on Tuesday, this is indeed "part of a broader strategy to topple Bashar al-Assad."
In fact, Obama admitted in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for the Atlantic in March 2012 that his entire assault on Syria is itself part of a broader strategy to isolate Iran by destroying its strongest Arab ally. When asked what more the U.S. could do to topple Assad, Obama laughed and said, "Well, nothing that I can tell you, because your classified clearance isn't good enough."
We owe Missy Ryan an enormous debt. If not for her superb reportage, I would have had all sorts of ridiculous ideas dancing in my head. Thanks, Missy!