More proof that "the west" is fighting for ISIS.
As we saw in the previous post, the Obama administration -- seemingly in response to the San Bernardino outrage -- bombed an encampment of the Syrian army. That is: He attacked not ISIS, but the main enemy of ISIS.
(Hilariously, a US spokesman -- anonymous, of course -- tried to blame Russia
for the attack. As if Putin had any desire to bomb soldiers fighting for his ally!)
Israel has followed suit.
Israeli jets carried out several raids North of Damascus overnight Thursday-Friday, Israel’s Channel 2 claimed, and citing foreign reports.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, the Times of Israel claimed.
The airstrikes were said to have targeted a four-truck Syrian army convoy, loaded with ballistic missiles.
The Israeli planes struck the vehicles after they left an army base, the reports claimed.
The US pretends to be waging an air war against ISIS, but it's all a grand fake.
U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.
How are the United States and Israel able to get away with helping ISIS under the guise of stopping ISIS? The great enabling factor here is ignorance. Most citizens of the United States simply refuse to spend the 90 seconds necessary to learn who is who in the Syrian civil war. To the vast majority of Americans, Moo
-slims is Moo
-slims, and that's it. Everything after that is kind of hazy.
I am happy to report that Italy said "No thanks"
after being asked to participate in the great plan to empower ISIS under the guise of fighting ISIS.
The new face of jihad.
Of course, we are covertly helping ISIS only because they are providing muscle in the campaign against Bashar Assad. By now, the ISIS brand name has become so odious, and its warriors so uncontrollable, that the United States cannot allow the group to take actual control in Damascus. If and when Assad falls, we will need to give our blessing to a new proxy.
That, I think, is what's going on here
. It's really just a matter of cosmetics.
Take a look at this Foreign Policy story
, headlined "Will an al Qaeda Ally Be a Peacemaker in Syria?"
World powers are grappling with whether one of Syria’s most successful rebel groups should be invited to peace talks to help build a new government.
"Peace talks"? Absurd. These are war
The success of the Syrian peace talks may hinge on whether a band of Islamist rebels who have fought with al Qaeda will be allowed to join the next round of negotiations, and potentially play a role in a new government, after mounting a PR campaign to cast themselves as moderate militants.
Saudi Arabia has invited Ahrar al-Sham, along with more than 90 other Syrian opposition representatives, to Riyadh next week in an attempt to unify their message before big-power political talks that are scheduled for Dec. 18 in New York, according to diplomats based at the United Nations who have been briefed on the plans.
But Russia wants Ahrar al-Sham — which has provided some of the stiffest military resistance against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — added to the list of terrorist organizations that are excluded from the peace talks.
Al-SHAM is a sham, all right. These guys are allied with Nusra
. It would be foolish to believe that al-Sham differs markedly from Nusra or even ISIS: The differing nomenclature should be regarded as little more than a marketing gimmick.
Remember when Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to KFC after the word "fried" became a turn-off? Same thing. Ahrar al-Sham is composed of Salafist maniacs
, just like ISIS. As we have seen repeatedly, warriors "on the ground" will switch allegiances from one group to another as needed. The song remains the same even if you give it a new title.
An NYT reporter goes off script.
A long time friend to this blog sent this link
along with this comment:
The 19 enumerated tweets tell us things that, despite coming from a NYTimes reporter, we never see in the NYTimes
The reporter in question is Rukmini Callimachi, the NYT's correspondent "focusing on al-Qaeda and ISIS." After sending those tweets, she arranged her thoughts into this NYT story, which is worth a read. These days, it's a little surprising to see that journal publish a story that veers even slightly from the neocon script.
As the debate on how best to contain the Islamic State continues to rage in Western capitals, the militants themselves have made one point patently clear: They want the United States and its allies to be dragged into a ground war.
In fact, when the United States first invaded Iraq, one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the move was the man who founded the terrorist cell that would one day become the Islamic State, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He excitedly called the Americans’ 2003 intervention “the Blessed Invasion.”
The basic idea is that the ISIS fighters believe in an interpretation of prophecy which holds that western armies will come to Syria, thereby initiating the final battle.
We've heard about ISIS eschatology before, primarily from Graeme Wood
in the Atlantic. In this earlier Cannonfire post
, we saw a satellite photo of Dabiq, the farmland near Aleppo where the jihadis think the great final battle will be fought. At the end of the war, Jesus will make his big touchdown. (Dabiq, you will recall, is also the name of the official ISIS magazine.)
Returning to Callimachi's piece:
“I have said it repeatedly: Because of these prophecies, going in on the ground would be the worst trap to fall into. They want troops on the ground. Because they have already envisioned it,” said Jean-Pierre Filiu, a professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and the author of “Apocalypse in Islam,” one of the main scholarly texts exploring the scripture that the militants base their ideology on.
“It’s a very powerful and emotional narrative. It gives the potential recruit and the actual fighters the feeling that not only are they part of the elite, they are also part of the final battle.”
The jihadis would view an American/European invasion as the fulfillment of prophecy. Many of the seemingly-inexplicable things done by ISIS proponents (the Paris attack, for example) make sense only if viewed as part of an overall effort to push along the prophecy.
Thus, says Callimachi, the actual dirty work of fighting ISIS is best left to Muslim forces. The Islamic State wants
American boots on the ground -- as do most neocon strategists.
To date, the United States and its partners have failed to find a Sunni Arab partner force. In October, the Obama administration acknowledged that a $500 million program to train thousands of local troops — many of them Sunni Arab — had failed. And a new United States-backed entity intended to claw back Arab land from the Islamic State seems to exist in name only.
This is where the story becomes infected with the NYT's usual neocon nonsense. As we have seen in countless posts (and in the earlier part of this
post), the United States has
had a couple of Sunni Arab partners: ISIS and Nusra -- a.k.a. Al Qaeda. Although we are now pretending to be against ISIS, we still want them to battle Assad.
But as we have seen, we do need a new group with a new name to step in if and when Assad actually goes. So there is indeed a cosmetic
need for a new Sunni ally.
Actually, the need is more than cosmetic. ISIS recruits are motivated by the lust for apocalypse. The U.S. needs Damascus to be ruled by people who are actually interested in running a country, day in and day out, for decades to come. (Granted, there is a good chance that Syria will be broken up into various parts, which will probably soon be at war with each other.)
Moon of Alabama offers an interesting take on Turkey's role in the region's wars, here
. In brief: The city of Mosul in northern Iraq (where the oil is produced) was "assigned" to Iraq at the close of World War I. Ever since, the Turks have argued that they were robbed and that the town is rightfully theirs.
Right now, ISIS occupies Mosul. It looks as though Turkish leader Erdogan wants to use the fight against ISIS as an excuse to take the city.
Should Mosul be cleared of the Islamic State the Turkish heavy weapons will make it possible for Turkey to claim the city unless the Iraqi government will use all its power to fight that claim. Should the city stay in the hands of the Islamic State Turkey will make a deal with it and act as its protector. It will benefit from the oil around Mosul which will be transferred through north Iraq to Turkey and from there sold on the world markets. In short: This is an effort to seize Iraq's northern oil fields.
That is the plan but it is a risky one. Turkey did not ask for permission to invade Iraq and did not inform the Iraqi government.
Moon of Alabama's follow-up story
brings in a new factor: The much-discussed pipeline.
There are rumors, not confirmed yet, that Turkey now uses the presence of its force to blackmail the Iraqi government. Turkey, it is said, wants agreement from Baghdad for a gas pipeline from Qatar through Iraq to Turkey.
If your eyes start to glaze over whenever the talk turns to pipelines, just look at the graphic above. Makes things simple, doesn't it?
But not that
The original plan was to have such a pipeline run through Syrian desert flatland to Turkey and on to Europe. The gas from Qatar would be sold there in competition with gas from Russia. President Assad had rejected that pipeline and preferred one from Iran through Iraq to the Syrian coast. Qatar and Iran collectively own a huge gas field in the Persian Gulf. Whoever gets his pipeline going first will have a big advantage in extracting from the field and selling its gas. The rejection of the original pipeline project was one reason why Qatar engaged heavily in the regime change project in Syria. The Plan B would have the pipeline go through the rather rough east Anatolia - more expensive than the Syria route but feasible. The U.S. supports the Qatar project. Anything that would make Europeans dependent on gas from a U.S. controlled regime is preferable to Europeans who do independent business with Russia.
The problem here is that the pipeline running through Iraq would function as part of the greater overall scheme to screw over Putin and Iran -- and the people now running Iraq don't want
to screw over Putin and Iran.
Bottom line, what do we have here? The pipeline cannot become a reality until either the government of Iraq falls or the government of Syria falls. And Syria is more precarious.
As simple as that.
Do not count me among those arguing that the oil pipeline is the
key to the Syrian civil war. But it is a factor.
What the hell, Hillary?
Speaking at the Saban forum (!), Hillary called -- in essence -- for greater assaults on internet privacy
. All in the name of fighting ISIS, naturally. Of course, if she were serious
in her opposition to ISIS, she would denounce Obama's military strikes on Assad's army.
Mrs. Clinton used the forum to continue staking out a harder line on Iran than President Obama has in public. She repeatedly threatened to take what she called “harsh” steps at the first sign that Iran seeks to violate commitments it made in the July nuclear agreement, which sharply limits its ability to possess or produce nuclear fuel for the next 15 years.
In other words, she is looking for any excuse to quash the deal. At least, that's what she feels compelled to tell the folks attending the Saban forum.
Clinton aims to take U.S. relationship with Israel 'to the next level'
What, are Israel and the US fucking
now? Why is the Democratic frontrunner using the language of romance?
In the real world, the United States is not fucking Israel. The United States is getting fucked by.