Saturday, January 16, 2016

Starving for truth: Why are we supporting the people who attacked us on 911?

A short while ago, this blog discussed the latest anti-Assad propaganda meme. We are supposed to believe that Assad's forces have used starvation as a weapon of war.

The single best rebuttal to this Big Lie can be found here...
For the past two weeks, first the Western-backed Syrian “activists” and then the mainstream media reporting their every rumor as gospel truth, began spreading stories about the “Assad regime” deliberately starving some 40,000 civilians inside Madaya, a former resort town 25 miles northwest of Damascus. Sordid stories splashed across the front pages of the Anglophone press and social media, claiming the government in Damascus was deliberately withholding food from innocent civilians “for months.”

In truth, the last convoy of food to reach Madaya was promptly seized by the anti-government rebels holding the town. The rebels have been selling the looted food at exorbitant prices, to the few locals who could still afford to buy. One of the residents spoke to RT of $30 for a kilo of rice; it was even worse, it turned out, with prices running as high as $250.
So, it wasn’t the demonized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad personally overseeing the starving-out of Madaya, as one might think from the media coverage — but the very same “democratic moderates” backed by the West, who invented the narrative about the “walking skeletons of Madaya” and fed it to the gullible press.
The beasts who controlled Madaya -- the beasts who commandeered the food and starved the city -- belonged to Ahrar al-Sham. This group is a re-branded version of the Nusra front, which is itself just another name for al Qaeda.

Even though Alhrar al-Sham and al Qaeda are (for all practical purposes) one and the same, we supported delegates from Ahrar al-Sham at the recent Syrian "peace conference." (Of course, this conference was a bad joke, since all representatives of the Assad government were excluded). These delegates refused to countenance the idea of democracy in a new Syria, insisting that the country be governed by a Sunni theocracy.

Remember how we talked about the Syrian city of Idlib, where the American State Department maintained an NGO there even after the town fell under jihadist control? The jihadists in question belonged to Ahrar al-Sham and they exercised their power by killing Christians.

Despite this record, here is what the Council on Foreign Relations has to say about Ahrar al-Sham...

Let's take a closer look at just who is behind this group...
A senior al Qaeda operative known as Abu Khalid al Suri is a leading figure in Ahrar al Sham, a Syrian extremist group that is part of the recently formed Islamic Front. Al Suri’s real name is Mohamed Bahaiah.

Bahaiah is a longtime al Qaeda operative who worked as a courier for the terror network. Spanish authorities think he may have delivered surveillance tapes of the World Trade Center and other American landmarks to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Afghanistan in early 1998.

In addition to being a senior member of Ahrar al Sham, Bahaiah today serves as Ayman al Zawahiri’s representative in the Levant.
Bahaiah “is the person who was totally trusted by many different people in the various countries and was able to coordinate and transmit orders from bin Laden,” a Spanish judicial official told The New York Times in December 2003. This same official said that Bahaiah “was also being investigated for helping to finance an unsuccessful plot in 1997 to kill the prime minister of Yemen.”
Bahaiah’s brother-in-law is Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, a Syrian businessman who was arrested on terrorism charges in 2002. The United Nations has described Zouaydi as “a suspected financier of al Qaeda’s worldwide terrorist efforts.” Zouaydi would say, according to Spanish court documents, that Bahaiah’s “mission had been to establish contacts at the international level.”

One of Zouaydi’s employees, a fellow Syrian named Ghasoub Al Abrash Ghalyoun, traveled to the US in 1997. During his trip, Ghalyoun made suspicious videos of the World Trade Center and other American landmarks. Ghalyoun would later claim that the videos were simply the work of an eager tourist. Spanish authorities, who tied Ghalyoun to Yarkas’ operations, had a different view.

In July 2002, after arresting Ghalyoun for a second time, Spanish police released a statement regarding the videos. “The style and duration of the recordings far exceed touristic curiosity,” the statement reads, according to an account by the Associated Press. “For example, two of the tapes are like a documentary study, with innumerable takes from all distances and angles of the Twin Towers in New York.”

In addition to the World Trade Center, Ghalyoun made recordings of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sears Tower, and the Statue of Liberty, as well as theme parks. The Golden Gate Bridge’s “suspension pillar” was “given substantial attention,” according to the police statement.
Savor that. Let it sink in.

When we supported Ahrar al-Sham at that so-called "peace conference" -- and when we provided a media-misinformation cover for their mis-rule in Madaya -- we were allying ourselves with the very same people who attacked us on 9/11.

That is what we have become. That is what the policy of regime change in Syria has done to us.

I will trot out an attempt to make sense of the inchoate swirl of events that in hindsight seems self-evident.

911 is our code for an emergency call for help. The WTC attacks on 9/11/01 were a proof of concept attack. The US is vulnerable. Because the US is overly complex in its infrastructure, its vulnerability is overly fragile. Yet there has been no successful terrorist attack against the US infrastructure, or massive slaughter in the US, since the 9/11 WTC and Pentagon catastrophes. It's amazing that there haven't been suicide bombings on a regular basis in the US since they are easy to accomplish if the bomber has the will.

The presumed motive for the WTC attack was -- what? What did the attackers and the organizers of the attack intend to communicate and intend to gain? Who knows? Someone knows, right?

So, then: The only information made available is that Osama bin Laden organized and ordered the attack as reprisal for the US policy in the Middle East in general and its military presence in Saudi Arabia in particular. The previous attacks, e.g., ramming with explosives the USS Cole, had failed to achieve 'results'. But after the WTC and Pentagon attacks, several events followed, either coincidentally or according to an agreement. That is, the WTC attack proved that there are very crazy people willing and able to wreak untold damage; and, unless those crazy people are reined in by their superiors, more attacks will follow. But none followed, except for a few highly publicized attempts and failures. Hmm?

It looks and sounds like a deal was struck, and it was blackmail.

The US military in fact left Saudi Arabia. The too-secular tyrant of Iraq was removed. The too-secular dictator of Egypt left. The too-secular dictator of Libya was eliminated. The too-secular president of Syria is being attacked.

We could view these activities as ransom payment in exchange for three promises. One, if the US turns the Middle East over to Islam's own rule, the US will not be attacked by Muslim terrorists. Two, any planned terrorist attack by a Muslim sympathizer will be reported in advance to the US and its closest allies, assuming the attacker has informed others already. And three: the US will ensure that the secular heads of state lose their power and control. Maybe the most recent slaughter in Paris sent a threatening message: Syria Has Been Too Secular For Too Long.

(It's not evident that Israel is included in any of the blackmail, but Israel is not unaware.)
Mohamed Bahaiah was reportedly killed taking part in a suicide attack in February 2014. That doesn't change your claims about Ahrar al Sham one jot -- it's origins, jihadist methods or its moral unfitness for any role in Syria's future.

It's hard to see the UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks even getting to first base. The Russians have said that they will not accept Ahrar al Sham as part of those talks.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that in an upcoming Paris conference of NATO allies he intends to bring pressure on them to commit ground forces to Syria and Iraq. (My own country Australia has already formally refused such an invitation so I don't know what extra pressure he expects to bring there.) This is hardly behavior consistent with ceasefire and peace-talks implementation and it looks like Carter expects the peace talks to fail. The US and Gulf allies have lost the Syrian air war and may seek to win on the ground.

Meanwhile the Council on Foreign Relations is still calling for a Syria-Iraq partition.
So the recent drone attack against Doctors without Borders might not have been an accident?
The message of the video is somewhat confusing. On the one hand the children are suffering because half of the supplies are being kept and resold at exorbitant prices, but then on the other hand all the pictures of starving children are from elsewhere as few have starved in Medaya, but then the claim is made that the people are starving and then their ravaged bodies are being filmed as proof that Assad is doing it.

Were not those three points made in the video, and do they not contradict?
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