Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More proof of the unspeakable

Our regional allies back ISIS. Phil Giraldi:
From the start, Turkey, which nominally opposes radical rebel groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, has been curiously absent from the fray, instead arguing that the major effort should be focused on defeating al-Assad. Indeed, when I was in Istanbul last July bearded rebels were observed in the more fundamentalist neighborhoods collecting money for ISIS without any interference from the numerous and highly visible Turkish police and intelligence services. Turkey has also been surreptitiously buying as much as $3 million worth of smuggled oil from ISIS every day, virtually funding the group’s activities. Ankara has allowed ISIS militants to freely cross over the Syrian border into Turkey for what might be described as R&R (rest and recreation) as well as medical care and training. Weapons have been flowing in the opposite direction, cash and carry, some provided by the Turkish intelligence service MIT.
The Kurds have been some of the fiercest fighters against ISIS. Turkey -- which will not tolerate a Kurdish state -- has launched hundreds of air strikes against the Kurds under the pretext of fighting ISIS.

We are now being told that Turkey is finally going to get serious about bringing the fight to ISIS. You can bet your last drachma that we will see more "war by oopsie," as bombs that were supposed to fall on ISIS and Nusra accidentally hit the Kurds.

Remember those alleged "moderate" fighters against the Syrian government? The ones that are forever described as "vetted"? They are few in number, and serve primarily a fig leaf function as Nusra and ISIS do the dirty work of overthrowing Assad.

Recently, a group of those moderates got screwed -- by our friends in Turkey. From McClatchy:
The kidnapping of a group of U.S.-trained moderate Syrians moments after they entered Syria last month to confront the Islamic State was orchestrated by Turkish intelligence, multiple rebel sources have told McClatchy.

The rebels say that the tipoff to al Qaida’s Nusra Front enabled Nusra to snatch many of the 54 graduates of the $500 million program on July 29 as soon as they entered Syria, dealing a humiliating blow to the Obama administration’s plans for confronting the Islamic State.
“Only the Americans and the Turks knew” about the plans for the train-and-equip fighters to enter Syria, said an officer of Division 30, the rebel group with which the newly trained Syrians were to work. “We have sources who tell us the Turks warned Nusra that they would be targeted by this group.”
Propaganda blitz. The Iran deal is one of the few things this administration has done right. But can it survive an onslaught like this?
No sooner had the deal been announced then anti-deal television ads attacking it went up all over the country. AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, launched a massive campaign to pressure lawmakers to nix it, literally marching on Capitol Hill to intimidate Congress into voting no.

The budget for this coordinated campaign: upwards of $145 million.
That kind of money buys a lot of lying.

As the old Rogers and Hammerstein song put it: You have to be carefully taught. In 2003, the American people were carefully taught a lot of nonsense about Saddam Hussein's WMDs. It's happening again...
Three years ago the Chicago Council on Global Affairs asked Americans, in a multiple choice question, what was the assessment of the U.S. intelligence services about Iran’s nuclear program — an assessment that has been constant over the last several years and repeatedly expressed publicly in statements and testimony.

Only 25 percent of respondents picked the correct answer: “Iran is producing some of the technical ability to build nuclear weapons, but has not decided to produce them or not.” A mere four percent erred in the reassuring direction by choosing “Iran is producing nuclear energy strictly for its energy needs.” A plurality, 48 percent, incorrectly chose “Iran has decided to produce nuclear weapons and is actively working to do so, but does not yet have nuclear weapons.” An additional 18 percent chose “Iran now has nuclear weapons.”

It is easy to see how deficient public knowledge on such a subject undermines support for an agreement such as the one before Congress.
How many weapons of mass destruction does the US have?
How many weapons of mass destruction does Israel have?
How many weapons of mass destruction does Iran have?

How many times has the US used WMD's?
How many times has Israel used WMD's?
How many times has Iran used WMD's?

Case closed.

Thanks for your continued reporting on this.
Hildy pretty much sums it up. Americans are largely stupid, uninformed, and completely uninterested in contemplating the human cost of their ignorance, let alone changing that state of affairs. I love America, I think the constitution was and is brilliant, and I think that not everything America has done is terrible. These days though, no matter how cynical I become, I just can't keep up (to paraphrase Lilly Tomlin, I think?).
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