Truth Frequency Radio
Sep 30, 2014

TYT

ISIS Home Base: Raqqa, Syria or Washington, D.C.?

 

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

While mainstream media outlets in the Western world continue to shill for the White House and NATO’s plans to destroy the Syrian state and oust its democratically elected president, one notable linchpin of propaganda involves the labeling of Raqqa province in Syria as the “home base” of ISIS.For instance, in an article and video published by the Wall Street Journal , an attempt was made to present “what it’s like to live” inside the “home base” of ISIS. As one might expect, the video paints a terribly bleak picture of the life of women and Syrians in general. Yet the video, as it has been presented by many mainstream outlets, falsely refers to Raqqa as the “home base” of ISIS.

Still, in this video as well as other reports, ISIS is presented as a shadowy group that appeared out of nowhere. For instance, the WSJ states that Raqqa changed in 2014, when ISIS suddenly overran the city and made it “into their home base.”

Yet the reality is that, while Raqqa may have been overtaken by ISIS, it is by no means their “home base.” The truth is that the actual home base of ISIS is located much further away than Raqqa, Syria, or anywhere in Iraq. The reality is that the home base of ISIS is located in Washington, D.C., Langley, VA, London, and other NATO countries that have provided the funding, weaponry, and direction that ISIS has used to conquer Raqqa to begin with.

ISIS Is Controlled By The U.S. And NATO

It is important to point out that the Islamic State is not some shadowy force that emerged from the caves of Afghanistan to form an effective military force that is funded by Twitter donations and murky secretive finance deals. IS is entirely the creation of NATO and the West and NATO remains in control of the organization .
As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “ Implausible Deniability: West’s ISIS Terror Hordes In Iraq ,”

Beginning in 2011 – and actually even as early as 2007 – the United States has been arming, funding, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and a myriad of armed terrorist organizations to overthrow the government of Syria, fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, and undermine the power and influence of Iran, which of course includes any other government or group in the MENA region friendly toward Tehran.

Image: ISIS corridors begin in Turkey and end in Baghdad. [image credit: Land Destroyer]

Billions in cash have been funneled into the hands of terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and what is now being called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” or ISIS. One can see clearly by any map of ISIS held territory that it butts up directly against Turkey’s borders with defined corridors ISIS uses to invade southward – this is because it is precisely from NATO territory this terrorist scourge originated.

ISIS was harbored on NATO territory, armed and funded by US CIA agents with cash and weapons brought in from the Saudis, Qataris, and NATO members themselves. The “non-lethal aid” the US and British sent including the vehicles we now see ISIS driving around in.

They didn’t “take” this gear from “moderates.” There were never any moderates to begin with. The deadly sectarian genocide we now see unfolding was long ago predicted by those in the Pentagon – current and former officials – interviewed in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh. Hersh’s 9-page 2007 report, “The Redirection” states explicitly:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

“Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” – is a verbatim definition of what ISIS is today. Clearly the words of Hersh were as prophetic as they were factually informed, grounded in the reality of a regional conflict already engineered and taking shape as early as 2007. Hersh’s report would also forewarn the sectarian nature of the coming conflict, and in particular mention the region’s Christians who were admittedly being protected by Hezbollah.

While Hersh’s report was written in 2007, knowledge of the plan to use death squads to target Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, had been reported on even as far back as 2005 by Michael Hirsh and John Barry for Newsweek in an article entitled “ The Salvador Option .”

Regardless, Cartalucci states in a separate article, “ NATO’s Terror Hordes In Iraq A Pretext For Syria Invasion ,”

In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran’s arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey’s (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover. The most recent example of this was the cross-border invasion by Al Qaeda into Kasab village, Latikia province in northwest Syria.

Cartalucci is referring to a cross-border invasion that was coordinated with NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the death squads where Israel acted as air force cover while Turkey facilitated the death squad invasion from inside its own borders.

Keep in mind also that, prior to the rapid appearance and seizure of territory by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, European media outlets like Der Spiegel reported that hundreds of fighters were being trained in Jordan by Western intelligence and military personnel for the purpose of deployment in Syria to fight against Assad. The numbers were said to be expected to reach about 10,000 fighters when the reports were issued in March, 2013. Although Western and European media outlets would try to spin the operation as the training of “moderate rebels,” subsequent reports revealed that these fighters were actually ISIS fighters .

Western media outlets have also gone to great lengths to spin the fact that ISIS is operating in both Syria and Iraq with an alarming number of American weapons and equipment. As Business Insider stated, “The report [study by the London-based small arms research organization Conflict Armament Research] said the jihadists disposed of ‘significant quantities’ of US-made small arms including M16 assault rifles and included photos showing the markings ‘Property of US Govt.’” The article also acknowledged that a large number of the weapons used by ISIS were provided by Saudi Arabia, a close American ally.

ISIS IS Al-Qaeda

It is important to remember that the so-called leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As Voltaire Net describes Baghdadi ,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the IEI.

Regardless, false assumptions surrounding the true leadership of ISIS would be called into question in January of 2014 when Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned and operated news agency, published an article as well as a video of an interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured while operating inside Syria.

When asked why ISIS was following the movement of the Free Syrian Army and who had given him the orders to do so, the fighter stated that he did not know why he was ordered to monitor the FSA’s movement but that the orders had come from Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal of the Saudi Royal Family.

An excerpt from the relevant section of the interrogation reads as follows:

Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?

ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command.

Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders?

ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.

Such revelations, of course, will only be shocking news to those who have been unaware of the levels to which the Saudis have been involved with the funding, training, and directing of death squad forces deployed in Syria. Indeed, the Saudis have even openly admitted to the Russian government that they do, in fact, control a number of varied terrorist organizations across the world.

Even tired mainstream media organizations such as Newsweek (aka The Daily Beast) can no longer ignore the facts surrounding the Saudis’ involvement with the organization of terrorist groups across the world.

Note also that Voltaire Net describes al-Nusra, a documented al-Qaeda connected group, as merely an extension of the IEI (Islamic Emirate of Iraq) which itself was nothing more than a version of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Thus, from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the IEI, which then became the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. IEIL then became ISIS/ISIL which is now often referred to as IS.

In other words, Nusra=Al-Qaeda-IEI=IEIL=ISIL=ISIS=IS.

With the information presented above regarding the nature of the Free Syrian Army and the so-called “moderate rebels,” it would be entirely fair to add these “moderate” groups to the list as well.

Although too lengthy of a study to be presented in this article, it is important to point out that al-Qaeda is entirely a creation of the West, created for the purpose of drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan in the 1970s and a host of other geopolitical goals in the middle east and around the world, 9/11 being the most memorable instance of Western intelligence al-Qaeda mobilization.[1]

ISIS Attack On Taqba Airbase – The Precursor To A NATO Attack On Syria

Keeping in mind that ISIS is controlled and directed by NATO and Western intelligence, the fact that the death squads have recently focused on the Taqba Airbase in Raqqa province is significant. Particularly when viewed in context of the simultaneous “debate” taking place in front of the American public by the Obama administration on whether or not to engage in targeted airstrikes inside Syria.

For those who may not see the pattern – while the United States and NATO deliberated engaging in targeted airstrikes in Syria and the Syrian government subsequently states its opposition to those attacks as well as its intentions to shoot down the planes delivering those strikes if they do not coordinate with the Syrian government, death squads effectively eliminated the air defense capability of the Syrian government in the east of the country.

Keep in mind, the Pentagon even stated that one of the biggest threats to an airstrike operation in Syria is the Syrian government’s air defenses. Thanks to ISIS, those air defenses no longer exist in the east of Syria.

This was the end game of the ISIS battle to take over Taqba from the start – eliminate air defenses so that the NATO powers can launch airstrikes against the Syrian military and thus freeing up a launching pad for the terrorists to conduct attacks even deeper into Syria.

US Airstrikes In Syria – Information Does Not Equal Coordination

The recent airstrikes by the United States and its allies allegedly against ISIS positions in Syria have been soundly condemned by both Iran and Russia . Both countries have accurately pointed out that the airstrikes were a violation of Syria’s national sovereignty and a violation of international law. Syria, however, refrained from outrage and even stated that the United States informed it of the attacks before they took place.

Syria’s reaction caused many to believe one of two things: First, that the United States truly is focused on eliminating ISIS; and, second, that the United States and Syria are now working together to achieve this end.

Despite Syria’s forbearance, however, the truth is far from either of these ideas. The United States is in no way interested in destroying its own proxy army nor is it interested in working with the secular Assad government. After all, Assad and the Syrian government were and still are the ultimate target of the West to begin with.

It is thus very important to note that informing Syria of attacks taking place on its soil is not the same as coordinating those attacks or cooperating with the Syrian government. In other words, information is not the same as cooperation.

The United States has repeatedly stated that it refuses to coordinate any airstrikes with the Syrian government and responded with an Orwellian statement that it would oust Assad military if he dare defend himself against American attacks.

Even Congressman Justin Amash, during the Congressional debate on whether or not to support arming the mythical “moderate rebels,” was able to recognize the fact that the plans to “detect and degrade” ISIS was a clever disguise for a war on the secular government of Syria with no options off the table, including the use of ground troops.

In his own statement announcing his opposition to the amendment, Amash stated,

Today’s amendment ostensibly is aimed at destroying ISIS—yet you’d hardly know it from reading the amendment’s text. The world has witnessed with horror the evil of ISIS: the public beheading of innocents, the killing of Christians, Muslims, and others.
The amendment’s focus—arming groups fighting the Assad government in Syria—has little to do with defeating ISIS. The mission that the amendment advances plainly isn’t the defeat of ISIS; it’s the defeat of Assad.

[…]

The Obama administration has tried to rally support for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war by implying that our help would be at arm’s length. The amendment Congress will vote on broadly authorizes “assistance” to groups in Syria. It does not specify what types of weapons our government will give the groups. It does not prohibit boots on the ground. (The amendment is silent on the president’s power to order our troops to fight in the civil war; it states only that Congress doesn’t provide “specific statutory authorization” for such escalation.) It does not state the financial cost of the war.

[…]

If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?

While Amash was correct to suggest that Congress should have opposed the amendment and that the amendment was actually a plan for an assault against the Syrian government as well as the fact that that anarchy, chaos, and unspeakable violence will reign supreme in Syria if the “appropriately vetted” groups managed to gain control of the country, Amash did miss part of the point.

The truth is not that “we don’t know much about the groups we are funding in Syria.” The truth is that “we” know full well that they are ISIS/Al-Qaeda terrorists, with only an occasional name change and branch off due to Western political motives or internal squabbling. That has been and still is the whole point.

Assad’s refusal to react in frothing rage and declarations of war could very well be an attempt to save face in the eyes of world opinion and in the eyes of the Syrian people. The only other options available to the Syrian government would be to shoot down the American fighter jets and sign Syria’s death warrant or to denounce the attacks and seem impotent when it comes to defending against them. Considering the options at the moment, one can clearly see how admission of foreknowledge with no immediate consequences directed at the United States might seem to be the best available selection.

Who Were The Actual Targets?

The low level of death squad casualties resulting from the U.S. airstrikes brings to mind one question – Were the airstrikes really meant to deal a significant blow to IS? After all, the bombing in areas like Deir al-Zor would have produced minimal results against IS to begin with since the Western-backed terrorists conveniently began leaving the city and many of their positions days before the bombing began.

Indeed, the SAA had already launched an offensive against death squad positions in Deir al-Zor, causing many observers to assume that the military assault was the reason IS and its “moderate” terrorist affiliates began evacuation. However, six days later, after bombs and missiles were rained down upon the city and surrounding areas, the reasons for death squad evacuation became clearer. It was to avoid U.S. airstrikes and move north to reinforce other IS battalions. Thus, one must ask whether or not the IS terrorists were evacuating for fear of defeat at the hands of the SAA or on the orders of the USA?

In addition, while some mainstream outlets attempted to claim that the death squads “simply managed to escape” Deir al-Zor in order to avoid being struck by US airstrikes, the question then remains how they would have been aware of the bombing plans when even Assad was not informed until the last minute. Thus, any media outlet that claims this is the reason for low causalities among the terrorists is admitting to the fact that the terrorists had some kind of forewarning. Otherwise, how would they have known to evacuate these specific areas? Was it by intuition? Did they have a crystal ball? Or were they warned and/or ordered by their NATO commanders to reconfigure their forces in other locations?

Bombing Campaign Or Death Squad Herding?

The fact that the terrorist casualties were much lower than one would have expected considering the previously heavy presence of fighters in the area should lead one to question the true objective of the bombing mission. After all, some reports even put the number of dead civilians as higher than that of dead terrorists.

Yet, with the terrorists evacuating Deir al-Zor, cities and towns such as Kobani (Ayn El Arab) saw a dramatic rise in the presence of IS fighters. In short, IS may have reduced the amount of fighters in Deir al-Zor but it reinforced its positions at Ayn El Arab, a smaller town but one located on the Turkish border. Significantly, the Turkish border has facilitated tens of thousands of death squad fighters in their access to Syria over the last four years making it a main artery for the influx of Western-backed foreign jihadis into Syria.

The Huffington Post reported the situation in Ayn El Arab by recording the statement of a Syrian Kurd who had fled into Turkey with his family to escape IS. The report is revealing as to how the situation in Ayn El Arab disintegrated after the bombing of Deir al-Zor and the “escape” of terrorists from that city and region. The article reads,

“Because of the bombing in Raqqa, Islamic State has taken all of their weapons and brought them here. There are more and more Islamic State fighters in the last two days, they have brought all their forces here,” said Ahmed Hassan, 60, a Syrian Kurd who fled to Turkey with his family.

“They have heavy weapons. We are running away from them. YPG haven’t got heavy weapons. That’s why we need help,” he said, referring to the main Kurdish armed group.

Thus, the new assault on Ayn El Arab might very well be an attempt to re-secure and reopen the Turkish/Syrian border so as to allow even greater numbers of IS fighters and military equipment to flood into Syria. It also goes some distance in aiding the future creation of a “buffer zone,” in Northern Syria, a wish of NATO since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.With the establishment of this “buffer zone,” a new staging ground will be opened that allows terrorists such as ISIS and others the ability to conduct attacks even deeper inside Syria.

Working together with its NATO/GCC allies as well as the ever-present provocateur Israel, the United States is helping to create a buffer zone in the North and East of Syria while continuing to facilitate the opening of a “third front” on the Syrian border with Israel.

Such a strategy was discussed in 2012 by the Brookings Institution in its publication ” Assessing Options For Regime Change ,” where it stated,

An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.

[…]

In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Asad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.

Are The Airstrikes Designed To Provoke Assad?

One possibility of the purpose US airstrikes in Syria is that the aggressive presence of the U.S. military is in reality an attempt to poke and prod Assad into shooting down an American aircraft. As American planes currently act as a deadly and mechanical sheepdog to the terrorist herd, it is quite likely that the mission will creep closer and closer to Damascus and government-held territory. This “mission creep” will likely begin in and around the Aleppo region since the city and surrounding areas are strategically significant with heavy fighting taking place between government forces and the Western-backed death squads.

As these airstrike missions grow closer and closer to government-held territory and Syrian military forces, perhaps even making the occasional “mistake” of hitting SAA military installations or soldiers, Syria will be forced into a walking a tight rope between defending itself against open US military aggression before it inflicts too much damage to Syria’s military capabilities or responding in kind and sealing its own fate against the superior US Air Force. As Tony Cartalucci writes ,

For now, Syria and its allies must formulate carefully a strategy that resists overreaction to immense provocations, understand the true nature of America’s aggression, determining whether it was exercised from a position of strength or immense weakness, and devise countermeasures that accommodate long-term consequences of America’s current campaign. A balance between allowing the West to exhaust its last desperate options, but preventing long-term entrenchment of Western-backed proxies must be struck.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the U.S. airstrikes against Syria are nothing more than a farce. The death squads running amok in Syria are themselves entirely creatures of NATO and they remain under NATO’s command. The true enemy of ISIS, Khorasan, and the cannibals of the Levant has always been and continues to be Bashar al-Assad.

An Attack On Syrian Oil Refineries An Attack On Assad

Only a day after the United States launched airstrikes against alleged ISIS targets in Syria, the real reasons behind these specific targets are gradually becoming clearer. Yet, for anyone who actually thought that the U.S. airstrikes were something other than an attack on Bashar al-Assad’s government forces, the location and targets of the strikes may tell a different story if looked at closely.

For instance, as The Associated Press reported ,

U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syrian oil installations held by the extremist Islamic State group overnight and early Thursday, killing at least 19 people as more families of militants left their key stronghold, fearing further raids, activists said.

[…]

The Islamic State group is believed to control 11 oil fields in Iraq and Syria. The new strikes involved six U.S. warplanes and 10 more from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, mainly hitting small-scale refineries used by the militants in eastern Syria, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

RT reports further on the strikes citing Agence France-Press,

According to Agency France-Presse, strikes involved targeting an oil field in Syria administered by the Islamic State, reportedly close to positions held by the group near the towns of Al-Omar and Deir ez-Zor, journalist Zaid Benjamin reported.

The US and its partners used “a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 13 of airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular oil refineries located in remote areas of eastern Syria in the vicinity of Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and one ISIL vehicle near Dayr az Zawr, also in eastern Syria,” read a statement by CENTCOM.

“These small-scale refineries provided fuel to run ISIL operations, money to finance their continued attacks throughout Iraq and Syria, and an economic asset to support their future operations,” the statement continued. “Producing between 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per day, ISIL is estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day from these refineries. The destruction and degradation of these targets further limits ISIL’s ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations.”

Yet while the mainstream media and the U.S. government are attempting to portray the strikes against the Syrian oil refineries as a strike against ISIS, the fact of the matter is that they are a strike against the secular government of Bashar al-Assad.

Strikes Against Refineries Hurt Syria More Than ISIS

Although it is true that ISIS/ “moderate death squads” had seized control over the oil refineries in Eastern Syria and were using them for their own strategic purposes ( with the help of NATO command ), it is also true that, in a large portion of these areas, the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) was poised to retake control.

This is particularly the case in Dayr el Zor, where the SAA had recently launched a major offensive against the death squads causing ISIS fighters to be trapped by aerial bombardment and their escape routes cut off by the SAA . In other words, the death squads were trapped in Dayr el Zor, the city was weeks away from being liberated, and the surrounding areas were set to be reconquered by the SAA. This, of course, would have led directly to the retaking of the oil refineries by the Syrian government. Unfortunately, that opportunity has now been lost as a result of the U.S. airstrikes which destroyed the refinery infrastructure.

It should also be remembered that most of the death squads fled these areas after being given forewarning of a series of imminent American airstrikes, thus causing the civilian casualties to be higher in number than those of the ISIS fighters the strikes were allegedly targeting. Indeed, many of these fighters have appeared in Northern Syria on the Syria/Turkey border reinforcing other death squad battalions in efforts to reopen supply lines from Turkey.

Similar situations are found in the other locations mentioned as targets of U.S. airstrikes such as al-Hasakah where the SAA had made significant gains alongside Kurdish forces.

Thus, as SAA forces moved in to retake control of the oil refineries managed by terrorists funded by Western powers, the United States initiated airstrikes just in the nick of time to deprive SAA forces of the opportunity to seize some of the oil refinery infrastructure it desperately needs.

It is also important to note that virtually none of the infrastructure being destroyed by the United States airstrikes was built by ISIS. It was built by the Syrian government. The reality of the bombing campaign is that the United States and its allies are destroying important regions of Syria and leaving nothing of real value for the Syrian military to retake after its long-fought battles against ISIS.

Thus, headlines across the world should more accurately read “US Bombs Syrian Oil Refineries To Prevent Assad From Retaking Them.”

Still, one should keep in mind that it is not only the oil refineries which are being targeted but whole neighborhoods filled with civilians . One such neighborhood was the town of Kfar Daryan.

ISIS As An Oil Company?

The excuse peddled by Western governments and their lapdog media outlets to justify the bombing of Syrian oil refineries is that the goal is to disrupt ISIS oil revenue and thus break its funding. The narrative provided to the general public is that ISIS is funding itself by oil sales on the black market to the tune of millions of dollars per day. Of course, while it is most likely true that ISIS is using their commandeered oil sites to support themselves on a number of fronts, and even attempting (with some success) to sell that oil, the idea that ISIS is somehow able to evade the most sophisticated monitoring network in the entire world during the process of obtaining, refining, selling, and delivering oil across the region is entirely unbelievable.

Regardless, it must be pointed out that, among the countries listed as hosting ISIS customers by mainstream outlets like CNN, Turkey and Jordan are at the top of the list , both close American allies and one a member of NATO. Even more interesting is the fact that ISIS has also allegedly sold “black market” oil to buyers in a number of EU member states .

Yet the idea itself seems like more of a cover to mask the true nature of the funding of ISIS and other takfiri militants operating in Iraq and Syria, namely that the funding is coming from the United States, NATO, and the GCC. Like the ridiculous claims that ISIS was funding itself entirely through secretive private Twitter donations, the “oil sales” argument is one that should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. After all, mainstream outlets are also asserting that ISIS is selling some of this oil to the Syrian government, a lose-win-lose situation for both sides and a rather poor attempt to portray Assad as an ally of ISIS.

In reality, it should always be remembered that ISIS is entirely a creation of the West and that it remains fundamentally under the control of NATO and the GCC.

In the meantime, all this talk about oil refineries no doubt has Western oil companies licking their lips.

No-Fly Zone Over Syria?

In what is more proof that the NATO operation against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is merely Libya 2.0, the Obama administration is now stating that it is open to the possibility of establishing a “no-fly zone” over Syria.

The statements, made by both Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and General Martin E. Dempsey, are supposed to hinge upon an agreement with Turkey, that is itself calling for a “buffer zone,” one of the wishes of NATO since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis.

According to the New York Times , Hagel stated that “We’ve discussed all these possibilities and will continue to talk about what the Turks believe they will require.”

Dempsey added that “a buffer zone might at some point become a possibility” although he also stated that it should not be considered imminent.

A “buffer zone” and/or a “no-fly zone,” of course, is tantamount to war and an open military assault against the sovereign secular government of Syria since the implementation of such a zone would require airstrikes against Assad’s air defense systems.

Turkey is now whining and groaning over an influx of Syrian refugees as a result of a humanitarian crisis that it helped create with its support and facilitation of Islamic fundamentalist death squad forces funded by the West and allowed to travel into Syria through Turkey’s borders. The most recent influx of refugees came from the city of Kobani, where ISIS fighters were herded by American airstrikes for the purposes of reinforcing the fighters already battling Kurdish and Syrian forces there.

Conclusion

Regardless of the mainstream media reports to the contrary or the claims of Western governments that ISIS is a phenomenon unparalleled in world history who now bases its operations out of Syria, the truth is far from that. The reality of the situation is that the homebase of ISIS is not in Raqqa, Syria but in Washington, D.C.

For those of us who have tried to warn of and prevent a direct military intervention in Syria, we must now continue to keep the Syrian people in our thoughts and prayers.

But we must also keep the United States in those thoughts and prayers. Like in Libya, for what is being done in our name, we are earning some terrible karmic consequences.

The United States has sown some very bitter seeds in recent years. Unfortunately, there will be a day when we all are forced to reap the bitter harvest.

Notes:

[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA . 5th Edition. Progressive Press. 2011.

Recently from Brandon Turbeville:

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

The Fake Terror Threat Used To Justify Bombing Syria

firstlook.org_2014-09-30_15-37-12Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.

The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by the Associated Press, who cited unnamed U.S. officials to warn of this new shadowy, worse-than-ISIS terror group:

While the Islamic State group [ISIS] is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria — a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe — poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say.

At the center is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the Nusra Front.

But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say. Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.

AP warned Americans that “the fear is that the Khorasan militants will provide these sophisticated explosives to their Western recruits who could sneak them onto U.S.-bound flights.” It explained that although ISIS has received most of the attention, the Khorasan Group “is considered the more immediate threat.”

The genesis of the name was itself scary: “Khorasan refers to a province under the Islamic caliphate, or religious empire, of old that included parts of Afghanistan.” AP depicted the U.S. officials who were feeding them the narrative as engaging in some sort of act of brave, unauthorized truth-telling: “Many U.S. officials interviewed for this story would not be quoted by name talking about what they said was highly classified intelligence.”

On the morning of September 18, CBS News broadcast a segment that is as pure war propaganda as it gets: directly linking the soon-to-arrive U.S. bombing campaign in Syria to the need to protect Americans from being exploded in civilian jets by Khorasan. With ominous voice tones, the host narrated:

This morning we are learning of a new and growing terror threat coming out of Syria. It’s an Al Qaeda cell you probably never heard of. Nearly everything about them is classified. Bob Orr is in Washington with new information on a group some consider more  dangerous than ISIS.

Orr then announced that while ISIS is “dominating headlines and terrorist propaganda,” Orr’s “sources” warn of “a more immediate threat to the U.S. Homeland.” As Orr spoke, CBS flashed alternating video showing scary Muslims in Syria and innocent westerners waiting in line at airports, as he intoned that U.S. officials have ordered “enhanced screening” for “hidden explosives.” This is all coming, Orr explained, from  ”an emerging threat in Syria” where “hardened terrorists” are building “hard to detect bombs.”


The U.S. government, Orr explained, is trying to keep this all a secret; they won’t even mention the group’s name in public out of security concerns! But Orr was there to reveal the truth, as his “sources confirm the Al Qaeda cell goes by the name Khorasan.” And they’re “developing fresh plots to attack U.S. aviation.”

Later that day, Obama administration officials began publicly touting the group, when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned starkly: “In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.” Then followed an avalanche of uncritical media reports detailing this Supreme Threat, excitingly citing anonymous officials as though they had uncovered a big secret the government was trying to conceal.

On September 20, The New York Times devoted a long article to strongly hyping the Khorasan Group. Headlined “U.S. Suspects More Direct Threats Beyond ISIS,” the article began by announcing that U.S. officials believe a different group other than ISIS “posed a more direct threat to America and Europe.” Specifically:

American officials said that the group called Khorasan had emerged in the past year as the cell in Syria that may be the most intent on hitting the United States or its installations overseas with a terror attack. The officials said that the group is led by Muhsin al-Fadhli, a senior Qaeda operative who, according to the State Department, was so close to Bin Laden that he was among a small group of people who knew about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks before they were launched.

Again, the threat they posed reached all the way to the U.S.: “Members of the cell are said to be particularly interested in devising terror plots using concealed explosives.”

This Khorasan-attacking-Americans alarm spread quickly and explosively in the landscape of U.S. national security reporting. The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake warned on September 23 — the day after the first U.S. bombs fell in Syria — that “American analysts had pieced together detailed information on a pending attack from an outfit that informally called itself ‘the Khorasan Group’ to use hard-to-detect explosives on American and European airliners.” He added even more ominously: “The planning from the Khorasan Group … suggests at least an aspiration to launch more-coordinated and larger attacks on the West in the style of the 9/11 attacks from 2001″ (days later, Lake, along with Josh Rogin, actually claimed that “Iran has long been harboring senior al Qaeda, al Nusra, and so-called Khorasan Group leaders as part of its complicated strategy to influence the region”).

On the day of the bombing campaign, NBC News’ Richard Engel tweeted this:

That tweet linked to an NBC Nightly News report in which anchor Brian Williams introduced Khorasan with a graphic declaring it “The New Enemy,” and Engel went on to explain that the group is “considered a threat to the U.S. because, U.S. intelligence officials say, it wants to bring down airplanes with explosives.”

Once the bombing campaign was underway, ISIS — the original theme of the attack — largely faded into the background, as Obama officials and media allies aggressively touted attacks on Khorasan leaders and the disruption of its American-targeting plots. On the first day of the bombing, The Washington Post announced that “the United States also pounded a little-known but well-resourced al-Qaeda cell that some American officials fear could pose a direct threat to the United States.” It explained:

The Pentagon said in a statement early Tuesday that the United States conducted eight strikes west of Aleppo against the cell, called the Khorasan Group, targeting its “training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communications building and command and control facilities.”

The same day, CNN claimed that “among the targets of U.S. strikes across Syria early Tuesday was the Khorasan Group.” The bombing campaign in Syria was thus magically transformed into an act of pure self-defense, given that ”the group was actively plotting against a U.S. homeland target and Western targets, a senior U.S. official told CNN on Tuesday.” The bevy of anonymous sources cited by CNN had a hard time keep their stories straight:

The official said the group posed an “imminent” threat. Another U.S. official later said the threat was not imminent in the sense that there were no known targets or attacks expected in the next few weeks.

The plots were believed to be in an advanced stage, the second U.S. official said. There were indications that the militants had obtained materials and were working on new improvised explosive devices that would be hard to detect, including common hand-held electronic devices and airplane carry-on items such as toiletries.

Nonetheless, what was clear was that this group had to be bombed in Syria to save American lives, as the terrorist group even planned to conceal explosive devices in toothpaste or flammable clothing as a means to target U.S. airliners. The day following the first bombings, Attorney General Eric Holder claimed: “We hit them last night out of a concern that they were getting close to an execution date of some of the plans that we have seen.”

CNN’s supremely stenographic Pentagon reporter, Barbara Starr, went on air as videos of shiny new American fighter jets and the Syria bombing were shown and explained that this was all necessary to stop a Khorasan attack very close to being carried out against the west:

What we are hearing from a senior US official is the reason they struck Khorasan right now is they had intelligence that the group — of Al Qaeda veterans — was in the stages of planning an attack against the US homeland and/or an attack against a target in Europe, and the information indicated Khorasan was well on its way — perhaps in its final stages — of planning that attack.

All of that laid the fear-producing groundwork for President Obama to claim self-defense when he announced the bombing campaign on September 23 with this boast: “Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

The very next day, a Pentagon official claimed a U.S. airstrike killed “the Khorasan leader,” and just a few days after that, U.S. media outlets celebrated what they said was the admission by jihadi social media accounts that “the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Khorasan group was killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria.”

But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. Foreign Policy‘s Shane Harris, with two other writers, was one of the first to question whether the “threat” was anywhere near what it had been depicted to be:

But according to the top U.S. counterterrorism official, as well as Obama himself, there is “no credible information” that the militants of the Islamic State were planning to attack inside the United States. Although the group could pose a domestic terrorism threat if left unchecked, any plot it tried launching today would be “limited in scope” and “nothing like a 9/11-scale attack,” Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in remarks at the Brookings Institution earlier this month. That would suggest that Khorasan doesn’t have the capability either, even if it’s working to develop it.

“Khorasan has the desire to attack, though we’re not sure their capabilities match their desire,” a senior U.S. counterterrorism official told Foreign Policy.

On September 25, The New York Times — just days after hyping the Khorasan threat to the homeland — wrote that “the group’s evolution from obscurity to infamy has been sudden.” And the paper of record began, for the first time, to note how little evidence actually existed for all those claims about the imminent threats posed to the homeland:

American officials have given differing accounts about just how close the group was to mounting an attack, and about what chance any plot had of success. One senior American official on Wednesday described the Khorasan plotting as “aspirational” and said that there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works.

Literally within a matter of days, we went from “perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack” (CNN) to “plotting as ‘aspirational’” and “there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works” (NYT).

Late last week, Associated Press’ Ken Dilanian — the first to unveil the new Khorasan Product in mid-September — published a new story explaining that just days after bombing “Khorasan” targets in Syria, high-ranking U.S. officials seemingly backed off all their previous claims of an “imminent” threat from the group. Headlined “U.S. Officials Offer More Nuanced Take on Khorasan Threat,” it noted that “several U.S. officials told reporters this week that the group was in the final stages of planning an attack on the West, leaving the impression that such an attack was about to happen.” But now:

Senior U.S. officials offered a more nuanced picture Thursday of the threat they believe is posed by an al-Qaida cell in Syria targeted in military strikes this week, even as they defended the decision to attack the militants.

James Comey, the FBI director, and Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, each acknowledged that the U.S. did not have precise intelligence about where or when the cell, known as the Khorasan Group, would attempt to strike a Western target. . . .

Kirby, briefing reporters at the Pentagon, said, “I don’t know that we can pin that down to a day or month or week or six months….We can have this debate about whether it was valid to hit them or not, or whether it was too soon or too late…We hit them. And I don’t think we need to throw up a dossier here to prove that these are bad dudes.”

Regarding claims that an attack was “imminent,” Comey said: “I don’t know exactly what that word means…’imminent’” — a rather consequential admission given that said imminence was used as the justification for launching military action in the first place.

Even more remarkable, it turns out the very existence of an actual “Khorasan Group” was to some degree an invention of the American government. NBC’s Engel, the day after he reported on the U.S. government’s claims about the group for Nightly News, seemed to have serious second thoughts about the group’s existence, tweeting:

Indeed, a Nexis search for the group found almost no mentions of its name prior to the September 13 AP article based on anonymous officials. There was one oblique reference to it in a July 31 CNN op-ed by Peter Bergen. The other mention was an article in the LA Times from two weeks earlier about Pakistan which mentioned the group’s name as something quite different than how it’s being used now: as “the intelligence wing of the powerful Pakistani Taliban faction led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.” Tim Shorrock noted that the name appears in a 2011 hacked Stratfor email published by WikiLeaks, referencing a Dawn article that depicts them as a Pakistan-based group which was fighting against and “expelled by” (not “led by”) Bahadur.

There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner. Aki Peritz, a CIA counterterrorism official until 2009, told Time: “I’d certainly never heard of this group while working at the agency,” while Obama’s former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said: ”We used the term [Khorasan] inside the government, we don’t know where it came from….All I know is that they don’t call themselves that.” As The Intercept was finalizing this article, former terrorism federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review that the group was a scam: “You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan … had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.”

What happened here is all-too-familiar. The Obama administration needed propagandistic and legal rationale for bombing yet another predominantly Muslim country. While emotions over the ISIS beheading videos were high, they were not enough to sustain a lengthy new war.

So after spending weeks promoting ISIS as Worse Than Al Qaeda™, they unveiled a new, never-before-heard-of group that was Worse Than ISIS™. Overnight, as the first bombs on Syria fell, the endlessly helpful U.S. media mindlessly circulated the script they were given: this new group was composed of “hardened terrorists,” posed an “imminent” threat to the U.S. homeland, was in the “final stages” of plots to take down U.S. civilian aircraft, and could “launch more-coordinated and larger attacks on the West in the style of the 9/11 attacks from 2001.””

As usual, anonymity was granted to U.S. officials to make these claims. As usual, there was almost no evidence for any of this. Nonetheless, American media outlets — eager, as always, to justify American wars — spewed all of this with very little skepticism. Worse, they did it by pretending that the U.S. government was trying not to talk about all of this — too secret! — but they, as intrepid, digging journalists, managed to unearth it from their courageous “sources.” Once the damage was done, the evidence quickly emerged about what a sham this all was. But, as always with these government/media propaganda campaigns, the truth emerges only when it’s impotent.

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How the U.S. Concocted a Terror Threat to Justify Syria Strikes, and the Corporate Media Went Along

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