The Islamic State and the war in Syria is back on the front pages of the news once again on the heels of the alleged killing of James Mark Foley, an American journalist working in Syria. The outrage surrounding the alleged beheading of Foley, while justifiable if it is real, is already being used for propaganda purposes, namely in order to build up American support for an aerial bombing campaign against the Syrian government.
With this in mind, it is important to examine the facts surrounding the alleged execution of James Foley and the ways in which this incident is being used to justify more American military intervention in the Middle East and Syria specifically.
While beheadings are by no means unbelievable or foreign to the Syrian destabilization crisis, the alleged beheading of journalist James Foley is one that should be viewed with some amount of healthy skepticism. Indeed, there are a number of anomalies associated this particular video that set it apart from the scores of other beheading videos produced by the Western-backed death squads attempting to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad and establish an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East.
A number of commentators have pointed out that James Foley seems remarkably calm and collected in the video, particularly given the fact that he knows that he is not very much longer for this world. Some may argue that Foley is calm due to fact that he knows he is going to die and has made peace with this fact, a condition that overtakes many when death is imminent. Others, however, may point to this as evidence to the contrary, i.e. that Foley knows he is not going to die and thus suggests that he is, in fact, acting in a cleverly devised propaganda video.
Second, there is the fact of a distinct lack of blood in an execution that involves the slicing of a human throat. As Syrian Free Press reports, when one slows down the video, it is evident that the knife held by the death squad fighter cuts back and forth 7-10 times. Yet there is not one drop of blood to be seen. This is highly unusual to say the least.
Third, and perhaps most damning, is the fact that the process of the actual beheading is censored. In all the videotaped beheadings that have taken place in the Syrian war since 2011, there have been none (at least as far as this writer knows) that have been censored by ISIS or any other death squad organization. Indeed, if the entire purpose of the beheading video is to create fear and outrage, then censoring the actual beheading is counterproductive.
US Controls ISIS
Lastly, 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 it 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 coöperated 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.
Propaganda Used Early On To Blame Assad
It is also important to keep in mind that, when Foley was originally abducted, it was widely publicized that his captors were the Syrian government itself. This, of course, was a ridiculous assertion and was recognized as such by all legitimate researchers familiar with the Syrian crisis. The American people, however, bought the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Now that a video has been released of Foley being beheaded by ISIS, the American people have shown that they do not have an attention span that reaches back to when Foley was used as propaganda in Syria the first time around.
For those that do have a lingering memory, propaganda pieces have been produced such as that of Michael B. Kelley of Business Insider who laughably claims that Assad may have handed Foley over to ISIS, a group that Assad has been actively fighting since the start of the destabilization campaign in 2011. Kelley’s absurd suggestion reaches the point of absolute insanity when he even goes so far as to suggest that Assad created ISIS.
Propaganda Purposes in August, 2014 – American Bombing Of Syria
Regardless of whether or not the beheading video is real, the fact is that it is being used as a shameless piece of propaganda. The NATO powers are certainly not letting a good crisis go to waste.
As I have written on a number of occasions in the past, the goal is to drum up support from the American people for a bombing campaign or “limited strikes” inside Syria for the purpose of creating a buffer zone, a desire of NATO since the destabilization campaign began.
The reason that ISIS was allowed to seize such large swaths of territory across Iraq was an attempt to create a justification for the eventual invasion of Syria in addition to the reinvasion of Iraq. Indeed, any deployment of American troops, airstrikes, or any other type of US military force, will necessitate a battle against ISIS inside Iraq as well as “cross-border” strikes against the organization in Syria. Such “cross-border” strikes would likely be met with apathetic support from the American people since any restraint regarding borders will be presented and then viewed as placing “handcuffs on the troops.”
Any military action taken across the border inside Syria will not be taken for the purposes of eliminating ISIS. The truth is that such military action will be nothing more than a backdoor attempt at establishing the “buffer zone” that NATO so ardently desired early on in the Syrian conflict. 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.
This pretext has already been publicly discussed in mainstream media outlets across the world. Take, for instance, the article by Patrick Cockburn published in The Independent on June 19, 2014 entitled “Iraq Crisis Exclusive: US Rules Out Military Action Until Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Stands Down,” where Cockburn argues the necessity of a series of airstrikes to be launched against both Iraq and Syria.
The general support for the Sunni revolt in northern and western Iraq will make it very difficult for any counter-offensive, which would be facing far more opponents than Isis originally fielded. Isis now controls almost all the Euphrates valley from Fallujah west of Baghdad through western Iraq and eastern Syria as far as the Turkish border. Any long-term campaign against Isis by the Iraqi government backed by US air power would require air strikes in Syria as well as Iraq. The two countries have effectively become a single battlefield.
Consider also, the writings of former State Department Director of Policy Planning under the Obama administration, Anne Marie Slaughter, who has been foaming at the mouth every bit as much as John McCain when it comes to the prospect of intervening militarily in Syria. In her most recent op-ed in the New York Times, “Don’t Fight In Iraq And Ignore Syria,” the appropriately-named Slaughter writes,
Deciding that the Syrian government, as bad as it is, was still better than the alternative of ISIS profoundly missed the point. As long as we allow the Syrian government to continue perpetrating the worst campaign of crimes against humanity since Rwanda, support for ISIS will continue. As long as we choose Prime Minister Maliki over the interests of his citizens, all his citizens, his government can never be safe.
President Obama should be asking the same question in Iraq and Syria. What course of action will be best, in the short and the long term, for the Iraqi and Syrian people? What course of action will be most likely to stop the violence and misery they experience on a daily basis? What course of action will give them the best chance of peace, prosperity and a decent government?
The answer to those questions may well involve the use of force on a limited but immediate basis, in both countries. Enough force to remind all parties that we can, from the air, see and retaliate against not only Al Qaeda members, whom our drones track for months, but also any individuals guilty of mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. Enough force to compel governments and rebels alike to the negotiating table. And enough force to create a breathing space in which decent leaders can begin to consolidate power.
Bombing Syria – A Strike At Russia
Slaughter’s previous op-eds, of course, betray an underlying reason for her obsessive warmongering against Syria – the strategic desire to weaken Russia. In this, Slaughter reveals herself as an adherent to the Brzezinski doctrine as it is espoused in The Grand Chessboard. Even if Slaughter does not openly state her affinity for such a destructive and provocative foreign policy by name, her ideology is revealed by both her actions and her work. It is important to point out that Slaughter’s position should not be construed as merely her own, but as a representation of the desires of the NATO powers that employ her.
Indeed, in her April, 2014 op-ed for Project Syndicate, entitled “Stopping Russia Starts In Syria,” Slaughter is nothing if not obvious about her offensive geopolitical targeting of the Russian Federation as well as that of China and Japan. She writes that,
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.
Slaughter essentially argues that Putin is much too strong to inflict damaging geopolitical costs in Ukraine. She suggests that Putin is much weaker in Syria, however, and, therefore, it is Syria where the United States must strike. Slaughter states,
Regardless of Putin’s initial motivations, he is now operating in an environment in which he is quite certain of the parameters of play. He is weighing the value of further dismemberment of Ukraine, with some pieces either joining Russia or becoming Russian vassal states, against the pain of much stronger and more comprehensive economic sanctions. Western use of force, other than to send arms to a fairly hapless Ukrainian army, is not part of the equation.
That is a problem. In the case of Syria, the US, the world’s largest and most flexible military power, has chosen to negotiate with its hands tied behind its back for more than three years. This is no less of a mistake in the case of Russia, with a leader like Putin who measures himself and his fellow leaders in terms of crude machismo.
It is time to change Putin’s calculations, and Syria is the place to do it.
After repeating the tired, disproven, and borderline idiotic propaganda of Assad’s alleged “chemical weapons attacks,” “killing his own people,” and “barrel bombs,” Slaughter attempts to cover up what is nothing more than a geopolitical strategy as a humanitarian issue.
Slaughter laments the fact that “It is impossible to strike Syria legally so long as Russia sits on the United Nations Security Council, given its ability to veto any resolution authorizing the use of force.” However, she continues her article by stating that the United States should act anyway, unilaterally or multilaterally, by striking Syria and, at the very least, destroying its “fixed wing aircraft.”
The US, together with as many countries as will cooperate, could use force to eliminate Syria’s fixed-wing aircraft as a first step toward enforcing Resolution 2139. “Aerial bombardment” would still likely continue via helicopter, but such a strike would announce immediately that the game has changed. After the strike, the US, France, and Britain should ask for the Security Council’s approval of the action taken, as they did after NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999,” she states.
Slaughter continues by writing,
Equally important, shots fired by the US in Syria will echo loudly in Russia. The great irony is that Putin is now seeking to do in Ukraine exactly what Assad has done so successfully: portray a legitimate political opposition as a gang of thugs and terrorists, while relying on provocations and lies to turn non-violent protest into violent attacks that then justify an armed response.
Slaughter, of course, is angry that the incessant and nonsensical propaganda of her former office, the US State Department, and other Western governments across the world have largely failed to manufacture a string of lies that would serve to effectively motivate Americans to gear up for war yet again.
So far, on this particular issue, American apathy largely contributed to preventing a war.
Unfortunately, with slightly more clever propaganda narratives, that apathy will easily be converted over to the benefit of the world oligarchy. Indeed, with the broadcast of the killing of an American citizen in such a grotesque fashion, that apathy can quickly be converted to rage and nationalistic fervor. Such techniques of propaganda are well understood by elites the world over.
As Hermann Goring stated years ago,
Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
The American people have tragically proven this statement true time and time again.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 40-41
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 Conspiracies, Five 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.
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