By Joe Quinn, Editor Sott.net
State-sponsored terrorism used to be a rather simple affair, where a state would order its military (or other covert armed group) to carry out terrorist acts against a civilian population, domestic or foreign. Over the course of the last 20 years or so however, state sponsored terrorism as practiced by Western ‘democracies’ has evolved into a much more convoluted and complex operation.
Take ‘al-qaeda’ for example. The best way to understand the true role of ‘al-qaeda’, is to first understand the role played by the Soviet Union and ‘Communism’ as popularised by Western governments, because ‘Islamic terrorism’ has clearly replaced the ‘Communist threat’.
The main problem with Communism is that it never actually existed in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was a basic dictatorship. But Communism and the Soviets were promoted by Western governments as an ideology and an enemy against which the West ‘had to fight’ to ‘protect’ the capitalist freedom loving people of the World. This was the rationale, the casus belli, that was used to justify American interventionist policy (land and resource grabs) around the world. But behind it all, was, as the saying goes, naked bloody imperialism.
With the Soviet Union and Communism gone, and the US and Western democracies having largely succeeded in their goal to militarily, and then economically, dominate as much of the globe as possible, a new enemy was needed that could be used to target the specific areas (or countries) of the world where the US and Western ‘democracies’ did not yet enjoy full control. This is where modern ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘al-qaeda’ came in, or rather, the point at which modern ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘al-qaeda’ were created by the US government (according to Hilary Clinton) out of the debris of the Soviet-US (proxy) war in Afghanistan.
‘Al-qaeda’ was the name given to a group of Islamic fighters trained and armed by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the late ’70s and early ’80s. When they were no longer useful in that role, and the Soviet Union collapsed, ‘al-qaeda’ was transformed into an enemy of the USA (and ‘Western Democracy’, just for good measure) and blamed for the 9/11 attacks. Since 9/11, ‘al-qaeda’ has been used by Western ‘Democracies’ as a cover for CIA covert operations (terror attacks) and to justify US military or NATO invasions of, or bombing campaigns against, any nation that has shown signs of non-cooperation with the Western elite’s desire for global economic hegemony and control over the global population.
The irony in all of this is that, in its most recent incarnation, ‘al-qaeda’ has come full circle, and is now being used in the same way it was originally used in Afghanistan against the Soviets – as ‘our terrorists’ fighting for American and Western government and corporate interests in Syria. ‘9/11 be-damned’ is the idea, it seems.
But it gets worse.
The Western media, as an instrument of Western governments, is naturally ignoring these facts and singing from the official hymn-sheet that the Syrian ‘rebels’ are primarily made up of ordinary Syrians fighting against their oppressive government, and this mantra is being repeatedly replayed to the Western public in order to allow official support of the ‘freedom fighters’ by Western governments, which is precisely what US and European governments have been doing, and Israel too. It is, however, getting a little awkward in the sense that it is also being officially recognised that ‘al-qaeda’ is fighting amongst the Syrian ‘rebels’.
The unofficial reality, however, is that ‘al-qaeda’ is more or less ALL of the Syrian ‘rebels’ and there is no popular revolution against Assad in Syria. There never was. Even the Council on Foreign Relations hinted at this truth in a recent article entitled Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria, when they wrote:
“The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.”
So who are these al-qaeda operatives leading the fight for ‘freedom’ in Syria? They’re the same people who NATO used to overthrow Gaddafi last year in the ‘people’s revolution’ that resulted in the massacring of 40,000 Libyan civilians and the imposition of a fundamentalist Islamic government, and they’re now led by some of the same thugs that the CIA recruited in Afghanistan 40 years ago.
Two such individuals are Mahdi al-Harati, who now leads FSA brigades in Syria, and Abdul Hakim Belhaj, who visited the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, cash, and fighters to FSA militants in November 2011. Both these men are leaders of the so-called ‘Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’ (LIFG), which, according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center report entitled ‘Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq‘, has openly declared its allegiance to ‘al-qaeda’ and was involved in fighting US troops in Iraq.
Earlier this year, I wrote about these two men, and you might like to re-read the pertinent parts of that article to get an idea of what these two are all about.
As already noted, the Western media has been playing a major role in the distortion of facts and the peddling of outright lies about the Syrian ‘civil war’. That Western journalists, especially during ‘war time’, engage in outright lies and fabrications is nothing new. But life on planet earth at the end of the American Empire seems to have created the conditions where there is no limit to the extent of mainstream media duplicity or what they expect the public to swallow.
Consider the following picture:
The man in the center with the hat is the aforementioned LIFG leader and ‘al-qaeda’ commander, Mahdi al-Harati. The man to his left in the camouflage gear is the aforementioned LIFG leader and ‘al-qaeda’ commander, Abdul Hakim Belhaj. The man in the blue flak jacket is none other than Sunday Times photo-journalist Paul Conroy. The picture was taken in early 2012, shortly before Conroy was injured when the building he was in was allegedly shelled by Syrian government forces. Conroy is almost certainly an MI6 agent. The allegation that Syrian government forces shelled the building he was in, is less certain. Why?
In June 2012, Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson was in Syria reporting on events there when, he claims, a group from the Free Syrian Army tried to lead him and his colleagues into a trap so they would be killed by government forces, to discredit the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
‘Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow. We move out behind. We are led another route. Led in fact, straight into a free-fire zone. Told by the Free Syrian Army to follow a road that was blocked off in the middle of no-man’s land.
‘At that point there was the crack of a bullet and one of the slower three-point turns I’ve experienced. We screamed off into the nearest side-street for cover. Another dead-end. There was no option but to drive back out on to the sniping ground and floor it back to the road we’d been led in on.
‘Predictably the black car was there which had led us to the trap. They roared off as soon as we re-appeared.
‘I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.’
So, you get the idea of what this ‘Syrian revolution’ is all about and who is running it and how. And you understand the extent of US government hubris when they calmly accuse Iran of setting up pro-Assad militia in Syria. Can you understand why, in February this year, ‘al-qaeda’ leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to join the uprising against Assad’s “pernicious, cancerous regime.” And can you wrap your head around the strategy behind the US government urging more US and NATO help for the ‘rebels’ lest ‘al-qaeda’ fill in a future power vacuum? If you can, can you explain it to me?
In the meantime, here are some useful ‘soft-ball’ questions to ask friends and family about the Syrian situation, assuming, of course, that your friends and family are even interested in what is going on in the world around them.
If the US and Western governments are really concerned about radical Islam and Islamic terrorism:
- Why are they attempting to depose a largely secular government that has enjoyed relatively good relations with them?
- Why are they trying to demonise and oust Assad who comes from the Alawite sect, a form of Shi’a Islam that embraces elements similar to Christian theology?
- Why are they choosing to support a group of hired thugs who want to impose a radical Islamic caliphate over as much of the Middle East and North Africa as possible and who have pledged their allegiance to ‘al-qaeda’?
Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to highlight the lies and deceptions of big government for years, I still find it fascinating that so many people can believe the official ‘war on terror’ narrative while simultaneously condoning the US (and European) governments’ funding and training of ‘al-qaeda’. After all, these are the ideological brethren of the 9/11 hijackers and the people against whom the US government has been waging a war for the past 11 years. These are the terrorists that have posed such a threat to Western society that many civil liberties in America and Europe have been done away with in order to ‘keep us safe’. These are the people who have, as mentioned by the CFR article, killed and wounded thousands of US troops in Iraq. Then again, the complex mental gymnastics that people must perform in convincing themselves that the official ‘war on terror’ narrative is true seems to induce some kind of cognitive impairment which, in turn, seems to result in an impressive ability to accept increasingly flagrant absurdities as truth.