Saturday, May 23, 2015

How the US Sponsored Rise of ISIS and Aided the Fall of Mosul and Ramadi


The US-led coalition now attempting to appear as though they are fighting ISIS knowingly aided the rise of the Islamic State for the purposes of isolating Assad and combating expanding Iranian influence.

At least as far back as August of 2012 the very same anti-IS coalition knew full well that the precursors to ISIS, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), dominated the Syrian opposition along with other al-Qaeda affiliated groups.  They knew that AQI was declining during 2009-10, yet was resurrected due to the insurgency in Syria.  In spite of this, the US and her allies continued to provide aid, funding, weaponry, and training to these same extremist groups and their closest associates, specifically seeing their rise (and the horrendous crimes against humanity they committed) as a strategic asset for their geopolitical goals.

The rise of the Islamic State not only was predicted, it was the expressed aim of the powers sponsoring the Syrian opposition.  Despite the fact that the rise of an Islamic State was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, including the fall of Mosul and Ramadi, support from the US-coalition to the Syrian opposition continued to manifest, leading to the conclusion that this was either the expressed intent, or an accepted byproduct of these policy decisions.

A 7-page Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document dated to August of 2012, recently released under a Freedom Of Information Act request, specifically states that the Syrian opposition was by that time “taking a clear sectarian direction,” and that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

AQI, the precursor group which later formed into the Islamic State, “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning.”  After suffering “a regression… during the years of 2009 and 2010" just prior to the outbreak of the conflict, it was the resumption of hostilities which revitalized them as "religious and tribal powers in the regions began to sympathize with the sectarian uprising."

Despite these facts, it is “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey [who] support the opposition,” while “Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."  It was predicted that “ISI (Islamic State in Iraq) could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria” if the situation continued to unravel, and that “there is a possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria” if support to the opposition continued.  This is exactly what transpired in the years after 2012 with the declaration of the Islamic State.  Yet not only was this predicted, it was also “exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion.”(emphasis added)  This unwanted "Shia expansion" is explained as extending into Iraq.  The "supporting powers" who "want" these developments are “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”

The report goes on to state that “the future assumptions of the crisis” are that “the regime will survive,” and that the current events are developing “into a proxy war” between Iran, Russia, and China, and the West, Gulf, and Turkey.  Further, the report accurately predicts the fall of Mosul and Ramadi 2 years before their occurrence, stating that “the deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation."  This deterioration "creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters.”  This could as well “create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

This document was classified as “secret” and distributed to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the DIA, FBI, CIA, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, Central Command, and other agencies.  It is an Intelligence Information Report, not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, yet its information was vetted before distribution.

Therefore, the US-led coalition that is now “fighting” ISIS continually supported an opposition it knew to be dominated by sectarian extremists, lying to the public while describing them as “moderate.”  The US predictably knew that this support would result in the establishment of an “Islamic State” yet continued to aid in such an establishment in order to weaken Assad and combat expanding Iranian influence.

It is a tenant of law that the “doer of an act must be taken to have intended its natural and foreseeable consequences.”(1)  Therefore, given that the rise of ISIS was a “natural and foreseeable consequence” of continually aiding a sectarian opposition, the US and her allies must be taken to have intended these outcomes, irrespective even of the documents own admission of intent.  Furthermore, the document specifically demarcates Iraq as a center for Iranian "Shia"expansion, while accurately predicting the fall of both Mosul and Ramadi to Sunni extremists, a fall which assures against this unwanted Iranian expansion, leading to the conclusion that the recent ISIS gains in both cities was not something that the US opposed, but something it desired.  Given that the fall of Mosul and Ramadi too were “natural and foreseeable consequences,” and as well the severely questionable ways in which each city fell, along with the fact that US policy in the region continued despite the fact that these outcomes were predicted, the US and her allies must therefore be taken to have intended these outcomes, whether directly or indirectly.

The fall of Mosul in June of 2014, it must be remembered, was "pretty remarkable," as described by Noam Chomsky.

"In fact, western military analysts were astonished," Chomsky continues. "Remember what happened.  Iraq has an army, and the Iraqi army knows how to fight.  During the Iran-Iraq war that army fought hard and viciously, and in fact ultimately won the war, with US support.  There was an Iraqi army of 350,000 men, armed to the teeth with all kinds of advanced weapons.  They had been trained by the United States for over a decade.  They were faced by a couple of thousand lightly armed jihadi’s.  First thing that happened was all the generals ran away. Then all the troops ran away, leaving their weapons behind them.  And then the jihadi forces just marched into Mosul and then into large parts of Iraq.  It was a pretty amazing phenomenon, it tells you a lot if you think about it.”

During this amazing phenomenon “the Iraqi security forces disintegrated and fled, the rout led by their commanding officers.”  According to one Iraqi soldier “on the morning of June 10 his commanding officer told the men to stop shooting, hand over their rifles to the insurgents, take off their uniforms, and get out of the city.”(2)

Mosul was simply given away to by a battle-hardened army of 350,000 men to a lightly armed brigade of roughly 1,300 Islamists (3), the commanding military officers specifically ordering their subordinates to leave their weapons for the jihadists and to flee.

Some pretty straightforward questions come to mind here.

Had this “remarkable” fall been desired by the US-coalition in order to “isolate” the “strategic depth of Shia expansion” in Iraq?  Or rather, “had the senior Iraqi commanders been instructed by their Western military advisers to hand over the city to the ISIS terrorists? Were they co-opted?” as Professor Michel Chossudovsky rightly had asked when this occurred? 

The more recent fall of Ramadi was equally as dubious.

The US-led coalition, which had promised to defend Iraq against the Islamic State, basically allowed Ramadi to fall, conducting only 7 airstrikes during the duration of the battle, which is such a low number as to be completely irrelevant to the outcome.  The remarkably weak excuse given for this was that a great sandstorm had prevented them from conducting regular attacks.  This despite the fact that the next day ISIS was seen holding victory parades among perfectly clear skies, the militants assembling in massive columns down wide open streets:


(MailOnline, May 19, 2015)

With no “sandstorm” present airstrikes could have easily wiped out entire factions of the extremists in a situation like this, yet no attempt had been made.  Why?  Had this too been desired by the US-coalition in order to “isolate” the “strategic depth of Shia expansion” in Iraq?

Further adding fuel to this fire is the accusation of Wahda Al-Jumaili, advisor to Iraq’s parliamentary speaker, who commented on the city's fall the very next day stating: “Whether this was the result of treason, neglect, or conspiracy, or a regional or international plot… Even the international coalition has played a bad role.  People saw the international coalition dropping weapons for ISIS.  They dropped heavy weaponry to the forces of terrorism in Ramadi.  This is an act of treason by the international coalition forces.”

This, however, was not the first time an Iraqi politician has accused the US-coalition of dropping weapons and aid to ISIS, albeit perhaps the first time the accusation came a day after the group overtook a major city.  This is a phenomenon that has been going on for some time now, in one incident two British planes were even shot down by the Iraqis under charges that they were dropping weapons to ISIS.  Photographic evidence was taken of the downed planes.  Iraqi parliamentarian Jome Divan stated that “The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons.  The coalition has not targeted ISIL's main positions in Iraq.”  This being only two of a plethora of Iraqi politicians who have consistently been making these claims.

In any event the spillover into Iraq and the fall of Mosul and Ramadi were no doubt predictable consequences of the Wests' Syria policy, and in some instances it appears as though the US specifically aided in their fall. Therefore, at the very least this spread of ISIS into Iraq was an accepted consequence of the US strategy in Syria, and at worst it represents an intended partition of Iraq by terrorist groups acting as proxies.


Given this, and the fact that the US-coalition continuously aided the Syrian opposition knowing full well that this would then lead to the declaration of an “Islamic State”, the consequences of which were the predictable fall of Mosul and Ramadi, coupled with the remarkable manner in which both fell, it would be wise to consider the claims of the numerous Iraqi politicians very seriously, and as well to sincerely question whether or not the fall of these two cities really does have a more believable, albeit much more sinister, explanation behind them.


Notes:

1.)   International Court of Justice, Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (1996), “Dissenting Opinion of Judge Weeramantry,” Chapter III, “Humanitarian Law,” section 10, “Specific rules of the humanitarian laws,” (a) “The prohibition against causing unnecessary suffering” (emphasis in original).
2.)   Cockburn, Patrick. "The Rise of ISIS." The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2015. 15. Print.
3.)   Ibid, 11.

Additional Sources:

Ahmed, Nafeez. "Iraq Blowback: Isis Rise Manufactured by Insatiable Oil Addiction." The Guardian. 16 June 2014. Web. Accessed 23 May 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/16/blowback-isis-iraq-manufactured-oil-addiction.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Fall of Palmyra: The Result of US-Coalition Ramping up Aid to Extremists

News reports have begun to come in about the fall of Palmyra to ISIS in Syria, and while most Western media has rightly been concerned with the city’s ancient ruins, few mentions have been given to the welfare of the people living in the region, or the fact that “The Syrian army launched a massive operation to evacuate as many civilians as possible of the city’s 100,000 inhabitants before its epic defeat.” (Debkafile, May 20, 2015) 

Perhaps it is not expedient to the Western narrative to report the fact that the Syrian army is heavily invested in the protection of its people.

However, these outlets do note that “The capture of Palmyra is the first time the al Qaeda offshoot has taken control of a city directly from the Syrian army and allied forces, which have already lost ground in the northwest and south to other insurgent groups in recent weeks.” (Reuters, May 20, 2015) (emphasis added)

The title “insurgent groups” is a euphemism for al-Qaeda, as “the Syrian military opposition is dominated by ISIS and by Jabhat al-Nusra, the official al-Qaeda representative, in addition to other jihadi groups,”(1) and their gains are not some recent aberration but instead are the direct result of the US-led coalition ramping up aid to their proxy forces in the region.

In the Israeli intelligence source Debkafile’s recent weekly newsletter they specifically point out that “Bashar Assad’s fortunes have been waning in recent weeks. His army’s morale is in the pits. Some units are keeping to the sidelines of battles. Iran no longer rushes forward with fresh military supplies. Hizballah, the strongest force still fighting for Assad, is taking heavy losses at the hands of Al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, the Nusra Front. All this is the outcome of the first heavy weapons to reach the hands of the Syrian opposition in years of civil war from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey – blessed by Washington after long hesitation.” (DEBKA Weekly Vol. 14, Issue 663, May 15, 2015) (emphasis added)

Thus the “insurgent” al-Qaeda groups that have recently been making gains against the Syrian army are doing so because of the heavy weaponry they have recently received from their backers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey… all blessed by the oversight and direction of Washington.

Further revealing Washington’s hand in leading al-Qaeda from behind is a recent report by analyst Charles Lister of the Brookings Institute Doha Center, in which it was admitted that the operation rooms headed by the US in Turkey and Jordan specifically encouraged forces of the Syrian opposition to work closely with al-Qaeda in order to achieve these recent gains, a cooperation that has been known to knowledgeable analysts for years, yet which is now fully admitted in the open: 
“The involvement of FSA groups, in fact, reveals how the factions’ backers have changed their tune regarding coordination with Islamists. Several commanders involved in leading recent Idlib operations confirmed to this author that the U.S.-led operations room in southern Turkey, which coordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups, was instrumental in facilitating their involvement in the operation from early April onwards. That operations room — along with another in Jordan, which covers Syria’s south — also appears to have dramatically increased its level of assistance and provision of intelligence to vetted groups in recent weeks. 
“Whereas these multinational operations rooms have previously demanded that recipients of military assistance cease direct coordination with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, recent dynamics in Idlib appear to have demonstrated something different. Not only were weapons shipments increased to the so-called “vetted groups,” but the operations room specifically encouraged a closer cooperation with Islamists commanding frontline operations.” (Foreign Policy, “Why Assad is Losing”, May 5, 2015) (emphasis added)
Although the author acts as if this cooperation of US-backed rebels and Islamist extremist is a “change of tune”, in reality it is actually “business as usual,” at least by US-backed rebel commanders own admissions.  A video, which has been authenticated by the leading Syria expert in the US, Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, documents a meeting between US Ambassador to Syria Robert Stephen Ford (for more information on Robert Ford consult this article) and Free Syrian Army Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi.  The same video shows Col. Okaidi celebrating a recent victory with ISIS Emir Abu Jandal.  The Free Syrian Army is the largest recipient of US aid and commonly referred to in Western media as the “moderate” opposition.  The video goes on to show footage of Col. Okaidi speaking in various interviews about FSA’s connection with ISIS and al-Qaeda, himself even stating that al-Nusra do not “exhibit any abnormal behavior, which is different from that of the FSA.”  He also states that “My relationship with the brothers in ISIL is good… I communicate almost daily with brothers in ISIL… the relationship is good, even brotherly.”  The video shows the same ISIS Emir Abu Jandal a few minutes after his celebration with Col. Okaidi stating that “The Islamic State is here to stay!” another ISIS fighter is then seen saying “I swear to Allah, O Alawites, we came to slaughter you.  Await what you deserve!”

This unfortunately is the true and shameful history of US support to the “moderate” Syrian opposition.

The recent gains of ISIS in Palmyra are not separate from these events however.  It must be remembered that the Islamists who are now receiving their first shipments of heavy weaponry from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey are not limited to al-Qaeda and the Nusra Front, but include ISIS as well.  The Western support for ISIS goes further than US-backed groups openly collaborating with ISIS.  In Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey’s own words, it is these same Arab allies, “our Arab allies,” who “fund ISIS.”

A recent report by the New York Times would further detail how our “Arab allies” are stepped up support for these extremist elements: 
“King Salman, 79, has shifted toward an activist foreign policy, going to war in Yemen and increasing support for rebels in Syria as he positions his country as the defender of the region’s Sunnis. In some cases, he has sanctioned allying with Islamists to serve the kingdom’s agenda… And his support for Islamists could end up empowering extremists, just as Saudi support for the Afghan jihad decades ago helped create Al Qaeda… In another shift, King Salman appears to have discarded his predecessor’s rejection of political Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood as a fundamental threat to the regional order…  In March, he received Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Riyadh. The two agreed to work together to support the rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, according to Yasin Aktay, the foreign relations chief for Turkey’s governing party.

Although Mr. Aktay said that only moderate groups received support, many of Syria’s most effective fighters are staunch Islamists who often fight alongside the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, raising the possibility that aid might also empower extremists. 
King Salman has a history of working with Islamists. Decades ago, he was a royal point man and fund-raiser for jihadists going to Afghanistan, Bosnia and elsewhere.” (NYT, “King Salman Upends Status Quo in Region and the Royal Family”, May 10, 2015)
Therefore, despite the Times whitewash of attempting to separate “support for Islamists” from support for extremists, stating that support for Islamists only could “end up empowering extremists” rather than the obvious fact that these are one in the same, what the Times is saying, without actually saying, is that “our Arab ally” King Salman, who has a “history of working with Islamists” and who “funds ISIS”, has recently increased “support for rebels in Syria”, has increased support for ISIS, sanctioned “allying with Islamists to serve the kingdom’s agenda”, and has “discarded” a “rejection of political Islamists”, therefore fully embracing them.

Therefore the recent gains made by the extremist opposition in Syria is the direct “outcome of the first heavy weapons to reach the hands of the Syrian opposition… from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.”  These states are “our Arab allies who fund ISIS,” Saudi Arabia itself specifically “increasing support for rebels” and “sanctioning allying with Islamists.”  All of these developments of course being “blessed by Washington.”

The Obama administration recently approves the shipment of heavy weaponry to the Syrian opposition after long hesitation, the US-led operation rooms in Turkey and Jordan openly encourage working with al-Qaeda to defeat Assad’s army, and the new Saudi King Salman, whose country is the main funder of ISIS, openly has ramped up support to Islamists in Syria, all the while al-Qaeda makes recent gains in the northwest and south, while ISIS makes its gains in the eastern region of Palmyra.

All just one big coincidence?  I think not…


Notes:


1.)    Cockburn, Patrick. "The Rise of ISIS." The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2015. 3. Print.