The Real Reason the US Can’t Separate Moderates from Al Qaeda in Syria
Tony Cartalucci (NEO) : The US has attempted to direct attention away from the fact supposed “moderate rebels” it has been supporting are now openly aligned to designated foreign terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda, Jabhat Al Nusra, and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) by focusing instead on the alleged “humanitarian crisis” unfolding amid final operations to restore security to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The operation however, headed by Syrian forces and supported by its allies including Russia, aims to bring the last remaining districts of the city under government control. Already, the vast majority of Aleppo’s remaining 2 million residents live in government controlled territory, with less than a quarter of a million trapped in terrorist held sections of the city.
The Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, during a recent interview reiterated the fact that not only do 1.75 million of Aleppo’s 2 million residents live in government controlled sections of the city, but militant groups held up in districts awaiting liberation are not even entirely made up of Syrians – but rather foreigners who have entered the country.
This entirely undermines the West’s narrative that Syria is undergoing a “civil war” rather than a foreign orchestrated invasion by proxy, and that security operations to secure Aleppo’s remaining districts represents somehow, an unprecedented “humanitarian disaster.”
And as the US-Russian brokered ceasefire collapses, Russia has cited the United States’ inability and unwillingness to clearly delineate between what Washington alleges are “moderate rebels” and designated terrorist organizations the US itself admits are operating alongside militants they are backing.
Reuters in an article titled, “Russia urges U.S. to deliver on promise to separate Syria’s moderates from ‘terrorists’,” would admit:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday to make good on U.S. pledges to separate Washington-oriented units of Syrian opposition from “terrorist groups”, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
In response, Washington has incoherently and dishonestly blamed Russia for what it calls the driving of moderates into the arms of terrorist organizations.
A BBC article titled, “Syria conflict: US says Russia driving rebels into extremists’ camp,” would claim that:
Russia’s increasing military action in Syria is forcing moderates within the opposition into the hands of extremists, the US has said.
However, in reality, a long-standing truth entirely negates America’s current rhetoric – so thoroughly that this reality lays the blame for the last five years of regional catastrophe entirely at Washington’s feet.
Washington’s War on Syria Began in 2007 Led by Policymakers, Not 2011 by “Protesters”
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in a now prophetic 2007 article titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” laid out years before the Syrian conflict began not only who and how the war would be triggered and then subsequently waged, but the very sort of humanitarian and sectarian catastrophe that would unfold, and how those the US claimed were “villains” would play a pivotal role in protecting religious and ethnic minorities across the region as it burned in foreign-fueled conflict.
The article began by stating explicitly (emphasis added):
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.
This statement is underpinned by a further 9 pages of interviews with American, Lebanese, and Saudi intelligence sources, as well as revelations that monetary and political support was already being funneled at the time into Syria to lay the groundwork for the coming conflict.
The US Can’t Separate “Moderates” from Terrorists, Because There Are No Moderates
The 2007 report clearly explains why the US cannot “separate” its alleged “moderate rebels” from Al Qaeda and its various affiliates – precisely because there were never any “moderate rebels” to begin with. In fact, it is clear now that the notion of “moderate rebels” was merely cover for the West’s intentional support provided to terrorists since before the conflict even began.
Thus, it’s not that Syria and Russia are suddenly “driving rebels into the extremists’ camp,” it is instead that America’s attempts to cover up the fact that it has armed and supported extremists since as early as 2007 are no longer tenable.
Hersh’s article would also admit (emphasis added):
Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”
He would continue by stating (emphasis added):
This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”
Yet despite this realization, even back in 2007, the US continued in earnest, with the conspiracy transcending the Bush administration and being carried forward under US President Barack Obama’s administration.
Predicting the coming sectarian conflict that would unfold in the region, Hersh’s article would note:
Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.
Indeed, it was stated then, and evident now that Syria’s government, its military, and their allies constitute the only force capable of protecting the region’s many minorities from a US-Saudi backed horde of sectarian extremists.
Thus, even as the US feigns urgent concern for what it attempts to portray as an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, it is itself guilty of intentionally engineering the entire conflict in the first place – knowing precisely the nature and degree of barbarity that would unfold and the extent to which it would reach. By attempting to shield its terrorist proxies remaining in Aleppo and throughout the rest of Syria, it is attempting to prolong, not end the humanitarian crisis, and tip Syria further toward what would be a catastrophic collapse making Libya’s recent US-induced division and destruction pale in comparison.
US spokespeople, before their various podiums and amid their various press conferences, are struggling to explain what the United States is doing in Syria and toward what end besides repeating the devastating destruction that it has unleashed in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They struggle not because the “truth” is difficult to convey to the public, but because the truth is difficult to deny any further.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Related article that also documents the existence of a joint command structure, in detail: