by Tony Cartalucci
July 27, 2012 – The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in its article, “Al Qaeda’s War for Syria,” cited officials from the US Treasury Department stating, “Al Qaeda in Syria (often operating as the “Al Nusra Front for the People of the Levant”) is using traffickers—some ideologically aligned, some motivated by money—to secure routes through Turkey and Iraq for foreign fighters, most of whom are from the Middle East and North Africa. A growing number of donors from the Persian Gulf and Levant appear to be sending financial support.”
Photo: The “Free Syrian Army,” whose composition consists of not only Syrian sectarian extremists, but Libyan terrorists from the US State Department listed “Libyan Islamic Fighting Group” led by Abdul Hakim Belhaj, is the manifestation of years of US, Saudi, and Israeli aid since at least 2007.
This undercuts the West’s year and a half-long narrative that Syria’s violence was the result of a so-called “uprising” by the people of Syria. While the WJS attempts to downplay this admission by claiming, “al Qaeda makes up a small part of the resistance movement,” it concedes that, “its strength appears to be rising.” In reality, it was Al Qaeda militants from the very beginning, and the only aspect of the conflict “rising” is public awareness of this fact.
Since 2007, US Aided and Abetted Al Qaeda Affiliates Against Syria
As early as 2007, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his New Yorker article “The Redirection,” that:
“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.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Hersh’s report would also include:
“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The 2007 article also warned about the inevitable consequences of arming radical sectarian extremists, with CIA operators in Lebanon warning of mass murder, sectarian violence, and specifically the targeting of Christian minorities across the Levant (the region along the Mediterranean Sea including Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria):
“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” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Now, demonstratively, we see exactly this feared onslaught manifesting itself in Syria, in particular against Christians as indicated in LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” and more recently in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” Even the massacre in Houla, seems to echo of this 2007 warning, bearing all the hallmarks of sectarian extremists like Al Qaeda.
Not only did the United States government, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel’s aid, knowingly assemble a sectarian extremist front affiliated with Al Qaeda, not from within Syria, but from beyond its borders, it knew well in advance the destructive consequences such a foreign policy would yield.
The US government has since willfully lied to the both the American people and the world regarding the true nature of the violence unfolding in Syria, and with the help of the corporate-media, is attempting to spin the forewarned consequences of their long-planned conspiracy as merely an unfortunate by-product of a spontaneous conflict.
A Foreign Invasion, not a Rebellion
The WSJ’s article begins with the sentence, “the United States and its allies should consider opening a second front in the Syrian war. In addition to helping end Bashar Assad’s rule, there is a growing need to conduct a covert campaign against al Qaeda and other extremist groups gaining a presence in the country.”
In essence, we are being told that the militant extremists the US assembled against Syria have failed to overthrow the government, so the US should intervene on the pretext of liquidating the very terrorists they conspired to send, funded and armed, and have been supporting since the very beginning.
The very logistical “routes” through Turkey the WSJ claims Al Qaeda is using to flood into Syria with militants and weapons, are admittedly organized by the US through its CIA intelligence apparatus. The New York Times article, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” states clearly that:
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
The NYT continues:
The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.
Likewise, in the Washington Post’s article, “Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination,” it is reported:
Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.
We are now expected to forget these admissions, or believe that Al Qaeda is slipping past CIA officers “operating secretly in southern Turkey,” and that only by coincidence they are armed with the very weapons and resources the US, Saudis, and Qataris have pledged to supply the so-called “Free Syrian Army” with. Turkey, it should be remembered, is a NATO member – that Al Qaeda is swarming within and along its borders belies 10 years of “War on Terror” mythology.
The “Free Syrian Army” does include sectarian extremists from within Syria, mostly drawn from the banned, sectarian Muslim Brotherhood movement which has sought to destroy secular society across the Arab World for decades. But the vast majority of the fighters flowing into Aleppo in the north, and who had recently attempted to overrun Damascus in the south, are foreign fighters, armed by foreign sponsors, invading and conducting armed attacks on populated Syrian cities.
Image: “A lot of them were bald and many had beards. Many wore white sports shoes and army pants,” said an alleged “defected officer” of the perpetrators of the “Houla Massacre.” An apt description of the NATO-armed sectarian terrorists that ravaged Libya before traveling to Syria (here, here, and here) to continue their campaign of extremist-driven genocide. (click image to enlarge)
Reports months ago indicated that Libyan militants had been making their way to Syria by the hundreds, flush with cash and weapons recently received from NATO during their own operation to overrun and destroy Libya. As many as 600 Libyan terrorists were reported to have reached Syria by late 2011.
Now as Western media houses embed their representatives within terrorist bands crossing the Turkish-Syrian border, and as these terrorists find their way into Aleppo and amongst a population capable of revealing their identity to the world, slowly the admissions are trickling out that indeed entire “platoons” of North African fighters are involved in the misleadingly titled, “rebellion.”
CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied these terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:
Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.
The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
CNN’s reports provide bookends to earlier admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist commanders making the arrangements.
West Used Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Libya, Is Using Al Qaeda Now in Syria
By all accounts, including admissions by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Osama Bin Laden’s organization that would become Al Qaeda was created by the West during the Soviet-Afghan war in in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. The US and Saudi funding of these militants did not begin after the Soviet invasion, but actually several years before the invasion. US intervention in Afghanistan by training and arming Afghanistan’s Mujaheddin, along with Osama Bin Laden’s Arab fighters, is one of the leading factors that led to the murderous and protracted decade-long war, according to the Nation in an article titled, “Blowback, the Prequel.”
Photo: Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski meeting with Osama Bin Laden, then leading the CIA’s Arab legionaries in Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda would later spin off into regional terrorist organizations, covertly armed, trained, and protected by the CIA to this day, including LIFG in Libya, MEK in Iraq and Iran, and Baluchi terrorists in Pakistan.
Since then, Al Qaeda has conveniently provided both a well-armed, capable proxy force, as well as a sufficiently terrifying boogeyman, giving Wall Street and London access to nations it could otherwise never justify intervening in.
The very militant leader of the “Tripoli Brigade” who secured Libya’s capital just in time for US dignitaries to visit, was Abdul Hakim Belhaj, commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed on the US State Department’s roster of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” (#28). In fact, several reports out of West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) illustrated how not only LIFG was actively leading NATO-backed regime change in Libya, but was involved in fighting Western troops and locals in both Afghanistan and Iraq – disrupting legitimate resistance, and providing a continuous pretext to maintain Western occupation.
That Belhaj almost immediately after overthrowing Libya’s government, began organizing operations to bring in fighters, weapons, and cash to Syria, indicates that, just as Al Qaeda was used from its very inception by the US and Saudis to fight Soviets in Afghanistan, it is still a valuable tool in executing Western foreign policy.
Essentially, the so-called “War on Terror” is a fraud, the belligerents on both sides fueled by the West as a means of establishing military, economic, and political hegemony in otherwise unapproachable targeted nations. When Al Qaeda cannot sufficiently overrun a targeted nation as a proxy “foreign legion” of Western interests (Libya), its presence, facilitated by the West in the first place, is then cited as a “casus belli” for military intervention (Afghanistan).
Now, it appears that the West’s Arab “foreign legion,” Al Qaeda, is about to suffer an unprecedented defeat – not at the hands of Western anti-terrorism forces, but at the hands of Syrian troops in the city of Aleppo. In a desperate effort to prevent this, the West is employing a series of desperate strategies ranging from portraying the trapped foreign-fighters committing atrocities inside Aleppo as “pending a certain massacre,” to using the very presence of these foreign-fighters as evidence “Al Qaeada” is operating in Syria and must be “stopped” by Western intervention.
It is essential to understand that, as empires have always done, the monolithic corporate-financier interests of the West seek regional hegemony as a step toward global domination, and will say and do anything in order to achieve it. As resistance increases, the West’s lies become more difficult to sell, the consistency of their propaganda overtly crumbling. The West, in nearly a single breath, has now claimed FSA fighters are both “Al Qaeda” that need to be eliminated, while also impeding a “massacre” by Syrian forces if something isn’t done to save them.
When US President Obama referred to the “depths of depravity” regarding Syrian security operations in Aleppo, he and his script writers do so with the belief that Americans, and the world, are ignorant and disinterested in the truth, and will gladly allow Western foreign policy to once again prey on their emotions and good intentions to sell yet another destructive, self-serving military intervention.