"I'm not going to lie to you. We'd prefer you fight Al Nusra now, and then fight Assad's army. You should kill these Nusra people. We'll do it if you don't"Ever since the Arab Spring in Syria turned violent, the main line in the US Left has been that a US led attempt at "regime change" has been behind the carnage and they have been largely silent while the Assad regime proceeded to slaughter over 90,000 Syrians. Many prominent Left voices, such as Counterpunch have even gone so far as to blame these massacres on Obama and a number or important antiwar organizations such as ANSWER and IAC have actually organized "Hands off Syria" protests in support of the Assad regime. These activities reveal the complete bankruptcy of the US Left like nothing else in its history.
-----CIA to Free Syrian Army
Even before I published Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar Assad, I have been saying that US imperialism wanted to maintain the Assad regime and, far from promoting "regime change", was actually working to undermine the Syrian Revolution. Anyone who truly understands and opposes US imperialism would not be surprised by this and yet I was banned at the Daily Kos, where I had blogged for seven years, because they objected to this "conspiracy theory."
Well, facts are stubborn things, and the facts keep piling up that the Obama administration has been playing "good cop" to Russian Putin's 'bad cop' all along and carrying out a plan to destroy the Syrian Revolution while the "anti-interventionist" anti-war movement has provided him with Left cover by demanding that the imperialist do what they planned to do all along. Today, The National has given us some more facts that clearly indicate which side the US government really is on in this fight:
In its two year effort to put down its people's demand for democracy, the Assad regime has shelled resistive communities into the dust with large range artillery and tank fire. I has widely used rape as a weapon of war. It has dropped cluster bombs, barrel bombs and incendiaries on neighborhoods. It has sent in shahiba thugs in to slit throats and burn bodies but the al-Nusra Front, which has done none of this, and yet the Obama administration has branded the al-Nusra Front as terrorist.
America's hidden agenda in Syria's warPhil Sands
May 9, 2013
It was some six months ago that Syrian rebel commanders met US intelligence officers in Jordan to discuss the status of the war and, the rebels hoped, to secure supplies of the sophisticated weapons they need to overthrow President Bashar Al Assad.
But according to one of the commanders present at the meeting, the Americans were more interested in talking about Jabhat Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda-affiliated group waging war on the Syrian regime than they were in helping the rebels advance on Damascus.
The commander - a moderate Sunni and an influential rebel leader from Damascus who said he has met intelligence operatives from Western and Arab states - said the US officials were especially keen to obtain information about the identities of Al Nusra insurgents and the locations of their bases.
Then, by the rebel commander's account, the discussion took an unexpected turn.
The Americans began discussing the possibility of drone strikes on Al Nusra camps inside Syria and tried to enlist the rebels to fight their fellow insurgents.
"The US intelligence officer said, 'We can train 30 of your fighters a month, and we want you to fight Al Nusra'," the rebel commander recalled.
Opposition forces should be uniting against Mr Al Assad's more powerful and better-equipped army, not waging war among themselves, the rebel commander replied. The response from a senior US intelligence officer was blunt.
"I'm not going to lie to you. We'd prefer you fight Al Nusra now, and then fight Assad's army. You should kill these Nusra people. We'll do it if you don't," the rebel leader quoted the officer as saying.
What the commander says transpired in Jordan illustrates a dilemma that has preoccupied, even paralysed, Syria's opposition and their international supporters - how to deal with the expanding role of Islamic extremists in the anti-Assad insurgency.
Other meetings with Western and Arab intelligence services have shown a similar obsession with Al Nusra, the commander said.
"All anyone wants is hard information about Al Nusra, it seems to be all they are really interested in. It's the most valuable commodity you can have when dealing with these intelligence agencies," he said.
Those within the moderate opposition advocating dialogue with Al Nusra warn that merely dismissing all of its fighters as hard-core radicals is a dangerous oversimplification.
It also risks alienating the many ordinary Syrians in rebel-held areas who have come to admire the group, with its reputation of honesty, discipline and provision of humanitarian supplies to those in need.
"There are very localised differences between rebel groups, and Al Nusra is no exception. Some are more extreme than others, and it's not right or useful just to put them all together as being Al Qaeda," said a moderate, Western-educated pro-democracy activist who has been involved in meetings with Nusra fighters in northern Syria.
Syria's political future was discussed at the meetings, and Nusra members were open to debate and discussion, and had shown interest in proposals about democracy and safeguarding Syria's minority communities, activists said.
"When you actually sit down with them [Al Nusra], you realise they are not what you thought and they also have to rethink their own preconceptions. We had a meeting and it was very good and these young fighters were surprised because they thought all people who supported democracy were atheists," the activist said. "For those reasons, it's important to keep a dialogue going."
Another Assad opponent, a secular Syrian involved in organising armed groups in Damascus, also warned against ignoring the differences within Al Nusra.
Comparing the situation in Syria to that in Afghanistan, he said the reach of Al Qaeda had always been held in check because they were foreigners not locals. The Americans, he said, made a mistake by waging war on the Taliban, with whom the Afghan authorities are now trying to negotiate.
"I am worried about Islamic extremism, but I think we need to be smart in how we handle it. Otherwise we'll make matters worse, not better," he said. "In the end this should be a matter for Syrians to resolve, it's not for the West to tell us who are terrorists and who are not."
The rebel commander who described meeting US intelligence officers in Jordan said he had refused to give them any information about Al Nusra.
Although not a supporter of Al Qaeda's ideology, he said the Americans were being too clumsy and would only undermine the revolt against Mr Al Assad.
"There are three strands of Al Nusra - the minority are serious Al Qaeda people, some are just in for the glamour of fighting jihad and the majority are ordinary Syrians who just want to save their country," he said.
Since that meeting the rebel commander has not bothered to talk to Western or Arab intelligence agencies, despite what he described as frequent invitations for more talks. Rather than wait for foreign governments to supply weapons, his group has imported their own advanced explosives and begun manufacturing their own munitions.
"They [foreign governments] are not fighting for the same things as us," he said. "Syrians are fighting for our freedom, while they just want us to bleed to death fighting each other." More...
The Lebanese group, Hezbullah, has been doing much of Assad's dirty work lately. For example. in Banias last week they slaughtered hundreds of civilians and burned their bodies, killing children by picking them up by their hair and slitting their throats. Next...
Hezbullah is also on Obama's terrorist hit list and has been there much longer than al Nusra Front, and yet it is the al Nusra Front which, whatever their plan for the future are being very effective against Assad, and not Hezbullah that is being targeted by the Obama administration.
Every US citizen should be ashame of the role the US is playing in this slaughter.
Now even the BBC is promoting Assad's counter-revolutionary views on the Syrian Revolution. In spite of all the flowery word of support from the West, it is becoming increasingly clear to anyone with eyes who wants to see the truth, that NATO is really backing Assad. Alex Rowell of NOW has provided up with an excellence takedown of the latest piece of trash from the BBC:
BBC peddles the Assad lineAlex Rowell
May 9, 2013
As much as people like As’ad AbuKhalil want (and need) to believe that “Western media” are leagued in a barely-concealed conspiracy to indoctrinate the masses with anti-Assad propaganda, to any neutral observer it’s become increasingly apparent that the “line,” to the extent that there ever was one, is drifting markedly in the opposite direction.
Today’s diatribe in the BBC is a sterling example. Paul Danahar is a journalist I have often read and admired. During Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza last November, he was on the ground, courageously challenging the government line, exposing injustice and generally, as they say, ‘speaking truth to power.’
In his dispatch from Damascus today, however, Danahar has taken something of a reverse approach. When I read via Twitter yesterday of the “lots of meetings with lots of government officials in Damascus” he had lined up for the day, I trusted he would proceed with the hard-nosed skepticism expected of a BBC Middle East bureau chief. Instead, the muck flung at the wall by his companions seems largely to have stayed in place, and congealed.
The alarm bell first rings when he refers sarcastically to those who “[try] to boil it down to good versus evil: the FSA versus President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.” To imagine there is any moral difference between the rebels and the regime, you see, is deeply mistaken. “The situation in Syria,” he explains, is far too “complicated” for such infantile reductions.
So what’s really going on? Who’s truly responsible for the more than 70,000 killed? Well, “the regime has played its part,” he concedes. But no less dangerous; indeed the true cause of the enduring misery; is the “meddling” of Saudi Arabia and Qatar – two “sorely undemocratic states […] the cavalry from the very un-free Gulf […] not champions of democracy either at home or abroad.”
Of course! What fools we were to think that regime air strikes, SCUD missiles, cluster bombs, helicopters, tank units, death squads, and maybe now even chemical weapons were primarily to blame for the conflict being so damned “intractable.” All this time, it was bastard “Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia [which] hates Shiite Iran [and] is using the war in Syria to try and weaken it.”
There’s no need to mention, evidently, that Iran also “hates” Saudi Arabia, and has sent untold numbers of its own military personnel to Syria to optimize the regime’s killing machine. And why bring up Hezbollah, the foreign Islamist militia for whose military assistance Assad expressed his “great gratitude” today? Surely no reader needs to know that Russia, which maintains an entire naval base in the country, has supplied the regime with over a billion dollars’ worth of arms since the uprising began? And, really, who cares about the massacre of entire families, including toddlers, in al-Bayda and Baniyas last week when a Salafist once told some Christian women to cover their hair?
It’s one thing to quote the claims of a blood-drenched dictatorship that SCUD-missiles its own people, but quite another to actually believe them. Danahar’s extraordinary credulity in the face of one of the most reprehensible regimes in modern Arab history does the BBC’s readers an enormous disservice. Much more importantly, though, it insults the memories of that regime’s literally innumerable innocent victims, and shields the killers of those continuing to perish at this very moment.
Fortunately there are still Leftist in the world who support the Syrian Revolution. I am one of them. Here are some more in Argentina:
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria