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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clay's Conspiracy Theory

Judging from all of the theories about how the Syrian Revolution is part of a US "regime change" program first revealed to Wesley Clark more than ten years ago and the various stories about how anybody but Assad was behind the gassing of people that had been successfully resisting Assad's rule for almost a year, the Syrian conflict would appear to provide many fertile fields for conspiracy theories.

And that being the case, I think I have been writing on this subject long enough to deserve a conspiracy theory of my own.

Now before you object. Yes, I remember. I was banned from the Daily Kos almost a year ago for C-T, i.e. violating their prohibition against conspiracy theories because I said Obama wasn't behind a regime change program in Syria and that actually he preferred seeing Assad, or at least his regime, stay in power. Well, that is pretty common knowledge these days and can no longer creditably be called a conspiracy theory, so it would seem that I am in need of a new one.

So here goes:

The two Spanish journalists who were kidnapped by ISIS, the most extreme jhadist group in Syria, are being held on the orders of Bashar al-Assad.

Now, I'm calling this a C-T because I have nothing like a shred of evidence indicating this is the case and it has been my experience that conspiracy theories don't really need evidence.

And I have plenty of suppositions, so please hear me out.

What got me thinking about this was the France24 story on the Spanish journalist. The story's narrator said that this recent string of kidnappings and even killings of foreign journalists by jihadists didn't appear to be for the reason of collecting a ransom but instead was designed to cause journalists to avoid the jihadist areas.

And I thought, "or Syria all together."

It also occurs to me that the Assad regime has been very unfriendly to foreign journalists. They have made it very hard to get visas and very hard to report from Syria outside of the view of the government minders. The two Spanish journalists were in the country illegally and "embedded" with the revolutionary army before they were taken. The Assad regime didn't want them there. The Assad regime has also killed reporters. They regard most western reporters as agents of NATO and they don't want them in Syria.

The democratic opposition and the Free Syria Army, have been welcoming to the foreign press because they have long been of the opinion that only by widely publicizing their plight and their struggle can they hope to gain much needed outside support. Assad has no need for that. His support comes from Putin, Khamenei and Nasrallah and is independent of public opinion.

With an average of a dozen children slaughtered everyday, many from the air, most of the opposition is in despair because all the reporters are leaving Syria and their story isn't getting covered, but it represents no problem for Assad if the jihadists run all the journalist out of Syria. From his POV, if the jihadists do it, them he doesn't have to. Plus he gets good examples of terrorism aimed at the western media. What's not to like?

One of my first principles in unravelling any mystery is to ask the question cui bono [who benefits]?

In this case, the finger clearly points at Assad. He benefits from jihadists kidnapping journalists, the revolution does not. So we have motive.

How about opportunity? Is it possible that the Assad regime has influence with the ISIS or with a section of the ISIS, or merely has agents within the ISIS?

It is a well established fact that Assad ran the rat-line and gave safe haven to many of these same jhadists while they were killing US soldiers in Iraq. When the US pulled out of Iraq, Assad had them all locked up as a "threat to national security." Then as the democracy protests started up in March 2011, he let them out of jail as part of an "amnesty." It's possible, I would say even likely, that some of these freed jihadists, that went on to form the al Nusra and ISIS have been operating as Assad agents. This give him opportunity.

When you also consider Assad's failure to attack the jihadist centers the way he attacks schools, hospitals and bakeries, the indications of collusion multiply.

I have nothing to prove that these two Spanish journalist are being held on orders from Assad, but I hope that I have shown you that it is at least possible, and opened you up to the possibility that things aren't always as they are presented in Syria.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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