Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the embryo of
ISIS, which turned into IS. Jabhat al-Nusra is the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, approved
by CEO Ayman al-Zawahiri. Both despise each other, and yet Khorasan holds the merit of
bundling Caliph's goons and al-Qaeda goons together
by Pepe Escobar
The Tomahawks are finally flying again - propelled by newspeak. 42 Tomahawks fired from
a Sixth Fleet destroyer parked in Mare Nostrum, plus F-22s raising hell and Hellfires
spouted by drones, that's a neat mini-Shock and Awe to honor Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu
Bakr al -Baghdadi, self-declared leader of Islamic State. . . .
The Pentagon calls it just the beginning of a "sustained campaign" - code for Long War,
which is one of the original denominations of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) anyway.
And yes, for all practical purposes this is a coalition of one. Let's call it Operation
Tomahawk The Caliph.
. . . this is not only about bombing The Caliph. It is a back-door preamble to bombing
Bashar al-Assad and his forces. And also about bombing - with eight strikes west of
Aleppo - a ghost; an al-Qaeda cell of the mysterious Khorasan group. . . .
The Obama administration's unison newspeak is that Khorasan includes former al-Qaeda
assets not only from across the Middle East - including al-Qaeda in Iraq and Jabhat
al-Nusra - but also Pakistan, as in an ultra-hardcore extension of the Pakistani
What a mess. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the embryo of ISIS, which turned into IS. Jabhat
al-Nusra is the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, approved by CEO Ayman al-Zawahiri. Both
despise each other, and yet Khorasan holds the merit of bundling Caliph's goons and
al-Qaeda goons together. Additionally, for Washington Jabhat al-Nusra tend to qualify as
"moderate" jihadis - almost like "our bastards". Too messy? No problem; when in doubt,
bomb everybody. . . .
[He singled out McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, saying he had
supported Israel's Mossad and "participated together with that service in the creation
of the Islamic State, which today controls a considerable and vital portion of Iraq and
reportedly one-third of Syria as well."--"Fidel
Castro says Mossad behind Islamic State," timesofisrael.com, September 2, 2014]
Eric Margolis, "Just Say No," ericmargolis.com,
September 6, 2014
[The Constitution, thus, authorizes war only in response to actual or imminent attacks
in order to maintain liberty as the center of our constitutional universe.--Bruce Fein, "Why the Constitution disfavors war," washingtontimes.com, September 15,
[Senator John McCain came to Syria illegally to meet the chiefs of staff of the FSA.
According to the photograph then distributed to attest to the meeting, the staff
included a certain Abu Youssef, officially sought by the US State Department under the
name Abu Du'a, in reality the current Caliph Ibrahim. Thus, the same man was - both and
at the same time - a moderate leader in the FSA and an extremist leader in the "Islamic
Emirate".--Thierry Meyssan, "Who Makes Up the 'Islamic
Emirate'?," voltairenet.org, September 22, 2014]
[Which is "the cancer of violent extremism" -- ISIS which cut off the heads of four
journalists, or Washington which has bombed seven countries in the 21st century
murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions?--Paul Craig
Roberts, "Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is
the Only Alternative?," paulcraigroberts.org, September 25, 2014]
Michael Scheuer, "ISIS Could Not Ask For Any Greater Gift Than The One Obama's Giving Them," CNN, September 27, 2014
[As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N.
authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public
support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent
threat to the "homeland." A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a
new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.
[John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led
coalition's response to the Islamic State, confirmed . . . that the United
States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground force to
use primarily in the fight against the Islamist extremists.--Hannah Allam, "It's official: U.S. will build new Syrian rebel force to battle Islamic State',"
telegraph.co.uk, October 15, 2014]
[ . . . Washington and Riyadh working in tandem towards common objectives: regime change
in Syria in the long term, and undermining both Iran and Russia in the short term.--Pepe
Escobar, "The Caliph fit to
join OPEC," atimes.com, October 31, 2014]
[It is, indeed, carefully controlled and managed by its creators and supporters, that is, by the
United States and its allies in the regions--Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, "ISIS: the Useful
Enemy," counterpunch.org, October 31, 2014]
[ . . . halt for the foreseeable future all the signed and projected trilateral or
bilateral Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian pipeline networks to carry oil and gas from Iran and
Iraq to the Syrian coast at the Mediterranean.--Nicola Nasser, "The Endgame of the US 'Islamic State' Strategy,"
counterpunch.org, November 12, 2014]
[One of the Islamic State's senior commanders reveals exclusive details of the terror
group's origins inside an Iraqi prison - right under the noses of their American
jailers.--Martin Chulov, "Isis: the inside story'," theguardian.com, December 11, 2014]
Wesley Clark, "Our friends and allies created ISIS," CNN, February 17, 2015
[Others who go to Syria have no Muslim background at all. In August 2013, it was
estimated that 250 French citizens had joined jihadist groups there, and as many as
forty of them (between 15 and 20 percent) were thought to be converts to Islam, a highly
disproportionate number given that only 1 percent of Muslims in France are
converts.--Malise Ruthven, "Lure of the
Caliphate," nybooks.com, February 28, 2015]
[Gen. Wesley Clark has recently "revealed" what everyone already knew; the
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh fake Caliphate is financed by "close allies of the United States," as in
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel. Compare that with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe
Yaalon admitting that ISIS "does not represent a threat to Israeli interests."--Pepe Escobar, "The BRICS Plus
Germany: What Are They Really Up To?," counterpunch.org, March 3, 2015]
[ISIS: "We are here and we are funded by your government through Swiss banks". . . .
"artificial creation of the CIA and the Mossad in a joint operation. . . . But first, we
have to contend with ISIS on our doorstep, only 8 miles from El Paso."--"Special Ops Officer Blows Whistle on
CIA Funded ISIS Through Swiss Bank Accounts," thecommonsenseshow.com,
May 4, 2015 (listen at http://mediaarchives.gsradio.net/commonsenseshow/hr1050315.mp3 and
[The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West
intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite
anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an 'Islamic State' in Iraq and
Syria (ISIS).--Nafeez Ahmed, "Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as
strategic asset," insurge-intelligence, May 22, 2015]
[purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the
Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria's
president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas
pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant - and belligerent -
source of energy--Tyler Durden, "Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US
'Created' ISIS As A 'Tool' To Overthrow Syria's President Assad,"
zerohedge.com, May 24, 2015]
[Whatever the spin, the post-Sykes-Picot remapping of the Middle East proceeds unabated.
Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham - yet another hardcore jihadi outfit - continue to be
fully weaponized by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. That is directly linked to the
proverbial "active role" by the new House of Saud capo, King Salman. So Assad in
Damascus is fighting a pincer movement; ISIL/ISIS/Daesh in the east, controlling at
least half the country (OK, most of it is desert), and Jabhat al-Nusra, controlling a
"coalition of willing jihadis" in the north and center. As for all those weapons
supplied by the Pentagon to the much-incensed "moderate rebels," they ended up absorbed
by al-Nusra.--Pepe Escobar, "The partition of 'Syraq',"
rt.com, June 19, 2015]
[The detailed plans include a most revealing description of the process of infiltrating
towns and villages long before any kind of military assault, where those involved
identify opponents to be killed but also potential collaborators. In advance there will
be planning for the organisation of courts, transport, food distribution, education and
health services, and taxation; once the location is overrun, these would be implemented
with brutal efficiency.--Paul Rogers, "Islamic
State: why so resilient?," opendemocracy.net, July 9, 2015]
[Reports of confirmed, extensive logistical networks passing through NATO and US-ally
territory, into Syria, contradict the current prevailing narrative that ISIS is an
"indigenous" terrorist organization, funded and self-sustaining within the territory it
currently holds in both Syria and Iraq.--Tony Cartalucci, "ISIS Bringing Arms, Fighters in From NATO Territory,"
journal-neo.org, July 9, 2015]
[America allowed the jihadi groups to advance in order to isolate Iran diplomatically in
the region, but allowed the Gulf States to support them in order to successfully engage
Iran diplomatically.--Ted Snider, "America's Bizarre Initial Response to the Islamic
State," antiwar.com, July 13, 2015]
[then-CIA Director David Petraeus approved an elaborate covert operation in which
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would fund the shipment of weapons to Syrian rebels from
stocks captured from the Gadhafi government.--Gareth Porter, "Why the
U.S. Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster," truthdig.com, October 8, 2015]
[Regional and global powers, including Iran, Turkey, the Arab Gulf states, Russia, and
the United States, responded to the uprising and emerging conflict in Syria in ways that
prioritized their own interests and perspectives. Funding, weaponry, political support,
and personnel offered by outside forces - both state and nonstate - have contributed
directly to the intensification and continuation of fighting across Syria from 2012 to
the present.--Christopher M Blanchard, et al, "Armed Conflict in Syria:
Overview and U.S.
Response," Congressional Research Service, October 9, 2015]
[The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa
to cross the "border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian
Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February." ISIS militants would
freely travel "through Turkey in a convoy of trucks," and stop "at safehouses along the
The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely "connect
ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable
occasions," adding that "the people they talked to were Turkish officials. . . . ISIS
commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the
Turks." . . .
Most of the foreign belligerents in the war in Syria are gas-exporting countries with
interests in one of the two competing pipeline projects that seek to cross Syrian
territory to deliver either Qatari or Iranian gas to Europe"--Nafeez Ahmed, "NATO is harbouring the Islamic State,"
medium.com, November 19, 2015]
[One often ignored dimension is the 'battle of two pipelines' to carry natural gas from
either Qatar or Iran across Syria to European markets. The Qatari pipeline would
transect Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey on its way to Europe. The Iranian
pipeline would go across Iraq and Syria before dipping undersea across the Mediterannean
to Greece.--Oliver Tickell, "Syria's Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet
and the Battle of Two Pipelines," counterpunch.org, November 25, 2015]
[So the think tankers came up with this brilliant plan to enlist Sunni militants that
the CIA would fund, arm, train and deploy into Syria to shoot the place up, raise holy
hell, and then topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. That was the
plan, at least.
Four and half years later, the place is a worse mess than Iraq. Half the population is
either dead or internally displaced, the civilian infrastructure is a shambles, and
nothing has been achieved. Nothing. Assad is safely tucked away in Damascus, the jihadi
proxies are on the run, and everyone hates the US more than ever.--Mike Whitney, "Erdogan
Blackmails NATO Allies," counterpunch.org, December 3, 2015]
[And maybe the United States will figure out that depending on an eternal,
self-defeating war against evil for our national identity is a huge mistake after all.--Ira Chernus, "America's Reckless War Against
Evil," tomdispatch.com, December 9, 2015]
[The Joint Chiefs and the DIA were constantly telling Washington's leadership of the
jihadist threat in Syria, and of Turkey's support for it.--Seymour M. Hersh, "US intelligence
sharing in the Syrian war," lrb.co.uk, January 7, 2016]
[Al-Qaeda in Syria, in both its al-Nusra and ISIS manifestations, is however very real,
as the world was soon to find out. In fact, so real was the al-Qaeda threat in Syria
that the US would come to create a wobbly coalition, whose simple purpose is
exterminating ISIS. . . .
[Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) in the House Armed Services Committee has been
leading the choir with bipartisan bill H.R. 4108 to stop the CIA's illegal arming and
funding of al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, and others increasingly share her
alarm.--Christina Lin, "Opposition grows to CIA-backed al-Qaeda proxies in
Syria," atimes.com, February 4, 2016]
[Mother Agnes Mariam, a nominee for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize from Homs diocese, has
some harsh words for the US war against Syria: "Shame on a coalition who pretends
fighting ISIS while in reality is helping ISIS killing innocent soldiers whose mission
is to protect civilians."--Christina Lin, "Deir
ez-Zor bombings: What is US' actual goal in Syria?," atimes.com, September 20, 2016]
[Murphy tells the story of U.S. Special Forces under one Presidential authority, arming
Syrian anti-ISIS forces, whilst the CIA, obsessed with overthrowing President Bashar
al-Assad, and operating under a separate Presidential authority, conducts a separate and
parallel program to arm anti-Assad insurgents.
. . . "distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are
virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with
their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it
is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to
weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the
FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra."--Alastair Crooke, "
How the US Armed-up Syrian Jihadists," counterpunch.org, September 29, 2016]
[there are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told: one, U.S.
regional "allies" have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including Al
Qaeda terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011 and, two, the claim
about "moderate" Syrian rebels is a fraud; the "moderates" have served essentially as a
P.R. cut-out for the U.S. and its "allies" to supply Al Qaeda and its allies with
sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.--Robert Parry, "New
'Group Think' for War with Syria/Russia," consortiumnews.com, October 5, 2016]
[Aleppo is the crisis of Washington losing its ISIL mercenaries to the Syrian army and
Russian air force.--Paul Craig Roberts, "The Real Humanitarian Crisis Is Not Aleppo,"
paulcraigroberts.com, October 16, 2016]
[Saturday's New York Times . . . acknowledges: "The new offensive was a strong sign that
rebel groups vetted by the United States were continuing their tactical alliances with
groups linked to Al Qaeda" . . .
Lister noted that 11 of the 20 or so rebel groups conducting the Aleppo "offensive have
been vetted by the C.I.A. and have received arms from the agency, including anti-tank
missiles. . . .
"In addition to arms provided by the United States, much of the rebels' weaponry comes
from regional states, like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia"--Robert Parry, "The De
Facto US/Al Qaeda Alliance," consortiumnews.com, October 29, 2016
[Raqqa to be established as the de facto capital of so-called moderate Syrian
forces--John Wight, "Understanding
Aleppo," counterpunch.org, November 2, 2016]
ISIS: Mortal Threat Or Paper Tiger? November 3, 2016
TRANSCRIPT: There's an early 2014 email
from Hillary Clinton, not so long after she left the State Department, to her campaign
manager John Podesta that states ISIL is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and
Qatar. Now this is the most significant email in the whole collection, and perhaps
because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the Clinton Foundation. Even the U.S.
government agrees that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIL, or ISIS. But the
dodge has always been that, well it's just some rogue Princes, using their cut of the
oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves.--"Julian Assange Speaks About
Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Election and the Litany of Charges Against Him,"
truthdig.com, November 5, 2016
[According to Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by the US government - in Camp
Bacca, near the Kuwait border, . . . to essentially finish off the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki
government in Baghdad. . . .
Shea frankly admitted to the source that Gen David Petraeus, . . . had trained these
Sunnis now part of Daesh in Anbar province in Iraq.--Pepe Escobar, "Daesh,
Creature of the West," sputniknews.com, March 24, 2017]
[LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage
in "battle": first to remove Mu'ammar Gadaffi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated
groups in Syria. . . .
The Manchester atrocity lifts the rock of British foreign policy to reveal its Faustian
alliance with extreme Islam, especially the sect known as Wahhabism or Salafism, whose
principal custodian and banker is the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Britain's biggest
weapons customer.--John Pilger, "Terror
In Britain: What Did The Prime Minister Know?," johnpilger.com, May 31, 2017]
[Since 2011, Senator McCain has been to the region countless times. There he has made it
his business to strut about in the manner of an imperial proconsul - advising,
organizing and directing a CIA recruited, trained and supplied army of rebels dedicated
to the overthrow of Syria's constitutionally legitimate government.--David Stockman, "The
Tweet That Is Shaking the War Party," antiwar.com, July 31, 2017]