THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
September 24, 2014
Asia Times Online

Operation Tomahawk The Caliph

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 Taliban.

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. . . .

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["This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."--Wesley Clark, "
Seven Countries in Five Years," Democracy Now, March 2, 2007]

[The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, . . . install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq--Michael R. Gordon, "Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says," nytimes.com, July 18, 2007]

"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, December 7, 2009

"Syria Regime-Change Project is Part of War on Iran," The Wisdom Fund, July 12, 2012

Irish Lawmaker Clare Daly destroys Obama during parliament speech, October 27, 2013

Seymour M. Hersh, "The Red Line and the Rat Line," London Review of Books, April 17, 2014

"Obama's Syria Moment: Another Western War Crime In The Making," The Wisdom Fund, June 11, 2014

"Iraq Disintegrating?," The Wisdom Fund, June 11, 2014

"ISIS a CIA/NATO 'Dirty War' Op?," The Wisdom Fund, June 24, 2014

REPORTS: "NSA Doc Reveals ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Is U.S., British And Israeli Intelligence Asset," socioecohistory.wordpress.com, July 19, 2014

"French Report ISIL Leader Mossad Agent," veteranstoday.com, August 4, 2014

"The rise of Islamic State," BBC, August 11, 2014


Thierry Meyssan, "'John McCain, Conductor of the 'Arab Spring' and the Caliph," voltairenet.org, August 18, 2014

David Stockman, , "'Washington Has Gone Stark Raving Mad'," davidstockmanscontracorner.com, August 27, 2014

[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, 2014]

Patricia Zengerle and David Lawder, "U.S. Congress approves arming Syrian rebels, funding government," Reuters, September 18, 2014

Eric Margolis, "NATO vs. ISIS?," ericmargolis.com, September 20, 2014

Josh Rogin, "White House Has No International Legal Justification for Hitting ISIS in Syria," thedailybeast.com, September 20, 2014

Robert Fisk, "John Kerry's rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria," independent.co.uk, September 21, 2014

As'ad AbuKhalil, "Syrian wars of proxy," al-akhbar.com, September 22, 2014

[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]

Dennis J. Kucinich, "The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria," huffingtonpost.com, September 23, 2014

SyrianGirlpartisan, September 24, 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.

The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded "The Khorasan Group."--Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain, "U.S. manufactured militant threat as pretext to bomb Syria," firstlook.org, September 28, 2014]

John Pilger, "From Pol Pot to ISIS: 'Anything that flies on everything that moves'," atimes.com, October 8, 2014

Tariq Ramadan, "ISIL is not Islamic," youtube.com, October 11, 2014

Damien McElroy, "Iran's Supreme Leader claims Isil created by 'wicked British'," telegraph.co.uk, October 13, 2014

[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]

Robert Fisk, "How did Islamists receive American weapons? See the evidence from guided missile that exploded near Syrian front line," independent.co.uk, November 2, 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]

[The White House habitually lies to get us into war.--Bruce Fein, "Is Obama lying about the Islamic State?," washingtontimes.com, November 16, 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

[As the General said: ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies... to fight to the death against Hezbollah.--Daniel McAdams, "'Gen. Wesley Clark: ISIS Got Started With Funding From Our Closest Allies'," ronpaulinstitute.org, February 19, 2015]

Adam Johnson, "Top 10 Bogus ISIS Stories," fair.org, February 20, 2015

Jacob G. Hornberger, "The National-Security State's ISIS Racket," fff.org, February 27, 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]

Jim Lobe, "Israel Working With Al-Qaeda?," lobelog.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]

"Origins of ISIS," RT.com, March 5, 2015

"Iranian MP Urges UN to Break Silence over US Collaboration with ISIL," tasnimnews.com, March 8, 2015

Ramzy Baroud, "Reimagining the IS Debate: 'Islamic State' as a Western Phenomenon," counterpunch.org, March 19, 2015

Nafeez Ahmed, "Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism," middleeasteye.net, March 27, 2015

Hassan Nasrallah, "Hassan Nasrallah: so-called 'Islamic State' is Wahhabi, every Muslim must fight it," thesaker.is, April 8, 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 http://mediaarchives.gsradio.net/commonsenseshow/hr2050315.mp3)

Brad Hoff, "2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State 'in order to isolate the Syrian regime'," levantreport.files.wordpress.com, May 19, 2015

Bob Amoroso, "Declassified Docs Show That Obama Admin Created ISIS In 2012 To Use As A 'Tool'," usherald.com, May 19, 2015

AUDIO: "Is ISIS a Theater Troup?," lewrockwell.com, May 20, 2015

[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]

Seumas Milne, "Now the Truth Emerges: How the US Fuelled the Rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq," theguardian.com, June 3, 2015

Bruce Fein, "Rand Paul is right: Neocons created ISIS," washingtontimes.com, June 9, 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]

[A partially-declassified DIA report brings disturbing details about US support for jihadists in Syria.--Ron Paul, "US Intelligence Confirms US Support for ISIS," ronpaul.com, August 8, 2015]

Sibel Edmonds, "ISIS is Us," Youtube, September 9, 2015

Juan Cole, "14 years after 9/11, US, Israel tempted to ally with Al-Qaeda in Syria," juancole.com, September 12, 2015

Paul Street, "ISIS is US: the Empire and the Evil Genie It Released," counterpunch.org, September 14, 2015

Mitchell Prothero, "U.S. training helped mold top Islamic State military commander," mcclatchydc.com, September 15, 2015

"Russia Strikes Western-Backed, Anti-Assad Rebels Inside Syria," The Wisdom Fund, September 30, 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]

Jim Sinclair, "Alarming Evidence Suggests ISIS is Now a US-Israel Proxy Army," chicagopost.net, November 6, 2015

"Paris Attacks: Double Standards, False Flag, Terrorism or War?," The Wisdom Fund, November 13, 2015

David Stockman, "How a US prison camp helped create ISIS," davidstockmanscontracorner.com, November 16, 2015

Jay Syrmopoulos, "Putin Reveals ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members," thefreethoughtproject.com, November 16, 2015

Ben Norton, "We created Islamic extremism," salon.com, November 17, 2015

"American Journalist Murdered By Western Ally For Exposing ISIS Ties," youtube.com, November 19, 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 way."

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]

[Russia and Turkey are now fighting a proxy war in Syria, and have been all this fall. As of yesterday, they are not just using proxies, but are directly in conflict with one another.--Juan Cole, "Why Did Turkey Dare Shoot Down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria," juancole.com, November 25, 2015]

Tyler Durden, "Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President," zerohedge.com, November 26, 2015

[And the Syrian Kurds are not going to conquer Isis for us; they're too busy trying to survive the assaults of our Turkish allies.--Robert Fisk, "David Cameron, there aren't 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria - and whoever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov, anyway?," rawstory.com, November 30, 2015]

Travis Gettys, "Former head of US special forces admits: Islamic State would not exist if Bush didn't invade Iraq," rawstory.com, November 30, 2015

Tyler Durden, "Russia Presents Detailed Evidence Of ISIS-Turkey Oil Trade," zerohedge.com, December 2, 2015

Kelly McLaughlin, "Democratic congresswoman warns Obama could drag the US into a 'devastating nuclear war' in increasingly complex Syria crisis," dailymail.co.uk, December 2, 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]

Enver Masud, "What's Really Behind the Turmoil in Syria, the Region?," The Wisdom Fund, December 9, 2015

[American pilots . . . say they have flown over oil tanker convoys 4 lanes wide at times and been told to stay silent.--Gordon Duff, "How John McCain Crippled Obama's War on ISIS," The Wisdom Fund, December 14, 2015]

Wayne Madsen et al, "ISIS IS US: The Shocking Truth Behind the Army of Terror," Progressive Press; 7.2 edition (December 23, 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]

Fuad K Sulieman, "What does 'ISIL' want?," washingtonexaminer.com, January 9, 2016

Ulson Gunnar, "Jihadi John Version 2.0," landdestroyer.blogspot.com, January 10, 2016

L Ali Khan, "The Unviability of an Islamic Caliphate: Who Can be Caliph?," counterpunch.org, January 15, 2016

Judah Ari Gross, "Ya'alon: I would prefer Islamic State to Iran in Syria," counterpunch.org, January 19, 2016

"The CIA's Syria Program and the Perils of Proxies," thedailybeast.com, January 19, 2016

[They say that ISIS is decapitating their victims. Bad enough. But who is their teacher?--Andre Vltchek, "How the West Creates Terrorism," counterpunch.org, January 22, 2016]

Daniel McAdams, "Syrian Ambassador Ford admitted moderates he backed were allies of ISIS and al-Qaeda," antiwar.com, January 29, 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. . . .

By deliberately supporting terrorists in Syria under the banner of changing the regime (which is against international laws), Western countries have aided Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in what in reality is an all-out war against Syria.--Bouthaina Shaaban, "The Rise of ISIS and Other Extremist Groups: the role of the West and Regional Powers," antiwar.com, January 29, 2016]

Nazih Osseiran, "Nusra, Daesh border clashes rage on," dailystar.com, February 1, 2016

[Supported by intense bombardment from the US Air Force, the Kurds have been advancing in all directions, sealing off northern Syria from Turkey--Patrick Cockburn, "Turkey's Syrian Calculation: Gambling on an Invasion?," counterpunch.org, February 1, 2016]

Ron Paul, "Is Congress Declaring War on ISIS ... or on You?," antiwar.com, February 1, 2016

[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]

Christina Lin, "New airliner threat: Arming Syrian jihadists with US anti-aircraft missiles," atimes.com, April 8, 2016

Lizzie Dearden, "Former US military adviser David Kilcullen says there would be no Isis without Iraq invasion," independent.co.uk, March 4, 2016

Matthew Allen, "Israel Comes Clean: Sunni Extremists in Syria Are 'in Our Camp'," russia-insider.com, February 21, 2016

Hannah Allam, "Syrian rebel whose group is linked to al Qaida visited U.S.," mcclatchydc.com, February 21, 2016

Nancy A Youssef et al, "U.S. Special Forces soldiers have been seen and photographed on the front lines in Syria wearing the patches of Kurdish fighters.'," thedailybeast.com, February 26, 2016

Virginia Senator Richard Black tells the truth about Syria and Libya, May 17, 2016

[The covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time indicate that Christians living within the ummah -Arabic for community - were protected and defended.--Craig Considine, "What Prophet Muhammad's covenants with Christians say about IS," middleeasteye.net, June 3, 2016]

Amaryllis Fox, "Listen to Your Enemy," AJ+, June 13, 2016

"Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria," almasdarnews.com, June 20, 2016

George Galloway, "The Truth Behind ISIS," July 8, 2016

VIDEO (6 parts): Bill Neely, "Bashar Al-Assad Says U.S. Is 'Not Serious' About Defeating ISIS," nbcnews.com, July 14, 2016

Robert Fisk, "Don't be fooled by reports that al-Qaeda and Nusra have split for the good of the suffering Syrian people," independent.co.uk, July 29, 2016

Gareth Porter, "The War Against the Assad Regime Is Not a 'Pipeline War'," counterpunch.org, September 15, 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]

Gareth Porter, "How the Pentagon sank the US-Russia deal in Syria - and the ceasefire'," middleeasteye.net, September 23, 2016

James W Carden, "How Libyan 'Regime Change' Lies Echo in Syria," consortiumnews.com, September 25, 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]

[The town is named in one Hadith - or saying by the Prophet Mohammed - as the site of the climactic battle between Muslims and non-Muslims before the end of the world.--"Syria conflict: Rebels 'capture' IS stronghold of Dabiq," consortiumnews.com, October 16, 2016]

Patrick Cockburn, "US Allies are Funding ISIS (and Hillary Knew All Along)," counterpunch.org, October 17, 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

Guy Taylor, "Obama hoped to use ISIS as leverage against Assad, John Kerry reveals," washingtontimes.com, January 10, 2017

Sabrina Siddiqui, "Tulsi Gabbard reveals she met Assad in Syria, without informing top Democrats: Hawaiian congresswoman claims she went on a 'fact-finding' mission in support of 'peace' for Syrian people, but characterized US-backed rebels as 'terrorists'," theguardian.com, January 26, 2017

Rick Sterling, "Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War," consortiumnews.com, February 11, 2017

Brad Hoff, "New Declassified CIA Memo Presents Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse," libertarianinstitute.org, February 14, 2017

[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]

Richard Silverstein, "Former Israeli Defense Minister Confirms Israeli Collaboration With ISIS In Syria," richardsilverstein.com, April 23, 2017

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