The UK’s intransigence in the EU shows the West’s true intentions in Syria.

The UK Foreign secretary William Hague, and his French counterpart Lauren Fabius, are leading an isolated charge within the EU to lift a supposed arms embargo to self-described ‘rebels’, hitherto destroying Syria for over two years. Several underlying factors need to be addressed before these diplomatic (some would say military) manoeuvres are put into context.

Firstly, the most obvious issue with allowing the UK and France to freely arm ‘rebels’ of their choosing inside Syria is that this policy is against all international law, and will, as proven already to be the case, continue to vastly exacerbate the growing death toll and displacement in Syria. As the head of arms control at Oxfam noted:

“Transferring more weapons to Syria can only exacerbate a hellish scenario for civilians. If the UK and France are to live up to their own commitments – including those set out in the new arms trade treaty – they simply must not send weapons to Syria.”

Acting under the auspices, or “consultation” of Western intelligence services, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and non-state actors sending thousands of tonnes of arms and funds to extremist militants in Syria; is directly synonymous with both a huge increase in casualty numbers and civilian displacement; and the huge rise and proliferation of extremist militants operating in Syria. This highlights, as previous conflicts in the region have shown; that further Western military intervention is not about to bring peace and harmony to a nation already engulfed in the throes of war (much of which western powers promoted and enabled). But peace and harmony are not on either France, nor the UK’s list of priorities in the region; removing President Assad and weakening the state of Syria, Iran’s staunch ally, most certainly are. It seems the less Imperial-minded states of the EU, and indeed, those less attached to US militarism and designs for the Middle East, were incensed by Hague and Fabius’ stubborn attempts to stifle the popular opinion within the EU that sending yet more military equipment to a disparate melee of extremist rebels may be of dire consequence. Hague, with his vast intellect, failed to acknowledge this most obvious of pitfalls, and seems more eager than war-mongerer/profiteer US Senator John McCain is to feed into the western public the idea that ‘moderate’, or ‘secular’ minded ‘rebels’ in Syria actually exist.

To quote an equally moral and intelligent Western statesman, the UK is acting on the policy of “unknown unknowns”. Hague et al claim to know of ‘moderate’ and ‘secular’ fighting forces wishing to take up arms against the Syrian Government; yet literally no one in Syria or analysing the conflict from afar is able to find them. As the weapons flow increased and the funds from Gulf donors magnified, it has been the most extreme sectarian elements of militia that have been bolstered by such support, and indeed, further encouraged by Western diplomatic cover and the dutiful Western mainstream media’s glowing appraisals of freedom fighters and ‘rebel’ propaganda. This has only enabled the Jihaddi/Salafist elements hell-bent on sectarian violence and destruction to gain in recruits and popularity. As in Central America, Afghanistan, Libya, Serbia, Kosovo, etc: these extremist elements form the ‘Shock Troops’ of a Western designed subversion model; used to great effect by Western powers to enable the social and structural destruction of a nation “outside the West’s sphere of influence”, in order to bring about regime change.

Libya, again, provides us with a recent, and very much relevant example of how the UK and France are free to manipulate what are, when first employed, supposedly ‘humanitarian’ measures to fit their own military and Imperial advantage. When the No Fly Zone resolution over Libya was first passed in the UN, it was designed to enable ‘rebel’ forces in Libya to “protect the civilian population” from air and armour attacks from the Libyan Army. What ensued almost immediately after the resolution passed was nothing of the sort: the UK and France – under US direction – took it upon themselves, in almost 10,000 airstrike sorties within six months, to not only destroy all of Libya’s meagre air-force and armour, but destroy the vast majority of the infrastructure Gaddafi had built. This ran alongside a targeted assassination campaign against Gaddafi himself to bring about the desired regime change, which just by chance, also happens to be completely against international law. The results of which were neither in the interest of civilians or humanitarianism. As former MI5 officer Annie Machon put it:

“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age,”

This “bombing back to the stone age” is what Imperialist apologists might term: holding down the competition. As previously noted by many a statesman and scholar, the last thing any Western government desires is the self-determination and independence of resource-rich, strategically placed nations.

Furthermore, as candidly revealed by Hague himself, the UK and France’s pressure to lift the embargo is solely designed to pressure the Assad government to meet their demands, stating: (my emphasis)

“[it is] important for Europe to send a clear signal to the Assad regime that it has to negotiate seriously, and that all options remain on the table if it refuses to do so”.

One thing is certain, Hague does not speak for Europe. 25 of the 27 European nations were against the lifting of the embargo. The French and British refusal to accept the popular consensus meant that no decision or required extension of the current embargo could be made, resulting in its expiration. This in turn allows EU states to act as they please, as Hague said himself, this was the exact outcome the UK was hoping for. Once more, Hague is speaking with no authority, only 16% of the UK population agree to sending arms to ‘rebels’ in Syria: UK democracy in action.

The desired outcome of the lifting of the EU embargo will be increased military support to what the CIA, and NATO aligned governments describe as “vetted moderate” rebel forces. Which for all intents and purposes, simply don’t exist. The more likely outcome will be to create further reluctance of the Syrian ‘opposition’ elements within the SNC to negotiate with the Assad Government; further encouraging them and the extremist elements on the ground in Syria to continue their futile quest for a military solution. This policy will embolden extremist rebels fighting the Syrian Army in the hope they are to receive further Western support, with the ultimate desire of Western intervention just around the corner.

As Hague warns of “conflict spread”, which is evidently already occurring in Northern Lebanon, and inextricably linked to increased sectarian strife in Iraq; his Orwellian mindset seems unable to realise that adding more arms to this conflict ridden region will result in anything other than further destabilization. Surely Western powers cannot uphold this pretence any longer, it is glaringly obvious to many that Western involvement and “concern” over Syria has nothing to do with the civilian population and everything to do with regime change by all means necessary, including  the tacit arming, funding and diplomatic support of extremist Al Qaeda affiliated ‘rebels’.

Furthermore, while the UK was desperate to lift the arms embargo on Syrian ‘rebels’. It was at the forefront of attempts to uphold the crippling economic sanctions put in place against the Syrian Government. These sanctions, as applied to devastating effect many times before, are again, solely designed to punish the civilian population in attempts to create civil unrest and discord against the Syrian government to bring about regime change, a wholly illegal act in itself. Hague, in another world-class show of diplomatic cognitive dissonance, candidly admitted the failure of these sanctions as a reason to lift the arms embargo, stating: “The EU arms embargo must be lifted because the current economic sanctions regime is ineffective.” If the economic sanctions aren’t working, yet evidently punishing the civilian population, why is the EU keeping them in place? Simply as a tool to further pressurize the Syrian Government and push the civilian population into chaos, poverty and revolt.

Whilst the UK government declares a “battle against terrorism” on its own soil, its Foreign Policy wilfully follows the Western trend of fomenting, arming and supporting the very same ideologues abroad. All to suit the pernicious Western establishment agenda of economic and military dominance throughout the Greater Middle East and beyond.

Why is the UK pushing the EU to designate Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group?

A distinct increase of negative coverage has been forming in Western and Gulf press, specifically regarding Hezbollah’s direct involvement in the battle currently raging to take control of the Syrian town of Qusair, the partys’ overall role in Lebanon and the region, and its ties to both Syria’s President Assad, and the government of Iran.

As the Syrian conflict has gone on, Salafi/Jihaddi fighters from at least 30 different nationalities have poured through Syria’s borders, with the tacit approval of various state sponsors of the Syrian “opposition”. In turn, and for the best part of two years, compliant media have obliged in their attempts to subvert the Salafi/Jihaddi fundamentalist dynamic that has formed the core of the opposition’s fighting force, finally relenting and admitting the fact not a single secular force is fighting against the Syrian Government. Contrary to this wilful ignorance and blatant subversion of facts; Western and Gulf media outlets now deem it their utmost priority to highlight not only Hezbollah’s direct involvement, but indeed, go to great lengths to highlight every single Hezbollah death, injury, movement or sneeze inside Syria.

Several issues need to be addressed in this somewhat disparate state of so-called ‘independent’ media when it comes to coverage of Hezbollah. The first and most glaring point is that demonizing Hezbollah and its supporters falls straight into the propaganda program of Israel and the United States, in their attempts to block resistance to US/Israeli/GCC occupation and expansion. The reasons behind this demonization are clear: the US and Israel are not now, or anywhere in the future willing to allow Hezbollah to operate on Israels’ northern border unimpeded, and both actors wish to see the resistance group annihilated. The news media will dutifully oblige its paymasters with the required public demonization through assumption of guilt and propaganda.

The Burgas Bombing and implicating Hezbollah.

Since the Bulgarian Government announced its findings into the bombing of a tourist bus that killed five Israeli’s, and a Bulgarian bus driver in July 2012, the western press, AIPAC , neo-con associated DC “think tanks”, and western government officials have gone into propaganda overdrive. Using somewhat vague statements from the Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, in a quite liberal manner, these parties with vested interests have determined culpability for the bombing fall’s on Hezbollah. One fundamental issue should be cleared before drawing any conclusion, that is, the Bulgarian Interior Minister’s statement on the issue post-investigation: (my emphasis)

“A reasonable assumption, I repeat a reasonable assumption, can be made that the two of them were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah,”

This is by no means a definitive statement, leaving room for interpretation suggests the Bulgarian minister is not so sure of his convictions. In this New York Times article ,we learn of the supposed damning “evidence” that has led western officials and lackey media alike, to conclude Hezbollah’s’ guilt: (my emphasis)

With help from the United States and Israel, investigators here broke the case — and linked it to Hezbollah — using a tip from a secret source and some old-fashioned detective work, tracing the printer that had produced two forged licenses back to Lebanon….Europol determined that a fake Michigan driver’s license recovered at the scene had come from Lebanon….The identity of the Australian was the second major breakthrough. In September, a European intelligence service tipped off the Bulgarians about an Australian bombmaker of Lebanese descent, the former senior Western official said. The intelligence service said he had moved to Lebanon to join Hezbollah’s military wing. Mr. Tsvetanov said Tuesday that the Australian and the Canadian moved to Lebanon, one in 2006 and one in 2010.

These snippets of anonymous information are quite literally all the evidence that has been provided to date of Hezbollah association in the Burgas bombing. So because the fake ID’s were produced in Lebanon: that proves Hezbollah made them. And because the bombers alleged and, as yet unidentified, accomplices were from Lebanon: that also proves they are “tied to” Hezbollah. Clearly, the evidence provided to date is circumstantial, at best. This lack of clear evidence will not stop either western, nor Israeli government officials, and, again, their lackey media and ‘think-tank’ counterparts in apportioning sole responsibility to Hezbollah, giving the ultimate desired outcome of guilt without trial, or indeed, any public evidence.

As investigative reporter Gareth Porter noted in February, the whole Bulgarian report is based on no more than an “assumption” or, “hypothesis” for Hezbollah complicity, yet this report form’s the basis for calls in the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Porter goes on to state: (my emphasis)

Major revelations about the investigation by the former head of the probe and by a top Bulgarian journalist have further damaged the credibility of the Bulgarian claim to have found links between the suspects and Hezbollah….The chief prosecutor in charge of the Bulgarian investigation revealed in an interview published in early January that the evidence available was too scarce to name any party as responsible, and that investigators had found a key piece of evidence that appeared to contradict it.

Karadzhova revealed how little was known about the two men who investigators believe helped the foreigner killed by the bomb he was carrying, but whom Tsvetanov would later link to Hezbollah. The reason, she explained, is that they had apparently traveled without cell phones or laptops…..Only two kinds of information appear to have linked the two, according to the Karadzhova interview, neither of which provides insight into their political affiliation. One was that both of them had led a “very ordered and simple” lifestyle, which she suggested could mean that they both had similar training.

The other was that both had fake Michigan driver’s licenses that had come from the same country. It was reported subsequently that the printer used to make the fake Michigan driver’s licenses had been traced to Beirut.

But Karadzhova’s biggest revelation was that investigators had found a SIM card at the scene of the bombing and had hoped it would provide data on the suspect’s contacts before they had arrived at the scene of the bombing. But the telecom company in question was Maroc Telecom, and the Moroccan firm had not responded to requests for that information.

That provenance of the SIM Card is damaging to the Hezbollah “hypothesis”, because Maroc Telecom sells its cards throughout North Africa – a region in which Hezbollah is not known to have any operational bases but where Al-Qaeda has a number of large organisations.

Morocco is also considered a “staunch ally” of the United States, so it is unlikely that the Moroccan government would have refused a request from the United States to get the necessary cooperation from Moroccan Telecom.

Clearly, anyone claiming Hezbollah as responsible for the Burgas bombing is pushing a somewhat skewed and misinformed agenda. Not only is the evidence both flimsy and circumstantial, the chief prosecutor laid doubt on any possible Hezbollah role on live television. Why would Israel, or the US choose not to follow the SIM card? Or even bother to request the Moroccan telecoms company release the information?

Britain launches campaign in the EU.

This brings us to recent reports of the British governments renewed attempts to persuade the EU to designate Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organisation. The UK is now pushing the EU for this designation to enable possible sanctions, and the Burgas bombing is a key component in the case against the organisation; the bombing is mentioned in virtually every article on the issue, and has been cited as a reason for Germany’s apparent sway in the UK’s direction.

For Israel, the United States and their GCC partners, the timing could not be better. Again, the hypocrisy is blatant. None of the NATO states that are pushing for terrorist designations against Hezbollah have a single negative word to say regarding the plethora of militant Salafi/Jihaddi groups they have abetted into Syria; (*other than Jabhat al Nusra*) these groups have not only attacked Syria’s security infrastructure and Government personnel, they have also openly committed massacres, hundreds of car bombings in built-up civilian areas, extra-judicial killings, rape, torture, and looting. But these are the good guys the west are supporting in their valiant fight for democracy in Syria, or perhaps strict Sharia?

As these western/GCC proxies start to lose more and more ground against the Syrian Army, (and Hezbollah have been a key factor in that) Israel pursues illegal military airstrikes against supposed “game changing” weapons, and the NATO states dutifully push their “diplomatic” pressure in the UN and the EU against Hezbollah under dubious allegations. These dynamics are inextricably linked to the Western/Israeli/GCC efforts to block the “Shiite crescent”.

In Lebanon itself, the US/UK et al accuse Hezbollah of being responsible for the current conflagration on the Syrian border, which is also flaring up in northern Tripoli, without mentioning the fact Lebanon has been a key route for opposition militants to enter Syria. Since the very start of the Syrian crisis, northern Lebanon and the town of Qusair have been a rebel transit point and stronghold; allowing the free flow of heavily armed militant Salafi/Jihaddi fighters. But this seems to be what western leaders promote, and are indeed making great efforts to support. William Hague talks of “conflict spread” and propagates the falsehood that Hezbollah pose a threat to Lebanese internal security, while the UK and its allies arm, fund, promote, and provide diplomatic cover to the very Salafists Hezbollah is busy defending Shiite villages and Syrian civilians from. The West is supporting the very same democracy spreading Salafi/Jihaddi proxies that completely expelled all Christians from Qusair upon their arrival. Are the west and its allies, in their determination to overthrow the Assad government, and by extension destroy any resistance Hezbollah can muster against Israeli aggression, now supporting ethnic cleansing?

If Hezbollah, who up until the Syrian crisis peacefully co-existed in a country belonging of 18 different sects no less, whilst being an active member of Lebanese government and its security infrastructure, are supposed terrorists, then one has to ask: what are the extremist, sectarian militants the west is supporting supposed to represent? Freedom Fighters? Furthermore, and, considering the insurmountable volumes of evidence of western state-sponsored terror, one must also ask: what purpose, other than further “legal” UN-endorsed western-led military aggression, does the designation of Hezbollah as “Terrorist” ultimately serve?

The CIA, Qatar, and the creation of Jabhat al Nusra.

A recent interview given by, yes, you guessed it: an ‘anonymous’ Qatari security official, has shed further light on CIA-led covert arms shipments to militants fighting in Syria. In this Reuters article, the security official and several ‘anonymous’ rebel Commanders confirm that Qatar has “tightened coordination of arms flows [plural] to Syria,” under alleged concern of weapons ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda linked Islamic extremist militants; the very militants as noted previously, that have continually formed the spearhead of the insurgency against the Syrian Government: (my emphasis)

“Rebel fighters in Syria say that in recent months the system for distributing arms has become more centralized, with arms being delivered through opposition National Coalition’s General Command, led by Selim Idriss, a general who defected to the opposition and is a favorite of Washington.”

What has been long confirmed by ‘official sources’ in the mainstream press, is that these arms shipments commenced in at least “early 2012”. We can be sure, as with the majority of the official timeline, that leeway has been given in these statements: its highly likely smaller arms shipments/smuggling into Syria started much earlier. Statements from eyewitnesses in Libya confirm that arms shipments from the port of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group stronghold Misrata, commenced rapidly after the fall of Gaddafi. Sibel Edmonds also reported in November 2011, long before any corporate media revealed, that the CIA, along with its Turkish and NATO counterparts had been working from the “nerve centre” at the joint US-Turkish air-base in Incerlik, Turkey, since April/May of 2011, coordinating ‘rebel’ elements and ‘activist’s’. Edmonds posits the likely theory that this was one of the initial staging grounds used by the CIA and its regional partners, to smuggle weapons, fighters and materiel into Syria as the insurgency took hold.

Enough of this background information, ‘official sources’ and timeline discrepancies gives the impression that the ‘news’ media is not releasing information when it receives it, and is holding back crucial pieces of the timeline, to fit into the desired narrative of “Assad forces killing peaceful protesters”.

What we learn from the Reuters report is that until Qatar (acting directly under CIA auspices) chose to “tighten” the coordination of their arms supplies into Syria, there was no coherent or structured way of the arms being distributed once they reached the Syrian border:

“The Qataris are now [May 2013] going through the Coalition for aid and humanitarian issues and for military issues they are going through the military command,” a commander in northern Syria interviewed from Beirut said.

This raises the immediate question: who were Qatar (under CIA auspices) distributing thousands of tonnes of arms to before April 2013?  The report goes on to state: (my emphasis)

“Before the Coalition was formed they were going through liaison offices and other military and civil formations. That was at the beginning. Now it is different – it is all going through the Coalition and the military command.”

There’s a lot of consultation with the CIA, and they help Qatar with buying and moving the weapons into Syria, but just as consultants,” he said. The CIA declined to comment.

At least a pinch of salt needs to be taken with this piece of misinformation. What exactly are “liaison offices, military and civil formations?” The ‘opposition’ has never had anything resembling a military formation. Regardless, this raises several important questions and draws several distinctions into the timeline of the Syrian conflict.

We have long known, the main supplier of arms to ‘rebels’ was and still is Qatar, acting directly under the CIA’s “consultation”. We also know that these arms shipments became a considerable amount in “early 2012” and continued to rise in both quantity and frequency. A New York Times investigation confirmed this to be the case, reporting that eighty-five military cargo planes flew from Qatar to Turkey carrying arms bound for Syria between January 2012 and March 2013. (the maximum load of an average military cargo plane is around 50-60 tonnes.)  What other synonymous distinctions in the conflict do we know about, that commenced and progressed from “early 2012”?

The clearest and most glaring dynamic that occurred along this timeframe, and also continued to rise and greatly increase, is both the death toll, and displacement within Syria. As covered extensively before, the monthly death toll in Syria almost doubled in “early 2012”, and continued to rapidly increase. All available resources and ‘activist’ or opposition groups death toll figures roughly confirm this, as can be seen in this graph compiled by Reuters:

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One other critical factor is directly synonymous with both the arms flow increase, (under CIA/Qatari auspices) and the huge rise in death toll. That being: the success, proliferation and bolstering of Jabhat al Nusra and similar Salafi/Jihaddi militant groups. Jabhat al Nusra, or, as they are now known: the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham, (ISIS) were active in Syria under their ‘parent’ group the Islamic State of Iraq’s (Al Qaeda in Iraq – AQI) auspices for years prior to the Syrian uprising. Indeed, ever since the formation of AQI following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003; the eastern regions of Syria bordering the west of Iraq, and the notorious Anbar province have been a hotbed for Al Qaeda activity.

It is beyond doubt that Jabhat al Nusra and other Salafi/Jihaddi groups working alongside them have been the driving force of the armed insurgency. Throughout the majority of the armed conflict, it has been Jabhat al Nusra that has led insurgent attacks on key Syrian military installations; air-defense bases; coastal and major highway routes in attempts to block SAA supply lines; the vast majority of suicide attacks in civilian areas; and assassinations on key Government security officials. These extremist groups have become the best equipped, most organised, consistently well-funded and importantly, the most successful on the ground. While the US and its Gulf allies claim to have only armed, trained and supported ‘vetted’ and ‘moderate’ rebels, the reality inside Syria bears absolutely no resemblance to these claims.

We are now left with some theoretical options, first: the CIA will claim, as the US administration has been claiming, that they only ‘coordinated’ arms to, and supported moderate groups; how they found their way to extremists is beyond the CIA remit. Thus passing sole culpability to Qatar or the smugglers in Turkey that transported the arms into Syria. Again, the Qatari intelligence service can also claim plausible deniability, passing the buck to smugglers and rebels controlling the flow on the Turkish border. Do the ramifications of this policy, even if it were true, absolve the sheer recklessness of it? The evident destruction it has caused? And bolstering of extremists it has permitted?

Another probable outcome, or denial of association with these groups, will be that the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian Government, down to its alleged majority Alawhite leadership; made a conscious decision to instill sectarianism into the conflict in order to quell the protest movement. When one takes a close look at the Syrian Governments overtures toward the peaceful protest movement, and concessions the Assad government made during the early stages of protests, it is again, hard to see any reality to confirm it was Assad’s intention to divide Syria and start a full-scale sectarian war. Indeed, many concessions were made, including; mass political prisoner releases; a new constitution promising political plurality and maximum presidential terms; the dismissal of several regional governors and the complete dismissal of the Syrian Cabinet. These concessions do not bear the hallmark of a leader looking to marginalize his countries largest demographic. In which the Sunni population was, and still is heavily represented in both the Government and the army.

What is most probable, is that the CIA, along with its Qatari partners, knew full well of the ideologues they were arming and bolstering and chose to pursue this policy; simply because it was the most effective at weakening the Syrian Army and dividing the peaceful, multi-ethnic fabric of Syrian society. As stated above, it is Jabhat al Nusra leading the fight in Syria, it is they that have taken out Syria’s air defense bases, on many an occasion. What threat anti-aircraft missiles and defense radar’s pose to small, lightly armed insurgent groups is hard to fathom, suggesting these groups were acting on outside orders, or state supplied intelligence provided to them with the desired outcome of weakening Syria’s strategic defense capabilities.

For those that study the US governments unrelenting attempts of subversion and destabilization, this tactic of fomenting and supporting Islamic extremist militants will come as no surprise. It is not just Jabhat al Nusra’s (AQI) tactical capability and battle experience that has pushed them into the leadership role, without money, weapons, and indeed, psychological appeal to win recruits, experience means nothing.

These groups, supposedly of “Al Qaeda” origin, which represents a loose and malleable ideology, far more than a coherent functioning group of militants capable of international war; form the sectarian “shock troops” the US and their allies long ago agreed upon to foment and support in their attempts to block the “resistance” within the “Shiite crescent”. Qatar (under CIA “consultation”) has tacitly encouraged, sponsored and armed the very same groups that are prominent now: those of an extremist Salafi/Jihaddi ideology that espouse sectarian hatred against Shia and minority groups to promote division and social chaos. This supposedly happened directly under the CIA’s nose, with their tacit “consultation” and they failed to notice this extremist dynamic developing and rapidly expanding? Another possible added bonus for the US and its allies was recently pointed out by Lebanese political commentator Dr. Asad Abu Khalil who noted:

by listing Nusrah Front as a terrorist organization, the US government has basically licensed all other Syrian armed groups to engage in all sorts of war crimes.  So all an armed group has to do to get away with war crimes, is merely to fly the flag of Nusrah.  That is all what it takes.  So an armed group belonging to the Free Syrian Army umbrella, for example, can engage in a war crime, and then the next day issue a condemnation.  It is an unlimited license for war crimes.

A fully fledged and totally malleable proxy fighting force, promoting subversion, sectarian division, and outright chaos to gain the desired US objective of the destruction of the Syrian state, ergo: removing a key ally of Iran, and the resistance to western hegemony in the Middle East. When the extremism and brutality become too exposed to allow overt western support, the US designates them “terrorists”, and within a change of clothes, they become the falsehood that is the “FSA”.

Buying time in Syria.

The US government and its “Re-directional” middle east policy planners are buying time in Syria. The current softening of US rhetoric is merely a smokescreen to enable the US Government and its autocratic GCC (Gulf Co-Operation Council) allies to shift strategies and proxy allegiances, in their aggressive regime change objectives in Syria and Iran. Currently, US and Gulf proxies are losing ground to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) nationwide.

In the last month to six weeks the SAA has been on a concerted nationwide offensive, targeting Salafi/Jihaddi inspired militia that have encamped in cities, towns and villages all over the country. These efforts have concentrated on two key objectives: firstly, to enable the Syrian Government and its army to fight on indefinitely, continue receiving supplies, materiel and in some instances personnel from its international allies: Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia. Furthermore, the army has also concentrated on starving, and cutting off “rebel” supply routes and arms corridors, which predominantly run through Northern Lebanon,  Turkey, and Jordan.

Initially, the US was hoping for a “slam dunk” of  regime change in Syria, a la Libya no fly zone (NFZ). Russia and China put an immediate stop to these pernicious attempts of aggression in the UNSC: a major blow to short-term US imperial designs in the region. This left the US with the option of carrying its plan forward covertly, with its regional allies and their proxies, or, attempting a “humanitarian intervention” with its own, or its regional allies conventional forces. For many an obvious reason, the US administration chose to continue in its pursuit of the former covert strategy, primarily for domestic political appeal, (no boots on the ground!) whilst also subverting the UN to continue its illegal policy unimpeded. The Syrian Army’s success on the ground; alongside its allies unwillingness to bow to US demands in the UN, has meant this covert proxy strategy has come to an almost standstill. The US is unable to overtly arm the current disparate melee of militants: predominantly Islamic extremist’s fighting on the ground in Syria, or gain its coveted no-fly zone. This is where the strategy has become entangled, and why the US State Department is currently changing its public rhetoric and paying lip service to Russia’s defiant stance based on the 2012 Geneva Communique in the UN, calling on all sides to partake in peaceful transition. The last thing the US wants in Syria, is to allow Assad to stand in elections.

The US objective of swift regime change has drastically failed thus far in Syria, the GCC fomented extremist militia acting as shock troops have taken on the leading role in the insurgency, gaining the most in recruits, arms and funding: and ultimately success on the ground. In the long-term, and the more this dynamic is allowed to overtly foment and expand, and gains public exposure, the more counter-productive it becomes for the US. Several other reasons must be taken into consideration with regard to the US changing its overt rhetoric and short-term objectives. First, the administration cannot be seen to be overtly arming and funding militia, whose core leadership comprises of Al Qaeda ideologues and sympathisers. In addition the Syrian Army and its allies within the “axis of resistance”, have proven a far more capable and determined fighting force than anticipated; Syria’s international allies appear unwilling to roll over and allow the US to steamroll into forming their own revamped Sykes-Picot agreement. In addition, another crucial obstruction is the western public’s refusal to be hoodwinked into another act of aggression under false pretences. As a result of this public dissatisfaction, the US Government itself, is in a state of conflict within the foreign policy and intelligence establishment on how best to implement its imperial designs.

In recent statements US Secretary of State John Kerry, has attempted to give the impression he is leaning towards Russia’s way of thinking, with many added caveats of course: this is simply diplomatic bluster. Much speculation has been afforded to the theory that Russia, still overtly supportive of the Syrian Government, has supplied the SAA with renewed and sophisticated air-defense missile batteries. Russia vaguely deny and claim they are only fulfilling previous contracts (of which the S-300 was included), “anonymous sources” confirm or speculate further, the US harps on about Israeli “security” (post Israeli aggression on Damascus) and no clear picture of Russian military objective is obtained. Regardless, something has definitely changed in both the US’ overt rhetoric, and the media vehicles that propagate it. Much more attention is being paid to the actual ideologies of the militants fighting the SAA, and the repercussions on the whole region if the Syrian Government and its security infrastructure is overthrown. A recent report suggested the CIA is already looking to target Jahbat al Nusra: the strongest, and indeed, most overtly extreme of the “rebel” militia; the CIA is also looking to use so-called “moderate” rebels to undertake this targeting for them. It beggars belief that the US is seriously considering splitting the “opposition” insurgency against its most effective fighting force, to try to “stabilise” an already critical situation. To some extent, this is exactly what the administrations plans appear to be: the US is attempting to reinvigorate the extremist infested, and corrupt insurgency, to reshape and rebrand those it is supporting and funding to overthrow the Syrian Government.

One fact remains, and is an overall positive one for the US and its allies long-term objectives in the region. Syria is in a total state of crisis and in no position to afford Iran any defense against attack; its whole social fabric is being ripped apart by sectarian hatred, revenge, and outright brutality. This societal division, is the overarching desired outcome for the Neo-Cons and apartheid apologists that hold sway within the US foreign policy elite. Israel’s recent airstrikes are another key indicator as to the long-term western-establishment goal of constant destabilization. In this war, Israel will, as always, act as a conduit for western foreign Policy, whilst furthering its own genocidal agenda. The US, and by extension Israel, are more than happy to abandon the Gulf fomented extremists that the US, and its Gulf allies so eagerly propagated into war. A “desirable” Henry Kissinger-esque outcome for these parties would be total annihilation of both sides, followed by quick installation of compliant strongman-puppet, and, preferably: some ethnic division, secession, and further weakening of a unified bloc of resistance to western resource/land theft, and imperialism. The only thing stopping this outcome and its inevitable human suffering and destruction, is resistance. But resistance of US imperialism comes at a heavy price for such out-gunned nations, and the US, Israel and their entirely undemocratic GCC allies will persist unabated in their long-term objective to overturn the Syrian Government; wipe out Hezbollah; suppress the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, and dominate Iran.

Moral expediency. The US, Israel and Al Qaeda in Syria.

Recent Israeli airstrikes on Damascus have once again shed light on a defining western-led policy when it comes to the Middle East: strategic moral expediency. Once again, the counterproductive, and age-old policy of: “the enemy of my enemy: is my friend,” crops up in the realm of western foreign policy in the Middle East.

What is so counterintuitive for most, or, what most of the western “news” media are subverting or pretending not to recognise: is the recent Israeli strikes prove outright that Israel, acting on behalf of the US, is fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda in Syria. Western efforts to bolster supposed ‘moderate rebels’ have clearly only bolstered what has always been the main demographic of the militant ‘opposition’: Salafi/Jihaddi inspired and fomented militias, that do not espouse anything close to democracy. Apart from the obvious clash of religious ideology, strategically speaking, actually ousting Assad is where the radical Islamic militants and Bibi may differ. Bibi and Co. would no doubt be more than happy to see a much weakened Assad Government stay in some sort of power, and allow the Syrian conflict to rumble on for twenty years. Ideally, for Israel and the US the aim is a ‘Balkanized’ array of weak statelets. What Israel and the US do not want, is a strong and stable Syria, or Levant, or Greater Middle East for that matter; unless those ‘strong’ states fall under the auspices of the USA. (eg: KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, Turkey et al)

This is another blatant example of western Government’s moral expediency when it comes to strategic objectives. Let’s not forget, it was the CIA that enabled the creation of Al Qaeda: in US attempt’s to “give Russia its Vietnam” during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In this instance it has also been proven that the CIA, through mainly Saudi Arabia and the ISI, (Pakistani intelligence service) fomented, exploited and manipulated young, unemployed conservative Sunni muslim men from across the globe, to go and wage a holy war against the US’ number one enemy. This was not to enable any form of democracy or self-determination in Afghanistan, it was simply a war game: to bog down the Soviet Forces and ultimately bring about the end of the Soviet Union. Inevitably, the US and its clients enabling such radical anti-western ideologues to play as pawns in its geopolitical strategies, is where blowback comes into play, but is this ultimately a desired outcome? To create the perpetual enemy? One that is no real threat to ‘the homeland’, (or the elites that comfortably reside within) but can be exploited and manipulated to both leverage and attack US enemies. Or be used as a tool to suppress domestic populations and civil liberties, under the false guise of “National Security” and “the War on Terror”.

Long ago, the Bush administration made a concerted effort to consolidate, and expand on its economic and military ties with its predominantly autocratic Sunni leaders in the region. These are portrayed as attempts to curb the “Shiite crescent” or, realistically: pressure Iran into submission. This is not a new phenomenon, Since its UK-led inception, the West has enjoyed a “special relationship” with the brutal monarchy of Saudi Arabia. As empire crossed the Atlantic post WWII, so did these key relationships. (Though the UK still likes to pretend it is more than a Special Forces sub-contractor for the Pentagon.) This is both an economic necessity, and a strategic one for western powers. One crucial element we learn in Seymour Hersh’s enlightening piece “The Redirection”, is the Bush administrations willingness to use its Sunni allies in the region to fund, foment and propagate radical Islamic militants to subvert/leverage the Assad Government in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran’s resistance to US/Israeli/GCC hegemony. The sectarian division of Syria has been long-planned by these allies, one would be an utter fool to deny its now evident outcome.

Most Syria analysts with an ounce of honesty now fully admit the vast majority of supposed “rebels” are Salafi/Jihaddi inspired militants, or at least under the leadership and funding of such ideologues. Indeed, the US terrorist designated-militant jiahddi group linked directly to Al Qaeda: Jahbat al Nusra, have long been the prominent fighting force in Syria. This is no coincidence. While the US and its Gulf allies feign innocence, and claim the millions of dollars and thousands of tons of military aid they have provided has been allocated to ‘moderate rebels’: it is in fact the Salafi/Jihaddi groups that have risen and gained in quality and size of arsenal, recruitment, and success on the ground.

The military tide has most definitely changed in the SAA’s favour in recent weeks, the Syrian Army has routed the Salafi/Jihaddi militants in several key areas; this is the reasoning behind Israels recent raids on Damascus. It beggars belief that Assad, currently fighting for his life and his Governments stake in Syria, would move substantial quantities of sophisticated weapons out of Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The US and its allies (clients) are panicking, the “Redirection” has not gone precisely according to plan, (does US strategy ever go to plan?) and is currently reeling out of control. The extremist proxies Gulf autocrats have fomented and armed are a law unto themselves, and the ‘opposition in exile’ is as incoherent and incapable today, as it was on the day of its US/Qatari/Saudi creation. Whether the US has finally reneged on its proxies in Syria, and pulled the plug on its clients attempts to supply heavy weaponry remains to be seen. It is virtually impossible for the US to step up its overt military aid to jihaddi militants, so it must fall back on Israel. There are two key reasons for this. First, the Israel military is already an international pariah, with no credibility to lose in the middle east, the US is trying to hold on to what little credibility it has. Second, US jets using an Arab client’s airfield to launch strikes on a fellow Arab nation, would provide far too much domestic political backlash for the KSA, or any other client to allow it. Time and US perseverance may force someone into this role. But using Israel makes it irrelevant. The Jordanian Monarchy has already allowed Israeli drones to use its airspace, and as we know has been staging a huge multinational special forces base on Syria’s border, for quite some time.

One cannot honesty look at the current situation in Syria; the plethora of available evidence of Salafi/Jihaddist militants since the start of the conflict; the main donors and funders of supposed “freedom fighters”, and still deem it as anything other than a regional war. Instigated by the Bush administration and its GCC clients, and dutifully carried out by the Obama administration and the Neo-Con hawks that sway foreign policy in Washington. The ultimate goal was the swift overthrow of the Syrian Government, and leaving behind another failed state; incapable of resistance to US/Israeli/GCC hegemony in the region. That ship has sailed, the false democratic ‘revolution’ is long over. The SAA has regained in confidence and is winning its offensive, the media war on the Syrian Government seems also to be coming to a grinding standstill. Apart from the “massacre” and “chemical weapons” agitprop from Western and Gulf outlets, there is not much more they can throw at them. Much to the Wests chagrin, the Syrian government is still standing; it still has a strong and well equipped army that is winning its chosen battles; it still has popular support within its borders, and crucially, it still has the backing of international allies.

One cannot imagine if this were still being purported as a “grassroots democratic uprising,” that the US would be eager to use Israel and give the Assad regime such a propaganda coup. It is too late for falsehoods now, and desperate times call for desperate measures. What remains to be seen is whether the recent Israeli strikes were a precedent of more to come, an attempt to prolong the internal conflict and “level the playing field”, or simply, a provocation toward Iran.

Israel, Syria, airstrikes and “game changers”.

Israeli military officials today confirmed IAF warplanes targeted a supposed shipment of “game changing” weapons inside Syria, allegedly destined for Hezbollah. These “game changing advanced missiles”, (if they exist) have been reported to have been “advanced ground to ground missiles”

Whats interesting, is the similar modus operandi of another recent IAF airstrike on Syria in January, which was also claimed to be targeting a “weapons convoy”. Indeed, the convoy that was targeted may well have been carrying weapons/Manpad’s, but that was not Israel’s primary target. In this case the target, and result of the strike was the death of Iranian IRCG General Hassan Shateri: a major coup for Israel’s continuing aggression and shadow war against Iran. The Times of London reported in February that an Israeli military source revealed Israeli assets spotted Shateri in Damascus, trailed him as he boarded the “convoy” headed for Lebanon, after which the airstrike option was “utilized”. This shows that Israel’s military planners are willing to take huge risk in their opportunistic “targeted killings” of IRGC and Hezbollah commanders, and fully exploit the current conflict in Syria as a means to eradicate and weaken its enemies.

In the run-up to the Shateri assassination, there was also a heavy and blatant increase in IAF airspace violations over Lebanon, these were ultimately recon flights and strike simulations. This strategy appears to be the case in the recent strike on Syrian soil, at the moment of typing, it appears Israeli missiles were fired from jets in Lebanese airspace across the border into Syria.

With the Syrian Government and armed forces facing a full on insurgency; it is hard to believe they would choose to ship large consignments of sophisticated weapons out of the country, during a period it is facing an increased threat of western/GCC military action against it. Further still, Hezbollah is currently engaged in the war against western/GCC proxies in Syria, it poses no offensive threat to Israel at this moment in time. Another major issue going against this “game changing missiles” narrative is the fact that similar range missiles will already be in the arsenal of both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), and, to some extent Hezbollah.

Although more of these weapons would prove a major obstacle to any future Israeli aggression on Lebanon, it’s certainly not a “game changing” dynamic. Israel’s huge military apparatus and air supremacy bare no comparison to the small arsenal’s inside Lebanon. Indeed, after the Shateri strike an IDF official was quoted in the Times article as saying: “a weapons convoy to Lebanon is not on its own a good enough reason for Israel to risk its pilots in an attack through a heavily protected air defense zone.” Although striking from the oft-violated Lebanese airspace puts paid to these Israeli concerns, it still seems an awfully risky manouvre for the sake of a few missiles.

Speaking on Friday Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman accused Israel of:  “trying to destabilise the country” and, called continuing IAF airspace violations: ” Israel’s policy of intimidation”. So who or what was the real target? On the face of it, Israeli airstrikes against Syrian Army/Hezbollah are only going to bolster radical Sunni militia affiliated with Al Qaeda? Oh sorry i forgot, they’re on the same side in this proxy-war. The west’s (ergo Israel’s) strategic moral expediency in plain sight.