Israel and Saudi Arabia’s priorities in Syria.

Current developments both inside and outside of Syria have shown that the primary sponsors of the extremist-dominated insurgency – namely, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel and Turkey – aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel.

One may be forgiven for thinking the Obama administration had decided to abandon the policy of regime change following the failed attempt to incite intervention, through the chemical weapons casus belli in August. But the harsh reality remains that the above mentioned alliance is indeed continuing its covert military support of the insurgency, in one form or another, in the full knowledge the vast majority of rebels are religious fundamentalists with a sectarian agenda, and vehemently opposed to any form of democracy or political pluralism.

Primarily, the continued support is a product of the American Empires’ overarching strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance over resource-rich and strategically placed regions of the globe, via subversion, economic and military aggression; a policy imposed to varying degrees upon any state unwilling to accept full US subordination. This aggressive US stance is by no means exclusive to periods of heightened tension or crises; it is a permanent one, brought forward to its violent climax purely through Machiavellian opportunism. In Syria’s case, the Arab uprisings provided the United States and its allies the perfect opening to set in motion the subversive plans they had been working on since at least 2006. The possibility of removing an opposing government that refuses to abide by American/Israeli diktat was simply too good a chance to be missed. Accordingly, and from a very early stage, the US made attempts to facilitate and support the violent elements in Syria, while its media arms were busy conflating them with localised legitimate protesters.

Since the US took the typically reckless decision to support, widen and exacerbate the militant elements, the policy has been an abject failure. Clearly, from the tone espoused by Western diplomats and propagandists, and the oft-repeated slogan of “Assads days are numbered”, they expected swift regime change. These desires were largely based on American hubris and the hope that the Libya No Fly Zone scenario would gain traction in the UN security council.

Contrary to such desires, Russia and China’s anger regarding NATO’s destruction of Libya and Gaddafi’s assassination, meant that any similar resolutions put forward on Syria would face immediate veto. In turn this has proven to be a turning point in the modern relationship between the permanent members of the security council, the full ramifications of which are yet to materialise. Moreover, it proved to be a turning point in the Syrian crisis itself; knowing Russia and China would block any attempts to give NATO its second outing as Al Qaeda’s airforce, the US once again chose the policy of further covert militarism, drastically increasing funds and weapons deliveries to the rebels – parallel to the sectarian incitement campaigns espoused by Salafi-Wahhabi clerics across the Gulf – in the hope they could overturn the Syrian army through terrorism and a brutal sectarian war of attrition.

As a consequence of the failure to remove Assad or destroy the Syrian government and its apparatus, the Obama administration, reluctant and politically incapable of engaging in overt acts of aggression, is employing a realpolitik strategy; using primarily covert militarism to appease the desires of NeoConservative hawks in Congress, and its more zealous regional influences emanating from Riyadh and Tel Aviv, while avoiding the possibility of being dragged into another overt military intervention.

In turn, this double-edged strategy feeds the false public perception of the American Empire, which the pseudo-pragmatists and neoliberal propagandists are so eager to uphold and is so fundamental to US Empire-building; that of an inherently altruistic force, acting as global arbiter, grudgingly subverting, invading, bombing, and intervening in sovereign nations affairs for the good of all mankind. As long as this false perception is upheld, the sharp-edge to the grotesque charade of US realpolitik – that of covert militarism and state-sponsored terrorism – continues unabated. Clearly, the US Empire is in no rush to end the bloodshed in Syria, its priorities, as they have been since the start of 2011, are to remove, or at least severely disable and weaken the Syrian government and state, regardless of the consequences to the civilian population.

By using its control of state-funding, the arms flow, and therefore the strength and capabilities of the insurgency as a whole, the Obama administration has employed futile carrot and stick tactics in attempts to pressure the Syrian government during the current negotiations phase into acceding to US demands and giving up its sovereignty – with both the US-led alliance, and Syria and its international allies, primarily Russia and Iran, in the full knowledge the rebels lack both the domestic support, and manpower necessary, to oust Assad or defeat the Syrian army alone. Reports allude to the stick of US Democracy having its most recent outing in the form of “new”  and improved weapons supplies to the rebels, allegedly including MANPADS. This comes immediately off the back of the designed-to-fail Geneva “peace” talks and can be interpreted as a direct result of Washington’s failure to enforce their objectives: the stick is an endless supply of state-sponsored terrorism, the carrot is turning off the tap.

Whether the “new” arms shipments actually increase the rebels ability to inflict damage on the Syrian government remains to be seen, and is highly improbable at this stage as the Syrian army moves into the Qalamoun mountains to liberate the rebel-held town of Yabroud, in turn securing vital transit and logistical routes from Lebanon. The likely outcome of an increased arms flow to the rebels in the south, as evidenced at every interval of US-instigated militarization, will be a repeat of the same devastating results: more civilian displacement, adding to the already critical refugee crisis; more rebel destruction of civilian infrastructure, adding to further food and utility shortages; and many more lives lost.

“Lebanonization” a substitute for regime change?

As is proving to be the case, if the United States and its allies are incapable of removing the Syrian government via proxy forces without an increasingly unpopular Western military intervention, and Assad’s position and domestic support remain steadfast, then a Lebanonization strategy may well be the substitute “optimal scenario” the US and its allies are now working toward.

Encouraging, exacerbating, and inciting division between Arabs has been the long-term strategy for the Zionist establishment since the colonialists first usurped Palestinian land in 1948 – with specific effort made toward fomenting conflict along sectarian lines. The strategy of division is directed toward any Arab state or government that refuses to abide by Zionist demands. Israeli strategist Oded Yinon’s now infamous “A strategy for Israel in the 1980’s” – dubbed the Yinon Plan – provides perhaps the clearest account of Israel’s intentions toward its Arab neighbours:

The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional local governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world … The dissolution of Syria, and later Iraq, into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is Israel’s main long-range objective on the Eastern front. The present military weakening of these states is the short-range objective. Syria will disintegrate into several states along the lines of its ethnic and religious structure … As a result, there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state, the district of Aleppo will be a Sunni state, and the district of Damascus another state which is hostile to the northern one. The Druze – even those of the Golan – should forma state in Hauran and in northern Jordan … the oil-rich but very divided and internally strife-ridden Iraq is certainly a candidate to fill Israel’s goals … Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation … will hasten the achievement of the supreme goal, namely breaking up Iraq into elements like Syria and Lebanon.

When viewed in this context, it can be no coincidence that US Secretary of State John Kerry is desperately pursuing a fait accompli with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Contrary to the sickening media portrayal of the US as impartial peacebroker, Kerry’s eagerness to pursue a “deal” at this moment in time is a direct result of the Syrian conflict, and the divisions within the resistance camp it has created. The US and Israel are now attempting to force through an Israeli-oriented “peace deal” with the corrupt PA that will inevitably be both a failure, and against the Palestinians interests. Staunch allies of Palestinian resistance, currently bogged down fighting Al Qaeda ideologues in Syria and defusing car-bombs bound for Dahiyeh, are in no position to support the Palestinians against Israel in their hour of need, the US and Israel fully grasp the importance of isolating genuine Palestinian resistance from the few Arab states and actors it receives support. In his latest speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reminded his listeners of this very crucial issue:

“the US Administration is seeking, along with the Zionist Administration to put an end to the Palestinian cause, and it considers that this is the best time for that because the Arab and Islamic worlds are absent today, and every country is occupied with its own problems.”

In a similar fashion, the US has used the Syrian conflict as a lever against Iran in the nuclear negotiations, Washington’s longstanding attempts to pacify and subordinate an independent Iran has undoubtedly played a major role in US policy on Syria – perhaps the defining role. Consequently, both the Palestinian and Iranian conflicts with Israel and the United States are now, as they have always been intended to some extent in US calculations, inextricably linked to resolving the Syrian crisis.

True to form, Israel’s evident glee at the destruction in Syria and overt preference for the removal of Assad and the Syrian government, with the devastation that would entail, has proven at times hard for them to conceal. Furthering the point, just one of many examples of Israeli-rebel collusion came in a recent report from the National (falsely portraying the rebels Israel is “reaching out” to as ostensibly “moderate”) which relayed that hundreds of rebels have received treatment in Israeli hospitals and been sent back into Syria with up to a $1000 in cash. Israel have made further efforts to consolidate contacts with the rebels in the south, regardless of the level of fundamentalism, and cooperated with rebel factions during the Israeli bombings on Latakia and Damascus.

In a feeble attempt to whitewash this collusion, Israeli propagandists are busily spreading the misinformation that Israel is facilitating the Druze community in the south of Syria; yet the Druze community are firmly allied with the Syrian government. In reality, Israeli attempts to cultivate relations with the communities and rebels in the south should be correctly viewed as attempts to create enforced “safe-zones” around the occupied Golan Heights, in furtherance of the Zionists land-grabbing expansionist aspirations. Accordingly, Israel’s fraudulent neutrality is completely exposed by their collusion with the rebels to meet their own interests, and overt acts of aggression against the Syrian army.

There are many other indications that allude to prominent factions of the US alliance being preferable of, and encouraging an outcome of division, most notably Israel, but simple logic determines that Saudi Arabia, Israel’s most vital strategic partner in the region, and the actor from within the US alliance that possesses the most material influence and political will to support fundamentalists and terrorism, would also approve of the disintegration of the Syrian state, primarily viewing it as a blow to “Shi’a expansion”. The Saudi and Gulf fixation on sectarian themes, to mask what are essentially politically oriented conflicts, is also intentionally built to intensify the strategy of division in multi-ethnic, religiously plural societies – as evidenced in virtually every country fundamentalist Gulf proxies have been unleashed upon, most recently in Libya.

Yet even the Saudi’s have limits to their own capabilities and decisions, ultimately they rely on the military largesse and protection of the United States, and will therefore reign in the terrorist networks if push comes to shove. Hence, the recent Saudi attempts to dissociate from Al Qaeda and the various extremists fighting in Syria can be seen as largely cosmetic and for public consumption. In reality, the Saudi leadership see Al Qaeda and its extremist confrères as malleable proxies of no real threat to themselves, while constituting a critical component of Saudi foreign policy and covert aggression.

Of far higher importance to both Israel and Saudi Arabia’s confluent interests in the region, which in turn play a critical role in US calculations, are the very actors and states the fundamentalist proxies are currently being sponsored to wage war upon; namely, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. The disintegration of the resistance axis is the utmost priority for the states that drive US policy in the Middle East, the supposed “threat” faced by militant fundamentalist ideologues, originally created, and intermittently sponsored by the US and its allies, is merely an afterthought.

The US Empire, in its efforts to contain, and therefore dominate and control such a strategic and resource-rich region, is more than content to allow its reactionary and sectarian clients to incite the conflict necessary to subvert, fracture and divide the inevitable power a unified Middle East could claim: if only their progressive aspirations and unity were not repeatedly “set back” by Zionist occupation and manufactured antagonism.

Ahmed Al-Assir, the pawn in Lebanon.

This weeks conflagration near Sidon, a majority Sunni city in the South of Lebanon has been on the cards for some time. Sheikh Al Assir, the instigator of the street battle’s with the Lebanese Armed Forces, (LAF) has been on a concerted campaign to incite sectarian strife and division between the Sunni and Shi’a sects in Lebanon, with one major goal: to draw Hezbollah into a sectarian-based conflict.

Many commentators on Lebanon have pointed out that contrary to his overt actions and rhetoric, Al-Assir does not enjoy a wide following or support base in Lebanon, he is effectively a pawn that is being fomented and most likely funded by outside actors. These actors share the common goal of removing or weakening Hezbollah, a goal that is also synonymous with certain global actors’ desires and covert policies in the region – primarily France, UK, US, GCC, Israel and Turkey – the results of which have been ongoing in Syria for the best part of two years.

The street battles that occurred in Saida were undoubtedly planned in advance. There have been several attempts in the last few weeks by Al-Assir and his armed Salafi followers to deploy in the streets of Saida, this can be seen as a test of reactions and capabilities to withstand an armed uprising of sorts, a reaction from both the Lebanese Army, and from Hezbollah. In public speeches and rallies, Al-Assir and his followers have been actively attempting to incite a reaction from Hezbollah, who to the time of writing have refrained from openly hostile retaliation against Al-Assir. In Nassrallah’s latest speeches, he specifically called upon his followers and the people of Lebanon to refrain from sectarian language, in efforts to curb the growing resentment of incitement against the party and its majority Shi’a supporters.

The usual suspects: Western corporate journalists and think-tankers alike, immediately jumped at the opportunity when the fighting occurred to spout totally baseless claims such as: “hundreds of Hezbollah fighters attacking Al-Assirs mosque” and “Hezbollah ‘leading the battle'”. Again such stenographers and “analysts” relay false declarations with no evidence to hand, and no possible way of verifying them. Their claims have since (two days later) been thoroughly debunked, and it appears Hezbollah played no major role in the fighting in Sidon. Both the LAF and several leading Lebanese political figures – including those hostile to Hezbollah – have denied any Hezbollah involvement. There are many reasons (that even the occasional observer could point out in almost real-time) to refute these dubious claims. If Hezbollah’s own media outlets are not privy to their military objectives, why would Hezbollah fighters, or “sources” relay military maneuvers to reporters that work for outlets that are hostile toward them?

Sheikh Al-Assir has made his name in Lebanon through being directly and openly hostile to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. This direct and public targeting is what sets him apart from other Salafi clerics in Lebanon. There is undoubtedly a rising current of such ideologues that have been bolstered in recent years in several areas of Lebanon, and this proliferation can be explained by a myriad of factors, but the militant aspect, and specific sectarian and anti-Shi’a/anti-Hezbollah rhetoric, can be explained primarily due to outside actors such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar trying to assert dominance over political bodies that are tied to Iran’s sphere of influence, as opposed to their own.

It is no coincidence the Syrian insurgency, aka “revolution”, was fomented and is still backed primarily by the same actors that support radical clerics in Lebanon. The proliferation of such ideologues inciting sectarian hatred and division – in order to create chaos, strife and destabilization to marginalize the targets of their paymasters – is synonymous because it is part of an overriding Saudi-led GCC policy in the Levant. Needless to say, this policy is fully backed by the United States and the western nations in their “special relationship” with the Gulf autocrats of Saudi Arabia, and new kid on the block Qatar.

This joint “Redirection” policy and its desired outcome upon Hezbollah and Lebanon are specifically cited by anonymous US intelligence officials in Seymour Hersh’s oft-referenced piece from 2007, the results of which can be seen on the streets of Sidon today: (my emphasis)

The United States has also given clandestine support to the Siniora government, according to the former senior intelligence official and the U.S. government consultant. “We are in a program to enhance the Sunni capability to resist Shiite influence, and we’re spreading the money around as much as we can,” the former senior intelligence official said. The problem was that such money “always gets in more pockets than you think it will,” he said. “In this process, we’re financing a lot of bad guys with some serious potential unintended consequences. We don’t have the ability to determine and get pay vouchers signed by the people we like and avoid the people we don’t like. It’s a very high-risk venture.”

American, European, and Arab officials I spoke to told me that the Siniora government and its allies had allowed some aid to end up in the hands of emerging Sunni radical groups in northern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and around Palestinian refugee camps in the south. These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hezbollah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with Al Qaeda.

As we have found since the battles in Sidon ceased, the majority of the militants that attacked the LAF were of this very type; small radical Sunni groups, aligned to the Syrian insurgency, including Jabhat al Nusra (Al Qaeda). From McClatchy: (my emphasis)

The worst fighting in Lebanon in years, which wracked this coastal city one hour south of Beirut this week, was touched off by an influx of foreign fighters from Syria, Palestinian camps and other Arab countries into the compound of a radical Sunni cleric, according to knowledgeable people on both sides of the conflict. The foreign fighters included members of Jabhat al Nusra, a Syrian rebel group also known as the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with al Qaida, according to the accounts, including that of a Lebanese military official. Nusra is considered the most effective rebel group fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its presence inside Lebanon, if confirmed, would provide evidence not just that the Syrian conflict has spread, but that Nusra fighters have extended their influence outside Syria and Iraq.

The Salafi militants causing the current strife in Lebanon are a direct result of the above “Redirection” policy, as former MI6 officer Alistair Crooke pointed out in Hersh’s piece back in 2007, it would be a dangerous and risky strategy to foment and enable such ideologues, and would result in what we are seeing in Lebanon today: (my emphasis)

Alastair Crooke, who spent nearly thirty years in MI6, the British intelligence service, and now works for Conflicts Forum, a think tank in Beirut, told me, “The Lebanese government is opening space for these people to come in. It could be very dangerous.” Crooke said that one Sunni extremist group, Fatah al-Islam, had splintered from its pro-Syrian parent group, Fatah al-Intifada, in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, in northern Lebanon. Its membership at the time was less than two hundred. “I was told that within twenty-four hours they were being offered weapons and money by people presenting themselves as representatives of the Lebanese government’s interests—presumably to take on Hezbollah,” Crooke said.

The largest of the groups, Asbat al-Ansar, is situated in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp. Asbat al-Ansar has received arms and supplies from Lebanese internal-security forces and militias associated with the Siniora government.

Al-Assir was joined in his camp in Sidon by up to 60 members of Jabhat al Nusra (Al Qaeda), and up to 30 members of Jund al-Sham, another radical group based in the Ain el Hilweh refugee camp. Some reports suggested up to 300 militants were encamped in Al-Assir’s compound. This undoubtedly accounts for the heavy losses the LAF incurred during the first hours of their attempts to storm the stronghold. As the Syrian Arab Army have found to their detriment for the best part of two years; these radical militant groups are well armed, well-funded, and above all, trained in paramilitary expertise. Such battle experience is not gained in a classroom, they are the product of the Syrian insurgency and its supporters. According to the above McClatchy report, Jabhat al Nusra members were leading Assir’s men, and enabled him to escape once the LAF had overcome his compound. Assir’s current whereabouts are yet to be verified, but various reports have suggested he has fled to his fellow ideologues inside Syria.

The proliferation of  radical Sunni clerics in Lebanon should be seen in a much wider context than domestic Lebanese politics alone. Saad Hariri’s Future Movement camp is inextricably tied to Saudi Arabia’s regional policy and their efforts to assert Saudi dominance and curb Iranian expansion, and through Hariri and the Future Movement the joint US/GCC/Israeli “Redirection” policy finds its prominent outlet in Lebanon. Hariri’s Future Movement stance against Hezbollah in Lebanon is an extension of the policies of Washington and Riyadh.

Furthermore, recent developments in Lebanon also shed light on at least part of the motivation behind Hezbollah’s “intervention” in the Syrian/Lebanese border town of Qusair, and their growing alliance with the Syrian government. The incitement from radical clerics and ideologues tied to, and facilitating the Syrian insurgency from within Lebanon and the border regions have posed both a strategic, and ideological threat since the start of the Syrian insurgency – a threat that Hezbollah could no longer ignore, nor Syria fight alone.

The toll that small groups of militants inflicted upon the Lebanese Army in Sidon within two days, and the tens of thousands of Syrian soldiers that have been killed in the last two years, are a testament to the reality of the monster the GCC has unleashed upon the Levant. The “Redirection” has well and truly landed upon Hezbollah’s doorstep.

Chemical Weapons: Building the case for further US aggression.

The US Government is claiming it has definitive ‘evidence’ to prove the Assad Government has used chemical weapons (CW) “against its own people”. Chemical weapons are abhorrent, indiscriminate and cause massive human suffering. But what, if any, is the strategic gain acheived by the Syrian Arab Army using CW against disparate rebel groups encamped inside densely built civilian areas?

As we have learnt previously, as far back as 2012 US military contractors were training ‘rebel’ forces, the very same forces allied to Al Qaeda affiliates, in the use of chemical weapons, supposedly to counter them “getting in the wrong hands”. If Al Qaeda affiliates have been trained to aquire and secure chemical weapon stockpiles, who does Obama think the “wrong hands” are? As Professor Chossudovsky at Global Research noted in May:

What is unfolding is a diabolical scenario –which is an integral part of military planning– namely a situation where opposition terrorists advised by Western defense contractors are actually in possession of chemical weapons.This is not a rebel training exercise in non-proliferation. While president Obama states that “you will be held accountable” if “you” (meaning the Syrian government) use chemical weapons, what is contemplated as part of this covert operation is the possession of chemical weapons by the US-NATO sponsored terrorists, namely “by our” Al Qaeda affiliated operatives,  including the Al Nusra Front , which constitutes the most effective Western financed and trained fighting group, largely integrated by foreign mercenaries. In a bitter twist, Jabhat al-Nusra, a US sponsored “intelligence asset”, was recently put on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

To add to this somewhat counterintuative scenario, many mainstream outlets also openly reported on the fact that the US was training ‘rebels’ specifically to aquire and secure Assad’s chemical stockpiles that may have been left unguarded, in essence, training them in the finer arts of chemical warfare:

Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms – latimes.com, August 22, 2012 )

Furthermore, several factors contradict the US-led line that Assad would gain anything from using chemical weapons:

1.) Chemical weapons have a terrible track record as an effective weapon against any type of enemy, targeting and deployment is crude and effectiveness is largely determined by the weather, if the wind blows the wrong way, they are useless. CW are also easily negated through simple countermeasures such as gas masks. During the Iran/Iraq war, thousands of chemical shells were used indiscriminately, the effective death rate to enemy combatants was miniscule in comparison to the amount and cost of chemicals used, against other conventional forms of warfare, (which the Syrian Army have in abundance) chemical weapons are ineffective and costly.

2.) The Syrian Government and Armed Forces know from previous US aggression in the region, and since Obama made his infamous “red-line” dictate, that any use of CW would result in an overt US ‘intervention’. (NB: US has been covertly ‘intervening’ in Syria from day one.) Why would the Government or members of the SAA decide to use Sarin at this stage? Particularly considering the SAA has been on the front foot for months, the SAA has routed rebel strong-holds and vital land and highway routes. If anything, Assad’s popularity inside Syria has only increased as the SAA has expanded its territorial gains.

3.) Using CW would undoubtedly alienate the SAA and the Government from the population. Assad is winning ‘hearts and minds’ in Syria. why would he risk it by allowing such recklessness when the Army is winning its chosen battles and gaining public support?

4.) To use CW on such a small-scale, there is absolutely no strategic benefit gained to the SAA. It has far more devastating and terrorising weapons in its arsenal, an SAA Commander relayed this fact to Robert Fisk the last time CW agitprop was being doled out: “why would we use CW when we have Mig fighter jets?”. The US claims 100 -150 people have been killed by Sarin use, (while also claiming it has ‘evidence’ from only two victims.) Yet the UN claims upwards of 90,000 people have been killed in the conflict. (NB: at least half of which are SAA soldiers according to SOHR.) So why risk overt US intervention for the sake of killing 100 people in such small operations?

The Obama administration clearly states that they have no evidence to suggest ‘rebels’ have used CW. Yet many reports, including former UN Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte have pointed the finger directly at them, whilst removing any Syrian Government culpability. The US Government seems to think it knows better than the UN, and it must also think it has proof of chain of command, which undoubtedly it cannot obtain. Obama also clearly stated in previous remarks on CW in Syria that “intelligence assessments are not enough”. Yet now “intelligence assessments” seem to be all the US is basing its claims upon, as National Security advisor Ben Rhodes said in a White House statement: “Our intelligence community accesses that the Assad regime has used weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small-scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

Recently, in both Iraq and Turkey, Al Qaeda cells were found in possession of Sarin and the equipment made to use it, it is no secret the ‘rebels’ just across the border are heavily affiliated with Al Qaeda ideologues and have poured into Syria through Turkey and Iraq. These reports have been almost whitewashed from Western press. After earlier rebel claims of CW use, several reports suggested rebels were in possession of Sarin or a similar agent and had used it in Aleppo on an attack on Syrian Government forces, in which an estimated 15 soldiers died. The Syrian Government immediately reported this incident to the UN and asked for an investigation. Under US pressure, the UN replied that it would only conduct a nation-wide investigation and again, the reports were marginalised, obfuscated and forgotten about.

Obviously, to anyone with half a brain, it is clear that the SAA willingly using chemical weapons is suicide. And offers the SAA no short-term, or long-term strategic benefit. This brings us to who directly benefits from false claims of the SAA using CW. The rebels would obviously benefit a great deal from Obama enforcing a No-Fly Zone, and providing direct US military aid. It is well within the rebels interest to frame the Syrian Government to build a pretext for overt US intervention. The timing of these revelations is also highly indicative as to their purpose.

As mentioned above, the rebels are losing in a big way inside Syria, supply lines have been cut off, key towns and transit routes have been retaken by the SAA. Rebel numbers and sanctuary are dwindling, if the ‘balance’ were to remain the same, the insurgency would soon be over; permitting Syria could secure its borders to a reasonable extent. The brutal war ending is not what the US and its allies want in Syria. This war has never been about the safety, self-determination, or will of the Syrian people. This war has always been about regime change, by any means necessary.

Now that US and Gulf proxies are desperately losing, the ‘WMD’ Casus Belli must be utilised once again. Regardless of a lack of public evidence or willingness to believe these outlandish, and tainted claims, the US will persevere and is no doubt already increasing its military supplies to Salafist ‘rebels’, these falsehoods just offer further retrospective legal cover for the illegal proxy-war the United States has waged against Syria. The US Government and Military Industrial Complex cannot be seen to back down in the International Community.

When Obama declared “Assad Must Go” he did not envision the Syrian people and state (and, to an extent, their international allies) to stand up and defeat the US led subversive proxy war. Two years later and the insurgency is being crushed, the administration is perplexed, its Gulf clients could not pull off the ‘regime change’ the US military and intelligence community are usually so adept at achieving. The Obama administration is lost and has no face-saving policy with which to proceed in removing Assad, so it must pursue the WMD card, knowing that when it is all over, the CW will be in Syria. (unlike Iraq) Whether the Syrian Government actually used them or not will be yesterdays news, who cares, Assad was a “bad man” who “killed his own people” (including tens of thousands of his own soldiers??) and look at all these Chemical Weapons we found!!

The ‘media’ and Western leaders again bang the drums for this criminality and ‘intervention’. Will it take another ten years before we are mocked with vapid mea culpa’s and skewed death tolls? Russian MP’s are already stating the ‘evidence’ of CW use is fabricated, we should listen to their advice. We were fooled by Western governmental criminals into aggression and genocide ten years ago, the same is happening now.

Who is responsible for sectarianism in Syria?

Western politicians, and their Gulf counterparts, are engaged in a concerted campaign to portray Hezbollah’s recent involvement in Syria as a main cause of the overt sectarian nature of the Syrian ‘opposition’, and are using Hezbollah to subvert the opposition’s sectarian origins and inherent ideologies. Several underlying factors need to be addressed as to why this campaign is being pushed forward, and why it is important for Western and Gulf nations to exacerbate the demonization towards Hezbollah in the Middle East. This campaign can be construed as part of the US/KSA/Israeli agreed policy of “choking the resistance”. That resistance being: Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, otherwise falsely labelled as the “Shi’ite crescent”.

When one views the Syrian conflict in its true geopolitical reality – which is a multi-national US-led regime change effort designed to weaken Iran’s staunch ally – it becomes clear as to why Hezbollah’s inevitable involvement was a desired outcome of the concerted destabilization efforts from US allies. These allies, namely: Qatar and Saudi Arabia, (by extension the Hariri/Future Movement camp in Lebanon) have engaged in a strict policy to foment and enable a Salafist dominated sectarian insurgency to take hold in Syria. It is beyond ridiculous to suggest either the KSA or Qatar, are attempting to spread ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ or even pluralism in a secular Arab country; while espousing intolerant Salafi/Wahhabi incarnations of Islam within their own lands. Put simply, both the KSA and Qatar have actively encouraged and fomented extremist militants and Islamic radicals to wage war in Syria because they are the type of ideologues that are closest to their own oppressive domestic doctrines.

Moreover, once the falsehood that the Syrian war simply erupted from oppression of ‘peaceful protesters’ is removed, and the harsh realities of the sectarian make-up of the Syrian ‘opposition’ is acknowledged; it becomes clear why Shi’a towns and villages along the Syrian/Lebanese border have been targeted and attacked by Salafist militants since virtually the onset of the conflict. Western and Gulf leaders denounce Hezbollah’s intervention and accuse the resistance group of exacerbating sectarian tensions; willingly ignoring that for the past two years, the vast majority of ‘opposition’ militants have espoused a hardline sectarian Salafi ideology, and have indeed, poured through Lebanons borders with arms and funds in tow.

A prominent example of this wilful ignorance arises in the much talked about town of Qusair. Many a Western politician portrayed the sectarian ramifications of Hezbollah’s assault on the rebel-held town; but the same Western politicians (and lackey media) totally ignored, and then subverted the fact that when the rebels ‘liberated’ the town of Qusair from Government control in 2012, they quickly took it upon themselves to ethnically cleanse all Christians from the area. Obviously, this has no bearing on the sectarian dynamic in Western politician’s eyes. A multitude of hardline Sunni sheikhs have given veiled fatwas against Shi’a and Alawite seen as Government supporters, throughout the two-year conflict; culminating with prominent cleric Yusuf Qaradawi declaring through Qatari media that all young Sunni men should take up the fight against Hezbollah “the Shi’a party of Satan” and the minority Alawite Government of Assad in Syria.

During the course of the conflict, several revealing reports have shed light on just how large a role certain factions within Lebanese Government (Hariri/March 14/Future Movement) have taken it upon themselves to become conduits for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s policy of destabilization in Syria. Saad Hariri’s camp in Lebanon is inextricably tied to Saudi Arabia and the US’ paranoid and hegemonic plans for the Levant, in attempts to curb Iraninan expansion and assert Saudi, ergo: Western dominance. In turn Saudi Arabia is acting in favour of its major global allies, those of a western variety, predominantly being the US and the UK in the decades long “special relationship”. Again, these important dynamics have been thoroughly subverted and hidden from the Western public, yet every attempt is made to highlight Hezbollah’s role in supporting the Assad government. Again, the fact Hezbollah has been defending Shi’ites, Christians and Sunni alike from Jihaddi/Salafists hell-bent on “cleansing” them from Syria and Lebanon’s border region’s goes unmentioned.

Acknowledging the geopolitical dynamic’s of these “relationships”, and the effects their joint campaigns are having on Syria and its surroundings; are key to understanding the sectarian quagmire that is in danger of engulfing the entire region. The US, along with its Gulf allies have been engaged for years in a concerted destabilization and subversion campaign against Syria in order to weaken Iran. These plans were specifically designed to also subvert Hezbollah, remove a bulwark to Israeli oppression and expansion, and ultimately determine a new political force in South Lebanon; one that is compliant to Western demands and subservient to Israel. The chosen policy in which this campaign was to be implemented was through the explicit fomentation and enablement of radical sectarian forces and societal division, evidently resulting in the sectarian nature of the conflict spreading throughout the region today.

In turn, the dominance of radical Sunni ideologues that espouse a hatred for Shi’a has not gone unnoticed inside Lebanon and Hezbollah’s ranks, and is having the adverse effect that Saudi Arabia and their allies have long desired. Sectarian influenced attacks on Shi’ite towns and villages in the border regions have been commonplace. With the constant actual, and rhetorical threat to minorities and Shi’a coming from opposition Salafi elements, and the swathes of militants using Lebanon’s borders and towns as staging grounds to attack Syria; Hezbollah has been backed into a corner with no way out other than to fight for its existence and vital supply lines. Hezbollah being reliant on the Assad Government is not through any sectarian affiliation, (which Western politicians and media like to portray, disregarding that many Shi’a view Alawites as heretics, and the Baathist ideology is strictly secular) but through a political and strategic relationship. The resistance in Lebanon cannot survive under current threats without the support of the Assad government, and vital land and logistic routes to Iran. Completing the “resistance axis”.

The West and specifically the GCC are now portraying Hezbollah as the sectarian antagonist, claiming it is solely a Shi’a militant group fighting on behalf of the Assad government for its Shi’a connections to the Alawites of Syria, and Shi’a of Iran. Again, these simplistic attributions to Hezbollah bear no reality to its pluralistic nature. Its militant wing is currently fighting alongside Shi’a and Christians, in an army that is dominated by Sunni conscripts. (yes the SAA is majority Sunni believe it or not) In Lebanon, Hezbollah provide for, and peacefully live alongside Shi’a, Sunni and Christian alike. Yet the dominant narrative coming from the West and the Gulf is that Hezbollah is responsible for increasing sectarianism. This is turning culpability for the sectarian dynamic of the Syrian conflict completely on its head; in order to subvert the violent, intolerant monster that the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others have created to wage war on their behalf.

In another disturbing and recent example of the Syrian rebels sectarian ideology, from the village of Hatla, in Deir Ezzor; an estimated 60 Shi’a residents of the town were killed, apparently for the crime of being Government supporters (described as ‘militia’ in western media even though victims include women and children). Elements of Jabhat al Nusra, the prominent ‘opposition’ fighting force in Syria posted videos of the attack in which they state: “We have raised the banner ‘There is no God but God’ above the houses of the apostate rejectionists, the Shia,” The language used by the ‘rebels’ on camera is again, explicitly sectarian, and commonplace among the many videos openly touted online by such radical groups: “This is the Shia, this is the Shia carcass, this is their end,” the cameraman declares as a victim is revealed lying dead on the floor. Widespread sectarian killings are not anomalies inside Syria. During protests in 2011, the chants for reform and democracy were quickly usurped by sectarian slogans such as “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave”.

With recent death toll estimates from leading pro-opposition group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (one man in Coventry but widely touted in Western media) suggesting that at least 43% of the dead are Syrian army members or Government militia; it raises the immediate question of how false the one-dimensional narrative of “Assad killing his own people” must actually be? Unless we are supposed to believe that over the course of two year’s the Syrian Army has killed ten’s of thousands of its own soldiers, it becomes difficult to envision this conflict as anything other than a foreign-funded war against the Syrian state. A war that from the beginning has been led by client states of the US, that espouse brutal, violent and intolerant versions of Islam, and have a proven history of furthering their covert policies by fomenting, arming and funding radical ‘shock troops’ to undertake sectarian warfare and societal division to meet their geopolitical objectives.

There are predominantly two parties to blame for the sectarianism rife in Syria and spreading beyond its borders, they are: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Sitting behind these states, and driving their destructive policy is, as always, the Empire of the era. Those who gain the most from destabilizing whole resource-rich regions for their own benefit. For the last 60 years, that Empire has been the United States of America.

Tony Blair continues to push the Neo-Con agenda.

Tony Blair, one of the Chief architects of the wholly illegal, and barbaric act of aggression put upon the state of Iraq and its population in 2003 – resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – has once again been given a platform to further the West’s Imperial agenda and designs for the Middle East.

A recent article in the Mail on Sunday penned by Mr. Blair, reveals how very little this man truly thinks of the public’s collective and individual ability to see straight through his “liberal” veneer and blatant war propaganda. The man British citizens twice voted into the office of Prime Minister, is now, a de-facto figurehead for the vast apparatus’ of the Western Corporate Military Industrial Complex (MIC), and a fully fledged leader of the MIC’s quasi-humanitarian facade. Can one honestly believe this man – thought by many of his own former constituents to be a proven war criminal – holds the title of Middle East Peace Envoy? One looks on at this scenario and see’s nothing more than a sickening insult to the Palestinian’s and their brethren. You want peace? The right of return? Your indigenous land? And compensation for the brutality the UK and the rest of the Western world has encouraged and abetted israel to commit unhindered? Here, have “our” Tony; a proven war criminal responsible for the death and suffering of millions of Arab’s, a man so despised in the region he is supposed to be helping, that he dare not step foot in it outside of Zionist control or with a small army in tow.

The simplistic narrative Mr. Blair is trying to force onto readers is that, contrary to all available evidence and the vast majority of informed scholarly opinion, even indeed, contrary to his first paragraph in which he uses his charm and “liberal” facade to portray an understanding of peaceful Islam; that there is an “ideology” behind the brutal murder of Lee Rigby by extremists on the streets of London, and that this ideology is “profound and dangerous”. Tony then veers straight into the Neo-Con/AIPAC dominated western narrative on the Middle East, casually inferring that the “ideology” he speaks of is “out there”: (my emphasis.)

However, we are deluding ourselves if we believe that we can protect this country simply by what we do here, the ideology is out there, it isn’t diminishing.

This one sentence alone, is complete Neo-Con fantasy. In 2012 – and this is a recurring statistic – more American’s died as a result of being crushed by their TV or furniture (16) than by “terrorism” (10). When is Tony going to warn the Western world of the imminent danger and “profound ideology” which is inherent in every Panasonic superstore or large furniture outlet? I for one agree, we should do all we can to combat such a “profound” threat. Three-piece-suite “terror cells” are currently gathering at Ikea superstore’s across the whole of  Britain. The country must be prepared for this imminent, pernicious “ideological” attack from sofa’s, TV’s and extremist chaise lounge alike.

Tony takes us on a tour of the current conflagrations erupting throughout the Middle East, yes, of course, this man has the right to opine and the status to gain platform, who is to stop him? The millions across the globe that strongly feel he should be prosecuted for his murderous actions don’t have a say, the Corporate Elite that run the editorial boards of Western media outlets willingly parade this man’s opinion as credible. Tony asks us, subservient citizens of the west, to “consider the Middle East”. Has this man ever considered the Middle East in any other context than an oil-well, for him and his corporate cronies and warmonger’s alike to rape and pillage? Yet we, as hapless subordinates should “consider the Middle East”?

Of course Tony’s considerations fall alongside such prominent peace activists as US Senator John McCain, currently to be found posing with Islamic extremists guilty of war crimes. On Syria, Tony tells us:

Many in the region believe that the Assad intention is to ethnically cleanse the Sunni from the areas dominated by his regime and then form a separate state around Lebanon. There would then be a de facto Sunni state in the rest of Syria, cut off from the wealth of the country or the sea.

Again, this could not be further from reality, or even come close to the Syrian Governments intention’s. The intention of his great friend George Bush and his administration on the other hand, dutifully carried out by Obama and their GCC partners, is exactly what has transpired inside Syria and is now engulfing Lebanon. This intention through covert policy was a de-facto sectarian division and destruction of the Syrian state, Hezbollah, and Lebanon along with it, to ultimately lay the ground for the “Path to Persia”. Western and Gulf nations sponsorship of supposed “rebels” fighting for democracy has done nothing but bolster Al Qaeda affiliated ideologues and groups that openly espouse sectarian hatred against Shia Muslim’s, Christians, and any other minority sect residing in Syria or on this planet.

Yet Assad, whose domestic popularity has apparently never been higher according to NATO sources, and the President of a secular and multi-ethnic state is now willingly dividing his own country to escape a sectarian extremist takeover that has the support of around a meagre 10% of Syria’s population? It beggars belief, and Tony is turning the conflict on its head. Since the very start of the Syrian conflict it has been the groups that espouse this sectarian agenda that have directly received the most support, arms and funding from Western and Gulf donors, and has undoubtedly resulted in the vast amount of extremist dominated militia currently waging war on the Syrian state, its whole social fabric, and its once tolerant and peaceful population.

“The Syrian opposition is made up of many groups. The fighters are increasingly the Al Qaeda- affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra. They are winning support, and arms and money from outside the country.

Surely the question Tony should be asking himself is: who is sending “support, arms and money from outside the country“? He doesn’t seem to be able to determine that it is his own allies in the region and across the Atlantic that have poured billions of dollars into the insurgency. Qatar alone, have thrown $3 billion dollars at the Salafi/Jihaddi dominated “opposition”, along with thousands of tonnes of arms. Yet the spread of extremism is the fault of the Syrian Government?

In Tony’s eye’s, the billions of dollars provided by the West, along with thousands of tonnes of western coordinated arms sent to “rebels” in Syria has absolutely no relevance to the proliferation of extremists. Western intelligence agencies training the very same militia for the last two years simply doesn’t correlate. Does he think the CIA, MI6 and their Turkish, Qatari, Saudi and Jordanian counterparts are training Greenpeace activists in Mafraq and Incerlik to go and wage war against the Syrian Army? Or do these “freedom fighters” only become radicalized once set-loose from their Western/GCC mentors and trainers the minute they cross the Syrian border?

Of all those least qualified to make an assumption about chemical weapons, Tony provides his readers with another Golden Nugget of complete falsehood:

“Assad is using chemical weapons on a limited but deadly scale.”

The man has absolutely nothing to back this claim, he probably has less “evidence” than the first time he used the “chemical weapons” Cassus Belli to wage war on Iraq. UN investigator Carla Del Ponte, may well like to correct him, as it was her – along with many other analysts and informed individuals – that pointed the finger directly at the “freedom fighting” rebels Tony and his ilk have been supporting for over two years. Not to mention the fact that just this week, Syrian militant cells tied to Jabhat al Nusra (Al Qaeda) – the prominent opposition fighting force in Syria – were arrested in possession of Sarin Gas canisters in neighboring Iraq and Turkey. False flag anyone?

Tellingly, Tony tells us: “we are at the beginning of this tragedy”. Revealing his true desire in such a way as to say: look, I told you so, we should have intervened and bombed them back to the stone age two years ago. Again, his cognitive dissonance and ability to whitewash any western culpability for the increase in sectarianism, destruction and conflict spread throughout the Middle East goes far beyond ignorance or hypocrisy. Blair uses “we” to pull in readers as if he is a spokesperson for the world, when in reality he is a willing public relations shill for Western-led aggression. He says “we are at the beginning” just at the point of him addressing Iran, at which he offers another complete fear-factor falsehood to his readers:

Then there is the Iranian regime, still intent on getting a nuclear weapon, still exporting terror and instability to the West and the east of it.

Without even bothering to address the Neo-Con-led lie that Iran is “intent on getting a nuclear weapon”, we should simply sit back and take a look at the current reality of the situation. Israel has had for years, an illegal and rather huge nuclear warhead stockpile. Has Tony ever thought about challenging that illegality in his efforts as “Middle East Peace Envoy”? – of course not. It goes without saying that Iran have every right to engage in their nuclear energy program; they are a party to the IAEA and comply regularly with US-led invasive measures, not to mention Iran is also party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Israel on the other hand, are not a member of either, yet it is often Israel found at the forefront of allegations against Iran.  All the while Israel sit on a huge illegal nuclear stockpile; engage in decades long occupation and land theft; apartheid; and multiple acts of violent aggression including invasion of several neighbouring states, all of which is only possible with the enablement and approval of hegemonic Western states. But of course, Iran is the threat in the Middle East. And Israel’s security is of utmost importance.

Tony must be so fearful of his security within the occupied territories, or anywhere else in the Arab world for that matter, that he is failing to speak to the people he claims to know so much about. It would only take a quick review of the plethora of polls held in the region for him to realise, it is not Iran or Syria that Arabs fear. In the vast majority, Arab’s think of the United States and Israel as the two main threats to peace in the region. It is not in Tony’s or his paymasters interest’s to point this out.

But as Blair warns himself “lets not get carried away”. This isn’t all down to Iraq and Israel after all. No, the policy of fomenting and using radical Islam for geopolitical gain runs far deeper and wider, decades at least. Blair touches on an enlightening subject when he states:

The Taliban grew out of the Russian occupation of Afghanistan and made the country into a training ground for terror.

To some extent, this is true; but what Tony is wilfully omitting is the fact the Russian invasion of Afghanistan was a result of the US-led proxy war against it. Tony knows full well that the US was arming the very same ideologues he pretends to rally against in Afghanistan, often with the tacit coordination of British military and intelligence agencies. It was the West that enabled, funded and armed Osama Bin Laden, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Haqqani network and many other extremists during the eighties, all for the value of “giving Russia its Vietnam”. It was US and UK military trainers, alongside their Pakistani and Saudi counterparts, that armed and trained these men in the finer arts of warfare and terrorism. According to official documentation, much of these western-led efforts commenced long before the Russian’s decided to invade. Furthermore, thousands of Islamic extremist’s were given billions of dollars and armed to the teeth during the Yugoslavia break-up, this had far more relevance to economic designs for the region than the West enabling “freedom and democracy”. A policy which the US, along with its NATO ally Turkey has continued along Russia’s North Caucasus, the blowback of which can be seen on the streets of Boston today. Much the same happened in Libya when that “Dictator” got above his station and actually dared to provide his people independence from the Western economic stranglehold. And has also been happening on Syria’s borders since at least the original protest movement kicked off in March 2011.

These are just a few example’s of the plethora of evidence that proves outright Western leaders are in no rush to defeat fundamentalism. While western domestic populations are whipped into Islamophobic fever and their civil liberties encroached upon through false “National Security” measures, whole populations of “others” are dehumanized and demonized to enable Western-led military aggression. Coddling extremist and reactionary autocrats and their ideological militant proxies  has for decades provided the Western Elite the ultimate subversion tool abroad, from Gamal Abdel Nasser, to the Soviet Union itself, using radical Islamists as foot soldiers in proxy wars in the Arab World is but one of the Capitalist elites weapon’s of choice.

To further the point of Tony’s glaring moral expediency, it just so happens the West’s biggest ally in the region since its UK-designed inception: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, garners not a single mention in Blair’s article, of course, this is the nation we have supplied and armed throughout its existence to wage war on our behalf. Saudi Arabia is the state that oppresses its population through archaic and barbaric interpretations of Islam. But Tony’s wallet will not allow a harsh word to be said.

While the Saudi Arabian absolute monarchy indocrinate, fund & arm Islamic extremists all over the Middle East, and pour billion’s into Madrassa’s all over the world to spread the brutal Saud monarchy’s Wahhabi abomination of Islam; western Governments such as Blair’s are more than happy to sell them billions of dollars worth of war materiel at knock-off prices, and indeed, have used Saudi Arabia as a key conduit and enforcer of all things “terror” in the region, on the West’s behalf, for decades on end.

Lets not pretend we don’t know why these counterintuitive dynamics continue to occur. One has to take a serious look at the disparities that are inherent within Western Governments to understand the very nature of the real “threats” and establishment “ideologies” that are forced upon us. It is not Islam, nor any other religion that is the threat, it is not even the extremist marginal ideologies that our leaders use to entrap and enslave us at home, or promote and foment war and subversion abroad. Neither can compare to the destruction and death Western leaders have willingly caused. It is Tony and his ilk that have proven to be the biggest detriment to mankind and peace.

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.