Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
As expected, after a long pause of feigned “consideration,” the US has recognized the militants it has been arming, funding, aiding logistically and supporting diplomatically since as early as 2007, as the “legitimate representatives of the Syrian people,” with the added caveat, “in opposition to the Assad regime.” The Wall Street Journal would report that US President Barack Obama’s announcement actually read:
The Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime.
The bizarre, uncertain wording sends a message of both uncertainty and resounding illegitimacy, indicating that the US itself recognizes the true nature of the so-called “Syrian” opposition is apparent to an increasing number of people both in public office and across the public, and that a certain degree of rhetorical distance must be kept.
The overt, extremist nature of the militants operating in Syria has become increasingly difficult for the West to paper over. Torrents of videos and confirmed reports documenting militant atrocities, including several involving the machine gunning of bound prisoners, and a particularly gruesome video of a child handed a sword by militants to hack off the heads of bound men wearing civilian clothing, has confirmed the worst fears expressed by geopolitical analysts and foreign governments around the world – that the Syrian opposition is in fact Al Qaeda.
So damning is the evidence, that President Obama was forced to finally acknowledge this, stating:
There is a small element of those who oppose the Assad regime that are affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq…and we are going to make clear to distinguish between those elements of the opposition.
The Wall Street Journal, in their article, “U.S. Recognizes Syria’s Main Rebel Group,” would also report:
The Obama administration on Tuesday for the first time released intelligence directly tying a powerful Syrian rebel group to commanders of al Qaeda in Iraq. U.S. officials formally sanctioned the Syrian militia, called Jabhat al-Nusra—freezing any assets it may have in the U.S. and barring Americans from doing business with it—because of fears it is gaining disproportionate power among the rebel groups seeking to overthrow Mr. Assad.Despite this announcement, such sanctions are symbolic and selectively enforced. Also on such lists was the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), and currently the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007, according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq.”
Yet in 2011, NATO had armed, funded, and provided air support for LIFG during the premeditated overthrow of the Libyan government.
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Based in Benghazi, elements of LIFG were behind the attack on a US consulate and the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
They are also confirmed to be sending fighters and weapons through NATO-member Turkey where they stage before engaging in combat operations inside Syria.
In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would mention LIFG by name when they reported:
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. ‘Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.’
Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit:
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested ‘assistance’ from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
‘There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,’ said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.’
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Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and have been flooding into the country ever since.
Clearly they are not “secretly” organizing hundreds of fighters under the nose of the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and “sneaking” through NATO member states into Syria. They are doing with NATO-backing, with NATO admittedly providing support for militants along Turkey’s border with Syria, utilizing the very same regional Al Qaeda networks identified by the US military during the US occupation of Iraq – which also explains where Jabhat al-Nusra is coming from.
Further undermining US claims that they have identified and are attempting to separate from the “opposition,” sectarian extremists, are admissions made as early as 2007 that US foreign policy explicitly sought to utilize these very sectarian extremists to violently overthrow the Syrian government. Indeed, in 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh published an article titled, “The Redirection” for the New Yorker, within which US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials described their conspiracy.
In the report it specifically stated:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Hersh’s report would continue by stating:
the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The link between extremist groups and Saudi funding was also mentioned in the report, and reflects evidence presented by the West Point CTC indicating that the majority of fighters and funding behind the sectarian violence in Iraq, came from Saudi Arabia. Hersh’s report specifically states:
…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The report reads like a prophecy, fulfilled verbatim during the events of the last 2 years. The Wall Street Journal report openly states that the Syrian conflict is turning into a proxy war with Iran, just as was planned in 2007. The feigned ignorance, surprise and attempts to mitigate terror groups the US purposefully created in the first place, is merely for public consumption. Bands of sectarian extremists destroying Syria was the stated plan for years, a plan now coming into fruition.
Wall Street Journal Admits Syria’s Minorities are Fighting for Lives – SNC Leader Admits He Seeks an “Islamic State”
And even as US President Obama attempts to assure the public and the international community that the West is sorting out the extremists, the Wall Street Journal admits that militias are forming across Syria – assembled by Syria’s large minorities to protect themselves from what is clearly a sectarian assault – not a pro-democracy movement. In describing the militias, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Many come from Syria’s religious minorities, mostly the Shiite offshoot Alawite sect to which the president’s family belongs, as well Christians and Druze, who increasingly see themselves in a battle against a mainly Sunni rebel insurgency.Of course, the Wall Street Journal attempts to portray the militias as mercenaries in the service of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite admitting the sectarian nature of the opposition and admitting that Al Qaeda is confirmed to be operating inside of Syria.
The sectarian nature of the bloodbath the US was engineering in 2007 was also mentioned in Seymour Hersh’s “The Redirection.” Foreshadowing was given by a former CIA officer based in Lebanon who stated:
Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, ‘we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites’ –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Clearly, the Christians in Syria would also need protection.
And while the US attempts to reassure the world that the brood of terrorists it is cultivating and has now officially recognized as the “representatives of the Syrian people” is “pro-democratic” in nature, the very leader the US recently handpicked in Doha, Qatar to lead the new opposition coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, has admitted in an Al Jazeera interview that he seeks to establish an “Islamic state” across currently secular Syria.
Modeled after the increasingly despotic Muslim Brotherhood regime led by Mohammed Morsi, who is currently hiring rape gangs to help disperse protesters opposed to his expanding dictatorship, al-Khatib’s vision of Syria’s future is one even many Syrian Sunnis reject.
To declare this violent minority, augmented by foreign terrorists couching the establishment of a brutal faux-theocracy behind the paper-thin veneer of “democracy,” as the “representatives of the Syrian people” is not a “a big step” as President Obama declared. Instead, it is a step as illegitimate and morally bankrupt as it is desperate. It is a stumble forward – and one that threatens to trip up anyone within arms reach of America as it takes it.
Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.