Op-Ed by Brandon Turbeville
Making quite the circuit on the Internet landscape is a new video purporting to show a former CIA agent speaking out against the manner in which the “war on terror” is prosecuted and portrayed to the American public. The video (see below) has been shared and discussed thousands of times particularly within the alternative media community as evidence that the “war on terror” is one big snowball of bad decisions and blowback.
The video, is a short clip of an interview conducted by AJ+ with Amaryllis Fox, a former CIA Clandestine Services Officer, who makes a number of claims during the three-minute clip that range from the reasonable to the absurd. While many alternative media outlets have hailed Fox’s video as “brave” and Fox herself as a whistleblower, it would be wise to analyze her statements for what they are as opposed to praising them simply because they are being presented as “anti-establishment.”
Fox makes a surprising amount of claims for three minutes and she also manages to conflate issues, concepts, and people in a cleverly designed monologue that is clearly scripted for effect.
Fox begins by saying,
If I learned one lesson from my time with the CIA it is this: everybody believes they are the good guy. I was an officer with the CIA Clandestine Service and worked undercover on counterterrorism and intelligence all around the world for almost ten years. The conversation that’s going on in the United States right now about ISIS and the United States overseas is more oversimplified than ever.
Fair enough. Lower level agents of the CIA and most lower level fighters in terrorist organizations or national militaries believe they are the good guys. The propaganda surrounding the “war on terror” is oversimplified. All of this is true indeed. But Fox moves from information easily verified such as the statement above to much more questionable claims. For instance, she says,
Ask most Americans whether ISIS poses an existential threat to this country and they’ll say yes. That’s where the conversation stops. If you’re walking down the street in Iraq or Syria and ask anybody why America dropped bombs, you get: “They were waging a war on Islam.” And you walk in America and you ask why we were attacked on 9/11, and you get “They hate us because we’re free.” Those are stories, manufactured by a really small number of people on both sides who amass a great deal of power and wealth by convincing the rest of us to keep killing each other.
Fox is correct on the latter part of her statement. Much of these stories are indeed manufactured by a small number of people in order to drum up support for foreign invasions and a police state back at home. But who exactly is Fox talking to on the streets of Syria and Iraq that would respond “a war on Islam” to the question of why the United States is dropping bombs on their country? It certainly isn’t the average Syrian as she tries to portray. In fact, if one were to go to the average Syrian on the street and ask “Why is America dropping bombs?” the answer would almost always be centered around Israel. Almost every researcher is aware of this fact but not one time was the word “Israel” mentioned in Fox’s interview. The “war on Islam” line is typically reserved only for the more fanatical religious zealots who make up the so-called “opposition.” So what is Fox suggesting? Is she suggesting that the average Syrian holds the same belief system as the average al-Qaeda fighter?
Actually, that is exactly what she is doing, regardless of whether or not she states it explicitly or not. She continues,
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I think the question we need to be asking, as Americans examining our foreign policy, is whether or not we are pouring kerosene on a candle. The only real way to disarm your enemy is to listen to them. If you hear them out, if you’re brave enough to really listen to their story, you can see that more often than not, you might have made some of the same choices if you’d lived their life instead of yours. An al-Qaeda fighter made a point once during a debriefing. He said all these movies that America makes, like Independence Day, and Hunger Games and Star Wars, they’re all about a small scrappy band of rebels who will do anything in their power with the limited resources available to them to expel and outside, technologically advanced invader. And what you don’t realize, he said, is that to us, to the rest of the world, you are the empire, and we are Luke and Han. You are the aliens and we are Will Smith.
Fox is implying that there was a “fundamentalist al-Qaeda” problem before America’s foreign policy was formed. In other words, that the problem existed and that the United States perhaps acted rashly in dealing with it. But the fact is that the al-Qaeda issue never would have existed in the first place had the United States not invented it. Indeed, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other related terrorist organizations are entirely creations of the U.S. government and the NATO apparatus. While Fox may be forgiven for not knowing this little detail, not knowing the difference between a fundamentalist al-Qaeda fanatic and an average Syrian is not excusable. That is, assuming that the mistake is actually a mistake and not an intentional attempt to mislead the audience.
Fox also provides questionable analogies when she discusses the al-Qaeda fighters’ interpretation of Hollywood movies. If the fighter was so convinced that the U.S. is the empire (fair point – it is) and al-Qaeda is the equivalent of Luke and Han, why did al-Qaeda attack the Syrian government? Why did they attack the Iraqi government? Why did they attack the Libyan government? This would be the equivalent of Luke and Han attacking the Galactic Republic while claiming to fight the Empire. It doesn’t make sense. Continuing with the Star Wars analogy, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, and Muammar Ghaddaffi would represent the Republic and those nations’ militaries along with Iraq’s “insurgents” fighting back against the U.S. would be the true rebels. Fox should know this very well.
Nevertheless, Fox concluded her statements by saying,
But the truth is when you talk to the people who are really fighting on the ground on both sides, and ask them why they’re there, they answer with hopes for their children, specific policies that they think are cruel or unfair. And while it may be easier to dismiss your enemy as evil, hearing them out on policy concerns is actually an amazing thing. Because as long as your enemy is a subhuman psychopath that’s going to attack you no matter what you do, this never ends. But if your enemy is a policy, however complicated, that we can work with.
So, again, the question would be “who is Fox actually talking about?” When she references “the people who are really fighting on the ground on both sides, does she mean U.S. forces and terrorists vs the Syrian military? Does she exclude the U.S. military? Her statements simply do nothing to clarify the reality on the ground, only to confuse it.
One good question for Fox would be how the Syrian government should listen to and hear out a “policy” coming from an organization that crucifies women, beheads “heretics,” and seeks to impose Sharia law on a civilized people? How should Syria simply listen to the “concerns” of the United States after the latter power has funded those “subhuman psychopaths” (yes, it is an accurate description) who have invaded their country? Is it possible that the “policy” of the United States and its proxy terrorists is simply wrong? Is it possible that the other sides might not be so willing to have a couples’ therapy session?
While Fox makes a number of good points regarding the fact that the narrative surrounding al-Qaeda and the situation in Syria and Iraq is indeed manufactured by a small number of people in high places, Fox herself makes an incredibly wrong description of the conflict, equating average Syrians and Iraqis with jihadists in terms of their mindset and suggesting that the upsurge of terrorism is a result of blowback as opposed to outright funding and conspiracy to overthrow sovereign states in search of world hegemony.
Fox’s statements simply serve to continue to drag Americans off into the abyss of misinformation surrounding the crisis in the Middle East while claiming to do otherwise. After watching Fox’s video, (notably produced by AJ+ – al-Jazeera, a Qatari news agency that has long been pro-jihadist), we can safely say that Ms. Fox is either misinformed herself or simply good at her job.
Image Credit: Anthony Freda
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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