America created ISIS, and other clickbait!

Summary: We consume news in unprecedented amounts via the information superhighway, yet we know so little. Smart people have learned to convert hard news into clickbait (exciting fiction), which people we trust then disseminate (the same process spreads urban legends). It’s advertising revenue for them but clouded minds for us. Either we learn to click through to sort truth from exaggerations and misrepresentations — or we get stop reading sources that don’t deserve our trust (no matter how flattering to our ideology.Clickbait

 

Contents

  1. Exciting News!
  2. Real News.
  3. Actual Intelligence.
  4. For More Information.
  5. 20th C Headlines written as Clickbait.

 

(1)  Exciting News!

Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US ‘Created’ ISIS As A ‘Tool’ To Overthrow Syria’s President Assad” at Zero Hedge. Wow! Pulitzer Prize material of the sort to change your view of the world. Their stories are reposted at hundreds of websites, and seen by thousands or millions of people. It cites as a source a story only a fraction of readers will click through to see…

(2)  Real news

Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS
Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’” by Nafeez Ahmed at Medium. After this opening it gets a bit exaggerated, but it’s journalism (not clickbait fiction). Opening…

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of this strategy, and warned that it could destabilize Iraq. Despite anticipating that Western, Gulf state and Turkish support for the “Syrian opposition” — which included al-Qaeda in Iraq  —  could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the document provides no indication of any decision to reverse the policy of support to the Syrian rebels. On the contrary, the emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad.

The Medium article links to a source few will click through to see. It reads as reasonable analysis, not the astonishing report one would expect.

US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) seal

(3)  Actual Intelligence

Here is the Defense Intelligence Agency report posted at Judicial Watch (posted here using OCR, with the usual errors). It confirms what anyone paying attention should know by now: the repeated geopolitical errors made by US leaders result from their folly, ignoring the often good intelligence they’re given.

Update: in comments Brad Hoff of the Levant Report points out that the reference to a “Islamic State” does not refer to the “Islamic State” (aka ISIS), which did not exist in 2012. Magpie points out that this was classified “secret”, a middle level, and so probably not considered hot or high priority insights.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – CLASSIFICATION: SECRET.
INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE.
COUNTRY: (U) IRAQ (IRQ). DOI: (U) 20120730.  {12 August 2012}

1. {REDACTED}

2. {REDACTED}

THE GENERAL SITUATION:

A. INTERNALLY, EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION.

B. THE SALAFIST,- THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA. CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

D. {REDACTED}

E. THE REGIME’S PRIORITY IS TO CONCENTRATE ITS PRESENCE IN AREAS ALONG THE COAST (TARTUS, AND LATAKJA); HOWEVER, IT HAS NOT ABANDONED HOMS BECAUSE IT CONTROLS THE MAJOR TRANSPORTATION ROUTES IN SYRIA. THE REGIME DECREASED ITS CONCENTRATION IN AREAS ADJACENT TO THE IRAQI BORDERS (AL HASAK.A AND DER ZOR).

3. AL QAEDA – IRAQ (AQI):

A. AQI IS FAMILIAR WITH SYRIA. AQI TRAINED IN SYRIA AND THEN INFILTRATED INTO IRAQ.

B. AQI SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA. AQI DECLARED ITS OPPOSITION OF ASSAD’S GOVERNMENT BECAUSE IT CONSIDERED IT A SECTARIAN REGIME TARGETING SUNNIS.

C. AQI CONDUCTED A NUMBER OF OPERATIONS IN SEVERAL SYRIAN CITIES UNDER THE NAME OF JAISH AL NUSRA (VICTORIOUS ARMY), ONE OF ITS AFFILIATES.

D. AQI, THROUGH THE SPOKESMAN OF THE ISLAMIC STA TE OF IRAQ (ISi), ABU MUHAMMAD AL ADNANI, DECLARED THE SYRIAN REGIME AS THE SPEARHEAD OF WHAT HE IS NAMING JIBHA AL RUWAFDH (FOREFRONT OF THE SHIITES) BECAUSE OF ITS {THE SYRIAN REGIME) DECLARATION OF WAR ON THE SUNNIS.

ADDITIONALLY. HE IS CALLING ON THE SUNNIS IN IRAQ, ESPECIALLY THE TRIBES IN THE BORDER REGIONS (BETWEEN IRAQ AND SYRIA), TO WAGE WAR AGAINST THE SYRIAN REGIME, REGARDING SYRIA AS AN INFIDEL REGIME FOR ITS SUPPORT TO THE INFIDEL PARTY HEZBOLLAH, AND OTHER REGIMES HE CONSIDERS DISSENTERS LIKE IRAN AND IRAQ.

E. AQI CONSIDERS THE SUNNI ISSUE IN IRAQ TO BE FATEFULLY CONNECTED TO THE SUNNI ARABS AND MUSLIMS.

4. THE BORDERS:

A. THE BORDERS BETWEEN SYRIA AND IRAQ STRETCH APPROXIMATELY 600KM WITH COMPLEX TERRAIN CONSISTING OF A VAST DESERT, MOUNTAIN RANGES (SINJAR MOUNTAINS). JOINT RIVERS (FLOWING ON BOTH SIDES), AND AGRICULTURAL LANDS.

B. IRAQ DIRECTLY NEIGHBORS THE SYRIAN PROVINCES OF HASAK.A AND DER ZOR, AS WELL AS (SYRIAN) CITIES ADJACENT TO THE IRAQI BORDER.

C. THE LAND ON BOTH SIDES BETWEEN IRAQ AND SYRIA IS A VAST DESERT PUNCTUATED BY VALLEYS, AND IT LACKS TRANSPORTATION ROUTES, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL HIGHWAY AND SOME MAJOR CITIES.

5. THE POPULATION LIVING ON THE BORDER:

A. THE POPULATION LIVING ON THE BORDER HAS A SOCIAL-TRIBAL STYLE, WHICH IS BOUND BY STRONG TRIBAL AND FAMILIAL MARITAL TIES.

B. THEIR SECTARIAN AFFILIATION UNITES THE TWO SIDES WHEN EVENTS HAPPEN IN THE REGION.

C. AQI HAD MAJOR POCKETS AND BASES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER TO FACILITATE THE FLOW OF MATERIAL AND RECRUITS.

D. THERE WAS A REGRESSION OF AQI JN THE WESTERN PROVINCES OF IRAQ DURING TI-IE YEARS OF 2009 AND 2010; HOWEVER, AFTER THE RISE OF THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA, THE RELIGIOUS AND TRIBAL POWERS IN THE REGIONS BEGAN TO SYMPATHIZE WITH THE SECTARIAN UPRISING. THIS (SYMPATHY) APPEARED IN FRIDAY PRAYER SERMONS, WHICH CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS TO SUPPORT THE SUNNI’S IN SYRIA.

6. THE SITUATION ON THE IRAQI AND SYRIAN BORDER:

A. THREE BORDER BDES ARE SUFFICIENT TO CONTROL THE BORDERS DURING PEACE TIME FOR OBSERVATION DUTIES AND TO PREVENT SMUGGLING AND INFILTRATION.

B. {REDACTED}

C. IN PREVIOUS YEARS A MAJORITY OF AQI FIGHTERS ENTERED IRAQ PRIMARILY VIA THE SYRIAN BORDER.

7. THE FUTURE ASSUMPTIONS OF THE CRISIS:

A. THE REGIME WILL SURVIVE AND HA VE CONTROL OVER SYRIAN TERRITORY.

B. DEVELOPMENT OF THE CURRENT EVENTS INTO PROXY WAR: WITH SUPPORT FROM RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN, THE REGIME IS CONTROLLING THE AREAS OF INFLUENCE ALONG COASTAL TERRITORIES (TARTUS AND LATAKIA), AND IS FIERCELY DEFENDING HOMS, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE PRIMARY TRANSPORTATION ROUTE IN SYRIA. ON THE OTHER HAND, OPPOSITION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE EASTERN AREAS (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN IRAQI PROVINCES (MOSUL AND ANBAR), IN ADDITION TO NEIGHBORING TURKISH BORDERS. WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS. THIS HYPOTHESIS IS MOST LIKELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DATA FROM RECENT EVENTS, WHICH WILL HELP PREPARE SAFE HAVENS UNDER INTERNATIONAL SHELTERING, SIMILAR TO WHAT TRANSPIRED IN LIBYA WHEN BENGHAZI WAS CHOSEN AS THE COMMAND CENTER OF THE TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT.

8. THE EFFECTS ON IRAQ:

A. {REDACTED} SYRIAN REGIME BORDER FORCES RETREATED FROM THE BORDER AND THE OPPOSITION FORCES (SYRIAN FREE ARMY) TOOK OVER THE POSTS AND RAISED THEIR FLAG. THE IRAQI BORDER GUARD FORCES ARE FACING A BORDER WITH SYRIA THAT IS NOT GUARDED BY OFFICIAL ELEMENTS WHICH PRESENTS A DANGEROUS AND SERIOUS THREAT.

B. THE OPPOSITION FORCES WILL TRY TO USE THE IRAQI TERRITORY AS A SAFE HAVEN FOR ITS FORCES TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SYMPATHY OF THE IRAQI BORDER POPULATION, MEANWHILE TRYING TO RECRUIT FIGHTERS AND TRAIN THEM ON THE IRAQI SIDE, IN ADDITION TO HARBORING REFUGEES (SYRIA).

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITON WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHJA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA, AND THE REST OF THE SUNNIS IN THE ARAB WORLD AGAINST WHAT IT CONSIDERS ONE ENEMY, THE DISSENTERS. ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY.

2. {REDACTED}

3. THE RENEWING FACILITATION OF TERRORIST ELEMENTS FROM ALL OVER THE ARAB WORLD ENTERING INTO THE IRAQ AREA.

———————————————–

(4)  For More Information

Update:  for more about this see the discussion in the comments, and these articles…

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Intelligence agencies: how they work, & how they don’t, especially these…

  1. When will global oil production peak? Ask the CIA! — If they don’t know this, they’re useless.
  2. A must-read book for any American interested in geopolitics — About Legacy of Ashes.
  3. How the Soviet Menace was over-hyped – and what we can learn from this.
  4. The CIA’s forecast about the Iranian Revolution – and the revolution prediction tool.
  5. The Flynn report, itself a symptom of deep problems in the government establishment.
  6. How useful are our intelligence agencies? To what degree are they blinded by prejudice and institutional needs?
  7. About our intelligence agencies: the struggle to find an accurate AND institutionally useful narrative.
  8. A major function of our intelligence agencies is to shape the narrative. They do it well, molding history like clay on a wheel.

(5)  20th C Headlines written as Clickbait

From the always interesting XKCD

XKCD: Historical headlines rewritten as clickbait

 

 

47 thoughts on “America created ISIS, and other clickbait!

  1. Irving

    I don’t get it — is the point of this post that the actual contents of the leaked Pentagon document linked to by zerohedge does not actually say that the USA founded and is supporting ISIS?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Les

      I think the point is that they knowingly created a rebel force in Syria with the expectation that partner governments in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq would use it to implement an Islamist government in Syria to remove Assad and counter Iran. It’s not much of a leap then that Saudi-backed ISIS, Qatar-backed Al Nusra Front, and other groups are directed towards those ends. Since CIA recruited and trained those rebels in Jordan and Turkey, they too are partners in this mess.

      Like

  2. lessbread

    Al Qaeda’s aspirations for an Islamic State in Iraq were known for years prior to this report.

    Revealed: Al-Qaida plan to seize control of Iraq (12 October 2005)
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/13/alqaida.iraq

    Al-Qaeda planning militant Islamic state within Iraq (May 13, 2007)
    http://web.archive.org/web/20110524071632/http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1782088.ece

    Al-Qaida: We’re returning to old Iraq strongholds (July 22, 2012)
    https://news.yahoo.com/al-qaida-were-returning-old-iraq-strongholds-131645698.html

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Did the US DIA see ISIL as a strategic Ally against al-Assad in 2012? | Groupe Gaulliste Sceaux

  4. Winston

    Read Clean Break.A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. Read Paper about the lobby. Watch video of Wesley Clark.

    Like

    Reply
  5. peteybee

    Take a look at sections 7B and 8C. They are written in the future tense at the time of the document, hypotheticals.

    7B about hypothetical proxy war with “WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS. THIS HYPOTHESIS IS MOST LIKELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DATA FROM RECENT EVENTS”

    8C about hypothetical breakaway independent islamic statelet, “AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHiA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).”.

    I think at the very least, this justifies the accusation that western powers (i.e., the US) were fully aware of what was happening, had a perfectly reasonable (and in fact accurate) idea of what was coming, and were content to let it happen since it was deemed to be in their interest.

    The ZH piece is full-on supermarket tabloid mode, i’m not going to defend that.

    But the way this was presented by the Medium piece was merely overzealous. I think basically the author of that piece is justified with the headline and big picture.

    Now I’m a little curious if the writers of the primary source document here were talking about the “moderates” in the opposition in 7B, a group different from the extremists referred to in 7C . . . would be interesting to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Pete,

      (1) “were fully aware of what was happening, had a perfectly reasonable (and in fact accurate) idea of what was coming”

      Yes, that is exactly what I said.

      (2) “and were content to let it happen since it was deemed to be in their interest.”

      Not valid analysis. The intel officers who wrote this don’t make decisions. Just because analysts are correct doesn’t mean that senior officers listened to them, or agreed with their analysis. The “Pentagon Papers” are filled with this kind of accurate analysis, yet we know that senior officials didn’t believe their forecasts.

      (3) “But the way this was presented by the Medium piece was merely overzealous”

      Yes, that’s what I said. It is “real news” but “it gets a bit exaggerated”.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. magpie68

      You need to read a document like this in its overall context. When the authors talk about “the supporting powers to the opposition”in 8C it’s unlikely that they are referring to all 3 categories listed in 7B; far more likely that they mean those who are providing active support – Turkey and the Gulf States. The tenor of the document is clearly worried about anything that enhances the influence of AQI – “dire consequences”, “grave danger” etc. So why would it quietly record western support for developments that are contributing to this? (Its also not clear who the “western powers” referred to in 7B are – would an internal US intelligence document lump the US government into such a general category?)

      Liked by 1 person

    3. peteybee

      @magpie-

      ” So why would it quietly record western support for developments that are contributing to this?”
      I don’t know. 2 possibilities come to mind.

      (1) the document is a warning to policy-makers that: Support for the opposition, regardless of which opposition sub-group is the direct recipient of the support, would empower the less-desirable sub-group either way. (I.e., what actually happened). Maybe the DIA had to present it in an understated way so as not step on any toes ?

      (2) the decision to overthrow Assad was already a done deal at the time of writing. The decision may’ve been made with the best of intentions but that is not what concerned the authors of the document. It’s a “CYA” document, and for whatever reason, we’re witnessing a rare moment when one is actually taken out of the filing cabinet for its intended purpose… You’re in a meeting, say something along the lines of “in my professional opinion, there is extreme risk of _____,” Decision makers say “don’t worry about it, there are more significant priorities, thanks for your concern, you’ve done your job”, you realize you better get that acknowledgment in writing because sooner or later the decision makers will need to come up with a scapegoat and you’d rather it wasn’t you. I have no idea what it’s like in the DOD but I’ve seen that scene on a lesser scale elsewhere.

      And anyway it’s not like the Obama administration has been shy about its desire to overthrow Assad.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Pete,

      I agree. Unfortunately, this is one report in an on-going discussion with many participants — it is one from a mid-level participant (at most), when much of the discussion is verbal and unrecorded.

      This is not an authorized archival search by experts, as was the Pentagon Papers — nor are we likely to any such thing.

      Conclusions should be drawn with care.

      Like

    5. peteybee

      FM: “Conclusions should be drawn with care.”

      Definitely. I’m just speculating. I’d love to hear the opinion of someone who is used to reading these things and knows how it really works in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. peteybee

    “The intel officers who wrote this don’t make decisions. Just because analysts are correct doesn’t mean that senior officers listened to them, or agreed with their analysis.”

    So it was another in a series of “honest mistakes” in middle east policy? Or just another instance of bureaucratic dysfunction where the decision maker was too busy to read the fine print, so important details just “got lost in the shuffle”?

    At least we know what to expect going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Pete,

      Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

      The Pentagon Papers revealed a decade-long orgy of stupidity (see The Best and the Brightest for a more entertaining version of the story). Most notably, senior people like to talk only with other senior people — so they send out of the room all the people with actual knowledge.

      On the other hand, as I & others have said so often, our leaders profit from the war — so that victory is optional. “War is the health of the State.” I’m writing a post with more about this, going up next week.

      These things are complex.

      Like

  7. Brad Hoff

    Fabius Maximus, I appreciate your balanced, careful approach.

    I’m disappointed that a very visible site like Zero Hedge, when they copied Medium piece, would change and over-hype the title that much (though I’ve been guilty of this at times in the past too, and also understand that ZH is famous for being edgy).

    Ironically, I think they got the wording for overstated title from where I am quoted in the article. Title had words …”Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow…:
    Hoff… “points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”

    In putting “Created” in quotes it makes it sound like DIA source doc itself says this.

    I tried to be careful in original article that set this whole thing in motion – I used word “offers” to convey nuance of what is likely a speculative exercise by the analyst(s). I use “Salafist political entity” b/c of course there was no “ISIS” as ISIS took current form after 2013. Of course, it is also true that when people use “Create” ISIS in titles to articles… well it is hard to convey nuance of whether that implies remote/primary/secondary cause etc… and of course no one reads medieval philosophy anymore. Maybe such distinctions were gone after William of Okham came along anyway. In my own title I wrangled over it, and went with “facilitate” – which, funny enough, RT News used in their own Eng. broadcast.

    But I am even more disappointed with Juan Cole’s cheap dismissal of Nafeez Ahmed’s article altogether (and therefore my original, which alerted Ahmed to doc).

    Cole cites you for the “clickbait” line, but then ignores the fact that you call Ahmed piece “real news/journalism” –goes on to dismiss importance of doc in all of 190 words.

    I put this up today mainly in response to Cole. Aside from the heavy editorializing at the end over American history, it is a very careful, nuanced analysis that I think explores every logical possibility in terms of interpretive readings of doc.

    Thanks,
    Brad, LevantReport.com

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Brad,

      Thank you for your comment, and pointers to more information about this. I apologize for not citing your report (Sloppy writing. I was too focused on the clickbait theme). I have added mentions of both articles at The Levant Report to the For More Info section.

      Like

  8. Brad Hoff

    And… difficulty of writing about it also seen in fact that orig document references ‘Islamic State’ (just early 1980’s DIA reports re: Syria did) but of course that does not = “Islamic State” as proper noun today. But then lower case nascent islamic state became ISLAMIC STATE.

    But then again, I would like the DIA to do the public explaining… at least address it now that there’s enough of a conversation (or perhaps in a non-issue for them unless it makes it into NYT).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. magpie68

    A couple of points worth making about this document:

    1. its a memo, so written in a rather compressed style that is open to misinterpretation (either accidental or deliberate)

    2. It’s original security classification was middle grade “Secret” – so unlikely to contain any major strategic secrets like the US supporting. ISIS.

    3. It’s focused primarily on the situation in Iraq and the quality of its intelligence on Syria is poor: it gets the name of Jabhat al Nusra wrong, rendering it as Jaish al Nusra; it says that the FSA controls the Iraq border points at a time when they only controlled one relatively minor crossing; it makes no mention of the Syrian Kurds despite their importance in the border area; it designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a one of the major forces “driving the insurgency” when the MB has virtually no presence among the armed opposition.

    Much has been made of its “forseeing” the rise ISIS, which it did for Iraq. But its Syrian predictions were wrong: there was no “salafist emirate” created in Hasakah and Deir Ez-Zor; and when the “Islamic State” was eventually created did not include a “union” with other organisations in Syria – quite the opposite.

    The significance of its claiming the dominance of salafist groups and AQI in the Syrian insurgency (not true, incidentally,in August 2012) is being misrepresented: this is not a foretelling of the future role of IS because the “salafist” groups proved to be among the most effective opponents of ISIS/ISIL, virtually driving them out of Syria by June 2013 (they wrere only able to make a come back by piggy-backing on their 2014 gains in Iraq.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. Marcello Invernizzi

    Turkey and US ‘agree in principle’ to provide air support for Syrian rebels“, The Guardian, 25 May 2015 — “Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu: ‘They have to be supported via air’. Two countries agreed $500m programme to train Syrians in February.”

    Looks like Assad’s death sentence is being inked, if the libyan campaign is any indication. While I can’t imagine the US setting up ISIS one can guess that it has been regarded as an useful tool against Assad/Iran by many american policymakers.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Marcello Invernizzi

    “This has a kind of stately stupidity, like that of the generals in WWI. Repeating disasters with confidence and assurance.”

    Syria falling under the caliphate would harm russian and iranian interest and the US could then present itself as the only power capable of solving the issue. Cynical, with a lot of potential for backfiring but it would make at least some kind of sense.
    Because otherwise anybody who believes that the “moderate rebels” are going to defeat both ISIS and Assad and set up a state that the US might find palatable has to be so divorced from reality as to be as likely to believe that a war with Russia would be a cakewalk.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Marcello,

      Your inference makes sense. But the reasoning should also explain Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen — along with Syria. All secular regimes overthrown with some degree of US aid, making way for an Islamic fundamentalist regime.

      It’s like squaring the circle.

      Like

  12. Brad Hoff

    Surprisingly, DIA Public Affairs both called and emailed me this afternoon, saying they’d take my question (I had contacted them last Friday and a secretary recorded my request). This afternoon I gave them 3 carefully worded questions. I’m waiting for them to get back to me, if at all.

    I wonder if they routinely respond to anyone’s questions (thing is I’m obviously not backed by a big newsroom or anything)? Or if it’s more likely that they noticed my story going somewhat viral over the weekend.

    Will keep people updated on whether they give a response.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. John Yard

    “All secular regimes overthrown with some degree of US aid, making way for an Islamic fundamentalist regime.”

    True. But I remember that in the early 1970’s the expectations of the Westernized elites that the Islamized masses would fade away, the future being a secularized society.

    The problem has been, America has been on the side of every faction: Sunni, Shia, modernist, reactionary – at one time or another. Don’t fight too hard against ISIS : they ( or their successors ) will be our allies fighting against “fill-in-the-blank-here” faction in the discernible future.

    Just as the devout traditionalists will be our allies against the secular / military in the next turn of history.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      John,

      “in the early 1970’s …. The problem has been, America has been on the side of every faction”

      I don’t see that as a problem with US policy, especially over generations. After all, there is no reason our goal should be long-term factional alliances. Rather we form alliances in turbulent areas for their ability to advance our policies as they are at that time. As the region changes, so so our goals and alliances. As Lord Palmerston said: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual”.

      What’s wrong with our current policy is that it overthrows secular regimes that in time have good odds of becoming neutral or even allies, allowing their replacement by theocratic regimes likely to be long-term foes.

      Like

  14. Marcello Invernizzi

    “Your inference makes sense. But the reasoning should also explain Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen — along with Syria. All secular regimes overthrown with some degree of US aid, making way for an Islamic fundamentalist regime.
    It’s like squaring the circle. ”

    Not really. The underlying philosophy of american policymakers, from Albright “we are the indispensable nation” to foam at the mouth neocon types of the “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” sort is that the US has to maintain world hegemony, by whatever means necessary.
    Beyond that however actual policy is very much ad hoc. Afghanistan was used to bleed the soviets, with some success, and everything else simply did not matter. Iraq was invaded because eliminating troublemaking Saddam and replacing it with a pro-US regime seemed “doable”. Eliminating Gaddafi seemed a profitable way to ride the Arab Spring and who liked him the West anyway?

    But before one think America is special in having a particular shortsighted foreign policy it should be remembered that quite a number of others nations have made similar mistakes. The Libyan drive-by bombing campaign found enthusiastic French participation for example and the Syrian cauldron is being fed by a number of middle eastern nations. And these can suffer some actual consequences (from more desperate immigrants barging in at the frontier to starring in an ISIS snuff film).

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  15. Pingback: AMERICAN TREACHERY: U.S. PLANS ISLAMIC STATE IN EASTERN SYRIA; DOCUMENTS GOING VIRAL - SaidaonlineSaidaonline

  16. Abel Ashes

    Saudi Arabia is not funding the Islamic State. The Islamic State is being bombed by the Saudi military and has carried out several attacks in Saudi Arabia,which have killed Saudi military and Saudi Shia worshippers. The Saudis are a monarchy which is not acceptable to IS and they are a US ally which is not acceptable to IS. Saudi Arabia and Jordan are the two countries IS has stated in all of their propaganda that they wish to conquer and invade next should they take all of Iraq and Syria.

    Turkey is also not funding IS. Turkey is guilty of not preventing foreign fighters using Turkey as their last stop on the way into Syria. Erdogan is happy to see the Assad regime, the Kurds, and IS kill each other while Turkey helps the USA fight IS in a more clandestine fashion so as to appear neutral to avoid IS and al-Nusra attacks inside Turkey while Erdogan slowly erodes Turkish secularism and imposes a Muslim Brotherhood style Islamic republicanism. A lot of Turkish/Syrian strategic conflicts revolve around the Kurds and regional water rights.

    The Libyan government is at war with Libyan terrorist groups who have declared allegiance to IS. These Libyan Islamic State cells most famous for the beheading of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians have attacked Libyan government offices, airports, police, civilians. The Libyan government is Islamist and pro-Sharia but not pro-IS.

    Syrian rebels funding IS is the silliest idea of all. IS has way more money and sources of continuous income than any of the many Syrian rebel groups could ever dream of. There are Syrian rebels who have defected to the Islamic State and taken with them weapons and equipment and supplies. But “Syrian rebel” groups are informal armies operating in a country whose regime they are at war with who rely on donations for all of their expenses.

    The Islamic State, on the other hand, is a country unto itself with it’s own diverse economy which derives income from black market sales of oil, antiquities, and sex slaves outside the “Caliphate”, as well as deriving revenue from all of the economic activities inside the “Caliphate” such as those I just mentioned plus agriculture, food production, water distribution, banking, taxation of more than 6,000,000 people in the cities and towns they control across 50% of Syria and about 1/3 of Iraq. IS just took Palmyra and Ramadi and with that gained even more accumulated additional territory, weapons, land, infrastructure, and continual sources of revenue.

    The Islamic State is not a mere terrorist group. It is a defacto nation with global theocratically based empire building aspirations. It’s first goal is the erasure of all of the borders and governments of all of the nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Yeah there are private financial supporters in every Muslim majority nation and many Muslim minority nations as well and Qatar is certainly one of the big ones but there is no national government that actually wants them to succeed. They are literally a threat to every single regime in the Islamic world as they see all of those regimes as illegitimate. One of the largest sources of outside money flowing into Islamic State war coffers uncovered in the Western world was a Muslim money laundering network in Spain that was helping Muslims across Europe to send money to the Islamic State military wing,

    Yeah and now even the US military is playing this stupid game, accusing Assad of supporting ISIS, which is just as stupid as the other accusations. Islamic State has conquered 50% of Syria. They have vowed to kill Assad and turn all of, not only Syria, but the entire Middle East into a Caliphate and they don’t consider Alawites to be Muslims and we know what they are doing to the Yazidi, so if Assad were supporting ISIS he would be something far worse than suicidal.

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    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Abel,

      “Saudi Arabia is not funding the Islamic State.”
      Can you point us to an expert’s comment about this? I’m not saying you are wrong (it’s nothing I know about).

      “The Islamic State is being bombed by the Saudi military and has carried out several attacks in Saudi Arabia”

      But that’s also true of al Qaeda, and I’ve seen many experts say that AQ was funded by some Saudi princes.

      Like

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