DIA Docs Show US Intent to Back ISIS / The Blunder in Syria
by Will Porter
Formerly classified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) documents from 2012, released May 18 by Judicial Watch, portray a clear aim by the United States and its allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia / Gulf states, and other Western states) to facilitate the rise of the now-infamous terror group, the Islamic State (IS). Hoping to “isolate,” and ultimately topple, the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the primary strategic rationale behind this decision is to weaken the position of Iran, Syria being a key Iranian ally.
Before sharing the interesting pieces of the document, I’ll give some broad context of what’s going on in Syria, as best as I can tell.
Despite a lot of vacillation on the issue by the Obama administration, there seems to be a half-formed consensus that in Syria, those fighting Assad, not the Islamic State, are to directly or indirectly receive U.S. training and arms. In fact, the U.S. has recently moved to “re-brand” the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, so that they may openly receive U.S. aid in their war against Assad.
America’s Syria policy has indeed been a bizarre one, especially since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, when the Syrian Civil War kicked off. Within that conflict, on the one hand, you have the Syrian military under the control of the Alawite (but secular) Assad regime—supported by Shiite militias such as Hezbollah—and on the other, a smattering of “moderate” rebels, as well as predominately Sunni, Salafist mujaheddin fighters; that is, jihadists.
So while, yes, in the abstract, support for the genuinely moderate fighters—people who’ve been abused by the Syrian regime, and who have every right to revolt—is just fine. The problem is, one, governmental support, especially military aid, seems to always end up in the hands of the most extreme groups of fighters. Two, if the opposition to Assad is comprised of an ever-dwindling group of “moderates,” and an ever-growing group of radicals, what is the outcome of this situation supposed to be, exactly? The tiny Free Syrian Army marches on Damascus alongside the hordes of al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, and afterward they calmly debate the pros and cons of democracy vs. Sharia law?
Support for either side is a fool’s errand at this point. Support for Assad is a bad idea, despite the fact that he has been, like Saddam and Gadhafi were to some degree, a bulwark against terrorist groups. Assad is a dictator, guilty of overseeing massive crimes in a civil war that’s already cost over 220,000 lives (you read that right, two-hundred thousand). What’s strange is that, in the past, the U.S. sent terror suspects to Syria, as a part of the “extraordinary rendition” program, many to be tortured. Funny how Assad so quickly became the scourge of the Obama administration, he used to cooperate with the U.S. in the war on terror just fine.
However, support for the rebels is an even worse idea! The few moderates left are likely no match for groups like Nusra, or IS. The type of opposition group that will eventually take power in this case seems clear. The entirety of Syria will either be incorporated into the burgeoning Islamic State, or the U.S./West will have to prop up a puppet regime and train up another useless army, which costs taxpayers billions, but whose soldiers turn tail and run at the first sign of conflict (sound familiar?).
These are no-win situations, and what’s worse, the American government has exacerbated, or outright caused, many apsects of this crisis in the first place, precisely because of previous intervention. The U.S. government’s foreign policies, especially in the Middle East, have had consistently-bad, destructive, and unforeseen consequences. The process perpetuates itself; intervention begets intervention.
You’d think that policymakers would’ve taken heed of the lesson by now. You’d think they’d recognize that they lack the competence required to rearrange and engineer societies! Their failures have resulted in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of human beings. Enough is enough, America’s military might has no answer for this conflict.
What the American government has done to Iraq and Libya, it is now trying to do to Syria. That is, smash open the floodgates and create massive conflict between various sectarian, religious, tribal, and ethnic groups within the country (and from without). Notice the pattern: A secular ruler is forcefully removed from power; in absence of that central authority, competing interest groups attempt to aggrandize as much political power as they can; the outcome is war, chaos, and bloodshed. This is oversimplification, to be sure, but it’s roughly what’s going on here: Removing power centers, shifting the political tectonic plates, and creating a giant mess.
Life in Saddam’s Iraq, or Gadhafi’s Libya, probably wasn’t great for everyone, but it was almost certainly better than either of those countries are today. Such dictators are harsh to their opposition, but they nonetheless preserve stability (relative, of course, to what the probable alternatives are.)
Now, the DIA documents. I really don’t want to overstate this, so let’s lay out some direct quotes, determine for yourselves whether I’m blowing this out of proportion. It’s possible that these words are coming from a source low on the totem pole, but, just read:
THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… 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 OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…
Mind you, this is from 2012 or before, so prior to the Islamic State takeover in Mosul and Tikrit in the summer of 2014, and previous to the popularity of the group known as ISIS, or the Islamic State. This explains the reference to “salafist principality,” but it’s just another way of saying “Islamic State.” The “supporting powers to the opposition” include the ones mentioned in the first line of the quote, but also Israel, who gives direct support to al-Qaeda in Syria as well.
The document states that:
AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] 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.
And also that:
THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.
So, the DIA is acknowledging that al-Qaeda supports and fights for the opposition, and, at the same time, that the U.S. fully intends to support the opposition (and as I’ve shown above and in the links, actually does support it). The point is that an agency of the American federal government is recognizing that they are purposely fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda! The people, according to most accounts, who destroyed the Twin Towers and murdered 3000 innocent Americans, these are now our allies, in somebody else’s civil war, fighting for a cause that not only does nothing for America’s interests, but harms them.
Explore this document. There’s more interesting stuff in there, but the snippits above make the point I’m trying to drive at. In Syria, America backs the Butchers of New York.