The US Wants the Islamic State Group to Win in Syria
March 30, 2016 Fuerzas Armadas & David Swanson / TeleSUR
The US State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken the Islamic State group, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian government. Watching a recent video of a State Department spokesperson speaking on that subject might confuse some US war supporters.
Drone Footage of the Ruins in Palmyra Fuerzas Armadas
(March 26, 2016) -- Syrian forces close to the ancient town of Palmyra: Drone footage of the ruins.
The US Wants the Islamic State Group to Win in Syria David Swanson / TeleSUR
(March 28, 2016) -- So many enemies, so little logic.
The US State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken the Islamic State group, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian government.
Watching a recent video of a State Department spokesperson speaking on that subject might confuse some US war supporters. I doubt many residents of Palmyra, Virginia, or Palmyra, Pennsylvania, or Palmyra, New York could give a coherent account of the US government's position on which enemy should control the ancient Palmyra in Syria.
The US government has been arming al-Qaida in Syria. I doubt many people in the United States, of whatever political persuasion, could explain why. In my experience, having just begun a tour of speaking events, very few in the United States can even name the seven nations that President Barack Obama has bragged about bombing, much less explain which parties he is or is not bombing in those countries.
No nation in the history of the world has had so many enemies to keep track of as the United States has now, and bothered so little about doing so.
The particular problem with Syria is that the US government has prioritized one enemy, whom it has utterly failed to scare the US public with, while the US government has made a distant second priority of attacking another enemy that most people in the United States are so terrified of they can hardly think straight.
Consider what changed between 2013 and 2014. In 2013, President Obama was prepared to heavily bomb the Syrian government. But he did not claim that the Syrian government wanted to attack the United States, or even to attack a handful of white people from the United States. Instead he argued, unconvincingly, that he knew who was responsible for killing Syrians with chemical weapons.
This was in the midst of a war in which thousands were dying on all sides from all kinds of weapons. The outrage over a particular type of weapon, the dubious claims, and the eagerness to overthrow a government, were all too close to US memories of the 2003 attack on Iraq.
Congress members in 2013 found themselves at public events confronted with the question of why the US would overthrow a government in a war on the same side as al-Qaida. Were they going to start another Iraq War?
US and British public pressure reversed Obama's decision. But US opinion was even more against arming proxies, and a new CIA report said that doing so had never worked, yet that was the approach Obama went with.
The overthrow, which Hillary Clinton still says should have happened, would have quickly created the chaos and terror that Obama set about developing slowly.
In 2014, Obama was able to step up direct US military action in Syria and Iraq with virtually no resistance from the public. What had changed? People had heard about videos of the Islamic State group killing white people with knives. It didn't seem to matter that jumping into the war against the Islamic State group was the opposite side from what Obama had said in 2013 the US needed to join.
It didn't even seem to matter that the US clearly intended to join in both sides. Nothing related to logic or sense mattered in the least. The Islamic State group had done a little bit of what US allies in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and elsewhere did routinely, and had done it to Americans.
And a fictional group, even scarier, the Khorasan Group, was coming to get us, the Islamic State group was slipping across the border from Mexico and Canada, if we didn't do something really big and brutal we were all going to die.
That being why the US public finally said yes to open-ended war again -- after really not falling for the lies about a humanitarian rescue in Libya, or not caring -- the US public naturally assumes that the US government has prioritized destroying the evil dark force of so-called Islamic Terror. It hasn't. The US government says to itself, in its little-noticed reports, that the Islamic State group is no threat to the United States.
It knows perfectly well, and its top commanders blurt it out upon retirement, that attacking terrorists only strengthens their forces. The US priority remains overthrowing the Syrian government, ruining that country, and creating chaos.
Here's part of that project: US-backed troops in Syria fighting other US backed troops in Syria. That's not incompetence if the goal is to destroy a nation, as it seems to be in Hillary Clinton's emails:
"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad . . . Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are.
For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries.
What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly . . . It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel's security."
The Islamic State group, al-Qaida, and terrorism are far better tools for marketing wars than communism ever was, because they can be imagined using knives rather than nukes, and because terrorism can never collapse and vanish.
If (counterproductively) attacking groups like al-Qaida were what motivated the wars, the United States would not be aiding Saudi Arabia in slaughtering the people of Yemen and increasing the power of al-Qaida there.
If peace were the goal, the US would not be sending troops back into Iraq to use the same actions that destroyed that country to supposedly fix it. If winning particular sides of wars were the main objective, the United States would not have served as the primary funding for both sides in Afghanistan for all these years, with decades more planned.
Why did Senator Harry Truman say the United States should help either the Germans or the Russians, whichever side was losing? Why did President Ronald Reagan back Iraq against Iran and also Iran against Iraq?
Why could fighters on both sides in Libya exchange parts for their weapons? Because two goals that outweigh all others for the US government often align in the cause of sheer destruction and death.
One is US domination of the globe, and all other peoples be damned. The second is arms sales. No matter who's winning and who's dying, the weapons makers and arms dealers profit, and the majority of weapons in the Middle East have been shipped there from the United States. Peace would cut into those profits horribly.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
The Syrian Arab Army liberating the Palmyra City Fuerzas Armadas
(March 25, 2016) -- Over the last 48 hours, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah have made several important gains in the Palmyra (Tadmur) countryside, reaching the ancient city's gates for the first time in 10 months.
Making matters worse for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have made several advances in Palmyra's northern countryside; this has allowed them to cutoff ISIS from their key supply route along the Ithriya-Palmyra Road.
The Battle for Palmyra 18
(March 19, 2016) -- The Syrian army has recently received orders to launch an offensive against the "pearl" of the Syrian desert -- ancient city of Palmyra, which is about a year ago captured militants of the terrorist gang Daishev.
The military believe that the victory in the Battle of Palmyra will be a turning point in the war: the Syrian army will open the way to Raqqa -- the so-called militants capital, cut off the terrorists' supply path and be able to break through to the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor
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