The strange and strategic alliances of Middle East geopolitics never seems to surprise. But care to suggest that the West and Israel are in deep cahoots with al-Qaeda in Syria and expect a sharper look of incredulity.
Yet, two vital new articles now fully illuminate this very reality.
The first is from Dr Nafeez Ahmed, analysing the profound implications of a recently declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document. It's key finding, notes Ahmed:
In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:“… 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, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.” The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.” Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.
If only 'the best' of our news outlets were leading the way with such challenging and damning journalism. The fanciful idea that we'd ever see these kind of revelations heading the BBC's Six O'Clock News, or even Channel 4 News, says all we need to know about why the mass population is still in the dark about the West's true, deceitful agenda in Syria and the Middle East at large.
Secondly, consider the same deafening media silence on Israel's particular role in this alliance, the details this time forensically documented by independent journalist Asa Winstanley:
For several years now there have been propaganda reports in the Israeli press about how Israel is supposedly playing a purely "humanitarian" role in the Syrian war, by treating civilians and sending them back. But this has now been exposed as propaganda. If that were really the case, Israel would be treating combatants from all sides in the Syrian war and furthermore it would arrest suspected al-Qaeda militants. But in reality, all reports confirm that the Israelis are treating only the "rebel" side, including the al-Qaeda militants that lead the armed opposition in that area of Syria (as indeed they do in much of the country). The key difference that disproves the propaganda line, and proves an active Israel-al-Qaeda alliance is that, after treatment, instead of arresting them, the al-Qaeda fighters are sent back to fight in Syria. There is no chance at all that, in the event that Israel captures injured Hamas, Hizballah or Iranian combatants alive, it would send them back to Gaza or Syria to "go on their way", as the unnamed Israeli official put it.
Winstanley provides multiple corroboration of Israel's supportive role, including the testimonies of Israeli military figures and a few braver field journalists.
Further sporadic pieces on these clandestine collaborations have been seeping through. (As for the supposedly more-favoured 'moderate rebels', it's also worth noting that Netanyahu's recent re-election was warmly greeted by leading FSA figures.) But it's still a far cry from any headline narrative of Western-Israeli mendacity. So, again, why, with all that accumulated evidence, is this not a major media story?
Of the virtual media blackout, Winstanley concludes:
We can say with confidence that the mainstream press in the West supports Israel, and so does not find it convenient to report on this scandalous Israeli-al-Qaeda alliance in Syria. But it's crucial to understand that this is part of a wider pattern in which the West's alliances with (to say the least) morally-dubious regional actors are ignored, downplayed or actively disguised by the media.
All of which lends continuing gloss to the pristine illusion that the West is 'fighting the good fight' on 'civilization's behalf' against the barbarian forces now controlling half of Syria and laying waste to cradles of ancient culture like Palmyra.
Isis and al-Nusra Front have long constituted the key anti-Assad opposition in Syria. We now have definitive proof that the West, its Gulf allies, Turkey and Israel have been promoting and protecting those very forces all along.
As millions of innocents in Syria and Iraq continue to die and suffer, the core cause of that historic carnage, Western invasion and proxy warmongering, remains an all-too awkward and avoidable subject for serious media discussion.
Encouragingly, this kind of independent, untainted journalism is serving to bring us the dual truths of Western criminality and media complicity. Please help spread and support that new media front.