The 28 Pages and the War on Terror

28 PAGES.ORG (9/14/14) – Today more than ever, Americans are struggling to unravel the Gordian knot of overt and covert alliances that comprise the Middle East’s geostrategic landscape. As they do, politicians and pundits constantly remind them that reaching the correct conclusions about the region is imperative if we are to thwart the menace of terrorism and prevent the next 9/11.

As if a thicket of misinformation, hit-and-miss journalism and competing propaganda didn’t make the challenge daunting enough, the American people face an even more formidable barrier in their attempts to reach informed and rational conclusions about U.S. policy in the Middle East: the classification of a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers—classification that continues over the objections of the chairman and vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission and the former senator who co-chaired the inquiry that produced the 28 pages.

Preventing a hypothetical “next 9/11″ starts with a clear understanding of what enabled the actual one—yet, even as the U.S. military prepares for the next chapter in the seemingly perpetual War on Terror, Americans continue to be denied critical knowledge about how the September 11 attacks were planned and funded. Reflecting on that disconnect, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie recently told Slate, “Until we know what enabled or caused 9/11, we shouldn’t be talking about starting a third war to prevent another 9/11.”

Continue reading here…

ISIS as U.S. Creation: The Clearest Authenticated Video Evidence to Date

The above video entitled, “US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely with ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra,” which shows raw reporting footage compiled by “Eretz Zen” channel (YouTube), is the clearest video evidence to date documenting the role of the United States in creating and sustaining ISIS on the Syrian battlefield.

Amazingly, the video has yet to be widely viewed, even though it has been authenticated by the top academic Syria expert in the U.S., Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, and author of the influential Syria analysis site Syria Comment. Dr. Landis, himself a mainstream analyst regularly quoted by outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Aljazeera, commented on his Twitter account about the footage (8/27/14): “in 2013 WINEP advocated sending all US military aid thru him [Col. Okaidi]. Underscores US problem w moderates.”

The video, documenting (now former) U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford’s visit to FSA Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi in Northern Syria, also shows the same Col. Okaidi celebrating with and praising a well-known ISIS commander, Emir Abu Jandal, after conducting a successful joint operation against Syrian Army forces at Menagh Airbase in early August 2013. Abu Jandal’s identity can be further established in an interview he did with Al-Jazeera (Arabic), immediately after the capture of the airbase.

In interview footage from the Eretz Zen video, the U.S. “key man” Okaidi, through which U.S. assistance flowed, also praises ISIS and Al-Qaeda as the FSA’s “brothers”. The video further shows Okaidi proudly declaring that al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) makes up ten percent of the FSA.

In truth the “Free Syrian Army” was from the beginning but a “branding” construct created by western and Gulf governments. Men like Okaidi were marketed to the world as the “face” of the Syrian opposition, but in reality served as conduits of covert support for more effective fighting forces like ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

The summer of 2013 was a time when ISIS was still operating under the radar and thus not well known to the western public. The capture of Menagh was celebrated by the American political class. Looking back at mainstream reporting of the rebel operation, one finds admissions like the following in the Wall Street Journal:

“Foreigners fighting with an offshoot of al Qaeda in Iraq—called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS—led the capture of the Minigh air base north of Aleppo early Tuesday, according to local activists and some rebel commanders. The seizure offers Syria’s rebels a strategic victory after eight months of failed advances on the base.”

While much reporting at the time declared the Menagh campaign a victory for the FSA, it was ISIS that led the assault with the initial suicide bombings that aided rebel entry into the base.

EA Worldview, a Middle East analysis website operated by University of Birmingham (UK) professor Scott Lucas, also provided confirmation and analysis of the raw video footage in an article, “Which Insurgents Captured Menagh Airbase & Who Led Them?”, written just after the base takeover:

“However, the biggest clue as to their relationship with the Free Syrian Army may be in this video, posted on Monday immediately after Menagh fell. In it, the FSA head of the Aleppo Military Council, Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi, leads a press statement praising his fighters for taking the base. Standing next to him is ISIS Emir Abu Jandal, whom al-Oqaidi invites to give a statement.

The footage indicates that not only are there links between ISIS and FSA fighters on the ground, but that there was a high level of coordination and collaboration in the operation to besiege and take the airbase…”

It must be remembered, as the video so clearly documents, that Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was the State Department’s top man giving public and material support to commanders like Okaidi and his ISIS and Nusra fighters.

More recently the UK-based “Conflict Armament Research” documented U.S. weapons recovered from ISIS by Kurdish groups operating in Iraq. The Washington Post reports (9/7/14):

The most powerful weapons documented were the two 90mm Yugoslav anti-tank rocket launchers, known as “Osas,” which resembled rockets that were transferred to moderate Syrian rebels, reportedly by Saudi Arabia last year.

The Washington Post fails to remind its readers that the weapons originated through a CIA program—a program which resulted not in arming so-called “moderates”—but in the arming, as early photographs of the program’s beneficiaries prove, of ISIS and other terrorists.

Brief Reactions: IS magically multiplies?

This morning the BBC explained that the CIA has just revised its estimates about the fighting strength of IS (aka ISIS aka ISL). They suddenly have three times more fighters than we first thought. I can think of very few kind ways to process this news.

(1) Given that the Agency’s track record of periodic and stunning failures (Nairobi bombing, 9/11, a nuclear Pakistan), perhaps this is another admission of rank incompetence.

(2) President Obama essentially declares war — or rather, direct military action (war would require a real vote in Congress) — on IS. A few days later the CIA says, “Oops, there are three times the number of militant soldiers than we first thought”. Even if this claim were true, it would be hard to escape the impression that the administration is ginning up evidence to justify an expanded war.

I would prefer to believe the first option. Unfortunately, after the utterly dishonest handling of the chemical weapons claims last fall, I find it difficult to reject the second option as mere paranoia.

Anti-tank Weapons: From USA to ISIS… Thank You CIA “Vetting Process”

Perception Management and ISIS: don’t ask questions, just be afraid…be very afraid!

Glenn Greenwald: “USSR is evil empire of unprecedented threat —> Al Qaeda is unparalleled evil, makes USSR seem mild –> ISIS makes AQ seem mild, etc. etc.”

“The question at the heart of this whole story is – Who was the ventriloquist? And who was the dummy?

Maybe we were the dummy? By allowing perception management with its simplifications, falsehoods and exaggerations to create a simplified vision of the world – we fell into a fake universe of certainty when really we were just watching a pantomime.

And now as the Arab Spring unfolds and reveals the true chaos and messiness of the real world – above all the horror of what is happening in Syria – we find ourselves completely unable to understand it or even know what to do. So those stories get ignored while we follow others with clearer and more simplified dramas which have what seem to be obvious goodies and baddies – thank god for Iran, North Korea and Jimmy Savile.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                          —from He’s Behind You, by Adam Curtis

The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and What We Can Do About It

For more details go here.

Yesterday, the US and the WEST were allied with ISIS. Today ISIS is the new bogeyman. This phenomenon is nothing new.

UKIndependentBinLaden.jpg large“Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road for peace.” Article from The Independent (UK) about Osama Bin Laden. 1993. Archived by “Historical Pics.”

“These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” (Ronald Regan while introducing the Mujahideen leaders to media on the White house lawn. 1985)

Above left: Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, in northern Syria in May 2013 with rebel “Free” Syrian Army Colonel Abdul-Jabbar who at that time was head of the western backed and funded Aleppo Military Council (video here). Above right: “Free” Syrian Army Colonel Abdul-Jabbar with ISIS Emir Abu Jandal after their forces jointly capture Menagh Military Airbase in Aleppo province, August 2013 (video here and here). Photo and commentary courtesy of Orontes:Syrian Christians in a Time of Conflict

http://levantreport.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/072d4-fp_cheers_al_qaeda.jpg?w=460The US foreign policy and media establishment fawning over Islamist insurgents in Syria… Image: Must be seen to believe – screenshot of Foreign Policy Magazine’s article literally titled, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists.” FP is the Washington mainstream’s premier foreign affairs publication.

 

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