The silence of cable news regarding America's newest ally in Syria is an interesting phenomena, though perhaps there's good reason for it. Maybe the networks are too busy covering other highly-important stories - like racist comments made three decades ago by an irrelevant celebrity chef. Or perhaps they're not yet done demonizing the guy who gave up a six-figure salary working for the National Security Agency in order to help expose a massive surveillance apparatus collecting and storing data on every single human being in the country.
Whatever the case may be, it's clear that U.S. taxpayers have acquired new friends in Syria - known as the "rebels", who are working diligently to bring down the authoritarian regime of Bashar al-Assad - and the media hasn't done a very good job providing us with an introduction.
Firstly, if you love al-Qaeda - or terrorism in general - you're going to absolutely adore the "rebels". ReportsBloomberg, 6/21/2013:
"The Islamic extremist militia Jabhat al-Nusra is the "leading opposition force on the ground" because it's the "most effective", Lavrov said in the interview today, which Bloomberg conducted together with the Associated Press.Jabhat al-Nusra, which has merged with al-Qaeda, was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in December."
Don't worry. Not all of the "rebels" are made up of al-Qaeda. Surely some of them can be trusted with U.S. taxpayer-funded armaments such as anti-aircraft missiles, and while we might have no way of knowing who is getting what, maybe if we just continue pouring weapons into the country, cross our fingers, and hope for the best, everything will work out fine. Besides, this same strategy was applied in Afghanistan back in the 1980's and nothing bad came from that, right?
This new alliance is further complicated by the fact that many of the "rebels" aren't even "rebels" in the sense that they are native Syrians fighting their own government. It was recently revealed that "rebel" fighters are flooding into Syria from at least 29 different countries - including nearby Turkey and Jordan - where U.S. troops were recently deployed. Actual Syrian civilians have increasingly come to fear and despise both the "rebels", as well as their own brutal government - a government so brutal that during the Bush years, the U.S. partnered up with the Assad regime and sent terror suspects to Syria so they could be tortured in ways that would make Freddy Krueger crap himself with trembling nightmares.
Oh, and speaking of torturers, it was also recently revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency - notorious forregularly torturing during the Bush years (and getting away with it thanks to Obama) - isn't very optimistic about this new alliance with the "rebels". The Los Angeles Times reports that they've already started sizing up the growing al-Qaeda presence in Syria for future drone strikes.
Still, don't be discouraged quite yet. There are other things about our lovable new "rebel" friends in Syria that you might come to cherish. For example:
If you like cutting out and eating human body parts (who doesn't?), you might like the "rebels". One report by The Telegraph found "rebels" in Syria chowing down on the lung of a Syrian soldier.
If you like murdering teenagers, you might like the "rebels". A report by The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, offers details on the story of a 15-year-old boy who had his jaw blown off by the "rebels" - in front of his mother - either because he was denying the existence of a god, or because he was refusing to give a customer a free coffee. Either way, he obviously had it coming.
If you approve of the use of child soldiers, you might like the "rebels". Human Rights Watch tells us that "rebels" are recruiting fighters as young as 14 to not only carry weapons and supplies, but to also do other things, such as taking part in beheadings.
If you like religious persecution, you might like the "rebels". Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, testified that Islamic insurgents are targeting Christians for ethno-religious cleansing.
If you like suicide bombings, you might like the "rebels".
If you like massacring entire villages, you might like the "rebels".
And to add some icing to the yellowcake, if you like chemical warfare and weapons of mass destruction, you might like the "rebels". There is strong evidence that the arsenal of the Syrian "rebels" consists of chemical weapons - and they haven't been shy about using them.
So, let's recap: our new allies in Syria are not only affiliated with al-Qaeda, but they also enjoy things like eating human body parts, shooting teenagers, recruiting child soldiers, suicide bombings, massacres, and using chemical weapons. Why anyone would have a problem with letting these heroes have access to U.S.-taxpayer funding, training, and weaponry is quite the mystery. What could possibly go wrong?
With all of this in mind, one might be left to wonder why the U.S. would get involved at all in Syria, especially at a time when it is already bogged down in the affairs of dozens of other countries around the globe.
Those claiming that the U.S. is acting out of "humanitarian" motives to "liberate" the Syrian people from Assad would do well to examine some of America's other allies, like the highly-repressive regimes of Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and Jordan, to name only a few. The U.S. is also in the process of propping up another dictatorship in recently-"liberated" Iraq. So if noble motives aren't at work here, what exactly is the U.S. government doing in Syria?
Thanassis Cambanis, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, offers a partialexplanation as to how this conflict benefits the West and its allies:
"The war is becoming a sinkhole for America's enemies. Iran and Hezbollah, the region's most persistent irritants to the United States and Israel, have tied up considerable resources and manpower propping up Assad's regime and establishing new militias. Russia remains a key guarantor of the government, costing Russia support throughout the rest of the Arab world. Gulf monarchies, which tend to be troublesome American allies, have invested small fortunes on the rebel side, sending weapons and establishing exile political organizations. The more the Syrian war sucks up the attention and resources of its entire neighborhood, the greater America's relative influence in the Middle East."
Additionally, months before the attacks of 9/11, neoconservative David Wurmser, with the assistance of his American Enterprise Institute colleague Douglas Feith, drafted a set of war plans for the United States and Israel. As recorded by History Commons, Wurmser suggested that Israel and the United States should "strike fatally, not merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region—the regimes of Damascus [Syria], Baghdad [Iraq], Tripoli [Libya], Tehran [Iran], and Gaza [the Palestinians]" to establish the recognition that fighting either the United States or Israel is "suicidal". Wurmser urges both the U.S. and Israel to be watchful for a crisis because "crises can be opportunities". Considering the recent wars in Iraq and Libya, the economic sanctions against Iran (a common prelude to conventional war), and now the intervention in Syria, one might deduce that the U.S. neoconservative foreign policy is going well and according to plan.
There are other reasons for U.S. involvement, including the little-known fact that U.S. defense companies are drooling at the opportunity to overtake Russia's monopoly on weapons sales to Syria. They'll also have yet another reason to keep building more drones and missiles when the time inevitably comes to make smoldering craters out of the "rebels" once the U.S. is done using them.
Strategic motives aside, the growing minority of U.S. citizens who favor this kind of intervention in Syria should ask themselves: If a foreign country began sending highly-trained, well-equipped, and immensely brutal fighters from multiple countries into the United States to "free" Americans from their government through routine acts of terrorism, what would be thought of both the foreign fighters and the host country sponsoring them? And would there be any doubt that those in power would respond as brutally as the Assad regime has? One need only look at how the U.S. government treated the Occupy Wall Street protesters - who weren't even attempting to topple the government - to answer the latter question.
While the situation in Syria might have initially started off as a genuine revolution, it has since morphed into nothing short of external regime change imposed by external forces for external gain. This is not intended to be a win for the Syrian people, despite the narrative of a "humanitarian intervention" - an oxymoron in itself coined by the same batshit neoconservatives who helped march the country down the road to "liberating" more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Tragically, it seems the U.S. is heading down that same skeleton-covered, blood-stained road once again as it prepares to "liberate" Syria -- unless U.S. citizens pull the emergency brake and stop the taxpayer-funded clown car before it's too late.
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by Jon Reynolds