The crisis of ISIS in Iraq: was America the midwife?

Image: Creative Commons LIcense by klika100 |
Image: Creative Commons LIcense by klika100 |

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2014 — Communities Digital News published a report outlining strong circumstantial evidence that arms transferred from the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi before the attack on September 11, 2012, ended up in Syria and are now being used against the Iraq government. Media reports and Pentagon / State Department statements have confirmed that U.S. weapons are being deployed by ISIS in Iraq.

More disturbing information is emerging to bookend these revelations. The United States probably trained elements of the ISIS militia, which has accounted for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Syria and now in Iraq.

In March, 2013, Reuters reported:

Americans are training Syrian anti-government fighters in Jordan, the German weekly Der Spiegel said on Sunday, quoting what it said were participants and organizers. Spiegel said it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were from the army but said some wore uniforms. The training focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.  Some 200 men have already received such training over the past three months and there are plans in the future to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the “Free Syrian Army” in two camps in the south and the east of the country.

Later in the report is this remarkable statement:

The United States has said it would provide medical supplies and food directly to opposition fighters but has ruled out sending arms for fear they may find their way to Islamist hardliners who might then use them against Western targets.

They “ruled out sending arms,” but we’ve now seen unmistakable proof that they did in fact provide arms to the two main al-Queda factions in Syria. This is so well established that the White House is in no position to deny it.

The Washington Post, in an article from September 11, 2013, disclosed:

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

John Kerry told reporters last Spring that Washington is now confident that arms supplied to the rebels would not be diverted to extremists.

“There is a very clear ability now in the Syrian opposition to make certain that what goes to the moderate, legitimate opposition is, in fact, getting to them, and the indication is that they are increasing their pressure as a result of that.”

But what about the training?

The Syrian rebels, overwhelmingly consisting of jihadists, despite the false statements of Senator John McCain, were trained in Jordan by the U.S. military and assisted by the British, the French, private contractors, and other reports indicate, the CIA. More than 1,200 insurgents may have received training in advanced military battlefield tactics, including the use of anti-tank missiles.

Bill Gertz, National Security reporter for the Washington Times, quoted a Pentagon official as saying, “We’ve come full circle from going after al-Qaeda to indirectly backing al-Qaeda.”

NATO and the Pentagon’s key partner in the mobilization of ISIS is Saudi Arabia. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh describes the purpose of the efforts beginning in President Bush’s second term:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

What is not entirely documentable is whether the Saudi government itself was channeling aid to ISIS, or tacitly approving such by private entities in Riyadh. “There is Saudi money flowing into ISIS but it is not from the Saudi state,” said Lina Khatib of the Carnegie Foundation. Other counter terrorism experts believe that ISIS has received support from an operation headed by Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Observers of the current battle between government forces, Shia militias and the Sunni insurgents have widely argued that what has caused Iraq’s Sunnis to fall into the arms of ISIS, is the deep resentment that has been building from government sponsored violence against Sunni communities. The United States military and the CIA appear to have played a leading role in a program described as the “El Salvador Option.” The Guardian summarizes U.S. involvement in the activities of the “Wolf Brigade”:

Torture and death seemed synonymous with the almost exclusively Shia unit, which was tasked with rooting out Sunni insurgents from post-Saddam Iraq. As security unravelled across the country, they were often seen alongside US forces, particularly in Baghdad and Mosul.

This unit was set up by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, and former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Stephen Ford to replicate the functions of notorious death squads in El Salvador in the 1980’s.

The Guardian further details that:

The Wolf Brigade unit was formed in late 2004, drawing many recruits from the impoverished Shia slums of Sadr city. By late 2005, it was around 2,000-strong and roaming the country with impunity. The unit notionally answered to the then interior minister, Ibrahim al-Jafari, who became prime minister in April 2005 for 12 months as sectarian carnage spiralled out of control.

Both administrations, Bush and Obama, have played a role in creating the kindling that has been set to the torch in Iraq. Now we’re sending in military advisors to fight the blaze. Can there be any doubt why the average American mistrusts any further manifestations of the disastrous and completely contradictory “War On Terror”?

What was Bush’s malaprop? “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Shame on him, Obama and us if we let them lead us into another killing zone on their global chessboard.

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