syrian_islamists

The New York Times reports:

As foreign fighters pour into Syria at an increasing clip, extremist groups are carving out pockets of territory that are becoming havens for Islamist militants, posing what United States and Western intelligence officials say may be developing into one of the biggest terrorist threats in the world today.

Known as fierce fighters willing to employ suicide car bombs, the jihadist groups now include more than 6,000 foreigners, counterterrorism officials say, adding that such fighters are streaming into Syria in greater numbers than went into Iraq at the height of the insurgency there against the American occupation.

Many of the militants are part of the Nusra Front, an extremist group whose fighters have gained a reputation over the past several months as some of the most effective in the opposition.

But others are assembling under a new, even more extreme umbrella group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, that is merging some Syrians with fighters from around the world — Chechnya, Pakistan, Egypt and the West, as well as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgent group that rose to prominence in the fight against the American occupation in the years after the 2003 invasion. The concern is that a new affiliate of Al Qaeda could be emerging from those groups.

The Times then proceeds into the standard propaganda narrative of U.S. policy:

It was the fear of militants coming to dominate the opposition that caused the United States and its Western allies to hold off providing lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, at least until now. But as a result, counterterrorism analysts say, they lost a chance to influence the battle in Syria. Even Congressional supporters of the C.I.A.’s covert program to arm moderate elements of the Syrian opposition fear the delivery of weapons, set to begin this month, will be too little, too late.

Let’s break this down:

1) “It was the fear of militants coming to dominate the opposition that caused the United States and its Western allies to hold off providing lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, at least until now.”

Truth: The CIA was coordinating the flow of arms to the Syrian rebels long before the more recent announcement from the Obama administration that it will begin directly arming them.

2) “But as a result, counterterrorism analysts say, they lost a chance to influence the battle in Syria.” 

Truth: U.S. intervention to back armed rebels has served to prolong the conflict and escalate the violence.

3) “Even Congressional supporters of the C.I.A.’s covert program to arm moderate elements of the Syrian opposition fear the delivery of weapons, set to begin this month, will be too little, too late.”

Truth: Most of the arms funneled by the CIA to the rebels ended up in the hands of the Islamic extremists. As I’ve commented previously:

So, to sum up, the geniuses in Washington think that it is in the U.S.’s “best interest” to pursue a policy of regime change by seeking to overthrow the government of Syria by directly arm rebels whose ranks include the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front despite bipartisan concerns in Congress that “the arms could end up in the hands of Islamist militants”, which they say they would like to prevent despite the fact that there is no clear plan for “how that could be accomplished”, and despite the view of the intelligence community the consequence of this effort, if it is actually successful, will be increased regional instability and an increased threat of terrorism, including the possibility of blowback against the U.S. itself.

…So, you see, in the brilliant minds of those running the U.S. government, if a policy is failing, the obvious solution is to just keep doing more of the same thing only on an even bigger scale.

The obvious purpose of the propaganda narrative is to manufacture consent for this U.S. policy. To recall the above previously-reported facts would make this policy look like not such a wise idea. Hence, down the memory hole with them.

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