Sunday, May 24, 2015

Last Call For One Hell Of A Blowback Story

It's Judicial Watch, so take it with an entire salt mine's worth of salt, but the gist is that the Pentagon worked with Al-Qaeda remnants in Syria in order to topple Bashar al-Assad and when that went tits up, the result was those groups became ISIS, a Pentagon report predicted the whole mess, and Obama did it anyway.

The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”

Well, at least one DIA analyst knew what they were talking about.

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.”

This is all pretty depressing if true. This is a hell of a news dump for Memorial Day weekend, but it's still worth analyzing. The notion that we worked for regime change -- again -- and it failed disastrously is definitely going to be the next president's major problem in the Middle East.

I'm going to need more evidence on this before I start assigning blame, but I don't have a good feeling about it.


Yastreblyansky said...

I saw that just now on Twitter and thought they were reading the document completely wrong: it said that there existed such a Sunni force unhindered by "closest allies", presumably Saudi Arabia and Turkey, not that the US "welcomed" it. Remember that ISIS didn't spring out of nowhere in 2012 but was formed in Camp Bucca in 2004, trained in Anbar, then went to Syria when the war broke out there. At the end the authors express clear hope that the Baghdad regime will survive. It's almost encouraging, they sound better informed than I feared.

Zandar said...

Yeah, I get mails on stuff like this:

"The DIA report that you've written about at ZVTS does NOT implicate the U.S. in working with AQ or any other group in trying to topple Assad. No American Intel estimate would refer to the U.S. as the west or as part of a collective west. Also, the report that judicial watch got from the FOIA process is not finished intelligence, rather it is an initial informational summary. Moreover, the direct quote that "the west, gulf countries, and turkey support the opposition" is not the same, nor should it be read/construed as "the west, gulf states, and turkey support AQ, Nusra, etc". I've seen informed commenters, including the former founding director of human intelligence at DIA, indicate that they think this was actually a write up of an intercept from another Intel service, such as Israel, or the write up of info passed on by Israel."

That from Adam Silverman, who has a raft of good points. And if there's any "other intel service" that wants to fuck Obama over ISIS, it's Israel.

Yastreblyansky said...

Good. And thanks.

D. Potter said...

This is the famous "Kid Giving Another Kid a Haircut" sketch, isn't it, except with live ammo.

It seems to be true that with great power comes great stupidity.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Clearly, we have a whole bunch of people, with different agendas, all of whom are safely tucked away far from the danger zones, who welcome success on the part of ISIS because it affords them a pretext to throw eggs at the despised Obama. The word "gloat" springs to mind.

The first response to these people is and always will be that none of this would have happened if Bush had not blown up the Middle East in 2003. This can be extended by pointing out that Bush would not have had the opportunity to blow up the Middle East in 2003 if Nader and the Greens had not run their little spoiler campaign in 2000.

With that out of the way, we can get on with discussing Obama's mistakes and the plausible scenarios going forward while the carpers go back to torturing kittens or stalking math professors or screaming that Nixon is Obama's favorite president or what ever it is that they do with their time.

Scopedog said...

This can be extended by pointing out that Bush would not have had the
opportunity to blow up the Middle East in 2003 if Nader and the Greens
had not run their little spoiler campaign in 2000.

Yep. Despite pleading with many Naderites back in 2000, I was told--repeatedly--"Nope, sorry, no difference between Bush and Gore!" and I still heard that nonsense up until the invasion of Iraq--"Nope, sorry, Gore would have done the same thing! He's got Lieberman as VP and thus he's loyal to Israel!!".

The lives lost, the massive damage to the Middle East, the economic collapse....all of these could have been prevented in 2000. But the media, the GOP, the Felonius Five on the Supreme Court, and yes, that egocentric asshole Nader did not care. They wanted that clueless Texan in the White House and cared not a whit about the consequences. Funny how now, they try to push President Bush's sins on President Obama.

And the next person that tells me how Nixon is to the left of Obama will have immediately have their heads unscrewed against the threads.

djchefron said...

America created ISIS, and other clickbait!

Yastreblyansky said...

With a nod of agreement from Juan Cole.

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