Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2012

The West Should Help Assad

The western media are finally starting to report the fact that the uprising in Syria is sectarian and led by salafi forces.

This was obvious to independent observers at least since April 10 2011 when first attacks on the military were reliably reported. Then western media claimed that these were soldiers shot by the government which was not a convincing explanation.

Now a much clearer picture of the danger of this conflict evolves and it becomes clear that Assad's claims of foreign terrorist involvement are true.

Foreign fighters have been streaming into Syria for some time:

Iraqi officials told reporters on the weekend that for the past four months, there has been a stream of Iraqi fighters and weapons flowing into Syria from Iraq to support the anti-Assad movement.

The fighters and weapons “are being smuggled from Mosul through the Rabia crossing to Syria, as members of the same families live on both sides of the border,” said Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi.

“We have known about the jihadists’ role for months,” said Alastair Crooke, the Beirut-based director of Conflicts Forum. “People have just chosen to turn a blind eye to it.”

Jihadi forums claim that these are coming from all over the Middle East:

The page also referred to the death of Abu al-Buraa al-Sulti in Aleppo, saying he was the first fighter who came from Jordan to fight in Syria.

"The first (jihadist) who died was Abdullah Dulaimi," known by the nickname Abu Tabarik, in the area of Abu Kamal, a city in Syria near the Iraqi border, the page said. The Dulaim are a major Sunni tribe in western Iraq.

The page also referred to "the arrival of Abu Hudhaifa al-Kuwaiti in Al-Sham, where the ground was blessed with his soul, from his country (Kuwait)."
Abu Abdullah al-Makhzumi said on the same page that "the fight has come and the doors of heaven are open. Let's go to jihad, let's go to jihad."

The Libyan AlQaeda leader Belhadj has met the expat Syrian National Council and some Libyan salafis were also killed in Syria.

Weapons are flowing freely:

The man said he was selling mortars, grenades and rifles, and that his contact in Syria was also an Iraqi.

The Jordan Muslim Brotherhood is openly calling for Jihad in Syria:

“Supporting the Syrian people and Free Syrian Army is a duty, as they are facing the injustice and oppression of the regime,” the group said on its Web site.

U.S. intelligence services believe that AlQaeda was responsible for the suicide attacks in Aleppo and other places. Al Qaeda's leader Zawahiri has released a video message titled “Onward Oh Lions of Syria”.

With all these data points finally coming out into the open one wonders what the reaction of the west will now be to this.

Will the Senator for Israel Joe Lieberman continue to argue for arming these jihadis? Will the neo-conservative Zionist mouthpiece Michael Weiss continue to call for a western military attack on the side of the salafis against the Syrian government?

The threat now is not regime change in Syria but regime destruction as has happened in Libya. A Syrian state crumbling under terror followed by large sectarian slaughter and refugee streams with certain spillover of fighting into all neighboring countries. That can not be in anyone's interest.

It is time for the west to not only step back from this cliff but to turn around and to help Assad to fight the terrorists that want to bring down his country.

Posted by b on February 13, 2012 at 12:36 UTC | Permalink


Greece is burning and you put up yet another Syria post? Where's the objectivity?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 13 2012 13:19 utc | 1

"Will the Senator for Israel Joe Lieberman continue to argue for arming these jihadis?"

Almost certainly yes. "Al Qaida" was always something for the masses. The US uses radical Salafists whenever convenient. Against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 80's. Against the Russians in Chechnya in the 90's. Against Hezbollah in Lebanon post 2006 (per Seymour Hersch) Against MQ in Libya just a year ago.

"9/11 changed everything?" No. No reason to break the pattern now, although I do notice some within the intel community might be having second thoughts. I noticed Col Lang had a blog post about the Syrian insurgency a few days ago where he is having second thoughts. "IMO we are being lured towards secret support of the Syrian opposition to the Assad government."

Just a few months ago, he was a big advocate for supporting the Syrian rebels, through arms and Turkish invasion. Why did he change his mind?

I suspect a lot of people are fearing a spillover effect into Jordan.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 13 2012 13:39 utc | 2

I don't think that the neo-cons are at all disturbed. They have always been Al Qaida's best friends and sponsors. The more chaos and death that there is in the Arab lands the better these racists are pleased. And there are large chunks of Syria that zionists dream of owning.

What will be of interest is how they choose to manage this "news" while continuing to arm, "stiffen" the ranks of and pay for this attempt at regime change. This is because public opinion is of no interest to the forces which are most active in US policy making, the people who really know what they want, including both zionists and Saudi/Gulf tyrants. They regard the masses everywhere as impotent cattle whose opinions are irrelevant.

As can be seen from the ruthless way that Greece is being plundered and raped the ruling class has nothing but contempt for public opinion and very little patience left for conventional politicians who insist on masking fascist objectives with "humanitarian" and "democratic" narratives. It is clearly ludicrous to associate the ruthless Saudis and Qataris with either and, from their point of view, subversive to suggest that they have any interest in the democratic rights or welfare of the average Syrian.

What is happening in Syria is part of a world wide onslaught on the poor, particularly the peasantry, who are being enslaved and impoverished, everywhere. Given the numerical insignificance of the ruling class (1%?), to carry out their policies they require the co-operation of the masses: the Saudis believe this is to be bought, while the zionists and imperialists trust in the power of racism and false consciousness. Both must be highly delighted by the assistance they get from the remnants of the social democratic parties in Europe whose pretence of concern for the welfare of "their own people" has been dropped as they concentrate on "liberating" Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and Sudanese. Liberating them first from their rulers and then of their property and resources.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 13 2012 14:13 utc | 3

Slightly OT.
These two Libya reports from Lateline ( are hot off the press.

The headline for the first is self-explanatory...
Australian bodyguard helped Gaddafi's son

I'm still trying to get my head around the second. Among other things this bloke says the Western Media's story about Libya was a load of hogwash (Lateline is broadcast to every state in Oz).
Bodyguard tells of Saadi Gaddafi's escape

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 13 2012 14:55 utc | 4

@2 -- Is this the Col. Lang post?

Syria- Who are the Rebels?

IMO we are being lured towards secret support of the Syrian opposition to the Assad government. There is an assumption that anything and anyone would be preferable for us to the present government. This is troubling.

During the Libyan insurgency the canard was about that those rebels were dominated by Islamists. That never seemed likely to me but perhaps I have known too many Libyans.

In the case of Syria, it seems clear to me that a great deal of the opposition is Sunni mosque centered around salafist leaders. How much " a great deal" actually is remains a question. The government should have the CIA talk to its media friends so that we can be better informed. pl

Posted at 02:31 PM in Policy, Syria

Posted by: jawbone | Feb 13 2012 15:18 utc | 5

@ Jawbone, yup. That's the one. It contrasts with his typical pattern of being anti-revolution in pro US dictatorships (Egypt, Tunisia) but very pro-revolution in Libya and Syria. He points to the risk of Islamists taking over in the first two, but, until now, was unconcerned about that risk in the latter two.

He is certainly a smart and well connected man, so I'm wondering why he changed his mind. AFAIK, I haven't been banned at his blog, but certainly felt like persona non grata and so I never post there anymore and can't ask him myself. And you would have to be very diplomatic in bringing up his contradiction lest he ban you as well.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 13 2012 15:24 utc | 6

My father-in-law said on the phone this morning that it seemed that supporters of ex-Vice President Khaddam, who was from Banyas, were behind the attack. It is said that they had set a trap for the military unit. All this is speculation, however. We know precious little about who is killing whom in Syria. Allegations are numerous. Real knowledge is scarce.

That's the quote from the link to Landis's blog. as far as I can tell, he says nothing of the sort that you claim.

Your new take on the "Salafi" bogeyman is certainly interesting given the fact that you were persistently dismissive of the "al Qaeda in Mesopotamia" claims during the Iraq war.

And then you throw in al-Zawahari like a cherry on this wishful report of yours. It's just sad.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2012 15:26 utc | 7

Al-Q is back!

see article quoted in top post: Al-Q leader publicly sides with Syrian Opposition.

How embarrassing. So the West should! support or integrate or at least agree with AlQ in its drive to paint the Syrian matter as a poor honest struggling ppl tortured, shot, imprisoned, suppressed, by an evil Gvmt, a vile dictator.

If it wasn’t for the devastation and deaths, you’d think it was the theater of the absurd.

Of course, Islamic terrorism is a US-Isr creation, and support for Jihadist by the West has been massive (false flag, or underground, e.g. Yugoslavia, see Lysander above..) But once created, it takes on a life of its own, though not much of a one, in this case. I guess the Globe and Mail just wanted to put Al-Q out there in the mix, figuring readers would check out after the first sentence:

The flames of Syria's mounting violence and civil strife are being fanned by a sinister new player: al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 13 2012 15:28 utc | 8

A Syrian state crumbling under terror followed by large sectarian slaughter and refugee streams with certain spillover of fighting into all neighboring countries. That can not be in anyone's interest.

You joke! That's what Israel wants. The more confusion in the Arab world the better. The main thing for them is to prevent a powerful Islamist state emerging.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 13 2012 16:29 utc | 9

bevin @ 3: Good post. I too, believe the cluster fuck now ongoing in the middle east, is related to the war against the working classes around the globe. The forces of globalization do their best work when chaos and disinformation are the order of the day.

Posted by: ben | Feb 13 2012 16:33 utc | 10

I read an article today on the Guardian site about the differences between German and British senses of humour. It was by a German who spent his early youth in Germany, and then went to school in England. He told us that the Germans signal jokes, whereas the English leave their jokes dry. So what's happening?!! You didn't signal your post as a joke!

Do you expect that the West will change its narrative, just because the truth doesn't correspond? The issue is Israeli interests. For them, reduce all surrounding countries to confusion is the aim. A policy which seems to be working for the moment.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 13 2012 21:49 utc | 11

stupid terrorists burning tires in their homes

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 14 2012 3:09 utc | 12

"Greece is burning and you put up yet another Syria post? Where's the objectivity?"

So MB, is this where you once again tell this blog what it is we should be discussing??? Golly, you gonna give us another sweet Swan Song as well?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Feb 14 2012 14:29 utc | 13

The main thing for them is to prevent a powerful Islamist state emerging. (re israel, 9) alexno wrote.

Alexno, I usually agree with what you post, I think, because I don’t keep consistent track of who actually says whatever, that isn’t the aim of a comments section/blog like MoA. But No on this.

The US-ISR-KSA nexus would be delighted with a sort of ersatz on paper democracy in the hands of ‘Islamists’, some strong religious hold of whatever flavor. (Very strict Catholicism would be fine too, just that is not what is current in the region.) It would oppress and control the ppl, provide another ‘enemy’ for Israel, enforce Saudi royals-cum-fake religious hold, because their model would then have spread, have a little brother; please the US as any corrupt Islamist dictatorships(s) are good to go, because the authoritarians will bend and bow and make deals and take US domination into account to fill their own coffers and get protection (see Saudi.)

Saddam and Khadafi, in their own ways, dictatorial and despicable and all, were nationalists and “Baathists” (to some degree, over time, i.e. socialist, or neo-Marxist, pan-Arab, opposed to Western influence, to Israel, well K was a bit different, etc.) and NOT religionists (though Saddam tried to use that card in his later years.) Bachar el-Assad is of the same stripe, a paler more hesitant version.

All of them were, are, unbearable to the US. Free health care? National Energy Companies? National Banks? Challenging the dollar? Not buying Hollywood products, or MacDos?

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 14 2012 17:30 utc | 14

According to this article on Voltairenet, Russia's help is all that was needed to transform the dreams of US-NATO's Syrian 'rebels' into nightmares.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 15 2012 17:53 utc | 15

Top U.S. intelligence officials confirm al Qaida role in Syria

Al Qaida's Iraqi affiliate appears to have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups and was likely responsible for recent suicide bombings in Damascus and the industrial capital of Aleppo, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress Thursday.

"We believe that al Qaida in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria," Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It was the first time that a top U.S. official publicly confirmed the involvement of al Qaida in Iraq, or AQI, in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, which began nearly a year ago as peaceful protests for an end to his family's four-decade-long rule.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2012 4:49 utc | 17

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